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Joseph Jenkins Roberts, 1851
Joseph Jenkins Roberts in 1851

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Independence for Liberia
July 26, 1847

A young African American man from Virginia named Joseph Jenkins Roberts declared the colony of Liberia in West Africa an independent republic on July 26, 1847. The following year he became the first elected president of the new country. Roberts had moved there in 1829 at the age of twenty from Petersburg, Virginia. At that time, Liberia was a colony owned by a group of people in the United States. Who were they, and what did they plan to do with Liberia?
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