Abraham Lincoln's Slave Emancipation Bill


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 26, 1862

We have created an online collection of  all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This collection is available for your online study and research. These original newspapers give unique perspective on the important people and events of the Civil War.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest)


Iron Clads

Iron Clads

McClellan Poem

McClellan Poem

Lincoln's Emancipation Bill

Abraham Lincoln's Slave Emancipation Bill

Battle of Malvern Hill

Battle of Malvern Hill

Battle of Savage's Station

Battle of Savage's Station

John Bull

John Bull Cartoon

Battle of Malvern Hill

Battle of Chickahominy

Battle of Chickahominy

Life in the Army of the Potomac

Army Life in the Army of the Potomac

Battle of Beaver Creak

Battle of Beaver Creak

Bombardment of Vicksburg

Bombardment of Vicksburg



JULY 26, 1862.



(Previous Page) Speaking of the want of striking indications of Union feeling upon the border, he hits the nail in saying: "Men may grow convinced of the folly of secession—may even wish for the victory of the Union; but their hearts must be, after all, with the side for which their kinsmen and friends are fighting.....I am anxious not to convey the impression from my description that I believe in the Southern, or, rather, the Confederate doctrine, of an innate and unconquerable aversion between the Southern and the Northern States. When once the insurrection is suppressed and order is restored, I have little doubt the Southern States will acquiesce in what is inevitable. There is no difference in race, or language, or religion, to keep the two divisions of the Union apart. Whether the difference in domestic institutions may prove an insuperable cause of disunion, I can not say. If it should so prove, the North will suppress or remove this cause before it consents to the separation of North and South. But the time for that is not yet."

This paper was written just after the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and when it was possible, or, as he says, "still on the cards," that Beauregard would defeat us at Corinth; but Mr. Dicey remarks: "It is easy enough for a spectator in the Northern States to see that the Confederates are fighting a losing fight, and that even a return of fortune to their arms would only somewhat prolong a now hopeless struggle."

This is interesting as the opinion of an intelligent and disinterested spectator at a time when the rebel prospects were much more flattering than they are now. English readers will gradually learn from such observers as Mr. Trollope and Mr. Dicey that a great nationality is not to be as easily extinguished as a tallow dip; and that millions of free, industrious, intelligent, and prosperous citizens do not mean to be politically annihilated without as desperate a resistance as coolness, intelligence, skill, and heroism know how to make.


MR. MARK TAPLEY is not the best conceivable model either for nations or men. If a general wants to fight well, he must understand his position exactly; and if a nation would be equal to its situation, it must see what its precise situation is.

The object of the rebels is foreign recognition. They hope to hold out until Europe shall say to us, "Come! come! for fifteen months these people have maintained their independence. You have had an immense opportunity, your own time, your own preparations, the forbearance of the world, and you don't do the work. Hadn't you better make terms? At any rate we, for our parts, recognize them as a legitimate government." This is the hope of the rebellion, and if it is not fully and palpably suppressed, in a very short time this hope will be fulfilled.

Of course recognition is war. At the present moment the feeling between the countries is such, the Mexican complication is of so grave a character, the air is so electrical, that the explosion may certainly be regarded as imminent.

The arguments drawn from the want of advantage to be gained by foreign Powers, the comparison of naval force, and all the arguments of reason combined, do not count very heavily against the probability. War is not such a very reasonable and argumentative matter. The general aspects of the case are always sufficient. Nothing could be more elaborately unreasonable than our first contest with Great Britain; and to all the reasoning that could be urged against the success of foreign interference now, there would be one sufficient answer: Europe would say to us, "Haven't you your hands full enough now, and would the necessity of fighting us make you any stronger?"

Mr. Mark Tapley will probably call this a depressing view. But neither Mr. Tapley, as we said, nor the African ostrich are the best models for us at this moment. The more distinctly the Yankee sees all the circumstances of the situation, the cooler and braver he becomes.


WEIGHING.—"Husband, I hope you have no objection to my being weighed." "Certainly not, my dear; but why do you ask the question?" "Only to see, love, if you would let me have my weigh once."

We are told to have hope and trust; but what's a poor fellow to do when he can no longer get any trust?

A REQUEST.—"Good morn, Mister Grimes! I come over to see if you'd lend our dad your pickaxe, to saw off a board to make a chicken coop to put our dog in; he runs after our neighbor's cows, and then they won't come about any more, so we have to drink our coffee without cream or sugar."

The author or the following lines is destined to occupy a good position among our American poets. Who is he?

