A Visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Part Two

B. Nash with Frederick Douglass & Sojourner Truth

B. Nash with Frederick Douglass & Sojourner Truth

After posing with the Lincoln family in the center of the museum rotunda, my eyes caught sight of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth over to the right. Sojourner Truth had met President Lincoln not long before he was assassinated. She had a grandson in the Union army. She was a tireless advocate for African-Americans. She is buried, by the way, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Frederick Douglass’s book ‘Narrative of an American Slave’ had a profound impact on my thinking about slavery after I read it for the first time a few years ago. Mr. Douglass had been, of course, an advocate of ending slavery immediately. After all, he had been a slave. He knew it’s horrors in a most intimate way. I better understood his viewpoint on abolition after reading his story. He was very frustrated with Abraham Lincoln initially. Lincoln was not an abolitionist. He believed that slavery was evil. He felt in his heart of hearts that it would eventually end on it’s own. As President, he knew he had no legal power to end slavery. Slavery was Constitutionally protected. With the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation(as a war measure), he had the opportunity to impact it’s end. Because of the Proclamation, the 13th Amendment (ending slavery in the USA) was possible. As Douglass became more familiar with Lincoln, his admiration and respect grew. Douglass is often quoted by those who want to discredit Lincoln by quoting Douglass who said during a speech that “Lincoln was the white man’s President.” Those who provide that particular quote to “prove” that Lincoln was, in the end, a racist- are being purposefully dishonest or ignorant. They don’t mention another Douglass quote (from another Douglass speech) where he stated that “Lincoln was the black man’s President.” So as I stood between those two great African-Americans, here in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, I was reminded of their courage and greatness. I was reminded of how far our country has come-and I’m thankful for them all.
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One Response to “A Visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Part Two”

  1. Geoffrey says:

    Good post

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