Ralph Waldo Emerson Self- reliance (1841)


The worst foes of the black race are those who have intermeddled on their behalf



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The worst foes of the black race are those who have intermeddled on their behalf.

  • We know better than others that every attribute of their character fits them for dependence and servitude
  • “…no calamity can befall them greater than the loss and protection that thy enjoy under this patriarchal system…”
  • Freedom would be their doom

It is a duty which we owe… to the civilized world.

  • Not just America but the world has come to depend on slavery to deliver products.
  • “Strike now a blow to this system of labor, and the world itself totters at the stroke..”

Slavery was given from God…Society is trying to take it away.

  • “Under this specious cry of reform, it demands that every evil be corrected, or society become a wreck-the sun must be stricken from the heavens, if a spot is found on his disk…”

Rabbi M.J. Raphall

  • Head of the Jewish Synagogue of New York

Bible View of Slavery

  • “The New Testament nowhere, directly or indirectly, condemns slaveholding”
  • God gave the ten commandments… when it is commanded that the Sabbath of the lord is to bring rest to “Thy male slave and thy female slave”
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house… or his male slave, or his female slave.

What gives you the right to condemn slavery?

  • “Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job the men whom the Almighty conversed… and whom He vouchsafed to give the character of “perfect, upright, and fearing God” were all slave holders.
  • In their time slavery was lawful and wasn’t a sin…. “When and by what authority did you draw that line?”

Rev. Henry W. Beecher

  • Was one of the most prestigious church men in the United States
  • Minister to the prestigious Plymouth Church of Brooklyn

The whole nation is guilty

  • “ The sins of a nation are always the sins of a certain central passion… but they are the same sins…”
  • “The corrupt passion which lead in the Southern States to all the gigantic evil of slavery, in Northern cities break out in other forms…”
  • Slavery started in the South because they loved money…. And the North went against its morals because of their love for money.
  • Were these theological divisions irreconcilable?
  • Does the Bible condemn or support the institution of slavery?
  • According to each of these ministers, what was the moral responsibility of a religious person in January 1861?

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865

  • Born 1809 in Kentucky to uneducated farmers
  • in a one room log cabin (making him the first President born outside of the 13 colonies)
  • Elected to Illinois General Assembly in 1834
  • Elected to US House of Representatives in 1846
  • Elected 16th President (first Republican) of the US in 1861
  • The Gettysburg Address

Other facts about ‘Ole Abe

  • Mother died when he was 9 years old. Became very close to step-mother.
  • Formal education was only 18 months. Very well read and mostly self educated.
  • Skilled in wrestling and using an axe.
  • Stood 6 ft. 4 in. tall.
  • Married to Mary Todd, whose family owned slaves.
  • Had four sons. Only one survived into adulthood, Robert Lincoln.

Historical Context Battle of Gettysburg

  • Battle was July 1-July 3, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Approximately:
  • 163,000 soldiers fought the battle
  • 7,500 were killed
  • 27,000 were wounded
  • 11,100 were captured or missing
  • The southern forces were defeated

The Gettysburg Address Delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania November 19, 1863

  • 15,000 spectators were in attendance

Main Points

  • Our forefathers founded a nation in liberty on the proposition that “all men are created equal”. This war is testing the nation on its endurance of that premise.
  • It would be improper to dedicate and hallow these grounds to the dead. Instead, we should dedicate the living to the work of preserving the nation.
  • The men did not die in vain, but died so the people could have freedom and a government that shall endure.

Frederick Jackson Turner

  • Born in Portage, Wisconsin, in 1861.
  • His father was journalist by trade and local historian which piqued Turner's interest in history
  • Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1884
  • Turner decided to become a professional historian, and received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1890.
  • He was a teacher at the University of Wisconsin from 1889 to 1910, when he began to teach at Harvard.
  • He retired in 1924 but continued his research until his death in 1932.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

  • Turner's major contribution to American history was to argue that the frontier past best explained the distinctive history of the United States.
  • He first delivered this lecture to a gathering of historians in 1893 at Chicago, which was the site of the World's Columbian Exposition which was an enormous fair to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus' voyage.
  • Although almost totally ignored at the time, Turner's lecture eventually gained such wide distribution and influence that a contemporary scholar has called it "the single most influential piece of writing in the history of American history."

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

  • Three years before Turner's frontier thesis, the U.S. Census Bureau had announced the disappearance of the “frontier line”.
  • Turner took this "closing of the frontier" as an opportunity to reflect upon the influence the frontier had exercised.
    • “The peculiarity of American institutions is the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the changes of an expanding people-to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, and in developing at each area of progress out of the primitive economic and political conditions of the frontier into the complexity of city life.”


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