Between 1870 and 1871, An igbo Man ( Edward James Roye ) served as Liberia's fifth president before being overthrown.

Between 1870 and 1871, Edward James Roye served as Liberia's fifth president before being overthrown.

In Newark, Ohio, Roye, an Igbo descended person, was born into a thriving African American family. In Terre Haute, Indiana, his father, John Roye, was in charge of a ferry that crossed the Wabash River.


Later, Edward bought a sizable amount of land in both Terre Haute and Vandalia in neighboring Illinois. He relocated to Terre Haute after his father passed away, opening the biggest barbershop in the area with the tallest barber pole in western Indiana.

Roye was officially sworn in as Liberia's president on January 3, 1870. The nation was experiencing political unrest when Roye took office, which was made worse by a financial crisis. Roye gave William Spencer Anderson, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the responsibility of negotiating a new loan from British financiers in 1871.

David Chinery, the British consul-general, gave Anderson $500,000 under very strict conditions, but Anderson received harsh criticism and was eventually taken into custody.


The following year, Anderson allegedly faced trial for his involvement in obtaining the loan. Though acquitted, he was fatally shot as he left the courthouse. Roye started a program of reconstruction with the intention of building new roads and schools.

Roye was removed as president on October 26, 1871.

Some claims state that Roye broke out of jail but perished while attempting to board a British ship. Roye attempted to escape in a canoe, which reportedly capsized. Nobody has a precise account of what happened, not even his death's exact date. There is mystery surrounding Roye's succession as well.

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