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Abraham Lincoln

The Cult of Lincoln
by Greg Loren Durand

How Lincoln Secured His Re-Election
by George Edmonds

Rev. K.J. Stewart: A Victim of Lincoln's "Reign of Terror"
by John A. Marshall

The Despotism of Lincoln Conceded by Northern Testimony
by Charles L.C. Minor

A Southern Estimate of Abraham Lincoln
by Mrs. M.P. Shepard

Was Abraham Lincoln a Hero?
by Lyon Gardiner Tyler

Lincoln and Democracy
by Paul S. Whitcomb

What Was Abraham Lincoln's Attitude Toward the Negro?

Abraham Lincoln is known today as the "Great Emancipator" and as a friend to the Negro slaves of the South. While it is true that he was opposed to the spread of Negro slavery into the common Territories, he was never motivated by the welfare of the slaves themselves, but his concern was reserved exclusively for the effects he believed the institution had upon the White population of the United States. During his public debates with Stephen Douglas in Illinois, Lincoln made it very clear that he sided with those of the Free-Soil party, which sought to confine the Negroes to the South so as not to compete with White labor in the Territories. In an address delivered at Springfield, Illinois on 26 June 1857, Lincoln openly declared himself in favor of racial segregation and the eventual deportation of the Blacks back to their native Africa: "A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation.... Such separation, if ever affected at all, must be affected by colonization.... Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and at the same time, favorable to, or at least not against, our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be."

Less than five months prior to delivering the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln addressed a delegation of free Blacks at the Executive Mansion with these words:

...[W]hy... should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave the country? This is, perhaps, the first question for consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races.... You here are freemen, I suppose... but even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race.... Owing to the existence of the two races on this continent, I need not recount to you the effects upon white men growing out of the institution of slavery. I believe in its general evil effects on the white race.... But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other.... It is better for us both therefore to be separated.... (speech delivered at the Executive Mansion on 14 August 1862)

The issuance of Lincoln's Proclamation brought no change in his position: "I have urged the colonization of the negroes, and I shall continue. My Emancipation Proclamation was linked with this plan. There is no room for two distinct races of white men in America, much less for two distinct races of whites and blacks. I can conceive of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the negro into our social and political life as our equal.... We can never attain the ideal union our fathers dreamed of, with millions of an alien, inferior race among us, whose assimilation is neither possible nor desirable" (address delivered at Washington, D.C.; in Roy P. Basler, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume V, pages 371-375).

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