Good to Honor Lincoln
Thanks to John Dempsey and Sandhills Community College for creating an open forum to celebrate the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.
I enjoy the irony of the "Railsplitter" nickname since Abe, forerunner to Tom Sawyer, was not much for farm work. His life was full of contradiction, intended and otherwise. His father was almost congenitally unsuccessful and did not want to spend money to send his son to school. But books were OK, so Abe read voraciously on his own.
Lincoln was hardly a simple, uneducated man. He was a driven, self-educated man. He became a lawyer by "reading the law," getting on a horse and traveling behind the circuit judge from town to town, arriving in time to see who needed to take a cause before the judge and signing him up as a client. It paid vast dividends when he entered politics.
His writings show that Lincoln believed slavery was a stain on American ideals. Yet he believed that the Founding Fathers, including George Washington, expected slavery to "wither away" over the course of a generation or so.
Lincoln believed the U.S. Constitution was silent on slavery for this reason (and as a precondition to union in the first place). He would not have fought a civil war over slavery in South Carolina. He did fight a war over secession.
Lincoln did not believe he had the power, as president, to abolish slavery. But he did believe he had the power, as commander in chief, to order liberation of slaves in those states engaged in rebellion.
I wish Dr. Dempsey and SCC great success for their study of Lincoln on the 200th anniversary of his birth. I also hope SCC is overwhelmed by public response to these events.
More like this story