Monday, November 10, 2008

Being Bipartisan

"Black abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was an early critic of President Lincoln. Douglass became an admirer of President Lincoln after the Emancipation Proclamation and helped the Union Army recruit black troops. In August of 1863, Douglass went to President Lincoln to urge equal pay for black soldiers.

"Nearly a year later on August 19, 1864, Douglass returned to the White House at the President's request. Douglass was impressed that President Lincoln prolonged their conversation despite the arrival of Connecticut Governor William A. Cunningham.

"Douglass recalled: "Mr. Lincoln said, 'tell Governor Buckingham to wait, for I want to have a long talk with my friend Frederick Douglass.'" Douglass commented: "This was probably the first time in the history of this Republic when its chief magistrate found occasion or disposition to exercise such an act of impartiality between persons so widely different in their positions and supposed claims upon his attention. From the manner of the governor, when he was finally admitted, I inferred that he was as well satisfied with what Mr. Lincoln had done, or had omitted to do, as I was."

(The full story can be read at Mr. Lincolin's White House)

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