Black Emigration MOVEMENTS - Foreign Support and Opposition, 1787-1865

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BACKGROUND ON BLACK EMIGRATION MOVEMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES

Throughout the antebellum period, black emigration was a volatile and divisive element of the American slavery debate.  At various points between 1787 and 1865, advocates of this idea sponsored and facilitated free black immigration to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Haiti.  These movements were controversial for two reasons.  First, within the antislavery movement they precipitated bitter disputes regarding the effect of free black emigration on the institution of slavery.  Before 1830, many antislavery advocates believed that emigration programs, like that of the American Colonization Society (ACS), would encourage gradual emancipations throughout the South.  Their efforts received substantial support from British philanthropists and Great Britain's Sierra Leone colony.  Black antislavery leaders, in general, strongly disagreed, characterizing emigration as a racist idea that had the potential to reinforce American slavery.(1)  After 1830, this opposition group was joined by members of the newly formed American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) and by many British antislavery advocates, some of whom had formerly supported the ACS.

The second reason for this issue's volatility was that it touched on a highly sensitive racial question:  Should freeborn blacks and emancipated slaves have equal rights and opportunities in American society?  Emigration proponents held a variety of opinions on this subject.  Many white supporters, a substantial portion of whom opposed slavery, did not believe in equal rights;(2) not surprisingly, the small black population that supported emigration did.  Where their viewpoints coalesced was on the prospects for equal rights in the United States.  For the most part, emigrationists believed that blacks needed to leave the country if they wanted a chance at the rights of full citizenship within a society.  Their belief rested on the assumption that American racism was inveterate and ineradicable.(3)  Critics of emigration argued against this logic and, in many cases, accused emigrationists of hiding a racist agenda behind philanthropic motives.(4)  In published criticisms of the ACS, for example, antislavery leaders asserted that the ACS's true objective was to rid the United States of a race that its members believed was fundamentally unequal.  Interestingly, by the 1850s, a portion of black abolitionists had come to share the emigrationists' belief in the insurmountability of American racism.(5)  To the dismay of fellow antislavery advocates like Frederick Douglass, men like Martin Delany and Henry Highland Garnet reversed their former stances and began promoting emigration as the best option available to the American free black community.

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FOREIGN INFLUENCES THAT TENDED TO ENCOURAGE BLACK EMIGRATION, 1787-1865

FOREIGN INFLUENCES THAT TENDED TO DISCOURAGE BLACK EMIGRATION, 1787-1865


THE FOREIGN ORIGINS OF EARLY BLACK EMIGRATION MOVEMENTS, 1787-1830

Great Britain’s free black colony had a formative influence on American black emigration movements.  British philanthropists had established it in 1787 primarily as a destination for a group of impoverished free blacks living in London.(6)  During the late 1780s and 1790s, American antislavery leaders like John Jay and Samuel Hopkins corresponded with some of the colony's main sponsors - including John Erskine, Zachary Macaulay and Granville Sharp - in order to better understand the colony's condition and to assess its willingness to accept American settlers.  See, for example, “Correspondence between Samuel Hopkins and Granville Sharp” (1789), “Letter from Granville Sharp to John Jay” (1789) and “Letters from Zachary Macaulay to Samuel Hopkins" (1795-6).  Then, in the first decades of the 19th century, a black American merchant named Paul Cuffe worked with Sharpe, Macaulay and William Allen to organize passage to Sierra Leone for a small number of free black Americans.  See, for example, "Paul Cuffe’s Initial Attempts to Collaborate with the Sierra Leone Colony" (1809), A Brief Account of the Settlement and Present Situation of the Colony of Sierra Leone by Paul Cuffe (1812) and "Correspondence between Paul Cuffe and William Allen" (1815-16).  Cuffe’s seven-year collaboration with the Sierra Leone colony paved the way for the 1816 launch of the American Colonization Society (ACS), the most well-known and controversial emigration organization of the antebellum era. 

During the ACS's first decade, British influence on the organization was significant.  In the "Opening Article of the African Repository of the American Colonization Society" (1825), the ACS acknowledged its debt to Great Britain and stated explicitly that it had modeled its Liberian colony on Sierra Leone.  Beginning in 1817, the ACS's leaders had reached out to Sierra Leone's British sponsors, some of whom had worked with Cuffe, for advice and guidance on the ACS's nascent emigration plan.  See, for example, “Excerpts from Three Letters from Ebenezer Burgess and Samuel Mills in London to the American Colonization Society” (1817-1818) and “Sketch of Sierra Leone” (1818).  The ACS’s stated objective was essentially the same as that of the Sierra Leone settlement:  to help free blacks forge a better life in Africa.  The ACS's leaders also hoped to undermine slavery by encouraging slave emancipations.  By facilitating the expatriation of emancipated slaves, they hoped to diminish slaveholder concerns about the negative effects ex-slaves would have on American society.  At various points during the late 1810s and 1820s, the ACS put the idea of black emigration before Congress in an attempt to gain financial and legislative support.  In general, Congress expressed an unwillingness to sponsor the ACS beyond utilizing it as a mechanism for expatriating slaves who were emancipated as part of the United States’s enforcement efforts against the international slave trade.  For more information on the early relationship between Congress and the ACS, see “Congressional Report on Slave Trade and Colonization” (1818) and “Congressional Additions to 1807 Slave Trade Law" (1818).  Ultimately, in 1821, the ACS purchased land on the west coast of Africa, not far from Sierra Leone, and established its Liberian colony.   

