Lincoln on Race and Slavery

By Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Donald Yacovone et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

66

Interview With Alexander W. Randall
And Joseph T. Mills:
CW, 7:506–507

In discussions with Joseph T. Mills, a Wisconsin judge, and the former Wisconsin governor Alexander W. Randall, Lincoln recorded his impatience with the views of the Green Bay, Wisconsin, editor Charles D. Robinson. As a War Democrat, Robinson had supported the national administration, even after it issued the Emancipation Proclamation. War Democrats like Robinson understood Lincoln's approach to the war as outlined in the president's famous open letter to Horace Greeley: all actions aimed at restoration of the Union and only at restoration of the Union. As the Lincoln administration now insisted on the abolition of slavery as a prerequisite for reunion, Randall believed that War Democrats had to support General George B. McClellan in the fall elections. “This puts the question on a new basis, and takes us War Democrats clear off our feet, leaving us no ground to stand upon.” Lincoln, with his reelection hopes fading, feared the response of men like Randall to the course of the war. His draft response and the comments Judge Mills recorded, however, clearly show that African Americans had pushed their way into the center of the president's policies, where they would remain. McClellan and the Democrats claimed to want to restore the Union “as it was,” on the one hand, and, on the other, to conduct the war without black soldiers. But the North could not fight without its black troops—“we would be compelled to abandon the war in 3 weeks”—and the South would not return to the Union if it could retain the institution of slavery. “You cannot concilliate the South,” he maintained, “when the mastery & control of millions of blacks makes them sure of ultimate success.” Lincoln would not even consider a peace proposal if it meant reenslaving those black men who had fought bravely in the Union army. “I should

-305-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Lincoln on Race and Slavery
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 346

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?