Abolition of Slavery


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 4, 1862

This site features all the original Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers are full of incredible illustrations and first hand stories of the War. Harper's Weekly was the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day.

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


McClellan in Frederick, Maryland

McClellan in Frederick, Maryland

Abolition of Slavery

Abolition of Slavery

Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

General Franklin

General Franklin

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Battle of Antietam

Battle of Antietam

Battle of Iuka

Battle of Iuka, Mississippi

Market House, Cincinnati

The Market House, Cincinnati

Maryland Heights

Maryland Heights

Kentucky Battle Map

Kentucky Battle Map



Slave Cartoon

Slave Cartoon





[OCTOBER 4, 1862.



WE illustrate on the preceding page THE ENTHUSIASTIC RECEPTION OF GENERAL McCLELLAN AT FREDERICK, MARYLAND, when he had driven the rebels from the place. A correspondent of the World thus describes the scene:

General McClellan came into the town upon the central road, and such an ovation as greeted him! It was very different from Virginia. The people were overjoyed. Flags were displayed upon all the houses. There were all sizes and descriptions; large flags suspended across the streets, and little sixpenny flaglets waved by girls and boys, all of whom had been subject to the general contagion which pervaded every one.

The General rode through the town on a trot, and the street was filled six or eight deep with his staff and guard riding on behind him. The General had his head uncovered, and received gracefully the salutations of the people. Old ladies and men wept for joy, and scores of beautiful ladies waved flags from the balconies of houses upon the street, and their joyousness seemed to overcome every other emotion. When the General came to the corner of the principal street the ladies thronged around him. Bouquets, beautiful and fragrant, in great numbers were thrown at him, and the ladies crowded around him with the warmest good wishes, and many of them were entirely overcome with emotion. I have never witnessed such a scene. The General took the gentle hands which were offered to him with many a kind and pleasing remark, and heard and answered the many remarks and compliments with which the people accosted him. It was a scene which no one could forget—an event of a lifetime.




THE proclamation of the President, which will be found in another column, practically abolishes slavery throughout the United States after next New-Year's Day. By the terms of that proclamation every negro shall become free who, on 1st January, 1863, shall reside in a section of country where the people are in rebellion. The evidence of rebellion, it appears, shall be the non-election of members of Congress by a majority of legally constituted voters. To carry out the Act fairly, we presume that, before New-Year's Day, the Speaker of Congress will direct an inquiry to be made with a view to ascertain what constituencies have failed to elect members. Upon his report the President will base his proclamation of emancipation, forever setting free and guaranteeing protection to every slave residing within such delinquent constituencies. In order to prevent trickery, no constituency will be deemed to be represented in Congress unless a majority of legally constituted voters have taken part in the election.

Under these conditions it is probable that nine-tenths of the slaves in the Southern States will become free on 1st January next. We do not suppose that any thing like a serious election of members of Congress will be attempted by a majority of legally constituted voters even in New Orleans, Memphis, or Norfolk. So long as the rebel armies keep the field, a majority of the people of the South will refuse to acknowledge their defeat, and will of course decline to participate in elections which would amount to a repudiation of their slave confederacy. In these three cities, and in most of the other places at the South which are occupied by the Union troops, the bulk of the legally constituted voters are in the rebel army, and could not—if they would—obtain furloughs for the purpose of returning home and electing members of Congress. It is just possible that, in the course of the next ninety days, the dread of negro emancipation may work a change in the views of some Southern communities, and that having to choose between two evils—abolition and submission—they may prefer the latter as the least intolerable. And it is also possible that our army and navy may make such rapid progress with the work of suppressing the rebellion that, by 1st January, 1863, the bulk of the Southern country may be overrun, and the hope of establishing a slave confederacy so thoroughly destroyed, that the rebels may be willing to make a virtue of necessity, and set about electing members of Congress. But if the rebel armies are not crushed within ninety days, and the people of the South humbled into submission, then the fiat has gone forth that New-Year's Day, 1863, shall bring freedom to the negro race in the rebel States.

Nor will the blessed boon be confined to those cotton States where this wretched rebellion arose. If Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Arkansas, and Tennessee become free States, it is utterly impossible that Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri can continue to maintain the institution of slavery. With free States on either side, of them, they must abolish slavery, or it will abolish itself. The only difference between them and their Southern neighbors will be, that the United States will pay to the loyal owners in loyal States a fair compensation for the slaves whom they may voluntarily agree to emancipate.

