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Abolitionism

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Abraham Lincoln

링컨

 

 

Introduction

The 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln preserved the Union during the Civil War and brought about the emancipation of the slaves. Among American heroes, Lincoln continues to have a unique appeal for his fellow countrymen and also for people of other lands. This charm derives from his remarkable life story--the rise from humble origins, the dramatic death--and from his distinctively human and humane personality as well as from his historical role as saviour of the Union and emancipator of the slaves. His relevance endures and grows especially because of his eloquence as a spokesman for democracy. In his view, the Union was worth saving not only for its own sake but also because it embodied an ideal, the ideal of self-government, which was of interest to the people of the entire world. Hence the universality of his continuing appeal.

링컨 (Abraham Lincoln). 별칭은 Honest Abe(정직한 에이브), The Railsplitter(장작 패는 사람), The Great Emancipator(위대한 해방자).

1809. 2. 12 미국 켄터키 호젠빌~1865. 4. 15 워싱턴 D.C.

남북전쟁에서 승리해 연방(聯邦)을 보존하고 노예를 해방시킨 미국의 제16대 대통령.

링컨은 미국의 여러 영웅들 가운데 미국인에게나 다른 외국인에게 독특한 매력을 느끼게 한다. 이러한 매력은 그가 누추한 집안에서 태어나고 자라서 극적인 죽음을 맞은 남다른 인생경력을 가지고 있고 매우 인간적이고 따뜻한 인격의 소유자이며, 연방의 구원자, 노예 해방자로서의 역사적인 역할을 담당했다는 데 있다. 특히 링컨은 민주주의를 대변한 웅변가로서 끊임없는 존경을 받아왔다. 그는 연방이 그 자체로도 구할 가치가 있을 뿐 아니라 전세계 국민들에게 중요한 자치(自治) 이념을 실현하고 있기 때문에 이를 구할 가치가 있다는 견해를 폄으로써 전세계 사람들로부터 호응을 받았다.

초기생애

1809년 2월 12일 켄터키의 호젠빌에서 남쪽으로 4.8㎞ 떨어진 외딴 오두막에서 태어났다. 2세때 그의 가족은 이웃마을인 노브크리크에 있는 한 농장으로 이사했다. 어렸을 적 기억은 주로 그 집과 연관되어 있다. 아버지 토머스 링컨은 1637년 잉글랜드에서 매사추세츠 주로 이민온 직공(織工) 견습공의 후손이다. 토머스는 선조들보다 훨씬 가난한 편이었으나 억센 개척민이었다. 그는 1806년 6월 12일에 낸시 행크스와 결혼했다. 그녀는 '굽은 어깨와 야윈 가슴에 신앙심이 깊은 여성'으로 알려져 있다. 이들 두 사람 사이에서 새러·에이브러햄·토머스가 태어났는데, 토머스는 어릴 때 죽었다.

1816년 12월 링컨 가족의 켄터키 농장이 소송에 걸리게 되자 토머스는 가족들을 이끌고 인디애나 주의 남서부로 이사를 갔다. 링컨 가족은 엉성한 통나무 구조물에서 출발해 하나씩 살림을 펴나갔으며 집 주위의 땅도 사들였다. 그의 나이 9세 때인 1818년 가을 어머니가 세상을 떠났으나 다행히 2년이 채 안되어 아버지 토머스 링컨은 재혼했다. 그의 2번째 아내 새러 부시 존스턴 링컨은 딸 둘과 아들 하나가 딸린 과부로 원기와 애정을 가지고 가정을 꾸려나갔고, 토머스 링컨의 아이들을 모두 친자식처럼 대했다. 그중에서도 특히 에이브러햄을 귀여워해 그는 후일 그녀를 '천사 엄마'라 불렀다.

새어머니가 링컨에게 책 읽는 습관을 붙여주었는데, 그가 어떻게 해서 배움을 열망하게 되었는지에 대해서는 확실하지 않다. 부모는 거의 문맹(文盲)이었고, 링컨 자신도 정규교육을 거의 받지 못했다. 후에 이웃들의 말로는 링컨이 책 한 권을 빌리기 위해 수㎞를 걸어가곤 했다고 하지만 그 자신은 "어린시절에 배움을 자극하는 것이 전무했다"고 말했다. 아마 링컨은 어릴 때 많은 책을 읽지는 못했지만 책을 여러번 통독했던 것 같다. 이 가운데 집에 있는 유일한 책이었을 성서에는 처음부터 꽤 친숙했던 것 같다.

1830년 3월 링컨 가족은 일리노이 주로 2번째 이사를 했다. 일리노이에 도착한 뒤 농부가 될 마음이 없던 링컨은 여러 가지 일에 손을 댔다. 그는 아버지의 새로운 농장을 경작하는 한편 선원이 되어 배를 타고 미시시피 강을 따라 뉴올리언스까지 항해하기도 했다. 그러나 결국 법률 쪽을 공부하기로 마음을 굳혔다. 이미 문법·수학을 독학한 상태였던 그는 법률책을 파고들어 1836년 법률시험에 합격했고, 이후 변호사 일을 시작했다.

대초원 변호사

다음해 링컨은 뉴셀럼보다 변호사 일이 더 많은 일리노이 주의 주도(州都) 스프링필드로 이사했다. 처음에 그는 존 T. 스튜어트와, 다음에는 스티븐 T. 로건과 동업했고, 1844년부터는 윌리엄 H. 헌던과 같이 일했다. 거의 10세 연하인 헌던은 링컨보다 책도 많이 읽었고 법정에서 능숙했으며, 대체로 견해가 극단적이었으나 이 동업은 더할 수 없이 완벽한 것이었다. 스프링필드로 옮겨온 지 몇 년 안에 링컨은 열심히 일해 매년 주지사나 순회판사의 연봉보다 많은 1,200~1,500달러의 돈을 벌었다. 그는 스프링필드에서 변호사 일을 했을 뿐 아니라 순회법정이 열리는 곳을 따라다녔다. 매년 봄과 가을에 그는 말이나 마차를 타고 이 마을 저 마을로 인구가 적은 대평원을 수백㎞ 여행했으나 대부분 재판의 규모는 작았고 보수도 얼마 되지 않았다. 그러나 1850년부터 서부에 철도가 부설되기 시작하면서 여행은 쉬워졌고 변호사 일도 수입이 좋아졌다. 링컨은 여러 철도회사를 위해서 일했으며 은행·보험회사·금융회사의 소송을 비롯해 특허신청이나 형사소송도 담당했다. 법조계에 들어온지 20년쯤 되어서는 정치에 관련된 사건의 변론에도 두각을 나타내 일리노이 주에서 가장 저명하고 성공적인 변호사 대열에 올랐다. 그는 치밀함과 현실적인 상식을 갖추어 항상 소송의 핵심을 꿰뚫어 보았을 뿐만 아니라 매우 정직하고 어떤 경우든 공정성을 잃지 않는 것으로 정평을 얻었다.

개인생활

알려진 바로는 링컨이 진정으로 사랑한 여성은 메리 토드였다. 명랑한 성격에 재치있고 교육도 많이 받은 메리는 켄터키 주 상류층 출신으로, 스프링필드에 있는 그녀의 친척들은 그 도시에서 귀족이라 할 만한 사람들이었다. 이들은 메리가 링컨과 교제하는 것을 탐탁지 않게 생각했다. 링컨은 때때로 과연 그녀를 행복하게 해줄 수 있을까 생각했지만 결국 1842년 11월 4일 이 두 사람은 결혼했다.

링컨은 아들만 4형제를 두었으나 장남인 로버트 외에 3형제(베이커, 윌리엄 월러스, 토머스)는 어른이 되기 전에 죽었다. 링컨은 자녀 교육을 주로 메리에게 맡겼으며, 그녀는 엄격하면서도 관대한 태도로 아이들을 길렀다. 링컨은 일과 아이들 문제에 모두 관심과 애정을 가졌다. 링컨 부인은 때때로 두통으로 고생했으며 남편이 순회재판 일로 오랫동안 집을 비울 때는 강한 불안감과 외로움을 느꼈다. 그녀는 링컨이 대통령으로 당선된 뒤에 아들 월러스의 죽음으로 정신적인 고통을 맛보았고, 남북전쟁으로 켄터키 주의 친구와 친척이 적으로 취급받는 아이러니를 겪었으며, 백악관의 안주인으로서는 부당한 언론의 비판에 시달렸다. 결국 남편이 자신의 곁에서 저격당한 10년 뒤인 1875년 그녀는 정신이상 진단을 받았다. 그러나 결혼 초기에 남편을 격려하고 그의 야망을 북돋았으며, 그후에는 남편의 관용과 인내의 자질을 단련시키는 역할을 했다. 링컨은 아내와 함께 스프링필드와 워싱턴에 있는 장로 교회에 다녔으나 어떤 교파에 속한 적은 없었다. 오히려 젊은시절에는 종교에 대해 다소 회의적이고 자유주의적인 생각을 가지고 있었다. 그러나 나이가 들고, 특히 대통령이 되어 남북전쟁이라는 고통스러운 짐을 떠맡게 되자 종교관념이 깊어졌으며, 점차 필연을 신(神)으로 인격화시켰다. 또한 자신을 '하느님의 도구'라고 겸손하게 표현했고 모든 역사를 하느님의 사업으로 보았다.

초기의 정치활동

링컨이 처음 정치에 발을 들여놓았을 때는 앤드루 잭슨이 대통령으로 있었다. 링컨은 잭슨주의자들이 '보통사람(common man)을 위한 정치'를 내세운 데는 공감했으나 경제사업에서 연방정부가 손을 떼야 한다는 견해에는 반대했다. 그는 후일 "정부의 합법적인 목적은 국민이 필요로 하기는 하지만 개개인의 능력으로는 전혀 해낼 수 없거나 잘할 수 없는 일을 하는 것이다"라고 말한 적이 있다. 그는 당시 저명한 정치가인 헨리 클레이와 다니엘 웹스터를 매우 존경했다. 이 두 사람은 연방정부가 국가은행 설립, 보호관세 제정, 운송시설 개발을 비롯한 국내 개량사업 추진 등을 통해 기업을 장려하고 국가자원을 개발해야 한다고 주장했다. 링컨이 보기에는 일리노이 주와 서부 전체가 경제개발에 연방정부의 원조를 절실히 필요로 하고 있었고 이 때문에 그는 클레이와 웹스터가 속한 휘그당에 입당했다.

