Monday, July 15, 2013

July 16: 2nd Confiscation Act

On this date in History ... July 16, 1862:

Congress passes the 2nd Confiscation Act to clarify the vague issue of whether slaves were freed under the Confiscation Act of 1861.  

The Act called for any confederate who did not surrender within 60 days would have their slaves freed. There was no action stated for what to DO with the freed slaves, however. The 1862 Act declared that all slaves taking refuge behind the Union lines would be freed. 

The Act did provide a provision for voluntary colonization to a tropical country, but included a clause that required the freedmen to consent to the colonization, a clause that was passed after much controversy in Congress. 

The “emancipation gesture” applied only to rebelling states and any slave owner who could prove loyalty to the Union would get their slaves back.

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