Matilda Newport Statue in Monrovia


By Contested Histories Initiative

The Matilda Newport Monument in Monrovia, Liberia, commemorates the victory of American free Black settlers over the indigenous population in battle in 1822. The protagonist of the story, Matilda Newport, is credited with lighting a cannon that resulted in the defeat of the native people. The monument has stood in Monrovia since 1922. Though Newport’s story has been debunked, and celebrating these events has been widely contested in Liberia since the 1970s, the monument still stands. This case study examines the interpretations of Newport’s legacy and the impact of this legacy on relations between Americo-Liberians and Native Liberians.

For the case study click here.