Abraham Lincoln: Washington D. C. Would Be a Great Town, if Not for All the Damned Vampires

The earliest know photo of Abraham Lincoln. Called a “daguerreotype,” this was taken in 1848. He looks like a kid here, but he would be in his late thirties.

I remember a time when Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was a holiday. But every year fewer and fewer people took that day off, and fewer and fewer calendars even had the day of February 9 listed. This year blazed by and I didn’t even think about it till Monday. I look on my calendar, it isn’t there. I ask a coworker about Lincoln. I’ll paraphrase, “I used to think he was a good man, but now I don’t think so.” How did Lincoln go from being a national icon to being a nonperson?

A lot of ink has been spilled trying to document the man, trying to create a national dialogue about who Lincoln was and what he meant to this nation. I believe it highly likely that nations need heroes. This man was the classic American story. Born in a log cabin to poverty, but rising to the highest office in the land, leading our nation in a tragic Civil War that he hoped to avoid but could not, leading the Union to victory when many felt there was no hope, declaring the slaves free in the face of opposition even from Northern states, and ultimately dying to set slaves free. These are the things, right or wrong, that my generation was taught. I know the dialogue has been changing, and that is the way of things. But what are the things being said about him now, was I lied to when I was young, and is the next generation being better informed? To paraphrase Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” Once more into the breech.

This photo is the iconic, classic Lincoln photo. Somber, haunted eyes, the face of a man worn with care, lines that speak of hours spent trying to lead the Republic in the darkest hour. Hours spent alone in prayer with a God who seemed to be judging our nation.

To begin my quest for truth, I do a web search about what is being taught about Lincoln today. Almost the first thing that pops up online is something called “The 1619 Project.” The first time I had heard of this was some weeks back when I (likely foolishly) decided to write about Martin Luther King Jr. For some blog fodder, my best friend shared a powerful social media post where the controversial founder of the movement, Nikole Hannah-Jones, had made a speech at the Union League Club, wherein she had made strong statements against racism, poverty, and war mongering, and then half way through the speech, announced that all of her words were direct quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. The words from that post were stirring, and she did a great job of pointing out how the image of Martin Luther King has been, in her words, “whitewashed.”

Lincoln was not universally loved in his lifetime. Like all Presidents since Monroe, there were plenty of voices willing to criticize him, whether fairly or unfairly. This cartoon would need little alteration today, the same complaints about politicians still arise….just make it be Biden or Trump.

So the premise of the 1619 Project is to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the American narrative.” This according to the Wikipedia page. And to me, this sounds like a laudable aim. Slavery is terrible, and should neither be forgotten, nor allowed to creep back in some subtle form. What does the Project say about Lincoln? Frankly, I’m finding it infuriatingly difficult to find the answer to that question. Wikipedia talks about “controversial statements” “taken out of context.” But I can’t find what they are. A scholar makes a claim that the Project unfairly declares Lincoln was a white supremacist. First I try to confirm on what I think is the official website of the project…but I find nothing about Lincoln on that site whatsoever. The site itself, by the way, is well worth your time to look at.


The iconic statue of Abraham Lincoln. So many from my generation and some from the one before have a veneration for this man and this monument. In Robert Heinlein’s science fiction book Citizen of the Galaxy, the main character grows up a slave and through his own struggles and the friendship of other poor folk, he becomes free. When he finds his way to Earth, he sees this monument, knowing nothing of its history. He looks into the wise eyes of the sculpture, and tells his companion, “This man freed slaves.” I’ve never forgotten….

Thus far the best thing I can find is historynewsnetwork, which offers criticism of the book, which criticism is rebutted, and the rebuttals rebutted. I will simply send the interested reader there, you should form your own conclusions of whether Lincoln is fairly treated by Nicole Hannah-Jones.


