Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday: Lincoln, O'Reilly and the Unneccessary War

Recently Fox News big-shot Bill O’Reilly has been out promoting “his” new book (co-written with a historian friend of his) about Abraham Lincoln who, O’Reilly says, was the greatest American president of all-time. In a real “meeting of the minds” O’Reilly was going on about how great Lincoln was to Glenn Beck, stating, as part of his greatness, how “everyone” hated him. Is that really supposed to be a sign of greatness for the leader of a democratic republic? I find it rather odd that on so many occasions the people who promote the idea of majority approval as the best way of choosing a head of state also applaud those presidents who most ignore public opinion and the will of the majority. Yet, such is the case. I also find it extremely odd that Lincoln, the man upheld as the “great unifier” and one of the most exemplary statesmen in American history, is the same man who had to resort to the armed force of the largest army in the world and a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people in order to achieve that “unity”.

If Lincoln was such a wise and gifted statesman, shouldn’t he have been able to hold the country together and reach a political solution without resorting to butchering hundreds of thousands of men, starving women and children and burning cities? Preserving the Union was, of course, only part of it. The other issue, and majority opinion says the dominant issue, was slavery. Again though, no other major power had to kill hundreds of thousands of people in order to abolish slavery. The British did it peacefully, the Dutch did it peacefully, Mexico did it peacefully and all long before the United States ever even got serious about the issue. There has also been a lot of confusion (I don’t know why) about the Confederate position on slavery. The Confederate Constitution is not hard to find. Importing slaves was forbidden but slavery was legal. The Confederate government could never abolish slavery but state governments could. There seems to be some confusion about this, again I am not sure why, as there was really no restrictions the government could put on the states for or against slavery since the backbone of the Confederacy was the right to secede and any state could at any point secede over any issue they wished. After some heated debate it was decided that “free” states could join the Confederacy if any would choose to at some point. But, slavery was certainly accepted -no doubt about it.

However, most who find Lincoln objectionable do not do so because of his opposition to slavery. As with any politician, he at times tried to play both sides of the issue and it was the preservation of the Union that was always his paramount issue. That does not mean, of course, that slavery did not matter to him. Although “Honest Abe” was not always honest about it, there should be no doubt that he was against slavery and wanted to see it wiped from the American continent. It is also true that, even as an anti-slavery sympathizer, he certainly did not possess modern attitudes on the subject of race. He did not think races were equal nor did he think that the “Black” and “White” races could live together peacefully. However, by the standards of his time he was certainly not a “racist” and most of those who were against slavery would have held similar views to the President on the subject of race. It would take many years for attitudes to change in the direction of seeing no races at all. Even today, it seems, that point has not been reached by any racial group.

I know of no one who dislikes Lincoln today because he was against slavery. I do know some people who dislike him because of how he went about saving the Union and doing away with slavery -brutal military force. I tend to think that there would not have been such a long and ugly struggle for civil rights and so much turmoil over the issue of race if slavery had been abolished peacefully, even if it took a step-by-step process that took a little longer than the abolitionists would like. I say that because the war Lincoln fought against the south did not make southerners realize that slavery was wrong. If anything, it made many hate the former slaves all the more as the north identified the slaves as the cause of the whole horrific war and all of the suffering the south endured during and after the war. The south did not give up slavery because they realized it was immoral, they did it because someone was holding a gun to their head.

There is also the age old question of whether two wrongs make a right. Was getting rid of the evil of slavery without going through legal means worth the evil of a war that devastated a country, killed 620,000 soldiers and killed 50,000 southern civilians? Lincoln said he opposed the right of secession yet he supported the secession of the pro-union counties of Virginia to create the state of West Virginia which gave his party more support in Congress. When (hopeless) amendments were introduced to abolish slavery when Lincoln was a congressman, Lincoln voted against them. In his inaugural address he supported enshrining slavery in the U.S. Constitution if that would prevent southern states from seceding. In light of other private words of his, I have no doubt about his opposition to slavery yet he was certainly not being honest and purely principled in that regard. He arrested civilians, even elected officials, who opposed his war or who criticized his government or who simply advocated making peace with the south. He condemned the southerners as traitors and yet the U.S. Constitution defined treason as making war against “the states” which is exactly what Lincoln himself was doing. He suspended basic civil liberties, had civilians tried by military courts and his military forces purposely targeted innocent civilians in the south.

