American Colonization Society: Establishment of a Colony in Liberia (1816-1853)

Introduction

Source:CIA - The World Fact Book 2002“The roots of the colonization movement date back to various plans first proposed in the eighteenth century. From the start, colonization of free blacks in Africa was an issue on which both whites and blacks were divided. Some blacks supported emigration because they thought that black Americans would never receive justice in the United States. Others believed that African-Americans should remain in the United States to fight against slavery and full rights as American citizens. Some whites saw colonization as a way of riding the nation of blacks, while others believed black Americans would be happier in Africa, where they could live free of racial discrimination. Still others believed black American colonists could play a central role in Christianizing and civilizing Africa.

The American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in 1817 to send free African-Americans to Africa as an alternative to emancipation in the United States. In 1822, the society established on the west coast of Africa a colony that in 1847 became the independent nation of Liberia. By 1867, the society had sent more than 13,000 emigrants.

Beginning in the 1830s, the society was harshly attacked by abolitionists, who tried to discredit colonization as a slaveholder’s scheme. And, after the Civil War, when many blacks wanted to go to Liberia, financial support for colonization had waned. During its later years the society focused on educational and missionary efforts in Liberia rather than emigration.”

In 1832, the Maryland Assembly “ chartered the Maryland State Colonization Society, established a state board to averse “the Removal of Coloured People,” and set aside $20,000 for 1832 and up to $200,000 over the next twenty years to repatriate all free Negroes who were willing to return to Africa.”

Sources: Colonization: African American Mosaic Exhibition (Library of Congress); Aaron Stopak, “The Maryland State Colonization Society: Independent State Action in the Colonization Movement,” Maryland Historical Magazine, 63 (1968): 280; Robert J. Brugger. Maryland: A Middle Temperament, 1634-1980, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press with the Maryland Historical Society, 1988. pgs. 212-213.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Standard 4: The sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period.
Standard 4A: The student understands the abolitionist movement.
7-12: Therefore, the student is able to analyze changing ideas about race and assess the reception of proslavery and antislavery ideologies in the North and South. [Examine the influence of ideas.]
9-12: Therefore, the student is able to compare and contrast the position of African Americans and White abolitionists in the issue of the African American’s place in society. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas.]

Primary Resources

  1. TITLE: Speech of Col. Curtis M. Jacobs on the Free Colored Population of Maryland, Delivered in the House of Delegates on the 17th of February, 1860, Annapolis, Maryland. 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 17 February 1860
    SOURCE: Teaching and Research in the Age of the Internet
  2. TITLE: Memoir of Captain Paul Cuffee, A Man of Colour: To Which is Subjoined The Society of Sierra Leone in Africa & etc.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    1912 [1817] York: W. Alexander
    SOURCE: Colonization: African-American Mosaic Exhibition (Library of Congress)
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
  3. TITLE: African-American Mosaic: Liberia, Library of Congress
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: January 21, 2003
    SOURCE: Library of Congress: a web source of many primary documents, photographs, papers, and writings on the founding of Liberia by African Americans.
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress
  4. TITLE: Maps of Liberia, American Colonization Society Collection
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1830-1870
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to Order Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE: American Memory Project
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress

See also:

Additional Media Resources

African-American Mosaic Exhibition (Library of Congress): Liberia and Colonization, has a wealth of information on the subject

CIA – The World Factbook 2002 –Liberia

Secondary Resources

Books

Campbell, Penelope. Maryland in Africa: The Maryland State Colonization Society 1831-1857, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1971). REF A-5-1 1400

Delaney, M.R. and Robert Campbell. Search for a Place: Black Separatism and Africa 1860, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1969. REF A-5-1 1400

Fox, Early Lee. American Colonization Society, 1817-1840, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1919. 12-4-2 1400

Hall, Richard. On Africa’s Shore: A History of Maryland in Liberia, 1834-1857, Baltimore, MD: The Maryland Historical Society, 2003.

Lee, John. Maryland in Liberia, Baltimore, MD: The Maryland Historical Society, 1885.

Smith, James Wesley. Sojourners in Search of Freedom: The Settlement of Liberia by Black Americans, Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987. 12-4-2 1400

Staudenraus, Philip J. The African Colonization Movement: 1816-1865, New York: Columbia University Press, 1961.

Books for Children

Gilfond, Henry. Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, New York: Franklyn Watts, 1981.

Humphrey, Sally. A Family in Liberia, Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Company, 1987.

