Restricted Chatting about monuments was Board votes to remove Confederate monument from Linn Park - AL

CMWinkler

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The two things were not mutually exclusive. Sometimes the expediant thing to do is also the moral thing.

Of course it can be. As I said it was for the ultimate good of the country and moral. If I do a moral thing, however, for an amoral reason, should that not be pointed out? Does the end truly justify the means?
 

Malingerer

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Of course it can be. As I said it was for the ultimate good of the country and moral. If I do a moral thing, however, for an amoral reason, should that not be pointed out? Does the end truly justify the means?
You do know that Lincoln left a fairly large paper trail regarding his feelings about slavery, the EP, and the 13th Amendment, right? Maybe you start a new thread detailing the highlights of your assertion that Lincoln did good things for bad reasons. That'll be fun for me.
 

CMWinkler

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I was attributing it to you -- "That you see" -- which what I get from reading your posts. I dont agree with most of what you write but I am trying to comprehend it.

Yes, you attributed it to me, but as I pointed out, I never said that, you did. I never said the Confederacy was morally bankrupt so I know I didn't say the Union was just as morally bankrupt. You are, quite simply trying to goad me by trying to put words in my mouth. That's OK, I'm a big boy with a thick skin so it doesn't bother me but I didn't want you to think I didn't see what you were doing.

By 19th Century standards I see little reason to conclude that one region was, inherently, morally superior to others. I'm willing to keep an open mind, however, for any evidence you care to present that you believe supports such a claim.
 

W. Richardson

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Mt. Gilead, North Carolina
I don't know if many people really understand what these monuments mean to African Americans. Regardless of whether you think that Confederates seceded over "states rights" or not, the fact is, many of them said that their goal for the CSA was to maintain a slave labor society, viz:

(1) Jefferson Davis' farewell address to the Senate, in January 1861:

…if I had not believed there was justifiable cause (for secession); if I had thought that Mississippi was acting without sufficient provocation, or without an existing necessity, I should still… because of my allegiance to the State… have been bound by her action. I, however, may be permitted to say that I do think she has justifiable cause, and I approve of her act.

...She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.
(2) This is from Alexander Stephens' cornerstone speech:

...The new (Confederate) constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.

...Our new government is founded upon …the ...idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago.​

(3) "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union." The text includes:

In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation.​
****
Now... put yourself in the mindset of Alabama African Americans, whose ancestors were enslaved. Would you, as a descendant of slaves, want to see a bunch of monuments in your face that glorify the people who wanted to create a nation that kept their forefathers in captivity? Would you want your children to come to a public square that glorified men whose goal was to keep people who looked like them in bondage?

This is not an anti-white sentiment, this is a movement against the glorification of a country and a citizenry that was dedicated to keeping them (African Americans) in slavery. I think there are many white folks who share that view. This is not to say that I personally want to remove these monuments myself. But I want to add some clarity as to why people have these emotions.

- Alan


Alan,

Good post and some of it I agree with............but once all icons and symbols of My Confederate Heritage is removed and gone, racism will still be here, and what happens when the next act or accusation of racism happens and they point to the United States Flag? A flag and country that for many, many years allowed slavery, allowed the boundaged of their kin and wnat it removed and statues to Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and yes even Abraham Lincoln removed?

What then Allan? Do you stand up and fight it or do you allow it to happen, after all "they" are offended. I know you think that will never happen, well it already has, as some have asked for the removal of those same monuments I named and a few have even stated the United States Flag should come down.

Let's not forget the United States of America became a country that allowed slavery, let's not forget that as late as 1862 the United States Government and Lincoln were willing to allow slavery to continue and to even strengthen it by Constitutional Amendments if the Southern States would re-join the Union.

You asked me to place myself in the mindset of an Alabama African-American and I have, not so much as an Alabama African-American but African-Americans overall. I can understand their outrage. That is why I and I am sure many more are for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from Federal, State and Local, Government Buildings and property, have been even from before the tragedy in Charleston. Yet now what is they call for? Removal of all Confederate Monuments/Memorials.............The eradication of My Confederate Heritage.

