The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

James Elijah Moore

James Elijah Moore

Born in Monrovia on 30 May 1847, James Elijah Moore was a grandson of Elijah Johnson, one of the first settlers in the new colony of Liberia and in 1847 a signatory to its Declaration of Independence. An uncle, Hilary Johnson, later served as the country’s eleventh President.

James was educated at Liberia College. After his graduation in 1867, he undertook an extensive tour of Europe, visiting England, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Holland. On his return home in 1869 he was appointed the United States Vice-Consul in Liberia. He served briefly as Attorney General during President James Sprigg Payne’s first term in office (1868-1870) and from 1874 to 1876 he was Liberia’s Secretary of State, the highest-ranking member of the Cabinet and the principal advisor to the President on foreign affairs. In 1877, still aged only 30, he was appointed an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He had by now also attainted the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Liberian militia.

Many considered that he would one day attain his country’s highest office but his life was cut short by a debilitating illness. He died in Monrovia on 18 May 1881, aged 33.

Photographed by A. Bottomley of Manchester, probably in 1867 during James’s European tour. He has inscribed and signed the reverse of the mount: 'Very respectfully yours / J. E. Moore / Monrovia / April 25, 1875.’


Code: 122014
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