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 Posted: Thu Jun 19th, 2008 09:21 pm
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David White
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Ya'll are being too literal, show me an order or a diary entry where Lincoln ordered the arrest of the entire Maryland legislature.

This goes to Ole's point of the talking points. I am constantly hearing that charge but there is no historical fact to back it up. Was it discussed in the Lincoln cabinet, yes. Was it ordered, no.

Last edited on Thu Jun 19th, 2008 10:19 pm by David White



 Posted: Thu Jun 19th, 2008 10:20 pm
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Texas Defender
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David-

  I don't know of any specific order given by Mr. Lincoln to arrest the entire Maryland legislature, nor were all of them arrested. The word I used was: "authorized." He authorized it by putting it within the powers of his military subordinates to arrest them. So, if Mr. Lincoln doesn't get the: "credit," to whom in the chain of command do you assign it? General Scott? Commanders of departments?

  It is clear in Lincoln's letter to General Scott on April 25, 1861 that he did not want the general to take action unless it seemed that an armed insurrection was being planned in Maryland. But it gives the power to General Scott.

Lincoln and the Constitution - Abraham Lincoln Papers - Abraham Lincoln to Winfield Scott, Thursday, April 25, 1861 (Arrest o...

  The dilemma of the Maryland legislators is examined pretty well here.

Teaching American History in Maryland - Documents for the Classroom - Maryland State Archives

  It explains that the planned meeting of the legislature in September was prevented in August when federal authorities arrived in Frederick seeking to arrest those members of the Maryland legislature that they considered disloyal. This action and subsequent arrests might not even have been necessary as it is not clear that the legislators would ever have approved an act of secession.

  Prior to this time, Mr. Lincoln had (illegally) suspended the writ of habeas corpus in a letter to General Scott. (April 27, 1861). It authorized the suspension between Philadelphia and Washington DC.  Nowhere in the Consitution is that power extended to the president.

Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus OR

  Thus, the situation as far as the military was concerned was that the writ was suspended in the Department of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, the Department of Annapolis, and the Department of Washington DC. General Scott ordered General Meigs to arrest any citizen suspected of being disloyal. This authorization led to the arrests of certain officials in Baltimore and some Maryland legislators.

  Without this power given by the president to the military, there would have been no authorization for the arrests to be made.

 

 

Last edited on Thu Jun 19th, 2008 11:07 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Fri Jun 20th, 2008 12:52 am
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Crazy Delawares
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'Bama,

You are a good person and love a good arguement! Asking "How many slaves did Lincoln free?" is like asking just how many championships did Vince Lombardi win (coach of the Green Bay Packers in the '60s).
To answer your question, Lincoln freed none (by himself). That was ultimately done by the million + soldiers in blue (whether they wanted to or not).
Slavery was legally ended by the 13th Ammendment. The last state to ratify said ammendment was my own...NJ.
I'll post no response on this forum anymore. I'll let you guys hash the rest out.



 Posted: Fri Jun 20th, 2008 02:40 am
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Johnny Huma
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Well my 2 cents...We could sit and Judge every President we ever had and then try to compare him to other Presidents. One was good and one was bad and so on. I think Lincoln was a simple man who actually thought out all the moves he made very carefully before he enacted upon them. As Shelby Foote had said "Lincoln had a knack of looking at himself from outside his own body and to see himself as others saw him"..Lets face it Lincoln was not popular North or South...He had many enemies in the North and people wanted the war stopped for many reasons and all good ones, too many deaths, too much money and so on. He had a heavy burden to bear for this Country to keep it going and freeing the slaves was not formost on his mind. The preservation of the Union was. So it is hard for us to Judge now what happened then...It is easy to for us to look back into History and come up with the what ifs and all but when History is actually happening you can not look back and you do not get a do over..You make a decision and hope to God it is the best that can be made..
I think Lincoln was good at that...We cannot blame him for poor Generals that kept the war going much longer than it may have had to. We can point the finger at anyone of our Presidents and find faults and also praises for them. But in my own feeling is " You can't really Judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes" and I believe his shoes would have been hard to fill....
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 Posted: Fri Jun 20th, 2008 05:46 pm
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David White
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TD:

Good post, that's what I like to see in an argument, well reasoned and backed with facts not sound bites or urban legends.

