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Title: Condition of the American Colored Population, and of the Colony at Liberia
Author: Society, American Colonization
Language: English
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[Transcriber’s Note:

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  CONDITION

  OF THE

  AMERICAN COLORED POPULATION,

  AND OF THE

  COLONY AT LIBERIA.

  Boston:

  PUBLISHED BY PEIRCE & PARKER.

  1833.



STATEMENT OF FACTS.


The statements in the pamphlet published by this Society during
the last year, had reference principally, to the establishment and
prosperity of the Colony at Liberia. It is proposed to exhibit in the
following pages some facts relative to the present condition of the
colored population in the United States, and to offer some remarks on
the different measures recommended for their relief.

The facts to be presented, have all been derived from official
documents, or from special correspondence with intelligent and
responsible gentlemen in various parts of the country, and may be
relied upon as substantially correct.



SLAVES.


The first presentation of facts is designed to show the condition
of the _slaves_ in the United States, and will have respect to the
following topics. (1.) Their population and increase. (2.) Their civil
disabilities. (3.) Their intellectual and moral condition.


I. _Population and Increase of the Slaves in the United States._

The following table is designed to show the population and increase
of the Slaves in the United States since 1820. The first column gives
the name of the state; the second, the census of 1820; the third, the
census of 1830; the fourth, the increase of the slaves during the
intervening ten years; the fifth, the rate per cent. of slave increase;
and the sixth, the rate per cent. increase of the whites.

  ----------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------+--------------
                  |           |           | Increase  | Rate per Cent. |   Rate per
                  |  Census   |  Census   | from 1820 |    of Slave    | Cent. of the
                  | of 1820.  | of 1830.  |  to 1830. |   Increase.    |   Whites.
  ----------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------+--------------
  Connecticut,    |        97 |        23 |           |                |
  Rhode Island,   |        48 |        14 |           |                |
  New York,       |    10,088 |        46 |           |                |
  New Jersey,     |     7,557 |     2,246 |           |                |
  Pennsylvania,   |       211 |       386 |      175  |                |
  Delaware,       |     4,509 |     3,305 |           |                |
  Maryland,       |   107,398 |   102,878 |           |                |
  Virginia,       |   425,153 |   469,724 |   44,571  |      10½       |   15
  North Carolina, |   205,017 |   246,462 |   41,445  |      20        |   10½
  South Carolina, |   251,783 |   315,668 |   63,882  |      25        |    8½
  Georgia,        |   149,656 |   217,407 |   67,761  |      45        |   56½
  Alabama,        |    41,879 |   117,494 |   75,618  |     180        |  122½
  Mississippi,    |    32,814 |    65,659 |   32,845  |     100        |   67⅓
  Louisiana,      |    69,064 |   109,631 |   40,567  |      58⅔       |   21¾
  Tennessee,      |    80,107 |   142,379 |   62,272  |      77        |   58⅓
  Kentucky,       |   126,732 |   165,350 |   28,618  |      30½       |   19⅓
  Indiana,        |       190 |           |           |                |
  Illinois,       |       917 |       746 |           |                |
  Missouri,       |    10,232 |    24,986 |   14,754  |     144        |  104½
  Arkansas,       |     1,616 |     4,578 |    2,962  |     270⅔       |  104½
  Michigan,       |        27 |           |           |                |
  Florida,        |    15,500 |           |           |                |
  D. Columbia,    |     6,377 |     6,060 |           |                |
                  +-----------+-----------+-----------+                |
    Amount,       | 1,531,436 | 2,010,562 |  479,136  |                |
  ----------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------+--------------

The above table was compiled from Niles’ Register for January 26th,
1822, page 345, and for October 29th, 1831, page 176. The blanks in the
fourth column show that instead of an increase, there was an actual
diminution of slaves during the ten years comprised in the table. The
diminution in Maryland was 4,520, and in the District of Columbia 313.
In some others they have nearly disappeared. It appears however from
the table, that in the Southern States, particularly those south of
Virginia, there has been an astonishing increase of slaves. In some of
the States it has surpassed the increase of the whites by forty, fifty,
and even an hundred and fifty per cent. In Arkansas the increase of the
slave population has surpassed the white by 166 per cent.

The following table shows the relative strength of the white and black
population in the slave holding states, at the close of each successive
10 years, to the end of the present century, supposing the rate of
increase to continue as it has been during the last ten. The table is
taken from calculations made during the year by the Hon. Daniel Mayes,
of Kentucky.

  1840,  Whites,  4,523,248  Blacks,  3,041,456
  1850,    “      5,789,737    “      4,136,380
  1860,    “      7,131,863    “      6,625,476
  1870,    “      9,129,770    “      9,010,647
  1880,    “     11,696,110    “     12,434,451
  1890,    “     14,967,420    “     16,910,853
  1900,    “     18,158,297    “     22,898,700

From the above table it appears that in 1900, should nothing take place
to diminish the increase of blacks in the slave-holding states, they
will exceed the whites by 4,741,166--being an amount greater than the
population of all the United States under Washington’s administration.


II. _Civil Disabilities of the Slaves._

The following statements have been taken principally from STROUD’S
SKETCH of the Laws relative to slavery in the United States. They
may be regarded as corollaries from the _general law_ concerning the
slaves, and also as matters of express legislation.

1. Slaves have no legal rights of property in things real or personal;
but whatever they may acquire, belongs in _point of law_ to their
masters. (The bearing of this on the purchase of freedom is obvious.)

2. The slave, being a _personal chattel_, is at all times liable to be
sold absolutely, or mortgaged or leased at the will of his master.

3. He may also be sold by process of law, for the satisfaction of the
debts of a living, or the bequests of a deceased master, at the suit of
creditors or legatees.

4. A slave cannot be a party, before a judicial tribunal, in any
species of action, against his master, whatever may have been the
injury received from him.

5. Slaves cannot redeem themselves, nor obtain a change of masters.

6. Slaves being objects of _property_ if injured by third persons,
their owners may bring suit, and recover damages, for the injury.

7. Slaves can make no contract.

8. Slavery is hereditary and perpetual.

It may also be further stated concerning the disabilities of the slave,

1. That he cannot be a witness against a white person, either in a
civil or criminal cause.

2. He cannot be a party to a civil suit.

3. Submission is required of the slave, not to the will of his master
only, but to that of all other white persons.

4. The penal codes of the slave holding states bear much more severely
upon the slaves than upon the white persons,--taking the life of the
slave, where a slight punishment only is inflicted upon the whites.

5. Slaves are prosecuted and tried upon criminal accusations, in many
of the states, without a jury.

The condition of the slave, as regards emancipation, is peculiarly
distressing.

The state of society in the slave holding states, and legislative
enactments, have rendered it nearly impossible for any master to
emancipate his slave.

In Virginia and Mississippi, an emancipated slave may be taken in
execution to satisfy any debt, contracted by the person emancipating
him, previous to such emancipation.

In Kentucky, the Act which authorises emancipation, contains a
reservation of the rights of creditors.

In Louisiana, any enfranchisement made in _fraud of creditors_, &c. is
null and void.

In South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, it is only
by authority of the Legislature, specially granted, that a valid
emancipation can be made.

In North Carolina it was enacted in 1777, that no negro or mulatto
slave shall be hereafter set free, except for _meritorious service to
be adjudged of and allowed by the County Court_, and license first had
and obtained thereupon.

The laws of Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia and Maryland, afford greater
facility to emancipation than the other slave holding states. In
Virginia, however, there is a provision by which every emancipated
negro, over twenty one years of age, who shall continue within the
state more than twelve months after his right to freedom shall have
accrued, may be again reduced to slavery.

