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James Rumley, Diary Entry, January 1, 1863


James Rumley, Diary Entry, January 1, 1863


This entry, dated January 1 1863 describes the animosity James Rumley has towards the Emancipation Proclamation. He, like many other southerners, fear the the Proclamation will release havoc on the community and truly pushes the social and cultural boundaries of the south. Rumley describes the action as a "dangerous experiment," and suggest that gradual emancipation is the only way to successfully integrate former slaves.


James Rumley


Rumley, James, and Judkin Browning. The Southern Mind under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2009. Print.


Craven County, NC
Carteret County, NC


The sudden enfranchisement of an entire servile race, millions in number, living in the midst of the superior race, where the relation has subsisted for ages, and forming a part of the household of thousands of families, would be regarded, we would suppose, by the true friends of humanity everywhere as a most hazardous experiment, and a project which none but a fool or a madman would seriously meditate. It has been universally admitted that in the southern states, where African slavery exists, gradual emancipation is the only practical mode of removing the evil-if evil it be.


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James Rumley, James Rumley, Diary Entry, January 1, 1863, Civil War Era NC, accessed June 20, 2024,