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Was Lincoln a Tyrant?
LewRockwell.com ^ | April 29, 2002 | Thomas DiLorenzo

Posted on 04/29/2002 10:04:22 PM PDT by davidjquackenbush

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Was Lincoln a Tyrant?

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

In a recent WorldNetDaily article, “Examining ‘Evidence’ of Lincoln’s Tyranny (April 23),” David Quackenbush accuses me of misreading several statements by the prominent historians Roy Basler and Mark Neely in my book, The Real Lincoln:  A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War With regard to Basler, I quote him in Abraham Lincoln:  His Speeches and Writings, as suggesting that on the issue of slavery, post 1854, Lincoln’s  “words lacked effectiveness.”  Quackenbush says he was not referring to Lincoln’s comments on slavery here, but other things.   I read him differently. What Basler said was that, yes, Lincoln used eloquent language with regard to human equality and “respecting the Negro as a human being,” but he offered no concrete proposals other than the odious colonization idea of his political idol, Henry Clay.  As Basler wrote, “The truth is that Lincoln had no solution to the problem of slavery [as of 1857] except the colonization idea which he inherited from Henry Clay.”  In the next sentence he mentions Lincoln’s eloquent natural rights language, then in the next sentence after that, he makes the “lacking in effectiveness” comment.  What I believe Basler is saying here is that because Lincoln’s actions did not match his impressive rhetoric, his words did indeed lack effectiveness. 

As Robert Johannsen, author of Lincoln, the South, and Slavery put it, Lincoln’s position on slavery was identical to Clay’s:  “opposition to slavery in principle, toleration of it in practice, and a vigorous hostility toward the abolition movement” (emphasis added).   Regardless of what Basler said, I take the position that Lincoln’s sincerity can certainly be questioned in this regard.  His words did lack effectiveness on the issue of slavery because he contradicted himself so often.  Indeed, one of his most famous defenders, Harry Jaffa, has long maintained that Honest Abe was a prolific liar when he was making numerous racist and white supremacist remarks.   He was lying, says Jaffa, just to get himself elected.   In The Lincoln Enigma Gabor Boritt even goes so far in defending Lincoln’s deportation/colonization proposals to say, “This is how honest people lie.”  Well, not exactly.  Truly honest people do not lie. 

The problem with this argument, Joe Sobran has pointed out, is that Lincoln made these kinds of ugly comments even when he was not running for political office.  He did this, I believe, because he believed in these things.

Basler was certainly aware of Lincoln’s voluminous statements in opposition to racial equality.  He denounced “equality between the white and black races” in his August 21, 1858 debate with Stephen Douglas; stated in his 1852 eulogy to Henry Clay that as monstrous as slavery was, eliminating it would supposedly produce “a greater evil, even to the cause of human liberty itself;” and in his February 27, 1860 Cooper Union speech advocated deporting black people so that “their places be . . . filled up by free white laborers.”  In fact, Lincoln clung to the colonization/deportation idea for the rest of his life.  There are many other similar statements.   Thus, it is not at all a stretch to conclude that Basler’s comment that Lincoln’s words “lacked effectiveness” could be interpreted as that he was insincere.  It also seems to me that Johannsen is right when he further states that “Nearly all of [Lincoln’s] public statements on the slavery question prior to his election as president were delivered with political intent and for political effect.”  As David Donald wrote of Lincoln in Lincoln Reconsidered, “politics was his life.”  In my book I do not rely on Basler alone, but any means, to make my point that Lincoln’s devotion to racial equality was dubious, at best.

Quackenbush apparently believes it is a sign of sincerity for Lincoln to have denounced slavery in one sentence, and then in the next sentence to denounce the abolition of slavery as being even more harmful to human liberty.  (I apparently misread the statement Lincoln once made about “Siamese twins” by relying on a secondary source that got it wrong and will change it if there is a third printing).

