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Favoring Compensation Abolition:
Early in his political career and during the first year of the presidency, Lincoln advocated gradually ending slavery, with financial compensation for slaveholders. He succeeded in attaining compensated emancipation only in the District of Columbia, where Congress could impose it.
(Document) Petition for compensation under the District of Columbia's Emancipation Act, 1862. In addition to immediate emancipation, the law provided for up to $300 for each slave to loyal Unionist owners, voluntary colonization of former slaves outside the United States, and up to $100 cash to former slaves who chose emigration. Over nine months, the federal government paid almost $1 million for the freedom of about 3,100 former slaves.
(Document) Message from the President to Congress, March 6, 1862. Lincoln was attempting to offer compensation to all slaveholding states if they adopted his plan for gradual, compensated emancipation. The border states dismisses the plan,and the resolution was never enacted.
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