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tv   Abraham Lincolns Life Legacy  CSPAN  March 17, 2018 1:46pm-2:43pm EDT

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[inaudible conversations] on april 14, 1865, president lincoln visited ford theater to watch american cousins. the performance, john wilkes booth shot president lincoln. after the assassination, the ford theater remained closed for 100 years. it officially reopened as a national historic site and theater. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. ross, and i have
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the privilege to present the winner.sertation prize this prize is awarded by the al,ham lincoln institute, and the abraham lincoln la.ociation, a greatear's winner is that a fried, for his 20 ohio state university dissertation entitled ,lincolns divided region loyalty and the political culture of the army of the 1865." 1861 to the price is named after ,incolns white house secretary who went to produce a 10 volume
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biography of the great emancipator. the prize with its $1000 honorarium is created to recognize and encourage young scholars to conduct research on abraham lincoln and his time. 'sserved on the ali .issertation community dr. parts -- counterparts. ali was an award winner. years, there is a measure of dialogue between the two groups as to who should be awarded the prize. not so this share, as the
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dissertation was the initial choice of both. zachary fry currently is an assistant professor in military history with the u.s. army command and general staff college in redstone arsenal, , having recently left a similar position with the u.s. military academy at west point. holds his ba, he from kent state and his phd from osu. he is an alumnus of the gettysburg semester and the civil war era studies at gettysburg college. dissertationhis with a fellowship from the u.s. army center of military history. the society of military history 2018 kaufmanhe first manuscript prize.
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it is my double pleasure to prizewinner, 2018 frytly a fried -- zachary a , and present him with a certificate. i have already given him his check. [laughter] i present zachary a. fried. [applause] --ctly: thank you for that zachary a. fry. [applause] separate: thank you -- zachary: thank you for that. from a faculty, friends and family. this is for you. took me as long to read the dissertation get out graduate school than it did for lincoln to get out of the war. onlyind them that lincoln
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suffered for years learning, and i suffered six. lincolns divided legion looks at the changing political culture in the important union army and how soldiers arrived at political views ahead of elections in 1863 and 1864. --ological officers battered embattled viciously for the less hand in teaching educated men about policy. the size -- sides used principle of loyalty and received help in the meantime from politicians and news editors behind the lines. republicans eventually one the .rmy's allegiance by capitalizing on anger toward the antiwar movement and mobilizing the rank for a vigorous engagement in the northern public sphere. emphasis from the
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well-known conservative general officer corps to the many junior officers who drove the army's political debate. loyalty was a powerful idea at the height of the civil war, naturally. republicans and democrats disagreed sharply over how to define it under their command. republicans emphasized obedience to the administration as a wartime duty, meaning truly loyal soldiers would defend lincoln's policies against confederate and northern antiwar democrats alike. the army's democrats expressed loyalty to a view of the constitution that restrained radicalism and less antebellum .nstitutions the union as it was, the constitution as it is. the war was an education for the common soldiers of the army of the potomac. several episodes show how they gained political awareness.
