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

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on


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.

Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

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).

Read More Show Less

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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)