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tv   Abraham Lincoln Abolitionists  CSPAN  March 30, 2018 4:17pm-5:07pm EDT

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our guests are helen alvare and rachel rebouche, the associate dean for research and a law professor at temple university. watch "landmark cases" monday, and join the conversation. our hashtag is #landmarkcases and follow us at c-span. we have resources on our website for background on each case. the landmark cases companion book, a link to the national constitution center's interactive constitution, and the landmark cases podcast at >> american history tv was recently at ford's theatre in washington, d.c. for the 21st annual symposium hosted by the abe raham lincoln institute. next, stanley harold talks ab. t
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this is about 45 minutes. >> i have said it a hundred times, and i have now no inclination to take it back. that i believe there is no right and ought to be no inclination in 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, and when it is said that i am in favor of interfering with slavery, i know it is unwarranted by anything i have ever intended, and i believe by anything i have ever said. these are hardly the words of a man burning with the flame of abolitionism and even allowing for the fact that their author was running for public office when he uttered them in the summer of 1858, they bespeak a man who was straddling a moral and philosophical fence that was
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growing rapidly harder to be astride. just a week away from the end of his presidency and his life, after circumstances had pressured him towards an increasingly progressive policy on emancipation, lincoln placed the credit elsewhere. quote, the logic and moral power of garrison and the anti-slavery people of the country and the army have done all. yet despite his stunning personal growth during those four turbulent years, never once did abraham lincoln publicly declare himself an abolitionist. here to discuss the subject of his latest book, lincoln and the abolitionists, we are privileged to present dr. stanley harrold.
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dr. harrold, who is a professor of political science 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 1840s and '50s, and the civil war itself. he is the co-author of the 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 harrold. [ applause ] >> good afternoon. it's a pleasure to be here. one thing about coming toward the ernd is there's going to be some repetition and some contradiction of earlier talks. frederick douglass had been the
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united states' leading black abolitionist. on april 14th, 1876, he delivered the key note address for a ceremony dedicating washington, d.c.'s freedom monument. the monument portrays abraham lincoln as the great emancipator. douglass in his address complicated that portrayal of the lincoln. according to douglass, lincoln had been preeminently the white man's president, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. and i know this is opposite from what professor burlingame quoted douglass as saying, so he said both that lincoln is preeminently the white man's president and also preeminently the black man's president. at the dedication of this memorial, 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,
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lincoln had been willing to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colors people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. douglass asserted that from a genuine abolition perspective, lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent. for decades prior to the civil war, douglass and other abolitionists had demanded the immediate end of slavery 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 sought to restore the union, not abolish slavery. yet as douglass realized, had lincoln put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the union, he would have driven
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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 abolitionists evolved over time. the relationship between politician lincoln and abolitionist was long, complex, and ultimately direct. much of it developed over the pre-war years as the nation divided over issues related to slavery and race. abolitionists regarded slavery to be a sin and a crime that must quickly end if the united states were to avoid god's wrath. but many more northerners sympathized with white southerners. they held racist views and opposed granting black people equal rights. in between were people like
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lincoln, who merely disliked slavery. lincoln did not believe slavery to be a beneficial labor system and worried about slaveholder domination of the united states government. like most white northerners before the civil war, lincoln sought sectional comprise with the white south and opposed abolitionist radicalism. during the first three decades of his life, lincoln had little or no contact with abolitionists. the abolitionist movement's center lay far to his east, in an area stretching from eastern pennsylvania northward into new england. lincoln's priorities during these decades included educating himself, finding work more rewarding than physical labor, and beginning a political career. lincoln believed that to advance that career, he had to appeal to the prejudices of political party leaders and a majority of
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voters. from 1832, when he first ran for office in the conservative state of illinois onward, lincoln sought to represent his constituents' views and desires. it would have hurt his career if he appeared to be too close to abolitionists. for two decades, lincoln identified with the wig party. this political organization represented one wardly mobile northerners. the wig party also represented the interest of moderate pro-slavery white southerners, and it included evangelically oriented northerners who opposed slavery. within this complicated context, lincoln idealized wig leader henry clay. henry clay was a kentucky slaveholder who mildly opposed
