« PrejšnjaNaprej »
we have an abundance of oyster shells from which we make our lime. Our forest produces the richest and highest priced dye-wood of any known part of the world, and as agriculture, that surest source of wealth and plenty, which I am sorry to say has heretofore been too much neglected among us, has been lately better attended, to we therefore feel more encouraged to go forward.
Our Government is intended to be a republic, and although there is too much power in the hands of the Governor, still the remedy is in our own hands, and we feel sanguine that before long we will be rid of every arbitrary feature ; we will then enjoy a purer form of government than any now to be found, even that of the United States. The natives around us, who are our principal laborers, work freely for those who pay them fairly, and
treat them with kindness; they are learning gradually the arts of civilized life. But above all, what can be more cheering to the heart of the Christian, and philanthropist, than to witness these long benighted aboriginees of Africa, forsaking their idols and embracing the blessed Gospel of Jesus ; many of whom I have heard preaching and exhorting their friends and neighbors to unite with them in the participation of the blessings of our holy religion as set forth in the Bible. Since witnessing the above, I feel more satisfied than ever with the choice I have made in going over to assist in settling this new country, which, if properly managed, will not only prove a blessing to the natives and ourselves, but will raise the names of its friends on the highest temple of fame. Liberia is greatly indebted to those excellent missionaries of the cross, who have forsaken their native land with all its elegances, some of whom had lived at ease, surrounded by friends and relatives at home, who had entreated them with tears not to embark in this dangerous enterprize, but at the call of their dear Lord, they took their lives in their hands, and entered fearlessly this vast field of ve and duty. Many of whom had no sooner entered the field than they were cut off by death, yet their places have ever been filled up by others, and I firmly believe that the cause is approbated by the Lord, and will therefore go on in spite of all opposition. Our churches in Liberia are very flourishing, numbering at least two-thirds of the adult population ; the vices of large cities have not as yet got much among us, and we hope never will. As to the health of Liberia, I think it will fully compete with the most of the southern States of America. On first going out to any country, persons must expect more or less to be sick during their acclimation; this is the case in Liberia; and although we are often constrained to mourn over departed friends, yet we are not discouraged, knowing that death is the lot of mortals and visits every clime. However, we feel satisfied that when we have the low lands around our settlements properly cleared and drained, that it will add at least twenty-five per cent. to our health, as in most every other part of the world ; for example, read the history of the first settlements in the now United States ; and even if it never be healthier, the settlement
; of colonies will go on, knowing it at present to be the only feasible plan that human wisdom can devise, for eivilizing and christianizing Africa, and ameliorating the condition of the unfortunate man of color.
Since my visit to the United States, I have been astonished and amused to see men, who, in every other respeet seem intelligent, yet so very ignorant, or pretend to be, about Liberia; many of whom seem to be under the impression that at almost every step we take, we are in danger of treading on serpents, and that we are almost eaten up by musquetoes and flies. Now sir, as for snakes, I have seen more in one week in Georgia and South Carolina, than I have seen in six years in Liberia. As for wood flies we have far less than in the southern parts of the U. States, and as for the house flies we have none, and fewer musquetoes than in America. Many again imagine that we are nearly scorched to death by the rays of the sun, and will hardly believe when we tell them otherwise, and that our thermometer varies only from 65 to 88 in the extreme, that is, in the shade. Some suppose that because our year is divided into the dry and rainy seasons, that during the rain we never have fair weather, and that during the dry we never have a shower; how mistaken or preposterous are such notions! Again, I have been told that the laws of Liberia prevented citizens from leaving the Colony, but on condition of returning. This is not true, for no citizen is ever prevented, if he but procure a passport, unless he is in debt and his creditor stops him until he gives security to the amount.
I have written much more than I expected when I first took up my pen, but thought proper that these facts should be made known, for I dislike to hear such gross misrepresentation; we would desire our beloved brethren to go over and share with us the blessing of genuine freedom; we are not anxious to see any embark for Liberia but volunteers; such as have fully made up their minds for better or for worse to cast in their lots with us ; no other will be contented, but will be always desiring to get back again into Egypt.
I heartily desire to leave these words as a legacy to my family and relations, never, never, to think of returning to live in the United States.
I have the honor to be, Rev. Sir,
Your grateful servant,
S. BENEDICT. COLONIZATION. The problem which remained doubtful for some time whether a Colony could be established, whose capacity would enable it to receive any large portion of the black population of this country, is solved. Such a Colony is established ; and in its commerce, general prosperity, order and good government, challanges the history of all preceding ages for a parallel, in the providence of God, all great undertakings, materially affecting the condition of nations, have been beset with difficulties and embarrassmentthe timid and irresolute have been alarmed ; and they have hankered
after the flesh pots of Egypt," and those possessed of the most ardent faith have at times doubted, whether they should pass over Jordan. It is beyond our comprehension, that Mills, ASHMUN, and others, who have fallen martyrs to the cause of Colonization, should have been removed from their spheres of usefulness, when so much apparently depended upon them : but who shall instruct God in wisdon, or dictate to him in accomplishing his designs or set bounds to his power! An attentive pursual of the bondage and liberation of the children of Israel, would edify, and greatly instruct any one, inclined to oppose the restoration of the blacks to their country.