Another area which receives scant attention is the decision of the Lincoln administration to suspend the prisoner exchange cartel during the war. I have studied this area in some depth and there is no one on earth, regardless of all circumstances, who could not be horrified by the sickening conditions that prevailed in the overcrowded, notorious prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia. Originally built to hold 8,000 men at the height of the war it had to contain some 33,000 U.S. prisoners at a time when the southerners themselves were starving due to the ravages of the northern armies and the northern blockade of the coast. At the worst period some 100 men died at Andersonville every day from disease and malnutrition. Yet, the Lincoln administration suspended all prisoner exchanges, condemning tens of thousands of their own soldiers to a slow, lingering, excruciating death from starvation, scurvy, dysentery or some other combination of diseases. Apologists then and now say this was done in protest to the Confederates not exchanging Black Union soldiers. Other evidence, however, suggests that this was done because the north knew southern prisoners were breaking their paroles and rejoining the war and that if prisoner exchanges were halted this would weaken the southern war effort whereas northern prisoners could be written off since the population was so much greater in the north, their losses could always be replaced. In short, their men in Andersonville were deemed expendable.

This always struck me as one of the most horrific but often overlooked “crimes” of the Lincoln administration. And, even if it were done on principle, it still seems despicable to me to refuse to at least save those they could. If the White soldiers had refused to be exchanged without their Black comrades that would have been an immensely admirable sacrifice to make but it should have been up to them and not left to the government to simply ‘write off’ tens of thousands of their own soldiers who were left to die in the most slow and excruciating way possible. And yet, this was the same government that took no action against Major General Benjamin “the Beast” Butler who authorized his troops to rape southern women when he was military governor of New Orleans because they were insulting the Union occupation forces. This was the same government that took no action, indeed even encouraged, the pillaging of cities, the burning of private homes and the killing of civilians.

What Lincoln had in his heart is known only to him and God. Ordinarily one might include his spiritual counsel in that but Lincoln was the first (and so far only) U.S. President that was never a member of any church. Based on his actions I have no doubt that he was absolutely opposed to slavery and he may be commended for that. But his record of that being the priority for his prosecution of the war is sketchy to say the least. He dismissed and court-martialed General John C. Fremont in the first year of the war for abolishing slavery in Missouri (Lincoln later pardoned him). And, as many now know, when he issued the famous Emancipation Proclamation it applied only to those areas “in rebellion” against the United States, in other words it applied only to those parts of the country he could not control but not to those slave-holding states he did control. Very few were actually freed by the decree with real emancipation not coming until the passage of the XIII Amendment. Lincoln would have given all sorts of political, military and diplomatic reasons for why this was his decision, but is that really a representation of “the greatest” President of all time?

It also makes me chuckle to see Lincoln being applauded by modern-day “conservatives” and “traditionalists” (Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like to say ‘conservative’ but calls himself a ‘traditionalist’) when you look at Lincoln in a world context. There was no revolution or revolutionary in Europe that the Unionists (especially abolitionists, Freemasons, Protestants and liberal democrats) of the north who supported Lincoln did not celebrate at every opportunity. They cheered the anti-Hapsburg revolutionary Lajos Kossuth, they celebrated the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi who even offered to join the war but refused when Lincoln only offered him the rank of major general rather than total command of all Union forces. “Republican Clubs” were formed in almost every major city, with the full endorsement of Lincoln, to raise money in support of the anti-clerical Mexican revolutionary Benito Juarez. Lincoln gave protection and even high military rank to a number of Irish revolutionaries a number of whom (after Lincoln’s death) led the so-called Fenian Raids into Canada in the absurd hope of holding the dominion hostage in return for Irish independence. The list goes on and on and it is no wonder that someone like Pope Pius IX would write sympathetically to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, certainly not because of any support for slavery (which his papal predecessor had strongly condemned) but because he viewed him as a fellow victim of the liberal nationalist wave that was sweeping the western world.