Schloat, G. Warren, Jr. DUEE: A Boy of Liberia, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962.

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Access to materials linked within these document packets is intended for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The responsibility for making an independent legal assessment and independently securing any necessary rights rests with persons desiring to use particular items in the context of the intended use.

Password Access to Materials

The use of any user name and password to access materials on this web site constitutes an agreement by the user to abide by any and all copyright restrictions and is an acknowledgement that these materials will be used for personal and educational use only. In most instances, the username aaco and password aaco# will work. Contact ref@mdsa.net if you have any questions or have difficulty accessing files.

Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Donna R. Omata.

The Rise of Advertisement and American Consumer Culture

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

1521 Boardwalk- Between Kentucky Avenue and New York Avenue

Overview

During the middle of the nineteenth century, the nature of the American business market began to change in dramatic ways. Earlier in the century, the steady rise of industry and the formulation of a market economy – fueled by wage labor instead of the traditional system of apprenticeship – as well as the formulation of national banking standards created a sound, firm base for modern, capitalist economics.  From the increasingly industrialized and urbanized American landscape, a unique phenomenon in marketing was born, and sometime around the 1840s, the concept of modern advertising emerged in American society.

Predominately appealing to American women – who were seen as the bedrock of American families, and thus, those most likely to make use of consumer goods – companies began to advertise in newspapers, on broadsides, and billboards. The reality of this new form of advertisement is seen in this document packet’s photograph of a boardwalk, where product names literally cover the entire streetscape. Of course, the custom of placing advertisements in newspapers held a tradition in American society; however, the advertising techniques and strategies that formed in the middle to latter part of the nineteenth century acquired a different character.  Traditionally, businesses would post brief assessments of their wares in the advertising sections of newspapers, merely providing a list of their goods to inform the public of what was available for purchase.  The new advertisements, by contrast, focused on creating unique slogans that customers would remember and that cast products in an optimistic light.  The Industrial Revolution saw a slew of innovations in technology and medicine, and these innovations fueled a growing advertising industry.  Products of similar designs began to compete against one another – a particular model of steam engine would feature unique instruments and features, for example, and these differences would be emphasized in the product advertisement.  Perhaps the most famous examples of these type of advertisements can be found in the now-famous Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

By the 1880s, advertisement seemed to take on a driving aspect of its own, and focused on the creation of “wants” and “needs” in the growing consumer population.  In order to create a market for certain items, clever businessmen would advertise products in careful language, designed to influence potential buyers into seeing the necessity of owning particular products.  Evidence of this is seen in the growing number of appliances such as cooking stoves, washing machines, and sewing machines produced at this time, and found within “modern” households.  Advertisements appealed to women especially, detailing how the possession of a cooking stove, for instance, was guaranteed to reduce the toil and labor of the kitchen, and thus free time for “nurturing” the family according to the values and standards of the day.  Women were intended, in a sense, to be the principle consumers of the new market economy.  In creating wants and needs in a population of consumers, advertisement was instrumental in paving the way for successful capitalism in America.

The place of women in the new economy was even more firmly cemented in the early decades of the twentieth century, with the rise of Progressivism and supply and demand economics.  Progressive reformers and businessmen alike appealed to and propagated the idea of virtuous households, carrying a theme from the culture of sentimentalism in the 1850s that stressed the value of nuclear families with morally upright – if submissive – mothers.  Many of the advertisements seen in this collection are clearly directed at women.  The “Fleischmann’s Recipes” cookbook celebrates the wholesome properties of the yeast, but in addition to this, it also promises women that the use of the yeast will ensure a happy household and family life.  Domestic economy – the science of good housewifery – is usually attributed to post World War II years, at least in the minds of the American public.  In fact, the foundations of household economy were raised in the early twentieth century and during the World War I era.  Home economy, in theory, allowed the housewife to make the most of finances, so that her family could purchase current technological innovations like automobiles, radios, and refrigerators.  The logic here was that, with these new technologies, life would be made easier for both the housewife (for whom societal values provided a labor-intensive schedule of household “duties”) and her family, as well as provide capital for the growing economy.  An excellent example of this household economy – produced by a woman, the famous home economist Christine Frederick – is found in the form of a lengthy pamphlet included in this document packet.

