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ADDRESS ON BEHALF OF AFRICA.
'The past history of Africa presents a mysterious page in the book of Providence, and constitutes one of the most mournful and humiliating passages in the annals of mankind.
With the exception of a few favored spots, the seats of either ancient or modern civilization, nearly the whole of this vast continent, so far as we are acquainted with it, has been from time immemorial immersed in moral darkness, adapted only to exhibit scenes of the deepest human degradation and wo.
Successive ages have borne the elements of social improvement to almost every other considerable portion of the globe--but Africa, unhappy Africa, the cradle of ancient art and science, the depository of ancient grandeur, has made no onward progress; and although upon her northern and eastern frontiers, a by-gone civilization still lingers, yet her central, western, and southern districts appear to have ever remained in almost primeval barbarism, a monument of the ingratitude of those nations who first borrowed from Africa the rudiments of their own advancement.
In contemplating the desolation and misery of modern Africa, it were unjust to forget that Europe is herself a debtor to the ancient population of that now benighted Continent. Egypt first taught the use of letters ; first unveiled the mysteries of science; set the most successful examples of agriculture and commerce; and by imperishable menorials in architecture and design, “ the works of Memphian kings,” awakened the genius and the wonder of all succeeding generations. Nor can Christianity itself deny its obligations to a Continent which gave birth to the author of the earliest of the sacred oracles; which produced the Septuagint; listened to the voice of Evangelists; and in the primitive ages of the Church, gloried in the possession of many of its most illustrious martyrs, apologists, and fathers.
It were well if the imputation of ingratitude and neglect could alone he urged against civilized and Christian Europe. It were well if the horrors of Africa and the disgrace of Europe were all comprised in such a complaint. But Europe is charged with far other offences than these. She stands convicted, alas ! of an avarice mingled with a cruelty so insatiable, that having exterminated the natives of one hemisphere in the lawless pursuit of gain, she with a tiend-like rapacity sought for fresh victims in helpless Africa, dragging them across the Atlantic 10 share the same miserable fate, and adding to these enormities, at first the hypocrisy of benevolence, and, when that failed, the blasphemy of denying to men, created in the image of their Maker, the dignity and the rights of manlıood.
It is painful to remember that, in the perpetration of these atrocities, Great Britain once took a prominent part; and that, notwithstanding her sincere ihough late repentance, the mischief of her example still operates among other nations far less disposed to imitate the costly sacrifices she has since made towards the expiation of her guilt.
Great indeed, have been the eíforts of this country to redress the wrongs of Africa, from the period when first the venerable Clarkson among the people, and the sainted WILBERFORCE within the walls of Parliament, made the ears of all classes to tingle with the liorrors of the accursed traffic. Their struggle was long and arduous, but the day of victory at length arrived, and the British slave trade was blotted out forever from the list of national offences. Since that period Great Britain has never wanted hearts to feel, nor hands to labor, nor tongues to plead, both eloquently and well, on behalf of the enslaved and suffering sons of Africa. The recent emancipation of 800,000 slaves at a cost of £20,000,000 sterling, and indefati
gable, hut hitherto unsuccessful, exertions in connexion with other Great Powers, during upwards of thirty years, for the extinction of the foreign slave trade, exhibit specimens of national compunction and penitence such as no other age of the world can show, though still far from commensurate with the greatness of her guilt.
But merely compulsory methods have confessedly failed, and the slave traffic now rages with terrific and still increasing fury.
And is there, then, no method of staying the widespreading plague? This question has long engaged the attention of British philanthropists ; and, however much they differ about the means of applying the remedy, all appear to agree in the necessity of employing one of a strictly benevolent and pacific character; and no considerate person will, probably, deny that the wounds of Africa can never be effectually healed but by imparting to her children the blessings of Christianity and civilization.
If the spectacle of a vast Continent, once foremost in arts and sciences, but now thrown far behind in the march of civilization, excites no compassion for its future welfare-if the increasing horrors of a traffic which annually sweeps hundreds of thousands of unoffendling beings into slavery or eternity, and dooms the countries from whence they are torn to the terrors of perpetual alarm, entailing, moreover, the curse of endless barbarism, kindle no indignation, and provoke no effort for their delive. rance-if the sense of deepest national respnosibility, incurred by long participation in the guilt and the gains of the man-stealer, produce no coinpunction, and suggest no thoughts of ample reparation,-or if, on the other hand, the powerful influences of Christianity, combined with the heneticial influence of enlightened self-love, acting upon the resources of a Continent still teeming with inhabitants, endowed with incomparable fertility, and offering the richest rewards to free agricultural industry and legitimate commerce, justify no hopes, and afford no probable or allowable means of promoting the moral and social improvement of Africa,—then might it be feared that further arguments would be urged in vain. But past events have shown the fallacy of these hypotheses, and have proved the progressive interest felt, both in this country and upon the Continent of Europe, in plans like these for rendering justice to Africa. Nothing, therefore, remains but to commend them earnestly, though in no exclusive spirit, to the fervent prayers and the generous and persevering exertions of a philanthropic public, with a conviction that they still leave ample scope to the useful efforts of kindred societies, and with an unfailing confidence in the expansive power of Christian charity to furnish adequate funds for the encouragement and support of all suitable means for the advancement of this righteous cause.-Friend of Africa.
