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January 1st, 2009
Introduction: Analyzing the Evidence

While creating LOOKING FOR LINCOLN, historians and researchers examined photographs, paintings, historical documents and letters. This evidence of the past—left behind by those who lived it—can be an extremely valuable tool for understanding the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.

Below is a gallery of photographs, paintings, letters and historical documents that are important in helping us to better understand Abraham Lincoln. To uncover more about these items, select one from the gallery below to begin. Note: The questions and documents increase in difficulty as you proceed from Piece 1 to Piece 5.


THE EVIDENCE



Piece 1. Letter to Grace Bedell

Piece 2. Images of Abraham, Tad and Mary Lincoln

Piece 3. Abraham Lincoln Autobiography / Letter to Jesse Fell

Piece 4. Abraham Lincoln Deathbed Images

Piece 5. Gettysburg Address
  • mike luby

    the PBA special on Licoln was better but it still left out the fact that it was the new york Lawyers and Banks that started the war. They owed so much money to the south the banks could not repay the south for thier natrual resourwes and for agriculture. They got loans to build railroads and other infrastucture for thje the nortern states as well as stated a northen crossing of america by railrods that took away from the easy routs through the souh. I t left out many facts about how the bankers held in trust most of the southerns access and would not relinquish them. The bankers who bought and sold slaves and otherf illiegal things while forceing products from the nort. It also did not account for the munissions that were made only in the north and the southerns left without being constitutingly able to bear arms. Abraham Lincoln sold out to the northern BANKERS and Lawers to rape and pil.lage the south. Instead of following his heart of getting rid of slavery in a timely matter he was pressured by money and greed by a few slave owers of the NORTH to destroy the southerns the north was indebted. Furthermore many of the same bankers and lawers are still making wroung jugrments and really have started most of the wars. Rather that almost all wars are from socicial economic, land grabbers, or to bring down anouther human being a great wrong terriony and may all th bankers, lawers, and arrisstocrats be sitting in hell and explaining it. may all those that died in vein be forgiven for the rich mans war.

  • mike luby

    the PBA special on Licoln was better but it still left out the fact that it was the new york Lawyers and Banks that started the war. They owed so much money to the south the banks could not repay the south for thier natrual resourwes and for agriculture. They got loans to build railroads and other infrastucture for thje the nortern states as well as stated a northen crossing of america by railrods that took away from the easy routs through the souh. I t left out many facts about how the bankers held in trust most of the southerns access and would not relinquish them. The bankers who bought and sold slaves and otherf illiegal things while forceing products from the nort. It also did not account for the munissions that were made only in the north and the southerns left without being constitutingly able to bear arms. Abraham Lincoln sold out to the northern BANKERS and Lawers to rape and pil.lage the south. Instead of following his heart of getting rid of slavery in a timely matter he was pressured by money and greed by a few slave owers of the NORTH to destroy the southerns the north was indebted. Furthermore many of the same bankers and lawers are still making wroung jugrments and really have started most of the wars. Rather that almost all wars are from socicial economic, land grabbers, or to bring down anouther human being a great wrong terriony and may all th bankers, lawers, and arrisstocrats be sitting in hell and explaining it. may all those that died in vein be forgiven for the rich mans war and all the wars before and since then= forever.

  • Edward Joell

    I have not yet watched the documentary and am looking forward to doing so. However upon reading Mike Luby’s comment it is apparent that his knowledge of history is as lacking as his spelling and grammar.

    1. The Southern States were committed to slavery and despite all revisionist history to the contrary, the planter class was profiting immensely from the “peculiar institution”. Because of slavery instead of the United States being looked upon as a bastion of Freedom through out the world in was considered a barbaric backwards nations by the citizens of the advanced nations of the world.

    2. The Southern aristocracy committed high treason by seceding from the Union, and even if you concede the right to secede which most Americans even then did not, they committed high treason by attacking US installations and service men stationed around the South. Benedict Arnold despite his early exploits in the Revolutionary War, including the victory at Saratoga that brought the French in our side, has been rightly excoriated by history for his treason. They executed the Rosenbergs for the same crime. And the Southern secessionists are just as guilty.