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i tried in my dissertation to go through each of the episodes. of the 1862 peninsula campaign, for example, drained soldiers of powerful enlistment fervor, the passion that drove them to sign up in the first place. many of them placed trust initially in commanding general's and prominent general george mcclellan as their best defense against mismanagement of the war. that much is undeniable. mcclellan's removal in late 1862 infuriated the army. thousands of soldiers convince the political class was crippling the war effort. the turning point in the army's political education came in early 1863. there was the feast action of the-- peace faction of democratic party and the frustration with politicians. republican junior officers
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capitalized on this opportunity and organized an army wide ,nslaught against copperhead publishing official unit resolutions throughout northern newspapers. the previous historians were able to examine a dozen resolutions. over the course of my research, i found over 50 from the army of the potomac alone, not to mention many others from the union forces. it was clear the army had adopted the view that anyone who wavered in upholding the lincoln administration was to theyal -- disloyal union. remarkably, at least to our eyes, northern states control by democratic legislators prohibited many soldiers from voting in the field. as you would expect, the army was livid. where other soldiers could vote absentee, they humiliated democratic candidates. in october 1863, disfranchised pennsylvania soldiers expressed
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old chief there are mcclellan endorsed a notorious anti-administration democrat for governor. grant's campaign in mid-1864 depleted much of the army's old ranks. but the survivors worked overtime to ensure close to feed once he -- clones defeat -- mcclellan's defeat. this emphasized wartime veterans who were mobilized into massive political clubs across the major cities, especially in city.elphia and new york i analyzed approximately 175 voting returns that showed just how decisively lincoln secured the armies of the potomac. historians have viewed this army of the potomac are merely through its general officer corps, as little more than an arm of the democratic party loyalty of mcclellan's
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leadership and legacy. my research led me down a different path. i tried to resurrect the successful efforts of republican junior officers to educate their men, and mobilize a hundred thousand thinking banner -- bayonets for president lincoln. hopefully we can better appreciate the union army's key role in setting the terms of northern political debate and ultimately laying the groundwork for lincoln's victory in 1864. thanks again to the institute for this award, and the time to talk you. thank you to my wonderful wife, emily, for being here. thanks to all of you for caring about lincoln and about this show in our history. thank you. [applause]
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>> i have said it 100 times, and i have now no inclination to take it back that i believe there is no right and up to be no inclination and the people of the free states to enter into the slave states and interfere with the question of slavery at all. i have said that always. when it is said that i am in favor of interfering with slavery, i know it is unwarranted why i have ever intended him and i believe by anything i have ever said. are hardly the words of a man burning with the flame of abolitionism, and even allowing
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for the fact that the author was running for public office when he uttered them in the summer of 1858, they bespeak a man who is struggling a moral and philosophical fence that was growing rapidly harder to be strive. for the end of his pregnancy and life, circumstances had pressured him towards an increasingly progressive policy on emancipation, lincoln placed the credit elsewhere. and moral power of garrison and the anti-slavery people of the country and the .rmy have done all " yet despite his growth during those four turbulent years, never once did abraham lincoln publicly declare himself an abolitionist. here to discuss the subject of
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his latest book, lincoln and the abolitionist, we are village to present the author and educator, dr. stanley harold. dr. harold who is a professional -- professor of plebiscite and history at south carolina state university, is the author of award-winning books that richly cover the world of the abolitionists, the border wars of the 1840's and 1850's, and the civil war it self. of thehe co-author african-american odyssey, which is now in its seventh edition and is the best-selling african-american history textbook in the world. please join me in welcoming dr. stanley harold. [applause] dr. harold: good afternoon. it is a pleasure to be here. one thing about coming to the
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end is there will be some repetition and contradiction of earlier talks. frederick douglas had been the united states leading black on april 14, 1876, he delivered the keynote address for a ceremony dedicating washington, d.c.'s freedom monument. the monument portrays abraham lincoln as the great emancipator. douglass complicated that portrayal of lincoln. according to douglass, lincoln had been preeminently the white man's president, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. i know this is opposite from what professor burlingame quoted. he said both lincoln is the white man's president, and also preeminently the black man's president.
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at the dedication he said lincoln had preeminently been the white man's president, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. douglass recalled during the early years of the civil war, lincoln had been willing to deny, postpone and sacrificed the rights of humanity of the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. douglass asserted from a genuine abolition of perspective, lakin seemed hearty, cold, dull and a different. for decades prior to the civil war, douglass and other abolitionist demanded the immediate end throughout the united states. lincoln had at best opposed the extension of slavery into the country's western territories. during the civil war's first two years, lincoln saw to restore the union, not to abolish slavery. realized andass
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lincoln put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the union, he would have driven from him a powerful class of american people and rendered resistance to the rebellion impossible. douglass'ambivalent view of lincoln was not unique. in turn, lincoln's view of the abolitionist evolved over time. relationship between politician lincoln and abolitionist was long, complex, and ultimately direct. much of it developed over the prewar years as a nation divided over issues related to slavery and race. abolitionists regarded slavery to be a sin and a crime that was quickly end if the united states were to avoid god's wrath. but many more northerners sympathized with the white southerners. races fused and
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opposed granting black people equal rights. in between were people like lincoln, to merely disliked slavery. lincoln did not believe slavery to be a beneficial way for -- beneficial system, and worried about slaveholder domination of the u.s. government. like most white northerners before the civil war, lincoln saw sectional compromise with the white cell and opposed abolitionist radicalism. during the first three decades of his life lincoln have little or no contact with abolitionists. lay faritionst movement to his east in an area stretching from eastern pennsylvania, northward into new england. lincoln's priorities during these decades included educating work moreinding rewarding than physical labor, and beginning a political career.