In order to secure the slave holding states in the use and possession
of their property in the persons of slaves, and to prevent all escape
of slaves from their masters, the constitution of the United States
provides, “That no person held to service or labor in one state, under
the laws thereof, _escaping_ into another, shall, in consequence of any
law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor,
but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service
or labor may be due.”


III. _Intellectual and Moral Condition of the Slaves._

The benefits of education are withheld from the slave.

No provisions are made in any of the slave states for the education of
the slaves, and in many they have absolutely prohibited instruction of
any kind.

So long ago as 1740, South Carolina enacted, “That all, and every
person and persons whatever, who shall hereafter teach, or cause any
slave or slaves to be taught, to write, or shall use or employ any
slave as a scribe in any manner of writing whatsoever hereafter taught,
to write, every such person or persons, shall, for every such offence
forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds current money.” This prohibition
has since been extended to all kinds of knowledge, and enforced by
pains and penalties much more severe. The same is true in Georgia,
Alabama and Louisiana. Virginia and North Carolina, also, have laws
which amount to a prohibition of instruction.

No provision is made for the moral and religious instruction of the
slave. Public sentiment is generally unfavorable, although believed
to be becoming more favorable to the spiritual interests of the
slave. Many regard the slaves as incapable of religious exercises,
and therefore consider all efforts to give them religious instruction
unnecessary. Since they may not be taught to read, they cannot become
acquainted with the Scriptures, except as auditors; their opportunities
for hearing are so few and unfavorable, that they can never be expected
to profit by them. In many of the slave states, they are forbidden
to assemble by themselves for the purpose of religious worship. In
Virginia, “All meetings of slaves, &c. at any _meeting house_ in the
night, under any pretext whatsoever, are declared to be unlawful
assemblies. Mississippi has adopted the law of Virginia in this
respect. In Alabama they are not permitted to assemble by themselves
for worship at all, nor to have a white minister preach to them unless
three slave holders are present. Similar laws exist in several other
states.



CONDITION OF THE FREE BLACKS.


The following statements have respect to the present condition of the
free blacks in the United States. They are all derived from authentic
sources, and may be relied upon as substantially correct.


I. _Population and Increase of the Free Blacks._

In the following tabular view, which is taken from the census of 1830,
and that of 1820, the first column gives the name of the State; the
second, the aggregate of the free colored population; and the third,
the increase of the same, during the ten years which intervened between
1820 and 1830.

  -------------------+---------------+-----------
                     | Free colored  |  Increase
                     | Pop. in 1830. | 1820-1830.
                     +---------------+-----------
  Maine,             |     1,190     |     261
  New Hampshire,     |       604     |
  Vermont,           |       881     |
  Massachusetts,     |     7,048     |     308
  Rhode Island,      |     3,561     |       7
  Connecticut,       |     8,047     |     177
  New York,          |    44,870     |  15,591
  New Jersey,        |    18,303     |   5,843
  Pennsylvania,      |    37,950     |   7,828
  Delaware,          |    15,855     |   2,627
  Maryland,          |    52,938     |  13,208
  Virginia,          |    47,348     |  10,459
  North Carolina,    |    19,543     |   4,931
  South Carolina,    |     7,921     |   1,207
  Georgia,           |     2,486     |     723
  Alabama,           |     1,572     |   1,001
  Mississippi,       |       519     |      61
  Louisiana,         |    16,710     |   6,234
  Tennessee,         |     4,555     |   2,008
  Kentucky,          |     4,917     |   1,158
  Ohio,              |     9,568     |   4,745
  Indiana,           |     3,729     |   2,399
  Illinois,          |     1,637     |   1,180
  Missouri,          |       569     |     222
  Michigan Ter.      |       261     |      87
  Arkansas Ter.      |       141     |      82
  Florida Territory, |       844     |
  Dist. of Columbia, |     6,152     |   2,124
  -------------------+---------------+-----------

By this table it appears that the total number of free blacks in 1830,
was 319,599. The number in 1820 was, according to Niles’s Register,
233,398, yielding an increase during the intervening ten years, of
86,201. This last statement will be found to vary a little from the
sum total of the third column above, owing to discrepancies in the
published documents. Blanks are left in the third column opposite to
New Hampshire and Vermont, as in those states the numbers, instead of
increasing, actually _diminished_. In the latter state they diminished
37, and in the former, 182. Some tables make the diminution in New
Hampshire amount to 321. It is worthy of particular inquiry to
ascertain the causes of this rapid diminution. It will be perceived
that the progress of this population in the middle and some of the
southern states, is very rapid, compared with its increase in New
England. This is to be attributed to the progress of emancipation.
For instance, in New York there were more than 10,000 slaves in 1820,
which number was reduced in 1830 to 75. The increase of free blacks in
Maryland, and Virginia, is to be attributed partly to the same cause.
Their very small increase in the New England States, while the whites
are gaining very rapidly, forcibly illustrates the misery of their
condition.


II. _Civil Disabilities._

Under this head are to be comprised all those disabilities which attach
to free colored persons by the laws of the several states.

1. The most extensive and universal disability (by many, however,
considered a privilege) regards the militia. The laws of the several
states relating to the militia, being founded upon the militia system
adopted by the United States, provide for the exemption of colored
persons from that service. With this exception the laws of many of the
states recognise no distinctions of color.

2. The right of suffrage is confined to whites in Rhode Island,
Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina,
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and
Missouri. In these states express provisions of their constitutions
confine the right of suffrage to the whites. In the ten remaining
states no constitutional restrictions of the kind appear to have been
imposed upon free colored persons. Yet, it is believed, that the
statute laws of North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, impose similar
restrictions. In most of the remaining states, it is probable that
the right of suffrage is rarely, if ever, exercised by this class
of citizens, although no law may exist which disfranchises them.
The burdens of taxation are, so far as known, imposed without the
discrimination which prevails in regard to the right of suffrage. In
Philadelphia, and perhaps in other places in Pennsylvania, no personal
tax is imposed, the payment of such a tax being necessary to qualify
for the right of suffrage.

3. In many of the States free colored persons are excluded by law from
the privilege of holding office; and where this is not the case, the
presumption is that in those states where they are not allowed to vote,
they would not be allowed to govern. It is not known that any such
person has ever been elected to office, even in those states where the
right of suffrage is extended to them.

4. In a few of the states only, are there any laws expressly forbidding
intermarriage between the blacks and the whites.

5. Free persons of color are, in most of the states, allowed to
purchase and hold property, real and personal, and mixed, and are
entitled to the same protection in its enjoyment, and the same redress
for injuries to it or to their persons, as the white citizens. In some
states, however, the tenure of their property is very insecure without
a white guardian, as they are not allowed to testify against the
whites, or in cases where a white man is party.

6. As to privileges in courts of justice, in Missouri, free colored
persons can testify only in suits between free blacks, and on trials
of free blacks for crime. The laws of Alabama are of similar import.
In Delaware they cannot give evidence against a white person, except
in criminal prosecutions, upon its appearing that no white person,
competent to give testimony, was present at the commission of the
act charged, or that such person, if so present, has since died, or
is absent from the state so that he cannot be produced as a witness.
In Maryland, they may be witnesses only for and against their own
color. Such is the case in Ohio, Georgia, and probably in most of the
slave-holding states. In most of the free states it is presumed that
the testimony of blacks is received on an equal footing with that of
the whites.

In many of the states the laws expressly exclude them from being
impanelled as jurors; and, so far as known, they have never served in
that capacity in any of the states.

