Boston Jenkins Drayton

Boston Jenkins Drayton
3rd Chief Justice of Liberia
In office
Nominated by Stephen Allen Benson
Preceded by John Day
Succeeded by Edward J. Roye
3rd Governor of the
Republic of Maryland
In office
December 1855  18 March 1857
Preceded by William A. Prout
Succeeded by None (Position abolished)
Personal details
Born 1821
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Died 1865
Cape Palmas, Liberia
Religion Lutheran

Boston Jenkins Drayton (1821–1865) was a Liberian politician and Lutheran minister who served as the 3rd Chief Justice of Liberia from 1861 until 1864. He had previously served as the final Governor of the Republic of Maryland from 1855 until its annexation by Liberia on 18 March 1857.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1821, Drayton served as the black minister at St. John's Lutheran Church in Charleston under Minister John Bachman. In 1845, Drayton was sent by Bachman to serve as a missionary in Cape Palmas in the newly formed Republic of Maryland.[1] He later pursued a career in politics, becoming the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland under Governor William A. Prout.[2]

In December 1855, Drayton ousted Prout, who had become increasingly unpopular, and assumed the governorship, later being unanimously elected in April 1856 as the Governor of Maryland.[2] By December of that year, relations between the American settlers and the native Grebo population had deteriorated to the point of open warfare. As Maryland had less than 1,000 settlers and had poor financing, Drayton appealed to Liberia for assistance. In response, Liberian President J. J. Roberts dispatched a force of Liberian settlers to put down the Grebo rebellion. Drayton soon negotiated the annexation of Maryland by Liberia and stepped down as governor on 18 March 1857.[2]

Drayton was later appointed Chief Justice of Liberia by President Stephen Allen Benson in 1861, which he served as until stepping down in 1864.[3] He died in 1865 as a result of an accidental drowning when his canoe capsized near Cape Palmas.[4]


  1. Kuenning, Paul P. (1988). The Rise and Fall of American Lutheran Pietism: The Rejection of an Activist Heritage. Mercer University Press.
  2. 1 2 3 Hall, Richard. "Liberia, Maryland Colony of".
  3. Dossen, James Jenkins (1908). Supreme Court Reports, Volume I. The Boston Book Company.
  4. American Colonization Society (1865). The African Repository. American Colonization Society.
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Day
Chief Justice of Liberia
Succeeded by
Edward James Roye
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