tv Abraham Lincolns Life Legacy CSPAN March 17, 2018 11:37am-12:29pm EDT
dr. burlingame: good morning. it is still morning. name -- my name is gordon liner, i'm the -- on the --rd of the a family can abraham lincoln institute. michael burlingame holds the distinguished chair at the university of illinois springfield, where he joined the faculty in 2009 after teaching for 33 years at connecticut college in new brunswick. he was born and raised in washington, d.c. he would not give me the exact date, but he did say it was
slightly after the famously unfortunate event in this theater. [laughter] use the graduate of princeton and johns hopkins university's, at bush was he studied under david herbert felt. his books include "abraham lincoln: a life," also known as the green monster. [laughter] "the inner world of abraham lincoln," also called shrinking lincoln. war," andnd the civil a dozen volumes of primary related source materials, among them the gyre he of -- diary of john hey, the letters of john g , all white house secretaries. spring, his next book will be published, which is entitled "15th president in waiting: the springfield dispatches of henry millard,
1860-1861." and there is more. he is also working on a book about the lincoln's marriage, and as we will learn today, another about lincoln and african-americans. ist but not least, michael not only a prolific researcher and writer, but he is a very asxible by as well -- guy well. for those of you who have not heard, michael was kind enough to volunteer to take richard carmody and place today when he had to make a last-minute cancellation. so please join me in a heart -- heartfelt thank you and welcome to michael burling date. -- michael burling game. [applause] dr. burlingame: good morning. it is still morning, ok. age, i do noto my mean to joke about my age.
i am 76, but i prefer to think of it as 24 celsius. [laughter] feel free to use that. i stole it from tamil or -- tom lehrer. about professor carmody, he gave a speech on lincoln's you were based on his book, which has won the prize of our organization for this year. in the a speech about holy land, about springfield, on the high holy days, february 12. is on the website. you can see a video of it on the labor ham lincoln association -- abraham lincoln association website. he is a very learned and droll speaker, so i will do my best today and pinch it to
the rest that i can. writers on lincoln and race seldom focus on his individual relations with african-americans or with groups of them, such as callers at white house receptions. one who has done so, one scholar is professor kate mazor of northwestern university, who recently concluded that lincoln as president, evidently, did not take a strong stand for admitting them, that is, african-americans, to more social occasions, such as public receptions and new year's day levees. a close examination of those saw lincoln sought to lift the racial ban, but encountered resistance from his spouse. president theodore roosevelt famously sparked an outcry when
he invited a black man, booker t. washington, to a white house dinner. lincoln,ion earlier, less famously, created a similar outcry when he received african-americans at the executive mansion. the best-known episode of the caller line enforcement -- color line enforcement at lincoln's white house is the experience that frederick douglass had on march 4, 1865. famouslyuglass recounted how guards denied him the entrance to lincoln's second inauguration, and how the president had once overruled the guards, and how he heartily welcomed the famed black orator. i saw you inass, the audience as i delivered my address. what did you think of it? i have a fantasy that douglas was thinking actually, mr.