"O wunst I luved annuther gal

her name it was murrier,

but betsy deer my luv for u

is forty times more hier."

A country paper, speaking of the funeral of a suicide, says indignantly, "They buried the woman like a dog, with all her clothes on!"

"I say, Sambo, does you know de key to de prosperity ob de Souf?" "Key to de prosperity ob de Souf?—big words, Juno! Guess you must ab been eatin' massa's dickshunary. Golly, I ain't larned nuff to answer dat." "Well, chile, 'tis de dar-key."

The following epitaph was written on reading of the death of a lady whose name was Stone:

"Curious enough, we all most say,

That what was Stone should now be clay;

Most curious still, to own we must,

That what was Stone will soon be dust."

A MILE OF CHILDREN.—There is a farmer in Berkshire who has a mile of children. His name is Furlong, and he has four boys and four girls. Eight furlongs always make a mile.

A PERFECT CURE.—An amorous swain, who had been severely afflicted with palpitation of the heart, says he found instant relief by the application of another palpitating heart. Another triumph of homeopathy. "Like cures like."

AN ADVANTAGE.—A boy and girl of tender years were disputing as to what their mothers could do. Getting impatient, the little damsel blurted out, by way of a climax and a clencher, "Well, there is one thing that my mother can do that yours can't—my mother can take every one of her teeth out at once!"

Mrs. Partington says she may be old now, but she has seen the day when she was as young as ever she was.

Theodore Hook met a friend just after leaving the King's Bench Prison, who said to him that he was getting fat. "Yes," replied Hook, "I was enlarged to-day."


SHOPMAN (thinking to have a, joke upon the lady). "You want a very long and a very stout pair, I presume."

LADY (not appearing to see the point). "I want them very stout, of course; and as for their length, a size smaller than your ears, I think, will just suit."

Why is a sawyer like a lawyer?—Because whichever way he goes down comes the dust.

"It's all over with me!" as the pancake said when it was turned.

Almost every young lady is public-spirited enough to be willing to have her father's house used as a court-house.

It is difficult to keep one's temper in a hot day; but getting under a shady tree is the best way of taking umbrage.

It is well for a man to get the start in a race, but bad fur a ship's plank to start in a storm.

"It's all over with us!" as the passenger said when the coach upset.

Every man knows best when he plays the knave; but his neighbors know best when he plays the fool.

"YOU HAVE YOUR CHOICE."—A steamer burst her boiler a few years since, and a gentleman found, on reaching the ground, that an iron bar six feet long had gone in at his stomach and projected from his back. A surgeon informed him that if the bar remained it would cause mortification, and if it was removed it would cause him to bleed to death. "Science has its limits," remarked the doctor, "and you have your choice."

One of the neatest replies we ever heard of was that of a certain Earl Marshal, who, being found fault with by his Sovereign for some misarrangement of a coronation, said, "Please your Majesty, I will try and do better next time."

"That is the end of my tale," as the tadpole said when he turned into a bull-frog.

"How is the market, neighbor?" "Very quiet." "Any thing doing in cheese!" "Not a mite."

An Irish auctioneer, puffing off a pair of jet ear-rings to a very respectable company of ladies, said that they were "just the sort of articles he himself would purchase for his wife were she a widow."

Muggins was passing down Fleet Street one day with a friend, when he observed a poor dog, that had been killed, lying in the gutter. Muggins paused, and gazed intently at the defunct animal, and at last said,

"Here is another shipwreck."

"Shipwreck! where?"

"There's a bark that's lost forever."

His companion growled and they passed on.

A newly-married gentleman and lady, riding in a chaise, were unfortunately overturned. A person coming to their assistance observed it was a very shocking sight. "Very shocking, indeed," replied the gentleman, "to see a new-married couple fall out so soon."

ANOTHER BULL.—"How odd it is," said Pat, as he trudged along on foot one hot, sultry day, "that a man never meets a team going the same way he is!"

The sensitive actor, who couldn't stay in the same room with a tea-urn on account of its hissing, has just been killed by a burst of applause.

The best dowry to advance the marriage of a young lady is to have in her countenance mildness, in her speech wisdom, and in her behavior modesty.


When is a blind man like a wig?

When he is curled (cur-led).

Why are young ladies' affections always doubtful? Because they are only mis-givings.

Why is is mile-stone a very unsociable fellow? Because you never see two together.

My whole is a noun of plural number, Devoid of ease and peaceful slumber; But add to it the letter S,

And, wondrous metamorphosis! Plural is plural now no more,

And sweet what bitter was before. Cares—caress.

