Authors Note: Some of the comments found herein may be offensive to some. Know this, if they are found within quotation marks, (” “), they are NOT my thoughts or beliefs; rather they are the thoughts of the person being quoted. ~ N.R.
If you were to ask your friends who the five greatest presidents were, I’m certain you would get a wide range of answers. Some might answer with contemporary presidents; like Obama or Reagan, while others might stick to those that were only names in history books. But I’m almost certain that universally the name Abraham Lincoln would make almost everyone’s list. Why is that? Is it because he saved the Union and freed the slaves?
I find it ironic that people are beginning to accept that the news they see on TV is scripted–fake–yet they won’t accept that what they’ve been taught about men like Lincoln is fake as well. Sure, Lincoln saved the Union, but he did so at the end of a gun and with cannon fire; at the cost of over half a million lives and the destruction of our Republic. As for slavery, people believe that Lincoln was this great humanitarian who freed the slaves. Nothing could be further from the truth; and it is this aspect of the Lincoln myth that I hope to dispel with fact.
Everything I am about to say comes from historical record, and is available to anyone with the inclination to seek this information out themselves. These are not my OPINIONS; they are historical facts; so if you’re going to get upset or offended, don’t kill the messenger; instead you should be angered that your educators withheld the truth from you. But it shouldn’t come as any surprise; the victors in any conflict always end up writing the history of that conflict; so when the North won the Civil War it came as no surprise that they would write the history of that conflict in a light that gave them the moral high ground and made the South out to be rebellious barbarians who fought only to perpetuate slavery.
To begin repairing the travesty done to the truth we must look back to before Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President. In 1860 the tensions between the North and the South were already at the breaking point and to avert open warfare between the two regions Congress considered over 200 various resolutions regarding the institution of slavery…just to keep the two regions living in peace with each other. One of these resolutions was introduced by Thomas Corwin and
William Seward; who would go on to serve as Lincoln’s Secretary of State after Lincoln was sworn in. This resolution passed the House by a vote of 133-65 and then went on to be passed by the Senate by a vote of 24-12; (You have to remember, Congress was much smaller in 1860 than it is now).
This resolution was for a constitutional amendment, and after having passed both Houses of Congress, it made its way to the States for consideration. However, the Civil War broke out before this resolution could either be accepted or rejected; which, had it been ratified would have become the 13th amendment to the Constitution.
The text of this proposed constitutional amendment states, “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”
In short, what Congress had proposed was a constitutional amendment that made slavery permanent and irrevocable in America unless the States themselves decided to abolish it. However, had this proposed amendment been ratified it would have forever banned the federal government from interfering with slavery in any of the Southern States.
So, if the South’s only concern was keeping their slaves, why didn’t they just ratify this amendment and remain in the Union? So there must have been other reasons besides slavery that caused the South to stick to their chosen course of secession.
Upon being sworn in Abraham Lincoln, as was customary, delivered an Inaugural Address wherein he made reference to this proposed Corwin Amendment, “I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
So, not only did Congress support a measure that would have protected a State’s right to allow slavery within its borders, the incoming President, Abraham Lincoln also supported this measure. That sure sounds to me like Lincoln war more concerned with keeping the peace and holding the Union together than he was with freeing anyone held in slavery.
And let us not forget that in his Inaugural Address Lincoln also said, “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.”
Not only did Lincoln favor the ratification of a constitution amendment which would have made slavery permanent, he also felt that those held in slavery were inferior to their white owners. In his 4th Presidential debate against candidate Stephen Douglas, Lincoln stated:
“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 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. 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 as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
Can you imagine any public figure saying that today and not being crucified by the press or the public? Yet it would seem that not only was Lincoln willing to see that the black man be kept in a perpetual state of bondage, he also felt that they were inferior to him.
Lincoln used slavery as a tool in his war effort to defeat the South and maintain the Union as it was before he was elected; that and nothing more. In an 1862 letter to editor Horace Greeley, Lincoln stated, “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
But, but what about the Emancipation Proclamation Neal, didn’t that free the slaves? Nope, not really. Technically speaking Lincoln had no authority over the seceded Southern States; they were a nation unto themselves. To say that he did would be like saying Canada has the right to tell the U.S. what to do. So even if his Emancipation Proclamation did free the slaves, it had absolutely no authority to control the actions of the seceded Southern States.