Prior to the early 1830s when opposition to the ACS exploded, moderate amounts of support also came from European countries outside of Great Britain.  See, for instance, “Letter from Count Schimmelman, former Minister of State in Denmark” (1818), “Letter from Theophilus Blumhardt (Swiss)” (1828) and “Article in the African Repository:  ‘Swiss Mission to Liberia’” (1829).

During this early period, significant support for black emigration came from Haiti.  This library includes two emigration invitations from the Haitian government that were directed to the American free black population.  The first, published in 1818, was informal and appeared in an article in Niles' Weekly Register:  refer to “Excerpt of Letter from Secretary General of Haiti in Niles' Weekly Register: ‘People of Color’”.  The second, communicated in 1824, garnered more attention and was recorded in “Three Articles in Niles' Weekly Register on Emigration to Haiti” and Correspondence Relative to the Emigration to Hayti.  The latter invitation was promoted in the United States by ACS official Loring Dewey, although according to the second 1824 document, Dewey was operating outside of his ACS function in filling the role of Haitian liaison (see Dewey's note at the bottom of page 8).

American reactions to Haitian influence were varied.  Interestingly, although black antislavery leaders had strongly opposed the ACS's emigration program since its founding, several thousand free blacks accepted Haiti’s offer and emigrated between 1824 and 1826.  The fact that a substantial portion did not ultimately remain in Haiti (7) suggests that this event did not affirm for the black community the concept of improving one’s station in life through emigration.  Contemporary articles in the African Repository, the ACS’s official publication, suggest a mixed response from the organization's supporters:  some members saw Haiti as a viable alternate emigration destination, while others saw Haitian emigration as competitive with the institution's agenda.(8)  One interesting point made in multiple articles was that this event provided some validation of the institution’s claim that emigration appealed to the American free black community.(9)  During the 1830s and 1840s, the institution's perspective seems to have become more uniformly negative.  Disparaging remarks made in the African Repository indicate that the ACS increasingly saw Haitian emigration as a threat to its emigration agenda:  see, for example, "Colonization in Canada and Hayti, Compared to Colonization in Liberia" (1832) and "The Commonwealth of Liberia" (1840).  These documents also suggest that the idea of Haitian emigration remained a part of the ongoing black emigration debates during these decades even though the Haitian government did not issue another formal invitation until the late 1850s.  

FOREIGN INFLUENCE ON THE CONTENTIOUS DEBATES REGARDING BLACK EMIGRATION, 1831-1865

The ACS and the concept of black emigration came under attack in the United States during the early 1830s.  The British antislavery movement played a significant role in this trend through the publications and speeches of Charles Stuart, George Thompson, James Cropper and Daniel O’Connell (Irish).  These men vigorously supported the newly formed American Anti-Slavery Society's (AASS) attempts to discredit the ACS and erode its membership.  Notable documents included in this library are Stuart’s Remarks on the Colony of Liberia and the American Colonization Society (1832), the “Speech of Daniel O’Connell at the Great Anti-Colonization Meeting held at Exeter Hall, London” (1833), Cropper’s The Extinction of the American Colonization Society (1834) and the “Speech by George Thompson to the New-England Anti-Slavery Society” (1834).  These publications catalyzed a number of responses from ACS members and supporters.  Several are included in this library, such as Leonard Bacon’s Review of Pamphlets on Slavery and Colonization (1833) and ACS officer Ralph Gurley’s “Remarks on the Principles of the American Colonization Society” (1834).

During this time period, a portion of the news and influence flowing to the United States from Liberia supported these anti-emigration efforts.  Two documents, in particular, demonstrate this trend:  “Letters from James Temple (Liberian emigrant) Published in The Liberator” (1834) and the Examination of Thomas C. Brown (1834).  Documents like these that presented negative firsthand accounts of the emigrant experience strongly supported the AASS's claim that the ACS did not prioritize the best interests of the American black population.  The latter document is particularly interesting in that it records a lengthy debate between the AASS and the ACS conducted in a trial-like format.  Although by the late 1830s, the AASS had reduced the intensity of its anti-ACS campaign - by this point, the ACS's reputation was seriously damaged - opponents of the ACS continued to facilitate the publication of reports from Liberia that tended to discourage emigration.  Examples of these documents are included in the two Case Study collections entitled “Discouragement of Black Emigration by Liberian Residents and Visitors, 1825-1865" and “Negative Reports from Liberia regarding the Colony/Country’s Progress, 1825-1865.”  See, for example, “Letter from Louis Richmond (Liberian emigrant) to Lewis Tappan Published in The Liberator” (1838), "Dismal Prospects of Liberia" (1842), and Four Months in Liberia; or, African Colonization Exposed by William Nesbit (1855).  
 
