The Truth about Abraham Lincoln & Slavery


Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” has been a box-office hit and nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed our 16th president. I haven’t seen the movie; therefore, this column is not about the movie but about a man deified by many. My colleague Thomas DiLorenzo, economics professor at Loyola University Maryland, exposed some of the Lincoln myth in his 2006 book, “Lincoln Unmasked.” Now comes Joseph Fallon, cultural intelligence analyst and former U.S. Army Intelligence Center instructor, with his new e-book, “Lincoln Uncensored.” Fallon’s book examines 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln’s, which include passages on slavery, secession, equality of blacks and emancipation. We don’t have to rely upon anyone’s interpretation. Just read his words to see what you make of them.

In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, “I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists.” In a Springfield, Ill., speech, he explained, “My declarations upon this subject of negro slavery may be misrepresented, but can not be misunderstood. I have said that I do not understand the Declaration (of Independence) to mean that all men were created equal in all respects.” Debating with Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of … making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”

You say, “His Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves! That proves he was against slavery.” Lincoln’s words: “I view the matter (Emancipation Proclamation) as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.” He also wrote: “I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” At the time Lincoln wrote the proclamation, war was going badly for the Union.

London and Paris were considering recognizing the Confederacy and considering assisting it in its war effort.

The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It detailed where slaves were freed, only in those states “in rebellion against the United States.” Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion — such as Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware. The hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation came in for heavy criticism. Lincoln’s own secretary of state, William Seward, said, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”

Lincoln did articulate a view of secession that would have been welcomed in 1776: “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. … Nor is this right confined to cases in 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.” But that was Lincoln’s 1848 speech in the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the war with Mexico and the secession of Texas.

Why didn’t Lincoln feel the same about Southern secession? Following the money might help with an answer. Throughout most of our history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859. What “responsible” politician would let that much revenue go?

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  • Imri Engels

    I am a great admirer of Prof Williams, for many years. But give poor Abe a break. He was not writing academic moral philosophical treatises but attempting to cope with real world conflicts that ended up tearing the country to shreds and producing hundreds of thousands of deaths.
    Slavery is discussed and accepted as legit in the Bible – does that preclude considering the Bible the planet's greatest moral guidebook?

    • Bamaguje

      Bible as a moral guide book? Don’t make me laugh.
      Is it the 'morality' of stoning to death disobedient children, non-virgin brides and adulterers that impresses you?
      Or Moses’ execution of a man for the grievous offence of fetching firewood for his family’s cooking on Sabbath.

      By the same token Moses would have executed Jesus for reportedly harvesting corn from a farm on Sabbath.
      Interestingly, Jesus endorsed Moses’ Sharia-like barbarism when he reportedly stated “think not that I have come to change the laws…”

      The same Bible whose god reportedly stated “thou shall not kill” then instigated Jews to exterminate Cannaanites.
      Biblical morality indeed!!

      • chris gleason

        "/Thou shalt not kill" is an error in translation. The correct translation is "Thou shalt not murder."

      • Josie Fink

        I guess Barnyardaguje prefers Marx over the Bible as a moral guids

      • Rebecca

        There is no question that some of the Mosaic Law is very hard and some is incomprehensible such as not cooking a goat in its mothers milk. But unfortunately a lot of the scripture that non believers quote have nothing to do with God but with man doing what "he feels is right in his own sight." The Bible is, after all, a history text as well as an inspirational tome. And we all know how inventive man is when it comes to brutality. The Bible is summed up nicely in Galatians 5:14 when Paul said "The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love thy neighbor as thyself"

        Jesus never endorsed Sharia like barbarism. You left off a chunk of the scripture "Think not that I have come to change the laws…. but to fulfill it." Meaning he was to be born of woman by the Holy Spirit and become the propitiation for mankinds sins by dying on the cross. The old testament speaks of this from Genesis to Malachi.

      • Mary Sue
    • HoR_Emperor

      Williams has clearly joined the ranks of the Libertarian movement's Crackpot Wing. Sad and disgraceful. I have lost all respect for him.

    • Richard Anderson

      It was God who commanded Moses to execute the man for breaking a law God had given. God is the ultimate law giver and when He is disobeyed, flagrant as it was by this man, then God has the right to decide punishment (the Jews did nothing until God commanded them to stone the man).

      It's curious that this event (and others) that so offends you is found in the Bible, where you would think it would be left out if it were a fiction intended to dupe people. These passages suggest it is a warts-and-all history and not a scrubbed-clean redaction intended to decieve.

      The law has several applications: 1) is to define sin ("Thou shalt not") which is eternal but another was temporal…to define ceremonial, Israel specific law. God was preparing for Himself a portal thru which He was going to enter into human history and provide Messiah to reconcile fallen mankind to Himself. He wanted a holy or set apart nation for that purpose and that is what the majority of Leviticus law does. When you disobey God deliberately you suffer the consequences God assigns, which are just.

    • ASM

      Slavery is in the Bible…I've never seen that it was something God said was right.

  • john butala

    I guess then after the North won the war, they abolished the Emancipation Proclamation and put all the freed slaves back in shackles. To all the defenders of the Confederacy, read the Ordinances of Secession of the Southern states who seceded giving their reasons for secession and find out for yourselves why the Southern states seceded. They did so because they feared the end of slavery congruent with the Lincoln administration. Slavery was the direct cause of secession and the Civil War. All other so-called legitimate causes like tariffs are phony issues cooked up by Confederate apologists. As Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens put it "slavery is the cornerstone of the Confederacy." Case closed.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Yes, exactly. Notice all the down-clicks you got? The Libertarian crackpot Lincoln-haters are out in force.

      • LibertarianToo

        You have to stop calling him a Libertarian, please. He's nothing of the kind. I have never met a libertarian apologist for the Confederacy.

        • A 23 Year Old Man

          I beg to differ. Consider:

          "States have the right to secede."

          You telling me you aren't hearing ANY libertarians make this argument today?

