tv Abraham Lincoln Abolitionists CSPAN March 31, 2018 5:47am-6:36am EDT
the guests are helen alvare, and rachel rebouche. watch on monday and join the conversation. our hashtag is "landmark cases" and follow us at c-span. the landmark cases companion book is a link to the national interactive constitution, and the landmark cases podcast at c-span.org/landmarkcases. american history tv was recently at ford's theater in washington, d.c. for the 21st annual symposium hosted by the abraham lincoln institute and ford's theater society. next, stanley herald, author of lincoln and the abolitionists, this is about 45 minutes.
i have said it a hundred times, and i have now know 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 is straddling a moral and
philosophical fence that was growing rapidly harder to be stride. 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 garson 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 ablists," we are privileged to present the renowned author and
educator dr. stanley harold. he's a professor of political science and history history at university is an author of award winning books that originally cover the world of abolitionists, the border walls of 19 as and the civil war itself. he's the coauthor of the african-american odyssey which is now in its 7th edition and is the best selling african-american history text book in the world. please join me in welcoming dr. stanley harrold. >> good afternoon. pleasure to be here. and, one thing about coming toward the end is there's going to be some repetition and some contradiction of earlier talks. fredrick douglas had been the
united states leading black abolitionist. on april 14, 1876 he delivered it had keynote address for a ceremony dedicating washington, d.c.'s freedom monument. the monument portrays abraham lincoln as the great e mans raft. douglas and his address complicated that portrayal of lincoln. according to douglas, lincoln had been preimmaterial innocently the white man's president, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. i know this is opposite from what professor quoted douglas as saying, he said both listen con is preimminently the white and black man's president. but at the dedication of this memorial, he said lincoln had been the white man's president entirely devoted to the welfare
of white men. douglas recalled during the earlier years of the civil war, lincoln had been willing to deny, postpone and sacrifice the life in the colored people to promote the white people of the this country. douglas asserted from a genuine per spect lincoln seemed tardy, dull and indifferent. for decades prior to the civil war, douglas and other abolitionists had demanded the immediate end of slavery throughout the united states. lincoln had at best imposed slavery into the western territories. during civil war's first two years, lincoln though to restore of the union, not to abolish slavery. yet, as douglas realized had lincoln put the abolition of
slavery before the salvation of the union, we would have driven for him the powerful class of person people and rendered resistance to the impossible. douglas's view of lincoln was not unique. lincoln's view of the abolitionist evolve over time. the relationship between politician lincoln and appearlish insist was long, complex and ultimate direct. much of it fell over the prewar years as a nation divided over issues related to slavery and race. abolition insists regarded slavery to be a sin and a crime that must quickly end if the united states were to avoid god's wrath. by many more northerns sympathized with racists southerners. in between were people like lincoln, who merely disliked
slavery. lincoln did not believe slavery to be a beneficial labor system and worried about slave holder domination of the united states government. like most white northerners before the civil war, lincoln sought sectional comprise with the white south and oh posed ablish nichl wrad alcoholism. lincoln had little or no contact with abolitionists. the abolitionists movement lay far to his east. an area stretching from eastern pennsylvania north ward into new england. lincoln's priorities during these decades included educating himself, finding work more rewarding in physical labor and beginning a political career. lincoln believed to advance that career he had to appeal to the prejudices of political party
leaders and majority of voters. from 1832 when he first ran for office in the conservative state of illinois on ward, listen con 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 up wardly mobile northerners and encouraged national government support for industry and commerce. the wig party also represented the interest of modern early proslavery white southerners and it included evangelical northerners who opposed slavery. within this complicated context linco lincoln idolalized henry clay. henry clay was a kentucky slave
holder who mildly opposed slavery. yet, by the time lincoln reached adulthood abolitionists helped shape his life. the crisis let congress under clay's leadership to pass the missouri compromise in 1820. it 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 efforts had more -- environment. during early 1820s, pro slavery fors attempted to legalize slavery in illinois. a pennsylvania pennsylvania abl
addition society swent -- allowing slavery in that state. iffed this not happened, lincoln's career would have been very different. much anti-black prejudice remained in illinois. during 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 quite people. when the the country's leading abolitionist, william war garrettson learned of this war he disclaimed almost detestable and bloody state. in contrast, lincoln did not object to these laws.