We shall now see how this proclamation will be received—both at the South and at the North. There are those who believe that the rebels—especially if they are hard pressed by our armies —will meet it with a counter-proclamation, immediately emancipating their slaves, and arming them for defense. A policy of this character would render the task before us one of no common difficulty, as it would enable the rebels to recruit their weakened armies with a fresh

force of nearly 500,000 men. It is, however, well-nigh impossible to believe that the rebel leaders would of their own free-will adopt the very policy the dread of whose adoption by us plunged them into the present war—that they would place arms in the hands of their slaves, and run the risk of a war of races on their own soil—that they would in the middle of the contest abandon the principle for which it was undertaken, and which they have declared to be the corner-stone of their confederacy. A better opinion appears to be, that Mr. Lincoln's proclamation will nerve them to still greater exertions than they have yet made, and that they will forthwith take measures to place their slaves out of reach of our troops. They will say, no doubt, that the President's proclamation will have no more practical effect than the previous bruta fulmina of Fremont and Hunter.

And how will negro emancipation be viewed at the North? There was a time, not very long since, when a large majority of the Northern people would have opposed it strenuously—not so much from any admiration for slavery, as from a belief that, under the Constitution, we had no right to meddle with it, and that its abolition involved dangers and inconveniencies perhaps as formidable as those which were created by its existence. Even at the present time a mortal antipathy for the negro is entertained by a large class of persons at the North—as is evidenced by the recent vote against negroes in Illinois, the riots in Cincinnati and Brooklyn, and the unkind treatment of the negro fugitives at Hilton Head by the regiments of General Hunter's army. At the same time, the war has produced a remarkable change in the opinions of educated and liberal men at the North. Such leading men as General Wallace of Illinois, Daniel S. Dickinson of New York, General Butler of Massachusetts, and nine-tenths of the generals in the field—who, a year ago, really believed that slavery was the true station for the negro—have lately freely expressed what used to be called "abolition views." How long it will take for these liberal views to permeate society, and stamp themselves on the mind of the working-class, remains to be seen. We do not, for our part, apprehend any serious opposition at the North to the President's policy, except in circles whose loyalty to the country may well be questioned.

Demagogues will of course endeavor to excite our working-classes against the Government by threatening them with the competition of free negro labor. It seems hardly worth while to reply to so shallow and so mean an argument as this. Our laboring class in this country is intelligent enough to know that what we want in every part of this country is not fewer but more laborers. For years we at the North have been moving heaven and earth to get more labor from Europe, and we have succeeded in getting a very large number of men every year; yet wages have steadily advanced instead of falling. Who ever thought of opposing immigration for fear of the competition of the new Irishmen or Germans? So at the South. They have increased their stock of labor steadily by every means, lawful and unlawful, for thirty years, and yet the price of slaves has steadily risen from $400 to $1500 for adult field hands, and the cry—before the war—was still for more labor. The man who tries to frighten the North with threats of competition by emancipated negroes insults the understanding of our laboring class.


THE rebel army, under Generals Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, Ewell, and Hill, invaded the State of Maryland on 4th, 5th, and 6th September. The General Commanding issued his proclamation to the Maryland people, informing them that he had come to liberate them from the despotism of Lincoln, and intimating that he intended to stay. On the 18th September, just a fortnight after the advanced-guard of the rebels crossed the Potomac with this proclamation in their hands, the rear-guard of the same rebel army recrossed back into Virginia. What did they make by their fortnight's excursion?

They discovered, in the first place, that there was either no rebel sentiment in Maryland, or that if there was any it dared not show itself. They got no recruits. A few men from some of the western towns ran away from their homes to join them; but, to use their own words, "when they saw and smelt the rebel army," they thought better of the enterprise and returned whence they had come. On the other hand, it is estimated that they lost 4000 or 5000 men by desertion. Every house in the counties which they visited is found to contain rebel deserters. They met, of course, with no resistance from the farmers and villagers. But they met with no civility, and nothing like cordiality; while, on the other hand, the people of Frederick and Hagerstown almost went crazy with delight over the approach of the delivering army of the Potomac.

While in Maryland they fought two battles, in which they lost something like 20,000 men. Our losses, which were heavy likewise, were instantly repaired by the arrival of fresh troops. Theirs are not repaired yet, and can not be until

they retire to the interior of the country, if then. General Lee's army is in the condition the army of the Potomac was after the battles before Richmond, when we were all half dreading to hear of its annihilation.

