Till then, and ever,Yours truly,

“I would respectfully ask the President’s attention to the within communication. While the mail communications with the army of the West have been satisfactory, those with the army here have not been. To remedy this I brought Colonel Markland here. He had been with General Grant and had his confidence. The General, you will perceive, prepared the requisite orders, but they remain unacted on in the War Department.6

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Much more dogmatic was Ohio’s Salmon P. Chase. Chase biographer Albert Bushnell Hart wrote: “While Seward said strong things and then tempered them, while men like Henry Wilson sought to find other issues for the Republican party, while Douglas was reelected senator from Illinois on the programme of not caring whether slavery was voted down or voted up, Chase stood out unswervingly as a political abolitionist.”15 Biographer Frederick J. Blue wrote: “To Chase the war had become a means to his long sought goal of emancipation, whereas to Lincoln emancipation was the means to a successful war and restoration of the Union.”16

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Van Deusen wrote: “It was clear to Seward that the purpose of the war was the preservation of the Union, but he did not think that immediate emancipation and colonization were the proper means for ending the slavery problem. He opposed colonization because the Union needed all its manpower, and would need it in the times of peace that lay ahead. Slavery, he felt, should be dealt with pragmatically, rather than on the basis of idealistic concepts of freedom. He urged [Charles F. Adams, just before hostilities broke out, to avoid debating moral principles. Three weeks later he informed [U.S. Minister to France William] Dayton that the condition of slavery in the states would remain the same, whether the southern revolt succeeded or failed, and that the rights of the states over their own institutions would remain unimpaired. His position was virtually identical with that of the Crittenden resolution on the objects of the war which passed the Senate in July 1861 by a vote of 30 to 5, with men like Fessenden, Grimes and Wade voting yea. But by 1862 it was anathema to the radicals.”14

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Frederick Douglass recalled of his interactions with President Lincoln: “The simple approached him with ease, and the learned approached him with deference.” 52 Douglass wrote: “In all my interviews with Mr. Lincoln I was impressed with his entire freedom from popular prejudice against the colored race. He was the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely, who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color, and I thought that all the more remarkable cause he came from a State where there were black laws. I account partially for his kindness to me because of the similarity with which I had fought my way up, we both starting at the lowest rung of the ladder.”53

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Douglass was the more emotional speaker, but he was not restrained by the obligations of, or the pursuit of, political office. Historian Waldo E. Martin, Jr. wrote that Douglas’ “charisma drew…upon his rhetorical flair as well as his deep, melodious voice. Naturalness and grace — rather than artificial gestures and declamation — characterized Douglass’s oratorical style, which also included dramatic skill, notably mimicry. The wit, satiric bite, and pathos of his speeches combined with a poignant earnestness to mesmerize listeners. More specifically, the clarity and force of the plain statement of his own experiences and observations as a former slave proved riveting.”10

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“In the evening of the day of the inauguration, another new experience awaited me. The usual reception was given at the Executive Mansion, and though no colored persons had ever ventured to present themselves on such occasions, it seemed now that freedom had become the law of the Republic, now that colored men were on the battlefield mingling their blood with that of white men in one common effort to save the country, it was not too great an assumption for a colored man to offer his congratulations to the president with those of other citizens. I decided to go, and sought in vain for someone of my own color to accompany me. It is never an agreeable experience to go where there can be any doubt of welcome, and my colored friends had too often realized discomfiture from this cause to be willing to subject themselves to such unhappiness; they wished me to go, as my New England colored friends in the long ago liked very well to have me take passage on the first-class cars, and be hauled out and pounded by rough-handed brakemen, to make way for them. It was plain, then, that someone must lead the way, and that if the colored man would have his rights, he must take them; and now, though it was plainly quite the thing for me to attend President Lincoln’s reception, ‘they all with one accord began to make excuse.’ It was finally arranged that Mrs. Dorsey should bear me company, so together we joined in the grand procession of citizens from all parts of the country, and moved slowly towards the executive mansion.”