Shocking! Outrageous! – The Great Emancipator Owned Slaves

Latest Post Comment at SHPG: “I understand that there are slave quarters at the Lincoln home and they just make the claim that it was his barn. In the middle of the city!”

Update: Lincoln ordered infants into the army and Popeye’s Secret Fried Chicken recipe has also been discovered in a Civil War glass vial.

Southern Heritage Preservatin GroupThe Southern Heritage Preservation Group is committed to defending Confederate heritage and highlighting history that has been left out of school textbooks and ignored by revisionist left-wing historians and the liberal media. Yesterday, Gary Adams posted a shocking news item that claims that Abraham Lincoln owned slaves. He provided a link to a February 2012 article by Frank Lake at the Weekly World News. Do yourself a favor and read it and on once you finish laughing continue with the post.

The article itself has nothing to do with Lincoln owning slaves besides including claims to that effect at the beginning and end. The rest of it discusses a recently published book about Lincoln and colonization, which if Adams bothered to look at has nothing to do with whether the sixteenth president owned slaves.

Now, check out the headlines [screenshot to the right] from the site’s home page: “Bat Boy: Going Mutant,” “Aliens are Coming,” and down below we learn that “Jets Sign First Female Player in NFL.” It seems that Gary Adams has found one of many entertaining tabloid magazines on the Internet.

But the best part are the comments that follow Adams’s post:

I don’t have this book, but it might be worthwhile reading. I had read that prior to his death, Lincoln was involved in a scheme to provide loan guarantees to Mexico and taking Mexico’s northern provinces as collateral for the loans, presumably for colonizing the emancipated slaves there. The scheme was dropped after the assassination and nothing ever came of it.

Interesting. I would not be surprised. Lincoln had no problem with the use of slave labor to finish constructing the capital dome during his administration.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so incredibly disturbing. It suggests that at least some of the people at the SHPG have absolutely no ability to judge a website. In their world, all websites are equal. This discovery easily rivals Ann DeWitt’s uncovering of an entire regiment of “Negro Cooks” in the Confederate army.

Next week we will likely learn from the same website that Robert E. Lee fathered an African American child or that he was really a martian.

22 thoughts on “Shocking! Outrageous! – The Great Emancipator Owned Slaves

  1. Patrick Young

    Kevin, get your tabloids straight. Weekly World News is not “one of many entertaining tabloid magazines on the Internet”, it is the most creative weekly humor tabloid at the supermarket. Years ago it eschewed National Enquirer-style celeb gossip for thoroughly made up stories that the staff, editors and readers all know are completely bogus. Everyone knows its a joke, except one of the leading historians of the Confederacy apparently.

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  2. Roger E Watson

    “Next week we will likely learn from the same website that Robert E. Lee fathered an African American child or that he was really a martian.”

    Maybe but if it does happen you will not hear anything from Mr. Adams. That would be blasphemous to print something like that about the “honorable” Lee ! Now, if this article about Lincoln had appeared in the Onion, maybe Mr. Adams would have realized it was a joke. Or not !! He doesn’t appear to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

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  3. JW Phillips

    To understand the legacy of racist psychosis it is not enough to dismiss it as a bunch of dumb idiots gullible enough to cite sources from fictitiously composed humorous tabloids, because it is a legacy of psychosis premised upon deep seeded prejudice that distorts reason and ultimately even the senses.

    The modern KKK was a product that evolved from the Knights of Mary Phagan still aglow from their success in lynching Leo Frank after he was pardoned on the last day of the serving Georgia Governor’s term. Frank was pardoned because the judge, and the prosecuting attorney all knew that he was convicted on the basis of false testimony provided by the state’s principal witness. That witness was likely the murder, an alcoholic janitor and ex-felon with a history of violent rape. The police and state pressured this false, but skilled and coached witness to provide testimony that alone convicted Frank. The rest of the case was easily disproved innuendo invented by the tabloids of that day. Years later, an office boy who was eye witness to the likely murderer carrying the still living body of the victim confessed to keeping quiet for years for fear of his life. The state of Georgia looked as if it was finally going to come to its senses and provide a complete pardon to the wrongly accused, imprisoned, convicted, sentenced, pardoned, and lynched, Leo Frank. But, one of the descendents of the Phagan clan had named his daughter after “little Mary Phagen.” And that namesake, along with her proud daddy while sidestepping the Klan, which attempted to use them to defend it’s “heritage,” engaged in a years long project to ‘get at the truth.’ That “truth” took the form of a sad and logically inconsistent book that is touching because it reveals the namesake seeking the truth, being confronted with facts that show that the state knowingly brought forward a flawed and improperly presented case, and later emerged principals and eye witnesses providing inarguable proof that no credible evidence was brought forth to convict a man who was kidnapped by the KKK and lynched. Confronted with this truth in the person and words of the surviving eyewitness, Alonzo Frank, and surviving
    judges and prosecutors that dealt with the principals, Mary Phagen rejects it all concluding, “yes but they did not prove that Leo Frank was innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt.” She can never provide a coherent scenario how based on the actual evidence now available Frank would have been the murderer, or inclined to break from his behavior of a lifetime to be a one time violent rapist, but never mind. The reader is left with the only conclusion that the idea that a black alcoholic janitor was her namesake’s rapist was just too unacceptable, the more so because with the collusion of the prejudice that the author herself is imbued with, he got away with his crime with the collusion of the society and the state. Such are the paradoxes of racist psychosis.

