One of the great things about the legacies history leaves us is that they allow us to “recreate” events that never happened—not purely for entertainment’s sake, but to attempt to produce a deeper understanding of the things that did happen. A prime example is an event scheduled for February 13 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City: “The Unknown ‘Lincoln-Douglass’ Debate.”
The double “s” on Douglass is not a typo. This presentation isn’t about the Railsplitter Abraham Lincoln and the Little Giant Stephen Douglas (one s) trading jabs in their famed series of public debates. This show presents a debate that never happened, one between The Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln and Old Man Eloquent, The Lion of Anacostia, the former slave Frederick Douglass. The two men knew each other, met on at least three occasions but never engaged in a public debate. Through the words of the correspondence and commentary they left behind, that “debate” can now take place.
Narrated by esteemed Lincoln historian Harold Holzer and starring two Tony-Award nominated actors, Norm Lewis (Porgy & Bess, ABC’s Scandal) and Stephen Lang (The Speed of Darkness, Avatar), “The Unknown ‘Lincoln-Douglass’ Debate” promises to be a memorable and educational experience. For more information, visit MetMuseum.Org.