Amandala supporter, Evondale Coburn, came across these Abraham Lincoln Papers on British Honduras (Belize) in the United States Library of Congress, and thought they might be very interesting for Amandala readers. It’s just fascinating, how much interest there has been in “little” Belize over all these years.
Our Mayan ancestors absolutely knew what “wealth untold” lay under their feet when they lived here. Then, the Europeans came. The first to come were from Spain and Portugal, beginning in 1492. Then the buccaneers came, seeking a place to hide in 1638. The British made Belize a full “colony” in 1862. That same year, a lady named Anna Ella Carroll wrote of the wonderful country called British Honduras, suggesting it was an ideal place for the Americans to found an “infant colony.”
Researchers at the US Library of Congress state that Anna Ella Carroll was a native of Maryland who advised Lincoln on a wide variety of subjects, including military strategy, and wrote pamphlets that defended the conduct of the Lincoln administration. After the war, Carroll tried unsuccessfully to obtain financial compensation for the aid she rendered the government during the war.
Her letter to President Lincoln, dated May 19th, 1862, follows:
Abraham Lincoln Papers
From Anna Ella Carroll to Abraham Lincoln, May 19, 1862
May 19th, 1862
I am informed by the Hon Secretary of the Interior that he has laid the proposals for colonizing the free people of color, before you, for final decision.
I am not advised what propositions have been made in addition to Mr. Burns, but I presume the claims of Liberia and Hayti have been represented by their several advocates.
I have ever desired the prosperity of Liberia, but in my humble judgment there are two reasons why it would not be advantageous to adopt it as a government policy. The first, is, the expense of transportation, which is too great to be borne by our government, and not likely to be reduced within bounds by the growth of the Colony.
The next, is, that experience has demonstrated the opposition of the negroes to leave this country for Africa; and this is so strong that it is not probable a large number could ever be induced to go there without compulsion.
To the selection of Hayti, there are, I think, two unsuperable objections. First, the territory of that island is too contracted for the American element or material, out of which a mighty empire may be founded. Second — it has an arbitrary government, under European influences, hostile to the United States and to free institutions; and will ever remain so.
In a limited emigration to Hayti, a few shrewd, enterprising negroes would undoubtedly succeed, but this they could only do by sinking their Americanism, and becoming thoroughly European in their caste; while the majority of the emigrants would be held only as laborers or producers, and not estimated at all in the government or civilization of that island.
In other words, they would have no more chance for elevating their social and political position, than they now have in the United States.
Tropical America is free from the objections to which, I have alluded. There, the territory is vast enough to found an empire for many millions, and the governments and people interpose no barrier to the settlement and growth of the negroes of this country.
It is the most advantageous, too, in point of economy, and the cost of transportation, now so inconsiderable, will, from the increasing commerce of that country, necessarily become more so. No matter where a colony may be initiated in that country, the free colored population of the United States will become the predominant and governing element in the future.
But, so low is the scale of civilization and so feeble are the governments in that country that, except, in British Honduras, there is no security, for life, liberty, and property; and hence it is that I have in my previous communication suggested that especial locality for the founding of the infant colony.
There, the laws of colonization and the perfect security of person and property are such that, our government would be subjected to no further expense in establishing a colony than would be incurred, by a simple agency.
Whereas, in any other part of Tropical America, it would be necessary to afford civil and military protection to the emigrants until the colony was fully established. This would not only involve a large cost to the government; but it might also be questionable whether our international relations would permit us to afford such protection, in a foreign country.
But, without it the colony would fail, and the emigrants would resolve into anarchy and relapse into semi-barbarism, just as the Jamaica negroes now are on the Isthmus of Panama in New-Granada.
With high respect &c
Anna Ella CarrollAmandala