This Week in the Civil War - 495

Jan 30, 2013

On January 30, 1863, President Lincoln wrote  to his Secretary of Interior, including a $200 voucher to fund a visit to Liberia by a representative of the American Colonization Society. 

According to historian Phillip W. Magnus, the letter demonstrates that Lincoln was considering the resettlement of freed slaves to Africa, the Caribbean or Central America.  The President’s motives were complex. 

He may have sought to calm Northern fears that freed slaves would compete for jobs.  He may also have believed that African Americans would never enjoy equality in this country.  Whatever the case, a representative of an African American delegation had warned in the previous summer that: “This is our country as much as it is yours, and we will not leave it.”

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