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 »

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

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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