tv The Civil War CSPAN November 28, 2014 6:02pm-7:01pm EST
there's a lot of construction going on in my street ft and the polling booth is about .7 of a mile away. and i knew it would be a huge pain to get there because of all of the constructionment. i almost didn't vote rast week because i thought it doesn't matter. it would be a pain. and i think often times, people don't vote because it's imconvenient. certainly, in the 19th century, you may have to travel some distance. in the elections in camp, you just had to walk a hundred yards, at host, to vote. you were in camp and the elections were hold e held in the companies of each regimens. so i think if soldiers are making a conscious decision not to vote just based on how easy
>> our next speaker is known to many of us. and some of us had the strength to have read one of the two volumes. this is the second volume covering the period oaf today's symposium. of abraham lincoln's life who holds the chancellor distinguished chair in lincoln studies at the university of illinois at springfield. his earlier work, the inner world of abraham lincoln, is being discussed on saturday morninmorn i ings, monthly, by a discussion groupment and we meet at ford's theaters education center. michael has done the most massive research on abraham lincoln of any scholar he has edited 12 major books that lay
out o ringal source material from those who new lincoln or studied him closely in the early years after lincoln. so we are very pleased to have as our final speaker before our panel, professor michael speaking about radicals, abolitionists and re-election. mike? >> now, the story that john was telling about how he happened to choose his dissertation topic reminded me of a story about frank clemen, who achieved a distimgs as a scholar specializing in democrats during the civil warment and i asked him wupsz, frank, how sit that
you happened to choose such a topic to write so many books about. he said well, whenives a graduate student, i went to professor hesseltine's seminar and there were 12 of us. and i was sitting immediately to his left and he handed the list to the guy immediately on his right. and we came around, all topics had been chosen except copperheads in the midwest. so, very pleased to be here to help celebrate such an important day. a few weeks after voters re-elected lincoln, charles elliot nor ton predicted that election day, november 8, 1864, will always be esteemeds one of our great historic days.
congressman in 1849 announced that he was going to introduce a bill abolishing slavery here in the district of columbia. one of the provisions of lincoln's bill abolishing slavery in the district was for fugitive slaves who escaped to be rendered back. and, therefore, phillips said he was justified in calling lincoln the slave hound of illinois. and he called his bill one of the poorest and most confused specimens of pro-slavery compromise. and he went on to call lincoln, a naive, a huckster in politics, a county courthouse lawyer, whose only commendation is that lying newspapers could make him out of the emptiness of his past any character they pleased. well, this criticism of abraham lincoln in 186 0 by wendell phillips was countered by the most radical member of the congress who championed the anti-slavery cause, joshua r. giddings of ohio. and giddings had been in congress when lincoln served. he was the leading anti-slavery member of congress because john quincy adams had just died. he assumed the mantel of the anti-slavery leadership in congress. and joshua giddings and lincoln lived in the same boarding house here in town. they consulted about this bill lincoln drafted. giddings said, in his diary, in 1849, that the bill that lincoln had drafted was as good a bill as we could get at this time. and it included a provision for
compensating the slave owners. and getting said i, i am willing provision and giddings found that unobjectionable. in 1860 giddings wrote a letter -- i was amazed when i was doing my research for -- john, what did do you with it? when i was doing research for this book, i spent much of my adult life in new england. and those who are familiar with that region of t that's a reference to the left field wall in fenway park. i like to think when they refer to the green monster, they're plugging my book. when i was doing research, i was astounded to find a letter joshua giddings had written to wendell phillips protesting against his characterization as the slave hound of illinois. and i didn't find this letter in the attic of some obscure building or the basement of the illinois state historical library. i found it on the front page of "the liberator." in this open letter joshua giddings said, you speak of that act with great severity of condemnation. i view it as one of the high moral excellence marking the heroism of the man. he was the only member among the wigs proper of that session who broke silence on the session of those crimes. when he says regular whig, he means link conference not a
member of the tiny faction of the wig party that was championing the anti-slavery cause. giddings and john paul free and a couple of others. here's lincoln sticking his neck out by introducing a bill -- orr saying he was going to introduce a bill to abolish slavery in the district of columbia. he didn't actually submit it because he had -- before he announced to his colleagues that he was going to introduce the bill, he had gone to 15 prominent members of washington, d.c. political culture, including the mayor. and gotten them to support this legislation. when word of this legislation got out, southerners said, they'll break up the union. the 15 withdrew their support. but lincoln drafted it, told his
