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RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - Mylye2222 - 10-13-2020 03:46 AM

(10-12-2020 03:55 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  
(10-12-2020 03:26 PM)LincolnMan Wrote:  And another Lincoln statue was torn down in Portland yesterday. However, Lincoln’s stature never can be.

Portland protesters pull down statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln

Protesters spray-painted "Dakota 38" on the base of Lincoln's statue, referencing the 38 Dakota men Lincoln approved to have hanged after the men were involved in a violent conflict with white settlers in Minnesota.

If these people knew about the "Dakota 38," they must also have known about all of the accused Indians sentenced to execution that President Lincoln personally saved.

Some of our American historians should loudly protest this injustice to President Abraham Lincoln.


They don't care about the ones who were spared. They just select what fit their hatred agenda.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - LincolnMan - 10-13-2020 06:19 AM

That is correct. So they spread their own false narrative to the uninformed and the low-information voters.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-13-2020 07:29 AM

(10-13-2020 02:49 AM)Steve Wrote:  Here is Lincoln's 11 Dec. 1862 statement to the Senate on the Indians to be executed:

Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on the one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other, I caused a careful examination of the records of trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such as had been proved guilty of violating females. Contrary to my expectations, only two of this class were found. I then directed a further examination, and a classification of all who were proven to have participated in massacres, as distinguished from participation in battles. This class numbered forty, and included the two convicted of female violation. One of the number is strongly recommended by the commission which tried them for commutation to ten years' imprisonment. I have ordered the other thirty-nine to be executed on Friday, the 19th instant.

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/message-the-senate-responding-the-resolution-regarding-indian-barbarities-the-state

Lincoln pardoned/commuted the death sentences of 265 of the 303 Dakota men condemned. (He also later pardoned one of the 39 mentioned in the letter to the Senate after evidence came to his attention questioning the man's guilt.)

After the 1864 midterm election, Minnesota Senator Alexander Ramsey told Lincoln that Republicans could have gotten a larger electoral majority in the state if Lincoln had allowed the execution of more Indians. Lincoln told Ramsey, simply:

"I could not afford to hang men for votes."

source: Alexander Ramsey diary - November 23, 1864 entry

Excellent post, Steve. This should all be published in the Editorial section of a major Portland newspaper as a lesson in truthful history.

[Image: statuetoppled.jpg]



RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - LincolnMan - 10-13-2020 07:48 AM

These posts just made my day. Truth matters. Yes, this should be published!


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-13-2020 01:36 PM

(10-13-2020 02:49 AM)Steve Wrote:  Here is Lincoln's 11 Dec. 1862 statement to the Senate on the Indians to be executed:

Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on the one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other, I caused a careful examination of the records of trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such as had been proved guilty of violating females. Contrary to my expectations, only two of this class were found. I then directed a further examination, and a classification of all who were proven to have participated in massacres, as distinguished from participation in battles. This class numbered forty, and included the two convicted of female violation. One of the number is strongly recommended by the commission which tried them for commutation to ten years' imprisonment. I have ordered the other thirty-nine to be executed on Friday, the 19th instant.

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/message-the-senate-responding-the-resolution-regarding-indian-barbarities-the-state

I was particularly impressed by this statement (need to follow hyperlink for the full "Message to the Senate Responding to the Resolution Regarding Indian Barbarities in the State of Minnesota") made by President Lincoln to Congress on the subject. It shows what an outstanding lawyer was Lincoln. Impressive!!!

The following is from a post I made to the the thread titled "Re: President Lincoln and the Sioux Indian Uprising in 1862" at post # 112 on June 7, 2017:


Episcopal Bishop Henry B. Whipple lobbied the President to reform the corrupt Indian agency system. In the spring of 1862, the bishop had recommended more humane treatment of the Minnesota Sioux. Lincoln promptly asked the secretary of the Interior to investigate, which he did and suggested numerous reforms.

The President told a friend that Whipple "came here the other day and talked with me about the rascality of this Indian business until I felt it down to my boots."

