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EXTRACTS FROM THE REV. J. ASHMUN'S REPORT OF THE COLONY.
The money expended on these various objects has necessarily been considerable; but, in comparison with the expense wbich similar objects in this country cost European governments, it will be found not merely moderate, but trilling. Less than has been effected towards the extension of our limits, I could not attempt: and I am certain that where the direction of every other establishment on the coast, except the Portuguese, would regard itself not only authorized, but obliged, to pay away thousands, I have in countless instances spent not a dollar. But that species of economy which sacrifices to itself any object essential to the success of this undertaking, I am as little able to practice as the board is to approve.
The natives of the country, but particularly of the interior, notwithstanding their habitual indolence, produce, after supplying their own wants, a considerable surplus of the great staple of this part of Western Africa, rice. The moderate rate at which this grain is purchased by such as deal directly with the growers, and the various uses of which it is susceptible in the domestic economy, easily place the means of supplying the first necessities of nature in the reach of every one. Rice, moreover, always commands a ready sale with transient trading vessels or coasters; and forms a useful object of exchange for other provisions and necessaries, between individuals of the colony.
To this succeeds, as next in importance, the camwood of the country, of which several hundred tons every year pass through the bands of the setilers, and serve to introduce, in return, the provisions and groceries of America; and the dry goods and wares, both of Europe and America, which, from the necessary dependence of the members of every society on each other, come soon to be distributed, for the common advantage of all.
The ivory of Liberia is less abundant, and less valuable, than that of other districts of Western Africa. It, however, forms a valuable article of barter and export, to the settlement; and the amount annually bought and sold, falls between five and eight thousand dollars.
No less than five schools for different descriptions of learners, exclusive of the Sunday schools, have been supported during the year, and still continue in operation. The youths and children of the colony discover, for their age, unequivocal proofs of a good degree of mental accomplishment. The contrast between children several years in the enjoyment of the advantages of the colony, and most others of the same age, arriving from the United States, is striking, and would leave an entire stranger at no loss to distinguish the one from the other. Should emigration, but for a very few months, cease to throw the little ignorants into the colony, from abroad, the phenomenon of a child of five years, unable to read, it is believed, would not exist among us.
The first successful essay in the construction of small vessels, has been made the past year. I have built, and put upon the rice trade, between our factories to the leeward, and cape Montserado, a schooner of ten tons burihen, adapted to the passage of the bars of all the navigable rivers of the coast. The sailing qualities of this vessel are so superior, that before the wind, it is believed, few, or none of the numerous pirates of the coast, can overtake her. She makes a trip, freighted both ways, in ten days; and commonly carries and brings inerchandise and produce, to the amount of from four to eight hundred dollars each trip. Another craft of equal tonnage, but of very indifferent materials, has been built by one of the colonists. The model of the St. Paul's (the public boat) was furnished by myself; but she was constructed under the superin. tendence of J. Blake, who has thus entitled himself to the character of a useful and ingenious mechanic.
One of the most obvious effects of this colony, has already been to check, in this part of Africa, the prevalence of the slave-trade. The promptness and severity with which our arms have, in every instance, avenged the insults and injuries offered by slave ships and factories to the colony, have, I may confidently say, banished it for ever from this district of the coast. Our influence with the natives of this section of the coast, is known to be so great as 10 expose to certain miscarriage, any transaction entered into with them for slaves. But there is a moral feeling at work in the minds of most of our neighbors, contracted, doubtless, by means of their intercourse with the colony, which represents to them the dark business in a new aspect of repulsiveness and absurdity. Most are convinced that it is indeed a bad business, and are apparently sincere in their determination to drop it for ever, unless compelled by their wants to adventure a few occasional speculations.
In the punishment of offences, the most lenient maxims of modern jurisprudence have been observed, by way of experiment on human nature, in that particular modification of it exhibited by the population of this colony. The result has been, so far, favorable to the policy pursued. The passion to which corporeal and other ignominious punishments address their arguments, is certainly one of the least ingenuous of the human constitution.
EXTRACTS FROM A MEMORIAL FROM THE FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR
TO THE CITIZENS OF BALTIMORE.
We have hitherto bebeld, in silence, but with the intensest interest, the efforts of the wise and philanthropic in our behalf. If it became us to be silent, it became us also to feel the liveliest anxiety and gratitude.
The time has now arrived, as we believe, in which your work and our happiness may be promoted by the expression of our opinions. We have therefore assembled for that purpose, from every quarter of the city, and every denomination, to offer you this respectful address, with all the weight and influence which our number, character, and cause, can lend it.
We reside among you, and yet are strangers ; natives, and yet not citizens; surrounded by the freest people and most republican institutions in the world, and yet enjoying none of the immunities of freedom.
It is not to be imputed to you that we are here. Your ancestors remonstrated against the introduction of the first of our race, who were brought amongst you; and it was the mother country that insisted on their admission, that her colonies and she might profit, as she thought, by their compulsory labor. But the gift was a curse to them, without being an advantage to herself. The colonies, grown to womanhood, burst from her dominion; and if they have an angry recollection of their union and rupture, it must be at the sight of the baneful institution which she has entailed upon them.
