tv The Civil War Speeches and Writings of Frederick Douglass CSPAN June 17, 2018 1:05pm-1:57pm EDT
next on the civil war yale , university professor david blight talks about the political , and often religious rhetoric, that frederick douglass used when writing or speaking about abolition or the civil war. this 50 minute talk was part of a conference hosted by the university of virginia center for civil war history. prof. blight: thank you, gary, liz joan, will and other , friends. i learned a long time ago that when they invite you somewhere, just say yes, and then figure out later what you will talk about, or talk about whatever they want you to talk about. because it is always fun and always important and there is no better audience.
virginia, i am not about promoting a new big -- promoting a new book, why not? [laughter] dr. blight: my publisher gave me 1000 copies of these damn things, so -- i will be giving them away if anybody wants them. [laughter] prof. blight: i have to give them away if anyone wants them. i've been going around and putting them on tables and they are always still there when i leave. [laughter] so, many of you might be wondering why another biography of frederick douglass? don't we know a lot about frederick douglass? we do, but the principle reason i am doing this book, and i won't go into the details at l,he reason i spent the last decade on this book is because i encountered a private collection of douglas material owned by a man in georgia, of all places, named walter evans.
an amazing private collection of scrapbooks, family papers and of letters, etc., etc. i encountered it about nine or 10 years ago, and it was one of those moments but you have to tell yourself damn, if i don't , do this book, somebody else will. so, anyway. that collection was a window particularly into the last third of douglas' life. the older douglass, because that is when his son and daughters kept these amazing scrapbooks on him. but today, i'm going to talk about the war, and douglass' ideas about the war, and it takes me back to an original subject. i am glad of that. you might notice, maybe you can't even see it. the subtitle, which is my publisher's subtitle, but i owned up to it -- "profit of freedom." if you have that label, you
better be ready to defend it. profit is a big word and has a lot of meaning to people. , and a deep, deep meaning a deep tradition in our culture, but it is probably not just someone who predicts the future. that is only the first definition of a prophet. often profits predict wrong. profits are often wrong, but they can still be prophetic. , found myself in this project and that was especially true on douglass' views on the war. i was drawn more and more to his theology, it was a major theme in the biography. douglass was deeply steeped in the new testament. it was not uncommon in the 19 century, but he was. so, i started reading about profits. what are the hebrew prophets?
why was he so obsessed with isaiah, and ezekiel, and jeremiah? especially jeremiah and isaiah. and one of the greatest books about prophets ever written is by abraham heschel, a famous jewish theologian. he said many things about what a prophet is, and it helped me get my head around it, and i still don't. i am terrified of this book because i'm going to get asked this. but i try to get my head around, douglass of profit was , this genius with words? this man who had a way, unlike most, to capture and phrase metaphor. he was not alone in that. lincoln was pretty good at metaphor, too. the ability to capture the phrasing of the meaning of
events, the meaning of this war. heschel said "the prophet faces a coalition of callousness and established authority, and undertakes to stop a mighty stream with mere words." theme of anyrimary biography of frederick douglass. he is a creature of words. he is a man of words. he had no other weapon, and he became a genius with them. he was not born a genius with words, he had to learn it. peschel -- heschel also said "to become a prophet is a distinction and an affliction." even if you don't know you are. he also said "prophets must've been shattered by some
cataclysmic experience in order to be able to shatter others." douglass was shattered by slavery, make no mistake. 20 years as a slave left a rage inside of him. left all kinf scar which are not measurable. they are not even very visible, but they were deep in his psyche, and nothing like fort sumter, and the four years of followed, nothing like this war enabled him to release that a rate. and lastly heschel -- "the , prophet is human, yet he has -- yet, he employs notes, one octave too high for our ears. he experiences moments that defy our understanding. he is neither a singing saint nor a moralizing poet, but an assaulter of the mind."
