A Solution? Jefferson Proposes Colonization

Getting Word: African American Families of Monticello

Brown Colbert

Learn more about former Monticello slave Brown Colbert's migration to Liberia. More »

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Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Edward Coles, August 25, 1814, suggesting the “expatriation” of slaves from the U.S.
Library of Congress
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Monrovia, Liberia, 1825
Library of Congress
colesletter18140825-page2.jpg
3.18.0.0_Monrovia_Liberia_1825.jpg

Jefferson, along with many other Americans, combined plans for emancipation with colonization―moving freed slaves outside the U.S. "I have seen no proposition so expedient . . . as that of emancipation of those [slaves] born after a given day, and of their education and expatriation at a proper age," Jefferson wrote in 1814.

He eventually decided that Africa was the best destination.

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