Abraham Lincoln’s order to John Hodge, authorizing the recruitment and transportation of ex slaves to Belize, was signed in a meeting at the White House on June 13, 1863. This original copy of the order was provided to Lord Lyons, the British Minister to the United States, and recorded in the log book of the British Legation in Washington, D.C. It was eventually transferred back to London as a diplomatic file and is currently located in the National Archives of the United Kingdom outside of London.
Washington D.C. June 11th, 1863
John Hodge of London, and S. R. Dickson, agents of the British Colonies of Honduras and Guiana, are here in accordance with the well settled policy of the United States, to aid such free persons of color as desire to remove to their colonies. We, therefore, recommend all parties and persons having the direction or charge of such, to present no hindrance to them or their agents in the work of canvassing for emigrants, but to render them and their regularly appointed agents, all the aid possible in this work.
Commissioner of Emigration
I approve the within. A. Lincoln. June 13, 1863