Saturday, May 8, 2021

From John Hay & John George Nicolay's book on Lincoln:

 Via 789

Lincoln's attitude towards Southern States on February 3, 1865, as related by reconstructionist Seward who hated white people:
Mr. Seward called attention to that phrase of his annual message where he had declared, "In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the Government
whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it." As to the rebel States being admitted to representation in Congress, "Mr. Lincoln very promptly replied that his own individual opinion was, they ought to be. He also thought they would be; but he could not enter into any stipulation upon the subject. His own opinion was that when the resistance ceased and the National authority was recognized, the States would be immediately restored to their practical relations to the Union."


Another indication of Lincoln's attitude towards the conquered South:
On the evening of February 5, 1865, Lincoln called his cabinet together and read to them the following draft of a message and proclamation, which he had written during the day, and upon which he invited their opinion and advice:

Fellow citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives: I respectfully recommend that a joint resolution, substantially as follows, be adopted, so soon as practicable, by your honorable bodies: "Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States is hereby empowered, in his discretion, to pay $400,000,000 to the States of .... in the manner and on conditions following, to wit: The payment to be made in 6% Government bonds, and to be distributed among said States pro rata on their respective slave population as shown by the census of 1860

This guy didn't want rob them blind, he wanted to give them money for the negroes. The reconstructionists had to act quickly and remove Lincoln from the way. With a President like this in office, there could not have been Stevens-Sumner reconstruction act. And this president had wide support behind him; much wider support than behind Thaddeus or Sumner. Against Lincoln they couldn't have organized an impeachment revolt.


  1. {
    Among the extreme radicals in Congress, Mr. Lincoln's determined clemency and liberallity towards the Southern people had made an impression so unfavorable that, though they were naturally shocked at his murder, they did not among themselves conceal their gratification that he was no longer in their way. In a political caucus, held a few hours after the President's death, they resolved on an entire change of the Cabinet, and a "line of policy less conciliatory than that of Mr. Lincoln; the feeling was nearly universal that the accession of Johnson to the Presidency would prove a godsent to the country." The next day the Committee on the Conduct of the War called on the new President, and Senator Benjamin Wade bluntly expressed to him the feeling of his associates: "Johnson, we have faith in you. By the gods, there will be no trouble now in running the Government."
    I selected out the passages relating to reconstruction
    I subscribe to the theory that
    a) Lincoln wanted restoration on white basis
    b) rabid reconstructionists (Sumner, Wade, Stanton, Julian) removed Lincoln from their way

    Nicolay & Hay were Lincoln's personal secretaries, and they admired Lincoln. In 1886, twenty years after the fact, and fifteen years after the radical reconstruction was accomplished, when the country was already under the firm control of those who unleashed that war upon the South and North and West, when a mythology around Lincoln was already spreading and taking hold; these two gentle men write exactly what Senator Doolittle said in 1866 and 1868, that Lincoln wanted to restore the United States upon the white basis; they quote the same final address and present it in the same light as Senator Doolittle did twenty years earlier. Mr. Nicolay and Mr. Hay presents here a Lincoln that was written out of history by 1886, and was certainly expunged from history in later years. Lincoln's final address was an in-your-face public rebuttal of the rabid reconstructionists; and he threw down the gauntlet.

    1. Sumner, Wade, Stanton, Julian) removed Lincoln from their way
      Lincoln's final address was an in-your-face public rebuttal of the rabid reconstructionists; and he threw down the gauntlet.

      Certainly a real possibility. Interesting and thanks.