EMBASSY OFTHE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA 5201 16th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20011 Tel: 202-723-0437 Fax: 202-723-0436
March 24, 2015
Dr. Daniel W. Stowell, Director Center for Digital Initiatives Abrham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum 112 North Sixth Street Springfield, IL 62701
Dear Dr. Stowell:
I am pleased to present my compliments and have the honor per directive of His Excellency Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia accredited to the United States, to acknowledge your letter requesting Liberia's contribution to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on the 150th anniversary of the death of this great past president of the United States.
In this connection, I would like to express on behalf of Ambassador Sulunteh, thanks and appreciation to you for availing us the opportunity to share few thoughts in honoring the memory of this great American statesman.
President Lincoln was an advocate for colonization and an emancipator who helped to free black people from slavery in America. Liberia was among other destinations he felt that freed black population would migrate. He organized a meeting of freed black leaders in 1862 in order to articulate his ideas. Although this first meeting did not go well with all of the participants, it yielded result that got some freed men to start thinking about going to Africa. It was during this same year 1862, that his government recognized the soverignty of Liberia; fifteen (15) years after the founding of the Republic of Liberia.
We are therefore humbled, to the realization that this great man assisted in leading the path to the continuity of our existence as a people and a nation. One may conceptualize that he was ahead of his time when he criticized President James Buchanan for promoting slavery in America. He was quoted as saying, " a house divided among itself can not stand ", thus discouraging the continued slavery of black "citizens" in American at the time.
As Liberia looks forward to celebraing its 168th Independence Day, we also commemorate October 21, 1862 when a treaty was signed between the United States and Liberia, a turning point in Liberian history that not only recognized our treasured sovereignty, but defined US-Liberian relations. We appreciate the immense benefits obtained by Liberians in terms of education and international relations with the United States and other Countries.
All of this might not have been possible if President Lincoln had not played a major role in the emancipation process. For this, we appreciate him for being part of the stepping-stone of our history as a people.
Kindly accept the sentiments of my highest consideration and abiding esteem.
( hand written signature)
Jeff Gongoer Dowana, Sr. Charge d'Affaires, a.i.