Martin Delany was an American emigrationist during the 1850s, right before the American civil war. He was part of a team that was involved in exploring some parts of Nigeria in particular Abeokuta for commercial, scientific, information and emigration purposes. His intentions were similar to that of the African Civilization Society, the society sought for a way to economically advance Africa with produce goods such as cotton and also to find ways to cripple the underlying profit reasons behind slavery. Though, some of the society's actions borders on colonization efforts in Africa.
Daleny's early emigrionist views expressed in a 1852 book of his, 'The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States, Politically Considered', sought emigration for free social, economic and political expression and improvement of blacks especially in the locales of Central America and the West Indies. However, by 1857, he bent towards an emigration policy towards Africa.
He left for Africa in 1858 and first stayed in Liberia, a country he once vilified. He then moved to Lagos where he was welcomed. At the time, the relationship of the Alake with the Crowther family was cordial. The team with the help of the Crowthers was given permission to use land along Lagos and Abeokuta by the Ogun river for re-settlement purposes. However, a key man, Henry Townsend, a close confidant of the Alake opposed the re-settlement plan. It is believed opposition by Townsend and residents opposed to the plan may have contributed to the Alake later rescinding much of his concessions to the party.
When Delany returned to America, he was soon engulfed with the civil war and his plans were scuttled.