president, the biblical allusion you misapplied -- you used you misapplied and your syntax was garbled toward the end, but it was actually a sacred effort. he really said mr. president, it was a sacred effort. so douglass did not mention his account of that event the presence of other blacks of the 1865 post-inauguration levy. but it was indicated in the press, indicating that some other black people were admitted to that reception. another publication noted that blackss and two other women marched around with the rest of the group. a correspondent of the democratic newspaper, "the new york news," wrote that in addition to douglass, several callsknee grow -- negros
during the evening and paid respects to the president. seeingstrange african-americans and whites bantered together for the chance to group at the presidential throne. more african-americans might have been received if it were not for the first lady, who, according to a press report, was very indignant at the intrusion and gaveer of negros, directions to admit no more and eject those who had been admitted. that story prompted a democratic newspaper in columbus, ohio to remark "mr. and mrs. lincoln are tenants at the white house upon 'se strength of the negro popularity, and now they turn around and exclude him from its precincts." douglas's statement of "no man of my race, caller, or previous ever attended such
a reception, except as a servant or as a waiter," but that was misleading. if he meant inauguration receptions, he was accurate. if he meant white house receptions in general, he was wrong. in fact, the caller line -- broken on had been three such occasions over the past 14 months. an examination of those three shows there was no consistent policy regarding black guests at the white house or public functions. it also suggests that the president favored admitting african-americans, but as mentioned earlier, the first lady did not. in the 1860's, it was not entirely clear what rules there were, if any, regarding the admission of blacks to the white house on reception day. after his inauguration day confrontation in 1865, douglas learned that the officers at the white house had received no orders from lincoln
or anyone else, they were simply complying with an old custom. now, there seems to have been at least an informal understanding that blacks could be admitted toward the end of a reception. the first occasion when african-americans broke with custom seems to have been new year's day, 1864. when, according to a newspaper account, a few of the freed africans were among those outside the white house watching diplomats and other eminent figures passed by on the way to the reception. of that handful of african-american onlookers, four men who were described as of " genteel exterior" and "manners presented to were lincoln. one of those four was the reverend mr. henry jeh johnson a --e cut, new york, and
described new york, him as a tall man with pleasing features who looked calm and determine. he noted as great as the crowd was of gentle and noble man, those privileges were granted to me without molestation or insult. democratic newspapers were incensed, including one in the state of maine. what a hideous travesty this is. what an abject and shameful troubling to the shocking and unnatural doctrine of negro equality. what a terrible humiliation at any time, and what a shameless the nationeriod when is undergoing the horrors of civil war, engendered by this insane craving for negro equality. editorana, a democratic said there could be no possible
objection to mr. lincoln, of course, as a private individual. as a private individual associating with me grows, but of a greatentative nation, he chooses to represent a wave of social equality between white and black races, democrats have the right to enter their emphatic protest. another indiana paper smeared. --were presented to the white house to the president, who was highly pleased to make their acquaintance. paper ran aana headline n-- at the white house. alluding to the black guests at dayton, ohio, a newspapers night we noted that on february 3, 1864, "a negro
major in full uniform was put off the streetcars in washington and made to walk. let him go to the white house for consolation. there, he will be received as ."e gentleman receives another three weeks later, that african-american major, upxander t augustine, took that newspapers sarcastic challenge and went to the white house. he was be director of the friedman's hospital, along with his assistant, a surgeon and protege dr. anderson abbott, also black. houseended a white reception, where, according to a baltimore newspaper, they were kindly received. recalled that the commission of public buildings, benjamin brown french, greeted augusta, withdr.
all of the urbanity imaginable and conducted them to the president. upon catching sight of major -- lincolnwe did advanced eagerly a few paces and grasped his hand. as they exchanged greetings, robert lincoln, who had been standing nearby next to his mother, approached. dr. abbott remembered, he asked a question very hastily. i took tot of which be "are you going to allow this invasion? " referring to our presence there. robert was acting at the behest of his mother. lincoln responded "why not?" without a further word, robert treated to the first lady's side. the president hardly shook hands with dr. augusta and dr. abbott.
the author of an 1864 biography of lincoln describes that scene "when two or three colored gentleman avail themselves of call upon him,o the president gave no sign that he regarded them as different from other guests at the reception. they were greeted with the same cordiality and freedom that he had bestowed upon white men. it was highly annual for blacks to appear at such events, but mr. lincoln treated it as a regular occurrence, much to his credit and his renown." four years later, the presidential secretary recalled that occasion. "i shall never forget the sensation produced at a levy by the appearance of two tall and very well-dressed africans among the crowd of those who came to respects. it was a practical assertion of the gross, for which few were prepared.
president receive them with marked kindness and they behaved with strict propriety, not seeming to court attention but went on their way with great self possession. a month thereafter, a correspondent of the chicago times, which was the premier democratic newspaper in the "filthy complains that greasy, sweating, and disgusting jostle white men and ladies everywhere, even at the president's levies. this beastly doctrine of marriage of black men with white women is openly avowed and encouraged by the president of the united states." so we have new year's day 64, and february 64. a third breach of the white house color line occurred in the new year's reception of 1865. that morning, the washington chronicle, which was widely
reviewed as a mouthpiece for the lincoln administration, announced that "all the people present in the district of columbia, every creed, climb, caller, and sex, are invited by the president to call upon him at the new year's reception that day." invitation to everyone in d.c.. perhaps as a result of this invitation, many more blacks, including women as well as men, attended the 1865 new year's reception that had attended the one in 18 64. african-americans were admitted that day only briefly, however. according to a detailed report in a democratic newspaper, a large crowd gathered near the portico of the white house, including several hundred well-dressed black people. among them were some clergy and a few soldiers, as well as the creme de la creme of negro society in washington.
