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has been mismanagement here, too, in the government and superintendence of the Colony. There is, however, as much morality existing here as I expected to find; and the statements in this respect, made in your hearing by Messrs. Williams and Roberts, I find to be true. Yet there is much, very much to be effected here, before a "light to enlighten the Gentiles” goes forth from this Colony. The place is becoming more healthy every year, and I doubt not will continue so to do, as the place becomes cleared. For further information I must refer you to letters to other individuals, and to communications I may hereafter make. Love to all your family. Let me share in your prayers.
8. O. WRIGHT.
Letter from Rev. Mr. Spalding.
MONROVIA, JANUARY 11, 1834. DEAR BROTHER: I cannot doubt that our friends and the friends of missions in America, are by this time, anxiously waiting to hear from us, and to learn that their prayers have been answered in our preservation hitherto.
We are in Africa, and all in fine health and spirits. We cast anchor in Monrovia bay on the afternoon of the last day of December, and landed on the 1st day of January, between ten and eleven o'clock, A. M., so as to commence our labours with the new year. We had a very pleasant passage, although protracted by contrary winds and calms to fiftyfive days. It was so pleasant that we were able to be on deck some part of every day of the passage. All were well, both passengers and emigrants, except the very slight indisposition of a few. Our company was very agreeable, and we felt that it was “pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity.” The kind assiduities of Captain Knapp in every attention that he could bestow, endeared him to our hearts, and drew forth many prayers for his happiness and salvation.
Nothing occurred worthy of note during the passage but what is peculiar to most voyages of the kind; and as in the midst of many pressing cares, I find but little time to write, I shall be excused in confining myself to what will be of more general interest to the Board. The first land that we discovered after we left America, was Grand Cape Mount, a sketch of which I took at the time with a pencil, and herein forward you. We first saw it on the morning of the December, before daylight, in the midst of a most terrific thunder storm, when by the glare of the lightning's flash, its majestic summit could be seen proudly rising above the horizon, at the distance of about ten or twelve miles. It is a noble elevation of about a thousand feet above the level of the sea, and doubtless might easily be made a most healthful situation. I am heartily glad that the New York City Colonization Society have fixed upon this place as the foundation of their Colony. It will seem as another bulwark against those fiendlike prowlers after human flesh and blood, and will afford increasing facilities for civilizing and Christianizing the interior tribes.
We were received kindly by our brethren and friends in the Colony, who had been long expecting us, even ever since the death of brother Cox.
When we arrived, we found much to be done, and more than enough to occupy all of our time. The mission house is much decayed, but we are able to occupy it at present; however, it must be very thoroughly repaired soon, or we shall not be able possibly to live in it during the rainy season. It occupies a pleasant situation, although not so airy a one as some parts of the town.
On the first Sabbath after our arrival, our Presbyterian brethren worshipped with us in the Methodist church, as they have no house of worship in the town. In the morning I addressed a very serious and attentive congregation, as much so as we ever saw in America. At the close of the public service, we administered the Lord's Supper. It was to us a most extremely interesting season, circuinstanced as we were in a heathen land, far from home and friends: to meet with a few of the friends of Jesus, and to be permitted to commemorate with them and others, circumstanced as ourselves, the death and sufferings of our common Lord, was indeed refreshing to our souls. It was to me one of the most interesting circumstances of my life. None are prepared fully to appreciate our feelings but those who are or have been similarly situated. On the Wednesday evening following, the principal members of the Church in Monrovia, met at the mission house, by request, and formed themselves into a Sunday School Society, entitled “The Monrovia Sunday School Society, auxiliary to the Sunday School Union of the Methodist E. Church in America.” We were happily disappointed in seeing our brethren so much interested in this important institution of the Church. It is but just to say that our brethren here have paid some attention to Sunday schools; but they never had a regular organization, and the school had been for some time discontinued. On the Thursday evening following, we held a quarterly conference, in which we learned, to our sorrow, that the Church was in a very languishing state. The classes are poorly attended, and the brethren seemed to have, in a great measure, given up with their missionary, although there were many who
still prayed for the peace of Jerusalem, and whose languid hopes revived on our arrival. Friday, the 10th, was the day we had appointed for the sitting of the conference. All the members were present, I believe, thirteen in number. The conference sat two days very harmoniously, and transacted some business of great importance to the Church and Colony, and one act of not the least importance was the formation of a Conference Pemperance Society, and a resolution binding the members to use their influence to procure the for. mation of temperance societies in every settlement in the Colony. Most of our leading members are convinced of the evil of using and trafficking in ardent spirits; yet they seem at present to see a necessity in the latter, which they hope will soon cease to exist. But while I am so near this subject, I will just say, that although we have been in the Colony almost two weeks, and have been about in town every day since we arrived, yet I have not seen a person in the least intoxicated. The conference passed several important resolutions, which, as they will doubtless be communicated to you officially, I need not here mention. The conference had not been named; it therefore took the name of the “Liberia Annual Conference.”
