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LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY & REVISIONISM

This photograph of Lincoln delivering his second inaugural address is the only known photograph of Lincoln giving a speech. Lincoln stands in the center, with papers in his hand.

 

Well this Sunday we celebrate the 203rd anniversary of the Great Emancipator's Birthday.

When I was growing up in the middle of the last century, my recollection was that we would get out of school on February 12th or February 22nd every year and somewhere along the line, we ended up with the infamous three day week-end.

That was because we either celebrated Lincoln's Birthday or Washington's Birthday.

But I guess that is just the way it was in Minnesota.

Different states celebrate different holidays.

Even today, several Southern States celebrate MLK day concurrently with Robert E. Lee day.

hahahahahaha

Can you imagine?

Robert E. Lee Day?

Of course Alabama still has a Jefferson Davis Day during the first week of June and celebrates Thomas Jefferson's Birthday on February 12th.! Ha

It is truly a wonder that I could not find a Chief Justice Taney Day. Hahhaa

Back to Abraham, Our Deliverer:

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether

 

http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres32.html

This is just one segment from the single greatest speech ever made by a President of the United States of America; in my humble opinion anyway.

I mean Lincoln could write one hell of a speech and he never even screwed an intern.

It underlines why we went to war in 1861.

Slavery.

Now here is a paragraph from the last speech that Jefferson Davis made on the floor of the Senate in January of 1861:

It has been a conviction of pressing necessity—it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us—which has brought Mississippi to her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races. That Declaration is to be construed by the circumstances and purposes for which it was made. The communities were declaring their independence; the people of those communities were asserting that no man was born—to use the language of Mr. Jefferson—booted and spurred, to ride over the rest of mankind; that men were created equal—meaning the men of the political community; that there was no divine right to rule; that no man inherited the right to govern; that there were no classes by which power and place descended to families; but that all stations were equally within the grasp of each member of the body politic. These were the great principles they announced; these were the purposes for which they made their declaration; these were the ends to which their enunciation was directed. They have no reference to the slave; else, how happened it that among the items of arraignment against George III was that he endeavored to do just what the North has been endeavoring of late to do, to stir up insurrection among our slaves? Had the Declaration announced that the negroes were free and equal, how was the prince to be arraigned for raising up insurrection among them? And how was this to be enumerated among the high crimes which caused the colonies to sever their connection with the mother-country? When our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable; for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the equality of footing with white men—not even upon that of paupers and convicts; but, so far as representation was concerned, were discriminated against as a lower caste, only to be represented in the numerical proportion of three-fifths. So stands the compact which binds us together.

Here is a segment from a speech rendered by the Vice-President of the Confederacy on March 21, 1861:

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics.

 

As widely as this incendiary spirit has spread, it has not yet infected this body, or the great mass of the intelligent and business portion of the North; but unless it be speedily stopped, it will spread and work upwards till it brings the two great sections of the Union into deadly conflict. This is not a new impression with me. Several years since, in a discussion with one of the Senators from Massachusetts (Mr. Webster), before this fell spirit had showed itself, I then predicted that the doctrine of the proclamation and the Force Bill - that this Government had a right, in the last resort, to determine the extent of its own powers, and enforce its decision at the point of the bayonet, which was so warmly maintained by that Senator, would at no distant day arouse the dormant spirit of abolitionism. I told him that the doctrine was tantamount to the assumption of unlimited power on the part of the Government, and that such would be the impression on the public mind in a large portion of the Union. The consequence would be inevitable. A large portion of the Northern States believed slavery to be a sin, and would consider it as an obligation of conscience to abolish it if they should feel themselves in any degree responsible for its continuance, and that this doctrine would necessarily lead to the belief of such responsibility. I then predicted that it would commence as it has with this fanatical portion of society, and that they would begin their operations on the ignorant, the weak, the young, and the thoughtless, - and gradually extend upwards till they would become strong enough to obtain political control, when he and others holding the highest stations in society, would, however reluctant, be compelled to yield to their doctrines, or be driven into obscurity. But four years have since elapsed, and all this is already in a course of regular fulfilment …

Now I wish to interrupt the speech for a minute to point out just one of the lies that Calhoun gives moments later in the same speech before I get to my main point:

However sound the great body of the non-slaveholding States are at present, in the course of a few years they will be succeeded by those who will have been taught to hate the people and institutions of nearly one-half of this Union, with a hatred more deadly than one hostile nation ever entertained towards another.

