Skip to comments.Lincoln's Strategy - Emancipation was an early goal - (American history buffs alert!)
Posted on 05/09/2005 9:35:24 PM PDT by CHARLITE
For the most part, I agree with Peter Lawlers critique of the recent New York Times column by David Brooks on Lincoln and the evangelical abolitionists. But Lawler says one thing that is dead wrong and needs to be corrected. Lawler writes that Lincoln opposed abolitionism before the Civil War because he believed it was unconstitutional; the Constitution only opposed the expansion of slavery into new territories. Abolitionism was a revolutionary principle, and it could finally only be justified by Lincoln after civil war had begun. While Lawler is correct in observing that Lincoln was no abolitionist, his argument plays into the hands of Lincolns detractors who argue that Lincoln really cared nothing about black freedom and only accepted the principle of emancipation out of desperation.
Lawlers argument also misses a point that Lincoln understood very well: The key to ending slavery where it existed lay not with the national government but with the states. Lawler needs to read Allan Guelzos remarkable book, Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America.
Guelzo argues persuasively that Lincolns face was set toward the goal of emancipation from the day he first took the presidential oath. To achieve this goal, he planned to pursue a policy of legislated, gradual, compensated emancipation from the very outset of his presidency. He believed he could convince Congress to appropriate funds for compensating slave owners to gradually free their slaves. His plan was to begin where slavery was weakest: in the northern-most slave states, especially Delaware.
The key to his strategy was to prevent the expansion of slavery into the federal territories while working to convince the legislatures of slave states to changes their statutes relating to slavery. After all, the Constitution left the issue of slavery to the states. This state legislative strategy also offered the best chance for keeping the issue of emancipation out of the federal court system, where an unfavorable judgment, a likelihood as long as Roger Taney was chief justice, could set back its prospects.
This strategy also explains what seems to be his total lack of concern about the consequences of the proposal at the beginning of his term for an amendment foreclosing forever the possibility that the federal government could interfere with the institution of slavery, even by future amendment. Lincolns detractors have pointed to this amendment as more evidence that he didnt really care about ending slavery. But he was willing to accept it because he didnt think it really mattered and it certainly didnt interfere with his own strategy for ending slavery.
Thus while he was willing to accept this proposal as a way of bringing the seven states that had seceded back into the Union fold at the time of his inauguration, he adamantly refused any compromise on the expansion of slavery. In a series of letters written to Lyman Trumbull, William Kellogg, Elihu Washburne, and Thurlow Weed in December, 1860, Lincoln adjured them to entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery.
Lincolns strategy relied on the economic principles of supply and demand. He believed that if he could prevent the expansion of slavery into the federal territories and prevail upon state legislatures, beginning with the northern-most slave states, to accept gradual, compensated emancipation, the demand for slaves would fall while the supply would increase in the deep south. The combined effect would be to reduce the value of slave property. By thus shrinking slavery, he would make it uneconomical and once again place it back on the eventual road to extinction that he believed the Founders had envisioned.
The outbreak of war derailed the original version of his grand scheme, but even after the war began, Lincoln believed that if he could convince the legislatures of the loyal slave states to agree to compensated emancipation, he could end the rebellion, restore the Union, and begin the end of slavery. He reasoned that the combination of military success against the Confederacy and compensated emancipation in the loyal slave states would lead to the collapse of the Confederacy, which had staked its hopes on eventually incorporating the so-called border states.
But neither condition came to pass: Lincolns proposals for compensated emancipation were rejected by the border states, and the army of the Potomac under Gen. George McClellan was driven back from Richmond after coming close to capturing it. Lincoln concluded that he did not have the time to pursue his preferred legislative strategy in the border states and that therefore something stronger and more precipitous was needed to bring the war to a successful conclusion.
The Emancipation Proclamation was Lincolns response to the failure of Union arms and compensated emancipation. The time had come, as he wrote to Cuthbert Bullitt, to stop waging war with elder-stalk squirts, charged with rose water. Thus after Lees invasion of Maryland was turned back at Antietam, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22 that gave the Confederates 100 days to submit to the Union or face the prospect of immediate emancipation.
