How Slavery Really Ended in AmericaOn May 23, 1861, little more than a month into the Civil War, three young black men rowed across the James River in Virginia and claimed asylum in a Union-held citadel.... [T]the laws of the United States were clear: all fugitives must be returned to their masters. The founding fathers enshrined this in the Constitution; Congress reinforced it in 1850 with the Fugitive Slave Act; and it was still the law of the land — including, as far as the federal government was concerned, within the so-called Confederate states. The war had done nothing to change it. Most important, noninterference with slavery was the very cornerstone of the Union’s war policy. President Abraham Lincoln had begun his inaugural address by making this clear, pointedly and repeatedly. “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists,” the president said. “I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”[more inside]
posted by caddis
on Apr 2, 2011 -
Happy Juneteenth! On this date in 1865, slaves in Texas were notified that Lincoln had emancipated them two years earlier. It's a state holiday in Texas, and Juneteenth is observed in pockets of other states. Should it become a national holiday?
posted by Holden
on Jun 19, 2002 -