Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Great Misconception?

High school history books still aint Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipater. Herewith are words from his own mouth:
(From his speech in Chicago, July, 1858, when he was campaigning for the sentate) "Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be laced in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal."
(Two months later campaigning in Southern Illinois) "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that 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 inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."
(In March, 1961, in his first inaugural address) "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

So...was Lincoln the Great Emancipator? Or was he (like all politicians, then and now) simply catering to the mindset of the particular crowd he was speechifying to? Did his rise from the bottom of the heap to the top cause him to use his mastery of language to convince the working class white man that he thought as they did? Was his statement, "I have no purpose, directly or insirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists," meant to placate the southern and the rest of the northern states where slavery existed? I wonder...

4 Comments:

Blogger Abeni said...

Sounds like the typical politician.Say the right things prior to election and when you get in and have to placate the sector that is influential it is a different tune.

4:22 PM  
Blogger mojoala said...

lincoln was just full of chit just like King George.

abeni is right.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Kenny said...

Lincoln was working with a divided country and he was trying to heal the wounds. He wrote the "Emacipation Proclaimation" well after the Civil War started. You mentioned the history books in our schools. They mention slavery as the ket reason for the Civil War, but I was home schooled, and my tutor taught me that the main reason for the Civil War was economic oppression. The south was growing the cotton, sending it (not selling it) north to be processed into cloth, and then buying the cloth from the north. So the south was losing twice. That was a major part of it.

7:37 AM  
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