As to whether Lincoln acted extra-constitutionally or not, he probably did.  But he was responding to an action that was extra-constitutional too.  The authority to suspend habeas corpus during an emergency when congress was not in session was no more ambigious than the right of the states to unilatterally secede from the Union. 

Last edited on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 05:51 pm by David White



 Posted: Mon Jul 14th, 2008 08:41 pm
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angelmae
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Myself I have always, even since early childhood have thought that Mr Lincoln was anything but a normal everyday human being. Anyone who had direct contact with him commented that his presence left a huge possitive impression on them, even his enemies. His love, honesty, dedication, and impact on this/ or to this country has been matched by no one except for maybe Jesus perhaps, ( I hope no one takes offense to this I dont mean that as a direct comparison between the two) I think perhaps there was something supernatural about him. I dont want to start a huge debate but it drives me insane to read that this person says "he was a racist", that person says, "the war wasnt fought to free slaves" and so on. Perhaps Im just very naive, but any writings from or about Lincoln at the time the war began, do indeed agree with the war being fought over freedom and protecting the U.S constitution, All men are created equal. Lincoln since childhood disagreed with slavery. However just like today when the person is no longer around to defend themeselves the critics will have a field day. In all of the stories passed down by relatives, friends, and friends of relatives, not once have a heard of the war being fought for any other reason then to stop the treachery of slavery.

Quotes taken from Mr Lincoln:

"Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself."

Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

 Please understand I am just writing my opinion and that of what I see as facts, I mean no disrespect to anyone. Im sure there are many that have horrible opinions of Lincoln as President, but I hope many will agree that Lincoln the human being would be a wonderful roll model for many of the boys in our country today. Hmmmm perhaps I've gotten a bit to deep into this subject...........



 Posted: Mon Jul 14th, 2008 09:25 pm
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Texas Defender
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angelmae-

  While you are correct in your statements that Mr. Lincoln was strongly disapproving of the institution of slavery,  I cannot agree with your apparent belief that he began the war with the objective of ending slavery.

  I refer you to Lincoln's first inaugural address.

Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address. U.S. Inaugural Addresses. 1989

  I quote Mr. Lincoln's own words:

"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."

  Mr. Lincoln, before being elected, was opposed to the expansion of slavery into the territories, but he never expressed an intention of destroying it where it already existed.  (It was still legal in some northern states at that time).

  After the war had proved to be bloody and difficult, it became politically expeditious for Mr. Lincoln to attempt to put the struggle on a higher moral plane in order to inspire continued sacrifices by the people in the north. As has been stated many times on this board, the Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves at all until  after southern territory was overrun. The last slaves were only freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment, and they were still held in the north at that time.

  I believe that if the southern states that had seceded before Mr. Lincoln's inauguration had by some magic decided to reverse their secession and recognize federal authority, that there would have been no war. The war was begun because Mr. Lincoln refused to recognize the validity of the right of states to secede, and it was his intention to preserve the Union, whether slavery remained legal or not.

  In his letter to Horace Greeley on August 22, 1862, Mr. Lincoln explains that his purpose is to preserve the Union. I quote him: "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 that: and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that." 

Abraham Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley

  I believe that Mr. Lincoln told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in both his inaugural address and in his letter to Greeley. I do not believe that he was cynical enough to say that he was fighting to save the Union while having some higher objective , namely,  the destruction of the institution of slavery.

 

 

 

 

 



 Posted: Mon Jul 14th, 2008 10:19 pm
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javal1
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IMO, the previously quoted statements by Lincoln do nothing to prove the war wasn't about slavery. All it proves is that Lincoln was a politician. I already knew that.

Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, referring to the Confederate government: "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition."

Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: "African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism."

Alfred P. Aldrich, South Carolina legislator from Barnwell: "If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule --- it is a question of political and social existence."

James H. Hammond, Congressman from South Carolina:  "the moment this House undertakes to legislate upon this subject [slavery], it dissolves the Union. Should it be my fortune to have a seat upon this floor, I will abandon it the instant the first decisive step is taken looking towards legislation of this subject. I will go home to preach, and if I can, practice, disunion, and civil war, if needs be. A revolution must ensue, and this republic sink in blood."

