One of the leading theses of the new (filmed in Richmond) Lincoln movie is that:
“Lincoln” centers on the president’s attempt to push the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution (the one prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude) through the House of Representatives. His party, the Republicans, control the House, but don’t have the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the amendment. House Democrats are so hostile to the president and to the idea of freeing the slaves permanently that getting enough of them to vote for its passage seems impossible. To further complicate matters, the president pitched the amendment as a way to end the war, but the Confederates are beginning to make quiet overtures for peace.
But, as usual, the movie leaves out the FIRST Thirteenth Amendment, suggested by the Sixteenth President:
“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State. (See U.S. House of Representatives, 106th Congress, 2nd Session, The Constitution of the United States of America: Unratified Amendments, Doc. No. 106-214).
Then Lincoln tried to distance himself from this very monstrosity! Don’t like Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo? I think Prof. DiLorenzo has done this nation a tremendous service (if you buy them at von Mises, you will have a great Christmas present for the libertarian- or Lincoln buff – and support the cause of liberty at the same time!) for which he will never be appreciated (If I were President, Lord help us, he, Phyllis Schlafly and Ron Paul inter alta would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom!) by raising the questions of whether war was necessary and was secession legal and what was the result of the so-called Civil War on civil liberties and constitutional law. But if you don’t trust DiLorenzo, try this quote from the book that inspired Spielberg: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin:
“…Lincoln relayed a confidential message to Seward that he had drafted three short resolutions. He instructed Seward to introduce thses resolutions…without indicating they issued from Springfield. The first resolved that the Constitution should never be altered so as to authorize Congress to abolish of interfere with slavery in the states.” Kearns Goodwin at 288. (Go here for DiLorenzo’s take on it including the place I found this quote.)
DiLorenzo reported that a copy of a Lincoln letter to the Governor of Florida was found and (amazing!), the Great Emancipator urged support for the pro-slavery amendment. He cites Reuters and AP and here is a local MSM source for those who still do not trust Prof. DiLorenzo:
The letter John Lupton found Tuesday in the Lehigh County Historical Society’s holdings was one Lincoln wrote as part of an unsuccessful ratification process for a constitutional amendment Congress adopted during the term of his predecessor, President James Buchanan, that would have made slavery the law of the land.
See how the MSM spin is: Blame poor President Buchanan, the one who almost allowed the Union to shatter! (As if it was his to hold together by force! Kearns Goodwin cites Lincoln on 289 as saying Buchanan should be hanged for surrendering Ft. Moultrie in South Carolina to the secessionists!)
Now I know something about the REAL Thirteenth Amendment, having helped with an event in Prince William County to celebrate the 125th anniversary of that amendment’s ratification at an African-American church in December 1990! If you must go to the Spielberg movie, go to see sites you recognize and be armed with the truth about Lincoln. Here’s from the Mercury News review of Lincoln, a rare admission: The Sixteenth President was a tyrant:
“The film makes it easy to see why people criticized Lincoln for being a tyrant (the man himself admits in one scene to have taken powers that it’s easy to argue he didn’t actually have).”
Lincoln: No hero of mine.