링컨은 1834~40년 일리노이 주에서 휘그당 의원으로 4번 당선되었다. 주의회 의원으로 있는 동안 철도·고속도로·운하 등 대규모 건설계획에 노력했으나 1837년의 공황과 그로 인한 경기침체 때문에 계획은 대부분 무산되었다. 의원으로 있는 동안 그는 노예제에 반대했지만 노예제 폐지론자는 아니었던 것 같다. 1837년 올턴의 노예제반대 신문편집인인 엘리자 러브조이가 군중들에게 살해된 사건에 대해 일리노이 의원들이 주 폐지론자들을 비난하고 노예제를 지지하는 결의를 상정했을 때 링컨은 기권을 했다. 대신 그는 동료들과 함께 노예제가 "부정과 악정에 기초한 것"이지만 "노예제 폐지를 법으로 공포한다면 노예제가 가지고 있는 악폐가 줄어들기보다는 늘어날 것"이라는 내용의 선언서를 발표했다.

1847년 링컨은 연방의회 의원으로 선출되었다. 이 기간(1847~49) 동안 그는 주로 민주당 대통령 제임스 K. 포크를 비난하고 멕시코 전쟁의 영웅인 휘그당의 재커리 테일러를 대통령으로 선출되도록 하는 데 힘썼다. 그러나 테일러가 대통령에 당선되었음에도 그는 아무런 관직을 얻지 못했다.

연방의원에서 물러난 뒤 5년 동안 그는 정치에 별로 관여하지 않았다. 그러나 새로 지역적 위기가 일어나자 다시 정치가로 두각을 드러낼 기회가 생겼다. 1854년 링컨의 경쟁자인 민주당의 스티븐 A. 더글러스는 루이지애나 매입지 전체에 노예제를 허용하고, 캔자스와 네브래스카 준주(準州)에 '주민주권' 원칙에 따라 노예제 도입 여부를 그 지역 주민에게 맡기는 법안을 통과시키려고 했다. ' 캔자스-네브래스카 법'으로 불린 이 법안은 일리노이 주를 비롯한 옛 노스웨스트 지역의 주에 격렬한 반대를 일으키게 했으며, 공화당이 등장하고 휘그당이 급속히 해체되는 계기가 되었다. 이어 수천 명의 휘그당원과 함께 링컨도 공화당에 들어갔다(1856). 당시 정치적 논쟁의 초점이 되고 있던 노예제 문제에 대해 링컨과 더글러스 두 사람은 근본적으로 견해가 달랐다. 더글러스는 노예경제가 준주에 적합하지 않으므로 노예제가 준주로 확대되는 것을 막기 위해 의회가 법안을 제정할 필요는 없다고 생각했지만 링컨은 더글러스와는 달리 의회가 준주에 노예제가 도입되는 것을 막아야 한다고 주장했다. 링컨은 국가가 어떤 형태로든 결국 통합될 것이지만 준주는 자유주가 되어야 하며 가난한 사람이 보다 나은 삶을 살아가기 위한 안식처가 되어야 한다고 주장했다. 이러한 논쟁을 통해 그는 전국적 인정을 받았으며 곧 1860년 대통령 선거의 후보로 거론되기 시작했다.

1860년 5월 18일 링컨은 시카고에서 열린 공화당 전당대회에서 3차에 걸친 투표 끝에 대통령 후보로 지명되었다. 공화당이 단결한 데 반해 민주당은 분열되었고, 총 4명의 후보자가 나선 대통령 선거에서 링컨이 승리를 거두었다(1860. 11. 6). 그는 최남부에서 거의 득표하지 못했고 일반투표에서도 40%가 못 되는 표를 얻었지만 표가 분산되었기 때문에 선거인단 투표에서 압승을 거둘 수 있었다.

대통령 링컨

링컨이 대통령에 당선된 직후 사우스캐롤라이나 주가 연방 탈퇴를 선언했다. 남부 주들의 연방 탈퇴를 막기 위해 의회에서는 여러 가지 타협안을 제시했다. 가장 중요한 것이 크리튼던 타협안으로 이것은 이미 노예제가 실시되고 있는 주에 대해서는 노예제를 허용하되 새로 연방에 들어올 준주는 노예제를 허용하는 노예주와 노예제를 금지하는 자유주로 나누도록 하자는 안이었다. 링컨은 이 타협안의 첫번째 부분에는 반대하지 않았지만 두번째 부분은 단호히 거부했다. 그는 노예제 확대 원칙의 허용은 지역적 분열을 일으킬 것이며, 대농장주들로 하여금 미국 남부 경계를 넘어서까지 새로운 노예주를 얻는 데 박차를 가하게 할 것이라고 생각했다. 연방의 분열을 막으려는 링컨의 노력에도 불구하고 사우스캐롤라이나 주를 따라 6개 주가 연방을 탈퇴했고, 이들 7개 주는 ' 남부연합' 정부를 결성했다.

링컨이 대통령에 취임하기 전에 이미 연방 분열의 위기가 보이고 있었다. 당시 북부와 남부의 관심은 찰스턴 항구의 섬터 요새에 집중되어 있었다. 아직 건설중이던 이 요새는 로버트 앤더슨 소령이 이끄는 미국 군대가 수비하고 있었는데, 남부연합은 요새의 소유권을 주장하면서 항구의 다른 요새들로부터 그곳을 위협했다. 링컨은 대통령에 취임하자마자 섬터 요새의 식량이 곧 바닥날 것이므로 지원을 하지 않으면 군대를 철수시켜야 할 것이라는 보고를 받았다. 그는 반대되는 2가지 조언을 받았다. 스콧 장군, 국무장관 윌리엄 H. 수어드 등이 요새를 포기할 것을 요청한 반면, 많은 공화당원들은 약함을 보이는 것은 당과 연방에 매우 좋지 않은 결과를 낳을 것이라고 주장했다. 결국 링컨은 섬터 요새와 플로리다 주의 피컨스 요새에 보낼 2개의 원조부대를 준비하라고 지시했다. 그러나 링컨이 보낸 파견대가 섬터 요새에 도착하기 전에 남부연합 정부는 앤더슨 소령에게 요새에서 즉시 철수할 것을 요구했으며, 앤더슨 소령이 이를 거부하자 마침내 1861년 4월 12일 동틀 무렵 찰스턴 항구에 있는 남부연합의 포대는 발포를 개시했다.

7월 4일 의회에서 행한 연설에서 링컨은 "당시 남부연합 정부의 공격으로 교전이 시작되었다"고 말했다. 그러나 남부연합은 링컨이 자신들에게 전범(戰犯)이라는 무거운 짐을 지우기 위해 교묘하게 조정하여 첫 발포를 하지 않을 수 없게 했다고 말했다. 링컨에게 전쟁 원인의 책임을 돌리는 역사가도 있지만 이러한 비난은 사실을 완전히 왜곡하는 것인 듯하다. 연방을 지켜야겠다는 입장이 확고했던 링컨은 이를 위해 남부연합에 강경히 맞서기로 했으며 섬터에서도 이러한 입장을 고수하는 편이 낫겠다는 결론을 내렸다. 링컨의 원래 목적은 전쟁을 일으키는 것도 평화를 유지하는 것도 아니었다. 그는 연방을 지키기 위해서라면 평화를 유지하는 것이 바람직하지만 전쟁도 마다하지 않겠다는 생각이었으며, 만약 전쟁이 일어난다면 단기전이 될 것이라고 생각했다.

링컨은 육해군 총사령관으로서 첫번째 중요 결정을 내려 섬터 요새에 군대를 파견하고 자원병 모집을 요청하며 항구봉쇄를 명령하는 등의 조치들을 취했다. 그러나 그러한 결정을 실행에 옮기기 위해서는 전략안과 명령체계가 필요했다. 스콧 장군은 링컨에게 버지니아에서의 접전을 피하고 미시시피 강을 장악하여 남부를 거대하고 튼튼한 포위망으로 좁혀 들어가는 전략을 제시했다. 그러나 링컨은 다소 소극적이고 가능한 한 피를 흘리지 않으려는 스콧의 '애너콘다'(구렁이) 작전이 별로 마음에 들지 않았으며 전쟁에서 이기려면 적극적으로 싸워야 한다고 생각했다. 결국 그는 스콧의 의견을 무시하고 버지니아 전선으로 바로 진군할 것을 명령했다. 하지만 이 결과 벌어진 불런 전투(1861. 7. 21)에서 북군은 패주하고 말았다. 그뒤 연일 불면의 밤을 보낸 끝에 링컨은 군사정책에 대한 일련의 각서를 내놓았다. 그의 기본 생각은 몇 개의 전선에서 동시에 공격을 개시하고, 미주리, 켄터키, 버지니아 서부, 테네시 동부로 군대를 이동시켜 그곳에 있는 연방 지지자들의 지원을 받는다는 것이었다. 이러한 구상은 해상봉쇄와 함께 링컨 전략의 핵심을 이루었다.

1861~64년 링컨은 자신의 생각을 장군들에게 명령하기를 잠시 망설이면서 지휘요원과 지휘조직에 대한 실험을 했다. 1861년 11월 그는 스콧의 사임을 받아들이고 조지 B. 매클렐런을 총사령관에 임명했다. 그러나 몇 달 뒤 매클렐런의 지휘권을 포토맥군에만 한정시켰다. 링컨은 매클렐런이 내놓은 '반도회전'(半島會戰) 계획의 타당성에 의문을 던지면서 계획을 바꿀 것을 계속 요청했으며, 리치먼드 주변에서 벌어진 '7일전투'(1862. 6~7) 뒤에는 계획 포기를 명령했다. 그리고 나서 버지니아 사령관으로 존 포프, 매클렐런,앰브로스 E. 번사이드, 조지프 후커, 고든 미드를 차례로 임명했지만 어느 누구에게도 만족하지 못했다. 한편 헨리 W. 핼럭을 총사령관으로 임명했는데 그는 중요한 결정은 내리기를 피했다. 거의 2년 동안 북군은 효과적인 단일 명령체계를 가지지 못했다.