    • Ron Grosjean

      John,

      The real reason why the South defected in late 1859 was because the debt created by the Revolutionaries of 1776-1783 that funded their side of the Revolutionary War was still unpaid in 1789 when the Constitution was ratified. In this Constitution, all prior debt was brought over and laid on the back of the new government. This debt was still unpaid in 1859, 70 years later. To renegotiate this debt with its European creditors under bankrupcy rules, the new collateral would be the private land of the country. The Southern States said no and they defected. This war was about money. Period. Slavery is not the issue at all. By the way, you cast out another 70 years and what do you get? 1929. Late 1929 you have the crash in the financial markets. This collapse was man made and served many purposes. It also was time to reorganize under the bankruptcy of 1789. The European creditors now wanted every body of every American put up as collateral. Starting in 1932 through today, all of our Berth Certificates are actually the manifest presented to a harbor master, that lists the contents of the ship. We were considered product then, we are considered product now. Ever ask someone what their Berth Day is? Were you not berthed by a doc? Did you not come in to port through your mothers Berth Canal? Is not your Passport really a Port Pass because your PERSON is on a Citizen ShiP?
      We have been propagandized, man. Abraham Lincoln was a traitor. A liar. An attorney. His allegiance was to the Crown. Every Attorneys allegiance is to the Crown.

      • HoR_Emperor

        This is sheer nonsense, utterly untrue. There is no historical source ANYWHERE which will even remotely support such a fantastical tale. Where do you people come up with this dreck?

      • JoJoJams

        Wow! This is almost as bad as the "links" that a spam/troll posts all over the internet on myriad sites, posting nonsense, with all different names, always telling people to click his name for THE TRUTH about Sarah Palin, the stolen elections (which I beleive they were….) etc. ad nauseum all over the internet news sites. I'm sure many of you have seen whom I'm talking about, too. lol. "berths" and "citizen SHIP" ~ Oh… My…. God…. Sorry Ron, I usually don't put down comments. While you may have some valid points, if you love sanity, get away from the "berth" and "SHIP" and "mother's berth CANAL", and crazy linkage of words for the "hidden TRUTH!!!" omg… lol

    • Ozzy

      Exactly. Just like the federal government confiscated all the firearms and now no one owns one who isn't in a militia.
      Oh, and also slavery is present everywhere on earth except the southern states. Well put my man. :: ))

    • obama guy

      Good effort John, but these folks do not believe in analyzing scientific evidence.

    • mka

      slavery woulod have ended on its own weight of continuation. There are no southern apologist,just Yankees who feel justified of attacking civilians which southern troops would not do.Case is closed for closed minded who do not know Grant freed not one of his slaves during the war,Lee freed all of his.
      The tax issue is true and noble "northerners still think of themselves as liberators.

    • mka

      You can guess all you want. Lincoln was intent on removing the slaves to other countries after the war.
      No negroes,no slaves.

  • Bamaguje

    Wow!!

    So Lincoln was a racist and hypocrite.

    • HoR_Emperor

      No, he wasn't. This article, and the books it cites, are lies.

    • Dennis X

      Yes he was. His plan was to deport former slaves back to Africa. Please read the speeches he made to freed slaves. The so-called emancipation was done to free ax. 500,000 slaves behind southern lines.

      • HoR_Emperor

        More historical illiteracy. Lincoln had no "plan" to "deport" slaves. The idea of sending freed slaves back to Africa was widely discussed at the time, and Lincoln sometimes mentioned it as a way of easing public unease over the prospect of emancipation, but it was never seriously considered. And yes, I've read Lincoln's speeches — you, however, clearly haven't.

        The "so-called" emancipation was limited to the Southern states because that was all he could do as a war action. But it was followed by the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery EVERYWHERE. How does that fit with your little anti-Lincoln fantasy world?

        • Dennis X

          jUNE 26, 1857, " There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and Black races…A separation of the races is the only perfect prevenitive of amalgamation" Lincoln. More, regarding racial separation , " must be effected by colonization of the country's Blacks to a foreign land" Lincoln. MORE, "Let us be brought to believe it is morally right , and at the same time , favorable to, or at least , not against , our interest , to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it. " Lincoln. During the Lincoln Douglas Debates of 1858, " I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and Blask races." And Sept. 18th, " I will say then that I am not , nor ever have been in favor of brining about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and Black races. Lincoln supported the deportation of Blacks before and during his presidency!!! Please learn to retain what you read.

      • norma

        If it were true there wouldn't be a lot of blacks in America. BTW They didn't have to go to all that green card stuff so really they weren't treated as vermin

        • Dennis X

          " not treated as vermin" , I got a three month cruise I love you to take , its called mid passage.

    • mka

      Yes. He was intent on freeing the slaves to other countries and researched that very idea

  • Robert Hotchkiss

    Slavery and its continuance was the ONLY irreconcilable issue between the States, and Lincoln was doing everything in his power to tone down the Abolitionist stance of the Republican Party to prevent secession of the Southern states. The South obviously didn't believe the re conciliatory words of Lincoln and began seceding as soon as he was elected. They knew slavery and its institutions were doomed with a Republican administration. I find odd this revisionist compulsion to denigrate a man who suffered so much in his effort to hold the Union together.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Yes, correct. This article is nothing but Libertarian crackpot revisionism.

  • Fonape

    I don't understand the point of your article, unless it is to denigrate President Lincoln. Go see the movie, you will profit from it.

    • http://gmail Jesse WEnzel

      It’s a MOVIE, not time travel back into history. William’s point is that the MOVIE paints a rosy pix of Lincoln that his own words belie. So seeing the movie (which is wonderfully acted and greatly entertaining) won’t change William’s point.

      • HoR_Emperor

        However, actual historical knowledge does change Williams' "point," since his "point" is an utter LIE.

        • Saxon

          Mr Williams is not lying, read Mr. Lincolns words, read the papers of the time, only a minority of whites actually cared about the slave issue either way. Lincoln went to war because he didnt want to lose a ton of land and revenue, the same exact reason that every other king or emperor goes to war against their people! It was all about the money and power. and at least 700,000 died as a result.

  • John Crawford

    Lincoln was always opposed to slavery, though he was not apparently an activist abolitionist. He spoke against slavery throughout his career, however. In fact, that was the thing the South feared and when he was elected they began to secede BECAUSE of his known position against slavery. If he was Pro-Slavery, as I think you are suggesting in your article, there never would have been a Civil War.