President Calvin Coolidge and other conservative political leaders and economists of the day – such as Herbert Hoover – placed an undue emphasis on consumerism in a false sense of security that the monopolized market for new technologies would carry Americans through to unrivaled wealth and prosperity.  In reality, many historians find that consumerism in the early twentieth century probably had a negative as well as a positive affect on American society; although advances in technology and home economics doubtlessly improved the quality of life for some Americans, consumerism spurred by advertisement created an illusion of demand that likewise created an overabundance of supply in automobiles and similar products.  The existence of a saturated market is held as one of the heralds or causes of the Great Depression, which led many Americans to experience some of the greatest poverty and economic suffering in American history.  The foundations of capitalism and modern economics – although influenced by many factors – were in large part, strengthened by the rise of advertisement and its creation of an American consumer culture.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)

   Standard 3: How the United States changed from the end of World War I to the eve of the Great Depression.

Standard 3C: The student understands how new cultural movements reflected and changed American society.

5-12: Analyze how radio, movies, newspapers, and popular magazines created mass culture. [Examine the influence of ideas]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Changing Picture Puzzle, “This man is up to date…”
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1909
    NOTES:  This puzzle illustrates changing attitudes of the public towards modern advertisement, and those who resisted its development. For related materials, see American Memory’s Advertising Ephemera Collection.
    REPRODUCTIONS: Availability of Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920: Selections from the Collections of Duke University
    REPOSITORY:  Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.
  2. DESCRIPTION:  Pamphlet, “Fleischmann’s Recipes”
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1920
    NOTES: For related materials, see American Memory’s Nicole Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks.
    REPRODUCTIONS: Availability of Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920: Selections from the Collections of Duke University
    REPOSITORY:  Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.
  3. DESCRIPTION:  Advertisement, “Your skin needs different kinds of care at different times”
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1920
    NOTES: This advertisement for women’s cosmetic soap includes a coupon offer – another unique development in advertisement designed to stimulate a culture of consumption. For related materials, see American Memory’s Pond’s Advertisements collection.
    REPRODUCTIONS: Availability of Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920: Selections from the Collections of Duke University
    REPOSITORY:  Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.
  4. DESCRIPTION:  “Selling Mrs. Consumer,” by Mrs. Christine Frederick
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1929
    NOTES: A well-known home economist, Christine Frederick was responsible for a number of publications advertising the virtues of household economy to women across the United States.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to Order Copies of Photographs
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress.
  5. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, 1521 Boardwalk- Between Kentucky Avenue and New York Avenue
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
     July 1922
    NOTES: For related materials, see American Memory’s R. C. Maxwell Company Collection.
    REPRODUCTIONS: Availability of Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920: Selections from the Collections of Duke University
    REPOSITORY:  Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

See also: I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke: Advertising in America

Additional Media Resources

From Domesticity to Modernity: What Was Home Economics?

Additional Instructional Resources

The Learning Page: Collections Connections; Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929

Secondary Resources

Hawley, Ellis W. The Great War and the Search for a Modern Order: A History of the American People and their Institutions, 1917-1933. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.

Garvey, Ellen Gruber. The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Leach, William. Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

Lears, Jackson. Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America. New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Leuchtenberg, William E. The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Lewis, Sinclair. Babbit. New York: Signet Classic, Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998.

Ribuffo, Leo P. “Jesus Christ as Business Statesman: Bruce Barton and the Selling of Corporate Capitalism.” American Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 206-231.

Roberts, Mary Louise. “Gender, Consumption, and Commodity Culture.” The American Historical Review, Vol. 103, No. 3 (January, 1998), pp. 817-884.

Sherman, Sidney A. “Advertising in the United States.” Publications of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 7, No. 52 (December, 1900), pp. 1-44.

Wooster, Harvey A. “A Forgotten Factor in American Industrial History.” The American Economic Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (March, 1926), pp. 14-27.

Password Access to Journal Articles

Some journal articles linked to this site require password access due to copyright and other restrictions. Teachers participating in the Teaching American History in Maryland program with a valid University of Maryland (UMBC) Library card can access these materials through ResearchPort.

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

Baltimore Museum of Industry
1415 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-727-4808

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Access to materials linked within these document packets is intended for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The responsibility for making an independent legal assessment and independently securing any necessary rights rests with persons desiring to use particular items in the context of the intended use.

Password Access to Materials

The use of any user name and password to access materials on this web site constitutes an agreement by the user to abide by any and all copyright restrictions and is an acknowledgement that these materials will be used for personal and educational use only. In most instances, the username aaco and password aaco# will work. Contact ref@mdsa.net if you have any questions or have difficulty accessing files.

Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Kevin Allor.