Who Freed the Slaves

Good Essays
Who Freed the Slaves The long standing question of “who freed the slaves” has been under debate since the conclusion of the Civil War. One side of the argument takes the more obvious claim that emancipation came at the hand of the great Abraham Lincoln. The other side of the argument claims that the Slaves themselves attained their freedom. Both sides have been heavily researched and strongly supported with many facts. Do we give credit to one person for generating the political backing and eventually passing the legislation to emancipate the slaves? Do we give credit to those with so much drive to survive that they manage to escape their lives of oppression? Additionally, the Union Military enabled the Slaves to seek refuge. It would…show more content…
But if he had never lived, it seems safe to say that there would not have been a Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.” (McPherson, Pg.9) Lincoln became the face of abolition and freedom for Slaves and abolitionists. McPherson gave full credit to Lincoln. To give anyone else credit for freeing the Slaves would take an awfully substantial argument, although, McPherson also brings up the argument of the slaves freeing themselves. Many slaves took it upon themselves to escape the confines of their owners and head to the northern states. Knowing the outcome of the Civil War would result in their freedom, many slaves enlisted to fight for the Union Army. In the beginning, many refugee slaves found by Union Military were returned to their lives in the south, but through policy changes and leadership decisions they were put to work in many ways including serving in the Union Army. Lincoln quickly recognized the power the newly recruited slaves provided to the Army. At the same time, this also pressured the President to hold true to his promise of emancipation. “If they stake their lives for us they must be prompted by the strongest motive…the promise of freedom. And the promise being made must be kept” (McPherson pg.8) Credit for freeing the slaves needs to be considered for the Union Army leadership. Often time’s military leadership had little to no guidance from government leaders
Get Access