Harper, situated on Cape Palmas, is the capital of Maryland County in Liberia. Before the Liberian Civil War, Harper was an important administrative centre. Harper is slowly being rebuilt but without central electricity or water. No hotels and few low standard guesthouses and restaurants are functional.
Magnificent unexploited beaches stretch for miles on both sides of Harper and warm ocean temperature year round. Fish are found in abundance, as well as whales, dolphins and large oysters. Fanti Canoes sail from Harper to Monrovia via Greenville. This trip can take from 3 to 6 days depending on the wind and weather. A UN ship sails fortnightly between Harper and Monrovia. From Ivory Coast Harper is easily accessible from Tabou.
One of the city's most infamous sons is former interim minister of interior Marias, former warlord to Charles Taylor, and responsible for the River-Gee massacre in April 2003. Harper is the place of birth of William Tubman, president of Liberia between 1944 and 1971, and Anthony Sio Riggio, the current mayor of Laytonsville, Maryland, United States.
Cape Palmas is considered to be the traditional hometown of the "Americo-Liberians", descendants of freed slaves from the United States who settled in Liberia and declared it an independent country in 1847. John Brown Russwurm, an African American abolitionist and governor of Monrovia, was buried in Harper after his death. There is a statue to commemorate his grave site.