The film currently taking America by storm begins with a black Union cavalryman pausing from the slaughter of the Civil War to recite the Gettysburg Address by heart as the president who gave it trudges past through the mud.

And it ends with Abraham Lincoln in quiet triumph, his work done in seeing slavery banned throughout the nation, and the Confederacy of the American South brought to its knees.

Breaking off from a discussion with colleagues about giving blacks the vote, Uncle Abe — played by Daniel Day-Lewis — heads off to a night at the theatre with Mrs Lincoln, and a fateful encounter with assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s sweeping epic about the 16th President of America’s triumph over slavery, won a commanding 12 Oscar nominations last week and is leading the field for this year’s Academy Awards, with Day-Lewis hotly tipped for the best actor accolade.

Weaned — as every U.S. schoolchild is — on the notion of Lincoln as a towering, morally spotless leader in America’s history, the Oscar grandees are unlikely to vote against it: it seems almost treasonous to stand in the way of this lump-in-the-throat, desperately worthy celebration of the man who has been dubbed the ‘Great Emancipator’.

Unfortunately, say historians, its portrayal of America’s most revered president is about as accurate as the notion that an ordinary soldier could have recited the Gettysburg Address from memory when the speech only became famous in the 20th century.

Not only, they say, has Spielberg’s lengthy drama grossly exaggerated Lincoln’s role in ending slavery, but it has also glossed over the president’s rather less likeable qualities.

Very definitely a man of his times, say historians, Lincoln was — certainly by today’s standards — a racist who used the N-word liberally, who believed that whites were superior to blacks and who, having jumped on the emancipation bandwagon rather late in the day, wanted to pack the freed slaves off to hard new lives in plantations abroad.

To say you might not pick up on any of this from the almost saintly portrayal in the film is putting it mildly. Critics have been mesmerised by Day-Lewis’s compelling performance. Meanwhile, political commentators have even dared hope the film might restore Americans’ shattered confidence in their political leaders.

The film is based on a best-selling biography, Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which Barack Obama has revealed he read during his first term as president.

Spielberg bought the film rights to the book before it had even been finished, and handed it to a screenwriter, Tony Kushner, who considers Lincoln to be the ‘greatest democratic leader in the world’.

It focuses on just four weeks near the end of Lincoln’s life when, in January 1865, he twisted arms and used underhand political tactics to persuade Congress to approve the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, thereby formally abolishing slavery across the nation.

Both Spielberg and his screenwriter have insisted this film is the definitive account of the defeat of slavery. ‘We were enormously accurate,’ said Kushner.

‘What we’re describing absolutely happened.’

Sadly, historians have been less impressed than the critics by such assurances. One after another has risked breaking step with national sentiment by declaring that Lincoln wasn’t quite the great liberator after all.

‘As cinema it’s very, very good. As history it leaves something to be desired,’ says Eric Foner, a history professor at Columbia University who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book on Lincoln and slavery.

He said the film severely distorts how slavery came to be abolished by concentrating solely on what politicians were doing in Washington.

For the 13th Amendment, he points out, originated not with Lincoln but with a petition campaign by a formidable group of abolitionist feminists called the Women’s National Loyal League.

Spielberg portrays the president as the devoted foe of slavery, but Professor Foner says Lincoln occupied the middle ground on the issue.

Privately, he expressed his ‘dislike’ for it, but in public stressed that he didn’t want to abolish it, but only stop it from spreading.

Preserving the Union, he said in a key speech, was far more important than emancipating slaves.

But his position changed and he hardened in his opposition to slavery, especially after he saw the strategic advantages of freeing the millions of slaves behind enemy lines, many of whom could then come and fight for his Yankee army.

Other historians have taken a much harder line on Lincoln, pointing out his opposition to inter-racial marriage and even to blacks serving as jurors.

Historian Henry Louis Gates has called him a ‘recovering racist’. Other African-American experts on the period agree.

Lincoln told racist jokes, enjoyed black minstrel shows and had no time for the arguments of hardened abolitionists that the races were equal under God.

During a famous 1858 Senate debate, for instance, Lincoln spoke of a ‘physical difference’ between blacks and whites that ‘will  forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality’.

He went on: ‘There must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favour of having the superior position assigned to the white race.’

As for giving them the vote, Lincoln only saw it as desirable for the more ‘intelligent’ blacks.

Spielberg’s film depicts Lincoln as ready to use every power at his disposal to free slaves, but the reality was that he envisaged a fate for them that sounded little better than their life on the cotton plantations of the South.

He supported so-called ‘black colonisation’, backing unsuccessful schemes to send willing freed slaves to new lives — still toiling in the fields under blazing suns, of course — in countries such as Haiti, Panama and British Honduras.

Supporters say he only did it to persuade Congress to agree to freeing the slaves, but new evidence from, of all places, the National Archives at Kew in South-West London, suggests not.

Even after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 — which announced that all those enslaved in Confederate territories would be freed for ever — he approved plans in tandem with the British to set up freed slave settlements in what are now Belize and Guyana.

What really seems to have annoyed African-American historians in particular about Spielberg’s film is its portrayal of Lincoln as the great white emancipator freeing the helpless blacks.

(Curiously, the director got into similar trouble from some fellow Jews over Schindler’s List, about the courageous German businessman Oscar Schindler’s rescue of concentration camp inmates).