when the front door opened, members of both races surged forward, much to the astonishment of the white people , who had expected the blacks to wait until the caucasian guests had left. alerted by jeers and curses, police quickly moved to stop the african-americans, who nonetheless persisted in their attempts to enter the executive mansion. despite the constant dealer's efforts, at least 20 black people managed to gain admission. greeted some of those blacks, but not many. hand account of the affair described how the african-american guests were received. ". -- "when a colored woman presented herself, mr. lincoln shook hands with her, and mrs. lincoln gave the invariable bow ." on the passage of the second one, mrs. lincoln looked aghast. when the third colored woman
appeared, mrs. lincoln sent word to the door that no more colored persons would be admitted to mingle with the whites. come at thewould conclusion of the levy, they should receive admittance. now, some of the black people did so, and a journalist noted that after the white crowd departed, the blacks who had been waiting outside "summoned up courage and began timidly to .pproach the door the president welcomed this motley crowd with a heartiness that made them wild with exceeding joy. they laughed and wept and wept and laughed, exclaiming through their blinding tears "god bless you. lincoln.""braham the president's home town of springfield, a scandalized democratic editor asked the are not such scenes at the white house disgusting? when will the white people of
this country awake to the sense of shame that the dominant party is bringing upon us by the establishment of social equality of the negro? the milwaukee daily news deplored folk, the fact that the negros flock to the outer rooms of the white house. so now we have three examples of black people coming to the white house. after the new year's 1865 reception, the ban on black guests was reinstituted at white house levies, at least those given by mrs. lincoln. truth was turned away from the first lady's reception on february 25, 1865. athite woman who was present that event recorded in her diary that the famous african-american grandmother abolitionist "went with captain george karst, but the police man would not allow her to go in to see the president and first lady.
when i went in, she was sitting in the eddie room, waiting for the captain to come out. when i said it was too bad, she said never mind honey, i don't mind it. it did not occur to me until too late that i should have gone directly in and told the president i would like -- president. i would like to know what he would have said. i do not think it was done by his orders." if this woman had gone in and informed lincoln, he might have done what he did a week later, when he insisted that frederick douglass be admitted to the post-inauguration reception. that is february 25. on february 27, a british journalist told lincoln that two days earlier, sojourner truth had been denied admittance to the executive mansion. the president expressed his sorrow and said he had often seen her, and it should not occur again. she should see him on the first opportunity. this was a promise that he kept by sending for her a few days
afterward. truth met with the president earlier on at least one occasion. on october 29, 1864, she made a white house visit, which she described to a friend. it was about 8:00 in the morning when i called on the president, in company with mrs. lucy coleman. upon entering his reception room, we found about a dozen persons waiting to see him. amongst them or two colored women, and some white women also. respectshowed as much and kindness to go colored persons present as to the whites. it's a journal or truth praised the president as "the best president ever," id. your, modestly speculating that his predecessors in the white house would have done just as he had done if their circumstances had been like his. she added that "she was never by anyone with more
kindness and cordiality than she was by that great and good man." as she was about to leave, lincoln shook her hand and said he would be pleased to have her call again. she said she felt as if "i were in the presence of a friend." as already mentioned, frederick douglass and other african-americans broke the color line in 1855, which angered some democrats. the cincinnati inquirer were asked with negro officers in the army, negro lawyers and court, and negros at receptions, who can doubt that the negro is looking up, or perhaps looking down on the white people. two days later, the color line was once again in force, on march 6. this time of the inaugural ball, which was held at the cotton's office. that gala,ore
the washington chronicle announced "we are authorized by the committee of management to say that there is no truth in the story which has been circulated that tickets to the inauguration ball have been sold to colored persons." after the ball, the new york herald observed "the absence of negros was much remarked. they were so conspicuous during the inauguration ceremonies at the capital and the reception afterward, and in the procession, that everyone expected to see them dance ."fore the president contemptuously, the cleveland plain dealer remarked is this not the coolest example of it didn't hypocrisy that was ever perpetrated? so eminently worthy of the editor of the washington chronicle, and the men he serves -- that is to say the lincoln administration.