Mackubin Thomas Owens is an associate dean of academics and a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He is writing a history of U.S. civil-military relations.
The only fault I find with Owens' composition is that he seems to repeat this idea nearly verbatim, three times in the course of the article.
Lincoln still considered African descended people inferior to Caucasians.
I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:
Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
Lincoln's First Inaugural Address. Maybe he forgot to read Owens in National Review Online.
Well, *DUH*! So did everybody who lived at that time - including some of the most ardent abolitionists.
That was an evil of their time - but their virtue in laying their lives down to free their brothers in Christ was their own, and was heroic.
IIRC, Lincoln also suggested to Frederick Douglass and others, that emancipated slaves be re-settled outside the US. Alexander Stephens reported that shortly before Lincoln's assasination, he told Stephens he had no plans for assisting freed slaves in adjusting to their new way of life. That was reportedly during a conversation they had at Hampton Roads. As Stephens relates it, Lincoln said, "I guess they'll just have to 'root hog or die.'" That would have fit Lincoln, since he followed black minstrelsy and "Root Hog Or Die" was popular at the time.
All of the founding fathers were rank hypocrites yet still struggled with the issue of slavery.
Now lets move on to more pressing concerns....was Lincoln gay? < /sarc>
In my simple mind, there was some relationship between Lincoln running as the Republican candidate, and the fact that party was recently formed based on abolition.
Let others dither until the end of time, about all the finer distinctions.
Slavery was abolished in Britain in the 1830s and the time was well nigh, for the US to do likewise, as it did.
Women eventually got to vote, too. Time marches on.
Well, he let Walt Whitman in the White House. That should tell you something. ;-)
So did almost every other Caucazoid in North America including the Radicals.
Why is it I have a sneaking idea Guelzo was educated at a liberal institution of indoctrination? Lincoln's one goal was to maintain power anyway he could. He had just been elected President to a nation that had lost it's Southern States. If he wanted to free slaves why didn't he free slaves in the North with his Emancipation Proclamation?
I think some of you put these threads on FR just to get old folks like me rantin' and a ravin'. Not tonight friends. Peace!
A good guess, but the Republican Party was founded in opposition to the extension of slavery into the Territories, not its abolition where it already existed. The Republican position is spelled out in the first Republican Party platform, that of 1856. And Lincoln in his first inauguaral states his belief that he didn't have the Constitutional authority to interfere with the practice of slavery. Not that we should let his own words have any merit.
From Frederick Douglass' 1876 oration in memory of Lincoln:
"He was preeminently the white mans President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. In all his education and feeling he was an American of the Americans. He came into the Presidential chair upon one principle alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery. His arguments in furtherance of this policy had their motive and mainspring in his patriotic devotion to the interests of his own race. To protect, defend, and perpetuate slavery in the states where it existed Abraham Lincoln was not less ready than any other President to draw the sword of the nation. He was ready to execute all the supposed guarantees of the United States Constitution in favor of the slave system anywhere inside the slave states. He was willing to pursue, recapture, and send back the fugitive slave to his master, and to suppress a slave rising for liberty, though his guilty master were already in arms against the Government.
The race to which we belong were not the special objects of his consideration. Knowing this, I concede to you, my white fellow-citizens, a pre-eminence in this worship at once full and supreme. First, midst, and last, you and yours were the objects of his deepest affection and his most earnest solicitude. You are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children; children by adoption, children by forces of circumstances and necessity. To you it especially belongs to sound his praises, to preserve and perpetuate his memory, to multiply his statues, to hang his pictures high upon your walls, and commend his example, for to you he was a great and glorious friend and benefactor. Instead of supplanting you at his altar, we would exhort you to build high his monuments; let them be of the most costly material, of the most cunning workmanship; let their forms be symmetrical, beautiful, and perfect, let their bases be upon solid rocks, and their summits lean against the unchanging blue, overhanging sky, and let them endure forever! But while in the abundance of your wealth, and in the fullness of your just and patriotic devotion, you do all this, we entreat you to despise not the humble offering we this day unveil to view; for while Abraham Lincoln saved for you a country, he delivered us from a bondage, according to Jefferson, one hour of which was worse than ages of the oppression your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose."
