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In 1820, the American Colonization Society (ACS) began sending African Americans volunteers to the Pepper Coast to establish a colony for freed African Americans. The American Colonisation Society is now widely regarded as being a failure in this effort - only an estimated 528 free African Americans were convinced to move to Liberia. These free African Americans came to identify themselves as Americo-Liberian, developing a cultural tradition infused with American notions of racial supremacy, and political republicanism.
The ACS, a private organization supported by prominent American politicians such as Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, and James Monroe, believed repatriation was preferable to the emancipation of slaves. Similar organizations established colonies in Mississippi-in-Africa and the Republic of Maryland, which were later annexed by Liberia. On July 26, 1847, the settlers issued a Declaration of Independence and promulgated a constitution, which, based on the political principles denoted in the United States Constitution, created the independent Republic of Liberia.