In reply to Whipple's appeal, Lincoln characteristically recounted a story:

"Bishop, a man thought that monkeys could pick cotton better than Negroes could because they were quicker and their fingers smaller. He turned a lot of them into his cotton field, but he found that it took two overseers to watch one monkey. It needs more than one honest man to watch one Indian agent."

[President Lincoln] pledged to Bishop Whipple that "[i]f we get through this war, and if I live, this Indian system shall be reformed."

(Henry B. Whipple, "Light and Shadows of a Long Episcopate,etc.," pages 136-137.

President Abraham Lincoln made it through the war but did not live long enough thereafter to reform the Indian system as he wanted to do.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-13-2020 05:29 PM

I tried to contact the Oregonian and OPB (the people publishing the toppled and spray-painted Lincoln statue photograph in my earlier post) to offer more information on President Lincoln's prominent role in the Dakota Sioux uprising subsequent trials reviews and his actions without any success.

I guess the news media is moving on to the next important story at the moment.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - LincolnMan - 10-13-2020 06:00 PM

Thank you for the effort David. What a shame. In a different time and era- someone in journalism would have looked into the history and published a story on it.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-14-2020 08:20 AM

I learned yesterday of the following letter hosted on the National Association of Scholars website on October 6, 2020.

Pulitzer Board Must Revoke Nikole Hannah-Jones' Prize

The letter begins with a statement by Peter Wood, President, National Association of Scholars:

The National Association of Scholars has agreed to host this public letter to the Pulitzer Prize Board. The letter calls on the Board to rescind the prize it awarded to Nikole Hannah-Jones earlier this year. I am one of the 21 signatories. A hard copy has been mailed to the Pulitzer Committee as well as a digital copy.

The first paragraph of the letter reads:

We call on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind the 2020 Prize for Commentary awarded to Nikole Hannah-Jones for her lead essay in “The 1619 Project.” That essay was entitled, “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written.” But it turns out the article itself was false when written, making a large claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a primary motive for the American Revolution, a claim for which there is simply no evidence.

These eminent scholars also wrote near the end of their letter:

“The duplicity of attempting to alter the historical record in a manner intended to deceive the public is as serious an infraction against professional ethics as a journalist can commit.”

However, no mention is made in the written pronouncement to the Pulitzer Prize Board of the specious attack by Nikole Hannah-Jones upon the character and reputation of President Abraham Lincoln regarding the August 14, 1862 meeting at the White House on a black colonization proposal presented by President Lincoln to the Committee of five prominent free black men.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-15-2020 10:23 AM

I think that it is important that the National Association of Scholars should also have addressed in their letter the issue of the malicious attack upon the character and reputation of President Abraham Lincoln by Nicole Hannah-Jones contained within her 2020 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Essay. Near the end of the letter, the 21 signatories wrote: “The duplicity of attempting to alter the historical record in a manner intended to deceive the public is as serious an infraction against professional ethics as a journalist can commit.”

Why not provide a specific example of such journalistic misconduct occurring in the actual 2020 Pulitzer Prize winning essay? Accordingly, I sent an email yesterday to the National Association of Scholars that is a copy of my May 25, 2020 post #17 on the thread titled "RE: The 1619 Project (in the New York Times Magazine)." My email reads as follows:

The following is a detailed argument against the false assertions made by Nikole Hannah-Jones in her 2020 Pulitzer Prize winning Essay regarding the August 14, 1862 meeting at the White House on a black colonization proposal presented by President Lincoln to the Committee of five prominent free black men:

Attendees at the August 14, 1862 White House meeting were the Committee of five prominent black men and the members of the press called to the White House for the purpose of disseminating the contents of President Lincoln's speech on "Colonization" to the nation. All of the attendees were fully aware of the purpose for the meeting. Doris Kearns Goodwin, in her book Team of Rivals, at page 469, described the purpose of the meeting as follows: "On August 14, Lincoln invited a delegation of freed slaves to a conference at the White House, hoping to inspire their cooperation in educating fellow blacks on the benefits of colonization."

The New York Times reported President Lincoln's speech the following day with a story title: THE PRESIDENT AND COLONIZATION.

