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By Russell Freedman

From the writer of Lincoln: A Photobiography, comes a clear-sighted, conscientiously researched account of 2 strangely parallel lives and the way they intersected at a serious second in U.S. heritage. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass have been either self-taught, either nice readers and believers within the significance of literacy, either males born terrible who by way of their very own efforts reached positions of energy and prominence—Lincoln as president of the us and Douglass because the most famed and influential African American of his time. even though their conferences have been few and short, their trade of principles helped to finish the Civil struggle, reunite the country, and abolish slavery. comprises bibliography, resource notes, and index.

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Douglass's sons took half within the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment's attack on castle Wagner, on the front to Charleston Harbor, the place the Civil conflict had started. On July 18, 1863, the Fifty-fourth attacked the fortress, advancing throughout a slender spit of sand within the face of fierce accomplice fireplace. participants of the regiment scaled the partitions of the fortress yet after brutal hand-to-hand wrestle have been pushed out, anguish heavy casualties. Lewis Douglass used to be wounded through the struggling with. the recent York Tribune said that this conflict “made fortress Wagner this kind of identify to the coloured race as Bunker Hill were for 90 years to the white Yankees. ” “By arming the Negro we now have extra a robust ally,” basic Ulysses furnish advised Lincoln. “This, with the emancipation of the Negro, is the heaviest blow but given the Confederacy. ” All alongside, Douglass have been protesting in his speeches and newspaper articles the injustices inflicted on black infantrymen. He known as at the Lincoln management to retaliate opposed to the South's abuse of black prisoners. And on July 30 Lincoln issued an Order of Retaliation. for each captured Union soldier killed by means of the Confederacy, a insurgent soldier will be carried out. And for each Union soldier enslaved or offered into slavery by means of the Confederates, a insurgent soldier will be put at tough hard work until eventually the Union soldier used to be published and handled particularly as a prisoner of warfare. Douglass was once inspired by way of Lincoln's motion, yet he wasn't chuffed. Why had it taken see you later to factor the Retaliation Order? Why wasn't Lincoln doing anything in regards to the discrimination in pay and promotions suffered by way of black infantrymen? Douglass made up our minds “to visit Washington and lay the proceedings of my humans earlier than President Lincoln,” whom he had by no means met. He rode the in a single day educate from Rochester to Washington, D. C. Arriving within the nation's capital at the muggy morning of August 10, 1863, he met Samuel C. Pomeroy, an antislavery senator from Kansas, who had provided to function Douglass's escort. jointly they went to the struggle division, the place Douglass referred to as on Edwin M. Stanton, the secretary of warfare. the boys of the Fifty-fourth tested their braveness once they stormed the partitions of citadel Wagner in South Carolina on July 18, 1863. greater than part the troops have been killed or wounded, together with their commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who was once shot throughout the center. From an 1890 lithograph. Stanton's “manner used to be chilly and businesslike all through yet earnest,” Douglass recalled. They talked for part an hour. Douglass raised the problems of unequal pay for black troops and the inability of merchandising possibilities. “Regulations confine them to the useless point of privates or noncommissioned officers,” he complained. then again, whereas pay and promotions have been very important, Douglass acknowledged, black squaddies have been combating for “a reason really autonomous of pay or place”: they sought after freedom for his or her race and equality as americans. Stanton cited the “difficulties and prejudices to be surmounted” earlier than black squaddies may well in achieving equality.

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