Daniel Crofts on Lincoln and the “Other” Thirteenth Amendment

This past week Daniel Crofts delivered a Banner Lecture at the Virginia Historical Society that focuses on the crux of his new book, Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union.

The book does an excellent job of clarifying the issues surrounding Lincoln’s position on an amendment to protect slavery in 1861, its place within the brief history of the Republican Party and the unraveling of the Union.

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  • Interesting talk by Prof. Crofts, Lincoln must have been torn apart by publicly endorsing an amendment giving carte blanche to slavery where it existed in order to keep it out of the rest of the country. The fact that the seceding states rejected the offer shows their unwillingness to compromise.
    One reason for this,not mentioned by Prof. Crofts, was the Souths’ plan to extend slavery throughout the Caribbean and Central America. They could not accomplish this goal while remaining part of a United States where they didn’t have political dominance.

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  • Just read the book and it was an excellent political analysis of the thinking from 1830 to 1861. Crofts illuminated me as to otherwise thought of minor political players like Bingham, considered to be the father of paragraph 1 of the 14th amendment. Might be the best political book I’ve read on the Civil War.

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