colleagues he was going to introduce it. and this is, i think, further evidence that lincoln's anti-slavery sentiment was not a product of political opportunism in the wake of the kansas/nebraska act of 1854 but a deep and profound feeling he had had for a long time. in 1860, again, commenting on wendell phillips criticism of lincoln, the national anti-slavery standard, one of the leading newspapers championing the anti-slavery cause said, and i quote, a certain degree of anxiety to escape the odium of abolitionism is pardonable on the part of our republican friends, especially in election times. in other words, that we abolitionists have to recognize political realities that abolitionists is a term of a proprium used by democrats to smear republicans and we have to acknowledge that that is a political reality. in 1860, a leading anti-slavery
editor, joseph harleaf of connecticut wrote to phillips in private saying, i know mr. lincoln. he is not quite up to my standard. but, he has always been ahead of his neighbors. he has fought gallantly, honorably and unselfishly. felt really insulted and grossly wrong the, he said, by the savage epithets that were worthy of a crank, like parker pills bury, and lily edward pierce who wrote a four-volume biography of charles sumner told phillips, few public men of our time have
in their discourses treated slavery as a wrong more logically and feelingly than abraham lincoln. his 1849 bill resembled legislation that had been drafted by john quincy adams earlier and by william henry seward. and pierce said, i think lincoln stands as well as seward and john quincy adams do on record. oh, and one of the surprising things about wendell phillips' attack on lincoln in 1860 is he said, william henry seward is much preferable to lincoln because in the fall of 1860 -- i mean, 1858 seward had given a speech in which he called the conflict between north and south over slavery, irrepressible conflict. phillips said, that took a lot of nerve. defenders of lincoln said, wait a minute, lincoln said virtually the same thing in the previous
june, when he gave his house divided speech, that the house divided, it will -- it will either go -- the house will be all slavery all free and is divided. the new york tribune in response, a very strong anti-slavery paper, responded to the criticism that wendell phillips leveled in 1860 saying that they -- the remarks were calumnious, unfounded, reckless, unmanly, a gross misrepresentation, they said of his bill, couldn't substituting a slander. let's turn to 1864. earlier in that year some radical republicans and abolitionists hesitated to support lincoln for re-election. at a meeting of the massachusetts anti-slavery society in january, wendell phillips succeeded in having a bitter anti-lincoln resolution adopted by the delegates. and it said the present government in its haste is ready to sacrifice the interest and honor of the north to secure a sham piece. leaving the freed men and southern states under the
control of the late slaveholders. in support of this claim, phillips acknowledged that lincoln deserved credit for issuing the emancipation proclamation to be sure. but he insisted that blacks needed more than the administration was willing to give. the president phillips charged has no desire, no purpose, no thought, to lift the freed negro to a higher status, social or political, than that of mere laborer, superintended by others. the administration said he was knowingly preparing for a piece. the administration's -- proved, quote, the government is ready for ignore the rights of the negro. phillips said the emancipation proclamation merely provided technical liberty which was no better than apprenticeship. therefore phillips concluded, i cannot trust the government. at this meeting of the massachusetts anti-slavery society, william lloyd garrison, the foremost abolitionist of the day, got up and objected. now, he had repeatedly denounced lincoln earlier in the war for his tardiness and issuing emancipation and not acting more quickly to allow black troops to
be treated equally and the like. while phillips denounced the incumbent as a half-converted, honest, western whig trying to be an abolitionist, garrison insisted that lincoln be judged on the basis, quote, of his possibilities rather than by our wishes or by the highest abstract moral standard. two months later in a widely reprinted editorial garrison called lincoln's re-election essential, for, quote, the suppression of the rebellion and abolition of savory. he acknowledged that the president was open to criticism and to censure. but added that there is also much to rejoice over and to be thankful for and a thousand incidental errors and blunders are easily to be born with on the part of one who, at one blow, severed the chains of 3,300,000 slaves, thursday virtually abolishing the whole slavery system. garrison urged abolitionists to understand the political and
constitutional constraints which lincoln had to deal with. his freedoms to follow his convictions of duty as an individual is one thing. as the president of the united states, it is limited by the functions of his office, for the people don't elect a president to play the part of reformer or philanthropist, nor to enforce upon the nation his own peculiar ethical and humanitarian ideas without regard to his oath or without regard to their will. his primary and
