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For the satisfaction of those who would understand Liberian mind and character, the editor has subjoined, in an appendix, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, the Address of the Convention that formed the Constitution, the first Inaugural Address of its first President, and the last Annual Message of President Warner. The reader will readily perceive, in these documents, the results of much careful and successful study, but no servile imitation, of American State Papers of similar character. No candid man, after reading them, can doubt the capacity of colored men, with suitable training and experience, for the management of public affairs. The reader will notice with interest the difference in style, as the different occasions required, between President Warner's Address at the Annual Meeting and his Annual Message. That Address is printed from the author's elegant manuscript, with no correction except two or three evident slips of the pen. The others are reprints from Liberian printed copies.
There is also appended a list, complete so far as is known, of the names of all persons who have been authorized to act as chief magistrates in any of the colonies which now constitute the Republic of Liberia. Their dates have been given, so far as they could be ascertained. In the earlier stages of the enterprise, changes and vacancies from death, disease, and other causes, were frequent; communications were infrequent, and information, coming from agents worn down by sickness and labor, often imperfect and indefinite. Hence, appointments were sometimes made hypothetically, and the time of one
agent is partially or wholly included within that of another. Agents of the Government of the United States for the care of recaptured Africans had no authority, from that appointment, to act as agents of the Society, or magistrates of the Colony. Yet, by a mutual understanding, the agents of the Government and the Society appear to have performed each other's duties when necessary, and often the same person was appointed to both offices. The names of the Government's agents are therefore included in the list, but are distinguished by a different type. For similar reasons, the names of most of the physicians appointed and sent out in the earlier years of the Colony have been included.
And, finally, there is appended a table of emigrants settled in Liberia by the Society, with the year, month, and name of the vessel in which they sailed, and the State from which they emigrated. Were it desirable, this table might be enlarged, by giving the name, age, occupation, previous condition as bond or free, education, and religious profession, if any, of every emigrant; but the particulars given seem to be enough.
It will be observed that this table does not include Africans recaptured from slave-traders and sent to Liberia at the expense of the United States, though many of them were delivered into the care of the Society in American ports, and conveyed to Liberia in the Society's vessels.
In a work like this, a complete account, historical and statistical, of the Society and its Colony, could not be given. It is hoped, however, that the selection and treatment of topics is
such, that the careful and friendly reader will be able to understand and appreciate the general character of the enterprise in which the Society is engaged.
Thanks are due, and are cordially tendered, to the Hon. J. H. B. Latrobe, President of the Society, and to the Hon. G. Washington Warren, of the Board of Directors, for valuable suggestions and advice, and to William Coppinger, Esq., Corresponding and Recording Secretary, for facts ascertained by careful and laborious researches among ancient records and correspondence.