    3. Lincoln was hesitant to commit the country to war. (Witness his first inaugural “we are not enemies, we are friends.”) It was the secessionist congress the ordered the attack on Fort Sumter, thereby initiating the War.

    4. The average southerner realized that the whole war was contrived by the planter class. The expression “Rich man’s war, Poor man’s fight.” was very prevalent. That is why they had to initiate a Draft very early on in the war to fill their armies, and they always had a major problem with desertion, whereas the north was able to rely on volunteers all the way to the latter half of 1863. That is also why a number of men from the seceding states served in the Army of the United States and in the United States Government. (George Thomas, Andrew Johnson to name two.)

  • paul

    i like this movie haha ^^

  • paul

    this section was very informational and very effective to the learning of the linconln. i hope to see more fantastic work. keep it up you guys

  • Steve Scroggins

    If only Mr. Edward Joell’s logic was as mediocre as his sarcasm.
    1. Slavery was wrong in 1861 and remains as wrong today where it’s practiced around the world (especially in Africa). Mr. Joell says that planters made a lot of profit {gasp!} — just like the yankee slave traders from New England, who as late at the 1860s (despite US law against it) were transporting slaves across the Atlantic and from the Caribbean to yankee smuggling routes. It was a nasty, filthy business. Fine ivy league places like Brown University were built on the lucractive profits of trading in human flesh. Revisionists like Joell like to pretend that all the evil-doers were Southerners and they pretend not to notice that it was and is a world-wide issue. No other country on the planet required a war to end slavery, and neither did the U.S.A.

    2. Aristocrats committed treason? First, Mr. Joell, no…they were state conventions called for the purpose — just as conventions were called in each state to ratify the Constitution (by the way, any could have declined to ratify) in the first place. Southern states followed proper protocol to exercise their right to depart the compact. Any reasonable reading of the Founders intent made it clear that secession and nullification were options available to states to check abuses by the central government. Rosenbergs? Comparing apples and kiwis aren’t we?

    3. It’s not the first to use force who is the aggressor, but the first who renders force necessary. It’s well documented that Lincoln sent reinforcements and ships of war to Sumter and that he had word leaked in advance that they were coming to reinforce the fort (inside the sovereign state of SC) by force if necessary. If the CSA had not fired on Charleston, Lincoln would have continued to provoke until he got his war. He was going to call for those volunteers to invade the south, with OR WITHOUT a Fort Sumter. The CSA batteries had already fired on the US STAR OF THE WEST some weeks earlier (trying to sneak in supplies). There was no formal complaint about that. BOTH SIDES KNEW that forcing supplies in was AN ACT OF WAR.

    You see, it was about tariff revenue. Lincoln in his first inaugural speech said EVERYTHING ELSE was negotiable …. except the tariff revenue. No, the CSA Congress issued no orders; the Confederate President did. By the way, there was NO human LOSS OF LIFE (one mule died) in the attack. The US troops were allowed to evacuate Sumter peacefully when they surrendered.

    4. Both sides relied heavily on conscription in the latter half of the war. It was the Northern cities that had draft riots (e.g., New York) in 1863. That is, by the way, when the North “all of a sudden” decided the war was about ending slavery and not just about “saving the union.” Wink, wink (the Proclamation was for foreign consumption). Everyone at the time saw through that smokescreen. It was about economic domination from beginning to end for the Tyrant Lincoln. For southerners, it was mostly self-defense. After all, it was the North that invaded the South. It was southern farms and cities that were burned to the ground.

    Lincoln sent in warships, provoked hostilities, raised an army (calling for 75000 volunteers) and ordered a naval blockade (another act of war) before he even told Congress what was going on. In July 1861, Lincoln’s war was well underway when he asked Congress to rubber stamp it.

