Abraham Lincoln is thrashed in a series of articles in the February issue of Chronicles (“The Legacy of Lincoln”) as a man of low morality and character who took his actions for the worst of reasons—e.g., to usher in an era of kleptocratic state capitalism; to bring an assembly of free state republics into a unitary, un-Christian federal system; to give Northern business interests untrammeled power over the South—all the while using hypocritical arguments against slavery while he personally was antiblack.

Paleoconservatives—like everyone else, including our current ruling elite—have a herd instinct dimming independent thought.  Here’s another view about Mr. Lincoln’s time, which is much more germane: “With the Deep South gone, the United States would have lost a fourth of its territory, its window on the Caribbean and the Gulf, its border with Mexico, and its port of New Orleans—the outlet to the sea for the goods of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and the Middle West.  The South would have begun to compete for the allegiance of New Mexico and Arizona . . . To Lincoln, secession meant an amputation of his country that would have destroyed its elan and morale. . . . Lincoln was the indispensable man who saved the Union.”

These are the sentiments of Patrick J. Buchanan (“Mr. Lincoln’s War: An Irrepressible Conflict?”) in his View in the October 1997 issue of Chronicles.

—Michael Friedman
Stratford, CT

Had the views expressed in the February issue of Chronicles been published in 1863, the editors would have joined 13,553 others who had the temerity to question Lincoln’s opinions and actions.  (That number was only hinted at in Justin Raimondo’s View, “Obama as Lincoln: Mask and Mirror.”)  Your presses would also have been destroyed by Union soldiers along with those of 300 other publishers.  The canonization of Saint Abraham ignores such facts because he freed the slaves, although he had no constitutional authority to do so and didn’t even try in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri.  Apologists for Lincoln ignore the fact that only five percent of Confederate soldiers were slaveholders.  What were they fighting for?  Freedom from Northern coercion.

—Fred H. Stout
Pacific, MO

The Editors Reply:

Upon receiving Mr. Friedman’s letter, which stirred the mystic chords of memory, we thought it appropriate to post on our website the entire article to which he refers—all 9,632 words of it. 

Readers are welcomed to have a look at ChroniclesMagazine.org, to determine whether the 91 cited by Mr. Friedman paint the entire picture, and whether Mr. Buchanan would run with the mighty Chronicles herd Mr. Friedman describes in his first paragraph.  Regardless, “though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”