Fredrick Douglass' Unique Perspective on Lincoln

Sun Feb 09, 2014 05:38:48AM | Categories: Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln

Douglass argued against John Brown's plan to attack the arsenal at Harpers FerryBy: Public Domain
Fredrick Douglass is one of the greatest people in American history. Douglass started life as a slave and would eventually meet multiple presidents and even be the first African-American to be nominated for the Vice-Presidency (even though he didn't seek nor acknowledge the nomination). Douglass fought against the injustice of slavery for his entire life. After the civil war he turned to fighting for equality with voting rights and education for freed slaves.

Douglas also gives use a unique perspective when it comes to Lincoln. America has idolized Lincoln as one of the greatest U.S. President, but Douglass describes him as man with many flaws, hypocrisies and virtues. Douglas criticized Lincoln for not completely ending slavery and for not publicly favoring black suffrage. Douglass hated that Lincoln was late to join the cause of emancipation. whether for personal or political reason, and called him a "white man's president." However, in 1876, Douglass also said, "Though Mr. Lincoln shared the prejudices of his white fellow-countrymen against the Negro, it is hardly necessary to say that in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery...."

Douglass' unique view of Lincoln shows that even the most idolized men of history can have huge flaws that may seem hypocritical or self-serving. And what is even more spectacular about Douglass is that he would later go on to say that Lincoln, flaws and all, was the greatest U.S. President
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