The Subterfuge of Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address … Part 1

I have a young friend who was recently challenged about his decided animosity towards Abraham Lincoln, especially in regards to Lincoln’s first Inaugural address. I told him I would analyze Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural in order to see through Lincoln’s sleight of hand and dis-ingenuousness.  I will not be examining the complete address but just what I think are the points where Mr. Lincoln was playing the three card Monte with his dissembling lawyer language.

I am greatly helped here by Edgar Lee Master’s, “Lincoln The Man.” A biography I highly recommend to get a balanced view of Lincoln.
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Lincoln’s First Inaugural (here after, L-1st-I)

“Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that—

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Bret Responds,

1.) There was more than reasonable cause for the South to have cause for apprehension.

a.) First, there was Republican Seward’s own “Irrepressible Conflict” speech. Seward, a favored Republican Presidential hope in his own right was tabbed as Lincoln’s Sec. State. In the aforementioned 1858 speech Seward had offered,

“It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slave-holding nation or entirely a free-labor nation.”

This kind of language would have given Southerners more than reasonable cause to fear a Republican administration.

b.) However, it was not merely Lincoln’s subalterns from whom the South had reasonable cause to fear a Republican administration. Lincoln’s own “House Divided” speech would have given ample evidence that a Republican administration would be a threat to the Southern way of life. In that 1858 speech Lincoln offered,

“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
 
We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.
 
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.
 
In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.
 
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
 
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
 
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
 
It will become all one thing or all the other.
 
Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new –North as well as South.”

This speech belied Mr. Lincoln’s statement that he had no inclination to interfere with the institution of slavery.

2.) Notice an important nuance in the Lincoln speech above. Lincoln says, “I have no intention to interfere with the Institution of Slavery in the states where it exists.” Any bright Southerner hearing this would have easily heard, “I do have intention to interfere with the Institution of Slavery in the new would be states (Kansas) where it does not exist.” Southerners, who revered the Constitution would have known that Lincoln had no Constitutional authority to do that and so had just cause for apprehension in Lincoln’s occupation of the oval office.

Given all the *un-constitutional measures that Lincoln would soon undertake it is easy to see that the Southerners, not believing Lincoln’s specious assurances from his 1st Inaugural, were indeed justified in their mistrust.

*Addendum

1.) On April 15, Lincoln called up the militia from all of the states to put into the field an army of more than 75,000 men. The Constitution puts this power with the Congress: Article I, Section 8, sets forth the powers of Congress: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections….”

2.) Also on April 15, Lincoln called Congress into session, as required by the Constitution for “extraordinary Occasions,” but delayed the meeting of Congress almost three months and during those three months Lincoln acted unconstitutionally and dictatorially in preparation for war.

3.) On April 21, he ordered the purchase of war materials, five naval vessels, which under the Constitution required congressional appropriations.

4.) Also on April 21 he ordered the navy to blockade all Southern ports. A blockade is an act of war, requiring the resolution of Congress.

5.) On April 27, he suspended the right of habeas corpus. Under the Bill of Rights, a person cannot be charged with a crime except by an indictment from a grand jury, nor can a person be convicted except by a jury of fellow civilians. No military trial of civilians was permitted, or so said the Constitution.

Because of this over 10,000 citizens were arrested and kept in Lincoln prisons without charge and / or trial.

6.) And of course there was the countless violations of the 1st amendment “Freedom of the Press” that the Lincoln Administration would soon transgress. Instance after instance of burning down Newspapers that wrote contrary to his “truth,” or alternately the wrecking of printing presses that refused to print Lincoln propaganda.

 

 

 

HOOVER CHRONICLES FDR’S FAILURES WHICH BROUGHT US TO WAR (IX)

The tenth loss of statesmanship was the refusal to accept the proposals which his (FDR) Ambassador informed him came from the Emperor of Japan for a three months’ stand still agreement in November, 1941. Our military officials strongly urged it on Roosevelt. Japan was then alarmed that Russia might defeat her ally, Hitler. Ninety days’ delay would have taken all the starch out of Japan and kept war out of the Pacific. As the Stimson (Sec’y of State) diary disclosed, Roosevelt and his officials were searching for a method to stimulate an overt act from the Japanese. Then Hull issued his foolish ultimatum and we were defeated at Pearl Harbor.

The train of losses and this Japanese victory in the Japanese occupation of all South Asia were incalculable. Further, with the loss of sea control, Hitler and Togo were able to destroy our shipping in sight of our own shores.

The eleventh gigantic error in Roosevelt’s statesmanship was demand for “Unconditional Surrender” at Casablanca in January, 1943, where without our military, or even Churchill’s advice, he was seeking a headline. It played into the hands of every enemy militarist and propagandist; it prolonged the war with Germany, Japan, and Italy. And in the end major concessions in surrender were given to both Japan and Italy. It held out no hope of peace to the Germans if they got rid of the Nazis. The war to the bitter end left no semblance of a structure in Germany upon which to build again.

President Herbert Hoover
Freedom Betrayed; Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War
and Its Aftermath — pg. 879-880

Hoover Chronicles FDR’s Failures Which Brought Us To War (VIII)

The Eighth error in Roosevelt’s statesmanship was the total economic sanctions on Japan one month later, at the end of July, 1941. The sanctions were war in every essence except shooting. Roosevelt had been warned time and again by his own officials that such provocation would sooner or later bring reprisals of war.

The ninth time statesmanship was wholly lost was Roosevelt’s contemptuous refusal of Prime Minister Konoye’s proposal for peace in the Pacific of September of 1941. The acceptance of these proposals was prayerfully urged by both the American and British Ambassadors in Japan. The terms Konoye proposed would have accomplished every American purpose except possibly the return of Manchuria — and even this was thrown open to discussion. The cynic will recall that Roosevelt was willing to provoke a great war on his flank over this remote question and then gave Manchuria to Communist Russia.

31st President Herbert Hoover
Freedom Betrayed — Herbert Hoover’s Secret History  of the Second World War and its Aftermath — pg. 878-879

WW II was a completely unnecessary war and was only plunged into in order that FDR could hide his utter failure in dealing with the US Depression.

 

Hoover Chronicles FDR’s Failures Which Brought Us To War (VII)

The seventh gigantic error in Roosevelt’s statesmanship was the total economic sanctions on Japan one month later, at the end of July, 1941. The sanctions were war in every essence except shooting. Roosevelt had been warned time and again by his own officials that such provocation would sooner or later bring reprisals of war.

The eighth time statesmanship was wholly lost was Roosevelt’s contemptuous refusal of Prime Minister Konoye’s proposals for peace in the Pacific of September, 1941. The acceptance of these proposals was prayerfully urged by bot the American and British Ambassadors in Japan. The terms Konoye proposed would have accomplished  every American purpose except possibly the return of Manchuria — and even this was thrown open to discussion. The cynic will recall that Roosevelt was willing to provoke a great war on his flank over this remote question and then gave Manchuria to Communist Russia.

The ninth time that Roosevelt became lost in international statesmanship was his destruction of the 1933 World Economic Conference. This conference was arranged by British Prime Minister MacDonald and myself to take place in January, 1933. Owing to the election of Mr. Roosevelt it was postponed until June. At that time the world was  just beginning to recover from the world-wide depression but was engaged in bitter currency wars and multiplying trade barriers. The preliminary work had been done by experts. Roosevelt called ten Prime Ministers to Washington with whom he agreed to restore the gold standard in international transactions. Suddenly during the conference he repudiated (‘the bombshell’) these undertakings and the Conference cracked  and died without accomplishment. His own Secretary of State Hull explicitly denounced this action as the roots of WW II.

Herbert Hoover
Freedom Betrayed — pg. 876, 878-879

HOOVER CHRONICLES FDR’S FAILURES WHICH BROUGHT US TO WAR (VI)

“Sixth, Indeed, the greatest loss of statesmanship in all American History was the tacit American alliance and support of  Communist Russia when Hitler made his attack in June 1941. Even in the false theory that American military strength was needed to save Britain had now visibly vanished. By diversion of Nazi furies into the swamps of Russia, no one could any longer doubt the safety of Britain and all the Western world. These monstrous dictators were bound to exhaust themselves no matter who won. Even if Hitler won military victory, he would be enmeshed for years trying to hold these people in subjection. And he was bound even in victory to exhaust his military strength  — and the Russians were bound to destroy any sources of supplies he might have hoped for. His own generals opposed this action.

American aid to Russia meant victory for Stalin and the spread of Communism over the world. Statesmanship again imperiously cried to keep out, be armed to the teeth and await their mutual exhaustion. When that day came there would have been an opportunity for the US and Britain to use their strength to bring a real peace and security to the free world. No greater opportunity for lasting peace ever came to a President and he (FDR) muffed it.”

Herbert Hoover
Freedom Betrayed — pg. 878