Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6: Lincolns signs Confiscation Act

On this date in History .... August 6, 1861:  

Lincoln signs the Confiscation Act, the first legislative act toward emancipation of slaves. 

The Act recognized that slaves doing the work on a plantation were freeing up the white Southerners to have plenty of time to fight in the war.  Slaves were also used for menial tasks in the war, also enabling the war effort.  

The Act stripped slave owners of any claim to slaves and made them “confiscated property” of the United States.  The Act stated that any slave who worked for “disloyal masters in some form of work against the United States” were free. 

The law was not enforced uniformly with some Union officers returning slaves back over Confederate lines.  Union (Democrat) Gen’l McCook was so “obliging” in returning slaves to their owners that he was praised in Confederate newspapers.

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