Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.

The statement, many times repeated, that he owned a plantation in the South is incorrect.  He never owned a plantation in Georgia or anywhere else.  On the death of his father he came into possession of a small number of slaves.  These he liberated as soon as the proper papers could be executed and sent to him at his distant post; and he always afterwards helped them when they were in need and applied to him.[5]

  [Sidenote] F.J.  Porter to Dawson.  “Historical Magazine,” January,
  1872, pp. 37, 38.

The army headquarters being then in New York, Major Anderson on the same day called on General Scott, and in conversation with the veteran General-in-Chief learned that army affairs were being carried on at Washington by Secretary Floyd, without consulting him.  Under these circumstances Scott did not deem himself authorized to interfere even by suggestion.  Nevertheless, the whole Charleston question seems to have been fully discussed, and the relative strength of the forts, and the possible necessity of occupying Sumter commented upon in such manner as no doubt produced its effect in the subsequent action of Anderson.  Major Anderson next went to Washington, and received the personal instructions of Secretary Floyd, and returning thereafter to New York, General Scott in that city gave him on November 15th formal written orders to proceed to Fort Moultrie and take command of the post.

[1] His policy, frankly written in a friendly letter to a prominent
nullifier, could scarcely provoke the most captious criticism: 

“You have probably heard of the arrival of two or three companies at Charleston in the last six weeks, and you may hear that as many more have followed.  There is nothing inconsistent with the President’s message in these movements.  The intention simply is that the forts in the harbor shall not be wrested from the United States....  The President, I presume, will stand on the defensive, thinking it better to discourage than to invite an attack—­better to prevent than to repel one.”—­Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, “Autobiography.”  Vol.  I., p. 242.

[2] “All the lines of demarkation between the new Unions cannot be accurately drawn in advance, but many of them approximately may.  Thus, looking to natural boundaries and commercial affinities, some of the following frontiers, after many waverings and conflicts, might perhaps become acknowledged and fixed: 

“1.  The Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic. 2.  From Maryland along the crest of the Alleghany (perhaps the Blue Ridge) range of mountains, to some point on the coast of Florida. 3.  The line from say the head of the Potomac to the west or north-west, which it will be most difficult to settle. 4.  The crest of the Rocky Mountains.

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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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