Block #10: Lincoln’s Platform
Sponsored by: The Caroline County Historical Society
Located at the Museum of Rural Life in Denton
16 N. 2nd Street, Denton, MD 21629
Painted by members of the Byway Quilt Trail Committee
October 26, 2013
At the beginning of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln defined the goal of the war as the preservation of the Union and not directly the abolition of slavery. Although he personally loathed practice of slavery, he knew that many would not support abolition as a war goal. By 1862, as thousands of slaves fled to join the Northern armies, Lincoln was convinced that abolition had become a good military strategy, as well as the morally correct path.
Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It declared the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion, affecting 3.1 million of the 4 million slaves in the U.S. at the time. The Proclamation also ordered that the newly freed slaves could be enrolled into the paid service of United States’ forces, and it ordered the Union Army to recognize their freedom. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, nor did it outlaw slavery or make the ex-slaves citizens. What it did was to make the end of slavery a war goal, and it was an important step toward outlawing slavery and giving full citizenship to ex-slaves.