Quackenbush takes much out of context and relies exclusively on Lincoln’s own arguments in order to paint as bleak a picture of my book as possible.  For example, in my book I quote Mark Neely as saying that Lincoln exhibited a “gruff and belittling impatience” over constitutional arguments that had stood in the way of his cherished mercantilist economic agenda (protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare, and a federal monopolization of the money supply) for decades.  Quackenbush takes me to task for allegedly implying that Neely wrote that Lincoln opposed the Constitution and not just constitutional arguments. But I argue at great length in the book that Lincoln did resent the Constitution as well as the constitutional arguments that were made by myriad American statesmen, beginning with Jefferson.  In fact, this quotation of Neely comes at the end of the chapter entitled “Was Lincoln a Dictator,” in which I recount the trashing of the Constitution by Lincoln as discussed in such books as James Randall’s Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln, Dean Sprague’s Freedom Under Lincoln, and Neely’s Fate of Liberty Lincoln’s behavior, more than his political speeches, demonstrated that he had little regard for the Constitution when it stood in the way of his political ambitions.

One difference between how I present this material and how these others authors present it is that I do not spend most of my time making excuses and bending over backwards to concoct “rationales” for Lincoln’s behavior.  I just present the material.  The back cover of Neely’s book, for example, states that thanks to the book, “Lincoln emerges . . . with his legendary statesmanship intact.”  Neely won a Pulitzer Prize for supposedly pulling Lincoln’s fanny out of the fire with regard to his demolition of civil liberties in the North during the war.

Quackenbush dismisses the historical, constitutional arguments opposed to Lincoln’s mercantilist economic agenda, as Lincoln himself sometimes did,  as “partisan zealotry.”  Earlier in the book I quote James Madison, the father of the Constitution, as vetoing an “internal improvements” bill sponsored by Henry Clay on the grounds that “it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised in the bill is among the enumerated powers” of the Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and John Tyler made similar statements.  These were more than partisan arguments by political hacks and zealots.  The father of the Constitution himself, Madison, believed the corporate welfare subsidies that  Lincoln would later champion were unconstitutional. 

Add to this Lincoln’s extraordinary disregard for the Constitution during his entire administration, and it seems absurd for Quackenbush or anyone else to portray him as a champion of the Constitution who was pestered by “political zealots.”  Among Lincoln’s unconstitutional acts were launching an invasion without the consent of Congress, blockading Southern ports before formally declaring war, unilaterally suspending the writ of habeas corpus and arresting and imprisoning thousands of Northern citizens without a warrant, censoring telegraph communications, confiscating private property, including firearms, and effectively gutting the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. 

Even quite worshipful Lincoln biographers and historians called him a “dictator.”  In his book, Constitutional Dictatorship, Clinton Rossiter devoted an entire chapter to Lincoln and calls him a “great dictator” and a “true democrat,” two phrases that are not normally associated with each other.  “Lincoln’s amazing disregard for the . . . Constitution was considered by nobody as legal,” said Rossiter.  Yet Quackenbush throws a fit because I dare to question Lincoln’s devotion to constitutional liberty.

Quackenbush continues to take my statements out of context when commenting on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and he refuses to admit that Lincoln did in fact lament the demise of the Bank of the United Stated during the debates.  His earlier claim that there was not a single word said during the Lincoln-Douglas debates about economic policy is simply untrue. 

But the larger context is that even though most of the discussion during the debates centered on such issues as the extension of slavery into the new territories, they were really a manifestation of the old debate between the advocates of centralized government (Hamilton, Clay, Webster, Lincoln) and of decentralized government and states’ rights (Jefferson, Jackson, Tyler, Calhoun, Douglas).  At the time of the debates Lincoln had spent about a quarter of a century laboring in the trenches of the Whig and Republican Parties, primarily on behalf of the so-called “American System” of protectionist tariffs, tax subsidies to corporations, and centralized banking.  When the Whig Party collapsed Lincoln assured Illinois voters that there was no essential difference between he two parties.  This is what he and the Whigs and Republicans wanted a centralized government for.  As Basler said, at the time he had no concrete solution to the slavery issue other than to propose sending black people back to Africa, Haiti, or Central America.  He did, however, have a long record of advocating the programs of the “American System” and implementing a financially disastrous $10 million “internal improvements” boondoggle in Illinois in the late 1830s when he was an influential member of  the state legislature. 

Lincoln spent his 25-year off-and-on political career prior to 1857 championing the Whig project of centralized government that would engage in a kind of economic central planning.  When the extension of slavery became the overriding issue of the day he continued to hold the centralizer’s position.  And as soon as he took office, he and the Republican party enacted what James McPherson called a “blizzard of legislation” that finally achieved the “American System,” complete with federal railroad subsidies, a tripling of the average tariff rate that would remain that high or higher long after the war ended, and centralized banking with the National Currency and Legal Tender Acts.  It is in this sense that the Lincoln-Douglas debates really did have important economic ramifications. 

