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THE AFRICAN REPOSITORY,
Published semi-monthly, at $1 50 in advance, when sent by mail, or $2 00 if not paid
till after the expiration of six months, or when delivered to subscribers in cities.
WASHINGTON, May 1, 1841.
LIBERIA. The following appeal, coming as it does from one of the most esteemed philanthropists, as well as one of the most eminent scholars, in our country, we hope will not be in vain.
On receiving the first intimation of the new plan of the British for ex• tending their trade and jurisdiction in Western Africa, we were struck with the importance of securing to the American Colonization Society those parts of the Liberian coast lying between our settlements; and immediately on receiving Mr. Buxton's work, in which the British policy in relation to Africa was fully developed, we presented our views to the public. We have continued to press this subject upon their attention, and earnestly to solicit the means of purchasing the desired territory. The responsibility of failing to secure this object, so essential to the future prosperity of our Liberia Colonies, must rest upon those who neglect to improve the present crisis. We hope that it is not now too late to secure the object of our solicitude, and that means will be furnished for its speedy accomplishment. We feel greatly indebted to the writer of the following article, for thus coming to our aid, and trust soon to reap the fruits of his effort. In order to acquire the control of the territory intervening between our settlements, it is only necessary to purchase the commanding points on the coast, about the entrances of rivers, &c.
TO THE FRIENDS OF AFRICAN COLONIZATION. Our object in this address, is not to enter into any discussion of the general principles of Colonization, or to attempt any vindication of the plans and proceedings of the American Colonization Society. Enough has probably been spoken and written on this subject. The enemies of the Society are too far committed against it, and too much blinded by prejudice, to be profited by the most cogent arguments, or even to be capable of yielding assent to the best authenticated facts ; and the friends of this enterprise are in no need of new arguments to convince them of the wisdom, benevolence, and grandeur of the Colonization scheme. No enter
prise has been proposed, for centuries, which more deserves the cordial approbation and energetic co-operation of the Christian philanthropist. It involves deeply the vital interests of two continents. And it is a scheme of that kind, that even its contemplation and design has a tendency to enlarge and elevate the mind ;, and its achievement would be a new era in the history of the world.' And so exempt is it from any mixture of evil, either in conception or execution, that even an utter failure would leave things in a condition no worse than they were before. Butit is too late to speak of a failure; the most formidable obstacles have already been overcome. A success, unprecedented in the annals of Colonization, has attended the benevolent efforts of a Society which has possessed no other resources than the voluntary contributions of the friends of the cause. Twenty-five years ago, when Dr. Finley first mentioned the subject, we were struck with the grandeur of the scheme, and the manifold important interests embraced in it; and the only objection which we could conceive against it was its apparent impracticability. If then we could have foreseen what has actually been accomplished, we would have entered into the projected enterprise with a zeal far beyond what we really felt; and if the founder of the American Colonization Society had been permitted to live to see on the coast of Africa, several flourishing, industrious, and happy Colonies, in which good order, pure morality, exemplary temperance, and fervent religion were conspicuous, it would have filled his benevolent heart with the overflowings of the purest joy.
But although a great good has been accomplished, yet it is but the germ of a tree, which, we trust, will cover Africa with its refreshing shade, and extend its fruitful branches to populous nations, in that dark continent, whose names are not yet known in Europe or America. When centuries shall have rolled round, and the impartial historian of those future ages shall take a retrospect of the age in which we live, and shall record the wonder. ful improvements in the arts, and especially in the facilities of locomotion, he will be led also to contemplate, with admiration, the benevolent enterprise of African Colonization, and will consider this as the brightest spot on the page of the history of this country and Africa. When a great Republic of colored men shall have spread over the whole Western coast of Africa, and shall have extended its influence to the very centre of that unexplored continent; when its history is traced back to its origin, then will this feeble Society come into permanent notice, and will receive the honor of having laid the foundation of a great empire, and of having introduced and diffused among the numerous barbarous tribes of that continent, all the arts and comforts of civilized life, together with the inestimable blessing of freedom, regulated by wise and salutary laws. But above all, THE LIGHT OF Divine Truth, which will then have penetrated into the darkest recesses of this dark continent, will be easily traced to the patient and persevering efforts of the American Colonization Society, under whose patronage the several religious denominations were enabled to erect, on the shores of Africa, the banner of the Cross.
