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American Colonization Society

Initially called the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color in the United States; the American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed by a group of Presbyterian ministers. The organization's chief objective was to encourage free blacks (and later manumitted slaves) to emigrate to West Africa.

To its audience of free blacks, the organization depicted emigration as an opportunity for African Americans to introduce education and Christianity to their African brethren. In contrast, to Southern whites reading its official newsletter, the African Repository (1825-1909), the ACS portrayed black emigration as a solution to the growing prevalence of free blacks, a population that many Southern whites feared would disrupt the system of slavery. As the ACS grew, the prominence of its members and supporters also grew. Among them were Presidents Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, and James Monroe, and United States Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington, who was also the organization's first president. The slaveholders were dominant in the early ACS, and their opinion was summarized by Henry Clay at the ACS' first meeting, “Of all the classes of our population, the most vicious is that of the free colored. It is the inevitable result of their moral, political and evil degradation. Contaminated themselves, they extend their vices all around them, to the slaves, to the whites. Every emigrant to Africa is a missionary carrying the credentials of the holy cause of civilization, religion, and free institution.”

Key leaders of the colonizationist movement.

Associate Justice Bushrod Washington, Former President James Madison, and Henry Clay served as President of the American Colonization Society from 1817- 1830s; and Chief Justice John Marshall served as President of the Virginia Colonization Society. Monrovia, the capital of Liberia was named in honor of President Monroe; Marshall Territory, now MarGibi County (the prefix "Mar" is for Marshall) was named in honor of Justice Marshall; Clay-Ashland was named in honor of Henry Clay; and Bushrod Island was named in honor of Bushrod Washington. (Source of portraits and daguerreotypes: Library of Congress, except Bushrod Washington which comes from volume IV of Albert J. Beveridge's "The Life of John Marshall")

Most black leaders believed that the ACS was a racist and pro-slavery organization and that black emigration was a ploy to strengthen the grip of slavery. However, there were African American leaders who embraced black emigration while rejecting the ACS. Black nationalists including Martin Delany and Paul Cuffe encouraged emigration, and organizations such as the African Civilization Society, established in 1858, pressed for a separate black nation. Although black separatism appealed to many, most blacks did not favor emigration, despised the ACS, and challenged its arguments for colonization.

Some of this sentiment is clearly expressed in this statement by Martin Delany in 1849:

". . .Liberia in its present state as having thwarted the design of the original schemers, the slaveholding founders, which evidently was intended, as they frequently proclaimed it, as a receptacle for the freed colored people and superannuated slaves of America; but we view it in the light of a source of subsequent enterprise, which no colored American should permit himself to lose sight of.

(On Judge Benedict, head of the new country's judicial system:) a person of no force of character or fixed moral principles. The better feelings of our nature recoil at the idea of the toleration of such a wretch in any capacity wherein pends the responsibility of our destiny, or hope of elevation."

by Martin Delany "The North Star" 3/3/1849

As black support waned, the ACS turned its attention to its pro-slavery proponents. In 1819 the Congress of the United States authorized President Monroe to provide $100,000 to the ACS effort to purchase a suitable location in Africa for the colonization of America's free blacks. On December 15, 1821, the ACS purchased an area approximately 360 km (220 mi) south of Sierra Leone, an English colony established in 1787 for the colonization of British blacks. In 1822 the colony was named Liberia, and its capital was named Monrovia in honor of President James Monroe.

Disputes within the ACS over financial mismanagement and accusations by several Southern states that the organization had become pro-emancipation led colonizationists in New York, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Maryland to establish their own colonies along the coast of West Africa. Despite such large-scale dissatisfaction with the organization, it is estimated that the ACS sponsored the emigration of between 12,000 and 20,000 African Americans during the 19th century.

The abolition of slavery and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution eventually weakened the ACS and slowed the numbers of black emigrants to a trickle. By the turn of the century, the ACS had limited interactions with Liberia and existed largely on a formal basis. After leading the effort to separate free blacks and manumitted slaves from whites in the 19th century, the ACS was finally terminated on March 22, 1963. The organization's assets were transferred to the Phelps-Stokes Fund, an organization that supports African and African American education.


