Sunday, August 22, 2010

How the Lincoln Myth Was Hatched
Anyone who has read The Real Lincoln (or scanned the "King Lincoln Archive" at would not be surprised at all to hear that Lincoln was hated and reviled by most of the "great men" (and the Northern masses) of his time. As Tagg hesitantly admits in his Introduction, Lincoln was widely criticized in the North as a "bloody tyrant" and a "dictator" for his "arbitrary arrests, the suspension of habeas corpus, and the suppression of newspapers . . ." More specifically, imprisoning tens of thousands of Northern civilians without due process for verbally opposing his policies; shutting down over 300 opposition newspapers; deporting an opposing member of Congress; confiscating firearms and other forms of private property; intimidating and threatening to imprison federal judges; invoking military conscription, income taxation, an internal revenue bureaucracy, and huge public debt; and ordering the murder of hundreds of draft protesters in the streets of New York City in July of 1863 are all good reasons why Lincoln was so widely despised.
Of course, they all knew that in his first inaugural address Lincoln supported a constitutional amendment that would have explicitly enshrined slavery in the Constitution; that he wrote a public letter to Horace Greeley explaining that his sole objective in the war was "to save the union" and not to disturb slavery; and that his real "last best hope" was "colonization," or the deportation of all black people from America. This all had to be forgotten, and history rewritten. And it was. Senator James Grimes of Iowa immediately recognized that the deification of Lincoln by the Yankee clergy and the Republican Party "has made it impossible to speak the truth of Abraham Lincoln hereafter."

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