Quackenbush complains that I do not quote Lincoln enough.  He falsely states that there’s only one Lincoln quote in the entire book, which is simply bizarre.  On page 85 alone I quote Lincoln the secessionist, speaking on January 12, 1848 (“The War with Mexico:  Speech in the United States House of Representatives”):  “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.  This is a most valuable, a most sacred right --a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.  Nor is the right confined to cases I which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it.  Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.”  That’s four sentences, by my count, and there are plenty of other Lincoln quotes in my book, contrary to Quackenbush’s kooky assertion.

But he has a point:  I chose to focus in my book more on Lincoln’s actions than his words.  After all, even Bill Clinton would look like a brilliant statesman if he were judged exclusively by his pleasant-sounding speeches, many of which were written by the likes of James Carville and Paul Begala.  Yet, this is how many Lincoln scholars seem to do their work, even writing entire books around single short speeches while ignoring much of Lincoln’s actual behavior and policies.

I also stand by my argument that Lincoln was essentially the anti-Jefferson in many ways, including his repudiation of the principle in the Declaration of Independence that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.  I don’t see how this can even be debatable.  The Whigs were always the anti-Jeffersonians who battled with the political heirs of Jefferson, such as Andrew Jackson and John Tyler.  Lincoln was solidly in this tradition, even though he often quoted Jefferson for political effect.  He also quoted Scripture a lot even though, as Joe Sobran has pointed out, he never could bring himself to become a believer.

In this regard I believe the Gettysburg Address was mostly sophistry.  As H.L. Mencken once wrote, “it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense.”   It was the Union soldiers in the battle, he wrote, who “actually fought against self determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”  Regardless of what one believes was the main cause of the war, it is indeed true that the Confederates no longer consented to being governed by Washington, D.C. and Lincoln waged a war to deny them that right.

It’s interesting that even though the title of Quackenbush’s article had to do with “Evidence of Lincoln’s Tyranny,” in fourteen pages he does not say a single word about the voluminous evidence that I do present, based on widely-published and easily-accessible materials, of Lincoln’s tyrannical behavior in trashing the Constitution and waging war on civilians in violation of international law and codes of morality.  Instead, he focuses on accusations of misplaced quotation marks, footnotes out of order, or misinterpretations of a few quotations. 

April 27, 2002

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is the author of the LRC #1 bestseller, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (Forum/Random House 2002) and professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

Copyright 2002 LewRockwell.com

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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
KEYWORDS: dilorenzo; dixielist; lincoln
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Just for starters, the four sentence Lincoln "quotation" that DiLorenzo triumphantly mentions here is the italicized epigram at the beginning of a chapter. He says nothing about it in the body of the chapter.
1 posted on 04/29/2002 10:04:22 PM PDT by davidjquackenbush
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To: rdf
ping!
2 posted on 04/29/2002 10:10:27 PM PDT by davidjquackenbush
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To: davidjquackenbush
Thanks to one of my former students, now in law school, for the following paper he sent me today -- which DiLorenzo's reply apparently provoked his logical mind into composing on the spot.

In the portion of his book dealing with Mark Neely, DiLorenzo does two things: first, he explains and interprets Neely’s book, Fate of Liberty: “In 'Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Rights,' Mark E. Neely Jr. observed that as early as the 1840s Lincoln, one of the most ambitious politicians in American history, was seething with resentment over the fact that the Constitution stood in the way of the Whig economic program and his vaunted American System.” Second, Dilorenzo provides a quote from Neely’s book, in support of his interpretation: “At that time, writes Neely, 'Lincoln appeared to be marching steadily toward a position of gruff and belittling impatience with constitutional arguments against the beleaguered Whig program.’” However, as you pointed out in your reply on WND, this quote does not support Dilorenzo’s interpretation, for it merely says that Lincoln was frustrated, not with the Constitution itself, but with the constitutional arguments of his opponents. Moreover, your reply has shown that Neely himself, in the very same work and on the very same page from which Dilorenzo has extracted this quotation, wrote that Lincoln thought that the Bank (one element of the Whig program) was Constitutional.

