Let’s Not Play ‘Gotcha’ With the Great Emancipator

If Lincoln Seems Like a Lukewarm Abolitionist, It’s Because He Was a Nuanced Radical

“I am naturally anti slavery,” Abraham Lincoln said in 1864. “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.” That doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering that every American is taught in school that Lincoln was the president who freed the slaves.

Yet, there has always been a small cloud of doubt about just how great an emancipator he really was. Why (for instance) did he wait for two years into his presidency to issue his Emancipation …

More In: Abraham Lincoln

Did the End of the Civil War Mean the End of Slavery?

April 1865 Marked the Beginning of a New Battle for American Abolitionists

On the same morning that Abraham Lincoln died from an assassin’s bullet, noted abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison was quietly gloating by the Charleston, South Carolina graveside of John C. Calhoun. …

Where Lincoln Was President and Conqueror

The Commander-in-Chief’s Surprisingly Humble Journey into Richmond, Virginia, After the Confederacy’s Fall

April 4, 1865. The conqueror entered Richmond, Virginia, on a rowboat with his son Tad, after nearing the fallen city by military steamer. President Abraham Lincoln was escorted and guarded …

What Lincoln Was Thinking When He Freed the Slaves

The President Grappled for Months Over Whether Signing the Emancipation Proclamation Was ‘American’

The American Civil War was, among other things, an epic inheritance quarrel, with both sides claiming to be the legitimate heirs to the nation’s founding principles as articulated in the …

Prayers, Glittering Parties, and the Sudden Taste of Freedom

The Emancipation Proclamation Inspired New Year’s Celebrations That Endure to This Day

For young Ed McCree, enslaved on a thousand-acre Georgia cotton plantation, Christmas and New Year’s Day 150 years ago were like no other he had ever known. This child and …

The Photos That Helped Save Yosemite

Thanks to These Striking Images, President Lincoln Signed the Yosemite Grant Act 150 Years Ago

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, with the Civil War raging, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act that protected the heart of what we now know …