Providence Island is one of the most important sites in the history of the African Diaspora and for the narrative of Liberia’s founding. Nestled between the Mesurado and Du Rivers, the tiny 11.22-acre island hosted the first 88 African American arrivals in 1822 as they negotiated with native Liberians to stake their claim to what would become their new colony. The island, once home to public concerts, festivals, and events, is now protected by the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism.
While the remnants of a few stone foundations are visible along the eastern side of the island, there is little indication of how settlers made use of the island upon their arrival or in subsequent decades before expanding their holdings to mainland Monrovia.
In 2019, we began using a drone to photographically capture the landscape to construct a three-dimensional rendering of the space. This work was done in concert with the Minister’s office and the National Museum of Liberia to document, protect, and generate tourist interest in the site.