The Lincoln Administration’s Negotiations to Colonize African Americans in Dutch Suriname

When historians in the twentieth century reviewed Civil War colonization, they arrived at a general consensus most clearly enunciated in the words of James McPherson: “As a practical solution of the Negro question, colonization was a failure from the beginning.”1 Indeed, if winners write history, or if historians concerned themselves only with victorious ideologies, then colonization should not take much of a place in the history of the war. But if historians desire a more complete understanding of the complexities of Civil War race relations and diplomacy, the topic of colonization is long overdue.