Benjamin W. Austin Liberian Autograph Collection, circa 1862-1895, bulk 1884-1889
Cheeseman, Joseph James 1843-1896
Garnet, Henry Highland 1815-1882
American Colonization Society
1 box; 4 folders (.06 linear feet)
The American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in 1817 to send free African-Americans to Africa as an alternative to emancipation in the United States. In 1822, the society established on the west coast of Africa a colony that in 1847 became the independent nation of Liberia.
The collection, which dates from circa 1862-1895 and measures .06 linear feet, is an artificial grouping of letters and signatures from Liberian elected officials and diplomats, and individuals involved in the American Colonization Society. The small collection was assembled by Benjamin W. Austin, an American autograph collector known for his questionable methods of obtaining autographs. The collection includes a lithograph image of Joseph James Cheeseman, the president of Liberia from 1892 until his death in 1896; a collection of autograph cards bearing the signatures of other members of the Liberian government; and a newspaper clipping of an article on the American Colonization Society.
Benjamin W. Austin Liberian Autograph Collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution