« PrejšnjaNaprej »
in Connecticut we have a school-fund of nearly two millions, the annual interest of which is appropriated to schools. In these schools the children of color have equal privileges with the white children—nay more they are a privileged order. They may and do attend school six months in the year, free, and even without the small exactions of wood or board for the instructers. At these schools our men of business are made and fitted for active life. We are not only willing but desirous that the people of color should, and they in fact do enjoy all these privileges of education in Connecticut. They are extended to all who are inhabitants of the State. This is our part, and, if more is to be done, we contribute liberally to colonize those from the slave States. Is it just then to crowd upon us blacks from other States? We say, no; and we mean to abide by the answer.
In conclusion, the good people of Canterbury respectfully caution the generous public against sanctioning all the intemperate and inexcusable efforts which are made at the present day by a few individuals who claim to be the exclusive friends of benevolence, and would exaggerate and misconstrue the acts of others.
A CITIZEN OF CANTERBURY.
It gives us great pleasure to be able to state that the first number of this Magazine has been received by the friends of the cause in all quarters with a cordiality which, we assure them, will operate not less to increase our future efforts to deserve what we receive, than it has done to amply reward us for the labors attending the commencement of the enterprise. The Secretary of the National Society does us the favor to say, under date of the 20th ult :
Accept my thanks for the first number of the Colonizationist, which I have perused with interest and gratification. There can be no doubt that the Magazine will receive a liberal support from the members of this Society.'
A highly respected friend in Maine, well known among the scholars of the north, in forwarding his own and several other names for the Magazine, takes occasion to deal thus frankly with He will excuse us for the publicity we give to his suggestions, for their importance is but too obvious. No doubt errors of the kind in question have been fallen into by individuals-errors some
what the more excusable, however, we may observe, because they have arisen from an anxious desire, on the part of the colonizationists, to promote the Society's influence in favor of freedom and humanity, by conciliating that portion of the community on whom such influence must be chiefly exerted. We shall refer to this subject again when we can do it better justice. Our correspondent says:
"There exists in our community some jealousy of the Colonization Society, in regard to its bearing upon the question of slavery. There is an impression on many minds, that it does not regard with sufficient sternness this momentous political and moral evil; nay, that it has a tendency to perpetuate the system of slavery, and on that account receives the patronage of southern slave-holders, and has even, in some cases, appeared as the apologist of slavery. Such being the feeling with some intelligent men, it cannot be expected that they will countenance any of its publications. Those who are willing to admit that such charges have arisen from unworthy friends of the Society, and do not lie against its true principles, yet are disposed to think that it cannot accomplish much in doing away the evils of slavery, and would, for that reason, prefer to exert their influence in favor of measures that tend directly to that point. The Colonization Society,' say they, is a good thing, so far as it goes; but we want something more. Let the Colony prosper-send out emigrants if you will-evangelize Africa, if you can; but we must be doing something to arouse public feel. ing upon the question of slavery.'
Such, my dear sir, are the opinions around us. My own feeling has been and is now, that the Society has done much, and is doing more than ever, to excite inquiry upon the great question; and this is the only source from which a single ray of light has as yet been cast upon that dark cloud that overhangs a large part of our land. I think, however, the Society has, in some cases, treated the great question with too much forbearance. At least, this is my impression, and I hope that nothing may be said or done by it hereafter that will palliate or excuse a system which I believe to be deeply sinful and pernicious in all its aspects.
The feelings in regard to the Colonization Society, which I have above stated as prevailing to some extent among us, are not, I ought to say, to be ascribed to Garrison's visit last fall. He disgusted all. The question of abolition has been discussed pretty thoroughly during the winter, and hence individuals have been led to investigate the subject.'
In relation to a subject alluded to above, a distinguished NewEngland authoress, (whom we thank for the manner in which she receives our application for poetical aid,) expresses herself with an equal plainness. The want of qualification to some of her phraseology may perhaps lead to inferences which would be unjust; but in the main we feel disposed to concur with these sentiments, so far as they go,-for we consider them more abstract than practical. They do not decide, for instance, and we suppose are not
meant to decide, the modus operandi by which the evil is to be mitigated and removed. That remains yet to be discussed and to be done. And not christianity alone, and (in the language of Mr. Grattan of Virginia,) not humanity, and not policy, alone, call upon us but necessity, a necessity which allows no excuse and no apology.' Will our correspondent give us an opinion upon the letter of Mr. Gurley to Mr. Ibbertson? And meanwhile her own voice shall be heard:
I have not been able to read much these last eight weeks, and on this account have probably missed of seeing your Prospectus; but whatever tends to ameliorate the condition of the unfortunate blacks, has my warmest wishes for its success. Slavery is a stain upon our land, which, in my opinion, cries to the Lord loud as the blood of Abel. And while the individual on whom that blood was found, had to bear the guilt alone, thousands of our liberty-boasting countrymen are confederates in this crime; and the fate of thousands of their oppressed fellow-men, who are groaning under the chains that a land of freedom has forged for them, is sported with, without compunction, by those professing themselves followers of Him whose heavenly purpose on earth was to proclaim liberty to the captive,' and to open the prison-doors to them that are bound.'
