University of Virginia Press
Politics “always came first” for Abraham Lincoln, writes William W. Freehling (128). The future “Great Emancipator” hesitated, however, to make America’s original sin part of his political agenda. Only after “twenty years of antislavery silence” did he start to find a new voice (100).
Freehling insists that Lincoln, all along, was driven “to save the Founders’ flawed republic” (106). He wanted to resuscitate the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and give all men “an unfettered start, and a fair chance” (307). But his sensitive political antenna constrained him. Most Illinois whites were unmoved by the wrongs inflicted on Southern slaves and unwilling to see black people enjoy equal rights.
Crofts, Daniel W.
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 21
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol21/iss1/10