Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ohio In Liberia

Looking closely at the maps above, you can spot Mississippi-in-Africa, Louisiana, Maryland, and New Georgia. I had heard of all of these. I've also read about colonization societies from Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. But until I had seen the maps in the photos above, I had never head of an Ohio colony. Also notice how the Vai people are labelled "Veys", and more generally in both maps how the interior, not far in from the coast, is boldly labelled Guinea. Its also interesting that the town near to Ohio is called "Sugaree" which reminds me of my friend's hometown, Sugarcreek, Ohio.

In researching this, I came to learn that E.J. Roye was from Ohio, and that today there are several active Liberian communities in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.

And I also found this document, dating from 1851, discussing the Ohio State legislatures commitment to the sponsorship for an Ohio-in-Africa colony. Six pages of fascinating reading of how arguments for Emancipation, Anti-slavery, and Christianity were the basis for advocacy of funding the establishment of Liberia's settlements.

I snapped both of the photos below on a recent visit to the offices of Dr Fred van der Kraaij, in the Netherlands Foreign Ministry in the Hague. FvdK has to be one of the main Liberia-supporters in the Netherlands, perhaps even in most of Europe. He spent many years in Monrovia in various capacities, but hasn't been back in almost twenty years. Nonetheless, he continues to show his support and enthusiasm for Liberia and its history through his excellent blog, Liberian Perspectives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Matthew,

Excellent, I very much enjoyed your piece on 'Ohio in Liberia' and discovered some interesting links. Many thanks! Also many thanks for your kind words when referring to my blog. I will continue to follow your blog! Warm regards, Fred VDK

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