by Mr. Lincoln
's proclamation, when, in fact, the proclamation never applied to Kentucky
The emancipationists of Missouri
were working hard to free their State from slavery, and they would have been only too glad to have Mr. Lincoln
do the work for them.
They appealed to him to extend his edict to their State, but got no satisfaction.
The emancipationists of Maryland
had much the same experience.
were left out of the proclamation, as were Tennessee
, and parts of Virginia
and the Carolinas.
(See Appendix.) The explanation is that the proclamation was not intended to cover all slaveholding territory.
All of it that belonged to States that had not been in rebellion, or had been subdued, was excluded.
The President's idea was to reach only such sections as were then in revolt.
If the proclamation had been immediately operative, and had liberated every bondman in the jurisdiction to which it applied, it would have left over a million slaves in actual thraldom.
Indeed, Earl Russell, the British
premier, was quite correct when, in speaking of the proclamation, he said: “It does not more than profess to emancipate slaves where the United States
authorities cannot make emancipation a reality, and emancipates no one where the decree can be carried into effect.”
For the failure of the proclamation to cover all slaveholding territory there was a plausible reason.
Freedom under it was not decreed as a boon, but as a penalty.
It was not, in theory at least, intended to help the slave, but to chastise the master.