I would like it to were any African-American can take their kids and grandkids out without being outraged. I would also like to be able to take my grandkids out and share with them My Confederate Heritage through Monuments/Memorials.....I am not ashamed of My Confederate Heritage. I have never said slavery was right or acceptable, never supported the KKK, never once asked or attempted to force anyone to honor My Confederate Heritage.

If there is no dialog or discussion and a compromise I see things going from what we have now to worse. You and I both know there are fanatics on both sides of this fight and I am more worried this is going to escalate to something much worse, something I pray does not happen. Somehow we all have got to find away to live and accept each other, but to make one happy by destroying the other's Heritage isn't the way, by purposely gouging the other side by both sides isn't going to work, and people wearing binders and not able to see each side's point isn't going to work.

I ask each side to place themselves in the other side's mindset.............And see what we can do as Americans to work this issue out to where both can live together.

1st National Confederate Flag   1.jpg

Respectfully,
William
 

CMWinkler

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You do know that Lincoln left a fairly large paper trail regarding his feelings about slavery, the EP, and the 13th Amendment, right? Maybe you start a new thread detailing the highlights of your assertion that Lincoln did good things for bad reasons. That'll be fun for me.

I didn't say he did them for bad reasons. I said he did them to win the war rather than for purely moral reasons. The fact that something is proven to be morally correct does not mean it was done for the purpose of furthering morality. Lincoln did the moral thing but he didn't do it solely because it was moral but that he also thought it would win the war. I would assert to you that President Lincoln was not above doing something immoral if it thought it would help win. That was his focus, ending the Rebellion.
 

W. Richardson

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Many northerners were racist. But at the end of the day, the Union did engage in an emancipation policy, and in fact, the Union is responsible for the 13th amendment, as well as the 14th and 15th amendment. These are accomplishments that cannot be denied. Meanwhile, the Confederates did not engage in a similar policy.

The motivations and morality of the different sides with respect to emanicpation can be discussed at length. But the results with respect to their emancipation policy (or lack thereof) are quite clear.

- Alan



I wondered when that "Treasury of Virtue" was going to be applied.

Many Northerns were racist including Lincoln and many are today, just as many Southerners are yet. This country has come a long way and still has a long way to go but to eradicate one's Heritage isn't they way to move forward. Hate begetting hate, racism begetting racism, revenge begetting revenge.................

1st National Confederate Flag   1.jpg

Respectfully,
William
 

ForeverFree

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Are you suggesting, Alan, that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued based upon morality as opposed to an expedient to weaken the Confederacy? Were not the Amendments adopted for essentially the same reason? Were they not to weaken the treasonous white Southerners and make sure they would never again obtain political power that would threat the Republican control of the nation? I am not suggesting that these measures were not a moral good, clearly they were. They helped to bring us along the path to truly make this a nation where all men were created equal. No one can criticize that but to suggest they were proposed and adopted through altruism and shows the Union forces were clearly more moral than Confederates is, in my view, wholly specious.

Are you suggesting, Alan, that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued based upon morality as opposed to an expedient to weaken the Confederacy?

No, that is the opposite of what I said. This is what I said:

Many northerners were racist. But at the end of the day, the Union did engage in an emancipation policy, and in fact, the Union is responsible for the 13th amendment, as well as the 14th and 15th amendment. These are accomplishments that cannot be denied. Meanwhile, the Confederates did not engage in a similar policy.

The motivations and morality of the different sides with respect to emanicpation can be discussed at length. But the results with respect to their emancipation policy (or lack thereof) are quite clear.
I don't see anything in that statement that opines about the "morality" or lack thereof regarding the EP or the Union's emancipation policy. My point is that as a matter of fact, the Union is repsonsible for the emancipation of nearly 4 million people, whereas the Confederacy wanted to keep them enslaved. We can debate the motives, the results are beyond debate. I don't know of any slaves who wanted to remain in bondage because the motives of the Union were questionable. Many slaves said that the military and civilian support they gave the Union earned them their freedom. But regardless of all of that, results do matter.

My thoughts on this mirror those of Frederick Douglass in his “Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln” upon the installation of the Freedmen's Monument in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1876.:

Truth is proper and beautiful at all times and in all places, and it is never more proper and beautiful in any case than when speaking of a great public man whose example is likely to be commended for honor and imitation long after his departure to the solemn shades, the silent continents of eternity. It must be admitted, truth compels me to admit, even here in the presence of the monument we have erected to his memory, Abraham Lincoln was not, in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, in his associations, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, he was a white man.