these are the people that must be remembered, lincoln, forney, and others, who gloat with lavish delight over the admission of a negro to the bar of the supreme court, who have succeeded in commissioning negro s as officers in the army to mess, and associate with white officers and exercise the authority of the rank over white soldiers, who are patronizing --.ating -- orating they protested against the shameful attempt by mr. lincoln away from the inauguration ball. the republican organizers of the event, the world said "to seek any sense of shame in a more like pelting a rhinoceros with roses." that's a nice image. at the outset,
professor kate was or has criticized the lincolns for enforcing the color line at the white house, but that seems hardly fair to the president. after all, the inaugural ball committee, not lincoln, imposed the ban at the march 6 event. ate president regretted th sojourner truth had been turned away on february 25, and vowed it would not happen again. through the washington chronicle, the president heartily invited all washingtonians, regardless of caller, to attend the 1865 new year's day reception. in addition, he overruled the guards that attempted to block frederickglass -- douglass on march 4. the president, unlike his wife, showed no version to greeting african-american callers or listening to their appeal. many of his black visitors were clergymen. in 1862, bishop daniel payne of the african-american methodist episcopal church met
with lincoln, and said he felt that she seemed easy and urbain -- that he seemed easy and urbane in matter. that he had quoted quite a long and profitable interview with president lincoln. i assured lincoln that he was in the prayers of the colored people, and the bishop had personally prayed that god would stand behind the government in washington as he stood behind the throne of david. the president told bishop payne of his reliance on divine expressing ad hearty wish for the welfare of the colored race. mostft the white house favorably impressed and with a profound sense of lincoln's real greatness, and of his fitness to rule the nation composed of almost all the races on the face of the earth. in august 1863, a dozen african-american baptist ministers visited the white
house, seeking permission to preach to units of the united states colored troops. lincoln heard them out, and made some interesting remarks. following which, he gave the chairman a letter. to whom it may concern. upon by a called committee of colored ministers of the gospel, who expressed a wish to go within our military lines and minister to their brethrenand -- there. it is a great opportunity and i would be happy to facilitate it. some of washington's black catholics then sought presidential assistance in raising money to establish a chapel and a school for african-americans. a delegation of three blacks, led by the businessman gabriel coakley, visited the white house and asked lincoln for authorization to hold an independent state fundraising lawn party on the executive mansion grounds. the president showed interest, and told coakley certainly, you
shall have my permission. the president wished him and his friends success. on july 4, hundreds of blacks enter the white house grounds, where a festive atmosphere prevailed and a substantial sum of money was raised. democrats were incensed. the albany argus explained that up until then, nobody of citizen had been allowed to assemble there for purposes of divergent, even white sabbath school children are denied. if pennsylvania newspaper protested that within and around washington, are thousands of wounded and languishing white men whose parched lips -- speaking of which -- [laughter] and fever browse -- fevered brows have not the rich, cold lemonade, nor the balmy, cool shade they are
afforded to that motley crowd of reveling n-- . a month later, a member of washington's first colored baptist sabbath school sought permission for yet another fundraising event to be held on the executive mansion grounds. it would -- it was described asa demonstration of their appreciation of colored people of the much desired and highly appreciated privileges they are permitted to enjoy since the freeing of the slaves and the abolition of the black laws of the district of columbia. the request,ved and over 400 african-americans attended the celebration, during which the organizer of that affair "think the president for granting the use of the grounds and for doing so much for the colored people." double democratic newspapers denounced both the event and the president. the grounds held by all patriots is something to be set aside for
sacred, because this was prostituted and disgraced by the direction of stands from the grower can -- negro merchants to sell fruit, stands, and cakes to negro customers. mark you, these were negros who did these things, and they did them with a high accommodation and approval of our president. a paper in georgetown similarly bemoaned the fact that the grounds of the house furnished by the people, the white people of the country, were looted by the escapades of a negro picnic. the editors roundly criticized lincoln. his demagogue is him -- toagogueism might lead him lead others to believe in social equality, but no credible land credits his sincerity with the sanity of his followers. in september 1864, several african-american clergymen from lincoln withsented
an ornate bible as a token of respect and gratitude to him in part of the cause of emancipation. he responded with some usually eloquent remarks, expressed examines the gifts, and after some pleasant conversation, the party departed, the president taking each of them by the hand as he passed out of the room. other blacks called it the white house -- called at the white house to make political appeals. in 1863 in august, frederick douglass, accompanied by a u.s. senator, met with lincoln to discuss several matters of state. months later, frederick douglass described his reception. upon arrival at the executive mansion, he found the stairway jammed with white office seekers . since he was "the only dark spot " he would expect to wait half a day. but in two minutes, after i
sat in my cart, a messenger came out and invited mr. douglass in. i could hear the eager multitude through,s il my way damage, i knew they would -- dammit, i knew they would let through. douglas was immediately taken with the president. met with a man who impressed me more entirely with hissincerity, devotion to country, and the determination to save it at all hazards." douglas describes the interview as a man in low condition needing a high one, not greek meeting greek, but rail splitter meeting n--.
