Ashmun was a complex figure in the early days of the political history of Liberia. History portrays him as a good guy that looked out for the best interest of free Blacks but he was an arm of American imperialism. Ashmun bullied local African leaders in West Africa by trading land for items of lesser value. He desperately wanted to create an American empire on the African continent. The ACS may have used free Blacks as pretext for empire building.
By the 1830s and 40s, the ACS began to find the entire experiment to be a financial disaster. The reason for this primarily revolves around the lack of federal funds given to the ACS. Also, the new colony was under constant British attacks that made Liberia uneasy for the colonizers. Because the colony was not recognized by the United States and other nations refuse to see Liberia as sovereign, the colony sought independence in 1846.