We also remember that the federal government declared it supported permanent slavery in the United States and that the war was fought only to collect a new 40 percent federal sales tax from Southerners under the Morrill Tariff Act (passed March 2, 1861).
Lincoln explained in his first inauguration speech (March 4, 1861): “I understand a proposed Amendment to the Constitution has passed Congress (March 2, 1861), to the effect that the federal government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the states, including that of persons held to service. Holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
Lincoln declared in his first message to the U.S. Congress (July 4, 1861): “My policy sought only to hold the public places and property not already wrested from the government and to collect the revenue (taxes).”
Roger K. Broxton
Confederate Heritage Fund