Abraham Lincoln and the Colliding Memories of Reconciliation and Emancipation in Civil War Memory
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In the aftermath of the Civil War, the remembrance of the war was shaped by the oppositional forces of reconciliation, focused on reunion of North and South, and emancipation, focused on slavery and race relations. In the memory of the Civil War, the reconciliationist memory has dominated. This work argues that the reconciliationist view and the emancipationist view can coexist in the memory of Abraham Lincoln. Through the examination of Ford's Theatre, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Lincoln statue in Richmond, Virginia, it becomes evident that the oppositional viewpoints of reconciliation and emancipation converge in the person of Abraham Lincoln.