The lie being that the Southern States represented half of the population of the United States!

This was not true in the least unless one counted the SLAVES as part and parcel of that population for chrissakes!

His Eminence continues for he takes the higher ground in these matters:

But I take higher ground. I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good - a positive good. I feel myself called upon to speak freely upon the subject where the honor and interests of those I represent are involved. I hold then, that there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other. Broad and general as is this assertion, it is fully borne out by history. This is not the proper occasion, but, if it were, it would not be difficult to trace the various devices by which the wealth of all civilized communities has been so unequally divided, and to show by what means so small a share has been allotted to those by whose labor it was produced, and so large a share given to the non-producing classes. The devices are almost innumerable, from the brute force and gross superstition of ancient times, to the subtle and artful fiscal contrivances of modern. I might well challenge a comparison between them and the more direct, simple, and patriarchal mode by which the labor of the African race is, among us, commanded by the European. I may say with truth, that in few countries so much is left to the share of the laborer, and so little exacted from him, or where there is more kind attention paid to him in sickness or infirmities of age. Compare his condition with the tenants of the poor houses in the more civilized portions of Europe - look at the sick, and the old and infirm slave, on one hand, in the midst of his family and friends, under the kind superintending care of his master and mistress, and compare it with the forlorn and wretched condition of the pauper in the poorhouse. But I will not dwell on this aspect of the question; I turn to the political; and here I fearlessly assert that the existing relation between the two races in the South, against which these blind fanatics are waging war, forms the most solid and durable foundation on which to rear free and stable political institutions. It is useless to disguise the fact. There is and always has been in an advanced stage of wealth and civilization, a conflict between labor and capital. The condition of society in the South exempts us from the disorders and dangers resulting from this conflict; and which explains why it is that the political condition of the slaveholding States has been so much more stable and quiet than that of the North. . . . Surrounded as the slaveholding States are with such imminent perils, I rejoice to think that our means of defense are ample, if we shall prove to have the intelligence and spirit to see and apply them before it is too late. All we want is concert, to lay aside all party differences and unite with zeal and energy in repelling approaching dangers. Let there be concert of action, and we shall find ample means of security without resorting to secession or disunion. I speak with full knowledge and a thorough examination of the subject, and for one see my way clearly. . . . I dare not hope that anything I can say will arouse the South to a due sense of danger; I fear it is beyond the power of mortal voice to awaken it in time from the fatal security into which it has fallen.

This speech was rendered from the Floor of the Senate in 1850 and lays the basis for both Justice Taney's decision as well as the basis for the South to secede 11 years later.

Many pseudo-historians would tell you that slavery had little to do with the Civil War.

Oh and do not forget Hate radio.

Oh it was economics, or it was Northern Capitalism, or it was Northern Hubris, or it was....

Bologna!

Without spending too much time rehashing the Dred Scott Decision, the Southern States knew that eventually their power in the Senate and in the House would decrease over time with the admission of more and more states to the Union. The Missouri_Compromise caused even more depression for the Southern Psyche because territories would begin to vote whether or not to allow slavery within their jurisdiction; so that the old Mason/Dixon Line became vulnerable.

What Dred Scott did was challenge the Full, Faith & Credit Provision contained in the Constitution.

This foolish decision encompassed one belief devoutly held by the Southern States:

Negroes are not human beings, Negroes are not citizens, slaves are property and no Federal or State or Territorial government had the right to challenge the property rights of slaveholders to move to other parts of these here United States of America.

This is why Taney had to underline his belief that Negroes were not human beings.

And if the Constitution recognises the right of property of the master in a slave, and makes no distinction between that description of property and other property owned by a citizen, no tribunal, acting under the authority of the United States, whether it be legislative, executive, or judicial, has a right to draw such a distinction, or deny to it the benefit of the provisions and guarantees which have been provided for the protection of private property against the encroachments of the Government.

