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 Posted: Mon Jul 4th, 2011 03:54 pm
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Texas Defender
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BHR62-

  I have a problem with some of what you have written in the first paragraph of your latest posting. The first issue is what I believe is the myth of a conspiracy to send arms to southern arsenals in anticipation of the coming of the war.

  I am not an admirer of John B. Floyd as a politician, and certainly not as a general. But I believe that he has been falsely accused by some of treasonous actions. In answer to the charge I present this essay from the Civil War Homepage.

Secession Justification Part VII, Appendix  (See the: "Three Indictments").

  As for the beginning of the war, you seem to see things, to use a phrase, : "in terms of black and white."  In actuality, the Confederate Government sent peace comissioners to Washington shortly after Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated. Their purpose was to attempt to negotiate the purchase of federal property in the seceded states, which included an offer to pay some of the national debt. The commissioners were rebuffed by Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward, and it was strongly implied to them that the US Government was preparing to abandon Ft. Sumter. That was not the case, as at that very time, a relief effort was being put together.

  The existence of this diplomatic effort was even referred to by Mr. Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address. He said: "....insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it (The Union) without war- seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. "

  In actuality, Mr. Lincoln was in need of an incident to arouse the northern people to take up arms to invade the states that had seceded. The firing on Ft. Sumter was just what he needed, and it was given to him even though Major Anderson signaled his willingness to leave when his provisions ran out.

  Of course Mr. Lincoln would have negotiated the return of the seceded states to the Union if they had been willing to do that. They were not, so I agree with your statement that at that point, war was inevitable. Mr. Lincoln would never have accepted secession, and the Confederates were unwilling to consider reunification.

  I will respond about Mr. Lincoln's war aims and his views on the races in more detail shortly.

Last edited on Mon Jul 4th, 2011 05:22 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Mon Jul 4th, 2011 05:00 pm
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BHR62-

  The first thing I wish to say about Mr. Lincoln is that he was a 19th century man and a product of his times. Like the vast majority of white men of his day, he considered the white race to be the superior and the black race the inferior. Attitudes that would be considered racist in the present day were the norm in his.

  Mr. Lincoln said more than once that he did not consider the black man to be his equal. One of these times was during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in 1858 when he said: "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...." He then went on to say that he doubted that the two races would ever live together: "On terms of social and political equality."

  Mr. Lincoln always hated the institution of slavery and desired to see the slaves freed. But his preferred solution to dealing with the problem of the races was the voluntary deportation of the negroes to places like South America, Central America, or the Caribbean. (Or back to Africa). He is on record as early as the 1840s as being in favor of this.

  When the war began, Lincoln set in motion government efforts to find places where the freed negroes could be sent to. In September of 1862, an effort was made to find homes for 50,000 negroes in an area of Panama. This effort failed due to questions about land titles and the opposition of Central American governments. In December of 1862, an effort was made to settle 500 on the Isle a Vache, just off the coast of Haiti. This effort failed for various reasons, including a smallpox epidemic.

  Mr. Lincoln even set up an agency to oversea colonization efforts, employing the Reverend James Mitchell (of Indiana). It was called the Bureau of Emigration, under the Department of the Interior. It attempted to find suitable places in British Honduras, and in the British West Indies.  These efforts failed, and there were no more efforts made after the US Navy had to rescue survivors from the Isle a Vache effort in 1864.

  As for Mr. Lincoln's war aims, his purpose was clear. It was to preserve the Union at all costs. In the letter to Horace Greeley referenced on this thread, he said: "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery." He wrote: "What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union." Thus, the issue about the races was subordinated to the issue of saving the Union.

  In 1861 and 1862, this ordering of priorities can be seen in Mr. Lincoln's reaction to some of his generals proclaiming emancipation of negroes in captured areas. He first repudiated General Fremont in 1861, and then General Hunter in 1862.

  As for the Emancipation Proclamation, it was a war measure attempting to re-energize the northern people by putting the war on a higher moral plane. Mr. Lincoln announced his intentions to publish it when he met with his cabinet on 22July 1862. It was agreed to delay its proclamation.

