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Why is Abraham Lincoln's handwriting in this racist book?

Why Is Abraham Lincoln's Handwriting In This Racist Book?

Check this out: These are very likely the words of Abraham Lincoln.

What it says is actually kind of boring -- just the name of a lawyer and friend. But where it is is what makes this fascinating.

It makes for a pretty irresistible headline: Historians announce Abraham Lincoln's handwriting found in a racist book.

Lincoln -- as in the Great Emancipator.

A little backstory: There was a copy of a book -- called Types of Mankind -- that sat in a library in Illinois. The book was written in 1854 and essentially argued that not all human races were equal.

It was popular among slave owners who pointed to the book as justification for slavery.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum curator James Cornelius told us he thinks the former president borrowed the book in 1855 for a case he was working on and might have held onto the book for as many as six years.

Fox News called the discovery "a fascinating piece of American history." According to historians, this inscription is likely Lincoln's handwriting because of those distinctive Es and Ns.

The fascination with this story is likely the seeming contradiction in the idea of the Great Emancipator reading a book that seemed to justify slavery. Which might be why the announcement also included this:

ABC reports that historians believe Lincoln read the book so he could better make his case against slavery.

Then again, there's really no way to tell why he would have had the book.

Of course, his critics have often pointed to some of the former president's speeches to suggest that Lincoln never intended for the races to be considered equals -- which is a whole other debate.

In any case, Cornelius told us that he's pretty sure Lincoln read at least part of the book, which was almost 700 pages long.

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TommyD August 08 2014 at 5:17 AM

So what? Knowledge is power and by reading what your "enemy" reads is a way to gain insight into their thought process. It also allows you to counter things that they may bring up as a surprise tactic. Lincoln could have then been well aware of what may have been thrown at him and he would then have an immediate rebuttal or an answer that may have even made his opponents look silly. Must everything be made into a soap opera? Give it a rest already......

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8 replies
wbearl August 08 2014 at 8:19 AM

Why do people try and understand what happened in the 19th century using 21st century logic? It was common for people to dislike the idea of slavery but still believe in ethnic diversity. My Grandfather was born in 1885. He considered slavery a sin, but he had no use for blacks. The Civil War was not fought over slavery, but over states rights verses national rights. Yes slavery was a states rights issue. Most Union Senior Officers didn't care abut slavery, but fought for a United America. Northern Democrats actually fought against freeing the slaves. General Sherman hated blacks and refused to help them once his army "liberated" an area. I realize this bursts the holy bubble many had on the civil war, sorry, but you have to accept that our preception and understanding of ethnic diversity has changed, matured over the last 150 years. We don't think like they did.

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5 replies
mrsbwk August 08 2014 at 6:49 AM

A great example of the lack of critical thinking skills today. So if I have a book on Hitler it means I'm a supporter?

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4 replies
usapaydirt August 08 2014 at 8:00 AM

Political correctness did not exist back then, and we can clearly see, since it crept into our culture, how it cripples the process of simple thought.

Books were your only source of information, so a culmination of the titles and contents of ones library, does not in any way reveal how a person perceived their fellow man, only that they like to read and be knowledgeable of life....

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1 reply
nomad1963 usapaydirt August 08 2014 at 9:23 PM

Very true, the fonding fathers were widely read in many subjects and many authors throuhgout history.
Lincoln though did not start fighting the war to free the slaves, as some statements by him show. He fought the war to preserve the union. Freeing the slaves was needed to maintain the union.
Many today think he went to war only to free the slaves, but then many today vote for Democrats as the party of the black man and Lincoln was a Republican.
People do not learn all the facts anymore, they take sound bites

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1 reply
Wm Good nomad1963 August 08 2014 at 10:44 PM

CORRECT! The general population in America today is polarized much more than before. It's either left or right. Neither is straight ahead. But I suspect having a populus that's divided is more easily manulipated and is impotent to take any real action against the government.. We could learn a lesson from other nations where labor unions are powerful. The governments of those countries is scared to death of them. They have the unity and thus the power to shut the country down. So, politicians have to cater to their will and not corporate interests like we do.

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houcasey August 08 2014 at 7:19 AM

I always heard that Lincoln wanted to ship all the slaves back to Africa but Congress rejected it because it would have cost $11 million.
In any case, I read Harry Potter... that doesn't make me a wizard.

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4 replies
Welcome Justin August 08 2014 at 10:12 AM

Lincoln never was anti-slavery. He only emancipated the slaves to cripple the South's economy at a time when the was actually winning the war. Despite ignorant beliefs, the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. It was all about states rights (south) vs. federal rights (north). At the times, emancipating the slaves was a desperate attempt to turn the tide of the war. Afterwards, it became propaganda used to justify the horrible treatment of the south during Reconstruction, as well as many of the northern generals atrocities committed during the war.

An interesting tidbit its, black soldiers first fought for the south, not the north. Only after the Union soldiers were decimated by the black soldiers, did they begin to employ them. Until that point, northerners deemed blacks unworthy of the uniform of combat.

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5 replies
armedfreedom August 08 2014 at 6:03 AM

The book was based on the Science of that time. So what is the moral of the story??
Never trust science when struggling with moral questions.

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4 replies
G-DAWG August 08 2014 at 6:35 AM

so if someone reads a book about fairys,that makes them a fairy ..... right? gimmie a break!

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5 replies
thorrsman August 08 2014 at 6:19 AM

How the book is regarded today is not as important as how it was regarded in Lincoln's day.

Was this seen as a solid scientific work or was it even then regarded with suspicion?

That is argued that the races were not equal is hardly surprising, since Darwin--held in such high regard TODAY by those on the Left who want to tear down religion--thought that the "white" race was the pinnacle of human evolution, with all other races having fallen behind.

There is, it appears, no information as to what Lincoln himself thought of the ideas expressed in this book, so we are left with the impression that the writer of the article wants us to have, and that agenda is obvious and slanted to the Left.

Anything to "prove" that the Republican Party is and always was "racist", no matter what history shows.

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5 replies
cromwell1650 August 08 2014 at 5:39 AM

Liberals vs America. They seek to devalue this nation anyway they can.
The subtext here is obvious. And inserting "Fox News calls it a facinating piece of history? LOL. So OBVIOUSLY Fox is IGNORING Lincoln's blatant racism, right?
I wouldn't be shocked if this entire story was written with that single line in mind,

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6 replies
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