all-comprehensive duty is to maintain the union and execute the constitution in good faith without reference to the views of any clique or party in the land. emphatically garrison expressed his firm conviction that no man has occupied the chair of the chief majestry in america who has more acidulously or more honestly tried to discharge duties with a single eye to the welfare of the country than mr. lincoln. garrison went on to say later in the campaign, telling a gust, i have every confidence in mr. lincoln's honesty. his honor is involved in his to the emancipation proclamation. he expressed the same sentiments to the president himself. garrison wrote, god save you and bless you abundantly, as an instrument in his hands, you have done a mighty work for the freedom of the millions who have so long pined and bondage in our land. nay for the freedom of all mankind, i have the utmost faith in your been ever lens, purative. your motives and integrity of your spirit. this i do not hesitate to avow
at all times. garrison, by the way, was not a candidate for any office under the power of the president at the time. an english critic, garrison conceded that the president, quote, might, might have done more and gone further. he had greater resolution, larger foresight. that is an open question. and opinions are not facts possibly he could have gone not one hair's breath beyond the point he reached by a slow and painful process without inciting civil war in the north and
overturning the government. such speculation, garrison rightly noted, was idle. we don't know what lincoln might have done under different circumstances. instead, garrison listed what could be known and not guessed. quote, his emancipation proclamation liberated more than three-fourths of the entire slave population since this period, emancipation has followed in maryland, west virginia, missouri and the district of columbia and is being rapidly stewed in -- and ten. thus terminating the holding of property in man everywhere under the american flag. that all the vast territories
have been consecrated to freedom and free labor. that all fugitive slave laws have been repealed, so the slave hunting is in an end in all the free states. that no rebel state can be admitted to the union except on the basis of complete emancipation that national justice refused under every other administration has been done to the republicans of haiti and liberia by the full recognition of their independence. that is -- and also that ambassadors or ministers from those countries would be admitted to the diplomatic circle here in washington. that an equitable treaty has been made with great britain for the effectual suppression of the foreign slave trade.
united states passed laws outlawing the slave trade but had not enforced those laws the british tried to enforce those laws and whenever a slave trader saw an american ship coming to stop them, they would hoist the american -- they would hoist the british flag and vice versa and they would not be searched through the right of search. that a large portion of the army is made up of those who until now have been prohibited during arms, that is black people, and refused enrollment in the militia in every state in the union. that free negro schools are following wherever the army penetrates and multitudes of young and old who under the old slave system were prohibited learning the alphabet. they are now rapidly acquiring that knowledge, which is power, and which makes slavery and serfdom alike impracticable. and on numerous plantations, free labor is on the full tide of successful experiment. quite a litany of achievements that garrison cites to contradict phillips. when a long-time reader of "the libertarian" angrily canceled his subscription and that apparently is not an uncommon response to some readers of political commentary. i think william buckley wrote a book, keep your own damn subscription. he denounced the editor,
denounced garrison for betraying the abolitionist caused. garrison replied, if supporting the candidacy of lincoln makes us recreant to anti-slavery principles, then, garrison said, oh, love, joy, joshua giddings, garrett smith, very prominent abolitionists, and, quote, a host of others long conspicuous for their consecration to the abolitionist cause are also recreant. that host garrison referred to was, indeed, very large. foremost among them was the outspoken radical republican congressman from illinois, owen lovejoy, who was the brother of elijah lovejoy, who had been martyred by an anti-abolitionist mob in alton, illinois, back in 1838. '37, actually.
so, owen lovejoy wrote to garrison lincoln, if not, quote, the best conceivable president was nonetheless the best possible president. went on to say, i have known something of the facts inside from his administration at time and know he has been just as radical as any of his cabinet. and although he does not do everything that you or i would like, the question recurs whether it is likely we can elect a man who would. lovejoy thought it, quote, impolitic not to say cruel to sharply criticize even the mistakes of an executive weighed down and surrounded with cares and perplexities such as have fallen but to few of those whom have been laid the affairs of government. publicly, lovejoy pleaded with his fellow radicals.