From the early 1830s until 1865, however, a substantial amount of Liberian influence tended to encourage black emigration.  When analyzing this large collection of documents, it is important to keep in mind the fact that Liberia was subordinate to the ACS up through 1846 and retained connections to the institution after its independence in 1847.  Beginning in 1827 with the "Address of the Colonists to the Free People of Colour in the U.S." and continuing through the 1860s with the publications and speeches of Edward Blyden and Alexander Crummell, Liberian residents encouraged American free blacks to immigrate to Liberia.  In addition to these documents, see, for instance, "To the Free Coloured People of the United States" by Beverly Wilson (1835), “Letter from Mr. Hanson to Elliott Cresson" (1839), “Letter from George Seymour to Ralph Pinney” (1851) and "Article in the African Repository: 'Letter from Augustus Washington'" (1859).  Encouraging influence also came in the form of favorable reports regarding living conditions in Liberia or of the colony/nation’s general progress.  Included in this library are news reports from the African Repository and pamphlets published by individuals who lived in Liberia for a period of time: for example, "Article in the African Repository:  'Latest from Liberia'" (1836), "Late Despatches from Liberia" (1842) and “Liberian Independence: Documents and Correspondence” (1848), all published in the African Repository, and The Looking Glass by Daniel Petersen (1854). 

Liberian influence produced both favorable and hostile reactions within the United States.  Relevant documents can be found in two sections of the Case Study area of this module:  “Favorable Views in the United States and Europe of Liberian Progress, 1835-1865” and “Unfavorable Views in the United States and Europe of Liberian Progress, 1830-1865.”  The first section includes A Concise History of the Commencement, Progress and Present Condition of The American Colonies of Liberia (1839) by Samuel Wilkeson, “Letter to the Editor of the National Era from a Southerner” (1847), “Letter to Frederick Douglass from Benjamin Coates” (1851), “Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper:  ‘Speech of Mr. Miller, of N. Jersey, on the Expediency of Recognizing the Independence of Liberia, Delivered in the U.S. Senate, March 3 1853 (Excerpt)’” and "Interesting Correspondence between the Governor of Indiana and the President of Liberia” (1856).  The second section draws mainly from black newspapers and the publications of black antislavery leaders.  It includes documents such as “Article in The Colored American:  ‘Resolutions of the People of Cleveland, on the Subject of African Colonization’" (1839), “Article in The North Star:  ‘Liberia and the Slave Trade’" (1848) and The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (Excerpt) by Martin Delany (1852).

One of the most interesting responses to Liberian influence was that after the colony's independence in 1847, some within the American black community began to see Liberia in a more favorable light.(10)  This trend coincided with and reinforced growing interest in emigration, a shift in sentiment among American blacks that was precipitated by anti-black legislation like the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and that was memorialized in a series of publications and conventions such as the 1854 "National Emigration Convention":  see The Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People (1854).  Though some still disparaged Liberia because of its association with the ACS, black antislavery leaders like Martin Delany and Henry Highland Garnet began to characterize the new nation as an important symbol of the black race’s equivalent capacity for self-government and self-improvement.  See, for example, Henry Highland Garnet's "Article in The North Star: 'Colonization and Emigration'" (1849) and Martin Delany's "Article in The North Star:  'Liberia'" (1849).  The latter document also provides insights into the reservations that antislavery advocates who had long opposed emigration had regarding their evolving perspectives.  Their writings also reveal Liberia's important role in the growing pan-Africanist consciousness that manifested during this time period within the black community of the United States and the broader Atlantic region.(11)  As evidenced by Augustus Washington's "Article in the African Repository:  'African Colonization, by a Man of Color'" (1851) and Martin Delany's Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party (1861), among other included documents, the prospect of joining in a broad-based effort to rehabilitate Africa was a powerful motivation to emigrate.  Several publications and speeches of Edward Blyden and Alexander Crummell, two of the most influential Liberian emigrants, utilized this same connection between Liberia and pan-Africanism in their efforts to promote black emigration.  See, for example, Blyden's "Hope for Africa" (1862) and Crummell's The Future of Africa (1862).

During the 1850s and 1860s, the Haitian government reemerged as an active proponent of American black emigration.  Two of this movement’s main promoters were James Theodore Holly, one of the leaders of the 1854 National Emigration Convention, and James Redpath, a Scottish immigrant to the United States who became the Haitian government's official emigration liaison.  As part of their efforts, Holly and Redpath respectively published A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-Government, and Civilized Progress (1857) and A Guide to Hayti (1861), both included in this collection.  During the early 1860s, the Haitian government also advertised its emigration invitation in Douglass' Monthly:  refer to the “Recurring Advertisement from the Haitian Government Encouraging Emigration in Douglass' Monthly” (1862).