결국 링컨은 서부전선에서 총사령관감을 물색했다. 그는 율리시스 S. 그랜트가 지휘한 빅스버그 회전을 칭찬했다. 북군이 빅스버그를 함락시킨 지(1863. 7. 4.) 9일 뒤 그는 그랜트에게 "더할 나위 없는 당신의 활약에 고마움을 표합니다"라고 썼다. 1864년 3월 링컨은 그랜트를 중장으로 승진시키고 북군 총사령관에 임명했다. 마침내 링컨은 대규모 합동공격이라는 자신의 구상을 실현에 옮길 적임자를 찾았다. 이제 북군의 병력과 물자는 육군장관 스탠턴이, 대통령에 대한 자문 및 장군들과 대통령 사이의 연결은 참모총장 핼럭이 각각 맡았으며, 모든 군대는 총사령관 그랜트의 지휘하에 있고 그 가운데 포토맥군은 미드가 맡았다. 이와 같이 링컨은 전면전의 방대한 전략을 실행에 옮기는 데 있어 모든 물자와 병력의 동원을 담당하는 최고사령부의 창설을 주도했다. 그는 군대를 총지휘하는 데 있어 해가 갈수록 수완과 효율성을 발휘했다. 전쟁을 치른 경험이나 전쟁에 대한 훈련이 없었기 때문에 그가 해낸 일들은 더욱 놀라운 것이었다. 그러나 이러한 경험 부족은 불리하다기보다는 오히려 유리하게 작용한 듯하다. 그는 케케묵은 군사이론에 구애받지 않고 군사적 천재성이라 말할 수 있는 현실적 통찰력과 상식을 적용하여 남북전쟁을 승리로 이끌었다.

인간의 자유라는 대의에 대한 링컨의 깊고 진지한 헌신에는 의심의 여지가 없다. 대통령에 당선되기 전에 그는 종종 노예제를 주제로 유창하게 연설했다. 예를 들어 1854년 준주로까지 노예제가 확장될 가능성이 있다는 점에 대해 더글러스가 무관심하다고 비난하면서 "나는 노예제가 그 자체로 가공할 만한 불의이기 때문에 그것을 증오한다. 나는 노예제가 우리의 공화적 규범이 전세계에 정당한 영향력을 미치는 것을 막고, 자유로운 제도의 적들에게 우리들을 위선자라고 비웃을 여지를 주기 때문에 그것을 증오한다"라고 공언했다.

처음에 링컨은 노예제 폐지정책을 채택하는 데 주저했다. 그는 400만에 이르는 흑인들이 해방되어 국가의 정치·사회 생활에 들어올 경우 일어날 수 있는 문제점을 염두에 두었으며, 무엇보다 폐지론을 내세울 경우 경계주(境界洲:남부 노예주 중 연방탈퇴보다는 타협으로 기운 주)들이 남부연합에 합류하지 않을까 우려했다. 그럼에도 노예제 반대 감정이 높아졌을 때 그는 자신이 작성한 노예해방령을 들고 나왔다. 그의 제안에 따르면 각 주는 노예소유주에게 보상을 하고 노예를 해방시킬 수 있으며, 연방정부는 노예해방에 드는 재정적 부담을 주와 나누어 가진다는 것이었다. 또한 해방은 점진적으로 행해지며 해방된 노예는 해외로 집단 이주시킬 것이라는 점도 덧붙여졌다. 연방의회는 링컨의 안을 실행에 옮기는 데 드는 비용을 표결에 붙이고자 했으나 경계주들은 모두 이 안을 거부했으며, 흑인 지도자들도 자신의 동료들이 해외로 보내지는 것을 결코 원하지 않았다.

그러나 자신의 점진안이 결국에는 통과될 것이라는 기대를 버리지 않았던 링컨은 별개의 조처에 착수해 예비선언(1862. 9. 22)을 거쳐 1863년 1월 1일 최종적인 노예해방령을 발표했다. 그가 전시의 대통령 권한 행사로 정당화시킨 이 유명한 선언은 남부연합이 실제로 통제권을 행사할 수 있는 지역만 대상으로 한 것이며, 연방에 충성한 노예주나 연방정부가 점령하고 있던 남부연합의 영토에는 해당되지 않았다. 전쟁기간 동안 노예해방령에 의해 직접적·간접적으로 자유의 몸이 된 노예는 20만 명이 채 못 되었지만 그것은 하나의 상징으로 대단한 의미가 있었다. 노예해방령은 링컨 행정부가 연방의 회복 외에도 자유를 명분으로 내세웠음을 의미했고 이 때문에 연방정부의 대의는 영국과 유럽 대륙의 자유주의 언론으로부터 차츰 확고한 지지를 받게 되었다.

링컨 자신은 그가 취한 조치가 일시적인 전쟁수단 외에 어떤 합헌성을 가지는지 확신하지 못했다. 전쟁이 끝난 뒤 노예의 자유를 보장하는 추가조치가 없었더라면 노예해방령으로 자유를 얻었던 노예는 옛날 신분으로 돌아갈 위험이 있었을 것이다. 노예제를 전면적으로 금지하는 수정헌법 제13조가 연방헌법의 한 부분으로 추가됨으로써 이러한 조치가 이루어졌으며 링컨은 이렇게 연방헌법을 변화시키는 데 큰 역할을 했다. 그뒤 수정헌법 제13조는 각주에서 잇따라 승인을 받았다.

링컨 대통령이 전쟁에 승리하기 위해서는 국민의 지지를 얻어야 했으므로 남북의 재통합에 앞서 무엇보다 북부가 어느 정도 의견일치를 보아야 했다. 그러나 북부는 나름대로 이해를 갖는 다양한 집단들로 이루어져 있었으며, 링컨은 이해가 다른 집단과 개인으로부터 가능한 한 많은 지지를 자신의 행정부로 끌어모아야 했다. 연방을 위해서 다행히도 그에게는 대통령으로서 남다른 정치적 기술이 있었다. 그는 동료 정치가에게 호소하고 그들의 입장에 서서 이야기하는 데 훌륭한 솜씨가 있었으며, 개인적 차이점에 구애받지 않고 모든 적대자들로부터 충성을 얻는 재능이 있었다. 그러나 야당은 여전히 활기차고 강력했다. 야당인 민주당은 전쟁의 계속을 주장하는 당원과 평화를 주장하는 당원('독사')으로 분열되었으며 이들은 때로 남부와 연합하기도 했다. 링컨은 수정헌법 제13조가 의회에서 통과될 수 있도록 평화파 민주당원의 지원을 얻기 위해 애썼으며, 가능한 한 그들을 무마시키려 했다.

링컨은 민주당의 활동에 대처하는 데 상당한 어려움을 겪었지만 자신이 속해 있는 공화당 내에서도 당의 분열과 경쟁자들의 도전으로 그에 못지 않은 어려움이 따랐다. 공화당은 경제원칙에서는 상당히 일치하여 링컨이 이전 휘그 당원 시절부터 지지해온 핵심 안건들인 보호관세, 전국적 은행체계, 국내 개량사업, 특히 태평양 연안에 이르는 철도 건설에 대한 연방정부의 원조 등을 법으로 제정했다. 그러나 전쟁수행과 목적에 관련된 여러 문제에 대해서는 크게 '급진파'와 '보수파'로 나누어졌다. 링컨 자신은 보수파 쪽으로 마음이 기울었으나 급진파 의원들 가운데도 친구가 있었기 때문에 양쪽에 지도력을 유지하도록 노력했다. 그는 1860년 대통령 선거전에서 같이 경쟁했던 사람들도 각료로 임명하고 모든 중요 정당세력에서 각료를 선택했다. 링컨은 현명하게 보수파와 급진파를 각각 대표하는 수어드와 샐먼 P. 체이스를 입각시켜 내각의 위기를 극복했으며 대립관계에 있던 두 사람을 공식적 조언자로 삼았다.

의회 안에도 파벌간의 반발이 있었으며 그것은 훨씬 더 심각했다. 중대 현안은 남부의 '재건작업'(남부의 연방 재편입 작업)이었다. 루이지애나 주, 아칸소 주, 테네시 주 같은 연방탈퇴주에서는 주로 연방군에 의해 재건작업이 진행되고 있었는데 링컨은 1863년말 이러한 남부주에 대해 소위 '10%안(案)'을 제시했다. 이 안은 유권자의 10%가 연방정부에 충성을 서약하는 주에 대해서는 새로운 주정부의 설립을 승인한다는 것이었다. 그러나 급진파는 링컨의 안이 너무 관대하다고 여겨 거부하고 대신 유권자의 과반수가 충성 서약을 하는 주에 대해서만 주정부 형성과 연방재가입을 받아들인다는 ' 웨이드-데이비스 안'을 제출했다. 링컨이 이 안을 거부하자 안의 발의자인 웨이드와 데이비스는 링컨을 비난하는 '성명서'를 발표했다.

이미 링컨은 '통일당'(공화당의 새로운 이름)의 대통령 후보로 대통령 재선을 노리고 있었는데 웨이드와 데이비스의 성명서는 링컨의 후보지명을 취소시키려는 공화당 내의 움직임을 분명히 드러내준 셈이었다. 그는 조용하고 끈기있게 이러한 움직임이 사라지기를 기다렸지만 당의 분열은 점점 더 악화되었다. 훨씬 이전에 공화당 내 한 파에 의해 후보지명을 받은 존 C. 프리몬트는 이미 선거운동에 나서고 있었다. 급진파의 지도자들은 링컨이 보수파인 몽고메리 블레어 체신장관을 해임한다면 프리몬트의 출마를 포기시키겠다고 약속했다. 결국 프리몬트는 물러났고 블레어도 사임했다. 이로써 공화당은 다시 단결하여 1864년 대통령 선거를 맞이하게 되었다.

1860년 선거 때와 마찬가지로 1864년에도 링컨은 자신의 선거운동에서 직접 선거전략을 맡았다. 국민 대다수가 공화당에 표를 던졌고, 링컨은 일반투표에서 과반수인 55%를 차지해 민주당 후보 매클렐런 장군을 누르고 재선되었다.

1860년 선거 때와 마찬가지로 1864년에도 링컨은 자신의 선거운동에서 직접 선거전략을 맡았다. 국민 대다수가 공화당에 표를 던졌고, 링컨은 일반투표에서 과반수인 55%를 차지해 민주당 후보 매클렐런 장군을 누르고 재선되었다.

처음부터 링컨은 전쟁의 주목적이 '이른바 탈퇴한 주'를 가능한 한 빨리 이전처럼 연방과 '적절하고 실제적인 관계'를 맺도록 하는 데 있다는 믿음을 간직해왔었다. 그러나 전쟁이 끝나갈 무렵에도 그는 패배한 남부에 대해 구체적이고 통일된 정책을 세우지 못했다. 루이지애나나 테네시 같은 주에 대해서는 전쟁중에 자신이 제시한 10%안에 따라 새로운 주 정부를 세우도록 촉구했으나, 버지니아나 노스캐롤라이나 같은 주에 대해서는 전쟁을 일으킨 주 정부를 일시 유지시켜 평화상태를 회복시키는 수단으로 삼으려 했다. 기록에 의하면 그는 전후 남부로 간 북부 출신의 '이방인'(카핏배거)에게 남부 통치를 맡기는 것에 반대했다. 링컨은 남부인 스스로가 새로운 주 정부를 세우기를 원했으며, 그 과정에서 백인과 흑인이 서로 옛날의 관계에서 점차 벗어나 새로운 관계를 맺기를 바랐다. 그는 해방노예에 대한 교육안이 흑인이 새로 얻은 신분에 적응할 수 있도록 도와주는 데 핵심적인 것이라 생각했다. 또한 어떤 흑인들 "예를 들면 지식수준이 매우 높고 특히 우리와 함께 용감하게 싸웠던 흑인들"에게는 즉시 선거권이 주어져야 한다고 주장했다.

