Reynolds and Destiny

Lincoln summoned Major General John F. Reynolds to the White House on June 2, 1863. The situation was pressing as Lee’s army continued its drive northward. Reynolds left his beloved First Corps on the dusty roads of Virginia to hear the entreaties of his Commander-in-Chief. No firsthand accounts remain, but a preponderance of evidence indicateContinue reading “Reynolds and Destiny”

Lincoln’s Duty

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln was prophetic. He told the nation that a civil war would only be started by their “dissatisfied fellow countrymen” actively looking to destroy the Constitution. Lincoln did not recognize secession, and rightfully so. The rebels started the war, so he now had to defend that government. Secession was notContinue reading “Lincoln’s Duty”

Facts in Five

Lincoln and Military Justice Edition: Lincoln was petitioned with over 1,600 military justice cases 343 military pardons were issued during his time in office Three time offenders, rapists, and traitors were shown no mercy Lincoln’s liberal pardoning policy was unpopular with his Generals Though disliked by his Generals, Lincoln’s use of military clemency was popularContinue reading “Facts in Five”

Lincoln and Majority Rule

Abraham Lincoln succinctly explained the insanity of secession in his First Inaugural Address. The majority rules in our democratic-republic. Failure to accept this is not patriotism, it is anarchy. “From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, theContinue reading “Lincoln and Majority Rule”

Finest Two Minutes

Lincoln thought he failed November 19, 1863…  obligatory applause from a damp crowd in Gettysburg offered him little consolation.  Lincoln had just followed a masterful two-hour speech from America’s greatest orator, Edward Everett.  The President sat down in his seat and commented to his friend, Ward Lamon, that the speech wouldn’t “scour” (would fail to clearContinue reading “Finest Two Minutes”

Not a Real Debate

Real debates are history On August 27, 1858- Abraham Lincoln stood before nearly… 12,000 spectators in Freeport, Illinois.  For just under 60 minutes he lambasted the most powerful man in Congress- pushing the mighty Stephen Douglas nearly to his breaking point.  The Freeport debate is considered the finest of the seven Lincoln/Douglas debates.  Lincoln wrylyContinue reading “Not a Real Debate”

Lincoln and Civil Liberties

The Lincoln administration arrested 14,401 people… during the Civil War.  Most were never indicted and denied a speedy trial.  Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in September of 1861 allowed the detentions to happen.  Current Lincoln scholarship trends hold that Lincoln abused civil liberties and that his historical legacy must be drawn into question.  A closerContinue reading “Lincoln and Civil Liberties”

Douglass Out of Context

Armchair historians like Colin Kaepernick often quote Frederick Douglass when making disingenuous points about civil rights history. Douglass is too often misquoted or valuable context is ignored, most persistently in regards to Abraham Lincoln and emancipation. In history, context does matter.   Frederick Douglass is often cited as proof that slaves never cared for LincolnContinue reading “Douglass Out of Context”

Remarkable Restraint

Abraham Lincoln could have curried much political favor in the West had he ordered the executions of 303 Dakota Sioux – Instead, he reviewed each case. Despite the crushing defeat at Second Bull Run, the horrific carnage of Antietam, and the political fallout of issuing the Emancipation proclamation Lincoln still listened to the facts ofContinue reading “Remarkable Restraint”

Happy Thanksgiving

Students often express disbelief… and disappointment when they are informed of the true history behind the Thanksgiving holiday.  Years of being taught the story of  Pilgrims, Squanto, and the first harvest leave an indelible mark upon young minds.  There is no debate that these events occurred, rather, the effects of the cooperation are what can beContinue reading “Happy Thanksgiving”