Imagens da página


The Managers of the American Colonization Society have concluded that it would be satisfactory to their friends throughout the Union to see in a tabular view, the number of emigrants which have been shipped to their colony in Africa (over and above re-captured Africans) since its establishment; at what time, and from whence they were sent, and have therefore caused the following to be made and published in the African Repository.

In examining this table, it will be found, that during the years 1831-2-3, the Society sent to Liberia more emigrants than were shipped in the eleven previous years, which, it is hoped, will satisfactorily account for the large debt which the Society incurred, in con. pliance with the pressing applications which were made upon them by emigrants and their friends during those years..

Emigrants sent to Africa since the Commencement of the American Colonization Society.



[From the New-York Observer, September 13, 20, 27.]

1. If the Colonization Society should be permitled to die now, it might be thought guilty of the sins laid to its charge by Anti-Colonizationists, and thus an indelible stigma be fixed on the American character.

The Colonization Society has, for many years, been held up, in the view of the whole world, as one of the great benevolent institutions of this country. It has received the public approbation of our most distinguished men, both in church and state. Mr. Birney says, "by the multiplied resolutions of favoring legislatures, of ecclesiastical bodies, with their hundred conventions, assemblies, conferences and associations, it has so far exalted itself into the bigh places of public sentiment, as itself to constitute public sentiment.” The fact that it has purchased a 'territory and planted a colony on the coast of Africa, compels every writer of geography, and every historian of Africa and of America, to take note of its existence and of its doings; and the information is thus coinmunicated to every school-boy who studies geography or history in every part of the civilized world. There is no benevolent institution in the country so universally known, both at home and abroad, as the American Colonization Society.

Suppose now, in compliance with the advice in Mr. Birney's letter, the society should be abandoned. Men in other countries and other ages would of course, inquire, "Why was it suffered to die?” and how natural it would be for the enemies of the country to point to Mr. Birney's letter, and say, “See there! Public sentiment in tlie United States was so utterly depraved, that this course was rendered necessary, in order to prevent that professedly benevolent institution from becoming the handmaid of slavery, an obstruction to emancipation, an instrument of cruel oppression to the free blacks, and a hindrance to the spread of civilization and Christianity in Africa?Who that has a particle of patriotic feeling in his bosom would be willing that foreigners should be able to quote any American as authority for placing such a record on the page of history? " And is it possible that any intelligent man can believe that such a record would be true? We will not question the honesty of Mr. Birney, but we will say, if his acquaintance with the character of the American people is so limited, and so unfortunate, that he really holds such an opinion, we can assure him, for his consolation, that there are in this section of the country, thousands and tens of thousands of true-hearted Colonizationists, who are resolved to porir out their money and their prayers, until Liberia, with the blessing of God, is converted into a physical and a moral paradise; until her territory is every where studded with churches, school-houses, and all the institutions which can elevate and adorn the human character; until the coloured man is provided with every facility for the expansion of bis mind and soul, to the full limit of the faculties which God has given him; until Africa shall have her Jerusalem, her "Holy city,' to which her sons may return with songs of joy, from their long captivity in a foreign land, and from which, hereafter, they may go forth to publish the good news of salvation to all her heathen tribes. The Colonization Society must not die until all this is effe :ted.

2. Colonization is a powerful means of improving the character of men.

The people of this country are accustomed to think that colonization in America was the means of greatly improving the character of their ances. tors; and it would be difficult to point to any part of the world where new colonists are not, both intellectually and morally, superior to the people in the old country from whom they sprang. Especially is this the case where any pains have been taken to extend to the new settlement the means of moral and intellectual improvement. The Colony in New South Wales, composed to a great extent of the most degraded class of the British people, -of men and women condemned to transportation for their crimes-is now an industrious, moral, and flourishing community, and bids fair to becoine the nucleus of a great and respectable nation.

New colonies, from the nature of the case, are favorable to the improvement of the character. In old countries the feelings and habits and insti. tutions of men are fixed, and no change can be made without great difficulty. Abuses that bave been growing for centuries and that have become interwoven with the very structure of society cannot be easily eradicated. But young communities, like young plants and young children, can easily be trained to receive any impression you may wish to put upon them.

3. The evils complained of by the opposers of Colonization, may be remedied, without destroying either the Society or the Colony.