그러나 1865년초에 와서는 재건문제를 놓고 일어난 링컨과 공화당 내 극단주의자의 견해차가 그 전해보다 더욱 커졌다. 일부 급진파는 남부에 대해 잠정적으로 군정(軍政)을 실시하고, 남부 대농장주의 영지를 몰수해 그들을 해방된 흑인에게서 분리시킬 것을 주장하기 시작했다. 또한 그들은 남부의 정치 권력을 대농장주로부터 지난날의 노예에게 넘겨주도록 요구했다. 1865년 4월 링컨은 어떤 부분에 대해서는 자신의 입장을 바꿈으로써 급진파와의 견해차를 좁혔다. 그는 버지니아 주의 전시의회가 전쟁이 끝난 뒤에도 계속 남아 있도록 허용한 것을 철회하고 스탠턴의 남부 군정안을 원칙적으로 승인했다. 4월 14일 각료회의가 열렸을 때 법무장관인 제임스 스피드 장군은 링컨이 급진파 쪽으로 기울고 있다고 결론 짓고 "그가 어느 때보다 우리 견해에 가까워진 것 같다"고 말했다. 따라서 링컨이 재임 임기를 마저 채웠더라면 그의 재건정책은 달라질 수도 있었을 것이다. 그러나 그런 가능성은 추측에 지나지 않게 되었다. 1865년 4월 14일 저녁 그는 워싱턴의 포드 극장에서 관람중 존 윌크스 부스에게 저격당해 다음날 아침 사망했다.

평가와 성격

링컨이 마지막 숨을 거둘 때 스탠턴은 "이제 그의 이름은 역사에 영원히 남게 되었다"고 말했다고 한다. 많은 사람들은 링컨을 순교자라고 생각했다. 암살은 성 금요일에 일어났고, '암흑의 부활절'이었던 그 주 일요일에는 수백 명의 연사가 링컨의 죽음에 대해 연설했다. 그들 중 어떤 사람은 암살이 예수가 십자가에 못박힌 날에 일어난 것은 우연이 아님을 보이기도 했다. 또 어떤 사람은 "예수 그리스도가 세상을 위해 죽었듯이 에이브러햄 링컨은 조국을 위해 죽었다"고 말했다. 따라서 링컨이 죽은 시기와 상황은 그의 명성을 더욱 높이고 그를 성인의 지위로까지 올리는 역할을 했다.

링컨은 인간이면서 동시에 신화가 되었다. 그의 전설은 상상력이 풍부한 문학작품이나 민간전승·시·연극·소설·일화 등에서 보여지며 전기나 역사책 같은 사실성에 입각한 글들에서도 발견된다. 전설에서의 링컨은 변화무상한 신(神)과 같아서 거의 모든 숭배자들을 만족시키는 데가 있다. 그는 꾸밈없는 신사인 동시에 초자연적인 민첩함과 교묘한 솜씨를 갖춘 존재였으며, 권위를 휘두르고 약한 자를 옹호한 동시에 평범한 이웃이며 친구였다.

인간으로서의 링컨은 신화로서의 링컨과는 평가가 다르다. 살아 있을 때부터 그의 명성은 커지기 시작해 죽기 직전에는 그 위대한 자질이 이미 사람들 사이에 널리 알려져 있었다. 예를 들어 남북전쟁이 한창일 때 〈워싱턴 크로니클 Washington Chronicle〉지는 확실한 판단, 감정의 냉정함, 목표를 향한 단호함, 최상의 도덕적 원칙, 강렬한 애국심 등의 면에서 그가 워싱턴과 닮았음을 발견했다. 〈버펄로 익스프레스 Buffalo Express〉지는 링컨이 뛰어난 중용과 격정에 사로잡히지 않음을 지적하면서 "워싱턴이라도 권력을 위한 권력의 행사에 그렇게 무관심하지는 못했을 것이다"라고 덧붙였다. 링컨의 사상과 그가 한 말의 정수는 세심하게 쓰여진 여러 책에서 검토되고 재차 언급되었는데, 그 중심 주제는 자치문제와 약속이라고 할 수 있을 것이다. 그는 특히 남북전쟁이 일어난 뒤로 이상적 자치에 대해 거듭 언급했으며 자신의 말을 꾸준히 발전시켰다. 섬터 요새가 함락된 뒤 의회에 보낸 최초의 교서에서 그는 북부와 남부 사이의 문제가 미국의 장래문제를 넘어서 "입헌공화국 또는 민주주의, 다시 말해 국민에 의한 국민의 정부가 그 자신의 내부 적으로부터 영토를 보전할 수 있느냐 없느냐 하는 문제를 제기한다"고 단언했다.

그리고 마침내 게티즈버그에서 다음과 같은 말로 끝을 맺는 최상의 연설을 했다. "우리는 여기서 우리에게 남겨진 위대한 과제, 즉 명예롭게 죽어간 용사들이 죽음을 두려워하지 않고 헌신했던 대의를 위해 우리도 더욱 헌신해야 한다는 것, 그리고 그들의 희생이 결코 헛되지 않도록 우리의 결의를 굳건히 다지리라는 것, 하느님의 가호 아래 이 나라가 자유롭게 다시 탄생할 것이며 국민의, 국민에 의한, 국민을 위한 정부는 이 세상에서 결코 사라지지 않으리라는 것을 다짐해야 할 것입니다."

R. N. Current 글 | 河尙潤 참조집필

 

LIFE

Born on February 12, 1809, in a backwoods cabin three miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln was two years old when he was taken to a farm in the neighbouring valley of Knob Creek. His earliest memories were of this home and, in particular, of a flash flood that once washed away the corn and pumpkin seeds he had helped his father plant. The father, Thomas Lincoln, was descended from a weaver's apprentice who had migrated from England to Massachusetts in 1637. Though much less prosperous than some of his Lincoln forebears, Thomas was a sturdy pioneer. On June 12, 1806, he married Nancy Hanks. The Hanks genealogy is difficult to trace, but Nancy appears to have been of illegitimate birth. She has been described as "stoop-shouldered, thin-breasted, sad," and fervently religious. Thomas and Nancy Lincoln had three children: Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas (died in infancy).

 

Childhood and youth.

In December 1816, faced with a lawsuit challenging the title to his Kentucky farm, Thomas Lincoln moved with his family to southwestern Indiana. There, as a "squatter" on public land, he hastily put up a "half-faced camp"--a crude structure of logs and boughs with one side open to the weather--in which the family took shelter behind a blazing fire. Soon he built a permanent cabin, and later he bought the land on which it stood. Abraham helped to clear the fields and to take care of the crops but early acquired a dislike for hunting and fishing. In afteryears he recalled the "panther's scream," the bears that "preyed on the swine," and the poverty of Indiana frontier life, which was "pretty pinching at times." The unhappiest period of his boyhood followed the death of his mother in the autumn of 1818. As a ragged nine year old, he saw her buried in the forest, then faced a winter without the warmth of a mother's love. Fortunately, before the onset of a second winter, Thomas Lincoln brought home from Kentucky a new wife for himself, a new mother for the children. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, a widow with two girls and a boy of her own, had energy and affection to spare. She ran the household with an even hand, treating both sets of children as if she had borne them all; but she became especially fond of Abraham, and he of her. He afterward referred to her as his "angel mother."

This stepmother doubtless encouraged Lincoln's taste for reading, yet the original source of his desire to learn remains something of a mystery. Both of his parents were almost completely illiterate, and he himself received little formal education. He once said that, as a boy, he had gone to school "by littles"--a little now and a little then--and his entire schooling amounted to no more than one year's attendance. His neighbours later recalled how he used to trudge for miles to borrow a book. According to his own statement, however, his early surroundings provided "absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course, when I came of age I did not know much. Still, somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the rule of three; but that was all." Apparently the young Lincoln did not read a large number of books but thoroughly absorbed the few that he did read. These included Parson Weems's Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington (with its story of the little hatchet and the cherry tree), Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim's Progress, and Aesop's Fables. From his earliest days he must have had some familiarity with the Bible, for it doubtless was the only book his family owned.

In March 1830 the Lincoln family undertook a second migration, this one to Illinois, with Lincoln himself driving the team of oxen. Having just reached the age of 21, he was about to begin life on his own. Six feet four inches tall, he was rawboned and lanky but muscular and physically powerful. He was especially noted for the skill and strength with which he could wield an ax. He spoke with a backwoods twang and walked in the long-striding, flatfooted, cautious manner of a plowman. Good-natured though somewhat moody, talented as a mimic and storyteller, he readily attracted friends. He was yet to demonstrate whatever other abilities he possessed.

After his arrival in Illinois, having no desire to be a farmer, Lincoln tried his hand at a variety of occupations. As a "rail splitter" he helped to clear and fence his father's new farm. As a flatboatman, he made a voyage down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. (This was his second visit to that city, his first having been made in 1828, while he still lived in Indiana.) On his return he settled in New Salem, a village of about 25 families on the Sangamon River. There he worked from time to time as storekeeper, postmaster, and surveyor. With the coming of the Black Hawk War (1832), he enlisted as a volunteer and was elected captain of his company. Afterward he joked that he had seen no "live, fighting Indians" during the war but had had "a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes." Meanwhile, aspiring to be a legislator, he was defeated in his first try and then repeatedly reelected to the state assembly. He considered blacksmithing as a trade but finally decided in favour of the law. Already he had taught himself grammar and mathematics, and now he began to study lawbooks. In 1836, having passed the bar examination, he began to practice law.

 

Prairie lawyer.

The next year he moved to Springfield, Illinois, the new state capital, which offered many more opportunities for a lawyer than New Salem did. At first he was a partner of John T. Stuart; then of Stephen T. Logan; and finally, from 1844 on, of William H. Herndon. Nearly 10 years younger than Lincoln, Herndon was more widely read, more emotional at the bar, and generally more extreme in his views. Yet this partnership seems to have been as nearly perfect as such human arrangements ever are. Lincoln and Herndon kept few records of their law business, and they split the cash between them whenever either of them was paid. It seems they had no money quarrels.

