Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on Negro Progress.

December 26, 1935

My dear Mr. Allen:

Few events in our history are of greater significance than the freeing of the slaves. As we go back to the date when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by the great Lincoln and come through the years, decade by decade, we are profoundly impressed by the steady progress which the Negro race has made since January l, 1863.

It is truly remarkable, the things which the Negro people have accomplished within living memory—their progress in agriculture and industry, their achievements in the field of education, their contributions to the arts and sciences and, in general, to good citizenship.

It is my hope and belief that the Negro, inspired by the achievements of the race to date, will go forward to even greater things in the years to come. All of us should keep in mind the words of the immortal Lincoln—"In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve."

Very sincerely yours,

Cleveland G. Allen, Esq.,

New York, N. Y.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Negro Progress. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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