Now, as we have already said in an earlier part of this opinion, upon a different point, the right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution. The right to traffic in it, like an ordinary article of merchandise and property, was guarantied to the citizens of the United States, in every State that might desire it, for twenty years. And the Government in express terms is pledged to protect it in all future time, if the slave escapes from his owner. This is done in plain words--too plain to be misunderstood. And no word can be found in the Constitution which gives Congress a greater power over slave property, or which entitles property of that kind to less protection that property of any other description. The only power conferred is the power coupled with the duty of guarding and protecting the owner in his rights.

By the way, there are several passages in all these documents calling Northern abolitionists 'liberal' or 'liberals' in case you are wondering when and where 'liberal' became an epithet used by conservatives.

(Oh and you should check out the kind words Taney had for the American Indians or Women in this country!)

Here is my point which I have made several times before.

Every time you hear some State's Rights bologna about how the Civil War had nothing or little to do with slavery, throw the words of Calhoun and Taney and Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens right in his/her face.

Every time you hear some Tea Bagger declare that the Confederate Flag(s) have nothing to do with racial supremacy; read them direct quotes from the Heroes of the Confederacy.

Every time you are presented with some parade or festival celebrating the Heroes of the Confederacy, hand out some memos quoting passages from these documents.

These issues have not gone by the wayside just because we no longer see a million KKKers marching in triumph in DC during the Wilson Administration or because George Wallace and Strom Thurmond are gone to their Makers.

Abraham Lincoln surely noted that he spoke with 'Charity toward all and malice toward none', but he knew damn well why this nation had to undergo a Civil War.

(PS I had to edit this because my facts were wrong as far as national holidays are concerned. I should know better not to rely on my fading memory)

First, we observed the racist comments from Republican Presidential candidates. Now the American Conservative Union has invited a White Supremacist, Peter Brimelow to CPAC. Brimelow is the head of VDARE. The organizations website hosts a variety of racist authors. The Southern Law & Poverty Center lists Bigelow as a "White Nationalist" and VDare as a hate site. Bigelow will be part of a panel criticizing racial diversity. The racists can walk openly among the Conservatives.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/cpac-wont-renounce-white-nationalist

This Brimelow seems like par for the course as far as repub functions go. hahahaahaha

Can you imagine that these pricks are proud to advertise their Political Action Committee?

Thank you very much for this link. I am going to look further into this Brimelow.

The Civil War aint over.

I just wanted to recognize old Abe again.

We must never forget who he was and what he accomplished.

Oh and thanks for commenting. It forced me to reread this. I actually thought it was still 2011. hahahaha

It is 2012, but some still pine for the good old days when women and minorities knew their place. Santorum, especially is striking a chord with those people.

It's no wonder that Lincoln is revered by many, including our current President.

That said,

As widely as this incendiary spirit has spread, it has not yet infected this body, or the great mass of the intelligent and business portion of the North; but unless it be speedily stopped, it will spread and work upwards till it brings the two great sections of the Union into deadly conflict. 

Sadly, these words of incendiary spirit he referenced has infected 'this body' of all states within our Nation even today. 

It's beyond my comprehension how so many today still choose to nurture, enable and embrace the ugliness of racism and ignorance.  Even more disgusting and frightening is they do it clutching their bibles as they rave madly, spewing their poisonous spittle over all who are near and far.

Thanks for this reminder of a great man and superb history tutorial. 

echo

Whether it is two years or twenty that I have left on this planet; I shall always refresh myself with the memory of an extremely tortured man who really made a change.

Lincoln really came out of nowhere but then again; this country came out of nowhere!

There is so much good that is part of America and Americans. And this good was never easy to come by. 

I must concentrate more time as to these aspects of my fellow countrymen-and countrywomen that involve the good. ha

I haven't been overlooking your tribute to Lincoln. What struck me is that the need to rewrite history continues today. Reality is too painful. Fox News and Right-wing pundits exist to ease the pain by erasing the truth.

