A turquoise-tinged collage of pictures of 19th century African-Americans. In the foreground is a white silhouette of Abraham Lincoln, with the title "Written Then, Spoken Now" overlaid.
L-R: Chas R. Douglass, Courtesy of the Manuscripts Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Charlotte Scott, LC-DIG-ppmsca-10994. Abraham Lincoln, LC-DIG-ppmsca-19198. Richard H. Cain, LC-DIG-bellcm-00707. Sojourner Truth, LC-USZ62-16225. Nancy Bushrod.

Written Then, Spoken Now: African American Letters to Lincoln 

Friday, February 2, 2024

7 p.m.
Free. General Admission.

In celebration of his books To Address You As My Friend: African American Letters to Abraham Lincoln and A House Built By Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House, Ford’s Theatre is proud to present an unprecedented book talk with acclaimed Lincoln scholar Dr. Jonathan W. White, historian Dr. Edna Greene Medford and dramaturg Denise J. Hart on February 2, 2024. Blended with their conversation, we will feature letters and excerpts of the books read aloud by actors, followed by a book signing. Experience the convergence of history and theatre, as we bring to life previously unheard African American voices of those who wrote letters to Lincoln and who visited him at the White House. 

“The edited collection of letters to President Lincoln, many of them never published until now, illuminates the fears and desires of Civil War-era African Americans as they dealt with the problems of the day and the uncertain future that awaited them.”

Dr. Edna Greene Medford


Dr. Edna Greene Medford


Dr. Jonathan W. White


Denise J. Hart



John Floyd

Kaiyla Gross

Headshot for Nia Savoy-Dock.

Nia Savoy-Dock

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-252940-OMS-23].