Within a few years after his removal to Springfield, Lincoln was earning from $1,200 to $1,500 annually, at a time when the governor of the state received a salary of $1,200 and circuit judges only $750. He had to work hard. To keep himself busy he found it necessary not only to practice in the capital but also to follow the court as it made the rounds of its circuit. Each spring and fall he would set out by horseback or buggy to travel hundreds of miles over the thinly settled prairie, from one little county seat to another. Most of the cases were petty and the fees small.

The coming of the railroads, especially after 1850, made travel easier and practice more remunerative. Lincoln served as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad to assist it in getting a charter from the state, and thereafter he was retained as a regular attorney for that railroad. After successfully defending the company against the efforts of McLean County to tax its property, he received the largest single fee of his legal career--$5,000. (He had to sue the Illinois Central in order to collect the fee.) He also handled cases for other railroads and for banks, insurance companies, mercantile and manufacturing firms. In one of his finest performances before the bar, he saved the Rock Island Bridge, the first to span the Mississippi River, from the threat of the river transportation interests that demanded the bridge's removal. His business included a number of patent suits and criminal trials. One of his most effective and famous pleas had to do with a murder case. A witness claimed that, by the light of the moon, he had seen Duff Armstrong, an acquaintance of Lincoln's, take part in a killing. Referring to an almanac for proof, Lincoln argued that the night had been too dark for the witness to have seen anything clearly, and with a sincere and moving appeal he won an acquittal.

By the time he began to be prominent in national politics, about 20 years after launching upon his legal career, Lincoln had made himself one of the most distinguished and successful lawyers in Illinois. He was noted not only for his shrewdness and practical common sense, which enabled him always to see to the heart of any legal case, but also for his invariable fairness and utter honesty.

 

Private life.

While residing in New Salem, Lincoln was acquainted with Ann Rutledge. Apparently he was fond of her, and certainly he grieved with the entire community at her untimely death, in 1835, at the age of 19. Afterward stories were told of a grand romance between Abraham and Ann, but these stories lack the support of sound historical evidence. A year after the death of Miss Rutledge, Lincoln was carrying on a halfhearted courtship with Mary Owens. Miss Owens concluded that Lincoln was "deficient in those little links which make up the chain of woman's happiness." She turned down his proposal.

So far as can be known, the first and only real love of Lincoln's life was Mary Todd. High-spirited, quick-witted, and well-educated, Miss Todd came from a rather distinguished Kentucky family, and her Springfield relatives belonged to the social aristocracy of the town. Some of them frowned upon her association with Lincoln, and from time to time he too had doubts whether he ever could make her happy. Nevertheless, they became engaged. Then, on a day in 1841 that Lincoln recalled as the "fatal first of January," they broke the engagement, apparently on his initiative. For some time after that, he was overwhelmed by a mood of terrible depression and despondency. Finally the two were reconciled and on November 4, 1842, were married.

Four children, all boys, were born to the Lincolns. Robert Todd, the eldest and only one to survive to adulthood, was never very close to his father. Edward Baker was nearly four when he died, and William Wallace was 11. Thomas, affectionately known as "Tad," outlived his father; Tad, who had a cleft palate and a lisp, was Lincoln's favourite. Lincoln left the upbringing of his sons largely to their mother, who was alternately strict and lenient in her treatment of them.

The Lincolns had a mutual affectionate interest in the doings and welfare of their boys, were fond of one another's company, and missed each other when apart, as existing letters show. Like most married couples, the Lincolns also had their domestic quarrels, which sometimes were hectic but which undoubtedly were exaggerated by contemporary gossips. Mrs. Lincoln suffered from recurring headaches, fits of temper, and a sense of insecurity and loneliness that was intensified by her husband's long absences on the lawyer's circuit. After his election to the presidency, she was afflicted in spirit by the death of her son Willie, by the ironies of war that made enemies of Kentucky relatives and friends, and by the unfair public criticisms of her as mistress of the White House. She lost all money sense and ran up embarrassing bills. She also put on some painful scenes of wifely jealousy. At last, in 1875, she was officially declared insane, but that was after she had undergone the further shock of seeing her husband murdered at her side. During their earlier married life, Mrs. Lincoln unquestionably encouraged her husband and served as a prod to his own ambition. During their later years together she probably strengthened and tested his innate qualities of tolerance and patience.

With his wife, Lincoln attended Presbyterian services in Springfield and in Washington but never joined any church. He once explained:

When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qual-ification for membership, the Saviour's condensed statement of the substance of both Law and Gospel, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor, as thyself," that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.

Early in life he had been something of a skeptic and freethinker. His reputation had been such that, as he once complained, the "church influence" was used against him in politics. When running for Congress in 1846, he issued a handbill to deny that he ever had "spoken with intentional disrespect of religion." He went on to explain that he had believed in the doctrine of necessity--"that is, that the human mind is impelled to action, or held in rest by some power over which the mind itself has no control." Throughout his life he also believed in dreams and other enigmatic signs and portents. As he grew older, and especially after he became president and faced the soul-troubling responsibilities of the Civil War, he developed a profound religious sense, and he increasingly personified necessity as God. He came to look upon himself quite humbly as an "instrument of Providence" and to view all history as God's enterprise. "In the present civil war," he wrote in 1862, "it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party--and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose."

Lincoln was fond of the Bible and knew it well. He also was fond of Shakespeare. In private conversation he used many Shakespearean allusions, discussed problems of dramatic interpretation with considerable insight, and from memory recited long passages with rare feeling and understanding. He liked the essays of John Stuart Mill, particularly the famous one on liberty, but disliked heavy or metaphysical works.

Though he enjoyed the poems of Lord Byron and Robert Burns, his favourite piece of verse was the work of an obscure Scottish poet, William Knox. Lincoln often quoted Knox's lines beginning: "Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?" He liked to relax with the comic writings of Petroleum V. Nasby, Orpheus C. Kerr, and Artemus Ward, or with a visit to the popular theatre.

 

Early politics.

When Lincoln first entered politics, Andrew Jackson was president. Lincoln shared the sympathies that the Jacksonians professed for the common man, but he disagreed with the Jacksonian view that the government should be divorced from economic enterprise. "The legitimate object of government," he was later to say, "is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot do so well, for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities." He most admired Henry Clay and Daniel Webster among the prominent politicians of the time. Clay and Webster advocated using the powers of the federal government to encourage business and develop the country's resources by means of a national bank, a protective tariff, and a program of internal improvements for facilitating transportation. In Lincoln's view, Illinois and the West as a whole desperately needed such aid to economic development. From the outset, he associated himself with the Clay and Webster party, the Whigs. (see also Index: Whig Party)

As a Whig member of the Illinois State Legislature, to which he was elected four times from 1834 to 1840, he devoted himself to a grandiose project for constructing with state funds a network of railroads, highways, and canals. Whigs and Democrats joined in passing an omnibus bill for these undertakings, but the Panic of 1837 and the ensuing business depression brought about the abandonment of most of them. While in the legislature he demonstrated that, though opposed to slavery, he was no abolitionist. Resolutions were introduced, in 1837, in response to the mob murder of Elijah Lovejoy, an antislavery newspaperman of Alton. Instead of denouncing lynch law, these resolutions condemned abolitionist societies and upheld slavery within the Southern states as "sacred" by virtue of the federal Constitution. Lincoln refused to vote for the resolutions. Together with a fellow member he drew up a protest against them. This maintained, on the one hand, that slavery was "founded on both injustice and bad policy" and, on the other, that "the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than to abate its evils."

During his single term in Congress (1847-49), Lincoln, as the lone Whig from Illinois, gave little attention to legislative matters as such. He proposed a bill for the gradual and compensated emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia, but the bill was to take effect only with the approval of the "free white citizens" of the district. It displeased abolitionists as well as slaveholders and never was seriously considered.

Much of his time Lincoln devoted to presidential politics, to unmaking one president, a Democrat, and making another, a Whig. He found an issue and a candidate in the Mexican War. With his "spot resolutions" he challenged the statement of Pres. James K. Polk that Mexico had started the war by shedding American blood upon American soil. Along with other members of his party, Lincoln voted to condemn Polk and the war while voting supplies for carrying it on. At the same time he laboured for the nomination and election of the war hero Zachary Taylor. After Taylor's success at the polls, Lincoln expected to be named commissioner of the general land office as a reward for his campaign services, and he was bitterly disappointed when he failed to get the job. His criticisms of the war, meanwhile, had not been popular among the voters in his own congressional district. At the age of 40, frustrated in politics, he seemed to be at the end of his public career.

 

The road to presidency.

For about five years he took little part in politics, and then a new sectional crisis gave him a chance to re-emerge and rise to statesmanship. In 1854 his political rival Stephen A. Douglas manoeuvred through Congress a bill for reopening the entire Louisiana Purchase to slavery and allowing the settlers of Kansas and Nebraska (with "popular sovereignty") to decide for themselves whether to permit slaveholding in those territories. The Kansas-Nebraska Act provoked violent opposition in Illinois and the other states of the old Northwest. It gave rise to the Republican Party while speeding the Whig Party on the way to disintegration. Along with many thousands of other homeless Whigs, Lincoln soon became a Republican (1856). Before long, some prominent Republicans in the East talked of attracting Douglas to the Republican fold, and with him his Democratic following in the West. Lincoln would have none of it. He was determined that he, not Douglas, should be the Republican leader of his state and section. In their basic views, he and Douglas were not quite so far apart as they seemed in the heat of political argument. Neither was an abolitionist, neither a proslavery man. But Lincoln, unlike Douglas, insisted that Congress must exclude slavery from the territories. He disagreed with Douglas' belief that the territories were by nature unsuited to the slave economy and that no congressional legislation was needed to prevent the spread of slavery into them. He declared (1858): "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe the government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." He predicted that the country eventually would become "all one thing, or all the other." Again and again he insisted that the civil liberties of every U.S. citizen, white as well as black, were at stake. The territories must be kept free, he further said, because "new free states" were "places for poor people to go and better their condition." He agreed with Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers, however, that slavery should be merely contained, not directly attacked. In the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, while contesting for Douglas' seat in the United States Senate, he drove home the inconsistency between Douglas' "popular sovereignty" principle and the Dred Scott decision (1857), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that Congress could not constitutionally exclude slavery from the territories. Though he failed to obtain the Senate seat, Lincoln gained national recognition and soon began to be mentioned as a presidential prospect for 1860.

