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[134] land. It will surprise no one to learn that pretty soon these people, poisoned by malaria, stung by venomous insects and reptiles, and having scarcely anything to eat, were dying like cattle with the murrain. In the end a ship was sent to bring back the survivors.

Nevertheless, the kind-hearted President did not give up the idea. At his request a delegation of Washington negroes called upon him. He made them quite a long speech, telling them that Congress had given him money with which to found a colony of colored people, and that he had found what seemed to be a suitable location in Central America. He appealed to them to supply the colonists. The negroes, not anxious for exile, diplomatically said they would think the matter over. In the end it was discovered that Central America did not want the negroes, and that the negroes did not want Central America.

A story that is curiously illustrative of Mr. Lincoln's attachment to the policy of removing the colored people is told by L. E. Chittenden in his Recollections of President Lincoln. Mr. Chittenden was a citizen of Vermont and Register of the Treasury under Lincoln, with whom he was in intimate and confidential relations:

During one of his welcome visits to my office,

says Mr. Chittenden,

the President seemed to be buried in thought over some subject of great interest. After long reflection he abruptly exclaimed that he wanted to ask me a question.

“Do you know any energetic contractor?” he inquired; “one who would be willing to take a large contract attended with some risk?”

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