According to today’s “historians,” Lincoln freed the slaves with his famous Emancipation Proclamation. Of course, this is nonsense, but let us for the moment use that particular conclusion to look at the matter correctly. The EP said that if the Southern States which had left the Union did not lay down their arms and return within 100 days after the issuance of the Proclamation, their slaves wsould be considered free. In other words, the EP freed NO slaves, not even those in the Southern States. Their emancipation was directly linked to whether or not the States who had seceded returned to the Union within the 100 day period specified by Lincoln. So, obviously, even the slaves in the South were not emancipated by the Proclamation directly. Their emancipation depended upon the action of the States who had left the Union. If any or all of them returned, SLAVERY REMAINED. If they did not, THEN AND ONLY THEN were the slaves within them considered BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to be free. Of course, as has been said over and over again, the federal government was in no position to enforce that emancipation, it could do no more than create a situation on paper that would only become the force of law at such time as the war was won by the Union.
Given the above, therefore, the only conclusion that can be logically adduced is that neither Lincoln nor his government freed the slaves. The slaves were freed (eventually) by those Southern States who REFUSED to lay down their arms within the hundred day grace period offered to them. In effect, therefore, the Southern States—by ignoring Lincoln’s ultimatum—freed their OWN slaves. It makes no difference that such was not their intention! After all, Lincoln’s intention was to end the war, NOT free the slaves. Ergo, if he is given credit for freeing them though that was not his intention, then fairness and reason demand that the Southern States ALSO receive credit even absent any intention to emancipate the slaves.
I have a pretty high threshold for nonsense, but between these two stories I have reached my limit.