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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 11, 1860

Lincoln Letter Addressing Southern Concerns

Two of the major issues over which the Southern states were threatening to secede were the matter of extension of slavery into U.S. Territories in the west, and the enforcement (or lack thereof) of the Fugitive Slave Law. On a letter penned on this date, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln wrote that he was adamant on the first issue, but sympathetic on the second:

…Entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery. The instant you do; they have us under again, all our labor is lost, and sooner or later must be done over. Douglas is sure to be again trying to bring in his “Pop. Sov.” Have none of it. The tug has come & better now than later. You know I think the fugitive slave clause of the constitution ought to be enforced - to put it on the mildest form, ought not to be resisted. …