In the south-east bordering Liberia is a belt of densely forested hilly country extending 50 m.
Within the limits above described Liberia would possess a total area of about 43,000 to 45,000 sq.
The whites are congregated in or near the chief towns, which include the capital, San Jose (pop. 1904 about 24,500), the four provincial capitals of Alajuela (4860), Cartago (4536), Heredia (7151) and Liberia or Guanacaste (2831), with the seaports of Puntarenas (3569), on the Pacific, and Limon (3171) on the Atlantic. These, with the exception of Heredia and Liberia, are described in separate articles.
In 1905 Liberia proposed to France that the boundary line should follow the river Moa from the British frontier of Sierra Leone up stream to near the source of the Moa (or Makona), and that from this point the boundary should run eastwards along the line of water-parting between the system of the Niger on the north and that of the coast rivers (Moa, Lofa, St Paul's) on the south, until the 8th degree of N.
The coffee plant grows wild in such widely separated places as Liberia and southern Abyssinia.
It was for some time thought that from Sierra Leone as a centre industry and civilization might be diffused amongst the nations of the continent; and in 1822 the colony (which in 1847 became the independent republic) of Liberia had been founded by Americans with a similar object; but in neither case have these expectations been adequately fulfilled.
The extreme north of Liberia is still for the most part a very well-watered country, covered with a rich vegetation, but there are said to be a few breaks that are rather stony and that have a very well-marked dry season in which the vegetation is a good deal burnt up. In the main Liberia is the forest country par excellence of West Africa, and although this region of dense forests overlaps the political frontiers of both Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, it is a feature of physical geography so nearly coincident with the actual frontiers of Liberia as to give this country special characteristics clearly marked in its existing fauna.
Consequently the territory of Liberia as thus demarcated is rather larger than it would appear on the uncorrected English maps of 1907 - about 41,000 sq.
Unfortunately the Cavalla does not afford a means of easy penetration into the rich hinterland of Liberia on account of the bad bar at its mouth.
Only two or three thousand American emigrants - at most - have come to Liberia since 1860.