7. In the New England and Middle States, the blacks enjoy the same
rights of residence, and of emigration from one state to another, which
belong to the whites. In Connecticut a law is in force which empowers
the proper authorities to prevent _foreigners_, (citizens from other
states or of other countries) from residing in that state, but it is
not discriminating in its application to any particular color. The
black is not permitted to settle in Ohio, except he give bonds, to
secure the state against any expense which he may incur by becoming a
pauper; nor is any one permitted to employ such an emigrant without
giving similar bonds. Laws are in force in Maryland forbidding those
who shall leave the state from returning to it. Similar laws exist in
South Carolina. No free blacks are allowed to go into Georgia, and none
to reside in it except those who have long been resident. In Delaware,
none are allowed to enter the state, but the law is very rarely
enforced. They are allowed to reside in Alabama by paying a tax of five
dollars. They are not permitted to go into the state from other states
on any condition; nor, having left the state, can they return. Laws of
similar character are in force in Louisiana, Tennessee, and probably
some other states.

8. In New England and the Middle States, (a late law in Connecticut
excepted) there appears to be no distinction made by law, with
reference to the privileges of education or religious worship, between
the blacks and the whites. In all these states, and in Missouri,
Maryland, Delaware and Ohio, they are allowed by law, not only to
send their children to the public schools, but to establish schools
for themselves exclusively. Many such schools are patronized by the
benevolent friends of the race among the whites. By a late law of
Ohio, they cannot receive any benefit from the public school funds.
In Alabama, they may not attend schools or have instruction among
themselves. A prohibitory law, passed in Georgia, about eighteen
months since, debars them from all the privileges of school education
in that state. They may however be taught the catechism, or such moral
lessons and portions of Scripture as they can commit to memory. With
respect to other states no definite information has been received. In
Connecticut a law has recently been passed forbidding the establishment
of schools for the education of colored children from other states.


III. _Intellectual and Moral Condition of the Free Blacks._

It is to be feared that the statements now to be made will meet with
an ungracious reception among a certain portion of the community.
As a powerful means of enlisting public sympathy in behalf of the
African race, the advocates of the Society have sometimes entered into
an exposition of such facts as would most accurately unfold their
intellectual and moral condition. Accordingly, those who oppose the
Society have attempted to show that it is the “disparager of the free
blacks.”

It were, however, wholly impracticable to arouse public sympathy,
either where no suffering or degradation exists, or where their
existence is unknown. All benevolent operations must proceed upon the
supposition that there is want to be alleviated, or ignorance to be
enlightened, or degradation to be pitied; and the vigor with which such
operations are sustained by the benevolent will be proportioned, not
so much to the degree of this want, ignorance and degradation, as to
their thorough and perfect exposure. The Colonization Society is not
singular in its proceedings. In whatsoever sense this society is the
“disparager of the free blacks,” in the same sense are the Bible and
Tract Societies the “disparagers” of those to whom they extend their
benevolence. In the same sense also, and to a higher degree, is the
Foreign Missionary Board the “disparager” of the Heathen. Were that
society to deny or to conceal the deep degradation and licentiousness
of the American Indians, and of the Pagan world generally, it is
difficult to conceive with what arguments they could successfully
approach the sympathies of their patrons.

Thus, in the case under consideration, it is equally true, that
all attempts to provide for the relief of the free black and slave
population of the country, must prove abortive if unattended by
facts and statements relative to their actual condition. It would
not be difficult to show that the same society, from whose advocates
the complaint in question is heard, in its statements and arguments
touching the situation of the slaves, is as truly _their_ disparager as
is the Colonization Society the “disparager of the free blacks.”

The statements which follow are called for by the necessity of the
case. They are not made in a spirit of taunt, or reproach, or boasted
superiority, but with the hope that they may serve to call forth that
commiseration which the cause of the deeply-injured African, when truly
stated, challenges for itself.

1. _Intellectual Condition of the Free Blacks._ Notwithstanding
the privileges of education are nominally extended to them in the
New-England, Middle, and some of the Southern and Western States, yet
the prejudice which exists against their color serves to defeat, to
a lamentable extent, the benevolent provisions of the law. In some
cities and large towns, schools are maintained expressly for them.
In Philadelphia, particularly, there are many distinct schools for
colored children, some of which have at different times been taught by
colored tutors, and much to their credit. “In these schools,” says a
gentleman of that city, “where they have been under the superintendence
of qualified instructers, forty years’ experience has proved, that they
are no way inferior to the whites in the acquirement of learning.” In
the country towns of the states above referred to, the children of the
blacks are not unfrequently found in common schools with the whites.
But their situation is frequently made so uncomfortable that most of
the benefits of such attendance are lost. Still more unfrequently are
they to be found at Academies or high schools even in New-England--and
still more rarely do they find their way into Colleges. Mr. Russwurm,
now in Liberia, is a graduate of Bowdoin College. Attempts were
made some time since to establish a college exclusively for them
in New-Haven, Conn. The plan, meeting with decided opposition from
the inhabitants of that town, was finally abandoned. An attempt has
been recently made to establish a high school for colored females
in Canterbury, Conn. Vigorous and determined opposition has been
manifested towards it by the inhabitants, so that its success is still
doubtful. In many of the slave states, free blacks are not allowed to
attend school, or to learn to read or write. Many of them, however,
enjoy the benefits of sabbath school instruction, and commit to memory
considerable portions of Scripture, &c. Yet a great majority are no
doubt lamentably and grossly ignorant.

2. _Religious Privileges._ Except in large cities, where they are found
in sufficient numbers to compose congregations by themselves, they
attend public worship with the whites. But the unenviable distinctions
which prevail even there, have a powerful influence in discouraging
their attendance. In some parts of the country they enjoy the
ministrations of preachers of their own color, and large numbers are
said to be in communion with various churches.

3. _Moral Condition._ The following is an extract of a letter from a
gentleman of extensive information and philanthropy in the state of
New York. “The fact, that out of 40,000 blacks in this state in 1825,
but nine hundred and thirty-one were taxed, and but two hundred and
ninety-eight were qualified to vote; and the further fact, that this
population, according to its amount, furnishes ten-fold more of the
inmates of our prisons and alms-houses, than our white population
does, testify conclusively to the general improvidence, indolence,
and abounding viciousness and misery of this unhappy portion of our
fellow-men.”

The following tabular views, taken from the Report of the Prison
Discipline Society, for 1827, exhibit, in regard to several states, the
whole population at that time, the colored population, the whole number
of convicts, the number of colored convicts, proportion of colored
people to the whole population, and proportion of colored convicts.

  -------------+----------+----------+--------+--------+---------+--------
               |          |          | Whole  | No. of | Pro. of |Pro. of
               |  White   | Colored  | No. of |  Col.  |  Col.   |  Col.
               |Population|Population|Convicts|Convicts| People  |Convicts
               +----------+----------+--------+--------+---------+--------
  Massachusetts|   523,000|   7,000  |   314  |   50   | 1 to 74 | 1 to 6
  Connecticut  |   275,000|   8,000  |   117  |   39   | 1 to 34 | 1 to 3
  New-York     | 1,372,000|  39,000  |   637  |  154   | 1 to 35 | 1 to 4
  New-Jersey   |   277,000|  20,000  |    74  |   24   | 1 to 13 | 1 to 3
  Pennsylvania | 1,049,000|  30,000  |   474  |  165   | 1 to 34 | 1 to 3
  -------------+----------+----------+--------+--------+---------+--------

Or,

                     Proportion of the     Proportion of the
                       Population         Colored Population
                     sent to Prison.       sent to Prison.
  In Massachusetts    1 out of 1665        1 out of 140
  In Connecticut      1 out of 2350        1 out of 205
  In New York         1 out of 2153        1 out of 253
  In New Jersey       1 out of 3743        1 out of 833
  In Pennsylvania     1 out of 2191        1 out of 181

The report further states, that “the returns from several prisons
show that the white convicts are remaining nearly the same, or are
diminishing, while the colored convicts are increasing; at the same
time the white population is increasing in the northern states, much
faster than the colored population.”

