Sunday, October 21, 2012
NOTES ON THE 16TH PRESIDENT:
Lincoln’s law partner states that, "Mr. Lincoln coveted honor and was eager for power. He was impatient of any interference that delayed or obstructed his progress."
Like most people in the country at that time North and South, Lincoln also believed in white supremacy saying, “I as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race…I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes.”
Lincoln distanced himself from abolitionists, though he coveted their votes.
Lincoln was committed to protectionist tariffs and government subsidies for railroads and other big business.
Lincoln did not free the slaves; the 13th Amendment did that, 8 months after the war and after his death.
Lincoln’s preferred solution to the emancipated slave problem was not assimilation into society, but rather deportation or colonization. December 1, 1862 in a message to congress he stated, “I cannot make it better known than it already is, that I strongly favor colonization.”
Although he used religious rhetoric in his speeches when it was politically expedient, Lincoln almost certainly was not a Christian.
Lincoln admirer Carl Marx sent him a congratulatory letter after his reelection in 1864; in which he stationed armed guards at polling places to intimidate voters.
On giving blacks the rights to full citizenship Lincoln stated on September 18 1858, “If the State of Illinois had that power, I should be against the exercise of it. That is all I have to say about it.”
Lincoln struggled with severe depression.
As a lawyer he defended wealthy slave owners and big corporations.
Lincoln served as an attorney for several railroad companies, including the Illinois Central whose vice president was none other than George B. McClellan, soon to be Commanding General of the Army of the Potomac and later a presidential campaign rival.
Sherman states in his memoirs that Lincoln laughed at the fate of southern civilians, who lost everything in the war.
Famed abolitionist Fredrick Douglas gave a scathing indictment of Lincoln’s racial policies in an April 14th 1876 speech, at which President Grant was in attendance. “He was preeminently the white man’s 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 coloured people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country.”
Hardly seems the description of a Great Emancipator.