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And although this might not have been the prospect of the Society as being the first, yet it is now in accordance with their most ardent wishes. Let the opposers of the Colonization Society say what they will against its operations, as being a check to the spirit of emancipation, an obstruction to the abolition of slavery in America; facts are against them; and it is evident to a demonstration, to all that know the general disposition and situation of the slave States, before the Society was organized, and since, that just in proportion to the knowledge of the views of this Society, has been the increase of a disposition to investigate slavery, and the awakening of a spirit of emancipation.
Alas! how prone men are to be influenced by objeets and circumstances with which they are surrounded, or that happen to be nearest to them; just so it is with many people in England; they think as their government has abolished slavery throughout the British dominions with the dash of a pen, or the passing of a law, that the United States government may do the same, without considering the vastly different situations of the two governments, and the different situation of the whites and people of colour in each. In England, the seat of legislation being at a great distance from the body of slavery, and the Atlantic rolling between, their slaves and free people of colour are already colonized in their own native West India Islands. And so it is with the New England immediate Manumissionists; they have so few people of colour that they do not consider them an evil, and hence they conclude that the Southern States may do as they have done-free them at once; but I have no doubt at all, if there was as large a proportion of coloured people in the New England States as in the Southern, there would be but one voice, and that would be for colonizing them somewhere, as I have said of the people of England in the fore part of my letter.
The plan and operations of the Colonization Society, are calculated to keep the United States in union, by its regard to the Federal Constitution and the laws of the States.
Fourteen States have already united with the plan, viz. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana: five of the above are slave States, nine free Statēs; and nearly all the ecelesiastical bodies in the United States have fully expressed their opinion, that the Society merits the consideration and favour of the whole Christian community, and recommend it to their patronage. The Society, by aiming at a united action of all the States, avoids sectional jealousies; and while it preserves fraternal feelings throughout the Union, it prevents a separate action of any portion of the States from an abrupt and violent mode of operation, which would be difficult and dangerous, and might quickly extinguish every hope of relieving the slave population. Hence it may be seen, that the opposers of the American Colonization Society have a tremendous force of public opinion against them, and that the immediate manumissionists of the North, and the hardened and determined slaveholders of the South, are its only inveterate enemies; and these together, form, it is believed, but a very small part of the great community of the United States.
I apprehend that some Friends in England think that it would be better to colonize the people of colour in some territory upon this continent than in Africa: supposing, probably, as some of us once did, that a tropical climate would be too great a change; but the present state of the Colony shows that the coloured people now enjoy their health as well there as they did here; of this I am informed by private letters from the colonists, and from several respectable Captains of vessels who have visited the Colony; and from the report of a committee of the colonists, contradicting the false reports circulated in America respecting their condition. They clearly testify
that they are contented with their situation, and have no desire to return to America; and they enjoy their health as well as they did in this country. And the Agents of the Colony officially state to the Board of Managers at Washington, that the bills of mortality in the Colony, generally, were not greater than they were in Baltimore and Philadelphia. All that I have written in this letter of the state of the Colony, and of the increasing influence of the Colonization Society in the United States, is from well authenticated information. The grand experiment is made; the American Colonization Society has proved to the world that the colonization of the people of colour of the United States, in the land of their fathers, is practicable, and not only so, but very probable, both from the state of things at present, and from natural and rational anticipations of the future. Time and funds, with a simultaneous movement of the United States, are only wanting, with the Divine bessing superadded. And as to funds, one of its friends says, "Is a nation like this to be embarrassed by an annual appropriation of a little more than a million of dollars to the cause of humanity? A nation that can extinguish in a year twelve millions of national debt, and at the same time prosecute with vigour all its majestic plans of defence and internal improvement? A nation, one of whose states can hazard six millions of dollars, on the project of opening a canal? A nation, whose can
A vass whitens every sea, and enters almost every harbour of the globe? A nation, which possesses two millions of square miles, and is destined within the passing century to embosom a white population of eighty millions.With the past‘smiles of Divine Providence, our national debt will soon be paid. And from that glad hour, let the government provide liberally for all its necessary operations, then give to our cause but the surplus of its revenues, and as regards the expense of emigration, it will (at no distant day) furnish the means of granting to every African exile amongst us, a happy home in the land of his fathers."