    Lincoln's bigger (more important) issue was preserving the Union. He also realized that the Constitution itself was not much help in abolishing slavery. UNLIKE our current President, he realized that he had no power to simply issue an Executive Order from the White House banning slavery in the many States.

    But when the South seceded AND made war against the U.S., Lincoln had the power of a President to win a war.

    Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a legitimate war tactic. He felt that as President that he had a duty to deny an enemy of the United States their property in order to inhibit their ability to make war against the United States. The Confederate States did two things to qualify themselves for this action – 1) they clearly held that slaves were their property and essential to their economies, and 2) they seceded from the Union and fired on Fort Sumter, clearly declaring their intention to war against the United States.

    Lincoln further knew – and rightfully so – that as the war was ending with the South re-joining the federation his Emancipation Proclamation would necessarily expire. Just like in the North where his Proclamation could have no effect, neither would it have effect in the South when it again became a part of the United States. (See a theme here? The POTUS is not the Boss of the States.)

    Lincoln also wrote that (an approximate quote) "No house divided against itself can stand. It appears now that the Union shall stand, but it cannot remain half-free, half-slave. The Union shall stand either All-Free or All-Slave after this war. If it stands All-Slave, then this tragic war will have been an even worse tragedy".

    Lincoln was not Pro-Slavery. He was Pro-Union and Anti-Slavery. He successfully campaigned for and pushed through the 13th Amendment to permanently end slavery in all of the United States.

    Lincoln deserves the credit that you are trying to take away: Had Lincoln NOT done that, slavery would probably still be in use today in all the United States.

    • Rebecca

      I like your post better than Walter Williams article, and I usually like his articles. Abraham certainly had some prejudices that were unfortunately common at the time so perhaps it's good to remember that we shouldn't deify him. But it doesn't lessen his accomplishment. He found the whole notion of forced labor repugnant. He had to deal with a South in which slavery was entrenched and was threatening to spread. At the same time he wanted to preserve the Union preferably without war. He had to make some attempt to appeal to them and contain slavery to the south where he thought it would eventually become extinct.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. You are absolutely correct, Mr Crawford.

    • Jeff Ludwig

      This response is very accurate. I am a lecturer in U.S. History. Outstanding rebuttal to Prof. Williams.
      Thank you J. Crawford.

    • mka

      He said in his debate with the little giant,that he in no way thought negroes were the equal to whites.
      Had he not been killed by Booth,the negroesw were to have been sent out of the country. He was checking for countries that would take them,Mainly in the south American provinces.
      Where do you think the African country of Liberia originated? Ironic that a southern slaver,would
      prevent the expatriation of blacks
      Perhaps his wife who had brothers in the confederate army and was nearly tried for treason had
      something to do with the Kentucky Presidents stance to remove blacks from America.You need some comprehensive reading without the typical yankee superiority attitude.

    • Paddycakes

      You err in that you succumb to the the supposition that the war was fought over slavery, which it was not. The abolition of slavery was a late war tactic, and not originally part of the war to preserve the Union.

    • Saxon

      Slavery was already on its way into the dustbin of history, the rise of machines and industry would have probably removed it all together within a generation or two. You also ignore the fact that virtually no northerners were fighting to end slavery, most of them didnt care. and most of those who did care about the issue were concerned about free blacks effecting their post-war employment prospects. So if ending slavery was his real goal? Then Lincoln was virtually alone in that endeavor, willing to sacrfice 700,000 + men to do so. In ending the hard tyranny of black slavery, Lincoln created the soft tyranny of every American man, woman, and child by making us all slaves to the federal government. He traded one evil for another.

    • Ane

      I really Doubt that if Lincoln had'nt done "that" there Would still be slavery in USA. USA was'nt the only contry in the World there was trying to stop slavery.

      …..sorry about the spelling im from denmark ;)

  • chris gleason

    Lincoln's only purpose was to preserve the Union and if that meant freeing slaves, he would do it.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Lincoln's only purpose IN THE WAR was to preserve the Union. However, the Republican Party — which he led — was unalterably committed to the immediate confinement of slavery to its current locations and to its long-term eradication. Everyone at the time knew this — that's why the Southern states seceded the moment Lincoln was elected.

      • Saxon

        Did they not have the right to secede Emperor? You can disagree with the reasons of the confederate secession all you want, but the right to peaceful secession is a traditional AMERICAN value. This is how the nation was created, by voluntarily seceedin. Hell, there was actually more public support for the southern secession from the US in 1861 than there was for the American secession from Britain in 1776!

  • visitor

    This article ignores the fact that Lincoln's views evolved over time. Eric Foner's "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery" traces the trajectory of Lincoln's thought in depth and is worth reading, whatever your politics. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts.

    • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

      I liked your reply post. I reviewed Eric Foner's book here: http://clarespark.com/2011/03/30/eric-foners-chri… . Eric Foner's Christianized Lincoln. I think that it is fair to say that the Civil War was fought by the North for both moral and economic reasons. I was quite shocked by the one-sideness of Walter Williams's article.

      • Barbara

        The northern states had slavery. They slowly did away with it because it was not economical.
        Central and South America had slavery. It was slowly done away with because it was not financially advantageous.

        • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

          In the U.S. field at UCLA, an old doctorate exam question was "did slavery pay?" Kenneth Stampp made out a strong case that indeed it did pay in the U. S. I don't know the state of the debate today.

          • HoR_Emperor

            The current state of the debate is that slavery was in fact hugely profitable and there was zero chance of it going away on its own. Read "Without Consent or Contract" for the current state of the art in research on this topic.

        • HoR_Emperor

          Untrue. The Northern states abandoned slavery because (a) they were abolitionist from a very early point, and (b) more importantly, they never embraced cash-crop plantation agriculture, which drove the economies of the Southern states, the Caribbean colonies, and South America.

      • HoR_Emperor

        Yes, William's article is not honest. It is a ham-handed radical-Libertarian propaganda piece.

    • HoR_Emperor

      It also cherry-picks a few quotes while ignoring all the other things Lincoln said and wrote at the same time which contradict its claims.

      Williams has disgraced himself with this drivel. I have lost all respect for him.

