“I know New England contractors,” I replied, “who would not be frightened by the magnitude or risk of any contract. The element of prospective profit is the only one that would interest them. If there was a fair prospect of profit, they would not hesitate to contract to suppress the Rebellion in ninety days.” “ There will be profit and reputation in the contract I may propose,” said the President. “It is to remove the whole colored race of the slave States into Texas. If you have any acquaintance who would take that contract, I would like to see him.” “I know a man who would take that contract and perform it,” I replied. “I would be willing to put you into communication with him, so that you might form your own opinion about him.” By the President's direction I requested John Bradley, a well-known Vermonter, to come to Washington. He was at my office the morning after I sent the telegram to him. I declined to give him any hint of the purpose of my invitation, but took him directly to the President. When I presented him I said: “Here, Mr. President, is the contractor whom I named to you yesterday.” I left them together. Two hours later Mr. Bradley returned to my office overflowing with admiration for the President and enthusiasm for his proposed work. “The proposition is,” he said, “to remove the whole colored race into Texas, there to establish a republic of their own. The subject has political bearings of which I am no judge, and upon which the President has not yet made up his mind. But I have shown him that it is practicable. I will undertake to remove them all within a year.”It is unnecessary to state that the Black Republic of Texas was a dream that never materialized.
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