A Southern Emancipation Plan
The New England colonies grew wealthy from trafficking in slaves despite outcries from Virginia and North Carolina; and after the Revolution, Northern inventor Eli Whitney’s cotton gin encouraged cotton expansion to new States to feed the New England textile mills. The new plantations needed labor, and the New England slavers were happy to oblige with new shiploads of enslaved Africans. Below, American statesman like Jefferson (and Monroe and Madison, all Southerners) were trying to combat the avarice of the Yankee slave traders and industrialists, and proposed practical methods to emancipate and repatriate the black man to his home.
Bernhard Thuersam, Executive Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Post Office Box 328
Wilmington, NC 28402
A Southern Emancipation Plan:
"In the disposition of these unfortunate people, there are two rational objects to be distinctly kept in view. First, the establishment of a colony on the coast of America, which may introduce among the aborigines the arts of cultivated life and the blessings of civilization and science. By doing this, we may make to them some retribution for the long course of injuries we have been committing on their population….and shall in the long run have rendered them perhaps more good than evil. To fulfill this object, the colony of Sierra Leone promises well, and that of Mesurado adds to our prospect of success. Under this view the Colonization Society is to be considered as a missionary society, having in view, however, objects more humane, more justifiable, and less aggressive on the peace of other nations than the others of that appellation. The second object, and the most interesting to us, as coming home to our physical and moral characters, to our happiness and safety, is to provide an asylum to which we can, by degrees, send the whole of that population from among us, and establish them under our patronage and protection, as a separate , free and independent people, in some country and climate friendly to human life and happiness."
(Jefferson to Jared Sparks, 1824, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, Funk & Wagnall’s, 1900, page 154)