The majority of the reactions to Haitian emigration documented in this library carry a negative tone.  See, for example, “Article in Douglass' Monthly:  ‘Haytian Emigration Again’" by John Jones (1859), “Letter on Haytien Emigration” by William Lloyd Garrison (1861), “Two articles in the African Repository that Compare Haiti and Liberia as Emigration Destinations” (1861) and “Account of the 1863 Anti-Colonization Meeting in New York” (1863).  These publications indicate that opposition came from within the antislavery movement, the black community and the ACS, the longstanding advocate of black emigration.  However, it is important to remember that a segment of the American black population accepted Haiti's offer.(12)  This fact alone caused black antislavery leaders who opposed the movement to temper their criticisms.  Another factor that qualified their opposition was Haiti's ongoing importance as a symbol of black self-government and societal equality.  The best documentary examples of this complex reaction can be found in four articles written by Frederick Douglass in 1861:  "Emigration to Hayti," “Letter to the Editor of Douglass' Monthly regarding Haitian Emigration, with a Response,” "A Trip to Hayti" and "The Haytian Emigration Movement," all published in Douglass' Monthly.  They indicate that although he strongly believed that black Americans should remain in the United States and continue the fight for equal rights and against slavery, he acknowledged Haiti's symbolic importance and sympathized with the desire to escape the constraints of American racism.  In the last editorial, however, he makes abundantly clear that he opposes the national bureaucratic machine that has mobilized behind the Haitian emigration movement, asserting that its rhetoric and agenda have come to resemble that of the ACS.

Finally, though British antislavery advocates generally opposed American black emigration and the ACS after 1830, support from Great Britain did manifest in two forms during this later period:  ongoing letters and publications from a few British loyalists and British assistance for black emigration projects during the 1850s and 1860s.   With respect to the first category, one of the most loyal defenders was Thomas Hodgkin.  Included in this library are his An Inquiry into the Merits of the American Colonization Society (1833), “To the American Delegates to the Anti-Slavery Convention, Held in London” (1840) and “Letter from Thomas Hodgkin to Elliott Cresson" (1848).  Other documents that evidence ongoing British support are:  “A Vindication of the American Colonization Society and the Colony of Liberia (Excerpt)” (1833), “Letter from Great Britain to the African Repository" (1843) and “Letter from Martin Tupper to Elliott Cresson” (1848).  Of particular interest is the “Article in the African Repository:  ‘Letter of the Venerable Thomas Clarkson, on Colonization’” (1832).  It articulates a supportive position, albeit a qualified one, that he later reverses in an 1840 letter published in an American newspaper:  “Article in The Liberator:  'Thomas Clarkson’s Renunciation of the American Colonization Society.'”  Representative documents for the second category of British support include: “Expedition to Africa, to Promote the Cultivation of Cotton and other Products of Slave Labour, by Emigrants from America” (1859), “Speech by Henry Highland Garnet Delivered at the Music Hall, Birmingham England October 15, 1861” and “Discussion of British Support for Black Emigration in Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party” (1861) by Martin Delany.

Note on Dates in Documents Names:  For all letters and other types of correspondence, unless otherwise noted, the indicated year is the year when the document was written.  For all publications, unless otherwise noted, the indicated year is the year of the first edition published in the United States.  For speeches, petitions and all other documents, unless otherwise noted, the indicated year is the year when the document was written or when the associated event took place.

 

Foreign Influences that Tended to Encourage Black Emigration, 1787-1865

COLLABORATION WITH GREAT BRITAIN AND ITS SIERRA LEONE COLONY, 1787-1815

Letter from Samuel Hopkins to Moses Brown - 1787

Letter from Samuel Hopkins to John Erskine (British) - 1789

Correspondence between Samuel Hopkins and Granville Sharp (British) - 1789

Letter from Granville Sharp (British) to John Jay - 1789

Addendum to a published sermon called “A Discourse on the Slave Trade” by Samuel Hopkins - 1793; mentions Sierra Leone as evidence of the practicability of black emigration

Letters from Zachary Macaulay (British) to Samuel Hopkins - 1795-6; responds to ongoing petitions from emigrationists in Rhode Island to come to Sierra Leone

Paul Cuffe’s Initial Attempts to Collaborate with the Sierra Leone Colony - 1809

“African Colonization”; Letter from Thomas Jefferson to J. L______ (Excerpt) - 1811 (1817 publication); mentions conversations he had with British antislavery advocates, through Rufus King, regarding Sierra Leone as a destination

A Brief Account of the Settlement and Present Situation of the Colony of Sierra Leone by Paul Cuffe - 1812

Letter from Paul Cuffe to William Allen (British) - 1813

Paul Cuffe’s Petition to the U.S. Congress - 1813

Article about Congressional Debate over Paul Cuffe’s Petition: “Friday, March 18” - 1814

Correspondence between Paul Cuffe and William Allen (British) - 1815-16; reveals challenges encountered by Paul Cuffe in collaborating with the African Institution and Sierra Leone

Thoughts on the Colonization of Free Blacks by Robert Finley - 1815 (1834 publication); acknowledges the influence of Sierra Leone


ENCOURAGING INFLUENCES FROM LIBERIA, HAITI AND EUROPE DURING THE EARLY YEARS OF THE AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY (ACS), 1816-1830

Excerpts from Three Letters from Ebenezer Burgess and Samuel Mills in London to the American Colonization Society (ACS) - 1817-1818

“Free People of Color. Report on Colonizing the Free People of Color of the United States, House of Representatives, Feb. 11” - 1817; articulates Congress’s approval to relocate American free blacks to Sierra Leone

Letter from the Duke of Gloucester (British), President of the African Institution, to Bushrod Washington, President of the American Colonization Society (ACS) - 1818