In his most recent reply to you on lewrockwell.com, Dilorenzo repeats the quote from Neely: “Lincoln exhibited a ‘gruff and belittling impatience’ over constitutional arguments that had stood in the way of his cherished mercantilist economic agenda.” He then mentions your claim that he misinterpreted Neely: “Quackenbush takes me to task for allegedly implying that Neely wrote that Lincoln opposed the Constitution and not just constitutional arguments.” But he neglects to repeat his explanation and interpretation of Neely’s work, which provided the basis for your charge: “Mark E. Neely Jr. observed that as early as the 1840s Lincoln, one of the most ambitious politicians in American history, was seething with resentment over the fact that the Constitution stood in the way of the Whig economic program and his vaunted American System.” Rather than trying to defend his interpretation of Neely, Dilorenzo simply ignores it.

Dilorenzo then takes sophistry to a new level. He says that he argues “at great length in the book that Lincoln did resent the Constitution.” Well, so what. The fact that Dilorenzo argues that Lincoln did resent the Constitution doesn’t give him license to misquote Neely to that effect. Dilorenzo continues: “In fact, this quotation of Neely comes at the end of the chapter entitled “Was Lincoln a Dictator,” in which I recount the trashing of the Constitution by Lincoln as discussed in such books as James Randall’s Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln, Dean Sprague’s Freedom Under Lincoln, and Neely’s Fate of Liberty.” Again, the views of Randall and Sprague on Lincoln’s view of Constitution are irrelevant. You did not claim that Dilorenzo misrepresented their views. You claimed that he misrepresented Neely’s. What is at issue, then, is what Neely, not Randall and Sprague, thought of Lincoln’s attitude towards the Constitution. And as for Neely’s Fate of Liberty, if some other part of that work indicated that Neely thought that Lincoln was “seething with resentment” of the Constitution itself, then why didn’t Dilorenzo choose to quote that part, instead of the sentence that he did quote, which, as you have shown, doesn’t support his interpretation of Neely in the slightest? Perhaps the reason why Dilorenzo didn’t quote some other text from Fate of Liberty to support his interpretation of Neely is that such a text doesn’t exist. In Fate of Liberty, Neely does not imply that Lincoln was frustrated with the Constitution itself, he merely says that Lincoln was irritated by the tendentious arguments of his political opponents, who, in Lincoln’s view, failed to recognize the constitutionality of his programs. You established that in your reply, quoting Neely’s Fate of Liberty a number of times to this effect.

This seems to be a pattern for Dilorenzo: his arguments are so weak that he feels the need to buttress them by appealing to the authority of famous and respected historians. However, these historians don’t agree with him, so he is forced to misrepresent their positions. Another example of this, as you well know, is his treatment of Roy Basler.

As you demonstrated in your reply, Dilorenzo totally misinterprets Basler’s “lacking in effectiveness” sentence. Dilorenzo defends that misinterpretation in his most recent reply, ridiculously claiming that Basler believed that Lincoln’s words on slavery were ineffective “because Lincoln’s actions did not match his impressive rhetoric.” But your reply proved that “the actual quotation clearly implies that – even in this single speech, Basler's only topic – Lincoln's words on slavery were not ineffective on the crucial questions ‘of the extension of slavery, of preserving the essential central idea of human equality, and of respecting the Negro as a human being.’”

What is even more egregious, however, is Dilorenzo’s attempted defense of his claim that Basler’s text implied that Lincoln was “insincere.” As you mention in your reply, Dilorenzo wrote that Basler "wrote that Lincoln barely ever mentioned the topic prior to 1854 and even then, he did not seem at all sincere. 'His words lacked effectiveness,' writes Basler." Here is a concise summary of Dilorenzo’s defense of his claim in his lewrockwell.com column: Lincoln contradicted himself many times by making racist remarks, etc. Therefore, his public comments about slavery and the natural rights of the Declaration were insincere. Therefore, according to Dilorenzo, it makes sense to interpret Basler’s quote that Lincoln’s words were “lacking in effectiveness” to mean that they were also insincere, since Lincoln was in fact insincere.

First of all, I don’t think that Dilorenzo has in any way established that Lincoln was insincere. Second, even if Lincoln were insincere, that doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to interpret Basler’s quote to mean that. One might just as well say that because Lincoln was tall, Balser’s quote about “lacking in effectiveness” also implied that Lincoln had greater than average height.