‘This is not mere nit-picking,’ history professor Kate Masur wrote in the New York Times. ‘Mr Spielberg’s Lincoln helps perpetuate the notion that African-Americans have offered little of substance to their own liberation.’

In fact, not only did 150,000 black soldiers fight in the Civil War, but some freed slaves became crucial members of the abolition groups who were pushing for emancipation decades before Lincoln took up the cause.

Passionate abolitionists such as the freed slave Frederick Douglass, newspaper editor William Garrison and heiress Angelina Grimke were the real heroes and heroines of the struggle to end slavery, but their names are largely lost to history now. They don’t even get a mention in Spielberg’s version of events.

Also absent is Harriet Beecher Stowe, a clergyman’s daughter and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is a fierce attack on slavery and the best-selling novel of the 19th century.

If you are searching for the single person who really brought down slavery in the U.S., say many historians, you need look no further than her.

But with some 16,000 books written about him — including 20 published in just the past few months — Americans remain obsessed by Lincoln. It’s not hard to see why.

‘He saved the American Dream and he lived the American Dream,’ explains one historian, Harold Holzer, who has been involved in no fewer than 42 books on the great man.

Raised in a log cabin in Illinois with very little education, Lincoln rose to the highest office in the land and took the helm of a teetering nation in its hour of need.

And there are few more tragic and dramatic moments in U.S. history than Lincoln’s assassination on Good Friday, just five days after winning the Civil War.

He was undoubtedly a remarkable president who kept the U.S. intact and presided over the end of slavery.

Whether he deserves the unadulterated hero worship of Spielberg’s Lincoln seems rather more questionable.

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  • Eagle_Eyed

    To me Lincoln is rather boring. He apparently is either a “great” or “terrible” president upon who you ask, but as a man he appears to be like every other human–flawed. Of course not when it came to understanding the inability of the Negro to interact with White Americans. It was the circumstances of his election and the secession of the South which made his presidency so consequential. I’m probably one of the few people who would rate him somewhere in the middle if ranking presidents.

    • So CAL Snowman

      I rank Lincoln in the trash can right next to Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Ray Gun, Nixon, Carter, Ford, FDR, Wilson, Eisenhower and Truman. Lincoln was responsible for the deaths of more White American Men than any other person in history, never forget that.

      • Luca

        Lincoln did not attack the South, therefore he only took a decisive, defensive and determined stance after Ft. Sumter was fired upon. His main objective was to keep the Union together. The more incompetent Union Generals like Burnside and McClelland were more responsible than Lincoln for those deaths you are talking about. Lincoln’s only fault lie in not dismissing his incompetent Generals sooner.

        Eisenhower and Reagan were decent Presidents. There is enough muck to go around for all of them, none are without fault, they are all human.

        • eduard

          Eisenhower was responsible for the starvation of millions of German women and children after the second world war. One could hardly call that “decent”.

          • Luca

            That is a thoroughly discredited theory. The entire US military command was unprepared for the tsunami of humanity that escaped east before the advancing Red Army. No one could have predicted that the German Army and civilian refugees would flood west in such numbers. There were 17-million more than they were prepared to deal with. And that’s just the Germans. Don’t forget that Americans liberated many slave labor camps full of other nationalities. Whatever deaths occur were due to the inevitability of the aftermath of war with severe shortages of food and medicine all over Europe at that time and not through some grand design by Eisenhower. The numbers who died as a result of this mass exodus has been estimated to be 56,000. That figure was arrived at by an investigative panel and not through an inept first-time author trying to sell books. I believe historian Stephen Ambrose and respect him as a legitmate authority on the subject.

          • jaego

            Google the Morgenthau Plan – which was stopped because of courageous action in Congress. They did intent to stave Germans to death. As it was, they kept German POWs in camps which were nothing but land enclosed by barb wire. No housing or heat. Countless died of exposure.

          • Luca

            My explanation stands. There were food shortages and rationing all over Europe including England, Holland, Italy and France. My father was a GI in Italy and said the people were eating donkeys, horses, cats and rats to survive. Do you propose feeding your civilian enemies before your civilian Allies? They also wanted the Germans to be incapable of starting a revolt, they wanted them to focus on food production and not industrial production. It was a very poor plan and there certainly was an element of retribution involved. The objective was not to starve Germans to death although that was the consequence in many cases and it should have been obvious from the start. But to say it was Eisenhower’s responsibility or that the plan was designed to starve Germans to death is not truthful or genuine. You are twisting facts to justify your beliefs. This was a poor plan to feed the Allies first, to incapacitate the Germans and pay them back. Not to kill them. There is a difference.

          • saxonsun

            I saw an interesting news report many yrs. ago. The announcer talked about a huge number of German POWS deliberately denied food and water by Americans. I was shocked and wanted to know more. I NEVER heard anything about it again–nice cover-up.

          • eduard

            Read James Bacque – Crimes and Mercies, Michael Walsh – Witness to History, Claus Nordbruch – Bleeding Germany Dry. It will clarify your biased opinion.

          • Luca

            James Bacque is the discredited, amateur, Canadian author I spoke of above. Did he have unique knowledge that he wanted to share or did he have books to sell? I am not biased, I read both sides of an issue before I decide which has the most truth based on common sense. If the US Government had an official program of starving Germans to death it would have only taken two months to accomplish and there would be no Germans today. Read my other post below.