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lincoln believed to advance that career he had to appeal to the prejudices of political party leaders and a majority of voters . from 1832, when he first ran for office and the conservative state of illinois onward, lincoln stopped to wreck you sit -- sought to represent his constituents' views and desires. it would hurt his career to appear to closed abolitionists. for two decades lincoln identified with the whig party. this political organization represented upwardly mobile northerners and encouraged national government support for industry and commerce. the party also represented the interests of moderately proslavery white southerners, he orientedcal northerners who opposed slavery. context,is complicated
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lincoln idealizedw hig -- idealized whig henry clay. clay mildly opposed slavery and sought sectional reconciliation. by the time lincoln reached adulthood abolitionist helped shape his life. in 1819, abolition-inspired opposition to admitting missouri territory to the union as a slave labor state produced a north-south sectional crisis. the crisis like congress to pass the missouri compromise in 1820. it allowed missouri to become a slave labor state and banned slavery and the rest of the louisiana purchase north of the 36-30 line of latitude. another was more significant in establishing lincoln's political environment. during the early 1820's proslavery forces attempted to legalize slavery in illinois.
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organizeditionists societies to prevent this. societynnsylvania sent 6000 pamphlets into the state. as a result, illinois voters rejected allowing slavery in that state. if this had not happened, lincoln's career would have been very different. much anti-black prejudice remained in illinois. during the 1820's and 1830's, the state legislature passed laws restricting black settlement, barring black men from voting, no women could vote, and illinois passed laws not allowing black people to testify in court against white people. when the country's leading abolitionist william lloyd garrison learned of these laws he exclaimed, oh, most accessible and bloody state. thy offense is right and smells
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to heaven. lincoln did not object to these laws. gained, as lincoln election as a whig to the state legislature he supported the american colonization society's program of gradual abolition of slavery combined with sending former slaves to africa. supposedly for their own good, as well as that of white workers. 1840's, major national issues related to slavery included annexation of texas and war against mexico. opposed annexation of slaveholding taxes. went -- texas. lincoln declared he had never much interested in the issue. in a similar manner, lincoln in congress in march, 1847 to may,
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1849 express these regarding the mexican war that were far more moderate than abolitionists. lincoln denied the war had been originated for the purpose of extending slavery. abolitionists said it was a slave holders plot to expand slavery. lincoln did however support the wilmot proviso, designed to prevent slavery expansion into new mexico and california as a result of the war. lincoln also acted moderately in response to abolitionists and anti-slavery whig efforts against slavery and the slave trade in the district of columbia. the initially voted in favor of a bill to end both, but then he became more conservative on issues. in 1848, he objected to a similar bill because it did not provide compensation to slaveowners whose slaves or free.
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lincoln had been at a congress for over a year when that body past the compromise of 1850. this measure admitted california to the union as a free labor state and required slave labor state texas to give up its claim to eastern new mexico. otherwise the compromise favorite the south -- favored the south. they gave it a chance to expand it to the new mexico and utah territories, a cap slavery but not the trade legal in the district of columbia, and with the fugitive slave act of 1850 it instituted united states government support for recapturing fugitive slaves. allitionists opposed proslavery measures. lincoln supported all the measures, including the fugitive slave law. this was despite the fact that lincoln often expressed sympathy for escaping slaves. 1850's, lincoln
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described abolitionists as those who would shiver into fragment the union of these states, and even burn the last copy of the bible rather than slavery should continue a single hour. ligand announced slavery's strongest defenders. -- lincoln denounced slavery's strongest defenders. be followed henry clay and embracing the ultimate emancipation. lincoln maintained the colonization society's program would relieve the united states of what he described as the troublesome presence of free knee gro -- negros. it took the passage of the kansas arrest act in may 1854 to begin an uneven process that
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brought about a limited convergence in lincoln's and abolitionist views. introduced by democratic senator stephen douglas of illinois, the kansas-nebraska act repealed the missouri compromise. that meant kansas and nebraska territories would be open to slavery. at this point some abolitionists lost hope for a bloodless termination of american slavery. camehile, former whigs together with will not proviso democrats to form the republican party. codding,is, ichabod eastman and: lovejoy who had ties to the movement lead in organizing a state level republican party. when they held their initial meeting during october 1854, lincoln did not attend. this was in part because he
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feared abolitionist radicalism would dominate the meeting. as it turned out the meeting adopted resolutions that were more radical than lincoln's views, but not abolitionists. the resolution's call for prohibiting slavery in all united states territories. they asserted fugitive slaves had a right to jury trials. lincoln limited himself to opposing repeal of the missouri compromise. that october, lincoln described slavery itself is a violation of republican principles and a worker's right to the fruits of his labor. he continued to support free african-americans -- expelling free african-americans from the country and the repeal of the fugitive slave law.
