The Hidden Tragedy of the Assassination of Lincoln

Two quotations set the stage:

Left out in Steven Spielberg’s cinematic work of hagiography, Lincoln, is the fact that, as scholar Phil Magness continues to show us, the sixteenth president was devoted until his dying day to a program of African colonization as a component of any scheme of black emancipation. In this, of course, Lincoln was hardly alone. Most of those nineteenth-century Americans–North and South–who condemned slavery believed in white superiority and the inability of the black race to co-exist with the white race in America. Lincoln believed this, as did Thomas Jefferson, as did many lesser known Americans…. [Stephen M. Klugewicz, “Emancipate But Colonize: Abe Lincoln, Matthew Carey, Robert Walsh, and the Antislavery Consensus”, The Imaginative Conservative, April 28, 2013]

In June of 1863 Abraham Lincoln entered into an agreement with the government of Great Britain to colonize recently freed African Americans in its West Indian colonies of Guiana and British Honduras (modern day Belize). [A document discovered in Belize] bears Lincoln’s endorsement of the project and was produced for Frederick Seymour, the colonial governor of British Honduras. It is one of four known first-generation copies. [From an entry at “Current Scholarship by Phillip W. Magness“; see also “New Revelations as the Emancipation Proclamation Turns 150“.]

Imagine life in America had Lincoln lived to finish his second term. A Republican Party less zealous to wreak vengeance on the South might have turned its attention to the colonization project, with these results:

  • Southern blacks would have been spared the cruelty, indignity, and privation that was their lot for a century after the end of the Civil War.
  • The black ghettos of the North — and all that goes with them — probably wouldn’t have been formed.
  • There would be far less crime; far less money spent on police, prosecutors, and courts; and far less money spent on prisons.
  • There would be far fewer illegitimate children and welfare mothers dependent on the dole.
  • Whites and Asians wouldn’t be punished for their non-existent sins by being deprived of jobs, promotions, and college admissions in favor of less-qualified blacks.
  • Honest, hard-working taxpayers wouldn’t be burdened with nearly as much “affordable” housing.
  • The kinds of low-down-payment, low-initial-interest loans that triggered the Great Recession probably wouldn’t have been pushed by members of Congress and federal agencies.
  • There wouldn’t be a powerful voting bloc that supports big government and the welfare state.
  • Congress and State legislatures wouldn’t be cluttered by big-government-pro-welfare-state black lawmakers who owe their seats to the dictates of the Voting Rights Act.
  • “Racism” wouldn’t be an issue; thus, Americans wouldn’t waste their time in “conversations” about race, and “white guilt” would be a nullity — as it should be.