Keep me clean, and I am like every body; scratch me on the back, and I am like nobody?

A looking-glass.

Why are beggars like fishermen and shepherds? Because they live by hook and by crook.


ON Tuesday, July 8, in the Senate, the Confiscation bill, as returned from the house, was taken up. Senator Sherman moved that the Senate recede from its amendment and agree to the House bill. This was negatived—14 against 23. Senator Clark, of New Hampshire, moved for a committee of conference on the disagreeing amendment, which was carried by a vote of 28 against 10. The resolution for the expulsion of Senator Simmons, of Rhode Island, for receiving sums of money for procuring Government contracts was laid over, and the Tariff bill was taken up, the amendments adopted, and the bill passed. A bill was introduced amending the act of 1795 relative to calling out the militia for suppressing invasion. A bill amendatory of the act prohibiting the African slave-trade was introduced. The consideration of the bill to establish and equalize the grade of line officers of the navy was then resumed. Several amendments were adopted, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the bill providing for the discharge of State prisoners and others was passed. The bill defining the pay and emoluments of army officers, etc., and the Civil Appropriation bill, were also passed. A Committee of Conference on the Confiscation bill was ordered, and the House adjourned.

On Wednesday, July 9, in the Senate, bills relative to the grade of naval officers; authorizing the President to make arrangements with foreign governments, and especially with Denmark, for the colonization of captured Africans; and making appropriations for sundry civil expenses, were passed. The Naval Appropriation bill was also passed. A bill to declare another punishment for the crime of treason was introduced and referred to the Judiciary Committee. The bill amendatory of the act of 1795, calling out the militia, etc., was then taken up. Senator Grimes offered an amendment providing for the employment of negroes in the military service; and Senator King moved to amend the amendment so as to authorize the employment of blacks in constructing intrenchments, or other camp service or labor, and declaring forever free the mother, wife, and children of negroes so employed. The scheme, in fact, comprehends the enrollment

of the blacks in the military service, and the general emancipation of slaves. An interesting debate ensued, in which Senators Sherman, Fessenden, Wilton, and Rice advocated the policy of arming the blacks, but without taking action on the amendments, the Senate went into executive session and subsequently adjourned.—In the House, the Tariff and Pension bills were referred to conference committees. The bill to promote the efficacy of the Engineers' corps, and the Ordnance and Quarter-master's Departments, was passed; also the Naval Appropriation bill; the bill supplementary to the act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, and the Post-Route bill. The Senate resolution requiring the weekly publication of lists of all Government contracts, and the names of the persons interested in them, was adopted. The House then adjourned.

On Thursday, July 10, in the Senate, a communication was received from the War Department, transmitting copies of all instructions to the generals of the army relative to freeing the slaves of the rebels. The House resolution authorizing supplies of clothing to be furnished to sick and wounded soldiers was passed; also the bill relative to the stolen Indian Trust bonds. Senator Saulsbury offered a resolution inquiring for the number of troops under General Fremont and General Banks at the date of General McClellan's departure for the Peninsula; also the number of troops in and around Washington, also the number of troops between Washington and the Rappahannock; and also the number of troops actually in service under General McClellan in the recent engagements before Richmond. A long and interesting discussion on the conduct of the campaign on the Peninsula ensued, and finally the resolution was adopted. The bill relative to calling out the militia, with the amendments authorizing the arming of the blacks, their employment on intrenchments, etc., and freeing the wife. mother, and children of negroes so employed, was then called up. A motion to postpone indefinitely was disagreed to by a vote of 9 against 27. An amendment that loyal persons shall be compensated for loss of service of slaves taken under the bill was agreed to. The section authorizing the President to receive negroes into the military service was then passed. On taking the question on the section giving freedom to the mother, wife, and children of negroes so employed by the Government there was no quorum, and the Serrate adjourned.—In the House, the Senate joint resolution to suspend all payments under the act of March last, "To secure to the officers and men actually employed in the Western or Missouri Department, their pay, bounty, and pensions," and to appoint three Commissioners to investigate and examine all claims and report on the same to the Secretary of War, was adopted. A joint resolution providing medals of honor for soldiers who may distinguish themselves was also adopted. The Senate bill for the better government of the navy, and the resolution of thanks to Commodore Foote was agreed to, and the House adjourned.

