In December 1862, Lincoln signed a contract with businessman Bernard Kock to establish a colony on the Ile a Vache near Haiti. 453 freed slaves departed for the island from Fort Monroe, Virginia. A government investigation had deemed Kock untrustworthy, and Secretary of State William Seward stopped the plan from going forward after learning of Kocks involvement. Poor planning, an outbreak of smallpox, and financial mismanagement by Kock left the colonists under-supplied and starving, according to early reports. 292 colonists remained on Ile a Vache in 1865; 73 had moved to Aux Cayes on Haiti. The United States Navy arrived to rescue survivors after less than one year on the island.
Posted on: Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:10:03 +0000
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