He was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. In all his education and feeling he was an American of the Americans. He came into the Presidential chair upon one principle alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery. His arguments in furtherance of this policy had their motive and mainspring in his patriotic devotion to the interests of his own race.

To protect, defend, and perpetuate slavery in the states where it existed Abraham Lincoln was not less ready than any other President to draw the sword of the nation. He was ready to execute all the supposed guarantees of the United States Constitution in favor of the slave system anywhere inside the slave states. He was willing to pursue, recapture, and send back the fugitive slave to his master, and to suppress a slave rising for liberty, though his guilty master were already in arms against the Government. The race to which we belong were not the special objects of his consideration. Knowing this, I concede to you, my white fellow-citizens, a pre-eminence in this worship at once full and supreme.

First, midst, and last, you and yours were the objects of his deepest affection and his most earnest solicitude. You are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children; children by adoption, children by forces of circumstances and necessity… (But) we entreat you to despise not the humble offering we this day unveil to view; for while Abraham Lincoln saved for you a country, he delivered us from a bondage, according to Jefferson, one hour of which was worse than ages of the oppression your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose.

Fellow-citizens, ours is no new-born zeal and devotion — merely a thing of this moment. The name of Abraham Lincoln was near and dear to our hearts in the darkest and most perilous hours of the Republic. We were no more ashamed of him when shrouded in clouds of darkness, of doubt, and defeat than when we saw him crowned with victory, honor, and glory.

Our faith in him was often taxed and strained to the uttermost, but it never failed. When he tarried long in the mountain; when he strangely told us that we were the cause of the war; when he still more strangely told us that we were to leave the land in which we were born; when he refused to employ our arms in defense of the Union; when, after accepting our services as colored soldiers, he refused to retaliate our murder and torture as colored prisoners; when he told us he would save the Union if he could with slavery; when he revoked the Proclamation of Emancipation of General Fremont; when he refused to remove the popular commander of the Army of the Potomac, in the days of its inaction and defeat, who was more zealous in his efforts to protect slavery than to suppress rebellion; when we saw all this, and more, we were at times grieved, stunned, and greatly bewildered; but our hearts believed while they ached and bled.

Nor was this, even at that time, a blind and unreasoning superstition. Despite the mist and haze that surrounded him; despite the tumult, the hurry, and confusion of the hour, we were able to take a comprehensive view of Abraham Lincoln, and to make reasonable allowance for the circumstances of his position. We saw him, measured him, and estimated him; not by stray utterances to injudicious and tedious delegations, who often tried his patience; not by isolated facts torn from their connection; not by any partial and imperfect glimpses, caught at inopportune moments; but by a broad survey, in the light of the stern logic of great events, and in view of that divinity which shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will, we came to the conclusion that the hour and the man of our redemption had somehow met in the person of Abraham Lincoln. It mattered little to us what language he might employ on special occasions; it mattered little to us, when we fully knew him, whether he was swift or slow in his movements; it was enough for us that Abraham Lincoln was at the head of a great movement, and was in living and earnest sympathy with that movement, which, in the nature of things, must go on until slavery should be utterly and forever abolished in the United States.

When, therefore, it shall be asked what we have to do with the memory of Abraham Lincoln, or what Abraham Lincoln had to do with us, the answer is ready, full, and complete. Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the Union was more to him than our freedom or our future,

under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood;

under his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved and vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwriting of ages, in the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country;

under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States;

under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln, and with muskets on their shoulders, and eagles on their buttons, timing their high footsteps to liberty and union under the national flag;

under his rule we saw the independence of the black republic of Haiti, the special object of slave-holding aversion and horror, fully recognized, and her minister, a colored gentleman, duly received here in the city of Washington;

under his rule we saw the internal slave-trade, which so long disgraced the nation, abolished, and slavery abolished in the District of Columbia;

under his rule we saw for the first time the law enforced against the foreign slave trade, and the first slave-trader hanged like any other pirate or murderer;

under his rule, assisted by the greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the Confederate States, based upon the idea that our race must be slaves, and slaves forever, battered to pieces and scattered to the four winds;

under his rule, and in the fullness of time, we saw Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slave-holders three months’ grace in which to save their hateful slave system, penning the immortal paper, which, though special in its language, was general in its principles and effect, making slavery forever impossible in the United States.

