Great pains were taken by General Wadsworth to facilitate the change of these people from bondage to freedom. He organized a contraband bureau, established permanent quarters, taught the poor blacks how to work for themselves, and made the confiscated goods of the blockade supply their wants. Amid political and military embarrassments, he succeeded in pioneering the way to practical emancipation while commanding the fortifications and twenty-four thousand troops.Gurowski says, in his Diary, that he was the good genius of the fugitive negroes. But for him, great numbers of them would have been remanded to the slave-whip. In the autumn of 1862, and while he was still in command of Washington, he received the Union nomination for Governor of New York. This had been offered to him, in 1848, by the Free-Soil Democrats, and again, in 1856, by the Republicans, but he had declined it on both occasions. He now thought it to be his duty to accept the position, and, in his letter to the President of the Convention, stated in a clear and forcible manner his opinions of the questions involved in the canvass. He assumed that the election would turn upon the necessity of sustaining the national government in its effort to maintain its territorial integrity, and upon the Proclamation of Emancipation; and he showed that to carry out the latter measure would be the most effectual, as well as humane, method of putting down the Rebellion. He afterwards came to New York and made a speech, which had a homely earnestness and force about it that was better than all the polished elegance of the schools. It was full of quaint, outspoken honesty, which reminds us of Abraham Lincoln. ‘I stand before you,’ he said, ‘a candidate for your suffrages, but, if I know my own heart, I come with no personal aspirations. I have seen with pain the undue and exaggerated commendations with which my friends have referred to me. . . . . The man who pauses to think of himself, of his affairs, of his family even, when he has public duties to perform, and his country lies prostrate, almost in the agonies of dissolution, is not the man to save it.’ It seems strange now, when we can view this election in the light of subsequent events, that
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