instead as lincoln gain election as a wig to the illinois state legislature in 1834, we supported the american kol nonization society program, a very gradual abolitionist of slaverily including sending slaves to africa for their own good, as well as white workers. during the 1840s, major national issues related to slavery including in texas and war against mexico. abolitionists opposed annexation of slave holding texas. but lincoln declared he has never been much interested in the issue. in a similar manner lon con during his term in congress from march 1847 to may 1849 expressed
views in americana war that was far more modern in abolitionist. abolitionists says it was a slave holder's plot to expand slavery. lincoln did however support the will mont provide sew designed to ban slavery expansion into new mexico and california as a result of the war. lincoln also acted moderately in response to abolitionist wig effort and the slavery in the slave trade in district of columbia. he initially voted in favor of a bill to end both then he became more conservative on the issue. in 1848 we 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
to the union as a free labor state and required slave labor state texas to give up its claim to eastern mexico. otherwise the compromised favored the south. it gave slavery a chance to expand into new mexico and utah territories. it kept slavery but not the slave trade in district of columbia. with the slave act in t 1950 it instituted slavery government support. abolitionist opposed all the proslavery pressures. lincoln supported all the measures including the fugitive slave law. this was despite the fact that lincoln often expressed sympathy for escaping slaves. during the early 1850s, lincoln described abolitionists as those who would shiver 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 strongest defenders. he followed henry clay in embracing the ultimate emancipation. and like clay he linked that ultimate e mans tags with sendi sending black people out of country to africa. lincoln maintained that the society program would relieve the united states of what he described as the troublesome presence of free negros. it took congress's passenger of the kansas act of may 1864 to begin an uneven process that brought about a limited conversion in lincoln's and the abolitionists views. entered by democratic senator
steven a. douglas of illinois, the kansas act repealed the missouri compromise. that meant kansas and nebraska territory would be open to slavery. at this point, some abolitionists lost hope for a bloodless termination of american slavery. meanwhile, former wigs who oppose slavery came together with democrats to reform the republican party. in illinois, ichabod cotting, east mono and well joy who had close ties to the abolition movement led in stabilizing the republican party. when they held their initial meeting during the october 1854, lincoln did not attend. this was in part because he feared abolitionist radicalism would dominate the meeting. as it turned out the meeting
adopted resolution that was more radicals than lincoln's view but they were not abolitionist. a call for prohibited slavery in all united states temporaritories. asserted fugitive slaves had a right to trials and lincoln limiting himself opposing appeal of the missouri compromise. lincoln accepted the lee galt of slavery expansion into new mexico and utah. that october, lincoln described slavery itself as a violation of republican 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 proslavery and free state forces in kansas went to work, lincoln began to
wonder, as abolitionists had before him, if the union could continue half slaves and half free. but rather than take action, lincoln called on god to supper intend a solution. lincoln did use his political contacts in central illinois and his emerging eloquence to take control of the state's republican party. listen con attended the party state convention at bloomington in may 1854 where he led introducing a moderately anti-slavery platform. the slave hold their 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 the gar recess son and fredrick douglas. some republicans known as radical republicans did share
some abolitionists views. they corresponded with abolitionists and attended their meetings. lincoln during the 1856 proper campaign rejected the radical example. he supported the republican party platform, upheld congress's power to prohibit slavery and territories but did not oppose to submitting new slave labor states to the union. did not call for the repeal of the slave law 1850. as lincoln spoke in support of the republican presidential nominee, john c. fremont, he denied that abolitionists affected his party's agenda. when jaime beau can found won the election, listen con blamed fremont in part on lincoln's
claim that fremont was an abolitionist. in 1858 lincoln ran against c. douglas for a seat in united states senate. during the campaign famous linco lincoln/douglas debates. douglas repeated claimed that lincoln was an abolitionist. lincoln responded in part by declaring, i have always hated slavery i think as much as any abolitionist. but unlike the great majority of abolitionist, lincoln rejected social and political racial equality. he declared i immediate emancipation to be impossible. after losing the 1858 election, lincoln -- lincoln's expression in 1859 of anti-slavery sentiment continued to fall short of abolitionists
standards. therefore it is not surprising that listen con's reaction to john brown's october 1859 raid under federal arsenal at virginia diverged from that of abolitionist. following brown's execution, r garza son wished success to the south. in a february 1860 speech, lincoln pledged that the republican party would let slavery alone in the states where it exist. in april, 1860 the democratic party split in two. northern democrats nominated steven average douglas for president and southern democrats nominated john c. breckenridge.