  • Western Spirit

    Biblical morality can be summed up with the Ten Commandments and thou shall not murder makes more sense than kill, in context. As for the Bible endorsing slavery Paul's main focus was to make people obedient to God and in compliance with His will accept whatever situation they found themselves not make a moral issue or statement concerning slavery.

    The Old Covenant tells the story of a people in a different age and sensibility where barbaric measures were used and needed to accomplishment the will of the Almighty who has a different and wider perspective than we have.

    • Josie Fink

      Actually the Bible did not "permit" slavery but simply saw it as part of the human condition at a time when its abolishment was not imaginable. It established laws to regulate it and prohibit part of the worst of its abusive features. You cannot use 21st century conditions and ideas to evaluate a moral code written 3500 years ago. It is like criticizing the Bible for not expressing a position on heart implants and surragate motherhood..

      • Eric Murphy

        So, can we stop using the Bible as a tool against gay folk?

        • Rebecca

          If you mean can Christians stop saying homosexuality is a sin than the answer is no.

  • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

    I reviewed LINCOLN the movie here: http://clarespark.com/2013/02/09/lincoln-the-movi…. Its achievement was to recreate Lincoln as a moderate man. The blog has links to other blogs on similar subjects. The Race Card has been very popular. I don't agree with Walter Williams's essay because economic reasons were not the only force leading to Civil War, though to be sure, his points are well taken. But the entire faction of "Black Republicans" pushed Lincoln to go beyond a religious objection to slavery as immoral. And such were seminal in founding the Republican Party. Think Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens.

    • HoR_Emperor

      "his points are well taken."

      No, they're dishonest cherry-picking mixed with sheer historical illiteracy. Williams is an economist, but on the topic of history he's clearly both hopelessly ignorant and profoundly morally wrong.

      • AnOrdinaryMan

        Williams has the right to present the taxation angle, which he does pretty well; nowhere does he say that taxation was the entire cause of the war. You throw this phrase "historical illiteracy" around a lot, but no one knows what you mean. And how is he "profoundly morally wrong" and "hopelessly ignorant?" Get down off your high horse, Mr. Emperor, and give us a few examples..

  • Guest

    I did not know the fact about the southern states monetary support in the form of taxes. It makes sense. Seems that almost everything in human nature revolves around the money. I will have to research that further.

    • HoR_Emperor

      The Southern states were able to pay taxes BECAUSE OF SLAVERY. If Lincoln's goal had been to keep their money, he would never have pursued emancipation, because emancipation meant the collapse of the Southern economy and thus the loss of nearly all of that tax money. So this argument is ABSURD.

  • Saxon

    Lincoln was just like any modern politician, flip-flopping and lying in order to gain approval from voters. Sure, slavery was certainly one of the primary causes of secession, but it was NOT the cause of the war. The confederate states seceeded in an organised manner, they sent representatives to speak to Lincoln before the fighting started and Lincoln refused to even meet with them. People like to say that the South fired the first shots and Ft. Sumter, but what barely gets any mention is the fact that Lincoln sent a supply vessal to keep the fort under union control (again, before the shooting started) which is a clearly provacative act. Mr. Williams is right on the money here, Lincoln wasnt some noble defender of the constitutional principles, he just didnt want to lose the South's revenue. Just like virtually every other tyrant in history, Lincoln only cared about the money, and he was willing to fight to the last private in order to do so. 700,000 men dead, thats a failed presidency in my book.

    • Barbara

      Lincoln declared martial law nullifying part of the constitution.

      • HoR_Emperor

        Um, no, he didn't.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Utter historical illiteracy in the service of destructive childish fantasy. Grow up.

    • Confederate Mike

      Bravo !!!
      No matter how you slice it or dice it Folks. This article has very valid and truthful points about dishonest Abe.
      These facts and quotes, which are being brought forward by Mr. Williams, aren’t fantasy. They are Lincoln’s actual spoken words and opinions. Misguided and ill informed folks of today have turned Lincoln into a demigod. However truthfully, he should be remembered as is an Invader, an Oppressor, a Liar, an Instigator, a War Criminal and of course, a money and power hungry politician. Most important folks… He should be the one held accountable for the death of 750,000 Americans.

      He finally obtained what he deserved which has been handed to him by Mr. John Wilkes Booth.
      Deo Vindice, Confederate Mike.

      • Jean

        Still fightin the war huh Mike?

  • LibertarianToo

    The fact that "Southern ports paid 75% of tariffs in 1859" was a measure of the South's success in ending the sectional bias of previous tariff law by the passage of the Act of 1846. Surely you are not under the impression that Lincoln was able to line his own pockets with tariff monies. Northern manufacturing was in fact dependent on the raw cotton produced in slave states. If venal motives had been the driving force behind the war, all sections would have done well to continue supporting slavery. But they weren't.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Yes, exactly. Williams has beclowned himself with this pathetic article.

    • Saxon

      One thing is for certain, Licolon framed the secession as an act of rebellion and a threat to the Union because if he had framed the war as a means of freeing slaves? Then virtually no one would have signed up. Of course lincoln wasnt lining his pockets personally, but the federal government was. The same exact reason every other king or government goes to war against their subjects. Loss of revenue and land equals loss of government prestige and jobs.

  • Rob

    This article, and the books it praises, are a JOKE and a DISGRACE to this website. It is quite literally a falsehood, cherry-picking a handful of quotes while ignoring the entirety of Lincoln’s history, writing, and achievements. It also ignores the historical reality of the time, which was that secession was a rebellion, not a legal act (the southerners called it the “Second American Revolution,” thereby conceding that their actions were non-lawful), and it was entirely about slavery. Everyone at the time knew this; reading their speeches and writings make this abundantly clear. Likewise the economic differences which Williams and other such shameless revisionists try to point to as the cause of the Civil War were actually all directly caused by slavery.

    This article, and the books which it cites, are nothing more than post-modern mythologizing by Libertarian crackpots determined to cling to their fantasy of Lincoln as some kind of “tyrant” (funny sort of tyrant to have to run for re-election and whose political enemies routinely won office as well) or who somehow gave birth to the modern super-state (funny how the Federal government was the same size in 1880 that it had been in 1850). Such mythologizing is especially repugnant given that it amounts to a defense of slavery and a defense of violent rebellion in the name of slavery. Vile, vile, vile.