 



 Posted: Mon Jul 14th, 2008 10:38 pm
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Texas Defender
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javal1-

  The question under review is what Mr. Lincoln thought the war was about. The statements made by the others you quoted have nothing to do with what Mr. Lincoln thought it was about.

  Mr. Lincoln was , indeed, a politician- and a very skilled one at that. But you apparently believe that he was devious enough to prevaricate about what he thought that the war was about. I don't happen to believe that.

  While I am not a great admirer of Mr. Lincoln, especially compared to many others on this board, I do believe that he was truthful in the quotations that I presented. To me, one of the admirable qualities  that he had was his consistency in pursuing his objective. (Regardless of what I think about that objective). That objective was expressed in his own words many times- to preserve the Union.



 Posted: Mon Jul 14th, 2008 11:19 pm
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javal1
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TD -

Point taken sir. But my point is this: I agree with you that when Lincoln wrote the following to Greeley he was truthful :

"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. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause."

So in order to preserve the Union, he had to tackle the reason the country was fracturing. My point of the above quotes was simply to show what I believe the South knew was their reason for seccession. So to Lincoln, the war became a war againt slavery in order to preserve the Union. So perhaps it's semantics.

However, I'm a little confused by two statements of yours which I see as contradictory. In one post you say:

"But you apparently believe that he was devious enough to prevaricate about what he thought that the war was about. I don't happen to believe that."

but in a previous post you say:

"After the war had proved to be bloody and difficult, it became politically expeditious for Mr. Lincoln to attempt to put the struggle on a higher moral plane in order to inspire continued sacrifices by the people in the north."

Isn't that the definition of prevarication?


 



 Posted: Mon Jul 14th, 2008 11:36 pm
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Texas Defender
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javal1-

  No, Sir, it is not. The Emancipation Proclamation was simply one tool that Lincoln had at his disposal to help him achieve his objective- the preservation of the Union.

  Look again at Mr. Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley. He says: "What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union." This does not put the EP in the category of a lie or a deliberate misstatement. It was something he could employ to rally the northern people to continue the struggle. He never said: "Your primary purpose in continuing the war is to free the slaves." He was simply presenting an additional reason. (Though it didn't please everyone).

  The EP was not an end in itself, it was only a means to an end. Mr. Lincoln's desired end was still the preservation of the Union.

Last edited on Tue Jul 15th, 2008 12:57 am by Texas Defender



 Posted: Mon Feb 25th, 2013 04:13 am
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Texas Defender
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  I certainly won't lament the fact that the movie: "LINCOLN" did not win the Oscar for Best Picture, though no doubt a few people on this board wish that it had.

  Perhaps it will be some consolation to those people if I resurrect an ancient thread about Mr. Lincoln that over a dozen different members contributed to. So- here it is if anyone is interested. It might prove to be informative reading for some.

Last edited on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 09:18 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Tue Sep 3rd, 2013 01:06 am
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glenhunter
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Everyone being entitled to his/her opinion...I do believe Lincoln was our greatest president. Flaws? Absolutely! Mistakes? So many to count! But, who else in the nation at that time, could've held the Union together, freed all men and still keep our nation strong in the face of the world? Which one of the men running for president in 1860 could've saved the country such an effusion of blood, kept it together and freed the slaves?
He was a man of his time. He also had other familial issues to deal with (as did Jeff. Davis).
All in all, a very interesting man! I guess that's why there are so many books written about him.
An imperfect man...an imperfect president...but, right for his time!


So well put and to which I'm not sure I could improve on, well said!!!!!

gh



 Posted: Tue Sep 3rd, 2013 01:16 am
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glenhunter
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When wars go badly, people on the side that is losing tend to want to escape from the unfavorable situation that they are in. Thus, as the war turned in the favor of the Union, more and more blacks ran away, and more and more Confederate soldiers deserted.
 


 

With this statement. I'd have to agree with completely.

