Colonization on President’s Agenda

August 19, 1862

President Lincoln continues to deal with Treasury Department appointments for new revenue agents – especially in New York and Pennsylvania.  Typically, New York Senator Ira Harris wrote President Lincoln: “I regret that I could not have seen you again before I left town but I am obliged to go this afternoon – I have seen the list of appointments under the tax law prepared by the Secretary of the Treasury for the State of New York – They are with one or two exceptions entirely satisfactory.”

Ambrose W. Thompson writes President Lincoln to push action on his Chiriqui Improvement Company to colonize freed slaves in the Panama section of Colombia: “There is an absolute necessity that colonization, if intended to be made, should be commenced without further delay — or it will result badly. The rainy season begins there about the 15th November – If emigrants are not there and some houses erected before the rains set in, they will be too much discouraged to do anything. The rainy season is also the time for planting & producing.  There are enough of colonists as I am informed, ready and anxious to go – immediately or as soon as a vessel can be made ready – Will you see me tomorrow or this evening & see if we can arrange matters?”  On September 11, President Lincoln approved a contract with Thompson’s company although there was evident that Thompson vastly oversold the advantages of Panama for colonization.

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Published in: on August 19, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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