top of page

A Special Insight into The History of Lincoln with John Cribb

Our guest on the Two Mikes was Mr. John Cribb, a veteran author from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Mr. Cribb is the author of a new book called The Rail Splitter: A Novel.

This book of historical-fiction follows the life of Abraham Lincoln from his birth until he is on the

threshold of the presidency. (Mr. Cribb’s last book is called Old Abe, which covers the last five

years of Lincoln’s life in which he served as president.)

Our discussion focuses on Lincoln’s truly spectacular rise in the world. As a youth, his father

needed him on the farm, and as Lincoln said his education was a case of “the littles, a little here

and a little there.” Mr. Cribb’s notes that adding up Lincoln’s total time at school tops out at

about a year. Lincoln was absolutely a self-learner and not just in the basics. He taught himself

Euclid’s geometry, the law via Blackstone’s Commentaries, and persevered through life to

become a top-flight lawyer and the U.S. president.

On the issue of slavery, Lincoln claimed to not remember when he wasn’t opposed to it, saying

“if slavery isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong.” He also, however, was opposed to the virulent hate-

spewing of the abolitionists; the latter, of course, were key players in pushing the republic into

civil war. Indeed, their consistent hate and accusations of a “Godless South” were in large part

responsible in making the southerners – the leaders and the led – believe that there was no

ground for compromise with the north.

Lincoln was without question what was called at the time an “Anti-slavery Man,” but he and

many others believed that the sudden freeing of the slaves would badly disrupt the Union, cause

an enormous economic dislocation, and inject into the population an enormous number of

slaves who were largely uneducated, lacking in employable skills, and who were still detested,

perhaps more by northerners than by southerners.

Lincoln’s aim at the beginning of his presidency was not to free the slaves, but to contain the

institution in the south and so prevent its spread to the new states and territories that were sure

to enter the Union, while also working to build a joint north-south strategy to eradicate slavery

over time and prepare Blacks to cope with the drastic change and new responsibilities that

freedom would place upon them.

Mr. Cribb concludes our discussion with a fascinating discussion about Lincoln as a man who,

though he was never baptized or joined a church, attended Sunday services and was a deeply

spiritual human being. There is always more to be said about Mr. Lincoln, and Mr. Cribb gives

us all a good and well-written deal to read and consider, as well as to, perhaps, help the reader

to begin to grow, or to rekindle, a strong interest in the history of their country and in the

enigmatic Mr. Lincoln. In his two books on Lincoln, Mr. Cribb has given a gift to the nation, and especially its young, that is badly needed.


CARES Act Stimulus

(COVID-19) Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERC):

4 views0 comments


bottom of page