In the 19th century, the American Colonization Society (ACS), a white-dominated private organization, financed and organized the transportation of nearly 13,000 African-Americans to the West Coast of Africa and their settlement on a coastal strip of land, with diplomatic, military, financial and logistical support of the US Government. In 1847, the American colonies thus created declared themselves independent. The Republic of Liberia was a reality.
On multiple occasions I have explained that, in many cases, the emigration of African-Americans, mostly former slaves, to Africa was far from voluntary. I supported this with historical documents. See e.g. my posts dated November 12, 2020, ‘Conditional manumission and emigration to Liberia‘, and December 13, 2020, ‘A letter from Edina (Liberia), dated May 2, 1838‘.
Unfortunately, there exists no historical overview and analysis of how many colonists were forced to leave the country where they were born and where they had grown up.
Below I offer another proof of the historic reality of forced emigration. The 19th c. African-American colonists to Africa have often been presented as courageous people who took their destiny into their own hands. In many cases they indeed were brave people, who courageously faced an uncertain future in an unknown land with no infrastructure, a harsh and humid tropical climate, deadly diseases and a hostile indigenous population. However, many of them had not opted voluntary for the new environment where they would spend the rest of their lives. It is significant that emigration of African-Americans from the United States to Liberia came to a virtual standstill after US President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 declaring that as from January 1, 1863 all persons held as slaves in the southern, rebellious states were free.
The 1844 newspaper ‘Public Leger’, published in Philadelphia, Penns., carries a short article in its May 7 edition on the voyage of 18 manumitted slaves to Africa.
They were manumitted by the last will of a Missouri slaveholder, Thomas Lindsay of St. Charles county, on condition of their emigrating to Liberia.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding Fathers of the United States, third president of the US, and a staunch supporter of the American Colonization Society: There is no place for two races in this country.’