Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
This thesis uses a series of United States foreign relations documents centered around an 1862 attempt by Abraham Lincoln to colonize parts of Central America with freed African Americans. Traditionally, these communications have been used by historians for U.S. foreign relations or Black resettlement history. Here, instead, this collection is used to display the major threats to Central American sovereignty in the mid-nineteenth century in their own words. The collection reveals that two of the threats were foreign imperialistic thought and racial instability. However, the third, and ultimately most destabilizing threat to the region, was the five nations' rivalry amongst each other. This thesis provides an image of Central American history previously overshadowed by other events in the region while explaining how both individual sovereignty and regional autonomy there began to disintegrate in the early 1860’s.
Harris, Matthew D., "Struggle for Sovereignty: An African-American Colonization Attempt and Delicate Independence in Mid-Nineteenth Century Central America" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7600.