ABSTRACT The current debate as to the status of Black English Vernacular (BEV) vis-a-vis white non-standard varieties of American English (is BEV converging with them or diverging from them?) requires for its resolution a richer and more fully nuanced understanding of the history of BEV. Liberian Settler English (LSE), the speech of those whose African-American ancestors immigrated to Liberia in the nineteenth century, lives as a vibrant source of information about BEV's earlier stages. Within Liberia, the Settler communities with the strongest tie to the American Deep South are those in Sinoe County, Mississippi-in African having been founded there by Settlers from Natchez in 1838. Further, throughout their history of the Sinoe Settlers have resisted integration with non-Settlers. Thus, both the American roots and the post-immigration history of the Sinoe Settlers make their speech the optimal choice for the study of LSE as an African- American linguistic enclave. The present study draws on data from sociolinguistic interviews from Sinoe as the basis for grammatical analysis. It also seeks to determine with as much detail as is possible the particulars of the American past of Sinoe's original Settlers and their LSE and, ultimately, to relate that speech variety to BEV, both past and present.