Sunday, 10 February 2019

Liberia Place Names Explained

Having blogged samples of my books on English place names and also examined the etymologies of the nations of the world and their respective capitals I thought it time I cast my net a little wider. As English place names share some links to other tongues it would be interesting to see if any of the elements contributing to our place names could be found elsewhere. Continuing an alphabetical tour of the world and a look at the largest Liberia cities.

Arthington is named after Robert Arthington, a man from Leeds in Yorkshire who contributed hard cash to enable former slaves to migrate from the southern United States.

Barclayville was created and named after President Edwin Barclay, the 18th president of Liberia whose administration lasted from 1930 to 1944.

Buchanan takes its name from Thomas Buchanan, cousin of former US president James. Thomas was the second governor of Liberia.

Careysburg is named in honour of the Reverend Lott Carey, he the first American Baptist missionary to Africa and a key figure in the founding of Liberia.

Clay-Ashland is named after Henry Clay, a slaveowner who favoured emancipation, and his former estate of Ashland in Lexington, Kentucky.

Fish Town hardly needs any explanation, the catch taken from the Neseme creek.

Greenville was named after Judge James Green, among the first of the Mississippi Delta planters to send former slaves to Liberia.

Harbel is named after the founder of the Founder Tire and Rubber Company and his wife, Harvey and Isabelle Firestone. This place has long been the site of a major rubber plantation.

Harper is named after Robert Goodloe Harper, a US politician who was not only influential in the former of the colony but the man who suggested the name of Liberia.

Monrovia is fairly well known as named after US president James Monroe, he a prominent supporter of the colony.

River Cess is a place name. A recent census put the population at 2,578. It;s name was given as Cestos by Portuguese traders in the early 16th century, it means 'basket' and refers to those produced and sold here.

Robertsport is named after Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Liberia's first president.

Virginia, originally called New Virginia, took its name from the US state, itself named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, known as the Virgin Queen. The majority coming to Liberia from Virginia.

Note the spellings of the places are English as the piece is written in English.

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