Fine Books & Manuscripts Online
Archive of Documents Concerning the Chiriqui Colonization Project of 1862 and Related Senator Samuel Clark Pomeroy Papers. c. 1858-1895. The Chiriqui Colonization Project was a plan conceived by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to develop an African colony in the Chiriqui Province of Panama. The plan proposed to settle the colony with 100 African-American families, generally freed slaves from the Washington, D.C. area. Families would voluntarily resettle there and develop an economy based on coal mining. The project was organized by Ambrose W. Thompson and Kansas Senator Samuel Clark Pomeroy was tasked with implementing it. Ultimately, the project was never carried out due to problems obtaining clear title to the land, less than ideal coal deposits, and a general lack of support for the initiative in the African-American community. The collection contains Pomeroy's appointment as Colonizing agent, a copy of Pomeroy's schedule of estimated expenses for the expedition, papers and correspondence with Ambrose W. Thompson about the venture, a file of documents titled "Chiriqui Papers A.W. Thompson with correspondence from the 1880s and 1890s regarding debts and other financial considerations connected to the project; other papers in the collection relate to Senator Pomeroy's work governmental in the 1850s-1880s with Native American lands in New Mexico and Arizona, and timbering in South Dakota; (approximately sixty documents).
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