Henry Highland Garnets Vision of Black Suffrage; History - in His Speech to the House in 1865, Pastor Went Further Than Lincoln Would

By Iver Bernstein; Katherine Mooney | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), January 25, 2013 | Go to article overview

Henry Highland Garnets Vision of Black Suffrage; History - in His Speech to the House in 1865, Pastor Went Further Than Lincoln Would


Iver Bernstein; Katherine Mooney, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Just after the start of the Oscar-nominated Lincoln, a U.S. Colored Troops soldier named Ira Clark tells the president, In 50 years, maybe a Negro colonel. In 100 years, the vote.

It is a thought-provoking way to begin a film about Lincolns greatest political triumph, the passage of the 13th Amendment that brought chattel slavery in the United States to a legal end. Clarks speech introduces what may be the movies most important character that is not Old Abe; lets call that character Black Suffrage. The characters MIA for most of the film. Then, at the end, Lincoln gives a speech, which would turn out to be his last, in which he mentions that the privilege of the vote might be extended to certain worthy African-American men. He rues that he didnt give a better speech to lend that important proposal of black voting the appropriate grandeur.

But Henry Highland Garnet had done just that not in the movie, from which Garnet is omitted, but in historical fact. Indeed, President Lincoln had invited him to do it. Lincoln had asked this leading African-American activist to speak in the House of Representatives on Sunday, Feb. 12, 1865, to mark the passage of the amendment to end slavery. Garnet thus became the first African- American ever to speak before Congress.

Garnet was the pastor of Washingtons Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church and a revealing choice for this symbolic departure. He was a visionary who made a career of imagining new ways to move the nation beyond ossified politics of slavery. In the 1840s, hed called for slave rebellion. In the 50s, hed explored colonization of blacks to Africa an idea so often charged with racism but, in Garnets hands, part of a plan for race equality and national redemption.

Born into slavery in Maryland, Garnet and his family had escaped to free soil. Garnet could speak with an intimate knowledge of slavery and civil war. He knew the slaveholders lash, he had witnessed the New York draft rioters noose, and he had sat at the bedside of dying black men whod worn the Union blue. Lincoln knew Garnets history and what he represented.

Lincoln may not have been in the House chamber to hear Garnets speech, though doubtless some of the men and women who were there were also in the crowd when Lincoln delivered his second inaugural three weeks later. Garnets theme was the suffering of Americas two wars the war that was American slavery and the war that ended it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Henry Highland Garnets Vision of Black Suffrage; History - in His Speech to the House in 1865, Pastor Went Further Than Lincoln Would
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.