The CUYAHOGA COUNTY COLONIZATION SOCIETY formed at the Academy on 8 Jan. 1827. The society favored ending slavery by colonization: the U.S. government would buy slaves from their masters and transport the freed blacks (see AFRICAN AMERICANS) to Africa. Supporters of colonization, which gained a national following in the 1820s and early 1830s, believed the plan offered inducements to slaveholders that would hasten the end of the peculiar institution. Prominent area citizens led the Cuyahoga County Colonization Society, such as its president, SAMUEL COWLES, businessman and attorney. The colonization plan drew much criticism from supporters of the immediate abolition of slavery, however. As antislavery sentiment and ABOLITIONISM grew, the Cuyahoga County Colonization Society faded from existence. Its last meeting mentioned in the Annals of Cleveland is the annual meeting, Jan. 1830.