Presumably, historian Nikole Hannah-Jones used this same August 15, 1862 detailed reporting of President Lincoln’s August 14th Colonization speech by the New York Times as her authoritative source in creating her own narrative describing the important events of that day in the White House, August 14, 1862. Therefore, there should be no major unexplained discrepancy between the New York Times published narrative regarding the meeting and the narrative that she provides in her New York Times essay that won for her the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

Historian Nikole Hannah-Jones writes in her 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary essay describing her own presumed response of the members of the Committee: “You can imagine the heavy silence in that room, as the weight of what the president said momentarily stole the breath of these five black men. . . . As Lincoln closed the remarks, Edward Thomas, the delegation’s chairman, informed the president, perhaps curtly, that they would consult on his proposition. ‘Take your full time,’ Lincoln said. ‘No hurry at all.’”

The Committee of five prominent black men had been invited to the White House to hear President Lincoln's speech on the subject of a proposed colonization project, including the President's reasoning by which these men should support and even participate in the experiment themselves.

The first paragraph of the New York Times coverage reads:

"This afternoon the President of the United States gave audience to a Committee of colored men at the White House. . . . E.M. THOMAS, the Chairman, remarked that they were there by invitation, to hear what the Executive had to say to them."

Nevertheless, historian Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote: “You can imagine the heavy silence in that room, as the weight of what the president said momentarily stole the breath of these five black men."

The Committee was fully aware of why they had been invited to the White House and that was "to hear what the Executive had to say to them" on the subject of colonization. In the hour long speech, what could have "momentarily stole the breath of these five black men?" Historian Nikole Hannah-Jones does not say.

But she does say: "As Lincoln closed the remarks, Edward Thomas, the delegation’s chairman, informed the president, perhaps curtly, that they would consult on his proposition. ‘Take your full time,’ Lincoln said. ‘No hurry at all.’”

The implication of these last two sentences is that the Committee Chairman's immediate reaction to the speech was strongly negative and that the President's last remark to the Committee was of a condescending nature.

However, the New York Times itself describes the close of President Lincoln's speech in the following manner:

I want you to let me know whether this can be done or not. This is the practical part of my wish to see you. These are subjects of very great importance -- worthy of a month's study, of a speech delivered in an hour. I ask you, then, to consider seriously, not pertaining to yourselves merely, nor for your race and ours for the present time, but as one of the things, if successfully managed, for the good of mankind -- not confined to the present generation . . . ."

The Chairman of the delegation briefly replied that "they would hold a consultation and in a short time give an answer." The President said, "Take your full time -- no hurry at all."

Although the President had suggested in the close of his speech that "these are subjects of very great importance -- worthy of a month's study, of a speech delivered in an hour," the Committee chairman, in behalf of the entire Committee, responded to President Lincoln's proposal in a letter two days later on August 16, 1862 as follows:

“We were entirely hostile to the movement until all the advantages were so ably brought to our views by you,” the delegation chief wrote Lincoln two days later, promising to consult with prominent blacks in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston who he hoped would “join heartily in Sustaining Such a movement.” (Source: Team of Rivals, The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin, (2005), page 469.)

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch

I hope that I do not pontificate too much. But I believe such lies about President Abraham Lincoln in a Pulitzer Prize winning work tend to lead to such wrongful incidents as recently occurred in Portland, namely the toppling of the President Lincoln statue there and the graffiti spray-painted on the base of "Dakota 38." The people responsible were misled by historical lies in the present.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - Rob Wick - 10-15-2020 03:12 PM

First of all, I question whether anyone but you really gives a flying fig about this.

Quote:The people responsible were misled by historical lies in the present.

To call this a "lie" is very incendiary and requires more proof than your feelings that somehow Lincoln is being disparaged. A lie requires agency on behalf of the liar, and while you may disagree with what the Times reported (and to be honest, I have issues with it myself), you cannot prove that the paper set out to be purposefully dishonest. Your viewpoint that the act in Portland of tearing down the Lincoln statue is directly related to the Times' article is also misleading. While most (including myself) can accept that Lincoln saved more lives than he allowed to die in the largest mass execution in U.S. History, it is a legitimate historical question as to whether he did enough. This has been going on long before the Times started the 1619 project. That some in Portland chose to tear down his statue may show historical illiteracy, but to think this is a mass movement that will somehow tear down Lincoln in the eyes of America, or the world, is far-fetched.

