Lincoln had ’secret talks’ with Britain to set up colony for freed slaves

March 6th, 2011 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 6 (ANI): Abraham Lincoln made contact secretly with the British to help found a colony in the then British Honduras, now Belize, for freed slaves, reveals a new book.

A new book by researchers at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, have tried to establish that Lincoln was more committed to colonising black people than previously thought.

The book, ‘Colonization After Emancipation,’ is based in part on newly uncovered documents that authors Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page found at the British National Archives in Kew and in the US National Archives, reports the Independent.

It claims, among other things, that in 1862 Lincoln urged a White House audience of “free blacks” to leave the US and settle in Central America.

He told them: “For the sake of your race, you should sacrifice something of your present comfort for the purpose of being as grand in that respect as the white people.”

The new book has suggested that Lincoln continued to support colonisation, engaging in secret diplomacy with the British to establish a colony in British Honduras.

Among the records found at Kew is an 1863 order from Lincoln granting a British agent permission to recruit volunteers for a colony.

“He didn’t let colonisation die off. He became very active in promoting it in the private sphere, through diplomatic channels. He surmises that Lincoln grew weary of the idea which had become enmeshed in scandal and were criticised by many abolitionists,” said Magness.

Magness found a notation from as late as 1864 that Lincoln asked the attorney general whether he could continue to receive counsel from James Mitchell, his colonisation commissioner, even after Congress had withdrawn funding for the office. (ANI)

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