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Was Abraham Lincoln a Racist?

            When people think of the 16th president of the United States Abraham Lincoln, accomplishments like leading the union to victory in the civil war or freeing the slaves are most common to come to mind. However, throughout his lifetime "Honest Abe" had some features that many tend to push aside. James McPherson once stated that Lincoln was a man of principle and would not compromise his beliefs or principles but every time he was asked his opinion on the African American race, it seemed as though his answers were always rather contradicting. Even though Lincoln was given credit for freeing the slaves and amending the constitution for African American rights, does not mean that he believed blacks were just as equal to his superior white race. Although Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery, he is most certainly defined as a racist due to his unacceptance of equality within other races and his passion for segregation. .
             It is important to know that in today's society, a racist is defined as one who advocates or believes that some races of people are better than others.1 In 1858 when he decided he was going to run for a seat in the senate against democrat Stephen A. Douglas. In his first debate in Ottawa, IL, he showed all signs of racism. He states that physical differences will forever keep the two races apart and makes it clear that the two races are undoubtedly different in intellect, morals, and color- with a tone sounding almost bothered by the fact.2 Less than a month later, Douglas and Lincoln had their fourth debate in another Illinois town. This time, Lincoln is much harsher. He clearly states that black races should not have political or social equality, rights to vote or be part of a jury, or ability to hold office. He also specified that they should never intermarry with whites because of physical appearance and indicated that whites were always meant to be the inferior and superior race.

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