At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on Lincoln of course. The book O’Reilly wrote focuses mostly on his assassination and I would fully agree that the assassination of Lincoln was a horrible and tragic crime and as much a disaster for the south as it was for the north. As harsh as he had been at war Lincoln had advocated reconciliation rather than retribution once it was over. However, I cannot go along with anyone claiming he was “the greatest President in American history”. The man killed more Americans than the Kaiser, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Kim Il-Sung, Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Saddam Hussein combined. The greatest American President would have found a way to hold the Union together and abolish slavery without resorting to brute force that left hundreds of thousands of his fellow Americans dead and half the country in ruins (you know, like the British, Dutch, Russian, Brazilian etc monarchs were all able to do). A man hailed as “the Great Unifier” would not have presided over the secession of half the country in the first place and then restored unity only by devastation, starvation and a million bayonets. In his heart he may have been a good man with good intentions, but the “gold standard of leadership” as O’Reilly calls him, he certainly was not.


  1. Based on your own assessment. You will be scutinizing Barack Hussein Obama for his lack of soothing speak (or acknowledgement at all) regarding the current and escalating uprise of Anonymous and Van Jones' movement against Wall Street to create class warfare. I anxiously await your article concerning this matter

  2. Based on my own assessment? Yes, I have the crazy notion that a great leader is not one who slaughters his own people in record numbers -just weird that way I guess. As for B. Hussein Obama, I have already given my opinion of him plenty of times. The current Van Jones protest movement is not hard to understand. The man is a Marxist and his followers are no different than the Bolsheviks who destroyed Holy Russia.

  3. I've long held to the belief that what Abraham Lincoln started, Franklin Roosevelt pretty much finished - in terms of inverting the constitution by establishing federal primacy over the states.

    Basically, the states declared their independence from Great Britain not as one nation, but as 13 individual sovereign states.

    Those states then entered into a voluntary federation in the belief that their own interests were best served by belonging to the United States as opposed to going it alone.

    That's how the US came into being, and that being the case, why on earth would any rational person argue that states have no right of succession?

    The states created the union to advance their own interests, they joined it voluntarily, and if, at any time, a state feels membership in the United States no longer serves its interests, that state should be able to leave.

    That's always been my biggest issue with Lincoln. He pretty much single-handedly changed the way the Constitution would be interpreted and enforced for the next 150 years and set up a system where the states serve the union, rather than the other way around as intended.

    True, slavery was a deplorable evil that should have never been tolerated in the first place, and I would have been all for ending it as quickly and efficiently as possible, but that's not really what the war was fought over. It was fought to abolish state sovereignty, and was unfortunately very successful in that regard.

  4. As my mother is from North Carolina, at the time, I would probably have been a Confederate-sympathizer in France (like our government - pragmatically on the Confederate team due to our attitude vis-a-vis Mexico).
    I think the Lincoln-worship is due to America's need to assert itself as a nation with a history on par with Europe's, hence the need to manufacture heroes. Problem is, independent America has always been a republic, hence its leaders change often, and thus most of them aren't remembered very well as heroes, unless they are rather non-republican in nature (Lincoln, FDR).
    I should note my favorite president from the U.S. is Nixon.

  5. I find it interesting that the last two comments both mentioned FDR. It makes sense as each represent a big change for the nature of the US. Washington created it, Lincoln re-created it and FDR re-created it again. Few people are aware (except maybe Libertarians as I've heard Ron Paul mention him) of the strident abolitionist (and really anarchist) Lysander Spooner. He was one of the most staunch and *active* abolitionists in the USA and yet he opposed Lincoln's war. The reason he gave was that to use force to coerce states into staying in the Union was just as unacceptable as the southern states using force to coerce people into slavery. Both were based on forcing people to do something against their will. I should add that his favored method for abolishing slavery was "compensation emancipation" -effectively buying the slaves from their owners and setting them free.

  6. Ah Honest Abe, the very man that we are told is a good man and an exemplar president of the U.S.A. of all times... I was rather devastated a long time ago when I realised he was not the great man that he was made out to be. All these church sermons I hear still use him as the paragon of Biblical faith and his humble origins in the log cabin and whatnot, and I grew up listening to these sermons and everybody still thinks so it seems. But in the end I decided to look objectively and what he did just cannot be justified. He had way too much power during his tenure. The South calls the American Civil War by another name; the War of Northern Aggression. Isn't that funny? In fact, I think the South pretty much knows about the myth of Lincoln.

    So why was south all so racist against the 'coloured people'? Because the abolishing of the slaves was COERCED; if that happens they will replace that system with another and will always look unfavourably towards the former slaves who have gained their independence through a farce.

