Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Fair Settlement

Gen. Schenck, of the Mountain Department, in a reply to a rebel owner claiming some slaves who had taken refuge in his camp, gave the following fair decision, a fortnight ago:

The General commanding this brigade will, therefore, as has been stated to you, not interfere with the military force at his command between the claimant and the fugitive slave.  He will neither allow the one class nor the other as loafers about his camps.  But if either of them, coming voluntarily within his lines, can be profitably employed, within the scope of military restrictions and usage, as guides, servants, laborers, or any other available capacity, he will not hesitate to so engage them or permit them to be so engaged.  He will punish any officer or private soldier of his command who may be caught either enticing or forcing a slave to leave his loyal master; but he will not lend his soldiers to be established as guards to prevent the escape of fugitives from bondage seeking their liberty.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Wednesday Morning, May 14, 1862, p. 2

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