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Alfred Brockenbrough Williams, 1856-1930
The Liberian Exodus. An Account of the Voyage of the First Emigrants in the Bark "Azor," and Their Reception at Monrovia, with a Description of Liberia--Its Customs and Civilization, Romances and Prospects
Charleston, S. C.: The News and Courier Book Presses, 1878.


This collection of letters written by reporter A. B. Williams to the Charleston News and Courier describes the voyage of the Azor, a ship sent by the Charleston-based Liberian Exodus Association to carry black American immigrants to Africa, and relates Williams's observations on the culture of Liberia. He found the trip to Africa a miserable one; spoiled food, storms, filthy and cramped accommodations, and seasickness plagued him and the other passengers. Worst of all was the epidemic of measles on board the ship, which claimed the lives of several immigrants (twenty-three people in all died on the voyage). Williams harshly criticizes the Exodus Association for not having a physician on board, as was required by law.

The Azor first puts ashore at Freetown, Sierra Leone, which favorably impresses Williams. Monrovia, Liberia, however, he finds \"desolate\". Much to the immigrants' dismay, when they land in Liberia they discover that no one there has been informed of their coming; fortunately, the local government chooses to welcome them.

Williams goes on to tour sections of Liberia. He travels up the St. Paul's River and encounters two of the native tribes, the Kroo and the Vei. Later, he meets Anthony W. Gardner, the President of Liberia, a former black immigrant from America. He describes in great detail the climate of Liberia, its government, its people, the vegetation to be found there, and the reception of the immigrants.

Courtney Vien

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