Lincoln 1860

Lincoln 1860

Monday, March 3, 2008

University Puts Lincoln Archive Online

The University of Rochester (New York) has recently put its collection of 72 letters written by Abraham Lincoln online in order to share it with Lincoln researchers and enthusiasts.

One of the most interesting letters is one written by Lincoln on March 14, 1862 proposing the payment to slave owners of $400 per slave in order to achieve "gradual emancipation" so that hostilities might be ended. In the letter to Illinois senator James McDougall, Lincoln then proposed that in exchange for payment, slave-holders in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Washington D.C., and Missouri would agree to gradual emancipation within 20 years. Apparently, this suggestion did not apply to the slave-holders in states which were in rebellion against the Federal Government.

Obviously the idea never took off. It took the 13th amendment to the Constitution, after the Civil War, to once and forever end slavery in the United States.

The Rochester University archive is highly educational and informative. I encourage my readers to take advantage of another excellent repository of information about Abraham Lincoln.

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