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Abraham Lincoln: The Great Deceiver

In the history of the United States, the legacy of its presidents has been on of racist ideologies.  We know for a fact that twelve Presidents were slave owners.  What many Americans are not aware of was that while Abraham Lincoln was against the institution of slavery, he was not a true friend of the black race. In delivering his Emancipation Proclamation, he only freed slaves in the seceeding states (which meant he freed slaves in states which he no longer had power.)  By allowing blacks to believe that the war was being fought for slavery, he convinced blacks to fight for their freedom alongside northern soldiers.  If he could strengthen the Union and keep slavery Lincoln would have done so.  Lincoln even wondered to General Irvin McDowell: “If it would not be well to allow the armies to bring back those fugitive slaves which have crossed the Potomac with our troops.” (Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. DuBois. New York: Russell & Russell, 1962, pg. 82)  Although he was in favor of emancipation of black slaves, Lincoln was not compromising enough to grant full equality to blacks.  He even tried dealing with the problem of what to do with the emanicipated slaves by shipping them off to other countries.  He wanted to ship freed slaves back to Africa, sending them Liberia, but scrapped the idea because the project was too costly.  He toyed with the idea of sending them to a country in South America.  Lincoln was in favor of colonization to prevent racial amalgamation. (The Racial Attitudes of the American Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt by George Sinkler. Garden City: Anchor Books, 1972, pg. 49)

Lincoln could not fathom social and political equality for blacks.  He once wondered what would be expected after the abolition of slavery, “What next? Free them at make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would we well know that those of the great mass of white people would not.  Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgement, is not the sole question, if indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, cannot safely be disregarded.  We cannot make them our equals.” (Abraham Lincoln: Complete Works Volume One by John G. Nicolay and John Hay (ed.). New York: The Century Co., 1920, pg. 288)

In a debate against Stephen Douglas, Lincoln remarked:

“I am not or ever have been in favor of making voters, or juors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to marry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living on terms of social and political equality.” (Political Debates Between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers Company, 1894, pg. 284)

These are the words and actions of “The Great Emancipator”.  Abraham Lincoln has been viewed as a savior and hero of the black race, but when his public records are reviewed it becomes quite clear that Abraham Lincoln was not a true friend of the black race.

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