MEETINGS WITH ABOLITIONISTS IN
A NARRATION OF WHEN
PRESIDENT LINCOLN WOULD MEET THE FAMOUS ABOLITIONIST
Many colored people in Washington, and large numbers had
desired to attend the levee, but orders were issued not
to admit them. A gentleman, a member of Congress, on his
way to the White House, recognized Mr. Frederick
Douglas, the eloquent colored orator, on the outskirts
of the crowd.
'How do you do, Mr. Douglas? A fearful jam to-night. You
are going in, of course?'
'No -- that is, no to your last question.'
'Not going in to shake the President by the hand! Why,
'The best reason in the world. Strict orders have been
issued not to admit people of color.'
'It is a shame, Mr. Douglas, that you should thus be
placed under ban. Never mind; wait here, and I will see
what can be done.'
The gentleman entered the White House, and working his
way by the President, asked permission to introduce Mr.
Douglas to him.
'Certainly,' said Mr. Lincoln. 'Bring Mr. Douglas in, by
all means. I shall be glad to meet him.'
The gentleman returned, and soon Mr. Douglas stood face
to face with the President. Mr. Lincoln pressed his hand
warmly, saying: 'Mr. Douglas, I am glad to meet you. I
have long admired your course, and I value your opinions
Mr. Douglas was very proud of the manner in which Mr.
Lincoln received him. On leaving the White House he came
to a friend's house where a reception was being held,
and he related the incident with great pleasure to
myself and others.
On the Monday following the reception at the White
House, everybody was busy preparing for the grand ball
to come off that night. I was in Mrs. Lincoln's room the
greater portion of the day. While dressing her that
night, the President came in, and I remarked to him how
much Mr. Douglas had been pleased on the night he was
presented to Mr. Lincoln. Mrs. L. at once turned to her
husband with the inquiry, 'Father, why was not Mr.
Douglas introduced to me?'
'I do not know. I thought he was presented.'
'But he was not.'
'It must have been an oversight then, mother; I am sorry
you did not meet him.'
I finished dressing her for the ball, and accompanied
her to the door. She was dressed magnificently, and
entered the ballroom leaning on the arm of Senator
Sumner, a gentleman that she very much admired. Mr.
Lincoln walked into the ballroom accompanied by two
gentlemen. This ball closed the season. It was the last
time that the President and his wife ever appeared in
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