By William C. Kashatus
An very important contribution to Lincoln scholarship, this thought-provoking paintings argues that Abraham Lincoln and the spiritual Society of buddies confronted the same limitation: tips on how to in achieving emancipation with no extending the bloodshed and problem of conflict. prepared chronologically so readers can see alterations in Lincoln's pondering through the years, the e-book explores the congruence of the sixteenth president's dating with Quaker trust and his political and non secular concept on 3 particular matters: emancipation, conscientious objection, and the comfort and schooling of freedmen.
Distinguishing among the truth of Lincoln's courting with the Quakers and the mythology that has emerged over the years, the publication differs considerably from earlier works in not less than methods. It indicates how Lincoln skillfully navigated a courting with some of the most vocal and politically energetic non secular teams of the nineteenth century, and it records the sensible ways that a shared trust within the "Doctrine...
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Extra resources for Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and the Civil War. A Trial of Principle and Faith
Friends had opposed the violent resolution of conflict since their founding in the mid-seventeenth century. 12 But Quaker meetings became more willing to labor with those members who deviated from the Peace Testimony during the Civil War because of the very dilemma Lincoln had articulated, namely, that to abolish slavery meant going to war. Many young Quakers enlisted in the Union army. After Congress passed the first Conscription Act in 1863, Lincoln, as promised, pardoned those young Friends who appealed for a religious exemption, but many were still arrested and imprisoned for refusing to serve.
24 Instead, individual Friends assumed the responsibility of shifting the antislavery campaign to the larger, non-Quaker society. Even after the Society of Friends experienced a series of theological schisms in the first half of the nineteenth century, individual Quakers, regardless of dogma, continued to participate in the antislavery crusade. The first and arguably the most serious schism in American Quakerism occurred during 1827–1828 when Friends came under the growing influence of the Methodists and other evangelical groups.
On principle, and faith, opposed to both war and oppression, they can only practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard dilemma some have chosen one horn and some the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done, and shall do, the best I could and can, in my own conscience, under my oath to the law. That you believe this, I doubt not; and, believing it, I shall still receive, for our country and myself, your earnest prayers to our Father in Heaven. Your sincere friend, Abraham Lincoln8 What’s most revealing about Lincoln’s letter, however, is his depth of understanding of and compassion for the Quaker dilemma created by the Civil War.