Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016    Login | Register        

Lincoln and the slaves

Walter Williams's picture

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?

[Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.] COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM


PTC Observer's picture

Don't confuse the cult of Lincoln with facts. Lincoln like Mr. Obama was the master politician.

His motivation was money and power.

"I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "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." Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.

But then it was not in his interest to turn against slavery when he took power, that came later when the Confederacy outlawed tariffs in the Southern States. Something that would have drained the revenue stream from the central government. Only then did he begin the slow turn toward abolition.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Don't confuse the cult of Lincoln with facts. Lincoln like Mr. Obama was the master politician. [/quote]

Amen to that. Lincoln did not care about slaves. In fact he once represented a man in court that was trying to regain possession of his slaves. (Matson Slave trails) The Emancipation Proclamation did not free all slaves only the ones in the Confederacy. Slave states in the Union were allowed to keep their slaves. This was done for the sole purpose of punishing the South for their transgressions and to keep Europe from assisting the south during the civil war just as Mr. Williams points out. Lincolns intent was to ship all freed slaves to Liberia. Our schools do our kids a huge disservice by not teaching the entire true history of this country.

PTC Observer's picture

Indeed, Mr. Lincoln was the president of the local American Colonization Society, long before he was President of the United States. This society proposed to resettle African Americans back in Africa in a colony called Linconia, which later turned into Liberia. Lincoln wanted to secure employment for “free white laborers.” Ref: “Lincoln, Abraham (February 27, 1860). "Cooper's Union Speech"” He only changed his opinion on this when he felt he needed a coalition to rally support for the war that he was clearly losing. Until that point he repeated his desire to deport all slaves. In Lincoln’s eulogy to Henry Clay, he reiterated that eliminating every last black person from American soil would be “a glorious consummation” of Clay’s colonization plan. I could go on and on about this, with examples.

As Murray Rothbard pointed out, “Lincoln was a master politician, which means that he was a consummate conniver, manipulator, and liar.” Lincoln’s belief in a strong central government as envisioned by Clay is the central reason that Mr. Obama idolizes Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Obama’s run at nullifying the power of the states in his last four years will be the ultimate outcome of Mr. Clay’s vision and the fulfillment of his dream.

[Quote]Our schools do our kids a huge disservice by not teaching the entire true history of this country.[/quote]


Ad space area 4 internal