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Buchanan is the third largest city in Liberiamarker, lying on Waterhouse Bay, part of the Atlantic Oceanmarker. It is referred to as Gbezohn in the local Bassa language. As of the 2008 census, Buchanan has a population of 34,270. Of this, 16,984 were male and 17,286 female.

Named for Thomas Buchanan, cousin of U.S. president James Buchanan and first governor of Liberia, it is also the capital of Grand Bassamarker and lies 70 miles southeast of Monroviamarker, near the mouth of the Saint John Rivermarker. The town was popular with refugees during the Liberian Civil War as it largely escaped the fighting. Fishing is an important industry in the town. The town also has isolated beaches and lagoons.

Daniel Edward Howard, who served as president of Liberiamarker from 1912 to 1920, was born in Buchanan.


In December 1832, the Port Cresson colony was founded in what is now Buchanan, by black Quakers of the New York and Pennsylvania Colonization Societies.. It was established as a settlement for black emigrants from the United Statesmarker. The emigrants named the settlement in honor of Elliott Cresson, a Philadelphiamarker merchant and Pennsylvania Colonization Society founder who funded their voyage to Liberia.

In June 1835, Bassa tribal members destroyed the Americo-Liberian colony of Port Cresson.

A month later, a new colony called Bassa Cove was founded by black Quakers of the Young Men’s Colonization Society of Pennsylvania.. The Bassa Cove colony was incorporated into Liberia on April 1, 1839.


Buchanan is the port for the dormant railway to the iron ore mines at Nimbamarker. Rubber and palm oil once were also shipped out of the Port Of Buchanan. Africa’s first iron-ore washing and pelletizing plant was opened in Buchanan in 1968.

Buchanan Renewable Energies, a firm based in Torontomarker, Canadamarker that processes chips from rubber tree trunks into biofuel, has begun operations in the city.

According to the managing-director of Liberia's National Port Authority, Togba Ngangana, Chinese investors have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a manufacturing zone outside the southern port of Buchanan which would produce 50,000 jobs. This is in addition to an undisclosed amount of low-interest loans, debt relief and other incentives.


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