President Lincoln was conflicted on his ideas on African-Americans and the institution of slavery. We have included a link to the interview with the author, Eric Foner of “The Fiery Trial.” The interview delves into the issue of the “Peculiar Institution” of American slavery, abolition, emancipation and the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments as they relate to emancipation.
President Lincoln is viewed as the ultimate liberal Republican in most African-American households. Most supporters of Lincoln practically view him as a saint in the cause of freedom. Any deviation from that is seen as heresy or blasphemy as we deify Lincoln. There is no straight line from his initial presidency to emancipation. This journey takes a variety of twists and turns to the eventual writing of the emancipation proclamation.
The interview with Professor Eric Foner reveals a much more complicated man than the history lessons we received in high school. President Lincoln is presented as a master politician with a lot of issues on his plate. The interview is well worth your time, it gives this period of history eloquent reflection.