I understand completely where you are coming from, but it WAS and IS about LIBERTY. I agree that many of the signatories to the founding of the nation were slaveholders. These persons were expert in relieving others of their liberty. These slaveholders knew quite clearly the horrors of being held against one’s will. They were doing it and they wanted to make sure that no one did that to them. Therefore the Bill of Rights is an EXPERT document on how to make sure individuals are able to defend themselves and their liberty against the power of the state. The FLAW then was that who those individual rights actually extended to and at the time it was only white male landowners, but over the decades and the generations it has been extended to include EVERYONE.
That is why America is such a difficult experiment that should have failed long ago, but yet we have not. Instead we have grown more inclusive and more diverse in the extension of the Bill of Rights to ALL individuals. I believe the real problem here is that somehow corporations now have individual “person” rights and that is what has broken the system. Everything else is just a distraction away from how moneyed power has gamed the system to weight their rights over everyone else’s. Any doubt of this was demonstrated by the #METOO revelations. There is clearly a “rich person’s” justice system and the justice system that everyone else has to navigate or how else could these predators have been operating for so long.
Finally, Lincoln suffered incredible personal pain to pursue the course he did. If you visit the Lincoln library it becomes fairly obvious that this was a personal vendetta, the end of slavery as a historical scourge against humanity. It was never about state’s rights to him, it was about man’s inhumanity to man. Deep in the Lincoln story, he is said to have had witnessed a slave market as a teenager and that this had a profound effect on him. He understood the “wrongness” of it in his very bones from an early age. You do the man a disservice to write about the well-known desire to send Africans back to Africa in such a vacuum and without the aforementioned context. In the 1800s not only are other possibilities loaded with complexity, but there is still a possibility of Africans returning to their homelands.
In any case, Lincoln prosecuted the Civil War to end slavery, I believe and he paid the ultimate price for it. And the Bill of Rights is a magnificent document to balance the individual’s rights against the needs of the state.