Monday, February 16, 2009

Little know historical fact:

On this day we remember Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator. Truly he was , but no one said he was the first emancipator. That historical distinction goes to General John C. Fremont, Commander of the Department of the West during the Civil War.

Headquartered in St. Louis, he took drastic steps to maintain order in a State that was facing guerrilla warfare, and a full scaled invasion in Southwest Missouri by the Confederates. In November 1861 he declared martial law in the entire State, which included a proclamation that emancipated the slaves of known rebels. This mandate was considered so radical, that Boarder States (slave States that fought for the Union,) began to grumble to their Senators, saying they weren’t going to fight for a cause and then have their slaves taken away anyway by some yahoo General in the boondocks.

For political reasons, General John C. Fremont was fired by his superior Abraham Lincoln, two years before Lincoln would issue one himself.

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