douglass was an assaulter of the mind. he was not always good at predicting. who was in the civil war era? all right. i'm going to dwell on really two aspects of douglass' thoughts during the war. one is his role in the war propaganda thumping more , propaganda. the other is, he gave a famous speech, one of his top five best speeches, for those of us who ranked frederick douglass' speeches, which is a very small group. [laughter] prof. blight: and by the way, speaking of speechmaking, i just said this to matt. matt needs to get president trump to say something truly stupid about anna dickenson so
that she gets famous even more, like she is still alive. [laughter] also blight: and then, and , are there any anna dickenson reenactors? seriously. there are dozens of douglass reenactors, they show up everywhere. [laughter] prof. blight: do i have to follow them, or can i go before them, please? [laughter] matt, are you here? he went to the men's room. i me, shou be anna dickenson reenactors, imagine the interpretations. >> [inaudible] prof. blight: there are? all right. young women in the audience, get to work. a year ago, a person in high places did all of us and douglass a big favor, but i did bring it here because i did
not want to offend anybody. this is such a sophisticated audience. but i do travel with a t-shirt that says douglass 2020, he is running. it was given to me by a teacher inute la summer. they arrived on thursday, but on sunday they all walked in the class wearing these t-shirts. and they gave me you can buy one. anything in three days on the internet. anyway, more than a century, a century and a half, sorry, after appomattox, surveying the landscape of horror and mass destruction that modern war has wrecked upon our species, we pause sometimes, or should pau d examine those leaders in the past, who have been bold advocates of four, as well as the creators of hated enemies, targeted for attack and elimination. the willingness to kill and the desire to urge others and organized armies to kill for a
cause, are both primal and historical, personal, and ideological. by spring of 1861, frederick douglass yearned for war, make no mistake. his long rehearsal as a war propagandist had reached its final stages. dunbarpoet paul lawrence -- poet paul laurence dunbar suggested in a poem about douglass much later, douglass as much as any northern partisan in kindled a battle crof freedom. these are just a few lines from dunbar's poem. "he dared the lightning in lightning's track and answered thunder with his thunder back. we leave for him, but we touched his hand, and felt the presents -- presence of his magic, the current he sent through the land, the kindling spirit of his battle cry."
douglass wanted this war. he had no idea what it was going, but he welcomed it in 1861 with a combined spirit of relief and rage. he was not a warrior himself, i don't know if he ever owned a firearm. as he discovered in his struggle with john brown. but he was more than ready to wield his pen and voice to send millions of others to destroy slavery, slaveholders, and anyone shouldering arms in their defense. and he was willing to send his own son. a very difficult problem in his although he left us almost nothing of his own thoughts about that. the contest must now be decided , and decided forever, douglass demanded in march of 1861, which of the two, freedom or slavery,
shall give law to this republic, less the conflict comes and godspeed's right. and it may after actual war had begun, he rejoiced. for this consummation, we have watched and wished with fear and trembling, god we pray that it has come at last. let's get him on there. there he is. this is douglass in january 1863. road to douglass, the war had been emotionally and intellectually a crooked one. with great anticipation, he awaited president lincoln's inaugural address, an historical , and it dominated douglass by fear that the
government had been allowed by the previous buchanan administration two, in his words, "float to the verge of destruction." in february 1818, he joined a thng of 15,000 pplthat gathered at the rochester train station to get a glimpse of lincoln as the president-elect passed through on his storied whistle stop journey on the way to washington. douglass did not record whether he waved or cheered to the onsident and president-elect that platform, or if he felt that anxiety and anticipation. slavery ands hated hated slaveholders. that may seem obvious, but it is all over his autobiography. "i hate slavery, slaveholders, and all pertaining to them," he freedom,"bondage and and " i did not fail to inspire others with the same feeling
wherever and whenever opportunity was presented." he crafted that passage, one of the many in his memoirs, about his enduring rage against his oppressors, to capture the context perceived danger he was remembering, and the power of his ofound literacy. to say the least, douglass had always cherished this power to o hurl words, and when necessary, to hurl hatred against slavery and slaveholders. history now, with the outbreak of the war, had been mainly a -- seemingly opened a broad door to a new opportunity to inspire vast numbers of people. but in spring of 1861, douglass complained that words and their meanings have been debased and the crisis of this union. thistrangers feature of eventful drama, he complained, is the complete inversion of the sense of word. treason, he said, and armed rebellion were now "simply the
sovereign right of secession, and the execution of the laws is now called coercion." to douglass, the secessionists were a mortal enemy of the government, and he started capitalizing government, as they inspired resistance among abolitionists. traders -- traitors merited no quarter. he called buchanan the chief of sinners. he insisted over again on his el for the deep south's .evolution he called the confederacy the treasonable, slaveholding confederacy. his descriptions only get better or worse, depending on your
