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[136]

Chapter 18: Lincoln and Emancipation

Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, who were Mr. Lincoln's private secretaries during the time he was President, and afterwards the authors of his most elaborate biography, say: “The blessings of an enfranchised race must forever hail him as their liberator.”

Says Francis Curtis in his History of the Republican Party, in speaking of the President's Emancipation Proclamation: “On the 1st day of January, 1863, the final proclamation of freedom was issued, and every negro slave within the confines of the United States was at last made free.”

Other writers of what is claimed to be history, almost without number, speak of the President's pronouncement as if it caused the bulwarks of slavery to fall down very much as the walls of Jericho are said to have done, at one blast, overwhelming the whole institution and setting every bondman free. Indeed, there are multitudes of fairly intelligent people who believe that slaveholding in this country ceased the very day and hour the proclamation appeared. In a recent magazine article, so intelligent a man as Booker Washington speaks of a Kentucky slave family as being emancipated

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