Restricted Lincoln and Colonization

NH Civil War Gal

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Two-thirds of the Republicans in Congress became sufficiently convinced of the need to conciliate this sentiment (colonization) that they voted for amendments to the District of Columbia emancipation bill and the confiscation act appropriating 600K for colonization. As a practical matter, said one Repbulican, colonization is "a **** humbug. But it will take with the people."

The government managed to recruit several hundred prospective black emigrants. But colonization turned out to be a **** humbug in practice. The Central American project collapsed in the face of opposition from Honduras and Nicaragua. In 1863 the US Government sponsored the settlement of 453 colonists on an island near Haiti, but this foundered when starvation and smallpox decimated the colony. The government sent a naval vessel to return 368 survivors back to the US in 1864. This ended official efforts to colonize blacks.

I think Salmon P. Chase wrote well when he said, "How much better would be a manly protest against prejudice against color!--and a wise effort to give free(d) men homes in America.
 

Hunter

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My research indicates that the Lincoln administration was quietly searching for a colonization mechanism in late 1864 and into 1865, and according to contemporary newspaper reports, its focus was on the isthmus of Panama. The plan was to first send a very large contingent of USCTs there to form a workforce to build what eventually became the Panama Canal. Next, the families of those soldiers would be offered the opportunity move there at government expense and reside with the troops. The assumption was that this would attract other freed slaves to go there because, unlike in the U.S., their rights would be protected. Lincoln's choice to lead the canal construction and solicitation efforts: Benjamin Butler, with whom Lincoln met at the White House just a few days before he was assassinated.
 

OpnCoronet

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When it come to race relations I am lights years ahead of any 19th century American and many of today's Americans too...


So you are holding Lincoln to your 21st Century definition of Racism and find him wanting?
 

ErnieMac

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Considering black / white relationships in the North and the South during the 150+ years since the War ended, how critical should we be of Lincoln for asking the question "Would black ex-slaves be better off being relocated outside the US?" To Lincoln's credit, after thinking about the issue and discussing it with prominent black leaders, he abandoned the plan.
 

WJC

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Colonization seems like a really stupid idea to us today. It appeared so to some then but to most, it offered a practical solution with historical precedent.
Religion played a far greater role in the lives of Americans in the antebellum period. Every child learned about the generations of the Children of Israel in bondage in Egypt and the Babylonian Captivity. The justice of letting slaves return home was drummed into their heads.
So when considering what was best for the Black African slaves held in the United States, it seemed natural that they should be allowed to return to their homeland when freed.
However, in the generations that had passed since most of their ancestors were brought here, all connection with Africa was lost. So many thought the next best solution would be someplace else where Blacks could establish and govern themselves. Even that proved impractical.
In the end, it seems most Blacks wanted just to be a part of the far more familiar United States, enjoying the same rights and privileges of their fellow citizens. Sadly, this was denied them for another 100 years.
 

leftyhunter

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Colonization seems like a really stupid idea to us today. It appeared so to some then but to most, it offered a practical solution with historical precedent.
Religion played a far greater role in the lives of Americans in the antebellum period. Every child learned about the generations of the Children of Israel in bondage in Egypt and the Babylonian Captivity. The justice of letting slaves return home was drummed into their heads.
So when considering what was best for the Black African slaves held in the United States, it seemed natural that they should be allowed to return to their homeland when freed.
However, in the generations that had passed since most of their ancestors were brought here, all connection with Africa was lost. So many thought the next best solution would be someplace else where Blacks could establish and govern themselves. Even that proved impractical.
In the end, it seems most Blacks wanted just to be a part of the far more familiar United States, enjoying the same rights and privileges of their fellow citizens. Sadly, this was denied them for another 100 years.
Post Civil War some tens of thousands black American's did voluntarily emigrate from the United States. Twenty years after the Civil War a French journalist proposed a similar idea called Zionism for colonizing a province if the Ottoman Empire.
So no Colonization was not a crazy idea.
Leftyhunter
 
Where did the Blacks go post Civil War?

The American Colonization Society all but died during the Civil War but it became active during Reconstruction with a Black minister taking over the leadership of it. During Reconstruction a few thousand Blacks emigrated to Liberia, which had been purchased originally sometime during the 1820's by the Society through U.S. government loans.
 

