An Inquiry into the Character and Tendency of the American Colonization, and American Anti-slavery Societies, William Jay, 1835


The American Colonization Society, founded in 1817, promoted the emigration of free blacks to Africa as an alternative to emancipation. They continued their efforts for many decades, despite harsh criticism from abolitionists. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky was a founding member, and later, Lincoln also supported colonization in the belief that blacks and whites could not live together as equals. However, Lincoln stressed that colonization should be voluntary, not forced.