          • RileyDeWiley

            Ambrose is a propagandist. Eisenhower starved millions, and he did it on purpose.

        • IstvanIN

          He could have withdrawn from Ft. Sumter, there were calls to abandon what was a US military base on foreign soil. The north started the war.

          • Luca

            He had a right and a duty to protect American soil and American lives. The South fired first, they wanted a fight and they got one.

          • Joe Mama

            Dude, what is your problem ?? You seem to dismiss the truth when the facts are there for ALL to see .. You’re just here for an argument . There really is no reason to keep repeating yourself, we read what you wrote the first time and know where you stand .. Saying it over and over doesn’t change the facts..

          • Room101

            Exactly correct.
            Lincoln was the arrogant tyrant-aggressor against a people determined to remain free using all legal and non-violent means at their disposal until their patience was exhausted by an illegal and un-Constitutional invasion of Confederate terrirtory by enemy Federal forces.
            Lincoln started it to achieve his vision; that the Federal Government might for all time enslave everyone it has the power to reach, corrupt, and eventually destroy if threats and coercion prove unpersuasive.

            It took me a long time to understand what my friends in the South really meant in generally referring to the War of Northern Aggression in politely correcting my ignorant references regarding the “Civil War”, or the even more Orwellian term “War Between the States”.
            Lincoln took it upon himself to stab all the Founders in the back and enslave all Americans from his time forward to the Feral Government.

            The seceding states carefully observed every legality as well as the moral underpinnings of their grave decisions to courageously and formally attempt true Freedom of Association, as the Framers had intended.

            Greater American patriots than even those of the late 1700s were the legislators of the Palmetto State on Dec. 20, 1860.

            What a huge and catastrophic disaster for the advancement of human freedom that Obama’s ideological wellspring Mr. Lincoln, was elected by the low-information voters of those times.

            Elections do indeed have consequences that ripple across centuries.

        • Room101

          Lincoln ordered the invasion of the territory of a State claimed by the Federal Government; by a people who had exhausted every legal and non-violent means of asserting their collective 1st and 10th Amendment Constitutional rights as guaranteed by the Founders, freedom of association.

          No matter how people try to spin it, the secessionists of 150 years ago were the ones fighting on the right and correct side of history, if you care about the advancement of human freedoms in the long-term.

          • Luca

            The South had no right and no morally justifiable reason to secede. They wanted to spread slavery into new States. They seceded simply because Lincoln was elected and he did not want to further the cause of slave-owners. Lincoln had previously never proposed to free the slaves in Southern States.

            Regardless of racial issues, slavery was a reprehensible practice that should have had a civilized solution in the houses of government or the courts, which is how slavery was generally ended in the North. Every time a court decision came down 20-years prior to the war, that did not favor the rich plantation owners, they threatened secession, violence or war.

            Only 25% of Southerners owned slaves and they sold a bill of goods to the poor white southerners that the war was about something else to get them to fight for slavery.

            Anyone who fires on my house and steals my property will be met with assertive and aggressive measures in return. I suppose Lincoln felt the same, even though he let the Confederates seize banks, mints and post offices without a response. Ft. Sumter was Federal military property and did not belong to the State of SC and I guess it was the last straw.. You can equate Ft. Sumter to Pearl Harbor; it is an act of war. If you get retaliation attacks after committing an act of war, do you really have the right to say you were invaded by the other guy? Firing on Sumter was Lincoln’s justification for what followed. I am not saying everything he did was correct, but it’s always easy to judge history after the fact.

            In retrospect, you have to ask yourself: “Was it all worth it?”

        • Bob

          A mule was killed at Fort Sumter. That doesn’t justify 620,000 casualties – which today translate to over 5,000,000. By the way, the Constitution guarantees the states the right to withdraw from the Union. That’s why no Confederate was put on trail for treason. They would have been found not guilty.

          Learn your facts before you again make a fool of yourself.

      • Eagle_Eyed

        Then you logically must also condemn Jefferson Davis and other Confederate leaders up with Lincoln. It takes two sides to fight a war.

        • Joe Mama

          What was the south supposed to do ,lay down and ok, you win, without protecting themselves ??

      • Room101

        It took me many years to realize that Lincoln took it upon himself to repudiate the genius and written intent of the Founding Fathers, the Constitution.
        None of the legislatures of the 13 colonies would’ve ratified the Constitution had they known up front that forming a federal government would make war against their citizens if those citizens exercised their 1st Amendment rights of freedom of association writ-large, the right of secession from the “union”.

        Lincoln himself said that he couldn’t care less if any negroes were looted from their rightful and legal owners (“freed”), only that the Federal Government must make war against the states that used the provisions of both State and federal laws to secede. Legally.
        Lincoln declared war against the founding principles of the US Constitution and against all Americans of his time, up to and including and ours.
        Lincoln created Leviathan, the Feral Goverment.
        Lincoln is truly a towering monster in the the annals of history.

      • Proud White Southerner

        I agree with you. He was also a closet homosexual.

    • Richard from Vancouver

      I agree whole heartedly with you, Eagle.
      “As cinema it’s very, very good. As history it leaves something to be desired.” That statement from a historian says it all. Spielberg is known for his predilictions to alter historical fact. Lincoln viewed the Negroe as a problem and an impediment to America’s future. He wanted to deport the Negroe back to Africa to Liberia. Some went, most did not. The Negroe and the Caucasian cannot live side by side, Lincoln wrote, and he was right.

