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In 1852, the Indiana General Assembly formed the Indiana Colonization Board and began providing funds to help Indiana free blacks emigrate to Liberia on the western coast of Africa. Today, this may sound like an extraordinary idea, but black colonization had been proposed as early as 1815.
This issue explores black colonization and Indiana's part in the nationwide movement in the nineteenth century. The guest editor, Mary Anthrop, Lafayette, is introduced below. Thanks to her for sharing her fascinating work.
There is an overview of the legal and social status of blacks in Indiana during this period.
The history of colonization in the context of antislavery and abolitionist movements in the U.S. and Indiana is discussed.
There is a brief overview of the founding of Liberia and conditions there at that time.
Life in Liberia is presented through the stories of several emigrants, mainly from the Wabash Valley of Indiana.
"You be the historian" provides suggestions for further work. An interesting question of a conflict of documents is also presented.
There is the usual page of bibliography and resources and a list of the known Hoosiers who emigrated to Liberia.