So did just about every other white man in the U.S., North and South.
He generally qualified any statements of the sort. See the chapter on the Declaration of Independence in Harry Jaffa's Crisis of the House Divided for Lincoln's view of equality.
I take it you're talking about the Union army. Please show us where the Union army took up arms against the South to abolish slavery.
Lincoln related the circumstances behind the story in to Alexander McClure.
"You see," said he, "we had reached and were discussing the slavery question. Mr. Hunter said, substantially, that the slaves, always accustomed to an overseer, and to work upon compulsion, suddenly freed, as they would be if the South should consent to peace on the basis of the 'Emancipation Proclamation,' would precipitate not only themselves, but the entire Southern society, into irremediable ruin. No work would be done, nothing would be cultivated, and both blacks and whites would starve!"
Said the President: "I waited for Seward to answer that argument, but as he was silent, I at length said: 'Mr. Hunter, you ought to know a great deal better about this argument than I, for you have always lived under the slave system. I can only say, in reply to your statement of the case, that it reminds me of a man out in Illinois, by the name of Case, who undertook, a few years ago, to raise a very large herd of hogs. It was a great trouble to feed them, and how to get around this was a puzzle to him. At length he hit on the plan of planting an immense field of potatoes, and, when they were sufficiently grown, he turned the whole herd into the field, and let them have full swing, thus saving not only the labor of feeding the hogs, but also that of digging the potatoes. Charmed with his sagacity, he stood one day leaning against the fence, counting his hogs, when a neighbor came along.
"'Well, well,' said he, 'Mr. Case, this is all very fine. Your hogs are doing very well just now, but you know out here in Illinois the frost comes early, and the ground freezes for a foot deep. Then what you going to do?'
"This was a view of the matter which Mr. Case had not taken into account. Butchering time for hogs was 'way on in December or January! He scratched his head, and at length stammered: 'Well, it may come pretty hard on their snouts, but I don't see but that it will be "root, hog, or die."'"
Lincoln was talking to one of the Confederate commissioners, Hunter. Hunter was expressing his concern about what would happen to southren society without the slave labor that provided their wealth. Without slaves, Hunter complained, no work would be done. Nothing would be harvested. People would starve. So when Lincoln related the story it was to point out that the white population could no longer live off the labors of their chattle. The white population would have to work for a change. It was the white population that would have to 'root hog, or die' not the former slaves.
And on better terms - freed slaves would get the grants to stand on their own feet, same grants as white settlers were getting.
Doesn't Harry Jaffa like to claim "Lincoln didn't mean what he wrote here" when he comes across inconvenient statements by Abe? We mere mortals don't have access to "what he really meant" versus what he actually wrote.
Lincoln, unlike modern south-haters, knew that only a small precentage of southerners owned slaves. Work was nothing new to the white population of the south, but that claim does have a continued popularity among the culturally marxist.
Slavery ended throughout the western hemisphere without war, except in the case of Haiti and the United States. But the true believers claim that slavery wouldn't have ended in Brazil, Cuba, and the other western societies without the American Civil War as a prod. I have to give them credit for knowing that they ought to try to justify the slaughter, despite the apparent absence of any logical connection.
From another issue of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, also published by the University of Illinois --
This anecdote, which appears in both Stephens and Campbell's accounts and which Lincoln later repeated to his portraitist, reveals a harsh side to Lincoln, perhaps caused by his desire to reassure the Confederates that he did not seek a social revolution in the postwar South. The story also belies Lincoln's earlier expressions of sympathy for black refugees from slavery and his approval, one month after the Hampton Roads Conference, of the Freedman's Bureau bill providing temporary aid for the former slaves (and white refugees) in their adjustment to freedom. Still, Lincoln, like most Americans at the time, optimistically expected emancipation itself to be "the king's cure" for blacks in the South. Lincoln believed that a free person, now including blacks, should be able to make his way in America through his own ability and effort without the assistance of the state. Though he had admitted the difficulties of the white and black races living together in freedom (his earlier support for black colonization reflected this concern), the president envisioned a limited role for the federal government in protecting and aiding blacks after the war. Had he lived to witness the postwar threat to black freedom, Lincoln might have changed his mind regarding federal responsibility for black liberty.
It's a good article on the Hampton Roads meeting. I recommend it.
No, but Nathan Bedford Forrest and Robert E. Lee were Gay. We should make the Confederate Battle Flag the new Gay Pride flag if you ask me.
Oh, I thought he meant Gay as in happy. Never mind. ;-)
Such an evil had to be destroyed as well as the institutions that allowed it to thrive.
No half measures were possible.
No half measures would have been justifiable in he eyes of a just God.
In some states close to half of all families had slaves. In the south as a whole around 1 family in every 5 held slaves, and these were the people who would have to root or die. The benefits of slavery were far more common that you are apparently willing to admit. You would rather call people marxist and go home.
And yet the account I gave was the only one where Lincoln explained his actions. Who better than he would know what he meant? His remarks show that his lack of sympathy was for the southern white population that would have to work for a change.
I would point out that Wilson's version differs radically from the account I gave, and the two that you gave. Wilson attributes the comments to Alexander when all the others attribute it to Hunter. Wilson claims the concerns expressed were solely about the freed slaves, and the other three accounts make it clear that white interests were the concern. But then Clyde Wilson has his own agenda to advance, and admitting that Lincoln's account weren't a racist attack on the former slaves does nothing to advance that.
There is not a single instance where slavery was not ended through government legislation, and always over the strenuous objection of the slave owners themselves. Since the southern states were willing to rebel to protect slavery in 1860 how long do you think it would be before they would be willing to sit back and accept a forced end to their institution? 20 years? 50 years?
He certainly did.
"When, therefore, it shall be asked what we have to do with the memory of Abraham Lincoln, or what Abraham Lincoln had to do with us, the answer is ready, full, and complete. Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the Union was more to him than our freedom or our future, under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood; under his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved and vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwriting of ages, in the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country; under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States; under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln, and with muskets on their shoulders, and eagles on their buttons, timing their high footsteps to liberty and union under the national flag; under his rule we saw the independence of the black republic of Haiti, the special object of slave-holding aversion and horror, fully recognized, and her minister, a colored gentleman, duly received here in the city of Washington; under his rule we saw the internal slave-trade, which so long disgraced the nation, abolished, and slavery abolished in the District of Columbia; under his rule we saw for the first time the law enforced against the foreign slave trade, and the first slave-trader hanged like any other pirate or murderer; under his rule, assisted by the greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the Confederate States, based upon the idea that our race must be slaves, and slaves forever, battered to pieces and scattered to the four winds; under his rule, and in the fullness of time, we saw Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slave-holders three months grace in which to save their hateful slave system, penning the immortal paper, which, though special in its language, was general in its principles and effect, making slavery forever impossible in the United States. Though we waited long, we saw all this and more."
I guess you just forgot to include that part, huh?
In post 26, the author simply states that Stephens asked Lincoln the question. He doesn't make attribution in the quoted text. It's probably in the footnotes of the original article.
In post 22, Hunter is cited as the one who raised the question. It's possible that both Hunter and Stephens pursued this matter with Lincoln. In the quoted text given in that post, attribution for the story is given to both Stephens and Campbell.
I don't think anybody believed then or believes now, that Lincoln was making a "racist attack" on black people -- only that he was not losing any sleep over their plight as freed men. Lincoln had already gone on record with his belief that blacks could not adequately integrate into white society and, as has been noted, he proposed to Douglass and others that blacks be resettled abroad.
While there is variation in the Hampton Roads accounts, the only "radical" difference I see is in the interpretations offered. If you believe Professor Wilson has an "agenda," please state your basis for that belief. If it's the mere fact that he's Southern, then similar claims of bias could be made toward Northern sources.