do not let any power from earth or from beneath the earth -- he was a clergyman, a congregational minister -- weaken your confidence in the president. he has given us the proclamation of freedom, solemnly declared he will not revoke it. in february 1864, lovejoy warned attempts to divide the republican party were criminal in the last degree. radical critics of lincoln should realize that, quote, he is at heart as strong an anti-slavery man as any of them. but he has a responsibility in this matter, which many men don't seem to be able to comprehend. lovejoy conceded the president's
mind works slowly but added that when he moves, it is forward. indignantly, lovejoy told a friend, i have no sympathy or patience with those trying to manufacture issues against lincoln, but they will not succeed. is he too strong with the masses. for my part, i am not only willing to take lincoln for another term, but the same cabinet straight through. back in 1862, lovejoy had defended lincoln's caution in dealing with emancipation. he called the president an executive rail-splitter. who understands his business which required the thin edge of the wedge must enter the wood first. when in the spring of 1862 lincoln signed the bill abolishing slavery here in the district of columbia, he had, quote, taken the abolition wedge and stuck it into the log of slavery.
and now the heavy mall of abolitionists must let the blows fall until it is driven to the head and the log is driven in twine. in other words, the thin edge of the wedge and the thick edge of the wedge and then the log splits. lovejoy said, in very ugly and cross-grained or frozen wood, the blows have to be a little easy at first or the wedge flies out. it was, lovejoy said, worth while not to strike so hard as to have a rebound for that would retard the work in the long run. it's a brilliant image. three years later frederick douglas used it to describe lincoln's statesmanship. douglas said, the president never shocked prejudices
unnecessarily having learned statesmanship while splitting rails, he always used the thin edge of the wedge first and the fact that he used it at all, meant that he would, if need be, use the thick as well as the thin. now, the washington correspondent for the national anti-slavery standard judged that lincoln's anti-slavery possibly has been, quote, a wise one for he has drawn many conservatives after him who would have been shocked by any sudden radical action upon his part. lydia marie child, an imminent abolitionist, lincoln is a man of slow mind incapable of large comprehensive view and he was inclined to potter about details and, thus, waste valuable time and golden opportunities. still, the president is an honest man and conscientiously hates slavery. besides, she asked, rhetorically, who is there that would be better except charles sumner? and he would not be available as a candidate. that is, available in those days meant electable. now, other possible candidates than sumner emerged in 1864. pardon me if i'm trespassing on turf that's already been covered. but among the people who were touted as possible replacements for lincoln were, of course, treasure secretary chase and
general freeman. now, when chase's ill-organized campaign for the republican nomination fizzled early on, fremont's campaign then became the standard. he became the standard bearer of the so-called radical democratic party. in may of 1864, a self-styled people's provisional committee issued a call for a national convention to meet in cleveland. endorsing the movement were several abolitionists including wendell phillips who complained old abe more cunning and slow than ever and evidently wish to slave slaveholders as much loss and trouble as he can. phillips thought that most voters would take lincoln if he would announce a policy still more if he would change his
cabinet for such moves would indicate a man, but he is, i think, no believer in the negro as a citizen. the president wishes to benefit the negro as much as he can, and yet the -- let the white race down gently. do them as little harm or change as possible. this is his first care. the negro is his second. in signing the call for the cleveland convention, frederick douglas explained he supported the complete abolition of every vestige, form and modification of slavery in every party of the
united states, perfect equality for the black man and every state before the law in the jury box, at the ballot box and on the battlefield. ample retaliation for every instance of enslavement or slaughter of prisoners of color. now, there were 400 delegates to that cleveland convention and wendell phillips was among among them but he did send a letter who was read to the delegates who applauded lustily. in it he called the lincoln administration a civil and military failure and predicting that if the incumbent were re-elected, i do not expect do see the union reconstructed in my day unless on terms more disastrous to liberty than even
disunion would be. so, if lincoln's re-elected, it would be worse than the south winning. the convention, phillips said, should demand a reconstruction of states as speedily as possible on the basis of every loyal man, white or black, sharing the atlanta and the ballot. that is calling for land redistribution, the confederate -- the planters holding should be divvied up among the former slaves and they should be allowed to vote. in stark contrast to lincoln, phillips asserted, stood
