AL to Horace Greeley:
& Message to Congress:
Throughout the early spring of 1862, Lincoln lobbied furiously for Congress to adopt compensated emancipation in the District of Columbia, which the Senate approved on April 3 and the House on April 11. Lincoln believed that an orderly and compensated end to slavery in the nation's capital would prove to the border states that they could safely abandon slavery and remain in the Union. Lincoln preferred to pressure legislators through influential newspapermen like Horace Greeley, famed editor of the New York Tribune, but he lobbied some directly, particularly Schuyler Colfax, an Indiana congressman who maintained influential friendships with many journalists. The new drive to end slavery in the nation's capital fit well into Lincoln's long-standing principle that Congress had the authority to legislate in all matters for the District and in the territories. He repeated his desire, first enunciated in 1837, that white residents in the District should have some say in the process. The measure also contained the president's proposal to compensate loyal slaveholders for their losses (a measure that Congress passed in July) and offered colonization to the former slaves. The move, however disappointing, assuaged some radicals who had come to expect little or nothing from Lincoln on this issue. Many had been deeply disappointed by Lincoln's removal of General John C. Frémont the previous year for issuing a proclamation liberating the slaves of Missourians who aided the rebellion. For the congressional debate over emancipation in the District of Columbia, see: Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), 81–89.