« PrejšnjaNaprej »
porary indulgence of unreal sympathy. The Society have had in their favor the concurrent testimony of inany of our most distiuguished naval commauders, and of other gentlemen of high character for intelligence and candor, all going to prove that the Colonists enjoy a degree of freedom and happiness, such as they never could have experienced in this country; that the climate is congenial to the colored man's constitution, and that the soil is fertile to an almost unexampled degree.
As the opportunities for personal intercourse with individuals who have visited the colony are not frequent in the Western Country, the Board of Managers for Kentucky sent a special visiter to Liberia, with instructions to observe with minuteness every thing which it was material for an emigrant to know. The person selected was Joseph Jones of Winchester, a colored man, who proceeded upon his mission, and after a considerable absence has returned and made his report to the Board. We were present at this examination, and can say truly, that we have seldom been more gratified than we were at the narrative which Jones gave of his travels. He is a man of great observation, intelligence, and candor, and has amassed a large amount of useful information. The general inference from his statements as to the present condition of the Colony, is, that it is flourishingthat the settlers possess within themselves, the means of rendering their situation comfortable in every respect, and that the soil is eminently productive. He remarked that the principal drawback upon the advancement of the colony, seemed to be an inordinate desire for trade, which had operated injuriously to the agriculture of the country, but that this evil was correct. ing itself. So many embarking in the same business had rendered it unprofitable, and that the colonists were beginning to improve their farms as the most certain mode of attaining a comfortable independence.
He stated one fact which is of great importance to those wishing to emigrate who have any capital to employ. It was the great abundance of labouring men and the cheap rates at which it could be procured. The patives of the county he describes as being perfectly willing to work, and labouring with great industry. They can be procured for what here would be equivalent to five cents per day; but in Liberia is estimated at about twenty-five cents per day. Competition among the natives for employment is active, and they are faithful to their engagements. In point of personal appearance, he says, that, when similarly dressed, it is very difficult to tell a native from an American settler. The intercourse between the colonists and the tribes is of the most friendly character, and there have been intermarriages between several of them and the recaptured Africans. Many of the natives speak the English language: and a strong desire is manifested for the further extension of the settlements. As a proof of his own conviction of the many advantages wbich Liberia offers to the free colored man over any thing which he can ever expect to enjoy within the limits of the United States, he has determined to returp and connect liis destinies with those of his countrymen, now in the land wliich Providence intended they should inbabit.
One such man as Joseph Jones will do more actual good to his kind, than
army of abolitionists. He intends accompanying the agent to the different towns of Kentucky, for the purpose of giving a general diffusion of the knowledge he has acquired of an extremely interesting country; and we would recommend every person who takts any interest in the Colony of Liberia, who may have an opportunity of bearing his account of it, not to let the opportunity pass by unimproved.
KENTUCKY STATE COLONIZATION SOCIETY.
Present Condition of Liberia. The Board of Managers of the Kentucky Colonization Society, take pleasure in informing their friends, that Joseph Jones, a man of color, who was sent out by them to examine fully the situation of the Colony of Liberia, has returned and has brought back a favourable report. They herewith present to the public the examination which Mr. Jones has undergone in their presence, prefacing it with two resolutions of the Board, and a letter from the Governor of Liberia. By order of the Board :
THORNTON A. MILLS, Cor. Sec. August 1, 1834.
Board of Managers, August 1, 1834.
RESOLUTIONS. The Board of Managers having had an interview with Joseph Jones, a man of color, who was sent by them to Liberia for the purpose of making a personal examination of the present condition and prospects of the colony, and to make a report to this Board, after receiving from him a full and accurate account of his mission, unanimously adopt the following resolutions :
Resolved, That the Board of Managers are fully satisfied with the manner in which Joseph Jones has performed the services which were expected from him, that he is enti. tled to the thanks of the society for the great amount of useful information which he has, with much toil and labor, acquired for the benefit of the free people of color in this State, and that the Board recommend him to the kind and respectful consideration of all persons friendly disposed to African colonization, as a man of excellent character, of a clear and vigorous understanding, and possessed of those qualities which make a man useful to society.
Resolved, That Mr. Jones be requested to accompany our agent to the principal places in this State, for the purpose of giving information with regard to the colony. GOV. PINNEY'S LETTER.
