Home > Faith, History, Politics > Abraham Lincoln on slavery

Abraham Lincoln on slavery

Interesting book review of historian Eric Foner’s quite recent book

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.

The gist of the book (or its review) is that Lincoln always believed that slavery is wrong. The problem was: he didn’t know what to do about it nor how to go about it.

At one point he entertained the idea of freeing blacks and sending them back to Africa (specifically, Liberia).  However, the dynamics of the Civil War changed things. Many slaves in the Confederacy escaped from their masters to enlist in the Union Army. This meant that they could be used as a formidable asset in the War against the South, which it was.

Since this meant that blacks have become such a force in the outcome of the War, Lincoln launch his Emancipation Proclamation in which he abolished slavery and blacks became a free people — and, further, they are not sent back to Africa but remained here to be part of American society, seeing that their many sacrifices in America’s biggest War have lead to saving the Union.

By the end of the war there were some 200,000 blacks in the Union Army — no small number.

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Categories: Faith, History, Politics
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