bre breckenridge was from accounken. in part lincoln gained the nomination because republicans believe his riflery would be easily linked to the abolitionist than lincoln could. republican platform was also moderate. it failed admits kansas to the union as free labor state but ignored the union of state law and the supreme courtee 1857 decision in the dread scott case which legalized slavery in all territories. even sew, lincoln's nomination led north eastern nomination legalist the first time to focus attention upon him. garza son predicted that lincoln as president would do nothing to offend the south.
other abolitionist portrayed lincoln as the most dangerous obstacle to the anti-slavery movement. some abolitionist applied to lincoln a long standing abolitionist policy of mixing criticism of anti-slavery politicians with encouragement. in june 1860, fredrick douglas who vowed he would not vote for lincoln described lincoln as one of the most frank, honest men of political life. douglas contrasted republican party limited anti-slavery with what we called the democratic party wickedly aggressive proslavery. in several abolitionist campaign for lincoln's election. the crisis that followed lincoln's election in march of 1861 and the start of civil war that april led to the first
lasting reciprocal relationship between lincoln and abolitionist leaders. franc shows and sporadic it existed regarding slavery and race. lincoln's inaugural address in march of 1861 referred abolitionist feared that he would compromise with proleaders. in the address lincoln vowed to maintain the united states government control and the claims that seems to be out of the union. but he repeated his promise not to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exist. in april 12, 1861, listen con's policy of holding united states government policy in the south led to the confederate attack on fort sum sumpter and war, listen
con faced major difficulties. he believed he had to secure washington against the federal attack, formulate a military strategy and convince the border slave states to remain in the union. none of these tasks require lincoln to alter his views regarding slavery legitimacy. lincoln emphasized that union soldiers fought on behalf of perpetual union, not emancipation. following the union defeat at full run in july 1861, abolitionist credit sitof lincoln intensified. it did it again following lincoln's counter land -- august 30 proclamation freeing slaves owned by missourians who
supported. in it lincoln emphasized saving the union without emancipation. abolitionist, elizabeth katy stanton wrote privately, i really blushed for my country when i read that message. but all of lincoln's messages have been the most order. despite such negative and condescending reaction to lincoln during his first year in office, a few abolitionists undertook direct efforts to persuade him to adopt the emancipation policies. these evers continued during 1862 to staged a more person relationship between abolitionists and the president. key to this was a 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 acted respectfully toward lincoln. he in turn treated them po lightly while suggesting that they had a limited and impractical point of view. the overall abolitionist summation 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, abolition insists called on lincoln to issue an emancipation proclamation. when abolitionists met with listen con in the white house to urge him to issue such a proclamation he dismissed it had proposal. nevertheless, lincoln began to draft his preliminary
emancipation proclamation. in the draft who proposed to announce on january 1st, 1863. the 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 intention remained under clear to abolitionists and their view of him deteriorated after he urged a delegation of black leader 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
robert e. lee's army of northern virginia marched north ward abolitionists continued to question lincoln's fitness to the president. then the union field battle 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 federal control. and he proposed federal government aid for gradual emancipation combined with ex pateuation of african-americans in slave labor states to either return to the union by january 1st, 1863 or had remained loyal to the union. therefore, abolitionist reacted cautiously, at least two of them characterized a preliminary emancipation proclamation as a
design to bribe states to return to the union rather than to achieve urin achieve universal e man patient. lincoln's december 1862 annual message produced a more thoroughly abolitionist reaction. in the december message, lincoln called on congress to provide a plan for gradual compensated emancipation combined with ex pateuation of ex-former slaves. in response garrett son complained that quote, administrative has neither plucked their definite service. abolitionist's contacts with lincoln helped keep him from backing off in regards to his final proclamation. of course lincoln did issue the final emancipation proclamation
on january first, 1863. it was called a great historic event, so blind in its magnitude momentums and beneficial in it's far-reaching consequences. lincoln in the civil war and end of his life faced complicated issues. they include developing a winning field strategy in fining generals who can implement that strategy. we had to deal with pro slavery democratic peace movement and he had to formulate a plan for reconstructing the south after a civil war. within this context lincoln's relationship can abolitionist have changed. previously abolitionist have provided criticism of him with varying degrees of praise.