MAY 10, 1834. SIR: The bearer, Mr. Jones, having, as I fully believe, faithfully executed the business of the mission on which he was sent, is about to return to the United States, in the schooner Edgar. If the section of country from which he came can afford us one hundred men possessing the spirit of enterprise, and patience, and perseverance which he has evinced so far, they will bless the colony by their presence.
Mr. Jones' conduct whilst here, has been blameless, and a pattern for others, and I trust he will find favor before God and man. The vessel is to sail in a few hours, and must be an apology for brevity.
With great respect.
JNO. B. PINNEY, A. A. C. S.
EXAMINATION. At what time did you leave this country?
I left Louisville on the 23d of March, 1833, and New Orleans on the 20th of April following, and reached Liberia on the 11th of July.
How long did you remain in the colony?
There are five. 1. Monrovia, the seat of colonial government, a seaport, and commercial town, that stands on Cape Mesurado at the Mouth of Mesurado river. It is about the size of Winchester, Ky. The soil on the Cape is rocky and gravelly, and not very productive. 2. New Georgia, the settlement of recaptured Africans, jfive miles from Monrovia on Stockton Creek, between Monrovia and Caldwell. Parts of two tribes, the Eboes and Congoes, live in the town, but on different sides of the street. They have intermarried with the colonists. They live partly by getting out lumber, and partly by ag:. riculture. Their houses are built some in the native style, and some after the manner of the colonists. I suppose there are more than one hundred houses in the town. The soil is rich but sandy. 3. Caldwell, ten miles from Monrovia on the St. Paul's river. It is the largest settlement, and extends seven miles up the river. It is more prosperous than Monrovia. Farming is carried on more extensively here than in any of the other settlements. The soil is excellent. 4. Millsburg, situated at the Falls of the St. Paul's river, 20 miles from Monrovia. The settlement extends about three quarters of a mile along the river. The land is very productive. There is a sawmill now building opposite Millsburg. The dam and race are finished, and every thing is ready for the mill to be raised. The St. Paul's river it navigable to Millsburg. 5. Edina, at Grand Bassa, 60 or 80 miles south of Monrovia, on the coast at the mouth of St. John's river. It has been settled only two or three years, and some suppose it is the most healthy settlement in the colony.The soil is very fertile. There are about one hundred houses here. The St. John's river is navigable for small vessels. There is another settlement about to be made at the mouth of the Junk river. This river is larger than the Kentucky, and is navigable.
Describe the face of the country.
It is said to be upwards of thirty miles. The ridge of Junk mountains can be seen from Edina, and the Junk settlement.
Is the land well timbered?
Yes; it produces several kinds of wood, that are called oak, poplar, hickory and hackberry, though they do notresemble our trees, called by the same names, except some slight resemblances in the grain of the wood—the bark and leaves are different; and also mangrove, brimstone tree, redwood, baywood, mahogany and cotton wood. Coffee plants grow wild in the woods, also pine apples, limes, guavas and plantains.
Is the country well watered? It has springs, branches, wells, and one of the rivers affords good drinking water. Are the rivers well supplied with fish? They have an abundance of pike, mackerel, cavalla, and tarpaun, and several other kinds, to which no name has yet been given, and oysters and clams.
What productions are raised on their farms ?
Rice, cassada, plantains, bananas, soursups, guavas, Indian corn, arrow root, peanuts, coffee, and sugar cane.
How does the cassada grow and how is it used ?,
It grows like the sweet potato. It is a root sometimes two or three feet long, and three or four inches in diameter. The top of it resembles the Sumach bush. It is planted like the sugar cane, three or four slips in a hill. One hill will produce from a peck to half a bushel. When ripe it is boiled or roasted or dried and beaten into flour, and answers all the purposes of flour in this country?
How is the coffee raised !
It is raised from trees or bushes. A tree will bear in from four to six years after it has been planted. One tree will bear from two and a half to three bushels in the hulls, or more than one bushel of clean coffee. Mr. Waring has 1500 trees planted that do not yet bear.
Can cotton be raised?
It can be cultivated almost to any extent. It will grow from three to eight years without replanting. I have been in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina, and I think the cotton raised in Liberia is superior. The tree grows from eight to ten feet high, and is topped in order to make it branch out and become productive. Can more than one crop be raised during the season? There are two planting seasons, and two crops can be raised on the same ground. What is the state of morals and religion in the colony?