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1855, as proslavery and free state forces in kansas went to war, lincoln began to wonder as abolitionists had before him if the union could continue half slave and half free. rather than take action, lincoln superintend ato solution. link and used his political contacts and is emerging eloquence to take control of the state's republican party. he attended the state convention of bloomington in may 1854, where he led in producing a moderately anti-slavery platform. it emphasized resistance to slaveholder power in washington, d.c., and maintaining the union rather than confrontation over slavery in kansas territory. nevertheless proslavery democrats charged that lincoln shared the views of garrison and
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frederick douglass. some republicans known as radical republicans did share some abolitionist views. they corresponded with abolitionists and attended abolitionist meetings. -- 1856 during the 1860 presidential campaign rejected the radical's example. he supported the republican party platform. it upheld congress' power to prohibit slavery in territories, but did not admit new states of the union. it did not repeal the fugitive slave law, action against the interstate slave trade or abolitionists and the district of columbia. as lincoln spoke his support of the republican presidential nominee, john c fremont, denied abolitionists affected his party's agenda. when democratic candidate james buchanan won the election,
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lincoln blank fremont's loss on the democrats' claim that fremont was an abolitionist. against lincoln ran incumbent stephen douglas for a seat in the united states senate. during the campaign's famous debates, douglas repeatedly charged that lincoln was an abolitionist who advocated sexual amalgamation of the races. lincoln responded in part by declaring, i have always hated slavery. i think as much as any abolitionist, but unlike the great majority of abolitionists, lincoln rejected social and political racial equality. he declared immediately emancipation to be impossible. election,ng the 1858 1859 ofs expression in
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anti-slavery sentiment continued to fall short of abolitionist standards. therefore it is not surprising that lincoln's reaction to john on the october 1859 raid federal arsenal at harpers ferry, virginia diverged from that of abolitionists. following brown's execution, garrison wished success to every slave insurrection in the south. lincoln, in contrast described brown's rate as wrong and addicted it would not help end slavery. in a february 1860 speech, lincoln pledged the republican party would let slavery alone in the state for it exists. in april 1860, the democratic party split into two. northern democrats nominated stephen douglas or president,
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and seven democrats nominated john breckenridge for president. breckenridge was kentucky. as a result republicans thought to choose a moderate candidate who was more likely to win. in part lincoln gained the nomination because republicans believed his chief rival, william seward, could be more easily linked to the abolitionists than lincoln could. republican platform was also moderate. his favorite admitting kansas to the union has a free labor state, but it ignored the fugitive slave law and the supreme court's 1857 decision, the dred scott case, which legalized slavery in all territories. lincoln's nomination led northeastern abolitionists leaders for the first time the focus extended attention upon him.
