Lincoln, Colonization, and Evidentiary Standards: A Response to Allen C. Guelzo
14 Pages Posted: 21 May 2013 Last revised: 22 May 2013
Date Written: May 1, 2013
This article is offered in response to historian Allen C. Guelzo, who recently called into question the authenticity of a body of evidence utilized by the authors to trace and interpret the policies of black colonization enacted during the administration of Abraham Lincoln.
For the better part of his presidency, Lincoln pursued the voluntary colonization or resettlement of freed slaves in multiple tropical locales under the authority of a series of statutes adopted in 1862. Subsequent assessments of this policy; including the criticism to which we respond; have called into question the sincerity of Lincoln's actions; despite a body of evidence to support Lincoln's attachment to the colonization idea in matters of statute, international relations, and personal philosophy.
In answering Guelzo, we conclusively demonstrate the provenance of the historical documents he has called into question, and offer a series of further research challenges to the conventional assessments found in the colonization and emancipation literature of the past 50 years.
Keywords: Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, colonization, slavery, emancipation, African-American history
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation