Sunday, February 15, 2009

Looking For Lincoln

Left this comment on "Looking For Lincoln" post on the cool blog, "If You've Got it, Flaunt It"

I saw the "Looking for Lincoln" and I thought it was great, but there were some things I thought it left untouched, like how for years the majority of white Americans downplayed Lincoln's role as the emancipator, while African-Americans strove to keep that memory alive.

Also, When Lincoln became an abolitionist, he became one wholeheartedly.

"For all his mystical, even bloody-minded, devotion to the Union’s preservation, Lincoln, the reluctant and strategic abolitionist, came to understand emancipation as his chief claim to immortality. A mental breakdown, in 1841, witnessed by his friend Joshua Speed, might have ended in suicide but for Lincoln’s realization, confided to Speed at the time, that if he were to die now he 'had done nothing to make any human being remember that he had lived.' When Speed visited the White House in 1863, Lincoln went out of his way to recall this confidence and to declare, 'with earnest emphasis,' according to his reliable friend, that the Emancipation Proclamation had fulfilled his long-ago self-willed resurrection from depression."

I got these from a great essay in the New Yorker, linked here:


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