To sum up, I think that the following is an abstract version of Dilorenzo’s method of argument:

He claims that a brilliant and renowned historian says that “A is B.”

You point out that the historian in fact said no such thing.

He replies by saying that, even apart from his quotation of the historian, he himself proved that “A is B” elsewhere in his book. But even assuming arguendo that Dilorenzo did prove it somewhere else in his book, that still doesn’t justify his misquoting the historian.

To take an analogy: Let’s say a constitutional scholar wrote a book against Roe. v Wade in which he totally misquoted Justice White, a staunch opponent of Roe, and implied that White thought Roe v Wade was correctly decided and regretted writing his dissent. Let’s also assume that the scholar was later criticized for his misquotation of Justice White. It wouldn’t be sufficient for the author to defend himself by saying that the rest of his book definitively proved that Roe v Wade was rightly decided. Even assuming that his book did prove that, it doesn’t give him license to misquote White.

But not only would the scholar be wrong in thinking that because Roe v Wade was rightly decided, he could misquote White to that effect, he would also be wrong about Roe in the first place: in fact, it’s bad constitutional law.

And as the hypothetical constitutional scholar stands to Justice White, so does DiLorenzo stand to Lincoln.

3 posted on 04/29/2002 10:24:24 PM PDT by davidjquackenbush
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To: Shuckmaster;Stainlessbanner
fyi
4 posted on 04/29/2002 10:34:25 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: davidjquackenbush
As a southerner living in the south for sixty years, I have studied history and came to conclusions about the Civil War. War is hell and usually caused by greed. The demoncrap leadership of the South was responsible for ALL the carnage of the worst war in our history. They are still at it today. The U.S was blessed to have Lincoln as our President at the time.
5 posted on 04/29/2002 11:20:51 PM PDT by Lewite
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To: davidjquackenbush
Given the extent that Jefferson Davis abused and ignored his own constitution, locked up political prisoners, and nationalized key industries like textile, salt, whiskey, and shipping, any rational person would come to the conclusion that he was the tyrant rather than Lincoln.
6 posted on 04/30/2002 3:47:59 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
The two need not be mutually exclusive.
7 posted on 04/30/2002 4:19:01 AM PDT by Maelstrom
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To: Lewite
Bump
8 posted on 04/30/2002 5:38:47 AM PDT by weikel
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To: muleboy
The law of unintended consequences strikes again? With your midnight self-fellation, Di Lorenzo's book is advertised even more. Keep up the good work.

The good work lies in exposing charlatans like DiLorenzo.

His whole edifice of lies about President Lincoln crashes down based on one datum.

President Lincoln refused to rescind the Emancipation Proclamation when it might have helped him win re-election. He took a strong moral position to do so and no amount of lying will change that.

Walt

10 posted on 04/30/2002 6:28:34 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: davidjquackenbush
[Lincoln] stated in his 1852 eulogy to Henry Clay that as monstrous as slavery was, eliminating it would supposedly produce “a greater evil, even to the cause of human liberty itself;” and in his February 27, 1860 Cooper Union speech advocated deporting black people so that “their places be . . . filled up by free white laborers.”

Check the speeches. The Clay eulogy is garbled to produce a gross misrepresentation, [Basler, pg. 274] and the Cooper Institute speech actually has Lincoln quoting Jefferson, and not saying a thing there about "deporting." [Basler, pg.531]

DiLorenzo has a habit, nay, a vice, of abuse of language.

It's very helpful for him to continue responding; he destroys his credibility and damages his cause every time he opens his mouth.

Cheers,

Richard F.

11 posted on 04/30/2002 6:48:43 AM PDT by rdf
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To: stainlessbanner; Constitution Day; shuckmaster
The latest meeting of the Declaration Foundation will now come to order!! Talk about us posting articles about lincoln!! When it comes to dispelling lincoln mysths, fish and barrels come to mind for some reason
12 posted on 04/30/2002 6:52:52 AM PDT by billbears
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To: ravinson
Ping!
13 posted on 04/30/2002 7:03:18 AM PDT by rdf
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: davidjquackenbush
Yep. Lincoln was a tyrant.
15 posted on 04/30/2002 7:22:04 AM PDT by Rule of Law
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To: RiseAgain
During the War between the States Lincoln was known to instruct his military commanders to furlough registered Republicans while keeping Democrats (and any others) in the field, where they could not vote. In border states like Maryland, where there was powerful opposition to the war, federal soldiers flooded the cities on election days and were instructed to vote, even though they were not residents of those states.