    • LibertarianToo

      Once and for all: There is nothing libertarian about this revisionist impugning of Lincoln's motives. There are no Libertarians who take up arms against the United States in support of slave labor.

      • A 23 Year Old Man

        But they take up pens.

  • carbonlover

    This was written in an Historical Society of PA blog last month on the same subject with images of original sources: http://hsp.org/blogs/history-hits/abraham-lincoln….

  • Confederate Mike

    Bravo !!!

    No matter how you slice it or dice it Folks. This article has very valid and truthful points about dishonest Abe.

    These facts and quotes, which are being brought forward by Mr. Williams, aren't fantasy. They are Lincoln's actual spoken words and opinions. Misguided and ill informed folks of today have turned Lincoln into a demigod. However truthfully, he should be remembered as is an Invader, an Oppressor, a Liar, an Instigator, a War Criminal and of course, a money and power hungry politician. Most important folks… He should be the one held accountable for the death of 750,000 Americans.

    He finally obtained what he deserved which has been handed to him by Mr. John Wilkes Booth.

    Deo Vindice, Confederate Mike.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Oh look, a neo-Confederate comes out of the woodwork. A moral cretin and historical illiterate who can't even get the number of dead correct.

      *sigh*

      Why on Earth did FrontPageMag post this vile drivel?

      • Saxon

        While I disagree about John Wilkes Booth (I consider him to be a murderer, since the war was over) Confederate Mike is not wrong on the numbers, because in fact the casualty estimates were recently updated to at least 700,000 to 750,000 killed. All of which could have been avoided if Lincoln had taken the diplomatic route instead of the warpath.

  • trickyblain

    Williams should ask himself why the South broke away to begin with and why it coincided directly with Lincoln's election. And before attempting to write about Lincoln's motivation, he might have considered actually reading a pre-1861 Lincoln speech on the issue of slavery.

    If maintaining revenue was his only purpose, he would have backed off the slavery issues altogether and played nice with the South. He didn't, which suggests he had other goals — namely, preventing and eventually eliminating slavery.

    • pagegl

      In a letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln wrote, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also so that." Kinda sounds more like his primary motivation was to preserve the Union, not free slaves.

      • HoR_Emperor

        His primary motivation IN THE WAR was to save the Union, yes. Which is irrelevant to the question of whether he opposed slavery.

        • WCU Grad

          It's not irrelevant. His entire presidency (save for a few days) was during the war which makes it very relevant. Lincoln fundamentally opposed slavery but did not believe it was within his power as president to abolish the institution.He also never believed in equality of the races. None of these things diminish his accomplishments or his character. VERY FEW individuals of that time believed in racial equality. Lincoln was simply a product of that era.

          • trickyblain

            He knew that beyond war powers (Emancipation Proc), it was beyond the scope of the President to permanently outlaw slavery. But remember that the 13th Amendment came about directly as a result of his leadership, which did.

          • A 23 Year Old Man

            Claiming that believing in inequality of "races" makes Lincoln bad marks a failure to understand the times. 1860 was right around when Darwin was making his impact on the world, but he was by no means the first. The idea that whites were superior to blacks had been taught in The West for many years, primarily as a way to deal with the guilty conscience of why enslaving other people was supposedly justified. Lincoln would doubtlessly have been exposed to the idea of racial inequality without necessarily being aware of the motivations others had for promoting that view.

            Interestingly, countries without a Christian heritage did not develop black/white racism to the same extent. That's because the Bible clearly teaches that men are equal in worth. So how do you justify treating one group of people differently and unjustly? Simple: you rationalize that they are not human, so that the Bible's commands don't apply to them.

            Darwin's claims that blacks were closer to gorillas than to whites could not have come at a more opportune time. But by then, slavery in America was ended. The racist elements persisted, however, in the Democratic-Party-promoted Jim Crow legislation, for a century.

          • A 23 Year Old Man

            So basically what I'm saying is, if Lincoln thought whites were physically or mentally superior to blacks, he likely only held that view because that's what he was taught, since it was the accepted "scientific understanding" of that time period. Just like most people today believe in goo-to-you evolution. It's wrong, but most people are taught it and don't have the opportunity to think deeply and question it, because they're not exposed to alternatives.

            That's what I'm saying about Lincoln. He was a product of his time, as all people are. In conclusion, his views on races doesn't imply that he hated blacks, was pro slavery, or even was a bad Christian. And as has been indicated on this thread, it seems that his views changed over time, even.

    • HoR_Emperor

      Yes, exactly.

    • Saxon

      Actually Linccoln DID back off of slavery issues for a long time because the Union states had slaves too, it was only after the Union was getting its ass kicked all over the place and whites were protesting the war and draft that Lincoln saw the need to enlist blacks. So he offered them freedom in return for service via the emancipation proclamations (which caused even more white union troops to desert the military). Lincoln was no different than any modern politician, lying, flip-flopping, and corrupt.

  • pfwag

    The South made all that money by using slave labor. Interestingly, the actual price of a slave back in 1860 is about equivalent in inflation adjusted dollars to what each American's share of the national debt is today.

    Its always about money.

  • VLParker

    I find it hilarious that people are calling Williams' article revisionist when all he does is quote Lincoln. I've read the Lincoln-Douglass debates and Lincoln did not believe in the equality of the black man as shown by Dr. Williams in the quote about not allowing blacks to vote, sit on juries and intermarry with white people.

    LIncoln, on many occasions, spoke about the immorality of slavery and said that he was against it. But that does not mean that he believed in the equality of blacks. In his first inaugural address he said, " I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so and I have no inclination to do so."

    In an 1862 letter to Horace Greeley he said, "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 do ti by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."

    • visitor

      The point is that Lincoln's views evolved over time, as Dr. Foner's book demonstrates. If you want to understand Lincoln's thought, you have to look at how his views changed, not what they were at any particular (and especially early) moment. Nobody has argued that Lincoln was always for abolition; he was no William Lloyd Garrison or John Brown, whose views were consistent. But neither was he stuck in one place. He changed as the times demanded of him. Others would do well to do so also.