As the Methodist chapel in this town is quite too small, and much decayed, the brethren resolved in quarterly conference to make an effort to build a more commodious church; and subscriptions are being opened to raise as much as possible among the Colonists; and what they cannot do, I design to advance, to assist them. They should be assisted in building a house of worship.
We designed to visit Grand Bassą, before we are sick, but this I fear we shall not be able to accomplish; as, if we go, which we can do, it is quite uncertain when we can return; therefore our physician advises us not to go. I have employed a coloured man to go down and labour for the present, until brother Wright, who will take charge of that station, shall be able to enter upon his labours. Brother Liggins, who was appointed to that place by brother Cox, has been called to his reward, as was also brother Francis Devany, of this town. You are aware that brother. Cox contracted for the building of a house at Bassa. This was commenced, and a small amount advanced upon it; but upon brother C.'s death it was suspended, as the contractor was unable to proceed upon credit, and labourers would not work without being certain of compensation. I have directed the builder to resume his labours, and to put up and finish the house as soon as possible. I purchased glass in Norfolk, which is forthcoming, and nails, which are here. But all mechanical operations here are exceedingly tardy, as timber is very difficult to be obtained. I regret that it was not in our power to bring out some with us, but this we could not do; however, I think something will soon be done toward putting a saw-mill into operation. I regret too that it has not been possible for either of us to visit the other settlements before our seasoning sickness, but this we could not do. Our time has been too laboriously employed since our arrival in getting our families settled, and in attending to the affairs of the Church, and settling unsettled business, which last is not a little. It appears that brother Cox brought out but little money, designing probably to depend upon drafts and credit, the consequence of which is, there are very many small bills coming in for goods, provisions, services, &c. It cost him without doubt twice or thrice as much as it would had he boarded out; but he did what he evidently thought was best, as he was every week expecting us out, and was sometimes almost impatient of our delay. Many things were purchased for his own and our use, which, after his death, were sold at public auction.Previously to his death, he directed that certain articles of his own should be returned to America, and others sold on sixty days' credit, among which the other articles above alluded to were included indiscriminately. Although the goods met with a ready sale, yet it is almost impossible to collect any of the money. The man with whom the business was left, has succeeded in collecting $5 only, and I have to-day collected a note of $8 20. It is easy to contract debts, but hard to collect them in this place, with few exceptions.It is to be hoped that it will not always be thus; however, this is even better, or as good at least as could reasonably be expected of a community made up of such materials as compose this Colony.
I feel anxious that something should be done, as speedily as possible, at Grand Cape Mount. There have been hostilities threatened between the slaves occupying the Cape and its vicinity and their masters, but we learn that the differences are now settled for the present; so that it would be safe, and very easy, to establish a mission and schools among them. They are said to be very intelligent, and to manifest a great thirst for knowledge. This being the case, it seems important that an intelligent coloured man be sent them, and a house erected, and a school established, with the least possible delay, anticipating, at the same time, the establishment of the New York Colony.