American Investment in Liberia

Just over two decades ago, American investments in Liberia summed up to a staggering three billion dollars. The investments were primarily concentrated in the mining, agricultural and banking sectors of the Liberian economy. While capital flight at the time was occasioned by unsavory political developments, the actual natural resources that attracted such huge financial infusion still very much available today.

Liberia is endowed with abundant natural resources, paramount among which are iron ore, gold, diamond, fisheries, tree crops and timber from its vast tropical rain forest.


Meaning of Liberia

The country was named Liberia, from the Latin word "liber", meaning free.



The climate in Liberia is tropical, but there are two seasons - the dry and the rainy seasons. The dry runs from November to April, while the rainy seasons covers May through October. The two seasons run six months each yearly, but during December to January, Liberia experiences the Harmattan wind which blows from the Sahara Desert in northern Africa. During the dry, the temperature may rise as high as 33 degree Celsius and may grow as cold as 25 degree Celsius during the rainy season. Some areas like the capital, Monrovia, average about 140 inches, or above, of rain a year, while areas in the interior may average about 70 inches.

Located on the West coast of Africa, Liberia is bounded on the north by francophone Guinea; on the west by Sierra Leone; on the east by francophone Ivory Coast and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. It covers a landmass of 43,000 square miles. Six key rivers - Mano, Cavalla, St. John, St Paul, Lofa and Cestos - flow through Liberia and empty into the Atlantic Ocean. The country is now divided into 14 political sub-divisions for administrative purposes.



The official language of Liberia is English. A peculiar sort of coloqual English is generally spoken by many in the cities and towns. There are, however, about 28 tribes speaking some four dozens dialects, but 16 of the tribes are considered the major ones. Liberians also speak a colloqual form of English.

Click to listen to some coloqual Liberian English.

Sample 1 - a radio ad (Yeast ad)

Sample 2 - a radio ad (Dogafleh/Used clothes ad)



Christianity, Islam and paganism dominate the religious beliefs of the people. The Liberian Constitution provides freedom of worship so many new and upcoming religious beliefs are practiced without official repression.



Liberia has a population estimated at nearly three million inhabitants. About one-third of that number is reported to be residing in the capital, Monrovia, due to mass rural-urban migration. Of the 750,000 Liberians who fled into exile due to the civil conflict, at least a quarter of a million still reside as refugees in the West African sub-region and other parts of the world.



There are 16 ethnic groups that make up Liberia Liberia is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire.
The country has recently been afflicted by two civil wars (1989 - 1996 and 1999 - 2003) that have displaced hundreds of thousands of its citizens and destroyed the Liberian economy.


Liberian Motto

The love of liberty brought us here.

Liberia's seal/Coat of arms:



The form of government is Republican, with three separate and coordinate branches: the Legislature, comprising a 26-seat Senate and a 64-seat House of Representatives; the Executive, with executive power vested in the President and Vice President; and the Judiciary, made up of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices. Consistent with the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances, the three branches maintain independence from interference by any other branch. Liberia is a unitary state divided into counties (regions) for administrative purposes.



Liberia is endowed with abundant natural resources, paramount among which are iron ore, gold, diamond, fisheries, rubber and timber from its vast tropical rain forests and a variety of animal species.


Liberia has about 45% of the tropical rain forest in the Upper Guinea region comprising some five West African countries and is labeled one of the "hot spots" in the world in terms of its untapped forest resources. The country has also been classified as having "a global heritage site" inundated with unique species of fauna and flora.
The Liberian forest reserves are reported to have a potential of 10,000-15,000 cubic meters per square kilometer on a closed forest area of around 2.4million hectares. This is one sector that has attracted direct foreign investment since 1997.


This could well be the leading cash crop in the country at present, produced by smallholders (about 35%) and a number of concessionaires, prominent among which are Bridgestone (Japan), Liberia Agriculture Company (French group Bollore) and Guthrie (Malaysian). This sector yearns for a processing facility to do finished products in the country to add value in the wake of a worldwide recession in the prices of the commodity.

Cocoa and Coffee

Plantations of cocoa and coffee, once leading cash crops in Liberia, as well as plantations of oil palm, are yet to be fully revitalized and marketing mechanism installed to create incentives for the farmers, the bulk of them smallholders.