5fish

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It is historical facts written by Lincoln.
Once again context is everything
hat about Lincoln's actions?
There's a "cult of Lincoln"?
Seems many around here fall into that category.
a lot of Americans died

Yes, I found why we never learned about Lincoln's desire to pursue Colonization even after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed...

James Mitchell the point man on Lincoln's Colonization efforts had all the papers covering his efforts and they mysteriously vanish...
Now, we know why those men had to go and search foreign nations papers to find the truth...

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2...-the-emigration-office?rgn=main;view=fulltext

Here:

The evidence for this explanation is actually strong, albeit little explored. Newspapers across the country ran Mitchell’s obituary when he died in 1903 at the age of eighty-five.[15] His postwar ministry carried him to rural Mt. Zion, Georgia, where he established a small theological seminary and spent his last days as its headmaster. But as far as the press was concerned, his passing signified the dwindling number of living people who worked in the Lincoln White House. How little they knew that Mitchell’s death also portended the impending loss of another tie to Lincoln. Mitchell still had the colonization papers he retrieved in 1864, as well as a trunk containing the majority of papers from the Emigration Office, all carefully preserved for some forty years to be handed over to historians, as his will stipulated: “I wish my African and Colonization books and State papers to pass into the hands of Robert, as a trusted individual, in hopes that Sooner or later a personal memoir will be compiled there from, illustrative of God’s wonderful Providence and mercy to this nation in the troubles of the past, when the negro question dominated all others.”[16] Sadly his nephew Robert—or James Robert Mitchell—never acted upon the request, and the papers disappeared shortly thereafter.[17]

Here: original cover up:

Few historians have even considered an alternative theory to the conventional wisdom of Lincoln’s declining interest in colonization, though Mitchell’s receipt from the Executive Office directly suggests one: Lincoln’s colonization records became so sporadic after January 1863 at least in part because they were removed from government files and remain missing to this day.

Here: There is a trunk full of papers embarrassing to Lincoln out there... Lee has this problem too except his has been found...

The existence of a large, untapped box of Lincolniana is the stuff of every Civil War historian’s imagination, though barring an unexpected rediscovery in a long-forgotten hiding place the Mitchell trunk will almost certainly prove elusive to modern researchers. However, it need not be cloaked in complete obscurity, as he left behind multiple clues about the trunk’s content during his lifetime.
The bulk of the collection likely consisted of papers of the Emigration Office dating from early 1863 to its discontinuation on July 2, 1864, including almost all documents pertaining to the British Honduras project.[18] Most were routine correspondence between Mitchell and John Hodge, colonial agent for the crown-sanctioned British Honduras Company, which was set to transport, house, and employ the freedmen emigrants that its agents and Mitchell’s office intended to recruit. He also likely possessed a report on the colony from J. Willis Menard, an African American clerk in the Emigration Office who traveled to British Honduras with Hodge in August 1863 to inspect the proposed site for the government.[19] Owing to the loss of Mitchell’s files, Menard’s investigation is only known today from the U.S. Consulate records in Belize City indicating the party’s arrival and a short essay about the visit written by one of the other investigators Menard brought with him.
[20]

Here: James Mitchell offered it to Grant... He turned them down...

The lost Mitchell papers were voluminous, or more so than the scanty and disorganized assemblage of Emigration Office files that eventually made its way into the National Archives.[29] Mitchell described them in an 1871 letter to President Ulysses S. Grant. “Be so kind as to give me a hearing whilst I state that I find a number of papers in my private files which belonged to the Office of Emigration whilst I acted as Commissioner therein,” apparently seeking assistance in returning them to the government. The contents, which he cased up and carted away in late 1864, were sufficiently numerous and interspersed with his personal papers as to require outside assistance in sorting and copying. Grant evidently declined to offer help.[30]

The link it is a much longer story than the parts I posted here: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2...-the-emigration-office?rgn=main;view=fulltext

So we see the truth comes out in a book and now we learn James Mitchell had the papers not lost to sporadic use... I smell a cover-up that was exposed and now its time for damage control... Read it ... and some of those Confederate Gold hunters go look for James Mitchell trunk...
 
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