To return them to their respective homes was impossible, so instead they were “liberated” in Liberia or Freetown. The American settlers dubbed this new group “Congo People,” because they were assumed to have come from areas in and around the Congo River basin. Hastily enacted laws forced many into long apprenticeships with the settlers. Such apprenticeships were intended to civilize and Christianize the Africans, who, unlike the local indigenous peoples, were cut off from their cultural and tribal roots and thus could be more easily assimilated into settler society.