Gold and Diamond

There are at least three concessions doing gold and diamond mining particularly in the west and southeast of the country. The disparity between licensed and unlicensed miners is high, with many of then doing illicit alluvial mining. The government has passed new mining and mineral laws, regulating the industry and providing incentives for investors wanting to do large scale, mechanized mining of the minerals. Official statistics shows that US$84million was earned in export of diamond in 1988, while gold reached some 40-45kg per month around the same period.

Iron Ore

Already hit by a decline by 1990 due largely to a slump in world market prices, the iron ore sector on which the country's national revenue intake once depended, has hit the rocks. However, studies show reserves of some 800million tons with iron ore content of 35-67% and the discovery of deposits amounting to an estimated one billion tons of high-grade ore. Swedish, American and German companies once ran four iron ore mines in the country. Studies indicate re-starting the old mines or operating new ones will call for sizable infusion of investment capital for repairs and replacement of vandalized equipment. Several countries are reported to be eying this sector.



Local transport is done mainly by road that, in some cases, are in a deplorable state due to war-years neglect. International flights are done through the country's only international airport, Roberts International Airport, though still being refurbished after the war, while domestic flights are out of commission. Sea transport is regularized with the country's four ports, Monrovia, Buchanan, Greenville and Harper catering for cargoes coming in and going out of the country as well as serving local commuters on small sea craft. Hire car service is available, while taxis take short-time reasonable hire and are operated by friendly, cordial drivers. Passenger train transport is also non-existent.



The Liberia Electricity Corporation with the approval of the government in December 1999 converted the country's electricity supply system from the North American standard of 60 cycle (110/220 volts) to the IEC West African standard of 50 cycle (230/400 volts). The conversion makes possible future connection to the West African Grid and lowers, over time, the unit cost of electricity since future interconnection will present the opportunity of buying cheaper power from abroad in the sub-region when the need arises.

Although much of the electricity generation and distribution facilities were damaged during the civil conflict, efforts by the government and some foreign friends have led to the installation of five diesel units and upgrading of distribution network. Efforts to restore the country's hydro-electricity plant outside Monrovia are also underway. For now, certain individuals and entities rely on private generators.

The country's pre-conflict power generating capacity was estimated at 173kw per 1,000 inhabitants.


The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation ensure the supply of safe drinking water to the Liberian capital with the help of the European Union. Some 15million gallons of water are required daily for the city which has had only a partial restoration of water through the tap. Many entities and individuals rely on reservoirs for constant water supply, while water is trucked to huge reservoirs in the communities for the mass of the people. Imported brands of mineral water abound in the shopping malls and hotels.


The postal system is slowly returning to normal. Most mail leaves Liberia faster than they arrive. One's best bet is to use international courier services such as DHL, Fed Ex and AES for fast and reliable mailing with the outside world. Postal services in the regions are resuscitating at a snail's pace.

Modern telecommunications technology has come to Liberia, albeit at an exorbitant cost to the consumer. Cellular and satellite phones, Internet and other such services are available. Local and international calls get through easily, although one may experience a sudden, unannounced breakdown in the system that may take days to restore.

Communication outside the capital, to a large extend, is poor. SSB (single side band) radios have been a major source of communication with the rural parts.


Public Holidays

Late President Tubman's birthday
January 1st.
February 11th
2nd Wednesday in March
March 15th
May 14th
July 26th
August 24th
1st. Thursday in November
November 29th
December 25th

First in Africa Facts about Liberia

In 1847, Liberia became Africa's first independent republic with a constitution modeled after that of the United States. The United Kingdom officially recognized the Republic of Liberia in 1848, as did France in 1852.

Liberia's 18th President, William V.S. Tubman, was the first foreign leader to sleep in the White House as guest of President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954. During his state visit, the Blair House, the U.S. government official Guest House was under renovation so, his host, President Eisenhower, invited him to sleep at the White House.

Liberia was the first African country to have a female Head of State. Madam Ruth Sando Perry headed the five-member Council of State transitional government that took the country to general elections in 1997 that officially ended the Liberian civil conflict and restored the country to democratic, civilian rule.

A Liberian woman was the first African woman and the second woman in the world to serve as President of the United Nations General Assembly. Mrs. Angie Brooks Randolph served as President of the UN General Assembly in 1969.

The last surviving signatory to the Charter that founded the United Nations in 1945 in San Francisco was a Liberian who died in April 1980. Richard A. Henries, who was Speaker of the Liberian parliament at the time of death, represented the Liberian at that historic ceremony and signed the Charter on behalf of his country.


