Phillip W. Magness

Historian – 19th century United States

My interview with Pacific Standard

From Q&A: Remember That Time Abraham Lincoln Tried to Get the Slaves to Leave America?:

“Colonization is one of those decisions that falls into greater uncertainty simply because Lincoln did not know how the end of slavery was going to emerge, or what it was going to look like. If we accept that about him, it makes him a much more complex and interesting figure, someone who is emerging from the Civil War not knowing what the future entails, but is trying to do something about it, trying to find a route that is workable, even if we can judge in hindsight that route to be fundamentally impractical, implicitly racist by some measure, certainly heavily paternalistic, and not always fully taking into account the agency of African Americans. But it’s not a malicious plan, either.”


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