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 with Tukufu Zuberi Seadrome Did floating airports dot the Atlantic before modern air travel?
- Also in Industrialization: 1870-1900 Doc Holliday's Watch Was this watch a gift from the fearless frontier lawman Wyatt Earp to the gambler Doc Holliday?
- Also in Industrialization: 1870-1900 Modoc Basket What tales does this basket weave of the heroism of an American-Indian woman?
- Also in Industrialization: 1870-1900 U.S.S Olympia Glass Could this farmhouse door have sailed into battle in one of the country's greatest naval victories?
- Related Investigation Korean War Letter What does this letter reveal about a forgotten act of heroism during the final days of the Korean War?
- Related Investigation Rogue Book Who did this book of rogue characters belong to?
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.