The truth about Abe Lincoln

Gloating about the greatness of Whites:

The now-celebrated President Abraham 'Abe' Lincoln indicated the following to a panel of free Blacks during his Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Colored Negroeson August 14, 1862:

"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. It is a cheering thought throughout life that something can be done to ameliorate the condition of those who have been subject to the hard usage of the world. It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself, and claims kindred to the great God.
In the American Revolutionary war sacrifices were made by men engaged in it; but they were cheered by the future. General Washington himself endured greater physical hardships than if he had remained a British subject. Yet he was a happy man, because he was engaged in benefiting his race---something for the children of his neighbors, having none of his own."

Proposing shipping away Blacks:

In the Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Colored Negroes, Lincoln also indicated the following:

"The colony of Liberia has been in existence a long time. In a certain sense it is a success. The old President of Liberia, Roberts, has just been with me---the first time I ever saw him. He says they have within the bounds of that colony between 300,000 and 400,000 people, or more than in some of our old States, such as Rhode Island or Delaware, or in some of our newer States, and less than in some of our larger ones. They are not all American colonists, or their descendants. Something less than 12,000 have been sent thither from this country. Many of the original settlers have died, yet, like people elsewhere, their offspring outnumber those deceased.

The question is if the colored people are persuaded to go anywhere, why not there? One reason for an unwillingness to do so is that some of you would rather remain within reach of the country of your nativity. I do not know how much attachment you may have toward our race. It does not strike me that you have the greatest reason to love them. But still you are attached to them at all events.

The place I am thinking about having for a colony is in Central America. It is nearer to us than Liberia---not much more than one-fourth as far as Liberia, and within seven days' run by steamers. Unlike Liberia it is on a great line of travel---it is a highway. The country is a very excellent one for any people, and with great natural resources and advantages, and especially because of the similarity of climate with your native land---thus being suited to your physical condition.

The particular place I have in view is to be a great highway from the Atlantic or Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and this particular place has all the advantages for a colony. On both sides there are harbors among the finest in the world. Again, there is evidence of very rich coal mines. A certain amount of coal is valuable in any country, and there may be more than enough for the wants of the country. Why I attach so much importance to coal is, it will afford an opportunity to the inhabitants for immediate employment till they get ready to settle permanently in their homes.

If you take colonists where there is no good landing, there is a bad show; and so where there is nothing to cultivate, and of which to make a farm. But if something is started so that you can get your daily bread as soon as you reach there, it is a great advantage. Coal land is the best thing I know of with which to commence an enterprise.

To return, you have been talked to upon this subject, and told that a speculation is intended by gentlemen, who have an interest in the country, including the coal mines. We have been mistaken all our lives if we do not know whites as well as blacks look to their self-interest. Unless among those deficient of intellect everybody you trade with makes something. You meet with these things here as elsewhere.

If such persons have what will be an advantage to them, the question is whether it cannot be made of advantage to you. You are intelligent, and know that success does not as much depend on external help as on self-reliance. Much, therefore, depends upon yourselves. As to the coal mines, I think I see the means available for your self-reliance.

I shall, if I get a sufficient number of you engaged, have provisions made that you shall not be wronged. If you will engage in the enterprise I will spend some of the money intrusted to me. I am not sure you will succeed. The Government may lose the money, but we cannot succeed unless we try; but we think, with care, we can succeed.

The political affairs in Central America are not in quite as satisfactory condition as I wish. There are contending factions in that quarter; but it is true all the factions are agreed alike on the subject of colonization, and want it, and are more generous than we are here. To your colored race they have no objection. Besides, I would endeavor to have you made equals, and have the best assurance that you should be the equals of the best.

The practical thing I want to ascertain is whether I can get a number of able-bodied men, with their wives and children, who are willing to go, when I present evidence of encouragement and protection."

For years, the above was explained to be a part of Lincoln's initial, albeit since-evolved view of Black people - that is, it was assumed that Lincoln had changed his views by the time he freed the slaves during his Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862. Because of that, Lincoln became a widely-celebrated icon in the post-1968 reconstruction of American history. It allowed for a patriotism built around American heritage and "what we fought for" in the Civil War and Lincoln could be presented as one of the legends who reaffirmed what America is, was and should be about. This is precisely what the so-called Lincoln Project seeks to demonstrate.

There is one major problem for the Lincoln Project, however, and it begins with Lincoln's endorsement after freeing the slaves of a resettlement plan, in coordination with the government of the United Kingdom, to put the slaves he had just freed in Central America. Historians recently uncovered a trove of documents dealing with the topic in the National Archives in the United Kingdom. Several of the documents show coordination between the Lincoln White House and John Hodge, a British colonial agent, nearly a year after the Emancipation Proclamation.

