I saw Jon Stewart trashing Judge Napolitano on the daily show in regards to his views on Lincoln. Judge Nap makes the point that compensated emancipation was an option. Stewart claimed Lincoln tried this and was rejected by many southern states. Is this true. Did Lincoln try this or any other method to free the slaves?
Lincoln worked with the largest slaveowner in Delaware (who by the way was a Republican) during the War to hammer out the details of a compensated emancipation plan. When the figures were presented to congressional Republican leaders, they balked at the amount of money it would take to pull it off. Lincoln also proposed a plan to colonize free blacks in Africa. His hero Henry Clay had been behind such an idea earlier in the 19th century. Again, the Republicans argued the costs outweighed the benefits.
But Lincoln had no plan to do any of this before the War began. He stance was simple: no compromise with the South even to save the Union. Lincoln chose party over Union and party over the Constitution.