  The next month, Mr. Lincoln met with a committee of black leaders. His intent as he expressed to them, was still to keep the races separate and find other places for the blacks. He said to them: "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 suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side."  Deportation of blacks was still his preferred solution.

  The Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on 01January 1863, but in actuality it freed no slaves at that time. In August of 1863, there was the reading of the Conkling Letter (26 August 1863), linked to on this thread. In that letter, Mr. Lincoln wrote that his fellow citizens had rejected the idea of compensated emancipation. He said that the Emancipation Proclamation policy was to hurt the south by depriving it of its property (negroes) and enlisting them against the Confederacy. He said that the use of colored troops constitutes: "..the heaviest blow yet dealt to the Rebellion," and that: "I issued the Proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union." Thus, the order of priorities had not changed.

  I see nothing in Mr. Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address discussing voting rights for negroes or equality of the races. However, in his speech delivered on 11 April 1865, he did mention the : "New Legislature " of Lousiana. It had adopted emancipation and ratification of the proposed 13th Amendment. It also discussed negro suffrage. By this time, a few days before his death, Mr. Lincoln had come to the view that some of the: "More intelligent" blacks might be given the vote. He especially thought that those who had served the nation in the war should be compensated for helping him to preserve the Union. But that saving of the Union was always his highest priority.

  Most black people of that time viewed Mr. Lincoln as their savior, but this view was not universal. On 14 April 1876, Frederick Douglass made a speech in Washington, DC at a monument being dedicated to Mr. Lincoln. It was clear that he wasn't buying into the: "Great Emancipator" label being given to Mr. Lincoln. Douglass wrote: "He was preeminently the white man's president, entirely devoted to the welfare of the white man. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone,and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country."

Last edited on Mon Jul 4th, 2011 06:47 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Mon Jul 4th, 2011 06:44 pm
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Texas...I can't argue with you at all on Lincoln's attitudes towards the black - white issue.  I think he was more forward thinking than the typical white man of his times though.  In the 1858 election with Douglas the racism was incredibly appalling even by 19th century standards.  Democrats launched attacks on Lincoln as a man who thought blacks were the equal to whites.  Negro lover was probably the least of the insults they hurled at him.  They insinuated that he wanted blacks and whites to marry etc.  They held signs at Democratic rallies showing Lincoln with baboons for a family.    

At the start of the war he had no intention of freeing the slaves.  By the time of the Emancipation Proclamation though he had become more religious in his thinking.  He was looking at the war as God's wrath against America for making a deal with the devil on slavery.  There were political benefits also but he was shifting his opinion on the issue towards abolishment.  The border states he was in favor of paying the slave owners for releasing their slaves.  Frederick Douglas was a strong critic of his for not taking bolder action.  But yet the South that Lincoln was an out of control tyrant set on trampling on their rights.

Lincoln wanted preservation of the Union above all else.  He wasn't going to preside over the dissolution of the United States.  Even in the lowest points of the war he was a rock in not letting this happen on his watch.  Which is why no peace was going to be had that involved a separated South.  Lee could have marched into Washington DC then  Baltimore setting fire to both and Lincoln wouldn't have flinched in carrying on the war from New York. 

Because of this steadfastness I believe in the post war years he would have had a lot of political capital in having a lenient reconstruction with the South.  Up until the fall of Atlanta he wasn't the most popular guy to be President.  He jailed journalists that didn't agree with him and suspended Habeus Corpus.  He was either a hated or loved man throughout the North.  Getting shot turned him into a martyr no doubt.  But bringing the war to a victorious conclusion was already making him into a great president.

A lot of my viewpoints expressed on Lincoln come from Stephen Oates book, "With Malice Toward None."  I readily admit that I have a strong Yankee view of the war so bear with me.  Hell I just found out I have two Reb ancestors in the war.  So maybe with time I'll be more balanced.



 Posted: Mon Jul 4th, 2011 07:16 pm
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BHR62-

  Since the Lincoln-Douglas Debates have come into discussion on this thread, I wonder why the: "What if" crowd apprently hasn't ever considered the question: "What if Lincoln had won the election in 1858?"

