James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
the President. Having carefully thought out a policy, he sent the following instructions to Butler to serve as a guide for his and other commands: the general should not interfere with the reclamation of fugitive slaves who had escaped from masters in the Union slave States but, in accordance with the Confiscation act,1 he should respect no claim for negroes who had been employed in the military service of the Confederacy. In spite of the murmurs of the abolitionists and some radical Republicans, a large majority of the Northern people had already acquiesced in this policy as a wise temporary expedient, when General Frémont opened the question afresh by his proclamation in Missouri.2
Frémont, the pet and protégé of the Blairs,3 as Lincoln afterwards called him, had upon the earnest solicitation of his patrons been made a major-general and been placed in command of the Western department, which included Missouri. A kind of romantic hero was hethe brave pathfinder, who had planted the American flag on presumably the highest peak of the Rocky mountains. Winning the first nomination of the Republican party for president, he had polled a large electoral and popular vote; and Lincoln, undoubtedly impressed by the remembrance of this first campaign, so brilliant in many ways, thought well of him and had entertained the idea of nominating him for minister to France. He was supposed to have military talent, and his appointment to a command was very popular with earnest Republicans who had looked upon him five years earlier as the champion of a sacred cause. Lincoln and the Blairs were to suffer a grievous disappointment. The first month in his headquarters at St. Louis showed Frémont to be utterly unfit for a responsible command.