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slavery and sought sectional reconciliation. yet by the time lincoln reached adulthood, abolitionists had helped shape his life. in 1819, abolitionists inspired opposition to admitting missouri territory to the union as a slave labor state, produced a north-south sectional crisis. the crisis led congress under clay's leadership to pass the missouri comprise in 1820. in allowed missouri to become a slave labor state and ban slavery in the rest of the louisiana purchase north of the 3630 line of latitude. another abolitionist effort had even more significance in establishing lincoln's political environment. during the early 1820s, pro-slavery forces attempted to legalize slavery in illinois. local abolitionists organized societies to prevent this. in a pennsylvania abolitionist
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society sent 6,000 anti-slavery 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 1820s and 1830s, the state legislature passed laws restricting black settlement, barring black men from voting, and of course no women could vote, and illinois also 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 detestable and bloody state, thy offense is rank and smells to heaven. in contrast, lincoln did not object to these laws. instead, as lincoln gained
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election as a whig to the illinois state legislature in 1834, he supported the american colonization society's program of very graduate abolition of slavery combined with sending former slaves to africa, supposedly for their own good as well as that of white workers. during the 1840s, major national issues related to slavery included annexation of texas and war against mexico. abolitionists opposed annexation of slaveholding texas. but lincoln declared that he had never been much interested in the issue. in a similar manner, lincoln during his term in congress from march 1847 to may 1849 expressed views regarding the mexican war that were far more moderate than abolitionists. lincoln denied that the war had
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been originated for the purpose of extending slavery. abolitionists said it was a slaveholder's plot to expand slavery. lincoln did, however, support the will mott 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. he initially voted in favor of a bill to end both, but then he became more conservative on the issue. in 1848, he objected to a similar bill because it did not provide compensation to slave owners whose slaves were freed. lincoln had been out of congress for over a year when that body passed the compromise of 1850. this measure admitted california
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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 favored the south. it gave slavery a chance to expand into new mexico and utah territories. it kept slavery but not the slave trade legal in the district of columbia. and with a fugitive slave act of 1850, it instituted united states government support for recapturing fugitive slaves. abolitionists opposed all the pro-slavery measures. lincoln supported all the measures, including the fugitive slave law, and this was despite the fact that lincoln often expressed sympathy for escaping slaves. during the early 1850s, lincoln described abolitionists as those
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who would into fragments the union of these states and even burn the last copy of the bible rather than slavery should continue a single hour. lincoln also denounced slavery's strongest defenders. he followed henry clay in embracing the ultimate emancipati emancipation. and like clay he linked that ultimate emancipation with sending black people out of the country to africa. lincoln maintained that the colonization society's program would relieve the united states of what he described as the troublesome presence of free negroes. it took congress' passage of the kansas-nebraska act in may 1854 to begin an uneven process that brought about a limited convergence in lincoln's and the abolitionists' views. introduced by democratic senator stephen a. douglas of illinois,
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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. meanwhile, former whigs who opposed slavery expansion came together with will mont proviso democrats to form the republican party. in illinois, ichabod coding, eastman, and love joy, who had close ties to the abolition movement led 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 feared abolitionists' radicalism would dominate the meeting. as it turned out, the meeting
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adopted resolutions that were more radical than lincoln's views, but they were not abolitionist. the resolutions called for prohibiting slavery in all united states territories. they asserted that fugitive slaves had a right to jury trials. lincoln limited himself to opposing the repeal of the missouri compromise. lincoln accepted the legality of slavery expansion into new mexico and utah. that october, lincoln described slavery itself as a violation of run principles and a worker's right to the fruits of his labor, but he continued to support expelling free african-americans from the country, and he continued to oppose repeal of the fugitive slave law. during 1855, as pro-slavery and free state forces in kansas went to war, lincoln began to wonder,
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as abolitionists had before him, if the union could continue half slave and half free. but rather than take action, lincoln called on god to super intend a solution. lincoln did use his political contacts in central illinois and his eloquence to take control of the state's republican party. lincoln attended the party's state convention at 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, pro-slavery democrats charged that lincoln shared the views of garrison and frederick douglass. some republicans known as radical republicans did share some abolitionist views.
