History Detectives traces one freed man's dream to return to Africa. By the early 19th century, the United States was home to increasing numbers of free blacks. In some places, much of the white establishment considered their status with growing alarm. In the south, where the slave system was most entrenched, free blacks were considered a threat to the status quo. Hostility and even violence against free blacks were common.
This tension gave birth to the Back to Africa movement. Over the next century, some 16,000 black Americans sailed to West Africa to establish the Republic of Liberia. It was one of the largest organized out-migrations in US history.
Vernetia Jenkins of Lynchburg, South Carolina has long been mystified by some old family letters, and their connection to Africa. One letter in particular, from 1877, has caught Vernetia's attention; it is from her grandmother's brother, Harvey McLeod, and it suggests that he was heading to Liberia, but did Harvey make it to Liberia?
- Also in Season 7 Shipwreck Cannons Are these the last remains of a navy schooner that fought in a border dispute with the mighty British Empire?
- Related Investigation Booth Letter Did the father of John Wilkes Booth threaten to assassinate the President?
- Related Investigation Drug Smuggling Doll What does this doll reveal about disease, death and daring during the Civil War?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi 32' Ford Roadster Was this car among the popular hot rods that raced out at the dry lakes in the 1930s?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Woolworth Sign Were these signs part of the scene in an early victory for Civil Rights?
- Also in Season 7 Connecticut Farmhouse Why did this Connecticut farmhouse have so many owners in such a short space of time?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.