Frederick douglass abraham lincoln relationship status

Frederick Douglass -

The relationship between Frederick Douglass, born a slave in Maryland, and Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky to a poor white family, reveals much about As he studied the situation in June, , Douglass departed from many abolitionist. Textbook writers often laud Abraham Lincoln as “The Great Emancipator,” but what were his feelings toward slavery? African Americans?. To abolition activist Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln's Here's how he explained his position in an letter to Albert G. Hodges, . A personal relationship was born between the two men during that meeting, and it.

And this must be done thoroughly—done in acts as well as words. Fremont's order to free the slaves that were in arms against the federal government in Missouri. In a letter to Fremont sent on September 2,Lincoln wrote: Your proclamation of August 30th [gave] me some anxiety.

I think there is great danger… in relation to the confiscation of property, and the liberating slaves of traitorous owners, will alarm our Southern Union friends, and turn them against us…. Allow me therefore to ask… modify that paragraph so as to conform to the first and fourth sections of the act of Congress, entitled, 'An act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes,' approved August, 6th, ….

This letter is written in a spirit of caution and not of censure. Again Lincoln tried to avoid making any radical decisions regarding slavery when in MayGeneral David Hunter issued an order to emancipate all the slaves in the South Military Region, which included South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Lincoln again revoked the order as a means to keep the Border States loyal. On May 19, Lincoln announced a proclamation officially revoking General Hunter's order: Regardless, Lincoln still maintained that the war was a war to preserve the Union, but never doubted that the issue of emancipation coincided with ending the war.

In Augustthe same month he revoked Fremont's order to emancipate all slaves in arms against the federal government in Missouri, Lincoln also signed the first Confiscation Act, stipulating that all slaves who had fought for the Confederacy could be confiscated and then freed. In MarchLincoln signed a bill forbidding the Union Army or Navy from returning fugitive slaves.

Any officer who disobeyed would be discharged from service and not able to re-enter the service. And then in May he complied with General Benjamin Butler's policy of "contrabands of war," which ultimately freed all slaves who crossed over Northern lines: Although these efforts marked a significant advance in Lincoln's growth, he still wanted to find a way to legally emancipate the slaves: I am still under such pressure, and it becomes heavier and heavier.

If he had initially called the war a war for abolition, then he would have lost party support immediately. Therefore, his prudence was a practical move in order to gain support in the earlier stages of the war: The year was significant in the policies of the Lincoln administration because Lincoln started to recognize that the issues of emancipation and preservation of the Union went hand-in-hand.

frederick douglass abraham lincoln relationship status

That is, the military and political agendas started to merge. But even though his policies were straying a bit from his original political perspective, Lincoln still was not making powerful efforts to emancipate, which caused the abolitionists, especially Douglass, to seriously doubt Lincoln's potential. Because of his fear of splitting the Union even further, "Lincoln made each of [his] decisions reluctantly.

Willing to settle for what was practicable…Lincoln was alert to the expanding potential created by war. But one problem remained: Lincoln still maintained that his sole objective was to preserve the Union at any cost. Although he understood that the Union could not survive with slavery intact, Lincoln did not yet grasp that immediate emancipation was the only viable solution. Douglass pressed on with his criticism of the Lincoln administration's inability to take powerful measures against slavery: The government was throwing away its chance at victory by failing to attack the root cause of the war.

But to Douglasss, Lincoln wasn't radical enough; he saw Lincoln's slowness to approach the slavery issue head on as a call to arms. Douglass was prepared to go at the Lincoln administration with full force. Douglass' articles published right up until Lincoln's announcement of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September are the best examples of Douglass' militant attitudes.

The article entitled "What the People Expect of Mr. Lincoln" directly addresses the impatience of the public, rather than just antislavery radicals like Douglass, at his reluctance to act on the slavery issue, especially since Congress had recently passed the Confiscation Act: Lincoln should be informed that the people are becoming impatient for the execution of the important laws just passed by Congress… and every body is wondering why he delays to strike.

Even though Lincoln issued the Confiscation Act in the summer ofwhich freed all those slaves of the rebels who escaped into Northern lines, it still was not powerful enough to satisfy Douglass. Douglass believed that the Confiscation Act meant nothing unless Lincoln saw it through: The sole power of putting life into this law is vested in the President. He can make it effective and binding upon his generals or inoperative and void.

The language of Douglass' criticisms is a crucial part of his attack on Lincoln. In the September publication of Douglass' Monthly, the article "The President and His Speeches" is a an intense, direct attack on Lincoln's character: I don't like you, you must clear out of the country. Up untilhe had made many efforts to appease all sides of the conflict, but Lincoln was unsuccessful, leaving Douglass still frustrated: During the summer ofLincoln had privately spoken to his cabinet about emancipation.

Under the advisement of Secretary of State William Seward, Lincoln decided to wait until the Union had a victory under its belt before he announced his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Seward thought it would be best to postpone the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation "'until you can give it to the country supported by military success.

frederick douglass abraham lincoln relationship status

However, it was still unclear as to what would happen to the ex-slaves; there were still racial sentiments against the black presence in America. At this point, Lincoln still felt that colonization was a viable option to rid the problem of slavery and the black presence forever. That is, he believed that removing the black presence in the United States by colonizing the ex-slaves in a separate location would cease national conflict; if there were no blacks, there was no problem.

