This Day (Monroe Doctrine Edition)

On this day in 1862, the U.S. Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act, recognizing that all slaves working for Confederate masters aided the Confederate war effort, regardless of their specific tasks. The act authorized the slaves’ confiscation, declaring them “forever free of their servitude.” The more-restrictive First Confiscation Act (1861) had been passed in response to Union general Benjamin F. Butler‘s declaration that some escaped and refugee slaves, who had shown up at Fort Monroe, were actually “contraband of war.” A mini Monroe Doctrine, you could call it.
IMAGE: Escaped slaves near Yorktown, Virginia, 1862 (Library of Congress)


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