  • 48224

    Lincoln believed blacks were less intelligent than whites.
    Lincoln believed blacks were more violent than whites.
    Lincoln believed blacks should be sent back to Africa and set free THERE.
    Of course he was race realist, AKA “racist”

    • dd121

      By today’s terminology Lincoln would be considered a White Supremist based on his numerous statements on the subject. The Left have rehabilitated that image to meet modern marxist standards. Guess back in the day attitudes toward dumb blacks was just considered common sense. Blacks back then were not your post-modern in-your-face Django types. They were obsequious in the extreme and if they weren’t any available white would shoot or hang them.

  • The__Bobster

    The film is based on a best-selling biography, Team Of Rivals: The
    Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which
    Barack Obama has revealed he read during his first term as president.

    __________

    Yes, the infamous plagiarizing Kennedy ass-kisser.

    ________________

    Weaned — as every U.S. schoolchild is — on the notion of Lincoln as a
    towering, morally spotless leader in America’s history, the Oscar
    grandees are unlikely to vote against it: it seems almost treasonous to
    stand in the way of this lump-in-the-throat, desperately worthy
    celebration of the man who has been dubbed the ‘Great Emancipator’.

    _______

    That’s the garbage I was taught too, and it irked my Rebel dad no end. He turned a brighter shade of red every February12th. I took me years to find out why.

    • Eagle_Eyed

      A book I got a few Christmases ago and haven’t touched it.

      • Lewis33

        Its actually a very good read…most of it is about the infighting amongst republicans and it paints a negative picture of just about everyone in it. Give it a try.

  • ArmenianWN

    Lincoln was white, so obviously he is a racist.

  • Stentorian_Commentator

    I think the adoration of Lincoln was a sort of national psychosis, a reaction to the horrors he unleashed on the nation. If the people could not think that somehow it was all pre-ordained, and that Lincoln was on a level of wisdom beyond our own, then they would have to face the reality of the useless slaughter, which killed so many Americans and left us still with the problem of the slaves, now freed. Some people say Lincoln wanted to colonize the slaves, but I think that depended on his audience. I think Lincoln was the prototypical modern politician, saying to people what he thought they wanted to hear, regardless of the contradictions. Jefferson Davis was by contrast a true tragic figure, an honest politician who said what he thought.

    • Stan_Mute

      I think this comment is very astute. In the mid 19th century, media was the occasional newspaper and books. Folks worked on their farms and gathered on Sunday to hear what the Preacher man could tell them about how all that happened was “God’s Will.” The women, particularly, ate this up like syrup. This is what they taught the children and thus today it is our received wisdom. These same people, or their modern day analogs, are even now working tirelessly to bring more of “God’s Children” here from Africa.

      Ironically, it never seems to occur to them that if there is a God, he surely put Africans in Africa, separated from the rest of humanity by a vast impassable desert, for a very good reason…

      • gemjunior

        After reading your comment and the one before it, once again the rock solid conviction has come to me that the slaves and even more their descendents, were the worst thing to hit this country out of any other tragedy. The worst thing. If they ever did do any free work then it was cancelled out about 1 year after their emancipation and they’ve literally taken pounds and pounds of flesh from whitey, both literally and by enslaving us to support them. Because of some short-sighted white people back then we have suffered in the long run. It turns out that not only have they been worthless, but they’ve actually sucked out much of the goodness from this nation. When we were segregated and it was legal we were able to stay apart. Now we’re in a place where the laws work against the people whose ancestors founded this country and even worse laws are being passed every day by a traitorous elite “aristocracy”. The bureaucracy that is our government, together with the corporations and media, have become very convoluted and will not easily be dismantled.

        • saxonsun

          You are correct–the idea that we could absorb 3-4 million freed blacks is madness. A child could see calamity there. The proof? Today’s black debacle.

    • Room101

      Well said.

      While there is true poetic justice surrounding the events done by Mr. Booth @ Ford’s Theatre during that showing of “Our American Cousin” for Lincoln on that fateful evening in 1865, what if he had lived and actually shipped them all back to Africa?

      Or was it just a typical cynical ploy of the type all politicians use to pander to the voters again?

      Yes, Lincoln destroyed the Constitution so as to “save” the Government; in the same sense of “saving” as the apocryphal tale of the US troop in Vietnam putting a Zippo lighter to the hooches and village in order to “save it” from having to be fought for.

    • Joe Mama

      ” Some people say Lincoln wanted to colonize the slaves, but I think that depended on his audience.”

      Read the Lincoln / Douglas debates .. He was trying to get votes to be the president of the

      united states therefore not talking to just one crowd .. Papers printed what he said and voters read it .. He won ,this was an almost exact quote in the debates .. There is plenty more he said .. This IS they was he saw the negro and how he felt about them ..

      He wasn’t playing to the audience..

  • falsedawn

    Of course they’re gonna go after him. He was a White guy. At some point, the powers that be want to airbrush us out of history altogether. But before they get to do it, we’ll settle accounts with these “human” vermin.

