Skip to comments.Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, Republicans
Posted on 08/10/2010 5:52:22 AM PDT by Michael Zak
On this day in 1863, Frederick Douglass (R-MD) met with President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for the first time. Senator Samuel Pomeroy (R-KS) escorted Douglass to the War Department building. On arrival, Douglass urged Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to allow equal pay for African-American soldiers in the U.S. Army. Though sympathetic, Stanton said that would require congressional approval, which he supported.
Next, Douglass was introduced to the president at the White House. Lincoln stood and shook his hand "just as you have seen one gentleman receive another," Douglass later recounted. "I at once felt myself in the present of an honest man on whom I could love, honor and trust without reserve or doubt... Mr. Lincoln was not only a great president, but a great man too great to be small in anything. In his company I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color."
... Frederick Douglass said Lincoln's name "should never be spoken but with reverence, gratitude and affection," and he knew him to be "the greatest statesman that ever presided over the destinies of this Republic."
(Excerpt) Read more at grandoldpartisan.typepad.com ...
"We know that some Southern men do free their slaves, go North and become tip-top abolitionists, while some Northern Men go South and become most cruel masters.
When Southern people tell us that they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said the institution exists, and it is very difficult to get rid of in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would possibly be to free all slaves and send them to Liberia to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me that this would not be best for them. If they were all landed there in a day they would all perish in the next ten days, and there is not surplus money enough to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all and keep them among us as underlings. Is it quite certain that this would alter their conditions? Free them and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of whites will not. We cannot make them our equals. A system of gradual emancipation might well be adopted, and I will not undertake to judge our Southern friends for tardiness in this matter."
Lincoln in speeches at Peoria, Illinois
Michael, I met you in Loudoun County about 2 years ago - you spoke to our GOP Committee. I bought your book and have referenced it many times, as well as recommended it to friends. I am currently reading Frederick Douglas’ autobiography and it is fascinating - thanks for post this piece!
Thanks very much, Cathy. Has it been two years already! There’s a photo from the event at Grand Old Partisan.
So far, I’ve given speeches to Republican organizations in thirty states. The news about Ted Stevens brings to mind meeting him in Fairbanks four years ago. Sarah Palin bought two copies of my book from me then.
Fighting the good fight,
The history of the last 150 years has shown that Lincoln was indisputably correct. It took over 100 years for "the great mass of whites" to reach a point where they were willing to make blacks "politically and socially (their) equals." Sad but true. In a democratic society it is not possible for any policy to move forward faster than it is accepted by "the great mass" of voters.
As is turned out, "a system of gradual emancipation" was adopted, though it didn't really hit its stride till the 1940s/1950s, when the unacceptable comparison between previously generally accepted "white supremacy" and Nazi racial doctrines became unavoidable.
Had Lincoln proclaimed racial beliefs that are widely accepted today among conservatives, he could never have been elected to any office during his lifetime, much less President.
His later comment in the same speech is also highly relevant. "Well I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are, and will continue to be as good as the average of people elsewhere. I do not say the contrary. What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent. I say this is the leading principlethe sheet anchor of American republicanism.
While Lincoln was not in favor of full political and legal equality for blacks, he was totally opposed to the institution of slavery and in particular its spread. Doubtless why Douglass respected and revered him.
Well stated, Sherman Logan! People who fault Lincoln’s views on race ignore the fact that, in comparison, the mainstream Democratic Party position was that African-Americans were to be chained and whipped. Stephen Douglas (D-IL), for example, owned a slave plantation in Mississippi.
I saw the picture from the LCRC - I’ll keep checking your blog, and we will continue to fight the good fight too!
Thank you, Cathy. Has it been two years? I think theres a photo from that event at Grand Old Partisan.
So far, Ive given speeches to Republican organizations in thirty states met Ted Stevens in Fairbanks four years ago.
SarH Palin bought two copies of my book from me the.
Fight g the good fight,
Veritas. Well written sir.
The point the Republican party wanted to stress was to oppose making slave States out of the newly acquired territory, not abolishing slavery as it then existed."
Lincoln in speeches at Peoria, Illinois
"I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
Lincoln's Inaugural Address
I quite agree.
Lincoln was very plain that his goal was to put the peculiar institution back on the road to eventual oblivion, not to enforce immediate emancipation. I don’t know anyone who ever claimed otherwise.
I’m really not sure how this supports your theory of Lincoln as the Antichrist whose primary goal in life was to destroy the South.
"This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave." - April 6, 1859 Letter to Henry Pierce.
" I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling." - April 4, 1864 - Letter to Albert Hodges
"The Autocrat of all the Russias will resign his crown, and proclaim his subjects free republicans sooner than will our American masters voluntarily give up their slaves." - August 15, 1855 - Letter to George Robertson
"Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature -- opposition to it is in his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must ceaselessly follow. Repeal the Missouri Compromise -- repeal all compromises -- repeal the declaration of independence -- repeal all past history, you still can not repeal human nature. It still will be the abundance of man's heart, that slavery extension is wrong; and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak." - October 16, 1854 Speech at Peoria
"When Judge Douglas says that whoever, or whatever community, wants slaves, they have a right to have them, he is perfectly logical if there is nothing wrong in the institution; but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot logically say that anybody has a right to do wrong." - October 13, 1858 Debate at Quincy, Illinois
The butcher was for slavery before he was against it. He’d fit right in the politics of today. Two faced liar is really what he is. Can anyone really know who the real Lincoln is? He is all over the place. Slimy.
Sort of like Butcher Davis was for the union before he was against it?
Or like Butcher Lee thought the union indissoluble before he joined those who wanted to dissolve it?
But it's not really that fair a comparison, because in the context of his day, Lincoln was never pro-slavery.
Then again, maybe slimy liars Davis and Lee were really against the union all the time they professed support for it -- that would explain a lot.
Anyway, changing circumstances force people to reconsider their previous assumptions, and circumstances were changing very quickly at the beginning of the 1860s.
Plenty of people in the South as well as in the North found themselves taking positions they wouldn't have dreamed of years before.
Lincoln was neither the most nor the least consistent of his contemporaries.
They all couldn't be consistently for something, like Davis and Lee were for slavery all their lives. Regardless, Lincoln's opposition to slavery and he desire to restrict it to where it already existed was long term.
Two faced liar is really what he is.
Can anyone really know who the real Lincoln is?
Tommy DiLorenzo thought he did. But he was wrong, too.
I am sorry, for someone to support a regime whose policy was to execute all Black prisoners of war to call someone who opposed that regime a butcher is laughable. Imagine if the Federal forces executed all white Confederate prisoners of war, that would be butchery.
Actually the official policy was to sell the black soldiers into slavery and shoot the white officers. The unofficial policy was to execute all black prisoners of war.
I’m sure you’ll have a bunch of neo-wannabe-Confederates-KKKers showing up here sooner or later.
Well, maybe when the shift changes at McDonald’s or something.