The Great Emancipator

What people really thought of Lincoln:

"We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." - Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Seward
and:
"The principle (of the Proclamation) is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States." - The London Spectator
You see, even in Lincoln's day they had spin doctors advising the President. The above quotes are from a column by Walter Williams who likes this book on the Lincoln Presidency: The Real Lincoln.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 01.22.09 at 09:14 AM










Comments

I'm curious, do you have a problem with those quotes or are you talking about Lincoln spinning the Emancipation Proclamation into something it wasn't?

Because honestly, the Emancipation Proclamation freed exactly the same number of slaves as the number of enemy planes shot down by the United States Air Force in WWII: none, nada, zip, zilch.
Now, you can say that there were reasons he did it, I'm sure a huge one was for recruitment purposes from anti-slavery types in New England, but it still wasn't anything but pretty sounding words.

Veeshir   ·  January 22, 2009 2:54 PM

Fancy Title for the Proclamation. No effective result. Pure Propaganda.

M. Simon   ·  January 22, 2009 5:02 PM

It's funny, I thought that's what you had meant but since so many people talk about that document as if it actually did something real instead of just being flowery words I wasn't sure.

Admittedly, he followed through, but the proclamation was also a bit of pragmatism.

If he had freed the slaves in loyal states, they might not have stayed loyal and he was having enough problems with Maryland as it was. When the capitol of your nation is in the middle of two hostile states, well, that could make you sleep less well at night.

Veeshir   ·  January 22, 2009 5:15 PM

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