While not generally known, the Congress of the United States directed the President as early as 1819 to use armed ships off the coasts of the United States and Africa to suppress the slave trade. The following year the U.S. Navy's first African squadron began patrolling the West Coast of Africa and along the traditional slave route a practice which was to last for more than 40 years. The history surrounding this squadron and one of its outstanding officers, Lt. Robert F. Stockton, provides us with a fascinating look at the young U.S. Navy and the part it played in purchasing the land which eventually became the Republic of Liberia.
Duke, Marvin L.
"Robert F. Stockton,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 25
, Article 8.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol25/iss5/8