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Maryland in Liberia


Landscape scene showing Cape Palmas in the country of Liberia as a bay flanked by two palm trees in the foreground underneath a sunny blue sky. Buildings and a lighthouse can be seen on the land beyond the inlet. A sailboat heads to the shore on the left of the composition. A group of African figures wearing white garments appears in the foreground. This scene reflects a settlement established in Liberia by the Maryland Colonization Society. The "Republic of Maryland" or "Maryland in Liberia" existed from 1834-1857.


circa 1835

Contributor(s) Notes

Painting taken from sketch by Dr. Samuel F. McGill, Maryland State Colonization Society Papers, MSS 571.


Oil on canvas


22 H x 36 W inches

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John Hazlehurst Boneval Latrobe was one of the founders of the Colonization Society of Maryland and later a president of the Maryland Historical Society - now Maryland Center for History and Culture. Latrobe depicted Cape Palmas as a tropical paradise and gave no indication of the suffering that the first settlers encountered there. Unaccustomed to the climate and unfamiliar with the culture and landscape, those who traveled to Cape Palmas faced sickness and high morbidity rates. Despite this, the settlement in Liberia eventually took hold, but it did not provide the “solution” to slavery anticipated by the Colonization Society’s members.

Credit Line

Gift of John Hazlehurst Boneval Latrobe

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.