New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. , Inc., 1942. First Edition. Black & White Photographs, Facsimiles. Full cloth. Octavo. 244 + appendix pages. Very good in a good dust jacket.
Uncommon book capturing impressions of Abraham Lincoln by African Americans who personally knew and interacted with him. The historical record is weak in regard to Lincoln's personal relations with blacks and their perceptions of him and his attitudes toward them, and therefore this book fills a crucial gap in the Lincoln canon--particularly in light of today's revisionists who wish to cast Lincoln as a racist. Dr. John Washington, an African American dentist who grew up in the shadow of Ford's Theatre in the late 19th century, gathered these amazing stories through personal interviews with Lincoln's African American acquaintances or their children. Here are the testimonies of Lincoln's barbers in Illinois and Washington, white house servants, waiters, doorkeepers and others, all meticulously researched and verified while retaining their original vigor and color. There is a large section devoted to Mary Lincoln's seamstress and confidant Elizabeth Keckley, who was rendered much less enigmatic by Dr. Washington's groundbreaking research published here. The book includes previously unpublished photographs and Lincoln letters, including the first full transcript of an 1855 letter to Hon. George Robertson of Kentucky in which Lincoln speaks at length about his feelings on the issue of slavery. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by Dr. Washington on title page. Bound in dark blue cloth over boards with yellow stamped lettering and rule to spine and upper board, yellow topstain, illustrated endpapers. A few shallow bumps to spine ends, lower edges of boards. Jacket has an angular 2.5" tear at lower edge of front panel at spine with some associated creases, some other minor edge wear. Very nice overall. . Jacket in Mylar protector.