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Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln's civil rights record wasn't so rosy
Lincoln's civil rights record wasn't so rosy

In a Jan. 4 op-ed entitled "Embracing civil liberties," Ben Jealous implores the Republican Party to restore itself to a "sincere civil rights advocacy" that dates all the way back to Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Jealous does not distinguish myth from history. As was the custom, president-elect Lincoln refrained from substantive public discourse between his election and his inauguration, a period that coincided with the "secession winter" of 1860-61. Sen. William Seward was unofficially the party's interim spokesman; two days after agreeing to serve in Lincoln's forthcoming administration, Seward delivered "The Union," a speech to the U.S. Senate...