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William David Coleman (July 18, 1842– July 12, 1908) was an American-born Liberian politician. A True Whig Party member, he was the 13th President of Liberia, serving from 1896 to 1900. Immigrating to Liberia in 1853, he worked his way up to election to the House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House. Later he served in the Senate and then as Vice President before assuming the Presidency when Joseph James Cheeseman died in office.

Coleman was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, and he emigrated to Liberia with his family when he was 11 years old. Arriving in 1853, the family consisted of William, his now widowed mother, and three others, all settling in Clay-Ashland near Monrovia. Coleman was trained as a carpenter and had other manual labor jobs before becoming a successful trader. Studying at night, he picked up the education he had abandoned as a child when poverty had prevented further schooling.(Source: Wikipedia)

Interesting Biographical Snippets
  • Coleman centered his policies on three cornerstones: education, finances, and interior policy. As part of this policy, he worked with Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden to re-open Liberia College in Monrovia
  • Coleman was successful in establishing control over the interior region north and west of the Saint Paul River.
  • Colemena resigned from office in December 1900 after a falling out with political allies and his own cabinet over execution of his polices concerning the interior lands and people.
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