Slike strani
PDF
ePub

a

a

WASHINGTON CITY, NOVEMBER 16, 1841. It has occurred to us that the present season of the year is a very proper time for our friends throughout the country to make donations to aid in carrying on Colonization. The farmer has gathered in his crops, and sent much of his surplus to market, and received his returns. How easy would it be for him to appropriate a small part of his gains to help to.lay the foundations of a great and free Republic on a far distant shore ? The mechanic has completed most of his summer and fall work, and is a bout receiving the rich reward of his labors. Would he ever regret it, were he to set apart a portion of it for the sake of introducing the arts of civilization into a land long shrouded in darkness, and lost to all the improvements of life? The merchant has enjoyed, or is now enjoying, the brisk fall trade; he has realized his profits, and is now laying his plans for future operations. Could he act more wisely for his own interest than to give a large sum for the purpose of opening to himself the commerce of one of the richest countries on the globe? The man of science and letters has passed through the recreations of the summer, and is now well prepared to prosecute his researches in the mines of richest literary lore. Has he no desire to scatter the rays of light over that dark land ? The minister of religion has prosecuted his arduous duties for many months, and now he longs for more success, for an enlargement of the sphere of his usefulness, and he is praying for the universal spread of the Gospel, and the conversion of the world. Do we ask too much, when, looking over the millions of Africa, we entreat him to preach one sermon for them, and devote one week in raising funds to aid us to send them religion with all its attendant blessings. Indeed here is an object, now is a time for “whosoever will” to do good on the easiest terms, and on the largest scale ! During the summer months there are many obstacles supposed to be in the way of making collections for benevolent objects. As these are now removed, we hope our friends will make new efforts to sustain this cause. We assure them that without such efforts we cannot imagine how we can possibly meet the heavy demands upon us, and carry on the indispensable operations of Colonization. To them, therefore, we commit the impor. tant question, whether this noble cause shall advance or decline, and we pray that the decision they render may be according to righieousness.

LORD Brougham has furnished us (see his remarks in another column) with some facts and statements in proof of declarations which we have often made in regard to the participation of British subjects in the slave trade. Many persons have refused their assent to our statements on this point. They have thought, and even said, that ours was the only civilized and christian country whose citizens were engaged in this unlawful traffic; that here alone were vessels clandestinely fitted out for sale or charter to the persons openly carrying on the trade in slaves. We trust that when

they have read the remarks made by Lord B., they will admit their mistake, and give us credit at least for aiming to tell the truth, and making only a fair representation of the facts in the case. We are willing, aye, anxious, that every American who gives any countenance whatever to the slave trade should be ferreted out-exposed-held up to public contempt-disfranchised and punished condignly. But we also wish that even justice should be done to every offender. CÆSAR ought to have his due, and we shall not spare, we shall not attempt to screen, any body. We are willing that our Government should be censured if in any thing they have done wrong in this matter; or if they have been less vigilant than they ought to have been, or if they have not in every instance been able to protect their honored and glorious flag from shielding some miscreant who was determined to make a fortune, though at the expense of the life and blood of others. And we see no just reason why the neglects and failings of the British Government should meanwhile be apologised for, and concealed from public scrutiny.

There are depths of iniquity about the slave trade which few persons have ever even dreamed of. There are persons engaged in it, who would never be suspected, and whose characters stand fair to the public eye. There are also ways of " aiding and abetting" this trade which have, until lately, been entirely overlooked, but which demand the immediate and powerful application of the strong arm of legislation.

We hope there will soon be a perfect understanding on this subject, and that all the well wishers of the human race will unite in the most vigorous efforts to put down this accursed trade.

66

The Mendi people are expected to sail for Sierra Leone on or about the 16th instant. They are to be accompanied by some white persons in the capacity of teachers and missionaries. The individuals who have had the charge of them, make a strong appeal for some colored man to go out with them. Indeed it is manifest that they feel themselves placed in an embarrassing condition. The difficulty of sending white men to contend with the African climate ; the natural prejudices of the people so long abused and trampled upon by white men, and the scarcity of suitable white menwho are willing to go, all combine to render the return of these unfortunate Mendians a rather difficult matter to their inexperienced guides and protectors. To let them return alone, with only their present stock of knowledge, would be fatal to their future prospects. To send out no persons with them but whites, is imminently to endanger their future hopes : for how soon may the whites be cut off, and leave them only half heathen, in the midst of the most degraded and degrading heathenism.

