Abraham Lincoln, Outlaw Hero
There I grew up. Of course, when I came of age I did not know much.
Abraham Lincoln Facts
Still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher but that was all. Though coming from humble beginnings, his father Thomas enjoyed considerable status in Kentucky —where he sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, and guarded prisoners. By the time Abraham was born, Thomas owned two acre farms, several town lots, livestock, and horses. He was among the richest men in the county; however, in , Thomas lost all of his land in court cases because of faulty property titles.
The family then moved north across the Ohio River to Indiana , when Lincoln was nine. His mother died of milk sickness in and his father remarried the following year. In , fearing a milk sickness outbreak along the Ohio River, the Lincoln family moved west, where they settled in Illinois. At the age of 22, Lincoln struck out on his own, making extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois.
He also held a variety of public positions such as postmaster and county surveyor, while reading voraciously, and teaching himself law.
Abraham Lincoln - Facts, Birthday & Assassination - HISTORY
He became an Illinois congressman in and was admitted to the bar in He was a captain in the Black Hawk War , spent eight years in the Illinois legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. In Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election; but, in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in In his Inaugural Address, he warned the South:. The government will not assail you.
1. Lincoln wasn’t an abolitionist.
You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it. Lincoln thought secession illegal and was willing to use force to defend Federal law and the Union. When Confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter , South Carolina and forced its surrender, he called on the states for 75, volunteers. Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this elegiac revisionist Civil War western, playing a Missouri farmer who joins a Confederate guerrilla group after his family is murdered by Union militias.
Ironically, Clint's pacifist allegory for the national trauma of Vietnam was based on a novel by Asa Earl Carter, a Ku Klux Klan supporter and violent white supremacist. Huston's darker, longer edit was notoriously cut to ribbons by MGM, but even the mutilated version remains a flawed classic.
Ken Burns set a new high bar for historical documentary with this record-breaking PBS series, drawing 40 million viewers with his densely layered tapestry of expert commentary, poetry, music, paintings and vintage photos. Not strictly a feature film, but richer than most documentaries, this nine-hour audio-visual symphony features a starry vocal cast including Sam Waterston, Morgan Freeman, Jeremy Irons and Arthur Miller. An Oscar-winning Denzel Washington portrays a volunteer soldier in Edward Zwick's stirring paean to heroism and brotherhood, partly based on the letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, played here by Matthew Broderick.
Even before his inauguration, a number of Southern states seceded from the Union. First, in a final attempt to avoid war, he tried to reassure Southerners that he had no desire to interfere with slavery where it already existed.
He even quoted a provision of the Constitution requiring that anyone who committed a crime and fled to another state "shall be delivered up. He warned that the Constitution required him to make sure "the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Lincoln cautioned Southerners to think carefully about secession, which he said would only lead to anarchy or dictatorship.
And the Civil War began. Some Union commanders and Congress itself tried a few times to free slaves in the early years of the Civil War, but Lincoln overrode these efforts. He still held out for gradual compensated emancipation followed by the creation of colonies of freed slaves in Africa or other areas outside the United States. Lincoln met with black leaders for the first time in August and lectured them about his colonization plan. They were not enthusiastic. Apparently, it never occurred to Lincoln or to most other white Americans at the time that black people had much stronger ties of history, language, and religion with the United States than with Africa.
A few days after the Union victory at Antietam on September 17, , Lincoln issued an ultimatum to the Confederacy. He threatened that he would declare all slaves in the areas of rebellion "forever free" unless the Confederacy surrendered within days. Using his powers as commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, Lincoln proclaimed all slaves within the rebellious states and areas "are, and henceforward shall be free.
In his proclamation, Lincoln also called on the freed slaves to "abstain from violence" and "labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
Lincoln said to those present, "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, that I do in signing this paper. Lincoln realized that slavery could not return after the war. He agreed that his "war measure" would have to be made permanent for the entire country by a constitutional amendment. Therefore, he quickly supported action in Congress that led to the 13th Amendment.
A C T I V I T Y
Thus, Lincoln changed both the goals of the war and his own mind about slavery in the United States. The 13th Amendment called for the abolition of slavery immediately in all states and territories without compensation to slave owners. The question about the future of the freed slaves still bothered Lincoln. In August , he met for the first time with Frederick Douglass, the famous black abolitionist.
Douglass pressed Lincoln to end the Union policy of paying black soldiers only half the rate of white soldiers. Douglass insisted on equal rights for all Americans, white and black, men and women. Following the horrific battle at Gettysburg in July , the committee in charge of organizing the dedication of the battlefield cemetery invited Lincoln to make "a few appropriate remarks. Edward Everett, a former president of Harvard, U.
- Dante: The Central Man of All the World A Course of Lectures Delivered Before the Student Body of the New York State College for Teachers, Albany, 1919, 1920 (TREDITION CLASSICS).
- Pall in the Family (A Family Fortune Mystery Book 1).
- The Well-Groomed Prince: A Novella.
Lincoln spoke for two minutes. He went on to observe that "a great civil war" was testing whether the United States or any democracy "can long endure. In , Lincoln faced re-election. Some proposed that Lincoln suspend the presidential election while the war still raged. Lincoln dismissed this idea:. We cannot have free governments without elections, and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. In the Election of , the Democrats pushed for an armistice with the Confederacy to stop the unrelenting bloodshed.
Lincoln, however, stood firm for ending the war only on his terms: reunification of the nation without slavery. The voters agreed with Lincoln. As the Union military victory neared in the spring of , many called for vengeance against the South. There was great anticipation about what Lincoln would say about this at his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, Among the 30, people who gathered before the steps of the Capitol to hear Lincoln speak were many black Union soldiers. Lincoln believed that years of slavery was one of these offenses for which both the North and South were responsible.
This "terrible war" was the cost of removing it, he declared.