Common Place Book 2 - Common Place Book Week One The topics...

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Common Place Book Week One: The topics for this week include Union War Aims and Slavery, African American Agency and Concepts of Freedom, The Republican Response, Presidential Reconstruction (1864-1866), The Southern Post-War Vision (1865-1866), Northern Reactions to the Southern Reconstruction (1865), and Congressional Reconstruction (1866-1870). For the first lecture, the key points were the Emancipation Proclamation, Letter of Charles Soule, Petition of a Committee of Freedman and the Fourteenth Amendment. For the second lecture we discussed Lincolns Letter to Horace Greenly, the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Wade Davis Manifesto and Thaddeus Stevens’ Speech of December 1865. For the final lecture of the week we reviewed Charles Soule, Thaddeus Stevens, the Black Codes, and Andrew Johnson’s Veto of the First Reconstruction Act. Charles Soule, Letter to General Oliver Otis Howard, in CAPCT, Vol. I, pp. 1127-1130 1. “In the two weeks which have passed since the Commission was appointed, several hundred contracts have been approved, as many plantations visited, and probably two thousand whites and ten thousand blacks have been addressed. The officers engaged in this work have frequently ridden alone and unarmed twnty-five miles, or further, from the Post, and have almost invariably met with courteous and hospitable treatment at the hands of the planters, - most of whom seem desirous to comply in good faith with the wishes and orders of the government and to make the best of a system of labor in which, notwithstanding, they thoroughly disbelieve.” (1127) Thaddeus Stevens, Speech at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in CAPCT, Vol. I, pp. 1134-1141 2. “The armies of the Confederate States having been conquered and subdued, and their territory possessed by the United States, it becomes necessary to establish governments therein which shall be republican in form and principles and form a more “perfect Union” with the parent government. It is desirable that such a course should be pursued as to exclude from those governments every vestige of human bondage, and render the same forever impossible in this nation; and to take care that no principles of self-destruction shall be incorporated therein. In effecting this, it is to be hoped that no provision of the Constitution will be infringed, and no principle of the law of nations disregarded.” (1134) Andrew Johnson, Veto of the First Reconstruction Act, in CAPCT, Vol. I, pp. 1170-1173 3. “All these conditions must be fulfilled before the people of any of these states can be relieved from the bondage of military domination; but when they are fulfilled, then immediately the pains and penalties of the bill are to cease, no matter whether there be peace and order or not, and without any reference to the security of life or property. The excuse given for the bill in the preamble is admitted by the bill itself not to be real. The military rule which it establishes is plainly to be used, not for any purpose of order or for the prevention of crime but solely as a means of coercing the people into the adoption of principles and measures-to which it is known that they are opposed and upon which they have an undeniable right to exercise their own judgment.” (1171)
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