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other colonies must be established. I therefore, Sir, offer the following res solution.
Resolved, that the Board of Managers be directed to ascertain in the course of the ensuing year, if possible, the practicability of obtaining territory, for colonial settlements at Cape Palmas, and the Island of Bulama, on the S. W. Coast of Africa.
An inspection of the maps of Africa, will satisfy you, Mr. Chairman, of the importance of these two points, with reference to the future operations of the Society: and their commercial advantages being great, an early altempt to secure them, may perhaps prevent their falling into other hands, and enable the Society to use them, when the time shall have arrived, at which they may be used with advantage. That we are advancing prosperously at present, should not satisfy us. The spot on which we have founded our Colony was admirably selected; and so long as emigration con. tinued in its present limited state, that spot would be sufficient for all our wants. The time however will arrive, when the five hundred emigrants, who sailed for Liberia, in the course of the last year, will have increased to thrice as many thousand; and more places than one must be provided, at which their landing may be effected, at which that sickness must be undergone, which is the lot of all strangers, of all colours, in Africa. The great cities of our sea-board would, and do, without inconvenience, receive an annual emigration of many thousand each; because, in a few days, every emigrant obtains employment, and from the moment that he sets his foot upon our shore, is able to support himself and family. But in Africa, the eraigrants to its cities must remain, sometimes for weeks, in the hospital, and months must elapse before they can perform the labour to which they have been previously accustomed. This, therefore, makes a very serious difference between our seaports and those of Africa, with regard to the number of emigrants, which they would respectively be able to receive and support, and it is not a fair argument to say, that because Boston or Baltimore might receive twenty thousand emigrants, without inconvenience, that Monrovia, with an equal population, could do the same. Looking forward, therefore, to the time, which is most confidently anticipated by us all, when the annual emigration from this country shall amount to twenty-five or thirty thousand, and anxious to provide for its reception in Africa, I have moved the resolution which has been read.
this number annually may be soon accomplished. But experience has shown, that the number of emancipated slaves will bear a large proportion to the free persons who are removed; and this fact leads us to look forward to the time, when the gradual emancipation of the slaves will make them as much the objects of the Society's labours as are the free people at pre'sent: and regarding the Society, therefore, as the instrument for removing, with the consent of all part'es, ultimately, the whole coloured population of the United States, the increase of the whole, and not of a part, has been assumed.
Cape Palmas is that part of Africa where the coast, after pursuing e course due East and West from the Bight of Biafra, bends off in nearly a North-West direction, and passing by Liberia, continues in an almost unine terrupted line to Cape Roxo. The Island of Bulama, in the mouth of the Rio Grande, is near the other extremity of the South-West Coast, within a short run from the Cape de Verds, and one of the points of the coast most easily made by vessels sailing from this country.
By possessing Cape Palmas, we would hold the commercial key of all the South Coast of Africa, and the countries immediately in the interior, down as far East as the Bight of Biafra; and a Colony there, would in a few years become a great depot for all the articles of foreign produce and manufacture, which would be required by inhabitants of the nations Eastward of the settlement. This will be the effect of a physical cause, which is certain and unchanging in its operations. The trade winds, pursuing the general outline of the African coast, render a return Northward from beyond Cape Palmas, along the coast, extremely difficult at all seasons of the year, and more particularly so in the rainy season, when the difficulty of taking observations and the numerous and yarying currents prevent vessels from knowing their exact situation, and expose them to the constant danger of shipwreck. From Cape Palmas, or any point to the Northward, it is comparatively easy to return to the Cape de Verds, and so home, at all times: but Cape Palmas once passed, the danger and difficulty commenced, and a disastrous shipwreck or a shattered and ruined vessel is too often the consequence of a return voyage from a point beyond it. Were a settlement måde at Cape Palmas, it would, like Monrovia, soon become the resort of the surrounding nations; and merchants would prefer leaving their goods at such a market, than running the risks of proceeding further Eastward, even with the hopes of enhanced profits. Paths would first be made, highways would take their place, until the uncivilized nations of the Ivory Coast and Gold Coast, passing by the feeble settlements of Cape Coast and d'Elmina, would resort to meet civilization at the nearest point of safe approach, the Americo-African City at Cape Palmas. A great and prosperous trade would be the consequence; and the facilities of gain would soon fill the new settlement with industrious inhabitants. Besides the commercial advantages of Cape Palmas, its road and anchorage are said to be the best between Montserado and the Voltu; and the surrounding country is rolling and fertile, intersected with numerous small streams, fit for the erection of mills. Being the Southern extremity of the South-West Coast, it will form also a natural boundary to that Empire, which we all hope will one day arise in Africa.
