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|William Posey wrote:
"Federal compensation provided for states agreeing to abolish slavery by January 1, 1900"
To me, this conveys no sense of urgency about freeing the slaves. If slavery's evil was so great, why did he not propose immediate emancipation?
No, he wanted to give the slave states 38 years to continue slavery and then compensate those states that complied. Seems to me his concern was not for the slaves but for bribing back into the Union those states that had seceded.
He figured he'd be dead and gone by 1900, so someone else would have to deal with resolving the issue at that time.
I abhor slavery, but I think Lincoln was not interested in freeing slaves so they could enjoy equal status with whites; else, why would he propose shipping them out of the country?
I think that Lincoln's primary intent was to get all parties talking and to come up with a plan to end slavery as we know it. Even the idea of emancipation by 1900 was rebuffed. Only after complete and total defeat of all his attempts negotiating slavery's demise did Lincoln write the EP as a war measure.
Was 1900 realistic? Probably not; but it was lot sooner then 'never'...