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garrison predicted lincoln as president would do nothing to offend the south. other abolitionists portrayed lincoln as the most dangerous obstacle to the anti-slavery movement. but some abolitionists applied to lincoln a long-standing abolitionist policy of mixing criticism of anti-slavery politicians with encouragement. in june 1860, frederick douglass, who vowed he would not vote for lincoln, described lincoln as one of the most frank, honest men in political life. douglass contrasted the republican party's limited anti-slavery to what he called the democratic party's wickedly aggressive proslavery. several abolitionists campaigned for lincoln's election. the secession crisis that followed lincoln's election, his
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inauguration of march 1861, and the start of the civil war that april led to the first lasting reciprocal relationship between lincoln and abolitionist leaders. fractious informatics, it existed despite and because of lincoln and the abolitionist continued differences regarding slavery and race. inaugural address delivered in march 1861 confirmed many abolitionists' fears he would compromise the proslavery leaders. in the address he vowed to maintain united states government control in the states that claimed to be out of the union, but he repeated his promise not to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. 1861, lincoln's policy of holding the united states government property in
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the south led to the confederate attack at fort sumter and war. lincoln faced major difficulties. --believed he had a secure he had to secure washington against confederate attack, formulate a military strategy, and convince the border slave states to remain in the union. none of these tasks required lincoln to alter his views regarding slavery's legal legitimacy. in a fourth of july message to theress, lincoln emphasized union soldiers fought on behalf of a perpetual union, not emancipation. this disturbed abolitionists. following the union defeat at bull run in july 1861, abolitionist criticism of lincoln intensified. it did it again following lincoln's countermanded of union general john fremont's august 30
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proclamation, freeing slaves owned by missourians who supported the confederacy. criticism intensified again in response to lincoln's december 1861 annual message. in it lincoln emphasized saving the union without emancipation. elizabeth cady stanton wrote privately, "i blessed for my country when i read that message." but all of lincoln's messages have been the most namby-pamby order. despite such negative and condescending abolitionist reaction to lincoln during his first year in office, a few abolitionists undertook direct efforts to persuade him to adopt emancipationis policiest. duringolicies continued 1862.
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this was the smithsonian institution lecture series that brought leading abolitionists to washington. lincoln met with some of these abolitionists at the white house. at these meetings abolitionists and nearly all instances acted respectfully towards lincoln. he in turn treated them politely, while suggesting they had a limited and impractical point of view. the overall abolitionist estimation of lincoln improved when in april 1862, he signed a congressional measure to immediately end slavery and the district of columbia. during the following months abolitionists called on lincoln to issue an emancipation proclamation. when a delegation of quaker abolitionists that with lincoln in the white house to urge him to issue such a proclamation, he
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dismissed the proposal. nevertheless lincoln began to draft his preliminary emancipation proclamation. in the drafting proposed to announce on january 1, 1863, that slaves in areas under confederate control would be henceforth and forever free. but lincoln decided not to make his intentions known until the union achieved a major battlefield victory, so as to appear to act in strength rather than desperation. therefore during the summer of 1862, lincoln's intentions remained unclear to abolitionists. their view of him deteriorated after he urged a delegation of black leaders to undertake an effort to send african-americans to central america. blending the civil war on black people as well as on slavery,
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lincoln told the group is better for us both to be separated. in early september 1862, as robert lee's army of northern virginia march northward, abolitionists continued to question lincoln's fitness to be president. than the union battlefield victory at antietam on september 17 gave lincoln the opportunity to issue his preliminary im -- emancipation proclamation. proposed only freeing slaves in areas under confederate control, and propose federal government aid for gradual emancipation, combined with expatriation of african-americans in slave labor states to be either returned to the union by january 1, 1863, or remain loyal to the union. therefore abolitionists reacted
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cautiously. at least two of them characterize the preliminary emancipation proclamation as designed to bribe the seceded states to return to the union rather than to achieve universal emancipation. lincoln's december 1862 annual message produced a more thoroughly negative abolitionist reaction at that began to worry he would back off from issuing a final emancipation proclamation. and the december message, lincoln called on congress to provide a plan for gradual, compensated emancipation, combined with expatriation of former slaves. in response, to harrison complained "the administration has neither pluck or definite purpose." it is likely abolitionist contact with lincoln helped keep them from backing off in regard to his final proclamation.