  • Stan_Mute

    Just so. The abolition movement was the work of Christian preachers and female congregants meddling in the affairs of men. Knowing nothing of what the African really was, they insisted that a “Good Christian” must treat the African exactly the same as a white man because, “we are all God’s children,” and “we are all equal before the eyes of God.”

    All who wish to point a finger of blame, point them squarely at your own ancestors (myself included) just as the blame for our current impending collapse must be laid at the feet of our parents (for Gen X’ers like myself) and the Baby Boomers. Again, however, an entirely Christian endeavor sponsored and encouraged strongly by the various churches.

    • Eagle_Eyed

      And go ahead and blame the Southerners as well for importing Africans.

      Blame can go around, however it would be wrong to blame all the ills of the republic on people who weren’t entirely wrong-headed. What was so desirous about slavery (as practiced in the antebellum South)?

    • Joe Mama

      Yes, and the exact reason Obama was elected and reelected .. Liberal white women ..
      Hate to say it but there are easily fooled .. It’s sad, very, very sad..

  • splitsing

    Why does it matter the race of the historian if they are objectively looking at facts? I see nothing that Lincoln said that wasn’t 100% correct, even if it isn’t PC by today’s standards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chilly.willy.395454 Chilly Willy

    Lincoln said if he could end the war without freeing one slave he would have. The emancipation proclamation was at best a political ploy, and at worst a perversion of the events that had transpired to that point. Specifically the language about men “fighting for self determination” (paraphrasing) is problematic in that it was actually the South that was fighting for it’s right to do so, not the poor bastids conscripted by Uncle Sugar to keep the cash cow states in line.

    • Strider73

      The “Emancipation Proclamation” was carefully worded so as not to actually emancipate anyone. It did not apply to the slave states in the USA (MO, KY, MD, DE), nor to those parts of the CSA under Union occupation. Its real purpose was to open a second front in the war by ginning up a massive slave revolt.

      It’s interesting that Daniel Day-Lewis was chosen to portray Lincoln, given his role in the far more race-realist Gangs of New York, which accurately portrayed how unpopular Lincoln was in NYC.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chilly.willy.395454 Chilly Willy

        Not sure I completely agree with the slave revolt angle, to my mind it was calculated more towards keeping foreign powers from further giving aid and materiel to the South.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    Allowing for its limitations, this Daily Mail account of Lincoln’s attitude towards blacks is about as close to reality as will ever appear in a mainstream media publication. The column’s author, Tom Leonard — if he gets away with this level of truth — it will be only because he is British writing for a British newspaper.

    To flesh out one of his Lincoln quotes, here is “The Great Emancipator” in 1862 trying to convince a group of blacks at the White House to embrace his plan to colonize freed blacks in either Africa or to Central or South America:

    “Why-should the people of your race be colonized, and where? You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both . . . If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated.”

    SOURCE: “What Shall We Do with the Negro?: Lincoln, White Racism, and Civil War America” by Wake Forest University history professor Paul Escott. See Amazon reviews:
    http://tinyurl.com/anoakdf

    • robertpinkerton

      Thank you for the referral to What Shall We Do with the Negro?: Lincoln, White Racism, and Civil War
      America
      . I just ordered it from the Public Library.

  • JohnEngelman

    The movie told the truth, but not the whole truth. In his pessimism about black potential Abraham Lincoln was prescient.

    The fools of this era in American history were the Southern slave owners who promoted secession. In 1860 Abraham won a four way race with 39.8% of the vote. In a two way race that is considered to be losing by a landslide.

    • Luca

      Good points, but I would just add that it might have been improbable to get all slave owners to agree to free their slaves. There was no guarantee they would stay on as sharecroppers. Slavery was a deeply rooted cultural and economic institution and large plantation owners would have held a do-or-die resistance to allowing the uncompensated loss of their property, in conjunction with the fact that freed negroes would now be allowed into society.

      Ft. Sumter forced Lincoln’s hand. If not for that, a better approach might have been to slowly wean the South off of slavery, and the money saved by not waging war could have been used to compensate owners and repatriate freed blacks over a 10-year plan. He might have done this after the war, but now we’ll never know.

      • JohnEngelman

        What happens in history only seems inevitable after the fact. Freeing the slaves did not need to be the result of a movement imposed on the slave owners. It could have been started by slave owners like Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee who felt guilty about their ownership. If plantations worked by free farm laborers proved to be more profitable than plantations worked by slaves, other slave owners would have followed suit.

        After the Civil War most of the freed Negroes did stay on the plantations where they had grown up.

        During the New Deal the Federal Writers’ Project hired people to interview elderly Negroes who remembered living under slavery. The results of the project can be found in the Library of Congress, and are avaliable on this website:

        http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html

        Many of these former slaves remember their former owners fondly. One said that after the Civil War most of the Negroes on his plantation left. After a year or two their former owner went looking for them. When he found one he would say, “Well, why don’t you come back?”

        The person giving that interview said, “Some were so glad to get back they cried.”

        • Luca

          Thanks for the link, I hope everyone reading your post makes use of it. I have two books which resulted from that project and they never cease to amaze me. Slave narratives should be required reading for all high school students, Jamie Foxx and Al Sharpton .. It is an eye-opener and history lesson of monumental proportions that would revolutionize views on American slavery, except of course for the history revisionists who live to deny reality.

