When will public schools start teaching the truth about Abraham Lincoln? That is the million-dollar question. February 12th is a date which should live in infamy; not one which should be honored. Celebrating this man’s birthday is entirely akin to honoring the birthday of Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.
We hold this man on such a high pedestal, and for what reason? Because he was the “great emancipator” that freed all of the slaves, right? However, no honest student of history can say this is the case. Reaching such elementary conclusions without doing the slightest of homework to delve into the truth is dishonest at best, and an outright lie at worst.
In the early part of our nation’s history, the South was unanimously the richest region in the United States. Sticking to Christian morals and our founding principles, the South thrived on free global trade. Buying goods from Europe was significantly cheaper than buying Northern goods. But the crony capitalists of the North weren’t about to tolerate this, and began progressively jacking up tariffs on the South. Roughly 95% of the federal government’s revenues in 1860 came from tariffs, with the South accounting for 87% of that. Later that year, Congress passed the Morrill Tariff Bill, increasing tariff rates to an unprecedented 47%!! This egregious taxation forced the South to purchase Northern made products, propping up the Northern economy while choking the South.
Running on the platform of higher tariffs, as well as proposing a new central bank, Abraham Lincoln sent chills down the spine of every liberty loving Southerner. After being elected into the presidency without any electorates from a single Southern state, South Carolina immediately seceded from the Union. Six more states quickly joined the secessionist movement, and four more would follow after Lincoln’s bombardment Fort Sumter.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Our rights are natural, and since they are granted not by government but by our Creator, they are inalienable. It is impossible for government to take away that which is natural. Therefore the natural right of individuals to secede from an oppressive and out of control government is one which cannot be infringed upon. However Lincoln did not see it as so. He said in his first inaugural address in 1861, “I hold that, in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the union of these States is perpetual….It follows….that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union.” He went on to say, “Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy.” In 1856 he hurled a damning warning at the South, saying, “The Union will not be dissolved. We don’t want it dissolved and if you attempt it, we won’t let you. With the purse and sword, the army and navy and treasury in our hands and at our command you could not do it.” The Declaration of Independence was itself a declaration of secession from Great Britain, and we Americans rightly revere this motion. Yet the secession of the Southern states from an even more oppressive government is one that many Americans unfortunately frown upon.
The narrative continues that the South only seceded so they could keep their slaves. A little research again debunks this myth and proves it as false. In fact the first 13th amendment, otherwise known as the Corwin Amendment, was proposed by Northern states and passed by both chambers of Congress, which would have made the institution of slavery permanent and untouchable by government. This was done in an attempt to lure the Southern states back into the Union, hoping that keeping their slaves forever would provide enough incentive for them to return. Lincoln voiced his favor for the amendment, saying, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps save the Union.” But the South could care less for the amendment, and it was never ratified and immediately fell apart.
As if Lincoln’s support for a Constitutional amendment that would have made slavery permanent isn’t telling enough, it is worth revisiting some of his more racist remarks to reveal his true feelings for African Americans. Lerone Bennett Jr. of Ebony Magazine noted that “On at least fourteen occasions between 1854 and 1860 Lincoln said unambiguously that he believed the Negro race was inferior to the White race.” In his first debate with Stephen Douglas in 1858, Abraham Lincoln said, “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.” He later said in the same debate, “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.” Believing America to be a white man’s nation, Lincoln was in the process of deporting the African Americans back to Africa. The initiative was largely a failure, however it was his deepest desire to send them all to Liberia.
As the Southern War of Independence gained steam (it cannot be referred to as the ‘Civil War’ because a Civil War entails two opposing factions fighting for the control of government, which did not happen), Lincoln’s true colors were revealed. The dictator in him was immediately apparent when he violated the Constitution by unilaterally suspending habeas corpus. The secessionist movement began to gain traction in the Central states and even in New York City, and Lincoln moved quickly to quell the movement and indefinitely imprison anyone with secessionist sentiments. He went on to jail over 40,000 political opponents and journalists critical of his presidency, and even went so far as to have a Congressman deported for disagreeing with him.
In the midst of the war, Lincoln gave his famous Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. This is looked upon today as the great document that set loose the whips and chains on the slaves, but the irony is that the document did not free a single slave. It only “freed” the slaves held in Confederate territories, States that he no longer had any authority over. If the man was truly so benign and abhorred slavery, why then did he not free any of the slaves still held in Northern states? The truth is that the Emancipation Proclamation was solely a military strategy. The North was losing the war and Lincoln hoped to start a slave rebellion in the South. Such a revolt never happened, and the slaves remained loyal to the Confederacy, many voluntarily joining the ranks of the military to fight against Lincoln’s oppressive regime.
