Liberty Brought Us HereThe True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

Liberty Brought Us HereThe True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

Susan E. Lindsey

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780813179339

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Abstract

Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia is a narrative nonfiction book that tells the compelling story of four adults and twelve children from southwestern Kentucky who, after being freed from slavery, migrated to Liberia. It is also the tale of Ben Major, the white man who freed them. The Majors and their former neighbors, the Harlans, were sixteen of the 16,000 black people who left the United States under the auspices of the American Colonization Society. It was the largest out-migration in the country’s history. The emigrants were of African ancestry, but they were not Africans, and were unprepared for the deprivation, disease, and disasters that awaited them. Unlike many former slave owners, Ben stayed in touch with the people he had freed. He sent them much-needed items, such as seeds, tools, books, medicine, and other supplies to help them survive and flourish. In return, they sent coffee, peanuts, and other items to Ben. Liberty Brought Us Here explores this unusual relationship between former slaves and their former owner in the context of the debate over slavery, the controversial colonization movement, and the establishment of the Republic of Liberia.