Buchanan is the third largest city in Liberia, lying on Waterhouse Bay, bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Africa. Buchanan has a population of 34,270. Named for Thomas Buchanan, cousin of U.S. president James Buchanan and first governor of Liberia, it is also the capital of Grand Bassa County and lies 70 miles (110 km) southeast of the capital of Liberia, Monrovia, near the mouth of the Saint John River. Fishing is an important industry in the town. The town also has isolated beaches and lagoons.
Liberia has a long rich history with Winston-Salem dating back to the founding of Liberia as a free democratic state. The connection between Salem, NC and Liberia began in October 1836 when local residents immigrated to Liberia via the American Colonization Society. The connection continued when, following the end of the American Civil War, the Moravian Church established a neighborhood for Freedmen, named “Liberia,” on land of the former Schumann Plantation, which became the historic Happy Hill community.
In December 1832, the Port Cresson colony was founded in what is now Buchanan, by black Quakers of the New York and Pennsylvania Colonization Societies. It was established as a settlement for black emigrants from the United States. The emigrants named the settlement in honor of Elliott Cresson, a Philadelphia merchant and Pennsylvania Colonization Society founder who funded their voyage to Liberia.
Buchanan is the port for the dormant railway to the iron ore mines at Nimba. Buchanan Renewable Energies, a firm based in Toronto, Canada that processes chips from rubber tree trunks into biofuel, has begun operations in the city. Chinese investors have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a manufacturing zone in Buchanan in addition to providing other incentives to encourage business development.