  Would he have run for president in 1860? I'm sure that his wife would have wanted him to. But if he had won in 1858, he would have had duties to his constituents in his state. He would have had a job, and not been as free to travel around the country, building up a national following. If he had not run for president, or not won the nomination, who would have been the Republican nominee? Perhaps it would have been Mr. Seward.

  If it had been Mr. Seward, would he have won the election as Mr. Lincoln did, because the Democrat party had split? And if he won the election, would the southern states have seceded?

  And if the southern states had seceded, would Mr. Seward have prosecuted the war with the same level of determination for as long as Lincoln did? (My guess is that he would not have). And if he didn't, would the southerners have secured their independence? (My guess is that they would have).

  All of this, of course, is simply wild speculation. But that is an exercise that a few on this board, at least, like to engage in.  :D

Last edited on Mon Jul 4th, 2011 11:09 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Tue Jul 5th, 2011 10:01 pm
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Lincoln winning against Douglas would have probably put him on track for 1864 rather than 1860.  But then Douglas did run for president in 1860.  Was he already a Senator when he ran against Lincoln in 1858?  It is a very tough what if question.  I think Seward would probably have won the nomination.  I think the South would probably have won the war with Seward as President.  Mainly because Seward was very outspoken in his views and tended to piss people off.  Whereas Lincoln worked with and led people who didn't like him but had the same goal in mind...keeping the Union together.  Lincoln was able to get these people to look past him and concentrate on the overall goal.  Seward it is doubtful if he could have pulled that off.

Lincoln was just the right guy at the right time to lead America through this crisis.  He had an iron will on keeping the country together.  He never viewed Southerners as anything else but fellow Americans.  He truly wanted a good peace...not one of vengeance.



 Posted: Tue Jul 5th, 2011 10:29 pm
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BHR62-

  Yes, Stephen A. Douglas was already a US senator when Mr. Lincoln ran against him in 1858. Douglas became a US senator in 1847 after serving a couple of terms in the House. He remained in office until his death in June of 1861.

  He deserves a lot of the credit (or blame) for the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. He also supported the Dred Scott decision in 1857.

  A bit of trivia- He was born: "Douglass" (Same name as Frederick Douglass (Who wasn't born: "Douglass")) but he dropped the second: "s."

Last edited on Tue Jul 5th, 2011 11:18 pm by Texas Defender



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 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 01:33 am
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Savez wrote: BHR62 wrote: "Texas...I can't argue with you at all on Lincoln's attitudes towards the black - white issue.  I think he was more forward thinking than the typical white man of his times though.  In the 1858 election with Douglas the racism was incredibly appalling even by 19th century standards.  Democrats launched attacks on Lincoln as a man who thought blacks were the equal to whites.  Negro lover was probably the least of the insults they hurled at him.  They insinuated that he wanted blacks and whites to marry etc.  They held signs at Democratic rallies showing Lincoln with baboons for a family.    

At the start of the war he had no intention of freeing the slaves.  By the time of the Emancipation Proclamation though he had become more religious in his thinking.  He was looking at the war as God's wrath against America for making a deal with the devil on slavery.  There were political benefits also but he was shifting his opinion on the issue towards abolishment.  The border states he was in favor of paying the slave owners for releasing their slaves.  Frederick Douglas was a strong critic of his for not taking bolder action.  But yet the South that Lincoln was an out of control tyrant set on trampling on their rights.

Lincoln wanted preservation of the Union above all else.  He wasn't going to preside over the dissolution of the United States.  Even in the lowest points of the war he was a rock in not letting this happen on his watch.  Which is why no peace was going to be had that involved a separated South.  Lee could have marched into Washington DC then  Baltimore setting fire to both and Lincoln wouldn't have flinched in carrying on the war from New York. 