fremont, whose first act was to use the freedom of the negros as weapon. when fremont was in charge of missouri, early in the war, in 1861, he issued a policy of proclamation in late august saying that all the slaves of disloyal owners should be liberated and lincoln had to say there was a law just passed by congress, which says that only slaves who are actively involved in helping the confederate effort shall be liberated. would you please modify your statement to conform with the law of congress. and fremont said, you have to force me to do it. i'm not going to do it voluntarily. lincoln said, all right, i force you. and lincoln got a great deal of criticism for this and he became a great hero to the anti-slavery forces. wendell phillips went to-o to
phrase -- whose clear-sighted statesmanship and rare military ability. his military ability was very rare, indeed. s justify my confidence that in his hands all will be done to save the state that foresight, skill, decision and statesmanship can do. well, the delegates shared phillips' enthusiasm for fremont, who won the nomination handily, but they ignored phillips' advice regarding the platform. both black suffrage and land redistribution to freed man were glossed over. the convention did, however, endorse a proposal to amend the constitution to abolish slavery nationwide. that measure had been debated vigorously in congress the preceding spring and, in fact h passed the senate had it failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds in the house. in his acceptance letter, fremont attacked the lincoln administration. the ordinary rights, he said, secured under the constitution and extraordinary powers have been usurped by the executive. today, fremont said, we have in this country the abuses of a military dictation without its unity of action and vigor of execution. this criticism of the lincoln administration was widely regarded as a bid for support from democrats who had been denouncing lincoln as a tyrant regularly. many abolitionists, however, found fremont unappealing. and particularly female abolitionists. lucy stone had expected the largest anti-slavery utterance from fremont but was disappointed only to get a simple announcement that slavery was dead. she objected strenuously to the cleveland's convection selection of john cochrane. you were pointing out the selection, pendleton was pretty alienated to voters in the union ranks. an awful lot of people were
turned off, abolitionists, bion cochrane. they wondered how a man who voted for democratic presidential candidates, franklin piece in 1862, james buchanan in 1856 and john c. breckenridge in 1860, cochrane did, how he could possibly be considered a true abolitionist. she was clearly a bid for democratic votes, an appeal to the copperheads. she told susan b. anthony, bad as mr. lincoln is, a union with him and his supporters seems to me less bad than a union with peace democrats. susan b. anthony ignored that advice and supported fremont throughout. 'elizabeth chase confessed as patient as i have been for fremont, yet since the best sentiment of the people is carrying with it toward freedom and justice and peace, i had certainly as leaf trust him as any other man who has not been tried. mott said we must admit lincoln has done well she doubted if one could have been elected who would have done more. abby hopper gibbons called the president a just and cautious man who was slow to move but when ready, was sure to take the right direction. maria westen chapman preferred lincoln because she said to a progressive and domestic policy he adds a friendly foreign one. now, in response to fremont's critic, wendell phillips maintained the cleveland convention's platform was infinitely preferable to what the republicans offered, acknowledging lincoln would be renominated, he argued radicals should press him to change his policies. black suffrage was a very
controversial issue at that time. lincoln's critics in congress denounced the reconstruction policy, the 10% plan, and they adopted an alternative known as the wade/davis bill which did not include a provision for black suffrage. even the radicals in congress thought that was too hot a potato for 1864. so, though reluctant to criticize phillips, theodore tilton called such arguments naive. now, we would be glad, said
tilton, if a great political party could go before the country on the high issue of giving every black man a vote. but the country is not ready for such an issue. there's an abolitionist talking. this is not lincoln talking. agreeing was a chase enthusiast in ohio who warned that, quote, hatred of rebels has made thousands eager to abolish slavery. but no one is the less prejudice against negro social equality. and this gets to your point, john, about why people would vote for lincoln. not because they necessarily supported a black equality, black voting rights, emancipation and the like, but they wanted to punish the
