Lincoln wants only laborers in black troops

A deputation of prominent citizens waited upon the President on Monday morning of last week, to ascertain if he would accept the services of negro regiments.  The case was fairly put before Mr. Lincoln.  It was represented to him that regiments of blacks could be formed and equipped, to be commanded by white officers, and that their services would be of great benefit to the country …. Mr. Lincoln replied that he could not accept regiments of negroes, but that he would accept as many as would offer their services as laborers…  (Liberator, Aug 8, 1862, pg 2)

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