Because of this steadfastness I believe in the post war years he would have had a lot of political capital in having a lenient reconstruction with the South.  Up until the fall of Atlanta he wasn't the most popular guy to be President.  He jailed journalists that didn't agree with him and suspended Habeus Corpus.  He was either a hated or loved man throughout the North.  Getting shot turned him into a martyr no doubt.  But bringing the war to a victorious conclusion was already making him into a great president.

A lot of my viewpoints expressed on Lincoln come from Stephen Oates book, "With Malice Toward None."  I readily admit that I have a strong Yankee view of the war so bear with me.  Hell I just found out I have two Reb ancestors in the war.  So maybe with time I'll be more balanced."
What makes you think this in the bold above? I feel the same way about Lincoln's religious beliefs changing while in office. I disagree it had anything to do with the Emancipation Proclomation though. That was simply a war measure, a political ploy. But I think Lincoln changed while in office. I think he went from a shrewd politician to one that realized the corruption in the the country, North and South. I believe Lincoln instigated war by his actions in dealing with Fort Pickens and Fort Sumter. He was very smart and knew what he was doing. What ambitious politician didn't want  a war to seal his legacy? A Civil War at that. But something changed him. The battlefield deaths, the suffering, the loss of his child, maybe all of it. But he changed. I think he became a Christian during that time, possibly 1864, the North's darkest hour. His darkest hour with the election coming.



Lincoln was changing his views on slavery as the war dragged on.  By late 1862 there had already been over a year of carnage.  He was already feeling pretty stressed by seeing a hell of a lot of Americans being slaughtered.  It makes a person think about stuff.  He was already seeking religious comfort by then.  The view of the war being God's judgement upon America for the institution of slavery was seeping into his thinking.  There were political benefits to the Proclamation no doubt...but I think it was mostly from his own inner feelings on the matter that he issued it.  The chances of the south peacefully coming back were basically nil....so what the hell...just go for broke and end the institution of slavery once and for all.  The war was up for grabs by late 1862...so issuing it for legacy reasons wasn't at the top of his list. 



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 02:22 am
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If Lincoln was ending the institution of Slavery once and for all with the Emancipation, then why did it only apply to those slaves in areas of open rebellion against the federal government?



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 02:28 am
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He did it to let the border states take care of that on their own.....but seriously....a President ending slavery in the southern states......makes it a pretty given that slavery won't exist anywhere in the US upon completion of the war.

Last edited on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 02:28 am by BHR62



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 02:58 am
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BHR62-

  The end of the war didn't officially end slavery everywhere. Slavery continued to be legal in a few places until the ratification of the 13th Amendment on 06Dec 1865. The last slaves to be freed became free in a northern state at that time.

Last edited on Sat Feb 25th, 2012 03:12 am by Texas Defender



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 03:25 am
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Lincoln told Horace Greely just weeks before finally issuing the Emanicpation that his goal was to preserve the union. If he could do that by keeping all the slaves he'd do that, if he could do it by freeing all the slaves he'd do that, and if he could do it by freeing some of the slaves and leaving others in bondage he'd do that too. Look at the Emancipation, it was aimed to free only slaves in areas in open rebellion against the federal government while slaves in the border states would remain in bondage. If he's having this great spiritual epihany to free the slaves then why not state that all slaves are free no matter where they are?

What's more, what good did the Emancipation actually do in freeing any slaves, as already stated it's aim was those slaves in open rebellion against the federal government. Well the areas in open rebellion were a seperate nation during the war. The Confederacy didn't have to obey what Lincoln said about freeing the slaves, his administration was that of a foreign power. It might have been one thing had Davis said that the slaves in the Confederacy were to be set free in 1862, and I doubt very many would have been overjoyed enough to obey him had he said so. But Lincoln couldn't force the Confederacy to set their slaves free just by saying their to be set free. It seems more his goal was to ensure that European powers did not come in to aid the Confederacy rather than actually free any slave.



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 10:40 am
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He was trying to keep the border states from throwing all in with the Confederacy. That is why he allowed them to keep their slaves for the moment. If you were a slave owner in Kentucky or Missouri and heard the Proclamation....you know Lincoln isn't going to let you off the hook in the post war when he is freeing the southern slaves by force of arms. Why would they think otherwise? The writing was on the wall plain as day. A Republican dominated government was established in Missouri leading to the abolishment of slavery in early 1865 to reinforce that belief. Lincoln didn't consider the south a seperate nation. He still continued to promote the idea of them being fellow Americans that went astray.

