President Lincoln Revokes Haiti Colonization Order

April 16, 1863

President Lincoln’s hopes for colonization of former black slaves in Haiti have been effectively dashed and he issues a “Proclamation Cancelling Contract with Bernard Koch:” He writes: “Know ye that, Whereas a paper bearing date the thirty first day of December, last, purporting to be an agreement between the United States and one Bernard Kock, for immigration of persons of African extraction to a dependency of the Republic of Hayti; was signed by me on behalf of the party of the first part; but whereas the said instrument was and has since remained incomplete, in consequence of the seal of the United States not having been thereunto affixed; And whereas I have been moved by considerations, by me deemed sufficient, to withhold my authority for affixing the said seal.”

President aide John Hay writes the White House regarding the situation with military commanders confronting Charleston: “The General and the Admiral this morning received the orders from Washington, directing the continuance of operations against Charleston. The contrast was very great in the manner in which they received them. The General was absolutely delighted….He said, however, that the Admiral seemed in very low spirits about it….Whether the intention of the Government be to reduce Charleston now…or by powerful demonstration to retain a large force of the enemy here, he is equally anxious to go to work again….”

President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “I understand that Major Easton, Q.M. in regular Army, and now serving at Leavenworth, Kansas, is sought to be dismissed on a charge of disloyalty. The present Governor of Kansas, [2] Senator Pomeroy, and U.S. Judge Williams, [3] (the latter of whom I have known nearly thirty years) all say he is not disloyal, but is a worthy and efficient officer. I therefore think we better not act without positive evidence. Perhaps better wait to hear from the Governor after he shall have reached home.”

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary regarding the continuing controversy between himself and Secretary of State Gideon Welles: “The President has been beguiled by ex-parte representations to indorse ‘approved’ on Seward’s little contrivance.  But this question cannot be so disposed of.  The President may be induced to order the Mail to be given up, but the law is higher than an Executive order, and the judiciary has a duty to perform.  The mail is in the custody of the court.”

In response to complaints about administration actions in Missouri, President Lincoln writes a memo about the complaints he often receives: “In answer to the within question “Shall we be sustained by you?” I have to answer that at the beginning of the administration I appointed one whom I understood to be an editor of the ‘Democrat’ to be Post-Master at St. Louis — the best office in my gift within Missouri. Soon after this, our friends at St. Louis, must needs break into factions, the Democrat being, in my opinion, justly chargeable with a full share of the blame for it. I have stoutly tried to keep out of the quarrel, and so mean to do. As to contracts, and jobs, I understand that, by the law, they are awarded to the best bidders; and if the government agents at St. Louis do differently, it would be good ground to prossecute [sic] them upon.

Published in: on April 16, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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