Gregory M. Lamb: For President's Day: A new look at Lincoln and slavery

Roundup: Talking About History

[Gregory M. Lamb is a contributor to the CS Monitor.]

Exactly 150 years ago this weekend Abraham Lincoln was slowly making his way to Washington D.C. from his home in Springfield, Ill. Near the end of the trip his train would have to sneak through Baltimore because of fears that Southern sympathizers there might try to assassinate him before he could take office as president.

He escaped martyrdom that day, but couldn't avoid John Wilkes Booth's bullet four years later, after guiding the nation back into Union....

No aspect of Lincoln is any more controversial – and to some, troubling – than his views on slavery. Lincoln had roots in slave-holding Kentucky. His wife's family held slaves. He campaigned only on limiting the extension of slavery, not for abolishing it. He was no abolitionist. He waited until the Civil War was well under way before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the rebellious states....

comments powered by Disqus