southerners for rebelling. on any such issue, the party advocating it would be crushed out for years, this fellow said. the editor of the national anti-slavery standard was deeply pained that phillips had become the partisan of fremont in his efforts to win support from the copperhead democracy. lydia marie child was also exceedingly sorry that phillips supported the general. she said since fremont has written a letter so obviously courting the copperheads, i don't see how he can stand by him, she remarked. maria westen chapman predicted wendell's labor against lincoln will procure him more votes than it will deprive him of. now, lincoln won renomination handily in early june 1864, but by august his chances of re-election seemed slight, thanks to the failure of military union -- the union forces to achieve military success that summer. in late august, however, republican morale soared because the democrats blundered at their national convention in chicago. where they nominated george mcclellan for president. they adopted a peace platform which asserted that the war was a failure and chose mcclellan's running mate as -- his running mate, george pendleton, an outspoken copperhead. a diarist in new york said it's refreshing, better opponents of lincoln join in it hartley, denouncing the democrats. one of those bitter opponents was theodore tilton. he confided to a fellow
abolitionist, anne e. dickinson, i was opposed to lincoln' nomination now it becomes the duty to present a front. the republican platform, like cleveland's convention platform, called for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery throughout the nation is best in american history, tilton said, we can pardon something to a second-rate candidate. while lincoln might not be an a idea standard bear per, it would be criminal to -- to divide it would be to give over the country to the copperheads and bring everlasting shame to us all. radical republican leaders added their voices to the swelling pro-lincoln chorus. charles sumner delivered speeches for lincoln throughout new england. benjamin f. butler, who was talked about as a radical to lincoln, said the playing duty of every loyal man was to support the election of lincoln. thaddeus stevens said that -- told voters that if they re-elected the -- that if they re-elected the calm statesman who now provides over the
nation, he would lead them to an honorable piece and liberty. fred lick douglas publicly endorsed lincoln in november when there was any shadow of a hope of more decided anti-slavery conviction and policy could be elected, he said, i was not for mr. lincoln. but as soon as the chicago convention adjourned, my mind was made up. in a letter which ran in the liberator, douglas acknowledge the all hesitation ought to cease and every man who wishes well to the slave and the country should at once rally with all the warmth and earnestness of his nature to the support of lincoln. douglas did not actively campaign for the ticket because as he explained, quote, republican committees do not wish to expose themselves to the charge of being the nigger party. the negro is the deformed child which is put out of the room when company comes. other blacks followed douglas' lead.
on september 24th the publisher of the anglo-african told his readers that, quote, we may have thought mr. lincoln has not done what we think he could have done for the overthrow of oppression in our land. but that is not the question now the great and overshadowing inquiry is do you want to see the many noble acts which have been passed during mr. lincoln add administration repealed? slavery fastened again maryland, new jersey, louisiana, portions now free. this is the only question now. if you are a friend of liberty, you will give your influence and cast your vote for abraham lincoln who, under god, is the only hope of the oppressed. john rock, who would become soon the first black attorney to argue a case before the u.s. supreme court, an appropriate person to be citing here today, told the convention of the national association of colored citizens that there are only two parties. the one headed by lincoln is for
freedom and the republic, the other headed for mcclellan is for despotism and slavery. the delegates applauded this statement large and long. a black clergyman in boston. a confiscation law and a proclamation of freedom. another black abolitionist preacher, james w.c. pennington of new york declared his fellow blacks should regard lincoln as our president because he is the only american president who has ever given any attention to colored men as citizens. lincoln's re-election will be the best security the president well begun work of negro freedom and african redemption will be fully completed. pennington estimated that 90% of blacks shared his views. even before the party nominating conventions, some blacks had
called for lincoln's re-election. on january 1, 1864 at a mass meeting of san francisco blacks a resolution was adopted endorsing the president for a second term. commenting on that document, a black newspaper praised lincoln as the only president who has, quote, stood up in defiance of the slave power and dared officially to maintain the doctrine by his official actions that we are citizens, though we are of african descent. that the army and navy shall protect and defend such citizens in common with all others. that provision ought to be made for their education, for freedom. a black resident of brooklyn declared that lincoln's actions had to be understood politically, for he had a racist constituency.
