Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday each week. 


March 22, 2022


Today’s “column from the archives,” may seem a bit of a stretch, but take the ride for at last the next column or so, and then decide.

Take note of just how Lincoln pursued his actual real goals, not at the time of the war going on, but before as the foundation of his presidency – he disclosed expansion of the Pacific railroad westward so the country (America) could develop, and ending slavery which he believed was necessary to keep the country united. Keeping the country united would prevent it from dividing into a North and South venue. This information was gleaned from Lincoln’s voluminous handwritten letters and essays to friends and copies of speeches. 

October 2, 2017


As time passes, historical figures gain prestige and are idolized even though their early road to fame and fortune are soundly questionable or grossly fabricated.

Most people experiencing grief, pain, and sorrow have heard encouraging words something to the effect “only passage of time can heal,” or similar words. 

While the idea is meant to comfort, modern-day opportunists learned a long time ago and take advantage of the passage of time to, in effect, re-write history. Christopher Columbus has been idolized as the discoverer of America although he never set foot in America as we know America today, only on an island in the Caribbean.   

Columbus’ heinous, murderous destruction of the native people of places he did “discover” have been recognized in the present-day account of history. The name “Columbia,” South Carolina is said to have originated from Christopher Columbus, one of many, many idolizations of Columbus throughout America. Only in recent years have city and state governments in some locations throughout America changed “Columbus Day” to other designations. 

Since first setting foot on the continent that was to become North America (these United States), the discoverers immediately deemed themselves the new owners of the land just because of their claims of “discovery,” totally ignoring the American Indians who were there and the owners. (In philosophy, that’s referred to as circular reasoning.)  

These discoverers were viewed by the Native Americans – American Indians is preferred by this writer – as foreigners, and all those regardless of their country of origin were the “white man.”  

Abraham Lincoln’s life before deciding to run for public office was one of very limited education, and his “humble” beginnings attributed greatly to his election as President. What is gleaned by historical scholars from not only Lincoln’s public speeches and correspondence, but those who knew him, provide the basis for a racial ideology toward American Indians that can only be described as biased. 

Lincoln’s contact and encounters with slaves or free black persons was of such a limited basis as to cause the ordinary person to wonder about his resulting path to the Emancipation Proclamation/Civil War. Lincoln’s papers revealed a recognition of the opportunity afforded by enlistment in the Illinois militia, just one month after announcing his candidacy for the state legislature from Sangamon County. 

An encounter shortly after Lincoln’s enlistment in the Illinois militia with a band of Cherokee Indians was the first cultural exchange of which Lincoln was reported as “enjoying the Indians’ company and exchange immensely.”    

Historical scholars note that Lincoln’s accounts of subsequent hostilities and his detailed descriptions of the Indians’ massacres of white families led to the conclusion that Lincoln expected “future Indian violence in the 1860’s.”    

Lincoln did not ever actually fight an American Indian in live combat, but he did stand up to his own men who wanted to lynch an Indian man who reported for duty near the end of the Black Hawk War. The incident was reported as one of the “only times they saw the usually gregarious Lincoln aroused by anger.” 

Decades later, historical scholars analyzed the incident as Lincoln “may not have been interested in the man as an Indian or as a potential combatant, but he recognized the humanity of the individual despite cultural differences.”    

Telling of Lincoln’s attitude at the ending of his original 30-day enlistment for service during the Black Hawk War was that he was “out of work,” and believed “there being no danger of more fighting, I could do nothing better than enlist again.” He no longer viewed the American Indians as a threat. His correspondence and papers revealed that if he hoped to impress constituents in his run for the legislature back in Sangamon County, he needed to exhibit some impressive qualities, that “commitment to the war effort was one of few options available to him.”    

Lincoln’s experiences with the American Indians over the years, despite the attacks on soldiers at the end of the Black Hawk War, resulted in his opinion that “American Indian warfare was but one element of their identity,” giving him a different racial perspective.    

Lincoln studied law and continued his political career after the Black Hawk War ended. His speeches up until his election as President addressed American ideals and made “a few observations tangentially related to national Indian policy.” 

More next week on Lincoln and his views on American stability and lack of the American Indians in it, as the instability of the South grew. 

Look along the way for just how Lincoln felt about the American Indians, and for the mind-boggling revelation about how he really felt about slavery.

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