The president’s story, who is admired and worshiped by many, was over time showing defects, grooves, then severe cracks. Today I realize that what I knew about him was largely a myth that would undoubtedly suffer more damage if he had not died so soon and in a such cowardly and brutally way.
The memorial dedicated to the late president, inspired by ancient Greek architecture, like many monuments and buildings in Washington, is a huge building made of Georgian marble. It contains a white statue, pure, of almost six meters high, where he is sitting motionless, serious, serene, looking at the immense park in front of him. Respecting the proportions if he were standing, he would measure about 28 feet, clearly indicating that he was the greatest of all.
After all, he freed the slaves and kept united, the States!
He did not come from a wealthy family like many who entered the presidency, on the contrary. He was born in a log cabin in the state of Kentucky, which had only one room. Attending primary school, was already working. He worked as a boatman, shop clerk and postman. Self-taught, learned law by himself, profession that he practiced for several years, while entering politics. His political career was difficult, filled with failures, lost several elections, but was elected president in 1860 by the Republican Party.
I’ve always had this question. How a President from the Republican Party, the same as Trump, could had being the liberator of slaves? This type of action would be more consistent with the Democratic party, which has a more socialist and humanist platform.
To be clear, Abraham Lincoln won the war, managed to maintain the union of American states and abolished slavery, but one must go deep, to understand why.
Lincoln entered politics against the expansion of slavery in the so-called territories, which would later be promoted to states, a huge expanse of land to the west, almost half of what the country is today, if we don’t consider Alaska. The Southern states felt that Lincoln’s position was against the southern states rights to keep slaves and take them wherever they wanted. It had an economic background. The southern states depended on slaves for their economy and were richer, although the North was more industrialized, they felt strong and began the war, properly called the war of secession and not war of liberation of slaves.
The war of secession lasted four years and was cruel. Fifty thousand civilians and more than 620,000,000 soldiers died, many from accidents, famine and disease and not directly on the battlefield. These figures are disputed by historians, some of them think they were much larger. To compare, more soldiers died in the war of secession than all subsequent wars in which the United States participated, including the first and second world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and all recent conflicts.
As we’ll see next, Lincoln’s motivation in not wanting the expansion of slavery, was to keep the United States free of blacks, a much more racist than a humanitarian position. And the famous Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves, was to help win the war against the southern states, following the reasoning that the liberation of slaves would bring chaos to the southern states and this would help the North. Furthermore, the proclamation was limited, only free slaves in states that were still rebellious after three years of war. The total liberation of the slaves would come later.
But what makes Lincoln’s real motivation very clear involves Brazil.
In 1862 when the money available was virtually all devoted to the war effort, Lincoln asked Congress for $600,000, now worth millions if not billions of dollars to “deport freed blacks somewhere outside the United States,” and Congress approved it!
Apparently, the United States government did not think it was possible to return the freed blacks to Africa and tried to negotiate deportation with countries in Central and South America.
I recently discovered the response of William H. Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state, to a letter written by J. Watson Webb a U.S. diplomat who had the title of minister to Brazil and reported to Seward. He was in this position for four years and lived in Petrópolis, a town in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, to be around Dom Pedro II, emperor of Brazil, which had his residence there.
Webb’s extensive letter, submits to the secretary of state, in detail, with justifications and how to deploy, an extraordinary proposal to transfer to the Amazon region, American freed slaves. It suggested that it was in Brazil’s interest to receive black Americans, more ignorant, docile and fit for servitude than Brazilian slaves who came from southern Africa and were intelligent, of superior race, fierce, apt to war and who were creating rebellions and problems for the Brazilian government, especially in Bahia. In addition, they would come for free and solve the problem of labor shortages in northeastern states of Brazil because slaves were being transferred from the northeast to the new coffee crops in the south, leaving uncovered the traditional cultures of the northeastern states.
In the response, the secretary of state says he agrees with the content of Webb’s letter and informs that he forwarded the proposal to President Lincoln.
This correspondence clearly shows the desire of the United States and Lincoln to get rid of blacks. What happened to Webb’s recommendation, I don’t know, I am still researching. Some say that the proposal was made to Emperor Dom Pedro II and that he did not accept. I have no proof of this, but it is plausible that, if made, the emperor did not accept it, because he was an abolitionist and freed his own slaves in 1840. Lincoln’s murder must have happened before any deportation, because I know that the money allocated for such a project was never used and returned to Congress.