has always repudiated all designs, whenever and wherever imputed to him, of disturbing the system of slavery as it has existed under the Constitution
About the same time Mr. Lincoln
stated to a party of Southern Congressmen, who called upon him, that he “recognized the rights of property that had grown out of it [slavery] and would respect those rights as fully as he would similar rights in any other property.”
No steps were taken by Mr. Lincoln
to recall or repudiate the foregoing announcements.
On the contrary, he confirmed them in his official action.
He annulled the freedom proclamations of Fremont
He did not interfere when some of his military officers were so busy returning fugitive slaves that they had no time to fight the masters.
He approved Hallock
's order Number Three excluding fugitives from the lines.
He even permitted the poor old Hutchinsons to be sent away from the army very much as if they had been colored people, when trying to rouse “the boys” with their freedom songs.
In many ways Mr. Lincoln
showed that in the beginning and throughout the earlier part of his Administration he hoped to re-establish the Union
without disturbing slavery.
In effect he so declared in his introduction to his freedom proclamation.
He gave the rebel slaveholders one hundred days in which to abandon their rebellion and save their institution.
In view of such things it is no wonder that Henry Wilson
, so long a leading Republican Senator
, in his Rise and Fall of the Slave Power
, in speaking of emancipation,