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 (2015 est. pop. 4,500,000), 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 ?
The American Colonization Society archives included photographs and postcards (now housed in the Prints and Photographs Division); correspondence, internal reports, and other official documents (in the Manuscript Division); and maps (in the Geography and Map Division).
The day following the meeting an anti-colonization meeting was also held, where attendees advised Putnam to "discontinue associating himself with Negroes of New York, because of association with the American Colonization Society our enemy villifier.
Early Lee Fox, The American Colonization Society, 1817-1840 (Lancaster, Pa.
In his extended critique of the American Colonization Society (ACS), Thoughts on African Colonization (1832), Garrison denounces the ACS's methods, identifying its black participants as "forced to turn volunteers" (17).
Bur Washington had no such interest, so the few thousand surviving freed slaves in their separate communities took the brave decision to unite, sever official links with the American Colonization Society and go it alone as a sovereign nation to be known as Liberia, 'Land of the Free'.
28, 1862, Domestic Letters, Outgoing Correspondence, Papers of the American Colonization Society, Library of Congress, reel 203 (hereafter ACS); "Twenty-first Annual Report of the Massachusetts Colonization Society" African Repository 38, no.
The American Colonization Society (ACS), which proposed the unrealistic scheme of purchasing slaves and shipping them to Africa, argued that bondage in America had been part of God's plan.
Founded in 1816, the American Colonization Society (ACS) served as the primary agent for the black colonization of Africa.
On January 31, 1820, hundreds of well-wishers packed the African Church in New York City to commemorate the first voyage to Africa undertaken by the American Colonization Society (ACS).
The 12-ton cornerstone was stuffed with all sorts of memorabilia, including 71 contemporary newspapers, a 1783 penny and an annual report of the American Colonization Society.
Written by Assistant Professor of History (Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas) Allan Yarema, The American Colonization Society is the true story of a major social movement that originated in the 1800's and gained increasing support in the United States.
describes the history of the American Colonization Society, founded in 1816 as a social movement to colonize free blacks in Africa.

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