Abraham Lincoln (Classic Reprint)by Henry Watterson
His idea of paying the South for the slaves did not by any means originate with the pro posal he was prepared to make at Fortress Monroe. It had been all along in his mind. He believed the North equally guilty with the South for the existence of slavery. He clearly understood that the irrepressible conﬂict was a conﬂict of
Excerpt from Abraham Lincoln
His idea of paying the South for the slaves did not by any means originate with the pro posal he was prepared to make at Fortress Monroe. It had been all along in his mind. He believed the North equally guilty with the South for the existence of slavery. He clearly understood that the irrepressible conﬂict was a conﬂict of systems, not merely a sectional and partisan quarrel. He was a considerate man, abhorring proscription. He wanted to leave the South no right to claim that the North, finding slave-labor unremunerative, had sold its negroes to the South and then turned about and by force of arms confiscated what it had unloaded at a profit. He recog nized slavery as property. In his message to Congress of December, 1862, he proposed payment for-the slaves, elaborating a scheme in detail and urging it with copious and co gent argument. The people of the South, said he, addressing a war Congress at that moment in the throes of bloody strife with the South, are not more responsible for the original introduction of this property than are the people of the North, and, when it is re membered how unhesitatingly We all use cot ton and sugar and share the profits of dealing in them, it may not be quite safe to say that the' South has been more responsible than the North for its continuance.
This is the language not only of justice, but of far-reaching statesmanship.
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