JOURNEY HOME ~ RESTING
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Grave Site of FREDERICK DOUGLASS
Mount Hope Cemetery Rochester, NY
Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln
April 14, 1876
Delivered at the Unveiling of The Freedmen’s Monument in Memory of Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C.
Despite the mist and haze that surrounded him; despite the tumult, the hurry, and confusion of the hour, we were able to take a comprehensive view of Abraham Lincoln, and to make reasonable allowance for the circumstances of his position. We saw him, measured him, and estimated him; not by stray utterances to injudicious and tedious delegations, who often tried his patience; not by isolated facts torn from their connection; not by any partial and imperfect glimpses, caught at inopportune moments; but by a broad survey, in the light of the stern logic of great events, and in view of that divinity which shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will, we came to the conclusion that the hour and the man of our redemption had somehow met in the person of Abraham Lincoln. It mattered little to us what language he might employ on special occasions; it mattered little to us, when we fully knew him, whether he was swift or slow in his movements; it was enough for us that Abraham Lincoln was at the head of a great movement, and was in living and earnest sympathy with that movement, which, in the nature of things, must go on until slavery should be utterly and forever abolished in the United States.
To Francis Jackson
When I was a stranger, rough, unpolished, just from the bellows-handle in Richmond's brass foundry in New Bedford, when I was scarce able to write two sentences of the English language correctly, you took me into your drawing room, welcomed me to your table, put me in your best bed, and treated me in every way as an equal brother at a time when to do so was to expose yourself to the hot displeasure of nearly all your neighbours. These things I still remember, and it affords me great pleasure to speak of them. Pardon me for reminding you of these things now.