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Collection Maps of Liberia, 1830 to 1870

1815 to 1817

After the struggle for liberty in the American Revolution, free and enslaved African Americans faced continued hardship and inequality. A number of white Americans, for a variety of reasons, joined them in their efforts to resolve this complex problem. One possible solution (advocated at a time when the assimilation of free blacks into American society seemed out of the question) was the complete separation of white and black Americans. Some voices called for the return of African Americans to the land of their forebears.

1815-1817 Black Colonization


  1. Songs of America

    Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791) sets to music Doctor Parnell's 'My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free' – America's earliest surviving secular composition.


    Voltaire (1694-1778) writes his satirical masterpiece Candide

    My days have been so wondrous free [manuscript]
  2. 1817

    The partial success of Paul Cuffee's African venture encouraged white proponents of colonization to form an organization to repatriate those free African Americans who would volunteer to settle in Africa. Prominent Americans such as Henry Clay, John Randolph of Roanoke, and Justice Bushrod Washington were members of the American Colonization Society (ACS) during its early years. Many free African-Americans, however, including those who had supported Paul Cuffee's efforts, were wary of this new organization. They were concerned that it was dominated by Southerners and slave holders and that it excluded blacks from membership. Most free African-Americans wanted to stay in the land they had helped to build. They planned to continue the struggle for equality and justice in the new nation. See African-American Mosaic: Colonization.