Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lincoln, Congress make runaway slaves US property

  • In Washington, the US Congress, now in lock-step with the dictates of the Lincoln Administration, and trying to finish its legislative agenda for an August recess, gets a flurry of new bills done. President Lincoln and Cabinet members gather at the Capitol to approve and sign those bills. The U.S. Congress approves the Confiscation Act of 1861, permitting seizure of property, including slaves, used to support the rebellion. The act permits the confiscation of any property that had been allowed by the owner to be used by the Confederates against the United States. The act strips their slave owners of any claim to them but does not clarify whether the slaves are free. Because of this uncertainty, slaves who flee to U.S. forces become the property of the U.S. government. Lincoln hesitates before signing the bill. He also signs a law giving freedom to slaves employed by Confederates in carrying on war and approves an act authorizing a penalty for recruiting soldiers or sailors, and for enlisting, against U.S. Congress also passes and Lincoln signs an Army bill establishing the pay of private soldiers with an amendment legalizing the proclamations and orders of President since his inauguration. The Congress then adjourns its special session./1861

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