the voters who had chosen him were racist, by and large. and this gentleman said, i feel that much of the failure of mr. lincoln to do his duty is owing to the failure of the people of the land whose agent he is. do we complain that mr. lincoln and the government do not recognize the manhood of the negro? let us find the cause of that in the people at home. just as long as citizens of new york exclude respectable colored persons from railway cars on the streets, just so long as the people of the city exclude colored children from ward schools and force the colored children from civil wards all together, on the ground of color merely, just so long as even in some of the churches of the city there are negro pews, just so long as there -- as there is evidence that the people themselves do not recognize the manhood of black man in this country, we cannot expect the president to do so. now, most but not all radicals and abolitionists fell into line. with his well-known extravagance, as it was said, parker pillsbury, insisted, i do
not believe the slaves or freed colored people have a worse enemy on earth than lincoln. even more hyperbolically he declared egypt had its ten plagues. for us god seems to have massed them in one, a ten pharaoh power plague in lincoln. apropos, pillsbury lamented the editor of the liberator has seethed us up in melting upon of kentucky politics. our glowy is departed. elizabeth stanton called the president dishonest abe. deplored the incapacity and rottenness of the administration and pledged, if he is elected, i shall immediately leave the country for fiji islands. heavens, shades of alec baldwin. she deemed garrison's special pleading of lincoln pitiful.
her husband was a well to do abolitionist, urged her to change her mind. in august he wrote, though it may be at the expense of passing by our favorite candidate, we should nevertheless all feel ourselves urged by the strongest possible motives to cast our votes to defeat the compromising or sham peace candidate. two months later he urged elizabeth katie stanton to reconsider and expressed regret neither you nor wendell phillips can favor lincoln' re-election. i'm spending a great deal for the election of lincoln. i see safety in his election. she rejected his advice. when she urged women abolitionists of boston to galvanize mr. garrison into something better than admirer of lincoln with the foul serpent of slavery coiled up in his bosom, carolyn dahl replied three years earlier she would have supported fremont for president but now she believed god led a honest and humble man to the seat, to no one who pledged himself to nothing. a year later stanton expressed regret for having opposed lincoln. i see now the witt wisdom of his course leading public opinion slowly but surely up to the final blow for freedom. my conscience pricks me now when i recall, i worked and prayed in
1864 for the defeat of lincoln's re-election. phillips, however, persist the, i would cut off my right hand before doing anything to aid lincoln's elections. i wholly distrust his fitness to settle this thing, indeed, his purpose, he said. phillips thundered against the administration's lack of vigor, will, purpose and loyalty in the highest sense of the word. moreover he argued lincoln was a tyrant and was planning to steal the election. if, he said, president lincoln is inaugurated for the next time course leading public opinion slowly but surely up to the final blow for freedom. my conscience pricks me now when i recall, i worked and prayed in 1864 for the defeat of lincoln's re-election. phillips, however, persist the, i would cut off my right hand before doing anything to aid lincoln's elections. i wholly distrust his fitness to settle this thing, indeed, his purpose, he said. phillips thundered against the administration's lack of vigor, will, purpose and loyalty in the highest sense of the word. moreover he argued lincoln was a tyrant and was planning to steal the election. if, he said, president lincoln is inaugurated for the next time on the votes of louisiana, tennessee or arkansas, every citizen is bound to resist him.
incredibly, phillips denounced lincoln for extraditing a cuban official accused of illegally selling 141 africans into slavery. with the profits from that crime he moved to the united states. here's this guy, who's a slave dealer. he leaves cuba, moves to the -- cuba was still part of spain at that time. he moves to the united states. the united states has no extradition treaty with spain at that time. so he thinks he's safe. but the lincoln administration extradites him to spain anyway. and what does phillips do? he denounces lincoln for turning over a slave trader to be tried for a crime. ironically, this is an argument the people -- that democrats were making as a good reason for impeaching lincoln.
