Research for final article
07/22/2011 § 2 Comments
The research for my proposed final article is progressing, albeit slowly. I’m learning that not having a library I can simply walk to makes research much more challenging. However, today has offered more in terms of results than the last two days combined. When I read anthony’s letter’s I originally thought that Order 26 would be the exception to the rule, and that before the emancipation proclamation, few blacks were sheltered from slave catchers by the union armies. Its looking far more complicated than that; when deciding what to do with what appears to have been a deluge of fugitive slaves, officers and enlisted men were in different camps. I have read accounts of enlisted men who by and large believed that a slave sheltered was a slave who couldn’t help the enemy. This seems like good logic for the enlisted men. For officers, particularly generals who were subject to Lincoln’s demands, it appears to have been a sticky issue. Those who understand the emancipation proclamation will be aware that it only applied to slaves in states that were part of the confederacy. There were many slaves in maryland which remained in the union, despite many strong southern sympathies. There were also slaves in missouri, which ultimately had two governments and whose citizens fought for both sides. (fully explaining both of these states’ positions is very complicated and takes far longer than I have here, but is an important piece of Civil War history and if any readers have questions please ask, or, better yet, look it up yourself) Lincoln did not want to offend slaveholders in states that were fighting for the union, lest they secede. Maryland was especially important because if she seceded, Washington DC would become an island in confederate territory, which could have changed the course of the war entirely. Before emancipation, when generals such as Butler harbored slaves, it touched off heated debates about what to do with slaves. Some prominent Maryland citizens wrote letters to Lincoln protesting that their slaves were being sheltered by union soldiers. Lincoln was caught in a quandary however, because other prominent men, such as Massachusetts Governor John Andrew, protested when his soldiers were employed in returning, or even catching slaves. It is in this maelstrom of political and human rights issues that Daniel Read Anthony injected himself with his Order 26.