Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

28Lincoln More Fit for a Fire Shovel

Expand Messages
  • KGC4Dixie
    Sep 30 3:30 AM
      Lincoln More Fit for a Fire Shovel
      Bernhard Thuersam <bernhard1848@...>

      The long-standing myth of British weaving-town support for the North
      during the war is refuted by the author below, who finds that there
      was “in fact a supreme determination to aid the South with at least
      moral backing while the North was viewed with mistrust that deepened
      with the intensity of Lancashire’s distress [from Lincoln’s

      Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
      North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
      "Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
      "The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

      Lincoln More Fit for a Fire Shovel

      “As president of the disrupted Union, Abraham Lincoln exercised a
      continuing fascination in Lancashire throughout the war. He aroused
      more anger and disdain than admiration . . . Seward and a few
      prominent Northern leaders were occasionally selected to share the
      disrepute in which Lincoln was commonly held.

      Rather more frequently the chief executive was unfavorably contrasted
      with the mildly esteemed Southern president. The Marquis of
      Hartington was typical of Lancashire in respecting Jefferson Davis far
      more than Lincoln, of whom he scathingly said, “I [should] think he
      was [a] very well meaning sort of man, but as almost everybody says,
      about as fit for his position now as a fire shovel.”

      Lincoln was criticized mainly on the occasions of his annual speeches,
      his Emancipation Proclamation, and his reelection in 1864. The
      Emancipation Proclamation, which was often seen as a concerted attack
      on the lives of white Southerners, through the possibility of a
      servile insurrection, was almost universally dismissed as an act of

      Lincoln himself was rarely credited with any humanitarian or
      altruistic motives in issuing the proclamation. He was thought to be
      unsure about the morality of slavery and untruthful about its
      abolition. Even though his mentality was often dismissed as low, he
      was judged to be well aware that his the proclamation was unlikely to
      free any slaves in the South, and it did not even attempt to release
      from slavery those in the border States.

      Only occasionally was the proclamation interpreted as an astute
      political move by an adept politician. More often it was sneered at as
      the inept fumbling of a leader who could not win victory over the
      South by any more straightforward means. By only a handful of editors
      and meetings was Lincoln ever envisaged as a man of moral status and
      strength who freed Southern slaves through personal conviction as well
      as military necessity.

      Lincoln was not as much hated or despised as a personality or a
      politician but as a symbol of the North’s desire to subjugate the

      In 1861 the “timid and incapable hands” of Lincoln were felt by the
      Preston Chronicle to be inadequate for leading the Union. A letter to
      the same paper accused Lincoln of inconsistency, quoting a speech he
      had made in 1848 upholding the right of secession. The press of
      Preston and Blackburn hoped for Lincoln’s defeat in the 1864 election;
      on his success, bitter attacks were made on his trampling of liberty
      and rights under a military despotism.”

      (Support for Secession, Lancashire and the American Civil War, Mary
      Ellison, University of Chicago Press, 1972, pp. 173-174)

      "We believed we were right and have not changed our minds."