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 an identical obstacle: the right way to in achieving emancipation with no extending the bloodshed and trouble of warfare. equipped chronologically so readers can see alterations in Lincoln's pondering over the years, the ebook explores the congruence of the sixteenth president's dating with Quaker trust and his political and non secular inspiration on 3 particular concerns: emancipation, conscientious objection, and the comfort and schooling of freedmen.
Distinguishing among the truth of Lincoln's dating with the Quakers and the mythology that has emerged through the years, the e-book differs considerably from earlier works in at the least methods. It indicates how Lincoln skillfully navigated a dating with probably the most vocal and politically lively 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
But Gurney declined, noting that the president had too many other responsibilities. ”3 Afterward, the president, who was usually guarded about his innermost thoughts, wrote a remarkably candid letter to Gurney. After thanking her for her “sympathy and prayer,” Lincoln recalled Gurney’s sermon and the invocation of Peter’s letter to the early Christians. “We are indeed going through a great trial—a fiery trial,” he wrote, wedding his own trial with that of the divided Union. It was a metaphor he would return to time and again for the remainder of his presidency.
Unable to reconcile their pacifist convictions with their public responsibility to defend the frontier during the French–Indian War, Friends resigned en mass from the Pennsylvania government. 17 Abolitionism was a fundamental objective of this spiritual reformation, but one that was not easily achieved. . 20 The antislavery example pioneered in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting quickly spread to other yearly meetings in colonial America. But the final step of disowning from membership those Friends who refused to free their slaves did not come to fruition until the American Revolution.
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. A second draft act, passed at the urging of Friends in 1864, exempted religious objectors from military service, provided they did medical work, assisted with recently freed slaves, or paid $300 to be used for the welfare of the freedmen.