This is the story of a remarkable and under-appreciated episode in American history, one that began with the sadly misguided attempt to rid the United States of its African American population by colonizing free men and women of color in Africa. After twenty years of research and writing, part of the story--the establishment of the small colony of "Maryland" in Liberia--is at last presented here in full. Magnificently written and rich in detail culled from the papers of the Maryland State Colonization Society, this epic narrative takes the reader ashore with the first shipload of settlers in 1834 and follows their fate through twenty-three years, to the disastrous, climactic battle on Lake Sheppard and final annexation by the larger Republic of Liberia in 1857.
This is a compelling story of two sharply different cultures--former slaves from America and the indigenous Grebo people of the West African coast--encountering one another face to face. A major contribution to the historical literature of race in American History, and to the history of West Africa, On Afric's Shore is also the unforgettable story of individual bravery, sacrifice, ambition, and idealism.
*Contains a complete Roll of Emigrants to the colony of Maryland in Liberia. Each entry includes name and age at the time of departure, date of departure and ship, and, where possible, a note on subsequent life in the colony.
2003, Richard L. Hall, 644 pages, Hardcover