By Bronwen Everill (auth.)
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Additional info for Abolition and Empire in Sierra Leone and Liberia
With the newly established ACS eager to begin its project, they turned to the African American community to find their first recruits. Daniel Coker was one of the first to join the emigration movement. A supporter Transatlantic Anti-Slavery Networks 27 of Paul Cuffe, he travelled with the first American Colonization Society ship, landing in Freetown in 1818, before moving on to set up a colony on Sherbro Island. Coker was a preacher with the American Methodist Episcopal Church, and had worked with the Reverend Richard Allen in Philadelphia before moving to the Bethel Church in Baltimore.
30 After the false starts at Sherbro Island and Providence Island, Monrovia – named for President James Monroe, a supporter of the colonization cause – was founded as the capital of the new colony of Liberia. Liberians came from roughly three groups: manumitted slaves who may have had a good relationship with generally benevolent masters who freed them; free black Americans from the North and South who sought commercial and educational equality with whites; and the recaptives from the US naval patrol of the slave trade.
However, the continuation of these practices was not viewed by the Liberated Africans as contrary to their profession of Christian faith. Perhaps because of the lax prerequisites for baptism in some of the native churches and under some of the CMS missionaries, many converts to Christianity viewed their new religion in terms of their traditional beliefs. Once ordained, the Reverend Crowther, for instance, did not require converts to give up polygamy. He also drew parallels between some of the Igbo gods and Christian theology, hoping to draw out lessons for the anti-slavery campaign.