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Dear Editor:

In our world of revisionist history we need to be sure we understand the Emancipation Proclamation. First, the main reason for the Civil War was to create an all-powerful central government, one that ignores the ninth and 10th amendments.

Initially slavery was legal in all states. In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery. In 1861, the beginning of the War of Northern Aggression, there were 15 slave states and 19 free states.

On Dec. 2, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. (I challenge anyone to show us where states voting to join the Union were told they would be militarily attacked should they choose to leave the Union.) South Carolina asked the Union troops at Fort Sumter to leave Charleston peaceably, they refused to do so. Finally, on April 12, 1861, the South Carolina militia shelled the fort and the Union troops surrendered. This is considered by many to be the start of the War of Northern Aggression. Before that, on Feb. 4, 1861, seven states had seceded and formed the Confederation of Southern States.

Of the 34 states in the Union, only 11 seceded and joined the Confederacy. Four slave states (Maryland, Missouri, Delaware and Kentucky) and the District of Columbia, where slavery was legal, stayed in the Union.

During the celebration of Emancipation Day on June 19 many have stated that President Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. This is simply not true, he only freed the slaves in southern states. We are told that the war was fought because of slavery and yet the federal government did not outlaw slavery until after 620,000 Americans were killed (the equivalent of 6.3 million today). For some reason, with a Congress consisting of 19 free states and four slave states, the federal government did not free Union slaves until months after the war had ended, when the 13th Amendment was adopted on Dec. 18, 1865.

Slavery was finally outlawed in D.C. in 1862 when the federal government paid slave holders up to $7,600 per slave (2020 dollars). It also offered $2,500 to any slave who would leave the country.

On Nov. 1, 1864, slavery was outlawed in Maryland. Only the 13th Amendment made slavery illegal in Delaware and Kentucky; Kentucky actually voted against the amendment.

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