In the eloquent language of Gerrit Smith, Esq., “having these
statistics before us, and seeing that the policy of our laws concurs
with our prejudices to debase this people, to deprive them of
indispensable inducements to well doing, and virtually to close against
them all avenues to honor and respectability,--how unphilosophical
and ungenerous it is, to look away from these sufficient causes of
their vile condition to fanciful and heartless speculations, about the
inferiority of their natural endowments. It will be time enough for
white men to accuse God of having given an inferior moral constitution
to the negro, when they shall have spent as many centuries in
enlightening, as they have in debasing him--when they shall have done
as much to make him a man, as they have done to make him a brute.”

Having now considered, to some extent, the condition of the colored
population in the United States, we come in the next place to inquire
what can be done for them.

The object of the COLONIZATION SOCIETY, as expressed in
its constitution, is “exclusively to promote and execute a plan of
colonizing, (with their own consent) the free people of color residing
in our country, in Africa, or such other place as Congress shall deem
expedient.” It has, by profession and principle, nothing to do with
the rights of slave-holders. It wishes for no interference with the
tenure of slaves. The society regards these things solely as matters
of legislation, and to be affected only in a legal way. They wish, in
their organized capacity, only to remove the blacks, which are now
free, and shall from time to time be made free by their masters. In
doing this, and by other exertions, they hope, however, so to affect
the interests and feelings of the slave-holders, that they will enlist
in the enterprize, and rejoice to free themselves from all property in
human flesh.

That the colonization scheme is tending to this result, and, if
properly managed, is adequate to its accomplishment, is certain from
many considerations. It cannot, indeed, accomplish the object at once.
It would be unreasonable to expect that this, or any other society or
system could, in the space of a few years, remove an evil which has
been increasing for two centuries. But if colonization can do that in
less than one half the time in which the evil has been growing to its
present size, it ought not to be accounted visionary, or unworthy of
confidence.

“Now,” says the Rev. John C. Young, President of Centre College,
Kentucky, “the systematic and efficient operation of this society could
in less than seventy years settle the whole of our colored population
in Africa; and this great work could be accomplished without the
necessity of imposing on any one a single cent of additional tax.
The plan of operations by which this could be effected is simple and
feasible. Let the emigration be every year enlarged by one thousand
persons, until the number annually exported amounts to 50,000. Continue
the annual exportation of this number for twenty years longer, and the
whole race will have disappeared from the land. The effect of this
process, (supposing it to be actually entered upon) is not a matter
of guess-work, but of calculation.” [See note in Young’s Address.]
It _can_ certainly be done; and if the operations of the society are
permitted to go onward, and increase, as they have done, unobstructed
by national calamities, and the wildness of fanatics, it _will_ be done.

But supposing all this cannot be effected through the influence of the
Colonization Society, or that it were not desirable, as many think, to
be done, yet we maintain that so much _can_ be done towards meliorating
the condition of the colored population, both slaves and free, as to
merit the hearty co-operation of every Christian and philanthropist.

The present actual tendencies of the colonization scheme, so far as
abolition and the general interests of the blacks are concerned,
receive a favorable character from the following considerations, which
are presented as briefly as possible.

1. The colonization scheme exerts, and has exerted, a happy influence
toward abolition, by directing the minds of people of all classes,
including slave-owners, to the condition of the blacks. Before the plan
of colonization was agitated, nothing, comparatively, had been done to
meliorate the condition of this class, and no interest had been felt
in their behalf. But when the plan which we speak of suggested itself
to a few benevolent minds, an ardent feeling began to be roused in
behalf of the negro. Inquiries were instituted; discussion commenced;
and the public mind was excited to the calm but earnest consideration
of the momentous subject in all its bearings. But for this Institution,
the 3,000 free blacks, who are now rejoicing in the land of their
fathers, under a government and laws chiefly of their own, would still
be enduring poverty and wretchedness; and the slaves who have been
emancipated would be still suffering in bondage.

Says the Hon. Gerrit Smith, in a recent letter on this subject, “The
late demonstrations, in Virginia and Maryland, of patriotic and
Christian interest in our colored population, are commonly ascribed
to the Southampton insurrection. That insurrection may have been, and
probably was, a proximate cause of them; but, in my judgment, Virginia
and Maryland are vastly more indebted for the steps they have taken in
the cause of universal freedom to the moral influence of the American
Colonization Society than to all other causes. And, may not most of
those, who now rail at the Society, be likewise indebted to the same
influence for their fresh and augmented interest in the welfare of the
black man? The tenacious slave-holder at the south lays all the blame
of these things at the door of the Colonization Society, and this too,
notwithstanding some abolitionists charge the Society with playing
designedly into the hands of such slave-holders. And if such (he goes
on to say) be the power of those moral influences now, when Liberia
has a population of 3,000, what will it be when 50,000 of our blacks
shall be gathered into that asylum? Whether or not this shall be the
result of colonization, remains to be seen; but meanwhile it is certain
that whatever of influence is _now_ exerted for the ultimate good of
the blacks has been brought into exercise by the operations of our
Institution.

2. The Colonization Society exerts a happy influence on the interests
of the black population, by weakening the prejudice of the whites
against them. Some of the doctrines and measures advanced and pursued
in different parts of the country are, in our opinion, calculated to
strengthen this prejudice.

That the Colonization Society in its operations has a contrary effect,
appears from the circumstance that before this scheme commenced, little
or no interest was felt for the blacks, except by a few individuals.
Prejudice ground them in the dust; and, had their condition remained
unaltered, would have continued to oppress them to the end of time.
No sympathy was felt for them in their suffering and wretchedness.
Indeed, it did apparently no good to sympathize. It was like weeping
for the souls of the lost. Men will not feel when feeling is without
effect. At any rate, this was true in the case of the blacks. They were
despised, not because they were degraded merely; but because respect
could do them no good. But when the plan of colonizing them presented
itself, the case immediately altered--a way was open by which the black
could be benefited, and the hearts of all who understood the plan
prompted them to action. As soon as people saw that something could
be done to ameliorate the condition of this wretched race, they were
ready and willing to do it; and this feeling has gained strength with
the increase of light, and with the success of the enterprize--and may
we not expect that it will continue to gain strength as the colony
on the coast of Africa increases in magnitude and importance, and as
the practicability of the scheme of benevolence in question is with
every successive day made more and more certain? It must increase.
But some may say, and they have said, that this interest in behalf
of the blacks, so far from being an evidence that the prejudice is
diminishing, results directly from prejudice; and that if men would
show respect for the blacks, or any interest in their behalf, they
must treat them as they do themselves. Now this objection supposes two
things. First, that the plan of colonization is one of positive evil to
the blacks, not only in tendency but design. This assertion requires no
argument. Finley, and Mills, and Ashmun, did not lay down their lives
to sustain an Institution, which they thought would either directly or
indirectly prove an injury to the blacks. Christians do not now pray
for the success of this Institution because they hate the blacks, and
wish in this way to do them evil. Heaven forbid that any one should
charge them with such a crime! What, Christians pray and contribute for
the support of the Colonization Society because they hate the blacks!
Charity that endureth all things alone can endure this.

