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nists are, in general, good; that no capital crime had ever been committed in the Colony; that instances of intemperance are extremely rare, that in Monrovia there are three churches; that divine service is attended thrice on Sunday, also on Tuesday and Thursday evenings; that many native children attend the Sunday Schools; that their parents in the neighbourhood are adopting our mode of dress; that the climate is mild and uniform, the thermometer never falling below 68° and seldom rising above 88°; that the soil is cultivated with ease; that much of the country is finely wooded and abounds with valuable ship timber; that coffee (similar to that of Java) is among the products of the country; that many of the houses are built of stone; others of logs weatherboarded, that some of these are painted white and have green venitian blinds; that provisions were plenty and the Colonists generally well satisfied with their condition; that much emulation prevails, each settler endeavouring to push his own fortune by all fair and honourable means; that there are six volunteer companies in uniform, beside militia, amounting in all to about 500 men; that the Colony is nevertheless not in a state of complete defence, owing to the unfinished condition of the fortifications, and to the fact that some of the guns need to be remounted; that the harbour is seldom without a vessel and is deemed the best along the coast, and that while the slave trade is prohibited by the severest penalties on the Territory under the Colonial jurisdiction, it is still carried on in its immediate vicinity.
This meeting, the Managers are confident, will rejoice to learn, that the chief and people of one of the native tribes in the neighbourhood of the Colony, have sought the protection and placed themselves under the authority of the Colonial government. The intelligence that their offers of submission were accepted, was received by them, says the Colonial Agent, with shouts of joy, and they could scarcely be restrained from coming down in a body to visit us the
same afternoon. They now feel themselves secure from the dangers of slavery, and are no longer exposed to attacks from their enemies; they are delivered from the power of many despotic laws and barbarous customs, and there is reason to hope that they will soon acquire civilized habits and learn to appreciate the benefits of knowledge and Christianity. Numerous other tribes, it is believed, are disposed to imitate this example; but as they are more remote, it is questionable, perhaps, whether the Colonial government could with propriety at this time extend over them its superintending care. But the Managers trust, that at no distant period the Colony, conscious of its ability to comply with the solicitations of these poor Africans, who stretch out their hands for help and would find a refuge within its limits, shall encourage them to renounce the vices and superstitions of their Fathers, and under the protection of its wholesome laws and the influences of a pure faith, to acquire that character and those blessings which are alone worthy of the nature and destiny of man.
The Managers alluded in their last Report to some attempts which had been made to explore the interior, and to ascertain the resources of the country, and the character of the more remote African population. It was mentioned that several persons had visited and been kindly received by King Boatswain, a chief of much power and influence, whose principal town, by the usual route, was distant one hundred and fifty miles from Monrovia. It gives the Managers pleasure to state, that a new road has recently been opened and completed from Millsburg to the country of Boatswain, which will reduce the distance to eighty or ninety miles, and, as merchandize can be transported one-third of the way by water, add greatly to the trade and intercourse with the interior. The existence and advantages of the Colony are becoming known to distant tribes, and every year may be expected to open new sources of information to the curiosity and new avenues of commerce and of wealth to the enterprise of the colonists.
