Skip to comments.Book: Lincoln sought to deport freed slaves
Posted on 02/10/2011 7:41:41 AM PST by Altura Ct.
The Great Emancipator was almost the Great Colonizer: Newly released documents show that to a greater degree than historians had previously known, President Lincoln laid the groundwork to ship freed slaves overseas to help prevent racial strife in the U.S.
Just after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Lincoln authorized plans to pursue a freedmens settlement in present-day Belize and another in Guyana, both colonial possessions of Great Britain at the time, said Phillip W. Magness, one of the researchers who uncovered the new documents.
Historians have debated how seriously Lincoln took colonization efforts, but Mr. Magness said the story he uncovered, to be published next week in a book, Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement, shows the president didnt just flirt with the idea, as historians had previously known, but that he personally pursued it for some time.
The way that Lincoln historians have grappled with colonization has always been troublesome. It doesnt mesh with the whole emancipator, Mr. Magness said. The revelation of this story changes the picture on that because a lot of historians have tended to downplay colonization. What we know now is he did continue the effort for at least a year after the proclamation was signed.
Mr. Magness said the key documents he and his co-author, Sebastian N. Page, a junior research fellow at Oxford, found were in British archives, and included an order authorizing a British colonial agent to begin recruiting freed slaves to be sent to the Caribbean in June 1863.
By early 1864, the scheme had fallen apart, with British officials fretting over the legality of the Emancipation Proclamation and the risk that the South could still win the war, and with the U.S. Congress questioning how the money was being spent.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I wonder if Kunta Kinte would have wanted to return to Africa?
Oh boy, a thread for the FR Lincoln haters.
Isn’t that how Liberia got started? I believe it was after Lincoln’s time though.
I could be wrong, it’s happened before.
They would have wound up as slaves back in Africa anyway.
Hopefully in before the Lincoln haters
What historians fail to mention is that most freed slaved stayed in their homes and continued to work for tha plantation owner as hired employees.
All the emancipation proclamation really did was change the relationship from owner/slave (THE NORM AT THE TIME) to Employee/worker for most of them.
100 years later,many blacks went right back to the plantation known as the modern day Democrat Party and don’t even know it.
Once this modern day plantation is eliminated, there will be many blacks and whites who will have to be taught all over again on how to be self reliant.
This is really no big revelation.
Liberia happened in 1821, it’s capital is “Monrovia”, named for President James Monroe who helped establish a new homeland in Africa for freed slaves.
The idea of re-colonization of freed slaves was not a revolutionary idea at the time of the Civil War, obviously, since it had already successfully happened a generation before.
That is absolutely not true.
In fact, in both Liberia and Sierra Leone, the freed "colonizers" immediately clashed with the natives because they thought, particularly in Liberia, that the natives were to become THEIR slaves. Still tension between the descendants of the freedmen and the descendants of the original inhabitants!
In neither case were the freedmen "dumped on the beach." Rather both of these places ... Liberia and Sierra Leone ... were well subsidized. ... and the "colonists" for the most part, were fairly well equipped and financed to begin their new lives.
Most of his fellow slaves and their descendents certainly wouldn’t want to, which is a significant reason why Lincoln’s scheme failed. It would also be too expensive as well, of course.
Liberia was founded by the British after the war of independence. Its first colonists were loyalist blacks who found that the liberty bell wasn’t sounding for them.
They’ll never top “Lincoln the Vampire Slayer” LOL
What doomed "Colonization," was the opposition of many Abolitionists and Negro leaders. Lincoln thought it was a great idea and thought that the leaders of the freed slaves would jump on it.
Instead they jumped on him. Astute politico that he was, he went on to the next problem. It is an interesting speculation as to whether or not he would have revived the idea after the Civil War was truly won.
In a way the opposition is logically explained. For example, those who benefit from the cheaper labor of illegal aliens don't want to see them deported. On a practical level, except for the brief period of Republican Reconstruction, freed slaves soon became easily exploited and very cheaply paid employees under the Democrat Party's segregation policies and laws.
Does no African Studies guru ever ask why African-Americans used to be solidly Republican?
Old stuff indeed.
