Jonathan White, To Address You as My Friend, 1st ed., Signed on Bookplate
Centers African American Voices & Feelings
In To Address You as My Friend, Jonathan White offers a collection of letters from African Americans to Abraham Lincoln, most have never been published.
Many African Americans of the Civil War era felt a personal connection to Abraham Lincoln. For the first time in their lives, an occupant of the White House seemed concerned about the welfare of their race. Indeed, despite the tremendous injustice and discrimination that they faced, African Americans now had confidence to write to the president and to seek redress of their grievances. Their letters express the dilemmas, doubts, and dreams of both recently enslaved and free people in the throes of dramatic change. For many, writing Lincoln was a last resort. Yet their letters were often full of determination, making explicit claims to the rights of U.S. citizenship in a wide range of circumstances.
These letters offer unflinching, intimate, and often heart-wrenching portraits of Black soldiers’ and civilians’ experiences in wartime. As readers continue to think critically about Lincoln’s image as the “Great Emancipator,” this book centers African Americans’ own voices to explore how they felt about the president and how they understood the possibilities and limits of the power vested in the federal government.
White, Jonathan W. ed. TO ADDRESS YOU AS MY FRIEND. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 2021. 1st ed., 304p., illus., notes, index, d.j. Signed on bookplate.