Benjamin Anderson (adventurer)
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Benjamin Joseph Knight Anderson (1834[a]–1910) was a Liberian traveller, politician, and educator. He is known for having ventured into the then little known city of Musardu and published an account of it.
Benjamin Joseph Knight Anderson was born 1834 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. His father was named Israel, his mother Henrietta. In December 1851, when he was still a teenager, his family, except for his father, relocated to Liberia on board the Liberia-Packet. Liberia was where he received his education.
Anderson was a member of Liberia's original military unit. His highest rank was Colonel. From 1864 to 1866, he served as the Liberian Treasury's Comptroller and Secretary. However, in 1879 he was deemed guilty of embezzling money from the treasury. On February 14, 1868, he embarked on a journey to Musardu, a city in what is now Burkina Faso in the western part of the Mandingo region; this made him one of the very first people to explore that area. He is written to have convinced the Liberian government to focus on and develop the area more, because lots of natural resources could be found there and it was strategic for trading. After ending the exploration a year later, he went there again some time later. His accounts of Musardu were published in Narrative of a journey to Musardu: the capital of the Western Mandingoes (1870), which was reprinted a decade and one year later. In his later life, he stopped exploring and settled down as a mathematics teacher at an educational institution in Liberia. He retired in "the late 1890s".
Personal life and death
- One source erroneously lists his year of birth as 1805.
- Stanley A. Davis (1953). This is Liberia: A Brief History of this Land of Contradictions, with Biographies of Its Founders and Builders. William-Frederick Press. pp. 99–.
- Elwood D. Dunn; Amos J. Beyan; Carl Patrick Burrowes (20 December 2000). Historical Dictionary of Liberia. Scarecrow Press. pp. 20–21, 128–129. ISBN 978-1-4616-5931-0.
- History in Africa. African Studies Association. 2007. pp. 43–54.
- Hollis Ralph Lynch (1967). Edward Wilmot Blyden: Pan-Negro Patriot 1832–1912. Oxford U.P. pp. 48–.
- Lamin Sanneh (2001). Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa. Harvard University Press. pp. 275–. ISBN 978-0-674-04307-7.
- Mark R. Lipschutz (1989). Dictionary of African Historical Biography. University of California Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-0-520-06611-3.