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President Lincoln signs the First Confiscation Act authorizing the seizure of slaves aiding the Confederacy

Federal Government and Politics, iconic image
The First Confiscation Act had passed the House of Representatives 60-48 and the U.S. Senate 24-11 and was signed, after some hesitation, by President Lincoln on this date.  It mandated the seizure and confiscation of slaves being used to support the Confederate war effort.  Unclear as to the actual status of the confiscated slaves, who remained slaves, and poorly enforced it let quickly to the introduction of a more direct and radical measure the following December.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
John Syrett, The Civil War Confiscation Acts: Failing to Reconstruct the South (New York: Fordham University Press, 2005), pp. 1-20.