On Friday, July 11, in the Senate, the General Pension bill and several unimportant bills were passed, and the remainder of the session was occupied in debate on the amendment to the Militia bill, authorizing the employment of negroes in the military service, and freeing the mothers, wives, and children of those to employed; but no vote was taken on the subject.—In the House, the bill to prevent officials from receiving pay for procuring contracts was passed. The Committee of Ways and Means reported a bill providing for a national currency, secured by United States stock, and for the circulation and redemption thereof. It was recommitted and ordered to be printed. The Conference Committee on the Confiscation bill made a report, combining some of the main points of both the Senate and House bills on that subject, which was accepted. The Tariff bill passed both Houses of Congress.

On Saturday, July 12, in the Senate, the report of the Conference Committee on the Confiscation bill was agreed to by a vote of twenty-seven against thirteen. The bill has thus passed both Houses of Congress. The resolution requesting the President to have a statement of the trade and commerce of the Pacific States prepared was adopted. A resolution reported by the Finance Committee, fixing the time for final adjournment of Congress on Wednesday next, was adopted. An executive session was held, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Committee of Ways and Means reported their last appropriation, being for miscellaneous objects, but it was laid on the table by a majority of ten. Several other subjects were acted on, none of them, however, of general importance, and the House adjourned.

On Monday, July 14, in the Senate, the resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to Commodore A. H. Foote for his gallant services in the West, was adopted. The bill for the admission of West Virginia into the Union was passed by a vote of twenty-three to seventeen. The bill provides that all slaves born within the limits of the State after the 4th of July next shall be free; all slaves who at that time are under ten years of age shall be free when they are twenty-one; and all over ten and under twenty-one, shall be free when they are twenty-five. A message was received from the President, transmitting the draft of a bill for compensating any State which may abolish slavery. We give it below. The bill to prevent Congressmen and Government officers receiving consideration for procuring contracts was passed. An executive session was held, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House, a bill making sundry appropriations for civil expenditures was reported and passed. The Committee of Ways and Means reported is. bill imposing an additional tax of one cent per pound on domestic sugar under the internal tax law. A proviso was added that the tax should not apply to sugar manufactured from sorghum, and the bill was then passed.


The following Message from the President was delivered to Congress on Monday:


Herewith is the draft of the bill to compensate any State which may abolish slavery within its limits, the passage of which, substantially as presented, I respectfully and earnestly recommend.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever the President of the United States shall be satisfied that any State shall have lawfully abolished slavery within and throughout such State, either immediately or gradually, it shall be the duty of the President, assisted by the Secretary of the Treasury, to prepare and deliver to each State an amount of six per cent. interest-bearing bonds of the United States, equal to the aggregate value at — dollars per head of all the slaves within such State, as reported by the census of one thousand eight hundred and sixty; the whole amount for any one State to be delivered at once, if the abolishment be immediate, or in equal annual installments if it be gradual, interest to begin running on each bond at the time of delivery, and not before.

And be it further enacted, That if any State having so received any such bonds shall at any time afterward by law reintroduce or tolerate slavery within its limits, contrary to the act of abolishment upon which such bonds shall have been received, said bonds so received by said State shall at once be null and void in whosesoever hands they may be, and such State shall refund to the United States all interest which may have been paid on such bonds.


Dispatches from Fortress Monroe announce the fact that the rebels have disappeared from before the Army of the Potomac, none of therm being within miles of our position. A brief telegram from General McClellan, received in Philadelphia on Friday, stated that the enemy had retreated. An explanation of this movement of the rebel forces will probably be found in the fact that, from lack of transportation, they have been forced to fall back nearer Richmond, their base of supplies.


The President has taken a trip to the peninsula to see the position of the army for himself. He had an interview with General Burnside at Fortress Monroe on Tuesday, 8th, and then proceeded up the James River to visit General McClellan.

He reviewed the entire line, in company with General McClellan and his Staff, and was every where received with the greatest enthusiasm by the troops, who mingled

their cheers with the salvos of artillery with which he was greeted. Subsequent to the review, he returned to the steamer on which he went up the James, accompanied by General McClellan, and after an hour's consultation, quietly took his departure.

During his visit he made a speech to the serried masses of armed men who had just come out of seven days' terrific combat. Dismounting from his horse and mounting upon a rail fence he addressed the army in these words: "Be of good cheer; all is well. The country owes you an inextinguishable debt for your services. I am under immeasurable obligations to you. You have, like heroes, endured, and fought, and conquered. Yes, I say conquered; for though apparently checked once, you conquered afterward and secured the position of your choice. You shall be strengthened and rewarded. God bless you all!"