In addition, Lincoln also "believed that support for colonization was the best way to defuse much of the anti-emancipation sentiment that might otherwise sink the Republicans in the elections. On August 14,when Lincoln invited a small group of black leaders to the White House, his behavior illustrates his racism. Lincoln agreed with the black leaders that "slavery was 'the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. Unsurprisingly, Douglass was outraged with Lincoln's address and pointed out that Lincoln's affirmation of white supremacy made him representative of American prejudice: Lincoln further knows or ought to know at least that negro hatred and prejudice of color are neither original nor invincible vices, but merely the offshoots of that root of all crimes and evils—slavery.

The tone of frankness and benevolence which he assumes in his speech to the colored committee is too thin a mask not to be seen through. The genuine spark of humanity is missing in it, no sincere wish to improve the condition of the oppressed has dictated it.

It expresses merely the desire to get rid of them, and reminds one of the politeness with which a man might try to bow out of his house some troublesome creditor or the witness of some old guilt. In his Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln warned the rebels that unless they returned to the Union, by January 1 all of their slaves would be legally freed. Although Douglass had been promised eventual freedom, a dispute over his pay with his master led to his decision to escape North, eventually to New Bedford, Massachusetts where he changed his name to avoid return to slavery.

Before he escaped, he had fallen in love with a free but illiterate black woman, Anna Murray, a domestic five years his senior. She followed him North and they married in New York City before continuing on.

They eventually had five children — two daughters and three boys. At a church meeting in New Bedford inDouglass made his first speech — denouncing colonization and deportation of black slaves.

Lincoln and Douglass (Produced and Donated by the History Channel)

He remained a fervent foe of such schemes and a proponent of integration for the rest of his life. Douglass eventually broke with Garrison and the Society over their opposition to any kind of political involvement and their condemnation of the Constitution. Lincoln, Douglass felt the Constitution should be a protection against, rather than a sanction for slavery. For years, first under the auspices of the Society and then under his own sponsorship, Douglass toured the U.

He believed in integration and he lived his beliefs — frequently with great courage. Douglass was not inclined to sugarcoat his message or to be obsequious to white abolitionists who wanted to keep him in his place. Furthermore, his working relationships were frequently better with white women abolitionists than with their male counterparts.

Lincoln for whom male friendships were easiest particularly with a jealous wifefemale friendships with intellectually stimulating and strong women were easiest for Douglass whose wife appears to have been much more tolerant than most women would have been considering some visitors came to live with them for months or years.

Douglass was an early backer of William H. His respect for Mr. Lincoln grew slowly through the Civil War — after Mr. Lincoln, he had impoverished childhood with considerable trauma, much abandonment, and little formal education. Lincoln who avoided most references to his childhood, Douglass made his childhood experiences with slavery into the centerpiece of his speaking and writing.

Lincoln, he was tall, but he carried himself with a more regal and dignified bearing. Lincoln, he was proud of his physical strength and his erstwhile physical labors.

frederick douglass abraham lincoln relationship status

Lincoln, he was frequently disappointed in the pursuit of office. Lincoln, Douglass had strong early experiences with the church, but his chagrin with the refusal of white churches to denounce slavery led to his detachment from his Methodist roots.

Why Frederick Douglass Despised, Then Loved Abraham Lincoln | Owlcation

Lincoln, he understood that the North was far from blameless on issues of race and slavery. In one early speech, Douglass said: Lincoln, Douglass had a high opinion of his own abilities — which he tended to deprecate in public comments.

Lincoln, he was an accomplished mimic — but unlike Mr. Lincoln, most of his mimicry was used in speeches rather than story-telling. Could we write as with lightning, and speak as with the voice of thunder, we should…cry to the nation, Repent, Break Every Yoke, let the Oppressed Go Free for Herein alone is deliverance and safety! Arrest that hoe in the hands of the negro, and you smite rebellion in the very seat of its life…The negro is the key of the situation — the pivot upon which the whole rebellion turns…Teach the rebels and traitors that the price they are to pay for the attempt to abolish this Government must be the abolition of slavery…Henceforth let the war cry be down with treason, and down with slavery, the cause of treason.

For the slaves and for abolitionists, both black and white, emancipation was initially something more easily felt than explained. For Frederick Douglass, the former fugitive slave turned orator-editor and the leading black spokesman in America, a most important moment had been reached in a long struggle. In large measure, his wartime thought reflects a spiritual interpretation of the war that fits squarely into several intellectual and theological traditions: I shall never forget that memorable night, when in a distant city I waited and watched at a public meeting, with three thousand others not less anxious than myself, for the word of deliverance which we have heard read today.

Nor shall I ever forget the outburst of joy and thanksgiving that rent the air when the lightning brought to us the emancipation proclamation.