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  4. John Tucker

    Lincoln owned slaves. That is funny.

    No, of course not. What kind of stupid notion is that? But it’s one that pops up a lot in Internet searches of neo-confederates and hate not heritage groups.

    Civil War historian Gerald J. Prokopowicz, addresses this and many other questions regarding Lincoln in his aptly titled book, Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln with “No, but people keep asking.”

    According to Prokopowicz, Lincoln’s views on slavery were consistent. In April of 1864, almost exactly a year before his assassination, Lincoln wrote, “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.”

    And yet, where do these misguided presumptions derive from?

    One way to approach this question is by examining the plethora of neo-Confederate and revisionist views that have infiltrated and successfully corrupted the American mind.

    But in order to do so, one must travel approximately one hundred fifty years in the past to fully grasp where the first seeds were planted: during the Civil War.

    After its conclusion in 1865, historians have been able to identify four mentalities that have sought to make sense of what led Americans to engage in — and in the South’s case, lose — the bloody struggle that was the Civil War. Such interpretations have served as means to justify Northern and Southern involvement in the war and the role the slavery had in causing it. They are as follow:

    (1) The Lost Cause: Portraying the establishment of the Confederacy as an honorable struggle against hopeless odds, denying slavery’s role as the principle cause of the war, and idealizing Southern leadership.

    (2) The Union Cause: Depicting the war as an effort to reunite the Union in response to illegal secessionist actions that threatened the cohesion of the United States and the future of democracy.

    (3) The Emancipation Cause: Slavery as the central issue of the war and its elimination not only resulting in the liberation of 4 million slaves, but also in the liberation of the American society and politics from its influence.

    (4) The Reconciliation Cause: Advocated by whites from both regions after the war, this cause painted the war as a familial struggle, extolled the “American” virtues demonstrated by each side, the strength of the restored nation, and expunged the role of African Americans.

    Unsurprisingly, neo-Confederates and other revisionists seeking to shape history to fit their beliefs have embraced the Lost Cause doctrine which is composed of these six basic tenets:

    1. Secession, not slavery, caused the Civil War.

    2. African Americans were “faithful slaves,” loyal to their masters and the Confederate cause and unprepared for the responsibilities of freedom.

    3. The Confederacy was defeated militarily only because of the Union’s overwhelming advantages in men and resources.

    4. Confederate soldiers were heroic and saintly.

    5. The most heroic and saintly of all Confederates, perhaps of all Americans, was Robert E. Lee.

    6. Southern women were loyal to the Confederate cause and sanctified by their sacrifice of their loved ones

    In The Confederate and neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” about the “Lost Cause, James W. Lowen and Edward H. Sebesta focus on the idea that neo-Confederates “fight to maintain their ancestor’s honor, which they do by obfuscating why their ancestors fought. [In addition,] [t]hey also fight to save ‘our belief system and our way of life’ . . . in short, to perpetuate the South’s racial hierarchy.” A feat they accomplished legislatively until the 1970s, though in many ways, they “still succeed in custom in some ways and places.”

    In his travelogue, Confederates in the Attic, Tony Horwitz delves into the South and explores the continued presence of the Lost Cause mentality in the Southern memory of the war. One of such ways in which these neo-Confederate and revisionist views have taken an active role in American society is through the founding of organizations that seek to remember the sacrifices Confederate soldiers.

    Established in 1896 and 1894 respectively, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), composed of descendants of Confederate soldiers, actively venerate the sacrifices made by their ancestors for the Lost Cause. These organizational ties even extend to young descendants through organizations like Children of the Confederacy (C of C), where they are not only taught to honor their forebears but also study a sort of “Catechism” that is saturated in Lost Cause mythology.

    On some occasions, Horwitz came into contact with people who held extremist views about the war. People like “Walt,” who saw himself as “not an American [but] a citizen of the Confederate States of America, which has been under military occupation for the past hundred thirty years.”

    Which leads to the next question, has the Civil War really “ended”?

    In many ways, the answer is “no.”

    So no, Lincoln did not own slaves, though organizations such as these may argue otherwise. Nevertheless, the Civil War lives on in the lives and minds of people actively seeking to honor their roots and advocate, at times through violence, their own personal, however inaccurate, views.

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    1. London John

      I think another tenet of the Lost Cause doctrine is to deny the existence of white Union volunteers from the Confederate states. Horowitz has a story that could almost make you sympathise with a SCV/UDC official; apparently a woman seeking to join brought her ancestor’s honourable discharge certificate, which clearly said XX North Carolina (or some other confederate state) Volunteers United States Army. When the official patiently pointed out that her ancestor had fought for the Union, she exclaimed “You mean he was a traitor to the South?” Rather a sad reaction, I think.