David, i enjoy your postings and your perspective. However, your seeming insistence that Lincoln should be kept free from criticism is misplaced. Lincoln's reputation has survived for centuries and will continue to do so. He can handle the criticism thrown at him no matter from what direction it comes.

Best
Rob


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-16-2020 08:34 AM

Rob, the following is the full paragraph from my previous post about which you make complaint.

“I hope that I do not pontificate too much. But I believe such lies about President Abraham Lincoln in a Pulitzer Prize winning work tend to lead to such wrongful incidents as recently occurred in Portland, namely the toppling of the President Lincoln statue there and the graffiti spray-painted on the base of "Dakota 38." The people responsible were misled by historical lies in the present.”

You wrote in response:

To call this a "lie" is very incendiary and requires more proof than your feelings that somehow Lincoln is being disparaged. . . . you cannot prove that the paper set out to be purposefully dishonest.

I am not saying that the New York Times told a lie. In essence, I am saying that they published a “lie.” The New York Times published the 2020 Pulitzer Board Prize winning essay by Nikole Hannah-Jones on an esoteric subject – the August 14, 1862 meeting at the White House on a black colonization proposal. (Esoteric means: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. The essay itself was intended to be read by the New York Times Magazine readership, a rather large number of people. How many of this set of people knew that they were purposely being misled on an esoteric subject?)

I wrote:

“The following is a detailed argument against the false assertions made by Nikole Hannah-Jones in her 2020 Pulitzer Prize winning Essay regarding the August 14, 1862 meeting at the White House on a black colonization proposal presented by President Lincoln to the Committee of five prominent free black men:”

[Rather than copy it here, see my post above.]

I did not set out to prove the paper “to be purposefully dishonest”; I set out to prove that Nikole Hannah-Jones in her 2020 Pulitzer Board Prize for Commentary “to be purposefully dishonest” regarding both the content and the results of the August 14, 1862 meeting.

For example, she wrote in her essay regarding the close of the meeting: “the delegation’s chairman, informed the president, perhaps curtly, that they would consult on his proposition.”

To my way of thinking, insertion of the words “perhaps curtly” into that sentence implies that delegation was not pleased by President Lincoln’s presentation on black colonization. Nothing could be further from the truth as evidenced by the letter response from the chairman to President Lincoln two days later. (See my post.) You can be a judge for yourself and I will be a judge for myself.

Rob, you also wrote about the “Dakota 38”:

“While most (including myself) can accept that Lincoln saved more lives than he allowed to die in the largest mass execution in U.S. History, it is a legitimate historical question as to whether he did enough."

I disagree with this last statement made by you. Lincoln saved 265 lives; but for the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln the state of Minnesota would have executed the "Dakota 303."

Steve wrote at his post #15 on this thread:

Here is Lincoln's 11 Dec. 1862 statement to the Senate on the Indians to be executed:

Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on the one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other, I caused a careful examination of the records of trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such as had been proved guilty of violating females. Contrary to my expectations, only two of this class were found. I then directed a further examination, and a classification of all who were proven to have participated in massacres, as distinguished from participation in battles. This class numbered forty, and included the two convicted of female violation. One of the number is strongly recommended by the commission which tried them for commutation to ten years' imprisonment. I have ordered the other thirty-nine to be executed on Friday, the 19th instant.
Lincoln pardoned/commuted the death sentences of 265 of the 303 Dakota men condemned. (He also later pardoned one of the 39 mentioned in the letter to the Senate after evidence came to his attention questioning the man's guilt.)

After the 1864 midterm election, Minnesota Senator Alexander Ramsey told Lincoln that Republicans could have gotten a larger electoral majority in the state if Lincoln had allowed the execution of more Indians. Lincoln told Ramsey, simply:

"I could not afford to hang men for votes."

