- The concept of Forty acres and a Mule at its core involves the massive confiscation of the property of the Slave Owners, that had waged war against the federal government & systematically redistributing that land to former slaves that had worked those very lands.
- The entire scope of American Society would have been transformed by the suddenly ownership of land (which carries with it enormous economic & political power), and the ingrained ability to generate wealth by Black Former Slaves. While of course there would have been conflict, many of the trials our people have endured over the past 150 years would very likely have never occurred.
- The idea of reparations, in the form of land, originated during a meeting between Union General William T. Sherman, U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and about 20 Black Leaders.
- The land specifically being offered as reparations included the island areas of Charleston, South Carolina, land near The St. John's River in Florida, and some abandoned Georgia Rice Fields in between.
- Those areas were to be "settlements" EXCLUSIVELY for Blacks, and it would have been legally forbidden for Whites to live there.
- Defense of these "settlements" would have been provided, for a limited time, by The U.S. Military. Until either the citizens were in position to defend themselves, or Congress took action to end said responsibility.
- A group of approximately 1,000 Black People actually set up a settlement on some of the soon to be provisioned land in Skidway, Georgia.
- Upon seeing that 1,000 settlers quickly grow to an estimated 40,000, General Sherman offered to "lend" mules to help work the land.
- Sherman's Field Order No. 15 was approved by then President Abraham Lincoln in January 1865, but overturned by President Andrew Johnson after Lincoln was assassinated.