The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (190721).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.
II. Poets of the Civil War I.
§ 10. Emancipation.
|It was in New England that Emancipation was most eagerly acclaimed. Emersons Boston Hymn, written in honour of Lincolns Proclamation, can hardly be matched for pungency and pregnancy of matter by any other American poem for an occasion. Whittier, who had already hailed Frémonts action in freeing the slaves of secessionists in Missouri in the poem To John C. Frémont, and the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia in his hopeful Astraea at the Capital, hailed the actual Proclamation with passion, and, later, the passage of the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery with the rapt exultation of Laus Deo. Stedmans Treasons Last Device glowed with anger at a proposal made, as late as 1863, to bar New England from the Union because of an opposition to slavery that made that section very obnoxious to the South.