Last night I finished George L. Christian’s nifty little booklet entitled, “The Life & Character of Abraham Lincoln; Monster or Messiah”? Most of this I’ve come across before but there were one or two morsels that I had not come across before. One of those morsels was the incredible extent that men, who were previously Lincoln’s enemies, went to in order to grant apotheosis and deification to Lincoln upon death. Though the book does not go into this, connecting the dots allows one to realize that one reason they did that is that by doing so it covered their tracks as perpetrators of Lincoln’s murder. Another reason Lincoln’s deification was pursued by his previous enemies was that they understood that they needed a hero in order to cement both their Republican rule and their recreation of the nation into something that had not existed previously. By deifying Lincoln the narrative of the new USA became untouchable. So ridiculous had the Yankee mob been stirred up by the propaganda of the godlike Lincoln that Lincoln’s oldest friend Ward Lamon could write;
“For days and nights after his assassination ‘it was considered treason to be seen in public with a smile on the face. Men who spoke evil of the fallen chief, ventured a doubt concerning the ineffable purity and saintliness of his life, were pursued by mobs, were beaten to death with paving stones, or strung up by the neck to lamp posts.'”
The author takes pains to suggest that sane people no more grieve Lincoln’s murder than they grieve the state sanctioned murder of Mary Surratt (look her up).
Perhaps the best work in the book is where the author puts to rest the old chestnut that had Lincoln survived he would have certainly treated the South with a far greater kindness than the Black Republicans who were left in power upon his death. Author, Christian, powerfully demonstrates that such a notion that Lincoln would have been a friend to the South after its defeat is pure hagiography.
Anyway … the book is only 50 pages and so it is a quick read. If you’ve read others longer works on Lincoln this supplements that reading well. The longer biography of Lincoln one should read is Edgar Lee Masters, “Lincoln, the Man.”
After reading this book you will realize what a hypocrisy it is to have a Temple built to Lincoln in Washington DC.
Really good at exposing the charade that Lincoln was some kind of American hero. This myth continues to modern times as a reading of Alan Guelzo’s “Abraham Lincoln; Redeemer President.”
We complain about the current gaslighting that goes on in Washington DC, but the gaslighting that continues to this day on the matter of one Abraham Lincoln continues to be some of the greatest gaslighting in world history.
A few recommend reads on Lincoln. Remember, I am challenging the hagiographic Lincoln.
1.) Edgar Lee Masters — Lincoln the Man
2.) Walter Kennedy — Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists: Marxism in the Civil War
3.) Al Benson — Lincoln’s Marxists
4.) Thomas DiLorenzo — Lincoln Unmasked
5.)Webb B. Garrison — Lincoln’s Little War: How His Carefully Crafted Plans Went Astray