COLLECTION GUIDES

1842-2011

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

Record Group II of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia records is stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the records of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, 1842-2011, pertaining to the activities of the organization whose mission was to build and maintain a college or university in Liberia.

Historical Information

Historical Sketch

The Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia (Trustees of Donations) was founded by Massachusetts Colonization Society president Simon Greenleaf and secretary Joseph Tracy in 1848, about twenty-five years after the first group of Liberian American colonists settled on the northeastern coast of Africa, and one year after Liberia had declared itself an independent nation. The Massachusetts Colonization Society, a local branch of the American Colonization Society, was founded in 1841 to support the emigration of free-born African Americans and emancipated slaves from the United States, specifically Massachusetts, to Liberia.

Liberia had a public school system in place by 1848, but they did not have an established college or university, leaving most of their citizens with limited educational opportunities. Concerned that without educated men to run Liberia, the newly formed nation would not succeed, Greenleaf and Tracy wrote to the American Colonization Society to describe their idea. After much discussion and planning an act was passed in the Massachusetts General Court on 19 March 1850 incorporating Simon Greenleaf, George N. Briggs, Joel Giles, and their associates and successors as the Trustees of Donations with the power to manage funds to be used to promote education in Liberia. With the help of Liberia's first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the Liberian Legislature passed an act on 24 Dec. 1851 establishing a charter for Liberia College and incorporating the Liberia College Board of Trustees.

The cornerstone of Liberia College was laid at Cape Mesurado, within the city limits of Monrovia, Liberia on 25 Jan 1858. Over the next few years the Liberian Legislature passed a series of acts granting twenty acres of land in Monrovia as a site for the college and an additional one thousand acres within the four counties of the republic to the Trustees of the College. In 1861 the Trustees of Donations appointed Liberia College's first three faculty members: Joseph Jenkins Roberts as President and Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law, Alexander Crummell as Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy and of the English Language and Literature, and Edward W. Blynden as Professor of Greek and Latin Language and Literature. On 23 Jan. 1862 Liberia College was incorporated. A year later, on 2 Feb. 1863, the doors of Liberia College were opened to their first seven students, and subsequently to the Preparatory Department a few months later. In 1864 The Laws of Liberia College, Enacted by the Board of Trustees was published, and in the Annual Report of the Trustees of Donations that year it was recorded, "Thus, after so many years of patient, careful, hopeful labor, after overcoming such obstacles and discouragement, Liberia College is established and in successful operation."

As the interest in Liberia waned over the next eighty years, the Trustees of Donations struggled unsuccessfully to raise the funds necessary for the growing expenses at Liberia College. Repeated difficulties with the staff and faculty, frequent turnovers in the college president's position, and a low number of interested or qualified students also threatened toe future of the college. By the mid-20th century, the role of the Trustees of Donations evolved from their initial hands-on management of the college to a more philanthropic role.

In 1951, Liberia College became the University of Liberia still supported by the Trustees of Donations today.

Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia list of officers

Presidents

1850-1855
George Nixon Briggs
1855-1875
Albert Fearing
1876-1885
Andrew Preston Peabody
1885-1895
Joseph Samuel Ropes
1896-1906
Judson Smith
1907-1923
Daniel Dulany Addison
1924-1927
Charles Knowles Bolton
1928-1936
Daniel Dulany Addison
1937-1944
Gardner Weld Allen
1945-1963
Frederic A. Turner
1963-ca. 1969
William Hathaway Forbes
ca. 1969-
John Otis Brew

Vice Presidents

1853
Simon Greenleaf
1854-1855
Albert Fearing
1855-1869
William Ropes
1885-1896
Judson Smith
1896-1907
Daniel Dulany Addison
1907-1912
Elnathan Ellsworth Strong
1912-1923
Charles Knowles Bolton
1924-1927
James Melville Hunnewell
1928-1929
Charles Knowles Bolton
1930-1937
William Marshall Warren
1938-1944
Charles E. Goodspeed
1945-1958
Theodore Eaton
1958-ca. 1969
John Otis Brew
ca. 1969-1977
Ernest Stanley Dodge
1977-1983
William Bradford Osgood
1983-
Charles Dunn