but as 1863 some abolitionist 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 vicks burg in july of 1863 did not alleviate that lincoln might seek a negotiated peace with confederacy that will leave slavery in existence. lincoln feared republicans would not be able to defeat peace democrats in the 1864 union elections. meanwhile, lincoln seemed to draw closer to abolitionists.
he praised black union troops. he ceased to endorse ex pateuation of black people in public. nevertheless, lincoln's inconsistent responses to abolitionists efforts to shape his policies regarding the standing of former slaves in the postwar south caused konta mags. his proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction he issued in december 1863 contributed. this proclamation acknowledged that the supreme court could overrule the emancipation proximation. it suggest the message suggested so long as former confederate states recognize african-american's permit freedom, race issues would be left up to those state governments to decide. in addition to alarming
abolitionist the problclamationf amnesty restrict to republican party. radical parties opposed to replace lincoln. john c. fremont became the radical favorite. as a result abolitionist divided between those led by win dell philips who followed the radical in support of fremont and those let by garrettson who stood by lincoln. during the spring of 1864 some abolitionist joined radical republicans and prowar democrats in organizing a radical democratic party convention to nominate fremont. philips, liberty katy stanton, william and douglas wrote letters of support. meanwhile, the garrettson group endorsed lincoln for a second term. in june, garrettson attended a
public convention in baltimore. at a white house meeting that followed listen con expressed hope to garrett son that the house of representatives would follow the united states senate in passing a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery throughout the country. as democrats continue to portray lincoln as an abolitionist who prolonged disastrous war, lincoln began to doubt that he could be reelected. union dpater women's to come shermans of atlanta of september first 1864 ended those doubts. fremont withdrew on september 22nd. a few days earlier fredrick douglas declared that every man who 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 approached rationality. in an october speech philips characterized lincoln as tender toward the south. lincoln and the republican party's triumph was welcomed in november 1864 national election. the result they declared allowed 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 if house of representatives to pass what became the 13th amendment to the u.s. constitution ending legal slavery throughout the country. the efforts succeeded on january 31st with black abolitionist minister henry garnet seated in the house gallery.
