1. What is the occasion for Douglass's oration and why does he
think it is such an important occasion for people of his race?
2. Why does Douglass say that Lincoln was the white man's president
whose primary concern was for the white race?
3. What evidence does Douglass present that Lincoln was hostile
to the black race?
4. Why does Douglass conclude that Lincoln ultimately deserves
the greatest praise from African Americans?
5. Why does Douglass believe that Lincoln's prejudices were ultimately
a good thing?
6. What is the significance of Lincoln's death, according to Douglass?
1. Douglass's speech is directed to both a white and a black audience.
What lessons does he wish to teach to each?
2. Must people have the same principles and interests
in order to form a political union? Is the purpose of politics to
recognize or overcome differences?
3. What does Douglass's oration tell us about the
character of political leadership? Are there limits to what a political
leader can accomplish? What are the qualities most necessary for
a leader? In what ways do both Douglass and Lincoln exhibit those