- Hardcover: 178 pages
- Publisher: University of Missouri (February 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826219098
- ISBN-13: 978-0826219091
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,938,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement Hardcover – February 14, 2011
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"[An] intriguing and important new book...To their great credit, Magness and Page do not push their evidence too hard. This is a measured and subtly argued book" - Times Literary Supplement
"For those interested in Lincoln's racial policies and the details of his administration's handling and mishandling of possible colonization projects, this book is required reading." - Civil War News
"The authors are to be saluted for their enterprising and original research. They have made an important contribution to the literature." - Harold Holzer, Co-Chairman, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
"Colonization after Emancipation boasts something highly unusual in the crowded world of Lincoln studies: an untapped trove of documentary evidence with which to assess Lincoln's views on slavery, race, and emancipation" - K. Stephen Prince, Civil War History
From the Back Cover
"A first-rate, well-researched book. The authors have a very firm command of the literature and the complex primary sources surrounding this topic, and I was impressed with their ability to trace the sometimes labyrinthine course of colonization policy" - Brian Dirck, author of Lincoln the Lawyer
"There is no doubt this book is going to attract a great deal of attention. Its strength lies in its nuanced analysis and the balanced conclusion it draws." - Richard J.M. Blackett, author of Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War
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It is a well documented fact that Lincoln pursued colonization in his first two years. $600,000 had been set aside to fund such projects, Lincoln made speeches about it, he encouraged prominent black men to get on board with colonization and even convinced some to go to Île à Vache (which ended up in disaster). But after Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation, all colonization speech abruptly ended.
To explain this, historians have agreed on two arguments concerning Lincoln's views on race and colonization. The "lullaby thesis" and the "change of heart thesis." The lullaby thesis primarily argues that Lincoln was a supporter of colonization only as a means to trick slave states into adopting emancipation and then never seriously go through with colonization, so in other words to "lull" them. This of course ignores the fact that Lincoln was an active advocate of the America Colonization Society for most of his adult life, but some very distinguished historians subscribe to this.
The other explanation is that Lincoln had a sudden change of heart. The Île à Vache colony failed, the Republican party was mostly against colonization, Lincoln had trouble convincing free blacks to resettle and he saw that blacks could make good soldiers.
Therefor this book essentially argues against those two points. I don't want to write about every fact of the book, but in light of the new discoveries that Magness and Page made, it is much more plausible that Lincoln was still struggling with his beliefs on race and the future of blacks. Since the war was fought to reunite the country and not over black civil rights, Lincoln wrestled with how to repair the nation after the war. And if colonization could help that goal, he was a supporter of it. The book is in no way a screed or a condemnation about Lincoln, but it is a more accurate reflection on how he intellectualized race, one that is not as pretty or progressive as the Lincoln we learn about in school.