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Historian locates Liberia’s founding document: Smithsonian

The Real Deal, Smithsonian Magazine, July • August 2022

In December 1821, U. S. naval lieutenant Robert Stockton and Dr. Eli Ayres, an agent of the American Colonization Society (ACS), purchased a tract of land in West Africa, which became the site of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Over the last 200 years, their actions have given rise to a number of myths. While preparing a journal article on the purchase, I discovered the original purchase agreement, which has been missing since 1835!

That story is captured brilliantly by Amy Crawford of the Smithsonian Magazine.