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they corresponded with abolitionists and attended abolitionist meeting. lincoln, during the 1856 presidential campaign, rejected the radicals' example. he supported the republican party platform. it upheld congress's power to prohibit slavery in territories but did not oppose admitting new slave labor states to the union. it did not call for repeal of the fugitive slave law of 1850. as lincoln spoke in report of john c. fremont, he denied that abolitionists affected his party's agenda. when democratic candidate james buchanan won the election, lincoln blamed fremont's loss in part on a democrat's claim that free man was an abolitionist.
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during the campaign's famous lincoln-douglas debates, douglas repeatedly charged that lincoln was an abolitionist who advocated sexual amalgamation of 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 immediate emancipation to be impossible.
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lincoln in contrast described the raid as wrong and predicted it would not help end slavery. in a february 1860 speech, lincoln pledged that the republican party would let slavery alone in the states where it exists. in in april 1860, the democratic party split in two. northern democrats nominated steven a. douglas for president and southern democrats nominated john c. breckenridge for president.
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breckenridge was from kentucky. as a result, the republicans sought to choose a moderate candidate who was most likely to win. in part, lincoln gained the nomination because republicans believed his chief rival, william h. seward. it ignored the fugitive slave law and a supreme court's 1857 decision in the dread scott case which legalized slavery in all territories. even so, lincoln's nomination led northeastern abolitionist leaders for the first time to focus extended attention upon him. garrison predicted that lincoln as president would do nothing to offend the south.
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other abolition niists portraye lincoln as the most dangerous obstacle to the anti-slavery movement. some abolitionists applied to lincoln a longstanding abolit n abolitionist policy of mixing criticism of anti-slavery politicians with encouragement. in june 1860 frederick douglass described lincoln as one of the most frank, honest men in political life, contrasting his limited anti-slavery compared to the democratic party's wickedly aggressive proslavery. the secession crisis that followed lincoln's election, his inauguration in march 1861 and the start of the civil war that april led to the first lasting
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reciprocal relationship between lincoln and abolitionist leaders. fractious and sporadic, it existed in spite of and because lincoln's and the abolitionist's differences. it confirmed many abolitionist fears that he would compromise with proslavery leaders. in the address lincoln 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. when on april 12th, 1861, lincoln's policy of holding united states government property in the south led to the confederate attack on fort sumpter. lincoln faced major difficulties.
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he believed 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 congress, lincoln emphasized that union soldiers fought on behalf of perpetual union, not emancipation. this disturbed abolitionists. following the union defeat at bull run in july 1861 aboliti abolitionist criticism of lincoln intensified. it did again following lincoln's counter manding of john c. free month's august 30 proclamation freeing slaves owned by those in missouri who supported the
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confederacy. lincoln emphasized saving the union without emancipation. abolitionist elizabeth katie stanton wrote privately, i really blushed for my country when i read that message, but all of lincoln's messages have been the most namby-pamby order. despite the negative and condescending abolitionist reaction to lincoln during his first year in office, a few undertook direct efforts to persuade him to adopt emancipationist policies. these efforts continued during 1862 and presaged a more personal relationship between abolitionists and the president. key to this was a smithsonian institution lecture series that brought leading abolitionists to washington.