garnet spoke in gave of 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 after the capture of richmond on april 1st, 1865, lincoln took with a quite officer in the 5th massachusetts black cavalry regiment. lincoln stated i had only be an instrument. when john wilks booth mortally wounded lincoln in this theater on april 14th. he claim that had lincoln was an
abolitionist similar to john brown. abolitionist reactions to this tragic event reflected the fraught relationship -- reflected a fraught relationship that had long existed between them and lincoln. retro spect to disregard and distrust of lincoln's persistence among some abolitionist. others became completely devoted to others among him. garrett provided the -- postmortem account of lincoln's character. lincoln, garrettson noted had never assumed to be a abolitionist. lincoln was a politician. garrettson noted that when the civil war began, lincoln had defended slave holder's rights, upheld a fugitive slave law and ignored the necessary and
relationship of slavery to the rebellion. garrettson criticized lincoln petitioner the the advertisementy. garrettson recognized what lincoln faced as president and according to garrett retson when lincoln changed his position he was also a step in advance. thank you. >> thank you. i know from my reading that all the incidents you talked about of lincoln not going along with ablish nichl are true but you also mentioned that lincoln said he was always opposed to slavery. so isn't it possible that owl of those incidents that you describe so well were simply
being a politician? and he knew that if were an abolitionist he'd get nowhere but this was a way to finally lead to slavery in the united states. >> yeah he said i think in 1864 he's always been naturally opposed to slavery. but there are degrees in opposition to slavery. opposition to slavery expansion, opposition to the slave trade but not to slavery itself. and recognition of course of the constitution's clause protecting state rights over slavery. >> would you speak about the significance of lincoln's position as a young illinois lj late for in opposing the state's legislature compensation in abolitionist literature? >> his compensation of? >> well earlier in his career i
thought the state of illinois took the position that they were opposed to the desemi nation of abolitionist literature and lincoln and a few other colleagues opposed that position, not buzz they opposed -- not because they supported ablish nichl but because they were opposed to the position of state legislature. >> they opposed through restrictions on freedom of speech. yeah, i think that was the point. >> as a congressman lincoln was in a boardinghouse that became known as the abolitionist house. do you have any theory on what he may have developed in the way of thought process and the relationships there? >> we dropped very close relationship with joshua gidings who had been an abolitionist and lair became a radical republican. i think that was the closest relationship lincoln had with
the other border at the abolition house. i'm sure gidings had some influence on him too. >> could i add a footnote to that? lincoln as you let us know flamed a bill to abolish slavery, not the slave trade but slavery itself in district of columbia in 1849. so he was ahead of his colleagues. len con goes a state further and drafts a bill with the help of gidings, gidings diary talks about this. 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 by slavery itself. the southerners said if you pass legislation like that we're going to break up the union. lincoln had announced he was
going to spruce the bill then said, well, given the fact that i have lost my supporters i won't. he went further than most of the wigs in congress to frame legislation to abolish slavery, not just the slave trade. and in 1837, state legislatures in the south appealed to state legislatures in the north, some northern states too, 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 was lincoln. lincoln came from central illinois where the sentiment was particularly strong. of those sick, two 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 two, one of lincoln. of those two, one was running for re-election was lincoln so he really stuck his neck out. he was a young man. runs for office in central illinois, the most racist state in the union of 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, that he can be portrayed as anti-slave are you but he makes it very clear he's not talking about ending savory in the south or in the slave states.
>> we're going to have a panel discussion afterwards. i don't want to hog the mic. so if other people have things to say i don't want to preimmaterial your opportunity. tap me on the shoulder. she says, let us remember the opposition to the expansion of slavery is a proxy for on six of slavery itself. and the reason we emphasize the opposition to slavery expansion is that it is constitutional. the other abolitionist measures that have been suggested, including abolitionistings who say let's tear up the constitution. so slavery expansion opposition at least among some of the people who opposed slavery was an expound of hatred of slavery in the constitution but we only have one constructional message
to ex express that opposition. >> as you know there's been a big debate of the denationalization of slavery. abolitionists did not agree with that, they said that is just going to let slavery continue indefinitely. >> right. >> any questions? thank you. >> announcer: the weekend on the c-span networks, saturday at 9:00 p.m. on c-span, debate again the same sex couple on a colorado bakery for refusing to
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networks. sunday fight on q & a, high school students from around the country were in washed for the annual united program. we met with them at the historic may flower hotel where they shared their thoughts about government and politics. >> i'm real passionate about daca. it's john fair that lives hang in the balance because our congress cannot find a -- >> and the issue of climate change. every other country in the world has recognized the detrimental impacts of climate change and has taken steps to address it and currently we have not stayed on course with the other countries. >> we are the richest nation in the world, yet we have citizens who go bankrupt trying to cover
basic healthcare costs and i think that is an outrage and that we should be ashamed. >> sunday fight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's kwq & a. america history t.v. was recently at forbes theater in washington, d.c. for the symposium hosted by lincoln institute. next, author star, lincoln and stanton. he talks about the role lincoln played. this is about 50 minutes. all right, welcome back to our final speaker of the afternoon and first of all, for those of you who celebrate, happy st. patrick's