Liberia's Geography

Area (land): 96,320 sq km
(per capita): 0.02 sq km per person

Area (total): 111,370 sq km
(per capita): 0.03 sq km per person

Area (water): 15,050 sq km
(per capita): 0.00 sq km per person

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Tennessee

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

Coastline: 579 km
(per capita): 0.17 km per 1000 people

Elevation extremes (highest point): Mount Wuteve 1,380 m

Elevation extremes (lowest point): Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Forested Land: 31.3% (2000)
Geographic coordinates: 6 30 N, 9 30 W

Geography - note: facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1998 est.)
(per capita): 0.00 sq km per 1000 people

Land boundaries (border countries): Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km

Land boundaries (total): 1,585 km
(per capita): 0.47 km per 1000 people
Land use (arable land): 1.97%

Land use (other): 95.95% (1998 est.)

Land use (permanent crops): 2.08%
Largest city: Monrovia

Largest city population: 962,000 (1995)
(per capita): 290.00 per 1000 people

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Maritime claims (territorial sea): 200 NM

Natural hazards: dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast .

~ Nation Master


Liberia's ancient forests have been identified as one of 25 threatened bio diversity"hotspots" globally and now represent almost half of what remains of the Upper Guinean Forest Ecosystem, a rainforest belt that once covered the whole of Liberia, plus parts of Sierra Leone, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo. They represent the last strongholds for forest elephants and the Pygmy hippopotamus in West Africa. The forests harbour species only found in Liberia and many more that are nearly extinct elsewhere.~ Green Peace


Liberian Anthem

Click to Listen

All hail, Liberia, hail!
All hail, Liberia, hail!
This glorious land of liberty
Shall long be ours.
Though new her name,
Green be her fame,
And mighty be her powers,
And mighty be her powers,
In joy and gladness
With our hearts united,
We'll shout the freedom
Of a race benighted,
Long live Liberia, happy land!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!

All hail, Liberia, hail!
All hail, Liberia, hail!
In union strong success is sure
We cannot fail!
With God above
Our rights to prove
We will o'er all prevail,
We will o'er all prevail,
With heart and hand
Our country's cause defending
We'll meet the foe
With valour unpretending.
Long live Liberia, happy land!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command


Where is Liberia?

Liberia lies on the west coast of Africa and it borders the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone. Liberia is slightly larger than Tennessee and has an area of 43,000 square miles population of 2.4 million. It was founded in 1847 by American philanthropic organizations as a colony for liberated black slaves from the United States

Liberia faces the Atlantic Ocean, and it's coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture.

Liberia's capital, Monrovia (population 425,000) is named after James Monroe (1758-1831), the fifth President of the United States.


Time Zone

Liberian Standard Time is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Liberia does not operate Daylight-Saving Time. Click for the current time in Liberia


Dialing code for Liberia

The International Dialing Code for Liberia is 231.


Liberia’s local administrative structure is divided into 14 provincial districts or “Counties” which are:

Grand Bassa




Grand Cape Mount





Grand Gedeh


Grand Kru


River Cess


The True Whig Party

The True Whig Party, was Liberia's only legal political party for over 100 years, from 1878 to the coup d'etat of 1980. Initially, its ideology was heavily influenced by that of the American Whig party.

The American True Whig Party did not exist before 1834, but its nucleus was formed in 1824 when the adherents of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay joined forces against Andrew Jackson . This coalition, which later called itself the National Republican party , increased in strength after the election of Jackson in 1828 and was joined in opposition to the President by other smaller parties, the most notable being the Anti-Masonic party . By 1832, Jackson had also earned the enmity of such diverse groups as states' rights advocates in the South, proponents of internal improvements in the West, and businessmen and friends of the Bank of the United States in the East. This opposition was built up and correlated by Henry Clay in the election of 1832. Two years later, in 1834, all the various groups were combined in a loose alliance.

In Liberia, sidetracked by the Roye debacle, the True Whig Party reemerged in 1877 as the dominant political party, sweeping the elections that year that put its candidate, Anthony William Gardiner, in the presidency. The True Whigs carried every subsequent national election, usually without serious opposition, and would dominate Liberian political life for more than 100 years. Although there was no legal prohibition, against other parties, Liberia became in effect a one party state.