 

gh



 Posted: Tue Sep 3rd, 2013 04:06 pm
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MildMan
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I find it interesting that Lincoln was slow to emancipate slaves. Yes, I understand his point that he lacked the authority to do so. But was that a convenient excuse? If slaves were property, couldn't property of those in rebellion be confiscated? By the spring and summer of 1862 many slaves were freeing themselves by escaping to union lines, particularly on the Pennisula of Virginia. I don't think these ex slaves were sent back to thier former owners. So was the emancipation proclamation just a reflection of what was already occuring?



 Posted: Tue Sep 3rd, 2013 05:53 pm
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Hellcat
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If that's the case, then why apply it only to those areas in open rebellion against the federal government? The border states were slave states and the Emancipation left the slaves there in bondage. Also, I've read that Lincoln had it actually ready to be issued by July 1862 but was waiting for some kind of a major victory by the armies to do so. Not by the Army of the Potomac or forces in the Eastern Theater, but by all armies. Yet it's September 1862 that i's issued, and it doesn't go into effect until January 1863. It's issued after Antietam, when it could have been issued sooner as the armies in the Western heater were doing better than their eastern counterparts.

Edit: What I'm saying here is was the Emancipation a reflection of what was going on or was it about politics. Quite technically during the war Lincoln had no authority over what went on in the South. They had formed their own nation and were governing themselves as a separate nation. The only slave states Lincoln actually had authority over during the war were the border states, so why not free the slaves there?

Last edited on Tue Sep 3rd, 2013 09:57 pm by Hellcat



 Posted: Thu Sep 5th, 2013 02:46 pm
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MildMan
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I agree that the EP was a "refection of what was going on" AND I think it was about politics. I understand that in the spring of 1862 some several slaves escaped to Ft Monroe. Confederate officers, under a flag of truce, came to ask for their return and were refused by General Ben Butler himself. In May 1862 Butler formalized a policy by issuing an order that slaves that had been used in the war effort and escaped, would not be returned as required under the fugitive slave act. I do not know Lincolns reaction to this - he did repudiate previous emancipation efforts by Fremont and Hunter. In August of 1862 Congress passed the Confiscation Act, which PROHIBITED union officers from returning escaped slaves that had been used in the confederate war effort. My thinking is that, based on these examples, Lincoln was not leading emancipation but more or less reacting to it. He was thinking about the proclamation at about the time Butler was stating his policy and congress was passing its act. Slaves were already escaping in droves. Did the proclamation do anything more than US Officers were already by law required to do? Not really. So yes, I think this was more about politics...about Lincoln reasserting his leadership.



 Posted: Thu Sep 12th, 2013 03:23 am
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history&people
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Good question MildMan



 Posted: Fri Sep 13th, 2013 02:15 am
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barrydancer
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Hellcat wrote: If that's the case, then why apply it only to those areas in open rebellion against the federal government? The border states were slave states and the Emancipation left the slaves there in bondage...The only slave states Lincoln actually had authority over during the war were the border states, so why not free the slaves there?
I'm trying to remember my grad school lectures from 5-6 years ago, but I think Lincoln left the border states alone for a couple of reasons.  One, he didn't feel he had the authority to interfere with slavery in places not in rebellion against the Union.  Two, and I'm paraphrasing, he felt the "push and pull of war" in the border states would do the job for him, as slaves left those areas for the North of their own volition.  On the latter point he was mostly proved correct, as large numbers of slaves from Maryland, Kentucky, etc. took the opportunity provided by the war to head North, crippling slavery in those states.



 Posted: Fri Sep 13th, 2013 04:18 am
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barrydancer-

   Actually, Mr. Lincoln's primary objective when dealing with the border states was to keep them in the Union.  If their populations, natural resources, and strategic locations had been at the disposal of the CSA, the balance of power would have been altered.

Abraham Lincoln and the Border States

   To accomplish this objective and suppress any secessionist elements, Mr. Lincoln took steps to install pro-Union state governments in the border states.  As far as the slavery question goes, the state governments of Maryland (01 Nov 1864) and Missouri (11 Jan1865) officially abolished slavery on their own. However, slavery remained legal in Kentucky and Delaware until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865. It was not until then that 40000 slaves in Kentucky and another 1000 in Delaware, as well as a few others elsewhere were finally freed. That was six months after the last slaves were officially freed in the states that had seceded.



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