he was impressed that the president called him mr. douglass. in a letter describing the conversation, mr. douglas wrote that my whole meeting with the president was gratifying and reassured me that slavery would not survive the war, and the country would survive both slavery and the war. he said while he was at the white house, he felt big. gave a, after douglass lecture in which he described this interview, a philadelphia newspaper indignantly predicted that with negro picnics on the white house grounds and negro cronies in the white house itself displaying their teeth at the presidential wit, white people will have to wait a long time for their turn. 18 64, 2 educated young black men from new ee ands, john baptiste ren a one merchant and former
officer in the union army submitted to lincoln a petition signed by several hundred african-american of residence -- crescent city.e it asserted that we are men, and asked the president and congress to treat us as such. it also called for voting rights to be extended to louisiana's blacks. it was reported that president lincoln listed intensively to our dress and synthesized with our object. the very next day, lincoln road to the governor of louisiana, suggesting that the new statetution of his should enfranchise at least some blacks. 2, 1864, carolyn johnson of philadelphia, a former slave, presented lincoln and his wife a collection of whack fruits and a stem table two express her gratitude for the president's emancipation policies. she called at the executive mansion and said mr. president, i believe god has hewn you out
of a rock for this great and mighty purpose. many have been led astray by brides of gold or silver or stoodts, but you have firm because god was with you. if you are faithful to the end, he will be with you. lincoln briefly responded, returning thanks for the beautiful present, referring to the difficulties with which he had been surrounded, and describing the wondrous changes of the past three years to the rulings of an all wise providence. he concluded by telling mrs. johnson, with tears in his eyes, you must not give me praise. it belongs to god. in 1864, lewisl, new yorker black active in the colonization movement called upon lincoln to discuss african-american troops. the president referred him to the secretary of war with a note. "please see lh putnam, who will you -- we will find a very
intelligent colored man, who wishes to discuss their organization." in february 1865, aother black visitor, physician, newspaper editor, and champion of colonization, also came to advise the president about african-american troops. delaney submitted a plan to raise an all-black army, and later recalled that lincoln met him with a generous grasp and shake of the hand. he noted that the president was serious without sadness, and pleasant with all. plan,aney outlined his lincoln was a patient audience. after hearing him out, the president sent delaney to secretary of war stanton with a note. "do not fail to have an interview with this most externa area and intelligent black man." later that month, delaney was appointed a major, becoming the highest-ranking black line officer in the union army. occasionally, lincoln invited african-americans to the white house to discuss public affairs.
