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What surprised me was just how hypocritical and distortive the modern Southern myth of Lincoln's dublicity is. (A myth I encountered argued frequently on web forums and believed to be at least partly true.) I mean:
I also found this essay on Lincoln's railroad cases, written by a law and history professor. It also includes this part:
It is important to keep Lincoln's representation of railroads in perspective. In fact, Lincoln also regularly brought suit against railroads on behalf of individual clients. He instituted actions against carriers for nonpayment of supplies and for assessment of damages when land was taken by eminent domain.
...after several examples, this sections ends with the conclusion:
By the same token, it is an exaggeration to conclude, as historian Edward Pessen has done, that Lincoln was an "attorney for banks, insurance companies, gas companies, large mercantile firms, and manufacturers." It is at best only partially accurate to present Lincoln as a corporate attorney. Although he represented railroads and businesses, he also sued them. As another historian has pointed out, Lincoln "still took business as it came, and opposed the corporate interests as often as he represented them." This leads to the question of whether Lincoln was in fact a hired gun. Perhaps the last word on this point should go to Lincoln's longtime legal partner, Herndon, who accurately declared that Lincoln was "purely and entirely a case lawyer."
The Southern Poverty Law Center considers DiLorenzo one of the most important intellectuals "who form the core of the modern neo-Confederate movement." They believe DiLorenzo's depiction of president Abraham Lincoln paints Lincoln as a "paragon of wickedness, a man secretly intent on destroying states' rights and building a massive federal government."
And you are surprised in what way ?
keep to the Fen Causeway
When it comes to Lincoln I think it is pretty clear that he was an opponent of slavery that ran as a moderate (ie without intent to do much about it) that got the opportunity to abolish slavery by the actions of the Confederacy.
Speaking of the Confederacy and slavery. Years ago I read (in what I remmeber as a credible book) that at the end of the war the Davis administration had a plan to bolster the army by giving freedom to slaves that fought for the Confederacy. Far as I remember it did not amount to any troops on the ground, but when I tried to check the details of it I just ran into lots and lots of pro-Confederate pages without substance. So does this ring a bell for anyone here?
Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
But he was put down because the war wuold then have lost it's purpose.
Two or three months before the end of the war Jefferson Davies and his cabinet then relented and introduced this possibility, but there was sparse practical application.
Slavery in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In spite of the South's shortage of manpower, until 1865, most Southern leaders opposed arming slaves as soldiers. However, a few Confederates discussed arming slaves, and some free blacks had offered to fight for the South. Finally in early 1865 General Robert E. Lee said black soldiers were essential, and legislation was passed. The first black units were in training when the war ended in April.
Alterdestiny: Book Review: Bruce Levine, Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War
Levine also usefully discusses the origins of the Lost Cause myth. He shows that it started immediately after the war. Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens denied that slavery had anything to do with the war. As early as 1867, ex-slaveholders started invoking the myth that they got along beautifully with blacks before the war and that race relations would have processed dandily had the North not interfered. That continued for a century, promoted by Confederate sympathizers in the decades after the war. By the 1890s, the new historical profession, led by people who fully imbibed in the pro-Confederate ideas of the time, placed these ideas in their books, creating the historical narrative for race relations and the Civil War until the 1960s
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