Lincoln’s Leftist Associates–Part Two

by Al Benson Jr.

In 2009 Adam Max Tuchinsky, associate professor at the University of Southern Maine, wrote an informative book called Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune: Civil War Era Socialism and the Crisis of Free Labor. Tuchinsky noted that Greeley’s paper had, among its contributors, Charles Dana, Albert Brisbane, George Ripley, and the ever-present Karl Marx–all socialists.  It seems that the leftist intelligentsia in this country all had a working relationship with “Friend Greeley.” I never read any of this in my public school “history” books. Did anyone else?

Dana eventually went to Europe, where he could witness the convulsions caused by the 1848 socialist revolts firsthand. He felt those revolts were a “historical turning point.” Unfortunately, he was correct, more correct than even he could know. While in Europe, Dana spent time scrounging around for “alternative strains of socialist thought” and ended up in Cologne. At this juncture, a friend of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ferdinand Freiligrath, worked for a leftist periodical whose editor had lately co-authored a pamphlet called Das Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei. One of its co-authors, the editor, was a deadbeat hack of a writer whose name did not even appear on the first edition–because the ideas in it were not totally his. He was hired by a group called The League of the Just to author the pamphlet and its content was more theirs than his.

And so socialist Charles Dana met socialist Karl Marx. Socialist Carl Schurz had once met Marx and in our book Lincoln’s Marxists, Walter Kennedy and I commented on that. We noted that, according to Carl Schurz, Karl Marx had an ego as big as the plant Pluto and was constantly berating and insulting those that dared to disagree with his exalted pronouncements. So typical for those on the left! They love it when you totally agree with them, but dare to disagree with them on anything and you become chopped liver in their estimation. Somehow, in spite of all the leftist vitriol, Marx and Dana seemed to hit it off. So much so that Dana got Marx probably the only real job he ever had in his life as a columnist for Horace Greeley’s left-leaning paper.

By the time Lincoln and Greeley both left Congress in 1849, Lincoln had developed a close circle of friends which eventually included a batch of the socialist Forty-eighters, and they were working at turning the states of Missouri, Wisconsin, and Illinois into seething points of agitation. So what we had, in effect, was almost constant socialist agitation in the upper Midwest in the very late 1840s and 1850s. Again, did you ever see any of this in your “history” books in public school? I never did. This is all “memory hole” material we are never supposed to be aware of. Oh, I recall reading about the Kansas-Missouri problems, but that was mostly blamed on Southerners. No mention of Lincoln’s socialist friends stirring the pot at all. In fact, I often wonder how much of this kind of history appears even in home school history studies. I saw very little when we were home schooling our kids, and I’ve seen several history books from Christian schools and none of this was mentioned in any of them. Why not? Wouldn’t our young folks have a much better grasp of our real history if this aspect of it were noted in their history books? Maybe that’s why it’s not there.

John Nichols, in his article in the International Socialist Review has noted, quite accurately, that: “While studies of Lincoln place appropriate focus on his domestic engagements, there has been far too little attention paid to his global interests, especially during the period ‘in the wilderness’ between the end of his congressional term and his return to the political stage. Yet there can be no doubt that the future president was conscious of and highly engaged with developments in foreign lands–thanks no doubt to his close reading of the Tribune…Lincoln invoked the struggles of the European revolutionaries and denounced ‘oppression in any of its forms…'” The invader and destroyer of the South denounces oppression–how touching!

As he got ready for the presidential race in 1860 (he was hardly a reluctant candidate) Lincoln took the time and trouble to align himself with those whose position is “…that labor is the superior–greatly the superior–of capital.” That’s part of the old Marxist line and it comes off sounding somewhat hypocritical from the man who was a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad. You don’t get much more “capitalist” than the railroad people. And Thomas DiLorenzo, in his excellent and informative book The Real Lincoln noted that “…Lincoln was a devoted protectionist over his entire political career. He and other Whigs took this position because it created a stream of economic benefits for a wealthy and powerful constituency group…Having the government dispense special privileges to the wealthy and influential was always the core of the Whig political program to which Lincoln devoted his political career.”  Sounds like the sainted Mr. Lincoln was only opposed to capitalism and capital if they were Southern. He didn’t seem to have all that much problem with Northern capitalism–in fact he profited from it. Interesting that the socialist and communists that fled the failed 1848 socialist revolts in Europe, when they came to this country, ended up joining or allying themselves with the Republican Party–the party of corporate fascism and big government. And they did this because they knew that the party of big government would help them get what they wanted–power and control. The supposed leftist concern for the “poor and oppressed” is nothing more than a self-serving sham.

