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[138] was to be in punishment of treason, and, of course, could not consistently be made to apply to loyal communities, or to such as were under government control. The proclamation, it will be recollected, was issued in two parts separated by one hundred days. The first part gave the Rebels warning that the second would follow if, in the meanwhile, they did not give up their rebellion. All they had to do to save slavery was to cease from their treasonable practices. Had the Rebels been shrewd enough, within the hundred days, to take the President at his word, he would have stood pledged to maintain their institution, and his proclamation, instead of being a charter of freedom, would have been a license for slaveholding.

The proclamation did not, in fact, whatever it may have otherwise accomplished at the time it was issued, liberate a single slave. What is more, slavery as an institution was altogether too securely rooted in our system to be abolished by proclamation. The talk of such a thing greatly belittles the magnitude of the task that was performed. Its removal required a long preliminary work, involving, as is made to appear in previous chapters of this work, almost incalculable toil and sacrifice, to be followed by an enormous expenditure of blood and treasure. Its practical extinguishment was the work of the army, while its legal extirpation was accomplished by Congress and the Legislatures of the States in adopting the Thirteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which forbids all slaveholding. That amendment was a production of Congress and not of the Executive, whose official

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