American Antiques, Lincoln & God – Godly Love Means Justice for All

Derek Dashwood asked:

Even Lenin remarked that any nation that created Abraham Lincoln and Tom Sawyer could not be all bad. We all love the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn stories, and admire how the boys could tell right from wrong; even though their Sunday school teachings, as told by the holy preacher, was that it was a mortal sin against God to not return a slave to his master, if you knew where he was. You would go to burn in hell for withholding this information.

Many a slave was whipped all the way home to his chains; his hiding hole in the riverbank given away by dear souls fearful for their mortal souls. That was Mark Twain as we knew him: Samuel Clemens of Hannibal, Missouri by birth. Sam as Mark as Tom was writing this years after the fact; the Civil War had been won, the slaves had been created legally free citizens of America by the President and his Decree.

But Lincoln was dead, Johnson was under Impeachment, men with carpet bags of cash to buy those in need on the cheap were pouring into the south, much wrong was happening, even as shown in Gone With The Wind. Much bloodshed, anger, backlash, white men in white capes with spiked hats left many a black man hanging from a tree for all to see all was not not changed yet.

Samuel Clemens felt strongly that a voice about right and wrong needed to be stated strongly, and he choose the river rat language he must have lived in the decades earlier. After much inner moral turmoil, the boys helped black slave Jim hide in a cave in the riverbank, eluding the dogs and the whips of the slave owner and his slaves.

And the boys were not sure those preachers and sincere Christian slave owning families were really on the side of God or not, but in that pivotal moment that caused these books to be translated around the world, the boys came to the conclusion that they had seen Jim sob at night, that he missed his wife and child who had been sold separate from him in New Orleans.

As we mention, Lenin, determined that capital was used by the rich to enslave labor to their wheels, saw in the purity of understanding of right from wrong, at least in the behavior of others, and had to admit that America could not be the total evil his speeches implied.

Meanwhile, unlike the boys, the real Abraham Lincoln worked his way on a barge all the way down the Mississippi to the Gulf at New Orleans in 1828, half a century earlier. And, like the boys, he had already decided every black Jim was human like him. The boys were afraid they might go to hell. The future President did not give that a doubt: he was clear that in life it was right or wrong. And the real life 1828 American hero, at age nineteen, arrived on his loaded barge and was horrified at the sights of black people in chains, on the block, white men with whips looking into the mouth of black men, like checking a horse.

When Lincoln next returned, he stayed three months, and walked every street, and was disgusted beyond his wildest nightmares of a hell on earth for these unfortunate enough to have been born black, caught way over the seas, and were here like oxen. He left, and vowed that if he ever was in a position to change, he would hit slavery, and “hit it hard”.

And has happened to most who caused great change and angered many, Lincoln, the great gift to America and the world at a perilous moment for democracy on earth, was cowardly shot from behind. Even he had remarked, as he dressed for the theater his wife insisted they show themselves off to; he waved away a military support.

What sane man would shoot me now? It is all settled. He again urged gentle treatment to all in the south in his last Cabinet Meeting, and admired a portrait of Robert E. Lee on his desk. He remarked Lee had the fine face of a good and wise man, rather noble he thought.

He should have been as good a judge of that as any man ever.

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