Secretaries

1850-1874
Joseph Tracy
1874-1909
James Chandler Braman
1910-1914
Francis Everett Blake
1914-1923
Charles Knowles Bolton
1924-1927
Gardner Weld Allen
1927-1944
George G. Wolkins
1945-1956
Stanwood K. Bolton
1956-1973
Walter Muir Whitehill
1973-
Rodney Armstrong

Treasurers

1850-1862
Stephen Fairbanks
1862
Charles Peter Clark
1862-1899
Charles Edward Stevens
1899-1906
George Moulton Adams
1906-1914
Francis Everett Blake
1914-1939
James Melville Hunnewell
1940-1961
Robert Jackson Cram
1961-1969
Alfred P. Putnam
1969-
Giles M. S. Tod

Liberia College Presidents

1856-1877
Joseph Jenkins Roberts
1878-1879
John B. Pinney
1880-1884
Edward Wilmot Blyden
1885-1889
Martin H. Freeman (pro tem until 1888)
1890-1894
Garretson W. Gibson
1895-1899
Orator F. Cook
1900-1901
Garretson W. Gibson (second term)
1902-1912
Robert B. Richardson
1913
James J. Dossen
1914-1917
Arthur Barclay
1918-ca. 1940
Nathaniel H.B. Cassell
ca. 1940-1950
T. Ebenezer Ward
1950-1954
J. Max Bond
1955-1958
Kermit C. King
1959-1971
Rocheforte L. Weeks
1972-ca. 1975
Advertus A. Hoff
ca. 1975-1978
J. Bernard Blamo
1978-1984
Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman
1984-
Joseph G. Morris

Sources

Gardner W. Allen, The Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia: A Story of Philanthropic Endeavor, 1850-1923 (Boston, 1923).

Collection Description

The bulk of this collection consists of letters written and received by the officers of the organization. The incoming correspondence and retained copies of outgoing correspondence (letterpress books and later carbon copies) reflect the relationships between the Trustees of Donations and the Liberian government; the faculty, staff, and board at Liberia College; and the American Colonization Society, among other like-minded organizations. The correspondence also reflects the continual challenges faced by the Trustees of Donations: fundraising; the building and maintenance of the college; the high turnover rate of president and faculty positions; the lack of eligible students; and the general unrest in Liberia. Of special interest is a letter, dated 14 Apr. 1848, written by Joseph Tracy, secretary of the Massachusetts Colonization Society and future secretary of the Trustees of Donations, to the American Colonization Society, describing his and Massachusetts Colonization Society president Simon Greenleaf's idea for the creation of a college or university in Liberia.

Administrative records include, but are not limited to, meeting minutes, Trustees of Donations president and secretary reports, various addresses, records created at Liberia College, records pertaining to wills and endowments, and other legal documents. Of special interest is a draft of the Constitution of the Trustees of Donations written in 1850.

In addition to correspondence and administrative records, the collection also includes financial records and printed materials. Financial records include annual reports from the treasurers and accountants, account books, bills, and bank statements. Printed materials include Liberian newspapers, clippings, ephemera, and bound publications pertaining to and created by the Trustees of Donations, Liberia College, and the country of Liberia.

Arrangement Note

This collection consists of two record groups acquired at two different times from the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia. The two record groups are arranged and stored separately, but contain some overlap in names, dates, and subjects. Record Group I is stored onsite at Ms. N-1777. Record Group II is stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance.

Acquisition Information

Record Group I deposited by Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, ca. 1970. Record Group II deposited by Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, February 2012.

Restrictions on Access

Record Group II of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia records is stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

Detailed Description of Record Group I

I. Correspondence, 1844-1939

This series contains letters received by the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia from 1844-1939 and letterpress books containing retained copies of outgoing correspondence written from 1853-1906 by secretaries Joseph Tracy (1850-1974), James Chandler Braman (1874-1909), Francis Everett Blake (1910-1914), and Charles Knowles Bolton (1914-1923). The correspondence relates to all facets of the Trustees' activities, including the founding and membership of the organization; obtaining donations for education in Liberia; and the founding, staffing, and maintenance of the facilities of Liberia College. Correspondents includes Liberian officials and countrymen; Liberia College presidents, faculty, and staff; officials and members of the American Colonization Society, New York Colonization Society, and other like-minded organizations; donors and supporters; financial institutions; and tradesmen, among many others. The series also includes letters received and sent by Trustee presidents and treasurers, and related reports and accounts.

For additional correspondence, 1924-1997, see Record Group II, Series I.

A. Loose correspondence, 1844-1939

Arranged chronologically.

Box 1
1844-1863
Box 2
1864-1871
Box 3
1872-1883
Box 4
1884-1891
Box 5
1892-1900
Box 6
1905-1919
Box 7
1920- July 1925
Box 8
Aug. 1925-1936
Box 9Folder 1-2
1937-1939

B. Letterpress books, 1853-1906

Arranged chronologically.

Vol. 1
29 Oct. 1853-20 Oct. 1860
Vol. 2
28 Oct. 1860-12 Sep. 1864
Vol. 3
7 Sep. 1864-3 July 1869
Vol. 4
8 July 1869-23 Oct. 1880
Vol. 5
14 Oct. 1880-4 Mar. 1891
Vol. 6
4 Mar. 1891-23 Jan. 1906

II. Administrative records, 1842-1927

See also I.A. Loose correspondence.

A. Meeting minutes, 1842-1927

This subseries includes loose and bound meeting minutes and extracts kept primarily by Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia secretaries Joseph Tracy (1850-1874), James Chandler Braman (1874-1909), Francis Everett Blake (1910-1914), and Charles Knowles Bolton (1914-1923). Minutes include votes and resolutions on membership, donations, construction and management of Liberia College, and politics in Liberia, among other topics, and overviews of the president, secretary, treasurer, and other reports.

Arranged chronologically.

For additional meeting minutes, 1905-1987, see Record Group II, Series II, Subseries A.

Box 9Folder 3-12
i. Loose meeting minutes, 1842-1927 (with gaps)
Vol. 7
ii. Bound meeting minutes, 1849-1906

B. Reports, 1842-1926

This subseries includes reports relating to education in Liberia written by presidents of Liberia College, secretaries of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, and related organizations.

Box 9Folder 13-16
Liberia College presidents' reports, 1850-1926 (with gaps)

Includes reports written for the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia by Liberia College president Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1861-1879), Edward W. Blyden (1880-1884), Martin H. Freeman (1885-1889), Orator F. Cook (1896-1899), Richardson B. Wells (1902-1912), Arthur Barclay (1914-1917), and Nathaniel H. B. Cassell (1918-). Reports include descriptions of the current Liberia College board, faculty, staff, and students; conditions of the campus buildings and supplies; and appropriations for the past year. This subseries also includes reports written for the Trustees of Donations by Monrovia Seminary president A.P. Camphor, 1897-1898.

Box 9Folder 17
Secretaries' reports, 1913-1914, 1920

Includes annual reports written by Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia secretaries Francis Everett Blake (1910-1914) and Charles Knowles Bolton (1914-1923). Reports include summaries of correspondence received from the president of Liberia College and important event from the previous year.

Box 9Folder 18
Benjamin Brawley report, 1920

Includes a report written for the New York Colonization Society by Benjamin Brawley, who taught at Liberia College for a few months in early 1920. The report describes the political, economic, and social conditions in Monrovia, Liberia and gives recommendations for the future of education and society in Liberia. This subseries also includes a brief summary of conditions in Monrovia, written by Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia secretary Charles Knowles Bolton, after a meeting held with Brawley in June 1920.

Box 9Folder 19
Miscellaneous reports, 1842-1918

Includes complete and incomplete reports about Liberia and education in Liberia written by various representatives of Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, the American Colonization Society, and other colonization societies.

C. Addresses, 1858-1918 (with gaps)

This subseries includes an address given by Liberia College president Joseph Jenkins Roberts, ca. 1861, an address given by Chief Justice of Liberia B. J. Drayton, 1862, and an inaugural addresses given by Liberia College president Edward W. Blyden, ca. 1880-81, among others.

