CONSTITUTION FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE AFRICAN COLONY AT LIBERIA

(Adopted AUGUST 19, 1824; ACS Approved MAY 23, 1825)
Article 1

All persons born within the limits of the territory held by the American Colonization Society, in Liberia, in Africa, or removing there to reside, shall be free, and entitled to all such rights and privileges, as are enjoyed by the citizens of the United States.

Article 2

The Colonization Society shall, from time to time, make such rules as they may think fit for the government of the Settlement, until they shall withdraw their agents, and leave the settlers to the government of themselves.

Article 3

The Society’s Agents shall compose a board, to determine all questions relative to the government of the Settlement, shall decide all disputes between individuals, and shall exercise all judicial powers, except such as they shall delegate to justices of the peace.

Article 4

The Agents shall appoint all officers not appointed by the managers, necessary for the good order and government of the settlement.

Article 5

There shall be no slavery in the settlement.

Article 6

The common law, as in force and modified in the United States, and applicable to the situation of the people, shall be in force in the settlement.

Article 7

Every settler coming to the age of twenty-one years, and those now of age, shall take oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution.

Article 8

In case of necessity, where no rule has been made by the Board of Managers, the agents are authorized to make the necessary rules and regulations, of which they shall, by the first opportunity, inform the board, for their approbation; and they shall continue to be in force, until the board shall send out their decision upon them.

Article 9

This Constitution is not to interfere with the jurisdiction, rights and claims of the United States, over the captured Africans and others, under their care and control, so long as they shall reside within the limits of the settlement.

Article 10

No alteration shall be made in this constitution, except by an unanimous consent of all present at a regular meeting of the Board of Managers, or by a vote of two thirds of the members present at two successive meetings of the Board of Managers.


Sources

Constitution, Government and Digest of the Laws of Liberia : as confirmed and established by the Board of Managers of the American Colonization Society. Washington City: Way & Gideon. 23 May, 1825.

Huberich, Charles Henry. The Political and Legislative History of Liberia. New York: Central Book Co.,
1947.

Innes, William. Liberia: Or, the Early History & Signal Preservation of the American Colony of Free Negroes on the Coast of Africa. Edinburgh: Waugh & Innes, 1833. Print.

Van Der Kraaij, Fred. The Historical Importance of the 1824 Constitution. Liberia’s Past and Present. Web.

Wilkeson, Samuel. Concise History of the Commencement, Progress and Present Condition of the American Colonies in Liberia. Washington: 1839. Print.