Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Spotlight on: 'The McGill Family'

Expand Messages
  • multiracialbookclub
    The McGill Family (of Baltimore, Maryland & Monrovia, Liberia) The McGill family of Monrovia, Liberia was a free African-American
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      The McGill Family

      (of Baltimore, Maryland

      & Monrovia, Liberia)

      The McGill family of Monrovia, Liberia was a free
      African-American Mulatto family -- originally from
      Baltimore, Maryland --  which immigrated
      to Monrovia, Liberia in the 19th century.

      The McGills were one of the most prominent
      Americo-Liberian families and they were
      one the early American settlers of Liberia .

      Daguerreotypes of the McGill family can be
      found in the
      Library of Congress, and they
      are mentioned in the African Repository
      by the
      American Colonization Society.

      Immigration to Liberia

      George R. and Angelina McGill immigrated
      to Liberia aboard the Reaper with several
      other members of their family and they
      arrived in Monrovia on February 1831.

      Shortly after arrival, Angelina died
      and some of the members of the
      McGill family settled at Cape Palmas .

      George McGill remained in Monrovia and
      became a wealthy merchant and Methodist
      preacher; two of his four sons followed suit.

      Urias and James McGill both partnered
      in 1854 in order to establish the Urias
      A. McGill & Brother trading company.

      Later on the name was changed to McGill Brothers
      when their two other brothers, Samuel and R.S.
      McGill joined them in the trading business.

      The McGill Brothers company established many
      warehouses and numerous stores and were among
      the first successful
      Americo-Liberian trading families.


      Two portraits of members of the McGill family
      were shown on a segment of
      African American
      presented by Henry Louis Gates , one
      of the members of the family shown was
      the 'Merchant of
      Monrovia' Urias McGill

      Daguerreotypes of the McGill family can be found
      in the
      Library of Congress because they were
      one of the first 19th century colonizers of Liberia

      They became a
      Americo-Liberian Mulatto family.

      The freeborn son of George R. and Angelina
      McGill of Baltimore, Urias McGill was eight
      years old when he immigrated to Liberia with
      his parents and siblings aboard theReaper.

      Although Mrs. McGill died shortly after the
      family's arrival in Monrovia in February
      1831, her husband and children survived.

      Several members of the family settled at Cape
      Palmas , while George McGill remained in
      Monrovia with sons James and Urias.

      A Methodist clergyman and teacher by
      profession, the elder McGill joined the
      ranks of Liberia 's prosperous merchants,
      and in time his four sons followed his lead.

      By the early 1850s, Urias and James had formed
      a successful partnership under the name of Urias
      A. McGill & Brother, and in 1854 they were joined
      by brothers Samuel and R. S. McGill to create
      the larger trading concern of McGill Brothers.

      Embracing both transatlantic and coastal trade,
      as well as a thriving commission business
      with numerous stores and warehouses, the
      McGill Brothers firm played a principal role
      in Liberia 's early commercial history and
      earned a handsome fortune for its partners.

      Augustus Washington 's portrait of Urias McGill
      is believed to date from 1854, the year in which
      the McGill Brothers partnership was formed. 

      Urias McGill and unidentified woman 
               (Daguerreotype of Urias McGill & Unidentified Woman)

      Unidentified woman

      The identity of the woman pictured in the
      daguerreotype has not been established.

      It is reasonable to assume that she was
      connected in some way with the McGill family,
      and may have possibly been Urias McGill's wife.

      Augustus Washington posed this young woman
      much as he posed a number of his Hartford subjects.

      Like the women in his earlier portraits,
      she holds a daguerreotype case in her lap.

      It is interesting to note that in this instance,
      the case she displays is identical to that used
      to house both her portrait and that of Urias McGill.

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.