I’ve read that Lincoln got the idea from Thomas Jefferson but, unlike Jefferson who contemplated forcible deportation, Lincoln favored voluntary colonization as one option to be explored.
This is just another feeble attempt at soft demonization.
Depends. The standard claim of Lincoln worshippers is that he dropped the idea by the end of his life and was “moving toward” pushing for equality for blacks in the U.S. If this shows, however, that he kept pushing the idea until the end it could be a big deal.
FYI: Kunta Kinte is in an Alabama jail
Truly moronic headline. Lincoln never considered deportation, which implies force. He promoted the idea of voluntary colonization, which seems perfectly reasonable and defensible to me.
When it became obvious there was little support among American blacks for the idea, and few “returnees” would be forthcoming, the project was quietly dropped.
It would have foundered anyway on the cost issue. Transporting, settling and subsidizing millions or even hundreds of thousands of people would have been prohibitively expensive at the time, and really even now. Jefferson and the others who supported the idea apparently couldn’t do basic math.
Historians rewriting history again.
The Civil War highlighted the weakness of the Articles of Confederation, and the strengths of Federalism when it came to fighting a war.
Many conservatives accurately trace the beginnings of the rampant Federalism we now suffer under to this period under Lincoln. Of course, Lincoln was a great President. Because of the "disease" of slavery, we had to take some strong medicine. The medicine cured us of the disease, but the side effects are still a problem to the system.
Do you have a reference for these “Lincoln worshippers” and this “standard claim”? Do they hold regular services?
Yes, you are correct.
“As president, Monroe supported the work of the American Colonization Society to create a home for freed African slaves in Liberia. ...”
Yah... On it’s face the idea seems completely reasonable. A whole population was forcibly moved from Africa to America... and once the institution that brought them here (slave labor) was gone, it seems kinda obvious that moving them back might be a good idea.
It turned out to be wildly impractical. Not to mention that by then many, if not most, of the slaves were born here and had no real connection to Africa and nothing in common with Africans. They’d be as far out of place there as anywhere.
32 years with that stupid name and I’d be violent too! LOL
This is the best that I've heard this expressed. While I've known this for a number of years, I never learned it in school, and expect that very few Americans do.
The muslims could have sold them again.
Actually Liberia was started BEFORE Lincoln was elected. There is a reason the capital is named “Monrovia;” Monroe was president at the time...
Lincoln sought repatriation.
Who would be against that?
But their title will sell better.
As it turns out, Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had to pay an IMMENSE fortune to Frank Yerby, the author of "Mandingo." It seems that Haley swiped lengthy passages and plots from Yerby's book .... verbatim. Good typist, though.
The cost of plagiarism was well worth it, as "Roots," became a billion-dollar industry, and Frank Yerby's only place in literary history is on the dusty bookshelves of thrift shops.
Just BTW, the other great plagiarist of the age is Andrew Lloyd Weber, whose haunting melodies always seem familiar to fans of their original composers. He's paid through the nose as well. Part of the deal is silence, no info afterward.
Haley I can forgive (a little because he is retired USCG)...but this Weber ... he stole from Rudolph Friml ... from Humperdinck ... from von Suppé ... half the obscure composers in Naples ... and 3/4 of the Austrians in Vienna. Wadda guy. Massive fraud! Massive billionaire!
Actually it was a book called "The African," by Harold Courlander that Haley was found to have ripped off. Haley settled for $650,000.
And Frank Yerby didn't write "Mandingo." Kyle Onstott did.
By 1865 it is probable that something way over 75% of the slaves were born in America, probably well over 95%. Importation had been illegal for almost 60 years at that point.
Slaves were smuggled in right up to the start of the war, of course, but not in large quantities. Southern juries were loath to convict, if the feds even brought charges.
BTW, during Lincoln’s administration they finally hanged a slave importer as a pirate, the legal definition of the crime.
Good for Abe.
This is a classic example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy.
Lincoln did what was necessary to win the war. After the war, with the exception of Reconstruction, the relationship between the states and the federal government returned to pretty much where it had been before.
