Ohio History Journal

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The fortunes of the American Colonization Society and its

auxiliaries in Ohio were at an extremely low ebb in the 1840's, and

the failure of the Constitutional Convention of 1850-1851 to aid

the cause further depressed its members. Yet, an amazing spurt

of activity in the 1850's almost turned the tables. The appoint-

ment of a really competent agent, David Christy, added to the

collections from Ohio, until the yearly contributions averaged over

$2,000, with almost a $4,000 collection in 1851. In addition to

collections Christy did valiant work lecturing, speaking in the Ohio

State legislature, drawing up memorials and spreading the doc-

trine of colonization over the whole State.1

The really clever plan to popularize colonization, however, was

the development of a portion of northern Liberia as a special

attraction to Ohio free-negro emigrants; it was to be known as

"Ohio in Africa."

In April, 1848, it was suggested through the Cincinnati papers

that an effectual blow might be struck at the slave trade, and

liberal provision made for the settlement of a colony of colored

people from Ohio, by purchasing an additional territory on the

coast of Africa.2

This suggestion was responded to by Charles McMicken,

Esq., of Cincinnati, by an offer of sufficient funds to pay for the

necessary amount of land for a colony of the kind proposed. The

secretary of the society, the Reverend William McLain, in his

answer to inquiries, on June 24, 1848, recommended that the pur-

chase be made northwest of Liberia, so as to include the Gallinas,

and thus "break up the slave trade in several of its darkest dens."3

President Roberts of Liberia reached the United States

1 His work appears in most numbers of the African Repository (Washington),

XXVI, in the 1850's.

2 Ibid., 362.

3 Ibid., 363.