The "Liberian" True Whig Party was organized at the national, county, and local levels. At each level it was controlled centrally by an executive committee composed of an inner core of party and government officials men referred to as the "Honorables" or, more colloquially, the "big shots" who set the party's and the government's agenda.

The choice of the presidential candidate -the True Whigs' "standard bearer" nominated at the party's national convention; was determined previously in bargaining sessions conducted by leading personalities and factions represented on an executive committee. Parallel county conventions chose candidates for the legislature who were virtually assured election at the polls.

In contrast to the unanimity demonstrated at the national convention, some of these contests could be prolonged and bitter, pitting rival families and factions against one another. The resemblance of the True Whig Party to organized American politics was, as far as it went, intentional. The party, for example, was also known as the "Grand Old Party," and its symbol was the elephant.

Electoral campaigns were active despite the lack of a real opposition. A token challenge might be offered by a faction within the party at odds with the current party leadership. Office holders who were asked to step down to make way for another candidate might be placated by the offer of a government appointment or dissidents persuaded to withdraw from a race by the promise of a place on the ticket in a subsequent election.

Criticism of the True Whig Party was seen as a threat to the solidarity of the Americo-Liberian community; although freedom of speech was guaranteed by the constitution, restrictions were placed on dissent, and opposition candidates were subjected to official harassment. Between elections there was little, if any, organized opposition to True Whig governments.

The leadership of the True Whig Party paralleled that of the Masonic Order, and it was as inconceivable for anyone to aspire to a political career who was not a lodge member as it was for someone who was not a member of the party. The lodges enforced social control on potential dissenters and provided the setting in which political bargains could be struck among fellow members. Government and party officials were also likely to be prominent members of one of the Protestant churches. A number of ordained clergymen were also politically active, and appointment to lay positions in the church, such as that of vestryman, was often contingent on political affiliation.

Political power was concentrated in a small number of prominent families who led factions and formed alliances within the party. A political career could be enhanced by a wise marriage. Established politicians took promising young men in "wardship," preparing the way for their advancement. If a patron fell from grace within the party oligarchy, the ward either sought out a new patron or lost his preferment. Patronage pervaded all administrative practices. Because government jobs and appointments were owed to a party connection, a portion of the salary of each civil servant and officeholder was diverted to party funds.

Under the True Whigs, personal wealth became the by product of involvement in politics rather than entrepreneurship . Those outside the True Whig oligarchy or not beholden to it were prevented from acquiring an independent source of economic influence. Large business firms were almost all foreign owned and, therefore, de politicized, although they were expected to make "contributions" to the party and provide jobs for politically well connected Liberians. Liberian owned businesses were of two kinds: either small businesses run by those without political stature or larger enterprises owned but not operated by government and party officials that profited from government preferment.

The brightest and most ambitious young Liberians were consequently attracted to the study of law, which was a preparation for politics and administration and conferred social status. The political system that produced lawyers in numbers disproportionate to the need stifled incentives for entering business as a career and also diverted talent from fields such as medicine, education, and engineering. On the one hand, the undeveloped Liberian economy offered little opportunity for technically trained graduates and entrepreneurs, but, on the other hand, the lack of them contributed to Liberia's underdevelopment.

~ Excerpts from


Why was Liberia called the "Grain Coast"?

In the 15th century, “grains of paradise,” i.e., seeds of the melegueta pepper, became a major export item in the region now called Liberia; hence the name Grain Coast.


Common name: grains of paradise, nengrekondre pepre, alligator pepper, guinea grains, graines de paradis, atar, paradies kõrner, grani de Meleguetta, paradijs korrels.
Family: zingerberaceae (ginger family).

A tropical perrennial growing up to 5' tall.
It has lanceolate leaves up to 9" long.
Originally from West Africa.

The numerous seeds are borne in grayish - brown capsules.
The important part of this plant is the seed; the small reddish - brown seeds have a pungent aroma with a pepper - like heat.
This spice is tempered with among others, flavors reminiscing of hazelnut, butter and citrus.
The essential oil from grains of paradise consists of two sesquiterpenes, humelene and caryophyllene and the oxides of these.



Liberian Flag

Liberian Flag

The "lone star"

Liberia's national flag is called "LONE STAR".