Wilson is on the Board of Directors for the League of the South. He has a definite agenda.
Have you read the Emancipation Proclamation? Far from making slavery "impossible," it was quite limited and specific. Plenty of slaves were being held after the Proclamation and even after the war. It took a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.
Lot of that going around. But here I posted parts of Douglass's tribute because I thought that you and Pelham might be trying to imply that Douglass had no respect for Lincoln. Surely you two were not trying to imply that, were you?
While Lincoln's personal dislike of slavery is well-known, the only related position he ever advocated strongly and consistently was the prevention of slavery's spread into the territories, "where it does not already exist." He steadfastly refused to take up the call of the abolitionists, since the majority of Northerners were not sympathetic to it. And, as I've pointed out, his Emancipation Proclamation only called for the freedom of slaves living in the states that continued to rebel -- not the slaves in the border states or in northern states like Delaware and not the slaves in secessionist states that laid down their arms.
I never implied Douglass lacked respect for Lincoln. I said he knew him, ie. he understood Lincoln's primary political objectives were to preserve the union and prevent slavery's spread to the territories, not to abolish it. He also understood that slavery was a huge political headache for Lincoln and that he would be content just to ship black people off to foreign shores to fend for themselves. Lincoln did not openly support a 13th Amendment until after his re-election, when it became clear that the union would be victorious and resettlement was not an option.
There is indeed. Perhaps we should post the quote in context?
Washington, August 22, 1862.
Hon. Horace Greeley:
I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable [sic] in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.
As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.
While Lincoln's personal dislike of slavery is well-known, the only related position he ever advocated strongly and consistently was the prevention of slavery's spread into the territories, "where it does not already exist."
Which is all that he believed the government could do absent a constitutional amendment. It would be highly presumptuous of him to advocate something that wasn't constitutional.
And, as I've pointed out, his Emancipation Proclamation only called for the freedom of slaves living in the states that continued to rebel -- not the slaves in the border states or in northern states like Delaware and not the slaves in secessionist states that laid down their arms.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure issued as a tool for combating the rebellion. Since Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri were not part of the rebellion to begin with, and since Tennessee and parts of Virginia and Louisiana had been returned to federal control, the Emancipation Proclamation could not legally apply to them. It took the 13th Amendment to end slavery, and Lincoln's support for that is well documented.
Complete nonsense. Lincoln was a supporter of voluntary emigration for former slaves. Emphasis on the 'voluntary'. In that he was no different than other evil men who shared the same beliefs. Men like James Madison, Robert Lee, and John Breckenridge. Unlike Jefferson Davis, Lincoln never advocated forced deportation for freed blacks.
Lincoln did not openly support a 13th Amendment until after his re-election, when it became clear that the union would be victorious and resettlement was not an option.
That is incorrect as well. Lincoln ran for reelection on a platform strongly supporting the 13th Amendment, and made his complete support for that plank known in letters to the platform committee.
Once the returns were in, he became quite public in his support of such an amendment. Still, it wasn't even passed and signed until the war was almost over. And, even then, his public declarations bearing on full equality, such as black enfranchisement, remained lukewarm even after his re-election. He advocated the vote only for select blacks, ie. the educated and those who served in the union army.
My point is that, during the war, Lincoln always moved with caution on issues concerning blacks, especially in his open public statements. He did sign enabling legislation commissioning the Freedman's Bureau, but beyond that, his intentions for federal assistance to freed black people were not at all clear -- nothwithstanding the reports we have of his comments at Hampton Roads.
And finally, nobody has said he favored forced relocation of blacks. He proposed to Douglass and other black leaders that the government would supply things like land, passage and initial material support if they would encourage emigration and actively assist in the founding of a nation for these people. That alone suggests he was not so confident that blacks would successfully integrate themselves and be accepted in their newly emancipated condition.
It was a different time. Lincoln didn't run around making public speeches on anything during the 1864 campaign. That wasn't done in those days, candidates didn't campaign as they did today. Lincoln stood by the platform, which was out there for all the world to see. The third plank, right after two planks on the need to put down the rebellion and not compromise with the rebels, called for the complete elimination of slavery through constitutional amendment.
