About This Series (2001)

The Chronicle presents a series on the history of the Tubmans, a group of slaves set free by Augustan Richard Tubman in 1836. With the help of his widow, Emily, they traveled to Africa, where they settled in a colony that eventually became Liberia.

The Tubman people prospered in their new home, starting farms, churches and schools. And the grandson of two of those slaves went on to become the nation's president, one of the most powerful black men in the world.

Augusta Chronicle staff photographer Jonathan Ernst spent two years researching the story. He lived in Liberia for nearly a month, gathering information and taking photos that accompany the stories.

Part 1: Across the sea

From Augusta to Africa: part one

In 1833, Richard Tubman plunged his script ''T'' seal into the red-orange wax on the parchment of his last will and testament.
By Jonathan Ernst

Part 2: William vs. Tubman

From Augusta to Africa: part 2

Racing against Hurricane Hazel, the killer tempest that was battering the American South, William V.S. Tubman and his entourage sped across the Atlantic toward the U.S. coast on the ocean liner African Dawn.

Part 3: Death of Aristocracy

Days of night

It will be dark in Liberia tonight. Really dark.



Part 1

Part 2

Part 3