A SLAVER.—We learn by the ship Sarah-and-Arsalie, last from Pernam. hnco, that the British brig-of-war Acorn, on her voyage froin Plymouth to Rio Janeiro, fell in with the brig Gabriella under Portuguese colors, and, after a chase, in which the Gabriella carried away both her topmasts, boarded her and took off fifty-cight negroes, which were afterwards landed at Rio. The captain of the Gabriella jumped overboard when the crew of the Acorn boarded his vessel, and was lost.-Journal of Commerce.
Our readers will remember the difficulty which the Gabriella had to get her cargo on board, and leave the coast of Africa uncaught by the men-ofwar. They will also mark the difference between the number of slaves on board then, and now. Comment is unnecessary. The horrors of the slare trade can never be told.
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.
Vol. XVIII.] Washington, NOVEMBER 1, 1811.
FOR THE AFRICAN REPOSITORY. The following piece, in the hand-writing of a lady, now deceased, who has, with a good deal of justice, been called “the Hannah More of America," is the more worthy of publication, as she had probably prepared it not long before her last illness, and because it comes from a section of the country where the great mass are opposed to Colonization :
“ I mentioned, sir, in a former letter, that trade and commerce were some of the means of God's appointment to civilize and evangelize nations, for they not only carry the means of civilization from place to place, but · it carries the information with the means. I find in my conversations with free colored people about colonizing in Africa, or civilizing their own countrymen, that most of their prejudices grow up to their present formidable height, from ignorance of their country and the nature of the Colonization Society. I met with a colored man some few years since who went from New York as coachman to a gentleman and family who were visiting the South. The gentleman took sick and died, and his man left to look out for himself. He spent some years at the South, in different places, of all which he gave a good account, and also of his country: men both free and bond. At length he got sick, and when I saw him he was making his way back to New York as he could. I perceived him to be an understanding man, and asked him what he thought of the African Colonization Society. “I never heard of such a thing," was his reply. I then told him there was such a Society, and how and when it commenced, and what had been done, and how it had been put down by abolitionists calling it the " grave yard of Liberia.” He seemed in perfect extacy, that such provision had been made for the colored people. “Why,” says he, clasping his hands, “ if I could once set my foot on the land of my fathers, (for he was a free born American,) I would go, if I knew I should die the next hour. But I never heard of such a thing." This man, sir, must have had the means of knowledge as much as most free colored people; and those that I have conversed with from that time to this, are about as wise on the subject as this man was. If they ever heard of such a thing, it was in such black shades that they might as well not have heard at all, so far as any benefit could be derived. But they can, any of them; tell you the whole story of oppression, abolition, and the grave yard of Liberia.
“ The mechanic arts, is another very powerful instrument in the hand of Him who holdeth the ocean in its bounds, and directeth the storm. It may, sir, be a little out of your line of business to know how much labor and expense has been put in requisition to send the Bible into Arabia, all to little or no purpose. But you have seen, I suppose, that one of Colt's patent rifles, has brought an Arabian ship to our very doors to supplicate for help “I have,” says God, “created the smith that bloweth the coals and bringeth forth an instrument.” This very instrument, sir, has been the means made use of to carry the Word of Life, liberty and peace, to the Imaum of Muscat, (which probably it would have cost a man his life to have offered ten years ago,) and through him to that long lost people, whose hand for ages “ has been against every man's, and every man's hand against him ;' and not only the Word of Lise, but trade, commerce and the mechanic arts, all means of God's appointment to civilize and evangelize nations. Under such circumstances, let no one despair of Africa; but introduce through the Colonization Society our useful manufactured articles, and we shall soon see a polished and civilized nation. Neither agriculture, commerce, nor any business whatever in which man engages, can be carried on to any advantage, without great help from the mechanic arts. Experience has taught that lesson to this nation most fully, and we know in olden time, when one nation wished to oppress and destroy another, their first attempt was to remove the mechanic arts. Make it then your first business to supply the Colony with every necessary implement of husbandry, in exchange for the produce of their fields; keep a full supply in your warehouses. Their own fancy will furnish “ribbons, gloves and rings,” without our aid. Nothing should be wanting to encourage industry and usefulness, with temperance in all things. But what you will find most important is, see that every man, woman and child, has the Bible put into their hands as soon as they can read it. There they will find the only law and the only precepts, which ever have, or ever can govern mankind. Take this away, and the sword will soon be in full requisition, no matter what is the color of the skin or climate they inhabit.”