  • http://www.newnation.org/ sbuffalonative

    It is the fashion to look back in history at individuals and find their faults by judging them by contemporary standards.
    We are all ‘of our times’ Hopefully, in a hundred years people will have rejected all of the nonsense we suffer through today.

  • bigone4u

    I once made the mistake of calling Lincoln a “prick” because of his scurrilous shenanigans. He is just another cheap tinhorn politician whose main interest was gettting elected and throwing his weight around. A good BSer he was. BTW, I stand by my word choice in describing the miserable bastard.

    • Room101

      My boss almost fired me about 2 weeks ago for stating very matter-of-factly that I thought the wrong side won that war.
      I didn’t get fired after explaining that the Federals were wrong and evil and sought to enslave all of humanity, it’s just that not many folks are conditioned to question what we were all taught in the government schools.
      The Feds eventually decisively won that power-grab militarily on the field of battle and no one is going to bad-mouth the soldiers or their service fighting on the Union Federal side.
      It’s just unfortunate in the grand cause of human freedom that the US government prevailed in that war.

      The War of Northern Aggression.

  • Ulick

    Abraham Lincoln Quote

    “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

    http://markii.wordpress.com/2007/02/19/racist-quote-by-abe-lincoln-happy-black-history-month/

    • eduard

      Is this piece of dialogue in the movie?
      Lincoln is been credited for ending the black slavery. Did he end the white slavery? No.
      White slaves were treated ten times harsher than the black slaves. Would any film maker in the USA make a film on white slavery in the USA? No, because they are a bunch of cowards.
      Michael A Hoffman II wrote a book :They were white and they were slaves – The untold History of the enslavement of Whites in Early America.
      The Enlish, of course, are even more guilty. They sold their own kindred into slavery, they used their young boys as chimmeny sweepers, in the second Boer war they waged war on women and children, and even raped the women and young girls in the concentration camps, they bombed the women and children in the German cities. Oh dear, what a pathetic bunch of cowards!

      • saxonsun

        Get your facts straight, sir. Yes, the Brits bombed German cities. You left out one salient fact: The Germans bombed England first. Got that?

      • Iron Helm

        What evidence do you have that rape took place between regular British soldiers (not hired natives) and Boer women? I’ve been interested in the subject for some time now and have never read that, despite reading a lot from both sides. In fact, some historians are now saying that many of the Boer claims were ‘cultural entrepreneurship’. And what are you, a Spaniard or Portuguese accusing other people of rape and race treachery?

        Also, please note i) that the Germans bombed British women and children first, ii) the British did not sell their people into slavery, but allowed criminals and the unemployed to be indentured and iii) everybody has used child labour at some point.

        • eduard

          No, you moron, it was my ancestors that they raped and also employed the blacks to rape women and young girls in the concentration camps. And take your miserable “cultural entrepreneurship” hogwash and shove it where the sun don’t shine. The cowardly english could’nt beat a few Boers on horseback and so applied the scorched earth policy. Thirty four thousand women and children were sent to their early deaths due to miserable treatment by the english. And I have quite a few books on the Boer War and the concentration camps set up by cowardly english.
          England started the war, not Germany. There was a “phony war” when not one bomb was dropped in the first three months of the war.
          Read the book Witness to History – compiled by Michael Walsh.

          • Iron Helm

            They employed blacks to rape Boer women? I doubt that was the remit given to them. Scorched earth is a standard policy for dealing with a Guerilla war, and the concern shown for the 28,000 Boer civilians who died by the British is more than any nation in the world would have done at that time. What books on the concentration camps were set up by the English?

            There was a phoney war, but the first bombs dropped on civilian areas were dropped by the Luftwaffe.

          • eduard

            Maybe you should read about Emily Hobhouse, who visited the concentration camps, which consisted of only tents with no decent amenities, not even to mention ablution facilities. And the official figure of deaths is 34000 after new research has been completed.
            As the saying goes, the victor always rewrites the history according to his own whims and the truth becomes buried, but the truth will prevail.

            And one day the rest of the world will remember “that island where England used to be”.

          • Iron Helm

            I found nothing about rape in anything Hobhouse wrote, nor have I found the 34,000 number anywhere.

            The idea that history is written by the victors is a little glib, it is probably more that case that the most powerful party at the end of the war writes the first flow of history. In the case of the Boer war, history was written by continental anti-British propagandists.

            Please answer this: against which country would Boer civilians had a better fate?

            One day all the White world will be gone, but you are right that it will be England that is remembered best of all.

          • eduard

            Obviously, the english have to justify their actions. Their selfrightousness and bloated ego calls for just that. Emily Hobhouse was only aware of certain conditions in the concentration camp and the english tried to keep her away from the war zone and the camps. She was one great Lady amongst an army of cowards. Reading any report from the english point of view will be far to biased in their favour. A new publication has been released written and compiled by professor AWG Raath and EW Wessels specifically about the camps. Full of photos and facts and figures. It was due to this research that they found more names of women and children that died in the camps.
            In any case, no other country at that time would stoop so low to do what the english did just for the gold and diamonds.

          • Iron Helm

            Somehow I doubt that professors living today could unearth something that Emily Hobhouse missed. If you are an example of Afrikaner reason and fairness, I expect that Raath and Wessels will write the most obscenely biased history ever. There is an increasing literature about Afrikaner deceit about the Boer war and nation-building, countering the incredible amount of anti-British propaganda out there. Boer historians who repeat what you are saying here are starting to sound like the hicks they are.