If we are not entirely mistaken, those who are sending home these exiles, will soon learn a lesson of the value and indispensableness of Colonization, which they have never known as yet, and which will do them good all their lives long. Experience is often a very severe teacher; but her lessons are important.

a

a

Tue Maryland Colonization Society expect to sail a vessel from Baltimore for Cape Palmas on the 1st of December, carrying out emigrants and supplies to their Colony. The vessel will touch at the other settlements on the coast. Letters for the Colony should be directed to James Hall, M. D., Colonization office, Baltimore.

WESTERN AFRICA.

JOURNAL OF THE REV. DR. SAVAGE.-JULY TO DECEMBER, 1840. Departure for the Leeward Coast-Druin-Cape St. AndrewCape

Lahoo-Cape St. Appolonia-Ancient Forts-Dir Cove-Cape Coust

- Annamaboe-Irinnebah-Accra, &.c. In accordance with a resolution of the mission, authorizing me to examine the Leeward Coast with a view to future stations, I sailed from Cape Palmas on the evening of July 27 il. Intercourse, more or less free, was had in going and returning, with the most important points, as far as Accra, including a range of sea coast not less than 550 miles. Passing the Bahbo and Plah-bo tribes, and what is known as the “ Tahoo country," my report will begin with the region familiarly known to traders by the name of Druin.

Druin-Character of the Tribe-Cruelly of Traders.-Druin is divided into three or more districts, called Pigquaniny, Druin Saucy, Druin, and High Druin, extending coastwisè about twenty miles. The inhabitants, with those of St. Andrew adjacent, belonged originally to the same tribe. Though still speaking the same language, they are divided into distinct branches, each having its separate interests, a state of things observable among other tribes. Their numerals contain two words only (sunk" and “ tank” two and three,) precisely like those of the Grebo ; the others show no affinity whatever. The reputed barbarous practices of the Druins, are well known. I was, however, agreeably disappointed in their appearance as they came on board, not discovering that ferocity described by others. It is the practice of some traders to keep a rigid guard while at anchor, but others having established among them a character for fair dealing, find it no more necessary here than at many other points. It is now the generally received opinion among the oldest and most experienced traders, that their acts of plunder and barbarity have arisen more by way of retaliation and revenge, than from any natural disposition to ferocity. Many and cruel are the impositions practiced by the white man. Within the last five years natives have been decoyed on board of vessels, chained and concealed, and carried into hopeless slavery. The last act known to have been committed, was that of cold blooded murder by an American.

Cape St. Andrew-Soil--Productions. This is a more important native settlement, on the cast bank of a large river of the same name. Vessels anchor oftener'here than at Druin, the natives being of a more pacific character. The land is high and broken, affording, it is said, a fertile soil and excellent water. The productions are rice, maize, &c. Poultry, pigs, goats, sheep and beeves, are so abundant as to induce vessels " 10 run in and stock for the homeward voyage.” Ivory, palm oil, and camwood constitute the chief articles of commerce. The distance from Cape Palmas is about one hundred miles. Annual visits are paid by many of the inha). itants to the “Grand Devil,” whose location is about twenty-five miles up the Cavally river, where their annual Fetish is renewed. We had a visit from the chief, who, upon being asked, expressed a desire to have a missionary reside

among his people, giving the usual, bar dubious evidence of his sincerity, a profusion of promises of protection and assistance.

a

Cape Lahoo-Character of the inhabitants-Tredem Visit of chiefprospect for establishment of a school--Population-Products---Country east of Lahoo, &c.—The next most prominent point is Cape Laloo, 70 miles from Cape St. Andrew, and 170 from Cape Palmas. The shore here is low, and without any prominence that can entitle it to the name of cape. The town is unusually large, (from three to four miles in extent,) and is known by numerous lofty cocoa-nut trees interspersed throughout: thus embowered, it presents a highly picturesque and interesting view from the sea. We were repeatedly visited by the inhabitants in overwhelming numbers, whose general aspect bespeaks a decided superiority over the more windward tribes. The majority of those who came on board spoke Englislı intelligibly, exhibiting throughout a surprising degree of elirewdness and tact at trade.

It is here gold dust is first seen, and offered as a product of the region, and hence it is considered as the commencement of the Gold Coast. More trade, it is said, is done here, than at any other point west of the Forts. There has been a free exchange of commodities with Europeans, almost from the time of their.earliest discoveries. I was disappointed here also, as at Cape St. Andrew, in my design of going on shore. Our arrival was at an unfavorable time, when the periodical swell from the ocean had set in with great violence. The coast at this point is wholly unprotected, having

