President Abe Lincoln is well known for having signed the emancipation proclamation and is usually credited with ending slavery (even though the proclamation did not free slaves in Union states, like Kentucky). Abe’s opinions on slavery were a bit more complicated than history prefers to portray, however, and author/historian Eric Foner is not afraid to talk about it.
While Lincoln did in fact “detest slavery, he also publicly rejected political and social equality for blacks.” Not exactly the Abe we have been taught about. Furthermore, he “dragged his feet (critics charged) on emancipating slaves” in the first place. And certainly there are many more interesting bits of info that only historians know, to be revealed.
Mr. Foner is the author of a book just released called “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” and will be speaking on the topic at St. Francis College on Tuesday, October 12th, at 2:20 (see website for additional details). The talk is free and open to the public, offering a great opportunity for Downtown Brooklyn residents to cross court street and get some cheap education.
Mr. Foner, currently a professor at Columbia as well as an alumnus, is billed as “one of the country’s foremost historians” and his book has been called “the definitive account” of Lincoln’s record on slavery.