What Did They Say About The Man Who Drank Shellac – One of the most valuable American negatives is in the hands of a researcher, a glass plate made in 1865 by the famous Civil War photographer Matthew Brady of Abraham Lincoln just before the assassination of the 16th president of the United States. It is stored at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
Whenever there is a period of crisis and uncertainty in America, one thing is certain: Abraham Lincoln will be quoted – and very much so.
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In the aftermath of the January 6 Uprising at the U.S. Capitol and lawmakers debating the impeachment of Donald Trump during his final days in office, politicians on both sides of the conflict claimed that the civil war president would be on their side. When asked at a February 4 press conference why “bother” the ex-president’s second impeachment trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Ask Abraham Lincoln … until you get justice, you can’t move forward.” Before Trump’s second impeachment trial began, Republican National Committee chairwoman and Trump supporter Rona McDaniel urged Biden and Senate Democrats to “listen to Lincoln’s words” and “unite our very divided country.” In December 2019, a group of Republicans announced the creation of the Lincoln Project in the final year of the 2020 presidential campaign to defeat incumbent President Donald Trump and restore the Republican Party’s reputation as the Party of Lincoln.
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As Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and Presidents’ Day on February 15 approach, historians look back at the most notable recent uses and misuses of the term “Great Emancipator.” According to these Civil War and Reconstruction historians, Lincoln may not have said what people thought.
“You can’t stop him at any time. “He’s evolved throughout his career,” says Columbia University historian Eric Foner. “If you try to keep him still, you lose the essence of Lincoln.”
Lincoln delivered his oft-quoted first inauguration speech during a similarly chaotic power shift in 2021, just after the secession of seven U.S. states that feared the abolition of slavery. He said on March 4, 1861, “We are not enemies, but friends.” unity, when touched again, they will surely be by the better angels of our nature.
While many have used the latter sentence as a plea for unity – as quoted by Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who argued in a statement against Trump’s impeachment: “In history, our place depends on whether we call upon our better angels” – this is not may be Lincoln’s whole intention. At the time, Lincoln was appealing to the people of the southern states that had not yet joined the Union.
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“This is not a reconciliation speech,” says Northwestern University historian Kate Masur. “This is a speech that explains what the sources of the conflict are and says he believes one side is right and the other is wrong, and he hopes more people will not join the wrong side.”
Lincoln’s words are often used with a sense of agreement, although historians say the president was vocal about his values. He did not renege on the promise that brought him victory in the 1860 presidential election: the prohibition of slavery in the new federal territories. The seven states that had seceded prior to Inauguration Day 1861 interpreted this policy position as the first step towards the complete abolition of slavery.
Masur states, “Often … he was cited as a peacemaker, a peacemaker—a peacemaker in a good way—someone who could see all sides of a problem and find some compromise.” “And I think that really weakens Lincoln and doesn’t really reflect what kind of president he was … He was really capable of compromise. But he also took a very firm stance on controversial issues.” especially when the NA war was going on.
This side of Lincoln is also lost when his 1865 second inaugural address is quoted in a call for unity which states “No malice towards any, with mercy to all” and “Let us try to finish the work we are in”; To heal the wounds of the nation.” During the debate on whether to launch a second impeachment of Trump, Republican House Representative Steve Scalise quoted these lines to counter the hasty impeachment and move forward.
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“What worries me most is that people today remember Lincoln primarily as an apologetic peacemaker and cite him selectively, rather than as a president who waged an ‘all-out war’ on slavery and understood the war as a divine verdict for the national sin of slavery,” says historian Manisha Sinha of University of Connecticut.
In this second inaugural address, Foner said, “Lincoln says that reconciliation must come with accountability and fairness, that you can’t just say, ‘Let’s forget the past, let’s forget our struggles.’ Go ahead. He was not. What the hell was he saying.
Foner says, “Ultimately, reconciliation, when it took place in the 1890s, was actually a rapprochement of whites, northern whites, southern whites, with racism being the principle that brought them together.” “Those who were excluded from reconciliation were black Americans whose rights were systematically taken away because the white North and the white South felt a kind of commonality of views and interests.”
Speaking of slavery as the real cause of the Civil War in his second inaugural address, and later calling for limited suffrage for black Americans in his final public address on April 11, 1865, Lincoln paid with his life. Fearing that Lincoln intended to grant suffrage to all blacks, John Wilkes Booth assassinated him on April 14, 1865.
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“He became the first U.S. president to publicly support black citizenship and was executed for it. This is the Lincoln we don’t know about and we should know more about,” says Sinha.
Americans saw Lincoln as an example of leadership during a national crisis, and he emerged in a big way in the 1930s.
Henry Fonda played the role of Lincoln. In 1939, author Carl Sandburg was on the cover of the magazine for his new four-volume biography, in which Lincoln was “every man’s manual of political behavior.”
“Lincoln is almost a more prominent figure in the 1830s than he was alive, and a president in the 1860s,” says Nina Silber, a historian and author at Boston University.
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He has become “such a key person in this crisis because he comes from this poor background and he is trying to get out of it.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt used Lincoln as the face of the New Deal, and in a 1939 speech, Roosevelt described Lincoln as “a liberator not only of slaves, but of heavy-hearted people everywhere.”
“[Roosevelt] doesn’t want it to be related only to issues of race and slavery, because that would make Lincoln’s appeal too narrow to what Roosevelt is trying to do, and that’s why I think he calls it ‘Attempts at Conversion’ they weren’t just about slaves; “he cared for everyone,” explains Silber.
In the 1960s, civil rights leaders saw Lincoln as representing the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation, which remained unfulfilled a century after slavery was abolished, when full racial equality was still not achieved. On August 28, 1963, speaking to the crowds during the march on Washington from the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. symbolic shadow signed the Emancipation Proclamation This momentous order became a great beacon of hope for millions of Negro slaves… A hundred years later, the Negro stood on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
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Nearly 50 years later, in 2009, former President Barack Obama used the moment to show how much the country was conquered by Lincoln at his first inauguration ceremony, taking a shortened version of the train ride and taking Lincoln’s hand in the oath of office. reported. Bible.
In his 2021 inaugural address, President Biden quoted Lincoln’s statement after signing the Emancipation Proclamation as saying, “My whole soul is in it.”
Duke University historian Thavolia Glymph cites Lincoln as a warning to Biden, noting that Lincoln was clear about the need to stop the spread of slavery, but he wasn’t sure how to do it. What would a society with complete racial equality do? Looks like
“Out of context, standing alone when Biden said this, it would seem that Lincoln always advocated an emancipation program without compensation and did not seek to remove the emancipated; He always supported a union where blacks would have equal rights. It would be historic
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