and pro-slavery forces were, of course, enthusiastic about phillips' argument. well, that speech in particular drew a loot of abolitionist criticism. but the upshot was that more and more abolitionists deserted phillips and it is no wonder, then, that in late august parker pillsbury lamented to phillips, i came up from boston last night sick at heart, almost every abolitionist i see now swears by lincoln and denounces your course. a month thereafter elizabeth katie stanton similarly bemoaned the loss. one by one, she complained to susan b. anthony. and so, i think the most sensible and persuasive comment by a radical about this spew among radicals and abolitionists was made by congressman william d. kelly of pennsylvania with
nickname of pig iron. he was a big supporter of terrorists for iron industry in pennsylvania. congressman kelly spoke for many radical republicans when he declared, lincoln is the wisest radical of all. so he was. similarly, months later, frederick douglas would deliver a eulogy for lincoln whom he called emphatically the black man's president. so he was. i thank you for your attention. i will be happy to try to answer questions. yes, sir. >> did wendell phillips ever doubt his decision? >> i doubt it seriously. one of the reasons that this i thought was of particular interest is that it reflects
some of the controversy that goes on among american historians today about how lincoln should be regarded by historians and by people in general. many of the arguments that we hear today are anticipated by the arguments that were made at the time. yes, sir. >> it wasn't until the lincoln administration that the black republics of haiti and liberia was recognized. haiti was born in a black rebellion. but liberia was formed by the united states. so why was -- what was the delay for liberia being recognized? >> why the delay in having liberia recognized since it was established as a state in part through american philanthropy and government? the answer seems to be that the democratic administrations that preceded lincoln were reluctant to have black ambassadors come -- ministers come to washington and be treated with
respect and dignity as members of the diplomatic corps. lincoln was asked would he object if the haitian government sent a black representative, diplomat to washington. he said, of course not. yes, sir. >> we heard this morning that presidential candidates did not go out and campaign. and i understand that lincoln and others made it appear they weren't doing anything. >> they didn't overtly campaign. >> behind the scenes. what about fremont, did he sit back also? did he do things? >> fremont eventually withdrew from the race as part of a deal. >> july, august, what -- >> he worked behind the scenes. he didn't go around giving open speeches. pardon me if i cover stuff that was already covered.
the lincoln administrations regarded fremont as a real potential threat, because if the republican vote were split, it could allow the democrats to capture the white house and lead to a compromised piece and retention of slavery and other consequences. a deal was struck. there was a lot of discontent among radical republicans and abolitionists with lincoln for having accepted chase's resignation. he was the most radical anti-slavery member of the cabinet. chase had tried to bully lincoln into accepting policies and particularly appointments that lincoln said we can't go through with. lincoln said, look, if you're going to appoint somebody to a position in your department, we have to run it by members of congress from that state. we have to get along with congress.
the distribution is essential for maintaining party unity. party unity is essential for victory in the election. so lincoln said to chase, who had already submitted his resignation on three occasions and on three occasions lincoln had backed down. on the fourth occasion chase said if you don't appoint this guy to a high-ranking position, i'm going to resign. lincoln said, the new york senators and congressmen don't like this guy. they have a bunch of options. you pick among them. no. no. i'm going to stick to my guy. here is my resignation. lincoln said, thank you. write when you get work. there's discontent. the most radical member of the cabinet had been allowed to be -- to go his own way. there was a lot of feeling that the most conservative member of the cabinet, the one who was least in favor of black citizenship rights, the most vocal supporter of colonization
was the postmaster general, montgomery blair. he had made outrageous speeches starting in the fall of '63. so they said, well, we have to even the score. we have to get rid of montgomery blair. so lincoln had an emissary, a go-between, a senator from michigan who brokered a peace deal. fremont, if you will withdraw from the race, lincoln will fire montgomery blair. montgomery blair, to his credit, had said, i will do whatever you think it wise for me to do in order to promote the cause and help achieve victory in the election and in the war. montgomery blair graciously stepped down. >> what did fremont do doing -- >> did his campaign grow in popularity during that period?
>> some radicals, but as time went by because of his acceptance letter and his running mate, a lot of support that had crested at the may convention declined. yes, ma'am. >> you mentioned any number of women in your talk. can you elaborate on the relative significance of their role in the abolitionist movement? >> women were very important in promoting the anti-slavery cause. they did a lot of work to help raise the consciousness of the public to the evils of slavery. there was very outspoken female abolitionists who i quoted in here. and in helping to raise the consciousness of the public to the evils of slavery, they played an important role. yes.
>> given there probably wasn't another radical candidate who was available, do you see wendell phillips speaking out this way as almost a third party kind of thing in that it encouraged lincoln to go further? is it part of public debate, or did he really think there was another radical candidate who would be available who would fit his needs? >> he really thought the fremont candidacy was viable. clearly, with the selection of cochran as a running mate and with the acceptance letter being a naked bid for support, it was hard for him to maintain that belief. >> it's more of a comment than a question. the library of congress in the manuscripts division, there are 26 letters from lydia child.