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lincoln met with some of these abolitionists at the white house. at these meetings, abolitionists in nearly all instances acted respectfully toward lincoln. he in turn treated them politely while suggesting that 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 in the district of columbia. during the following months, abolitionists called on lincoln to issue an emancipation proclamation. when a delegation of quaker abolitionists met with lincoln in the white house to urge him to issue such a proclamation, he dismissed the proposal. nevertheless, lincoln began to draft his preliminary
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emancipation proclamation. in the draft, he proposed to announce on january 1st, 1863 that slaves in areas under confederate control would be thenceforth 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 remain unclear to abolitionists. and their view of him deteriorated after he urged a delegation of black leaders to undertake an effort to send african-americans to central america. blaming the civil war on black people as well as on slavery, lincoln told the group, it is better for us both to be separated. in early september 1862, as
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robert e. lee's army of northern virginia marched northward, abolitionists continued to question lincoln's fitness to be president. then the union battlefield victory on september 17th gave lincoln the opportunity to issue his preliminary emancipation proclamation. in it he proposed only to free slaves in areas under confederate control. and he proposed federal government aid for gradual emancipation combined with expatriotation in slave labor states to return to the union in 1863 or had remained loyal to the union. therefore abolitionists reacted cautiously. at least two of them characterized the preliminary emancipation proclamation as designed to bribe the seceded
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states to return to the union rather than achieve universal emancipation. lincoln's december 1862 annual message produced a more thoroughly negative abolitionist reaction as they began to worry that he would back off from issuing a final emancipation proclamation. in the december message, lincoln called on congress to provide a plan for gradual, compensated emancipation emancipation. garrison complained that, quote, the administration has neither pluck nor definite purpose. even though, it is likely that abolitionist contacts with lincoln helped keep him from backing off in regard to his final proclamation. of course, lincoln did issue the final emancipation proclamation on january 1st, 1863.
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a relieved garrison called this proclamation a great historic event, sublime in its magnitude. lincoln during the final 2 1/2 years of the civil war and of his life faced complicated issues. they included developing a winning battlefield strategy and finding generals who could implement that strategy. he had to deal with a growing pro-slavery northern democratic peace movement. and he had to formulate a plan for reconstructing the south after the civil war. within this context, lincoln's relationship with abolitionists changed. previously abolitionists had universally combined criticism of him with varying degrees of praise. but as 1863 passed, some
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abolitionists moved toward concentration on praise, while others, who drew closer to radical republicans, concentrated on criticism. this process was not smooth. all abolitionists continued to question lincoln's commitment to universal emancipation and equal rights for african-americans. even the crucial union battlefield victories 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 peace democrats in the 1864 union elections. meanwhile, lincoln seemed to draw closer to abolitionists.
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he praised black union troops. he ceased to endorse expatriotation of black people in public. nevertheless, lincoln's inconsistent responses to abolitionist efforts to shape his policies regarding the standing of former slaves in the postwar south caused consternation. his proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction that he issued in december 1863 contributed. this proclamation acknowledged that the supreme court could overrule the emancipation proclamation. the message suggested that as long as former confederate states recked african-americans' permanent freedom, race issues would be left up to those state governments to decide. in addition to alarming abolitionists, the proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction
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split the republican party. radical republicans sought to replace lincoln as the party's 1864 presidential nominee. john c. freemont became the radical favorite. radical favorite. as a result phillips ra aboliti divided between those led by wendell phillips who fought the radicals in support of fremont and those 1 led by garrison who stood by lincoln. during the spring of 1864, some abolitionists joinedar radical republicans and nopro-war democrats in organizing a radical demonstration to elect fremont for president. frederick douglas and goodell wrote letters of support. several abolitionists attended the convention. meanwhile, lincoln was endorsed for a second term. in june, garrison attended the republican national convention
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in baltimore where he applauded lincoln's unanimous nomination. lincoln expressed hope to garrison that the house of representatives would follow thm united states senate in passing a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery throughout the country. as democrats continued to portray lincoln as an abolitionist who prolonged a disastrous war, lincoln began to doubt that he could be reelected. sherman's capture of atlanta on september 1st, 1864 ended those doubts. abolitionists loyal to lincoln urged fremont to withdraw, which fremont did on september 22nd. a few days earlier, frederick douglas declared that every man who wishes. well to the slave should at once rally to the support of abraham lincoln.
