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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Matilda Newport: the power of a Liberian invented tradition
Author:Holsoe, Svend E.ISNI
Year:2007
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Volume:32
Issue:1
Pages:84-93
Language:English
Geographic term:Liberia
Subjects:historiography
commemorations
symbols
anticolonialism
colonists
1820-1829
About person:Matilda Newport (1795-1837)
Abstract:In November 1822, American black settlers, newly arrived in Liberia, were attacked by the local people around Cape Mesurado. The settlers were able to repulse the local warriors. In 1854, a visitor to Liberia presents the first published description of Matilda Newport and what she was alleged to have done during this attack. It was believed she fired upon the natives and killed quite a number of them. This action gave rise to the institution of Matilda Newport Day, a national holiday on the first of December. This article traces publications on Matilda Newport - who actually did exist and lived from 1895 to 1837 - and her actions. It also shows how, with time, the celebration as well as the symbol, Matilda Newport herself, became dysfunctional and was ultimately abolished by President Tolbert. Ref. Reprinted, with corrections by the author, in Liberian Studies Journal, vol. 32, no. 2 (2007), p. 28-41. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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