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In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this first day of
January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States of America, the eighty-seventh.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
Such a proclamation from the great “Big Sovereign who was to swallow up all the little “State sovereigns” was a “nine days' wonder.” Young and old, rich and poor, high and low, learned and illiterate, devoured its contents and discussed its merits. Some were elated with joy; others were disappointed and looked on it with sovereign pity and contempt. A first there was a ground swell of complacency and delight, not only with the assumption of his extraordinary powers, but the exercise of them; this, however, was only of short duration, as the conjuror's trick soon became manifest. The discovery that the proclamation was issued not as a righteous and noble act, but as a mere act of vengeance, in association with a new mode of warfare to be used as a brutum fulmen to the so-called “ disloyal” slaveholder, but as a shield to protect the " loyal” ones, turned our modern
“ Moses” into a butt or target to be shot at, as the object of the world's merriment and scorn. On the strength of it, however, the violent partisans of the war raised the cry higher and higher that the “South was fighting for slavery and the North against it;" but as the mass of the Northern people declared that they were fighting for the Union and not for the negro, even so the South shewed that it cared but little for slavery, whilst it was mainly and chiefly anxious for its independence. This unmasked the jesuitical policy of the Federal administrators, and as General Lee and the late Stonewall Jackson took off the wheels of the Northern war chariots, and made them drag heavily, the Federal administrators were compelled to adopt another move to cover their real object in the war, and to try to compass their wicked aims or designs.
THE ENLISTMENT AND IMPRESSMENT OF THE NEGRO.
This was the next move; and, as we had already predicted years before, and published to the world, it brought its counter-move in the adoption by the Southerners of freedom as the basis of their independence, as shown in the united resolve of the governors of the Confederate States, the decree of both houses of the Southern Congress, the telegram of General Grant, that “ General Lee had picketed in front of his army coloured soldiers who
were formerly slaves,” and in the affirmation of Wendell Phillips, Esq., that “if Jefferson Davis kept his saddle, he would continue the war, free every black, and give him a patent of nobility before he would yield to the Yankee.”
This latter move, however, was too late to be of any service to the Southerns.
By Federal advocates we are informed that this scheme not only shows their determination to win their independence, but also their desperation. We are gravely informed “that the ruined gambler, who, having staked his last farthing, pulls the ring off his finger and the pin from his neck tie to pledge them upon the fatal table, proves not only his resolution to win, but the terrible straits to which he is brought by his losses. We may be sure he would not part with these while there was a solitary piece of gold or silver left in his purse, or to be begged or borrowed from his friends. So, too, with the South. It is in the position of a ruined gambler. It has thrown and lost. Time after time it has put down its stake, and time after time it has seen it swept away into the remorseless bank. State after state has been invaded, fortress after fortress has been lost, army after army has dwindled away before the ever recurring attacks of the Federal forces, and now it has nothing more to risk save one desperate stake. Those negroes whom it has so abused; those negroes whom it has inassacred wherever it has found them in arms; those
negroes whom it has refused to recognise as soldiers, and whose officers it has publicly declared to be liable to an ignominious death wherever they were captured ; those negroes who fly to the Federal camp wherever the flag of the Union is reared, are to be mustered in camp and trained to fight for the salvation of their masters and the degradation of their race. Is it possible to imagine a position of more utter humiliation, a more helpless confession of weakness, a more abject abdication of dignity and honour ?" Yes, special pleaders, this is possible, and more than probable when twenty millions of Northern white men who have spurned the negro from their embrace and treated him like a dog ; nay, more, have taken the lion's share of the profit that has been derived from the crime of slavery, and maintained intact their partnership in its tremendous guilt with the Southern people, and even now are only making the attempt in the fourth year of the war to amend the Constitution, so as to cast out what they call the "slave clauses.” When twenty millions who have grown fat out of the spoils and plunder of such a nefarious system, and ground the negro to powder under their heels, and looked down upon him with haughty and contemptuous disdain, saying, Stand by, for I am whiter than you.
When twenty millions go down upon their knees in the presence of eight millions of their former copartners in guilt and shame, the whole world looking on, and in that abject posture
are the first and foremost to beseech the negro, nay, to compel him to come and help them, who are the largest party, to thrash the Southerns, who are the smaller one, in their death-grapple with them for refusing to hold to their part of the bargain, whilst the Northern people break theirs. How “weak in the knees, unsound in the heart, milkwhite in the liver, and soft in the head,” to use the language of a Federal writer, when twenty millions are reduced to the terrible strait, in the presence of six millions, of issuing the following flaming manifesto from the pen of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher :
GOD AND THE NEGRO.
“The interval between the destruction and the salvation of the Republic is measured by two steps -one is emancipation, the other is military success. The first is taken, the other delays. How is it to be achieved ? There is but one answer—by the
They (the negroes) are the forlorn hope of the Republic. They are the last safe-keepers of the good cause. We must make alliance with them, or our final success is imperilled.
Congress is in a dispute over a Bill to arm and equip 150,000 negroes to serve in the war. Let it stop the debate ! The case is settled; the problem solved ; the argument is done. Let the