We have all marvelled again and again, that this chosen people should have been doomed to waste forty years of their lives, in traversing a wilderness before they were permitted to enter into the land of promise ; and we have heaved a sigh of regret, that neither Aaron nor Moses, was permitted, after so much labor, toil and hardship, after having borne with patience the murmuring of their brethren—to enter the confines of the inheritance of their nations.
In the great work of restoring the descendants of Ham to the land of their fathers, and in civilizing and christianizine one entire quarter of the globe, the United States have been selected as the meet instrument.
GRANVILLE SHARP, took an active part in colonizing Africa as early as 1783; and he “ may be regarded as the founder of Sierra Leone.” Although this settlement has been under the fostering care of the British African Institution, it has accomplished but little in civilizing the natives. The American Colonization Society, has accomplished more in the period of ten years, to remove the gloom of night from Africa, than has been achieved by all the European powers. I am addressing a christian audience, who believe the words of inspiration will be fulfilled. You entertain no doubt the time will arrive, (and you have thought you have seen the twilight of the glorious day,) when the heathen nations shall be converted and take a stand, among the civilized, and polished, and intelligent nations of the earth.-How is the blackness of darkness to be dispelled from Africa ?“ which is still to us, what it was to the ancients thousands of years ago the land of mystery." Although “ its coasts lie in sight of the most civilized countries in Europe, yet we know nothing more than its outlines ; and into the interior, the foot of an European has lately for the first time penetrated.” In the period of Egypt's greatest prosperity, deep night seems to have enveloped the surrounding countries. Subsequently, the Greeks and Romans, became better acquainted with the Mediterranean coast of Africa, and penetrated into the interior, perhaps as far as the river Joliba or the Niger; but their knowledge never reached beyond the con fines of Numidia, and they were totally ignorant of the southern part of Africa. Its outlines were not determined until the 15th century.”—MUNGO Park, a recent traveller, supposes the Joliba, or the Niger of Herodotus, to run from west to east; but where its waters were discharged into the sea, if they were discharged at all, remained a profound mystery, until it was ascertained by the LANDERS in 1830, that they emptied into the Gulf of Guina, at the cape of Formoso.
Du any of you entertain the vain expectation, that the word of life will be disseminated through that vast continent, by Missionaries from Europe or America ? How long have the heralds of salvation proclaimed the risen Saviour to the savages of our own country, and to the heathen nations of Asia ? and how many trophies have they won ? Suppose the Gospel had been conveyed by their own kindred, how different do you suppose would have been the result?-Where will you find European or American Missionaries, in sufficient number to instruct 150,000,000 of barbarians ; scattered over 12,256,000 square miles, stretching from 15 degrees of west, to the 51st of east longitude, and from the 34th degree of south to the 37th 30 minutes of north latitude, in a region, a part of which, at least, they must encounter“ the lifeless atmosphere of the tropics, where the heat of the sun is so terrible that eggs are roasted in the sand, and the naked feet of the negroes are blistered. Or do you suppose the whole economy of God is to be changed, and this great work is to be accomplished without the use of instruments ? that he will say as he did at the creation, when “ darkness was upon the face of the deep-let there be light ?” What part of divine inspiration has taught you, that without the use of means," the spirit of God will move" over Africa, as it“ moved upon the face of the waters ?" It is true we read, “ nations shall be borne in a day,” but we are informed also “ the fallow ground” is to be prepared for the reception of the seed.
It is computed that there are in Africa 150 languages spoken, of which 70 only are known to the civilized world. If you send civilization by Africans, not only as missionaries, but by the formation of colonies, you disarm jealously and discord, and you inspire that confidence which will alone insure success. The influence of the Colony has already had the most happy effect upon some of the neighboring tribes, whose kings have sent their children to the Colony, to be instructed in the schools, and to be taught the mechanical and agricultural arts. The negroes are a simple, honest, inoffensive, but timid people, without a single trait of the savage ferocity that distinguished the aborigines of this country. Their kindness and hospitality to the Landers, generally, would do honor to refined society.
I am incapable of drawing even a faint outline of what Africa will be in a century, if this plan of Colonization shall be prosecuted. It is in our power to repair, in a great measure at least, the injuries, that not only this country, but all other nations have inflicted on Africa. The United States was the first power that declared the slave trade piracy, and provided by law for the punishment of the offence by death. We have exhibited to the world how odious we consider this traffic, by declaring the perpetrators of it to be outlaws, and by subjecting them to the same punishment that is inflicted on the enemies of the human race.
