Abraham Lincoln Through Many Lenses

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4)Who said, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States or Jefferson Davis, President , President of the Confederate States of America?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln - First Inaugural Address - March 4, 1861.
6) What was the major emphasis of the Emancipation Proclamation?
Answer: The Emancipation Proclamation is 540 words long. of those, 400 words limit the proclamation to the states in rebellion - it defines the states in rebellion and states that it is directed ONLY to the states in rebellion. It further says that if those states in rebellion would cease and return to the union within 100 days then they would keep slavery intact.
There is always a big fuss made over Lincoln being "the great emancipator." He is continually held up as an example of how this great president fought against the evils of slavery and worked on behalf of racial equality.
But is the picture painted of Lincoln by egalitarians the real Abraham Lincoln? One of the most important events in Lincoln's career was the debate with Stephen Douglas. The Lincoln-Douglas debate was actually seven debates held throughout Illinois during the 1858 senatorial campaign. Most people being ignorant of the debate think the debate was about racial equality - that is Douglas favored slavery and thus white supremacy and Lincoln opposed slavery and favored equality.
The fact is that many of those who opposed slavery did so not because of their belief in racial equality but because they did not want the import of Negroes into their communities - via slavery. Part of this reason was because of the economic harm that is created for poor whites who were not able to find employment in face of the huge slave population. We find the same problem today due to illegal immigration even though they aren't slaves.
Douglas supported what was known as "popular sovereignty." That is, he held to the doctrine that each state had the constitutionally protected right to decide for its self whether it would be a slave or free state. the decision would be as a result of a general election.
The debates clearly show Lincoln's position on slavery - he was against it. He...

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...as a segregationist.

Joseph Sobran

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