Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Documentary Review: Lincoln: Man or Myth: Investigating History

This is a series produced by the History Channel: Investigating History.  In this episode the investigate Abraham Lincoln.  It shows several different aspects of Lincoln.  Lincoln was photographed over 120 times, which was a lot it that day.  They present two photos which also are suppose to be Lincoln, and follow the evidence which point to one (Hoffman portrait) definitely being Lincoln and the other (Kaplan photograph) likely. 
The documentary then looks at the argument of Lerone Bennett Jr. saying the Abraham Lincoln was not an emancipator, but rather a racist.  He first put forth his argument during the Civil Rights era, and then later wrote a book with the theme.  He makes his argument because the emancipation proclamation only freed slaves in the states under Confederate control.  The thirteenth amendment became law after Lincoln was dead.  A previous documentary blamed his assassination on a speech he gave a few days before, asking for the right to vote for all citizens, including African Americans.  I think Mr. Bennett has gotten this one wrong, most likely not trying to give credit where it is due to a Republican.  The issue here was one of politics.  Lincoln had to get elected to be able to make changes, and some of Lincoln's statements evolved, or were made of political necessity.
The Bixby letter is then reviewed.  Was it written by Lincoln, or his press secretary.  They don't answer this question.
One thin is for certain.  The log cabin on display where Lincoln was born, is not the log cabin that was there when he was born.  However it is a log cabin, and is on display at the place where Lincoln was born in a log cabin. 

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