In both those battles they were defeated. At South Mountain we drove them from the strong positions they had seized in the mountain gaps. At Antietam, we took their position and forced them to retire across the Potomac. Whatever prestige they may have derived, therefore, from their victories at the Rappahannock and at Manassas has been destroyed by their defeats in Maryland. They invaded the State exultant, hopeful, flushed with triumph; they retire defeated, disappointed, disheartened.

They got some supplies in Maryland. We hear of their getting boots at Frederick, driving cattle in from the fields, and laying hands upon the produce of farmers. Whether they got enough to feed their army for a week is very doubtful. If they had 100,000 men—and some people think they had 150,000—it may safely be said that they did not. It is not likely that there were in all Frederick boots and shoes enough to furnish a brigade. An army of 100,000 men eats, or ought to eat, 500 barrels flour and 75,000 pounds of meat per day. To feed such an army for a week would require 3500 barrels flour, and 1500 head of cattle, besides vegetables, sugar, coffee, vinegar, etc. The rebels certainly found no such stock of supplies as this in the counties of Washington and Frederick, Maryland; and from what they did find must be deducted what they lost on their retreat. The chances are that, in supplies as in morale and physical strength, they were heavy losers by their visit to "My Maryland."

Under the circumstances it will be curious to see what the rebel Congress thinks of the enterprise which three-fourths of that body united in pronouncing wise, skillful, and full of promise.



IT is well known that Jefferson Davis has been steadily opposed to an aggressive policy. His motto is, Let us alone. His object is reconstruction, with a guarantee for slavery. His philosophy is, that if the loyal citizens see that the disloyal are resolved even unto death, the loyal will purchase peace by the surrender of the Government. His hope is that his arts will complete the work which his arms have begun.

But he sees that actual invasion of the Free States begets a hostility toward the rebels which is not felt while the seat of war is beyond their borders, and which must inevitably sweep along with it his open and secret allies in the North. If Pennsylvania were really invaded, for instance—Pennsylvania, which has rallied nearly a hundred thousand men for borne defense, in addition to those she has sent to the field—how many votes would any policy of compromise or concession be likely to receive in Pennsylvania? Jefferson Davis means victory. He means that the slavery interest shall permanently and unquestionably control the Government of the United States, and he intends to do nothing that shall render that result hopeless.

Able and desperate as the rebel fighting has been, if it should seem to Davis that another method would more certainly secure his purpose, he would urge the laying down of arms by the rebellion, in order to turn to his advantage the tremendous reaction that would follow.

In this policy he is resisted by the South Carolina school, who are as impracticable in the rebellion as they were in the Union. The ardent Miles is of opinion that Stonewall Jackson, with a hundred thousand rebels, would march wherever he would, and do whatever he chose, in the Free States. Miles may be more ardent than Davis, but he is not so sagacious. He speaks for the loud and stringent popular clamor; but the popular clamor of a semi-barbarous horde, like the whites who compose the rank and file of the rebel army, is not so safe a guide as the cool brain of a cautious leader.

Besides, Miles and the South Carolina school doubtless wish a separation. They are less aware than Davis that separation is impossible. They do not understand that to a United States citizen the word Union is the same as nation. They do not see, as Davis sees, that the end of the war must be one of two things: either the absolute victory of the Northern principle that slavery, as the controlling power of the Government, shall be annihilated, or of the Southern principle that the control of slavery over the Government shall be put beyond dispute.

Of course every party and person at the North who, in this condition of public affairs, is anxious that the war shall end without touching slavery belongs to Jefferson Davis. That is his sole and supreme desire. Therefore he says that Hunter and Phelps, and every man who lays his hand upon slavery, shall be hung summarily.

Why does he say it? Because he knows that if the war ends with slavery untouched, except in the few cases of fugitives, whether he be victorious or conquered, he has that vast interest as the capital of new political combinations.

That is the danger which threatens the country. That is the political programme unrolled by Mr. Horatio Seymour, who, when Jefferson Davis and his fellows merely threatened the Government, begged the Government to surrender. The surrender which Mr. Seymour and his friends could not effect before the war, they hope that the losses and sufferings of the war may have made practicable. They may indeed understand a party, but they are woefully ignorant of the people.


