Republic of Maryland

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The Republic of Maryland (also known as the Independent State of Maryland) was a small nation of African Americans from 1854 to 1857. It was in Africa. After this, it joined what is now Liberia.

The area was first settled in 1834[1] by freed African-American slaves and African-Americans who were born free. Most of them were from the U.S. state of Maryland, and were there under the authority of the Maryland State Colonization Society.[2] In 1838, other African-American settlements were joined to the Commonwealth of Liberia, which said that it was independent and not a part of Liberia in 1847. The Maryland in Liberia colony remained apart, as the state colonization society did not want anyone else to be able to trade goods. On 2 February 1841, Maryland-in-Africa became the State of Maryland. The state said that it was independent on 29 May 1854, and that it would be called Maryland in Liberia[3] with its capital at Harper.

History[change | change source]

In December 1831, the Maryland state legislature said that it would give US$10,000 for 26 years to take free blacks and former slaves from the United States to Africa, and the Maryland State Colonization Society was started for this purpose.[4]

Declaration of Independence, and annexation by Liberia[change | change source]

On 29 May 1854 The State of Maryland declared its independence, naming itself Maryland in Liberia (it was also known as the Republic of Maryland),[3] with its capital at Harper, Liberia. It held the land along the coast between the Grand Cess and San Pedro Rivers. However, it would last just three years as its own country.

Soon afterwards, local tribes, including the Grebo and the Kru, attacked the State of Maryland. Unable to defend itself, Maryland asked Liberia, its more powerful neighbor, for help. President Roberts sent military help, and an alliance of Marylanders and Liberian militia troops stopped the local tribesmen. However, it was now clear that the Republic of Maryland could not survive on its own, and 18 March 1857 Maryland was added by Liberia, and became known as Maryland County.

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