Hand colored lithograph of Martin Robison Delany. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Martin Robison Delany led an exploring party to Niger Valley to find a homeland for African American repatriation

In 1859, Martin Robison Delany, physician, abolitionist, journalist, military officer, and the father of Black Nationalism, led an African American exploring party to Niger Valley in hopes to find a homeland for African American repatriation.

Delany who was the only Black officer to receive the rank of Major during the Civil War, traveled to Africa as commissioner of an emigration convention to scout a suitable site to explore for a new Black nation. He explored various regions, focusing mainly on today’s Nigeria, and signing treaties with local chiefs.

As one biographer observed, “He…led the first party of scientific exploration to Africa from the American continent.”  From this experience came his 1861 book “Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party.”