point of view throughout the war. he had many thoughts on the war and the presidency, some of which i should be careful to use in virginia. douglass had been practicing this kind of rhetoric for a long time by 1861. it was as if the secessionists, as well as chuckling yankees to him, had flipped his switch into overdrive. douglass seized the moment with a fervor as great as anything else in his career. to him the central meaning of , secession and the coming of the war was that it raised the possibility of what he kept calling "armed abolition," meaning the cause of the slave and rights of free black people were the life of the nation. that was his fondest hope. at last, our proper public is overtaken, he enthused, in 1861. may although he predicted the nation would suffer untold destruction, the moment felt propitious, he said, any welcomed war. "now is the time," wrote douglass, "to change the cry of
a vengeance into a grateful prayer for the peace and safety of the government." this was douglass' quest throughout the war, that the rage in the hope among black people, for their liberty, and thei rights, would somehow now become at stake for the whole country. just how, of course, remains t be seen. the struggle, douglass and ity others on both sides saw as some kind of holy war. blame had to be precisely identified to elicit sufficient fervor and bloodlust to fight it. in a homespun set of metaphors, and he was good at these, douglass provided clear images about responsibility of the war -- for the war. propagandistsfor
are essentially absolutists. apocalypticiled an sense of history, which he had unveiled before,sly famoufore in his fourth of july speech of 1852. this apocalyptic view of history is this notion or belief in the occasional cosmic collision of forces, necessary renderings and bloodletting when god chose to enter history, and overturn it for the creation of a new age. april -- in an april 1861 editorial called the" who killed the american eagle," he seemed confident at least that the old union was now going to be dead. "by an old agreement," douglass wrote, "between mr. south and mr. north, the eagle was to be rattled off, between the contracting parties, every four years, and which ever got the highest number was to take the bird for the next four years."
for many years, mr. south had regularly won the eagle and enjoyed its services. he had trained it to hunt slaves, to protect slave traders , to steal from mexico, to tear the flash off offensive strangers and guide, protect, and extend slavery. according to douglass, mr. north had always coveted this bird of prey, and "determined that if he should ever get possession of himeagle, he would teach better manners, and train him better habits," he said. in 1860, mr. north won the eagle, but before handing it over as in honor bound the , treacherous mr. south filled the unsuspecting bird with a heavy dose of secession powder, whatever that is, so that the once majestic bird was now as good as dead. in this weird, but revealing
vignette, douglass shows his conception of the union, a one seat powerful rublic, hopelessly corrupted by slavery. why had the eagle died? "the bird," said douglass, "must die." and the verdict of the inquest mustache and he keeps using the inquest, and he keeps using the word "must," be that it died of poison treacherously administered at the instigation of mr. south at the insistence of one james buchanan. when in doubt, just blame buchanan. the use of the word must demonstrate his view of secession and of history itself. slave owners in association with northern accomplices had killed the old union. it, he reasoned, and it must die, otherwise, a new nation with a new future was not possible.
that is a metaphor, and it confirmed douglass' deep desire for overturning or remaking and an apocalyptic change. and i must add, allover my new book, is this story of how ,ouglass wrote his own story and a start of african americans, and for that matter, his conception of the story of america in the basic -- america and the basic story of the new testament, the jerusalem was corrupted, jeremiah, isaiah, and ezekiel, and there were three isaiah's, so it was one of those isaiah's. jerusalem had to be destroyed in the temple had to be destroyed. the people had to go into exile. some of them would die in the process. many of them would die in the process. some of them would get hopelessly corrupted in the process, but some of them might
find their way back. it was jerusalem. it was america. it was israel. in 1861, douglass' quest to fashion this enemy was in many, many forms. i just want to point out one of the ways that he launched this propaganda campaign, and it goes on throughout the world, but 1861-1962 -- 1861-1862. every sunday and sometimes weeknights, but every sunday and throughout the summer and into the fall of 1861, he spoke at the spring street ame church in rochester where he lived. it was a black church. hey had a regular gig -- and
had a regular gig there anytime he wanted it. andy turned -- and he turned these gatherings where he would make speeches about the war effort. like moses, he declared in june, who swallowed up the petty creations of the eastern r national affairs, swallowed up other subjects. in those church speeches, dozens of them, where he began to paint the hated enemy. white southerners, slaveholders, vil confederates, as e human beings, deserving of their fate, and ultimately of death. combination him a of sort of two sets of ideals. one was this rage and hatred
against slaveholders, which he has now sort of unleashed and expressed any sanctioned war. that was different than pre-fort sumter. and it drew out of him, american patriotism. he spoke for the oppressed and enslaved and often said, but now he said he could speak as an american. all that i have and am are bound up with the destiny of this country. that is a change. when douglass returned from england in 1847, and he spent 18, 19 months in ireland, scotland, and brooklyn -- and britain where he came of age as an oratory, he returned extremely angry. the press was calling him the demagogue in black. he was told to tone it down.
