President Lincoln signs the Second Confiscation Act authorizing freedom for confiscated slaves
Senator Lyman Trumbull had introduced the Second Confiscation Act in early December, 1861. After months of debate and amendment the measure passed both houses. It gave the first clear instructions on the confiscation and emancipation of slaves in the states in rebellion. Slave owners there were given sixty days to return to the Union or have their slaves freed. All escaped or confiscation slaves were to be declared free. The act also included a controversial proviso to fund the colonization of freed blacks. (By John Osborne)
John Syrett, The Civil War Confiscation Acts: Failing to Reconstruct the South (New York: Fordham University Press, 2005), pp. 20-54.