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      1. Kevin Levin Post author

        Good point. It’s the result of blurring the distinction between Southern and Confederate heritage. The woman in your story is just as Southern and has as much a claim to that heritage as the die-hard Lost Causer. The other aspect of this, however, has to do with shifting demographics. The current debate at Olustee is a perfect example. People move from place to place and that inevitably shifts how local communities wish to remember their past. There are apparently a number of people in that area who descend from Union veterans who wish to honor their service with a monument.

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  5. Jeffry Burden

    Years ago, while living in Alexandria, Va., in the days before the Interwebz, I got into a Letter-to-the-Editor battle with a older lady who calmly wrote in that “Lincoln owned slaves.” I equally calmly replied that, besides the lack of any evidence of that, the fact was he had lived his entire adult life (until becoming President) in a jurisdiction where slavery was illegal. I asked her to bring the evidence to light, so that generations of doctoral students could feast on it. She seemed unruffled over several exchanges in that newspaper, and it occurred to me that this lady had been told that by her Daddy, who was told that by his Daddy, etc., and that nothing — literally, nothing — would affect her thinking. It was part of her DNA by that point.

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  6. Tom Heaney

    I regularly use the question “True or False: Abraham Lincoln owned slaves” as a starting point for asking students about our understanding of the past. Every class for the past several years has always overwhelmingly answered “True”. Last week, after surveying one class (in which 28 out of 25 students said, “True”), when I gave the correct answer, a student argued with me saying “I read somewhere that he did have slaves and he had children with one of his slaves.” I pointed out that she was probably mixing up Jefferson (who did) with Lincoln (who didn’t). She responded with a few “buts” before quietly whispering, “no, I don’t think that’s right.” (I’m in California, BTW.)

    So, it is, I think, fair to say that a good portion, perhaps even a majority of Americans, already think Lincoln was a slaveowner.

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    1. Patrick Young

      I was a consultant to a local museum that was exploring new ways to help children understand history. The museum’s curator told me that kids think that “the dinosaurs, Lincoln, and the Mayan Indians all died off around the same time.” I point out that of the three, the Mayans still survive.

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  7. Bob Huddleston

    Another favorite is “Who was the last US President to own slaves?” The answer: US Grant. Therefore the war was not about slavery. And showing ignorance about what USG did with *his* slave, at great financial cost to Grant.

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    1. Marian Latimer

      I was not aware that convenience foods were readily available in the 19th century, such as Italian salad dressing mix and spaghetti sauce mix. Wonder if the Victorian housewife or the regiment of negro cooks ran out to their local neighborhood Walmart to pick those items up so they could whip up a batch? Bet they could get their chicken already cut up there too. Hysterical.

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  8. Brooks D. Simpson

    Once upon a time I would join in the amusement at Gary Adams’s expense. After all, he seems so terribly clueless when it comes to American history.

    Lately, however, I have decided that Gary simply doesn’t know better. I don’t know what’s wrong. He can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, history and humor, and so on.

    What’s truly pathetic is that his fellow members at the Southern Heritage Preservation Group monitor certain blogs (including ours), so they know that people are laughing at Gary and that Gary’s making a fool of himself. Yet they say nothing. Gary will eventually recycle his posts on historical topics several times. Indeed, next to John Zakrzewski’s decision to use the group as a place to post pictures of himself over time, usually as a Confederate soldier or officer (and they are the same pictures, again and again), Gary’s recycled “history” posts are a mainstay of the group’s Facebook presence.

    You would think that Gary’s friends on the SHPG would help him out and prevent him from making a public spectacle of himself. They don’t. One might at first conclude that they don’t know better themselves, which in many cases would not be surprising. However, given that several members eventually learn that Gary’s stumbled again, the fact that they don’t help him out saddens me. It isn’t right how they treat him. It’s just cruel.

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    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      They don’t because most of them are clueless or simply don’t care. Even their so-called chaplain (John Stones) accepted the story without question.

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    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      It comes down to the fact that despite their intentions and commitment to defending “true history”, overall the SHPG is not an educated group.

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  9. Chris Coleman

    Let us not denigrate that late great source of reliable information, the World Weekly News. Begun to continue the nation’s supply of liners for bird cages it grew to a valued resource to cover UFO sightings, conspiracy theories and, of course, the doings of Bat Boy. Indeed, it is suspicious that Lincoln might have a barn in the middle of a city in the era of horses-borne travel, since we all know that he used rocket packs to hunt vampires with. The SHPG should be encouraged for its in depth research on the topic.

    On a more serious note, a number of Union officers were slave holders and others sympathetic to the institution even if they chose to remain loyal to the Union. This was one important reason why Lincoln hesitated so long in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. That and, being a good lawyer, knew that the proclamation was dubious on constitutional grounds. By the way, General Grant’s household maintained four slaves throughout the war, although technically they were his wife’s.

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