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[241] the fleet captured several vessels, nearly all English, which it would take too much space to enumerate here; and the increasing high price paid for every article imported from Europe into the Southern States proved that the blockade was at last strictly maintained.

In the midst of these operations there occurred a political incident which caused more commotion in the North than most of the insignificant engagements we have just been relating. We allude to Hunter's proclamation abolishing slavery in the three States nominally under his jurisdiction—a proclamation which was condemned by the House of Representatives and repudiated by President Lincoln. We shall, however, confine ourselves in this place to a simple specification of its date, with the intention to speak of it in another chapter, when we shall take occasion to review all the political events which marked the year 1862, and to point out the progress made by the cause of abolition during that period.

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