Lincoln is not so beloved in the South

Published: Sunday, February 22, 2009

The lukewarm treatment across the South of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth hints at a truth few acknowledge: Lincoln has never been viewed as an unqualified hero in Louisiana, either.

There is strong evidence that Lincoln was only mildly interested in the plight of the slave, and cleverly used that “concern” as a pretext to invade the South.

His writings clearly reveal his contempt for blacks and his willingness to remove them from the country if necessary. Some historians believe the manifest superiority of Southern culture and education fanned Northern desire to crush the South’s unique identity. One method employed was outrageous tariffs that disproportionately targeted Southern trade.

Another was Lincoln’s willingness to suspend due process rights and order the immediate arrest of anyone — Northern or Southern — who disagreed with his policies.

Until that point, the right of secession had never been seriously questioned; it was taught as a viable, constitutional option at educational institutions throughout the country. The New England Federalists, opponents of Jefferson and Madison, threatened to withdraw from the union as early as 1814. Nonetheless, Lincoln forced lawfully seceded states to remain in what had always been understood to be a voluntary compact — and was willing to oversee unspeakable bloodshed to accomplish it.

Lincoln used raw, unchecked power to bully the South into submission.

And who can forget the war crimes — pillaging, burning, raping and terrorizing — visited by General Sherman on unarmed civilians with full knowledge of our esteemed president? After such travesties, it was easy for Lincoln to appear magnanimous.

Oh, and the federal government’s charge of treason against the South? It was so phony Confederate President Jefferson Davis was never tried in a court of law after years of imprisonment. Sounds like an air-tight case to me.

Slavery would have died a natural death, as it had in the North. Most Southerners did not even own slaves, and many of the planters had already freed theirs. The moral hypocrisy of Northern do-gooders, slaveholders themselves until they no longer needed slaves, is stunning. Lincoln was determined to wage an unconstitutional war on fellow Americans, and that is how he is remembered by many.

Leslie Alexander
Communications consultant

Copyright © 2009


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