James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  could have exulted more than himself; John Bright said, “I applaud the proclamation.” 1 These utterances proved a prelude to the rise of anti-slavery sentiment toward the end of the year 1862. When the intelligence came that the President’s emancipation policy was confirmed by the supplementary proclamation of January 1, the demonstrations of support were greater than had been known for any movement since the uprising for the abolition of the duties on corn. A deputation from the Emancipation Society waited on the American minister to offer to President Lincoln their warmest congratulations; Reverend Newman Hall, one of the speakers, asserted that “the leading newspapers really did not represent the feelings of the masses.” On a Sunday Spurgeon thus prayed before his congregation of many thousands, “Now, O God! we turn our thoughts across the sea to the terrible conflict of which we knew not what to say; but now the voice of freedom shows where is right. We pray Thee give success to this glorious proclamation of liberty which comes to us from across the waters. We much feared our brethren were not in earnest and would not come to this. Bondage and the lash can claim no sympathy from us. God bless and strengthen the North, give victory to their arms.” The immense congregation responded to this invocation in the midst of the prayer with a fervent Amen. Public meetings were constantly occurring. The Duke of Argyll and Milner Gibson, both Cabinet ministers, made speeches, indicating “greater confidence in the treatment of the American question and its relation to slavery.” There was even a reaction at Liverpool, which town had witnessed with joy the departure of the Alabama. Bristol, the last port in Great Britain to relinquish the slave trade,
Note 1. C. F. Adams, Trans-Atlantic Historical Solidarity, 112; C. F. Adams, 297; Index, Nov. 6, 1862. [back]