CIC 460

Past Issues
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10

Incidents of War - War Powers and Emancipation: Anna Ella Carroll vs. Charles Sumner

Nicknamed “the great unrecognized member of Lincoln’s cabinet” in her lifetime Anna Ella Carroll (1815-1894) was one of the more interesting of Nineteenth Century Americans,  yet remains  little known today,  

During the Civil War, Carroll wrote to sway public opinion regarding some of the most critical political and legal questions of the era.  Attorney General Edward Bates noted that she is “a person of superior mind, highly cultivated, especially in the solids of American literature, political history, and constitutional law. . . .”

Carroll was ushered into elite political circles by her father. She was born in Maryland, the daughter of Thomas King Carroll (who later served as governor of the state) and his wife Juliana Carroll.  As a young adult, she was largely consumed absorbing historical, philosophical, and theological tracts in the family library, while reading law under her father’s tutelage.

Beginning in 1854, Carroll became a leading publicist for the American Party in Maryland.  Popularly called the “Know Nothings”, the party had been formed from the wreckage of the Whigs plus disaffected Democrats. It was also deeply nativist and anti-Catholic, which made it an odd choice for Carroll, since she had ties to one of America’s most notable Catholic families.  But the party was also Unionist without being pro-slavery or pro-labor, as mainstream Democrats tended to be.  According to Thomas H. Hicks, his election as governor of Maryland in 1857 was due to her writings.

During the secession crisis of 1861, Carroll supported Hicks’s pro-Union stance and President Abraham Lincoln’s invocation of war powers. After reading her pamphlet Reply, written to counter an anti-Lincoln speech given by Senator John C. Breckinridge (D-Ky.) on July 16th, 1861, the President asked Carroll to write on behalf of his administration.

In December, Carroll delivered her first treatise, the War Powers of the General Government, six thousand copies of which were printed by the War Department.  In it she addressed Lincoln’s powers as commander-in-chief and questions pertaining to the confiscation and emancipation of slaves.  The previous August Congress had passed the First Confiscation Act which stated that slaves who were used for Confederate military purposes could be freed.

By the spring of 1862, Lincoln was being painted into an abolitionist corner.  Escaped slaves were flooding Union camps and emancipation was becoming a fait accompli in the field. Lincoln’s offers of compensated emancipation to loyal slave owners were falling on deaf ears.  By July, Governor John A. Andrew of Massachusetts warned that he could not raise more recruits unless the slavery issue was addressed.

On May 19, 1862, Charles Sumner of Massachusetts rose on the floor of the Senate to expound on his proposed Second Confiscation Act.  He argued that persons who engaged in or aided the Rebellion were to be regarded both as criminal traitors and foreign belligerents, as they had “gone outside the Constitution to make war upon their country.”  They would therefore be subject, he said, to the double “penalties of rebellion and the triumphs of war”, which would include confiscation of property, by congressional legislation.  Emancipation of slaves, through confiscation, would be legally justified as an act of human justice.  Quoting Emmerich de Vattel’s 1758 work Law of Nations, Sumner declared, “To deliver an oppressed people is a noble fruit of victory. . . .”

Sumner argued further, that plantations of the leaders of the Rebellion “should be broken up, so that never again can they be nurseries of . . . disaffection,” and the lands redistributed to deserving parties.  In this way, he concluded, peace would be fully secured, as the conspirators’ influence would be stripped and rebellion would be “so completely crushed that it cannot again break forth.”

Carroll responded to Sumner’s speech with the blistering The Relation of the National Government to the Revolted Citizens Defined.  Regarding confiscation and emancipation, the two most important points she made in this and in her “War Powers” pamphlet were: 1) Congress cannot wage war upon its own people; nor, with victory, subject them to confiscation and redistribution of their property, except through due process; 2) because slave labor had become an integral part of the Confederate war machine, the President, through his military powers, could free slaves, as a temporary war measure.

As to the first position, Carroll declared that Southerners were not foreign belligerents who could, as a class, all be considered enemies.  The loyalty or disloyalty of each U. S. citizen had to be proven through due process, civilian or military.  According to Carroll, in a civil war, the Government’s right to charge and “punish a domestic enemy [traitor], and hold his property liable for damages, is exclusively vested in the Executive and Judicial Departments.”  Moreover, the war was being waged under the proposition that the Confederacy was not a sovereign nation.  A reversal of that policy would invite foreign recognition and/or intervention on the side of the Confederacy. 

