Of course, Lincoln freed no slaves. That's the myth. His Emancipation Proclamation was a military measure to demoralize and destabilize the rebellious South; it covered states he did not govern but did not apply in slaveholding states that remained under his jurisdiction.
One commenter wrote:
Lincoln never recognized secession as legitimate and claimed until the end that the Union endured and that he was President of all the united states.
IPBiz notes that even Lincoln had formalisms to "re-admit" the states of the Confederacy. While more generous to those states than what would come after Lincoln's death, such plans are not consistent with the position that there was "no secession." How can one re-admit a state that never left? Further, if there was "no secession," why were not all Confederates convicted of treason? "How" the former Confederate states (and people therein) were treated was nuanced, and not necessarily self-consistent.
Pitts referenced an 1858 speech of Lincoln. One can also find interesting text in the speech better known to patent lawyers as the "fire of genius" speech. Therein, Lincoln spoke of "the invention of negroes (or our present mode of using them) in 1434." Lincoln dated the patent laws to 1624 in England.
[Other word usage included greaser and fogy.]
Of interesting uses of the term "invention", David Gregory, in a weak imitation of Tim Russert's "Gotcha" overlay, put up a quote from Rahm Emanual to the effect that the untainted Republican had not been invented. Gregory, unlike Russert, had not thought the "next step" through. Rahm, unimpressive in stumbling over words during the interview, survived, and, figuratively, thought of Gregory-->