  • bryce armstrong

    God bless you John Wilkes Booth, may your sole rest it peace.

    • trickyblain

      His sole? I didn't realize Booth's pet fish died, too.

    • visitor

      Illiterate and treasonous, both in one short sentence. JWB. rot in hell.

  • Bob Gard

    My eBook on Obama at Amazon has a short section on Lincoln that concurs he was not a Great Emancipator. Lincoln’s opportunism is the only character trait that Obama shared with him. We have too much revisionist history. America needs to learn its true history without losing pride in it.

  • obama guy

    Williams is pathetic. He is not saying anything we didn't already know about Lincoln. Today's Conservatives are ridiculous, Lincoln was the greatest President in U.S. history but they can't even
    see it because of their obsession with Reagan and destroying the New Deal. Reagan, Reagan, Reagan,
    …….that sums up everything. And I've read DiLorenzo's nonsense and he's an idiot. And you sound like
    a psycho Confederate Mike.

    • tpaine76

      Take a look taxpayers!!! This is the product of your tax dollars at work in the public education system!!!

      • obama guy

        If you can't understand my point, you clearly are not well educated. Think hard now.

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      ,,,and you haven't said anything of substance in your post. Like most Soebarkah supporters, you know nothing about anything. What's worse, you don't want to.

      • obama guy

        Yeah buddy, Lincoln was horrible, white southerners were victims, and Lincoln should have focused
        on tax cuts. And you accuse me of having no substance? If you can spare six hours, I'll tell you why
        Williams and DiLorenzo are full of it.

        • AnOrdinaryMan

          Well…I'm waiting……sigh

  • obama guy

    The only reason they hate Lincoln is because he was not a small government extremist. Nothing else matters with these folks. The Confederate crowd, in a strange bizzare coincidence, does not like any
    leader with policies that helped black Americans. And no, employing Walter Williams to make your
    arguments does not give you cover. Just plain jerks.

    • tpaine76

      "employing Walter Williams" & "The Confederate crowd"??? yawn….heard a portion of "The flip-floppers" speech today….in addition to this post I think I've heard enough propaganda for the week….

      • obama guy

        You have the audacity to give yourself the name tpaine76. Paine was actually an intelligent guy
        who carefully thought through his ideas and thoughts.

      • Bigrich104

        …not to mention this moron's idiotic comment about "small government extremists"…you know people who want the Federal government to spend $2.1 trillion a year rather than $3.4 trillion!

  • obama guy

    I view this nonsense with no more legitimacy than would a Jewish person who read an essay from
    a fellow Jew that we should destroy Israel.

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      Why must you bring up Jews and Israel? Surprise…surprise…its your guy Soetoro who wants to destroy Israel. Abraham Lincoln liked the Jews, and they liked him. Honest Abe would have supported Israel, and NOT demanded that they return to the indefensible 1967 borders. He didn't like slavery either; and would have questioned Soetoro as to why he is destroying America's middle class, trying to make slaves out of them. By the way, I'm a self-respecting Jewish person.

      • obama guy

        And your point is? Williams is a hustler, making money telling racist white guys what they want to hear. I hear it is very lucrative.

        • AnOrdinaryMan

          Why must you bring up Jews and Israel? I don't care what you think of Williams.

          • obama guy

            I have no problem with Jews or Israel, it was just the first analogy I thought about. Too many people on the left are knee-jerk anti-Israel. I tend to ignore them.

    • A 23 Year Old Man

      I just want to say that I’m encouraged by the Christian Conservatives on here. Thanks for standing up for the Bible, standing up for Lincoln, and standing up for the true History of the US in the face of revisionist libertarians. We may agree on some issues, such as wanting a more Constitutional, fiscally responsible government, but we don’t have common ground on the more important issues that flow from Christian theology, incl. foreign policy and social conservatism, not to mention theological conservatism itself.

      Libertarians are our allies in some fields, but they are not our friends. Let us not let our guard down and think that we can join together with anyone who doesn’t submit to Christ and obey His Word. We can work together for common goals, but we cannot join together, because we don’t have a common purpose.

      Beyond this, I have nothing more that I can add. You guys have truly said it all. Thank you.

      • A 23 Year Old Man

        This got posted here by accident. The commenting software was messing up.

  • edgineer1

    Well if people would quit being such buttweasels, they would admit blacks are, without question, emotionally and intellectually inferior to whites. Outraged denial of facts does not change the facts.

    • obama guy

      Buttweasel, you sound like you speak from substantial experience. I know it's devastating for you, but most Americans do not hate blacks anymore, so you will have to find a real purpose in life.

    • Mark

      This forum is being taken over by racist bigots. There is no scientific evidence that blacks are inferior to whites. Your comments are proof of the arrogance and stupidity of some whites. You are no better than a Nazi. You are a hateful bigot.

      • edgineer1

        Every study on intelligence has shown blacks to be far lower in abstract reasoning ability. The results are, black Africans have an average IQ of 80, black Americans, 85, probably higher due to interracial breeding. Average American is, of course 100. At an IQ of 80 or lower a person is officially a moron. Facts are facts.

  • Geoffrey Blake

    The most shocking thing I see is that Bryce Armstrong wants the bottom of John Wilkes Booth's shoe to rest in peace. Also, the notion that the Union started the war by sending a supply ship to Fort Sumter is ludicrous, as though the government had no right to resupply its troops.
    Lincoln was one man trying his best to hold the country together, and no one has ever spoken absolutely, all correctly, every time. Once again, hindsight is 20/20.

    • Saxon

      Geoffrey, the proper course of action Lincoln should have taken was to DESCALATE the situation by peacefully evacuating Fort Sumter, instead he tried to hold on to a fort which was hlding ground no longer owned by the federal government. Borders change, and the South wasnt rebelling, they were separating. The War and its disastrous consequences are the result of Lincoln's failure to be a good diplomat.

  • Colorblind

    I am ever amazed at those that overlook the extremely obvious, for some esoteric explanation. No question Lincoln not only wanted to end slavery, but actually did so. Walter Williams got a wrong idea somewhere down the line, but if Mr. Williams would only take his understanding of how things get done in D.C, now that he has studied politicians and their methods, I think he would NOT have written this article at all, but realize that Lincoln is the real McCoy — that of a doer who freed the slaves, and try to get past Lincoln's political rhetoric.

