Lincoln and the Blood Libel of 1860

Saturday, January 15, AD 2011



This has been going around the internet.  I am regretful that I did not recall this section first of Lincoln’s famous Cooper Union Address on February 27, 1860:

I would say to them:–You consider yourselves a reasonable and a just people; and I consider that in the general qualities of reason and justice you are not inferior to any other people. Still, when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to “Black Republicans.” In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of “Black Republicanism” as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite–license, so to speak–among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

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6 Responses to Lincoln and the Blood Libel of 1860

  • On Friday, a Quinnipiac poll reported that 85% of respondents do not believe “overheated” GOP/tea party rhetoric were responsible for the assassination of GOP-appointed, Federal Justice John M. Roll.

    “Saturday’s shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which six people were killed, could not have been prevented, 40 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Another 23 percent blame the mental health system, while 15 percent say it was due to heated political rhetoric and 9 percent attribute the tragedy to lax gun control.

    “American voters say 52 – 41 percent that “heated political rhetoric drives unstable people to commit violence,” the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Liberals rather than conservatives are more responsible for such rhetoric, voters say 36 – 32 percent. ”

    The lisping, lying liberal forces of evil are losing. Don’t let up.

    In liberal guerrilla war, truth is the first casualty. Ooops! That as violent rhetoric.

  • Thanks for sharing this Don. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

  • “You need not be told that persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true, is simply malicious slander.”

    Well put, Abe.

  • Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    Can anyone name one of the Ten Commandments that, each and every day, those people do not trample?

  • For overheated rhetoric, you should listen to one New York City Black radio station. No need to go to church to hear Jonathan Wright’s denunciations.