Book Looks at Emigration to Liberia

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At the end of the American Civil War, the freed slaves faced many hardships and challenges. While the Freedmen’s Bureau and other agencies helped many, some decided to move to Liberia in West Africa. Matthew F. K. McDaniel has published “Emigration to Liberia, From the Chattahoochee Valley of Georgia and Alabama, 1853-1903,” covering people who emigrated from West Georgia.

The book shows how the American Colonization Society facilitated the migration and makes use of material found in their records. The author also found letters in Columbus, Georgia newspapers in which former slaves wrote back home about how they fared.

Liberia was founded in 1822 as a new country where former slaves could live. McDaniel studied the large number who migrated there from Columbus, Georgia; Eufaula, Alabama and areas nearby, and who are documented by name. His story includes some who later returned, disenchanted with living in Africa.

The appendix gives nearly 500 full names of those who migrated from the area in 1867 and 1868. This list could help clarify what happened to someone’s lost relatives. There are also some illustrations of houses built in Liberia. It’s a fascinating story and is well worth reading. Published by NewSouth Books, it is for sale for $15.95 plus $4 shipping from the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, P.O. Box 33, Eufaula, AL 36072-0033 or www.hcc-al-ga.org.

‘Gone With the Wind’

The Georgia Archives Lunch and Learn lecture for Nov. 8 at the Archives in Morrow will feature Peter Bonner of Historical and Hysterical Tours speaking on “’Gone With the Wind’ and the Battle of Jonesboro.”

It’s at noon and is free; bring your own lunch. For further information, check www.georgiaarchives.org or see www.peterbonner.com to get a peek at what is available on a tour.

Family oral traditions

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and StoryCorps, in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library, will present a program on African-American family oral traditions at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 at the library, 101 Auburn Ave., Atlanta.

StoryCorps, which has its local headquarters at the Atlanta History Center, will be doing on-site recordings at this event.

For more on the organization, see www.storycorps.org. For directions and library parking information, see www.afpls.org/aarl. While there, take note of their many other programs and collections.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr. at P.O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or wwwgagensociety.org.

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