The Saga of the Slaves of Prospect Hill Plantation and Their Legacy in
When a wealthy Mississippi cotton planter named Isaac Ross died in 1836,
his will decreed that his plantation, Prospect Hill, should be liquidated
and the proceeds from the sale be used to pay for his slaves' passage to
the newly established colony of Liberia in western Africa. Ross's heirs
contested the will for more than a decade in the state courts and
legislature-prompting a deadly revolt in which a group of slaves burned
Ross's mansion to the ground-but the will was ultimately upheld. The slaves
then emigrated to their new home, where they battled the local tribes and
built vast plantations with Greek Revival mansions in a region the
Americo-Africans renamed "Mississippi in Africa." The seeds of resentment
sown over a century of cultural conflict between the colonists and tribal
peoples would explode in the late twentieth century, begetting a civil war
that rages in Liberia to this day.
In the award-winning tradition of Slaves in the Family, this enthralling
work traces an epic legacy that sweeps from the slave quarters of the
antebellum South to the war-ravaged streets of modern-day Monrovia.
Tracking down Prospect Hill's living descendants, deciphering a history
ruled by rumor, and delivering the complete chronicle in riveting prose,
journalist Alan Huffman has rescued a lost chapter of American history
whose aftermath is far from over.
Mississippi in Africa
by Alan Huffman