The Plot to Perpetuate Slavery

How George McClellan, Southern Spies and a Confidence Man Nearly Derailed Emancipation

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About the Book

In the aftermath of the September 1862 Battle of Antietam, President Abraham Lincoln issued the most significant presidential decree in American history, the Emancipation Proclamation, which would forever free all slaves in territory not under Union control. Nevertheless, his chief military commander in the field, Major General George B. McClellan, was outraged. Within days, two former Union officers nefariously crossed the lines into rebeldom, an initiative resulting in an elaborate subterfuge to scam Lincoln into withdrawing the Proclamation in return for nebulous promises of peace.
This book tells the story, obscured in a veil of secrecy for 150 years, of the cloak and dagger chess match between Union detectives and Southern operatives in the months before emancipation become effective. Despite an ominous warning by author Herman Melville five years before, the scheme to perpetuate slavery almost succeeded, for it was engineered by a man the National Police Gazette once declared the “King of the Confidence Men.”

About the Author(s)

Phil Roycraft is an environmental engineer, historian and author specializing in the Civil War era. He has written articles for a variety of historical journals including the Michigan History Magazine, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, Journal of Illinois History and the Maryland Historical Magazine. He lives in Cadillac, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Phil Roycraft
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 25 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9495-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5339-6
Imprint: McFarland