Box 10Folder 1-2

D. Liberia College records, 1845-1908

This subseries includes records that pertain primarily to Liberia College. Records include lists of books in the library, final exams from the senior class, grade reports, and the Education Committee notes and meeting minutes. Also includes maps of Liberia and plans for the construction of the college.

Box 10Folder 3-5
Records, 1858-1908
Box 10Folder 6
Maps and plans, n.d.
Box OSFolder 1
Oversize maps and plans, 1845-1878(Oversize)
Box OSFolder 2
Oversize draft of a Liberia College diploma, 1864, and an oversize copy of class regulations and schedules, 1881(Oversize)

E. Wills, endowments, and donations, 1851-1898

This subseries contains legal records relating to individual bequests to the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia. The subseries includes records pertaining to a legal battle over the will of Nathaniel Storrs and also includes records pertaining to endowments and other large donations received by the Trustees of Donations.

Box 10Folder 7-10

F. Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia resolutions, acts, deeds, and bills, 1848-1893

Box 10Folder 11-12

G. Draft Constitution of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, 1850

Box 10Folder 13

I. Miscellaneous administrative records, 1850-1910

This subseries contains notes, lists, summaries, and extracts, among other miscellaneous documents created by the Trustees of Donations.

Box 10Folder 14-16

III. Financial records, 1842-1936

A. Loose financial records, 1842-1936

This subseries includes financial reports written primarily after an annual audit by Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia treasurers Stephen Fairbanks (1852-1862), Charles Peter Clark (1862-1899), Francis Everett Blake (1906-1914), and James Melvin Hunnewell (1914-1924). The reports pertain to income such as donations and account interest and expenditures such as salaries and advertising. The subseries also includes annual bank statements, supply lists and bills, receipts to donors, accounts payable, returned checks, and treasurers' notes from 1842-1922.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 11Folder 1-6
i. Treasurers' reports, 1852-1924 (with gaps)

ii. Bank statements, bills, receipts, returned checks, and notes, 1842-1936

Box 11Folder 7-13
1842-1859
Box 12
1860-1910
Box 13
1911-1922
Box 14
1923-1936

B. Bound financial records, 1866-1924

This subseries includes account books, bank books, and expenditure books kept by the treasurer and other members of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia from 1866-1924. Other than the first account book listed (Vol. 8), most of the volumes contain very little information.

Arranged chronologically.

Vol. 8
Account book, 1866-1898
Vol. 9-10
Donation account books, 1868
Vol. 11-12
Bank books, 1906-1909
Vol. 13
Expense book, 1914-1924

IV. Printed materials, 1850-1936

A. Bound printed materials, 1850-1933

This subseries includes bound printed materials pertaining to the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, Liberia College, and Liberia, including reports, acts and laws of the Trustees of Donations, 1852-1882; proceedings, reports, addresses, and catalogs of Liberia College, 1862-1888; and reports, case studies, dissertations, and addresses pertaining to politics, social issues, and education in Liberia, 1850-1933.

Arranged chronologically.

i. Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia printed volumes, 1852-1882

Box 16Folder 1
The Laws of Liberia College Enacted by the Board of Trustees, n.d.
Box 16Folder 2
Second Annual Report of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, 14 Jan. 1852
Box 16Folder 3
Third Annual Report of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, 12 Jan. 1853
Box 16Folder 4
Act Incorporating Liberia College and By-Laws of the Trustees of the College, 1864
Box 16Folder 5
The Laws of Liberia College in Monrovia, Liberia Enacted by the Board of Trustees, 1864
Box 15Folder 17
Sixth Report of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, 12 Apr. 1865
Box 16Folder 6
The Laws of Liberia College in Monrovia, Liberia Enacted by the Board of Trustees, 1882