Still, it wasn't even passed and signed until the war was almost over
The Amendment passed the Senate in the spring of 1864, but Democrat opposition kept it from gaining the necessary votes in the House. It wasn't until the 1864 election was over and the new Congress sworn in in January that the Amendment finally passed. But in his opening message to Congress in December 1864, Lincoln called on the lame duck Democrats to accept the inevitable and pass the amendment out of the House in 1864. Unfortunately they did not.
And, even then, his public declarations bearing on full equality, such as black enfranchisement, remained lukewarm even after his re-election. He advocated the vote only for select blacks, ie. the educated and those who served in the union army.
And how many politicians of the time were calling for black franchise at all? Lincoln saw advocating the vote for black veterans for what it was, a first step only. To be followed by greater freedoms and increased franchise as quickly as possible. He also knew that if he moved too fast then blacks would wind up with nothing.
As the 1864 election approached, Lincoln made quite a few speeches.
In just one day (June 16, 1864), he made several public addresses in Philadelphia. One of them follows --
Speech delivered at the Great Central Sanitary Fair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Yet it continues, and several relieving coincidents [coincidences] have accompanied it from the very beginning, which have not been known, as I understood [understand], or have any knowledge of, in any former wars in the history of the world.
The Sanitary Commission, with all its benevolent labors, the Christian commission, with all its Christian and benevolent labors, and the various places, arrangements, so to speak, and institutions, have contributed to the comfort and relief of the soldiers. You have two of these places in this city---the Cooper-Shop and Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloons. [Great applause and cheers.] And lastly, these fairs, which, I believe, began only in last August, if I mistake not, in Chicago; then at Boston, at Cincinnati, Brooklyn, New York, at Baltimore, and those at present held at St. Louis, Pittsburg, and Philadelphia.
The motive and object that lie at the bottom of all these are most worthy; for, say what you will, after all the most is due to the soldier, who takes his life in his hands and goes to fight the battles of his country. [Cheers.] In what is contributed to his comfort when he passes to and fro [from city to city], and in what is contributed to him when he is sick and wounded, in whatever shape it comes, whether from the fair and tender hand of woman, or from any other source, is much, very much; but, I think there is still that which has as much value to him [in the continual reminders he sees in the newspapers, that while he is absent he is yet remembered by the loved ones at home---he is not forgotten. [Cheers.]
Another view of these various institutions is worthy of consideration, I think; they are voluntary contributions, given freely, zealously, and earnestly, on top of all the disturbances of business, [of all the disorders,] the taxation and burdens that the war has imposed upon us, giving proof that the national resources are not at all exhausted, [cheers;] that the national spirit of patriotism is even [firmer and] stronger than at the commencement of the rebellion [war].
It is a pertinent question often asked in the mind privately, and from one to the other, when is the war to end? Surely I feel as deep [great] an interest in this question as any other can, but I do not wish to name a day, or month, or a year when it is to end. I do not wish to run any risk of seeing the time come, without our being ready for the end, and for fear of disappointment, because the time had come and not the end. [We accepted this war; we did not begin it.] We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained. Under God, I hope it never will until that time. [Great cheering.]
Speaking of the present campaign, General Grant is reported to have said, I am going through on this line if it takes all summer. [Cheers.] This war has taken three years; it was begun or accepted upon the line of restoring the national authority over the whole national domain, and for the American people, as far as my knowledge enables me to speak, I say we are going through on this line if it takes three years more. [Cheers.] My friends, I did not know but that I might be called upon to say a few words before I got away from here, but I did not know it was coming just here. [Laughter.] I have never been in the habit of making predictions in regard to the war, but I am almost tempted to make one. If I were to hazard it, it is this: That Grant is this evening, with General Meade and General Hancock, of Pennsylvania, and the brave officers and soldiers with him, in a position from whence he will never be dislodged until Richmond is taken [loud cheering], and I have but one single proposition to put now, and, perhaps, I can best put it in form of an interrogative [interragatory]. If I shall discover that General Grant and the noble officers and men under him can be greatly facilitated in their work by a sudden pouring forward [forth] of men and assistance, will you give them to me? [Cries of ``yes.''] Then, I say, stand ready, for I am watching for the chance. [Laughter and cheers.] I thank you, gentlemen.
