Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky African Americans and the Constitution: Collection of Essays
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A collection of essays discussing African Americans in Kentucky and their relationship with Abraham Lincoln and his policies.
Part I: Abraham Lincoln, America's "Agent of Change"
Part II: "The Lincolns, Slavery and Opening of the West"
Part III: Kentucky African Americans And the Constitution
Part IV: Kentucky and the Civil War
Lincoln with emancipating enslaved Africans. ―Lincoln needed the masses in the middle. Equating his use of Jefferson‘s words with the rights of black people was only one possible interpretation. Many did not understand the president‘s words in those terms. Equality could carry civil, economic, social, or racial connotations. To middle-of-the-road folk, the liberty he spoke about could be the white man‘s liberty. To think that way, they had to sidestep the full meaning of the Emancipation
proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country; under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States; under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln…with muskets on their shoulders,…‖ 42[emphasis
then, as ever, to be guided by the Constitution, and the laws; and that he probably will have no different understanding of the powers, and duties of the Federal government, relatively to the rights of the States, and the people, under the Constitution, than that expressed in the inaugural address. He desires to preserve the government, that it may be administered for all, as it was administered by the men who made it. Loyal citizens everywhere, have the right to claim this of their government;
January 1863, Kentucky, Senate, Journal, 718. 19 J.F. Robinson to Abraham Lincoln, 6 October 1862, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, accessed 7 January 2010. 20 Robinson, ―Message,‖ 8 January 1863, Kentucky, Senate, Journal, 721; Gen. A. Baird to Lt. T.G. Beaham, Asst. Adj. Gen., Hdqtr., Army of Kentucky, 18 Nov. 1862, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington: Government Printing Office,
February 15, 1864, Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, wrote in his monumental diary that Lincoln consulted his Generals as frequently as he did Seward and, consequently, Winfield Scott, George McClellan and Henry W. Halleck had exercised more influence than they should have and often in the wrong direction. the gawky, poorly dressed, gaunt westerner with little political experience and no savoir faire. Admittedly some changed their minds about Lincoln in time, but men like Salmon Chase and