Lincoln’s Lost Colony

The Black Emigration Scheme of Bernard Kock


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About the Book

Abraham Lincoln is renowned for his stance on the emancipation of enslaved people in a period when America was sorely divided. At the same time, there was a little-known event that took place—one that left a stain on Lincoln’s legacy, and has apologists still trying to expunge it today.  This book tells the quiet but bloody history of Bernard Kock, a New Orleans entrepreneur with an ill-fated attempt at establishing a cotton plantation on Île-à-Vache, a deserted Haitian island, using formerly enslaved Americans. It also covers Lincoln’s involvement and support of Kock’s plan, as well as his pledge of $50 in government funding for each of the 453 colonists. With chapters on Lincoln’s encouragement of black deportation, the establishment of the plantation, the futile attempts at damage control and more, this text reveals an untold part of Lincoln’s history.

About the Author(s)

Boyce Thompson is the author of five non-fiction books and his work has appeared in Governing and The Washington Post. He was a Washington correspondent for Reed-Elsevier and directed the editorial council at Hanley-Wood Publishing. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Boyce Thompson

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8884-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4935-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction 1
1. Crystalizing the Deal 7
2. Navigating the Corridors of Political Power 25
3. Origins of an Entrepreneur 47
4. Lincoln Encourages Black Deportation 57
5. The Administration Weighs Dozens of Colonization Proposals 66
6. A Short Road Show for Eager Investors 87
7. Unsmooth Sailing Ahead 103
8. Smooth Landing with Grand Intentions 114
9. Things Go from Very Bad to Much Worse 123
10. Establishing a Working Plantation 136
11. A Volatile Situation in Haiti 143
12. More Hardball and a Change in Leadership 154
13. A Futile Attempt at Damage Control 160
14. The Decision to Bail 170
15. A New Scapegoat Emerges 188
16. Colonization Goes Underground 194
Chapter Notes 217
Bibliography 239
Index 249