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By Amos J. Beyan (auth.)

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Extra info for African American Settlements in West Africa: John Brown Russwurm and the American Civilizing Efforts

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Against this background, Liberia’s institutional development and the role of Russwurm in such a development can be understood. The political and social arrangements that would be made institutional in Liberia by the ACS and such leading black settlers as Russwurm were already in the making on the Elizabeth, the ship that had been chartered by ACS to carry the first group of African Americans on the coast of West Africa. A contract called the Elizabeth’s Compact was signed between the black emigrants and their white leaders on the Elizabeth on March 8, 1820.

23 Under the sponsorship of Bishop Richard Allen of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC), and James Forten, another black leader, some three thousand blacks met in the Bethel Church in Philadelphia on August 10, 1817 to register their opposition to the ACS. Forten, who chaired the gathering, maintained that there was not a single black in the group who supported the ACS. 1). 25 Anti-ACS organizations were also evident in New York City, Pittsburgh, Boston, New Haven, and other cities and towns.

Against this background, the ACS decided to send some eighty-five African Americans on the ship, Elizabeth. S. Government. John Bankson and Samuel Crozier, who served as Bacon’s assistants were also white. Eighty-four of the eighty-five blacks on the Elizabeth were freeborn, which illustrates that Liberia was established by mostly freeborn African Americans, and not by emancipated African Americans as many scholars and journalists 44 African American Settlements in West Africa continue to allege.

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