|Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-04-16 23:15Z by Steven|
Gwynn Guilford, Reporter
Fake news almost brought down Honest Abe. (Reuters/Molly Riley)
Or at least, that’s what newspapers in 1864 would have had you believe. The charge isn’t true. But this miscegenation hoax still “damn near sank Lincoln that year,” says Heather Cox Richardson, history professor at Boston College.
In February 1864, Lincoln was preparing for a tough re-election campaign amidst a bloody civil war when he and his Republican party were blindsided.
The attack came from Samuel Sullivan Cox, an Ohio congressman from the pro-slavery Democrats, who gave a fiery speech to Congress condemning Republicans for championing the idea that whites and blacks have children together to create a new “American race,” declaring these views to “have been a part of the gospel of abolition for years.”
Democratic papers around the country reprinted the transcript of Cox’s speech. The Republicans’ “disgusting theories” had gone viral.
Cox was citing a 72-page anonymous pamphlet titled “Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the American White Man and Negro” that extolled intermarriage of races and encouraged Republicans to openly endorse this philosophy by adding it to their official party platform…
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