    Lincoln then went on to shutdown dozens of northern newspapers, suspended habeas corpus and imprisoned over 13,000 northern civilians without due process (all while civilian courts were operating). You see, he had to first crush the Constitution in order to “save the union.” He didn’t believe in racial equality, but quoted the Declaration’s phrase about all men being created equal. He ordered troops to make war on civilians…and laughed at the tales of their suffering. Some humanitarian. Some hero.

  • Jason Mulldoon

    Wow. Will anyone ever understand history?

    There is enough “garbage” in comments 1-6 for me to say: None of you warrant a direct reply. Never argue with closed minds.

    NO ONE had pure intentions then, now or ever. All humans have their own agenda. Period.

    Winners dominate the number of history books. Whiners dominate the call-in shows and internet sites.

    My qualifications: There are 10,261 books written about Abraham Lincoln. My private but accessable-by-appointment library has copies of all but 12 of them. We have a reproduction of every known document written by Lincoln. We have books written by Joshua Speed, William Herndon, William Seward, John Hay, and John Nicolay – and more.

    There are too many facets to Lincoln’s life, presidency, etc. to cover in a few snide comments on an internet chatboard.

    Educate yourself.

    J.O. Mulldoon

  • Areial jackson

    History i really don`t think we will ever be able to understanded it just like i don`t understand Abrahams views when he said African Americans shouldn`t have a right to vote, hold office or be able to sit on a jury but yet he frees the slaves but really without Abraham would we be like we are today I mean we have an African American president and Africans can hold office now. He was against spreading slavery but all he wanted to do was send them to another country

  • Edward Joell

    Mr Scroggins has brilliantly restated the revisionist version of history promulgated by Southerners subsequent to their overwhelming and inevitable defeat, the myth of the “lost cause”, the “fight for freedom from oppression.”

    1. Slavery was wrong in 1861 except in the United States, and in the United States, while there were many in both the North and the South that defended it as a necessary evil that would eventually wither away, it was the Southern Aristocracy that defended it it as being beneficial to the slaves and that the slaves were happy, and that it was only the Northern (and Southern), abolisionists who were making trouble. In fact, the South lived in stark fear of Slave Rebellions, like those organized by Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner and many other, and passed many oppressive laws applicable to black person not just slaves because of this fear. That is also one of the reasons for exacting such a fierce punishment on runaways and the reason for the Fugitive Slave Act, not realizing that the very success of running away also reduced possiblity of slave results by funneling off the would be leaders of such a revolt. While there were those in the North who profited from slavery (textile plant owners) and the slave trade (shipbuilders and ship owners) Not only did they not defend it as beneficial to the slaves but they also were about to destroy the country over it.

    2. As for Secession, Treason it is and was considered so by not only practically all Northerners but many southerners as well, (George Thomas for one). It was just as much treason as those who defected to the USSR during the Cold War. However most Northerners would have been happy to arrive at a negotiated settlement that restored the Union if it had not been for the attack on the Uniformed representatives of the county, and the installations of the US Government. That was the spark that ignited the fire. Blaming Lincoln for the attack on Fort Sumter is the same as blaming the US’s Oil Embargo for the attack on Pearl Harbor. If fact the oil embargo can be considered action taken against the Japanese to hurt them. Lincoln was merely attempting to feed Soldiers that were being starved to death. As far as Tarrifs, that issue had been resolved in the 1830 during te nullification crisis when Andrew Jackson, a Southern slaveholder, told his former vice President John C. Calhoun, if they took one step towards secession, or nullification he would personally lead an Army down to South Carolina and personally hang the rascals behind it. I am no fan of Andrew “Trail of Tears” Jackson, but if Franklin Buchannan had been as forthright, there would have probably never been a Civil War.

