Call for a Lincoln Conference on the Negro Question, February 13, 1909



Conference to Take Up Question Includes Many Influential Citizens.

In the call for a Lincoln conference on the Negro question recently issued by influential men and women of both races this question occurs:

"How far has the nation lived up to the obligation imposed upon it by the emancipation proclamation?" It deprecates "the spread of lawless attacks upon the Negro, north, south and west," and says, "Silence under these conditions makes tacit approval.

"If Mr. Lincoln could revisit this country in the flesh," continues the call, "he would be disheartened and discouraged. He would learn that on Jan. 1, 1909, Georgia had rounded out a new confederacy by disfranchising the Negro after the manner of all the other southern states.

"He would learn that the supreme court of the United States, supposedly a bulwark of American liberties, had refused every opportunity to press squarely upon this disfranchisement of millions by laws avowedly discriminatory and openly enforced in such manner that the white man may vote and the black man be without a vote in their government. He would discover, therefore, that taxation without representation is the lot of millions of wealth producing American citizens, in whose hands rest the economic progress and welfare of an entire section of the country."

Among the signers of the call are Miss Jane Addams, Chicago; Samuel Bowles, Springfield, Mass.; Mrs. Ida Wells Barnett, Chicago; William Lloyd Garrison, Boston; Professor W. E. B. [Du Bois], Atlanta; the Rev. Francis J. Grimke, Washington; Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, Chicago; Louis F. Post, Chicago; William M. Salter, Chicago; Mrs. Rodman [Wharton], Philadelphia; Miss Susan [Wharton], Philadelphia; Professor Charles Zueblin, Boston, and many prominent New Yorkers.