The above I take from a great mass of manuscript left by my deceased friend, on the origin, history, present condition and future prospects of the African race;
which she has advocated the plan of Colonization which the American Colonization Society are now endeavoring to carry out. She has evidently written much which has been published, but where, even her bosom friend does not know. With ample means of support, and although surrounded by a large circle of highly valued friends, yet she spent years in her study, writing for the benefit of persons in every walk of life, and especially for the poor down trodden African. Among her writings, which are evidently the most of them the first drafts of what she sent abroad, is found essays on politics, political economy, history, religion, schools, advice to young ministers, school teachers, &c., &c.
ANOTHER SEIZURE.—Letters were received in this city on Friday, from the American Consul at St. Helena, which stated that the brig Cipher late of this port, had been seized by the British on the coast of Africa. The Cipher left Salem in command of Capt. Dayley. She was sold Cabena, Africa, to the Portuguese, for the sum of $7,500, and on the 11th of July was taken possession of by the British brig Persiani on charges of being intended and fitted up for the slave trade. Suits were instituted and the brig was condemned to a Court of Admirality.-Salem Register.
INTERESTING FROM LIBÉRIA. The Hon. Saml. BENEDICT, the author of the communication from which the following extracts are taken, a man of color, resided in the State of Georgia, and emigrated to Liberia in July, in 1835, with an expedition sent out from Savannah by the New York Colonization Society. Since that time he has occupied stations of the first responsibility and honor in Monrovia; was a member of the Legislature which formed their civil constitution, and was also appointed Judge of the Superior Court. About the month of June last, Mr Benedict returned to the United States, partly on commercial business, and also to visit his native country. As his attention during the summer has been much occupied with his personal concerns, and I had little opportunity of private conversation with him, I requested him to furnish me in writing an impartial account of Liberia, with the present condition of our Colonies, and their future prospects. In compliance with this request, Mr BENEDICT, a few days previous to his departure, left the subjoined communication, which I now submit to the consideration of an enlightened benevolent public.
Cor. Sec. N. Y. Colonization Society. COLONIZATION Rooms, Oct. 12, 1841.
New YORK, Sept. 14th, 1841. REVEREND Doctor PROUDFIT :
Respected Sir,-In relation to the prospeet of the Colony of Liberia, as we had not sufficient time to converse fully on this subject, I now embrace a few moments to write, but presuming that you will give publicity to my statements, I write more fully than I intended at first, hoping it may have a salutary effect.
Sir, my candid opinion of this Colony is, that with proper management, it will become one of the first countries on the globe. I went there in 1835, under those impressions, and now after a lapse of more than six years, I feel more confirmed in my mind that Liberia with all the disadvantages which it must encounter, in common with other new settled countries, suits me best, and not only myself and family, but you would insult almost any Liberian in good standing in the community, if you only mention to them that they ought to return to live in the United States. No sir, the man of dignified feeling enjoying full liberty, with the concomitant advantages which we have in Liberia’ would spurn at the idea of returning to live in America, even if we were permitted to occupy some of your most splended mansions, together with the luxuries of your finest cities. With these considerations, we are thankful to our benefactors for procuring a country for us where we are men, and as for Liberia, I see not what is to hinder us from living there, for in that country which we can with propriety call our own, we enjoy all the blessing of life. The soil is generally good, producing almost everything that grows in tropical countries; rice is raised in abundance, and having latterly paid more attention to that object, we will in a few years be amply supplied ; our woods abound with deer and another game, our sea and rivers also abound with excellent fish ; we often stand in our streets or dwellings and see the whales spouting in the sea; mackerel are often caught in our harbor fully two feet in length; we have also abundant growth of the palm tree, the oil of which has contributed a fruitful part of the revenue of Great Britain and your own country; the lands are well timbered, some of which are as durable as any in the world, particularly so for ship building; we have abundance of rock and stone for building, and although we have not yet discovered stone for making lime,