In January 1909 an interracial group gathered in William English Walling’s New York apartment to discuss proposals for an organization that would advocate the civil and political rights of African Americans. Walling, Mary White Ovington, and Henry Moskowitz were the nucleus of the group. To garner support, the group decided to issue a call for a national conference on the centenary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, February 12, 1909. Written by Oswald Garrison Villard, “the Call” supposed Abraham Lincoln revisiting the country in 1909 to assess the progress of race relations since the Emancipation Proclamation. It ended with an appeal to “all believers in democracy to join in a national conference for the discussion of present evils, the voicing of protests, and the renewal of the struggle for civil and political liberty.” “The Call” was sent to prominent white and black Americans for endorsement. Among the sixty signers of the call were Jane Addams, John Dewey, W.E.B. Dubois, Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Francis J. Grimke, and Ray Stannard Baker.