At other times during the 1864 election season he made more public addresses, many of them to union regiments. Brief as these usually were, they also were duly reported in the newspapers for all to read.
Here's one from August 18, 1864, delivered to an Ohio regiment at the White House and reported the following day in the New York Times and the New York Tribune.
I say this in order to impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from our great purpose. There may be some irregularities in the practical application of our system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion to the value of his property; but if we should wait before collecting a tax to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion with every other man, we should never collect any tax at all. There may be mistakes made sometimes; things may be done wrong while the officers of the Government do all they can to prevent mistakes. But I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes rise up to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free Government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return to you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon.
I concur with everything else you said in your post.
Maybe, and maybe not? But what's your point. Probably 99% of people thought that then, including many staunch abolitionists. Most also thought Irish Catholics were inferior too.
Lincoln was a politician, so it's hard to know what he really thought about "equality" of the races. But that he opposed slavery is without question. And in one of his last public pronouncements --- one that may have actually cost him his life -- he called for the right to vote for black veterans of the Union Army, and other "educated and accomplished" blacks. It has been reported that John Wilks Booth attended that speech and vowed on the spot to kill Lincoln for supporting the right of blacks to vote. Three days later, he did kill him.
And ask yourself. Why did the Democrats call him "Black Lincoln" if the guy was such a "racist"?
This is key to understanding the causes of the Civil War. If Lincoln had his way and stopped expansion, the slave system would have collapsed on itself, and states would have been forced to end on their own.
I guess you never heard of the American Colonization Society --- founded by James Madison when Lincoln was just a kid. The aim was to free slaves and fund a nation for them where they could live free. It did form the nation of Liberia. Neither Madison or Lincoln could see how freed slaves could ever reach full citizenship in the US when you considered the racial attitudes of the day. Were they wrong in that belief? Consider that it was 100 years after Lincoln died and all slaves were free before many blacks were even allowed to take a pee in the same toilet as a white.
Ask yourself the question. If you were black in 1860, would you have wanted to stay in the US, or would you have rather had your own nation?
I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of his country, we are compelled to admit that this unfriendly feeling on his part may be safely set down as one element of his wonderful success in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendous conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that conflict. His great mission was to accomplish two things: first, to save his country from dismemberment and ruin; and, second, to free his country from the great crime of slavery. To do one or the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy and the powerful cooperation of his loyal fellow-countrymen. Without this primary and essential condition to success his efforts must have been vain and utterly fruitless. Had he put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the Union, he would have inevitably driven from him a powerful class of the American people and rendered resistance to rebellion impossible. Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.
You ask if I would have wanted to remain in the US in 1860, were I black. Yes, absolutely.
James Webb's 2004 book Born Fighting, pg 212:
"As John Hope Franklin points out in his landmark work From Slavery to Freedom, by 1860 Virginia was still the greatest slaveholding state, while regionwide less than 5% of the whites in the South owned slaves. Franklin goes on to say that, "Fully three-fourths of the white people of the South had neither slaves nor an immediate economic interest in the maintenance of slavery or the plantation system." Further, of the 385,000 who did own slaves, more than 200,000 had five slaves or less, and "fully 338,000 owners, or 88 percent of all the owners of slaves in 1860 held less than twenty slaves.""
So. We can take your "half of all families" which morphs into 20% of the whole, or James Webb's less than 5%.
You would rather call people marxist and go home.
Well, Mr N-S, there were indeed a couple of arguably marxist journalists who did like to paint the Civil War as the slaveowners against the forces of progress. And they were big fans of Mr Lincoln as well:
I wrote that nowhere except Haiti and the US did war accompany emancipation, and you write about government legislation as if that addressed the point. No wonder you chose the name "non-sequitur" ("it does not follow").