In early 1865 Delany was granted an audience with Lincoln. He proposed a corps of black men led by black officers who could serve to win over Southern blacks. Although a similar appeal by Frederick Douglass had already been rejected, Lincoln was impressed by Delany and described him as “a most extraordinary and intelligent man.”
To say the least! Reading Martin Delany’s biography reminds me of a memorial plaque I saw in Paris, chronicling the life of a poor orphan boy who grew into one of the greatest generals of his time, with a truckload of other major accomplishments along the way. Most “Great Men” have a much shorter CV than Delany’s, yet his name has not been remembered as well as others from his day. It’s worth a read of this bio to make up for that.