Abraham Lincoln affixed his signature to the Thirteenth Amendment… on this day in 1865. He had gambled during reelection year supporting the joint resolution, and thrust the full weight of the Presidency behind in the second term. This advocacy befuddles historians who all struggle to claim the definitive portrait of Lincoln- he was a moderate, not an abolitionist….but helped the radicals in his part abolish slavery at long last. Where is the true Lincoln?
Refusing to acknowledge his role in the passage…Radical Republicans rebuked Lincoln a few days later by legislating a caveat to the Resolution- Lincoln’s signature was not necessary; in other words, we didn’t need him for this great deed.
‘that it was contrary to the early decision of the Senate and of the Supreme Court; and that the negative of the President applying only to the ordinary cases of legislation, he had nothing to do with propositions to amend the Constitution’.”
Sour grapes, perhaps from ideologues… unwilling to acknowledge the political skill of a President they often viewed as an adversary.