    • Saxon

      Lincoln freed the slaves because he needed more bodies to fight his war, not because he really cared about them. Most northern whites didnt care about freeing slaves, wheras northern and southern blacks had a vested interest in defeating the Confederacy. Lincoln merely exploited that fact to his advantage.

  • chet fleming

    Credit should be given to Casius Clay for pressuring Lincoln on freeing the slaves.

  • A 23 Year Old Man

    I just want to say that I'm encouraged by the Christian Conservatives on here. Thanks for standing up for the Bible, standing up for Lincoln, and standing up for the true History of the US in the face of revisionist libertarians. We may agree on some issues, such as wanting a more Constitutional, fiscally responsible government, but we don't have common ground on the more important issues that flow from Christian theology, incl. foreign policy and social conservatism, not to mention theological conservatism itself.

    Libertarians are our allies in some fields, but they are not our friends. Let us not let our guard down and think that we can join together with anyone who doesn't submit to Christ and obey His Word. We can work together for common goals, but we cannot join together, because we don't have a common purpose.

    Beyond this, I have nothing more that I can add. You guys have truly said it all. Thank you.

  • Saxon

    People can say that Lincoln freed the slaves, but really if you look at his actions closely, he didnt. Instead he destroyed the 10th amendment and cemented the supremacy of the federal governmet over the states. Every conflict that states and local government have with the Feds today stems from the Civil War's end. Lincoln effectively made EVERY man, woman, and child in america a slave to the federal government. He didnt end slavery, he just downgraded everyone to a softer form of bondage. Now everybody suffers.

  • Mark

    The movie does bring out the many conflicts and contradictions of President Lincoln including his history of racist remarks. However it brings out the transformation of Lincoln into a man who finally understood the cause of the Abolitionists and Radical Republicans who were outspoken opponents of slavery. Why this article ls presented on this site is a question I have. Are neoconservatives like David Horowitz, the prominent ex-New Leftist, now promoting the Marxist materialist interpretation of history or is the idea that to see slavery as a moral evil is too pro-black? The Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery in the end not over other issues. Lincoln came to see it in his final months as a war waged that slavery and its vast evils had to be destroyed. He came to understand that the Abolitionists were right and slavery was a great evil. He could have ended the war and let the Southern states return to the Union as slave states. He did not do that and crushed the slave states rather than end the war without slavery being outlawed with a Constitutional amendment. The GOP should be proud of Lincoln the Radical Republicans as well. A majority of black people voted Republican up until the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. The majority knew that the Democratic Party was the Party of slavery, segregation and subjugation of blacks. Woodrow Wilson, the first Southern Democratic President following the Civil War reinstated segregation in the Federal bureaucracy. It was Republican President Eisenhower who sent armed troops into Little Rock to prevent the nullification of a ruling a Supreme court ruling by rabid racists. He gave instructions that mobs of whites should be fired on if they defied the federal troops who carried loaded guns on the orders of the President. Many of the racists who now support the Republican party would like to forget that grand history but the history of the Republican Party of Lincoln and the Radical Republicans and Abolitionists (black and white) who were essential actors in the destruction of slavery in the United States lives on. See the movie.

  • http://twitter.com/Biscuitom @Biscuitom

    Unintelligent people will always believe what they want to believe, while ignoring the facts. Intelligent people find a common ground in all sides of an argument. Lincoln said and did whatever he could to appease both sides. The point was, he achieved his goal. He freed a nation of people, and found a reason for everyone to benefit. The sad thing is, the majority of these people we died to emancipate, scorn the lives lost to obtain their freedom. They fought on the side of their captors and killed the northern troops.They sided with the very people that enslaved them. The majority of their young are determined to fail in there studies to appear cool. Their women abort their young. They kill each other to achieve social status. Their ability to obtain illegal guns and shoot each other is astounding. Do not call me racist because I observe the way you treat each other and do not like the sound of it. This is the way you behave. This is the way you present yourselves. This is what you taught us about yourselves. Most Americans treat people the way people treat them. If you act like an uneducated person that lacks the basic skill to properly articulate your thoughts and feelings, do not blame the people that you are imposing yourself on.

  • katharine mcelvany

    Bottom line for me. Lincoln was responsible for the war. His decisions led to the killing of 600,000 Americans. Would that work today for any reason?

  • truth130

    Lincoln is not one of our best Presidents !!! Slavery was a after thought !!! His intent was to unit the states under one law (union) to be more able to trade with other nations !!! Lincoln was bull headed as Bush is today !!! Since large taxes came from southern shipping ports,this was a major problem for Lincoln !!! His answer to creating a Union was military force !!! In his mind 80,000 troops placed in the south illegally would solve the problem !!! The south would not be able to counter a military presents was Lincolns view !!! Lincoln deceived the people and people rebelled,causing a civil war !!! Had Lincoln followed the Laws and constitution,Civil war would not have happened !!! There is a lot of information not mentioned in history,but instead covered up !!! General Grants letters to Lincoln and his wife,shows Grant had no knowledge of slaves being freed !!! Thousands of former slaves died with the souths surrender to Grant !!! No jobs,no homes,no medicine !!! For years former slaves had to fend for themselves !!! If I could speak to Lincoln today,I would say,you are responsibly for thousands of lives,This is not Liberty or Justice !!!

  • bob

    i like booth!!!!!

  • penis

    south rules bambambam

  • wilkes booth

    do ma

  • king kong

    i eat poop !!!!!!! <(")

  • name

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  • jamesbond

    woot boot moot toot

  • qwe

    F@$CK you sir!!!!!!!!!!!! ^__^

  • Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

    All the above I have known for quite some while.

    So since so learning, I have characterised the Southern Independence War, as waged by the United States, as a massive, violent tax collection effort. Therefore, just to collect a tax, lincoln wound up murdering over 700,000 people, Americans. How unholy! How unrighteous!