There have been seasons of darkness in the history of Liberia which occasioned even zealous friends to despond, if not despair of the Colony ; but there were still found friends of the cause so determined, as never to relinquish the glorious enterprise, so long as a hope remained of ultimate success. They " hoped even against hope,” and a gracious Providence has rewarded their invincible perseverance, by granting, from time to time, the most extraordinary relief. Now the Colony flourishes, and has become important, even in a commercial view; and, after all the dark storms which beat upon it, has emerged with renewed vigor from them all ; and the
bow of promise appears, at this time, encircling with vivid colors, that asylum for the oppressed, and home for the wretched.
But the necessity for energetic exertion, and increased libera"ity, has not ceased. There often occurs a crisis in the affairs of nations as well as individuals. Opportunities occur when, by prompt and vigorous action, advantages can be obtained and secured, which, if suffered to pass without improvement, never return. Such, in our opinion, is the present state of Liberia. Not that any peculiar danger is iminent at this moment, but an opportunity now exists of acquiring a territory, absolutely necessary to the unity and perfect prosperity of that Republic. Let the intelligent reader cast his eye over a map of our settlements on the Western coast of Africa ; and he will see, that we have four distinct Colonies, separated from each other by intervals of considerable extent. These are Monrovia, and its neighboring villages; Bassa, and its interior settlements ; Sinou ; and New Maryland or Cape Palmas. Between Monrovia and Bassa there is very little danger of the interferance of any other nation; but on the coast between Bassa and Sinou, and between the last-mentioned place and Cape Palmas, there is an interval of more than two hundred miles. Until lately it seemed unnecessary to be very solicitous about possessing this territory, by which our settlements are separated ; as it was presumed, that by our having favorable opportunities of purchasè, we should be able to acquire from the native princes, all this land, as soon as it should be needed. But the state of things is now much altered, since the English have adopted the plan of entering all Africa, at every accessible point; and have resolved to establish trading houses, and make use of other means of enlightening and improving the natives, with a view of suppressing the cruel trade in slaves, which all their naval prowess has not enabled them hitherto even to diminish. Now, in regard to this extensive plan, which has not only enlisted in its favor much of the wealth and influence of the English nation, but moreover, has received the decided approbation of the Government, we entertain no feelings of hostility, nor even of jealousy. We think it a noble enterprise, and cordially wish it success. But as the unoccupied territory between our little Colonies furnish eligible points for their design of establishing trading factories, if we neglect to acquire and occupy this part of the coast now, it will be entirely out of our reach. Indeed, there seems to be some reason to fear, from Governor BUCHANAN's late despatches, that the incipient step has already been taken, where they have recently broken up a slave trader's establishment. If, however, prompt measures are immediately taken, it is believed, that at least the jurisdiction of all the territory on the aforesaid coast can, by negotiation or purchase, be acquired. But if our settlements should be severed from each other by the establishment of a nation, not at all friendly to the American scheme, any one can see at a glance, what a lasting injury would be inflicted on the whole scheme of the American Colonization Society. We give the friends of the Colonization cause in this country, fair warning of its danger ; let them not hereafter reflect on the Society if the object is not secured. Governor Buchanan is deeply solicitous about this matter; and the same solicitude pervades the Board of Managers and other friends of the cause.
But they cannot move in this matter without the requisite
A large sum will be required immediately to meet this exigence. Perhaps there never will again occur an occasion when liberal contributions would be so efficient in promoting the prosperity of Liberia. Let the friends of the African race, and of the cause of Colonization, arouse, and receive the due impression of the real importance of the exigence. Let there be no delay, for in this case, prompt action will be efficient ac
tion. Let the auxiliary Societies, and the friends of the cause where there are no societies, hold publie meetings, in which the facts relating to this subject may be considered, and the sleeping zeal of many well-wishers be renewedly awakened. Let every friend who receives this circular immediately hold conference with other friends, and if the object is duly appreciated, ļ entertain no doubt that requisite funds can be collected to accomplish it, as a special effort, and without diminishing the regular income of the Society. The friends of this cause are so numerous and powerful, in the United States, that nothing but prompt and united action is requisite to accomplish anything which can be effected by money. Our only danger is in the apathy of our friends, and in the want of combined effort, Each individual is left too much to think and act by himself. At this moment, we wish for excitement; and if it were in our power we would give a new impulse to every friend of African Colonization.
