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Maryland State’s Civilizing Mission in Maryland in Liberia and John B. Russwurm

  • Amos J. Beyan

Abstract

Russwurm’s involvement with the Maryland State Colonization Society (MSCS), that established the colony that became known as Maryland in Liberia in 18331 provides accounts of the ways in which he and the MSCS informed and determined each other activities. The accounts also shared light on why Russwurm responded to the MSCS initiative as he did.

Keywords

Colonial Government Prominent Member Colonization Scheme West African Coast Free Black 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For detailed analyses of Maryland State Colonization Society, especially how it established the settlement of Maryland in Liberia in 1833, see these studies: Penelope Campbell, Maryland in Africa: The Maryland State Colonization Society 1831–1857 (Chicago, 1971);Google Scholar
  2. Jane Martin, “The Dual Legacy: Government Authority Mission Influence Among the Glebo of Eastern Liberia, 1834–1910,” Ph. D. Dissertation, Boston University (1968) pp. 92–121;Google Scholar
  3. Ernest Eastman, A History of the State of Maryland in Liberia (Monrovia, Liberia, 1956);Google Scholar
  4. John H. B. Latrobe, Maryland in Liberia: A History of the Colony Planted by the Maryland State Colonization Society under the Auspices of the State of Maryland, U.S., at Cape Palmas on the South-West Coast of Africa (Baltimore, 1885);Google Scholar
  5. Frances M. S. Jennings, “The Early Activities of Maryland State Colonization Society in Liberia 1831–1834,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University (1951);Google Scholar
  6. and Samuel W. Laughon, “Administrative Problems in Maryland in Liberia, 1836–1853,” Journal Negro History, vol. 26 (1941), pp. 325–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 2.
    Campbell, Maryland in Africa, pp. 8, 10, 18, 23, 24, 25, and 30; P. J. Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement, 1816–1865 (New York, 1961) pp. 62–68, 85, 86, 111, 162; African Repository, vol. 4 (1828), p. 224; and African Repository, vol. 5 (1828), pp. 122–128.Google Scholar
  8. 3.
    Meeting of Board of Managers of the Maryland State Colonization Society (MSCS), February 21, 1831, reel 1; Records of the Maryland State Colonization Society, hereafter cited as RMSCS, and the reel and reel’s number; and William Hoyt, “The Papers of the Maryland State Colonization Society,” Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 22 (1937), pp. 247–271.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Campbell, Maryland in Africa, pp. 31–33; Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement, pp. 179–180; Herbert Aptheker, “Turner, Nat, 1800–1831,” in Logan and Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography, pp. 611–613; John W. Cromwell, “The Aftermath of Nat Turner’s Insurrection,” Journal of Negro History, vol. 5 (1920), pp. 212–234;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Robert N. Elliot, “The Nat Turner Insurrection as Reprinted in the North Carolina Press,” The North Carolina Historical Review, vol. 38, no. 1 (1961), pp. 1–18;Google Scholar
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  12. and Henry I. Tragle, “The Southampton Slave Revolt,” American History Illustrated, vol. 6, no. 7 (1971), pp. 4–11, 44–47.Google Scholar
  13. 28.
    Latrobe, Maryland in Liberia, pp. 10, 30; Staudenraus, The African Colonization Movement, pp. 111–112; African Repository, vol. 2 (1828), pp. 154–155; John E. Semmes, John H.B. Latrobe and His Times, 1803–1891 (Baltimore, 1917), pp. 137–141; Harper, from Baltimore, Maryland, January 3, 1827, to Gurley RACS, reel 1.Google Scholar
  14. 36.
    The Westernized and semi-Westernized and self-proclaimed Glebo leaders were not legitimate representatives of their people. Their new social and economic status mainly derived from their involvement with the Atlantic trade, and not from the traditional institutions of the region. Indeed, they, together with their Western allies, had modified such institutions to promote their narrowed material and social interests, and not the interests of their people. Their origin as a social class can be traced to the arrival of the Europeans on the coast of West Africa in the late fifteenth century. These Westernized and semi-Westernized Africans played a significant role in the transatlantic slave trade on the coast of West Africa, especially in the eighteenth century. For the details of the foregoing points, see the following works: Beyan, The American Colonization Society and the Creation of the Liberian State, 1822–1980, New York: Lanham, MD (1991) pp. 34–37; Beyan, “Transatlantic Trade and the Coastal Area of Pre-Liberia,” The Historian vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 767–568;Google Scholar
  15. Ronald Davis, Ethnohistorical Studies on the Kru Coast (Newark, DE, 1976), pp. 32–34;Google Scholar
  16. Walter Rodney, A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545 to 1800 (Oxford, Britain, 1970) pp. 95–121, 171–199, 200–222;Google Scholar
  17. Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone and Liberia (New York, 1970), p. 157;Google Scholar
  18. Claude George, The Rise of British West Africa (London, 1903), pp. 65–67;Google Scholar
  19. Carol P. MacCormack, “Wono: Institutionalized Dependency in Sherbro Descent Groups, Sierra Leone,” in Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff, eds., Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives (Madison, WI, 1977), pp. 182–188; Svend Holsoe, “Slavery and Economic Response Among the Vai of Liberia and Sierra Leone,” in Miers and Kopytoff, eds., Slavery in Africa, pp. 293–294; and Martin, “Dual Legacy,” pp. 51–52, 83–84.Google Scholar
  20. 38.
    Hall, from Cape Palmas, West Africa, February 9, 1834, to Latrobe, RMSCS, reel 2. Quoted in Samuel W. Laughon, “Administrative Problems in Maryland in Liberia, 1836–1851,” Journal of Negro History, vol. 26 (1941) p. 332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Amos J. Beyan 2005

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  • Amos J. Beyan

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