The Agricultural interests of the Colony, which have been too long and too generally neglected, begin, the Managers have reason to think, to be regarded as of primary importance. A number of the colonists have for years applied themselves industriously to the cultivation of the soil, but in too many instances have the hopes of great and immediate profit by trade occasioned inattention to the slower but surer advantages of Agricultural labour. On a visit to Caldwell in the month of March the Colonial Agent was "particularly struck by the progress made by the Harriet's people in the cultivation of their farms, which, had he not known to the contrary, he would have supposed had been occupied by them for at least two or three years." The whole place, he observes, "is in a high state of cultivation, and the inhabitants by their industry and attention to their Agricultural pursuits, have placed themselves above want." In a communication dated in September last he states "that a new spirit is pervading the community, many begin to think that the cultivation of the soil may not be so unprofitable as they have been in the habit of considering it. It is discovered that they cannot all be petty merchants to ad'vantage." Convinced as are the Managers that more general attention to Agriculture is essential to the permanent prosperity of the Colony, they have been anxious to encourage the efforts of those settlers, who have manifested a determination to engage and persevere in this laudable pursuit, and to excite others to imitate their example. They have therefore adopted a more liberal system in the distribution of lands, and instructed the Colonial Agent to allow to each emigrant residing at a distance of more than three miles from the towns, fifty acres for himself and family, with the privilege of purchasing within five years thereafter, at the rate of twenty-five cents an acre, fifty adjacent acres. They have also empowered him to make a donation to any colonist or association of colonists, of a quantity of land not exceeding 500 acres, on condition that the same be appropriated to the culture of coffee, cotton and the sugar cane.
The commerce of the Colony, is rapidly increasing, and at one time, during the last summer, were seen in the harbour of Monrovia, five square-rigged vessels-three English, one French, and one American. Several small vessels are owned by the colonists, and constantly engaged in trade along the coast. Several of the emigrants have been very successful in business, and in the course of a few years, placed themselves in circumstances of ease and independence. The Managers have reason to believe, that the love of trade has been excessive, and that many have been induced to engage in it, from expectations of immediate gain, whose information and previous habits gave them little ability, for such employment. The Managers trust that experience has taught them wisdom, and that they will hereafter seek to obtain a livelihood by the cultivation of the soil.
The Managers have heard, with regret, that the Schools of the Colony, have received neither adequate countenance or support, and that the settlers, generally, manifest no due sense of the importance of preparing their children, by education, for influence and usefulness in life. Solemnly convinced, that without a system of education, the benefits of which may be enjoyed by every child, the great ends for which the Colony was established can never be accomplished, the Managers have instructed the Colonial Agent to carry such a system into immediate effect.Permanent School-houses are to be erected at Monrovia, Caldwell and Millsburg, towards each of which the Managers have resolved to advance one hundred dollars, provided three hundred be raised, for the same object, by the Colonists themselves; and in the same proportion, should a less sum only be required. At present, the proceeds of the sales of all public lands, of licenses, and fines, together with five hundred dollars annually from the funds of the Society, (or such portion of them as may be necessary) are to be applied to the support of these Schools, over each of
which, five trustees are to have constant supervision, and of all the affairs of which, the Colonial Agent is required, semiannually, to transmit to the Society a full and detailed account. In a recent address transmitted to Liberia, the Managers endeavoured to impress the Colonists with the absolute necessity of bringing their children under the tuition of competent instructors, and to make them sensible, that all hopes of good, for their posterity, are depending upon a well-conducted system of education. This meeting will be gratified to know, that a news-paper, edited by Mr. J. B. Russwurm, a very intelligent and well-educated man of colour, is now issued from the Liberian press.Though the earliest numbers were printed on paper, injured by long exposure to a damp atmosphere, the Managers are happy to state that fifty reams of fine paper, have recently been sent out by the same liberal Gentleman in Boston, from whom the Press, as a donation, was formerly received. This paper will afford much useful information, concerning the affairs of the Colony, and the productions and population of other parts of Africa; it is the third, the Managers believe, which has been published, on the Western Coast of that Continent, and they hail its appearance, as a new evidence that the lights of Knowledge and Religion, are breaking in upon the darkness, and must finally dispel the gloom of that wide empire of superstition and crime.
Serious apprehensions, have been expressed, during the year, by many Friends of the Society, that great evils would arise, both to the settlers and the native Africans, from the introduction of ardent spirits, as an article of use and of trade at the Colony. The Managers have felt these apprehensions to be well founded, and though, owing to the fact that the natives frequently refuse to trade when this article is denied to them, and to the fact, that they can always obtain it elsewhere, provided they cannot at the Colony, the subject is attended with difficulties, they have