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 Calhoun Books Are these the books of the famed intellectual architect of the Confederacy?
- Also in Season 7 Tokyo Rose Did this 1940s recording help convict the woman alleged to be "Tokyo Rose"?
- Also in Industrialization: 1870-1900 Texas Servant Girl Murders Years before Jack the Ripper, did a serial killer walk the streets of Austin, TX?
- Also in Season 7 Creole Poems Does this manuscript contain words of love or illegal acts of rebellion?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Anti-Slavery Flag Did this old sheet found in a family trunk contribute to the end of slavery in America?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Harley Davidson Motorcycle Did this motorcycle see action in World War I?
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