A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House
National Archives Museum
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Author Jonathan W. White presents the story of how President Abraham Lincoln welcomed African Americans to his White House in America’s most divided and war-torn era and why that transformed the trajectory of race relations in the United States. Beginning with his 1862 meetings with Black Christian ministers, Lincoln invited African Americans of every background into his home, from ex-slaves from the Deep South to champions of abolitionism such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. The President conferred with his guests about the essential issues of citizenship and voting rights. Drawing from an array of primary sources, White reveals how African Americans used the White House as a national stage to amplify their calls for equality.
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