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Abraham Lincoln, the Black Man’s President

Before the Civil War, African Americans were almost entirely excluded from the White House, other than as servants or slaves. Yet, the racial color line was broken down during the war as African Americans claimed the First Amendment right to petition the government. For the first time in the history of the United States, they saw the president as their president and the White House as their people’s house. Between 1862 and 1865, Lincoln welcomed hundreds of African American men and women into his White House office and at public receptions.

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