On May 18, 1860, after Lincoln and his friends had made skillful preparations, he was nominated on the third ballot at the Republican Convention in Chicago. He then put aside his law practice and, though making no stump speeches, gave his full time to the direction of his campaign. His "main object," he had written, was to "hedge against divisions in the Republican ranks," and he counselled party workers to "say nothing on points where it is probable we shall disagree." With the Republicans united, the Democrats divided, and a total of four candidates in the field, he carried the election on November 6. No one in the Deep South voted for him and no more than 40 out of 100 in the country as a whole. Still, the popular votes were so distributed that he won a clear and decisive majority in the electoral college.

President Lincoln.

After Lincoln's election and before his inauguration, the state of South Carolina proclaimed its withdrawal from the Union. To forestall similar action by other Southern states, various compromises were proposed in Congress. The most important, the Crittenden Compromise, included constitutional amendments (1) guaranteeing slavery forever in the states where it already existed and (2) dividing the territories between slavery and freedom. Though Lincoln had no objection to the first of these amendments, he was unalterably opposed to the second and indeed to any scheme infringing in the slightest upon the free-soil plank of his party's platform. "I am inflexible," he privately wrote. He feared that a territorial division, by sanctioning the principle of slavery extension, would only encourage planter imperialists to seek new slave territory south of the American border and thus would "put us again on the highroad to a slave empire." From his home in Springfield he advised Republicans in Congress to vote against a division of the territories. The proposal was killed in committee. Six additional states then seceded and, with South Carolina, combined to form the Confederate States of America.

So, before Lincoln took office, a disunion crisis was upon the country. Attention, North and South, focussed in particular upon Ft. Sumter, in Charleston Harbor. This fort, still under construction, was garrisoned by U.S. troops under Maj. Robert Anderson. The Confederacy claimed it and, from other harbour fortifications, threatened it. Foreseeing trouble, Lincoln, while still in Springfield, confidentially requested Winfield Scott, general in chief of the U.S. Army, to be prepared "to either hold, or retake, the forts, as the case may require, at, and after the inauguration." In his inaugural address (March 4, 1861), besides upholding the Union's indestructibility and appealing for sectional harmony, Lincoln restated his Sumter policy as follows: (see also Index: Sumter, Fort)

The power confided to me, will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion--no using of force against, or among the people anywhere.

Then, near the end, addressing the absent Southerners: "You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors."

 

Outbreak of war.

No sooner was he in office than Lincoln received word that the Sumter garrison, unless supplied or withdrawn, would shortly be starved out. Still, for about a month, Lincoln delayed to act. He was beset by contradictory advice. On the one hand, General Scott, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and others urged him to abandon the fort; and Seward, through a go-between, gave a group of Confederate commissioners to understand that the fort would in fact be abandoned. On the other hand, many Republicans insisted that any show of weakness would bring disaster to their party and to the Union. Finally Lincoln ordered the preparation of two relief expeditions, one for Ft. Sumter and the other for Ft. Pickens, in Florida. (He afterward said he would have been willing to withdraw from Sumter if he could have been sure of holding Pickens.) Before the Sumter expedition, he sent a messenger to tell the South Carolina governor:

I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort-Sumpter with provisions only; and that, if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition, will be made, without further notice, or in case of an attack upon the Fort.

Without waiting for the arrival of Lincoln's expedition, the Confederate authorities presented to Major Anderson a demand for Sumter's prompt evacuation, which he refused. On April 12, 1861, at dawn, the Confederate batteries in the harbour opened fire. (see also Index: American Civil War)

"Then, and thereby," Lincoln informed Congress when it met on July 4, "the assailants of the Government, began the conflict of arms." The Confederates, however, accused him of being the real aggressor. They said he had cleverly manoeuvred them into firing the first shot so as to put upon them the onus of war guilt. Though some historians have repeated this charge, it appears to be a gross distortion of the facts. Lincoln was determined to preserve the Union; to do so he thought he must take a stand against the Confederacy, and he concluded he might as well take this stand at Sumter.

Lincoln's primary aim was neither to provoke war nor to maintain peace. In preserving the Union, he would have been glad to preserve the peace also, but he was ready to risk a war that he thought would be short.

After the firing on Ft. Sumter, Lincoln called upon the state governors for troops (Virginia and three other states of the upper South responded by joining the Confederacy). He then proclaimed a blockade of the Southern ports. These steps--the Sumter expedition, the call for volunteers, and the blockade--were the first important decisions of Lincoln as commander in chief of the army and navy. He still needed a strategic plan and a command system for carrying it out.

General Scott advised him to avoid battle with the Confederate forces in Virginia, to get control of the Mississippi River, and by tightening the blockade to hold the South in a gigantic squeeze. Lincoln had little confidence in Scott's comparatively passive and bloodless "Anaconda" plan. He believed the war must be actively fought if it ever was to be won. Overruling Scott, he ordered a direct advance on the Virginia front, which resulted in defeat and rout for the Federal forces at Bull Run (July 21, 1861). After a succession of more or less sleepless nights, Lincoln produced a set of memorandums on military policy. His basic thought was this: the armies should advance concurrently on several fronts and should move in such directions as to hold and use the support of Unionists in Missouri, Kentucky, western Virginia, and eastern Tennessee. He later explained: (see also Index: Bull Run, Battles of)

I state my general idea of this war to be that we have the greater numbers, and the enemy has the greater facility of concentrating forces upon points of collision; that we must fail, unless we can find some way of making our advantage an over-match for his; and that this can only be done by menacing him with superior forces at different points, at the same time.

This, with the naval blockade, comprised the essence of Lincoln's strategy.

Leadership in war.

From 1861 to 1864, while hesitating to impose his ideas upon his generals, Lincoln experimented with command personnel and organization. Accepting the resignation of Scott (November 1861), he put George B. McClellan in charge of the armies as a whole. After a few months, disgusted by the slowness of McClellan, he demoted him to the command of the Army of the Potomac alone. He questioned the soundness of McClellan's plans for the peninsular campaign, repeatedly compelled McClellan to alter them, and, after the Seven Days' Battles before Richmond (June-July 1862), ordered him to give them up. Then he tried a succession of commanders for the army in Virginia--John Pope, McClellan again, Ambrose E. Burnside, Joseph Hooker, and George Gordon Meade--but was disappointed with each of them in turn. Meanwhile, he had in Henry W. Halleck a general in chief who gave advice and served as a liaison with field officers but who shrank from making important decisions. For nearly two years the Federal armies had no very effective unity of command. President Lincoln, General Halleck, and War Secretary Edwin M. Stanton acted as an informal council of war. Lincoln, besides transmitting official orders through Halleck, also communicated directly with the generals, sending personal suggestions in his own name. To generals opposing Robert E. Lee, he suggested that the object was to destroy Lee's army, not to capture Richmond or to drive the invader from Northern soil.

Finally Lincoln looked to the West for a top general. He admired the Vicksburg Campaign of Ulysses S. Grant. Nine days after the Vicksburg surrender (which occurred on July 4, 1863), he sent Grant a "grateful acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service" he had done the country. Lincoln sent also an admission of his own error. He said he had expected Grant to bypass Vicksburg and go on down the Mississippi, instead of crossing the river and turning back to approach Vicksburg from the rear. "I feared it was a mistake," he wrote in his letter of congratulations. "I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right, and I was wrong."

In March 1864 Lincoln promoted Grant to lieutenant general and gave him command of all the Federal armies. At last Lincoln had found a man who, with such able subordinates as William T. Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and George H. Thomas, could put into effect those parts of Lincoln's concept of a large-scale, coordinated offensive that still remained to be carried out. Grant was only a member, though an important one, of a top-command arrangement that Lincoln eventually had devised. Overseeing everything was Lincoln himself, the commander in chief. Taking the responsibility for men and supplies was Stanton, the secretary of war. Serving as a presidential adviser and as a liaison with military men was Halleck, the chief of staff. And directing all the armies, while accompanying Meade's Army of the Potomac, was Grant, the general in chief. Thus Lincoln pioneered in the creation of a high command, an organization for amassing all the energies and resources of a people in the grand strategy of total war. He combined statecraft and the overall direction of armies with an effectiveness that year by year increased. His achievement is all the more remarkable in view of his lack of training and experience in the art of warfare. This lack may have been an advantage as well as a handicap. Unhampered by outworn military dogma, Lincoln could all the better apply his practical insight and common sense--some would say his military genius--to the winning of the Civil War.

There can be no doubt of Lincoln's deep and sincere devotion to the cause of personal freedom. Before his election to the presidency he had spoken often and eloquently on the subject. In 1854, for example, he said he hated the Douglas attitude of indifference toward the possible spread of slavery to new areas. "I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself," he declared. "I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world; enables the enemies of free institutions with plausibility to taunt us as hypocrites. . . ." In 1855, writing to his friend Joshua Speed, he recalled a steamboat trip the two had taken on the Ohio River 14 years earlier. "You may remember, as I well do," he said, "that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. That sight was a continual torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border."

Yet, as president, Lincoln was at first reluctant to adopt an abolitionist policy. There were several reasons for his hesitancy. He had been elected on a platform pledging no interference with slavery within the states, and in any case he doubted the constitutionality of federal action under the circumstances. He was concerned about the possible difficulties of incorporating nearly 4,000,000 Negroes, once they had been freed, into the nation's social and political life. Above all, he felt that he must hold the border slave states in the Union, and he feared that an abolitionist program might impel them, in particular his native Kentucky, toward the Confederacy. So he held back while others went ahead. When Gen. John C. Frémont and Gen. David Hunter, within their respective military departments, proclaimed freedom for the slaves of disloyal masters, Lincoln revoked the proclamations. When Congress passed confiscation acts (in 1861 and 1862), he refrained from a full enforcement of the provisions authorizing him to seize slave property. And when Horace Greeley in the New York Tribune appealed to him to enforce these laws, Lincoln patiently replied (August 22, 1862):

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.

Meanwhile, in response to the rising antislavery sentiment, Lincoln came forth with an emancipation plan of his own. According to his proposal, the slaves were to be freed by state action, the slaveowners were to be compensated, the federal government was to share the financial burden, the emancipation process was to be gradual, and the freedmen were to be colonized abroad. Congress indicated its willingness to vote the necessary funds for the Lincoln plan, but none of the border slave states were willing to launch it, and in any case few Negro leaders desired to see their people sent abroad.

While still hoping for the eventual success of his gradual plan, Lincoln took a quite different step by issuing his preliminary (September 22, 1862) and his final (January 1, 1863) Emancipation Proclamation. This famous decree, which he justified as an exercise of the president's war powers, applied only to those parts of the country actually under Confederate control, not to the loyal slave states nor to the Federally occupied areas of the Confederacy. Directly or indirectly the proclamation brought freedom during the war to fewer than 200,000 slaves. Yet it had great significance as a symbol. It indicated that the Lincoln government had added freedom to reunion as a war aim, and it attracted liberal opinion in England and Europe to increased support of the Union cause.

