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What They Say of the Slave State Elections


November-December 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, November 11, 1862.


Emancipation in the Late Elections.

[From Forney’s Chronicle.]

The wisdom and expediency of President Lincoln’s proclamation of emancipation is fully vindicated by the results of the late elections. In Delaware and Missouri, where, as in every other State, this measure of the Administration was made the issue before the people, the Administration has been triumphantly supported. The people of these States know better than any one else what slavery means and what emancipation will probably effect. They are competent judges of the question. They are a jury of experts. They have lived all their lives in the midst of slavery, and know its influence on the social and moral condition of the people among whom it exists, and its blighting effects on individual enterprise and labor. They have been either actually within or closely bordering on the theatre of war. In every aspect in which the question can be considered, they have the practical knowledge , which enables them to form a correct opinion of the propriety of the policy announced by the President and his Cabinet, and they have said without hesitation or equivocation, or limitation, “We approve this emancipation policy and desire its success.”

In New York, on the contrary, where a different verdict has been rendered, the people know nothing about slavery and its effect on the white and on the black man. They know nothing about the capacity of the negro for labor or his fitness for freedom. They know nothing of the effect of the war on slavery or on the communities where slavery has existed. They have no practical knowledge of a single one of the elements necessary to be considered in passing judgment on this question. Yet they assume to condemn the Administration.

Delaware and Missouri.

[From the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.]

A most singular circumstance is to be noted in the late elections: while New York and other free Northern States have given large majorities against the Administration, on the ground of its being abolitionist, the border slave States that have voted sustain the Administration. Noble little Delaware has re-elected to Congress Hon. George P. Fisher, who voted with the Administration party all the last session, and went into the contest this year as an avowed supporter of the President’s emancipation schemes. The Democratic candidate for Governor has also been defeated by Mr. Cannon, the Union candidate, who was nominated by the same Convention which nominated Mr. Fisher. Such a result, especially at a time when so many Union men of Delaware are away in the army, is most cheering.

But Missouri, as a larger State than Delaware, and one that has a much greater population of slaves, sends still more encouraging news. The contest was a somewhat complicated one. Some Congressional districts had only what were called “Conservative Republican” and “Radical Emancipationist” candidates; other had simply “Union” and “Union Democratic;” while several districts had as many as three candidates apiece. The dispatches announce the complete success of the “Radical Emancipationists” in St. Louis city and county. In the First Congressional District there is said to be some doubt, but the impression is that Hon. F. P. Blair, “Conservative Republican,” is beaten by Sam’l Knox, who favors the President’s emancipation policy. In the Second District, Henry T. Blow, another Emancipationist, is undoubtedly elected by a large majority over Thomas Allen, the Democratic candidate. The dispatches state that “the returns from the interior are meager, but the Emancipation ticket is undoubtedly elected.”

Here, then, we have the verdict of two slave States upon the great question of the day, and it is in favor of emancipation. The opponents of the Administration in the free States could never be brought to consent to such a policy, and they made many votes for their candidates by clamoring about the danger of losing the border States if emancipation was indorsed at the North. These two slave States, Delaware and Missouri, have shown the fallacy of these ideas. They have voted emphatically to sustain the Administration, and victories in them more than compensate for defeats in the free States, where emancipation was made by the Democrats a question of party politics, and not one in which a great principle was involved.