Important why?

While I agree Lincoln wasn't black people's savior, I find it troubling to see anti-racist people echoing neo-Confederates in their criticism of Lincoln. For the Lost-Cause advocate, of course, there's a need to demonstrate the Civil War was motivated by Yankee imperialism & not slavery. They point to how the Emancipation Proclamation didn't free many slaves, or how Lincoln himself wrote to Horace Greeley that to preserve the union he would happily free no slaves, & so on.

It is a shame, I guess, that Lincoln was a politician & not another John Brown (w/o the crazy). He understood that per Dred Scott neither he nor Congress had any authority over slavery in normal times.

But, I have to ask, how many other presidents would have gone to war, successfully, to prevent secession? Let's nevermind his motives for a moment. How would black people fare in a Confederacy whose stated raison d'etre was slavery & white supremacy?

Many of Lincoln's rivals, e.g. Stanton, Seward, were happy to see the south go.

I don't think you can dispute that Lincoln's administation was beneficial to black people. While the Emancipation Proclamation didn't free all the slaves, the 13th amendment, however imperfectly, did. Lincoln ought to get credit for that, even if it was ratified after his death.

Advocating return to Africa was a mistake, but was it really so far-fetched when you consider Gen Sherman's Field Order #15, inspired by black freeman emphasizing the dual need for land & separation from white society?

Did he not want black people to prosper alongside whites in the US, or did he believe that blacks would never be allowed to prosper here?

I would be shocked if Lincoln's understanding of the freed slave, his/her predicament & needs was anything but imperfect. But he did what was necessary to keep the Union together, & prevent secession & the Confederacy's long-term plan to spread slavery back into Latin America.

So, no, he wasn't a savior, or a saint whose love for black people informed a life-long desire to free the slaves, but he was the right leader for the time.

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics