Black History Month: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass Monumental At New-York Historical Society
Note: This is the 18th installment of WCBS 880’s Black History Month series. For other articles, click here.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The statues of two American heroes stand at the entrances to the New-York Historical Society: President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
As WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman noted, Douglass was an orator, a statesman, an abolitionist and, in 1838, an escaped slave.
“Frederick Douglass became a free man in New York,” said New-York Historical Society President Louise Mirrer. “He stepped off the boat and walked down Broadway, just an ordinary human being.”
Douglass became a friend to Lincoln.
“Frederick Douglass had a huge impact on Lincoln’s thinking — not just about slavery, but about the intellectual status of black people,” Mirrer said.
Mirrer said slavery plays such an important role in the New-York Historical Society’s mission because “slavery is not a sideshow in American history; it’s the main event.”