in august 1862, he met with five leading members of washington's black community to enlist their support for colonization. among other things, he told them your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. meeting, here that conversed with george jenkins roberts, who had served as president of liberia. two years later, lincoln consulted fragrant douglas about the urgent necessity of encouraging slaves to run -- about thedouglass urgent necessity of encouraging slaves to run to the union borders. later, he wrote that the president knew he could do nothing, which pulled at him more fiercely, the ribaldry and the vulgar, and showing him any respect as men. douglas added there are some men who can face death and dangers, but have no moral conviction to
contradict a prejudice or face ridicule. nate, in to admit, daring to invite a negro to audience at the white house, mr. lincoln did that which he knew would be offensive to a crowd and incite their contempt. it was saying to the country "i am the president of the black people as well as the white, and i need to respect their rights and feelings as men and as citizens. many years later, douglas wrote "in my three interviews with mr. lincoln, i was impressed with his entire freedom from popular prejudice against the colored race. he was the first great man that i talked to in the united states freely who, in no single instance, reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color, and i thought that was more remarkable because he came from a state, illinois,
where there were black laws." lincoln also showed no reluctance to greet blacks cordially when he was away from the white house. in may of 1960 -- of -- in may of 862, he was presented to black members of a kristin kreuk. -- kitchen crew. rebecca thompson said this is slave fromlly a kentucky. how do you do? he asked, as he extended her hand to shake hers. who are those on your left? >> they are serving our country by cooking for their sickest boys. how do you do? shook theirhe hands. the blacks were amazed and joyful. the whites on the staff were amazed, but not joyful. quickly became aware of intense disapprobation
and discussed among -- isgust among the white officers. their conversation was afterwards reported to her. this is what they allegedly said. anybody would know she was the massachusetts woman, for no one else would do such a mean, contemptible trick as to introduce those damn n-- to the president. >> yes, it was in massachusetts that the first abolition egg was late. even the hospital's patients felt insulted by the presidents cordiality to black people. lincoln often visited a contraband camp, where former slave mary dimes volunteered as an assistant teacher. he said -- she said the president was fond of the hymns of the slaves. p.m. the first lady -- he and
the first lady attended a concert. during the final number, john brown's body, he joined in the chorus and sang as loud as anyone there. once or twice, he choked up. on another visit, he asked to hear some more good old hymns. when the african-americans obliged, he sang along with them. mary dines reported that he was so tenderhearted, his eyes filled up when he went over to bid the real old folks goodbye. said, no president when he came to camp. he just stood and sang and prayed like the rest of the people. lincoln was cordial to the black employees at the white house. recalled that he treated the servants like people and would laugh and say kind things to them. echoing her, mrs. lincoln's dressmaker and confident told a journalist that i love him, that is the president, for his kind
manner toward me. he was as kind and considerate in his treatment toward me as he was to any of the white people about the white house. the best example of lincoln's solicitude for black staff members is his treatment of william johnson, a valet/barber who accompanied the first family on their journey from springfield to washington in 1861. at first, johnson worked at the executive mansion as a porter, but the other african-american employees, who were all light-skinned, objected to his dark complexion so the heavenly that lincoln reassigned him as a furnace keeper and handyman, and tried to find him another post outside the white house. to secretary wells, he wrote in 1861, the bearer that is william is a servant who has been with me for some time and in whom i have confidence as to his integrity and faithfulness. he wishes to enter your service. the difference of caller between him and the other service -- color between him and the other
servants is the cause of our separation. theoln landed him a job at treasury department, and the president also facilitated his efforts to moonlight for others, and johnson continued to work at the white house off and on. when johnson borrowed money to buy a house, lincoln guaranteed the mortgage. in 1863, johnson contracted smallpox and one is -- was unable to sign his pay voucher. while he was hospitalized, a journalist realized that -- discover the president counting out some greenbacks. he said this is normally out of my line, but the president of the united states of the united states has a multiplicity of duties, and this is one of them. this money belongs to a poor ofro who is a porter and one the department of the treasury, and who is very badly sick with the smallpox. he is now in hospital and could not draw his pay because he could not sign his name. i have been in considerable trouble to overcome the him,culty and give it to
