Kings and Kueens of Liberia

Due to the European efforts to cogonize Africa. The region’s Kings מלכים and Kueens מַלכָּה were forced to be recognized as Chiefs within the New Government of Liberia. A ministry of Internal Affairs was established as a liaison ministry between the government and tribal chiefdoms within the territory of Liberia. Also established as a platform for Chiefs and there people to be able to transact business within the Republic and Internationally.

King Zangar Kadasi – very powerful King from Edina, Grand Bassa County. He welcomed settlers to Edina and established a unique friendship with them. Most remembered for his treaty of friendship and protection he signed with settlers in 1834, and was chief mediator in conflicts between the settlers and other ethnic groups in the area. Is also mistaken for the mysterious Bob Gray spoken of in Liberia colonial history.

Kueen Famata Bendu Sandemani– favorite wife of King Arma. Intelligent and beautiful, she took control of the throne in the Gawula region of Grand Cape Mount County after her husband died in battle. She proclaimed herself ruler of the Vai Tribe of the area. She died in 1892.

Chief Yellow Will– 1853 assumed the title of Chief of the Cape Palmas upon the death of King Freeman. In his youth, he left home in Nyomowe territory and was hired in Fernando Po by an Englishman to oversee Africans he had employed. Chief Yellow Will spoke fluent English and worked with Maryland Governors, James Hall, John Russwurn as interpreter and agent. He also adopted the name William Hall.

Momolu Sao– was the son of one of Liberia’s most powerful and highly influential Kings, Sao Boso. Prince Momolu Sao grew up in the Bopolu district. Ambitious and progressive, he established his own territory, which he named Totokwele, and had political dominance over the greater part of Liberia. He received and hosted many important visitors such as Benjamin J. K. Anderson and the illustrious Edward Blydon. He died in 1873.

King Sao Boso– also known as Boatswain, hailed from the Kwadu-Boni Chiefdom of Liberia. He established the Condo Confederation of mixed ethnicity and became highly influential in settling disputes between the settlers and members of the Dey And Bassa ethnic groups. He agreed to have the first Methodist missionary dwell at Bopolu, where two of his sons grew up in the homes of settlers. He died in 1837 after which the Condo Confederation collapsed.

King Peter Zulu Duma– was leader of the Dei/Dey ethnic group when agents of the ACS arrived in 1821 on board the Alligator. He warmly welcomed Lt. Robert F. Stockton and Dr. Eli Ayers at his domain in Peter’s Town, now Bushrod Island. King Peter sold parcels of land to the settlers when they arrived on Janurary 7, 1822. He later revoked the deal and the settlers were forced to live on Dozoa, renamed Providence Island, for three months pending re-negotition. Later King Peter became an ally of the settlers.

Cheif Simlah Ballah– hailed from Nyomowe territory, spoke English fluently. He accompanied the Governor of Maryland State, Dr. James Hall to Baltimore, MD USA in 1836 where he addressed the American Colonization Society. He helped draft a code of laws for the colony. In 1860 he became Chief of the Grebos following the death of Chief Yellow Will.

N’Damba– was a member of the Kissi ethnic group in Northeastern region of Liberia. She was sophisticated and charismatic. She had a son for an English man and named him James Cleveland. Unfortunately, James did not carry the characteristics of his mother and became a notorious westernized slave trader at a time when Liberia was fighting hard to end the slave trade.

References:
Dunn, Elwood D.; Beyan, Amos J.; and Burrowes, Carl Patrick, “Historical Dictionary of Liberia” (2001)

Goodridge Sr., Reginald B.- A Brief History of the True Whig Party, Pamphlet A Symbol of Unity and Stability

Bright-Neal, Edith Womi, Mini Info Picture Cards, Fogotten Black Historical Figures

Richardson, Nathaniel R., Liberia Past and Present. Diplomatic Press and Publishing Company Limited London, 1959

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *