|May 4th, 2011||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2011
Abraham Lincoln and the jews
According to Tina Levitan’s extraordinary book, “First Facts in American Jewish History,” around 1861, “…a flag with Hebrew lettering was presented to President Abraham Lincoln.”
Accordingly, many historians claim that Lincoln had many Jewish associates, advisors and supporters.
The “Know Nothing Party”
On July 21, 1860, Lincoln wrote a letter to one of his friends, Abraham Jonas of Quincy of Illinios, expressing his anger at racists, bigots and anti-Semites.
At one time, Jonas served with Lincoln in the Illinois State Legislature.
In the letter, Lincoln reacted to a particular legislator whom he considered a “stupid, classic anti-Semite.” Lincoln called this legislator’s party the “Know Nothing Party.”
Angered by some of the things this “Know Nothing Party” said about Catholics, Negroes, and Jews, Lincoln wrote, “Rather than live under the hypocrisy of American bigotry, I would prefer to live under open tyranny in a country such as Czarist Russia!”
When word of Lincoln’s words reached the public, he won warm support from large numbers of American Jews.
Lincoln’s Strong Jewish Support
At that time, Lincoln won a good deal of support from influential Jewish political figures and Jewish leaders.
Among the delegates to the 1860 Republican National Convention was a Jew, Lewis Dembitz of Louisville, KY. Since Lewis Dembitz was designated as a “Lincoln delegate,” it was Dembitz who was the first delegate to vote for Lincoln’s nomination as President of the United States.
The Jewish Vote
At the same time there was another Jew Sigmund Kaufmann, from New York City. Kaufmann was the publisher of German language newspapers in New York City. He admired Lincoln and it was through his efforts that he literally delivered the entire liberal German immigrant vote to Lincoln in 1860. That vote was heavily Jewish.
Another political supporter of Lincoln was Moses Aaron Dropsie from the wealthy and prominent Dropsie family who founded the “Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning” a half a century later.
Lincoln’s concern for Jews was reflected on the international scene as well as in America. When he took office, he was the first President to appoint a Jew as U.S. Consul in Zurich, Switzerland. This was the first time a Jew had been assigned to a European post.
Lincoln Sets a Precedent
Lincoln was the first and only president who revoked an official act of anti-Semitism that involved the United States government.
Here’s what happened. During the Civil War in 1862, Lincoln’s favorite General, Ulysses S. Grant, was told that some Jewish peddlers had also sold some of their merchandise to Confederate soldiers.
When Grant herd this, he became furious. He was so angry he decided to stop Jewish peddlers from selling their merchandise to the Union army soldiers, and drew up an official order prohibiting all Jewish peddlers from selling to the Union soldiers.
When some of the Jewish merchants who were innocent of the charge told Lincoln what was going on, Lincoln recognized the injustice of the order, issued instructions for an immediate cancellation of Grant’s order.
Lincoln wrote, “To condemn a class (of people) is to condemn the good with the bad. I do not like to hear an entire class or nationality condemned on account of a few sinners.”
« Le mélange des races est un crime plus grave que le meurtre. » William Luther Pierce
|May 10th, 2011||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Florida CSA
Available at Amazon on May 16, 2011
The impact of the American Civil War on Karl Marx, and Karl Marx on America.
Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War. Although they were divided by far more than the Atlantic Ocean, they agreed on the cause of “free labor” and the urgent need to end slavery. In his introduction, Robin Blackburn argues that Lincoln’s response signaled the importance of the German American community and the role of the international communists in opposing European recognition of the Confederacy.
The ideals of communism, voiced through the International Working Men’s Association, attracted many thousands of supporters throughout the US, and helped spread the demand for an eight-hour day. Blackburn shows how the IWA in America—born out of the Civil War—sought to radicalize Lincoln’s unfinished revolution and to advance the rights of labor, uniting black and white, men and women, native and foreign-born. The International contributed to a profound critique of the capitalist robber barons who enriched themselves during and after the war, and it inspired an extraordinary series of strikes and class struggles in the postwar decades.
In addition to a range of key texts and letters by both Lincoln and Marx, this book includes articles from the radical New York-based journal Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly, an extract from Thomas Fortune’s classic work on racism Black and White, Frederick Engels on the progress of US labor in the 1880s, and Lucy Parson’s speech at the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World.
Robin Blackburn (born 1940) is a British socialist historian, a former editor of New Left Review (1981-99), an author of essays on Marx, capitalism and socialism, and of books on the history of slavery and on social policy. His most celebrated works, "The Making of New World Slavery: from the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800" (1997) and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848 (1988) offer an account of the rise and fall of colonial slavery in the Americas, contributing to the emerging field of 'Atlantic history'. Blackburn has also published critiques of the 'financialisation of everyday life' and of the privatization of pension provision. He was educated at Oxford and the LSE. A former member of the International Marxist Group, he is currently Professor of Sociology at Essex University and between 2001 and 2009 has been Distinguished Visiting Professor of Historical Studies at The New School in New York City. He has been a regular contributor to New Left Review since 1962.