As The Telegraph reports:
"Hodge reported back to a British minister that Lincoln said it was his ‘honest desire’ that this emigration went ahead,” said [Sebastian] Page, a historian at Oxford University. 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 there 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 as late as that autumn, a letter sent to the president by his attorney-general showed he was still actively exploring whether the policy could be implemented. “It says ‘further to your question, yes, I think you can still pursue this policy of colonisation even though the money has been taken away’,” [Page] said. Mr Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865.

The above findings were documented in Page's book Colonisation After Emancipation, which was co-written by Dr. Phillip Magness of American University. Magness believes the book will change the public's understanding of Lincoln.

The Telegraph:
Amid sharp political division, [Lincoln] is repeatedly championed by modern-day politicians, including Barack Obama, as a great unifier.

“Looking back from modern perspectives, we see colonisation as a very bigoted idea,” [said Magness]. “So it’s a tough issue to integrate in to Lincoln’s story."

"It’s a tough racial issue, and it raises a lot of emotional issues. It doesn’t mesh well with the emancipation legacy, and it doesn’t mesh well with Lincoln’s image as an iconic figure.”

Courtesy of Magness' website, here are a few of the documents related to Lincoln's discussions regarding Black resettlement:

British Honduras Colonization Project:
Gen. Benjamin F. Butler & the “Colonization Interview”:
Lincoln Mysteries:

Even before the discovery of such information, I was suspicious of Lincoln's intent with the 'Emancipation Proclamation'. In my mind, it could be no coincidence that the speech polarized millions of Blacks from the rebelling Southern states - which were already outnumbered man for man; it also created millions of potential enlistees to fight the rebelling Southern states and restore them to the Union. That take is closely aligned with Lincoln's own choice of words regarding his objectives in the war:

In the statues depicted above, which can be found in and around Washington D.C., notice the use of the fasces symbol (for example, chiseled into arms of the chair that Lincoln's hands rest on). The symbol is appropriate in view of Lincoln's remarks, as it stands for the consolidation of resources and material to serve the state. The symbol was used to represent the might of the Roman Empire and was picked up in the 1930s by Europe's fascist movement, which was named accordingly. The fascists believed that the resources of the state should be organized to best serve the people and the community as a whole without being directly seized by the state. Fascism was thus seen as a bulwark against the threat of international communist takeover and a force against the community-destroying effects of self-interested international finance and market capitalism.

In any case, the lack of a motivation to actually push Black people forward and integrate them in to American society coincides with Lincoln's earlier writings, which indicate :

Let that sink in:

So, basically, Lincoln checks all the boxes of a segregationist in his wish to keep whites and blacks separated from one another, and a white supremacist in the sense of his desire for the power structure of the country to remain white-dominated.

It is true that, if the Blacks had all been shipped to Central America and evolved to become more than just a colonial labor force, they might have gotten a good deal; for one, Lincoln was right about the resources available there. Take, for example, the situation in Panama. The state has an expansive copper-mining industry, sitting atop over three billion tons of copper. In addition, one mine is expected to yield 100,000 ounces of gold - not to mention 3,500 tons of molybdenum, a critical element in steel alloys and fertilizer. Due to its location on a hotbed of minerals, Panama actually has an energy production surplus of 22%.

Then again, it is not the population there that is cashing in on this; nearly 30 percent of the population lives in poverty - as defined by making less than $1.30 a day. The region also suffers from having poor agricultural land, which certainly would have been a major disadvantage for any former slaves who, at the least, would have come with agricultural skill having worked in America's cotton plantations. And it is highly likely that Lincoln did not really care what happened down there, as long as it worked to the interests of the state that Lincoln presided over. With regards to resettlement, that probably meant delivering the profits of whatever resources were available down there to American pockets or, alternatively, finding the cheapest labor source to construct a canal down there which would link the Atlantic and Pacific, with the surely-intended goal of giving the U.S. and indeed, the United Kingdom, free thoroughfare. Far from being a liberator, the person behind such a program is more appropriately named as a modernizer - one who transformed America from a planter-ruled aristocracy serving the planter-ruled agrarian economy to something that would take the labor force of that planter-ruled aristocracy and put it to work in a way that mirrored the United Kingdom's activity in South Africa (and Africa in general), extracting minerals (ex: for example, De Beers diamond mines). Note that that same United Kingdom had already abolished slavery. Should the work Lincoln envisioned in Central America include building a canal, a la the Panama Canal, it would be clear that the labor force had been at best repurposed to serve the budding global economy of international trade and market imperialism.