As a congressman, Abraham Lincoln followed the debates over the Black
Seminoles. Lincoln likely heard a great deal more about the maroons through his
relationship to Giddings. The men became lifelong friends when the one-term
Congressman and his wife
boarded with Giddings at Mrs. Ann Sprigg’s house in Washington (1847-49). They would write frequently over the coming
years, and in 1861, when “Father Giddings” had retired from Congress, Lincoln
secured him an ambassadorship to Canada. In 1848, Lincoln voted against
reparations for slaves lost during the Second Seminole War, affirming one of
Giddings’ pet causes.
Sources: Arnold, Isaac Newton. The Life of Abraham Lincoln: 80,
Abraham Lincoln to Joshua R. Giddings [Draft], May 21, 1860,
Note 2, The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of
Congress, Giddings Exiles 243-44.
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