Do but let the avenues of emigration be kept open both for the free people of colour that wish to go, and the slaves that the masters are free to send, but only with their own consent; let the plan of the American Colonization Society be brought into, and kept in full operation, by the united energies of the friends of humanity; let the common people contribute their units and the competent their tens, and the wealthy their hundreds and thousands, and the State Legislatures their tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands, as some of them have already done; these aids, independent of congressional or national aid, will enable the Society to push forward their designs, to enlarge the Colony at Liberia, and to establish other colonies by the citizens of that, along the coasts of Africa, and to enable them to promote the internal improvement of the colonies; to erect public edifices; to construct roads and bridges; to establish schools, and to provide for the general comfort and happiness of the colonists. Then we shall in a few years see there will be in Africa, a well ordered, prosperous, and intelligent Republic, stretching along the coast and penetrating the continent; the forests vanishing before the citizens, and the wilderness becoming a fruitful field: then tens of thousands of willing emigrants may be safely received and comfortably accommodated. I have no doubt that if the Colony was now large enough to receive ten thousand emigrants annually, and the funds of the Society sufficient, that number would go the present year, and so on, increasing from that number to twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty thousand annually. Then we shall not hear of the free people of colour, either in the Northern or Southern States, claiming this as their native country, but they will be anxious to go to the land of their fathers by thousands. Humane masters would no longer hesitate to encourage their slaves to go, but feel themselves greatly relieved of their burdens and their anxieties. The most hardened
slaveholders would be softened into submission to the plan; the increasing facility of intrnal improvements, would tend greatly to enhance the value of property; so that pecuniary interest itself would induce them to let go their iron grasp upon their slaves more than all the positive denunciatious against the injustice and the evils of slavery; more than the threatening imprecation of Garrison and the immediate Manumissionists, with the prospect of national legislation to compel them. Here the fable of the wind and the sun, striving which should first make the traveller lay off his cloak, is strikingly illustrative of the two plans; the most satirical language of the Manumissionists, with their threats of coercion, like the wind, the stronger it blows upon the traveller, only makes him draw his cloak about him with a firmer grasp; but the gentle and gradual operations of the Colonizationist, like the increasing heat of the sun, as it rises higher and higher, will make him lay it off.
The want of extension and capacity of the Colony to receive emigrants in such numbers as are, or may be ready to go, are my main fears. But could the community at large of the United States, feel a firm confidence, that the African rare could be all removed from anongst us, and comfortably settled in Africa within the present century, there would be no lack of funds to carry on the work; millions miglit be raised, without law, and without the least fear of any pecuniary loss to ourselves or our posterity, from a prospect of the great increase of internal improvement, and the enhancement of the value of property, that would naturally follow such an event.I have no doubt but there are thousands, who, independently of humane mo'ives, (lid they feel such a confidence) would be induced from pecuniary interest, to give one-tenth of their estates in support of such a measure, as I have heard several men of respectability. say; some that were only possessed of a competency, and others that were wealthy, some slaveholders and some non-slavi holders, some indifferent, and some alive to the cause of Christian bumanity.
And firthermore, when the Colony shall have attained to such an extent and ability as to receive any number of emigrants that might come; say from ten to filty thousand auually; it may be fairly inferred that between this African Republic and the United States, there would be a great commercial intercourse, very advantageous to both nations, which might in time so increase the revenue of this Gorerument, as to reimburse it for all its expenditures in the benevolent work. It may also be fairly inferred, that he expense of emigration at this stage of the business will be greatly lossened,
of colour would go at their own expense, and many others would work their passage in commercial vessels; and it would be an opening for thousands of them to engage in maritime employments, who ar: now very numerous in ail our sea-port towns, and scarcely get employment sufficient to procure them the necessaries of life.
'The Yearly Meeting of Friends of North Carolina, have sent several hundreds of those they have had under their care, to Liberia, for which they never could grt a law to emancipate them in this State, though they petitioned for it oftentimes for the space of fifty years; always fiuding the chief objection of the Legislature, to be that of the great number, and degraded and low character of the free persons of colour already in the State. prefer sending them to Africa rather than to any of the free States, or to Canarla; because we believe that is their proper home. We have sent some to the State of Ohio, and since then, hundreds of blacks have been in a manner compelled by the laws of that State, or the prejudices of some of its citizens, to leave it and go to Canada. We have sent some to Indiana, but ibat State has passed laws, we hear, to forbid any more coming.
We have sent some to Pennsylvauia, but about two years ago, we shipped pear one hune :
dred from Newbern and Beaufort, to Chester; they were not suffered to land, neither there, nor in Philadelphia, nor yet on the
Jersey shore, opposite; but had to float on the Delaware river until the Colonization Society took them into possession; then they were landed in Jersey, ten miles below Philadelphia, and re-shipped for Africa. The North Carolina Yearly Meeting has contributed thousands of dollars to the Colonization Society; it has probably done more for it than any other religious community has in America; not merely because it has provided us an assylum for the people of colour under our care; but upon the ground of our beliet that it is a great humane and benevolent Institution. I am not informed of a single member of the Society of Friends in this country, not even in any of the slave States, who is not in favour of colonizing them in Africa; we believe generally, that colonizing them there gradually, is the most likely way to put a peaceful end to slavery, and place them in the great scale of equality with the rest of the civilized world. Some northern philanthropists say, "do them justice and leave consequences;' that is, free them immediately and universally, and let them abide here. We believe this would not be loing justice; we conceive that if our offspring were in Africa, and had been there the same length of time, in the same situation every way, that they have been and now, are here, that we should not think that any thing short of sending them back to this, the country of their fathers, would be doing justice, if it could be done. So we feel bound by the immutable prin«iples of justice and the commandments of our Great Saviour and Redeemer, to do unto them, as we would they would do unto us, as much as we can and as far as practicable.
