The mission of Freedom's Journal had a number of aspects: it was to counter the pro-slavery press, and misrepresentations and slanders about the African-American population in general; the free African-Americans and newly freed slaves were to be encouraged to improve themselves by education, hard work, thrift, self-reliance, and claiming their rights as citizens. In addition to marriage and death notices, items of local and foreign news, the paper carried feature stories and articles geared towards personal improvement, including accounts of the lives of African-Americans such as Phyllis Wheatley and Paul Cuffee. And always the
opposition to slavery, and every type of crime against both slaves and free men.
After Samuel Cornish resigned, Russwurm continued on as sole editor. and made some changes to the format and content of the paper. It was only in 1828 however that he began increasingly to support the ideas of the Colonization Societies which were advocating that African-Americans should emigrate, chiefly to Africa, to establish new settlements for themselves. There were varying motives behind these programmes, and the angry debates which had begun in the 18th century were to richochet down the decades between those who believed African-Americans must fight for their rights in the land of their birth, and those who believed that the only solution was for African-Americans to establish their own communities and states elsewhere, away from the racism and discrimination inherent in American society. Apparently John Russwurm increasingly dispaired of America, and looked to the settlements on the West African coast that were to become the Republic of Liberia as the future for him and other African-Americans. His views were highly unpopular with the paper's readers and in March 1829 he resigned as editor, and the newspaper closed down. Two months later Samuel Cornish revived the paper under the name The Rights of All, but it survived for less than a year.
John Brown Russwurm received his Master's Degree from Bowdoin in the summer of 1829, and left for Liberia in November of that year.