The experience of African-Americans has certainly entailed a longing for their lost homelands. As a spiritual ballad of North American slaves and Rastafarians in Jamaica proclaimed, drawing on Psalm 137: By the rivers of Babylon, where we sat down, and there we wept when we remembered Zion. The wicked carried us away in captivity and required from us a song, but how can we sing King Alpha’s song in a strange land? In 1821, the U.S. government created a colony on the Ivory Coast of Africa to which they could repatriate freed slaves. “Liberia,” whose capital Monrovia was named for then President James Monroe, became a free republic in 1847. The early history of Liberia can be traced through a series of maps from nineteenth-century school geographies and atlases. In 1821, neither Liberia or Monrovia are located , but both colony and city appear on a map printed in 1822 . In 1838, seventeen years after Liberia’s founding, geographers were still uncertain as to its specific political boundaries ; in 1847, an inset showed more details of the “American Colony” of Liberia ; when the same map was reprinted ten years later, the colony was labeled a republic” and a textual commentary was added . By 1865, forty-four years after its creation, geographers represented Liberia as a fully realized state with complete political boundaries . What these maps do not show is the degree to which Liberia captured the imagination of African-Americans. Liberia became central to African-American political thought only in the 1920s with the “African Zionism” espoused by Marcus Garvey. At that time, Liberia became an genuine homeland for African-Americans, a place for them to long for and migrate to.