The two things I will say is 1) let’s assume we have found some dirt on Lincoln. Does that mean we should deny and discredit the good he did? J. Edgar Hoover claimed there were tapes of Martin Luther King Jr. having sex with women other than his wife. Even assuming that is true, does that mean we should ignore the good he did? William Wilberforce, the great British politician that led the movement to free the slaves in Britain, was good friends with John Newton, the man who penned the song “Amazing Grace.” Before Newton penned that song, he was a slave trader. Does that mean that we must forever deny any good they did? Working on that assumption, not only are no slaves ever freed, we all become the slaves of centuries of hate. Is that really the society we want to live in? 2) the scholars in the History News Article get into a debate over whether slavery was a product of capitalism or aristocracy. I don’t wish to get too deep into this debate, since likely both sides are being a bit pedantic on their definitions of capitalism and aristocracy, and the angels I count can’t fit well on the heads of those pins. But when I read their comments I am minded of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. That book, combined with my own experiences of abuse, were seminal in my foundational belief that slavery is a fundamental evil, and that if there is a loving God, that God can be no lover of slavery. But I think it interesting that the points being debated in this article were written about in Uncle Tom, but Harriet Beecher Stowe had the Southern Aristocratic slave owner, Shelby, treating Uncle Tom profoundly better than the Capitalist Yankee owner Simon Legree. To me there is a huge difference between the two, and while I have no science to back it up, if I must have masters, I consider that a Noble at least in theory earned glory from being a shepherd and protector of the people, whereas Capitalism admits no loyalty of a business to its employees, all that matters is exploiting them for profit. Oversimplified, but right now I see it thus. I know the phrase of Uncle Tom has become a term of derision, and I get it. But the twelve year old Curtis was in awe of Uncle Tom. The fact that he took so much abuse, and remained Christlike till the end humbled me. I know in my heart that man was profoundly closer to Christ than I can ever be. Perhaps that is why he is now hated.

In the eighties we see a more lighthearted view, not just of Lincoln, but of history in general. The Christ like Lincoln who dies to set slaves free is now a somewhat wise man who can party with the best (the best being Napoleon, Socrates, and Genghis Khan).

All of my life I have been hearing people make claims of revisionist history. Typically we say our opposition is perpetrating it. We are the honest good guys, the protectors of the bastions of TRUTH! Our opponents are liars and hypocrites, we cannot believe anything they say. We hurl ad hominem attacks at them, and act as though that has discredited the opposition. How can you believe (CNN, Fox News, the Tired Blogger What Blogs at midnight)? They believe x, y and z, while we believe a, b, and c. On one hand, I really don’t intend (though I may be failing in my intent) to be overly critical of Nikole Hannah Jones. Far less do I want to be critical of the actual 1619 project as presented on their website. Hopefully I can be forgiven though, if I am cautious about taking all she says at face value. Staying on focus with Lincoln….I do believe we need to be honest about the man and his flaws, but when I feel the memory of the man is insulted….I just don’t see how the cause of the Black is furthered by diminishing Lincoln. I don’t see how it makes it easier for the Black to vote. I don’t see how it gives the Black any hope. All I really see (and it may be an unfair blindness of my own) is an angry person lashing out against a white man. And likely we have it coming.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Was this the real version of the man?

In summary: 1) us White’s have to be careful of dismissing the Black. They are our brothers and sisters too, and they have been treated with unconscionable cruelty. And while I wish I could say “that was all in the past,” it isn’t so. There are still terrible things that are happening that have to stop if we are ever going to get to the Promised Land. 2) I mean no disrespect, but frankly….the Blacks will never find freedom while they indulge in hate. Hate is a far worse master than Simon Legree, though I have to admit, it can make you feel strong. And maybe for a short time it will. But in the long run, it will burn you alive. 3) The same is frankly true of all races, but I do see some unnecessary (side note….when is it ever necessary?) hatred aimed at Blacks, Jews, basically any non WASP out there. I say the same to you as I say to the Blacks. Hate won’t help you. It will not make you free. If every non WASP in the world were gone today, your life will not be any better. You’ll just need to find someone else to blame all the stuff on.



    1. Curtiswselby says:

      I think Big Brother hates me (shout out to the NSA agent monitoring this blog). I’m not sure if I am looking at a comment or just a highlight. But thanks for reading! I’ll try to figure out if I’m doing something wrong.


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