Knox Scholar: How Lincoln Handled Critics

From: New York Times (New York, NY)

Commentary by Douglas L. Wilson, a professor emeritus at Knox College [and co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College]:

“Today we widely understand that Abraham Lincoln’s use of presidential war powers was indispensible to his success. But one of his biggest problems at the time was convincing the Northern public that suspending habeas corpus and other restraints on civil liberties were both temporary and constitutional, and that their enforcement was necessary to win the war…

“Lincoln emphasized the difference between what is allowable in times of rebellion or invasion that would not be allowable to ordinary times… Lincoln’s way of confronting this crisis tells us a great deal about the man, his unorthodox methods and the success of his presidency…” Read more…