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Abraham Lincoln didn’t want black people in the United States

April V. Taylor

Black people have been taught for years that their freedom is due in large part to Abraham Lincoln and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  What many fail to realize is that Lincoln never wanted to free slaves and have them live on American soil.  A recent article written for The Root by scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores this topic and reveals that Lincoln implored free blacks to go to Africa “for the sake of their race,” and out of respect for white people.

Lincoln  held a forum with delegates from area black churches at the Union Bethel AME Church in Washington.  Five free men went on to hold further discussion with Lincoln in which Lincoln told the men that Congress had already set aside funds for free blacks to go to Africa and start colonies of free slaves there.  Lincoln stated, “You and we are different races.  We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races.  Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence.  In a word we suffer on each side.  If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.”  In other words, Lincoln felt that white and black people suffered undue hardship by the presence of free black people in America, and his intention in freeing slaves was not because he saw them as equally human but rather as a thorn in the flesh of the privileged white man that he wanted to remove by financing colonization with government funds so that free blacks could live in Africa or Central America, not in the United States.

In the sales pitch Lincoln made to the delegates, he even tried to justify colonization of free blacks as a way to ensure the release and freedom of those who remained enslaved.  Lincoln put it this way by suggesting that free black people moving to Africa would appease white slaveholders into releasing black slaves from bondage,  “If you could give a start to white people, you would open a wide door for many to be made free.”  Lincoln went on to implore the free black people to put the comfort and concern of white people over their own interests, stating, “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.”

Lincoln even went so far as to suggest that the freedom fought for Americans during the Revolutionary War was in fact only meant to benefit the white people, like George Washington, who had fought for it.  The delegation who met with Lincoln took the message back to the black community with many having a divided reaction.  Some felt that Lincoln made valid points about the hardships blacks would face if they remained in America as free men, while others felt that their ancestors had worked, fought, bled and died for their right to one day live as free men in a country they helped build.

Perhaps Martin Luther King Jr. summed Lincoln’s views up best when he stated, “Our…president were tortured deep in their hearts by the race question.  Lincoln’s torments are well known, his vascillations were facts.”  The important point is that when there was no other option to redeem America from the suffering it endured because of slavery, Lincolns “hesitation had not stayed his hand when historic necessity charted but one course.”  Despite his reservations and lack of respect for black people as equal human beings to white people, freedom for all people was written into law and into the Constitution.  Despite this unprecedented acknowledgement of black people’s humanity and right to be equal, the most troubling aspect is not how Lincoln felt but that black people still are fighting to receive equal treatment by institutions, society and the law.

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17 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln didn’t want black people in the United States

  1. Pingback: The Abraham Lincoln You Don't Know: Forget Emancipation, Go Back To Africa | Black Like MoiBlack Like Moi

  2. ROBERT L RANKINS

    If truth be known,Lincoln would have allowed slavery if the Union wouldn’t have been separated.It comes to me as no surprise that he implored Africans back to Africa.More lies have been told about Lincoln than probably any other U.S.president.This is why it is imperative that we know our history.

    Reply
  3. sharon anthony

    We have been taught so many falsehoods in history. The only thing that I believe was true is that white people did come from Europe, however I have read they were not the only ones to come here. There is a thick book I tried to read “Before The Mayflower”. From what I read there were free black people here before the Mayflower. It is not fair for any students to be taught lies.

    Reply
  4. Joseph Charles

    THIS PRESIDENT LINCOLN MAY HAVE SOUGHT TO RIGHT / CORRECT .. THE WRONGS OF CAPTURE , TRANSPORT AND TORTURE IN SLAVERY , AND RETURN US BLACK PEOPLE TO OUR NATIVE LAND ..MANY GREAT MINDS HAVE THOUGHT THIS WAS A REMEDY TO MAKE US WHOLE PROVIDE REPARATIONS w/COMPENSATION …..NOT REMAIN IN A HORRIBLE NATION OF OPPRESSION AND MURDER AT THE WILL OF OUR MASTERS ,TO BE DEHUMANIZED ,DESTROYED AND KILLED ……THE FEAR OF LEAVING OUR PLANTATION ,WAS DEEP SO WAS THE FEAR TO REMAIN ……GET OUT GO FORTH LEAVE THIS LAND AS AN EXODUS TO TRUE FREEDOM ……LINCOLN WAS KILLED FOR HIS BELIEFS AND KNEW HE WAS WIDELY HATED FOR COMPASSION TO SLAVES , PROPERTY OF THOSE WHO OWNED US

    Reply
  5. Tracy J. Hicks

    How come you guys did not put in the article that Lincoln was alsopartpartial African American, secretly hiding it?

    Reply
  6. adrian

    For whatever the reason he made this decision I’m glad God works iñ mysterious ways. So glory be to God.It was written that we would be enslaved .And we never achieved anything here without someone dying.So what are we willing to die for today to change?

    Reply
  7. Concerned

    It seems pretty ‘remarkable’ to believe thatMr. Lincoln would try to appease the slave holders by telling them to let them go and send them back to Africa? Hmmm, so they were just going to say ‘I love that plan.’ I don’the see how he could’ve appeased the slaveowners. Only money or military power would provoke the slaveowners to let the slaves go free.

    Reply
    • art

      This right here… West, from the Colorado headwaters to the coast, and south to the Mexico border… We need that continental divide… We a tropical people, let the Caucasoids have that deep south…..

      Reply
  8. Brooklynphenix

    Where are the sources? these could just be another made up story like the Willie Lynch letters. Im not going to say this is completely fabricated but with out any source to back up this claim its makes the idea of Lincoln some how trying to pitch a plan to southern whites who entire means of income was off of the backs of slaves that a better idea was to send them back to Africa… Sooo who would be left to pick the cotton? This story makes no sense to me. and why back to Africa.. why not just send them out west? drive them out like they did the Indians? put us on reservations and give us Casino’s?? Something isn’t write about this story… I’m not buying it.

    Reply
  9. Floyd

    Brooklynphenix the information is authentic despite the fact Dr. Gates obtained his information from J. A. Rogers \Africa’s Gift to America\ copyrighted in 1961. His information is almost identical to Rogers information starting on page 134. Lincoln attempted to set up a colony in one of the Carribean Islands, however it failed.
    Take into consideration that Lincoln hated slavery, but really did not want to interfere with the white man’s chattel property until he realized that the North was losing the war. Therefore he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation
    which in my opinion created the greatest slave revolt against slavery. Lincoln knew that the North was going to
    lose the war if there were no help from the Black Slaves…..the case for all wars fought on this soil. I highly recommend every Black person in this country ready Dr. Rogers’ book where he shows how this country was formed, why it became the most powerful country within 250 years (the shortest period ever for any country), and why racism (which is synonymous with economic) exist today and will continue into the foreseeable future. I quote
    Imhotep \Man know thyself\. There are a wealth of information written by mostly Black authors on Ourstory that
    make sense from the time the first Pyramid was written to date.
    Dr. Gates is giving us bits and peaces of Dr. Rogers work and attempting to make us believe his information is original which is farthest from the truth.

    Reply

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