September 10 is a significant date in Black history, particularly in Liberia as two pillars of their respective communities left the U.S. to take up government posts. The first of the two was George Washington Buckner in 1913.
Education and Career
Born a slave on December 1, 1855, Buckner grew up in Greensburg, Kentucky and attended one of the Freedmen’s Schools in that city. He would spend 1870 in Louisville before returning to Greensburg to work in education. He would pursue studies in education while attending Indiana State Normal School.
Buckner would further his education at Indiana Eclectic Medical College. During his medical school education, he would teach throughout Indiana during the late 1870s and into the 1880s. He changed directions as the 1890s rolled around and opened a medical practice in Evansville, Indiana.
George W. Buckner’s Service In Liberia
It was in Indiana that he began mixing with influential people. This led to him getting a meeting with President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Impressing him, George W. Buckner was appointed as minister resident to Liberia. He was only in the position for two years but also held the office of American Consul General in Monrovia, Liberia.
Due to constant bouts of fever, Buckner resigned his post and returned to Evansville. He was extremely active in social and political affairs in the city. His involvement in politics saw him push for Blacks to back the Democratic Party.
George W. Buckner would pass away on February 17, 1943, at the age of 87.