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I first saw Mr. Lincoln in the early summer of 1863. I had a special object in seeing him at that time. I had been engaged in raising two regiments of colored men in Massachussetts, the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth. Two of my sons were in those regiments. Jefferson Davis had taken notice of these colored soldiers and had notified the country  that colored men taken in arms would not be treated as prisoners of war by the Confederate armies but would be shot or hanged in cold blood, or sold into slavery. It was about the barbarous threat, in part, that I went to see Abraham Lincoln.

It required some nerve to approach the chief magistrate of the nation for such a purpose at such a time. I did not know how he would receive a man of my complexion or whether he would receive me at all. I was not a member of Congress, a United States marshal, a minister, a consul general to Hayti, an elector at large, or even a citizen of the United States. I was still under the ban of the Dred Scott decision, so I felt it a bold thing for me to enter and presume to talk to the President of the United States. Beside I had no one to introduce me.
— as reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 14, 1893, from a speech at the Fourth Lincoln Dinner given before the Union Leage Club

to be continued!


Caz Dolowicz was born on Sands Street in 1923; he’s waiting for Jubilee, but will take a good corned beef for now.

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