The other position is the Island of Bulama. This Island is seventeen miles long and nine wide, rising gently from the shore to a considerable elevation in the centre. The harbour is one of the best on the whole line of African coast, and the great rise of the tide offers every facility for the
erection of mills. The fogs are less heavy than further down the coast, and the rainy season is a month shorter than at Cape Montserado. In 1793 it was taken possession of, by a company of English merchants; but the dissolute character of many of the settlers, and their want of common care of their health, produced a sickness which caused the ultimate abandonment of the Island. Since that time it has remained unoccupied, and unclaimed by any civilized power. The Rio Grande, in which it is situated, runs through the richest and most fertile part of Africa. The country visited and described by Park, lies upon its waters; the sources of the Senegal and the Gambia are within a few days' journey of its head; as are also the head waters of the St. Paul's, on which we already have a settlement. Besides this, the mysterious river of Africa, whose very existence was so long a matter of doubt, and whose mouth has hitherto defied search, and baffled curiosity, is known to flow not far distant from the sources of the Rio Grande, and would pour its own wealth, and that of its tributaries, through this last channel, if we possessed a settlement upon it. Vessels sailing from America always make the Cape de Verds, and from thence, Cape Roxo; then, gaining a sufficient offing, they bear up for Liberia. A settlement therefore at Bulama would materially lessen the length and difficulty of the voyage to our African colonies; and from the greater similarity of its climate to the climate of the United States, would be the best spot for those emigrants, who, coming from North of the Potomac, are less able to bear the heats and fogs of an African atmosphere, than their Southern brethren. Between Bulama and Liberia, is the colony of Sierra Leone, which the utter impossibility of sustaining, unless at a great expense of life, will ultimately cause the British to abandon_and which, even if it is not abandoned, must become a part of the Americo-African nation, as the increasing settlements of Liberia and Bulama enclose and embrace it. Once firmly fixed on the waters of the Rio Grande, we may deem ourselves in possession of those of the Senegal and the Gambia; having dependant on our trade the nations near the head of the Niger; and, if the supposition as to the course of the St. Paul's be correct, enjoying an easy inland water communication with the present capital of our possessions. From the Senegal to Cape Palmas will then be our own; and we have only to cast our eyes upon the map to see the admirable frontier, which will be thus formed for our possessions,-a frontier including the mouths of the rivers Gambia, Rio Grande, Nunes, and Pongos, Sierra Leone, Cape Mount, Liberia, and last and among the most important, the Kroo nation, the native seamen of Africa,-a frontier easy of access from this country, and affording in its rivers, roadsteds, and harbors, facilities for the most extensive commerce. · It may be said that a jealousy of the advantages at which we are grasping, and which, if we proceed, we will obtain, will cause the interference of other nations: and that the Senegal, the Gambia, the Rio Grande, and Cape Palmas, will be previously occupied, or wrested from our hands:
that other settlements than those of the free blacks of America, other flags than the stripes, and cross of the Colonization Society, will wavę upon this coast. Sir, where is the flag of Portugal, the flag of France, the flag of Holland? Sir, these flags, if they wave at all, wave over a few, tottering ruins,-the mouldering tomb-stones of the soldiers, who landed and settled beneath these banners, and who found their graves ready yawning to receive them, in the first moments of their arrival. Where is even the flag of England? It waves still at Sierra Leone; but that Colony is one great lazar-house for the Europeans who visit it. Yet Portugal, and France, and Holland, and England, started in the race with high hopes, and appeared determined on success. Nature, however, was opposed to them. Their population sunk before the climate of Africa; and the consequence was, that the settlements were soon abandoned, or weakly and unprofitably, and, I may say, cruelly, maintained. This can never be the case with our emigrants and our settlements. Had the climate of America been to the pilgrims, as that of Africa is to the French or Portuguese, or to the white man, no matter what his nation or country, America never would have been settled. We, Sir, are about to pour forth, from America to Africa, pilgrims, to whom the climate is as genial as was that of New England to our forefathers:-Pilgrims too, urged