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The Other Side of the Union

“The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than
a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire
for economic control of the Southern States.”
—Charles Dickens, 1862

“Slavery is no more the cause of this war
than gold is the cause of robbery.”
—Gov. Joel Parker of New Jersey, 1863

In 1931, sixteen years after publishing his classic collection of American poetry, Spoon River Anthology, and in the early stages of the Great Depression, Edgar Lee Masters wrote a biography, Lincoln: The Man.  In this work he wrote, commenting on the Gettysburg Address,

Lincoln carefully avoided one half of the American story. . . . The Gettysburg oration, therefore, remains a prose poem, but in the inferior sense that one must not inquire into its truth.  One must read it apart from the facts. . . . Lincoln dared not face the facts of Gettysburg. . . . He was unable to deal realistically with the history of his country, even if the occasion had been one when the truth was acceptable to the audience.  Thus we have in the Gettysburg Address that refusal of the truth which is written all over the American character and its expressions.  The war then being waged was not glorious, it was brutal and hateful and mean minded.  It had been...

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