Furthermore, if you would but read what the The Emancipation Proclamation says you might find that it did not grant freedom to every single slave in the Union; only those in areas which were still under control of the Confederacy. The relevant portion of the Emancipation Proclamation states, “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free…“
What about those held in slavery in New York or Illinois; why weren’t they included? Why did Lincoln limit his proclamation to areas only under Confederate control if he truly cared about ending slavery?
You may think Lincoln, and the North in general, held the moral high ground because of what the history books teach you were the causes for the Civil War, but did you know that they were as racist as you claim the South was?
When Alexis de Tocqueville came to America he studied this country from top to bottom; side to side; and then returned to France to write his epic book, Democracy in America. In it De Tocqueville states one of his findings, “In that part of the Union where the Negroes are no longer slaves, have they come closer to the whites? Everyone who has lived in the United States will have noticed just the opposite. Race prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known.”
Many of the Northern States, including Lincoln’s home state of Illinois, had passed laws banning blacks from emigrating to their State. Some allowed it, but required a $1000 bond be placed before they were allowed to enter the State, and allowed for their removal should they ‘misbehave.’ The Northern States may have viewed slavery as a blot upon America, but they certainly didn’t want any freed slave living amongst them. In fact, fear amongst the white people of the American North of freed slaves coming to live among them caused the Republicans to lose the Midwest to the Democrats in the 1862 mid-term elections.
Not only that, Lincoln himself wanted our country rid of the slaves completely under a plan of colonization outside the boundaries of the United States. In August of 1862 Lincoln met with a committee of former slaves at the White House to discuss this very issue. Lincoln sought to gain their support for the measure; hoping that by their supporting it the remaining black slaves would fall in line behind them and move out of this country forever.
Lincoln told these delegates, “You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence.”
Although his efforts came to naught, Lincoln continued to support the idea of colonizing all those held in bondage somewhere outside the United States where the two races would not have to interact with each other.
Some humanitarian, this Lincoln fellow!!!
Yet those who had served as slaves on the plantation of Robert E. Lee had been freed ten years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War; but they chose to remain on the Lee plantation of their own free will. Lee’s personal servant, William Mack Lee, had this to say about that, “I was raised by one of the greatest men in the world. There was never one born of a woman greater than Gen. Robert E. Lee, according to my judgment. All of his servants were set free ten years before the war, but all remained on the plantation until after the surrender.” Yet those held in slavery by Union General Ulysses S. Grant were not given their freedom until the 13th Amendment required him to do so.
Yet monuments dedicated to Lee are being taken down across the country while a monument dedicated to the biggest racist to ever sit in the Oval Office remains unscathed in our nation’s capital. Talk about irony!
In 1901 an American political scientist published a book entitled A History of the American People. In it this author states, “It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery…and the world, it might be hoped, would see it as a moral war, not a political; and the sympathy of nations would begin to run for the North, not for the South.”
This political scientist would go on to become our 28th President, and his name was Woodrow Wilson.
I don’t know if anything I’ve said is going to change the minds and beliefs of anyone who still believes that the South was only fighting to keep their slaves, and that therefore all images and monuments dedicated to them are racist, but know this, this flag flew over a nation that had allowed slavery to grow into an institution for nearly 75 years before it was finally ended, yet people fly this flag all the time and no one says a thing about it. So, who are the racists and who are standing for the principles that gave birth to this country and are found in the Declaration of Independence, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Even Lincoln supported that belief, stating in 1848, “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 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.” (Source: Lincoln’s War with Mexico Speech, House of Representatives, January 12, 1848)
But then again, this only proves that not only was Lincoln not the Great Emancipator people think he was, he also wasn’t the Honest Abe they had been raised to believe he was; honest people don’t change their position on things due to political expediency. So not only was Lincoln racist, he was a hypocrite as well.
I can only speak for myself, but if I had any say on it the Lincoln Memorial would be torn to the ground and his face would be blasted off the surface of Mount Rushmore. To me, Lincoln was the President who killed our Republic and fought a war against those who fought for the same principles and beliefs as did those we call patriots and Founding Fathers.
Way to go America, you picked a real winner to call one of our greatest presidents ever…
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: email@example.com.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told). Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.