    3. But it was the South that implemented the draft early on while the North was able to rely on enlistment and re-enlistment up until 1863 and still mostly relied on enlistees to win the war. (Unlike WWII and Vietnnam, many draftees did not hang around long enough to get into battle, and usually were considered unreliable if they did. Not that there were no heroic draftees. One heroic Charles County MD resident won the Medal of Honor after being drafted.) As far as economic domination, The South dominated the county from 1789 until 1861. They weilded power all off proportion to their voting population as they were able to count slaves as three fifths of a man for purposes of of electing Representatives, and maintained property qualifications for voting long after most other states had gotten rid of them. Look how many presidents between 1789 and 1861 were from Virgina and otherparts of the South. Look at the ability to force the fugitive Slave Law through Congress. Look how they forced the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, and caused the Texas Revolution when Mexico outlawed slavery. Look how they were able to throw out the Missouri Compromise and initiate the fight that resulted in the Compromise of 1850, and later the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Don’t poor poor me about the south’s domination by the North. that is just another myth promulgated by the “Lost Cause” revisionists, who like Woodrow Wilson were the same people who regarded D.W. Griffiths racist classic “Birth of A Nation” as valid history.

    4. Tyrant Lincoln? Have you even read what the Rebel Congressmen and state government officials said about Jefferson Davis? And yes while Lincoln carried out a lot of acts questionable by history, the same things have been carried out by many previous and subsequent presidents either under ther pressure of fighting a war, or the guise of executive privilege. Recent examples include Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Wilson, Kennedy, and FDR. Yet Lincoln was the South’s best friend in washington. If McCellan had captured Richmond, or destroyed Lee’s army at Antietam and the south had come to terms, they could have come back into the Union with the same dominant position as they held before the war. If the South had not killed Lincoln, they would not have had to suffer the humiliation of occupation, benefical though it was. (There were no public schools in much of the South before reconstruction.)

    5. Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, any or the Indian Wars went through the formality of a Decalration of War. However, Lincoln was dealing with an internal revolt, not a soveriegn nation when troops were requested to “quell the insurrection”.

    6. If the South had had it’s way (even before seccession), there would not be “the United States”, instead there would be these United States. Instead of being an industrial powerhouse, those United States would still be an agrarian economy. There would still be slavery and most of the rest of the World would be communist because every time an American spoke about Freedom, the rest of the world would fall down laughing. So not lonly di Lincoln win the civil War but he set up the conditions that allowed the winning of the spanish American War, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. So yes he is a hero.

  • Calvin Johnson

    I could not say it better then Mr. Steve Scroggins. He has his facts right.

    It is time to tell the truth about America’s history.

    Thank you Steve.

  • Alex C.

    They all gave good facts about Lincoln, but some were more understandable. History is not always easy to understand. They were all very informative and showed what Lincoln was like. Lincoln was complex and I don’t think anybody will ever understand the real Lincoln and what he really did.

  • Nicole M.

    Your comments are perfect examples of what is inherently wrong with our country today. Like most of our politicians today, you can’t see past your own opinions to get to the heart of the matter for the good of the people. Why is it so important that you be deemed right regarding who started what and why. Mr. Lincoln, as the evidence shows, was just as wrong as right.

    The enormous amount of civil war documentation (not later historian interpretation) available to the public shows what the Northern and Southern politicians, organizations and citizens did and said before, during and after the war. In researching my history as a black woman, I’ve studied thousands of these documents, so I know for a fact that the North wasn’t all good and the South wasn’t all bad. My family is from Mississippi, and ironically when the slaves were freed my relatives and other former slaves stayed on at the plantation well after the Reconstruction era ended because my great-grandfather and his family were fair and supported his former slaves. Even as a Christian I have to reconcile my Lord and slavery in the New Testament.

    But the reason why he was great is because ultimately he held unity and equality of the people as higher priorities than his own personal bias, prejudice and racism. His country was falling apart then, just as it is today, and he knew there would be discontent on both sides no matter what solution he came up with. Like today, politicians and corporations then had agendas and reasons for going to war and satisfying their self-interests, but the end result was still war regardless who had the higher moral ground to stand on. Even amongst slaves, abolitionists, and northern citizens, their reports, letters and other statements documented differ drastically from each other although they were all technically on the same side.

    Please let’s stop butting heads and acknowledge that there was good and bad on BOTH sides, including Lincoln himself, but more importantly what Lincoln wanted us all to have in common to overcome these divisions is that we are citizens of the UNITED states of america. Let’s dialogue for togetherness instead of debate for separation.

State Farm

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