But again, the objection supposes that for us to respect our fellow,
and do unto him as we would have him do unto us, we should consider his
circumstances in every respect the same as our own. It supposes that
our duty to the blacks requires us, in order to do him the greatest
possible good, to treat him in all particulars, as we ourselves need
to be treated--that we are not to consider age, character, color,
constitution, nor any other circumstance or condition of life as making
any difference, but that we must regard him, without qualification,
just as _we_ are. Now this could not be true of any two white men in
the country, much less of the whites and blacks, whose condition, in
every respect differs most widely. Nor do the Sacred Scriptures require
this. They suppose that we are to regard the difference of condition
between ourselves and others. We are to do to others as we would
that they should do to us in like circumstances, it being remembered
that the circumstances of no two persons in the world are alike. If,
therefore, we treat the negro in a manner which we suppose will promote
his highest temporal and eternal good, we are not to be charged with
acting under the influence of prejudice, because we do not treat a
white man in the same manner. The circumstances of the two are so wide
apart, that what would be a blessing to the one, would be ruinous to
the other. We think it would be better to carry the negro to Africa
and colonize him _there_, (with his own free will, of course) under a
climate suited to his constitution, and under laws and institutions
calculated to make him wise and happy, than to keep him here under the
withering influences which are operating against him. Are we therefore
under the influence of prejudice? If we are, it is a prejudice which
duty prompts us exercise. But we have bestowed more attention to
this objection than it deserves. Nothing can be plainer than that
the colonization scheme has had a great influence in weakening this
prejudice against the blacks, and creating an interest in their behalf,
which must, in the nature of things, continue to increase until the
whole race shall be restored to an equality with the whites.

3. Colonization exerts a favorable influence on the interests of the
blacks, by improving their character and elevating their condition, so
as to remove objections from the minds of those who oppose them.

Before the Society commenced operations the character of the negro was
degraded to a level with the brutes. They were even called brutes,
and books were written to show that they were not human. But since
the days of colonization such thoughts and feelings have been laid
aside. Men have begun to recognize the negro as a man, and treat him
as such; and he himself has become conscious of his power. Says a
writer in the Christian Spectator, “Not Hayti has done more to make
the negro character respected by mankind and to afford the means of
making the _negro_ conscious of his manhood, than Liberia has already
accomplished. The name of Lott Carey is worth more than the name of
Boyer or Petion. It has done, it is doing more to rescue the African
character from degradation, than could be done by a thousand volumes
against prejudice.” And thus the writer goes on to say, “it has done,
and is doing more to accelerate the abolition of slavery than could
be done by a ship-load of such pamphlets and speeches as some that we
might mention. Elevate the character of the free people of color--let
it be seen that they are men indeed--let the degrading associations
that follow them be broken up by the actual improvement of their
character, as a people, and negro slavery must rapidly wither and die.

4. Colonization exerts a favorable influence on the general interest
of the blacks, especially by directing the thoughts of slave-holders
to the subject of emancipation, as well as actually securing, in many
cases, the emancipation of slaves. Of this we have abundant evidence.
Almost every week we hear of some slave, or a number of slaves, who
have been emancipated. We hear also of many persons who are willing
to give freedom to their slaves, providing they can be removed from
the soil. There are multitudes of this description in Kentucky; and
in Missouri a large proportion of the slave-holders are willing and
desirous of doing this. A letter from a gentleman in St. Louis,
says, “A great change has taken place here within ten years on the
subject of slavery. The advocates of perpetual bondage are very few.
The slaves are, in many instances, an expense to their owners; and
the Colonization Society is looked to as the only hope of ridding the
land of the burden.” The same may be said of numbers in the other
slave-holding states. On this subject, the writer above alluded to
remarks, “This is not conjecture. The friends of colonization in their
arguments can read off a catalogue of instances in which emancipation
has already resulted from the progress of this work. We know that
on the other hand it is said that the arguments and statements of
colonizationists prevent emancipation. But the proper proof of this
assertion would be to bring forward the particular facts. Tell us
of the individuals who have in fact been effectually hindered from
setting their slaves at large by what they have read in the African
Repository, or by what they have heard from the agents of the Society.
We say, then, that colonization is bringing the power of example to
bear on public sentiment at the south in regard to slavery. Each single
instance of emancipation is indeed a small matter, when compared
with the continued slavery of two millions; but every such instance,
occurring in the midst of a slave-holding community, is a strong appeal
to the natural sentiments of benevolence and justice in all who witness
it.” It must be felt, it _is_ felt, by all who hold their fellow-men in
bondage.

5. African colonization will exert a most happy influence on the
general interest of the negro, particularly in reference to the
abolition of slaves, by bringing free labor into competition with
that of slaves. Many people in this country begin already to feel
that slave labor is unprofitable; and if their circumstances were
such that they could employ free labor, they would certainly do it.
Self-interest alone would prompt nearly all the slave-holders in
Missouri and Kentucky, and multitudes in Virginia and Maryland, to do
this if they could. And not a few in the more determined slave-states
are ready to acknowledge the comparative worthlessness of slave-labor,
(for self-interest must be brought to bear upon the interest of
emancipation) and they will be ready to release their slaves. Slavery
will cease as soon as men shall be persuaded that it is unprofitable.
Now this will be the tendency of colonization. It will multiply the
products of tropical regions, above what can be done in slave-holding
countries, and show to the latter, by actual demonstration, the
unprofitableness of the system. On this subject the writer in the
Spectator says, “We are confident that the most rapid and most
effectual method to bring free labor into competition with slave labor,
and thus to drive the products of the latter out of every market, is
to establish on the soil of Africa a free and civilized commonwealth,
whose institutions shall all be fashioned after American models, and
whose population shall be pervaded and impelled by the spirit of
American enterprize. This is the work which the American Colonization
Society is prosecuting with all its resources. The friends of slavery
may dream that this work is to secure and perpetuate that miserable
system; but if any of them do thus imagine, they err as widely in
that as they do in supposing that the repeal of the protective tariff
will relieve them of their embarrassments. The free-trade principles,
for which they are now contending, are the principles which will,
by and by, bring all slave-holders to the alternative of universal
emancipation, or universal bankruptcy.”

6. The prosecution of this work has a happy influence on the general
interests of the blacks, by introducing into the slave-holding states
inquiry and discussion respecting the evils of slavery, and the
possibility of its abolition. Says the above writer in the Christian
Spectator, “The great body of the friends of the Colonization Society,
at the South no less than at the North, regard the scheme of that
institution as something, which will ultimately, in some way, deliver
the land of the curse of Slavery. All who oppose the Society there,
oppose it on the same ground. They look upon it as being, in its
tendency, and in the hopes of its supporters, an Anti-Slavery project.
Thus, in those very regions, in which the system of Slavery sheds all
its blasting influences, there is constituted a party, the members of
which are recognized by their opposers, and more or less distinctly
themselves, as hostile to Slavery, and as looking for an opportunity
to move for an abolition. In this way it was, that when an occasion
presented itself, a few months ago, the legislature of Virginia became
a scene of earnest and public discussion on this long interdicted
theme, and to the astonishment of the nation it appeared that the party
opposed to slavery was only not a majority. Had Colonization never
been thought of, had the scheme of the American Colonization Society
never been undertaken, who believes that projects for the abolition of
slavery would have been so soon if ever discussed in the legislature
of Virginia? Without that preparation of the public mind, which the
Colonization Society in the calm and peaceful prosecution of its labors
has indirectly accomplished, insurrection and massacre, with all the
fear and horrors which they occasion, would have led only to cruelties
of legislation and of practice. There is no oppression so unrelenting
and desperate as when the oppressor fears his subjects; and the
unanimous feeling of Virginia would have been (erroneous indeed, but
not on that account the less irresistible and inflexible,) a feeling
like that of him who holds a wolf by the ears: it is dangerous to keep
him, but more dangerous to let him loose; and therefore, the more
furious the struggles of the prisoner, the fiercer and closer will be
the despairing grasp that holds him.”