I cannot imagine how our nation can stand up before the world, with her head lifted high beneath the liberty-cap, and her eagle's wings spread for the air, while she thinks of her dealings towards the Indian and the African-while she would drive the one from his last acre of ground, that she may bind the other to it in helpless slavery. How can she do this, and talk so loudly about freedom and the rights of man?
With the stain of sins like these in her skirts, how can she dare to look up to Him for a blessing, who, in all ages, since the scene in Eden, has showered down the fire of his indignation on the land where great wickedness of the people existed, and whose word is to every guilty human being, be sure your sin will find you out?'
There is nothing in the law of God, or in any law of man that is founded upon it, which does not justify our holding a citizen of London, or any other European whom we may overcome by physical force, in slavery, as much as the son of Africa, or his American-born children; and strange must be the notions on which that man builds his hopes for immortality, who does not feel that justice and love towards his fellow-men are involved in the conditions on which a God of justice and of love has offered him a life beyond the grave and all the bonds of time.
Excuse my prolixity. It is a subject that, whenever it is started, always fills the fountain of feeling to overflowing; and I tremble for the land, unless she turn from unrighteousness, in the two forms that I have named, by the gospel light that is in her hand, and do unto others as she would wish them to do unto her. We feel it a distressing thing to have a fellow-countryman in bondage, among a strange and barbarous people. But it is no less distressing to the African, because he is helpless, and cannot redeem his brother or his child by ransom and certainly the act of kidnapping, or of retaining in bondage, does not as
sare him that the actor is no barbarian, under whatsoever flag or name he may appear. The cause in which every true American should be engaged, can only be effectually tried by the law of God, and the decision of our healthful consciences. And who would venture to say that these would be in favor of another nation, stronger than ourselves, coming to steal, or take by violence our children, our brothers, our sisters? The train of evils consequent to slave-holding, in a land favored and enlightened like ours, where it is not a sin of ignorance, I fear are not to end with time. Souls are involved in the concern.'
That is, who would justify kidnapping? Very few, we trust, in this country, at this time. But the slave-holding, to which the inference seems to come in the next sentence, that is the question.' May we not believe, with our southern friend, the eloquent Mr. Harrison, of Lynchburg, that a slave-holder may acknowledge the injustice and violence of the right he assumes over his slaves, and feel it his duty before God, and to his country, to renounce that right whenever he can do it with safety, and to the real benefit of the slave,'—and yet 'doubt about the fitness of an opportunity?' We are rather inclined, with the present light we have, to suppose that he may, and we do not much apprehend being convicted in foro conscientiæ of apologising for slavery,' when we give utterance to such a sentiment. We shall be almost glad, however, to learn that our fair correspondent is an abolitionist, (in the sense of the N. E. Anti-Slavery Society, we mean,) for there is some reason to hope that talents like hers may at least furnish an air of respectable plausibility to that scheme which, as relates to existing circumstances in this country, it can hardly be said to have hitherto worn.
INTELLIGENCE AND MISCELLANY.
[From the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser.]
CONVENTION OF FREE PERSONS OF COLOR.
DELEGATES of color have been selected from most of the States in the Union, to assemble this month in Philadelphia. Their avowed object is to devise means to elevate the character and improve the condition of the colored population in this country, and to fix upon a suitable place whither they may emigrate, and where they will no longer endure the depressing inferiority to which, so long as they dwell among the whites, they must always be subjected. It is understood that the delegates are generally, if not altogether, opposed to the Colonization Society-averse to going to
Liberia and that they have it in contemplation to plant a Colony in the Texas. Their number, however, is few, and though the noise they make is great, their influence is small. If it can be clearly shown that a settlement in the Texas would answer the purpose of the blacks, we would not lay a straw in their path. We are quite certain, however, that they will find obstacles in their way, much more difficult to overcome than a settlement in Liberia. In the first place, a conveyance to the Texas would be more expensive, on an average, than a passage to Monrovia. This may be easily ascertained by comparing the expense of a conveyance to the latter, with the expenses which are incurred in removing the Indians to their new locations in the west. In the second place, the price of the land in Texas is vastly dearer than in Africa. Thirdly, they must conform to the Catholic religion, (if they would have any religion at all,) whatever may be their particular creed, or they will live in constant inquietude, as well from the jealousies of the government, as of their neighbors around them. In the fourth place, very few of our colored people are acquainted with the Spanish language, and this they must acquire, if they would hold any intercourse with the present population of that region. It is well known that their ignorance of the French language was one of the principle causes of the discontent of the emigrants who went to Hayti, a few years ago, on the invitation of President BoyIn the fifth place, admitting all these difficulties susceptible of removal, there is another which we presume will be found to be insurmountable. This presumption is founded upon the belief that their purpose will be to emigrate over land; for should they proceed by water, the navigation would be almost as long, and altogether more dangerous, than the voyage to Liberia. If they undertake it over land, how will they get to Texas? They must pass through Louisiana, which is a slave state, and will never suffer any facilities to be given for the establishment of a black Colony on her borders. Laws would be passed seize them on their way, and thus frustrate their object. Indeed, there is such a community of feeling among all the slave-holding states, that we are much inclined to think that in the apprehension of the Texas Colony becoming a refuge for runaways, they would contrive ways and means to prevent their emigration even by sea. At all events, the other embarrassments we have alluded to are such that we trust the Convention will ponder the matter well, in all its bearings, before they venture upon a measure fraught with so many obvious and appalling discouragements.