he was such an angry, black man. but he experienced such affection and love among many of the scottishndritish olits, and he comes back to racist america, and he famously said over and over in speeches, i have no country. i have no country. country, hehad a thought. you may never stop believing such sentiments, this idea of his own patriotism. i still feel that she, meaning the united states, is my country i --id that summer, and must fall or flourish with her. he could hardly contain his commendation of enthusiasm and rage. i will sum this up about the war
propaganda. want to get to the mission of the war speech. confederatesortray as horrible. accumulated an old abilene -- -- abolitionist era. this was in the summer of 1961. manners,the bad tempers, morals of southern society. stories about lynchings in the self and then stories about southerners fighting over girls and then terrible stories about in x confederate been adding on the battlefield.
it makes some of the war propaganda of world war i look cause ad the south's "trio of social monsters, slavery, treason." he called for a war he said of a broader margin because the flow was so evil. he said, the southern cause in the southern people "must be ground to powder." the union could only win registering slavery, and therefore in his view and he said it over and over, the war should last as long as possible. he aided -- hated the idea of a short war. the longer the war, the more likely it would be fought against slavery. that was easy to predict.
he said "if we cannot make them then we must make them fear us." he called the confederacy a "epidemic disease," and he said and theyad a poison had been poisoned throughout their lives and to unborn generations by slaveholders. i could go on and on with how horrible this war -- this propaganda was. i will leave it at that. an entirek, i have chapter on it.
he was asking me to tone it down. one less thing about this. it is very interesting to dig this part of his rhetoric. on one hand you could say this is just a strategy. he wants to end slavery. he is a war propagandist. this a strategy. but it was more than just strategy. he left us evidence. there was a deep rage inside this man, and by god, the war unleashed it. it made it official. ishe seat of constant war." art in the book, i try to reflect on just how much this is primal instinct for douglass and just how much was based on his experience.
we all have primal instincts, and a balance is one of them. but he had a primal experience with slavery, and now, he was unleashed to attack. i will jump right over to emancipation, the emancipation night of 1963. a want to take you to a speech just quickly that he gave he , wrote in the fall of 1863. he wrote it probably in november, right around the time lincoln gave the gettysburg address. it is very tempting to compare the two speeches, i do it, but not so much. he called it "the mission of the war." a remarkable collection of all the arguments he had been making as a propagandist, but also arguments he had been making against slavery in all of his public career since the 1840's.
he believed now, that when america was dying of violent and necessary death. and out of its ashes, at least came the possibility of a second, redefined america amidst all this death and destruction. and it was unnecessary destruction, and unnecessary re-creation -- it was a necessary destruction and a necessary re-creation. that very language, the destruction and replanting, directly out of jeremiah. if you have ever read the old testament at all, it is full of this idea that destruction leads to at least the possibility of reimagining and the creation. that is what exile and return is about. it is what every culture has exile and returned stories often at the heart of their national mythologies.
douglass believed, and he wasn't alone in this by any means, on both sides of this war, that history had reached a crossroads in the 1860's. and he had hoped, he was hoping that it would be a moral term. in the mission of the war speech, he took it on the road in late november 1863, to the end of december and all through that winter, into the next summer of 1864. the pivotal year, election year, a pivotal year in the war. he gave it dozens and dozens and dozens of time to thousands of people. all kinds of audiences, only in the north, of course. sometimes it got called by a different title. sometimes it was called "our work is not done," that became a
refrain of the speech. in the speech, he made his most explicit, full of robust argument for what he called "an ablation war -- and abolition war" and "and abolition peace." douglass spoke to more human beings in the 19th century than probably any other person on the planet. mark twain traveled more miles, because he cheated and went to asia. [laughter] but, nobody spoke to more people than douglass. part of it was because he was making a living as a lecturer. and by the way, those lecture fees, douglass made about 600
bucks. that is amazing. we have to talk about lecture fees -- i don't -- [laughter] anyway. this was like a traveling crusader, a traveling salvation show, if you want to throwocks on it. and everywhere he would go now, unlike dkinson, he would be introduced, the press would say, "the african lion was about to appear." he would appear in a churches and halls, an old practice going back to the 1940's -- the 1840's. he would walk into a place and people would start chanting, "douglass, douglass, douglass." it would bother people because he would be on the stage and the audience would start chanting.