I know it's fun to blame another issue on Southern ire & intrigue, but I think President's Day came mostly out of the effort to turn all holidays into Monday 3-day weekends starting in the 50's. With the addition of Columbus Day & later MLK day, the idea of two 3-day Feb weekends didn't hold up very well. 

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/presidents/presidentsday.asp

Apparently Lincoln's Birthday was never a federal holiday, but I seem to recall it celebrated even in Alabama at one time. 

As the Confederacy and Dixie are important parts of Alabama's history & folklore (like what else does it have?), Robert E. Lee & Jefferson Davis' birthdays are likely to be celebrated for some time to come.

You are right and I was wrong. I edited the beginning of the blog due to your comment once I checked.

In Minnesota, we did not get two days off in Feb. It alternated depending upon the year until they finally came up with Presidents Day.

But, like you say, Jeff Davis and other Heroes of the Losing Side shall remain celebrated until another few decades have elapsed.

Younger folks and African Americans and Hispanics aint gonna stand for this crap forever.

I think the point was that different states did it differently, and that the federal holiday was always Washington's Birthday.

(BTW - I understand Dresden is pushing for a Winston Churchill Day - will give them a 3-day weekend for their fire sales)

(BTW2, isn't the Alamo a celebration of losing folks? When will Hispanics have their say on reversing celebrations of Texas Independence & the Mexican-American War?)

Now you have got me laughing hard.

Yeah, Santa Ana's purpose in life was to abolish slavery. hahahaa

I would not think that Hispanics would object to celebrating their Ancestors' victory at the Alamo. hahaha

Oh and after checking 6 different links, it still is Washington's Birthday!

Actually, the Mexicans were upset because the American settlers in Texas were introducing slavery, in violation of the colonising agreement, so yes indeedie.

The Hispanics might object to Texas Independence Day, vs. the "Bald Theft of Mexican Property Day".

However, I am humored at your optimism that young people will carry the flag for more progressive world-views. A majority of "liberal" or "progressive" Democrats now support keeping Gitmo open and using drones to keep the natives down.

I say we let the goddurn terrrists outta Guamtanamo, and assign a personal drone to each one the fuckers.

Then... iffn they make a shifty move.... crater.

Nuff talk.

Q

Well I know one thing for sure;

it is in my nature to drone on and on and on at times. ha

I was talking with a neighbor this morning and he mentioned finding this article while doing some genealogy research on his family.  I thought you might find it interesting and relevant.  

http://home.earthlink.net/~turnerbrigade/modemwsh.htm

 

P.S.  I noticed in the article about George Washington's birthday parade in St. Louis in 1862, one of the marchers listed is a "Lt. Col. H. M. Day."  Any relation? 

This is a great link indeed.

The Wilke's club? hahahaha

I get so lost in history at times.

I regret that I have only one life to give to my country?

I mean, what is a Jihadist then?

The Right would disregard any logic!

I have plenty of disputes with the left, but my God; what is the alternative as Verified recently noted?

Yet we accomplished as a nation, under the presence of Washington and his leadership.

The Tsar of the 1860's loved Lincoln!

Which is amazing to me!

There are coincidences that just abound!

And yet the Right in this country, in this new century would highlight the darkest members of our history as heroes.

Oh that is enough.

I ramble, but I loved this link!

While it may take generations for celebrations of the Confederacy to go away, it is interesting that the former requirement that someone from the South absolutely had to be on a Presidential ticket has fallen by the wayside. In most contests, the use of racial-toned language that has become in the public mind to be closely associated with support of the Confederacy did not help Gingrich or Paul make great strides among most voters.

It's a sad commentary to suggest that a state that has world class universities can look upon celebrations of the Confederacy as the only thing that the state has to offer.

I was thinking about this.

Barkley or Lyndon or whatever.

Coalitions have been in place ever since politics was invented. ha

Assuming The Mitt is nominated; I don't think he will go for Ricky. I think he will find someone who is Southern like Rubio (a real rube). Haley is out of it since this clemency debacle came out.

Although the repubs must figure that they get the Southern Confederacy anyway.

But damn, we could end up with some wacko like DeMint as VP!

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