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 Bill Picket Saddle Did this saddle ride into cowboy history with one of rodeo's most daring innovators?
- Related Investigation Army Muster Roll What can a Continental Army muster roll tell us about this remarkable African-American soldier?
- Related Investigation Galvez Papers What stories do these faded legal pages reveal about a revolutionary war hero’s role in an unexpected love affair?
- Also in Season 7 Connecticut Farmhouse Why did this Connecticut farmhouse have so many owners in such a short space of time?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Kahlil Gibran Painting Is this painting an unknown work by an immigrant poet whose words inspired an American generation?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Florida Map How did this faded map help unlock the riches of the New World?
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