With the rapid flow of information—the American Civil War became a global event. On January 17, 1863, the Illustrated London News carried an article that celebrated President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as long overdue.
Questioning the President’s motives, however, the author noted that slavery had been long prohibited in the British Empire, and bewailed the reality that a bloody internal war was required before America followed suit. The American Civil War badly polarized Britain, then the world’s premier power.
On January 16, 1863, Walt Whitman wrote a pained letter to his brother, Thomas Jefferson Whitman, in which he bemoaned the Union’s recent defeat at Fredericksburg as the most “complete piece of mismanagement perhaps ever yet known in the earth's wars.”
On January 14, 1863, Congressman Clement Vallandigham of Ohio gave a speech to the House of Representatives, which was highly critical of President Lincoln’s handling of the Civil War. Vallandigham denounced the President’s alleged suspension of civil liberties and due process. He also predicted: “You have not conquered the South. You never will.”
On January 12, 1863, President Jefferson Davis addressed the Confederate Congress in Richmond. Since the Union offensives in the western and eastern theatres had stalled, Davis remained confident that the Confederacy would prevail. He called the recently enacted Emancipation Proclamation, “the most execrable measure recorded in the history of guilty man.”