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lincoln's more resolute critics did not agree. wendell phillips approached ir rationality and they represented the republicans' triumph in an 1864 election. the result they declared would allow them to keep pressing lincoln for action on behalf of universal emancipation and protection for black rights. for much of january, lincoln worked behind the scenes to get the house of representatives to passng what became the 13th amendment to the u.s. constitution ending legal slavery throughout the country. the effort succeeded on january 31st with black abolitionist ministerrn henry highland garne seated in the house gallery.
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garnett then spoke in favor of government support for black voting rights and education. yet many abolitionists continued to fear that lincoln might compromise with the white south. even so, lincoln at the end of his life recognized the abolitionists' contribution. and this is going to be a repeat. while visiting ulysses s. grant's army in 1865, lincoln talked with lieutenant daniel h. chamberlain, a white officer in a 15th massachusetts black cabinet regiment. lincoln toldth chamberlain, i he only been an instrument. the logic and war power of garrison and the anti-slavery people of the country and the army havell done all. when john wilkes booth mortally wounded lincoln in this theater on april 14th, he claimed that
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lincoln was an abolitionist similar to john brown. abolitionist reactions to this tragic event reflected the frought relationship -- reflected the frought relationship that had long existed between them and lincoln. retrospective disregard and distrust of lincoln persisted among someiv abolitionists. others became increasingly devoted to positive memories of him. garrison provided the most sophisticated postmortem movement. he never assumed to be an abolitionist.ns lincoln was a politician, not a philanthropist or reformer in a radical sense. garrison noted that when the civil war began, lincoln had defended slaveholders' rights, upheld the slave law and ignored
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the necessary and palpable relationship of slavery to the rebellion.f garrison criticized lincoln, followingg and leading. but garrison also recognized the appalling difficulties that lincoln. faced as president, an according to garrison, when lincoln changed his position, it was always a step in advance. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank boyou. iin know from my reading that a of the incidents you talked about of lincoln not going alono with abolitionism are true, but you also mentioned that lincoln said he was always opposed to slavery. so t isn't it possible that allf those incidents that you've described so well were simply being a politician, that he knew
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that if he were an abolitionist, he would get nowhere. but this was the way to fondly lead to the end of slavery in the united states. >> i think it was in 1864, he said he had always been naturally opposed to slavery. but there are degrees of opposition too slavery. opposition to slavery expansiont opposition to the slave trade but not the slavery itself, and recognition, of course, of the constitutions clause protecting state rights over slavery. >> would you speak about the significance of lincoln's position as a young illinois legislator in opposing the state legislature's condemnation of abolitionist literature?n >> his condemnation of -- >> well, early in his career, i thought that thest state of
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illinois d took the position th they were opposed to the diss dissemination of abolitionist literature and lincoln and a few colleagues opposed that position, not because they supported abolitionism, but because they were opposed to the position of the state legislature. >> opposed to restrictions on freedom of speech. yeah, i think that was the point. >>se as a congressman, lincoln s in a boardinghouse that became an abolitionists' house. can you speak about relationships he had there? >>o he had a very close relationship with joshua shg giddings who was an abolitionist and later became a republican. i think that's the closest
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relationship lincoln had with the other boarders at the abolition house. i'm sure gidd ii nrgiddings had influence on him, >> could i add a footnote to that? lincoln, as you know, framed a bill to abolish not the slave trade but slavery itself in the district of columbia in late 1839. so he was ahead of his wigg party gucolleagues. what was discussed was should we abolish trade slavery in the district. and he lined up 15 people from members of the political elite in washington to endorse this plan to abolish slavery in the district of columbia. not slave trading, but slavery itself. the southerners then said if you pass legislation like that, we're going to break up the union. the 15 washingtonians that
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supported the bill withdrew their support. lincoln then said he was going to denounce the bill and then said given that i've lost my supporters, then i won't. but he went further than most of the wigs in congress to abolish slavery. in 1837, state legislatures in the south appealed to state legislatures in the north, and some northern states, too, appealed oisaying, please conde the abolitionist movement. the state of 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 was lincoln. and lincoln came from central illinois where anti-abolitionist sentiment was particularly strong. of those six, two went a step further and issued a statement that was publisheded in the hou journal sayingof slavery is bas