I have reflected much upon this subject, in years past and of late, and the more I reflect upon it, the more I am confirmed of its being a great and good work; and that it is not only practicable, but very probable that there will be a separation generally of the two colours or casts of people, in the United States, at longest within the passing century, if not within a shorter time. And the happy and inevitable results that must attend such au event, affords a truly pleasing prospect; Ist. The extinction of slavery in the United States. 2d. The restoration of the blacks to their proper scale of being and existence in the human family. 3d. The civilization of Africa. 4th. The total abolition of the slave trade there. 5th. The regeneration of the United States to a more permanent political condition, and her exoneration as a nation from the guilt and penalty of slavery by the great Ruler of the universe; in which she may enjoy more abundantly the blessings of civil and religious liberty.
Now, any one of these five objects, independent of any of the others, is sufficient to justify the work and cost that it would require to remove all the people of colour in the United States and settle them comfortably in Africa-enough to induce the sympathy and pecuniary aid of every friend to the human family. But when we take all these important objects into view, and see that they must inevitably follow, or be effected in the transpiration of such an event; it ought to induce every man in the world, that is acquainted with the subject, and capable of affording any aid, not only to sympathize, but to use his best exertions to promote and encourage, and pray for the support of, this great and benevolent plan.
The roots of the tree of slavery are too deep and too widely extended here to be torn up by the strong wind of northern satire and eloquence; and perhaps too deep and broad to be torn up at all: but support and aid the Colonization scheme, and the tree of slavery, large as it is, may be gradually cut down, and every chip and sprig of it be removed from this conti. nent. And then the stump and roots thereof will die in the ground, withort any bend of iron or brass in the tender grass to preserve them.
And now, my dear friend, I think it is time, high time, for me to begin to think of a conclusion, having extended my letter to an uncommon length, and yet too short in some parts to be clearly understood, and I fear much too short in the whole, to do ample justice to the subject, both in extent and capacity, or to fully relieve my own mind.
I will now conclude with some extracts from some of the writings of two members of the Colonization Society, as being in accordance with my own views and feelings. “There is not, we believe, another benevolent enterprise on earth, so well calculated to secure the favourable opinion, and enlist the hearty good will of ALL MEN, as this, when its objects and bearings are fully understood. In relation to this Society, it is eminently the fact, that opposition and indifference have their origin in prejudice or want of information. Ignorance raay raise an objection which it requires knowledge to remove; and to rest one's refusal to co-operate in what he is told is a good work, on his own ignorance, is both weak and wicked. Especially in relation to a benevolent enterprise of such magnitude as this, and which has been some ten-or fifteen years before the public; the plea of ignorance is made with a very ill grace.” "We may boldly challenge the annals of human nature, for the record of a human plan for the melioration of the condition or advancement of the happiness of our race, which promised more unmixed good, or more comprehensive beneficence, than that of African Colonization, if carried into full execution. Its benevolent purpose is not limited by the confines of one continent, nor to the prosperity of a solitary race; but embraces two of the largest quarters of the earth, and the peace
and the happiness of both of the descriptions of their present inhabitants with the countless millions of their posterity who are to succeed. It appeals for aid and support to the friends of liberty here and elsewhere.” May the. Lord hasten the consummation of the plan as far as it is consistent with his will, in his own good time. Farewell, and am thy friend.
PROSPECTIVE GRADUAL EMANCIPATION.
SPEECH OF MR. BIRNEY. On Saturday evening last, Mr. James G Birney, of Mercer county, Ky. delivered an address in the Court House, explanatory of the principles, object, &c. of the “ Kentucky Society for the relief of the state from slavery.'
Although the speaker was evidently laboring under considerable indisposition, he did ample justice to his deeply interesting and important subject. The following is presented as a mere outline of his remarks. It is wiitten out from hasty notes taken during the delivery of the address.
Mr. Birney commenced by stating the origin and object of the Society. The proposition for the formation of such a Society had been before the public some considerable time. According to the original proposal, the society was to be organized whenever fifty slaveholders should signify their desire to become members by signing the pledge. That number was obtained more than a year ago, and the meeting for the formation of the society would have been called during the past summer, had it not been rendered impractirable by the prevalence of the epidemic. The meeting was held at this place in December last, at which time the present society was organized.
The object of the Society was single. It was uabonnected with any