Monday, February 12, 2007

Lincoln's Birthday |
Nice story for this anniversary. On his death, they emptied Lincoln's pockets. Among the contents was a Confederate five dollar bill--crumpled up in a ball. Why a Confederate bill in the pocket of their most ardent enemy?

After the war, Lincoln wanted to see Richmond (the Confederate capital). It's not far from DC, so he rode down in a carriage guarded by Union soldiers.

On the streets of Richmond, black Americans were not a little happy to see President Lincoln. One approached, and shoved the $5 bill into Lincoln's giant hand. "I was saving this to buy my freedom." he said. "Since you brought my freedom instead, the $5 is yours." Gentle Lincoln carried that precious gift 'til the day he died.

Lincoln (R-Illinois) had plenty of detractors. In the north, many of these were called Peace Democrats--a famous one, Clement Vallandigham, was from right here in Ohio. For Peace Democrats, they just hated the Great Emancipator.Lincoln didn't much like them either, arresting some 18,000 northern confederate sympathizers. Vallandingham (a former Congressman) was among the convicted.
After General Ambrose E. Burnside issued General Order Number 38, warning that the "habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy" would not be tolerated in the Military District of Ohio, Vallandigham gave a major speech, charging the war was being fought not to save the Union but to free blacks and enslave whites. To those who supported the war he declared, "Defeat, debt, taxation [and] sepulchres - these are your trophies".

He denounced "King Lincoln," calling for Abraham Lincoln's removal from the presidency. On May 5 he was arrested as a violator of General Order No. 38.
He was sentenced to 2 years' confinement in a military prison.

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