            The gold and diamonds is nonsense as well. Britain would have gone to war whether they were there or not because of how the Boers were treating British subjects. In the same era, the Germans did worse things in Africa apparently just to amuse themselves and the Spanish killed 300,000 Cubans who wanted independence.

  • jay11

    Lincoln was a product of his times. He wanted to keep the nation whole, and send the blacks to the caribbean or africa after th war was over. He also wanted charity for all and malice toeards none, in other words he wanted the north and south to reconcile in fairness. If he had not have been assassinated the years after the war might have been vastly different.

    • IstvanIN

      He allowed the total destruction of his “fellow Americans”, whether through Sherman’s march or the mistreatment of CSA POWs. How was he any better than the Mongol hordes?

      • Luca

        War is hell.
        The South should have negotiated the slavery issue rather than firing the first shots. They were too hell bent on teaching the Yankees a lesson and bragged they’d be home before dinner. They wanted a scrap and they got one. It was a tragedy for both sides, think of all the White lives that would have been saved and then multiply that by all the lost generations that would have been handed down to us today. It was pure folly.

        • shmo123

          I agree. But the south never had a chance of winning because they did not have the industrial capacity to wage war. You can’t win a war when all you produce is cotton.

  • IKantunderstand

    Look, let me make this perfectly clear. What Lincoln did vis a vis the slaves, is an extremely complicated subject. However, the simple truth is this: No one anywhere, has the right to enslave another human being. Period. This would also include White people who are now enslaved to paying taxes for the descendants of said slaves. What freaks me out, is the fact that slavery for Blacks ended, but the slavery of Whites has not. Where is our Emancipation? There is not a single White person left alive in the U.S.A. today who was a slaveholder. And yet, millions of Whites in the U.S.A. are still suffering the effects of slavery. Slavery has in fact, turned out to be be more destructive to Whites than it ever was to Blacks.

    • Ulick

      I agree with you that nobody has the right to enslave anyone. That was the irony of the Civil War. Though the war freed the slaves in the South, the war, in essence, made the Southerners into slaves by forcing them to be a part of a union they wished to free themselves from.

      Lysander Spooner was one of America’s foremost abolitionists during the Civil War period. Yet Spooner was opposed to not allowing the South to secede because of the above stated reason. Spooner lays his thoughts allowing for the South’s right to secede in “No Treason”…

      “The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.

      No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and [*iv] asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.

      Previous to the war, there were some grounds for saying that — in theory, at least, if not in practice — our government was a free one; that it rested on consent. But nothing of that kind can be said now, if the principle on which the war was carried on by the North, is irrevocably established.”

      http://lysanderspooner.org/node/44

      • IKantunderstand

        Obviously, I agree. But man, your reply was way more eloquent.

  • LHathaway

    I tend to agree with Stentorian Commentator. Lincoln would make many of his ‘anti-black’ comments in the midst of efforts to gain their equality. Some white nationalists quote Lincoln out of context in a disingenuous manner. In this, they share brotherhood with every declaration made by those on the political left. The white nationalist view of Lincoln as a great racist is a view opposite from reality. This article here comes close to going too far in that direction itself.

  • LHathaway

    I agree with Stentorian Commentator. Lincoln made many of his ‘anti-black’ comments in the midst of an effort to gain their equality. Lincoln is being quoted out of context in efforts by some on the far right to make him look more ‘racist’ than he really was. This distortion is something they share with the left, or rather, what mainstream news organizations do everyday. Racists are promoting a view of Lincoln that is opposite of reality. This news story comes close to doing that itself.

  • PesachPatriot

    Very complex subject…I grew up in the north so i got a hearty helping of Lincoln worship in school…my middle school was also named after Union general Joseph Hooker…we all snickered and giggled about that constantly…As a kid I was fascinated by the old black and gray portraits of stern men with beards and sideburns in crisp blue uniforms, the swords,muskets and cannons, and especially the gaze of a certain gentleman in a top hat. I often wonder how he would deal with the problems of today. As I read the events of the major battles I also found myself admiring the doomed gray coated rebels as well. The ending of the conflict actually shows proof of america’s true greatness. Every other failed rebellion in history ended with the rebel leaders in jail for the rest of their lives or hanged from the nearest tree. America’s unpleasant civil conflict ended with honor and handshakes and the defeated rebels saying they were sorry and going home. America is the only country I can think of that puts up statues to the leaders of defeated rebels and allows them to be carved in to a rock near a major city. For such an important event in the nation’s history it seems that it is rushed through far too quickly in the school system.

    It seems that Lincoln is considered a minor deity in the north and the very portrait of human evil in the south, but to most states added to the country post 1865 he is just a guy who hunts vampires and is on the five dollar bill…I think he was a man who bore sorrow and burdens both personal and national that few modern people could handle and for this I can respect him…I think the greatest tragedy of the years of 1860-65 is that it was a conflict of right vs. right…the south had a right to leave a country they were unhappy with, but in the long run the north was also right to keep the continental us as one country…

    • Blaak Obongo

      “…in the long run the north was also right to keep the continental us as one country…”

      Why? Continental Europe has never been one country, but it seems to have survived with flying colors (a fact which must give many a sleepless night to the “European Union” one-worlders).