The state of morals is much like it is in the United States. There are in Monrovia two Baptist and two Methodist Churches, and one Presbyterian Church, well supplied with Ministers. At Caldwell, there is a Baptist and a Methodist Church. At New Georgia, there is a Baptist Church, and a Methodist society that has no meeting house. At Millsburg there is a Baptist and a Methodist Church. "At Edina, there is a Methodist Church.
How is the Colony supplied with schools ?
There are in all, seven schools—a male and a female school at Monrovia; a male and a female school at Caldwell. A school at New Georgia, Millsburg, and Bassa. The teachers are all colored persons, and are considered competent. The schools are tolerably well attended—not as well as might be, but as well as could be expected in present circumstances. There are Sunday schools at all the settlements, except New Georgia, and about that I am uncertain.
What are the chief articles of commerce?
Camwood, palmwood, palm oil, ivory, gold dust, tortois shell, pepper, beeswax, and hides. Vessels often call, and the harbor is seldom clear of them. Many of the colonists own small vessels. There are nine in the coasting trade, and two more were building when I left. Most of these vessels were built in Monrovia.
What is the Government of the Colony?
The people elect their own officers, except the Governor. I was at an election, and it was conducted as elections are in this country. The laws are well executed. The Governor is a very worthy and capable man, and is active, and attentive to the wants of the people. Lesser crimes are punished by imprisonment, and stripes, and labor on the public works. No capital offence has yet been committed.
Are temperance societies encouraged ?
Yes; the Methodist Church Conference formed themselves into a temperance society early in January last. In April last, I was at Caldwell at the formation of a temperance ociety-33 members joined the first night; and there are other societies at other places. How are emigrants provided for on their arrival ? They are sent to a large building prepared by the Government, and are furnished with
provisions from the public store for six months. Their rooms are convenient. After the seasoning is over, each head of a family is entitled to one town lot and ten acres of ground within three miles of the town, or thirty acres over three miles.
What description of emigrants does the Colony need?
They should have a mattress and bed clothes, and a full supply of cotton and woollen clothing.
With what kinds of tools should they be provided ?
About half as many as the Colonists. They are well disposed, and anxious to learn the habits of the Colonists. Some of them have adopted our dress, and can read, and have learned trades. Many come in from great distances in the interior.
Do the colonists appear satisfied ? I was particular in my inquiries, and I found the large majority well satisfied, and would not return to this country, if they could.
What is the military force?
The wild are deer of several kinds, hogs, cattle, and goats, and the tame are cattle, hogs, poultry, and a few horses and jacks.
How do you like the climate ?
The climate is more regular and healthy than in this country. After the Colonists become seasoned, they enjoy excellent health. The natives are stout and healthy.
What do you mean by seasoning ?
Emigrants, in a short time after reaching the Colony, are attacked with a fever, and their indisposition is different in duration; some recover in a short time, while others have not entirely gotten over it in two years. A few have entirely escaped.
From the Western Luminary, July 30, 1834.
CONVERSATION ABOUT LIBERIA.
last we enjoyed the pleasure of an interview with JOSEPH JONES, a colored man who went out as an emigrant to Liberia, with the expedition which left this state in the spring of 1833. Jones is an intelligent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, over forty years of age. He had been free for several years previous to his departure to Liberia, and resided in Winchester, Kentucky, where he pursued the vocation of a barber. He returned to the United States in June last, for the purpose of endeavoring to take to Liberia his wife and child, whom he left in bondage here. We should have been
highly gratified if every individual unfriendly to the Liberian lony, and the plan of African Colonization projected by the American Colonization Society, could have heard the plain, unvarnished, common-sense statement of this colored man. We think it could not have failed to banish many of their prejudices, and constrained them to acknowledge that the Liberian colony is at least doing something towards meliorating the condition of the black man, both here and in Africa.