  • Constitution101

    Read the book by Thomas L. Krannawitter called “Vindicating Lincoln.” Read the Editorial Reviews below on the book’s link on Amazon whether you be Libertarian, anarchist, or Democrat.

    http://www.amazon.com/Vindicating-Lincoln-Defending-Politics-President/dp/B007K5FYIG :

    “Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly
    Author and professor Krannawitter (A Nation Under God? The ACLU and Religion in American Politics) has written a stirring, carefully considered exploration of Abraham Lincoln’s principles, defending them against criticism leveled at Lincoln over the years by prominent academics and pundits. Even though Krannawitter equates opposition to Roe v. Wade with opposition to slavery (both deny the primacy of human rights), his strident personal politics don’t affect the quality of his scholarship. His impressive work takes on both conservative and liberal historians who diminish Lincoln’s stature by ascribing expedient motives to his decisions, asserting that Lincoln was guided, even in “the most difficult and trying times,” by a commitment to natural law and the idea that all men are created equal. Especially convincing is Krannawitter’s argument regarding Lincoln’s seemingly paradoxical support of the fugitive slave law. He also explains Lincoln’s famous 1862 interchange with Horace Greely-yes, he did say, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it,” but followed up with, “and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it”-and takes on the contention that Lincoln supported big government while the South opposed it.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    From Booklist
    Among the torrent of Lincoln books flow many that are critical of the Great Emancipator, condemning him as a racist, a tyrant, or a precursor to big government. Into this stream steps a scholar intent on rescuing Lincoln’s reputation from aspersions cast in titles such as What Lincoln Believed (2005), by Michael Lind, a critic from the Left, and Lincoln Unmasked (2006), by Thomas DiLorenzo, a critic from the Right. Perhaps what most worries Krannawitter is a viewpoint he believes prevalent among academics: Lincoln was more expedient than principled. The Lincoln-as-white-supremacist case, pressed by Lerone Bennett in Forced into Glory (2000), doesn’t pass Krannawitter’s muster, nor does Mario Cuomo’s enlistment (in Why Lincoln Matters, 2004) of the rail splitter in the pro-abortion cause (Cuomo extrapolated that the people shouldn’t be permitted a democratic vote on abortion because Lincoln opposed allowing them a vote on slavery). Also contesting authors who think there was a right to secession (Lincoln did not), the readable Krannawitter upholds Lincoln as the true upholder of rights enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. –Gilbert Taylor

    Review
    With literate frankness, emphatic argumentation, and an abundance of sophisticated knowledge about Lincoln and his times, Krannawitter offers a brave, refreshing counter-revisionist assessment of our occasionally maligned and misunderstood 16th President. This book reminds us anew of why Lincoln was indeed great, and why so many of the recent books about him are not! Krannawitter has made a bracing, persuasive, and uplifting contribution to the literature. (Holzer, Harold )

    Thomas Krannawitter has done us all a tremendous service. In this powerful, comprehensive, intelligent, and thoroughly researched defense of Abraham Lincoln, he has challenged head-on the small clique of recent writers who have set out to destroy a great president’s reputation. He has confounded their arguments one-by-one, and reinstalled Lincoln where he belongs—in the pantheon of greatness. (Waugh, John C. )

    One by one, in his nine chapters, Krannawitter patiently—and sometimes hilariously—disassembles the myths of Lincoln-the-tyrant, Lincoln-the-racist, and Lincoln-the-betrayer, and once more restores the epic gleam of Lincoln the defender of natural right, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Union. (Guelzo, Allen C. Claremont Review Of Books )

    Krannawitter argues that if Lincoln is not great, then no politician is, and without great politicians we sink into the deep funk of cynicism, throwing up our hands at the political process, while despots take charge. (The American Spectator )

    The readable Krannawitter upholds Lincoln as the true upholder of rights enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. (Booklist )

    Thomas L. Krannawitter has written 350 pages in a Herculean effort to lay out . . . iconoclastic ideas and attitudes. (The Advocate )

    Questions are broken down one by one, and though each chapter involves one question . . . the book holds together well. . . . Krannawitter is offering the first detailed and single-minded defense of Lincoln in the 21st century. . . . [He] has a clear understanding of the issues, and fulfills his goal of showing how Lincoln’s lessons are relevant to contemporary America. (America’s Civil War )

    Krannawitter does a great job of putting Lincoln’s decision making and political thought in context and explaining those actions. Vindicating Lincoln is a needed and worthwhile analysis of Lincoln and the early political history of the US. It deserves a place on any historian’s bookshelf to fill this niche. (Midwest Book Review ).”

  • william

    Could it be safe to say that, the slaves that were free increased the tax base for the federal government….simple observation …never talked about…maybe comparable to allowing illegal aliens to vote to control a position in government. ..just a thought.

  • jeffersoncorrect

    It’s refreshing to see facts and truth rather than populist mythology.

  • Jim Worcester

    Lincoln also was our only President who was not a church member. But it is also noted he was likely only a week away from joining a church. I’m tired of hearing only about his views in 1858 or even when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. First he was only President, not President and Legislature both. And I think you all conveniently skip over the possibility his views had changed by 1964.

  • Joseph Dooley

    We studied Lincoln more than any other President in school. Now that I see how, on the premise that slavery and Jim Crow etc. are considered the worst part of this country’s history, the President during the time would have to be taught about in such a way as to qualify him for sainthood. It’s very possible all the virtues we know Lincoln for and the reasons for the Civil War are a Big Lie.

  • traeh

    Don’t agree with Walter at all on this one. If you want a “balanced” non-hagiographic view of Lincoln, try this book: Big Enough to Be Inconsistent, by George M. Fredrickson. Actually I think Fredrickson on balance overemphasizes a little the downside of Lincoln, but at least Fredrickson is somewhere in the ballpark of reality. By contrast, Williams here is presenting a very one-sided picture that amounts to a caricature. I suggest Foner’s book, or McPherson’s, for a fuller presentation of the evidence.

    • GarryRA

      So these are not Lincoln’s words?
      And he didn’t suspend Habeaus Corpus, put a State Representative in jail without reason, and then defied a court order to release the man? Sorry but what I am saying is historical fact and can easily be verified. The man took an oath to up hold the Constitution and the laws of the land but did multiple illegal things.