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Before 1820 1820-1900 1901-1970 1971-present

Toussaint L'Ouverture seated at table in uniform with sword
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
pre-1820
1200 A.D.: Arrival of Spanish explorers



1364: Arrival of the Normans from France



1461: Arrival of Portuguese explorers, who name the country the Grain Coast

The name "Grain Coast" derived from the abundance of melegueta pepper ("grains of paradise") the Portuguese found upon their arrival in present-day Liberia. The melegueta pepper was an extremely valuable trade commodity, having both culinary and medicinal qualities.


1500s: Portuguese and British traders participate in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.



1611: Arrival of Dutch traders



1700s: Arrival of first French, then Swedish traders



1791: Toussaint L'Ouverture leads an uprising of Black slaves on the island of Santo Domingo, today's Haiti.

The uprising raises fears among American slaveholders of a similar rebellion in America, and contributes to the formation of the American Colonization Society.


1807: Congress bans the importation of slaves into the U.S.



December 21, 1816: A group of Quakers and slaveholders in Washington, D.C., form the American Colonization Society (ACS) for the purpose of sending free Blacks to Africa.







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