    In the end, the war seems to have been a struggle not just for slavery or the preservation of the Union, but a battle between a centralised government and a decentralised one (where the states mandate their rights). The south probably thought "who are you to tell us how to run our economy?" and so seceded. I'm sure it was legal because they joined the Union voluntarily and so they had just the same rights to secede. The horrible war crimes Lincoln has committed is just atrocious... really encouraging the plunder and rape of southern villages. It seems that Americans are very good at propaganda; they do a good job on making people think the other side is truly a monster, when they are just about human as they are. Wilhelm II was not a monstrous ogre that the Americans painted him to be, for example. I find it quite disturbing that many Americans fight for something without finding out the underlying cause behind it and fighting for the sake of... patriotism, democracy, etc... it's rather sickening and in the end it destroyed the very exotic cultural world that once existed and has become the "gold standard democratised" world.

    Regrettably I used to cheer for the North only because of that whole slavery issue... but I did not know better when I was 7 years old. Now looking objectively, the very sides that I had rooted for in the past all of a sudden look like villains to me. If only the Confederates had won this one, things would have been different. Heck, maybe the Empire of Mexico would have lasted until now even. Ugh Napoleon Napoleon... why leave poor Maxie down in Mexico all alone? If you had kept your troops there those American/Juarista force would not have stood a chance and surely Mexico would have been a better place.

    And here I am ranting about random stuff again... sorry about that. I've always been told that the American Civil War under Lincoln was the "Second American Revolution" and I still don't know what that was supposed to mean. And yet... I am very conflicted about Lincoln, not because I think he was a good guy but rather... I just don't know if I can make myself hate him for trying to preserve the Union or whatnot. He was still a human being after all, but certainly not the best of the U.S. presidents. Even the revolutionary Washington was actually a decent president I think. I'm not too sure who I think is the best U.S. President though; all of them had their massive faults for me to even consider them my heroes of some kinds. That's why I'll stick with the more stable monarchs of actual character and integrity. :|

  7. I agree with you, MM, that emancipation in the US came in the worst possible manner. However, Lincoln had actually advocated gradual, compensated emancipation repeatedly. Here are some articles on the topic:



  8. The following site has a sarcastic tone, but nonetheless provides an interesting side-by-side, clause-by-clause comparison of the USA and CSA constitutions:


  9. LP Prince, the south is less and less distinct these days due to immigration from the north and foreign countries, Lincoln is widely adored down south too. However, to your last paragraph, it was not my intention to make anyone "hate" Lincoln, there are aspects of the man I do like and his murder was terrible for everyone, north and south, my only point was that he should not be held up as the "greatest" President of all time. The greatest would have prevented the crisis in the first place or found a peaceful solution.

    Matterhorn, I've had a look, but I've read so many different things about what Lincoln (and many other historical figures) have said or were reported to have said that after a while I have to stop listening and just look at what they actually *did*. The way Lincoln enacted emancipation was bad, even after his death when it was totally abosished it was done in a way that smells a little funky in legal, constitutional terms. However, as I stated, it is not his title of "the Great Emancipator" that I have a problem with. He deserves that. What I disagree with is his being held up as an example of what a great American president should be. A great president should never be one who made war on people who were (according to his point of view, not the south's remember) his own countrymen.

    I do not blame him alone for the crisis (he was certainly part of it in my opinion but most of the damage was done before his election) but he might have at least tried to talk, tried to come to some understanding or even just let the south go for a while (many historians even today think if secession had worked the states would have come back together) rather than immediately called for 75,000 troops to invade the south and force them to submit to an administration that they had zero support for.

    The fact that he was elected without enough support to even appear on the ballot in most southern states shows, not only how divided the country was, but how he needed to tread softly and carefully with the south if he wanted to keep them on board. He may have had the best of intentions in the world, but (in my opinion at least) the greatest president of all time would have done something other than immediately launch an invasion.

  10. Had a look, didn't interest me that much. Their main point seemed to be that the war was about slavery because the Confederate Constitution made slavery legal -which I don't think there has ever been any doubt about. Even the most ardent states' rights advocates have to admit that one of those rights was slavery. Again, if all Lincoln had done was free the slaves, with no malice or bloodshed, he would have much better grounds for being called the greatest ever. That's not what happened though.