Though we waited long, we saw all this and more.​

Douglass's critique of Lincoln could well be that of the United States. Douglass makes note of Lincoln's prejudices; he notes that Lincoln cared for the interests of white men, not for black men; he acknowledges that emancipation was implemented to save the Union. But at the same, he has this long list of things that the Lincoln administration accomplish which advanced the status and condition of black people, which can't be overlooked.

The bottom line is the bottom line. Again, I don't know of any slaves who wanted to remain in bondage because the motives of the Union were questionable.

Perhaps the motives and actions of the Union were questionale. But to get to the subject at hand: the motives of Confederate were not questionable at all. Confederates wanted to keep negroes enslaved, and would have kept doing so probably for decades if they had won. These are the guys who are the subject of the controversy.

- Alan
 

W. Richardson

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I didn't say he did them for bad reasons. I said he did them to win the war rather than for purely moral reasons. The fact that something is proven to be morally correct does not mean it was done for the purpose of furthering morality. Lincoln did the moral thing but he didn't do it solely because it was moral but that he also thought it would win the war. I would assert to you that President Lincoln was not above doing something immoral if it thought it would help win. That was his focus, ending the Rebellion.


CM,

Well said and a fact....................

Lincoln speech Charleston, Illinois September 18th, 1858

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black race --- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negros, 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 race which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they can not 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.



Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley
August 22nd, 1862

"I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and 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 all the slaves, 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 to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere, could be free."


1st National Confederate Flag   1.jpg

Respectfully,
William
 

Malingerer

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Location
Cullowhee, NC
I didn't say he did them for bad reasons. I said he did them to win the war rather than for purely moral reasons. The fact that something is proven to be morally correct does not mean it was done for the purpose of furthering morality. Lincoln did the moral thing but he didn't do it solely because it was moral but that he also thought it would win the war. I would assert to you that President Lincoln was not above doing something immoral if it thought it would help win. That was his focus, ending the Rebellion.
People can have more than a single focus. Its like that foam stuff they used to sell back in the 70's - "its a floor cleaner and a desert topping!"
 

CMWinkler

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Are you suggesting, Alan, that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued based upon morality as opposed to an expedient to weaken the Confederacy?

No, that is the opposite of what I said. This is what I said:

Many northerners were racist. But at the end of the day, the Union did engage in an emancipation policy, and in fact, the Union is responsible for the 13th amendment, as well as the 14th and 15th amendment. These are accomplishments that cannot be denied. Meanwhile, the Confederates did not engage in a similar policy.

The motivations and morality of the different sides with respect to emanicpation can be discussed at length. But the results with respect to their emancipation policy (or lack thereof) are quite clear.
I don't see anything in that statement that opines about the "morality" or lack thereof regarding the EP or the Union's emancipation policy. My point is that as a matter of fact, the Union is repsonsible for the emancipation of nearly 4 million people, whereas the Confederacy wanted to keep them enslaved. We can debate the motives, the results are beyond debate. I don't know of any slaves who wanted to remain in bondage because the motives of the Union were questionable. Many slaves said that the military and civilian support they gave the Union earned them their freedom. But regardless of all of that, results do matter.

My thoughts on this mirror those of Frederick Douglass in his “Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln” upon the installation of the Freedmen's Monument in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1876.:

Truth is proper and beautiful at all times and in all places, and it is never more proper and beautiful in any case than when speaking of a great public man whose example is likely to be commended for honor and imitation long after his departure to the solemn shades, the silent continents of eternity. It must be admitted, truth compels me to admit, even here in the presence of the monument we have erected to his memory, Abraham Lincoln was not, in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, in his associations, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, he was a white man.

He was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. In all his education and feeling he was an American of the Americans. He came into the Presidential chair upon one principle alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery. His arguments in furtherance of this policy had their motive and mainspring in his patriotic devotion to the interests of his own race.

