Calvin Coolidge Says, January 7, 1931

Date: January 7, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

There will be general satisfaction that the note of our government sent to Liberia by Secretary Stimson has made us one of the first nations to use its influence where its influence could properly be effective to abolish the remnants of human slavery in the world.

Our relations with Liberia have been very intimate ever since that country was designated about one hundred years ago as a settlement for freed slaves from the United States. That gave us an especial interest, rising to a duty, to preserve a state of freedom for its colored people. After learning from an official investigation by a commission having American representation of the existence in that republic of slavery, and forced labor, good faith on our part on our part required immediate and firm action.

We have discharged a moral, if not a legal, obligation. If other nations will take a like attitude where they have a like responsibility the 5,000,000 slaves reported by Lord Cecil of the League of Nations to exist in the world speedily will be set free. From our own history we know this can be done. But these unfortunate people should not be turned adrift. They must be assisted in becoming self-supporting.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of DJ Bettencourt who prepared this document for digital publication.

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