Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dr. Guelzo Responds to Valerie Protopapas

Re: Lincoln and the "central idea of America"



Dear Madam:

It is you, alas! who have bought into a myth. There is not the slightest shred of evidence -- certainly none which could stand up as sworn testimony -- that the tariff ever entered into any of Lincoln's deliberations. His endorsement of the Corwin amendment in his first inaugural offered the South nothing that they did not have already (ie. constitutional immunity from federal control over slavery); if it were otherwise, then why did the South secede? If you are able to cite original documents in Lincoln's hand to disprove this, I will be both enlightened and your debtor.

I would apply the same rule to your other assertions:

 *   Show me, please, where Lincoln ever directed his troops to return fugitive slaves to their masters. Not in someone else's book, remember, but in Lincoln's own words.

 *   Show me, please, why, if you were consigned to bondage by a slavemaster, you would not rise in insurrection. I certainly would.

 *   Show me, please, why it was wrong for Marx to "adore" Lincoln. Apart from the exaggeration implicit in "adored," Marx should be complimented for getting at least one thing in his life right.

 *   Show me, please, how successful the so-called "socialists" of the German revolutions were in introducing a socialist regime under Lincoln.

 *   Show me, please, in what decisions Lincoln nullified the 10th amendment, and exactly what powers are denied the federal government by that amendment.

 *   Show me, please, how opening fire on the U.S. flag, both on January 9, 1861 and on April 12, 1861, is not an act of treason?

 *   Show me, please, who "Agustus" Fox and "Otto" Browning were (I presume you mean Gustavus Vasa Fox and Orville Hickman Browning; perhaps you should look these things up first) and where Lincoln admitted that he "lied" about Ft. Sumter. He expressed relief to Browning that the Confederates had firednthe first shot and taken the onus of starting the war on themselves, but that scarcely constitutes a lie.

 *   Show me, please, where the Constution limits suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus to Congress.

You assert that "There are books now published which make this connection irrefutably." I presume you mean books by Di Lorenzo, West, and other Lincoln-haters. Yes, thank you, I am all too well aware of them. There are also books which claim irrefutably to describe voyages with space aliens and the healing power of crystals. You have been had by a clutch of intellectual con-men; I hope you will put all such books aside.

And do, kindly, spell my name correctly.

(Dr) Allen C. Guelzo

Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era

Director, Civil War Era Studies Program

Gettysburg College

300 N. Washington Street

Gettysburg, PA  17325