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[142] said “it was a policy, indeed, which he [the President] did not personally favor except in connection with his favorite idea of colonization.”

It is needless to say that the President's attitude was a great surprise and a sore disappointment to the more radical Anti-Slavery people of the country, who had supported him with much enthusiasm and high hopes. They felt that they had been deceived. They said so very plainly, for the Abolitionists were not the sort of people to keep quiet under provocation. Horace Greeley published his signed attack (see Appendix) entitled, The Prayer of Twenty Millions, which is, without doubt, the most scathing denunciation in the English language. Henry Ward Beecher “pounded” Mr. Lincoln, as he expressed it. Wendell Phillips fairly thundered his denunciations. There was a general under-swell of indignation.

Now, Mr. Lincoln was not a man who was incapable of reading the signs of the times. He saw that he was drifting towards an irreparable breach with an element that had previously furnished his staunchest supporters. As a politician of great native shrewdness, as well as the head of the Government, he could not afford to let the quarrel go on and widen. There was need of conciliation. Something had to be done. We know what he did. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation.

As far as freeing any slaves was concerned, he knew it amounted to very little, if anything. He said so. Less than two weeks before the preliminary section of the proclamation appeared, Mr. Lincoln was waited on by a delegation of over one hundred

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