Matilda Newport: The Power of a Liberian-lnvented Tradition

Holso, Svend E.
December 2007
Liberian Studies Journal;12/ 2/2007, p28
Academic Journal
The article explores historical accounts of Mary, or Matilda Newport, reportedly a heroine of the early African American Liberian settlement on Cape Mesurado. In 1822, local warriors attacked the colony twice. The colony's defensive actions became nationally celebrated, honoring the event known as the Ashmun battle, named after American Colonization Society agent Jehusi Ashtnun, also known as Jehudi Ashmun. No eye witness accounts mention the participation of women during the colony's defense against the attacks. Accounts of Newport's efforts only appear in print beginning in 1854. Mythology about Newport written during the 20th century and the political aspects of Newport's symbolism as a national hero are discussed.


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