, no rocks or projections whatever, to break the force of the waves in landing. I had dressed myself in view of an upset, intending to make an attempt, but so strong was the captain's representation of the danger, and remonstrance, I felt it my duty to desist, hoping that a favorable opportunity would occur on my return. We received a visit from the chief, and some of his head men, who did not seem so desirous to have a school as I had been led to expect, though their consent was readily obtained. They have always been opposed to the residence of a trader among them, from a desire to retain in their own hands the profits and commissions of the business annually done here, to a large amount. The benefit of a school in their estimation, is simply the acquisition of the English language; and of that, suflicient only to render them intelligible in trade. There is a mongrel dialect of the Portuguese, Spanish, French and English combined ; and in some places, Dutch, which, being easily acquired, is made the common medium of communication with the natives by traders from these different nations. It is also the English used throughout the Western coast by the Dutch, Portuguese and Danes, and is more often the only means of intercourse among the different European residents. Among the natives, to acquire this, is to qualify one's self to be an efficient tradesman. A school therefore, will be admissible at some point, where the location of a trader will not be. Besides, many of those who speak English having visited foreign settlements, have learned in some degree to distinguish between the missionary and trader. Little or no difficulty, theresore, need be apprehended in establishing a mission at Cape Lahoo. The population I am inclined to think is more dense than in any other part of the Gold Coast. A large river, having a common origin with two others, empties its waters into the ocean just east of the town, by which a free intercourse is had with the interior.

Rice and maize are among the principal productions of the region. Live stock of the usual kinds abounds. Fish are obtained both from the fresh and salt waters of excellent kind. Gold, palm oil and ivory, are the principal articles of export, large quantities of which are taken off annually by English and American ships.

East of Cape Lahoo lies a range of coast of similar geographical features, and embracing several other important trading points. The population

a

however, is less dense, it having been at different periods, the scene of cruel warfare. The principal towns are Jack Lahu, Grand Bassam, Jacque a Jacques, and Assinee, all of which are visited more or less, almost con.stantly by vessels of different nations, and will be found on the maps. At Assinee a larger amount of gold is said to be taken than at any other points west of the Forts. At about this point the land begins to be higher, and is characterized as you proceed eastward by bold elevations, projections and granite rocks. A number of fine rivers empty their waters into the sea along this range and afford great facilities for intercourse with interior tribes. Assinee is spoken of by different tribes as a desirable location for a missionary.

Cade St. AppoloniaAncient Forts erected for protection of slave trade - The Ensemah Tribe-Barbarity of the Chief-Remains of a Church. Cape St. Appolonia is the next point deserving especial notice. There may be seen the first of that long line of forts and castles erected centuries ago by Europeans for the protection and successful prosecution of the slave trade. The present fortifications were erected by the British, are now much out of repair and unoccupied, though they still claim a jurisdiction over a part of the territory; the name of the tribe inhabiting it is Ensemah.

r; They extend to the vicinity of Cape Three Points. Their chief is notoriously barbarous, performs human sacrifices with an unsparing hand, and hesitates not to rob every man who is helpless, and wholly within his power. He is at present under some restraint by the British Governor at Cape Coast.

In this vicinity; I was informed by Governor McLean, are the remains of a church, which must have been built about three centuries ago, by the Portuguese Catholics. It is well known, that their missionary efforts were coeval with their discoveries along the coast, which began near the middle of the fifteenth century. But all the vestiges of these early efforts now traceable, are these remains, and a few mutilated crucifixes and gold coins, unless it be a perceptible admixture of Romish with the native superstitions. It is to be hoped, that when the British shall have repaired their fortifications at this point, (which I am informed is their present design,) missionaries from England will be found, to preach the Gospel to this sanguinary people.

Dix Cove.-Passing Axim, where is a tine fort occupied by the Dutch, Fredericksburg, and Cape Three Points, having forts in ruins, belonging also to the Dutch, we anchored off Dix Cove in the evening of August 6th. Dix Cove is the principal town of the Ahanta tribe. With its neighboring settlement it contains an estimated population of about 6,000, about one-fourth of the whole tribe. The territory of the Ahantas extends along the coast about fifty miles, and to the interior twelve. As is the case throughout the Gold Coast, (formerly the scene of an active slave trade,) wars, in connexion with other causes known to be in operation, have greatly reduced the population. At Dix Cove we begin to perceive that subdued aspect among the natives, which is observable within the vicinity of all the permanently occupied forts. Such acts as subserved the interesis of the slave trade were introduced from time to time by the old “ African Company," and thus quite an air of civilization has been obtained. Houses built of clay or stone, with galleries stuccoed, and furnished with couches, tables, sideboards, &c., are not uncommon. It is, however, rather incon. gruous, to see a large black man, dressed only in cloth, lounging on his soft sofa, or sitting at a mahogany table, well furnished with wines and cut glass. This, though expensive, is not unfrequently seen at all the forts, in imitation of the whites. I found at Dix Cove å very gratifying feeling in favor of missions and general improvement. Every facility was

a

« PrejšnjaNaprej »