Lincoln on Race and Slavery

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Overview

Generations of Americans have debated the meaning of Abraham Lincoln's views on race and slavery. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and supported a constitutional amendment to outlaw slavery, yet he also harbored grave doubts about the intellectual capacity of African Americans, publicly used the n-word until at least 1862, and favored permanent racial segregation. In this book--the first complete collection of Lincoln's important writings on both race and slavery--readers can explore these contradictions through Lincoln's own words. Acclaimed Harvard scholar and documentary filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr., presents the full range of Lincoln's views, gathered from his private letters, speeches, official documents, and even race jokes, arranged chronologically from the late 1830s to the 1860s.

Complete with definitive texts, rich historical notes, and an original introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this book charts the progress of a war within Lincoln himself. We witness his struggles with conflicting aims and ideas--a hatred of slavery and a belief in the political equality of all men, but also anti-black prejudices and a determination to preserve the Union even at the cost of preserving slavery. We also watch the evolution of his racial views, especially in reaction to the heroic fighting of black Union troops.

At turns inspiring and disturbing, Lincoln on Race and Slavery is indispensable for understanding what Lincoln's views meant for his generation--and what they mean for our own.

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Editorial Reviews

H-Net Reviews
Abraham Lincoln is the most analyzed and written about human being in the history of the United States. In the last two years, more than a dozen works have appeared investigating his actions, attitudes, and speeches. Only a very brave or very foolish person, therefore, would attempt another volume on 'Old Abe.' Fortunately, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his coeditor, Donald Yacovone, are the former rather than the latter, and their book, Lincoln on Race and Slavery will be an honored addition to libraries of historians and general readers alike.
— Martin Hardeman
New Republic - Sean Wilentz
Gates dispenses his lessons respectably. For the most part, he places Lincoln correctly in these different groups and along these different measures, even though it requires conceding that Lincoln fell far short of our own conceptions of justice and humanity. Amid the current bicentennial emoting, it is refreshing to read an evaluation of Lincoln that refuses, as Gates writes, to 'romanticize him as the first American president completely to transcend race and racism.'
H-Net Reviews - Martin Hardeman
Abraham Lincoln is the most analyzed and written about human being in the history of the United States. In the last two years, more than a dozen works have appeared investigating his actions, attitudes, and speeches. Only a very brave or very foolish person, therefore, would attempt another volume on 'Old Abe.' Fortunately, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his coeditor, Donald Yacovone, are the former rather than the latter, and their book, Lincoln on Race and Slavery will be an honored addition to libraries of historians and general readers alike.
From the Publisher

"Gates dispenses his lessons respectably. For the most part, he places Lincoln correctly in these different groups and along these different measures, even though it requires conceding that Lincoln fell far short of our own conceptions of justice and humanity. Amid the current bicentennial emoting, it is refreshing to read an evaluation of Lincoln that refuses, as Gates writes, to 'romanticize him as the first American president completely to transcend race and racism.'"--Sean Wilentz, New Republic

"Abraham Lincoln is the most analyzed and written about human being in the history of the United States. In the last two years, more than a dozen works have appeared investigating his actions, attitudes, and speeches. Only a very brave or very foolish person, therefore, would attempt another volume on 'Old Abe.' Fortunately, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and his coeditor, Donald Yacovone, are the former rather than the latter, and their book, Lincoln on Race and Slavery will be an honored addition to libraries of historians and general readers alike."--Martin Hardeman, H-Net Reviews

New Republic
Gates dispenses his lessons respectably. For the most part, he places Lincoln correctly in these different groups and along these different measures, even though it requires conceding that Lincoln fell far short of our own conceptions of justice and humanity. Amid the current bicentennial emoting, it is refreshing to read an evaluation of Lincoln that refuses, as Gates writes, to 'romanticize him as the first American president completely to transcend race and racism.'
— Sean Wilentz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691149981
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 972,746
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Donald Yacovone has written and edited a number of books, including "Freedom's Journey: African American Voices of the Civil War".

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Abraham Lincoln on Race and Slavery Henry Louis Gates, Jr. xvii

Chapter 1: Protest in Illinois Legislature on Slavery
March 3, 1837 1
Chapter 2: Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Sringfield,
January 27, 1838 3
Chapter 3: AL to Mary Seed
September 27, 1841 9
Chapter 4: Temperance Address
February 22, 1842 11
Chapter 5: AL to Williamson Durley
October 3, 1845 16
Chapter 6: AL to Josephus Hewett
February 13, 1848 20
Chapter 7: Seech at Worcester, Massachusetts
September 12, 1848 23
Chapter 8: Remarks and Resolution Introduced in United tates House of Representatives Concerning Aolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia
January 10, 1849 26
Chapter 9: Eulogy on Henry Clay& January 4, 1855, Outline for Seech to the Colonization Society
July 6, 1852 31
Chapter 10: Hon. A. Lincoln's Address, Before the Sringfield Scott Club, in Reply to Judge Douglas' Richmond Seech
August 14 and 26, 1852 43