Our conversation with Jones was free and unrestrained; and altogether informal. He had no set speeches to make or connected narrative to give, but spoke about the country he had visited and which he had deliberately chosen as his future home, like an observing man of honesty and integrity of character. We learned in the course of conversation, that he received no compensation from any one for the testimony he was bearing about Liberia, and he remarked, that he would be unwilling to receive any for such service, if offered.-His statements respecting the face of the country at the Colony, the soil and productions, the state of religion, schools, &c. were in the main such as we have frequently laid before our readers, from the most authentic sources. Monrovia he represents as being in size and general appearance, about such a town as Winchester, Kentucky, with the exception of there being more brick buildings in Winchester. Millsburg, Caldwell, and New Georgia, he describes as such villages, as are every where to be found in this region. The soil he describes as somewhat sandy but very productive. He had seen as good Indian corn growing there as we commonly see in Kentucky. Rice is abundant, and very fine; buckwheat and barley also produce well; besides an abundance of vegetables and fruits which we do not have in this country. Fish were in great abundance. On being interrogated as to the climate, he stated, that he had never experienced any weather there near so hot as it now is here. That there was always a sea breeze which rendered it pleasant. There are five churches in Monrovia—2 Methodist, two Baptist, and one Presbyterian, he believed all under the care of colored men. There was a male and female school in Monrovia, also two schools in Caldwell, and one in Millsburg. He knew of the existence of three Temperance Societies.
He represented the people as being generally contented and apparently happy. They entertained sentiments of great respect
for the United States, and copied them very close
ly “in every thing." Our informant stated that he had visited their courts of justice, and attended an election; and he found every thing done there in about the same way that it was in this country, except as he remarked, "they had no lawyers." The habitations, clothing, and general manners of the people, were formed exactly on the model of the United States.
Although the most of the above information was familiar to' us, as it is to most of our readers, yet it afforded us great satisfaction to obtain such information concerning so interesting a place as Liberia, - a spot towards which the eyes of the friends of the colored man in this country are turned with so much deep interest,-from one who had gone out from the midst of us, and in whose statements we could place the utmost reliance.
LETTER FROM LIBERIA. The following letter, addressed to William Tucker, a free colored man, a merchant of this city, is from a man who was liberated by the Rev. W. L. Breckinridge, and went out with the expedition from this state in the spring of 1833. The letter was brought by Joseph Jones. We give it entire, with the correction of a few verbal inaccuracies.
March, 1834. Mr. WILLIAM TUCKER:
Dear Sir,—Gladly do I embrace the opportunity of writing to you, hoping these lines may find you well. As to myself and my family, we are in good health at this time; and now live on the waters of the St. Paul's river. We have settled on a farm of ten acres, and carrying on after the manner and custom of the place,-raising of corn, potatoes, cassada, plantains, and bananas, which is very good food, and which I am very well pleased with.
The country I am very well pleased with so far as I have seen. I also believe that we can make a very fine living here if we use industry: But if any person should be disposed to come to this place, I would advise them to bring every thing necessary, such as money, clothing, and cheap cloth,-knowing that in every new country these things are scarce and very dear.
I wish you to give my compliments to Mr. Blue and his family; also give my love to my children, one and all of them. I am yours sincerely, DAVID RICHARDSON.
[From the New York Spectator, June 12.]
LIBERIA. We observed in a previous communication, that the Colony, at the time we were there, was at a stand-it was so represented to us. Trade had been overdone; yet, whatever might be the success of the efforts in colonizing the interior, the state of Monrovia shows that what has hitherto been effected has done much good. It will always possess some trade.Judging from the Liberia Herald, the number of vessels that arrive and depart is not inconsiderable. Yet, undoubtedly, we must look to the settlement of the interior for any great advantages to be afforded. But few houses are to be seen from the sea, on the heights, at some distance from the Cape, yet from a rising ground in the town, on which is a sort and two or three cannon, the view over the houses toward the Cape, gives the mind a satisfactory impression. The moral of Liberia strikes one as excellent. There is an influence derived from many circumstances that lead one to this conclusion, although we should not look into it very closely, among which might be mentioned the dress, manners and intelligence of the people. As to intelligence, it may be mentioned, that while at dinner with the Vice Agent, and elsewhere, the conversation of his son, a young man of about eighteen, was of an order highly creditable to him. He had been far into the interior, and had been well received. The respect we witnessed paid the colonists by the natives, and particularly the Kroomen, is of importance in viewing the state of the colony.
A French corvette, that had been on the coast some time, was at anchor close in the shore, sent by the Governor of Senegal to return thanks to the colonists for attentions given to the crew of a shipwrecked vessel a short time previous. This bas been stated before, but we advert to it now to mention, that some of the officers were in the habit of sleeping on shore, as we were informed. They were ashore, too, every day. The climate would prevent us from paying as much attention as could be wished to