MARCH 1.-Dear Brethren, I resume my pen to close this communication. Since writing the above, I have felt the pains and anguish of an African fever. This is the twenty-first day since I have been confined to my bed, being able now to sit up but a few minutes at a time. None can form but a faint conception of the miasmal fever of this country unless they have experienced its horrors. I have been more violently attacked than any other one of either family; but by the mercy of a gracious God, I am yet alive; although it is my painful duty to inform you that one of our number has fallen, Sister
Wright is dead! She left us on the morning of the 4th ultimo, at about two o'clock. She had not the exercise of her reason when she died, so we could not know the state of her mind; but we have no doubt she is in heaven, while we are left to suffer yet longer on earth.
The ways of God are mysterious and past finding out; but may we ever be found in the path of duty, ready for our change whenever it shall come. Then death will be gain. I do not know that we could have expected less than the death of one of our number.But we did expect more. May we be disappointed in regard to this? Probably the work of death is not yet completed among us; however, we have no fears upon the subjeet. We are in the hands of a just and merciful God, who will do what is best with us.
We have some money, but we must have more men. We must have teachers, or we cannot establish schools to any desirable extent. I am so circumstanced that I cannot take charge of a school. Brother Wright will be able to, when he goes down to Bassa.Mrs. Spaulding will be able to devote but a part of her time to that work. Miss Farring. ton, I fear, will render the mission but little if any service, as her health is very precărious. We want to establish a manual labour school immediately, and we only want for teachers. I think it far better to secure something on the coast in ihe settlements, and then make our way into the interior as fast as possible, rather than extend our labours and se. cure nothing
R. SPAULDING, To the Rer. Fitch Reed.
MONROVIA, MARCH 5, 1834. Dear Sister and Rev. Brother: The Lord has brought us safely across the living wąters, and has showed us kindness in a land of strangers. But he has seen fit to take one of our number to himself, whose loss we greatly lainent. Our much-loved sister Wright is no more, while those less worthy to live are spared. We have all had the fever, and some of us have been dangerously sick, but we are now recovering. I have had three attacks, the two last of which were very severe. During the second, hope nearly failed; and before the fever turned, during the third, pain became so exquisite, and medicine had so little effect, most all despaired of my life. The doctor thought mortification was about taking place in my stomach, and left me without medicine. A few hours after, all the symptoms turned favourably, and the fever left me; since which I have been recovering rapidly. Probably the second attack was occasioned by being moved into a damp room, and the third by being removed ffom one part of the town into another. The doctor has said it was not possible for my constitution to endure the climate, and advised the missionaries to send me home, which they resolved to do, saying they did not know that the Board would keep me here longer. But I have absolutely refused to go. Though to be cut off by the Board would be somewhat trying, as it would seem like being turned from my father's house; yet should they do it, I resolve to trust. I laid my life on the altar on leaving America, and I am willing that it should remain there. The band which led me to New England, and froin there here, will sever the silver cord at the most proper time; and till then death can have no power.
Should burning beams of noon conspire
Should vapourş with inalignant breath,
Grows pure, if Israel's Cod be there. When the children of Israel found themselves enclosed on every side, and the Egyp. tians pursuing them, it was nct wişdom to wish themselves back into Egypt, as they knew the Lord had brought them there. Then was the time to prove the power of faith. Surely the Christian need not be disheartened at seeming impossibilities, when those that were really such (with man) have been encountered by Omnipotence. I see no reason why he should act cowardly, or basely retreat from the field of action, because he has looked at danger. I suppose our grand foe would be glad to drive all from the missionary field, especially in a place like this, where he is worshipped by a whole nation.*
* Doubtless yau are aware that the natives have stated times to assemble in what they call the Devil's Bush, to carry their offerings, and pay homage to the Devil, or, as they assert, to appease his anger, and make him their friend. They have a select man, whose office it is to feed the Devil. He carries a bowl of palaver sauce (a great dish among them, prepared with rice and palm oil, and a certain leaf with which it is seasoned) every evening. In the morning the bowl is found empty, and the people made to believe the Devil has eaten it.
