The Party of Lincoln" Looked the Other Way While 1 Million Black Americans Died

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That's the conclusion of a new scholarly book entitled Sick from Freedom, by Connecticut College historian Jim Downs. Early reviews of the book tend to repeat the historically false and cartoonish notion that Lincoln "freed the slaves" by the stroke of a pen with an "executive order." The truth, of course, is that the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to "rebel territory" where no slaves could be freed, specifically exempted all areas, including West Virginia and numerous parishes in Louisiana that were controlled by the U.S. Army, and was defined by Lincoln as a "war measure" that would end immediately if the war ended. If the war ended the day after the Proclamation was announced, then nothing at all would have been done about slavery by the Lincoln administration. Thus, it was designed to free no one and was roundly denounced by genuine abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison. It was the Thirteenth Amendment that ended slavery in 1866. Lincoln, meanwhile, was busy plotting to deport every last black person out of the U.S. up to his dying day, as documented in another Oxford University Press book, Colonization After Emancipation by Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page.

Sick from Freedom shows that as many as 1 million of the freed slaves died from cholera or smallpox while the federal government, controlled by The Party of Lincoln for half a century after the war, did essentially nothing at all about it. Thousands of ex slaves returned to work on the plantations where they were previously enslaved because the alternative was starvation and death from disease.

The main priority of The Party of Lincoln at that time (from 1865-1890) was its war of genocide against another colored race, the Plains Indians, in order to "make way for the railroad," as General Sherman himself announced. The U.S. army, aided by ex slaves known as "Buffalo Soldiers," eventually murdered some 60,000 Plains Indians, including thousands of women and children, while putting the rest of them into concentraton camps known as "reservations."

So far, the naive and historically ignorant media, such as the New York Times, has expressed shock over the notion that this book, along with several others published in recent years, seems to challenge the "established view" that in the 1860s all Northerners were angels sent by God to take up arms to murder hundreds of thousands of barbaric Southerners solely for the benefit of black strangers in places like Mississippi and Louisiana, where almost none of them had ever been. This of course has been the defining philosophy of American imperialism ever since 1861: Resisters to the American empire, from nineteenth-century Southerners, to the Plains Indians, to turn-of-the-century Filipinos, to anyone anywhere today, are supposedly legitimate targets of extinction so that the earth can be "civilized," American style. It's called "American exceptionalism."

TheFirstLeftist's picture
Mar. 23, 2012 1:33 pm


I don't feel it's my place to speak for the African Americans but I'm willing to bet everything I have that most of those spoken of would rather die of cholera or small pox as a free man than living a longer life of suffering in chains.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

The Civil War was not only about slavery. It was an economic war, and there were nations in Europe trying to influence a breakup of the Union for their own economic and financial benefit.

Karolina's picture
Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm

The Brits were behind a plot against Lincoln. They were still the world's leading empire. Lincoln did start out as a white supremacist, too. His deportation plan, destination Liberia, is in the history books, but not in school history books.

For more correction of myths The War of 1812 was not exactly as taught, either.

Mark Twain did write of the Phillipine genocide,

Mark Twain – anti-imperialist

As U.S. industry expanded at a dizzying pace at the end of the nineteenth century America was using its growing might to challenge its European rivals and conquer markets and territory abroad. In the process, it violated other peoples’ rights to independence and self-determination – the very values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The country’s first efforts to build empire focused on wresting Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spanish control in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The war was portrayed as one to free subject peoples from Spanish tyranny, and this initially confused Twain. But he quickly came around. For Twain, and many others at the time, Americas imperialist expansion violated the expectation that America would be different from the colonial powers of Europe. Twain explained in 1900 how he went from praising to condemning the “American Eagle”:

(I used to be) a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific ...Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? ... I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American Constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish-American War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. [12]

In 1897, Twain published Following the Equator, the unifying theme of which is hatred and condemnation of imperialism of all stripes. He also wrote many pamphlets that were published by the Anti-Imperialist League, which Twain supported after his return from Europe in 1900. The League, which had tens of thousands of members, was organized around opposition to the U.S. slaughter in the Philippines. In The Conquest of the Philippines, Twain describes the massacre of 600 Moros (a Philippine tribe), who were armed only with knifes and clubs and fortified in an extinct volcano crater, by American troops standing at the rim and shooting down on them. The president called this a “brilliant feat of arms.” This is what Twain had to say:

The enemy numbered 600 – including women and children – and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother. This is incomparably the greatest victory that was ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States. [13]

A later report revealed that the death toll was even higher, and Twain continued:

Headline: Death list is now 900. I was never so enthusiastically proud of the flag till now. [14]

Twain also wrote and spoke with passion against European colonial domination, which he often compared to plantation slavery. He said of Cecil Rhodes, the mastermind of British colonialism:

He raids and robs and slays and enslaves ... and gets worlds of charter-Christian applause for it. I admire him, I frankly confess it. And when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake. [15]

Some of Twain’s most sardonic invective was reserved for Belgium’s King Leopold III. As sole ruler of the “Congo Free State” – a giant tract of land he acquired by pretending to pursue a humanitarian mission to abolish slavery in Africa – King Leopold used systematic murder, mutilation and starvation to force the local population to bring in ivory and rubber, which was then sold at a massive profit. It has been estimated that some six to ten million Africans perished at the hands of Leopold’s henchmen in the Congo.

E.D. Morel, the head of the British Congo Reform Association, asked Twain to write a piece against King Leopold’s enterprise in 1904. The result, King Leopold’s Soliloquy, could not find a “legitimate” publisher. Twain gave it to the American Congo Reform Association, who built its organization primarily on the popularity and proceeds of Twain’s brilliant little exposé.

In the Soliloquy Leopold whines that though he has spent millions to suppress any revelation of his atrocities, meddlesome missionaries, reporters and activists continue to expose him:

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Trump Is Using Racist White People To Make The Rich Richer

There is this whole mythology that Donald Trump came to power because 53% of white women voted for him, because 66% of white working men who didn't have a college degree voted for him.

That may be, but those are not his constituents. Those are his suckers. Those are his rubes.

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