We entertain no doubt that the discussions, thus commenced, will
gradually become more free and thorough: will appeal more directly to
the great law that acknowledges the inalienable and universal rights
of man; and will, at the same time, find its way still farther South,
till it pervades and awakens every state from the Potomac to the Gulf
of Mexico. This is inevitable: the discussion of such a subject,
involving such hopes, and fears, and interests, when once it has been
opened, can never be suppressed. Nor is this all: such a system as
slavery cannot long withstand the power of free and full discussion.
The hour in which the debate on slavery commenced in the capital at
Richmond, may be considered as having sealed the death-warrant of the
system, not only for Virginia, but for the nation. And now it may be
said, that whatever is to be hereafter the success of the Colonization
Society, in the prosecution of its own appropriate enterprize, this
great result is ultimately sure. Not that it has nothing more to do
by its indirect influence in accelerating this result: certainly the
greater the success of the Colonization of Africa, the greater will be
the progress of public opinion towards this consummation. But let the
Society be dissolved, let the pirates of the African seas wreak their
cherished wrath on Liberia--let Montserrado be made again the mart for
the slave-trade--let the spot now adorned with Christian churches
become again the seat of devil-worship; let the smiling villages on the
St. Paul’s be made desolate, and the now cultivated soil be overspread
with the vegetation of the wilderness; still it will be true that the
indirect influence of the American Colonization Society has secured the
abolition of Slavery.”

7. African Colonization will have a powerful tendency to destroy
the slave trade. Hitherto all efforts to stop the progress of this
abominable traffic have been unavailing. Notwithstanding the laws made
against it by various nations, and especially against the importation
of slaves into their territories, the work still goes on. It is
estimated that 50,000 were carried into foreign slavery the last year.
And this will continue to be the fact for years to come, unless more
effectual measures are taken than any that government can adopt. The
slave-stealers lie along the coast of Africa, and glide up and down
her rivers, ready to seize upon every man, woman and child, who come
within their reach. And this they will continue to do in spite of all
penal enactments. By resorting to false flags, and false decks, and
false passports, they effectually elude detection; or, if they are hard
pressed and cannot escape their pursuers, they throw their cargoes
overboard, and thus evade the law which requires that slaves shall be
actually found in the ship in order to justify a capture. When hard
pressed they will even head the negroes up in casks, and cast them
into the sea, that they may take them up again when the chase is over.
Now there is no conceivable way, while the world remains as it is,
by which this inhuman traffic can be suppressed, but by establishing
colonies on the coast of Africa. And this will do it. ‘This will draw a
cordon around the continent which the slave-trader cannot penetrate.’
All communication with the natives will be cut off, and if it is not
wholly so, the influence which the colonists will have upon them will
remove their disposition to sell their brethren and sisters into
bondage. The colony at Liberia has already done this to a great extent.
Says a recent British publication, when speaking of the influence of
the American Colony at Liberia, ‘Nothing has tended more to suppress
the slave-trade in this quarter, than the constant intercourse and
communication of the natives with these industrious colonists.
Wherever the influence of this colony extends, the slave-trade has
been abandoned.’ And we have other evidence to show that, for hundreds
of miles around Liberia, the slave-trade has ceased. Is it not plain
then that African colonization exerts, and if suffered to proceed
will continue to exert, a favorable influence for the suppression of
the slave-trade? Does not Divine Providence seem to point to this
as the only way to bring it to an end? Is not this the way by which
those sighs and groans, and agonies unutterable, which Heaven annually
witnesses on the coast of Africa, and in the middle passage, will be
brought to an end?

8. Colonization will have a favorable influence on the interests of
the negro by affording facilities for the introduction of civilization
and christianity into the continent of Africa. The introduction
of religion and the arts into Africa, as into every other heathen
country, is an object which should be near the heart of every
christian and friend of man. The whole continent is now filled with
the habitations of cruelty--the people are sitting in the region
and shadow of death. No gospel light has ever shone upon them; but
ignorance and superstition, and moral death, everywhere prevail. Now
the establishment of colonies on the coast, which are under the
influence of christian principle, will have a tendency to remove this
darkness from the natives around. It has begun to do this already. Many
of the natives around Liberia have desired to place themselves under
the protection of its government, and esteem it no small privilege if
they may be permitted to call themselves Americans. They are anxious
to place their children in the schools of the colonists, and many of
them through the instructions which they have there received have
become pious and devoted christians. Throughout the whole region,
bordering on Liberia, the natives appear to be disarmed of prejudice,
and ready to receive the instructions and adopt the principles of the
colonists. Now let this colony be enlarged--let the means of education
and christian knowledge be increased and extended to the neighboring
tribes--and multitudes of them would doubtless be converted to God.
If the colony at Liberia is successful, and receives the confidence
and support of the christian community, a college may shortly be
established there which, by the blessing of Heaven, will qualify men to
act as missionaries over the whole continent. Multitudes might there
be trained up, who, with all their advantages of color and adaptation
to the climate, will be vastly better qualified to preach the gospel
to their countrymen than any who could go from this country. What
encouragement then is there to urge forward the work of colonization!
For the sake of the poor natives alone, let the work go forward--let
colonies be established all along the coast--let churches and schools
be built up--circulate Bibles and tracts, and let the light of the
gospel shine--and the natives will feel its holy influence. One tribe
will receive the truth and communicate it to another, and they again
to another--knowledge will increase and multiply daily. Every gale
which sweeps from the western coast, will waft Messiah’s name farther
and farther into the interior, until that whole continent shall become
vocal with the high praises of our God.

Such are some of the favorable influences of the Colonization Society
on the general interests of the colored population. We might enumerate
many more, and say many things to obviate the objections which some
have urged against the Society, but time will not permit. We conclude
the argument, therefore, by urging all the friends of colonization
diligently to consider the testimony concerning this enterprise, and to
prepare themselves to vindicate it against the attacks of its enemies,
and to commend it to the confidence and support of the community. The
state of feeling at the present time towards the Colonization Society
requires that something should be done. Its enemies, though feeble,
are clamorous, and if nothing is done to check their influence,
may deceive some portion of the people. Let, then, the friends of
colonization awake and prepare themselves for a discussion, from which
they have everything to hope. The enterprise will go forward--the
colony at Liberia will be sustained, and the society will receive, as
it deserves, the universal and cordial gratitude and support of every
portion of the community.



PRESENT STATE OF THE COLONY.


The following letters from a respectable emigrant, will farther show
the present condition of the settlements:

FROM LIBERIA.--We are happy to announce the arrival at
Liberia of the ship Jupiter, Captain Peters, which vessel sailed from
Norfolk at the close of October last, and for whose safety serious
apprehensions were entertained. Capt. Peters called at the Cape de
Verds, and at several places on the African coast, before he touched
at Monrovia, at which port he arrived on the 7th of March. The Rev.
Melvin B. Cox, the gentleman sent out by the Missionary Society of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, was a passenger in this ship, and was in
good health on the 8th of March, the date of our last advices.

Some of our readers will probably recollect that in December last we
noticed the departure from Norfolk of the brig Roanoke, Capt. Hatch,
for Monrovia. In this vessel an interesting colored family, named
Reynolds, from Onondaga county, were passengers. The Onondaga Standard,
of the 20th May, contains two letters from Mr. Reynolds, which are
subjoined. The letters corroborate the favorable accounts which have
been given of Liberia.


  MONROVIA, LIBERIA, MARCH 1, 1833.

MR. COPP:--SIR: Mindful of your request that I should
inform you of my safe arrival, and how I am pleased with the country,
I improve the opportunity presented by return of Roanoke to write a
short letter. We had a pleasant passage of 42 days from land to land,
and by the attention of Capt. Hatch, were rendered quite comfortable.
Not one of my family were sea-sick a day; and by the favor of God our
health still continues, though we do not expect to escape a visit of
the fever-and-ague, which scarcely ever passes by new comers without a
call.