THE volume of Carlyle's history of Frederick just published will disappoint no reader. It is altogether masterly in its comprehension and delineation of the events that attended the opening of Frederick's active career. The unanimous testimony of English criticism in its favor will be heartily approved here, with the wish that the author might have undertaken, or even still undertake, a work which has never been adequately written—the Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. A man who sees so clearly the essential point of the matter, who has so profound an admiration and instinctive perception of manhood, such a contempt of pretense and such marvelous literary skill, would have given us a picture of the Empire which would have been as memorable as that of the Revolution. Napoleon, indeed was a good deal of a charlatan, and Carlyle hates that kind. But the Great Frederick had his weaknesses. Did he, or did he not, run away from his first battle?

Even Carlyle will find it impossible to make his hero a hero precious to mankind. A wonderfully instructive and often repulsive chapter of history his life was, and wonderfully Carlyle recounts it. But the heart does not warm to the friend of Voltaire, the military philosopher of Sans Souce, the selfish and ambitious soldier. He was a flashing, prodigious feature in the luckless century, as Carlyle thinks it, in which he lived and altered the map of the world. But the sweet, great, manly traits and tendernesses we seek in vain.

In the Berlin museum, or perhaps in the royal palace, there is a wax figure of old Frederick dressed in the actual clothes he wore, with his three-cornered hat and cane. The face has the gaunt, wiry, weazened look that is familiar. The head is canted aside; and the whole expression is grim, shrewd, and repulsive. The old father, who kidnapped tall men that he might have big soldiers, could hardly have looked more unfriendly than the doughty son.

It is the same figure, younger of course, that moves through these resounding volumes. They are most timely for their military descriptions. Carlyle's battle-pieces are more vivid and picturesque than Vernet's. It is not easy to find finer writing any where than many descriptive passages on those pages, and especially in the last volume. We may compare the battle work of a century ago with that of to-day almost within our own hearing; and with so terrible a commentary of living fact the old story is startlingly real. Through all these is the same earnest tone with which we regard our own fight. To a historian, who is also a man, like Carlyle, every drop of blood shed has a special sanctity, for it is shed either for or against humanity. We may differ with him in his theory of men and affairs, but we can not deny his equal interest and earnestness with ours.

There is plenty of time now for all who have the opportunity to read this book and reflect upon it. It is the result of many years of faithful labor and research among the most unpromising and dreary materials, and it is the work of one of the great scholars and thinkers of the time; a man at whom some affect to sneer, but whose mark upon the literature and mind of his country is greater than that of any of his contemporaries.


"MY DEAR MR. LOUNGER,—Will you be kind enough to tell me whether the bill prohibiting slavery in the Territories was introduced by Mr. Lovejoy, or did he merely report it from the Committee? And can you give me the words of the Act?   Truly yours,


The bill was drawn and introduced by Isaac N. Arnold, the representative from the Chicago district of Illinois—a personal friend and supporter of the President, a firm, calm, clear, constitutional anti-slavery man. It was referred to a committee, and after some unimportant alterations it was reported to the House by Mr. Lovejoy.

Of course it is only an Act of Congress, and may be repealed. But it can not be repealed until the rebellion is successful, either by arms or by diplomacy. And it is the duty of all loyal, patriotic, constitutional, and Christian men to see that this great victory of Liberty over Slavery is maintained until it is as integral a fact of history as the Protestant Reformation.

The words of the Act are these:

"To the end that freedom may be and remain forever the fundamental law of the land in all places whatsoever, to far as it lies within the power or depends upon the action of the Government of the United States to make it so: therefore,

"Be it enacted, etc., That from and after the passage of this Act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."

This is the bill of Mr. Arnold, of Illinois. It is the re-enactment of Jefferson's proposition for the Northwest Territory. It is the watch-word of American Liberty, and the future union and peace and grandeur of the country. Compare it and its consequences with Mr. Crittenden's "Compromise" and its consequences! Which, honestly considered, promises the most permanent peace? Which would a man wish to tell his grandchildren that he voted for?


IN the droll debate upon the invasion of the North, which was the entertainment offered by the rebel Congress on the 13th of September, Mr. Miles, of South Carolina, said a very good thing. "I do believe it is the true policy of war to strike wherever you find a weak point within your own limits or on the soil of the enemy."

That was also the opinion of Oliver Cromwell, who said that "weak counsel and weak action ruin all." He was weak in neither. The consequence was, that he conquered in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and although his commonwealth's (Next Page)




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