Noble as was the notion of this expanded cause, Lincoln well knew how difficult it would be to re-define the goals of a great war in mid-fight. There was no guarantee that soldiers would fight as readily for the freedom of the black man as they had for the government of the white man. Late that summer, with the Proclamation still unannounced, a delegation of free African Americans visited the White House for an extraordinary meeting with the President. Lincoln greeted them with an icily formal written statement, which he read aloud without interruption or question. Suggesting that the war would never have begun had it not been for slavery, Lincoln declared his belief that the black and white races would never be able to live in harmony. "It is better for us both therefore to be separated,"he said. The freedmen should consider emigrating to Africa or the Caribbean.