ii. Liberia College printed volumes, 1862-1881

Box 16Folder 7
Proceedings at the Inauguration of Liberia College at Monrovia, 23 Jan. 1862
Box 16Folder 8
Report of the Conditions of Liberia College Made to the New York State Colonization Society and the Trustees of Donations for Education in Africa of the State of Massachusetts, 25 Mar. 1879
Box 16Folder 9
Inaugural Address: The Aims and Methods of a Liberal Education for Africans, delivered by president of Liberia College Edward W. Blyden, 5 Jan. 1881
Box 15Folder 21
Draft copy of the Inaugural Address: The Aims and Methods of a Liberal Education for Africans, delivered by president of Liberia College Edward W. Blyden, 5 Jan. 1881
Box 16Folder 10
Report of the President of Liberia College to the Board of Trustees, Dec. 1881
Box 15Folder 22
Draft copy of the Report of the President of Liberia College to the Board of Trustees, Dec. 1881
Box 16Folder 11
Catalogue and Register of Liberia College, 1892
Box 16Folder 12
Proceedings and Addresses on the Occasion of the Inauguration of The Rev. Garretson Warner Gibson as President of Liberia College, 21 Feb. 1900
Box 16Folder 13
The Report of Liberia College for the Year 1906
Box 16Folder 14
The Annual Report of Liberia College, Jan. 1906
Box 16Folder 15
The Report of Liberia College For 1909, 1911
Box 16Folder 16
The Baccalaureate: A Discourse Delivered by The Rev. Nathaniel H. B. Cassell, Professor of Mental and Moral Science, Liberia College, to the Graduating Class of 1914
Vol. 14-15
Liberia College Catalogue, 1916
Box 15Folder 18
Liberia College Catalogue, 1919

iii. Liberia printed volumes, 1850-1933

Box 16Folder 17
Liberia and Her Educational Problems, n.d.
Box 16Folder 18
Sketches of Liberia: Comprising a Brief Account of the Geography, Climate, Productions, and Diseases of the Republic of Liberia, by J. W. Lugenbeel, 1850
Box 15Folder 19
Case and Opinion Upon the Will of Anson G. Phelps, The Elder, 1854
Box 16Folder 19
Message of the President of the Republic of Liberia to the Legislature, at the Commencement of Their Sessions, Dec. 1858
Box 16Folder 20
Twenty-First Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Massachusetts Colonization Society, 28 May 1862
Box 16Folder 21
Synopsis of the Effort Made in Behalf of the American Colonization Society To get Control of the Field of the New York State Colonization Society, in Violation of the Pledge of Non-Interference, 1870
Box 16Folder 22
Proceedings on the Occasion of the Inauguration of the Hon. W. F. Nelson as Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia, 26 Feb. 1874
Box 16Folder 23
African Colonization: An Address Delivered Before the America Colonization in Washington, D.C., by Rev. John Orcutt, 19 Jan. 1875
Box 16Folder 24
The Duty of Strengthening Liberia: An Address by Hon. G. Washington Warren Delivered in Washington, D.C. at the Sixty-third Annual Meeting of The American Colonization Society, 20 Jan. 1880
Box 16Folder 25
Liberia Today: Being Articles From the Monrovia Observer, January 8, 1880, and the West African Reporter of Sierra Leone, 1880
Box 17Folder 1
Message of the President of the Republic of Liberia to the First Session of the Eighteenth Legislature, 10 Dec. 1881
Box 17Folder 2
Lecture: Christianity and the Negro Race, by Edward W. Blyden, President of Liberia College, 1883
Box 17Folder 3
Philip and the Eunuch; or the Instruments and Methods of Africa's Evangelization: A Discourse Delivered by Edward Wilmot Blyden, President of Liberia College, 1883
Box 17Folder 4
Inaugural Address of H. R. W. Johnson, President of Liberia to the Legislature in Joint Convention, Monrovia, 7 Jan. 1884
Box 17Folder 5
Inaugural Address of His Honor C. T. O King, Mayor of Monrovia, Delivered Before the Common Council, 8 Feb. 1888
Box 17Folder 6
The African Problem and The Method of Its Solution: The Annual Discourse Delivered at the Seventy-third Anniversary of the American Colonization Society, 19 Jan. 1890
Box 15Folder 20
History of Liberia, by J. H. T. McPherson, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Oct. 1891
Box 17Folder 7
Messages of President Coleman with his Inaugural Address of January 1st 1900, 12 Feb. 1900
Box 17Folder 8
The Liberian Scholar: Being the Annual Address Delivered on the Occasion of the Commencement Exercises of the College of West Africa by the Rev. Nathaniel H. B. Cassell, 17 Nov. 1915
Box 17Folder 9
Stones from the Quarries. An Oration by Dr. H. B. Cassell, 1915
Box 17Folder 10
The Liberian Crisis, by Henry Litchfield West, 1933