How much you regret its existence ainong you, is shown by the severe laws you have enacted against the slave-trade, and by your employment of a naval force for its suppression. You have gone still further
. Not content with checking the increase of the already too growing evil, you have deliberated how you might best exterminate the evil itself. This delicate and important subject has produced a great variety of opinions; but we find, even in that diversity, a consolatory proof of the interest with which you regard the subject, and of your readiness to adopt țhat scheme which may appear to be the best.
Leaving out all considerations of generosity, humanity, and benevolence, you have the strongest reasons to favor and facilitate the withdrawal from among you of such as wish 10 remove. It ill consists, in the first place, with your republican principles, and with the health and moral sense of the body politic, that there should be, in the midst of you, an extraneous mass of men, united to you only by soil and climate, and irrevocably excluded from your institutions.
Nor is it less for your advantage in another point of view. Our places might, in our opinion, be better occupied by men of your own color, who would increase the strength of your country. In the pursuit of livelihood, and the exercise of industrious habits, we necessarily exclude from employment many of the whites, your fellow-citizens, who would find it easier, in proportion as we depart, to provide for themselves and their families.
But if you have every reason to wish for our removal, how much greater are our inducements to remove! Though we are not slaves, we are not free. We do not, and never shall, participate in the enviable privileges which we continually witness. Beyond a mere subsistence, and the impulse of religion, there is nothing 10 arouse us to the exercise of our faculties, or excite us to the attainment of eminence.
Of the many schemes that have been proposed, we most approve of that of African colonization. If we were able, and at liberty to go whithersoever we would, the greater number, willing to leave this coininunity, would prefer Liberia, on the coast of Africa. Others, no doubt, would turn them towards some other regions ; the world is wide. Already established there, in the settlement of the American colonization society, are many of our brethren, the pioneers of African restoration, who encourage us to join them. Several were formerly residents of this city, and highly considered by the people of their own class and color. They have been planted at cape Montserado, the most eligible, and one of the most elevated sites on the western coast of Africa, selected in 1821; and their number has augmented to five hundred. Able, as we are informed, to provide for their own defence and support, and capable of self-increase, they are now enjoying all the necessaries and comforts, and many of the luxuries of larger and older communities. In Africa we shall be freemen indeed, and republicans, after the model of this republic. We shall carry your language, your customs, your opinions and christianity to that now desolate shore, and thence they will gradually spread, with our growth, far into the continent. The slave-trade, both external and internal
, can be abolished only by settlements on the coast. Africa, if destined to be ever civilized and converted, can be civilized and converted by that means only.
We foresee that difficulties and dangers await those who emigrate, such as every infant establishment must encounter and endure; such as your fathers suffered, when first they landed on this now happy shore.
The portion of comforts which they may lose, they will cheerfully abandon. Human happiness does not consist in meat and drink, nor in costly raiment, nor in stately habitations; to contribute to it even, they must be joined with equal rights, and respectability, and it often exists in a high degree without them. That you may
facilitate the withdrawal from among you of such as wish to remove, is what we now solicit. It can best be done, we think, by augmenting the means at the command of the American Colonization Society, that the colony of Liberia may be strengthened and improved for their gradual reception. The greater the number of persons sent thither, from any part of this nation whatsoever, so much the more capable it becomes of receiving a still greater. Every encouragement to it, therefore, though it may not seem to bave any particular portion of emigrants directly in view, will produce a favorable effect upon all. The
emigrants may readily be enabled to remove, in considerable numbers every fall, by a concerted system of individual contributions, and still more efficiently by the enactment of laws to promote their emigration, under the patronage of the state. would not be nearly so great as it might appear at first sight; for, when once the current shall have set towards Liberia, and intercourse grown frequent, the cost will, of course, diminish rapidly, and many will be able to defray it for themselves. Thousands and tens of thousands poorer than we, annually emigrate from Europe to your country, and soon have it in their power to hasten the arrival of those they left behind. Every intelligent and industrious colored man would continually look forward to the day, when he or his children might go to their veritable home, and would accumulate all his little earnings for that purpose.
We have ventured these remarks, because we know that you take a kind concern in the subject 10 which they relate, and because we think they may assist you in the prosecution of your designs. If we were doubtful of your good will and benevolent intentions, we would remind you of the time when you were in a situation similar to ours, and when your forefathers were driven, by religious persecution, to a distant and in hospitable shore. We are not so persecuted; but we, too, leave our homes, and seek a distant and inhospitable shore: an empire may be the result of our emigration, as of iheir's. The protection, kindness, and assistance which you would have desired for yourselves under such circumstances, now extend to us : so may you be rewarded by the riddance of the stain and evil of slavery, the extension of civilization and the gospel, and the blessings of our common Creator!