The North Carolina Republican Party recently sent this out to it's members, reminding them of the early beginnings of the party:
On August 19, 1864, two men held a meeting at the White House. The men could not have been more different; their lives could not have been more alien to the other. Yet, drawn mostly by a common cause and perhaps by the forces of destiny, these two men came together in an effort to secure the future of African-Americans, a future that had been argued over in a violent civil war for over three years. Never before or since have two men so singularly important to a group of people come together as on that summer day in 1864, when Abraham Lincoln welcomed Frederick Douglass into his office.
As we celebrate Lincoln’s 201st birthday, we can look back and thank Lincoln and Douglass for bringing two races together in a way that did not seem possible in the middle of the 19th Century. Borrowing a phrase from Mr. Lincoln, “it is altogether fitting and proper” that in the month of Lincoln’s birth, we also celebrate Black History Month. Certainly, African-American history would be much different were it not for the history-altering actions of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglass.
Lincoln and Douglass (left) enjoyed a deep friendship that grew out of a shared set of principles: individual liberty, personal freedom, and the divinely-inspired value of every life. These principles drove Frederick Douglass to escape slavery and guided Lincoln as he rose to become the first President from a party founded on freedom and liberty.
With Lincoln as our first president, and Douglass as our first African-American statesmen, the Republican Party should be proud of our heritage.
We should be proud, also, of the contributions of many African-Americans to the Republican cause over the last 150 years. Conservative leaders like Joseph Rainey, the first African-American Congressman, and Booker T. Washington (below) gave African-Americans a national voice in the Republican Party. The first African-American in the U.S. Senate, Republican Hiram Revels, was born in North Carolina. John Hyman, a former slave in North Carolina, was elected to Congress to represent the state in 1874. Countless other African-Americans have helped shape political history in North Carolina, and today, African-Americans hold elected positions at the state level and within the leadership of the NCGOP.
As we celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the birth of President Lincoln, let us reaffirm those principles that gave rise to the Republican Party so long ago. Let us resolve that individual liberty, not government control, is the founding principal of our country. Let us pledge to further the work of Lincoln and Douglass, and carry their principles as our banner as we march to victory in November.
Editor's Note: KCC thanks the NC Republican Party for sharing this information with us. We couldn't have said this better ourselves. We appreciate the contributions of all black Americans and honor them, this month and always.