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It Freed Whose Slaves?
Al Benson, Jr.
It amazes me how often conservative and patriotic people, who should know better, have so little a grasp of accurate history. I recently saw comments on a patriotic web site by a well-intentioned columnist commenting about how all the slaves were freed upon the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. My first thought was rather unprintable. My second thought was “you’ve got to be kidding!”
How many people, even good-hearted and well-meaning ones, have been fooled by bogus history. They have heard the old fables repeated so often since they were youngsters that they automatically parrot those same falsehoods as adults, never knowing the difference. Most have heard these carefully crafted stories about Lincoln, the ‘Great Emancipator,’ so often they seldom bother to question them. They have become part of our national mythology.
Should one have any lingering doubts about just who the Emancipation Proclamation really freed, one thorough reading of it should dispel them. This document freed exactly NO ONE. That’s right, folks, not one single slave was freed by Lincoln’s infamous document, contrary to what your ‘history’ books have been feeding you for generations.
Historian Clarence Carson has astutely commented: “It should be noted, however, that as of the moment it was issued and to the best of Lincoln’s knowledge, the proclamation did not free a single slave. It did not free a slave in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, nor in any state or portions of a state within the Confederacy occupied by Union troops…In short, Lincoln freed only those slaves over which he had no control. No doubt that was by design.”
The Kennedy Brothers, in their book The South Was Right wrote of the proclamation that “Its purpose was to drape the invasion of the Southern nation in the robes of morality. It was an effective propaganda ploy to influence England and France not to recognize the Southern nation and also an attempt to encourage slave insurrection in the South. The truth is that Lincoln’s so-called Emancipation Proclamation was not designed to free slaves.” Anyone who has troubled to read the thing can’t argue with that assessment.
What it amounted to was, that, as an effective propaganda tool, the proclamation freed only those slaves that the North had no jurisdiction over and it didn’t free any slaves over which the North had some jurisdiction. Kind of like having your cake and eating it too!
Author Webb Garrison, a former dean of Emory University noted that: “…the Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure – not an edict issued in a dramatic move to better the lives of blacks. No one knew this better than the author of the proclamation. Nine months after it was issued, he told Salmon P. Chase ‘The original proclamation has no constitutional or legal justification except as a military measure’.”
Jay Monaghan, author of Diplomat in Carpet Slippers has observed: “Although many of the meetings were directed solely against slavery, the implication to the social order in Europe was obvious. Trade union leaders hailed Lincoln as ‘a benefactor of mankind.’ His name was linked with Karl Marx as the hope of the world.” Lincoln and Marx, an altogether fitting comparison – two minds that traveled in the same groove. It is interesting that those who profess a hatred for Marx seem to love Lincoln – and they never even begin to grasp the monstrous contradiction in that position. As the man says, “no wonder we’re losing!”
Christians, conservatives, and patriotic people, more than anyone else, should be concerned with getting their history straight. If we mess up on important events and principles, what can we expect of others? Accurate history is the record of a sovereign God’s dealing with men in all ages and in all places. As such, we had better strive to make sure we try to get it right.
Copyright ©, Al Benson Jr.
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Arlington Heights, IL 60006
Al Benson, Jr. is also the Editor of the Copperhead Chronicle, and can be reached at [email protected]
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