I see work here for thousands, and wonder that from the vast number of Christians in America no more are found here. Of a truth the harvest is great, but the labourers are few. Millions are waiting for the word of life, many of whom ask for instruction in the "white man's book.” The natives in the different towns on the coast are, most of them, anxious to be instructed in our language, and hesitate not to say, “We countrymen be fools, but America man know every thing."
My heart has melted sometimes, during the fever, to see the little native boys come round the bed to be taught the alphabet. About one hundred miles in the interior, is a town of four or five thousand inhabitants, in the dominion of King Boson, who has put himself under the protection of the colony, and requested that his people might be educated, saying, he will do all he can to encourage a school in the town, if white men will go there and establish one. The climate is very healthy there, and the country far more pleasant than here, interspersed with mountains and valleys, with running brooks and larger streams, and numerous springs of cool fresh water, all of which are seldom seen here. When people come from there here, they take the fever, the same as we do from America. The man with whom I board has a son here who spent twelve months there. The natives were perfectly kind to him. This king wrote, a few weeks since, that if the Colony would pay hiin a trifling sum, he would open the trade for them with a tribe far beyond him, which they design to do. I hope the time is not far distant, when these people will be favoured with missionary exertions among them. I suppose there are dif. ficulties in the way at present; but I should think that power which assisted the Jews when they fought with one hand and laboured with the other, and enabled David to meet the Philistine, or Joshua to stay the sun, would be exerted in behalf of those who would venture to labour there. I am praying for the Lord to send help, but it may be for the want of a better understanding. I have missed some of the privileges of America since I have been here, but have never had one thought of regret that I came, and have never · felt more contented and happy in any place. I love my friends that I have left behind, but I love the cause of Christ better. My soul seems fastened as closely to the mission as my spirit does to this clayey tenement. I have suffered but a little inconvenience, save for the want of a faithful nurse and a comfortable bed. I made preparations to bring a bed, but the board of missions at Boston prevented me, saying one would be provided; but the people in the colony can provide board, but not beds. I have had but à blanket for a pillow some of the time, and no outside covering for the bed, and a very uncomfor: table bed during the fever; yet such inconveniences are but trifling. I find nothing in the least discouraging
I will send you a view of Cape Mount drawn with a pencil-have not time to paint it. I wrote below before I concluded to send it.
Our passage from Norfolk here was somewhat lengthy, but pleasant. I was sea sick all the way, but I did not give up to it at all. I stood on deck most of the time, and felt that angels' wings brooded over me, and the shadow of Omnipotence protected me. The captain was surpassingly kind and polite; he spared no pains to make our passage comfortable and pleasant. May the Lord reward him with the salvation of his soul." I drew a view of Cape Mount, as we saw it, for brother Wright, and one of Cape Mesurado, where we lay at anchor, which I designed to send you, but have not been well enough to paint them. I will send you a sheet written in Arabic by a Mohammedan priest, and presented me. He could not interpret it. O how much these people want instruction by one who can speak the Arabic. I find it far more pleasant in the Colony than I expected, and the people more improved.
I have just heard from a campmeeting which commenced here the last Thursday in February, and continued seven days. I am informed there was perfect order, and no more disturbance during the whole than if they had been in church. Forty-five were down upon their knees, and upon the ground crying for mercy at the same time, and about sixty during the day. Every day some were down. Brother Fohnson judged there were about one hundred tents, of good size, and well filled. A number found peace; he did not ascertain how many; and the conviction of the others seemed permanent; but they failed for want of labourers. The people turned out so generally to the meeting, which was a few miles from this, that the man with whom I board, having made ready to go, went through the town here, and seeing how many were absent returned, saying it would not do to leave the town so vacant.
I want to see Almira, and learn that she is in the way to heaven. I hope you will write soon, and let me know if you have heard from Cazenovia, or any of my acquaintances, &c. Yours, &c.
