May 19, 2007
The American Colonization Society (ACS), founded in the 1820s with a mission to relocate ex-slaves and freedmen to Africa, became well known for the creation of the nation of Liberia. The years following Reconstruction saw a surge of the number of African Americans desiring to relocate to Africa. In the 1880s and 1890s, more than 650 Arkansas emigrants, more than any other state, left for Africa. By the mid-1890s, the ACS dropped its resettlement program, which was taken over by private companies. Seen in this 1896 photo are some 300 passengers, of which half were from Arkansas, boarding the ship Laurada bound for Liberia.