I'm in full agreement that when the war started his intention wasn't the abolishment of slavery. Whether one slave would be freed or none meant nothing compared to keeping the Union preserved. He began working on the Proclamation in early to mid 1862. Just wanted a victory to announce it so it didn't seem desperate. Having McClellen as General made that a difficult process. Sure the Proclamation had political benefits in helping keep the Europeans out. But I think he did it equally for moral reasons. It wasn't solely for political reasons.

His religious convictions were pretty weak when he entered office even though he had a good grasp of the bible. As the war dragged on and on he started looking at the war as God's punishment being dealt out to America for allowing slavery. His convictions grew much deeper.



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 12:18 pm
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The Emancipation Proclamation is crafted the way it is because of Lincoln's belief that slavery could only be abolished through Constitutional amendment. However, as Commander in Chief, he had the authority to abolish slavery as a military measure in rebellious areas. I base this primarily on the following text from the proclamation:

"Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion..."

Mark



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 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 03:04 pm
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I think you are selling Lincoln far, far short by saying he did it purely for political reasons.  He was a typical white guy of the 1800's.  It was taken for granted in the north and south that blacks were inferior.  He and the north just didn't believe in human bondage for the most part.  His 1858 Senatorial run against Douglas was extremely appalling as far as race relations is concerned.  Democrats went after him full force using every racial slur they could possibly think of on him and the Republicans.  His long term goal in coming into office was to confine slavery to the south with the hope of it whithering away peacefully.  The south thought he was a fire breathing abolitionist to the point they broke away.  So he had anti-slavery views already expressed before taking office.

His post war ideas ranged widely on what to do with the freed blacks.  He considered shipping them all to Africa and I think he even considered Central America as a possible place...which was an impossible task.  From what I can remember he gave up on these ideas and was in the process of setting a post war policy towards the south and the freed slaves when he was shot.  When he died the radicals took over with the full intention of making the south suffer terribly for the war. 



 Posted: Sat Feb 25th, 2012 10:09 pm
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I don't think it's selling him short by saying it was about politics. You yourself said he didn't include the slaves in the border states because that would have been more likely to cause them to side with the Confederacy. That's not some devotional conviction, that's political. Kentucky and Missouri actually tried seceeding in October and November 1861 so we know they would have sided with the Confederacy even without the Emancipation. Maryland was under matrial law so we have to think that maybe it may have sided without EP. WV may have sided with the Confederacy because of the EP. That leaves just Delaware which there was no question of Delaware siding with the North. So why fear Delaware siding with the South if your moral conviction is to free the slaves? Delaware rejected the 13th Amendment in 1865 and only ratified it in 1901, suggesting that politically Delaware could have sided with the Confederacy had the Emancipation applied to the border states as well.

If you're moral conviction is that the war is god's punishment over slavery, then you should make all slaves free, not just those in areas in open rebellion. That's political, you're politically saying that slavery should not exist in areas openly rebelling against the government but it's perfectly alright for them to exist in places not in open rebellion.



 Posted: Sun Feb 26th, 2012 01:50 am
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I didn't say politics had nothing to do with it. But to say, as was mentioned, that it was only about politics is pure BS.

Do you seriously think the slave owners in the border states thought they would be able to keep their slaves once the war ended? Everybody knew that the Proclamation meant the entire country. It was just a matter of time.



 Posted: Sun Feb 26th, 2012 04:13 am
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No, everyone knew it meant the Confederacy but worried it could be applied elsewhere. The abolitionists wanted it applied to the entire country. To think it wasn't purely politics I disagree with you on. When did Lincoln have it ready? Not September 1862, but at least two months earlier. Yet Lincoln was encouraged not to issue it until there was a "victory," despite the fact that the forces in the Western Theatern were doing well enough to issue it.



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