I find, as was represented at home, that religion is flourishing, and
Christians active. There is at present some little excitement among
sinners at Caldwell and Millsburg. We have Baptists, Methodists,
and Presbyterians here, and all seem engaged. At present I remain
at Caldwell, and shall continue to until the fever leaves me. It is
very pleasantly situated on the St. Paul’s, and might, under suitable
agricultural improvement, speedily equal in beauty any of the river
towns in America.

The land about Caldwell is rich and readily subdued; the only source
of evil hitherto, I think, arises from neglect of agricultural
improvement. The fruits are various; the orange and lime are found
wild, and only need the same care to make them abundant, as is bestowed
on the apple in New York. Lemons and papaw, and cassia and plantain,
&c. are also abundant. Pine-apples cover whole fields, growing
wild. The Lima bean and Cotton, when planted, continue to bear, I
am informed, for several years. I have seen coffee, and cotton, and
indigo, wild and abundant--also, pepper of two kinds. Water-melons and
cucumbers and grapes are found in some gardens:--thus you perceive we
have abundance of fruit to reward the laborer. A farmer on the St.
Paul’s river told me that, from one quart of _Indian Corn_, he raised
three barrels in one year. There are many cattle and hogs and fowls
here, and when more attention is bestowed on the land, rich pasture
lands will be abundant. I am informed that one hundred miles inland,
the cattle are large and numerous.

With a deep sense of gratitude to yourself and the other friends who
assisted me to come to this land of privileges, I desire to tender you
all my sincere thanks.

  Yours, most respectfully,
  WILLIAM REYNOLDS.


_The following is to a colored friend._

  MONROVIA, MARCH 1, 1833.

I write a few lines by Roanoke, to urge you to come out to Liberia. The
country exceeds what I anticipated while in America. It is rich, and
abounds in tropical fruits--it yields a large return to the laborer.
The climate is delightful, and the heat not near so oppressive as in
our summers and harvesting. The sea-breeze blows here every day, and
at night I find a blanket adds to my comfort. A man can get a living
and make money here in various ways as in the United States, by trade
or farming, &c. I am intending to try farming. If you come at all come
soon; the earliest settlers, we think, will have the best chance. My
family is all well, and send their respects to you. Remember me to all
inquiring friends.

  Yours, &c.
  WILLIAM REYNOLDS.

       *       *       *       *       *

We shall fortify our discussion of the subject matter of the preceding
pages, by the addition of a few authentic documents, which will throw
light on some points of importance. From the Monthly Colonizationist,
we take the following description of the PRESENT STATE OF THE
COLONY:--


_The Colony._

The cause of African colonization never was more prosperous or more
promising than at the present moment. In all its departments this is
the case; it is so abroad, and it is so at home.

In regard to the Colony,--which, after all, is at once the best
evidence of the progress of the Parent Institution, and the surest
test of its principles,--the authentic and indisputable accounts which
reach us from every quarter, must be admitted as sufficient to satisfy
all reasonable and candid minds, not only of the actual prosperity of
the present settlements, but of the practicableness of the colonial
scheme on the larger and nobler scale always anticipated, more or
less, by the advocates of the cause. Instances of mismanagement, as
well as misfortune, doubtless have occurred; it would be indeed a
new thing in the history of colonization, as well as in the conduct
of all other systems whose progress depends on the labor of men, if
there had not been such instances. But, not to mention that these
misfortunes were mostly in their nature such as cannot be repeated,
and such as, in all events, only past experience has been necessary
to prevent for the future,--and not to insist on the credit fairly
due to the Society, for frankly acknowledging the mistakes we allude
to, and for always manifesting a readiness to submit to instruction,
and to act vigorously and promptly in the correction of errors,--who,
among the foes of the Institution, will at the worst, undertake to
deny that a degree of success has, on the whole, attended its efforts
on the African coast, to which, in the language of Mr. Cresson, “the
annals of Colonization may be triumphantly challenged for a parallel?”
Since the date of this declaration of our able friend in England, the
population of the Colony has been increased by more than one half,
nearly eight hundred emigrants having been carried out during the year
immediately preceding the first of January last. Other accessions
to its establishments, during the same period, are among the most
important which have taken place. Very satisfactory arrangements have
been effected by the Colonial Agent for the settlement of Grand Bassa,
a tract of country which, in regard to its climate, soil, situation,
and productions of all kinds, is proved to be inferior to no other
district on the whole coast: a valuable territory on the western banks
of the St. John’s river, with four large islands within the river,
additional to the immense tract purchased by Mr. Ashmun, have not only
been peaceably obtained of the natives, but the latter have pledged
themselves,--such seems to be their anxiety to trade and associate with
the Liberians,--to erect suitable buildings, at their own expense, for
the accommodation of the first emigrants. At the time we are writing,
this promising settlement is doubtless already commenced.

It farther appears that possession has also been obtained of a large
tract of land at Grand Cape Mount, a point on the coast about as
far north from the main settlement, at Monrovia, as Grand Bassa is
south. The exports of the natives have heretofore been from $60,000
to $70,000 per annum. The fine territory now ceded, is situated at a
short distance from the sea, on the shore of a lake, about twenty miles
in length, navigable for small vessels, and into which flow several
rivers, affording important facilities for commerce with the interior.
The chiefs of the country, who are thought to be more advanced in
civilization than any others south of Sierra Leone, have granted an
unquestionable title to this land, on the sole condition that settlers
shall be placed upon it and that schools shall be established for the
benefit of native children.

Some of these chiefs, having obtained the rudiments of an English
education in Liberia, expressed earnest desires that the benefits of
instruction should be afforded to their countrymen; and the young
men declared their purpose of submitting to the laws of the Colony,
and their willingness to make further grants of land, to any extent
desired, whenever the terms of the present negotiations shall have been
fulfilled. The spot selected for a settlement is said to be healthy,
and the soil capable of producing almost every thing of value that
grows within the tropics.[1]

[1] See the Sixteenth Annual Report, 1833.

The agriculture of the Colony was never so thrifty as at the present
time. Heretofore it has been to some extent neglected, as is always
the case with new colonies; but the most vigorous measures have been
recently adopted by the managers for its encouragement and permanent
prosperity, and these efforts are attended with great success. To the
cultivation of coffee, especially--of which the finest quality abounds
spontaneously in this latitude--the attention of several of the most
respectable colonists has been turned; and 20,000 coffee-trees have
been planted by a single individual (a colored gentleman.) and farms
of the recaptured Africans, at their two beautiful little villages
near Caldwell, are in so prosperous a state that “they not only raise
sufficient for their own consumption,” says the Colonial Agent, “but a
considerable surplus for the market.” At one of these villages the same
gentleman speaks of observing a tract of one hundred acres planted with
cassada, interspersed with patches of Indian corn and sweet potatoes.”

The commerce of the Colony, in 1831, greatly exceeded that of any
former year; within that period, forty-six vessels visited the port
of Monrovia, and the exports were nearly $90,000. But from the last
Report we learn that, while fifty-nine vessels had visited the port
during the year preceding last May, the exports during the same period,
(consisting chiefly of camwood, ivory, palm-oil, tortoise-shell and
gold,) amounted to $125,549 16--of imports, to $80,000--and the
merchandise and produce on hand on the 1st of January, 1832, to
$47,000. New avenues have been recently opened with the interior
tribes. Caravans from a considerable distance have visited the country.
The Dey people, who number from six to eight thousand, occupying the
coast immediately north of Monrovia, have in treaty agreed to allow a
free passage to the Colony through their territories. There is now a
commercial connexion extending from our settlement even to the borders
of Foota Jallo.

