The day Abraham Lincoln met the Covenanters

It’s not every day you read about Covenanters in the New York Times. Or about the fact that they almost convinced Abraham Lincoln to ‘blow an irreparable God-sized hole in the constitution’ by adding language that recognised Jesus’ authority. Joseph S. Moore writes:

“Recalling the meeting in his memoirs, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles wrote that the imprudent idea had been put in the president’s head “by certain religionists” – namely, the Covenanters. A tiny sect from Scotland that had resided in America since before the Revolution, they believed the Constitution contained two crippling moral flaws: its protection of slavery, and its failure to acknowledge God’s authority. With the Emancipation Proclamation poised to fix the one sin, they believed, why not correct the other? At their first meeting with Lincoln in late 1862 (it was much easier for citizens to get an audience with the president at the time), a group of influential Covenanters suggested doing just that.”

Read the whole thing – Lincoln, God and the Constitution

Moore, an assistant professor of history at Gardner-Webb University, is the author of the forthcoming book Covenanters and the American Republic.