Letter from Count Schimmelman, former Minister of State in Denmark, to Samuel Mills and Ebenezer Burgess of the American Colonization Society (ACS) - 1818

“Sketch of Sierra Leone” in The Second Annual Report of the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the United States - 1818

Congressional Report on Slave Trade and Colonization - 1818

Congressional Additions to 1807 Slave Trade Law - 1818; both laws authorize expatriation of blacks that are emancipated pursuant to the enforcement of the Slave Trade Law

Excerpt of Letter from Secretary General of Haiti in Niles' Weekly Register: “People of Color” – 1818; affirms Haiti's interest in American black emigration

Niles' Weekly Register Article that Provides Excerpts from a Meeting of the African Institution (British): “The Slave Trade” - 1822, compliments Great Britain's efforts in Sierra Leone

Correspondence Relative to the Emigration to Hayti, of the Free People of Colour, in the United States - 1824; documents the correspondence of Loring Dewey, American Colonization Society (ACS) official, and the Haitian government

Three Articles in Niles' Weekly Register on Emigration to Haiti - 1824

Opening Article of the African Repository of the American Colonization Society (ACS) – 1825; discusses Sierra Leone and Great Britain as major influences

History of the American Colony in Liberia, from December 1821 to 1823 by Jehudi Ashmun (white Liberian official) - 1826; describes the challenges encountered by the first group of colonists and praises their strength of character

"Address of the Colonists to the Free People of Colour in the U.S." - 1827; strong endorsement of Liberia and emigration written by recent Liberian emigrants

Letter from Theophilus Blumhardt (Swiss) to the American Colonization Society (ACS) - 1828

Article in the African Repository: "Swiss Mission to Liberia" - 1829; provides information on the missionary efforts led by Theophilus Blumhardt (Swiss)

Article in the African Repository: "Intelligence. Report from Hayti" - 1829; discourages emigration to Haiti based on negative accounts of the experiences of some emigrants from the United States

Article in the African Repository: "John Russwurm's [Liberian emigrant] Letter" - 1830; includes excerpts from his letter to "a young man of colour, now preparing himself for missionary efforts in Africa"


FOREIGN SUPPORT FOR BLACK EMIGRATION AS THE AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY (ACS) COMES UNDER ATTACK, 1831-1846

“Important Debate in Congress on Colonization” in The Liberator – 1831; discusses a British petition to Congress regarding colonization

A Brief History of the Island of Hayti by Sarah Tuttle - 1831

Article in the African Repository: "Letter of the Venerable Thomas Clarkson, on Colonization" by Thomas Clarkson (British) - 1832

Article in the African Repository: "Colonization in Canada and Hayti, Compared to Colonization in Liberia" - 1832; argues in favor of Liberia and asserts that Haitian emigration has largely stopped and that many emigrants have returned

Article in the African Repository: "Letters from Colonists [Eliza Hatter and Andrew Green]" - 1832; letters from ex-slaves to their former master that offer positive accounts of Liberia

“A Vindication of the American Colonization Society and the Colony of Liberia (Excerpt)” by J. Bevans (British) – 1833

An Inquiry into the Merits of the American Colonization Society by Thomas Hodgkin (British) - 1833

"To the Free Coloured People of the United States" by Beverly Wilson (Liberian emigrant) - 1835; Wilson wrote this positive account of Liberia after living there for a year

Article in the African Repository: "Latest from Liberia" - 1836

Yaradee; A Plea for Africa, being Familiar Conversations on the Subject of Slavery and Colonization by Frederick Freeman - 1836; an endorsement of Liberia and the efforts of the American Colonization Society (ACS), see chapters 21-30

Articles on Liberia from the African Repository - 1838; contains two endorsements of Liberian progress from other newspapers and a description of native superstition meant to affirm the need for Christian proselytizing

Letter from R. McDowall (American doctor who lived in Liberia for four years) to the Editor of the Christian Statesman - 1838; strongly supports the progress that can be attained if Americans increase their support for the American Colonization Society (ACS)

A Concise History of the Commencement, Progress and Present Condition of The American Colonies of Liberia by Samuel Wilkeson - 1839; a generally favorable account of Liberian progress intended to counterbalance the effect of anti-colonization publications

Letter from Mr. Hanson (native African educated in Great Britain and now living in Liberia as a missionary) to Elliott Cresson - 1839; encourages the American Colonization Society (ACS) to continue and expand their missionary efforts in Africa

Article in the African Repository: "The Commonwealth of Liberia" - 1840; asserts that Liberian citizens have more freedom than those living in Haiti (Santo Domingo)

“To The American Delegates to the Anti-Slavery Convention, Held in London, June 1840” by Thomas Hodgkin (British) - 1840

REACTION: Article in The Colored American: "Thomas Hodgkin [British] and Colonization" - 1840

Article in the African Repository: "The Commonwealth of Liberia [contd.]" - 1840; asserts that Liberian emigration offers better opportunities to American free blacks than the British West Indies

Mission to England, in Behalf of the American Colonization Society by Ralph Gurley - 1841; describes Gurley's largely unsuccessful attempt to regain British support for the American Colonization Society (ACS)

