Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kentucky Union Officer Marcellus Mundy to Abraham Lincoln on Colonization

Louisville Hotel. Louisville Ky

July 28. 1864

Mr. President.

Will the Government undertake to Colonize the negroes of Kentucky out of the state, if the people of Kentucky will emancipate them? I do not ask this question idly: but with the determination to take the stump as an advocate for emancipation if it be answered in the affirmative. Kentucky is the only loyal state in which the institution holds a tenure that can not be disturbed without manifest wrong and injustice and therefore the more necessity the people should of their own accord dig the root from our soil. If Kentucky emancipates, then will slavery in the United States become eradicated; and she certainly will not be asking too much to ask to have them colonized out of her border when emancipated. We need not discuss the causes which may lead the Kentuckians to adopt emancipation as it is sufficient to know that they are ripe for that policy if the government will render a little judicious aid of the kind I suggest. I will give you in brief the suggestions I have made to some of the leading slave owners of the state: "Our labouring negro men being taken for the army to support the women and children will be a burthen and no profit to us as we will in the future have no market south for our slaves. Negroes can never be valuable to us in Ky when the institution has been destroyed in the south and enmity to the institution lines our northern and eastern borders." And to those to whom I have conversed upon the subject adopt my views and I can safely say that the only drawback to successful emancipation, is a disinclination to have the negro population freed and kept among us, and certainly the government will, to advance a great scheme like this, frought with good, forget whatever prejudice may have been engendered against our state by the impolicy of our representative men and to accomplish the great work in a lawful and constitutional way, hold out her helping hand. As soon as I receive your affirmative reply I will devote my time and energies to this course


M Mundy

[Note 1 Mundy was colonel of the 23rd Kentucky Infantry.]

Courtesy Library of Congress-American Memory

1 comment:

  1. I was confused for a moment when I saw the title, as Marcellus Mundy is an amalgamation of "Sue Mundy" and "Marcellus Jerome Clarke" . . . which are the two names used for one of Kentucky's more famous guerrillas.

    I just stumbled across your blog. It looks like we share some common interests.