Let it be understood, that from Cape Mount to Cape Palmas, a distance of three hundred miles, would be a sufficient extent of coast for a powerful Republic. How far it should extend into the interior, may be left to be determined by future circumstances, and opportunities of purchase. But surely every man must be convinced, that we should strain every nerve to gain possession of the continuous coast, between these points ; and then we might be content to relinquish all the rest of the coast to the British. What is wanted now, beloved friends, is MONEY to purchase this territory, so absolutely necessary to the unity and compactness of our Colony; and not only so, but to its peace and security. For it is too evident to need a remark, that if the British come in with their establishments, between our settlements, there will arise jealousies and dangerous collisions. I any reader of this paper has purposed in his mind to give something handsome, or intends to make a valuable bequest to this institution, (as we doubt not many have,) let them anticipate their benevolence, and act, in this case, as their own executors and administrators. A hundred dollars at this juncture, may be of more value than a thousand, ten years hence. But we must not depend chiefly on large contributions ; the donors of such are always few ; but we should expect our main support from the multitude of small contributions. Let no friend to this cause think that because he cannot subscribe his thousand dollars, that his hundred will be of little value ; and let not him who can give only ten, or five, or even one, withhold his help. The ocean is made up of drops, and the earth is composed of small particles.
Before we conclude, we would address a kind word to the ladies who are friendly to this cause. No class of the community can promote benevolent objects more effectually than the ladies. Many of them have ample means at their own disposal : others are abundantly supplied with spending money, from which if they would only save a tithe for this object, we should want no more. There are also many young ladies, who, although they have nothing to give, are so ingenious, that by one afternoon in the week devoted to industry, in making little fancy articles, could contribute essentially to the funds of the American Colonization Society. The la. dies have already manifested a laudable zeal for the prosperity of Liberia, especially as it relates to the education of the youth of that interesting Colony. But they are now called upon to manifest their liberality, to enable the Society to secure the territory which is so necessary to its prosperity.
We request that every person who receives this circular will immediately communicate with such friends of the cause as may be near to him, and adopt in concurrence with them auch measures as will seem to promise to bo most effectual in rendering that aid which is at this time so urgently
! needed. Let this object be sécured, and we may consider the prospects of our Colony far more bright than they ever have been. The permanent prosperity of Liberia in that event, may be set down as one of the most certain of contingent events. In all our expectations and exertions in this interesting enterprise, the friends of the cause have been repeatedly taughit that their ultimate dependence must be in Him, who “has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath deter, mined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations: They have good reason for thinking, that the scheme of African Colorii: żation enjoys the approbation of God, and they, therefore, in all exigercies and under all difficulties, feel a relief to their solicitude, bị committing the whole concern into His hands. The remarkable interpositions of Providence in preserving the infant Colony, whén, according to all human appearance, it seemed destined to destruction, inspires them with a degree of confidence in regard to its ultimate success, which cannot be shaken by partial failures, or temporary disasters. But, believing it to be an enterprise founded in wisdom and the purest benevolence, and hitherto condućted upon the same principles in which it originated, they cannot despair of its ultimate prosperity. And when they consider how intimately the success of this enterprise is connected with the civilization and evangelization of a whole continent; they have not words to express their sense of the magnitude of the interests which are involved in it. If Ethiopia is ever to stretch out
her hands unto God if wretched Africa is ever to be redeemed from the thráldom of degrading slavery, and still more degrading superstition, what means can be conceived more likely to bring about this desirable state of things, than the planting of a free and Christian Colony
a of African descent, on the shores of that continent? And that this is the only feasible method of putting an end to the nefarious traffic in human beings, all seem to be, at length, convinced. Let every person, therefore, who is persuaded that the Gospel, and civil liberty, are the richest blessings which a nation can possess, give his aid in promoting this object. And let not the efficiency of that aid be prevented by tardiness in action or parsimony in contribution. As was before said, the friends of Colonization possess a large share of the wealth and influence of this community, and if they will only exert their power promptly, and perseveringly, they will enjoy the unspeakable satisfaction of having been instrumental in founding a free and Christian Republic out of persons who, had it not been for this scheme, would have lived and died in slavery, or in a state of abject degradation in society, very little better than slavery. And while they enjoy the high gratification on account of what they may see accomplished, hope will paint in the future prospect scenes still more brightthe regeneration and civilization of a whole continent which has hitherto remained in the thickest darkness.
The Society would also inform their friends that there are other objects of great and urgent importance for which funds are needed. It is exceedingly desirable, and indeed indispensable to the prosperity of the Colony, that frequent and regular intercourse should be maintained between the Managers and their Agent to whom the Government of the Colony is committed; but such intercourse cannot be kept up without the possession of a good substantial ship. And the possession of such a vessel is also necessary to carry out such stores as the condition of the Colony requires, and to bring back such articles of commerce as that country affords ; by which interchange of commodities great benefit will accrue to the Colony and to the funds of the Society. It is generally known that the Saluda, which performed several voyages successfully, and with much advantage to all