Article in the African Repository: "Late Despatches from Liberia" 1842; letters from the colonial government affirming progress

Letter from Great Britain to the African Repository - 1843; expresses support for the American Colonization Society's (ACS) efforts in Liberia and regret that Great Britain and the ACS have had a contentious relationship

Article in the African Repository: "Liberia. Considerations for the Approaching Annual Meeting of the Society" - 1844; a history of Liberia that focuses on the colony's commercial prospects and moral character

Letter from British Naval Officer to the Governor of Liberia: "Commander Jones's Letter" – 1845


ENCOURAGING INFLUENCES FROM LIBERIA, THE CARIBBEAN AND EUROPE DURING A PERIOD OF RESURGENT INTEREST IN BLACK EMIGRATION, 1847-1865

Letter to the Editor of the National Era from a Southerner - 1847; defends Liberian emigration and expresses optimism regarding Liberian progress

Letter from Martin Tupper (British) to Elliott Cresson - 1848

Letter from the Barbados Colonization Society to his Excellency President Roberts, President of the Republic of Liberia - 1848

Letter from Thomas Hodgkin (British) to Elliott Cresson - 1848

Calumny Refuted by Facts from Liberia. Presented to the Boston Anti-Slavery Bazaar, U.S. by Wilson Armistead - 1848

Liberian Independence: Documents and Correspondence in the African Repository - 1848; includes the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of Liberia

Article in the African Repository: "Citizens of Liberia in the United States” - 1848; includes comments on speeches gave by Liberians during their American visit

Article in the African Repository: “Recognition of the Republic of Liberia by France and England" - 1849

Letter from Gerald Ralston in London to Elliott Cresson - 1849

Article in The North Star: "Colonization and Emigration.____H.H. Garnet's Reply to S.S. Ward" - 1849; defends his changing feelings about colonization and emphasizes the importance of Liberia to the antislavery cause

Letter from Robert Wood (Antiguan) - 1850

Letter to Frederick Douglass from Benjamin Coates - 1851; emphasizes the importance of Liberia to the antislavery cause

Letter from Henry Clay to Thomas Hankey (British) - 1851; discusses Great Britain’s desire to facilitate the emigration to Jamaica

The New Republic by Massachusetts Sabbath School Society - 1851

Letter from Thomas Rutherford to William McLain, Secretary of the American Colonization Society (ACS) - 1851; cites Liberian progress as a reason to support black emigration

Letter from George Seymour (Liberian emigrant) to Ralph Pinney of the New York Colonization Society - 1851; calls on free blacks in the United States to immigrate to Liberia and support the "redemption" of Africa

Article in the African Repository: "African Colonization, by a Man of Color" by Augustus Washington - 1851; an endorsement by an American free black of the American Colonization Society (ACS) and the cause of Liberia

Article on Emigration to Jamaica in Frederick Douglass' Paper - 1852; mainly an excerpt from a public meeting in Jamaica that endorsed the idea of American black immigration

Land of Hope. Reminiscences of Liberia and Cape Palmas, with Incidents of the Voyage by William Hoyt - 1852

Article in the African Repository: "Letter from President Roberts" - 1852; includes two letters from President Roberts of Liberia describing his favorable reception in Great Britain and France

Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: "Speech of Mr. Miller, of N. Jersey, on the Expediency of Recognizing the Independence of Liberia, Delivered in the U.S. Senate, March 3 1853 (Excerpt)" - 1853

Liberia; or Mr. Peyton's Experiments by Sarah Hale - 1853

"Political Destiny of the Colored Race, on the American Continent. to the Colored Inhabitants of the United States" by Martin Delany, et al - 1854; asserts that American free blacks can gain equal rights only by emigrating

The Looking Glass: Being a True Report of the Life, Travels, and Labors of the Rev. Daniel H. Peterson by Daniel Petersen - 1854

Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People - 1854; full text of the emigration convention organized by Martin Delany and James Theodore Holly, among others

"Interesting Correspondence between the Governor of Indiana and the President of Liberia” in the African Repository - 1856

A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-Government, and Civilized Progress by James Theodore Holly - 1857

Four Years in Liberia, A Sketch of the Life of the Rev. Samuel Williams...with an Answer to Nesbit's Book by Samuel Williams (Liberian emigrant) - 1857

Liberia as She Is; and the Present Duty of Her Citizens by Edward Blyden (Liberian emigrant from the Caribbean) - 1857

The Duty of a Rising Christian State to Contribute to the World's Well Being and Civilization by Alexander Crummell (Liberian emigrant) - 1857

Cotton Cultivation in Africa by Benjamin Coates - 1858; supports the idea of building a cotton industry in Liberia

Article in the African Repository: "Letter from Augustus Washington [Liberian emigrant]" - 1859; promotes Liberian emigration and seeks financial support for Liberia - contrasts an 1854 criticism

“Expedition to Africa, to Promote the Cultivation of Cotton and other Products of Slave Labour, by Emigrants from America” - 1859; advertisement in Britain that seeks financial support for American black emigration

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "The Colored People and Hayti" by Henry Highland Garnet, James Theodore Holly, et al – 1861; a strong endorsement of Haitian emigration with an invitation from the Haitian government included in the text