B. Other printed materials, 1856-1936

This subseries includes loose printed materials pertaining to the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, Liberia College, and the country of Liberia. The loose printed materials including newspapers and clippings from Liberian and U.S. newspapers printed from 1861-1926; programs and menus from various dinners and other events printed from 1883-1931; flyers and announcements printed from 1887-1924; calling cards printed ca. 1900; and other Miscellaneous materials printed from 1857-1925.

Arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

i. Newspapers and clippings, 1856-1936

a. Liberian newspapers, 1861-1936

Box 15Folder 1
The African Star, Feb.-Sep. 1921, July 1927
Box 15Folder 2
The African Watchman, April and May 1926
Box 15Folder 3
The Liberian Herald, 21 Aug. 1861 (incomplete)
Box 15Folder 4
The Liberia Methodist, Jan. 1923
Box 15Folder 5
Liberian News, Oct.-Nov. 1922, Feb. 1924, Apr. 1926
Box 15Folder 6
The Liberian Patriot, 22-29 Oct. 1921
Box 15Folder 7
The Liberia Recorder, Jan. 1900, Apr. 1925
Box 15Folder 8
The Observer, 25 Aug. 1881
Box 15Folder 9
West African Recorder, 14 May 1884
Box OSFolder 3
b. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 7 Aug. 1858 (incomplete)(Oversize)
Box 15Folder 10
c. Loose clippings, 1856-1936
Box 15Folder 11-12
ii. Programs and menus, 1883-1931

iii. Flyers and announcements, 1860-1925

Box 15Folder 13
Flyers and announcements, 1887-1924
Box OSFolder 4-5
Oversize flyers and announcements, 1860-1925(Oversize)
Box 17Folder 11
iv. Calling cards, ca. 1900
Box 15Folder 14-16
v. Miscellaneous printed materials, 1857-1925

Detailed Description of Record Group II

I. Correspondence, 1924-1997

This series consists primarily of correspondence between the trustees and officers of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia and correspondence with related organizations. Subjects include meetings and other events; fundraising, appropriations, and other financial matters; committees; appointments; publications and reports; and students and faculty at Liberia College, later the University of Liberia. Among the correspondents are Daniel Dulany Addison, Gardner Weld Allen, Charles Knowles Bolton, John Otis Brew, Robert Jackson Cram, William Hathaway Forbes, James M. Hunnewell, Alfred Porter Putnam, Giles M. S. Tod, Frederic A. Turner, and William Marshall Warren, as well as Liberia College presidents Nathaniel H. B. Cassell, T. Ebenezer Ward, J. Max Bond, Kermit C. King, Rocheforte L. Weeks, Advertus A. Hoff, J. Bernard Blamo, Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman, and Joseph G. Morris. Additional correspondents include Thomas S. Donohugh of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Edwin R. Embree of the Liberian Foundation; Edith G. Hardwick of Ginn & Co.; Harry W. Hart, librarian of the Columbia College Library; R. C. Hoffman of W. M. Welch Manufacturing Co.; Thomas Jesse Jones of the Phelps-Stokes Fund and the Booker Washington Agricultural & Industrial Institute of Liberia; L. A. Roy of the American Advisory Committee on Education in Liberia; Africanus Schaack; Clarence L. Simpson; and Frederick Starr.