Extracts from the Liberia Herald. . “Nothing disgusted us more among those children of nature, than their immoderate love of ardent spirits, and we never witnessed any thing like it before. African customs made it imperious upon the superintendent of the settlement, to fill the decanter when honored with the royal presence, or that of any man of note; and we never knew any motion made to leave the house, until the last drop had been drained from it; after which, the stirrup or parting cup had to be taken and his majesty.'s jug to be filled, to treat his wives and friends with, upon his return home that evening. This hard drinking, however, is almost exclusively confined to the great and noble of the land, as it would ill become a poor man to get drunk, as he would, if at home, be sure to commit some breach of the peace, and “catch a palaver,” which perhaps might cost him half his substance. I believe further, that it is unlawful for a poor man to get drunk, by himself, according to their law. But the kings and headmen, care not a fig for law or custom, and should a barrel of rum be placed in their hands, they would never see a sober moment till the whole was consumed. King Jo Harris said to me, one day after having performed his usual feast, concerning the decanter, laying his hand on an empty puncheon, “I savey; you man for gov. ernor, te!!, governor, him send one punch rum for dash we, (meaning kings) top, tell him send two punch, one for me King Jo Harris, me one, and tother for dash all country gentlemen.” They are literally crazy after rum, and no business or trade of importance can be discussed until the preliminaries are settled by a jug of rum being placed before the parties. When foreign rum cannot be obtained, they are in the habit of drinking large quantities of palm wine, which is produced from the palm tree, and is of a very in toxicating nature.
We find the following account of the interment of "King Tom Bassa, of little Bassa, à prince remarkable for his good sense, moderation and love of justice..
Two bullocks were slain, one placed at the head and the other at the foot of the grave, into which were also put two large chests of dry goods, in the same position, also one high post bedstead and mattress, a present from a slave; then the corpse dressed after civi. lized mode with a hat, two umbrellas and shoes, then a kettle of rice; two large pots of rice, one at the head and the other at the foot; two large looking glasses in the same position: coral beads, pipes, tobacco, mugs, decanters, wash hand-basins, swords, cutlasses and one hundred native mats, when a general fill up took place. Outside of the grave was placed a large slave pot to receive donations from the pious.” . "As soon as his death' was known, à general lamentation took place throughout the country; and, it is said, every absentee is obliged to perform this cry, no matter how many years elapsed before he returns to his country—it being viewed in the light of a religious duty. It must have been an affecting sight indeed, to see a whole nation bewailing the loss of their father king: but outward lamentations are mere forms, which all nations adopt on such occasions; and the Bassa people were shortly after seen indulging themselves in the firing of guns and drinking to excess, with the greatest nonchalance in the world, all too in honor of the deceased.”
The Herald has the following paragraph in relation to the religious tenents of the natives:
“We know but little of the religious belief of the Bassa nations. They seem to have a confused idea, of a good spirit, who made all things, but they appear to reverence far more an evil spirit or devil. They believe that in another world men will follow the same pursuits that they do in this. They believe in witchcraft and charms, and so highly are those manufactured by the Mandingoes prized, that'no money will tempt them to sell their principal gregrees. 'l'he Mandingoes, in order to increase the sale of their gregrees, do not hesitate to assure them that no charm can reach them while they wear them about their necks. One had the assurance to say to us, that his was powerful enough to shield him from the effects of a cannon ball, and it was under this belief, that in our first native war, the bravest of them would rush up to the cannon's mouth, though loaded, and foolishly embrace it. Before you enter any town, you can generally see some gregree hanging over the main path, and before their houses, but whether dedicated to good or evil spirits, we know not."
FOURTH OF JULY. We again invite the attention of the friends of Colonization to the essential importance of their using every effort to obtain liberal aid to the Society on the ensuing Fourth of July. The Reverend Clergy, especially, who have heretofore been so efficient on similar occasions, will, it is hoped, find additional incentives to their philanthropic zeal in the appeal published in the last number of the Repository.
The following article is subjoined from the Vermont Chronicle of May 30th: