Lincoln at Peoria

 

I hope today’s rather brief group writing post on “Truth” is informative on a topic I regard as significant. The reason for its significance surrounds the mounting accusations of racism involving our Republic, revisionist history with regard to the role of slavery, and the need to temper certain accusations with truth.

We are told almost on a daily basis, even by our leaders, that the United States is systemically racist. We are told that our founding was a product of slavery, as was the Second Amendment. We are told that some of our most revered persons bear the stain of slavery. In addition to the founding fathers, even Abraham Lincoln—in my view, our greatest President—has been subjected to scrutiny.

It is true that, until his address at Peoria, IL, on October 16, 1854, Lincoln had not focused on the issue of slavery. But, in 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act drew his scrutiny. The law permitted settlers to determine whether slavery would be permitted in their region, and Lincoln saw it as a de facto repeal of the Missouri Compromise, which outlawed slavery above the 36°30′ parallel.

So, at Peoria, several years before the Civil War and 165 years from today, Lincoln took on slavery.

I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself.

So said a man with his political future on the line in his rivalry with Stephen A. Douglas. This is an obvious “truth,” but at odds with today’s narrative of a country born and raised on systemic racism.

I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world — enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites — causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty — criticising [sic] the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.

Here Lincoln presciently understands that our country may be a role model for the world in the eradication of slavery. This is 1854.

My intent here is not to get into the standard “we’ve done some bad things but are making progress” discussion. My intent is to show that outright condemnation of the institution of slavery started a very long time ago. We should keep in mind the efforts of the abolitionists even before this, but here the focus is on a President who deserves to be revered for his words and deeds. That is the truth.

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  1. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln.  He hurried us along on the path to statism.  Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede.  All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    • #1
  2. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Your choice.  Roosevelt hurried us along the path to statism, and I question whether your apparent fondness for states’ rights overcomes the South’s fondness for slavery.

    • #2
  3. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Your choice. Roosevelt hurried us along the path to statism, and I question whether your apparent fondness for states’ rights overcomes the South’s fondness for slavery.

    Even Lincoln said he didn’t fight the war to end slavery.  He fought it to preserve the union, which I think was misguided.  Besides, the fact that Roosevelt hurried us along the path to statism doesn’t mean Lincoln didn’t.  I don’t think much of Roosevelt, either.

    • #3
  4. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Your choice. Roosevelt hurried us along the path to statism, and I question whether your apparent fondness for states’ rights overcomes the South’s fondness for slavery.

    Even Lincoln said he didn’t fight the war to end slavery. He fought it to preserve the union, which I think was misguided. Besides, the fact that Roosevelt hurried us along the path to statism doesn’t mean Lincoln didn’t. I don’t think much of Roosevelt, either.

    You’re really digging to go back to 1865 and a whole lot of Presidents to find statism.  As late as the early 20th century and those Presidents, statism was not an issue.  Until Roosevelt.

    Without being too contentious, I’ve never seen support for the South as being divorced from, at a minimum, agnosticism on slavery.  Most historians agree that the Civil War was about the preservation of slavery.  If that’s Lincoln’s legacy, I can live with it.

    In any event, my post is mostly about the misperceptions prevalent today about slavery in the Republic.

    • #4
  5. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Good post, Hoya.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    You’ve brought up a longstanding concern I have that the legacy of the abolitionists has been ignored by historians and history teachers and professors.

    In our desire for a near perfect reconciliation with the South, a noble desire, for sure, the North stopped talking about that effort and sacrifice, instead focusing on the strength of the black community and the slaves themselves in attaining their freedom. I completely understand the positive psychology in doing that, but it has led to two generations, at least, of people who don’t know the story. So little kids in schools today hear only about slavery and that the white people didn’t care and didn’t lift a finger to help them, that the white people were silent or indifferent to their suffering.

    That is not true, and I think if schoolchildren were taught the truth, some of the friction between black and white people in this country would go away.

     

    • #6
  7. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    MarciN (View Comment):
    In our desire for a near perfect reconciliation with the South, a noble desire, for sure, the North stopped talking about that effort and sacrifice, instead focusing on the strength of the black community and the slaves themselves in attaining their freedom. I completely understand the positive psychology in doing that, but it has led to two generations, at least, of people who don’t know the story. So little kids in schools today hear only about slavery and that the white people didn’t care and didn’t lift a finger to help them, that the white people were silent or indifferent to their suffering.

    When was this “the North stopped talking about that effort and sacrifice” occurring?  I’ve learned my entire life (and I’m oldish…) that the North was against slavery and the South was for it. I’ve also learned about the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, the Abolitionists. And this was in a little school system, in a community of 100% white people, in a Western state. 

    I hope I’m not sounding like I’m yelling at you @MarciN, because I’m not. I just don’t know when this concept you’re referencing started. Not only did I learn about those things I outlined, but my own children learned them in their schools in the 70s, 80s, & 90s. And, when I taught elementary school both in Maryland and in Nevada, (1995–2019) I taught about Lincoln’s opposition to slavery, and the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists–who were white people. 

    I always taught Abraham Lincoln Day on Feb. 12th, and then George Washington Day on Feb. 22nd….not “President’s Day” which is now considered by way too many people to be a celebration of all the US presidents. I’m probably an anomaly…I retired two years ago. Maybe I should go back into the classroom and keep up my indoctrination of REAL American history. 

    • #7
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the July 2021 Group Writing Theme: “We Hold These Truths (or Fictions).” Stop by to sign up for the August theme: “A day in the life.”

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #8
  9. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Randy,

    Nothing personal here!  But, do you have any comment relevant to the article? 

    If not, and you just wanted to introduce an unrelated idea about Lincoln, the way Ricochet works is that you write your own article. 

     

    • #9
  10. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Randy,

    Nothing personal here! But, do you have any comment relevant to the article?

    If not, and you just wanted to introduce an unrelated idea about Lincoln, the way Ricochet works is that you write your own article.

     

    The way Ricochet works is that comments go in their own direction. We are lucky if the comments are relevant to the original post,

    • #10
  11. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    First, it’s not hard to be against slavery, it’s a vile practice.  Lincoln did not grow up in a slave area and so it was easy to have that opinion, and I don’t have much doubt that it was sincere.

    But Lincoln was a politician, first and foremost, and with a lot of ambition.  The nation was polarized, much like today, and he was trying to stir up political support against Franklin Pierce, a northern democrat who was against the abolitionist movement.  Lincoln wanted the Whigs to control the northern states and end the influence of northern democrats.

    Lincoln gave a lot of pretty speeches, but he was ever a political animal and you can never believe his words reflected his beliefs as much as his politicking.  

    Someday the obligatory hagiographic descriptions of Lincoln will subside.  Nah, who am I kidding?  We like to pretend he was a saint.  The truth is that he liked power, he believed in forcing people to be subject to one power, especially when he was controlling that power.

    • #11
  12. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Skyler (View Comment):

    First, it’s not hard to be against slavery, it’s a vile practice. Lincoln did not grow up in a slave area and so it was easy to have that opinion, and I don’t have much doubt that it was sincere.

    But Lincoln was a politician, first and foremost, and with a lot of ambition. The nation was polarized, much like today, and he was trying to stir up political support against Franklin Pierce, a northern democrat who was against the abolitionist movement. Lincoln wanted the Whigs to control the northern states and end the influence of northern democrats.

    Lincoln gave a lot of pretty speeches, but he was ever a political animal and you can never believe his words reflected his beliefs as much as his politicking.

    Someday the obligatory hagiographic descriptions of Lincoln will subside. Nah, who am I kidding? We like to pretend he was a saint. The truth is that he liked power, he believed in forcing people to be subject to one power, especially when he was controlling that power.

    It might be educational for us all if you could provide some links/citations in support of your comments.

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Randy,

    Nothing personal here! But, do you have any comment relevant to the article?

    If not, and you just wanted to introduce an unrelated idea about Lincoln, the way Ricochet works is that you write your own article.

    Hoyacon: In addition to the founding fathers, even Abraham Lincoln—in my view, our greatest President—has been subjected to scrutiny.

    I understand Randy’s lack of fondness for Lincoln.  But I tend to agree with you, Hoyacon.  It is bad that Lincoln’s course led to increasing the day-to-day role and the US government’s assumption of greater authority over the states, but it is very good that it led to universal freedom from slavery in the US.  For whatever reason Lincoln did this, I think he was probably our greatest president, too, for this grand outcome alone.

    • #13
  14. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    First, it’s not hard to be against slavery, it’s a vile practice. Lincoln did not grow up in a slave area and so it was easy to have that opinion, and I don’t have much doubt that it was sincere.

    But Lincoln was a politician, first and foremost, and with a lot of ambition. The nation was polarized, much like today, and he was trying to stir up political support against Franklin Pierce, a northern democrat who was against the abolitionist movement. Lincoln wanted the Whigs to control the northern states and end the influence of northern democrats.

    Lincoln gave a lot of pretty speeches, but he was ever a political animal and you can never believe his words reflected his beliefs as much as his politicking.

    Someday the obligatory hagiographic descriptions of Lincoln will subside. Nah, who am I kidding? We like to pretend he was a saint. The truth is that he liked power, he believed in forcing people to be subject to one power, especially when he was controlling that power.

    It might be educational for us all if you could provide some links/citations in support of your comments.

    Well, the deification of Lincoln is almost absolute.  You should question, if a political figure’s remembered history is uniformly and absolutely positive and fawning, whether it is accurately portrayed.  You can examine the criticisms of his contemporaries before he ran for president, for starters.  You can also read “The Real Lincoln; A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War” by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, written in 2002.  I’m in the middle of a move so I can’t quote any passage from it.  

    Have you never wondered how Lincoln rose up from his humble, uneducated young life?  Certainly he was smart.  He was not so noble, nor anything but a pure political being, wholly dedicated to the “American System” which consisted of using government money to pay for immense projects to charge up the economy.  Their projects were disasters (excepting the Erie Canal) and that was the reason for the Whig demise.  Almost every state, north and south, amended their constitutions to forbid such projects.

    Lincoln was first and foremost a wheeling, dealing, smooth talking, wily politician, the same as any politician today.  He was no saint, he was not at all motivated by anything but power.

    • #14
  15. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Skyler (View Comment):

     

    Well, the deification of Lincoln is almost absolute. You should question, if a political figure’s remembered history is uniformly and absolutely positive and fawning, whether it is accurately portrayed. You can examine the criticisms of his contemporaries before he ran for president, for starters. You can also read “The Real Lincoln; A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War” by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, written in 2002. I’m in the middle of a move so I can’t quote any passage from it.

    Have you never wondered how Lincoln rose up from his humble, uneducated young life? Certainly he was smart. He was not so noble, nor anything but a pure political being, wholly dedicated to the “American System” which consisted of using government money to pay for immense projects to charge up the economy. Their projects were disasters (excepting the Erie Canal) and that was the reason for the Whig demise. Almost every state, north and south, amended their constitutions to forbid such projects.

    Lincoln was first and foremost a wheeling, dealing, smooth talking, wily politician, the same as any politician today. He was no saint, he was not at all motivated by anything but power.

    Speculation about Lincoln’s motivations is simply that.  He fulfilled his promise to serve one term in the House of Representatives before returning to the practice of law, which strikes me as strange behavior for a “politician.”  He appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court about 175 times, also an odd pursuit for a politician.  Lincoln was drawn back to politics at a time when slavery was still a contentious issue, exhibited by his debates with Douglas, and I would disagree that his stand on the issue was risk-free.  

    He has been roundly criticized, even today, for suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland, so the idea that he’s seen as without warts doesn’t really hold water.  But the bottom line remains that he emancipated the slaves and played a considerable role in preserving the United States, even in the face of inadequate military leadership early on during the war.  I have no problem praising him for those two significant achievements alone.

     

    • #15
  16. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But the bottom line remains that he emancipated the slaves

    Nope.  He only freed slaves still in confederate control.  Slaves in areas controlled by the Union remained slaves.

    • #16
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    I’ve never been fond of Lincoln. He hurried us along on the path to statism. Also, I think that the southern states had the right to secede. All Lincoln proved was that the side with the biggest battalions could enforce its desires.

    Randy,

    Nothing personal here! But, do you have any comment relevant to the article?

    If not, and you just wanted to introduce an unrelated idea about Lincoln, the way Ricochet works is that you write your own article.

     

    The way Ricochet works is that comments go in their own direction. We are lucky if the comments are relevant to the original post,

    Henry,

    Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. 

    In a conversation where each Reply is a response to what was said in the OP or Comment being replied to, you are right if you are saying that the threads of conversation will go their own direction.

    That’s a good thing. It is the reason the Reply command is there.

    I think you may be confusing that with the case where a person reads the OP and has nothing to say about it–just doesn’t find it interesting–but does want to write about a different idea, which is what happened here.  (Not picking on Randy…we all do it sometimes!) 

    I was saying that the Reply command is not the appropriate way to introduce a topic that is not relevant. If you have no interest in what an author has to say, then just don’t reply to it.  Use the command for creating a new article.

    • #17
  18. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Hoyacon: We should keep in mind the efforts of the abolitionists even before this, but here the focus is on a President who deserves to be revered for his words and deeds. That is the truth.

    I’m not sure how pointing out the fact that Lincoln was not motivated to free slaves and was solely interested in enflaming the very unpopular abolitionists to wedge out the northern democrats is at all off topic. 

    • #18
  19. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The civil war was the destruction of These United States.  Afterward it came back together as The United States, a different entity with a different government structure.  The purpose of that war was to kill state rights with slavery being the catalyst/ excuse for it. The country has been a one state entity ever since with the federal government continuously absorbing state and individual rights every since.  Before it was understood that rights were granted by god, given to the individual with some rights seceded to the local, state and federal government explicitly.  Afterward right came from the federal, then the state or local governments and granted to the individual from those entities.   That is the war that Lincoln presided over.   The south has been taking a beating every since.

    • #19
  20. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The civil war was the destruction of These United States. Afterward it came back together as The United States, a different entity with a different government structure. The purpose of that war was to kill state rights with slavery being the catalyst/ excuse for it. The country has been a one state entity ever since with the federal government continuously absorbing state and individual rights every since. Before it was understood that rights were granted by god, given to the individual with some rights seceded to the local, state and federal government explicitly. Afterward right came from the federal, then the state or local governments and granted to the individual from those entities. That is the war that Lincoln presided over. The south has been taking a beating every since.

    The purpose of the war was to preserve/eradicate slavery, depending on one’s perspective.  State’s rights makes a nice rationale for preserving the institution, but it’s a cover.

    Edit: I admit that I cannot grasp defenses of the South based on “state’s rights” when preservation of slavery is the logical extension of that defense.

    • #20
  21. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The civil war was the destruction of These United States. Afterward it came back together as The United States, a different entity with a different government structure. The purpose of that war was to kill state rights with slavery being the catalyst/ excuse for it. The country has been a one state entity ever since with the federal government continuously absorbing state and individual rights every since. Before it was understood that rights were granted by god, given to the individual with some rights seceded to the local, state and federal government explicitly. Afterward right came from the federal, then the state or local governments and granted to the individual from those entities. That is the war that Lincoln presided over. The south has been taking a beating every since.

    The purpose of the war was to preserve/eradicate slavery, depending on one’s perspective. State’s rights makes a nice rationale for preserving the institution, but it’s a cover.

    True.  But you can do a legal action for immoral reasons.  Which I consider secession to have been.

    • #21
  22. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Americans who think the US is more racist than other countries hasn’t been out much, or doesn’t know history, ours or the worlds.  They’re either ignorant or perversely motivated.

    • #22
  23. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Americans who think the US is more racist than other countries hasn’t been out much, or doesn’t know history, ours or the worlds. They’re either ignorant or perversely motivated.

    Some of both.

    • #23
  24. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Edit: I admit that I cannot grasp defenses of the South based on “state’s rights” when preservation of slavery is the logical extension of that defense.

    It’s hard to do that when everyone accuses you of supporting slavery if you mention that “other” issue.  

    If the war were just about slavery, there would have been no war.  It was more than slavery and anyone saying it was only slavery doesn’t understand human nature.  The north and south were vying for power in a polarized society.  Certainly we should recognize that today.  

    Consider our polarization today.  If you don’t support your side of the aisle on every issue, then you will lose on every issue.  Even a stupid virus is political now.  If we were to erupt in a war today, in a hundred years they might say it was about wearing masks.  But it wouldn’t be.  It would be about abortion, BLM, defense budgets, immigration, the WALL, Trump, communism, etc.