It wasn't until the Progressives of the late 19th century and in particular TR got going that the federal government began its continuous march to power. This was 25 years or so after Lincoln. To blame everything bad that has happened in this country since 1865 on Lincoln requires us to assume the Progressives wouldn't have come along if Lincoln had acquiesced in southern secession. This assumption is based on absolutely nothing.
We must also assume that two nations, inherently hostile to each other, could have co-existed on this continent without necessarily increasing government power in each. Given the massive increase in government power, complete with huge standing armies, that took place under similar circumstances in Europe at the same time, this seems a remarkably inapt assumption.
Is it your view that Lincoln was supportive of deportation until the end of his life? If you do, we don’t disagree.
No. I’ve seen no evidence to support that contention.
Got it. Thanks. Now about Rudolh Friml....
Rightly, listen to this man. I apologize for cyber mis-information. Forgive me
"Moreover, by decoupling emancipation from colonization, Lincoln in effect launched the process known as Reconstruction--the remaking of Southern society, politics and race relations. Lincoln did not live to see it implemented and eventually abandoned. But in the last two years of the war he came to recognize that if emancipation settled one question, the fate of slavery, it opened another: what was to be the role of emancipated slaves in postwar American life? The "new birth of freedom" ushered in by the war was one in which blacks for the first time would share. During Reconstruction this would entail a redefinition of American nationality--the rewriting of the laws and Constitution to embrace the abolitionist vision of a society that had advanced beyond the tyranny of race."
"Amidst this prospect of evil, I am glad to see one good effect. It has brought the necessity of some plan of general emancipation & deportation more home to the minds of our people than it has ever been before. Insomuch, that our Governor has ventured to propose one to the legislature. This will probably not be acted on at this time. Nor would it be effectual; for while it proposes to devote to that object one third of the revenue of the State, it would not reach one tenth of the annual increase. My proposition would be that the holders should give up all born after a certain day, past, present, or to come, that these should be placed under the guardianship of the State, and sent at a proper age to S. Domingo. There they are willing to recieve them, & the shortness of the passage brings the deportation within the possible means of taxation aided by charitable contributions. In this I think Europe, which has forced this evil on us, and the Eastern states who have been it's chief instruments of importation, would be bound to give largely. But the proceeds of the land office, if appropriated, would be quite sufficient." -- Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, December 26, 1820
Everything I’ve read either says that he abandoned the concept of voluntary emigration when it failed to gain traction or said nothing specific at all (like your reference).
Please show me a copy of plans that were on his desk at the time of his assassination and I am open to changing my opinion.
Exactly. I don't know what they think they have discovered, but Lincoln's support for colonization for freed slaves is very well documented. Here's a very good review of his feeling and actions throughout his career regarding colonization and his belief that blacks and whites would find it difficult to live together as equals in this country.
150 years have passed, and we're still struggling with those questions.
As a practical matter, I would have to agree. However, this was well within memory of the living at the time, and the war-time expediencies of Lincoln were an apt model for Progressive co-optation of Federalist theory.
as for After the war, with the exception of Reconstruction, the relationship between the states and the federal government returned to pretty much where it had been before. ...IMHO, that is one massive exception that may well have set many patterns for rule from Washington.
TR didn't dream up abusive Federalism and its uses of power all by himself. Yes, a bit of post hoc propter hoc, sed hoc est punctum quod inter gentes ferro et ignis dividitur.
As I recall reading, the biggest issue was the money; who would pay to send the slaves back?
Thanks for the quote.
It was a thorny subject and I don’t mention Jefferson in order to vilify him for his attitude or attempt. An entire nation struggled with the dilemma (some more forthrightly than others).
If you look at the issue dispassionately, given the horrendous racism that blacks faced in the country, both north and south, then where is the sugggestion that they might be better off building a life for themselves free from that hatred all that evil? Jefferson no doubt knew that Southern society would not accept a large population of freed slaves in its midst. Lincoln knew that U.S. society was not willing to do the same. Both no doubt believed that they were helping blacks to a better life. Yet those who hate both men will no doubt use it against them.
Most of the black loyalists after the Revolution were taken to Nova Scotia and a few years later, about half of them went to Sierra Leone, a British colony.