EVENT NO. 1 -
The Civil War Round Table of the District of Columbia
The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia
jointly and proudly sponsor
who will speak on "They Knew Lincoln: The Research of John E. Washington"
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
at Patton Hall Officers's; Club, Fort Myer, VA
(see directions here) or (download them in pdf here)
6 pm: Social Hour (cash bar)
7 pm: Dinner ($36 for dinner and lecture)
8 pm: Lecture ($5 for lecture only)
(please arrive at 7:30pm for the lecture)
Members and guests of either the CWRTDC or the
Lincoln Group should make reservations on this website.
RESERVATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5pm ET, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4,
TO MEET CLUB DEADLINES
Space may be limited, so make your reservations early.
SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS AT
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND REMIT PAYMENT
If you have any problems making reservations online or would like to know about alternatives to
making reservations or payments online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE TOPIC:
Originally published in 1942 and now reprinted for the first time, They Knew Lincoln is a classic
in African American history and Lincoln studies. Part memoir and part history, the book is an
account of John E. Washington's childhood among African Americans in Washington, DC, and of the black people who knew or encountered Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
Washington recounted stories told by his grandmother's elderly friends--stories of escaping from slavery, meeting Lincoln in the Capitol, learning of the president's assassination, and hearing ghosts at Ford's Theatre. He also mined the US government archives and researched little-known figures in Lincoln's life, including William Johnson, who accompanied Lincoln from Springfield to Washington, and William Slade, the steward in Lincoln's White House. Washington was fascinated from childhood by the question of how much African Americans themselves had shaped Lincoln's views on slavery and race, and he believed Lincoln's Haitian-born barber,
William de Fleurville, was a crucial influence. Washington also extensively researched Elizabeth Keckly, the dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln, and advanced a new theory of who helped her write her controversial book, Behind the Scenes,
A new introduction by Kate Masur places Washington's book in its own context, explaining the contents of They Knew Lincoln in light of not only the era of emancipation and the Civil War, but also Washington's own times, when the nation's capital was a place of great opportunity and
creativity for members of the African American elite. On publication, a reviewer noted that the "collection of Negro stories, memories, legends about Lincoln" seemed "to fill such an obvious gap in the material about Lincoln that one wonders why no one ever did it before". This edition
brings it back to print for a twenty-first century readership that remains fascinated with Abraham
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
John E. Washington (1880-1964) was a public school teacher, dentist, amateur historian, and
collector of Lincolniana who lived in Washington, DC and Highland Beach, Maryland.
Kate Masur teaches in the Department of History at Northwestern University. She is the author
of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington,
D.C. and the co-editor of The World the Civil War Made.