The Southern account of the late battles, during the withdrawal of General McClellan's army to the James River, is given in the Richmond papers. The enemy admit the strength of our army's new position, which they designate as the strongest on the peninsula, and, indeed, demonstrate the fact by furnishing the geographical and topographical features of the location. The general tone of the rebel journals indicates dissatisfaction with the result of the movement, and by no means shows that it is regarded in the light of a success for the rebel arms.


The following has been issued.

      WASHINGTON, July —, 1862.


By special assignment of the President of the United States I have assumed command of this army.

I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, your condition, and your wants; in preparing you for active operations, and in placing you in positions from which you can act promptly and to the purpose.

I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies, from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him when found, whose policy has been attack, and not defense.

In but one instance has the enemy been able to place our Western armies in a defensive attitude.

I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system, and to had you against the enemy.

It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily.

I am sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor to give you.

Meantime, I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find much in vogue among you.

I hear constantly of taking strong positions and holding them—of lines of retreat and of bases of supplies. Let us discard such ideas.

The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy.

Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves.

Let us look before, and not behind.

Success and glory are in the advance.

Disaster and shame lurk in the rear.

Let us act on this understanding, and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many a glorious deed, and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever.

JOHN POPE, Major-General Commanding.


The bombardment of Vicksburg still continued at last accounts received from Memphis. Our mortars from above and below are shelling the city. The cutting of the canal by negroes, which is destined to make Vicksburg an inland and insignificant town, is progressing rapidly. The report that Commodore Farragut has been wounded is not officially confirmed; but it is said that he had a narrow escape.


According to rumors prevalent in Nashville on Saturday, and since confirmed, a force of rebel cavalry, under Colonel Forrest, assaulted the town of Murfreesboro, capturing the Ninth Michigan regiment, Colonel Parkhurst, and making prisoners also of General Crittenden, of Indiana, General Duffield, and several other officers. The Third Minnesota, Colonel Leslie, and Hewitt's First Kentucky battery made a gallant resistance. Their bravery is beyond praise. They saved the railroad track and bridges, losing but few men. The rebels destroyed the railroad depot and other property, including the telegraph office. The town was being shelled by Hewitt's battery at the last report—three o'clock P.M. on 12th.


The capture of Baton Rouge by the rebels under General Van Dorn is reported in the Richmond papers received by dispatches from Mobile. The Mississippian states that General Butler visited Baton Rouge on Saturday, the 5th inst.


General Butler has suspended the functions of the City Councils of New Orleans, and has appointed bureaus of Finance and of Streets and Landings, consisting of three persons each, among whom the duties of the Councils are divided. This action has been rendered necessary in consequence of the refusal of the city authorities to take the oath of allegiance, in accordance with General Butler's orders. The moneyed classes in the city are still very backward in owning allegiance to the National Government, but there is a much better feeling among the working classes. Provisions, vegetables, and fruit are freely allowed to come to the city, and the condition of the poorer classes is much improved. Cotton plants of the new crop are beginning to make their appearance.


The Memphis Avalanche having published an incendiary and treasonable article headed "Mischief-makers," on the 1st of July, General Grant ordered that paper to be suspended. The order was subsequently countermanded on the withdrawal of the editor who wrote the article from the Avalanche establishment.


A correspondence from General McClellan to the War Department, concerning the occupation of General Lee's residence at White House and the several slanderous stories thereto attached, has been presented to Congress, and the whole affair is reduced to a very miserable and contemptible compass. General McClellan in his letter says, that "those who have originated the false statements concerning the White House, yard, and spring, are in tact, as stated in my dispatch of the 7th instant, enemies of this army and the cause in which it is fighting. They have imposed upon the Surgeon-General, and caused him to make official representations which, on examination, prove to be unfounded in fact, and which are disrespectful to his superior officer. They have unnecessarily occupied the attention of the Secretary of War, and have interrupted the Commander and the Medical Director of this army in the midst of the most arduous duties."



OUR affairs have again been discussed in both Houses of the British Parliament. Lord Palmerston, speaking in the Lower House, said that he could see no reason at the present time for offers of mediation in our affairs, but that the Government would gladly take advantage of any favorable opening that might occur for friendly interference. Lord Brougham had a few words to say in the Upper House, explanatory of a former speech, to the effect that he wished to remonstrate with the Americans "as fellow-Christians" with the noble lord on the course of the civil war, which he thought would prove of a fatal character to the whole American people.




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