CAPE PALMAS is a headland on the extreme southeast end of the coast
West Africa , at the extreme southwest corner of the
northern half of the continent. The Cape itself consists of a small,
rocky peninsula connected to the mainland by a sandy isthmus .
Immediately to the west of the peninsula is the estuary of the Hoffman
River . Approximately 21 km (15 mi) further along the coast to the
Cavalla River empties into the sea, marking the border
Liberia and the Côte d\'Ivoire . It marks the western limit
Gulf of Guinea , according to the International Hydrographic
Approached from the sea, there are several landmarks at the cape.
Offshore from the estuary of the Hoffman lies the small, oblong shape
of Russwurm Island, which was named after the first black governor of
Maryland In Africa (later
Republic of Maryland
Republic of Maryland ), John Brown Russwurm
. This island is connected to the peninsula by a breakwater . There is
also a lighthouse warning of the numerous shoals in the surrounding
sea area. Clearly visible from offshore is a white building with an
enormous golden orb on the roof, this being the masonic lodge hall
located in the city of Harper,
* 1 Origin of the name
* 2 History
* 3 City of Harper
* 4 References
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
The Coast in the Vicinity of CAPE PALMAS (1869) Mission
Prince Henry the Navigator of
Portugal sent his captain Diogo
Gomes (1440-1482) on a voyage of discovery, trade, and slaving that
took him and his crew as far south down the coast of
West Africa as
the mouth of the cape and estuary, which marks the point where the
direction of the coastline of
West Africa ceases to have any southerly
component, but turns definitively to the east, beginning the Gulf of
Guinea . Gomes named this geographic feature CABO DAS PALMAS, i.e.
"Cape of the Palms", which was later semi-Anglicized to Cape Palmas.
The river was named Rio das Palmas, later to be called the Hoffman
River. Interestingly, the name
Cape Palmas (while
Liberia was still
known as the Malaguetta Coast in Europe) first appeared on various
maps of Africa in Latin and later numerous European languages. The
earliest map of Africa with the name
Cape Palmas is Cantino
planisphere completed in 1502.
In December 1831, the Maryland state legislature appropriated
US$10,000 for 26 years to transport free blacks and ex-slaves from the
United States to Africa, and the Maryland State Colonization Society
was established for this purpose. American-born Episcopal missionary
Elizabeth Mars Johnson Thomson taught at
Cape Palmas from 1835
until 1862, and died at
Cape Palmas in 1864.
Originally a branch of the
American Colonization Society
American Colonization Society that founded
Liberia in 1822, Maryland State Colonization Society decided to
establish a new settlement of its own that could accommodate its
emigrants and named it Maryland In Africa on February 12, 1834. With
Cape Palmas at its center, the colony was granted statehood on
February 2, 1841 and then independence on May 29, 1854. On March 18,
1857, the state of Maryland was annexed as a part of the Republic of
Liberia, after signing an annexation treaty with the Republic of
CITY OF HARPER
The city of Harper,
Liberia (established 1835 by the Maryland State
Colonization Society ) extends to the northeast inland along the
estuary of the Hoffman, providing a small harbor; the Hoffman Station
settlement is on the right bank. The name
Cape Palmas is generalized
to indicate the entire surrounding region of
Maryland County . It is
also frequently applied in the vernacular as being virtually
synonymous with the county seat , Harper.
Cape Palmas from the Sea.
* ^ The report Gomes wrote for Prince Henry was written in Latin,
and the term used was caput palmarum.
* ^ Maryland In Africa
* ^ Randall J. Burkett, "Elizabeth Mars Johnson Thomson
(1807-1864): A Research Note" in Judith Weisenfeld, ed., This Far by
Faith: Readings in African-American Women's Religious Biography
(Psychology Press 1996): 187. ISBN 9780415913126 ; originally
published in Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church
55(1)(March 1986): 21-30.
Coordinates : 4°22′34″N 7°43′01″W / 4.37611°N
7.71694°W / 4.37611; -7.71694 Retrieved from
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. , a non-profit organization.
* Cookie statement
* Mobile view