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Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Emancipation
The President Bill Clinton Lecture in American History
David W. Blight, Edna Greene Medford, Harold Holzer (moderator)
Sat, January 11th, 2020 |
9:30 am to 11:00 am
(Members $38)


9–9:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30–11 am: Program

Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln each contributed mightily to the cause of black freedom in the Civil War-era America—though these gifted writers, orators, and leaders took markedly different paths to the same end. Early on, Douglass was a severe critic of Lincoln’s seeming reluctance to pursue emancipation; later they worked together as allies to recruit black troops and liberate as many enslaved people as possible. Their remarkable journey—both in conflict and in tandem—represents one of the great American stories, a case in which activism and hard politics collide and collude to achieve historic goals. Experts discuss the revolutionary and evolutionary nature of the Douglass-Lincoln relationship.

David W. Blight is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom and a trustee of the New-York Historical Society. Edna Greene Medford is professor of history at Howard University. Harold Holzer (moderator), the author, co-author, or editor of more than 50 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era, is Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


By phone: Contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open 9 am–5 pm daily.
Online: Click on the orange “Buy Tickets” button at the top of this page.
In person: Advance tickets may be purchased on site at New-York Historical’s Admissions desk during museum hours.

Advance purchase is required to guarantee seating. All sales are final; refunds and exchanges not permitted. Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers. Program tickets do not include Museum Admission unless otherwise noted.

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