I believe there is a quote from Lincoln somewhere about meeting Frederick Douglas - a highly educated and free African-American. (I have a book with a couple of his speeches, pretty powerful). He may have indeed changed as the war went on.
And, while I am sometimes torn about Lincoln I disagree with some here that the war "was not fought over slavery".
A better way to say it:
"The South fought the Civil War over slavery, the North fought the Civil War for centralized power, slavery or not".
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain
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