Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

Synopsis

This text is a unique intellectual biography of America's most celebrated president. It fills a conspicuous void by shedding new light not only on Lincoln but also on the religious and intellectual culture of the nineteenth century.

Excerpt

It had taken a good deal of trawling through old, downstate newspapers, but during the first week of September, 1860, the Chicago Times finally found something from the past that could embarrass Abraham Lincoln.

It was a speech the Times' editors exhumed from a dusty 1844 issue of the obscure Macomb Eagle, when Lincoln had been campaigning for Henry Clay's last presidential bid, a speech that dared to attack the father of American independence, Thomas Jefferson. "The character of Jefferson was repulsive," the speech declared, and the chief evidence of Jefferson's degradation was the long-whispered story of Jefferson's liaison with his slave, Sally Hemings, and the slave children he had sired by her. "Continually puling about liberty, equality, and the degrading curse of slavery, he brought his own children to the hammer, and made money of his debaucheries."

This was not usually the stuff out of which serious political embarrassments are made, but when Anson Chester passed a copy of the article to Lincoln, the tall Springfield lawyer's reply crackled with irritation. Lincoln was now in the midst of his own campaign for the presidency of the United States, and over the last six years, he had made Jefferson's Declaration the moral touchstone of his argument against . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.