to follow suit and put an end to slavery


The war had battered Lincoln, and he had battered himself. Since gaining national prominence in the late 1850s, he had stumbled several times and had to pick himself up, typically wiser for the experi- ence but bruised nonetheless. His House Divided speech of 1858 taught him the perils of saying too much, after Southerners interpreted his words as those of a closet abolitionist and responded accordingly. His studied silence between his 1860 election and his 1861 inauguration showed the dangers of saying too little, by leaving Southern moderates nothing with which to answer the radical secessionists. His repeated failure to find a fighting general, until he hit upon Ulysses Grant in 1864, prolonged the war excessively. Even his successes exacted a moral and psychic toll. The Emancipation Proclamation required him to throw out most of what he had said and thought about the power of the federal government to restrain slavery in the states. The appalling costs of the Union's battlefield victories drove him to blame Providence, which mysteriously let the carnage continue. "But what kind of peace? A victor's peace, with the tiffany rings South punished for its sins? Or a peace of reconciliation, which summoned the better angels he had cited in his first inaugural address? This was not only a question of policy, but also a question of character. Who, finally, was Abraham Lincoln? He had proven himself to be a man of war. Was he also a man of peace? He had wielded the sword of righteousness; could he extend the hand of mercy? The nation, and the world, wanted to know - but no more than Lincoln himself did.

Lincoln tiffany bracelets had been preparing for the war's end for months. In his annual message of December 1864, he described the progress already made in reconstructing the Union. Louisiana and Arkansas had reestablished loyal state governments in recent months, he told the Congress, with antislavery constitutions. Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee were moving in the same favorable direction. Maryland, while an adherent to the Union and therefore not requiring reconstruction per se, nonetheless earned the president's praise for adopting a new constitution abolishing slavery. "Maryland is secure to Liberty and Union for the future," he said.

Lincoln urged Congress to follow suit and put an end to slavery once tiffany cufflinks and for all. The Emancipation Proclamation, which he had issued as commander in chief, applied to the Rebel states alone, and its authority might expire with the war. The Senate the previous spring had mustered the twothirds vote necessary for ratification of a constitutional amendment - the 13th which would outlaw slavery nationwide. But the House had subsequently balked. "Without questioning the wisdom or patriotism of those who stood in opposition," Lincoln said, "I venture to recommend the reconsideration and passage of the measure at the present session."

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