LIBERIA, a negro republic in West Africa, extending along the coast of northern Guinea about 300 m., between the British colony of Sierra Leone on the N.W.
The westernmost point of Liberia (at the mouth of the river Mano) lies in about 6° 55' N.
The southernmost point of Liberia, and at the same time almost its most eastern extension, is at the mouth of the Cavalla, beyond Cape Palmas, only 4° 22' N.
The width of Liberia inland varies very considerably; it is greatest, about zoo m., from N.E.
The Liberia-Sierra Leone boundary was determined by a frontier commission in 1903.
In 1905 Liberia proposed to France that the boundary line should follow the river Moa from the British frontier of Sierra Leone up stream to near the source of the Moa (or Makona), and that from this point the boundary should run eastwards along the line of water-parting between the system of the Niger on the north and that of the coast rivers (Moa, Lofa, St Paul's) on the south, until the 8th degree of N.
From this point the boundary between France and Liberia would be the course of the Cavalla river from near its source to the sea.
Within the limits above described Liberia would possess a total area of about 43,000 to 45,000 sq.
But after deliberation and as the result of certain "frontier incidents" France modified her counter-proposals in 1907, and the actual definition of the northern and eastern frontiers of Liberia is as follows: Starting from the point on the frontier of the British colony of Sierra Leone where the river Moa or Makona crosses that frontier, the Franco-Liberian frontier shall follow the left bank of the river Makona up stream to a point 5 kilometres to the south of the town of Bofosso.
Consequently the territory of Liberia as thus demarcated is rather larger than it would appear on the uncorrected English maps of 1907 - about 41,000 sq.
M.) It is at the southern extremity of Liberia, Cape Palmas, that the West African coast from Morocco to the southernmost extremity of Guinea turns somewhat abruptly eastwards and northwards and faces the Gulf of Guinea.
As the whole coastline of Liberia thus fronts the sea route from Europe to South Africa it is always likely to possess a certain degree of strategical importance.
Although there are patches of marsh - generally the swampy bottoms of valleys - the whole surface of Liberia inclines to be hilly or even mountainous at a short distance inland from the coast.
Unfortunately the Cavalla does not afford a means of easy penetration into the rich hinterland of Liberia on account of the bad bar at its mouth.
The Mano or Bewa river rises in the dense Gora forest, but is of no great importance until it becomes the frontier between Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Liberia is almost everywhere well watered.
The extreme north of Liberia is still for the most part a very well-watered country, covered with a rich vegetation, but there are said to be a few breaks that are rather stony and that have a very well-marked dry season in which the vegetation is a good deal burnt up. In the main Liberia is the forest country par excellence of West Africa, and although this region of dense forests overlaps the political frontiers of both Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, it is a feature of physical geography so nearly coincident with the actual frontiers of Liberia as to give this country special characteristics clearly marked in its existing fauna.
The fauna of Liberia is sufficiently peculiar, at any rate as regards vertebrates, to make it very nearly identical with a "district" or sub-province of the West African province, though in this case the Liberian "district" would not include the northernmost portions of the country and would overlap on the east and west into Sierra Leone and the French Ivory Coast.
The birds of Liberia are not quite so peculiar as the mammals.
As regards invertebrates, very few species or genera are peculiar to Liberia so far as is yet known, though there are probably one or two butterflies of local range.
One noteworthy feature in Liberia, however, is the relative absence of mosquitoes, and the white ants and some other insect pests are not so troublesome here as in other parts of West Africa.
Nowhere, perhaps, does the flora of West Africa attain a more wonderful development than in the republic of Liberia and in the adjoining regions of Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast.
The region of dense forest, however, does not cover the whole of Liberia; the Makona river and the northern tributaries of the Lofa and St Paul's flow through a mountainous country covered with grass and thinly scattered trees, while the ravines and watercourses are still richly forested.
Which is represented in Liberia by several species, amongst others S.
The cultivated trees and plants of importance are, besides rubber, the manioc or cassada, the orange tree, lime, cacao, coffee, pineapple (which now runs wild over the whole of Liberia), sour sop, ginger, papaw, alligator apple, avocado pear, okro, cotton (Gossypium peruvianum - the kidney cotton), indigo, sweet potato, capsicum (chillie), bread-fruit, arrowroot (Maranta), banana, yam, "coco"-yam (Colocasia antiquorum, var.
The hinterland of Liberia has been but slightly explored for mineral wealth.
Gold is present in some abundance in the river sand of central Liberia, and native reports speak of the far interior as being rich in gold.
Subsequently the Portuguese mapped the whole coast of Liberia, and nearly all the prominent features - capes, rivers, islets - off that coast still bear Portuguese names.
Only two or three thousand American emigrants - at most - have come to Liberia since 1860.
The name "Liberia" was invented by the Rev. R.
Until 1857 Liberia consisted of two republics - Liberia and Maryland.
The Sierra Leone-Liberia frontier was demarcated in 1903; then followed the negotiations with France for the exact delimitation of the Ivory Coast-Liberia frontier, with the result that Liberia lost part of the hinterland she had claimed.
Reports of territorial encroachments aroused much sympathy with Liberia in America and led in February 1909 to the appointment by President Roosevelt of a commission which visited Liberia in the summer of that year to investigate the condition of the country.
But perhaps the ablest statesman that this American-Negro republic has as yet produced is a pureblooded negro - President Arthur Barclay, a native of Barbados in the West Indies, who came to Liberia with his parents in the middle of the 19th century, and received all his education there.
Order is maintained in Liberia to some extent by a militia.
It was for some time thought that from Sierra Leone as a centre industry and civilization might be diffused amongst the nations of the continent; and in 1822 the colony (which in 1847 became the independent republic) of Liberia had been founded by Americans with a similar object; but in neither case have these expectations been adequately fulfilled.
By Liberia and French Guinea, N.
It was to the zone between the Kong states and the hinterland of Liberia that Samory (see Senegal) fled for refuge before he was taken prisoner (1898), and for a short time he was master of Kong.
If Liberia is a state, the same may surely be said of Canada.
The whites are congregated in or near the chief towns, which include the capital, San Jose (pop. 1904 about 24,500), the four provincial capitals of Alajuela (4860), Cartago (4536), Heredia (7151) and Liberia or Guanacaste (2831), with the seaports of Puntarenas (3569), on the Pacific, and Limon (3171) on the Atlantic. These, with the exception of Heredia and Liberia, are described in separate articles.
For further information see Senegal, Gold Coast, Ivory Coast, French Guinea, Portuguese Guinea, Liberia, &C. For the history of European discoveries, consult G.
The American Baptists in Liberia (1821) and the Basel Mission in the Gold Coast (1827), the Congregationalists of the United States of America and Canada in Angola, and the English and American Baptists on the Congo (since 1875) have also extensive and prospering agencies.
By Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep are raised in Futa Jallon; these are sent in considerable numbers to Sierra Leone, Liberia and French Congo.
The principal imports are cotton goods, of which 80% come from Great Britain, rice, kola nuts, chiefly from Liberia, spirits, tobacco, building material, and arms and ammunition, chiefly "trade guns."
In the south-east bordering Liberia is a belt of densely forested hilly country extending 50 m.
The main upper stream of the Moa separates French Guinea and Liberia and enters British territory in 10° 40' W.
It rises in Liberia, and below 7° 30' N.
The area for expansion on the north was in any case limited by the French Guinea settlements, and on the south the territory of Liberia' hemmed in the colony.