  11. Well that's a shame. I suppose everybody needs a "hero" of some sort. It makes me wonder what would have happened if Hitler had succeeded in fostering the Third Reich; would he have been considered their hero too? Isn't Benito Juarez regarded highly and whatnot in Mexico? And revolutionaries in general are national heroes as well (Garibaldi comes into mind)? I'm sure George Washington is pretty much "the god of the Yankees" in some way.

    I did not believe your intention was to make people hate Lincoln, but I can see that there's not really much to admire about his actions.

  12. MM, with all due respect, most rulers don't let large portions of their countries go off in the vague hope that they will come back someday. And even though a number of states had already seceded before his inauguration, Lincoln was still trying to placate the South in his First Inaugural Address, bending over backwards to say he didn't intend to interfere with slavery where it already existed and so on, and that matters could still be arranged amicably. I don't see that there was much more he could have done but I think we will have to agree to disagree on this.

    Incidentally, I think your post is one of the more fair-minded of the anti-Lincoln articles (or, at any rate, articles critical of Lincoln) that I have seen. I agree with what you say about the black prisoner exchange issue, and also that the Union war effort was too harsh.

  13. But most rulers don't govern countries that were founded by a voluntary coming together of independent states. And as for what he said in his first inaugural, I could give him credit for that but then I would have to take away some kudos for his opposition to slavery. If he was as devoted to abolishing slavery as I would give him credit for then he would have to accept criticism for being totally dishonest in his efforts to placate the south. I tend to think he was a true believer on the abolition of slavery and I simply don't believe he meant what he said. Evidently the south didn't either or else the war really wasn't about fear of losing their slaves. He can't have it both ways.

    On the overall point, I would have to admit that this comes down to a fundamental disagreement on my part with Lincoln. I would hold that the U.S. was at least supposed to be the sort of country where a large portion could go off on their own and if that is what they wanted to do, nothing should stop them. Lincoln, obviously, disagreed. Based on my understanding of how the United States was founded I cannot view secession as being treasonous. Lincoln did. I will agree with him on slavery (assuming he was truly sincere) but even then I cannot grasp correcting the evil of depriving someone of their freedom by depriving someone else of their life.

    Again, there is the "save the union vs states rights vs ending slavery" etc debate. If his paramount goal was to end slavery no matter what it took I can at least admire his cause on that front. My 'beef' with O'Reilly was holding Lincoln up as the "gold standard of presidential leadership" when his method of ending slavery and uniting the nation was to kill everyone who disagreed with him.

    Like many southerners at the time, I would have hated that things reached the point of secession. Americans killing Americans on a scale no foreign enemy has ever matched, was just such a horror and left such nasty scars I simply cannot hold up anyone (on either side) who presided over that as the best examples of presidential leadership in American history.

  14. I think you definitely have a point re: Lincoln being more radical on the subject of slavery than he sometimes let on. I have read a number of his pre-war speeches on the topic and I certainly sensed ferocity, mixed in with gentler, more moderate and conciliatory passages, which make the fierce parts all the more startling. At one point, he remarks that those who deny the humanity of slaves deserve to be kicked and beaten to death. Another time, he suggests that his audience should just go ahead and tear up the Declaration of Independence, if they don't really believe all men are created equal after all. In some fragmentary notes, he bursts out in indignation at the theory that it is good for some people to be slaves: "Wolves devouring lambs, not for their own greedy maws, but for the good of the lambs!!!". Not to mention comments to the effect that those who enslave others deserve to be enslaved themselves. I can see why his election alarmed Southerners.

    Nevertheless, I tend to think he was honest when he said in his inaugural address that he did not intend to interfere with slavery in the South. I don't think he had any intent to launch a federal abolitionist program. It would have been political suicide as well as totally destructive of the Union which he was obviously determined to hold together. I think he did believe, at that point, that phasing slavery out slowly, beginning with restricting its spread into the territories, was the safest and surest way to go.

    Many people ask: which was more important to him, preserving the Union or ending slavery, but I think it's a false dichotomy. I think he thought he had to preserve the Union first in order to end slavery in the long run. There is a letter, often quoted, where Lincoln claims that his only purpose in the war is to 'save the Union', but those who quote this letter often omit the ending, where he distinguishes between his purpose in his official capacity and his personal wish that all men should be free.

