Abraham Lincoln

October 2021 Forums General discussion Abraham Lincoln

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  • #91935
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/greeley.htm

    Lincoln wrote:
    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.

    That is a famous and oft quoted passage, but, if you follow the link above you'll see he also says:

    Lincoln wrote:
    I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.

    Also, his Second Inaugural address is striking:

    Lindoln wrote:
    One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

    http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/inaug2.htm

    #91936
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    A related blog post of interest. http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/exclusive-exploding-the-lincoln-myth-by-rocket-kirchner/#more-140490"Books like The Real Lincoln by Thomas Dilorenza, or Lincoln Reconsidered by David Donald, not to mention Gore Vidal’s work on Lincoln, would never be allowed anywhere near a public school. Anyone who knows me knows that I despise any kind of racism or slavery. But the Lincoln presidency had nothing to with that. Just as losing our rights today has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. Abe and his cronies had one goal in mind: consolidating federal power for themselves. Lincoln was never an abolitionist. In 1850 he supported the Fugitive Slave Act, and in 1861 he refused to support liberated slaves. His agenda was British style mercantilism. Pure and simple."

    #91937
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Mention of "dandelion" prompted me to check what Daniel De Leon and the De Leonists said and say about Lincoln. Not surprisingly in view of their "Americanism",  it is very favourable as in chapter 2 of the SLP pamphlet Reviling of the Great by Arnold Petersen.They also reproduce an interesting quote from Lincoln in 1861 about labour and capital here:

    Quote:
    It is not needed, not fitting here, that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point, with its connexions, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention.It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above labor, in the structure of government.It is assumed that labor is available only in connexion with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it, induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers, or what we call slaves. And further it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer, is fixed in that condition for life.Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital, producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation.A few men own capital, and with that avoid labor themselves, and, with their capital, hire or buy another few to labor for them.A large majority belong to neither class — neither work for others, nor have others working for them. In most of the southern states, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters; while in the northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families — wives, sons and daughters — work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other.

    I didn't know that "in most of the southern states, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters". I can believe that most "white" people there were not slaveholders, but is it true that in most of the southern states most "black" people were not slaves? Anyone know?

    #91938
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    I didn't know that "in most of the southern states, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters". I can believe that most "white" people there were not slaveholders, but is it true that in most of the southern states most "black" people were not slaves? Anyone know?

    Not entirely certain about that but according to the Wikipedia page on Slavery in the US:-"By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million. Of all 1,515,605 families in the 15 slave states, 393,967 held slaves (roughly one in four), amounting to 8% of all American families."And this fact I found particularly interesting:-"in the 72 years between the election of George Washington and the election of Abraham Lincoln, 50 of those years [had] a slaveholder as president of the United States, and, for that whole period of time, there was never a person elected to a second term who was not a slaveholder."Bear in mind also that:-"Slavery in the United States existed as a legal institution from the early years of the colonial period; it was firmly established by the time the United States sought independence from Great Britain in 1776. However, by 1804, all states north of the Mason and Dixon Line had either abolished slavery outright or passed laws for the gradual abolition of slavery. In 1787 Congress prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory, after a proposal by Thomas Jefferson to abolish it in all the territories failed by one vote. However slavery gained new life in the South with the cotton industry after 1800, and expanded into the Southwest."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States

    #91939
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It seems that Lincoln was wrong. According to this, in 1840 only 8% of "blacks" in the South were not slaves. But (I'm still living and learning) a few of these were themselves slaveholders.