he gave this "mission of the war" speech in a december eighth ninth, i -- and believe it was at the 50th -- 15th street presbyterian church. he gave it two nights in a row because there was not enough room for all the people who came. hundreds of people had managed to come into washington. by the end of the war it had a black population of 40,000 people, the vast majority of them were former slaves from the countrysides of maryland and virginia. in that speech that night, we have a text of it, douglass made this long wholesome argument for apocalyptic war and for what he kept calling "total revolution of labor." giving to the future he said "a
new aspect." he employed the word "regeneration." america was to be "regenerated." this is one of the things you play with as historians come and it may or may not mean anything, but it might -- on the same day, december 8, about 14 blocks south of the church lincoln , issued his annual message to congress in which he reflected on "the policy of emancipation," and he too, used the word "regeneration." in america, a new public was somewhat the regenerated in this moment of december 1863. almost a full year after the
proclamation. speech,ing -- mission and i will conclude this, this was also in arguments for what he kept calling "the sacred significance of the war." it is on both sides. great books have shown us this. southern clergy and politicians, and even some military people saw this war eventually in apocalyptic and sacred terms, not everybody did. but also, when he was in washington, he went to visit the great contraband camps that had been created in arlington heights, but had become arlington cemetery. it was first a big contraband camp and very soon, it became a major cemetery, obviously. he made this mission to our, and by the way, he would get letters
from people saying, "mr. douglass when are you bringing your mission to our town?" they already knew the subject of the speech -- "will you bring the mission to indiana, or wherever?" part of the purpose of the two or, -- for the mission tour was to raise money for the contraband cap, and by the way, the contraband camps in arlington was the one that harry jacobs, left some amazing testimony about, i don't know that they met there, but if they did, he should of told us -- while he was there, a group of black children, children of freed slaves, living in those circumstances of the camp which
were pretty bad, pretty bad, got together and sang for douglass. we don't know exactly what they sang, but they sang for him. and he did not tell us this, but others said, that douglass rule into tears. later, his the old friend, amy post from rochester, visited. she visited harry jacobs there. she said she saw douglass' signature on some books or some autograph sheet. anyway, his mission speech was his most robust explanation of what he believed the war was about. let me end with one other variation of the mission speech.
it takes us to the election year of 1864. you all know your civil war history, you know that the election was complicated, remarkable and amazing that it even happened. and you probably also know that the democrats in the winter of 1864 began using the slogan "amalgamation", even inventing the term, we believe. they painted the republican party as the party of "interracial mixing", amalgamation. there were drawings and all kinds of cartoons and messages put out in a democratic party literature. in the new york world, the democratic party paper, lincoln was called abraham africanus the first. he was not only call the widow maker, all kinds of things. it was great politics, this is politics. you want to run against the
republicans in they were the 1864, party of the emancipation proclamation. and now they are even the party of the 13th amendment passed by the congress in 1864, but it could not get through the other house. it became the 13th amendment, it was already on the table and the republican party owned it, whether they like it or not. and they had to run with it. painted in red across therefore -- their forehead. and the democrats were really effective at it. not only did they put a frame on it under the ticket, but notice in that letter that you had here, it was dated september 3, isn't that the same day as the fall of atlanta? or one day after? it was interesting, the juxtaposition. she may or may not have ever known, but that is another matter -- but in the summer, lincoln truly believed that he
had probably every reason to he was going to lose this election. the stalemate in virginia, the stalemate in georgia and even in the shenandoah. the casualties. you all know the overland campaign, it was horrific. the sense of war weariness across the south and the north, meant that lincoln's reelection was not only not certain, but probably in great jeopardy. lincoln called douglass to the white house in the third week of august, 1864. ey had previous meetings in august of 1863. the first time, douglass went to washington and knocked down the doors of the white house and insisting on getting in to see lincoln. and he did, but at that time, he went to protest the discrimination in the union army from black soldiers. this time, lincoln invited him. because lincoln was so worried that now that the emancipation
policy was out there in place, before the world, and there was supposed to be a war to end avery, he calls douglass into his office, eye-to-eye, and asks him, to be the chief organizer of a plan and scheme to funnel as many slaves as possible out of the upper south and into the north behind the union it military lines before election day. douglass wrote a little bit about this afterwards. i think he was frankly, stunned. he is being asked to be john brown by abraham lincoln. what? he frankly, had no clue on how he was actually going to do this. except that he was supposed to do it with the army, with officers and so forth. douglass goes back to rochester and begins writing telegrams and letters to friends and abolitionists. he began to organize agents for the scheme. and of course, the scheme never came to be because of the fall