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "Cotton and Hayti" - 1861; suggests that black emigration to Haiti could "aid in the overthrow of slavery", though the article does not explicitly advocate emigration

Discussion of British Support for Black Emigration in Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party by Martin Delany (Excerpt) - 1861

Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party by Martin Delany - 1861

“Speech by Henry Highland Garnet Delivered at the Music Hall, Birmingham England October 15, 1861” - 1861

Letter from Henry Highland Garnet in London to Henry Wilson - 1861

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "A Trip to Hayti" by Frederick Douglass - 1861; without endorsing Haitian emigration, Douglass acknowledges Haiti's importance to American blacks

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "The Annexation of St. Domingo to Spain, Redpath's Views on the Subject" by James Redpath (British immigrant to the United States) - 1861

Two articles in the African Repository that Compare Haiti and Liberia as Emigration Destinations - 1861

Excerpt in the African Repository of a Speech by President Lincoln: “The President's Message. Liberian Independence” - 1861;

Discussion of Liberia in Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party by Martin Delany (Excerpt) - 1861; describes support provided by Liberia to Delany's expedition and offers a revised, more positive view of Liberian progress

A Guide to Hayti by James Redpath (British immigrant to the United States) - 1861

“Hope for Africa. A Discourse, Delivered in the Presbyterian Church, Seventh Avenue, New York, July 21, 1861” by Edward Blyden (Liberian emigrant from the Caribbean) - 1861

“Address of Rev. Alexander Crummell, at the Anniversary Meeting of the Massachusetts Colonization Society May 29, 1861” by Alexander Crummell (Liberian emigrant) - 1861

Letter from Martin Delany to Douglass' Monthly - 1862; asserts that black leaders in Liberia, not white collaborators, deserve credit for the United States's recent recognition of Liberia as a nation

Recurring Advertisement from the Haitian Government Encouraging Emigration in Douglass' Monthly - 1862

Liberia's Offering: being Addresses, Sermons, etc. by Edward Blyden (Liberian emigrant from the Caribbean) - 1862

The Future of Africa: Being Addresses, Sermons, etc., etc., Delivered in the Republic of Liberia by Alexander Crummell (Liberian emigrant) - 1862

REACTION: Frederick Douglass’s Review of The Future of Africa in Douglass’ Monthly - 1862

 

Foreign Influences that Tended to Discourage Black Emigration, 1831-1865

FOREIGN OPPOSITION TO THE AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY (ACS) AND LIBERIAN EMIGRATION, 1831-1846

Article in The Liberator: “A Voice from England! American Colonization Society…Liberia” by Charles Stuart (British) - 1831

Remarks on the Colony of Liberia and the American Colonization Society by Charles Stuart (British) – 1832

Letter from Joseph Phillips (British) to William Lloyd Garrison - 1832; criticizes the American Colonization Society (ACS) and Elliott Cresson, an ACS agent who was in Great Britain promoting the society

British Protest against the American Colonization Society (ACS) published in The Liberator: “American Colonization Society” - 1833; also known as the "Wilberforce Protest"

REACTION: Response to the "Wilberforce Protest" published in the African Repository: “The Protest” – 1833

Summary of William Lloyd Garrison’s Trip to Great Britain - 1833; Garrison traveled to oppose the American Colonization Society's (ACS) promotional efforts, led by Elliott Cresson

Speech of Daniel O’Connell (Irish) at the Great Anti-Colonization Meeting held at Exeter Hall, London Published in The Liberator - 1833

Editorial in The Liberator: "Prejudice Vincible" by Charles Stuart (British) - 1833

REACTION: Response to the Charles Stuart’s (British) "Prejudice Vincible" in the African Repository: “Defence of the Colonization Society” – 1833

REACTION: Review of Pamphlets on Slavery and Colonization by Leonard Bacon - 1833; responds to some of the published British criticisms of the American Colonization Society (ACS)

REACTION: "Answer to the Wilberforce Protest" by Henry Duncan (British?) published in the African Repository - 1834

Speech by George Thompson (British) to the New-England Anti-Slavery Society - 1834; affirms British support for the fight against the American Colonization Society (ACS)

Letters from James Temple (Liberian emigrant) Published in The Liberator - 1834

Examination of Thomas C. Brown (former Liberian emigrant) - 1834; a lengthy interview conducted by representatives of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) and the American Colonization Society (ACS)

Excerpt from The Extinction of the American Colonization Society by James Cropper (British) - 1834 (originally published in 1833 in Great Britain)

REACTION: “Remarks on the Principles of the American Colonization Society” by Reverend Ralph Gurley – 1834; includes a response to James Cropper’s (British) The Extinction of the American Colonization Society

Article in The Liberator: "Review. The American Colonization Society Further Unravelled by Charles Stuart (British)" - 1834; includes a direct response to pro-colonization publications of Thomas Hodgkin (British)

Debate between George Thompson (British) and Ralph Gurley regarding the American Colonization Society (ACS) - 1835

Discussion on American slavery, between George Thompson [British]..., and Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge - 1836; Breckinridge traveled to Great Britain in answer to a challenge from George Thompson

