Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: Inside Their Complicated Relationship

Farrell Evans in History:

In the middle of the 19th century, as the United States was ensnared in a bloody Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass stood as the two most influential figures in the national debate over slavery and the future of African Americans. They met together three times in the White House, and while Douglass was at first harshly critical, he ultimately came to view Lincoln as “emphatically the Black man’s president: the first to show any respect for their rights as men.”

The first time they met, in August 1863, Douglass was perhaps the most famous Black man in the world. Since escaping from slavery to the North in 1838, he had written two bestselling autobiographies that recounted his journey from a Maryland plantation to lecture halls all over the world as a leading anti-slavery crusader, journal publisher and champion for African American rights. With the Civil War in full stride, Douglass was advocating for the equal treatment of Black Union soldiers. In March, he had issued his famous “MEN OF COLOR to ARMS! broadside calling for Black men to enlist in the Union army. Two of his sons had joined the 54th Massachusetts Black regiment.

More here. (Note: At least one post throughout the month of February will be devoted to Black History Month. The theme for 2022 is Black Health and Wellness)