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Old November 28th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #11

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Originally Posted by ucanefan View Post
Lincoln always "hated"slavery, yet he was very quiet on it before he was president. He only stood up to slavery when he absolutely had to with a civil war in his face.

Of course some people thought it was about slavery, they still do. It's obviously debatable look how many pages the thread on this has already gotten. "the myth the ACW was not over slavery"
The Confederate leaders of the day thought it was all about slavery. Lincoln had been speaking out against slavery for YEARS before he even ran for the Presidency. That is exactly why the Southern states seceded when he was elected. If you don't believe me, listen to Howell Cobb, the first President of the Provisional Confederate Congress. In the speech below, he quotes Lincoln several times. I have highlighted the Lincoln quotes in blue. These quotes are all correct, and they are all about slavery. And you will note that Howell Cobb is citing these quotes as reasons why the Southern states should secede:

Quote:
That duty was successfully discharged in the selection and nomination of Mr. Lincoln.

He had placed on record his calm and solemn declaration on the subject of slavery, sentiments which remain to this hour without retraction, or even modification, by himself. In the pamphlet copy of his speeches, revised by himself, and circulated throughout the Presidential canvass by his supporters, we find the following clear and unequivocal declaration of his views and feelings on the subject of slavery:

"I did not even say that I desired that should be put in course of ultimate extinction. I do say so now, however: so there need be no longer any difficulty about that. It may be written down in the great speech."

"I have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any abolitionist. I have been an old line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the Nebraska bill began. I always believed that everybody was against it. and that it as in the course of ULTIMATE EXTINCTION."

"We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will "CEASE TO BE DIVIDED: IT WILL BECOME ALL ONE THING OR THE OTHER. Either the opponents of slavery will ARREST the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ULTIMATE EXTINCTION, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South."


Commenting on this, he afterwards said:

"I only said what I expected would take place. I made a prediction only; it may have been a foolish one, perhaps. I did not even say that I desired that slavery should be put in course of ultimate extinction. I do now, however, so there need be no longer any difficulty about that.

"If I were in Congress, and a vote should come upon a question whether slavery should be prohibited in a new Territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I WOULD VOTE THAT IT SHOULD."

"What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another without the other man's consent. I say this is the leading principle, (?) ANCHOR of American Republicanism. Our Declaration of Independence says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, - that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, DERIVING their just power from the consent of the governed.

"I have quoted so much at this time merely to show, that according to our ancient faith, the powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed. Now, the relation of master and slave is, pro tanto, a violation of this principle. The master not only governs the slave without his consent, but he governs him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he prescribes for himself. Allow all the governed an EQUAL VOICE IN THE GOVERNMENT; and that, and that only is self-government."


Again, in a speech delivered in Chicago, during the last Presidential election, which we find published in the Illinois State Journal, the state organ of the Black Republican party of Illinois, on the 16th of September, 1856, Mr. Lincoln said:

That central idea, in our political opinion, at the beginning was, and until recently continued to be, the equality of men. And, although it was always submitted patiently to, whatever inequality there seemed to be as a matter of action necessity, its constant working has been a steady progress toward the PRACTICAL EQUALITY OF ALL MEN.

"Let past differences as nothing be; and, with steady eye on the real issue, let us re-inaugurate the good old central ideas of the Republic. We can do it. The human heart is with us; God is with us. We shall again be able, not to declare that all the States, as States, are equal; nor yet that all citizens, as citizens, are equal; but renew the broader, better declaration, including both these and much more, that all men are created equal."


Yet again, in a speech at Chicago, on the 16th of July, 1858, Mr. Lincoln said:

"I should like to know if, taking the old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are created equal upon principle, and making exceptions to it, where will it stop? If one man say, it does not mean a negro; why not another say, it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the statute book in which we find it, and tear it out. Who is so bold as to do it? If it is not true, let us tear it out. [Cries of "No no!"] Let us stick to it, then; let us stand firmly by it, then.

Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man - this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position - discarding the standard that we have left us. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land until we shall once more stand up declaring that ALL MEN are created equal. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms UNTIL THERE SHALL NO longer be a doubt that ALL MEN ARE CREATED FREE AND EQUAL."


In these declarations Mr. Lincoln has covered the entire abolition platform - hatred of slavery, disregard of judicial decisions, negro equality, and, as a matter of course, the ultimate extinction of slavery. None of these doctrines, however, are left to inference, so far as Mr. Lincoln is concerned, as we see he has avowed them in the plainest and clearest language.


- Howell Cobb, December 6, 1860

Source: Letter of Hon. Howell Cobb to the People of Georgia, December 6, 1860
Again, the text in blue above is Lincoln's words, cited by Howell Cobb as the reason why the Southern states should secede. Please read them.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #12

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Well some of those help prove my point. He says himself he's been quiet on the issue.. You disagree that he had a hands off policy on the institution of slavery in the states that already have it? Until Bloody nebraska and the expansion of slavery, Lincoln wanted nothing to do with it and simply wanted it to die off on his own as his predecessors Jefferson and Washington hoped.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #13

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Yes Lincoln hated slavery and didn't want it to expand. But he was extremely reluctant to touch it otherwise. He preferred a hands off policy until a war and Europe looking to see the confederacy as legitimate nearly forced him to make slavery the unions' focus. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't even free all the slaves. Help me out here TJ lol
Lincoln COULDN'T touch it where it existed already, other than as a war measure. The Constitution prohibited that. He was NOT a dictator.

