Cape Palmas (this is most probably where the above letter was written), founded in 1834, was the original settlement of the Maryland Colonization Society, which purchased the peninsula with muskets, powder, cloth, pots, beads, and other items of trade. The peninsula became the site of three missions, established to Christianize and civilize the native Africans. Known as "Mount Vaughan," the Episcopal mission educated many members of Liberia's indigenous tribes. "Protestant Episcopal Mission, Cape Palmas, West Africa," ca. 1850s Woodcut. Maryland was one of two centers of American interest on the West Coast of Africa, the other being neighboring Liberia, which in 1847 became an independent republic. Like Liberia, the colony was planned as a haven for freed slaves, and by 1850 it could boast a small Colonist population concentrated around the Cape Palmas peninsula. This physical isolation was reinforced by the psychological and cultural distance that the settlers put between themselves and the natives.