Somebody is probably going to call me a racist for saying President Lincoln was an asshole but anybody with even a small amount of knowledge regarding the events that lead to the Civil War knows Lincoln didn’t give two shits about freeing the slaves. The only thing Lincoln cared about was making the states respect his authoritah which is noted by his rather sick way of telling Maryland to get with the program or face annihilation:
MY DEAR SIR: The Maryland legislature assembles to-morrow at Annapolis, and not improbably will take action to arm the people of that State against the United States. The question has been submitted to and considered by me whether it would not be justifiable, upon the ground of necessary defense, for you, as General in Chief of the United States Army, to arrest or disperse the members of that body. I think it would not be justifiable nor efficient for the desired object.
First. They have a clearly legal right to assemble, and we can not know in advance that their action will not be lawful and peaceful, and if we wait until they shall have acted their arrest or dispersion will not lessen the effect of their action.
Secondly. We can not permanently prevent their action. If we arrest them, we can not long hold them as prisoners, and when liberated they will immediately reassemble and take their action; and precisely the same if we simply disperse them–they will immediately reassemble in some other place.
I therefore conclude that it is only left to the Commanding General to watch and await their action, which, if it shall be to arm their people against the United States, he is to adopt the most prompt and efficient means to counteract, even, if necessary, to the bombardment of their cities and, in the extremest necessity, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
Your obedient servant,
Emphasis mine. It’s pretty ballsy, even today, for a president to openly say, “Do as I say or face bombardment of your cities. Also fuck habeas corpus, I’m not dealing with pesky little things like the rule of law.” Remember that Maryland hadn’t seceded from the Union at this point (and ultimately never did) yet the President threatened to bombard their cities anyways. It’s usually considered bad taste to threaten violence against those who haven’t actually initiated violence against you yet (and in the case of secession no violence was ever initiated until the North decided to declare bloody war agains the South).
This executive order clearly displays that Lincoln was on a power trip while he was in office and cared more about authority than anything else, including the lives of American people. His threat didn’t imply the capture or assassination of Maryland government officials but indiscriminate bombarding of Maryland cities.
I also find it disturbing that Lincoln signed a letter threatening to kill people of Maryland with, “Your obedient servant.” A property ending to the letter would have been, “Your lord and master.” If you’re going to be a tyrannical asshole you should at least be honest about it.