The Press: Lincoln in the Papers

"What shall we call him? Coward, assassin, savage, murderer of women and babies? Or shall we consider them all as embodied in the word fiend, and call him Lincoln, the Fiend?"

So wrote Virginia's Richmond Enquirer of the President of the U.S. in 1862. It was not unusual. Caught up in the passions of the era, the Northern Copperhead papers no less than the Southern press called Abraham Lincoln names that for venomous variety have been unsurpassed before or since in editorial tirades against a President—"The Ape,'' "Simple Susan," "Kentucky Mule," "Illinois Beast," "traitor,"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!