The Cape Palmas Years
This chapter describes the Maryland State Colonization Society's (MSCS) establishment of a colony known as Maryland in Liberia at Cape Palmas in 1834. The MSCS put into place a democratic constitution based largely upon the U.S. Constitution, and the rights of both colonists and native Africans were expanded over time. In the same year the colony was established, the MSCS also saw to it that each emigrant was vaccinated and received a general health certificate by a qualified physician before departure. In June 1836, John Brown Russwurm became governor—the first black person to be appointed governor to such a colony. Russwurm shifted the colony from barter to modern currency (including paper money); expanded the democratic institutions of the colony and increased their transparency; and overhauled the justice system, making it also more transparent and evenhanded.
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