In the 1862 election, the Republicans lost seats in Congress and barely retained their majority because of the opposite of what you say -- so many Republicans were in the army and not at home to vote.

In the 1864 election the Republican National Committee was so certain that Lincoln would lose, they actually asked him to step down so a new nominee could be selected.

You've been duped.

Walt

16 posted on 04/30/2002 7:29:09 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
The 1864 fraud was the result of the 1862 scare.

Glad to give you the chance to modify your previously false position. Where's your documentation?

Walt

20 posted on 04/30/2002 7:46:26 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
Why didn't Lincoln step down and let a more popular fellow abolitionist Republican run, if there really was a chance he'd lose and a peace candidate would win and slavery would continue in the independent CSA?

President Lincoln was not an abolitionist. Abolionists favored immediate, uncompensated emancipation.

President Lincoln was more pragmatic and realistic than they were. Frederick Douglass said that from the genuine aboltion ground, President Lincoln seemed cold and indifferent.

But he saw the way to begin to eliminate slavery from the American scene -- limit it to where it already existed. That was the most painless way to begin to phase it out.

When the slave holders took exception to even this moderate proposal and fired on Old Glory, he suggested compensated emancipation, colonization and other schemes to stop the fighting and start the talking again. But the pride and hubris of the slave holders bore them down to the utter dregs of defeat.

Walt

23 posted on 04/30/2002 7:53:49 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
I posted about fraud in 1864 (w/ a link, even if you reject the source for disagreeing with you), you mentioned 1862, and I replied that what you said wasn't relevant to what I said.

There's no documentation in the link, either.

Walt

24 posted on 04/30/2002 7:55:59 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
President Lincoln was more pragmatic and realistic than they were. Frederick Douglass said that from the genuine aboltion ground, President Lincoln seemed cold and indifferent.

If DiLorenzo said Lincoln seemed cold and indifferent to slavery, you'd scream bloody murder. Now you point to it as evidence of his wonderfulness (i.e. his being a pragmatist).

Well, I set you up. It wasn't hard. I couldn't resist.

Do you think DiLorenzo ever saw this more complete comment by Douglass:

"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."

Or this:

"After the interview was over, Douglass left the White House with a growing respect for Lincoln. He was "the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely," Douglass said later, "who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color."

--"With Malice Towards None, p. 357 by Stephen Oates.

"Lincoln had Douglass shown in at once. "Here is my friend Douglass," the President announced when Douglass entered the room. "I am glad to see you," Lincoln told him. "I saw you in the crowd today, listening to my address." He added, "there is no man in the country whose opinion I value more than yours. I want to know hat you think of it." Douglass said he was impressed: he thought it "a sacred effort." "I am glad you liked it." Lincoln said, and he watched as Douglass passed down the [receiving] line. It was the first inaugural reception in the history of the Republic in which an American President had greeted a free black man and solicited his opinion."

Ibid., p. 412

Has DiLorenzo been remiss in his research?

Walt

28 posted on 04/30/2002 8:05:19 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
Explain why Republican losses in 1862 disproves a charge of pro-Republican vote fraud in 1864.

Well, that's nutty, isn't it? That's not my position. You prove fraud -- in the primary sources.

Walt

29 posted on 04/30/2002 8:06:51 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
So you have no response to a charge of fraud in 1864 other than pointing to Republican losses in 1862? My link did have sources:

As Lincoln biographer David Donald has written, "Under the protection of Federal bayonets, New York went Republican by seven thousand votes" in 1864.

This is not a primary source. Go to the primary records to prove that President Lincoln did anything out of the ordinary towards fixing an election.

Walt

32 posted on 04/30/2002 8:15:35 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
Fortunately, the collected works of Lincoln are available to all, free, online. So your despair over settling such matters seems a bit premature.

DiLorenzo quotes almost only "snippets." He rarely quotes full sentences from anyone he disagrees with. And his snippets are quite regularly dishonestly clipped to change their meaning, or simply made up. He does so again at least twice in the article above.

