Senator saw federal money as precursor to emancipation

“Slavery became the lens through which Southerners looked at every question, the red dye that tainted every American conflict….

“North Carolina senator Nathaniel Macon suspected, as early as 1818, that ‘the passage of a bill granting money for internal improvements’ would also make ‘possible a bill for the emancipation of the negroes,’ and he ‘desired to put North Carolinians on their guard, and not simply North Carolinians, but all Southerners.'”

— From “Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War & Reconstruction” by Allen C. Guelzo (2012)

 

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