The best he could do was stop its expansion in the belief that it would lead to its ultimate extinction. That he pledged to do with all his heart and soul. And the Southern leaders took his word for it and seceded because of it. Do you think things would have worked out any differently if Lincoln had come into office on Day 1 and said "OK, I've decided I'm going to free all the slaves after all, right now, at this very moment"???
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Old November 28th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #14

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Well some of those help prove my point. He says himself he's been quiet on the issue.. You disagree that he had a hands off policy on the institution of slavery in the states that already have it? Until Bloody nebraska and the expansion of slavery, Lincoln wanted nothing to do with it and simply wanted it to die off on his own as his predecessors Jefferson and Washington hoped.
The Kansas-Nebraska act was in 1854. Prior to that Lincoln had retired from politics. It was the Kansas-Nebraska act that brought him back into politics. The man had been speaking out against slavery for 7 years!! Several states seceded from the Union because of what he had been saying. Good grief, what more do you want???

Perhaps you would like to have seen John Brown as President?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #15

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I'm not saying for him to touch it. I'm saying for him to publicly denounce it everywhere. Not just its expansion. I concede he did stand up to it more than most at the time before his presidency. But he also had a hands off policy on slavery where it already stood. I feel like he could have been more adamant about its demise like how people think he was today. He was also unconstitutional at times so perhaps the constitution failed him by not including anything about a civil war. But this thread is not just about Lincoln. Obviously he was the most radical about the abolition of slavery but it still took him a very long time to do the EP which should have freed them all if he hated it that much.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #16

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I'm not saying for him to touch it. I'm saying for him to publicly denounce it everywhere. Not just its expansion. I concede he did stand up to it more than most at the time before his presidency. But he also had a hands off policy on slavery where it already stood. I feel like he could have been more adamant about its demise like how people think he was today. He was also unconstitutional at times so perhaps the constitution failed him by not including anything about a civil war. But this thread is not just about Lincoln. Obviously he was the most radical about the abolition of slavery but it still took him a very long time to do the EP which should have freed them all if he hated it that much.
Lincoln was indeed "adamant about its demise". He made statements like this, over and over again, for seven years prior to taking office:

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"I say, then, there is no way of putting an end to the slavery agitation amongst us but to put it back upon the basis where our fathers placed it; no way but to keep it out of our new Territories,—to restrict it forever to the old States where it now exists. Then the public mind will rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction. That is one way of putting an end to the slavery agitation.

The other way is for us to surrender, and let Judge Douglas and his friends have their way and plant slavery over all the States; cease speaking of it as in any way a wrong; regard slavery as one of the common matters of property, and speak of negroes as we do of our horses and cattle."
- Abraham Lincoln, Sept. 18, 1858

Source: Fourth Joint Debate at Charleston. Mr. Lincoln's Rejoinder. Lincoln, Abraham. 1897. Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas
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"Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South." - Abraham Lincoln, June 17, 1858

Source: Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, Abraham. 1897. Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas
How many slaves do you suppose would have been freed if Lincoln had issued the EP on his first day in office, or on the first day of the war?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #17

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Your characterization of Lincoln is incorrect. He had been advocating for years that he wanted to stop the expansion of slavery, in the belief that that would lead to its "ultimate extinction". That's the platform he ran on, and that's the platform he was elected on. When Southern states started to secede as a result of his policy, some of his advisors asked him to recant it. He refused.

He understood that he had no Constitutional authority to touch slavery where it already existed (except as a war measure). Despite what some people say, he was not a dictator. But he did have the Constitutional authority to stop its expansion, and that he fully intended to do.

He was the ONLY President who stood up against slavery. And as a result, the country went into Civil War. And that answers why the other Presidents and Founding Fathers kept backing down to slavery.
Good post, and not to mention, a centuries old institution cannot practically be ended in a quick, easy fashion. There will almost always be a period of time involved in a paradigm shift. Whether it comes from top, the bottom or the center of society.

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Obviously he was the most radical about the abolition of slavery but it still took him a very long time to do the EP which should have freed them all if he hated it that much.
I find your statement to hold little water. Lincoln taking "A very long time" is invalid in such a political and social shift. Frankly. I think it happened in a surprisingly 'short' time.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #18

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Why not on day one come in and say I don't have the constitutional right to abolish it but I honesty think it shouldn't exist anywhere. Pure politics? To get the vote? Same reason he was leinient on border states? Why did he want it to die out on its own as our founders said? I believe it was a cop out because they all knew it would take a war apparently no one felt strongy enough about it
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #19

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I'm not talking about actually abolishing It. I'm saying publicly and politically make a sturdy stand against slavery. That's all. And no one did. Abe himself didn't until over a year into his presidency and even then he was still cool with some slavery the EP is proof. He even said whatever to preserve the union be it abolishing no slaves some slaves or all the slaves. But whatever it took to preserve the union
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:38 PM   #20

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I'm not talking about actually abolishing It. I'm saying publicly and politically make a sturdy stand against slavery. That's all. And no one did. Abe himself didn't until over a year into his presidency and even then he was still cool with some slavery the EP is proof.
OK, you're obviously ignoring all the quotes I've posted. Guess I can't help you there. That is certainly your right. But please be aware, putting your hands over your eyes doesn't prevent the rest of us from seeing the truth. We don't have our hands over our eyes, and we can clearly see you sitting there with your hands over your eyes.

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He even said whatever to preserve the union be it abolishing no slaves some slaves or all the slaves. But whatever it took to preserve the union
Yes, for Lincoln preserving the Union was a higher priority than freeing the slaves. If the Union ceased to exist, who was going to enforce the abolition of slavery anyway?
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