He is clearly banking on those who support his position being too lazy to insist on honesty in their own spokesman. You may have noticed that he once again claims that Lincoln addresses economic issues in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and once again somehow fails to quote or cite those places.

His scholarship is an insult to the pro-secession position. It would really be wonderful if some reputable, or at least competent and honest, opponents of Lincoln would defend the integrity of their own position by calling DiLorenzo a liar and a hack.

33 posted on 04/30/2002 8:16:46 AM PDT by davidjquackenbush
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To: RiseAgain
Now explain why if there was a real chance that Lincoln would lose in 1864, he didn't do what his party wanted and give someone w/ a better chance to win the election and "save" the Union the nomination.

I will readily grant that President Lincoln wanted to be re-elected and that he thought he could do the best job of supressing the rebellion against the lawful government.

What I also maintain is that he refused to even consider rescinding the EP. He took a strong moral stand that DiLorenzo apparently ignores when he says Lincoln opposed slavery solely on opportunistic grounds.

Even IF President Lincoln took measures to ensure voter fraud -- rescinding the EP might have swayed MORE voters and he refused to do it. He took a strong moral position either way.

Walt

35 posted on 04/30/2002 8:19:51 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
The primary records being the original election docs w/ entries for "legit votes for Lincoln", "legit votes against Lincoln", "votes for Lincoln by people who shouldn't be voting here" and "votes for Lincoln we made up".

If you could even find a newspaper story that said, "I watched the same soldier cast seven ballots for Lincoln", it would be more than you have now, which is absolutely nothing.

Walt

36 posted on 04/30/2002 8:22:14 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: RiseAgain
So you made something up to prove DiLorenzo made something up. I fail to see the logic.

I didn't make anything up. Douglass definitely said that Lincoln appeared cold and indifferent from the genuine aboltion ground.

But he also said that considering his position as president, he was swift, zealous, radical and determined.

If DiLorenzo were not a lying hack, he would not discount such compelling evidence, and neither would you.

Walt

39 posted on 04/30/2002 8:26:05 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: RiseAgain
Great. Lincoln preserved our democracy "even IF" he ensured voter fraud. The prosecution rests.

Okay, you are having a hard time with this.

The fact that President Lincoln refused to rescind the EP shows he was not indifferent to slavery. It shows he took a strong moral position that DiLorenzo's "research" ignores.

Walt

42 posted on 04/30/2002 8:32:48 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
Welcome to FR.

These "Lincoln: Saint or Tyrant" threads are almost a daily attraction, and are generally more erudite than the rest. One can learn a lot of interesting trivia in these discussions. The most entertaining is the sophistry employed to maintain the statist's historical dogma that Lincoln was a freedom-loving servant of "the people".

Thus the War of Northern Aggression continues... enjoy the show!

43 posted on 04/30/2002 8:37:19 AM PDT by muleboy
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To: RiseAgain
Like the editor of a paper who printed that would have stayed out of prison.

Okay, this is giving you a hard time.

If that was true, where does Donald get his interpretation that Lincoln rigged the New York election? Tea leaves?

Walt

44 posted on 04/30/2002 8:40:11 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: RiseAgain
Maybe he got that interpretation FROM THE SOURCES HE MENTIONS.

In the link in your one post, where Donald is quoted, he provides not even a secondary source let alone a primary one.

Walt

47 posted on 04/30/2002 8:52:36 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa
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To: Lewite
I suppose I ought to be told to go find a thread more to my sympathies. . . but I agree with you.

Certainly there was plenty of evil done on all sides. But the pride, arrogance, brutality, hypocrisy etc. on the part of the South was in spite of whatever gentility was there as well.

And the North's brutality, ruthlessness, pride, arrogance etc. was in spite of the good-heartedness toward all men that resided so much there.

We are all flawed critters who, but for the Grace of God, are capable of most any evil imagineable.

THEREFORE, methinks the nose tweaking, trying to wrench blood from the turnip that these threads hostile to Lincoln--well--that they must originate in SOME sort of DEEEEEP SEATED hostility at authority of some sort from some pretty intense childhood experiences. It's difficult for me to explain it to myself any other way. Perhaps there are reasons I haven't come up with yet.

50 posted on 04/30/2002 9:02:23 AM PDT by Quix
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