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Saturday, November 29, 2014

About Lincoln and His Republicans You Might Not Know

Little attention is given to the punishing protective tariffs imposed by the Republican congress on the South to eliminate the import of foreign manufactured goods. As industrial production of the ante-bellum period was largely in Pennsylvania and purchased by the southern agrarian states, the additional penalties were passed along to the South. Today, we call a government "law" such as this a "wealth transfer scheme", or more accurately Corporatism or Fascism.

As it is, reading the below certainly screams out to be identified as a repeat of Washington's policies to interfere in America's cultural, race, and economic mix. Even the coloreds of today now recognize it as a scheme to import foreigners to take their jobs. 

Union members can see it as a hammer to break unions, replacing any strikers with immigrant scabs (union leaderships cannot be counted on to 'interfere' to protect their current members).  Organized workers: Look to whom your union dues are politically supporting - Republican or Democrat is inconsequential. Tell us how tolerant communist governments are of labor unions - - only in the establishment of total government, then jettisoned and banished under death. While your union job may have been exported from the US, was it re-incarnated in Red China?


Corporatist dinner menu - we're still on it

Only communist or fascist you say? Bone-up on the Versailles Treaty after WWI prompting German workers in the Ruhr Valley to strike because Germany could not pay the horrendous reparations to the allied victors.

Indeed, we do not learn from history because human nature does not change.

The 'Great Emancipator' and the Issue of Race

Abraham Lincoln's Program of Black Resettlement

By Robert Morgan

Many Americans think of Abraham Lincoln, above all, as the president who freed the slaves. Immortalized as the "Great Emancipator," he is widely regarded as a champion of black freedom who supported social equality of the races, and who fought the American Civil War (1861-1865) to free the slaves.

While it is true that Lincoln regarded slavery as an evil and harmful institution, it is also true, as this paper will show, that he shared the conviction of most Americans of his time, and of many prominent statesmen before and after him, that blacks could not be assimilated into white society. He rejected the notion of social equality of the races, and held to the view that blacks should be resettled abroad. As President, he supported projects to remove blacks from the United States.

Early Experiences

In 1837, at the age of 28, the self-educated Lincoln was admitted to practice law in Illinois. In at least one case, which received considerable attention at the time, he represented a slave-owner. Robert Matson, Lincoln's client, each year brought a crew of slaves from his plantation in Kentucky to a farm he owned in Illinois for seasonal work. State law permitted this, provided that the slaves did not remain in Illinois continuously for a year. In 1847, Matson brought to the farm his favorite mulatto slave, Jane Bryant (wife of his free, black overseer there), and her four children. A dispute developed between Jane Bryant and Matson's white housekeeper, who threatened to have Jane and her children returned to slavery in the South. With the help of local abolitionists, the Bryants fled. They were apprehended, and, in an affidavit sworn out before a justice of the peace, Matson claimed them as his property. Lacking the required certificates of freedom, Bryant and the children were confined to local county jail as the case was argued in court. Lincoln lost the case, and Bryant and her children were declared free. They were later resettled in Liberia.1

In 1842 Lincoln married Mary Todd, who came from one of Kentucky's most prominent slave-holding families.2 While serving as an elected representative in the Illinois legislature, he persuaded his fellow Whigs to support Zachary Taylor, a slave owner, in his successful 1848 bid for the Presidency.3 Lincoln was also a strong supporter of the Illinois law that forbid marriage between whites and blacks.4

"If all earthly power were given me," said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, "I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land." After acknowledging that this plan's "sudden execution is impossible," he asked whether freed blacks should be made "politically and socially our equals?" "My own feelings will not admit of this," he said, "and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not ... We can not, then, make them equals."5

One of Lincoln's most representative public statements on the question of racial relations was given in a speech at Springfield, Illinois, on June 26, 1857.6 In this address, he explained why he opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would have admitted Kansas into the Union as a slave state:

There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races ... A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation, but as an immediate separation is impossible, the next best thing is to keep them apart where they are not already together. If white and black people never get together in Kansas, they will never mix blood in Kansas ...

Racial separation, Lincoln went on to say, "must be effected by colonization" of the country's blacks to a foreign land. "The enterprise is a difficult one," he acknowledged,

but "where there is a will there is a way," and what colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest. Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and, at the same time, favorable to, or, at least, not against, our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.

To affirm the humanity of blacks, Lincoln continued, was more likely to strengthen public sentiment on behalf of colonization than the Democrats' efforts to "crush all sympathy for him, and cultivate and excite hatred and disgust against him ..." Resettlement ("colonization") would not succeed, Lincoln seemed to argue, unless accompanied by humanitarian concern for blacks, and some respect for their rights and abilities. By apparently denying the black person's humanity, supporters of slavery were laying the groundwork for "the indefinite outspreading of his bondage." The Republican program of restricting slavery to where it presently existed, he said, had the long-range benefit of denying to slave holders an opportunity to sell their surplus bondsmen at high prices in new slave territories, and thus encouraged them to support a process of gradual emancipation involving resettlement of the excess outside of the country.

