Virginia Emigrants to Liberia

This website is a primary source for information on Virginia emigrants to Liberia is the very large collection of American Colonization Society papers held in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. A vast collection of incoming domestic letters from every part of the United States, many from Virginians, is organized chronologically. After 1830, much of the bound correspondence has a name index. A smaller, but still extensive, collection of letters from Liberia includes many from black Virginians. Responses to these letters by the Secretary of the American Colonization Society (ACS) are part of the outgoing correspondence.

But this collection does not begin to exhaust the resources of the Library of Congress. Many more are available in Geography and Maps, Prints and Photographs, Folklife Division, Recorded Sound, Toner Rare Book Collection, General Collection and especially the Manuscript Division. A selection of these resources is available online at their African-American Mosaic and American Memory sites, but a search of each of the Library’s divisions will yield unexpected treasures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The ACS papers are available on microfilm.

The second most valuable source is the Svend Holsoe Collection at Indiana University. It includes copies of nineteenth and twentieth century official Liberian documents that show land distribution and conveyance, proclamations and flyers, letters of Liberian officials, records of military skirmishes, letters from British and American naval captains and coastal traders, and newspapers. This collection has recently been accessioned in the Archive of Traditional Music.

Both the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Historical Society have collections related to the American Colonization Society and Liberia. The records of Benjamin Brand as secretary of the Richmond-Manchester Colonization Auxiliary and later of the Virginia Colonization Society are at the Virginia Historical Society and include a correspondence between Brand and emigrants from Richmond and Petersburg.



About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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