  15. But how can you say he was being honest when he said he had no intention to interfere with slavery in the south and then say that his goal in preserving the union was to abolish slavery everywhere in the end?

    Lincoln certainly had the worst position of any new president coming into office. He used military force to win what would have been a no-win situation by purely legal means. I don't see how he could not have been dishonest at some point given his statements but, my God, that hardly makes him the only dishonest president or dishonest man in history. I just don't think he should be upheld as the greatest of all time.

  16. I understand your position. But what I meant by "interfere with slavery in the South" was to directly outlaw slavery by action of the federal government, over the heads of the states. I think at that point, he was still hoping to foster conditions which would eventually lead to the states themselves abolishing slavery.

    He was quite upfront, before the war, in saying that he did, indeed, hate slavery in the abstract and want it to disappear in the end, and that this was his reason for trying to at least stop its spread into the territories. But he was equally upfront in saying that he did not believe that he, or the federal government, had a legal right to directly outlaw slavery in the Southern states. The proposed Corwin amendment, which he endorsed before the war, as you mentioned, would have made this explicit. But he seems to have considered it implied constitutional law already.

    That's what I think of his attitude before the war and for the first part of it. As a result of later events, however, he obviously came to the point of deciding that immediate emancipation by federal authority was indeed the way to go since it seemed the only way of decisively undermining the Confederacy and taking away the long-standing bone of contention between North and South. Hence the Emancipation Proclamation by the Commander-in-Chief, legally justified, according to his view, as a 'war measure', and the Thirteenth Amendment as the 'king's cure for all evils', as he called it.

  17. Seems like sophistry to me. So, he 'had no plans to interfere' until he had a plan to interfere. I suppose then his promise that there could be no conflict without the south being the aggressor was not meant to imply that he would not invade them unless they tried to take control of federal property within their states at which point they would be the aggressors even though he was invading the south rather than the south invading the north. Seems an odd argument to me but if that is what one considers the "gold standard of presidential leadership" I will not be able to dissuade, only disagree.

    Btw though, if the north had stuck to Lincoln's logic (that the union is a suicide pact one can never leave once joining) the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment would not have been so dubious. As it happened, after his death, the north said that the southern states HAD seceded and that in order to be readmitted to the Union they would have to ratify the XIIIth -even though one has to BE a state in order to ratify an amendment. See the contradiction? But, if they had stuck to Lincoln's original argument they would have had a much harder time 'punishing' the south for their sins.

  18. The attitudes of other Northern politicians are a whole different messy issue. I agree, they often seemed bizarre, contradictory and rather vindictive.

  19. I should also add that, being a monarchist, I obviously do not hold a very high opinion of most presidents. This post was only a response to the latest effort at what I see as trying to make a 'political saint' out of someone I consider far from perfect. There are plenty of other examples. Andrew Jackson, a southerner, an adamantly pro-Union guy who certainly would have used force if anyone had seceded under his watch, had some admirable qualities in my opinion. However, what he did to the Indians would prevent me from ever considering him a model of presidential leadership. And there are plenty of other examples.

  20. I'm not making any requests, just voicing a general puzzlement.

    I've definitely seen pro-Confederate sentiment on Catholic and monarchist blogs and other sources, and that prompted me to look into the constitutional law and the history behind the conflict, but while I have seen them condemn slavery, I don't recall seeing as much in the way of condemnation of the Lincoln assassination.

    Again, no requests being made--what you said about its being a tragedy and being as bad for the South as for the North is probably all I might expect--but I wonder about that. Based on what you said about Brutus and Cassius I have no sympathy for a man like John Wilkes Booth who knowingly and deliberately emulated Brutus, even if the bad results for the South hadn't happened (since we can't always predict the results of our actions), and irrespective of the bad things President Lincoln did. And I hate vigilante justice.

    I used to look at a website about the League of the South, and I thought their ideals looked good despite their lack of Catholicism and monarchy--but I've since rejected it since I found out one of the people in charge of it regards Booth as some kind of "hero". I have no respect for such a view, any more than I would have if he'd said that black people were inferior and only good for slavery. (I don't think he either said that or believes it.)

    Just curious as to why so few Catholic or monarchist blogs that I've seen said anything about the matter--in fact, I think yours is the only one to address the Lincoln assassination in any capacity that I'm aware of. I wonder why that is.


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