#68 on the list of 150 Most Teachable Lincoln Documents
“Knowing your great anxiety that the emancipation proclamation shall now be applied to certain parts of Virginia and Louisiana which were exempted from it last January, I state briefly what appear to me to be difficulties in the way of such a step.”
On This Date
How Historians Interpret
“Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase argued against such exceptions and kept after the President thereafter to extend the Emancipation Proclamation to all of Virginia and Louisiana. Lincoln replied to him on September 2, 1863… Notice the words ‘Could this pass unnoticed?’ ‘Could it fail to be perceived…?’ It is important for constitutional government what the people of the Country understand their officer to be doing and on what authority. It is also important that the people be trained to expect the basis of governmental authority to be evident, even when extraordinary measures have to be resorted to.”
— George Anastplo, Abraham Lincoln: A Constitutional Biography (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1999), 218.
NOTE TO READERS
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