The Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

Quotes about the Emancipation Proclamation.  Union quotes are first followed by Confederate.  As of December 21, 2011.

 

Union Quotes

 

“When the rebel army was at Frederick, I determined, as soon as it should be driven out of Maryland, to issue a Proclamation of Emancipation such as I thought most likely to be useful. I said nothing to any one; but I made the promise to myself, and  — to my Maker. The rebel army is now driven out, and I am going to fulfill that promise. ” Abraham Lincoln Sep 21 1862

Lincoln’s remarks at the Cabinet meeting where he decides to issue the emancipation proclamation.

From Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig Symond. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008

 

“I never in my life felt more certain that I was doing right. My whole heart is in it.”

Abraham Lincoln Jan 1 1863

Lincoln’s remarks to Seward at the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation

From Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig Symond. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008

 

“was prepared to sustain any measure that would help put an end to this cursed rebellion.  There is no fear however that slaves will be freed any faster than our troops get possession of Rebel territory, and this was the case before the proclamation.  I don’t think matters are much changed by the document.”

Alpheus Williams on the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation

From  “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“I do not hear much said here in the army on the subject, but all think it unadvised at this time; even those most antislavery.” Charles S. Wainright Sep 30 1862

Wainwright on the reaction of the Army to the Emancipation Proclamation

From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:  De Capo Press, 1998.

 

“It seems sometimes as if these fellows, having now got the power in their own hands, meant to force all their vile notions upon the country as war measures.”

Charles S. Wainright Oct 5 1862

Wainwright on the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation

From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:  De Capo Press, 1998.

 

“[the proclamation was ridiculed in the Army-caused disgust, discontent, and expressions of disloyalty to the views of the administration and amount, I have heard, to insubordination.”

Fitz John Porter reacting to the Emancipation Proclamation

From  “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“I cannot make up my mind to fight for such an accursed doctrine as that of a servile insurrection-it is to infamous….almost impossible to retain my commission & self respect at the same time.”

George B. McClellan Sep 25 1862

McClellan to his wife reacting to the Emancipation Proclamation issuance

From  “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“a gigantic stride in the paths of Christian and civilized progress…the great fact of the war-the turning point in the history of the American Commonwealth-an act only second in courage and probable results in the Declaration of Independence.”

London Morning Star Oct 6 1862 London Morning Star reports on the Emancipation Proclamation

From Blue and Gray Diplomacy by Howard Jones. Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

 

“For my part, I cant see what practical good it can do now.  Wherever our army has been, there remain no slaves and the Proclamation wont free them where we don’t go…. I don’t mean to say that is  not the right thing to do, but that, as a war measure, the evil will overbalance the good for the present.”

Robert Gould Shaw of the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on the Emancipation Proclamation

From  “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

“We like the Emancipation Proclamation because it is right, and because it is the edict of our Commander in Chief, the President of the United States.”

Rufus Dawes in a speech at Marietta Ohio while on furlough after the Battle of Antietam

From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007.

 

“the last shriek on the retreat”

William Seward’s prediction on the impact of releasing the Emancipation Proclamation on the heels of several defeats

From Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig Symond. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008

 

“General McClellan has issued a mild order cautioning the troops against political discussion.  It is a very significant production and goes to corroborate the report that great trouble exists in their camps on account of the war becoming one for the abolition of slavery.” William W. Blackford Oct 13 1862

A man who has read Northern newspapers following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation

From “The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor.” by Gary Gallagher.  The Antietam Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Chapel Hill:  The University of North Carolina Press,  1999.

 

Confederate Quotes

 

“the most execrable measure recorded in the history of guilty man.”

Jefferson Davis

 

Davis on the Emancipation Proclamation

From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007.

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