James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
was laid,1 although certain deductions were permitted in making the return. The tax upon the incomes of citizens residing abroad was five per cent, without the usual exemptions. The duties on imports were increased by an act approved by the President on July 14.2
Lincoln was not an adept in finance and left this department to his Secretary of the Treasury who, in spite of mistakes and some personal failings, made a good finance minister. In diplomatic matters Lincolns hand may be traced and generally for the good. He was a hard student of the art of war and, through untoward circumstances and miserable failures, groped his way to the correct method of conducting large military operations. But from the first, he handled the slavery question with scarcely a flaw.
The action of Congress during the spring and early summer of 1862 indicated the progress of public sentiment since the first shot at Sumter. The Republicans, in neither of their national platforms, had deemed it prudent to demand the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia but, in April, Congress enacted this, providing at the same time for compensation to the loyal owners of slaves, which was duly made. In June, it crystallized in a formal statute the cardinal principle of the Republican party, the very reason of its existence, by prohibiting slavery in all the Territories of the United States.3 Lincoln went further than Congress. As early as March, 1862, he proposed the gradual abolishment of all slavery with compensation for the slave-owners and Congress adopted his recommendation. This offer
Note 1. Income derived from interest on notes or bonds of the United States was taxed only one and one-half per cent. [back]
Note 2. IV, 58 et seq. For the Confiscation Ace, see 60; Horace White, 173 et seq. J. G. Randall, Am. Hist. Rev., Oct., 1912. [back]