So, in conclusion, I agree with that portion of your quoted statement on the subject that reads: “While most (including myself) can accept that Lincoln saved more lives than he allowed to die in the largest mass execution in U.S. History.” However, I think for clarity that you should have stated the number of lives that Lincoln saved as being 265 and the number of lives Lincoln “allowed to die in the largest mass execution in U.S. History” (to use your words) as being 38. Or, the “Dakota 38,” as the protesters in Portland used when toppling the statue of President Abraham Lincoln.

Rob, do you really believe that the persons who told these protesters about President Lincoln’s role in the execution of the “Dakota 38” actually also told them about the 265 American Indian lives that he saved?

(10-15-2020 03:12 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  "[Y]your seeming insistence that Lincoln should be kept free from criticism is misplaced.

I do not think that "Lincoln should be kept free from criticism." I accept any legitimate criticism of Lincoln so long as that criticism is based on facts, or as I like to phrase it, "the truth."


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - Rob Wick - 10-16-2020 12:17 PM

Good morning David.

Quote:I am not saying that the New York Times told a lie. In essence, I am saying that they published a “lie.”

You do realize that, legally speaking, there is no difference here. A newspaper can be sued regardless of whether or not its employee or a guest writer purposefully tells a lie about someone. Of course, I am speaking of the current day if the lie libels a living person. Given that it's legally impossible to libel the dead it then moves from the legal sphere to the moral one.

You believe that the paper libeled Lincoln and lied about him but you still offer no proof beyond your opinion. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and to share it on whatever forum you choose, the Times is equally free to publish an opinion on a historical question. It appears to me that your whole argument rests on your belief that the paper has some responsibility to exercise greater care where history is concerned because it speaks with the voice of its prominence and moves public opinion. Very few, I think can argue that it does not have a responsibility, but I would question whether it has a greater responsibility.

Historical questions usually invite dispute. Whether it's published in the American Historical Review or the New York Times, one hopes that the writer does his or her homework in getting the story straight. The AHR uses peer review to police its contributors. The Times doesn't use peer review as we think of it, but still uses fact checkers and requires all sides of a story to be told. Sometimes that standard works and sometimes it fails--sometimes miserably.

I think if Nikole Hannah-Jones is guilty of anything, it's not taking seriously the voices of those who disagree with her and not adding those voices to the original articles. When Sean Wilentz, a historian that I deeply admire, raised his voice in protest about the 1619 project, that got my attention, because I think Wilentz is one of the greatest historians working. However, one of Wilentiz's weaknesses is his antagonism to popular history. Just read his review of David McCullough's biography of John Adams in the New Republic to see what I mean. Even historians of Wilentz's stature couldn't bring this story out of the basement of public thought. It took Donald Trump's idiotic attempt to satiate his base to bring it to national attention from the press and hence to the people.

David, we all have our own biases. I recently chastised a poster here for saying that Ida Tarbell was guilty of character assassination. Some could have very easily seen that as my attempt to shield Tarbell from legitimate criticism. I freely admit that after spending the past several years with Tarbell, I grow defensive when I think her reputation is being unfairly attacked. However, there are numerous flaws in her. She opposed women's suffrage. She could be snobbish when it came to the common man, whom she often looked at as simple-minded. She gained her reputation as the slayer of the trusts and John D. Rockefeller, yet spent the rest of her life trying to show that big business and capitalism wasn't inherently unfair (many won't see that last one as a flaw, but I do). But in all your posts, I have yet to see a true criticism of anything that Lincoln did, and I've seen plenty of times where you refuse to admit that there were times when Lincoln was wrong. If I'm wrong, I would appreciate being pointed to examples where you have done so.

Finally, as to whether or not the execution of the 38 Native Americans represented Lincoln's humanity or something else, I would say that the 38 executed, and their families, would beg to differ. While we can make our peace with what Lincoln did, or didn't do, that someone else can see it differently is the lifeblood of historical debate. I feel our biggest difference is that you see Lincoln as the great, good man, and I see Lincoln as simply a man, good in some instances and, like all men, less great in others. I welcome those who see Lincoln as less than heroic. It makes him much more human.

Quote:Rob, do you really believe that the persons who told these protesters about President Lincoln’s role in the execution of the “Dakota 38” actually also told them about the 265 American Indian lives that he saved?

