There is a lot of hate out there spewed towards Lincoln. I would suggest that Lincoln was the most honorable and important President in US history.
was the vice president of the south, under Jefferson Davis. He was also a former member of the Whig Party, which we now know as the Republican Party. But he was pro slavery, since he owned 34 slaves.
On the brink of the Civil War, on March 21, 1861, Stephens gave his famous Cornerstone Speech in Savannah, Georgia. In it he reaffirmed that "<b>African Slavery … was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution." He went on to assert that the then-prevailing "assumption of the equality of races" was "fundamentally wrong." "Our new [Confederate] government is founded … upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition," and, furthermore, "With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.</b>"
Alexander Stephens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And a letter from Lincoln to Stephens shortly after this then famous speech.
Hon A.H. Stephens
"My dear sir:- Your obliging answer to my short note is just received, and for which please accept my thanks. I fully appreciate the present peril the country is in, and the weight of responsibility on me.
Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would directly or indirectly interfere with the slaves or with them about the slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears.
The South would be in no more danger in this respect than it was in the days of Washington. I suppose, however, that does not meet the case. You think slavery is right, and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be abolished. That, I suppose, is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.
Yours very truly,
A Stormy Session of Buchanan's Cabinet
One day, Secretary Stanton referred to the meeting of the Buchanan Cabinet called upon receipt of the news that Major Anderson had evacuated Fort Moultrie, and gone to Fort Sumter.
"This little incident" said Stanton, "was the crisis of our history,-the pivot upon which everything turned. Had he remained at Fort Moultrie, a very different combination of circumstances would have arisen. The attack on Sumter-commenced by the South-united the North and made the success of the Confederacy impossible. I shall never forget," he continued, "our coming together by special summons that night. Buchanan sat in his armchair in a corner of the room, white as a sheet, with a cigar in his mouth. The despatches were laid before us; and so much violence ensued that he had to turn us all out-of-doors"
<i>Six Months in the White House</i>, F.B. Carpenter, page 54
Why did the South Secede?
What took these seven States-soon to be followed by four more-out of the Union? The answer is, it was their first conviction that slavery would thrive better by being seperated from the influence of the North; and, secondly, it was their belief in "States Rights," upheld by South Carolina as far back as Jackson's Presidency. According to that idea, any State was justified in separating itself from the United States whenever it became convinced that it was for it's interest to withdraw.
In this act of secession many of the people of the South took no direct part,-a large number being, in fact, opposed to it, - a few political leader did the chief part of the work. Their aim was to establish a great slave-holding republic, or nationality, of which they should be head.
President Buchanan made no attempt to prevent the States from seceding; part of his cabinet were Southern men, who were not in full sympathy with the Southern leaders, and the President did not see how to act.
The seceded States seized the forts, arsenals, and other national property within their limits, so far as they could do so. Fort Sumter, commanded by Major Anderson of the United States army in Charleston Harbor, was one of the few where the Stars and Stripes remained flying.
President Buchanan had made and attempt to send men and supplies to Major Anderson by the merchant steamer Star of the West; but the people of Charleston fired upon the steamer and compelled her to go back.
All eyes were now turned toward Abraham Lincoln. The great question was, what will he do when he becomes President?
<i>The Leading Facts of American History </i>, D.H. Montgomery, page 282