of atlanta and sheridan's success in the valley. not to mention, farragut taking mobile bay at the end of august. it was events on the battlefield that turned this election. thatcheme never came up however, the election did. here is the point. douglass had wanted to campaign for lincoln. it had been a very difficult process, douglass honing up to lincoln. in fact, lincoln had a few more ferocious critics in the first year and a half of the war, then frederick douglass. douglass called lincoln some bad names. names like "thet ul o catcher in northern america." if lincoln knew that when they met, he just forgot it. at any rate, the republican
party would not let him near the campaign. campaign forer republican candidate the rest of his life. usually in selected places. but this time, they would not let him out there. because, the republican party was trying to dance around the problem of emancipation. they have a painted right on their forehead. it was classic politics. they released a statement say maybe the emancipation could be handled by the courts, whatever that meant. it was an executive order. so he could knock on the campaign tour, but he could go to the church in rochester. and this is how i will end. -- i got thisght
from a scrapbook in savannah, one of those things that you dream about, you wish you have two sources, i have one, and i am using it. on election night in rochester, there is a reminiscence written in 1881, a little after the fact. but he remembered being a poll taker the night of the 1864 elections. and like all of the remembrances of lincoln, a lot of people had their remembrances of douglass and there is a public collection of them there. the day i saw him to do this or the day i saw him brief, whatev. that night, he said, we were going to the telegraph office to check on the return and there we were coming into downtown and out from an alley came for "n"e thugs shouting to the
word. and douglas put up his face and challenge them back -- put up his fists. i hope you did, because that is what i am writing in the book. [laughter] he stood up to the saga -- thug, and the guy writes, douglass said, double triumph that night. anyway, the next sunday, he goes to spring street church. now, in all of the "mission of the war" speech, and all of the other speeches and propaganda speeches and all of his conceptions of the war douglass , is trying to appeal for rebirth. a rebirth. but what does he do after the news comes of lincoln's election, his reelection? the great news, which now means, of course, the war will be prosecuted to the end. that means emancipation.
though 70% of union soldiers who voted at the front for lincoln know that that is what it means. douglass goes to the church and he starts with the oldest rebirth metaphor in western civilization. and he knew that he could do it with that church audience. he told the story of noah's ark. he just quickly read the passage in genesis and he said, you know, noah sent a dove out of the ark. and the dove came back and it had an olive branch in its beak. and noah thought, maybe, maybe, the flood is over. sent the doveoah out again. and the dove did not come back. and noah said, behold, the world is reborn. when douglass needed a metaphor, a story to place his story and, he usually went to the old testament.
but he was going to use it again, that same day in spring street. the sunday right after the election, he announced to the audience that the very next week, he was going to go to baltimore. he had never been back in baltimore. he had been through baltimore on a train, but never got out. he never the back to the city from which he escaped as a slave. maryland had just held a referendum on november 1 to decide whether to become a free state. if you go look this up, you will see that the referendum passed but like 400 votes, out of 2700, it was extremely close. but maryland voted to be a free state. and douglass announced, i'm going back to the free soil of maryland. he did, the following sunday. he went back and he had some paparazzi in tow.
and he goes to the bethel ame church in baltimore, one of the three churches in baltimore went in to worship in washington as a teenage slave boy. he got to the front door and was met by a woman, a little bit older. hello frederick, i am your sister, eliza. he hadn't seen her since 1884. his sister, now named eliza mitchell, she was married and had purchased her own freedom. it is a long and fascinating story. she had eight children, and she named one of them for frederick. she meets him at the door. it is not even clear from the press reports, that he knew her at first. he took her by the arm and they walked straight up to the aisle and he goes to the pulpit. it's running the pulpit work american flags. how did he begin the speech? ah's ark.k -- no
he tells the speech again. douglass says today, i am the dove. i have come back to maryland and maryland is free, i am the dove. that takes some chutzpah, to put yourself into the noah's ark story. but he got away with it. an appointment -- and important part though he is reaching for , the most ancient rebirth metaphor that everyone in the audience would grasp about the meaning of war. thank you. [applause]
>> today on american artifacts on c-span3, tour the library of congress exhibit on the centennial of world war i, which showcases american ideas about the war through artwork, posters, photographs, films, and documents. >> the idea of to beating the idea of growing your own food so as to conserve larger quantities for the war effort. this is by frank lloyd wright sister. then individual rise to the surface in world war i. you see also food conservation, wholesome nutrition and corn. i know we make everything out of corn today, but back then we didn't. one thing that is worth noting is that in world war ii, we were rationed. the government stepped in and ti