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Joseph Jenkins Roberts
Birth: Mar. 15, 1809
Norfolk City
Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 24, 1876
Montserrado, Liberia

First President of Liberia. He was raised in Petersburg, Virginia, where his stepfather, a free black man, ran a business transporting goods by river between Petersburg and Newport. Roberts was educated in Petersburg and augmented his studies by reading extensively in the large library of a local minister. In the early 1820s Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society as a haven for former slaves. After working for his stepfather and apprenticing as a barber, Roberts joined most of his family when it emigrated there. He became a successful merchant, was active in several other business ventures, and served in numerous public offices, including Sheriff, Judge, Lieutenant Governor and Governor. When Liberia became an independent republic in 1848, Roberts was elected its first President, serving a four year term. As President he encouraged agriculture and economic development, promoted education, advocated continued emigration from the United States to Liberia, and established diplomatic relations with numerous foreign countries. From 1856 until his death he was president of Liberia College. After an 1871 revolt against President Edward J. Roye, Roberts returned to the presidency, serving until 1875. He died in Monrovia shortly after the completion of his second term. There is a monument to his memory in Petersburg. In addition, Roberts' image appears on Liberian money, and his birthday is one of Liberia's most important national holidays. (bio by: Bill McKern) 
Family links: 
  Jane Rose Waring Roberts (1820 - ____)
Palm Grove Cemetery
Montserrado, Liberia
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill McKern
Record added: Aug 09, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40466408
Joseph Jenkins Roberts
Added by: Bill McKern
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Rest in Peace
- Susan Cooper
 Added: Oct. 30, 2016

- James Snow
 Added: Feb. 24, 2016

 Added: Mar. 15, 2014
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