Abstract

Just after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect (1 Jan 1863) Abraham Lincoln signed a contract with two New York capitalists to transport 500 newly-freed ex-slaves to Ile-a-Vache, Haiti, where they would, under company supervision, found and maintain a colony. From the start, little went right. Failure was due largely to mismanagement and chicanery on the part of the company. The emigrants lived (and died) miserably on Ile-a-Vache for nearly a year, until they were returned to the U. S. on a government transport ship in March, 1864. The debacle seems to have cured Lincoln of his fascination with colonization.

Disciplines

History | Literature in English, North America | United States History

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