77:Washington DC. August 1862
The week that Finbar was waiting for his meeting with the President saw the Confederacy move to the verge of victory. General Lee had won a crucial victory at the second battle of Bull Run and his troops, having crossed the Potomac River were now in sight of Washington. Finbar was shown into the Oval Office. President Lincoln knew who the Irishman was and made it clear that he had little time to talk. Finbar got straight to why he was there. Drawing on his knowledge of British politics, he made the point that it was only the British Government that wanted to back the Confederacy. The Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, did not enjoy the full support of the Queen, and his Administration had fragmented power in Westminster. Finbar says he has recently heard from a source of his in the Cabinet that Palmerston was considering calling a General Election. The British people, however, did not approve of slavery. Accordingly, if Lincoln were to make total black emancipation a declared aim of the Union than the British Government would not dare go ahead with outright military support for the South. Lincoln looked interested but remained impassive. Finbar went on to his specific proposal. If Lincoln were to proclaim that he would abolish slavery in all States then Finbar would give the Union 20,000 fully armed troops. Finbar now went on to remind Lincoln about the Indian war in Dakota. He could also provide the President with the only man who, if enabled with treaty making power, would be able to ensure peace on the western frontier. Finbar left the Oval Office two hours later.
78:Washington DC. September 22 1862
A Proclamation, hand written by President Abraham Lincoln is made public. It stated that ‘All persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…….shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.