To protect, defend, and perpetuate slavery in the states where it existed Abraham Lincoln was not less ready than any other President to draw the sword of the nation. He was ready to execute all the supposed guarantees of the United States Constitution in favor of the slave system anywhere inside the slave states. He was willing to pursue, recapture, and send back the fugitive slave to his master, and to suppress a slave rising for liberty, though his guilty master were already in arms against the Government. The race to which we belong were not the special objects of his consideration. Knowing this, I concede to you, my white fellow-citizens, a pre-eminence in this worship at once full and supreme.

First, midst, and last, you and yours were the objects of his deepest affection and his most earnest solicitude. You are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children; children by adoption, children by forces of circumstances and necessity… (But) we entreat you to despise not the humble offering we this day unveil to view; for while Abraham Lincoln saved for you a country, he delivered us from a bondage, according to Jefferson, one hour of which was worse than ages of the oppression your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose.

Fellow-citizens, ours is no new-born zeal and devotion — merely a thing of this moment. The name of Abraham Lincoln was near and dear to our hearts in the darkest and most perilous hours of the Republic. We were no more ashamed of him when shrouded in clouds of darkness, of doubt, and defeat than when we saw him crowned with victory, honor, and glory.

Our faith in him was often taxed and strained to the uttermost, but it never failed. When he tarried long in the mountain; when he strangely told us that we were the cause of the war; when he still more strangely told us that we were to leave the land in which we were born; when he refused to employ our arms in defense of the Union; when, after accepting our services as colored soldiers, he refused to retaliate our murder and torture as colored prisoners; when he told us he would save the Union if he could with slavery; when he revoked the Proclamation of Emancipation of General Fremont; when he refused to remove the popular commander of the Army of the Potomac, in the days of its inaction and defeat, who was more zealous in his efforts to protect slavery than to suppress rebellion; when we saw all this, and more, we were at times grieved, stunned, and greatly bewildered; but our hearts believed while they ached and bled.

Nor was this, even at that time, a blind and unreasoning superstition. Despite the mist and haze that surrounded him; despite the tumult, the hurry, and confusion of the hour, we were able to take a comprehensive view of Abraham Lincoln, and to make reasonable allowance for the circumstances of his position. We saw him, measured him, and estimated him; not by stray utterances to injudicious and tedious delegations, who often tried his patience; not by isolated facts torn from their connection; not by any partial and imperfect glimpses, caught at inopportune moments; but by a broad survey, in the light of the stern logic of great events, and in view of that divinity which shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will, we came to the conclusion that the hour and the man of our redemption had somehow met in the person of Abraham Lincoln. It mattered little to us what language he might employ on special occasions; it mattered little to us, when we fully knew him, whether he was swift or slow in his movements; it was enough for us that Abraham Lincoln was at the head of a great movement, and was in living and earnest sympathy with that movement, which, in the nature of things, must go on until slavery should be utterly and forever abolished in the United States.

When, therefore, it shall be asked what we have to do with the memory of Abraham Lincoln, or what Abraham Lincoln had to do with us, the answer is ready, full, and complete. Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the Union was more to him than our freedom or our future,

under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood;

under his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved and vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwriting of ages, in the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country;

under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States;

under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln, and with muskets on their shoulders, and eagles on their buttons, timing their high footsteps to liberty and union under the national flag;

under his rule we saw the independence of the black republic of Haiti, the special object of slave-holding aversion and horror, fully recognized, and her minister, a colored gentleman, duly received here in the city of Washington;

under his rule we saw the internal slave-trade, which so long disgraced the nation, abolished, and slavery abolished in the District of Columbia;

under his rule we saw for the first time the law enforced against the foreign slave trade, and the first slave-trader hanged like any other pirate or murderer;

under his rule, assisted by the greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the Confederate States, based upon the idea that our race must be slaves, and slaves forever, battered to pieces and scattered to the four winds;

under his rule, and in the fullness of time, we saw Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slave-holders three months’ grace in which to save their hateful slave system, penning the immortal paper, which, though special in its language, was general in its principles and effect, making slavery forever impossible in the United States.

