Anthony William Gardiner (1820–1885) served as the ninth President of Liberia from 1878 until 1883. He was the first of a series of True Whig presidents who held power uninterruptedly until 1980.
Gardiner was born in Southampton County, Virginia in the United States. In 1831, when he was still a child, his family relocated to Liberia under the sponsorship of the American Colonization Society. Gardiner received his law degree in Liberia and, in 1847, he served as a delegate to the National Convention, which drafted Liberia’s declaration of independence and constitution. He became Liberia’s first attorney general and later served in the National Legislature from 1855 to 1871.
In May 1871, he was elected vice-president and was elected once again, serving until 1876. During the incapacitation of President J. J. Roberts from 1875 until early 1876, Gardiner was also acting president. (Source: Wikipedia)
- As president, Gardiner called for increased trade with and investment from outside countries, improved public education, and closer relations with Liberia’s native peoples.
- During Gardiner’s administration, Liberia was drawn into a border conflict with the British Empire over the Gallinas territory, lying between the Sewa River and the Mano River—territory which now forms the extreme eastern part of Sierra Leone.
- President Gardiner resigned on January 20, 1883, due to a serious illness.