Monday, July 9, 2012

Visit to Liberia National Musuem

As part of our Couples Conference, along with the Roggia's and Krumms, we went to the Liberia National Museum in downtown Monrovia.
In July 1827 a ship named Norfolk carried 131, 143 or 144 Africans to Liberia from the United States, of whom 78 were adult women and another eleven or twelve were under ten years of age. One hundred twenty of those people had been found on the slave ship Antelope when it was seized off the coast of Florida in 1820. They had been held in Georgia for seven years waiting for the courts to settle their fate. After being kept under supervision in Monrovia for a while, the people from the Antelope were settled along Stockton Creek on Bushrod Island about four miles up the Mesurado River from Monrovia. The settlement was named New Georgia after their home of the prior seven years. Although "recaptured" Africans (people taken from slave ships by U.S. Navy anti-slave trade patrol ships) had been brought to Liberia previously, none were still there when the people form the Antelope arrived. Most, if not all, of the people found on the Antelope in 1820 were taken to Liberia in 1827 and had originally been loaded on slave ships at Cabinda, and were probably Congos.

Beautiful carvings in the musuem.
We received permission to take pictures in the musuem. This painting depicts the Liberian civil war (1990-2003). This war led to the complete setback of Liberia in all areas. More than a quarter of a million people lost their lives in this war. At the top of the painting are former presidents of Liberia weeping for the war in their nation. In 1990, President Samuel K. Doe was assassinated by the rebels. The soldier on the right of the Liberian flag being torn in half is Charles Taylor. On the left of the flag, I think are government forces. The soldier with the arm patch holding Charles Taylor is from the peace keeping force, ECOMOG (Economic Community of West Africa Peace monitoring group. This group could not contain the violence. Charles Taylor was elected president in 1997 and forced to resign in 2003. He was recently convicted of crimes agains humanity. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the election of Ellen Johson Sirleaf in 2005 and then re-elected this year has brought great peace to Liberia.

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