      So many times, I have read this assertion that the Union simply had to be preserved at all costs. But it is seldom, if ever, seriously questioned — or convincingly answered.

      • PesachPatriot

        Well, i’m not a union at all costs type person….but the fact of the matter is that the north won pretty conclusively over a hundred years before I was born….I think robert e lee said something after the surrender about how if cooler heads had prevailed much senseless bloodshed could have been prevented. In the long run two separate political entities on the north american continent would not have become the great nation that was the USA…

  • SP OT

    BEWARE Spielberg and this 11th?—12th? Hollywood ‘Lincoln’.

    Aside from the obvious, on cue predictive programming,
    cultural incest and PC moral alibi for sordid capstone ‘things unfolding’

    ———————————BE AWARE!———————————-

    HE and Godwin and Kushner, one and all, capstone ‘authorized’
    —also one and all —-’mysteriously overlook’—– and mention,
    much less treatment of Lincoln’s quite possibly –FATAL– diss
    of the Global USURY money monopoly over finance of the war.

    CHECK OUT —’MONEY MASTERS’ documentary online.

    SEE thru the Spielberg franchise slum.

  • creator invented racism

    White liberals are allowed to be racist or didn’t you know this? We have to give the Creator credit for acknowledging his original mistake of a single human race and proceeding to wipe them off the face of the earth in order to create his NWO new three races and then cursing the African bound youngest son Ham race for sicko perversion before blessing his chosen white Shem European race as supreme as the middle son Japheth of the red yellow Asian race languished in the middle as a so so nobody …

  • Barrack Osama

    “Lincoln was a Great Man and there is so much known about him, INCLUDING
    his stand that No Man should own another Man and that Every Man is
    created Equal. How can anyone say he was a Racist? Truly Bizarre.”

    I love it when a comment like this ends up with 52 downvotes. People tire of this garbage.

  • mrcan

    liberal hollywood movies focus on the standard white vs black racist narrative with lincoln and now jackie robinson. likewise hollywood celebs kim kardashian and angelina jolie promoting inter-marraige and racial adoptions…..its a full court press of this nonsense completely at odds with the reality of drugs, crime, violence and moral degeneracy exhibited by the black community. mabe its time for a chinese president….at least we’ll get some decent kung fu movies.

  • ronald54321

    The main purpose of Hollywood is to coarsen the culture. After all, they are anti-Christian degenerates. That’s why all films, including this piece of shitt, is full of obscenities. If Hollywood makes it, it is scum morally and mentally.

  • http://christianlivingblog.com isaiah14

    Lincoln was a racist. He didn’t care if there was or wasn’t slavery. He actually never freed the slaves. Lincoln wanted to ship the blacks back to Africa, and a few boat loads actually did go to Africa. According to the Bible God’s people the white race are suppose to be segregated from other races, not integrated. All races were not created equal, that is a fact. Whites are suppose to care about their own race first. God Yahweh condemns interracial marriage, and will not allow it into his kingdom.

  • thoth-ibis

    Don’t let facts get in the way of ,making a movie. Oh no !

  • me

    Lincoln was a “race realist”, in what the popular phrase today is known as a “racist”. While he thought that slavery was an evil crime, he had no illusions about the negroid races among us. As far as the blacks who fought for their freedom…they were a small bunch, indeed. At the peak of slave ownership in 1860, according to the United States Census, only 1.6% of Americans owned slaves–and some of them were emancipated Africans! Slavery was practiced in this country since colonization, and many Whites arrived on these shores as “indentured servants”–another name for “slave”, just as we are now “wage slaves” to the Federal Reserve and the Federal government.

    When emancipation became the law of the land, hordes of young black males began stealing, robbing, raping White women, killing White people, and generally acting like today’s ‘urban youths’. This gave birth to the Klu Klux Klan, and another myth was born. Not given the ’40 acres and a mule’ they were promised, blacks were less than pleased. They had no home to go to, no employable skills, and no education. Some went back to work for the same plantation owners they had been ‘liberated’ from. Then, as now, the bleeding heart liberals had no workable plan once the black man was freed. Harriet Beecher Stowe certainly didn’t , nor did Frederick Douglas (who was half white).
    Today, almost two hundred years later, blacks still blame slavery for their psycopathology and their hatred of ‘Whitey’. Even our sad excuse for a POTUS recently claimed that he, too, was a decendant of slaves…..not just any slave, mind you, but the FIRST African slave to arrive on these shores. LOL! It never ends….
    Blacks talk about ‘reparations’ because of slavery. I say that the American taxpayer should demand ‘reparations’ for all of the devistation caused by blacks in the form of government handouts, crime, and urban decay.

    History has, once again, been rewritten by the ‘Hollywierd Elite’ (aka jews) in the form of pop culture pablum that so many eagerly eat up.

  • b

    Lincoln was a brain-damaged, chronically depressed, syphilitic, mass-murdering homosexual. Worse, he was a corporate lawyer. If there is a hell, that fascist bastard is in it.

  • http://twitter.com/HenryKess Henry K

    It only takes a little critical research into historical archives to reveal that Lincoln was more or less a man of his times. Yes, he thought the white man was superior and wanted to deport the slaves rather than free them. It is all in the history books, just not the glossed over ones most of us are exposed to in schools….