A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House

A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House

by Jonathan W. White
A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House

A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House

by Jonathan W. White


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Readers of American history and books on Abraham Lincoln will appreciate what Los Angeles Review of Books deems an "accessible book" that "puts a human face — many human faces — on the story of Lincoln’s attitudes toward and engagement with African Americans" and Publishers Weekly calls "a rich and comprehensive account."

Widely praised and winner of the 2023 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, this book illuminates why Lincoln’s unprecedented welcoming of African American men and women to the White House transformed the trajectory of race relations in the United States. From his 1862 meetings with Black Christian ministers, Lincoln began inviting 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. More than a good-will gesture, 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. Even more than 160 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s inclusion of African Americans remains a necessary example in a country still struggling from racial divisions today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538161807
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/12/2022
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 176,465
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University. He is the author of ten books and over 100 articles, essays, and reviews on Lincoln and the Civil War. His writing has appeared in Smithsonian, Time, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He lives in Newport News, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Preface. “There Was No Color Line There” Chapter 1. “A Continual Torment To Me” Interlude. The Office Chapter 2. “The Political Wonders of the Year” Chapter 3. “A Spectacle, as Humiliating as it was Extraordinary” Chapter 4. “The Lord Has Work For Me Here” Interlude. Foreign Diplomats Chapter 5. “The Promise Being Made, Must Be Kept” Chapter 6. “I Felt Big There” Chapter 7. “Without Molestation or Insult” Interlude. The Ballot Chapter 8. “To Keep the Jewel of Liberty within the Family of Freedom” Chapter 9. “The Object is a Worthy One” Chapter 10. “A Testimonial of Her Appreciation” Interlude. City Point Chapter 11. “Douglass, I Hate Slavery as Much as You Do” Chapter 12. “In the Presence of a Friend” Chapter 13. “All the People. .. Are Invited” Interlude. The House Chamber Chapter 14. “I’ve Come to Propose Something to You” Chapter 15. “A Sacred Effort” Chapter 16. “She is My Equal, and the Equal of All Others” Interlude. Richmond Chapter 17. “The Great Guiding Hand that Now Lay Paralyzed in Death” Epilogue. “Emphatically the Black Man’s President” Appendix. Unconfirmed Meetings Selected Bibliography Acknowledgments Index
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