on their way by motives more strong, by far, than those, which brought our ancestors to America. Those who will be our settlers in Africa are returning to their fathers' homes; and believe me, Sir, the puny and sickly colonies, which the jealousy of any nation under the sun may establish in Africa, will never be able to compete with, or to stand before the healthy and vigorous population, which will be transplanted from our shores. The white man must become tired of filing the vacancy, which death makes among his fellows; and the deed of Colonizing Africa will fall, where Heaven has appointed it to fall, on the free coloured people of America. Talk not then of any European nations holding the mouths of the rivers emptying round the great Cape of Western Africa;give us but the possession of a communication with their head waters, by means of a settlement on the Rio Grande, and the elastic pressure of our coloured population will ultimately exclude all other people. This advantage, Sir, consisting in the physical constitution of our emigrants, is one, which will enable us to carry into effect any operation in Africa, which the Society may deem fit to commence.
It may be said, that the present motion is premature, and that the time has not yet arrived for making settlements at the places which I have mentioned. But that the purchase of territory, the erection of buildings, and the gradual increase of the population, are things which have retarded the settlement of Monrovia for the last six years, during which time its population has only reached twelve hundred. Although our experience may enable us to make the settlements proposed in a shorter time, and in a safer manner, by taking the first settlers from among the already acclimated co
Yonists; yet many years must elapse, before they can attain the size of Mon. rovia. Had we three such settlements as this last, we might send to them in the course of the present year, fifteen hundred emigrants. But, as it is, had we millions, it would be the height of madness, to send a number sufficient even to double the population of our only settlement. The number of emigrants must depend upon the capacity to receive; and this again is dependent upon the quantity of vacant land in the neighbourhood of, and the means of employment within the Colony. It is the true policy of the Society to increase its settlements slowly. The number of property holders, and those interested in the preservation of order, should always ex. ceed the number of new emigrants, who being usually destitute of property, or means of support, may be easily persuaded, or forced, into any measures, which may supply their present wants, or gratify their momentary excitement. Several years must elapse, before Monrovia can receive more than one thousand emigrants annually.-Perhaps if emigration were entirely suspended for a year, it would be the better for the Colony. Many years must elapse before the new settlements, if made, will be able to receive and support as many as we now send to Monrovia. It is not our policy to press Colonization. If we load our settlements, we will remove more free blacks for the moment, to Africa; but we will create discontent, and may materially retard, if not prevent subsequent emigration. The more numerous then are our settlements, the greater will be the number of emigrants that can be removed, -the greater will be the capacity to receive them in Africa; and, more markets for intercourse with fertile districts being opened, the greater will be the commerce with the country, and consequently the greater the facilities of transportation. The communication now established between the Colony, and its dependencies at St. John's, Bassa and Sesters, is maintained alto ether by water, and so it may be with the proposed settlements: therefore the difficulty of communication, or the remoteness of the points cannot well be urged as an objection.
So far from the present time being premature for negotiations with the natives, for the purchase of territory on which to establish Colonies, it would seem that none could be more propitious. The British government has nearly succeeded in destroying the slave trade between the Gambia and Cape Mount, and between Cape Palmas and the line. The natives therefore, feel the loss of the market which they have heretofore had for their slaves; being now compelled to carry them across the desert to Tripoli, or Southward as far as Congo; thus increasing the horrors of that, which has ever been so dreadful. The slave trade, therefore, is fast becoming unprofitable:—when it is quite so, it must cease; and this time, when its gains are so doubtful, appears most fit to establish Colonies, where the natives of the coast where it has been hitherto carried on, may obtain the products of civi. lized coinmunities, in return for the lawful articles of commerce, the, produce of their soil.