Religious Liberties: Anti-Catholicism and Liberal Democracy in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture

By Elizabeth Fenton | Go to book overview

5
Haitian Catholicism and the End
of Pluralism

Having received a commission of $20,000 from Haitian president Fabre Geffrard, in 1860 the radical abolitionist James Redpath established the Haitian Emigration Bureau and began a campaign encouraging African American migration to the Caribbean island. Redpath, a Scottish-born printer and journalist who had worked for Horace Greeley and perhaps with John Brown, made three trips to Haiti in the year prior to this commission in order to familiarize himself with the country and establish ties to its leaders. Between 1860 and 1862, his bureau produced The Pine and Palm, a newspaper championing colonization, and paid agents to meet with prospective colonists throughout the United States and Canada.1 To inform potential émigrés about the land in which they might settle, Redpath also published his Guide to Hayti, an anthology of essays describing everything from the island’s history to its climate and topography. The Guide’s introduction offers readers this explanation of his enthusiasm for colonization:

I felt a double interest in this project,—for not only will it be an agency for
strengthening a colored Nation … but it will carry out the programme …
of surrounding the Southern States with a cordon of free labor, within
which, like a scorpion girded by fire, Slavery must inevitably die.2

-103-

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