No, I don't. However, I would counter that most would have looked at that and said "so what?" Nuance is usually lost on those who hold views strong enough to protest, regardless of what side of the political spectrum they are on.

Best
Rob

After posting this, I came across this article in the Madison Historical Review that is a good overview of the historiography of Lincoln and the Dakotas as well as areas in need of future research.

https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/mhr/vol13/iss1/6/


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-16-2020 08:00 PM

(10-16-2020 12:17 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  I think if Nikole Hannah-Jones is guilty of anything, it's not taking seriously the voices of those who disagree with her and not adding those voices to the original articles. When Sean Wilentz, a historian that I deeply admire, raised his voice in protest about the 1619 project, that got my attention, because I think Wilentz is one of the greatest historians working. However, one of Wilentiz's weaknesses is his antagonism to popular history.

A Matter of Facts

The New York Times’ 1619 Project launched with the best of intentions, but has been undermined by some of its claims.

The Atlantic, January 22, 2020
By Sean Wilentz, Professor of history at Princeton University

Only the Civil War surpasses the Revolution in its importance to American history with respect to slavery and racism. Yet here again, particularly with regard to the ideas and actions of Abraham Lincoln, Hannah-Jones’s argument is built on partial truths and misstatements of the facts, which combine to impart a fundamentally misleading impression.

The essay chooses to examine Lincoln within the context of a meeting he called at the White House with five prominent black men from Washington, D.C., in August 1862, during which Lincoln told the visitors of his long-held support for the colonization of free black people, encouraging them voluntarily to participate in a tentative experimental colony. Hannah-Jones wrote that this meeting was “one of the few times that black people had ever been invited to the White House as guests”; in fact, it was the first such occasion. The essay says that Lincoln “was weighing a proclamation that threatened to emancipate all enslaved people in the states that had seceded from the Union,” but that he “worried about what the consequences of this radical step would be,” because he “believed that free black people were a ‘troublesome presence’ incompatible with a democracy intended only for white people.”

In fact, Lincoln had already decided a month earlier to issue a preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation with no contingency of colonization, and was only awaiting a military victory, which came in September at Antietam. And Lincoln had supported and signed the act that emancipated the slaves in D.C. in June, again with no imperative of colonization—the consummation of his emancipation proposal from 1849, when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

Not only was Lincoln’s support for emancipation not contingent on colonization, but his pessimism was echoed by some black abolitionists who enthusiastically endorsed black colonization, including the early pan-Africanist Martin Delany (favorably quoted elsewhere by Hannah-Jones) and the well-known minister Henry Highland Garnet, as well as, for a time, Frederick Douglass’s sons Lewis and Charles Douglass. And Lincoln’s views on colonization were evolving. Soon enough, as his secretary, John Hay, put it, Lincoln “sloughed off” the idea of colonization, which Hay called a “hideous & barbarous humbug.”

But this Lincoln is not visible in Hannah-Jones’s essay. “Like many white Americans,” she wrote, Lincoln “opposed slavery as a cruel system at odds with American ideals, but he also opposed black equality.” This elides the crucial difference between Lincoln and the white supremacists who opposed him. Lincoln asserted on many occasions, most notably during his famous debates with the racist Stephen A. Douglas in 1858, that the Declaration of Independence’s famous precept that “all men are created equal” was a human universal that applied to black people as well as white people. Like the majority of white Americans of his time, including many radical abolitionists, Lincoln harbored the belief that white people were socially superior to black people. He insisted, however, that “in the right to eat the bread without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, [the Negro] is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every other man.” To state flatly, as Hannah-Jones’s essay does, that Lincoln “opposed black equality” is to deny the very basis of his opposition to slavery.

