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McGill family (Monrovia)

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Title: McGill family (Monrovia)  
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Language: English
Subject: Creole peoples, Americo-Liberian, Index of articles related to African Americans
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

McGill family (Monrovia)

The McGill family of Monrovia, Liberia, was a free African-American mulatto family from Baltimore, Maryland, which immigrated to Monrovia in the 19th century. The McGills were one of the most prominent early Americo-Liberian families and they were among the early American settlers of Liberia. Daguerreotypes of the McGill family can be found in the Library of Congress, and they are mentioned in the African Repository by the American Colonization Society.

Immigration to Liberia

George R. and Angelina McGill immigrated to Liberia aboard the Reaper with several other members of their family and arrived in Monrovia on February 1831. Shortly after, Angelina died and some of the members of the McGill family settled at Cape Palmas. George McGill remained in Monrovia and became a wealthy merchant and Methodist preacher; two of his four sons followed suit.

George McGill was also the acting colonial agent of the American Colonization Society from September 24, 1833, to January 1, 1834. Urias and James McGill both partnered in 1854 to establish the Urias A. McGill & Brother trading company. Later on the name was changed to McGill Brothers when their two other brothers, Samuel and R. S. McGill, joined them in the trading business. The McGill Brothers company established many warehouses and numerous stores and were among the first successful Americo-Liberian trading families.

Members of the family

  • Urias McGill (merchant)
  • James McGill (American Colonist)
  • Samuel McGill (doctor, merchant, graduate of Dartmouth College)
  • R.S. McGill
  • Edwin Urias McGill Son Urias McGill
  • Rick Betton-Desheild Great-Grandson of Edwin Urias McGill

They were members of the Americo-Liberian mulatto class who discriminated against the dark-skinned Americo-Liberian colonists.

Two portraits of members of the McGill family were shown on a segment of African American Lives presented by Henry Louis Gates; one of the members of the family shown was the "Merchant of Monrovia" Urias McGill. Daguerreotypes of the McGill family can be found in the Library of Congress because they were one of the first 19th-century colonizers of Liberia.

See also


  • Liberia Past and Present: J. J. Roberts
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