If You Please, President Lincoln Summary
by Harriette Gillem Robinet

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If You Please, President Lincoln Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Published by Atheneum in 1995, this historical fiction novel occurs in the mid- 1800s when Abraham Lincoln and America began implementing the Emancipation Proclamation which gave slaves in states that seceded from the Union their freedom upon victory by Northern forces. However, in states that remained within the Union, slavery was still permitted.

Robinet portrays Moses as a fourteen-year-old slave who lives in Maryland on the eastern shore of the Potomac River. Living in a state exempt from the early promises of the Emancipation Proclamation, Moses must run away from his master to find freedom. He must get to Washington, D.C., which outlawed slavery in 1862, to have a chance at freedom. Early in Moses' journey, he meets and befriends the blind adult Goshen. Together, they find themselves on a clipper ship leaving Annapolis, Maryland. They unwillingly become part of a colony on Isle a Vache. Moses becomes a leader and, with Goshen, helps the group survive. Through his bravery and persistence, Moses effects the rescue and return of the colony to the United States.