[Lincoln was] the architect of his own fortune, and the American people… saw in him, a full-length portrait of themselves. In him they saw their better qualities represented, incarnated and glorified – and as such they loved him.
A Full Length Portrait
Topic: Society & Civil Religion
A few months after Lincoln’s assassination, Frederick Douglass remarked that Lincoln was “the architect of his own fortune, and the American people, indebted to themselves for themselves, saw in him, a full-length portrait of themselves. In him they saw their better qualities represented, incarnated and glorified – and as such they loved him.”
Frederick Douglass (c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.
Martin, Waldo E. The Mind of Frederick Douglass, p. 265 [Waldo E. Martin Jr. (University of North Carolina Press, 1984)].
Theme: A Vision of America
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