The bulk of the correspondence between 1924-1945 is that of George G. Wolkins, secretary of the Trustees. Included are lengthy letters from James L. Sibley, 1925-1929, during two trips he made to Liberia as educational advisor. These letters contain detailed descriptions of conditions and schools in Monrovia, Liberia, and Africa generally. Other correspondence discusses the 1926 Firestone Concession Agreement, Harvey S. Firestone, Liberian President Charles D. B. King, and Sibley's death from yellow fever in 1929. Correspondence between 1929-1931 deals with political conditions in Liberia, including alleged forced labor conditions and the subsequent investigation by the Slavery and Forced Labor Commission of the League of Nations.

Between 1945-1956, the bulk of the papers are those of Trustees secretary Stanwood K. Bolton, including letters about and invoices for supplies for Liberia College, correspondence with publishing companies about books for the school, and letters describing losses suffered due to a fire on campus, 1949-1950. Long letters from J. Max Bond, president of Liberia College, report on progress at the school, the implementation of his reforms, and the college's transformation into the University of Liberia, 1950-1954. Papers between 1956-1973 consist largely of the correspondence of secretary Walter Muir Whitehill, and after 1973 that of Rodney Armstrong. Between 1979-1985, subjects include riots and political unrest in Liberia and university closures. Correspondence after 1945 also includes letters to and from the treasurers of the Trustees discussing financial matters.

For additional correspondence, 1844-1939, see Record Group I, Series I.

Carton 1SH 188W 8

II. Administrative records, 1905-1991

This series consists of records documenting the business of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, including meeting minutes, reports, and addresses, as well as papers related to the facilities and curriculum of Liberia College.

A. Meeting minutes, 1905-1987

This subseries contains two volumes of minutes, 1905-1950, and loose minutes, 1929-1987 (with gaps). Minutes consist of records of meetings kept by the secretary, including votes, elections, secretary's reports, treasurer's reports, obituaries of members, agendas, etc.

Series I (Correspondence) also contains some scattered minutes. For additional meeting minutes, 1842-1927, see Record Group I, Series II, Subseries A.

Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 1
Minutes book, 1905-July 1937
Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 2
Minutes book, Oct. 1937-1950
Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 3-7
Loose minutes, 1929-1987 (with gaps)

B. Reports, 1927-1951

This subseries contains reports on the activities, students, faculty, facilities, budget, etc. of Liberia College, written for the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia by college presidents T. Ebenezer Ward and J. Max Bond, 1948-1951, as well as a report by educational advisor James L. Sibley to the Advisory Committee on Education in Liberia, 1927.

Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 8-10

C. Addresses, 1945-1967

Included are commencement addresses by John O. Brew and Lester A. Walton, as well as an address by Mary Antoinette Grimes Brown on education in Liberia, given at Cornell University.

Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 11

D. Liberia College records, 1951-1969, 1991

This subseries contains lists of library books and herbarium collections, reports on college facilities, curriculum materials, information brochures for prospective students, lists of college award winners, papers related to commencement, and faculty/staff rosters. Also included is an extensive report entitled The University of Liberia: An Appraisal and Recommendations (1960), prepared by A. Gordon Nelson and Charles C. Hughes of Cornell University, and an Assessment of Facilities for the University of Liberia (1991), by the Liberian Chamber of Architects, including pasted-in photographs of damage to campus buildings sustained during the First Liberian Civil War, cost estimates for renovation, and maps.

Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 12-16

III. Financial records, 1899-1989

This series consists of annual treasurers' reports, annual accountants' reports, auditors' reports, and two account books (1899-1956, 1961-1975) documenting the financial activities of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia. The series also contains several years of tax documents, including federal tax returns, Massachusetts tax returns, and Massachusetts Division of Public Charities annual reports.

A. Loose financial records, 1914-1989

Carton 2SH 188X 9Folder 17-29
Treasurers' reports, 1914-1989
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 1-4
Accountants' reports, 1954-1970
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 5
Auditors' reports, 1948-1955 (with gaps)
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 6-18
Tax documents, 1933-1989

B. Bound financial records, 1899-1975

Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 19-20
Account book, 1899-1956
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 21-22
Account book, 1961-1975

IV. Printed materials, 1916-2011

This series consists of printed materials related to Liberia College, Liberia, and Africa generally. Included are college catalogs, yearbooks (including the school's first yearbook in 1952), newsletters, programs, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, journals, magazines, books, and miscellaneous cards and flyers.

