Originally created 03/06/02

Defender says President Lincoln was good for the nation



Regarding Milton Gresham's Feb. 26 letter, "Lincoln was bad for the nation": The writer's choice of words, selective use of quotes and use of sexual innuendo shows that he has a good future as a political attack ad writer.

Mr. Gresham describes the events at Fort Sumter as an "altercation," as if it was a fistfight between two men. It was, in fact, a siege that lasted over three months ...

Then, Mr. Gresham selectively quotes Mr. Lincoln's letter to Horace Greeley. The actual quote is as follows: "My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."

Further in 1858, Mr. Lincoln declared, "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe the government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." So Lincoln was not "hypocritical" when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

He understood that slavery was a complicated issue and could not simply be ended in one fell swoop at the time. He was also smart enough to realize slavery had to end ... Mr. Lincoln knew that if the Union could be held together then slavery would eventually be abolished, with or without war.

Mr. Gresham's assertion that Lincoln was a tormented, closet homosexual is dismissed by most historians and is promoted primarily by a few gay rights activists and people like Mr. Gresham ...

Galen Hayenga, Augusta