Orville Hickman Browning (American National Biography)

Brian J. Kenny, "Browning, Orville Hickman," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00164.html.
Browning advocated vigorous prosecution of the war in its early stages. He supported Lincoln's call for troops, voted for the First Confiscation Act, and even supported John C. Frémont's proclamation freeing slaves in Missouri. However, early in 1862 he broke with the radicals in Congress over the Second Confiscation Act, which he felt unconstitutionally deprived southern slaveholders of their property. Regarding emancipation, Browning adhered to Lincoln's earlier formulation of compensated emancipation and colonization and felt slavery was entirely a matter for the individual states to decide. Thus he opposed the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, and even at the end of December 1862 he was still trying to convince Lincoln not to put it into effect. Browning also criticized the suppression of the Chicago Times, arbitrary arrests of civilians, and the vilification of southerners in the press and Congress. Many fellow Republicans viewed him as hopelessly conservative. While Browning remained true to the Union cause, he felt the war effort was being controlled by radical elements with dangerous views, and he gave no support to Lincoln in the 1864 election. In fact, he never again supported a Republican candidate for president.
How to Cite This Page: "Orville Hickman Browning (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/20109.