A. Liberia College printed materials, 1925-2011

Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 23
Liberia College Catalogue and Register, 1925-1927
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 24
The L-U-an, yearbook, 1952
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 25
The L-U-an, yearbook, 1959
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 26
The University of Liberia Catalog and Announcements, 1967-1968
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 27
Campus Review, newsletter, 1997
Box OSFolder 6
Certificate of appreciation from the University of Liberia to the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, 7 Nov. 1997

Located onsite at Ms. N-1777 (OS).

Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 28
"We Hail this Institution as the Precursor of Incalculable Blessings to this Benighted Land": The Sanctity of Liberia College in Americo-Liberian Nation-building, 1880-1912, thesis paper by Brooks Marmon, 2008
Carton 3SH 188Y AFolder 29
Event programs, 1925-1969

B. Liberia and Africa printed materials, 1916-1955

Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 1
Liberia and Her Educational Problems, pamphlet by Walter F. Walker, 23 Oct. 1916
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 2
The Liberia Recorder, newspaper, 13 Apr. 1925 [first issue]
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 3
Stone & Webster Journal, containing "Firestone in Liberia," Sep. 1927
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 4-7
The Educational Outlook/The Liberia Educational Outlook, magazine, including The African World: West African Monthly Supplement, Jan. 1928-Sep. 192929 issues
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 8
The Annual Message of His Excellency Charles Dunbar Burgess King, President of the Republic of Liberia, pamphlet, 18 Oct. 1928
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 9
Report of R. R. Taylor upon the Booker Washington Agricultural and Industrial Institute at Kakata, Republic of Liberia, pamphlet, Oct. 1929
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 10
Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin, containing "African Reminiscences," by George M. Saunders, M.D., Apr. 1933
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 11
The Friend: A Religious and Literary Journal, containing "The Tragedy of Liberia," by John H. Harris, 10 Aug. 1934
Box OSFolder 7
Views in Liberia, book by Firestone Plantations Company, 1937

Located onsite at Ms. N-1777 (OS).

Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 12
African Challenge: The Story of the British in Tropical Africa, pamphlet, 1945
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 13
New Africa, newsletter of the Council on African Affairs, Dec. 1945
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 14-15
The Liberian Age, newspaper, 15 July-30 Sep. 1947, 21-25 Feb. 19559 issues
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 16
Progress in Negro Status and Race Relations 1911-1946: The Thirty-Five Year Report of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, by Anson Phelps Stokes, et al., 1948
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 17
Liberia Today, newsletter of the Liberian Embassy in Washington, Aug. 1952
Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 18
Time magazine, containing "South of the Sahara," 9 Feb. 1953
Box OSFolder 8
Life magazine, containing "Africa: A Continent in Ferment," 4 May 1953

Located onsite at Ms. N-1777 (OS).

Box 1SH 188Z BFolder 19
Souvenir programs, 1923-1947

C. Other printed materials, 1927-1997

Box 2SH 1891 LFolder 1-4
Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, 1927-1997
Box 2SH 1891 LFolder 5
Programs, business cards, flyers, etc., 1927-1950

Photographs Removed from the Collection

Photographs from this collection were removed to the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia visual materials collection, ca. 1885-1951. Photo. Coll. 49.

Preferred Citation

Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia records, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Greenleaf, Simon, 1783-1853.
Tracy, Joseph, 1793?-1874.

Organizations:

Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia.
University of Liberia.
American Colonization Society.
Massachusetts Colonization Society.
New York Colonization Society.

Subjects:

African Americans--Colonization.
Colonization--Societies, etc.
Education--Liberia.
Education, Higher--Liberia.
Educational assistance, American--Liberia.
Universities and colleges--Liberia.
Africa--Colonization.
Liberia--Colonization.
Liberia--Economic conditions.
Liberia--History--19th century.
Liberia--History--20th century.
Liberia--Politics and government.
Liberia--Social life and customs.