Lott Cary, one of the founders of Liberia, born a slave near Richmond, Va., in 1780, died at Monrovia, Africa, Nov. 8, 1828. In his youth he was vicious and profane, but in his 27th year he joined the Baptist church. With the change in his character came the thirst for knowledge. He soon learned to read and write, and after a time he began to preach to his countrymen. He succeeded in raising by extra work $850, with which he redeemed himself and his two children from slavery. He was then employed in a tobacco warehouse with a good salary. In 1815 he became interested in Africa and in the establishment of missions there. In February, 1821, he went to Liberia, and was instrumental in the removal of the colonists from their first unhealthy position to Cape Mesurado, now Monrovia. He exerted himself in the erection of cabins for the settlers, felling trees, prescribing for the sick, preaching, or lighting against the savages, who had determined to exterminate the colonists. Once, when the latter had become dissatisfied with the course of the colonization society in regard to the tenure of their lands, he took sides with them against the agent, Jehudi Ashmun, although personally his friend; but foreseeing the evils which would follow insubordination, he acknowledged his error and submitted to the laws of the society.
In September, 1820, Mr. Ashmun sailed for America, leaving the entire control of the colony in the hands of Mr. Cary. He was killed by the explosion of a cask of powder in a building where he was making preparations to repel an assault of the natives.