An African Republic: Black and White Virginians in the Making of Liberia / Edition 1

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The 19th-century American Colonization Society (ACS) project of persuading all American free blacks to emigrate to the ACS colony of Liberia could never be accomplished. Who supported African colonization and why? No state was more involved with the project than Virginia.
Tyler-McGraw traces the parallel but seldom intersecting tracks of black and white Virginians' interests in African colonization. African colonization attracted aging revolutionaries, republican mothers and their daughters, bondpersons schooled and emancipated for Liberia, evangelical planters and merchants, urban free blacks, opportunistic politicians, Quakers, and gentlemen novelists. Tyler-McGraw follows the experiences of the emigrants from Virginia to Liberia, where some became the leadership class, consciously seeking to demonstrate black abilities, while others found greater hardship and early death.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Beautifully crafted and brimming with insight . . .
—Elizabeth R. Varon, Temple University

[Marie Tyler-McGraw] has given us a gift of scholarship that will fascinate as well as educate.
—James Oliver Horton, George Washington University, author of The Landmarks of African American History and coauthor of Slavery and the Making of America

From the Publisher
A teachable book for upper-division courses and graduate seminars. . . . Doubles as a walk through an elegantly curated museum exhibit. . . . A central text to black migration history.—Journal of Southern History

This provocative, well-researched book makes a significant contribution to the study of early Liberian growth. . . . Scholars as well as students of African studies will find this book a welcome interpretation toward reevaluation of the formative period of Liberia.— Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Well-written. . . . [Tyler-McGraw] carefully balances historical analysis with sympathy as she peels back the complex layers of the social environments on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean that gave birth to 'An African Republic'. . . . A valuable addition to studies in early post-revolutionary American history and the American beginnings of the Liberian republic.—International Journal of American Historical Studies

[A] valuable book.—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

[A] promising addition to the ongoing discussion of the economics of migration.—Journal of the Early Republic

Strong and compelling. . . . Tyler-McGraw superbly demonstrates her skills as a careful researcher who keenly analyzes primary and secondary materials. . . . Important for all serious southern historians and upper-level students.—NC Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Marie Tyler-McGraw is an independent historian and public history consultant. She is author of At the Falls: Richmond, Virginia, and Its People (from the University of North Carolina Press).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
A Small Frisson of Fear, Soon Soothed     9
The Alchemy of Colonization     23
Auxiliary Arms     39
Ho, All Ye That Are by the Pale-Faces' Laws Oppressed: Out of Virginia     63
My Old Mistress Promise Me     83
Revising the Future in Virginia     105
Virginians in Liberia     127
Liberians in Africa and America     151
Civil War to White City     171
Notes     183
Bibliographical Essay     227
Index     233
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