February 6 - 1820 - The First Free African-Americans Sail To Liberia
The notion that free African-Americans, whether they were former slaves or born freemen, should "colonize" the West Coast of Africa was quite popular in the early nineteenth century. A section of abolitionists thought that free blacks would never find true equal rights in America, other Northern leaders wanted to have less competition for white labor, and certain slaveholders believed any free African-Americans would invariably lead to slave rebellions. The American Colonization Society would be formed to send free African-Americans to Africa, and they had a target in the community of Freetown in Sierra Leone, which was established by the former slaves who had become British Loyalists in the American Revolution. Yet there were a number of free African-Americans who were completely willing to head to a distant, unfamiliar continent, and those first colonists would go on to establish Liberia.