Earlier Resettlement Plans

The view that America's apparently intractable racial problem should be solved by removing blacks from this country and resettling them elsewhere -- "colonization" or "repatriation" -- was not a new one. As early as 1714 a New Jersey man proposed sending blacks to Africa. In 1777 a Virginia legislature committee, headed by future President Thomas Jefferson (himself a major slave owner), proposed a plan of gradual emancipation and resettlement of the state's slaves. In 1815, an enterprising free black from Massachusetts named Paul Cuffe transported, at his own expense, 38 free blacks to West Africa. His undertaking showed that at least some free blacks were eager to resettle in a country of their own, and suggested what might be possible with public and even government support.7

In December 1816, a group of distinguished Americans met in Washington, DC, to establish an organization to promote the cause of black resettlement. The "American Colonization Society" soon won backing from some of the young nation's most prominent citizens. Henry Clay, Francis Scott Key, John Randolph, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, Millard Fillmore, John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen A. Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln were members. Clay presided at the group's first meeting.8

Measures to resettle blacks in Africa were soon undertaken. Society member Charles Fenton Mercer played an important role in getting Congress to pass the Anti-Slave Trading Act of March 1819, which appropriated $100,000 to transport blacks to Africa. In enforcing the Act, Mercer suggested to President James Monroe that if blacks were simply returned to the coast of Africa and released, they would probably be re-enslaved, and possibly some returned to the United States. Accordingly, and in cooperation with the Society, Monroe sent agents to acquire territory on Africa's West coast -- a step that led to the founding of the country now known as Liberia. Its capital city was named Monrovia in honor of the American President.9

With crucial Society backing, black settlers began arriving from the United States in 1822. While only free blacks were at first brought over, after 1827, slaves were freed expressly for the purpose of transporting them to Liberia. In 1847, black settlers declared Liberia an independent republic, with an American-style flag and constitution.10

By 1832 the legislatures of more than a dozen states (at that time there were only 24), had given official approval to the Society, including at least three slave-holding states.11 Indiana's legislature, for example, passed the following joint resolution on January 16, 1850:12

Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana: That our Senators and Representatives in Congress be, and they are hereby requested, in the name of the State of Indiana, to call for a change of national policy on the subject of the African Slave Trade, and that they require a settlement of the coast of Africa with colored men from the United States, and procure such changes in our relations with England as will permit us to transport colored men from this country to Africa, with whom to effect said settlement.

In January 1858, Missouri Congressman Francis P. Blair, Jr., introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to set up a committee

to inquire into the expediency of providing for the acquisition of territory either in the Central or South American states, to be colonized with colored persons from the United States who are now free, or who may hereafter become free, and who may be willing to settle in such territory as a dependency of the United States, with ample guarantees of their personal and political rights.

Blair, quoting Thomas Jefferson, stated that blacks could never be accepted as the equals of whites, and, consequently, urged support for a dual policy of emancipation and deportation, similar to Spain's expulsion of the Moors. Blair went on to argue that the territory acquired for the purpose would also serve as a bulwark against any further encroachment by England in the Central and South American regions.13

Lincoln's Support for Resettlement

Lincoln's ideological mentor was Henry Clay, the eminent American scholar, diplomat, and statesman. Because of his skill in the US Senate and House of Representatives, Clay won national acclaim as the "Great Compromiser" and the "Great Pacificator." A slave owner who had humane regard for blacks, he was prominent in the campaign to resettle free blacks outside of the United States, and served as president of the American Colonization Society. Lincoln joined Clay's embryonic Whig party during the 1830s. In an address given in 1858, Lincoln described Clay as "my beau ideal of a statesman, the man for whom I fought all of my humble life."14

The depth of Lincoln's devotion to Clay and his ideals was expressed in a moving eulogy delivered in July 1852 in Springfield, Illinois. After praising Clay's lifelong devotion to the cause of black resettlement, Lincoln quoted approvingly from a speech given by Clay in 1827: "There is a moral fitness in the idea of returning to Africa her children," adding that if Africa offered no refuge, blacks could be sent to another tropical land. Lincoln concluded:15

If as the friends of colonization hope, the present and coming generations of our countrymen shall by any means succeed in freeing our land from the dangerous presence of slavery, and, at the same time, in restoring a captive people to their long-lost fatherland, with bright prospects for the future, and this too, so gradually, that neither races nor individuals shall have suffered by the change, it will indeed be a glorious consummation.

In January 1855, Lincoln addressed a meeting of the Illinois branch of the Colonization Society. The surviving outline of his speech suggests that it consisted largely of a well-informed and sympathetic account of the history of the resettlement campaign.16

In supporting "colonization" of the blacks, a plan that might be regarded as a "final solution" to the nation's race question, Lincoln was upholding the views of some of America's most respected figures.