Joseph J. Robert

Fotografiert von Augustus Washington um 1850
photographs by Augustus Washington around 1850

Joseph Jenkins Robert (* 15. March 1809 in Norfolk, Virginia, the USA; † 24. February 1876 in Monrovia) was a first president of Liberia.

the before-Liberian time (1809-1829)

Robert became to 15. March 1809 in Norfolk, Virginia, in the east of the USA born. As a son of released slaves he came as free black ones (freeborn Negro) into the world, thus in his life slave never was. It was the oldest of seven brothers and sisters.

As a boy it accepted its first job on a Flachboot, which transported on the James River of goods from Petersburg to the docks of Norfolk. After the death of its father it pulled with its family to Petersburg, where it heard for the first time of the fact that plans existed to the Kolonialisierung of the African coast. Financed by the American colonization and administration company for colonies, many ships were already broken open toward Africa. A settlement at the delta of the Mesurado River had already developed, a small city with name Monrovia, designated after the US president James Monroe.

The family of Robert decided itself to attach the “Africa Heimkehrern”. To 9. February 1829 began the passage. By the way also different personalities important for future Liberia were on board, like e.g. on this ship. James Spriggs Payne from smelling moon, which should likewise become later president of Liberia. Few days before the ship in Monrovia , celebrated Joseph J. put on. Robert's its 20. Birthday.

the vorpräsidiale career of Joseph J. Robert (1829-1847)

after in the new colony a house for the family had been built, the brothers began to act with ivory and palm products. The business ran so well that new ships could be bought and the commercial activities were extended. One of the brothers (Henry J. Robert) Liberia left over to the Berkshire Medical School in Massachusetts in the United States to study. Over to work it returned to its study to Monrovia. Another brother (John WRIGHT of Robert) became first bishop the Methodist Episcopal Church in Liberia. Joseph Jenkins Robert was appointed at the age from 24 years to the High Sheriff of the colony. To its tasks it belonged to expeditions to the tax collection to lead, to strike down how also rebellions in the Monrovia surrounding master villages. 1838 appointed the American colonization and administration company for colonies it the vice-governor and as two years later the governor died, became it the first not-white governor of the colony. When in the year 1847 the first Liberian congress explained independence, it was selected as a past governor to the first president of the republic.

presidency and the years after (1847-1876)

as a president he extended the borders of the recent republic. Thus for example the coastal length of Liberia under its government on over 600 miles became larger. In addition first steps undertook, in order to integrate the master cultures of the surrounding countryside into the republic. With regard to foreign policy it supported much the acknowledgment of the republic by the European States of, like also the USA . England and France were the first states, which recognized the independence of Liberia (1848). 1849 followed Portugal, Brazil, Sardinien, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hamburg, Bremen, Luebeck, and Haiti. Interesanterweise haderten calculated the USA with the acknowledgment of the independence of Liberia. Only , they recognized 1862 , under president Abraham Lincoln on the independence of Liberia. The reason for the late acknowledgment was that the past US presidents had feared that the Southern States of the USA a black Ambassador from Liberia in Washington D.C. would not accept. Joseph J. Robert for three further legislative periods and governed altogether 8 years were red-elect, before it finally lost the elections of 1855. After its term of office as a president it served 15 years in the army as a major General. Later he became diplomat in France and England. Robert was considerably in the establishment of the Liberian college involved and became its first rector. Several times it traveled to the USA, where it regarded lectures and collected donations as the college. Up to its death it remained at the college as a professor for iurisdiction and international right. When 1871 the acting president of Liberia was set off, the parliament explained J. J. Robert again for further two years to the president. Whereupon it won finally still another further, its sixth and last legislative period, which ended in the year of its death, 1876. A considerable part of its fortune it left by will to the education system of Liberia.


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