In that happy hour we forgot all delay, and forgot all tardiness, forgot that the president had bribed the rebels to lay down their arms by a promise to withhold the bolt which would smite the slave system with destruction; and we were thenceforward willing to allow the president all the latitude of time, phraseology, and every honorable device that statesmanship might require for the achievement of a great and beneficent measure of liberty and progress.

But Douglass read between the lines. Even though the proclamation had been inspired. He remained a strong supporter of the Republican Party until his death in — largely because of his antipathy to Democratic involvement in protecting slavery. He moved to Washington after his Rochester house burned down in Under President Rutherford Hayes, he was appointed U. Ambassador to the District of Columbia. Douglass remained a great believer that political and economic equality would solve the problems of freed blacks.

They may be the necessity of the hour…but I fear everything looking to their permanence. The negro needs justice more than pity, liberty more than old clothes. 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. Historian James Oakes wrote: For Douglass it was this innate passion for freedom that drove human history forward. Lincoln scholar Roy P. Not only a truly great writer but also a gifted orator, Douglass took his place among the very top abolitionist orators, such as Wendell Phillips, and journalists, such as William Lloyd Garrison.

Historian Waldo Martin wrote: He endeavored to convince the Union to mobilize and use black troops as well as to convince Negroes that eventually their services would be needed and requested. However, wrote historian James Oakes: True, there were parallels. Both had grown up in poverty; they were largely self-taught; in a generation of great orators they were two of the greatest; in the century of the self-made man both came to see their own lives as exemplary.

Still, they were very different men, and not merely because one was born free and white and the other black and enslaved. Their minds worked differently.

frederick douglass abraham lincoln relationship status

Thought both hated slavery, they hated it in different ways and not always for the same reasons. Their personalities were different as well. Douglass had the blustery, oversize persona of a nineteenth-century Romantic. When he spoke, he roared, his booming baritone complemented by waving arms and devastating mimicry. Abraham Lincoln was the cautious grandchild of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.

Why Frederick Douglass Despised, Then Loved Abraham Lincoln

He stood still when he spoke, hands behind his back, his voice high-pitched by clear enough to be heard over large audiences. The wit, satiric bite, and pathos of his speeches combined with a poignant earnestness to mesmerize listeners. More specifically, the clarity and force of the plain statement of his own experiences and observations as a former slave proved riveting.

Lincoln was the steadier personality. Lincoln was more consistent in his political allegiances and political beliefs that Douglass. Douglass had trouble finding the right balance, so much so that his contemporaries charged him with being erratic and unreliable in his political allegiances.

Douglass was not always a Lincoln admirer — or a Republican supporter. Historian Gerald Sorin wrote: InDouglass, along with black clergymen J. Loguen and Amos G. Byhowever, Douglass was supporting the Republican party. Between andas the Republican moved from the zenith of their antislavery appeal, giving up antislavery altogether in some areas, and increasingly emphasizing more attractive issues, Douglass once more cut his affiliation with them. His grudging respect for Mr.

Second, slave and free blacks had to be allowed to integrate blacks more fully into the mainstream of American life. Such, fellow citizens, is my idea of the mission of the war. If accomplished, our glory as a nation will be complete, our peace will flow like a river, and our foundations will be the everlasting rocks. Lincoln differed on the constitution. But for Lincoln the Constitution recognized the existence of slavery as a practical necessity, whereas for Douglass the absence of a right to own slaves obliged the federal government to overthrow slavery everywhere.

He was a committed integrationist and a determined foe of colonization and emigration. Douglass opposed supporters of emigration back to Africa like black nationalist Martin Delany. The colonization premise that blacks could never live and compete effectively with whites as social and political equals — a belief shared by most white Americans as late as the s — remained one of the greatest obstacles to overcome once the war was won.

Douglass had thought that forcing emancipation on the border states would do the same thing. But it happened the other way around. It took military emancipation in the Confederacy to force voluntary emancipation onto the border states.

He simply did not consider credible the belief held by some colonizations that their plans would hasten emancipation by making it safe. To Douglass, the debate over colonization was a struggle to refute this scheme of racial determinism.

He was in Boston at a rally awaiting word when word came: It is on the wires! Douglass believed that black success as soldiers would help win their acceptance as citizens. For Frederick Douglas, the war was an opportunity for blacks — to show their loyalty to the country and justify their citizenship.

Not criticism is the plain duty of this hour. Words are now useful only as they stimulate to blows. He had a warm spot in his heart for the regiment in which his sons were serving, and with pardonable parental pride he pointed out to the crowds who came to hear him that Charles and Lewis Douglass had been the first Empire State men to join the 54thth.

American Negroes generally, Douglass argued, owed a special debt to Massachusetts. She was first to answer with her blood the alarm-cry of the nation when its capital was menaced by the Rebels.

You know her patriotic Governor, and you know Charles Sumner. I need add no more. Massachusetts now welcomes you as her soldiers. Historian Dudley Taylor Cornish wrote: He had a warm spot in his heart for the regiment in which his sons were serving, and with pardonable parental pride he pointed out to the crowds who came to hear him that Charles and Lewis Douglass had been the first Empire State men to join the 54th.

In town after town, the black orator appealed to young blacks to join up.