THE AFRICAN REPOSITORY (AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY) – JULY, 1859

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The African Repository was the official journal of the American Colonization Society. Henry Clay served as the Society’s president from 1836 to 1849, and its directors included former US Presidents Franklin Pierce and Millard Fillmore. This is Vol. XXXV, No. 7, dated Washington, July, 1859.  30 pp. Overall very fine condition; some light page yellowing, scattered minor spots of foxing. Pages numbered 211-222 are loose, having separated from the binding.

This edition of the publication contains the letters of William Burke and his wife, Rosabella, to Mrs. Robert E. Lee (pp.213-216). The Burkes (including their four children) had been emancipated by Col. Robert E. Lee in 1853.  Lee freed most of his slaves before the Civil War and offered to pay expenses for those who wanted to go to Liberia.  The Burkes sailed on the Banshee, which left Baltimore with 261 emigrants.  A person of superior intelligence and drive, Burke studied Latin and Greek at a newly established seminary in Monrovia and became a Presbyterian minister in 1857. He helped educated his own children and other members of his community and took several native children into his home. The Burkes’ letters describing their lives in Liberia show that they relied on the Lees to convey messages to and from relatives still in Virginia.

Other articles included are “Review of “African Colonization Unveiled.” By Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia”; “Sierra Leone”; various small articles with news of note; and a list of “Receipts of the American Colonization Society”, showing donations received from donors around the country.

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