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Author Post
Tue Dec 20 2011, 04:30PM

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Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3995
New England Slave Traders Profiting Twice

The British government resolved the question of African slavery peacefully with compensated abolition, and using the accumulated wealth of the country to ease the transition. Neither the fervent abolitionists nor the Northern government advanced any such peaceful plans, though their stated object was the end of slavery. Below, Lincoln and his Secretary were eager to please their radical masters and force a gunpoint-reunion with States that had no desire to associate with them.

Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute

New England Slave Traders Profiting Twice:

“We met Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward aboard the steamer, and soon the conference was commenced by Mr. [Alexander H.] Stephens. [Lincoln] distinctly affirmed that he would not treat except on the basis of reunion and the abolition of slavery. Neither Lincoln nor Seward showed any wise or considerate regard for the whole country, or any desire to make the war as little disastrous to the whole country as possible.

If they entertained any such desires they made no exhibition. Their whole object seemed to be to force a reunion and an abolition of slavery. If this could be done, they seemed to feel little care for the distress and suffering of the defeated party. Mr. Lincoln, it is true, said that a politician on his side had declared that $400,000,000 ought to be given by way of compensation to the slaveholders, and in this opinion he expressed his concurrence.

Upon this Mr. Seward exhibited some impatience and got up to walk across the floor, exclaiming as he moved, that in his opinion the United States had done enough in expending so much money on the war for the abolition of slavery, and had suffered enough in enduring the losses necessary to carry on the war.

“Ah, Mr. Seward,” said Mr. Lincoln, “you may talk so about slavery, if you will; but if it was wrong in the South to hold slaves, it was wrong in the North to carry on the slave trade and sell them to the South (as it is notorious that they did, he might have added), and to have held on to the money thus procured without compensation, if the slaves were to be taken by them again.”

Mr. Lincoln said, however, that he was not authorized to make such a proposition, nor did he make it. It was evident that both the President and the Secretary were afraid of the extreme men of their party.”

(Southern Historical Society Papers, The Peace Commission of 1865 (excerpt), Hon. R.M.T. Hunter, Volume III, pp. 173-174)

(Used With Permission)

[ Edited Tue Dec 20 2011, 04:30PM ]
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