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Lincoln and the Border States : preserving the Union / William C. Harris.

By: Harris, William C. (William Charles), 1933-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Lawrence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, c2011Description: xii, 416 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780700618040 (cloth : alk. paper); 070061804X (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): Border States (U.S. Civil War) | United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Political aspects | United States -- Politics and government -- 1861-1865 | Slavery -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Slavery -- Political aspects -- Border States -- History -- 19th century | Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States | Slaves -- Emancipation -- Border States | Slavery -- Public opinionDDC classification: 973.7/1
Contents:
The Border States and Lincoln's election -- After Fort Sumter : crisis in Maryland -- Kentucky : experiment in neutrality -- Missouri : a state in turmoil -- Lincoln's emancipation initiatives and the Border States -- The struggle over emancipation -- Resistance in Kentucky, 1863-1865 -- Union and emancipation triumphant : Maryland -- Union and emancipation triumphant : Missouri.
Summary: Faced with a divided nation, Abraham Lincoln deemed the loyalty of the border slave states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri crucial to the preservation of the Union. But while most scholars contend that these states were secure by the end of 1861, the author argues that Confederate campaigns and guerrilla activities kept the border region in constant turmoil- and that those states preoccupied Lincoln at every turning point of the war. This first history of Lincoln's border-state policies in more than eighty years offers a fresh and comprehensive perspective on how he negotiated, sometimes falteringly, the complex politics attached to such divisive issues as emancipation and suspension of habeas corpus. It provides new insights into the president's leadership and the daunting problems he faced, as well as a window into federal-state relations, military-civil affairs, and the ongoing struggle for the Union. A native Kentuckian whose wife's family included slaveholders in Kentucky, Lincoln identified with the upper South and understood how its people often had torn loyalties. But the author shows how few problems proved more troublesome for Lincoln than political disputes in the border states involving military interference in civil affairs, and nothing exceeded the difficulties he faced there over his antislavery policies and the enlistment of blacks in the army. The author argues that Lincoln's patient and judicious management of border-state affairs, despite occasional missteps, proved crucial in keeping the border states in the Union, gaining their support for the war effort, and ultimately securing the end of slavery. Describing presidential relations with governors, congressmen, and regional military commanders and his handling of factionalism among Unionists, this book shows how Lincoln's careful attention to the border states paved the way for emancipation, an aspect generally overlooked by historians. In the end, it was mainly due to Lincoln's skillful leadership that the border states were saved for the Union and slavery was abolished in America. This well researched book treats in rich detail Lincoln's triumphs and tragedies in dealing with the border region, providing the definitive account of the crucial part these states played in America's bloodiest war. -- Publisher Description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E459 .H29 2011 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002129146

Includes bibliographical references and index.

The Border States and Lincoln's election -- After Fort Sumter : crisis in Maryland -- Kentucky : experiment in neutrality -- Missouri : a state in turmoil -- Lincoln's emancipation initiatives and the Border States -- The struggle over emancipation -- Resistance in Kentucky, 1863-1865 -- Union and emancipation triumphant : Maryland -- Union and emancipation triumphant : Missouri.

Faced with a divided nation, Abraham Lincoln deemed the loyalty of the border slave states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri crucial to the preservation of the Union. But while most scholars contend that these states were secure by the end of 1861, the author argues that Confederate campaigns and guerrilla activities kept the border region in constant turmoil- and that those states preoccupied Lincoln at every turning point of the war. This first history of Lincoln's border-state policies in more than eighty years offers a fresh and comprehensive perspective on how he negotiated, sometimes falteringly, the complex politics attached to such divisive issues as emancipation and suspension of habeas corpus. It provides new insights into the president's leadership and the daunting problems he faced, as well as a window into federal-state relations, military-civil affairs, and the ongoing struggle for the Union. A native Kentuckian whose wife's family included slaveholders in Kentucky, Lincoln identified with the upper South and understood how its people often had torn loyalties. But the author shows how few problems proved more troublesome for Lincoln than political disputes in the border states involving military interference in civil affairs, and nothing exceeded the difficulties he faced there over his antislavery policies and the enlistment of blacks in the army. The author argues that Lincoln's patient and judicious management of border-state affairs, despite occasional missteps, proved crucial in keeping the border states in the Union, gaining their support for the war effort, and ultimately securing the end of slavery. Describing presidential relations with governors, congressmen, and regional military commanders and his handling of factionalism among Unionists, this book shows how Lincoln's careful attention to the border states paved the way for emancipation, an aspect generally overlooked by historians. In the end, it was mainly due to Lincoln's skillful leadership that the border states were saved for the Union and slavery was abolished in America. This well researched book treats in rich detail Lincoln's triumphs and tragedies in dealing with the border region, providing the definitive account of the crucial part these states played in America's bloodiest war. -- Publisher Description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Henry Adams Prize winner Harris (history, emeritus, North Carolina State Univ.; Lincoln's Rise to the Presidency) has done something new in Lincoln and Civil War studies; he has written a cogent argument on the ways the politics of keeping the crucial border states in the Union informed, and almost transformed, policies on civil-military relations, emancipation, arming black troops, civil liberties, and more. Lincoln supposedly once said that he "hoped to have God on his side but must have Kentucky." Harris pinpoints the military and political reasons such a priority weighed on Lincoln. He goes deep inside the state politics especially of Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri to discover the machinations of pro-Union and pro-Southern interests to keep their states in or take them out of the Union, protect or repeal slavery, and prevent the war from degenerating into a social revolution and outlawry. Harris argues that Lincoln's broad perspective on how to win the war, his patience and forbearance, and his keen sense of political necessities and personalities saved the border states for the Union and thus did much to preserve the Union. VERDICT Harris's probing work brings the border states back to center stage and demonstrates how and why Lincoln mastered the art of balancing competing interests without yielding on the essential priority-an insightful lesson on leadership that speaks to our own day. Highly recommended.-Randall M. Miller, Saint Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

One of the hallmarks of Abraham Lincoln's wartime presidency was the dilemma of the border slave states that remained in the Union despite pro-Confederate sentiment from significant blocs of their citizenry. Lincoln's efforts to keep them in the Union during the early months of the war have been well documented, but there is a paucity of scholarly attention for the remainder of the conflict. Noted Civil War historian Harris (emer., North Carolina State Univ.) fills this lacuna with a thorough narrative of the complex relationship between Lincoln and the Border States (though he rarely touches on Delaware). Arguing that Border State relations were the most complex issue of Lincoln's presidency--even more so than emancipation--Harris concludes that, save for a few missteps, Lincoln's ability to keep them in the Union was his signal accomplishment. By ensuring the Border States would not bolt the Union in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln had to assiduously cultivate political support, which ultimately helped rally Union opinion as a whole. In its detailed focus on Border State governors and political leaders, Harris's treatment is an excellent study of the complicated intersection of local and national politics during the Civil War. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries. K. M. Gannon Grand View University

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