Colored People’s Educational Monument Association

Publication Year: 1865

National Lincoln Monument Association. Celebration by the Colored People's  Educational Monument Association in Memory of Abraham Lincoln: On the Fourth of  July, 1865, in the Presidential Grounds, Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.: McGill &  Witherow, Printers, 1865.
PHS Call number: PAM E 457.1 .N22 C4 1865 

Source thumbnail image: Portrait of William Howard Day, c. 1870 (Wikimedia Commons)
Source note

The National Lincoln Monument Association aimed to commemorate the  life of Abraham Lincoln through a permanent monument to the martyred president.  Gathered together by Henry Highland Garnet (1815-1882), a prominent African  American abolitionist and Presbyterian minister, the Association originally hoped to  open a Washington, D.C. school for freedmen and their children that would honor  Lincoln’s memory. The school never came to fruition, but the Association eventually  organized and had built a small monument to Lincoln in southeast Washington, D.C., in  Lincoln Park (the large monument with the seated statue and columned building in the Tidal Basin was built much later, finished in 1922). Included in the Celebration  documents is a speech by William Howard Day (1825-1900), an editor and educator  who became the first African American school board member and president in the  United States. The speech was abridged and edited by association members.  

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Reading questions

1.    Who is the author of this document? Who is the intended audience?

2.    Why was the Fourth of July, 1865 a “memorable day” (page 3)?

3.    What similarities are there between the letters sent to the association regarding  the July 4, 1865 celebration of Abraham Lincoln? What differences are there?

4.    What was “American despotism,” and what were the products of it (pages 14, 15)

5.    Day’s speech is not reprinted in full, but is abridged and edited by members of  the National Lincoln Monument Association. How reliable is this version of the speech? What may be gained or lost from the original speech?

6.    What language do the authors use to describe Abraham Lincoln? What does this  say about the Association’s attitudes toward the assassinated president?

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Source type
History Topics
Abolition and Anti-slavery
African American History
American Religious History
Civil War
Time Period
Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877)