    #91940
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Conflicting sources on numbers , I'm afraid,  Adam, but certainly they all agree that free blacks were a small minority compared with the enslaved and "free" was very relative and conditional depending on the state. The South antebellum is divided into Upper (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, border states of Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Maryland, or Delaware)  and Lower (or the Deep South – the cotton states) –  Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.It is estimated that by 1860 there were about 1.5 million free blacks in the southern states.http://www.ushistory.org/us/27d.aspThe first federal census (1790) recorded nearly 60,000 free blacks and more than 690,000 slaves. By 1860 the number of free blacks rose to nearly 490,000. Free blacks were either offspring of free parents, immigrants, or former slaves. Restricted in their movement and denied by law and custom many basic rights, the lives of free blacks were often similar to those of slaves. According to the 1790 census, about 90% of African Americans lived in the South, but nearly half of the free blacks, around 27,000, lived in the North. By the turn of the century virtually all African Americans in the North had been freed from slavery.http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100402104839AAfy8moIn 1860  Upper South – free slaves 183,369 3.1% Lower South 67,418 1.1% whereas slaves were 20.5% and 43.1% of the population respectively. The Upper South had more free blacks than the North and about 10% possessed property.http://www.bowdoin.edu/~prael/lesson/tables.htmMaryland number of ownerless blacks was at 90,000, and on the increase -http://www.nytimes.com/1860/02/17/news/the-south-and-the-free-blacks.htmlThe proportion of free blacks went from one percent before the Revolution to 10 percent by 1810 in the Upper South. By 1860, on the eve of the American Civil War, 91 percent of blacks in Delaware were free, and 49.7 percent of blacks in Maryland.http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Free+blackBy 1776, approximately 8 percent of African Americans were free. By 1810, 4 percent of blacks in the South (10% in the Upper South), and 75 percent of blacks in the North were free. On the eve of the Civil War, free blacks comprised about 10% of the population.https://www.boundless.com/history/slavery-and-reform-1820-1840/slavery-in-u-s/free-blacks-in-south/Were free blacks offered the same rights as free whites? The answer is quite simply no. Free blacks throughout the South were banned from possessing firearms, or preaching the Bible. Later laws even prohibited Negroes who went out of state to get an education from returning. In many states, the slave codes that were designed to keep African-Americans in bondage were also applied to free persons of color. Most horrifically, free blacks could not testify in court. If a slave catcher claimed that a free African-American was a slave, the accused could not defend himself in court.http://www.inmotionaame.org/migrations/topic.cfm;jsessionid=f8301140001360747058941?migration=7&topic=2&bhcp=1Virginia was one of a number of Southern states whose laws required that a freed slave must leave the state within a year of emancipation.States like North Carolina prohibited free African Americans from entering their territory. In several states, including Maryland, free blacks convicted on the most minor charges were sold into slavery. In 1858, one free black man in South Carolina was convicted for stealing a pot valued at less than a dollar; he escaped after he was delivered to a slave dealer for sale. In the 1850s, Charleston's free African Americans were forced to wear badges in order to work, and their entrance into the mechanical trades was severely limited. In Washington, D.C., they were subject to curfews and other restrictions. In Charleston and New Orleans, black sailors were imprisoned during the time their ships were in port to prevent them from making contact with local bondspeople. In 1859, South Carolina's legislature established the Committee on the Colored Population, which seriously considered enslaving all the state's free African Americans.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_negroWiki says – There were a number of free blacks in the South, mainly in the cities. During the nineteenth century, the population of free blacks in the South shrunk as a significant portion of the free black population migrated northward.This migration even moved some of the more prominent and talented free black figures out of the southern caste of free Negroes into the North, draining the south of potential free black leaders.Many free African American families in colonial North Carolina and Virginia became landowners and a few of them also became slave owners. In some cases, this was in order to protect members of their own families, whom they purchased from other owners. In other cases, they participated in the full slave economy. For example, a freedman named Cyprian Ricard purchased an estate in Louisiana that included 100 slaves.Some even became freemasons !!  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/aopart2.htmlNew Orleans had its own particular free black social system. Free people of color, or gens de couleur libre, played an important role in the history of New Orleans and the southern part of the state, former Louisiana Territory.Within free black marriages, many women were able to participate more equally in their relationships than elite white women. This potential for equality in marriage can be seen through the example of the "colored aristocracy" of the small black elite in St. Louis, where women were often economic partners in their marriages. These small groups of blacks were descended from African or French and Spanish mixed marriages. Under the French, the women in these marriages had the same rights as white women and could hold property. These black women hoped to remain financially independent both for themselves and for the sake of protecting their children from Missouri’s restrictive laws.Not included in any of the statistics are the maroons, slaves who had escaped and lived in areas outside settlements. Nor those  "living as free" with the permission of their master, sometimes in return for payment of rent or a share of money they earned by trades, but their owner had never officially registered their liberty.

    #91941
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Don't know if this is relevant: http://www.islingtontribune.com/news/2013/feb/grave-abraham-lincolns-chiropodist-found-highgate-cemeteryBut I'm sure Marx would be turning in his grave if he knew that Corin Redgrave was buried in the same cemetery.

    #91942
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fz849The above will be available for one week: it's quite a good programme, back when Stl was still in the SWP… 

    #91943
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Talking about Lincoln, in Glasgow there is another connection but also, more importantly, to our past participation in the class struggle.Abercromby Street Burial Ground is a historic cemetery established by the Calton Incorporation of Weavers in 1787. It contains a fine series of 18th and 19th century stone monuments within its rubble-built enclosure walls. This significant cemetery contains a remarkable 'Martyrs' monument to those Calton weavers killed by the military during a strike in 1787, another principal monument is the obelisk to the Reverend James Smith, pastor to President Abraham Lincoln.http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6290

    #91944
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    To continue this very grave discussion, Edinburgh's Old Calton Cemetry, has a monument depicting Lincoln. This was the first statue to an American President in any country outside of the USA. It is the only monument to the American Civil War outside the USA.http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/660/660,1213389420,73/stock-photo-memorial-in-old-calton-burial-ground-edinburgh-scotland-raised-in-remembrance-of-scottish-13716598.jpg It too like Glasgow has a Martyrs Monument remembering Thomas Muir and others organising for political rights.

    #91945
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the update. So Glasgow Calton and Edinburgh Calton. Turned into a graveyard shift this thread.

    #91946
    Anonymous
    Inactive
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