Modern America has an unnuanced view of Lincoln. So did 1930's America. So did 1860's America. Many people in the mid-19th century saw Lincoln as Jesus -- unhelped by the fact that he was assassinated on Good Friday -- but the truth is Lincoln wasn't even Lincoln. The Great Emancipator had only decided that some Black men -- the "very intelligent" and soldiers -- should get citizenship rights three days before his death.
Anyway, John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln is more myth than even a normal Lincoln biopic, since it's a work of pure fiction, but even it makes a slight acknowledgement that Lincoln was only anti-slavery because he knew it hurt poorer White workers. America!
We talk American myth — and some surprisingly true American history — on this week’s episode of Lost in Criterion Young Mr. Lincoln. Listen at LostInCriterion.com or on iTunes, where you could maybe drop a review of us? While you're at it, maybe like us on Facebook? Or consider supporting us through Patreon. We'd appreciate it.