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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: January 13, 2022

A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House - Virtual Talk 2/7

Lincoln and The Contrabands square

Virtual Book Launch!
A House Built by Slaves: 
African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House
Facebook Live Debut—Monday, February 7, 7 pm
In his new book, Christopher Newport University professor Jonathan White explores the remarkable story of the relationship that developed between Abraham Lincoln and the black community during the crucible of the Civil War.

Prior to that time, African Americans were almost entirely excluded from the White House, other than as servants or slaves.  However, during the war, the racial color line was broken down as African Americans claimed the First Amendment right to petition the government.  For the first time in the history of the United States, they saw the president as their president and the White House as their people’s house. Between 1862 and 1865 Lincoln welcomed hundreds of African Americans into his White House office and at public receptions.  

The book will be in the gift shop by January 22 for $26, members  receive a 10% discount. To reserve yours, and have it signed by the author, call 757-727-6824.

About the Author
Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014), which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and Jefferson Davis Prize, a “best book” in Civil War Monitor, and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize. He serves as vice chair of The Lincoln Forum, and on the boards of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Abraham Lincoln Institute, and the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia, as well as the Ford’s Theatre Advisory Council.  His most recent books include Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War (2017), which was selected as a “best book” by Civil War Monitor; and “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War (2018), which he co-authored with Anna Gibson Holloway.  In October 2021 he published To Address You As My Friend: African Americans’ Letters to Abraham Lincoln with the University of North Carolina Press, and in November 2021 published My Work Among the Freedmen: The Civil War and Reconstruction Letters of Harriet M. Buss with UVA Press. 

After White’s talk debuts on Facebook Live, it can be found on our website www.hamptonhistorymuseum.org.

Image: Detail, postcard "Lincoln and The Contrabands," ca. 1910, courtesy of the author

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