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Bree Veazey U.

S History AP: Period-2nd December 12, 2011 Time Magazine Extra Credit Two Dynamic Giants: An Unusual Friendship Black abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was an early critic of President Lincoln. Lincoln believed the primary directive of the North was to preserve the Union and not to end slavery. He proclaimed: "If I could save the Union, without freeing the slaves, I would do it. If I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it would help to save the Union." In spite of the seeming pro-slavery policy of the Lincoln administration, Douglass was earnestly working in the Presidents support. He was wise enough to understand that if Lincoln, in the beginning had stated his policy to be, not only to save the Union, but also to free the slaves, all would have been lost. Douglass saw the Civil War as a struggle between freedom and slavery. For him, the sin of slavery could only be ended if Americans were forced to shed their blood; Lincoln was trying to avoid this. It was decided not to give the black soldiers the same pay as that allowed to the white troops, Douglass was upset at this and went to meet with Lincoln over the issue. It was unheard of for a colored man to go to the White House with a complaint. Lincoln listened to Douglass and assured him that the black soldiers would eventually receive the same pay as white soldiers, and he promised to sign any promotion for blacks the Secretary of War recommended. Douglass came away from the meeting deeply moved. What most impressed him was Lincolns honesty and sincerity. From that point, an extremely strong friendship built upon respect was formed. Afterwards, a year later in August 1864, Lincoln decided that he needed Douglass and requested

a second meeting with him. He wanted Douglass to organize a band of black scouts, Douglass felt that if this plan worked it would preserve the Union and end slavery. Douglass began preparing for the assembling however the plan rendered unnecessary because of Shermans victory. When Douglass and Lincoln met for the third time it was to celebrate Lincolns second Inauguration. During this meeting, and on they considered each other friends. My Take First and foremost, this was an extremely inspiring and enlightening article to read. It answered many of my questions that were left after the brief cover on Lincoln and Douglass relationship with each other in the Looking for Lincoln Special. I wanted to know why Douglass at first, had such harsh feelings about Lincoln, and how was it that they came around to have so much respect for each other, have such a strong bond and friendship. Douglass felt as if Lincoln was the biggest slave-catcher at one point in his life, catching wind of the statements that Lincoln was making about the superiority of whites over blacks. This would make me upset as well, but the difference between myself and Frederick Douglass was that he was wise. Putting aside his feelings and emotions, he thought of how the freeing of slaves would be impossible if Lincoln was outright in his positions on slavery. I believe this is what made their friendship strong; they understood each other, and each others motives. Something that struck me the most while reading this article was the quote by Douglass saying There was no vain pomp and ceremony about him..In his company I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color. This quote showed me that Lincoln had a very kindred spirit. Douglass saw Lincoln to be a man whom I could love, honor, and trust without reserve or doubt, while Lincoln also saw Douglass to be One of the most meritorious men, if not the most meritorious man, in the United States. Their respect for each other was unbreakable, their

matching embodiments of wisdom is what I believe made these two giants, from different backgrounds, lives parallel. These were two great men who had an admirable friendship and bond.