Chapter 11: Fragments on Slavery
July 1, 1854 48
Chapter 12: Speech at Bloomington, Illinois
September 12, 1854 51
Chapter 13: Speech at Peoria,
October 16, 1854 56
Chapter 14: AL to Ichabod Codding
November 27, 1854 69
Chapter 15: AL to Oen Lovejoy
August 11, 1855 71
Chapter 16: AL to George Robertson
August 15, 1855 73
Chapter 17: AL to Joshua F. Speed
August 24, 1855 77
Chapter 18: Speech atKalamazoo, Michigan
August 27, 1856 84
Chapter 19: AL to Newton Deming and George P. Strong
May 25, 1857 90
Chapter 20: Speech at Sringfield, Illinois
June 26, 1857 92

Chapter 21: A House Divided, Speech at Sringfield, Illinois
June 16, 1858 103
Chapter 22: to John L. Scripps
June 23, 1858 107
Chapter 23: Fragment on the Struggle Against Slavery
July, 1858 109
Chapter 24: Speech at Chicago, Illinois
July 10, 1858 111
Chapter 25: Speech at Sringfield,
July 17, 1858 119
Chapter 26: Speech at Lewistown,
August 17, 1858 124
Chapter 27: First Debate ith Stephen A. Douglas at Ottawa, Illinois
August 21, 1858 127
Chapter 28: Second at Freeport Illinois
August 27, 1858 137
Chapter 29: Speech at Carlinville, Illinois
August 31, 1858 143
Chapter 30: at Clinton, Illinois
September 2, 1858 149

Chapter 31: Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois
September 11, 1858 152
Chapter 32: Fourth Debate ith Stephen A. Douglas
September 18, 1858 156
Chapter 33: Fragment on Pro-slavery Theology
October 1, 1858 160
Chapter 34: Seventh and Last Debate with Stephen A. Douglasat Alton, Illinois, & October 18, 1858, AL to James N. Brown
October 15, 1858 163
Chapter 35: to Salmon P. Chase
June 9, 1859 174
Chapter 36: Speech at Columbus, Ohio
September 16, 1859 177
Chapter 37: Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio
September 17, 1859 187
Chapter 38: Fragment on Free Labor
September 17, 1859 191
Chapter 39: Address at the Cooper Institute, New York City
February 27, 1860 193
Chapter 40: Speech at Hartford, Connecticut
March 5, 1860 202

Chapter 41: AL to John A. Gilmer
December 15, 1860 210
Chapter 42: First Inaugural Address
March 4, 1861 214
Chapter 43: AL to Orville H. Browning
September 22, 1861 218
Chapter 44: Message to Congress
March 6, 1862 222
Chapter 45: AL to James A. McDougall
March 14, 1862 225
Chapter 46: AL to Horace Greeley & Aril 16, 1862, Message to Congress
March 24, 1862 228
Chapter 47: Appeal to Border State Representatives to Favor Compensated Eancipation
July 12, 1862 231
Chapter 48: Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes
August 14, 1862 235
Chapter 49: AL to Horace Greeley
August 22, 1862 242
Chapter 50: Reply to Eancipation Memorial Presented by Chicago Christians of All Denominations
September 13, 1862 245

Chapter 51: Preliminary Proclamation
September 22, 1862 250
Chapter 52: Annual Message to Congress
December 1, 1862 255
Chapter 53: Eancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863 265
Chapter 54: AL to AndrewJohnson
March 26, 1863 270
Chapter 55: Resolution on Slavery
April 15, 1863 272
Chapter 56: AL to John M. Schofield
June 22, 1863 274
Chapter 57: Order of Retaliation
July 30, 1863 276
Chapter 58: AL to Nathaniel P. Banks
August 5, 1863 279
Chapter 59: AL to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
August 9, 1863 282
Chapter 60: AL to James C. Conkling
August 26, 1863 284

Chapter 61: Fragment
August 26, 1863 290
Chapter 62: Annual Message to Congress
December 8, 1863 292
Chapter 63: Reply to Nework Workingmen's Democratic Republican Association
March 21, 1864 295
Chapter 64: AL to Albert G. Hodges
April 4, 1864 298
Chapter 65: AL to Edwin M. Stanton
May 17, 1864 302
Chapter 66: Interviewith Alexander W. Randall and Joseph T. Mills
August 18, 1864 305
Chapter 67: Resolution Submitting the Thirteenth Aendmentto the States
February 1, 1865 308
Chapter 68: Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865 310
Chapter 69: Speech to One Hundred Fortieth Indiana Regiment
March 17, 1865 313
Chapter 70: Last Public Address
April 11, 1865 316

Appendix: Lincoln, Race, and Humor 321
Index 329

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