In 1863, President Hannibal Hamlin confirmed the Declaration of Emancipation that General John C. Fremont had proclaimed in Tennessee when he had occupied that State earlier in the year.
Crucifixion Day Part 6 by Raymond SpeerFrom the start of the war, which Fremont spent stationed in Missouri, that general had realized that the institution of slavery was the motivation of secession and the engine that worked the economy of the South. Accordingly, Fremont had abolished slavery In Missouri.
Hannibal Hamlin, a convinced Abolitionist from childhood and the possessoor of a dark complexion that gossips attributed to some Negro ancestors, had been told by his Attorney General that Fremont's liberation policy would alienate the border states and drive them all into the Confederacy.
"If our loss of the capitol city has not doomed us," Hamlin told his advisor, "I doubt that adding Missouri to the free states will substantially worsen our condition". The Attorney General, an appointee of the dead Lincoln, resigned and Fremont's move was approved.
In the summer of 1863, Fremont lead the Army of Missouri east and conquered Kentucky and Tennessee that season. In keeping with his program in Missouri, Fremont refused to let slavery continue in areas controlled by the Union, and Fremont's action roused discontent at Montauk Point, Long Island, New York, where the US Congress met by right in December 1863. A resolution that criticized Fremont was voted down in each House, and a counterdraft (praising the move) was passed through the support of President Hamlin.
The buildings at Montauk Point were raw and crude owing to their hurried construction. With no attendents from the Cotton South or Border States among the members of that Congress, a bill to relocate the capitol from Washington DC to Montauk was passed by both Houses, and money was appropriated for more buildings.
Thaddeus Stevens, the Speaker of the House, met with the President on a yacht offshore Nantucket Island when Hamlin signed the decree that approved Fremont's second emanicipation program. "Mr. Speaker, when Congress is as far sighted as General Fremont, it will pass laws that will tear the guts out of the Confederacy".