The sum of general studies addressing slavery and American foreign relations is meager. Fortunately, the quality of what does exist is excellent, and provides guidance for further work. Any study of the topic begins with Don E. Fehrenbacher, The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of the United States Government’s Relations to Slavery (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); and Matthew Karp, This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).
Studies that address slavery and foreign relations in the Early Republic Period are more numerous. For an overall view of US foreign relations during the period, see William Earl Weeks, The New Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations, vol. 1, Dimensions of the Early American Empire, 1754–1865 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); and George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). Matthew Mason, Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), provides an insightful analysis of its subject. Arthur Scherr, John Adams, Slavery, and Race: Ideas, Politics, and Diplomacy in an Age of Crisis (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2018), is a thorough study of the topic.
On US policy toward Haiti during the slave revolution, see Arthur Scherr, Thomas Jefferson’s Haitian Policy: Myths and Realities (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011); Tim Matthewson, A Proslavery Foreign Policy: Haitian-American Relations during the Early Republic (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003); relevant sections of Gerald Horn, Confronting Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2015); Philippe Girard, Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life (New York: Basic Books, 2016); and Thomas O. Ott, The Haitian Revolution, 1789–1804 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1973). Especially useful are Gordon S. Brown, Toussaint’s Clause: The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005); and Ronald Angelo Johnson, Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014). See also Edward B. Rugemer, “Slave Rebels and Abolitionists: The Black Atlantic and the Coming of the Civil War,” Journal of the Civil War Era 2, no. 2 (2012): 179–202.
Harold E. Bergquist Jr., “Henry Middleton and the Arbitrament of the Anglo-American Slave Controversy by Tsar Alexander I,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 82, no. 1 (1981): 20–31, provides a useful overview of the settlement of the issues of slaves carried away by the British. On American expansion during this period, see Frank Lawrence Owsley Jr. and Gene A. Smith, Filibusters and Expansionists: Jeffersonian Manifest Destiny, 1800–1821 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997).
The literature on the Atlantic slave trade is extensive. See especially Herbert S. Klein, The Atlantic Slave Trade (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); and Warren S. Howard, American Slavers and the Federal Law, 1837–1862 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963). On the trade to Brazil, particularly useful is Gerald Horne, The Deepest South: The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade (New York: New York University Press, 2007).
On early colonization efforts, see David F. Ericson, Slavery in the American Republic: Developing the Federal Government, 1791–1861 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2011); and P. J. Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement, 1816–1865 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961). The starting point for study of the American Colonization Society is Eric Burin, Slavery and the Peculiar Solution: A History of the American Colonization Society (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005). For a significant state effort at colonization in Africa, see Penelope Campbell, Maryland in Africa: The Maryland State Colonization Society, 1831–1857 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971). For treatments of the topic of colonization, Beverly C. Tomek and Matthew J. Hetrick, eds., New Directions in the Study of American Recolonization (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2017) is essential reading.
Larry Eugene Rivers, Rebels and Runaways: Slave Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Florida (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013), is an excellent introduction to its topic. See also Matthew J. Clavin, The Battle of Negro Fort: The Rise and Fall of a Fugitive Slave Community (New York: New York University Press, 2019); and Irvin D. S. Winsboro and Joe Knetsch, “Florida Slaves, the ‘Saltwater Railroad’ to the Bahamas, and Anglo-American Diplomacy,” Journal of Southern History 79, no. 1 (2013): 51–78.
The Negro Seamen Acts have been addressed most thoroughly in Michael Schoeppner, “Peculiar Quarantines: The Seamen Acts and Regulatory Authority in the Antebellum South,” Law and History Review 31, no. 3 (2013): 559–586. On the South Carolina Association, see Alan F. January, “The South Carolina Association: An Agency for Race Control in Antebellum Charleston,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 78, no. 3 (1977): 191–201.
The general topic of American expansion has produced a significant secondary literature. Helpful overviews are Richard H. Immerman, Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010); William Earl Weeks, Building the Continental Empire: American Expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1997); Walter Nugent, Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008); and Thomas R. Hietala, Manifest Design: Anxious Aggrandizement in Late Jacksonian America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985). On Texas, see Randolph B. Campbell, An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989); and Frederick Merk, Slavery and the Annexation of Texas (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972). For treatments of US aims toward Latin America, see Robert E. May, Manifest Destiny’s Underworld: Filibustering in Antebellum America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Tom Chaffin, “ ‘Sons of Washington’: Narciso López, Filibustering, and U.S. Nationalism, 1848–1851,” Journal of the Early Republic 15, no. 1 (1995): 79–108; and Robert E. May, The Southern Dream of a Caribbean Empire, 1854–1861 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973). Also useful for context is Piero Gleijeses, “Clashing over Cuba: The United States, Spain, and Britain, 1853–1855,” Journal of Latin American Studies 49, no. 2 (2016): 215–241.
Relevant sections of biographies and studies of individuals can be useful guides for further research. In addition to those listed herein, see Francis D. Cogliano, Emperor of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson’s Foreign Policy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014); Lawrence S. Kaplan, Alexander Hamilton: Ambivalent Anglophile (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2002); Charles N. Edel, Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014); James E. Lewis Jr., John Quincy Adams: Policymaker for the Union (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001); and William Earl Weeks, John Quincy Adams and American Global Empire (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002). Still useful for any study of Adams is Samuel Flagg Bemis, John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965). See also John Niven, John Calhoun and the Price of Union: A Biography (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988); Christopher J. Leahy, President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2020); and Matthew Mason, Apostle of Union: A Political Biography of Edward Everett (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).
On Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era, the literature is daunting. Studies that deal with slavery and foreign relations in this period include Joseph A. Fry, Lincoln, Seward, and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2019); Howard Jones, Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010); Howard Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999); Howard Jones, Union in Peril: The Crisis over British Intervention in the Civil War (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997); and Howard Jones, “History and Mythology: The Crisis over British Intervention in the Civil War,” in The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim, rev. ed., ed. Robert E. May (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2013). Biographies of Lincoln generally contain little on foreign relations. For coverage of these issues, consult Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, vol. 2 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).
For specific topics on the Civil War, see Stève Sainlaude, France and the American Civil War: A Diplomatic History, trans. Jessica Edwards (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019); Lynn Marshall Case and Warren F. Spencer, The United States and France: Civil War Diplomacy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970); Wayne H. Bowen, Spain and the American Civil War (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011); and R. J. M Blackett, Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001). The question of Lincoln and colonization has received significant treatment. On this topic, see especially Michael J. Douma, “The Lincoln Administration’s Negotiations to Colonize African Americans in Dutch Suriname,” Civil War History 61, no. 2 (2015): 111–137. Indispensable for the study of the Suriname colonization project is Michael J. Douma, The Colonization of Freed African Americans in Suriname (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2019). On Lincoln and colonization in Latin America, see Robert E. May, Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Future of Latin America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); and Phillip W. Magness and Sebastian N. Page, Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011).
For studies that place the Civil War in a broader international context, see Robert E. May, ed., The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim, rev. ed. (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2013); Don H. Doyle, The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (New York: Basic Books, 2015); Don H. Doyle, ed., American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017); and David T. Gleeson and Simon Lewis, eds., The Civil War as Global Conflict: Transnational Meanings of the American Civil War (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014).