American Colonization Society

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American Colonization Society,

organized Dec., 1816–Jan., 1817, at Washington, D.C., to transport free blacks from the United States and settle them in Africa. The freeing of many slaves, principally by idealists, created a serious problem in that no sound provisions were made for establishing them in society on an equal basis with white Americans anywhere in the United States. Robert FinleyFinley, Robert
, 1772–1817, American clergyman, a founder of the American Colonization Society, b. Princeton, N.J. In 1787 he graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), where he later studied theology.
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, principal founder of the colonization society, found much support among prominent men, notably Henry ClayClay, Henry,
1777–1852, American statesman, b. Hanover co., Va. Early Career

His father died when he was four years old, and Clay's formal schooling was limited to three years.
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. Money was raised—with some indirect help from the federal government when (1819) Congress appropriated $100,000 for returning to Africa blacks illegally brought to the United States. In 1821 an agent, Eli Ayres, and Lt. R. F. Stockton of the U.S. Navy purchased land in Africa, where subsequently Jehudi AshmunAshmun, Jehudi,
1794–1828, U.S. agent to Liberia, b. Champlain, N.Y. After entering the Congregationalist ministry and spending a few years in teaching and editorial work, he was sent by the American Colonization Society to Liberia.
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 and Ralph R. Gurley laid the foundations of LiberiaLiberia
(New Lat.,=place of freedom), officially Republic of Liberia, republic (2005 est. pop. 3,482,000), 43,000 sq mi (111,370 sq km), W Africa. Liberia fronts on the Atlantic Ocean for some 350 mi (560 km) on the southwest and is bordered on the northwest by Sierra Leone, on
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. The colonization movement came under the bitter attack of the abolitionists, who charged that in the South it strengthened slavery by removing the free blacks. The blacks themselves were not enthusiastic about abandoning their native land for the African coast. The colonization society, with its associated state organizations, declined after 1840. More than 11,000 blacks were transported to Liberia before 1860. From 1865 until its dissolution in 1912, the society was a sort of trustee for Liberia.


See P. J. Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement (1961); W. L. Garrison, Thoughts on African Colonization (1832, repr. 1968).

References in periodicals archive ?
Thoughts on African Colonization; or an Impartial Exhibition of the Doctrines, Principles and Purposes of the American Colonization Society.
I will use the term colonization whenever referring to white-sponsored plans to expatriate former slaves and free blacks to Africa, modeled upon or auxiliary to the American Colonization Society, and emigration to refer to plans initiated by African Americans to create black communities outside the borders of the United States, whether in the Western hemisphere or on the African continent.
Not only did they expose what Bacon describes as "the biases" and "racist goals" of the American Colonization Society (ACS), but also they made forceful arguments as to why readers should fight for their political rights and for the freedom of their brothers and sisters in the United States.
Casely Hayford, a pioneer of African nationalism, wrote in 1908 and dedicated "to the Sons of Ethiopia the World Wide Over" (8), and the text "Ethiopia stretching out her hands unto God" which Edward Wilmot Blyden delivered as a speech to the American Colonization Society in May 1880 (9).
James Madison, another of the Virginia Dynasty, opposed slavery and saw organizations such as the American Colonization Society (ACS)--which advocated purchasing slaves and transporting them to Liberia--as the best way to achieve freedom for black Americans.
Viewed against this backdrop, her chapter on the return of the Amistad Africans to Sierra Leone and the establishment of the Mende Mission underscores the conflicting agendas of the American Colonization Society.
Founded by the American Colonization Society as a home for freed American slaves, Liberia declared its independence in 1847 and is Africa's oldest republic.
Relying upon American Colonization Society Papers, he shows how declining prospects in the city encouraged many local free blacks to migrate to Liberia, the society's colony in West Africa.
Independence: From American Colonization Society July 26, 1847.
In 1816 free Blacks challenged race in the wake of the establishment of the American Colonization Society, which they read as a sinister attempt to remove them from the country to its newly found colony of Liberia on the West African Coast.

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