The Liberian Flag, has 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a white five-pointed star on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the design was based on the US flag.

The eleven horizontal stripes represent the eleven signers of the declaration of independence and the constitution of the Republic of Liberia; the blue field symbolizes the continent of Africa; the five pointed white star depicts Liberia as the first "independent republic" on the continent of Africa; the red color designates "valor"; the white, "purity"; and the blue, "fidelity." Although these representations are uniquely Liberian, the flag itself is a replica of "Old Glory," the national flag of the United States.Following the declaration of independence in on July 26, 1847, the founders of that first African Republic scheduled August 24, 1847 as the date of unfurling a new flag for the new Republic.

Old Liberian Flag

The original (1827) flag of Liberia, had a white cross on a blue canton.


Liberia - Flag of convenience

A flag of convenience is a flag of one country, flown by a ship owned by another country. Doing this can avoid taxes and make registration easier for the ship owner, and makes money for the country providing the flag.

Other countries with stricter requirements for ship registration do not like this as it deprives them of money, and is possibly more dangerous and unfair to ship workers.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) maintains a list of countries that use their flag for this purpose.

More than 1,800 ships on the high seas fly the flag of Liberia.

Many of these ships never visit Liberia - they just register there because the taxes and regulations regarding ship maintenance and who serves on the crew suit their particular needs.

This practice is called flying a flag of convenience. And for a variety of reasons - mostly because of direct U.S. involvement and the money that the registry program pumps into the government treasury - Liberia's flag will remain convenient no matter what happens in the latest wave of violence there.

The ships that fly a country's flag pay both taxes and fees. Liberia's program, for example, contributes $18 million to $20 million annually to the government, according to shipping industry executives. With Liberia's economy devastated by more than two decades of civil unrest, the money the nation receives from shipping companies makes up nearly one-third of its government's annual budget.

Liberia's flag is, indeed, convenient for ship owners.

They can register a vessel in Liberia without going there - and without even dealing with Liberians. The forms are available online. And, unlike the United States, Great Britain, Greece and other developed nations, a ship can fly the Liberian flag without having to hire Liberians to work aboard ship.

The same is true in many countries that register ships.

But more than any other, Liberia's ship registry program has long and close ties to the United States, as does Liberia's history, dating to its founding by freed American slaves in 1847.

Liberia's ship registry program, heavily used by U.S. vessel owners, was actually created by the United States. It was set up in 1948 by Edward R. Stettinius Jr., who had three years earlier completed his tenure as secretary of state under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

Under Liberian law, the ship registry program must be operated by an independent firm that is owned and operated by U.S. citizens. This firm operates under a contract embedded in Liberian law, not as an administrative matter administered by whoever happens to be heading the government at the time.


U.S. Ministers to Liberia (1866-1949)

John Seys (Minister 1866-70)
J. Milton Turner (Minister 1871-78)
John H. Smyth (Minister 1878-81)
Henry Highland Garnet (Minister 1881-82)
John H. Smyth (Minister 1882-85)
Moses A. Hopkins (Minister 1885-86)
Charles Henry James Taylor (Minister 1887)
Ezekiel Ezra Smith (Minister 1888-90)
Alexander Clark (Minister 1890-91)
William D. McCoy (Minister 1892-93)
William H. Heard (Minister 1895-98)
Owen Lun West Smith (Minister 1898-1902)
John R. A. Crossland (Minister 1902-03)
Ernest Lyon (Minister 1903-10)
William D. Crum (Minister 1910-12)
George W. Buckner (Minister 1913-15)
James L. Curtis (Minister 1915-17)
Joseph L. Johnson (Minister 1918-22)
Solomon Porter Hood (Minister 1922-26)
William T. Francis (Minister 1927-29)
Charles E. Mitchell (Minister 1930-33)
Lester Aglar Walton (Minister 1935-46)
Raphael O'Hara Lanier (Minister 1946-48)
Edward Richard Dudley (Minister 1948-49)


Letters/Accounts of 19th century Liberia

Following, are links to written accounts by visitors, missionaries, or settlers in 19th century Liberia.

In reading these accounts, note that they are usually written in the perspective of the writer, and not necessarily the views/perspective of Liberians. Hence some are laced with disdain for African traditions, which some of the writers neither appreciated nor understood.








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