In 1847, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the Virginia-born son of free blacks, was elected the first president of Liberia, an African nation that grew out of the efforts of the American Colonization Society. This daguerreotype of Roberts was taken on a state visit to the United States in 1851. The American Colonization Society supported setting up a colony for freed slaves in Africa as an alternative to American integration. The first group of colonists landed in Liberia in 1822, and founded Monrovia, the colony’s capital city, named in honor of President James Monroe. By the time a mutual agreement between the settlers and the society created the republic of Liberia on July 26, 1847, more than 10,000 free blacks had moved there.
Image: Library of Congress