Monday, May 4, 2015

150 years later, Springfield honors its favorite son with funeral procession

Opening ceremonies featured a keynote speech by Michael Burlingame, noted Lincoln expert and author and the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Burlingame's speech centered on abolitionist Frederick Douglass' views on his friend Lincoln and how Douglass' speeches show that he eventually came to the conclusion that Lincoln despised slavery.

In a speech given on April 11, 1865, only three days before he was shot, Lincoln called for voting rights for blacks who had served in the Union Army and who were "highly intelligent," which historians take to mean those who were literate.

Douglass was at first dismayed by the narrow approach to black suffrage taken by Lincoln, but he later said it was a rail-splitter's approach — start with a thin wedge, then later drive it home with a maul.

Burlingame was featured by The State Journal-Register on May 4, 2015.

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