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Reverend James Houston Eccleston, Liberia, Liberian Commision, West Africa


The document is a carbon copy of a typed letter from the Assistant Secretary of State to Reverend J. H. Eccleston concerning suggestions from the Commission on Liberia.


Francis Mairs Huntington-Wilson


James Houston Eccleston

Corresponds to:

Folder 1-8, Document 217


Washington, D.C.


December 14, 1909.

Dear Dr. Eccleston:

I have your letter of November 26th reminding me of my promise to give you some information concerning conditions in Liberia. My time is so much taken up and my regular appointments so much broken into by pressing matters of importance which are impossible to foresee that I hardly feel that I can make an appointment with you in advance which I am sure of keeping when the time comes, and in order that you may not make a possibly useless trip to Washington, I think it best to give you by mail what information I may.

The Commission finds that, although the Liberians have yet much to learn in the art of government and have not made as much progress in the development of their country as the neighboring colonies under European protection and direction have made, they have accomplished all that could be reasonably expected of them, considering the adverse circumstances under which they emigrated to West Africa and the many and varied difficulties with which they have had to contend. The Liberians, in the opinion of the Commission, have not retrograded, but, on the contrary, have left the impress of the civilization they took with them upon those of the aboriginal inhabitants with whom they have come into ready contact.

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The report of the Commission discloses that, owing more to national weakness and the inexperience of the Liberians in governmental affairs than to any other cause, the Republic has unfortunately become involved in disagreeable disputes and entanglements with foreign nations and badly confused and embarrassed in the administration of its internal affairs. After a careful consideration of the whole situation, however, the Commissioners do not think that Liberia's case is entirely hopeless, but believe that with certain assistance from the United States, which they recommend be afforded, the struggling little Republic will be able to weather the storm and get a new start upon her course to national stability and individual progress. These recommendations of the Commission are now receiving the attentive and sympathetic consideration of the Department.

The Department has not deemed it advisable to allow any suggestion of the contents of the Commission's report to become public, and I know you will use this letter for such purposes as you may desire in such discreet manner as will conform to the Department's wishes.

Yours very sincerely,


The Reverend J. H. Eccleston,
910 St. Paul Street,
Baltimore, Maryland.



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Letter From Francis Mairs Huntington-Wilson to James Houston Eccleston, December 14, 1909



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