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Lee On Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

 
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btownsend
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
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PostPosted:     Post subject: Lee On Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation Reply with quote

(Kindness of Bernhard. BT)

“Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation made an impression upon Robert E. Lee. He understood its significance. Lincoln intended to win the war and to preserve the Union regardless of consequences. When he was inaugurated he had affirmed that he had neither the power nor the disposition to interfere with slavery. He had now reversed himself. But thereby his military government was made perfect.

This view he expressed to (President) Davis. “The military government of the United States has been so far perfected by the recent proclamation of President Lincoln, which you have no doubt seen, and civil liberty so completely trodden under foot, that I have strong hopes that the conservative portion of that people, unless dead to the feelings of liberty, will rise and depose the party now in power.”

Yet while Lee was penning his letter to Davis he was signing and delivering the deed of manumission to the three hundred Custis slaves. This act antedated Lincoln’s proclamation by three days; Lincoln’s proclamation became operative January 1, 1863, Lee’s manumission papers had been in effect since December 29 previous.”

(Robert E. Lee, A Biography, Robert W. Winston, W. Morrow &Co. 1934, pp. 208-209)
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