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Emancipation Proclamation
Thy error, Frémont, was to act
The brave man's part, without the statesman's tact,
And taking council but of common sense,
To strike at cause as well as consequence.
John Greenleaf Whittier



St. Louis, Saturday, Aug. 31, 1861
The Following Proclamation was issued this morning.

Headquarters of the Western Department
St. Louis, August 31, 1861

Circumstances, in my judgment of sufficient urgency, render it necessary that the Commanding General of the Department should assume the administrative powers of the State. Its disorganized condition, the helplessness of the civil authority, the total insecurity of life, and the devastation of property bay bands of murderers and marauders who infect nearly every county in the State and avail themselves of the public misfortunes and the vicinity of hostile forces to gratify private and neighborhood vengeance, and to find an enemy wherever find plunder, finally demand the severest measures to repress the daily increasing crimes and outrages which are driving off the inhabitants and ruining the State. In this condition the public safety an success of out arms require unity of purpose. without let or hindrance, to the prompt administration of affairs.

In order, therefore, to suppress disorders, to maintain as far as now practicable the public peace, and to give security and protection to the persons and property of loyal citizens, I do hereby extend, and declare established, martial law throughout the State of Missouri. The lines of the army of occupation in this State are for the present declared to extend from Leavenworth by way of the posts of Jefferson City, Rolla, and Ironton, to cape Girardeau on the Missouri River.

All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court-martial, and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri who shall take up arms against the United States, and who shall be directly proven to have taken an active part with their enemies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use; and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free.

All persons who shall be proven to have destroyed, after the publication of this order, railroad tracks, bridges, ore telegraphs, shall suffer the extreme penalty of the law.

All persons engaged in treasonable correspondence, in giving or procuring aid to the enemy of the United States, in disturbing the public tranquility, by creating or circulating false reports or incendiary documents, are in their own interest warned that they are exposing themselves.

All person who have been led away from their allegiance are required to return to their homes forthwith; and any such absence without sufficient cause will be held to be presumptive evidence against them.

The object of this declaration is to placed in the hands of the military authorities the power to give instantaneous effect to existing laws, and to supply such deficiencies as the condition of the war demand. But it is not intended to suspend the ordinary tribunals of the country where the law will be administered by the civil officers in the usual manner, and with their customary authority while the same can be peaceably exercised.

The commanding General will labor vigilantly for the public welfare, and in his efforts for their safety, hopes to obtain not only the acquiescence, but the active support of the people of the country.

J. C, Frémont
Major General Commanding

The hour has come, and the man.
Harriet Beecher Stowe

go What were the repercussions of this emancipation proclamation?

Indeed, his emancipation proclamation of 1861, liberating slaves owned by rebel sympathizers in Missouri--which led President Lincoln to fire him as major general--also arguably paved the way for Lincoln's own broader Emancipation Proclamation two years later
Frémont's performance as major general in the Department of the West has been similarly underrated. In 1861 in Missouri, he inherited a dire military situation: outside St. Louis, guerilla warfare flared throughout the state; and just outside Missouri, Confederates were massing for an invasion. Though lacking adequate troops and matériel, Frémont managed to hold St. Louis and Missouri for the Union. Before his dismissal by Lincoln, he also devised the Saratoga, began the construction of the armada, and installed the general--Ulysses S. Grant--that made possible the later run of victories which won the Union control of the Mississippi, thus fatally dividing the Confederacy into two weakened eastern and western sections.
Tom Chaffin, Pathfinder: John C. Frémont and the Course of American Empire

Gen. Fremont's removal was owing neither to financial nor military mismanagement on his part. Two causes conspired to produce it--political jealousies and pro-slavery partisanship. Men who loved office more than country, sought to be rid of him.
They feared not that he would be defeated, but that he would be victorious. And they set in motion every possible political machination to secure his overthrow.
John S. C. Abbott, Civil War in America

The Atlantic Monthly
Frémont's Hundred Days in Missouri
go Fremont's Hundred Days in Missouri, Atlantic Monthly, Jan-Mar, 1862. Read it online.

Springfield, October 30, 1862.
Yesterday fifty-three Delaware Indians came from Kansas to serve under the General [Frémont]. Years ago he made friends of the Delawares, when travelling through their country upon his first journey of exploration; and hearing that he was on the war-path, the tribe have sent their best young warriors to join him. They are descendants of the famous tribe which once dwelt on the Delaware River, and belonged to the confederacy of the Six Nations,--for more than two centuries the most powerful Indian community in America. Their ancient prowess remains. The Delawares are feared all over the Plains, and their war-parties have often penetrated beyond the Rocky Mountains, carrying terror through all the Indian tribes. These men are fine specimens of their race, --tall, lightly formed, and agile. They ride little shaggy ponies, rough enough to look at, but very hardy and active; and they are armed with the old American rifle, the traditional weapon which Cooper places in the hands of his red heroes. They are led by the chief of their tribe, Fall-Leaf, a dignified personage, past the noon of life, but showing in his erect form and dark eye that the fires of manhood burn with undiminished vigor.

©1999, 2007
Bob Graham