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Frederick Douglass’ and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

On the morning of Friday, April 14, Booth dropped by Ford’s Theatre and learned that the President and General Grant were planning to attend the evening performance of Our American Cousin. . Booth opened the door to the State Box, shot Lincoln in the back of the head at near point-blank range, and struggled with Rathbone, Lincolns body guard. On April 14, 1865 the nation suffered a terrible shock when John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Fords Theater. Lincoln died April 15, 1865 at 7:22 AM.

Here his body lies in state at the East Room of the White House, where it remained until his funeral on April 19. Frederick Douglass was born a slave on a plantation in Tuckahoe, Maryland in 1818. Frederick Douglass may be the most famous black abolitionist and civil rights leaders in the United States that was freed in 1838. Once freed his powerful speeches, newspaper articles, and books awakened whites and the evil of slavery and inspired blacks in their struggle for freedom and equality.

Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln had many different opinions on the topic of slaves and their rights. Douglass believed that slavery should be abolished and slaves deserved the same equal rights as the white people. Lincoln agreed with Douglass and was against slavery but only on moral grounds. However he was not an admirer of the black man, did not believe blacks should be granted rights of American citizens, and did not wish that they be part of American society. He believed that all blacks should be removed from the United States and resettle in some other country.

Because of the different views there was much controversy between them. Douglass request to speak with President Lincoln in Washington was granted and the two of the came to an understanding. After speaking with Lincoln, his impression was that the President was an honest man. Douglass could not recall ever having met a man who On the first blush impressed me more entirely with his sincerity, and with his devotion to his country (Foner 51-54). These impressions left Douglass with a different view of Lincoln.

Nevertheless, Douglass was often frustrated by Lincoln’s procrastination in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1, 1863, was a decisive moment in the relationship of Douglass and Lincoln. Once having been issued, the slavery system was doomed. Douglass had persuaded Lincoln to make the pronouncement, and once having done so, the course of the war and the future of the nation were profoundly changed. Douglass attended a memorial meeting at City Hall the night of Lincolns death.

He was not invited to speak during the meeting but many that attended cried out for Douglass to step up to the platform podium. When he went forward and addressed the audience, he explained what Lincoln had meant to the Negro people. He said, Abraham Lincoln was pre-eminently the white mans president, entirely devoted to the welfare of the white men (Strong46-52). The Governing Passion of My Soul,” 14 April 1865 Speech His closing remarks left the audience with optimistic thoughts on Abraham Lincoln.

I think that the assassination of Lincoln made Douglass realize that he was doing a good job with spreading the word about slavery and pushing for equal rights. Due to the hard work and effort that Douglass put forth many of his prayers were answered. In December 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was established which freed all slaves without compensating their owners. Also, Negroes were eventually enlisted in the army during the Civil War. Without the dedication and trust between Lincoln and Douglass, our nation would have never seen eye to eye and came together as one.

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