Lincoln himself doubted the constitutionality of his step, except as a temporary war measure. After the war the slaves freed by the proclamation would have risked re-en-slavement, had nothing else been done to confirm their liberty. Something else was done: the Thirteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution, and Lincoln played a large part in bringing about this change in the fundamental law. Through the chairman of the Republican National Committee he urged the party to include a plank for such an amendment in its platform of 1864. The plank, as adopted, stated that slavery was the cause of the rebellion, that the President's proclamation had aimed "a death blow at this gigantic evil," and that a constitutional amendment was necessary to "terminate and forever prohibit" it. When Lincoln was re-elected on this platform and the Republican majority in Congress was increased, he was justified in feeling, as he apparently did, that he had a mandate from the people for the Thirteenth Amendment. The newly chosen Congress, with its overwhelming Republican majority, was not to meet until after the lame duck session of the old Congress during the winter of 1864-65. Lincoln did not wait. Using his resources of patronage and persuasion upon certain of the Democrats, he managed to get the necessary two-thirds vote before the session's end. He rejoiced as the amendment went out to the states for ratification, and he rejoiced again and again as his own Illinois led off and other states followed one by one in acting favourably upon it. (He did not live to rejoice in its ultimate adoption.) (see also Constitution of the United States of America )

Lincoln deserves his reputation as the Great Emancipator. His claim to that honour, if it rests uncertainly upon his famous proclamation, has a sound basis in the support he gave to the antislavery amendment. It is well founded also in his greatness as the war leader who carried the nation safely through the four-year struggle that brought freedom in its train. And, finally, it is strengthened by the practical demonstrations he gave of respect for human worth and dignity, regardless of colour. During the last two years of his life he welcomed Negroes as visitors and friends in a way no president had done before. One of his friends was the distinguished former slave Frederick Douglass. Afterward Douglass wrote: "In all my interviews with Mr. Lincoln I was impressed with his entire freedom from prejudice against the colored race."

Wartime politics.

To win the war, President Lincoln had to have popular support. The reunion of North and South required, first of all, a certain degree of unity in the North. But the North contained various groups with special interests of their own. Lincoln faced the task of attracting to his administration the support of as many divergent groups and individuals as possible. So he gave much of his time and attention to politics, which in one of its aspects is the art of attracting such support. Fortunately for the Union cause, he was a president with rare political skill. He had the knack of appealing to fellow politicians and talking to them in their own language. He had a talent for smoothing over personal differences and holding the loyalty of men antagonistic to one another. Inheriting the spoils system, he made good use of it, disposing of government jobs in such a way as to strengthen his administration and further its official aims.

The opposition party remained alive and strong. Its membership included war Democrats and peace Democrats, often called "Copperheads," a few of whom collaborated with the enemy. Lincoln did what he could to cultivate the assistance of the war Democrats, as in securing from Congress the timely approval of the Thirteenth Amendment. So far as feasible, he conciliated the peace Democrats. He gave heed to the complaints of one of them, Gov. Horatio Seymour of New York, in regard to the draft quota for that state. He commuted the prison sentence of another, Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, to banishment within the Confederate lines. In dealing with persons suspected of treasonable intent, Lincoln at times authorized his generals to make arbitrary arrests. He justified this action on the ground that he had to allow some temporary sacrifice of parts of the Constitution in order to maintain the Union and thus preserve the Constitution as a whole. He let his generals suspend several newspapers, but only for short periods, and he promptly revoked a military order suppressing the hostile Chicago Times. In a letter to one of his generals he expressed his policy thus: (see also  Democratic Party)

You will only arrest individuals and suppress assemblies or newspapers when they may be working palpable injury to the military in your charge, and in no other case will you interfere with the expression of opinion in any form or allow it to be interfered with violently by others. In this you have a discretion to exercise with great caution, calmness, and forbearance.

Considering the dangers and provocations of the time, Lincoln was quite liberal in his treatment of political opponents and the opposition press. He was by no means the dictator critics often accused him of being.

Within his own party he confronted factional divisions and personal rivalries that caused him as much trouble as did the activities of the Democrats. True, he and most of his fellow partisans agreed fairly well upon their principal economic aims. With his approval, the Republicans enacted into law the essentials of the program he had advocated from his early Whig days--a protective tariff; a national banking system; and federal aid for internal improvements, in particular for the construction of a railroad to the Pacific Coast. The Republicans disagreed among themselves, however, on many matters regarding the conduct and purposes of the war. Two main factions arose: the "radicals" and the "conservatives." Lincoln himself inclined in spirit toward the conservatives, but he had friends among the radicals as well, and he strove to maintain his leadership over both. In appointing his cabinet, he chose his several rivals for the 1860 nomination and, all together, gave representation to every important party group. Wisely he included the outstanding conservative, Seward, and the outstanding radical, Salmon P. Chase. Cleverly he overcame cabinet crises and kept these two opposites among his official advisers until Chase's resignation in 1864. (see also Index: Republican Party)

He had to deal with even more serious factional uprisings in Congress. The big issue was the "reconstruction" of the South. The seceded states of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee having been largely recovered by the Federal armies, Lincoln late in 1863 proposed his "ten percent plan," according to which new state governments might be formed when 10 percent of the qualified voters had taken an oath of future loyalty to the United States. The radicals rejected Lincoln's proposal as too lenient, and they carried through Congress the Wade-Davis Bill, which would have permitted the remaking and re-admission of states only after a majority had taken the loyalty oath. When Lincoln pocket vetoed that bill, its authors published a "manifesto" denouncing him.

Already he was the candidate of the "Union" (that is, the Republican) party for re-election to the presidency, and the Wade-Davis manifesto signalized a movement within the party to displace him as the party's nominee. He waited quietly and patiently for the movement to collapse, but even after it had done so, the party remained badly divided. A rival Republican candidate, John C. Frémont, nominated much earlier by a splinter group, was still in the field. Leading radicals promised to procure Frémont's withdrawal if Lincoln would obtain the resignation of his conservative postmaster general, Montgomery Blair. Eventually Frémont withdrew and Blair resigned. The party was reunited in time for the election of 1864.

In 1864, as in 1860, Lincoln was the chief strategist of his own electoral campaign. He took a hand in the management of the Republican Speakers' Bureau, advised state committees on campaign tactics, hired and fired government employees to strengthen party support, and did his best to enable as many soldiers and sailors as possible to vote. Most of the citizens in uniform voted Republican. He was reelected with a large popular majority (55 percent) over his Democratic opponent, General McClellan.

In 1864 the Democratic platform called for an armistice and a peace conference, and prominent Republicans as well as Democrats demanded that Lincoln give heed to Confederate peace offers, irregular and illusory though they were. In a public letter, he stated his own conditions:

Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United states will be received and considered by the Executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points.

When conservatives protested to him against the implication that the war must go on to free the slaves, even after reunion had been won, he explained: "To me it seems plain that saying reunion and abandonment of slavery would be considered, if offered, is not saying that nothing else or less would be considered, if offered." After his re-election, in his annual message to Congress, he said: "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." On February 3, 1865, he met personally with Confederate commissioners on a steamship in Hampton Roads. He promised to be liberal with pardons if the South would quit the war, but he insisted on reunion as a precondition for any peace arrangement. In his second inaugural address he embodied the spirit of his policy in the famous words "with malice toward none; with charity for all." His terms satisfied neither the Confederate leaders nor the radical Republicans, and so no peace was possible until the final defeat of the Confederacy.

Postwar policy.

At the end of the war, Lincoln's policy for the defeated South was not clear in all its details, though he continued to believe that the main object should be to restore the "seceded States, so-called," to their "proper practical relation" with the Union as soon as possible. He possessed no fixed and uniform program for the region as a whole. As he said in the last public speech of his life (April 11, 1865), "so great peculiarities" pertained to each of the states, and "such important and sudden changes" occurred from time to time, and "so new and unprecedented" was the whole problem that "no exclusive and inflexible plan" could "safely be prescribed." With respect to states like Louisiana and Tennessee, he continued to urge acceptance of new governments set up under his 10 percent plan during the war. With respect to states like Virginia and North Carolina, he seemed willing to use the old rebel governments temporarily as a means of transition from war to peace. He was on record as opposing the appointment of "strangers" (carpetbaggers) to govern the South. He hoped that the Southerners themselves, in forming new state governments, would find some way by which whites and Negroes "could gradually live themselves out of their old relation to each other, and both come out better prepared for the new." A program of education for the freedmen, he thought, was essential for preparing them for their new status. He also suggested that the vote be given immediately to some Negroes--"as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks."

On the question of reconstruction, however, Lincoln and the extremists of his own party stood even farther apart in early 1865 than a year before. Some of the radicals were beginning to demand a period of military occupation for the South, the confiscation of planter estates and their division among the freedmen, and the transfer of political power from the planters to their former slaves. In April 1865 Lincoln began to modify his own stand in some respects and thus to narrow the gap between himself and the radicals. He recalled the permission he had given for the assembling of the rebel legislature of Virginia, and he approved in principle--or at least did not disapprove--Stanton's scheme for the military occupation of southern states. After the cabinet meeting of April 14, Attorney General James Speed inferred that Lincoln was moving toward the radical position. "He never seemed so near our views," Speed believed. What Lincoln's reconstruction policy would have been, if he had lived to complete his second term, can only be guessed at.

REPUTATION AND CHARACTER

"Now he belongs to the ages," Stanton is supposed to have said as Lincoln breathed his last. Many thought of him as a martyr. The assassination had occurred on Good Friday, and on the following Sunday, memorable as "Black Easter," hundreds of speakers found a sermon in the event. Some of them saw more than mere chance in the fact that assassination day was also crucifixion day. One declared: "Jesus Christ died for the world; Abraham Lincoln died for his country." Thus the posthumous growth of his reputation was influenced by the timing and circumstances of his death, which won for him a kind of sainthood.

