In these Documents, Lincoln once again demonstrates the importance he places on preserving the Union above all else.
Louis, as we saw and understood it for so many years.
When I had finished, he was in deep and profound study, and I thought perhaps he had fallen asleep.
In Document B Lincoln demonstrates his commitment to the main purpose of the war: reuniting the Union; he places secondary importance on the emancipation of the slaves—this is only important to him because it will help weaken the South.
Not only did issuing the Emancipation Proclamation weaken the South, but it also strengthened the Union government in many ways.
In a war as volatile as the Civil War, a small economic difference like this could tip the scale in the favor of Lincoln and the Union.
Furthermore, Lincoln realized that the Proclamation would benefit the United States’ foreign relations in Europe.
’ This disclosed that he had not been asleep, but in deep thought.
He sat firm, with not so much as a muscle of his face relaxed, as he had done through much of my recital.
As President of the United States, Lincoln upheld his office by keeping the preservation of the Union as his top goal throughout the Civil War. Although Lincoln faced some opposition from members of the Democratic Party, who refused to “fight to free negroes” (Document E), he knew the Union’s need for soldiers was becoming desperate.
Lincoln also freed the slaves to benefit the Union in another important way. This was the Union’s last desperate attempt at recruiting soldiers before it was finally forced to issue the Conscription Act in 1863.