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16 - “Freedom, Full, Broad and Unconditional”

from Part III - Abolition: State and Federal, 1864

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 January 2023

John C. Rodrigue
Affiliation:
Stonehill College, Massachusetts
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Summary

The Union capture of Atlanta in early September 1864 reframes the presidential election and the war. Louisiana’s free-state constitution wins voter approval and becomes operative, formally abolishing slavery in Louisiana, although military–civilian conflict continues to hamper the Unionist government. Free-state radicals and black leaders call for political and legal equality, but the Louisiana government takes no action in defining black freedom. The Arkansas Unionist government faces difficulties in asserting its authority, and it receives limited assistance from Federal military officials. In Tennessee, free-state and conservative Unionists offer competing plans for the state to conduct a presidential election, and black Tennesseans in Nashville hold their own election, but Tennessee’s electoral votes ultimately not counted. Andrew Johnson delivers “Moses of the Colored Man” speech during the campaign, affirming commitment to abolition. Republican support for the Thirteenth Amendment muted during the campaign, but Lincoln wins reelection.

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Chapter
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Freedom's Crescent
The Civil War and the Destruction of Slavery in the Lower Mississippi Valley
, pp. 318 - 336
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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