    If the only issue in the War Between the States were the issue of states rights, there would be no debate.  Of course everyone agreed that the states should be sovereign.  Most people would still likely believe that. But the war was about power:  Who was to control the country in a polarized nation?  That polarization included slavery as a prominent issue, but never was it the only issue.  

    Were it only about slavery, people would not be afraid to lose all power and they would have civil discussions of how to safely, fairly, and humanely end slavery.  

    • #24
  25. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The civil war was the destruction of These United States. Afterward it came back together as The United States, a different entity with a different government structure. The purpose of that war was to kill state rights with slavery being the catalyst/ excuse for it. The country has been a one state entity ever since with the federal government continuously absorbing state and individual rights every since. Before it was understood that rights were granted by god, given to the individual with some rights seceded to the local, state and federal government explicitly. Afterward right came from the federal, then the state or local governments and granted to the individual from those entities. That is the war that Lincoln presided over. The south has been taking a beating every since.

    The purpose of the war was to preserve/eradicate slavery, depending on one’s perspective. State’s rights makes a nice rationale for preserving the institution, but it’s a cover.

    Edit: I admit that I cannot grasp defenses of the South based on “state’s rights” when preservation of slavery is the logical extension of that defense.

    So your belief is that a bunch of good old boys from the north were so woke that they loved blacks so much they decided to walk a few hundred to thousand miles south to make war on the southern part of the country because less than 3% of the southern states population owned people.  An institution that up to that point existed world wide, across all races.  This was at a time where ethnic heritage was a much bigger deal with Italians, Irish, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, etc at each other throats.  Personally I think there were many other things involved.  

    • #25
  26. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Edit: I admit that I cannot grasp defenses of the South based on “state’s rights” when preservation of slavery is the logical extension of that defense.

    If the war were just about slavery, there would have been no war.

    You have it backwards.  Without slavery there is no secession.  The seven original states states of the Confederacy didn’t secede over tariffs and their own declarations make it clear their action was motivated by the necessity to preserve the institution of slavery.  They realized that with the election of Lincoln and with GOP control of Congress, slavery could no longer expand and without expansion its long-term prospects were doomed.  Lincoln and the GOP realized the same thing.  For thirty years prior to the war, slavery was a significant element in national politics and with the Mexican War it became the #1 issue.

    Were it only about slavery, people would not be afraid to lose all power and they would have civil discussions of how to safely, fairly, and humanely end slavery.

    That is what many politicians, north and south, thought in the 1780s and 90s but as slavery became more embedded in the south and attitudes towards it changed from a regrettable, but economically necessary institution, to a positive good as John C Calhoun posited, the ability to have civil discussions about it ended.  Back in the 1830s and 1840s when the South and Democrats still controlled the House it is why they imposed a gag rule blocking any discussion of the slavery issue.  It is why the laws regarding slave and freed blacks in the south actually became harsher in the decades leading up to the Civil War.  There were voices in the South who argued for an end to slavery on the grounds that it was retarding the economic development of the region but they were a minority.

    • #26
  27. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Another passage from the Peoria speech has always stood out for me:

    Before proceeding, let me say I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist amongst them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist amongst us, we should not instantly give it up. This I believe of the masses north and south. Doubtless there are individuals, on both sides, who would not hold slaves under any circumstances; and others who would gladly introduce slavery anew, if it were out of existence. We know that some southern men do free their slaves, go north, and become tip-top abolitionists; while some northern ones go south, and become most cruel slave-masters.

    When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery, than we; I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists; and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution.

    • #27
  28. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    The seven original states states of the Confederacy didn’t secede over tariffs and their own declarations make it clear their action was motivated by the necessity to preserve the institution of slavery.

    Perhaps, but that was only seven states. Lincoln chose instead to make things worse and instigated a war.

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution.

    Oh, he knew what to do.  He killed 600,000 people to use force to keep people subject to him and his political party rather than do something to solve that problem in a way that allowed them to retain political power and yet free the slaves.

    • #28
  29. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I like Lincoln. 

    • #29
  30. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But the bottom line remains that he emancipated the slaves

    Nope. He only freed slaves still in confederate control. Slaves in areas controlled by the Union remained slaves.

    Lincoln also played a significant role in the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment January 31, 1865 (Appomattox was April 9, 1865, and Lincoln was assassinated April 4, 1865):

    Second 1

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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