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Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment Hardcover – August 27, 2007
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Lincoln and Freedom provides abundant useful information, much of it new, on Abraham Lincoln, slavery, emancipation and the Thirteenth Amendment. Moreover, the authors deal with their subjects through a variety of approaches and interpretive lenses, thereby furnishing readers with several perspectives on these important subjects.”Richard W. Etulain, author of Beyond the Missouri: The Story of the American West
About the Author
Harold Holzer is cochairman of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and senior vice president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is the author, coauthor or editor of more than twenty previous books, and his scholarship has garnered many awards. Visit www.haroldholzer.com for more information.
Sara Vaughn Gabbard is the editor of Lincoln Lore, The Lincoln Museum’s quarterly publication, and vice president and director of development at The Lincoln Museum.
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1) The source for the quote attributed to Thaddeus Stevens, that the Thirteenth Amendment "was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in the America" was reported in 1898 by James Scovel, long-time opponent of the Camden and Amboy railroad monopoly, which was the beneficiary of the alleged deal. In the essay "The Thirteenth Amendment Enacted" by Michael Vorenberg in this volume, Vorenberg writes "When considered next to Nicolay's record of the president's reaction to the Camden and Amboy proposition, Stevens' account of Lincoln's involvement, reported secondhand more than forty years after the fact, seems dubious," although he also notes that such a deal or implied deal might have been done by pro-Amendment members of Congress without Lincoln's approval or even knowledge.
2) In another essay in this volume, "That Which Congress So Nobly Began," Ron J. Keller writes that the success of the amendment depended critically on "the number of Democrats who disregarded partisanship to extend freedom to all," and he quotes historians James Randall and Richard Current saying "the slaveholder [James] Rollins rather than the self-proclaimed egalitarian [Thaddeus] Stevens, was the real spokesman for Lincoln in the House."
These are not trivial discrepancies, but it's still a great movie and captures some of Lincoln's greatness, which is hard to do in a play of a couple of hours.