To be continued.

7 thoughts on “Lincoln’s Leftist Associates–Part Two

  1. Pingback: Lincoln’s Leftist Associates–Part Two | revisedhistory | IF THE TRUTH BE KNOWN...BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny.G...

  2. Karl Marx’s letter to Abraham Lincoln
    The International Workingmen’s Association 1864
    Address of the International Working Men’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America
    Presented to U.S. Ambassador Charles Francis Adams
    January 28, 1865 [A]
    Written: by Marx between November 22 & 29, 1864
    First Published: The Bee-Hive Newspaper, No. 169, November 7, 1865;
    Transcription/Markup: Zodiac/Brian Baggins;
    Online Version: Marx & Engels Internet Archive ( 2000.

    We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.

    From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?

    When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, “slavery” on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding “the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution”, and maintained slavery to be “a beneficent institution”, indeed, the old solution of the great problem of “the relation of capital to labor”, and cynically proclaimed property in man “the cornerstone of the new edifice” — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.

    While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

    The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world. [B]

    Signed on behalf of the International Workingmen’s Association, the Central Council:
    Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osbourne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L.Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci; George Odger, President of the Council; P.V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G.P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J.E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland; H.F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary 18 Greek Street, Soho.

    NOTE: The truth is, Abraham Lincoln cared little about the slave institution in Africa, America or anywhere else although he personally opposed slavery he tolerated laws preventing free slaves and other black from entering, living and working in his home state. You can read Lincoln’s own worlds about slavery on the Internet. And, his so called Emancipation Proclamation was never intended to free any slaves but was a scheme to raise the morals of his loosing military officers and troops, and the disgruntle population of the northeastern U.S.A. In fact Lincoln’s Emancipation was held in his desk drawer until he could claim a battle victory, which was in reality a draw since the Union military lost more men than did the Confederate military. And, his Emancipation never proposed to free any slaves in the northeast or boarder states over which Lincoln and his Union military had any control. His Emancipation only proposed to free slaves in states and territories over which he nor the Union military had any control. And, no slaves were freed in the boarder states proving that slaves because a desperate commodity at a time when Lincoln was badly loosing the tariff and duty war he had started with the agriculture states to build his political party’s American Industrial Revolution infrastructure only in the northeaster U.S.A., never in the southeast or in any agriculture state…Al Barrs:

    “Fighting for America’s Freedom through True American History Education…” –Al Barrs

  3. As usual AL BENSON hits truth’s jackpot.

    For ten long years Marx wrote over 200 of his Communism-selling articles for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, the north’s most widely circulated brainwashing instrument. To Marx’s dismay some of his articles received no by-lines but were used as Editorials. Lincoln, an addicted newspaper reader, undoubtedly consumed Marx’s words and his philosophy. This pleased all of the German 48ers greatly; however, their pleasure turned to hatred when Lincoln decided to wrest the plunder of the Marxist planned Reconstruction of the so-called “Reconstructed” South away from them, the Marxist-Republicans. Lincoln’s belief that he could do this–his ego brought him death.i

    Why is it hard for present day Americans to believe that the very kind of people who could destroy their own leaders such as Trotsky and Lenin didn’t manage to bamboozle a Booth into killing a detested someone for them and thus turning that Marxist- hated someone into a beloved, much adored martyr–a perfect tool designed for their use? (Folks unaware that his fellow Republicans hated Lincoln, need to do some honest research all on their own. Stanton despised Lincoln–insulted him often. Dana detested Lincoln’ These guys were not alone. Their full partners in crime, the 48ers certainly were certainly supportive.

    Lincoln’s secret, but major enemies, the” Radical Republicans” are occasionally still mentioned by professional historians, but only occasionally. My, how the historians do manage to disguise truth in a title –“Radical Communists” should replace “Radical Republicans as the correctly applicable term

    . More and more serious students interested in the details of “hero making” now contend that the EXECUTION OF LINCOLN was not planned by Confederates but by Radical Communists. In fact, an imminent professional historian, a brilliant, very brave American–professor emeritus, U.of SC, actually proved this to the satisfaction of many Americans. His book is entitled “Abraham Lincoln’s Execution.” His work certainly offers support to all Benson and Kennedy report in their own text.
    Joan Hough

  4. Pingback: What Is A Liberal | Strangers and Aliens

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