Mr. Lincoln and Emancipation–Deportation
by Al Benson Jr.
As I have noted in past articles, Abraham Lincoln continues to be portrayed by the media and accompanying Lincoln cultists as the great benefactor of the black people in this country. The fact that he was a racialist is usually shunted aside, but if it does chance to come up, Lincoln's choir will loudly chant the old familiar tune "Once a racist but now a black lover" and they will go on in great detail to explain how his views on race, as openly portrayed in The Lincoln Douglas Debates had "mellowed" or "matured" since the Debate days. After all, didn't he issue the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves? Well, no, actually he didn't.
His proclamation, in reality, freed no slaves because it only applied to the Confederate States, which was a separate country at the time. Lincoln had no authority to free the slaves in another country. However, he might have had the authority to free the slaves in Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, and Delaware–all slave states which remained firmly in the Union–through one device or another, but his famous Proclamation did not apply to them. Nor did it apply to parts of the Confederate States that had been occupied by the Union.
In other words, Lincoln freed slaves where he had no authority to do so and he left in bondage those he might have had the authority to loose. You have to conclude that the Emancipation Proclamation was more about wartime propaganda than it was about freeing slaves.
Early on in his presidential tenure Lincoln had been in favor of freeing the slaves and then deporting them to some other country, preferably further South. However, Lincoln's hagiographers have assured us he grew out of that latent childhood notion and his views about blacks then morphed into a full-blown appreciation of their dignity and worth. And I'll bet, as they continue to write books about this, they laugh all the way to the bank.
But did it really happen in the Pollyanna way they tell it? Not quite. There was an article in the London Telegraph back on February 11, 2011, written by Jon Swaine that talks about a new (at that time) book,written by two men, Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page and called Colonisation After Emancipation. Turns out they found documents in the National Archives in both England and this country that would "significantly alter his legacy."
According to Mr. Swaine: They found an order from Lincoln in June 1863 authorising a British colonial agent, John Hodge, to recruit freed slaves to be sent to colonies in what are now the countries of Guyana and Belize. Hodge reported back to a British minister that Lincoln said it was his 'honest desire' that this immigration went ahead," said Mr. Page, who is a historian at Oxford University. And Mr. Swaine continued: "The plan came despite an earlier test shipment of about 450 freed slaves to Haiti resulting in disaster. The former slaves were struck by smallpox and starvation, and survivors had to be rescued. Mr. Lincoln also considered sending freed slaves to what is now Panama, to construct a canal–decades before work began on the modern canal in 1904. The colonisation plan collapsed by 1864. The British were fearful the confederate states of the American south may win the civil war, reverse emancipation, and regard British agents as thieves. Congress also voted to remove funding."
Yet, even as late as the Fall of that year the Attorney General sent Lincoln a letter which showed he was still actively exploring whether the plan could be carried through or not. The letter said: "…further to your question, yes, I think you can still pursue this policy of colonisation even though the money has been taken away." Dr. Magness said he thought the book would change people's opinion and view of Lincoln. Sorry to say, it does not seem to have made all that much of a dent in his halo.
Lincoln is still revered as the "great unifier" by many politicians, including our current president. Of course Lincoln was influenced by the Marxists in his own government and armies (see Lincoln's Marxists Pelican Publishing Co.) and our current president is a Marxist, so you can see why he harks back to Lincoln.
Despite the many books that have recently been written by authors that have really done the homework on Mr. Lincoln, his "Amen Corner" refuses to be confused with the facts.