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Allegany County
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Enlisting Slaves, 1863

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Enlisting Slaves.

Much feeling is said to have been manifested by the state owners in the lower part of the State, on account of the enlistment of their blacks. But when it is remembered that these slaves have a three fifths representation in the Congress of the United States and in the Legislature of Maryland, which gives five of them the same voice in those bodies that three white men have, it is not fair that they should be entirely exempted from military draft now that the policy of receiving colored troops into the Federal armies has been irrevocably established. Regarded in this light, in the light of human beings, whose masters are entitled to a partial representation for them in the councils of the nation, those masters cannot well object to the enlistment of a portion of them in the service of the Federal Government. But they are viewed in another light, that of property, and it is instated that no loyal man’s property should be taken from him without compensation. This view is well taken, and to meet it the War Department determined upon a course of action which will do away with much of the angry feeling which has been manifested. The sum of $800 will to be allowed to the loyal master of every slave who may enter into the service and thus he will be placid upon the same footing as other property which is taken for the use of the Government. It has also been officially directed that the colored troops raised in this State are to be credited to its quota by Congressional Districts, which it is thought will obviate the necessity of enforcing the draft. The following is the official order:


Herald of Freedom & Torch Light


Collection Location:

Slaves, Western Maryland

Western Maryland, 1800-1864

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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