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?
- Related Investigation Liberty Bell Pin Was one of America’s most iconic symbols melted down into a mere memento?
- Related Investigation Amos n' Andy Record Is this aluminum record an early recording of the old-time radio series?
- Also in Season 7 Civil War Bridge Has a new discovery rewritten Civil War history?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Spanish Civil War Eulogy What can this faded document tell about a US volunteer fighting in another country’s 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 Prison Plaque Were convicted felons responsible for bringing peace to Western Europe during World War I?
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