Nor was Lincoln, who had close relations with the free black people of Springfield, Illinois, and represented a number of them as clients, known to treat black people as inferior. After meeting with Lincoln at the White House, Sojourner Truth, the black abolitionist, said that he “showed as much respect and kindness to the coloured persons present as to the white,” and that she “never was treated by any one with more kindness and cordiality” than “by that great and good man.” [Thank you for your post, Roger.] In his first meeting with Lincoln, Frederick Douglass wrote, the president greeted him “just as you have seen one gentleman receive another, with a hand and voice well-balanced between a kind cordiality and a respectful reserve.” Lincoln addressed him as “Mr. Douglass” as he encouraged his visitor to spread word in the South of the Emancipation Proclamation and to help recruit and organize black troops. Perhaps this is why in his response, instead of repeating the claim that Lincoln “opposed black equality,” Silverstein asserted that Lincoln “was ambivalent about full black citizenship.”

Did Lincoln believe that free black people were a “troublesome presence”? That phrase comes from an 1852 eulogy he delivered in honor of Henry Clay, describing Clay’s views of colonization and free black people. Lincoln did not use those words in his 1862 meeting or on any occasion other than the eulogy. And Lincoln did not believe that the United States was “a democracy intended only for white people.” On the contrary, in his stern opposition to the Supreme Court’s racist Dred Scott v. Sandford decision in 1857, he made a point of noting that, at the time the Constitution was ratified, five of the 13 states gave free black men the right to vote, a fact that helped explode Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s contention that black people had “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

As president, moreover, Lincoln acted on his beliefs, taking enormous political and, as it turned out, personal risks. In March 1864, as he approached a difficult reelection campaign, Lincoln asked the Union war governor of Louisiana to establish the beginning of black suffrage in a new state constitution, “to keep the jewel of liberty within the family of freedom.” A year later, in his final speech, Lincoln publicly broached the subject of enlarging black enfranchisement, which was the final incitement to a member of the crowd, John Wilkes Booth, to assassinate him.


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - David Lockmiller - 10-17-2020 08:07 AM

The 1619 Chronicles

By Bret Stephens
Opinion Columnist for the New York Times
October 9, 2020

Bret Stephens wrote in part:

An early sign that the project was in trouble came in an interview last November with James McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” and a past president of the American Historical Association. He was withering: “Almost from the outset,” McPherson told the World Socialist Web Site, “I was disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective.”

In particular, McPherson objected to Hannah-Jones’s suggestion that the struggle against slavery and racism and for civil rights and democracy was, if not exclusively then mostly, a Black one. As she wrote in her essay: “The truth is that as much democracy as this nation has today, it has been borne on the backs of Black resistance.”

McPherson demurs: “From the Quakers in the 18th century, on through the abolitionists in the antebellum, to the Radical Republicans in the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the N.A.A.C.P., which was an interracial organization founded in 1909, down through the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s, there have been a lot of whites who have fought against slavery and racial discrimination, and against racism,” he said. “And that’s what’s missing from this perspective.”

In a lengthier dissection, published in January in The Atlantic, the Princeton historian Sean Wilentz accused Hannah-Jones of making arguments “built on partial truths and misstatements of the facts.” The goal of educating Americans on slavery and its consequences, he added, was so important that it “cannot be forwarded through falsehoods, distortions and significant omissions.”

It is time that the 2020 Pulizer Board Prize for Commentary be rescinded for just cause!!!

And, the people who recently tore down the statue of President Lincoln in Portland should be informed in detail of the cause for this disgrace and also be dispelled of the false and misleading information that they had been told regarding all of the actions taken by President Abraham Lincoln in the course of the execution of the "Dakota 38". (See the photo at my Post #18. Thank you, Roger.)


RE: Abraham Lincoln statues - Rob Wick - 10-17-2020 10:41 AM

David,

I'm not sure exactly what your purpose is in extensively quoting Sean Wilentz or Bret Stephens. The only thing their writings prove to me is that it takes someone like Lincoln to bring together someone from the left and the right. Other than that, it's has very little meaning.

I don't know if you forgot or ignored the fact that I said I have issues with the 1619 Project, but mine has to do with the lack of other voices in Nikole Hannah-Jones' writings. Again, your rejection seems based in your attempts to cleanse Lincoln for the modern reader, which I don't think he needs.

I'm not really sure how fruitful further discussion between us will be. However, without looking I would ask you, who has won the Pulitzer Prize in any category over the past five years? This argument is a whole bunch of nothing.

Best
Rob