Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law freeing the slaves in the District of Columbia, despite bitter opposition.
Abraham Lincoln submits a message asking Congress to consider a plan of gradual, compensated slave emancipation.
Abraham Lincoln reluctantly signs a bill into law allowing Federal commanders to seize slaves from people supporting the Confederacy.
Congress approves a resolution to define the purpose of the Federal war effort.
The U.S. House of Representatives finally approves a compromise measure, but for many it seems too little too late.
The Senate fails to adopt John J. Crittenden’s compromise plan, prompting more last-ditch efforts at conciliation.