Tyson's Discourse before the Young Men's Colonization Society

Publication Year: 1834

Tyson, Job R. A Discourse before the Young Men's Colonization Society of Pennsylvania, Delivered October 24, 1834 ... by J.R. Tyson: With a Notice of the Proceedings of the Society, and of Their First Expedition of Coloured Emigrants to Found a Colony at Bassa Cove. Philadelphia: Printed for the Society, 1834. 
PHS Call number: PAM E 448 .T9 1834

Reading suggestions

See especially the letter from Samuel Benedict to Elliott Cresson, pages 60-62. Also see letter from Francis Thornton, Jr. regarding Isaac Walker, page 63.

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Source note

Job R. Tyson (1803-1858) was elected to the board of managers of the Pennsylvania Colonization Society in 1850. Tyson was also a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Samuel Benedict (1792-1854) was a former slave who emigrated in 1835 to Liberia, where he became an influential figure in politics and the judiciary. Elliot Cresson (1796-1854) was a Philadelphia philanthropist and one of the most active members of the Young Men's Colonization Society of Pennsylvania, a branch of the American Colonization Society.

Historical Context

The Young Men’s Colonization Society of Pennsylvania was founded in 1830, four years before this discourse was written, as an offshoot of the American Colonization Society. Elliot Cresson, member of the Young Men’s Colonization Society of Pennsylvania, was a prominent Quaker as well as a zealous supporter of colonization. Though many Quakers were abolitionists, including well known leaders such as Anthony Benezet and Lucretia Mott, many 19th century Quakers were also colonization supporters, anti-abolitionists, and even slaveowners.

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Reading questions

Questions for the Samuel Benedict letter to Elliot Cresson, pages 60-62: 

  1. What is the tone of this letter? 
  2. What are Benedict’s reasons for moving to Liberia? 
  3. Has Benedict ever been to Liberia?  
  4. What is the perspective of the author (Job. R. Tyson) on colonization? 
  5. What are Benedict’s objections to the Abolition Movement in the United States? 

Questions for Francis Thornton’s testimonial on Isaac Walker, page 63: 

  1. What do you think the writer’s perspective is on colonization? 
  2. Why might someone like Walker need a testimonial like this one, to carry with him? 
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Source type
History Topics
Abolition and Anti-slavery
African American History
African History
Colonization Movement
Time Period
Slavery, Sectionalism, and Social Reform (1815-1861)