...In less than half a minute I was invited into the East Room of the White House. A perfect sea of beauty and elegance, too, it was. The ladies were in very fine attire, and Mrs. Lincoln was standing there. I could not have been more than ten feet from him when Mr. Lincoln saw me; his countenance lightened up, and he said in a voice which was heard all round; "Here comes my friend Douglass." As I approached him he reached out his hand, gave me a cordial shake, and said: "Douglass, I saw you in the crowd today listening to my inaugural address. There is no man's opinion that I value more than yours; what do you think of it?'' I said: "Mr. Lincoln, I cannot stop here to talk with you, as there are thousands waiting to shake you by the hand"; he said again: '"What did you think of it?'"I said: "Mr. Lincoln, it was a sacred effort,'"and then I walked off. 'I am glad you liked it,' he said. That was the last time I saw him to speak with him.
- Frederick Douglass, quoted in Allen Thorndike Rice’s Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time
Douglass quotes here from the beginning of the last paragraph of what he deemed Lincoln's “sacred effort”, the Second Inaugural
With malice toward none and with charity toward all.
Even though Douglass had met with Lincoln at the White House during the War, he was denied entrance -- as an "inadmissible black man" - to the post-Inaugural Levee there; until, that is, Lincoln heard of it and ordered that he be allowed in. The President greeted him with "Here comes my friend Douglass" – and so, as Douglass later recalled,
“for the first time in my life, and I suppose the first time in any colored man's life, I attended the reception of President Lincoln on the evening of the inauguration.”
Autograph Quotation Signed, from the beginning of the last paragraph of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address; 1 page, sextodecimo, no place or date.