REACTION: Letter from Robert Breckenridge to Reverend Wardlaw (British) - 1836; Breckenridge responds to a speech in which Wardlaw praises George Thompson's (British) performance in his debate with Breckinridge

Letter from Charles Stuart (British) to the Editor of the New York Observer - 1836; Stuart responds to the newspaper's publication of Robert Breckinridge’s Letter to Reverend Wardlaw (British)

Letter from a Baptist Missionary in Liberia Published in The Liberator - 1836; The Liberator has titled the letter "Starvation and Distress, and the Slave Trade in Liberia"

Letter from Louis Richmond (Liberian emigrant) to Lewis Tappan Published in The Liberator - 1838; presents a very negative view of conditions in Liberia and of the behavior of American Colonization Society (ACS) officials in Liberia

Article in The Colored American: "Resolutions of the People of Cleveland, on the Subject of African Colonization" - 1839; expresses disapproval of colonization and the Liberian colony

Article in The Liberator: "Thomas Clarkson’s [British] Renunciation of the American Colonization Society" - 1840

Article in The Colored American: "The African Civilization Society and the American Colonization Society. from Sir Thomas Powell Buxton [British], Baronet, to the Rev. R.R. Gurley, Secretary of the American Colonization Society" - 1840

REACTION: Letter to the Hon. Henry Clay, President of the American Colonization Society, and, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (British) by Ralph Gurley - 1841

Letter from Robert Johnston (Irish) to an American Methodist - 1841; criticizes the American Methodist Church for continuing to support colonization and condemns the Maryland Colonization Society’s willingness to support forced emigration

"Dismal Prospects of Liberia" (from Liberia Herald) - 1842 (originally published in 1841)


RESISTANCE TO THE RENEWED INTEREST IN LIBERIAN AND HAITIAN EMIGRATION, 1847-1865

Article in The North Star: “Liberia and the Slave Trade” - 1848; asserts connections between Liberia and the American Colonization Society (ACS) and the slave trade

Article in The North Star: "Liberia" - 1849; presents a negative view of Liberia and its leaders while recognizing the Liberia's symbolic importance and future potential

The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (Excerpt) by Martin Delany - 1852; argues that Liberia is still effectively subordinate to the American Colonization Society (ACS)

Article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: "A Dark Picture. Liberia as It Is" by Augustus Washington (Liberian emigrant) - 1854; strong criticism of Liberia that contrasts his 1851 "African Colonization" article

Excerpt from The Two-Fold Slavery of the United States with a Plan for Self-Emancipation by Marshall Hall (British) – 1854; asserts that the efforts of the American Colonization Society (ACS) are impractical and misguided

Four Months in Liberia; or, African Colonization Exposed by William Nesbit (former Liberian emigrant) - 1855; he asserts that he was misled by the American Colonization Society (ACS) regarding Liberia

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "Haytian Emigration Again" by John Jones - 1859; opposes black emigration to Haiti

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "The Haytian Emigration Movement" - 1861; Douglass criticizes the Haitian emigration movement because he feels its agenda and rhetoric have come to resemble that of the American Colonization Society (ACS)

“Letter on Haytien Emigration” by William Lloyd Garrison - 1861

Article in Douglass' Monthly: "Emigration to Hayti" - 1861; opposes black emigration but sympathizes with the desire to emigrate - strongly recommends Haiti over Africa for those who choose to emigrate

Letter to the Editor of Douglass' Monthly regarding Haitian Emigration, with a Response - 1861

Account of the 1863 Anti-Colonization Meeting in New York - 1863; affirms black opposition to Haitian emigration in light of the bad experiences of emigrants who recently returned from Haiti

 

Footnotes

1 Benjamin Quarles, Black Abolitionists (London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), 3-12.

2 George M. Fredrickson, The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914 (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press; Distributed by Harper & Row, 1987), chapter 1.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Floyd John Miller, The Search for a Black Nationality: Black Emigration and Colonization, 1787-1863, Blacks in the New World (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975), chapters 4-5.

6 P. J. Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement, 1816-1865 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), 8.

7 Miller, The Search for a Black Nationality: Black Emigration and Colonization, 1787-1863, 74-82.

8 See, for example, "From a Member of the Society of Friends in North Carolina. May 14, 1826," in African Repository and Colonial Journal, Volume 2 (Washington D.C.: American Colonization Society, 1827). and "From a Member of the Society of Friends, North Carolina. November 11th, 1826," in African Repository and Colonial Journal, Volume 2 (Washington D.C.: American Colonization Society, 1827).

9 American Colonization Society., The Ninth Annual Report of the Society for Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the United States (Washington D.C.: Printed by Way and Gideon, 1826), 8; ———, "Mr. Tazewell's Report," in African Repository and Colonial Journal, Volume 4 (Washington D.C.: American Colonization Society, 1829), 336-37.

10 Quarles, Black Abolitionists, 215-17.

11 For a discussion of antebellum pan-Africanist sentiment, see Miller, The Search for a Black Nationality: Black Emigration and Colonization, 1787-1863, Epilogue.

12 Miller, The Search for a Black Nationality: Black Emigration and Colonization, 1787-1863, chapter 7.