Carroll argued that Southerners had had a belligerent Confederate government imposed on them.  Thus, the U. S. government’s duty was to reestablish its civil authority once the national territory was redeemed.  Following that, it must reinstate protection and rights to its citizens and sovereignty to the states.  However, those who led or aided in the Rebellion could be punished through judicial proceedings, according to the constitutional provision regarding treason.

Yet, she noted, during the war, under the doctrine of military necessity, slaves could be temporarily freed to prevent their owners from converting their labor to a public military use:

. . . .so long as the rebels maintain their attitude of open hostility to the Government, the latter, for the time, may treat them as alien enemies, de facto, . . . and consequently may prevent them from using even their private property . . . to aid in the movement of the insurrectionary forces.

However, such military necessity expires with the expiration of the war itself.  Carroll thus differed from Sumner as to permanent confiscation of slaves and other property by congressional legislation.

According to Carroll, her “Citizens” pamphlet was written expressly to meet Lincoln’s views.  This and her “War Powers” pamphlet are two of the few that argue the President’s singular military power to emancipate.  As a military order, U. S. officers could only implement and enforce emancipation in areas governed by martial law, that is, the states in rebellion. Thus, emancipation was not declared in the loyal states.  On June 2, 1862, Carroll met Lincoln in the Capitol and gave him his copy of her newly printed brief.  She then distributed copies in both houses of Congress.

On July 17, 1862, the Second Confiscation Act passed, stating that that those persons who participated in or aided the Rebellion would be defined as traitors and forfeit their rights to property, including slaves.  Although he signed the bill, like Carroll, Lincoln had doubts about Congress’s ability to emancipate.  In contrast, Sumner considered the measure within Congress’s military rule-making powers.  

Lincoln may have initially discussed a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation with Vice President Hannibal Hamlin on June 18th.  In the final Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln specifically designated the states and areas of states considered to be in rebellion. He then went on to write,

. . . .I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated. . . [areas] are and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

During the war Union army provost marshals in the South implemented Executive Orders, among them directives regarding confiscation, conscription, and emancipation.

Lincoln ended the Emancipation Proclamation stating that it was “. . . .an act of justice warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity. . . .”  He, thus embraced both Carroll’s and Sumner’s arguments.  As Carroll averred, war emancipation could only be temporary.  A constitutional amendment would be required to make it valid in peace, which came with the Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in December of 1865.  But as Sumner argued, emancipation was an overwhelming act of justice carried out on behalf of an oppressed people, and thus legal under the laws of war.

In July Carroll had written Lincoln regarding the Second Confiscation Act:

. . . . for with the dread of emancipation and, the apprehension of insurrections from arming the slaves, it [suppression of the rebellion] will require a million of men, Mr. President, added to the numbers we have now in the field, instead of the 300,000, for which you have called . . . .

A Border-state Unionist, although Carroll vehemently opposed slavery, she powerfully argued Southern rights, yet also staunchly defended the war powers of the chief executive that were critical to achieving victory. 

Prior to the war she had freed the slaves given her.  Yet initially she lobbied Lincoln against emancipation.  Unless the Confederates were defeated in battle, they would be “forever free from all restraint . . . to pursue their favorite schemes for the extension and perpetuation of slavery.”   In her view, Southern Unionists would see universal emancipation as changing the rationale of the war from one for preservation of the Union to one for abolition and the subjugation of the South. 

Of course, neither Carroll, nor anyone else could envision that emancipation under any circumstances would prove so unpalatable to the South that the old order would shortly reassert itself in a new guise.

--C. Kay Larson

C. Kay Larson is an independent scholar based in New York.  She is the author of Great Necessities: The Life, Times, and Writings of Anna Ella Carroll, 1815-1894.(Book review): An article from: Journal of Southern History and the novel <South Under a Prairie Sky: The Journal of Nell Churchill, US Army Nurse & Scout A member of the board of the New York Military Affairs Symposium, she has contributed to MINERVA: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military, and is a regular reviewer for the H-CivWar List.  She is currently working on a revised and expanded edition of her 1995 book Til I Come Marching Home: A Brief History of American Women in World War II .


© 1998 - 2018 All rights Reserved.,, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of
Privacy Policy