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A Discussion of Douglass’s Remarkable 1876 Eulogy of Lincoln
The Tocqueville Lecture Series at Jacksonville State University hosts Dr. Richard Ruderman (University of North Texas).

Duration of Lecture:
* 90 minutes

Agenda of Lecture:
* Introductions
* Lecture from Dr. Ruderman
* Q&A with the virtual & in-person audience

Why does Frederick Douglass remain such a challenge—to so many people across the political spectrum—today? In the summer of 2020, a statue of Frederick Douglass in Rochester NY (where he had lived much of his adult life) was torn down. In her magisterial “re-centering” of American history—The 1619 Project—Hannah Nikole-Jones went further, making his whole career and life disappear. And much controversy surrounds a statue of Lincoln freeing a kneeling enslaved person, looking up at him in gratitude. That statue was unveiled in 1876, paid for by the (Black) Freedmen’s Association. It was at that event that Frederick Douglass was asked to give a eulogy of Abraham Lincoln, assassinated eleven years earlier by a white supremacist. I seek to examine Douglass’s account of how he came to appreciate Lincoln’s statesmanship—which had, in the 1850s seemed “tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent.” This required Douglass to recognize, not only that Lincoln was “preeminently the white man’s President,” but that “measured by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.”

This lecture is supported by the Jack Miller Center and the Alabama Humanities Alliance.

E-mail Dr. Ben Gross at bgross@jsu.edu regarding any questions about this lecture.

Nov 10, 2022 05:30 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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