Author Phillip W. Magness has long harbored the view that Lincoln biographers had sanitized the history of “The Great Emancipator” to fit his modern popular image. Certainly, civil libertarians have long questioned Lincoln preeminence as a voice of freedom given his denial of habeas corpus and violations of constitutional rights and powers. Now, Magness is about to publish a book entitled “Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement,” revealing research showing that Lincoln actively explored and planned for the relocation of freed slaves to British colonies.
The book details how, soon after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Lincoln authorized plans to pursue a freedmen’s settlement in present-day Belize and another in Guyana. Magness and his co-author, Sebastian N. Page, found the documents in British archives, including an order authorizing a British colonial agent to begin recruiting freed slaves to be sent to the Caribbean in June 1863.
Lincoln died a year later.
Other historians have questioned these conclusions and noted that Lincoln was against any compulsory deportation.
Source: Washington Times