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on injustice and bad policy. of those two, one was lincoln.o of those two, the only one who was running for reelection was lincoln. so he really stuck his neck out. in 1837 he was a young man, and he was running for office in central illinois for arguably the most racist state in the union, the free state. so i think his anti-slavery hatred of slavery gets manifested in 1837 and again in 1849. >> and as you pointed out, he never did introduce that bill. i think what you're getting here is that lincoln is ambivalent. he can be t portrayed as anti-slavery but he makes it very clear he's not talking about ending slavery in the south or in the slave states, andd --
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>> we're going to have a panel discussion afterwards so i don't want to hog the mic. if there are other people who have things to say, i don't want to preempt your opportunities. tap me on the shoulder. lincoln says -- he says very emphatically, let us remember that opposition to the expansion of slavery is a proxy for opposition to slavery itself. >> right. >> and the reason that we emphasize the opposition to slavery expansion is that it is constitutional. the otherur abolitionist measur that have been suggested including abolitionists who said let's tear up the constitution, but some who opposed slavery expanded slavery as a constitution, but we only have
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one method of expanding it. >> there has been a big debate in denationalization of slaveryw the argument being if your denationalize it, only allow it in the slave states and it will gradually disappear. the abolitionists disagreed with that. they said it would allow slavery to continue indefinitely. any more questions? thank you. [ applause ] this weekend on the c-span networks. saturday at 9:20 p.m. on c-span. a debate on the suit by a same-sex couple against a colorado bakery for refusing to make their wedding cake from the
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national constitution center in philadelphia. sunday at 6:30 p.m., daniel mark, chairman of the u.s. commission on international religious freedom, on the current state of religious liberty in the u.s. and around the world. saturday on booktv, c-span 2 at 10:30 p.m. eastern. afterwards james swanson talks to jesse holland about events leading up to the assassination of martin luther king jr. and sunday at 10:00 p.m., second lady karen pence share the story of their pet rabbit. saturday on american history tv, c-span 3 at 8:00 p.m. eastern, moonshine drivers and the origins of nascar. and sunday at 8:00 a.m., jonathan plisca about the annual white house easter egg roll which began in 1878 and the changes that have been made along the way.
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this weekend on the c-span networks. for nearly 20 years in depth on booktv has featured the nation's best known nonfiction writers for long conversations about their books. this year as a special project, we're featuring best-selling fiction writers for a month-long program "in-depth fiction edition." join us sunday for walter mosley. his book includes, devil in a brew dress, gone fishing. during it, we'll be taking your phone calls and texts. sunday live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on booktv on c-span
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2. sunday night on q and a, high school students around the country were in washington, d.c. for the annual united states senate youth program. we met with them at the historic mayflower hotel where they shared their thoughts about government and politics. >> and i'm really passionate about daca. it is unfair that 700,000 men, women and children's lives hang in the balance because our congress cannot find a solution. it is not a democratic issue, it's not a republican issue, it's a human rights issue. >> an issue as important as climate change, the notion that we are the only country in the world not in the paris climate cords is a travesty. everyone around the country has demonstrated and taken steps to address it and we have not stayed on course with other countries. >> we are the richest nation in the world, yet we have citizens who go bankrupt trying to cover basic health care costs, and i think that is an outrage and that we should be ashamed. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern
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on c-span's "q & a." american history tv was recently at ford's theatre in washington, d.c. next a panel featuring the symposium speakers discussing the 16th president's life, career and legacy. this is about 30 minutes. >> good afternoon. those of you who are interested in asking questions, thank you for hanging out this afternoon. we've had a splendid day of thought-provoking solutions. i'm very happy that i brought a lincoln to the land of lee. i'm also board member of the institute. thank you for sticking around today. you allli had a few minutes wit each of the folks up here to


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