The tall tales told by the Lincoln cult get funnier and funnier as more and more Americans learn the truth about their own history (as opposed to the version fed to them by the Lincoln cult). This time the source of their knee-slapping whoppers is a hilarious attempt to cover up the fact that their hero apparently read and studied a white supremacist screed.
A recent article that appeared in the Huffington Post, FOX news online, the Daily Mail, and elsewhere described how Lincoln’s handwriting had been verified by handwriting experts in an 1854 book entitled Types of Mankind. According to these news articles, the book argued that the different races developed at different times, and were therefore not susceptible to co-existing or amalgamation. “The book was used by nineteenth-century white supremacists!,” screamed the articles.
What on earth was Abraham Lincoln, “Father Abraham,” the eternal friend and savior of the black race, doing with such a book?! The Lincoln cult quickly swung into action creating an alibi. The news articles all reported that “Illinois state historians” all “took great pains to offer reassurance that the former president who ended slavery didn’t subscribe to the theories at hand” in the book. No facts were offered, only painful “reassurances” by these state-funded “historians.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling especially reassured.
Even one or two of the Lincoln cult’s Big Guns were un-cobwebbed to participate in broadcasting the alibi. James Cornelius, the curator of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, “reassured” the media that Lincoln “could foresee the whole country coming apart over the issue that different people could be barred from different things” because of their race. He therefore would never have believed the things in that book, said the curator.
James Cornelius and the Illinois state historians are full of it and they know it. These are people who have spent their entire careers reading and cataloguing Abe Lincoln’s political speeches. They surely must know that Lincoln’s views and, more importantly, his actions as a state legislator, a one-term congressman, a political candidate, and as president, are totally consistent with this and any other white supremacist book of that era. Consider the following public statements of Lincoln himself from his own Collected Works (CW):
“Free them [slaves] and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of them” (CW, Vol. II, p. 256). This statement alone refutes all that the James Cornelius and the Illinois state historians “reassured” the media.
“What I would most desire,” Abraham Lincoln also declared, “would be the separation of the white and black races” (CW, Vol. II, p. 521). And, “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races . . . . I am in favor of the race to which I belong, having the superior position” (CW, Vol. III, p. 16).
“I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold [political] office, nor to intermarry with white people,” said the political idol of the Marc Levins, Harry Jaffas, Rich Lowrys, Rush Limbaughs, and all other Lincoln-worshipping neocons (not to mention the Leftist/Marxist Lincoln worshippers like Eric Foner and 99% of the academic history profession).
“Senator Douglas remarked . . . that . . . this government was made for white people and not for negroes. Why, in point of mere fact, I think so too,” said Abe (CW, Vol. II, p. 281).
As Philip Magness and Sabastian Page showed in their excellent book, Colonization After Emancipation, Lincoln worked diligently all his life, up to his dying days, on the project of deporting all the black people out of America. As a young man he was a “manager” of the Illinois Colonization Society, which used tax dollars to deport the small number of free blacks who resided in Illinois. As president, he allocated millions of dollars to a project that would “colonize” American blacks in Liberia. In 1862 he held a meeting with several dozen free black men in the White House at which he explained to them that, because of the inherent differences between the white and black races, they could never live together, and so he urged them to lead by example and colonize themselves in Liberia. In what sounds like it could have been taken directly from the pages of Types of Mankind, Lincoln informed the black men that “You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races . . . . This physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both,” and “affords a reason at least why we should be separated . . . . It is better for us both, therefore, to be separate” (Abraham Lincoln, “Address on Colonization to a Committee of Colored Men,” August 14, 1862, in Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, Vol. 2, 1859-1866 (New York: Library of America, 1989), p. 354.
Lincoln supported the Illinois Constitution that prohibited the emigration of black people into the state, and also supported the Illinois Black Codes that stripped the small number of free blacks in the state of any semblance of citizenship. Once again, his actions were consistent with his words on the subject of race.
It is impossible to believe that James Cornelius and the Illinois state historians are unaware of all these plain historical facts. Not to mention Lincoln’s statements like these: “I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation [of the races]. Such separation . . . must be effected by colonization” (CW, Vol. II, p. 409). Or, “It is morally right, and favorable to our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime” (CW Vol. II, p. 409).
What all of this proves is that, contrary to the Lincoln cult’s “reassurances,” Lincoln’s views and actions on the subject of race were perfectly consistent with the 1854 white supremacist book, Types of Mankind. It was not just a book that he read to prepare for court on behalf of one of his legal clients, as the Lincoln cult ludicrously and without any evidence or argument, asserts.
Like all presidential museums, the Lincoln museum in Springfield, Illinois should be thought of as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Cover-Up Library and Museum. It may well provide accurate information about Abe’s childhood, his family history, his eating habits, shoe size, hats that he wore, etc., etc., but when it comes to the big, important issues, it is devoted to spreading untruths about American history while sweeping much of real history under the rug.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; ;Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe, How Capitalism Saved America, Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.