Among the many who remembered Lincoln from personal acquaintance, one was sure he had known him more intimately than any of the rest and influenced the world's conception of him more than all the others put together. That one was his former law partner Herndon. When Lincoln died, Herndon began a new career as Lincoln authority, collecting reminiscences wherever he could find them and adding his own store of memories. Though admiring Lincoln, he objected to the trend toward sanctifying the man. He saw, as the main feature of Lincoln's life, the far more than ordinary rise of a self-made man, a rise from the lowest depths to the greatest heights--"from a stagnant, putrid pool, like the gas which, set on fire by its own energy and self-combustible nature, rises in jets, blazing, clear, and bright." To emphasize this point, Herndon gave his most eager attention to evidences of the dismal and sordid in Lincoln's background. An extremely significant event in Lincoln's development, as Herndon viewed it, was a "romance of much reality" with Ann Rutledge. Lincoln loved no one but Ann and, after her death, never ceased to grieve for her. His memory of her both saddened and inspired him. As for his wife, Mary Todd, she married him out of spite, then devoted herself to making him miserable. So Herndon would have it, and after him countless biographers and novelists and playwrights elaborated upon his views, which persist as accepted knowledge about Lincoln despite their refutation by historical scholarship.

Lincoln has become a myth as well as a man. The legendary is to be found in imaginative literature and in folklore, in poems, plays, novels, anecdotes, and the like. It is also to be found in ostensibly factual productions, including footnoted biographies and histories.

The Lincoln of legend has grown into a protean god who can assume a shape to please almost any worshipper. He is Old Abe and at the same time a natural gentleman. He is Honest Abe and yet a being of superhuman shrewdness and cunning. He is also Father Abraham, the wielder of authority, the support of the weak; and he is an equal, a neighbour, and a friend.

Lincoln the man has a reputation that may be considered apart from that of Lincoln the myth. While he was still alive, his reputation began to grow, and before his death his qualities of greatness already were widely recognized. In the midst of the Civil War, for instance, the Washington Chronicle found a resemblance between him and George Washington in their "sure judgment," "perfect balance of thoroughly sound faculties," and "great calmness of temper, great firmness of purpose, supreme moral principle, and intense patriotism." The Buffalo Express referred to his "remarkable moderation and freedom from passionate bitterness," then added: "We do not believe that Washington himself was less indifferent to the exercise of power for power's sake." An English newspaper, the Liverpool Post, suggested that "no leader in a great contest ever stood so little chance of being the subject of hero worship as Abraham Lincoln," if one were to judge only by the way he looked. His long arms and legs, his grotesque figure, made him too easy to caricature and ridicule. "Yet," this newspaper concluded, "a worshiper of human heroes might possibly travel a great deal farther and fare much worse for an idol than selecting this same lanky American." His inner qualities--his faithfulness, honesty, resolution, insight, humour, and courage--would "go a long way to make up a hero," whatever the man's personal appearance.

Lincoln's best ideas and finest phrases were considered and written and rewritten with meticulous revisions. Some resulted from a slow gestation of thought and phrase through many years. One of his recurring themes--probably his central theme--was the promise and the problem of self-government. As early as 1838, speaking to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield on "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions," he recalled the devotion of his Revolutionary forefathers to the cause and went on to say:

Their ambition aspired to display before an admiring world, a practical demonstration of the truth of a proposition, which had hitherto been considered, at best no better, than problematical; namely, the capability of a people to govern themselves.

Again and again he returned to this idea, especially after the coming of the Civil War, and he steadily improved his phrasing. In his first message to Congress after the fall of Ft. Sumter, he declared that the issue between North and South involved more than the future of the United States.

It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic, or a democracy--a government of the people, by the same people--can, or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes.

And finally at Gettysburg he made the culminating, supreme statement, concluding with the words: (see also Index: Gettysburg Address)

. . . that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(R.N.C.)

Bibliography

BIBLIOGRAPHY. A guide for the general reader is PAUL M. ANGLE, A Shelf of Lincoln Books: A Critical, Selective Bibliography of Lincolniana (1946, reissued 1972). Practically all the known writings of Lincoln himself are available in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. by ROY P. BASLER, 9 vol. (1953-55), with two supplements (1974, 1990). A judicious selection from these volumes is reprinted in The Living Lincoln, ed. by PAUL M. ANGLE and EARL SCHENK MIERS (1955, reissued 1992). Lincoln on Democracy, ed. by MARIO M. CUOMO and HAROLD HOLZER (1990), contains Lincoln's writings on this subject.

Classic multivolume biographies are JOHN G. NICOLAY and JOHN HAY, Abraham Lincoln: A History, 10 vol. (1890, reissued 1917), also available in an abridged ed. edited by PAUL M. ANGLE, 1 vol. (1966); ALBERT BEVERIDGE, Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858, 2 vol. (1928, reissued 1971); CARL SANDBURG, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 2 vol. (1926), and Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, 4 vol. (1939), both reissued together in 1 vol. (1984); and J.G. RANDALL, Lincoln, the President, 4 vol. (1945-55). One-volume biographies include BENJAMIN P. THOMAS, Abraham Lincoln (1952, reissued 1986); STEPHEN B. OATES, With Malice Toward None (1977, reissued 1985), and Abraham Lincoln, the Man Behind the Myths (1984); OSCAR HANDLIN and LILIAN HANDLIN, Abraham Lincoln and the Union (1980); PHILIP B. KUNHARDT, JR., PHILIP B. KUNHARDT III, and PETER W. KUNHARDT, Lincoln (1992), containing 900 pictures; MICHAEL BURLINGAME, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (1994), a psychobiography; and DAVID HERBERT DONALD, Lincoln (1995). PAUL HORGAN, Citizen of New Salem (also published as Abraham Lincoln, Citizen of New Salem, 1961), concentrates on Lincoln's early life; while MARK E. NEELY, JR., The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America (1993), traces Lincoln's later political life through his own speeches.

Matters of controversy may be found in RICHARD N. CURRENT, The Lincoln Nobody Knows (1958, reprinted 1980); DAVID DONALD, Lincoln Reconsidered, 2nd ed., enlarged (1961, reissued 1989); DON E. FEHRENBACHER, Lincoln in Text and Context (1987), which compiles essays on prewar politics, the Civil War, and Lincoln's changing image; and GABOR S. BORITT and NORMAN O. FORNESS (eds.), The Historian's Lincoln: Pseudohistory, Psychohistory, and History (1988).

Lincoln's administration is documented in PHILLIP SHAW PALUDAN, The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (1994). Works dealing with aspects of Lincoln's statesmanship are DON E. FEHRENBACHER, Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s (1962, reissued 1970); DAVID M. POTTER, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis (1942, reprinted 1979), with emphasis on the period between Lincoln's election and the firing on Ft. Sumter; WILLIAM B. HESSELTINE, Lincoln and the War Governors (1948, reissued 1972); KENNETH M. STAMPP, And the War Came: The North and the Secession Crisis, 1860-1861 (1950, reprinted 1980); T. HARRY WILLIAMS, Lincoln and the Radicals (1941, reissued 1969), and Lincoln and His Generals (1952, reprinted 1981); DAVID A. NICHOLS, Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics (1978); GABOR S. BORITT, Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream (1978); JAMES M. McPHERSON, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution (1990); and ROBERT W. JOHANNSEN, Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension (1991).

Books dealing with specific Lincoln issues are numerous. RUTH PAINTER RANDALL, Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage (1953, reissued 1961), and Lincoln's Sons (1955), examine Lincoln's family life. Randall effectively refutes the views of WILLIAM H. HERNDON and JESSE W. WEIK, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, ed. by PAUL M. ANGLE (1930, reissued 1983). Two books about the president's wife are JEAN H. BAKER, Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography (1987); and MARK E. NEELY, JR., and R. GERALD McMURTRY, The Insanity File: The Case of Mary Todd Lincoln (1986, reissued 1993). An able and realistic treatment of Lincoln's legal career is JOHN J. DUFF, A. Lincoln, Prairie Lawyer (1960). PHILIP B. KUNHARDT, JR., A New Birth of Freedom: Lincoln at Gettysburg (1983), focuses on aspects of his famous speech; as does GARRY WILLS, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America (1992). HAROLD HOLZER (compiler and ed.), Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President (1993), assembles letters written by ordinary citizens covering all topics. HAROLD HOLZER, GABOR S. BORITT, and MARK E. NEELY, JR., The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print (1984), explores Lincoln's rise to fame through the medium of prints. MERRILL D. PETERSON, Lincoln in American Memory (1994), examines the view each succeeding generation has had toward Lincoln.

Comparisons between Lincoln and other historical figures include DAVID ZAREFSKY, Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery (1990), which delves into the background of the Lincoln-Douglas debates and outlines each speaker's rhetorical methods; and WILLIAM CATTON and BRUCE CATTON, Two Roads to Sumter (1963, reissued 1971), which analyzes the dual roads taken by Lincoln and Jefferson Davis that led to the Civil War.

An overall view of Lincoln's assassination may be found in WILLIAM HANCHETT, The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies (1983). More detailed accounts of the last hours of his life include JIM BISHOP, The Day Lincoln Was Shot (1955, reprinted 1984); and W. EMERSON RECK, A. Lincoln, His Last 24 Hours (1987). (R.N.C./Ed.)

미국역사의 기본사료 :, 미국사연구회 편역, 소나무, 소나무
에이브러햄 링컨 : B. P. 토머스, 안병욱 역, 삼육출판사, 1990
링컨(세계의 인간상4) : 로렌스, 김범경 역, 한국서적공사, 1983
링컨의 일생 : 김동길, 샘터사, 1976
링컨전 : 박성하, 명세당, 1954

 
   

Ableman v. Booth ] Adams, John Quincy ] "America" - By James M Whitfield ] Amistad mutiny ] Anti-Slavery Convention Address - Angelina Grimke's ] American Anti-Slavery Society ] From David Walker's Appeal - Our Wretchedness in Consequence of Slavery ] Birney, James Gillespie ] Black Code ] Bleeding Kansas ] Brown, William Wells ] Brown, John ] Chapman, Maria Weston ] Child, Lydia Maria ] Clay, Cassius Marcellus ] Compromise of 1850 ] Crandall, Prudence ] Emancipation Proclamation ] Forced Labour ] Foster, Abigail Kelley ] freedman ] Freedmen's Bureau ] Freetown ] Fugitive Slave Acts ] gag rule ] Grimke, Sarah (Moore) and Angelina (Emily) ] From The Liberator  - By William Lloyd Garrison ] Liberty Party ] [ Abraham Lincoln ] lynching ] The Martyr - From Uncle Tom’s Cabin ] Middle Passage ] Missouri Compromise ] peonage ] personal-liberty laws ] On the Reception of Abolition Petitions ] Racism ] Reconstruction ] Serfdom ] Sharp, Granville ] Congregations Sites for the Abolitioninsts ] Stevens, Thaddeus ] Thoreau's "A Plea for Captain John Brown" ] Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture ] Truth, Sojourner ] Turner, Nat ] Underground Railroad ] Whittier, John Greenleaf ]


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