Northern Opposition

The Abbeville Institute is pleased to announce the launch of The Abbeville Institute Press and our first title, Northern Opposition to Mr. Lincoln’s War, edited by D. Jonathan White.

An enduring feature of American folklore is that with the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, the North rose to a man in righteous determination to suppress treason and slavery. The response to Sumter has even been likened to the impact of the foreign sneak attacks of Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Thereafter, so the story goes, the only opposition to the patriotic cause came from a few sneaking “Copperheads” who maliciously added to Mr. Lincoln’s burdens. This scenario has always been dubious. Lincoln was never fully sure of his Northern support or his re-election. Hundreds of newspapers had to be suppressed and thousands of citizens imprisoned by the army without due process in areas far distant from any hostilities. There was heavy-handed military occupation and military supervision of elections in some places. Hundreds of thousands of Northern men avoided service in one way or another. The largest expenditure of the war was not for food or weapons but for bounties, exceeding a year’s pay for a working man, to encourage enlistments. Even so, a quarter of the army was made up of the foreign born.

As shown in this collection of research by a variety of accomplished scholars, Northern opposition to Lincoln’s war was much larger, more respectable, more intelligent, and often more principled than has been understood. This has been one of the best-kept secrets in American history. This book begins an unveiling of forgotten aspects of the War between the States they may alter our perspective on that great event.

The book can be purchased by clicking on the link below.

Donald Livingston

Donald Livingston is the founder of the Abbeville Institute and retired Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. He has been a National Endowment Independent Studies fellow and a fellow for the Institute of Advanced Studies in the humanities at the University of Edinburgh. His books include Hume's Philosophy of Common Life and Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium, Hume's Pathology of Philosophy.

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