Though we waited long, we saw all this and more.​

Douglass's critique of Lincoln could well be that of the United States. Douglass makes note of Lincoln's prejudices; he notes that Lincoln cared for the interests of white men, not for black men; he acknowledges that emancipation was implemented to save the Union. But at the same, he has this long list of things that the Lincoln administration accomplish which advanced the status and condition of black people, which can't be overlooked.

The bottom line is the bottom line. Again, I don't know of any slaves who wanted to remain in bondage because the motives of the Union were questionable.

Perhaps the motives and actions of the Union were questionale. But to get to the subject at hand: the motives of Confederate were not questionable at all. Confederates wanted to keep negroes enslaved, and would have kept doing so probably for decades if they had won. These are the guys who are the subject of the controversy.

- Alan

I have never questioned the morality of the result. Confederates wanted to protect slavery. What would have happened had they succeeded in forming their new nation is speculative. My whole point was in response to the expression that one should not even attempt to compare Southern morality with that of the Union. I believe that is as much myth as the lost cause, that the Union was inherently more moral. Those who express such views ought to be prepared to back them up.

You end by saying those guys are the subject of the controversy. Are you suggesting that we should not memorialize them on moral grounds? Should anyone with moral failings be debarred from being honored? I'm curious. By the way, I am not questioning your motives or your sincerity. We don't always agree but I have always found you and honest advocate for your views and willing to listen to and acknowledge alternative points of view. Not necessarily the strong suit of many here, myself included.
 

Malingerer

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Location
Cullowhee, NC
CM,

Well said and a fact....................

Lincoln speech Charleston, Illinois September 18th, 1858

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black race --- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negros, 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 race which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they can not 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.



Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley
August 22nd, 1862

"I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and 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 all the slaves, 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 to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere, could be free."


View attachment 72375
Respectfully,
William
As long as we're tossing out Lincoln quotes, here's one for you William: "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and under a just God, cannot long retain it."
FWIW, I've got two older sisters and a brother so I can do this as long as you can. But maybe,just this once, we should stay on topic.
 

CMWinkler

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People can have more than a single focus. Its like that foam stuff they used to sell back in the 70's - "its a floor cleaner and a desert topping!"

Yes, they can. I would assert to you that my reading of President Lincoln was that he wanted to make sure that he did not preside over the dissolution of the nation and that other considerations were secondary. You may disagree.
 

Scotsman

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With all due respect, there is very little evidence that the Union was any more moral in terms of 19th Century morality than the Confederacy. Suggesting they cannot be "compared" is simply trying to substitute the "treasury of virtue" myth for the Lost Cause myth.

You think fiercely pro-slavery advocacy is/was the moral equivalent to anti-slavery sentiment?
 

CMWinkler

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You think fiercely pro-slavery advocacy is/was the moral equivalent to anti-slavery sentiment?

No, but I saw little evidence that the Union cause started as anti-slavery. Did I miss that? My recollection was that much of Northen sentiment was, at best, ambivalent at least in dealing with slavery where it then existed. If they were, as you suggest so anti-slavery the treatment of Kentucky and Maryland strikes me as, well, odd. Slavery existed in the Union after the defeat of the Confederacy. Odd if this was a moral crusade against slavery.
 

ForeverFree

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You end by saying those guys are the subject of the controversy. Are you suggesting that we should not memorialize them on moral grounds? Should anyone with moral failings be debarred from being honored? I'm curious.

If a person has committed an act that is morally problematic, then absolutely, I would not want them to be memorialized. For example, if a religious figure with a fine record of service was found to be a rapist, I would have a problem with that person getting a monument. I think that for all of us, there are actions which would invalidate a person for memorialization.

The real question is, where do each of us draw the line? I would "debar" rapists from being honored. As for others, I'd have to make a case by case analysis.

I have made these comments in prior posts:

• "Just to make my position clear: I am not pro-"destatuation." I am pro-historical balance. If the monument landscape does not present a fair balanced view of the history, then it needs to be fixed. We should have a discussion about (a) whether the monument lanscape does or does not provide a fair and balanced view of the history; (b) what should done if it is felt that current monument do not provide a fair and balanced view of the history."

• "I would tell people who are organizing to keep these monuments where they are: it is hard for people to buy the argument that you are out to protect southern heritage, when you show no concern at all for the fact that African American or Unionist heritage commemoration is invisible throughout the South. Instead of making an argument for preserving Confederate monuments, make arguments for a fair and balanced Civil War monument landscape, and make the commitment that you will work to ensure this new, fair, and balanced lanscape is created. If you cannot do this, expect some pushback."

