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Emancipation Proclamation
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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

Emancipation Patriots









In terms of constitutional law, the emancipation proclamation did not free anyone but in strict military arithmetic it gave the Union forces a clear manpower advantage over the rebels by encouraging and enlisting over 200,000 African-American young men in the cause and side that won the war, ... just as Frederick Douglass had predicted.  Indeed, in addition to gaining a desired two to one advantage in military forces, ... the strategy removed critically needed manpower from rebel resources as conscripted and standard plantation laborers. 

The emancipation proclamation gave young Black men and women "hope" they could escape to Union lines and not be returned to slavery as the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1791 and 1850 had dictated.  As Senator Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania argued in the U.S. Senate, ... free the slaves whether constitutional or not.  Indeed, there was not a White, Black or Native American in existence who owed their freedom to a written constitution but rather by the power of righteousness held holy.  It was only in regards to Black people, that any Whites had the audacity to suggest LIBERTY as a matter to be given rather than a God-given right like any other person.  

Even today, adversaries like David Horowitz have been heard to say "Whites gave them their freedom."  Our question is who gave him his freedom?  God or man?  Obviously, any man is no more than what he believes in and for us, African-Americans obtained their liberty the old fashioned way of having young men fighting and dying for it with God on their side.  And, they had their own Moses right up and through the Civil War. 

Without the emancipation proclamation, it is for certain according to Lincoln and his generals, ... the war could not have been won and would have continued on for years until the north and south negotiated a peace agreement that would likely have left slavery intact in the south and pledged not to expand into the western states.  So whether legal or illegal per confederate apologists like Dr. Spangler who wrote the below, ... our story is that Lincoln's emancipation proclamation ended slavery by taking young Black men from the rebel clutches; and the constitutional amendment after the fighting ended confirmed the reality of their liberation.

The facts bear out, as pronounced by Abraham Lincoln in July 1862 justifying the Emancipation Proclamation, ... that enlisting men of African heritage was a military necessity to end rebellion by rebel states.  Emancipation was affirmative action otherwise impossible except by an Act of Congress, ratification by the States and concurrence by Supreme Court mindsets like that of Justices Scalia and Thomas, ... who would have declared it in violation of the constitution because rebel states did not endorse it.  Indeed, Lincoln essentially said that "if I could save the union without freeing a single slave I will do so, ... and if I can save it by freeing all the slaves I will do so" and he did.  Those of us with ancestors who served, bled and died in the cause of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are less than amused by skeptics whose ancestral kin never did so.

President Lincoln and General Grant at the Wallace House

Without the approximately 200,000 young men who enlisted, served and were wounded (including over 40,000 killed in action among the other 600,00 Union deaths), ... the union could not have been saved and four million enslaved souls in Virginia and other rebel states certainly continued as slaves and slave breeders through much of the 20th century.  We do not know that God heard the prayers of mothers who gave birth to daughters and sons chosen to generate daughters and sons like that of Joshua's generation to help tear down the walls of Jericho, ... but why not?  Was God dead when "the least of us" needed divine intervention?  Did Grant and Lincoln in photo above simply fade in and out of existence as worldly matters?  Does it matter?

For scholars up from slavery and enslaved minds, ... it has always been pure ignorance for preachers and teachers to preach and teach as though divine providence did not exist in  struggles for liberation we know so well including that led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We want that youth should embrace their own faith by knowing what it is?  For example our hope is they will view and hold dear marriage as part of a enabling process for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness by generations yet unborn.  Is faith, hope and love only about our generation?  How do youth reconcile our faith, hope and love with the cause of generating future generations?

CONTINUED FROM:  Ellen Wayles Hemings, born 1856


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