Library of Congress > Collections with Maps > Maps of Liberia, 1830-1870


This collection of Liberia maps includes twenty examples from the American Colonization Society (ACS), organized in 1817 to resettle free black Americans in West Africa. These maps show early settlements in Liberia, indigenous political subdivisions, and some of the building lots that were assigned to settlers. This on-line presentation also includes other nineteenth-century maps of Liberia: a map prepared for a book first published in the 1820's by ACS agent Jehudi Ashmun, a map showing the areas in Liberia that were ceded to the society by indigenous chiefs, and a detailed map dated 1869 by a man thought to be the black American explorer Benjamin Anderson.

In American Memory:

The African-American Perspectives collection includes nine pamphlets which include descriptions of a history of the commencement, progress and present condition of the American colonies in Liberia and a speech delivered at the sixty-sixth anniversary of the American colonization society in 1883.

America's First Look into the Camera contains images relating to the American Colonization Society, including portraits of Rufus Anson, the first president of Liberia and Urias A. McGill, one of four McGill brothers who ran a very successful business in Liberia.

In Exhibitions:

The African-American Mosaic is an on-line Library of Congress resource guide for the study of black history and culture. The site provides text and images concerning Liberia colonization and Personal Stories and American Colonization Society New Directions.

Rights and Access

The maps in the Map Collections materials were either published prior to 1922, produced by the United States government, or both (see catalogue records that accompany each map for information regarding date of publication and source). The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17 of the United States Code) or any other restrictions in the Map Collection materials.

Note that the written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

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