We’re told time and time again that the North fought this war because they cared so deeply about the rights of Southern blacks. This lie is so wildly comical, as the North has been historically more racist than the South. Black codes prohibiting African Americans from working or gaining citizenship existed in many Northern states decades before Jim Crow laws made their way to the South. Also, after Lincoln ordered the Emancipation Proclamation, thousands of soldiers left the Union Army in droves when it was believed that they were now fighting for the black man. Lincoln’s Union Army massacred dozens in the streets of New York City who protested this initiative along with Lincoln’s installation of military conscription.
Eerily similar to Adolf Hitler, Abraham Lincoln ordered firing squads on uncharged and innocent civilians. The Palmyra Massacre is often overlooked in the annals of history. The rape of Athens, Alabama is oddly forgotten as well. Lincoln pardoned and promoted military officials convicted of ordering their soldiers to loot and burn down homes in addition to ordering rape and mass murder of innocent men, women, and children.
The only reason the North won the war was because they adopted the total war policy. Total war means bringing the war off of the battlefield and to the streets. An army which adheres to total war makes no distinctions between an opposing military and its people. Abraham Lincoln’s most trusted generals freely wrote of their desires to exterminate the entire Southern population. General William Sherman wrote to his wife in 1862 that, “the war will soon assume a turn to extermination not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the people… There is a class of people, men women, and children, who must be killed or banished.” General Ulysses S. Grant, who would later become the 18th President of the United States, wrote in a dispatch in 1864, “If we commence a system of exchange which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on until the whole South is exterminated.”
While the Confederate military stuck to their principles of the just war theory, the Union Army marched on, burning down much of the South and destroying town after town. A large percentage of Southerners were displaced from their homes, and many thousands starved to death. It is estimated that 20% of all Southern whites were killed in the war.
The conclusion of the war forced the South to endure twelve years of military dictatorship in what was known as Reconstruction. Puppet governments were installed in the South to ensure that small government conservatives could not rule. The 14th amendment was ratified illegally by these puppet representatives and gave the vote to newly freed slaves, while disenfranchising nearly every single Southern white. This was done so Northern Republicans could take advantage of the unintelligence of freed slaves and ensure Republican dominance in the federal government. The egregiously high tariffs immediately returned, and much of the South still lives in squalor as a result of being choked by federal control to this day.
It is worth mentioning that slavery in the South was rather benevolent. At the time of the Southern War of Independence, only about 10% of Southern whites still owned slaves, and of that block, only about 10% of owners were cruel to their slaves. It should be noted that slavery was not yet looked upon with the type of moral disdain we see it with today. I am not advocating for its return, but simply speaking the truth as it was. The vast majority of African slaves in the South were treated as family, and in fact had better standards of living than Northern whites. They also received better healthcare and had more nutritious diets. Should the North have allowed the Confederacy to exist, slavery would have soon been dead. Slavery was uneconomical and on a natural decline, so President Jefferson Davis wished to slowly emancipate slaves so as to prepare them for a life of freedom. Southern abolitionists acknowledged that an immediate abolition would be harmful for the slaves and for the economy, and Northern conquest and the ratification of the second 13th amendment proved just that.
Lincoln’s purpose for the war was to keep the Union together. If the ends justify these callous means, then the same folks who cheer on Lincoln for “saving the Union” should likewise find Hitler’s invasion of neighboring states to be noble. Supporters of Lincoln should find solace in the fact that Joseph Stalin had the Union in mind when he killed tens of millions of his own people. So yes, with all of this now known, to support Lincoln is to support a murderous dictator who supported genocide. His birthday ought not to be celebrated today by Americans. A man of his status deserves no exaltation in a nation that claims to stand for freedom, and he should be rightly condemned for his tyranny. May you rot in hell, Abe, and may Americans be open to learning the truth about his dictatorship so we may know to never repeat the mistakes of our past.
All information in this article was gathered from the following books:
-The Real Lincoln by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
-Lincoln Unmasked by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
-The Un-Civil War: Shattering The Historical Myths by Leonard Scruggs
-War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Cisco
-The South Was Right by James Ronald Kennedy & Walter Donald Kennedy