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Peter Cooper’s Letter to Lincoln Regarding Emancipation
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“It is a fact that the enslavement of human beings has so far infused its insidious poison into the very hearts of the Southern people, that they have come to believe and declare the evil of slavery to be a good, and to require the power of Government to be exerted to maintain, extend, and perpetuate an institution that enables thousands to sell their own children, to be enslaved, with all their posterity, into hopeless bondage....”

The founder of New York City’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art echoes the language and logic of the Emancipation Proclamation (as well as citing some Southern pro-slavery arguments to demonstrate their ridiculousness) in this open letter to President Lincoln. Cooper and the Cooper Union had long been advocates of abolition and both Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had famously lectured at the institution.

PETER COOPER. [SLAVERY]. Pamphlet. Letter of Peter Cooper, on Slave Emancipation, Loyal Publication Society, New York, 1862, 8pp., disbound.

Inventory #23579       Price: $400

Excerpts

“It is a fact that the enslavement of human beings has so far infused its insidious poison into the very hearts of the Southern people, that they have come to believe and declare the evil of slavery to be a good, and to require the power of Government to be exerted to maintain, extend, and perpetuate an institution that enables thousands to sell their own children, to be enslaved, with all their posterity, into hopeless bondage....”

“In the original formation of that Constitution, it became absolutely necessary to make a compromise with that great and all pervading interest which had then already entered into the very life-blood of the nation, rendering the formation of an union of States hopeless without such a compromise....”

“The constitutional requirement to return fugitive slaves on their being demanded by Southern men, having been acknowledged and performed by the States, has been reaffirmed by an almost unanimous vote in Congress....These honest efforts on the part of the North to maintain peace and friendship were met by a relentless war, waged for the destruction of the Constitution and the dissolution of the Union.

“The time has now come when Southern men must know that the Union must be preserved, and it is for them to determine whether they will persevere in their rebellion until the North shall be compelled, in the most reluctant self defence, to render contraband of war the slaves and property of all persons found in arms against the laws and Government of the country....”

Condition

Fine. Disbound and lacking front wrap.


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