Lincoln’s Letter to James Conkling

Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address of March 4, 1861, his Gettysburg Address of November 19, 1863, and his 2nd Inaugural Address of March 4, 1865.allow us to trace the progress of his thoughts on emancipation as a political possibility from the beginning to the end of the Civil War. On August 26, 1863, Lincoln wrote a letter to his old friend, James Conkling, back in Springfield, Illinois.See Files, Being Black in America, Lincoln to James Conkling.Read the letter.Read especially, from the bottom of page 1 (“But to be plain, you are dissatisfied with me about the negro” to the middle of page 2, “If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive—even the promise of freedom.And the promise being made, must be kept.”) How does the Conkling letter help us see inside the public Lincoln?Considered as a performance for a largely supportive audience, how does it help us to visualize the limits of white northern empathy for black people during the American Civil War? What conclusion(s) do you draw about Lincoln and/or about the experience of being black in America?Your essay should be roughly 1500 words.Tie your observations to Lincoln’s language but keep your quotes brief.Use appropriate hedging language, as needed.Follow the formatting sheet.
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