Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

Articles

A collection of short investigative essays and articles on topics in American Civil War lore:

A case of a smudged date? – How a misfiled paper obscured the existence of an important colonization meeting for almost 150 years.

The missing colonization office papers Are the majority of Abraham Lincoln’s colonization records actually missing from the National Archives? A long and strange paper trail seems to suggest they are.

Did Lincoln really “slough off” colonization? – John Hay famously used this phrase to describe Lincoln’s shifting policies on colonization, but what did his cryptic word choice mean?

Did Ben Butler really meet with Lincoln in 1865? – Many years after the war the famous and always controversial Union general claimed he met with Abraham Lincoln to discuss colonization in Panama only a few days before the presidents assassination. Just how credible is Butler’s claim?

Colonization by the Numbers – Just how extensive was the United States government’s plan to resettle freed African Americans abroad?

Was there ever an order to arrest Chief Justice Taney? – This article examines the evidence for and against one of the most persistent and controversial rumors of the Civil War’s court battles.

Abraham Lincoln and the Corwin Amendment – Historical detective work on the failed and forgotten compromise attempt to prevent the Civil War

Thaddeus Stevens and Colonization – Did the famous Radical Republican congressman give his support to reestablishing a colonization office during Lincoln’s second term? A document bearing his signature suggests as much.

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