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of course lincoln did issue the final emancipation proclamation on january 1, 1863. they relieved garrison called this proclamation a great historic event, sublimest magnitude, momentous and beneficial in its partial consequence. final 2.5ring the years of the civil war and of his life faced complicated issues. they included developing a winning battlefield strategy, finding general circuit implement those strategies, he had to deal with a growing proslavery northern democratic east movement -- peace movement, and formulate a plan for reconstructing the south after the civil war. within this context, likens relationship with abolitionists changed. previously abolitionists had
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universally combined criticism of him with varying degrees of praise. passed, some moved towards concentration on praise, while others who drew closer to radical republicans concentrated on criticism. this produces him with -- this process was not smooth. continue tonists question lincoln's commitment to universal emancipation and equal rights for african-americans. even the crucial union battlefield victory at gettysburg and vicksburg in july 1863 did not alleviate abolitionist fears that lincoln might seek a negotiated peace with the confederacy that would leave slavery in existence. alternatively, abolitionists feared lincoln and republicans would not be able to defeat the
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democrats in the 1864 union election. meanwhile, lincoln seemed to draw closer to abolitionists. he praised black union troops. he ceased to endorse expatriation of black people in public. he began to describe emancipation as god's will. lincoln's a, consistent response to abolitionist efforts to shape his policies regarding the standing of former slaves and the postwar south was consternation. is proclamation of industry and reconstruction he issued in december 1863 contributed. this proclamation acknowledged the supreme court could overrule the emancipation proclamation. messagested -- the suggested as long as former confederate states recognized african-americans permanent freedom, raise issues would be
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left up to those state governments to decide. in addition to alarming abolitionist proclamation of embassy and reconstruction split the republican party. toical republicans sought replace lincoln as the 1864 presidential nominee. john fremont became the radical favorite. as a result, abolitionists divided between those led by wendell phillips who follow the radicals in support of fremont, and is led by garrison t boosted by lincoln. in the spring of 1864, some abolitionists joined radical republicans in organizing a radical democratic party convention to nominate fremont for president. phillips, elizabeth cady stanton, william goodell, and frederick douglass wrote letters of support. several abolitionists attended the convention.
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meanwhile the garrison group endorsed lincoln for a second term. in june, garrison attended the republican national convention in baltimore where he applauded lincoln's unanimous renomination. house meeting to follow, lincoln expressed hope to garrison that the house of representatives would follow the united states senate in passing a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery throughout the country. lincolnrats continued, began to doubt that he could be reelected. sherman's capture of atlanta ended those doubts. abolitionists loyal to lincoln urged fremont to withdraw. which he did on september 22. if you days earlier, frederick douglas declared that every man
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that wishes well to the slaves should at once rally to the support of abraham lincoln. lincoln's more resolute abolitionist critics did not agree. wendell phillips the process -- approached irrationality, when in an october speech he characterized lincoln as "tender towards the south." nevertheless, abolitionists welcomed lincoln and the republican party's triumph in november 1860 war -- in the november 1864 national election. the result, they declared, would keep them pressing lincoln for action on behalf of universal emancipation and black right. for much of january, lincoln worked behind the scene to get the house of representatives to pass what became the 13th amendment to the u.s. constitution, ending legal slavery throughout the country.
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the effort succeeded on january 31, with black abolitionist minister henry highland garnet seated in the house gallery. garnet then spoke in favor of federal government support for back wearing rights -- black voting rights and education. yet many abolitionists continued to fear that lincoln might compromise with the white south. so, lincoln, at the end of his life, recognized the abolitionist contribution. this is going to be a repeat. while visiting ulysses s army after the capture of richmond, on april 3, 1865, lincoln talked with a lieutenant general, a the fifther in massachusetts black cavalry regiment. lincoln told chamberlayne "i have only been an instrument. the logic and moral power of garrison and the anti-slavery people of the country and the army have done all."
