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Harper, situated on Cape Palmasmarker, is the capital of Maryland Countymarker in Liberiamarker. It is a coastal town situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Hoffman River. Harper is Liberia's 11th largest town, with a population of 17,837.

The town is named after Robert Goodloe Harper, a prominent U.S. politician and member of the American Colonization Society. It was he who proposed the name Liberia for the American Colonization Society's settlement in Africa, and the town of Harper was named in honor of him.

Before the Liberian Civil War, Harper was an important administrative centre. Harper is slowly being rebuilt but without central electricity or water. No hotels and few low standard guesthouses and restaurants are functional.

Magnificent unexploited beaches stretch for miles on both sides of Harper and warm ocean temperature year round. Fish are found in abundance, as well as whales, dolphins and large oysters. Fanti Canoes sail from Harper to Monroviamarker via Greenvillemarker. This trip can take from 3 to 6 days depending on the wind and weather. A UNMIL ship, the MV Catarina, sails fortnightly between Harper and Monrovia. From the Ivory Coast, Harper is accessible from Tabou.

One of the town's most famous sons is President William Tubman, who was born in Harper. One of Harper's most infamous sons is former interim minister of interior Marias, former warlord to Charles Taylor, and responsible for the River-Gee massacre in April 2003. Harper is the birthplace of Anthony Sio Riggio, the current mayor of Laytonsvillemarker, Marylandmarker, United Statesmarker.

Cape Palmasmarker is considered to be one of the traditional hometowns of the Americo-Liberians, descendants of freed slave from the United Statesmarker who settled in Liberia and declared it an independent country in 1847. John Brown Russwurm, an African American abolitionist and governor of Monrovia, was buried in Harper after his death. There is a statue to commemorate his grave site.

References

  1. http://www.emansion.gov.lr/doc/census_2008provisionalresults.pdf Government Of The Republic Of Liberia, 2008 National Population And Housing Census
  2. Maryland Historical Society Library: Harper-Pennington Papers, 1701-1899, MS. 431




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