Across the Great Divide

The friendship between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass required from both a change of heart

The two giants could have ignored each other or become enemies. So how is it that Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the most famous black man of the 19th century, became friends? And what difference did their friendship make?

The answer is that Lincoln recognized early on that he needed the ex-slave to help him destroy the Confederacy and preserve the Union. And so at a time when most whites would not let a black man cross their threshold, the President met Douglass three times at the White House and found a startling way to enlist him in his cause. What...

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