Let us not stop here, but march on in the van of other nations in the great work of rescuing Africa from the deep night that has so long enveloped her in more than Egyptian darkness. “The valley of the Nile, was once the cradle of commerce, the arts and sciences ; Syria, and Greece, and Italy, were indebted to Africa,” for whatever of renown they possessed, Let this nation in the ardor of her youthful enterprises, restore to Africa the arts and sciences, of which she has so long been bereft.
Do any of you doubt the practicability of civilizing Africa? Why is this more difficult than to civilize people in other quarters of the globe ? The most enlightened, polished, intelligent, and refined portions of Europe, tradition and history inform us, were more savage and barbarous than Africa now is ; and more can be achieved by the combined efforts of the people of the United States in a single year to reclaim Africa, than it was in the power of any nation eighteen centuries ago, to have performed in the period of fifty years.
It has been said the condition of the blacks at the Colony, is more miserable than it was in this country. On this point I only ask you to examine the evidence, and decide the question as you would, if you were called upon to decide a contested question in the jury box, or to administer justice on the bench. Thus situated, you would examine the testimony with care, and if you found it conflicting, you would ascertain the number of witnesses called by each party, their means of having the facts about which they were called to give testimony; and you would become thoroughly acquainted with their characters, and the motives that might influence them in perverting the truth.
Were I concerned for the Colony, I would present to you the testimony of Dr. Ayres, Mr. Asumun, Dr. Randall, and Dr. ANDERSON, agents for the Society—who resided at Liberia, and must have been intimately acquainted with the condition of the inhabitants, and with their comforts or their wants. They died martyrs to the cause, and their testimony is consecrated by their dying declarations. Mr. Ashmun in the last supplication he audibly addressed to his Heavenly Father, a few hours before his death, while “ the perspiration flowed from his pallid brow, and every feature expressed death,” thus presented the Colony for the benediction of that Being into whose presence he was sensible his disembodied spirit would soon appear: "O bless the Colony, and the poor people among whom I have labored."- Address of Hon. E. Whittlesey.
The Montreal Courier states that the number of runaway slaves from the southern States who have escaped into Canada, is about twenty thousand. It is said that an attempt has been made to induce them to emigrate to Jamaica.
The writer of the following letter was a native of Accoo country. He was taken as a slave, carried to Sierra Leone, received an education so as to write, and became a member of the Church. He at length, with some others of his countrymen, returned to their country, Badagry, and now he writes to the Superintendent of Missions at Sierra Leone, to have the Gospel sent them and their countrymen.
BADAGRY, March 2d, 1841. To the Rev. Mr. Dove:
Rev. AND DEAR Sir,-It was my desire to write to you this day, hoping it may not offend you. By the providence of God, I was once brought to Africa where the sound of the Gospel is; and I have seen and taste the blessedness of Jesus, and know I asked permission by the name of the Queen to go to my native land; and it was granted, so I took a passage in the Queen Victoria, and by the goodness of the Lord I arrived there in safe, which I do think as I have already seen it, that the place is very good; no war is seen there, no nothing of such kind is there, so I humble beseech you, by the name of Jehovah, as to send one of the messengers of God to teach us more about the way of salvation, because I am now in a place of darkness, where no light is. I know that I was once under light, and now I am in darkness. It is to bring our fellow citizens in the way which is right, and to tell them the goodness of Jehovah, what he had done for us; and by so doing if the Lord will have mercy to brake that stony heart for them, that they may attend to the words which I have spoken to them ; all will be right betwixt us and them, and I know better than them. It is my duty to put them to right, or way which is right. But not to go and meddle with them in their evil ways, for if I do, the Lord will be angry with me, and therefore some of my family children, which arrived in the brig Margarette wishes the children to be instructed also. So I humble beg of you that if you so good and kind and to pity on us, and send ove of the servant of Christ to instruct us ; by so doing if we ourselves will instructed I will try to speak to them the same as I have. instructed, and by so doing the place will be the land of the Gospel.
Hoping you must not be afraid to send us any. If anything matter to him we will stand, we will take good care of him as our father and mother, hoping our few observations will find you and also your family in good of life as it leave me at present.
Sir the Governor to Badagry his compliments to you, and he is very glad to hear the word of God, he understand English well.
Yours humbly poor obedient Servant,
JAMES FERGUSSON, And the governor of Badagry by the name of Warroyo.
Death of Sir John JEREMIE.—By the arrival of the " Gipsey,” from Cape Mount, we are grieved to learn that His Excellency Sir John JEREMIE, Governor General of the British possessions in West Africa, has deceased. We have not heard the particulars of this mournful event, but, from previous intelligence, there is no doubt it was caused by African fever, brought on by excessive exposure, in the discharge of his important and arduous duties.
It is but a few months since Sir John arrived at Sierra Leone, to enter upon the office of Governor, as successor to Colonel Doherty. His brief career in that office, has been one of great zeal and activity ; and all classes under his authority, will doubtless mourn his early loss.