I can't add much more to that.

- Alan
 

CMWinkler

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If a person has committed an act that is morally problematic, then absolutely, I would not want them to be memorialized. For example, if a religious figure with a fine record of service was found to be a rapist, I would have a problem with that person getting a monument. I think that for all of us, there are actions which would invalidate a person for memorialization.

The real question is, where do each of us draw the line? I would "debar" rapists from being honored. As for others, I'd have to make a case by case analysis.

I have made these comments in prior posts:

• "Just to make my position clear: I am not pro-"destatuation." I am pro-historical balance. If the monument landscape does not present a fair balanced view of the history, then it needs to be fixed. We should have a discussion about (a) whether the monument lanscape does or does not provide a fair and balanced view of the history; (b) what should done if it is felt that current monument do not provide a fair and balanced view of the history."

• "I would tell people who are organizing to keep these monuments where they are: it is hard for people to buy the argument that you are out to protect southern heritage, when you show no concern at all for the fact that African American or Unionist heritage commemoration is invisible throughout the South. Instead of making an argument for preserving Confederate monuments, make arguments for a fair and balanced Civil War monument landscape, and make the commitment that you will work to ensure this new, fair, and balanced lanscape is created. If you cannot do this, expect some pushback."

I can't add much more to that.

- Alan

I was thinking more of supporters of slavery as opposed to rapists. Rapists seem to me the easy call. I cannot disagree with your sentiments expressed here.
 

Scotsman

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No, but I saw little evidence that the Union cause started as anti-slavery. Did I miss that? My recollection was that much of Northen sentiment was, at best, ambivalent at least in dealing with slavery where it then existed. If they were, as you suggest so anti-slavery the treatment of Kentucky and Maryland strikes me as, well, odd. Slavery existed in the Union after the defeat of the Confederacy. Odd if this was a moral crusade against slavery.

You cannot dispute that Lincoln won on an anti-slavery platform. The anti-slavery sentiment in the north was not, by and large, abolitionist, but it was strongly in the majority. After all, that was why Southern secessionists broke away from the Union and created a Confederacy that was, as Alexander Stephens put it, founded on the belief "that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition."

These differences in opinion of the morality of slavery were recognized, by essentially everyone of the time, as the fundamental difference between the sections. Lincoln said so directly in December 1860 to Stephens: "You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us."

This differing moral assessment of slavery may have played little role early in the war. But by late 1862, after increasing pressure by northerners--many of whom had been rather conservative in regards to emancipation and race relations in 1861--Lincoln formally made emancipation a military objective, thus officially linking the Union war effort to the freedom of millions of people. There is no doubt that the Emancipation Proclamation was a strategic act, intended to weaken the Confederacy. But there is also no doubt that Lincoln and millions of Americans--white and black--recognized it as a monumental social and moral accomplishment.

Finally, I have no idea what you think your reference to Kentucky and Maryland accomplishes. Most people on this website understand the tenuous position of the border states and how carefully the Lincoln administration attempted to balance their interests and keep them in the Union. Nonetheless, and I assume you would know, Lincoln worked quite hard to encourage these border states to adopt a voluntary and gradual emancipation policy. He advocated a compensated emancipation plan to Congress in December 1861, and again in March 1862. He drafted a bill to emancipate Delaware's slaves and called upon border state leaders to push legislation in their own states. Oh, and he abolished slavery in Washington, D.C., and set the 13th Amendment in motion.

So, while we see a growing abolitionist sentiment, increasingly bold emancipation efforts, and new rights and opportunities for black Americans (such as the enlistment of over 150,000 black troops) in the Union, we also see Lee's Confederate army capturing freed blacks in Pennsylvania and shipping them South, Confederate soldiers executing black Union soldiers in several different instances, and a continued dedication to the institution of slavery in Confederate areas until forcefully ended by U.S. Army units.

A sincere moral comparison of the Union and the Confederacy looks at the comprehensive picture -- not just a surface view of a single moment in early 1861, or so, and calls it even.
 
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