Douglass is Appointed Chargé d'Affaires, Santo Domingo

One of the most controversial positions Frederick Douglass took in his later career was to support the annexation of Santo Domingo (today’s Dominican Republic) as a state in the United States.

The attempt in 1871 to annex Santo Domingo was derided at the time, and is still, as an egregious act of United States imperialism. The “disreputable scheme” was cooked up by President Grant’s shadier associates who were eager to make money off the island’s rich resources. For his part, Grant was eager for an American naval base there to protect United States' interests in the Caribbean, including the envisioned canal across the Isthmus of Darien.