My thoughts? Interesting that you should mention a court of law, because this smacks more of legal brief than history. His first paragraph sets the tone of the entire chapter. He states that "Such was Lincoln's dilemma: On the one hand, he was being pressured by the industrial and banking interests of the New England and Midwestern States, who were clamoring for the removal of the South as a viable competitor in the international and domestic markets. In addition to these were the Republican politicians who saw war against the South as the surest means to secure their newly obtained control of the Government. " Despite a plethora of later footnotes, this assertion is not supported by any documentation. Such a statement is clearly so contrary to the accepted view that I would expect some sort of attribution. Instead, it was apparently created by Durand out of whole cloth. How was the South a competitor of the New England industrial interests and the Midwestern farming interests? Was the South a large manufacturing area to compete with New England? Was it a large producer of wheat or corn to compete with the Midwest?Any chance I can get your thoughts on the information in the thread?
My purpose is to get the other side, but such prevarications in a court of law are often done to slow the tone of the actual case to a crawl...
Ole says that Anderson was hungry, but does not show me the hunger; just the allusion of the state of his want of supplies...
I have moved pawn to king four...
Will there be a countermove, or a forfeit?
Next, his quotation from the New York Herald does not support his statement that "Most of the people in the North were not fooled by the conciliatory tone of Lincoln's Inaugural Address of 4 March 1861." First, how does this show the views of "most of the people"? Second, I read the quote as chastizing Lincoln for being conciliatory instead of preparing for the war which was apparently coming and not making sufficient preparations therefore. Note also, that it is the DEMOCRATIC editors of the Herald, which are neither going to represent "most of the people" nor be inclined to show much leeway to an incoming Republican administration.
Next, whether Seward made a promise to evacuate the Fort is irrelevant. It was not an official statement of the government - Seward was being Seward and flying solo in his belief that only he knew what was best for the country - and clearly was neither supported nor authorized by the President of the United States. Even if such statement were made, was there a treaty to this effect? A binding promise? No, Seward thought the Fort should be evacuated and the stand taken at Pensacola - thus he began an expedition to reinforce Pensacola at the same time that an expedition was outfitting for Sumter. I have no doubt Seward thought that he was the real power in the government and could make promised and then cajole Lincoln into carrying them out. Was the breach of this supposed promise sufficient cause for an unprovoked attack on the Fort? Clearly not. Further, the fact that Seward was not sacked or impeached means nothing. The politics of the new administration was no doubt such that Lincoln could not fire Seward and I doubt there would have been much call to impeach him for misleading a bunch of rebels who fired on the Fort. I would imagine Seward would justify his actions as trying to delay any action against the Fort - in other words, playing for time.
I would commend to you the article by David Herbert Donald in "With My Face to the Enemy: Perspectives on the Civil War" entitled "Lincoln Takes Charge." His premise is that Lincon bungled the crisis over Fort Sumter, but it was out of naivite and inexperience, not the nefarious motives posited by Durand without proper support. Indeed, he posits that one of Lincoln's real failings was in listening to Seward in agreeing to send a ship with provisions only and to warn the Governor of South Carolina that it was coming instead of trying to sneak it in under cover of darkness.
Speaking of supplies, note that Anderson was clearly speaking legally in saying that he could not by or obtain provisions outside of his authority. Further, do you really expect him to tell the South Carolina authorities exactly how many provisions that he has? I am reminded of Pemberton at Vicksburg stating that he has "plenty of provisions" when negotiating surrender with Grant and having Grant call his bluff by telling him that he can take the provisions with him to feed his army when he surrenders the place.
Others have pointed out other falacies and half-truths in this diatribe. Given its premise and obvious bias, I hesitate to label it as history. As I said, the first paragraph sets the tone of the entire Chapter and makes clear this will not be a scholarly examination, but a hatchet job.