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when john wilkes booth mortally wounded lincoln in this theater on april 14, he claims that lincoln was an abolitionist similar to john graham. abolitionist reactions to this tragic event deflected the fraught relationship. it deflected the fraught relationship that had long persisted between them and lincoln. retrospective disregard and distrust of lincoln persisted among some abolitionists. others became increasingly devoted to positive memories of him. garrison provided the most sophisticated postmortem abolitionist account of lincoln's character and relationship to the abolitionist movement. lincoln, garrison noted, had never assumed to be an abolitionist. lincoln was a politician, not a philanthropist or reformer in a radical sense. garrison noted that when the
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civil war began, lincoln had ights,ed slaveholders' r upheld the fugitive slave law, and ignore the necessary and powerful relationship of slavery to the rebellion. garrison criticized live-in -- lincoln for timidity, following considerable we leading public opinion. talk, the end of his garrison also recognize the es lincolndifficulti faced as president. according to garrison, when lincoln changed his position, he was always a step in advance. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i know from my reading that all the incidents you talked about of lincoln not going along with abolitionism are true, but you
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also mentioned that lincoln said he was always opposed to slavery. isn't it possible that all of those incidents that you have described so well were simply being a politician? that if you he knew were an abolitionist, he would get nowhere. -- if he were an abolitionist, he would get nowhere. >> he said in 1864, he had always been naturally opposed to slavery. but there are degrees of opposition to slavery. opposition to slavery expansion, opposition to the slave trade itself, andslavery recognition, of course, of the constitution clause protecting state rights over slavery. >> what do you think about the significance of lincoln's position as a young legislator -- opposing the
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state legislatures condemnation of abolitionist literature? dr. harrold: his condemnation of -- >> early in his career, i thought the state of illinois took the position that they were opposed to the dissemination of abolitionist literature. and lincoln and a few other colleagues opposed that position, not because they -- supported abolitionism, but because they were opposed to the position of the state legislature. dr. harrold: they were opposed to restrictions on freedom of speech. i think that was the point. ands a congressman, lingua -- lincoln was in a boarding house that became known as the abolitionist house. do you have any theory on what he may have developed in way of thought process or relationships there? dr. harrold: he had a very close relationship with joshua
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gittings, who had been an abolitionist and later became a radical republican. i think that was the closest relationship lincoln had within the other borders at the abolition house. gittings had some influence on him. >> could i add a footnote to that? lincoln, as you know, once claimed a bill to abolish slavery -- not slave trade, but slavery itself in the district of columbia in early 1849. -votingahead of his whig colleagues. what was being asked is should we abolish the slave trade in the district? lincoln goes a slip further -- step further, several members of the political elite in washington to back this plan to abolish slavery in the district of columbia.
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not slave trading, slavery itself. south said if you pass that, we will break up the union. lincoln had announced that he would introduce the bill, and then said given the fact that i have lost my supporters, i will not. but he went further than most of in congress to frame legislation to abolish slavery, not just the slave trade. 1837, state legislatures in the south appealed to state legislatures in the north, and some northern states as well appealed to other states, saying please condemn the abolitionist movement. the state of illinois, the illinois house of representatives in which lincoln sat voted 77-6 to condemn the abolitionist movement. six guys had the nerve to go against the mainstream. one of those with lincoln, and lincoln came from central illinois, where anti-
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abolitionist sentiment was particularly strong. of those 6, 2 went a step further and issued a statement that was published in the house journal, saying slavery is based on injustice and bad policy. of those 2, 1 was lincoln. of those two, the only one that was running for reelection was lincoln, so he really stuck his neck out. in 1837 -- he is a young man running for office in central illinois, for arguably the most racist state in the union, free state. anti-slavery, his hatred of slavery manifested in 1837 and again in 1849. dr. harrold: and as you pointed out, he never did introduce that bill. i think what you are getting here is that lincoln is ambivalent. he can be portrayed as anti-slavery, but he makes it
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very clear he is not talking about ending slavery in the south, in the slave states. [laughter] dr. harrold: we are going to have a panel discussion afterward, so i do not want to hog the mic. people have things to say, i do not want to preempt your opportunity. so cap me on the shoulder. [laughter] lincoln says very empathetically "let us remember that opposition to the expansion of slavery is a proxy for opposition to slavery itself."and the reason we emphasize the opposition to the expansion of slavery is because it is constitutional. the other measures that have been suggested, including abolitionists saying let's tear up the constitution, so slavery expansion opposition, at least among some of the people who
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opposed slavery expansion, it was a profound expression of their hatred of slavery as an institution, but we only have one constitutional method of expressing that opposition. been athere has recently big debate over the denationalization of slavery. if you only allow it in the slave labor states, it will gradually disappear. abolitionist did not agree with that. they said it would let slavery continue indefinitely. other questions? thank you. [applause] live coveragehing of the symposium on abraham lincoln's life and legacy, here
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on c-span3's american history tv. after this short break, we will be back for the final two sessions. starr water star -- walter will talk about lincoln's war secretary, edward staton, and then a panel discussion with all speakers. for 14 minutes, we will take you to north carolina's winston-salem. >> we are here in the paintings gallery of the museum of early southern decorative art in winston-salem, north carolina. c-span is learning about local history. join us as we look at some of the objects in the museum created before the american revolution through the civil war. >> the museum of early southern decorative art, also a, has some important representations of american art in the south. we will look at a few of those things to help tell the story of the south, by the object made and used by the diverse people who called it home for over four centuries.


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