and have succeeded in cutting red tape. i am the biting the money and putting a portion aside in an envelope with my own hands, according to his witch. soon thereafter, johnson died. lincoln bought a coffin for his burial, help support his family, and paid off johnson's home mortgage, even though the bank insisted that it would forgive the loan. lincoln helped his black , solomon johnson, with appointment to the treasury department at the same post william johnson had held. insisted thathe solomon johnson received a promotion. let me close by saying as mentioned about theodore roosevelt famously breaking the white house caller barrier in 1901, when he had booker t. washington to dinner at the executive mansion. a purely social event. no african-american was invited to dine at the lincoln white house, but in the late summer of 1864, lincoln did invite frederick douglass tutee at the
soldiers home, where the first family resided during the warmer months. in his autobiography, douglas explained that he declined because he had a speaking engagement that conflicted. the historian james oates observed that there is every reason to believe that lincoln invited douglas to the soldiers home because he enjoyed douglas's company as much as he valued his opinion. douglas thought that lincoln was friendly to him because of the similarity of which we had fought our way up. we both starting at the lowest round of the latter. all the evidence deduced here helps explain why douglas called lincoln infallibly the black man -- emphatically the black man's president, the first to show any respect for their rights as men, and the first american president to rose above the prejudice of his time and his country. thank you for your attention. [applause]
dr. burlingame: yes? >> in the lincoln-douglass debates of 1858, i might not get my quote exact, but lincoln said something like he did not believe in the social equality of blacks and whites, and if one race had to be above the other, he preferred it be the white race. yet, you have given us many examples in just a few years later, lincoln accepting blacks socially. dr. burlingame: you believe that lincoln changed -- lincolnu believe that changed, or do you believe he was being political during the debate? dr. burlingame: i believe it is both. he was campaigning against stephen f douglas, and he was an outrageous racist. he played the race card shamelessly, not just in the debates, but in all kinds of other speeches, which are not published. he plays the race card shamelessly. in chicago and
visiting with some friends, and i said look, i have never been douglashe stephen f grave, or monument. i am told it is an eight sketchy neighborhood. they said no, it is not sketchy. i used to be an alderman there and it is ok. i went there and i thought oh my god, and the day and age of statues being removed, i am surprised that stephen a douglas , i was surprised to see it had not been moved or even spray-painted or anything. and that is only because it sits atop a 60 foot column. i thought that maybe all of those other controversial statues should be put on columns 60 feet above the ground. -- lincoln start started the 1868 campaign in july of that year. conclusion, he said let's stop all this quibbling about one race being inferior and one race being superior, and one
race being confined to inferior positions, and let's unite behind the declaration of independence and agree that all men are created equal. stephen f douglas hammers lincoln again and again for that. so we can feels cornered and goes to southern illinois -- lincoln feels cornered and goes to southern illinois, where the sentiment of racism was greater than the rest of the state, and makes that statement at the beginning of the speech, that -- blackople people should not be allowed to marry with whites and so on and so forth. but then lincoln clearly changes his mind. says why people should not be led to vote. in 1865, he announces publicly, for the first time, that black people should be allowed to vote, at least those who have served in the armed forces forces and were very intelligent, by which he meant the literate.
and bear with me, those of you who have heard this before, lincoln was not murdered because he issued the emancipation proclamation. he was murdered because he called for black voting rights, because john wilkes booth heard that and said that is andring negros citizenship that is the last speech will -- he will ever give. he killed him three days later. lincoln should begin in just as much greed is any of the people who were murdered championing the civil rights act of 1960. [applause] dr. burlingame: thank you. it is a good question. i think that is the most apt answer. you saidstruck by what about mary todd lincoln, that
she was not on board to the extent that president lincoln was. i am wondering is there any evidence that that evolved over time, or did the president and mrs. lincoln work it out? do they agree to disagree, or is there any evidence about her evolving? dr. burlingame: as i mentioned in passing, her best friend in a blacke house was woman. she not only made her dresses, but she was also her confidant, someone she could share a lot with. that was a close relationship she published a book in 1868, in which she revealed some unflattering things about mrs. lincoln. another thing that should be borne in mind was because she was a friend, she contributed money to the friedmans relief association, something like
--t, to help the numerous that had flooded into washington and lived in desperately poor condition. so there was some signs of .ntiracism but when it came to admitting people at the white house, she drew the line there. >> we are out of time. dr. burlingame: i am sorry, i had my watch here. thanks again for your attention. [laughter] -- [applause] >> this is american history tv on c-span3. we will continue our live coverage of this abraham lincoln after the lunch break. over the next 80 minutes, we will take you want two chores related to abraham lincoln. first, we visit the petersen where lincoln. after he was shot in the theater in 1865. we will then tour than a