It perhaps sufficiently indicates the moral condition of the Colony,
that three churches have been erected during the past year; and that
there are now six day schools for children, and one evening school
for adults, comprising in all two hundred and twenty-six pupils. Two
female schools, taught by well-qualified teachers, whose salaries are
paid by ladies of Philadelphia, are attended by ninety-nine pupils.
Among the re-captured Africans, also, a school is about to commence,
under the patronage of the same ladies; and a Sunday school already
exists. Towards the foundation of a high school, $2,000 have been
recently given by Mr. Sheldon, of New York, and $400 by the Hon. C.
F. Mercer, of Virginia. The Massachusetts State Society, at its last
annual meeting, voted to appropriate $400 per annum, for the salary
of a competent male instructer at Liberia, and half that sum for a
female. This is well. It is more important to establish thoroughly the
moral and intellectual character of the Colony, and especially of the
rising generation, than even to extend the settlements themselves. The
managers have taken a view of this subject, which merits the warmest
sanction of all the friends of education, the friends of republicanism,
the friends of freedom and truth. Whatever be the _number_ of the
emigrants, let their _character_ be such, or let it be made such, as
may serve fitly for the foundation-stone whereon, in after times, shall
rest the firmest liberties of that continent, and the noblest glory of
this. Slow though the building of the edifice may be,--and so has been
the growth of every empire under heaven,--let it be sure, and let it
be strong. No man will inquire, a century hence, how many colonists
were carried out in any given twelve-mouth. Let it be built for the use
of posterity, and for the praise of history. Let it be raised as the
pyramids were raised, and it shall stand as the pyramids have stood.
The light of orient civilization shall shine again, like the sunrise,
upon its sides; and the last rays of freedom’s western orb, many an age
hence, when our own republic may live but in name, shall still “linger
and play on its summits.”

ABOLITION OF SLAVERY.--The following letter, from an
accomplished and intelligent gentleman in North Carolina to a
distinguished gentleman in the city of Boston, is contained in the
Columbian Centinel. It exhibits a specimen of the sentiments which
generally, if not universally, prevail on this subject throughout the
southern states, and may enable some of our infatuated agitators to
perceive the folly and madness of their course:--

  SALISBURY, ROWAN COUNTY, N. C., MAY 29th, 1833.

Dear Sir,--I shall offer no other apology for troubling you with a
letter at this time, than the importance of its subject matter. I have
chosen to address you as being a distinguished philanthropist; and on
more than one occasion, a great sufferer in the cause of real humanity;
and, from the past history of your life, I feel confident that I
was not so deceived in the high estimate I formed of your character
during our too short acquaintance, that I need fear you have turned a
visionary.

It is frequently asserted in many of our southern newspapers, that
there exists in the northern and eastern sections of our country,
a disposition to interfere with slavery. This I have confidently
denied on the strength of conversations I had with distinguished
gentlemen when in your section; and on the authority of Mr. Webster’s
gratifying assertion, that there prevails at the north such a feeling
on this subject as the south would wish. More than two years since,
in New England, I heard Garrison, whom I looked upon as a misguided
enthusiast, and literally, a monomaniac, on the condition of the
negroes in America; and I was happy to find that he was discountenanced
by the sober and really benevolent portion of the community. I begin,
however, to doubt, if I have not been somewhat in error. Something,
I know not well by what class, nor as yet to what extent, surely is
agitated among you. I am not a miscellaneous reader of newspapers, and
I receive none from New England, so that my information is limited to
extracts occasionally made into more southern journals. Among these,
I was greatly struck by the following paragraph taken from the Boston
Commercial Gazette: “At the last quarterly meeting of the New England
Anti-Slavery Society, the following resolution was adopted unanimously.
Among the gentlemen who advocated the adoption was Mr. Amasa Walker,
the candidate of the Anti-Masons for Congress.

‘Resolved, That the principles and measures of the New England
Anti-Slavery Society, are consistent with every duty which we owe to
our country, and that benevolence to the masters not less than to
the slaves, requires us to advocate the doctrine of IMMEDIATE
ABOLITION.’”

Here is the germ, I fear, (and I tremble while I think on it,) of what
will work the dissolution of our glorious Union. For the moment that
interference with the condition of our slaves is seriously attempted
by any considerable party in the non-slave-holding states, that moment
this Union is at an end. A determination not to suffer the free states
to intermeddle in any manner, with the condition of the slaves, unites
in the most perfect unanimity every political party, every religious
sect, every class of society in the slave-holding states. And I pledge
myself for the accuracy of the opinion, that not even an _attempt_ to
settle the question growing out of the agitation of slavery, would be
made on the _floor of Congress_.

I love the Union with an unsurpassable affection; language cannot
express the strength of it. I derive my being from the early pilgrims
of New England, and I shrink from the idea of that ever becoming to me
a foreign country. You know that I have regarded my rank of an AMERICAN
CITIZEN as a prouder birthright than that of the haughtiest noble of
Europe, whose lineage is lost in the darkness of antiquity. But sooner
than suffer the Abolitionists to carry into execution their plans, I
too would go for a dissolution of this Union. I believe before God!
that justice and humanity to _slave_, as well as to master, would
require of me to do so. This is not a fitting occasion--neither is it
necessary in addressing you, my friend, to dwell on the dangers to be
apprehended from meddlesome ignorance in so delicate a relation as that
of master and slave; nor to expatiate on the unwarrantable interference
with the rights of others, nor on the violation of faith solemnly
pledged even in the constitution of our liberties, as is purposed by
the Abolitionists. In portraying the dreadful consequences to master,
and still more to the slave, with the vices, crimes, bloodshed and
horrors, that would follow immediate abolition, who would fail to
be eloquent? But immediate abolition, is an event quite out of the
question; and one of the certain consequences of any movement, either
on the part of the slaves or of the Abolitionists, is the riveting with
tenfold severity of the chains of the former. This any one may easily
perceive, by examining the enactments on this subject, made since the
distribution of Walker’s pamphlet, and the Virginia insurrection.

Do not conclude from my earnestness, that I believe the Abolitionists
as yet, form either a numerous or powerful party--but the
contrary.--Still, I wish, as much as lies in my humble self, to warn
the good and intelligent to repress in its birth, by their strong
reprobation, a visionary spirit, which, unchecked, will menace the
Union of these United States, while it consigns to a severer bondage
the unfortunate objects of their crusading folly. Especially do not
conclude that I am hostile to emancipation in every form, and ready to
give over the African race to perpetual, hopeless bondage. No. But in
this matter the South must take the lead; there exists among us on this
point, a jealousy--shall I not add, well grounded? _The Colonization
Society is operating a great change in public opinion here--it is
gaining the confidence of the whole South._

I rejoice that the Abolitionists are running tilt against it; and if
not discredited by the mad zeal of misguided philanthropists, it will
lead, I am sure, to the adoption of judicious measures on a much larger
scale to rescue from servitude and degradation the unfortunate Africans
amongst us.

I greatly desire to learn from you the extent of any disposition
that may exist in your section to attempt directly the abolition of
slavery in the south, and whatever else of interest, you may have to
communicate on this subject. Could you furnish me any information
calculated to remove the suspicions and quiet the apprehensions of the
South, (for I hope and still believe that right feelings concerning
slavery prevail at the North,) its publication in our newspapers here,
I feel confident would be productive of great good.

Hoping to hear from you at your earliest leisure, I am, very truly,
your friend and humble servant.

  ---- ----


[Transcriber’s Note:

Page 10, “Mr. Rusworm” changed to read “Mr. Russwurm”.

Page 11, “In New York 1 out of 2191” changed to read “In Pennsylvania 1
out of 2191.”

Page 14, “The name of Lot Carey” changed to read “The name of Lott
Carey”.

Page 16, “Montserado be made again” changed to read “Montserrado be
made again”.

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





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