· Adait, for argument's sake, that there are colonizationists in the North who support the Society, not from any benevolent feeling, but merely from a wicked prejudice against the coloured people; admit that there are slaveholders in the South, whose attachment to Colonization arises solely from the wish to get rid of the free blacks, that they may hold their slaves in greater security; admit that there exist between the colonists and the natives in Liberia the same inequality and the same repulsive feeling as between the white man and the negro in this country; admit that the sale of rum and gun-powder in Liberia as an obstacle to the success of the missionary in converting the heathen. Did it never occur to the Anti-Colonizationists that these abuses all spring from avarice and sinful pride, and that these passions are "vincible?Did it never occur to them that these passions must be encountered and arercome before any plan for the emancipation and elevation of the colored people can be successfully executed?, Do they expect to persuade all the slaveholders in this country to give up their slave-property, and all white men to renounce their wicked prejus dices; and do they abandon the Colonization Society in utter despair, because some of its professed friends are still under the dominion of ava.. rice and prejudice? Are they looking for the time when all traffic in. ardent spirit shall come to an end in this country, and have they so mean an opinion of the capacity of the colored man for moral improvement that they see no prospect that it will ever terminate in Liberia? Do they think it easy for the white man in the United States to place himself in all respects on an equality with the negro, upon-whom he has been trampling in scorn and contempt for two centuries, and do they think it entirely impossible to convince men in Liberia of the same race and same color, that it is their duty to treat each other as brethren?

Why cannot Anti-Colonizationists see that the abuses of a benevolent institution may be remedied without destroying the institution itself? Why can they not see that so long as "a large inajority of those who support the institution, are by their own confession, men of stainless purity of motive," it is wiser to attempt the reformation of the few who are of a different character, than to make their faults a reason for advising the public to "divorce themselves from the institution in all its parts and all its measures."

4. If Colonization should be abandoned, many Christian slareholders,

who are abolitionists in principle, would be deprived of the power of emancipating their slaves.

The laws of most of the slave-holding states prohibit emancipation unless the slaves are removed from the state. We know it will be said, “These are wicked laws; they ought to be repealed; they will be repealed when a healthy public sentiment is created; and it is the duty of the Christian slaveholder to do all in his power to create a healthy public sentiment." This is very true, and the Colonizationist may admit it all in perfect consistency with his Colonization principles; but the difference between him and those who oppose bim is, that the Colonizationist is not willing to stop here. He is not willing to consider his work done, when he has finished his declamation on the duty of immediate emancipation. He is so sincere in his desire to see slaves immediately emancipated, that he is not willing to wait until a coinplete revolution is effected in the public sentiment of the country. He wishes to emancipate as many as he can now; and he wonders that any man, having the feelings of a man, can wish to deprive the Christian slave. holder of the only means (as the case may be) of conferring upon bis poor slaves the dearest of earthly blessings.

In advising his countrymen to abandon Colonization "in all its parts and in all its measures,” Mr. Birney has incurred a responsibility which we think few good men would be willing to assume. We see not how he can reply to the reproaches of the slaves, who, in consequence of his advice, may be kept in bondage. We see not how he can support his new pripciples against the arguments and the touching appeals which may be urged by the Christian slaveholder, whose plans of emancipating and elevating his slaves may be thwarted through his instrumentality. Let us imagine an interview between Mr. Birpey and such a Christian slaveholder; and as Mr. B. in his letter has chosen the form of a dialogue between himself and a heterodox Colonizationist, to illustrate the heartlessness of what he terms “Colonization principles,” he will excuse us for adopting the form of a dialogue between himself and an orthodox Colonizationist, to illustrate the cruelty of the Anti-Colonizationism which he now advocates

Christian Slaveholder. I am the owner, Mr. Birney, of fifty slaves, whose value in the market is about $10,000. By the laws of Carolina they are my property; but I am a Christian, and I feel the obligations of the command, "Do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you." I am resolved, therefore, to emancipate them, and as the laws of the State will not allow me to do it here, I am resolved to put them under the care of the Colonization Society, that they may be sent to Liberia.

Mr. Birney. Have you made them acquainted with the condition of Liberia, and are they willing to remove thither?

Christian Slaveholder. Yes. I have taken great pains to obtain correct information respecting the condition and prospects of the colony, and have frankly communicated the whole to the slaves. I have also made them acquainted with all the laws of this State which bear upon their condition, and with the laws and state of society in the free States at the North and West. I have assured them too that if they choose to remain with me, I shall endeavour to treat them, so long as they are under my control, with the kindness which the gospel requires; but they know that in case of death or misfortune they must pass into other hands, and that their chil. dren can have no security that their lot will be in any respect better than that of other slaves. After carefully considering the whole matter, they have, therefore, made up their minds to go to Liberia. The expense of their removal will be $1,500, and for this I must depend entirely on the Colonization Society; but our friends at the North will doubtless contribute this small sum, and thus secure the liberty and happiness of fifty of the poor men for whom they feel and are constantly expressing so much Christian sympathy.

Mr. Birney. You may be disappointed in the aid you expect from the North. The philanthropists of the North are beginning to take more enlarged views of their duty, in regard to slavery; and some of them have already abandoned the colonization scheme for the more sublime enterprise of 'imn:ediate and universal emancipation."

C. S. Surely, with thèse enlarged feelings, they will not hesitate a moment to give the trifle that is uecessary to secure immediate liberty to my fifty slaves!

Mr. B. There, I repeat it, you may be disappointed. The philanthropists of the new school aim only at universal emancipation. They will not give a cent to secure the emancipation of your fifty slaves, for that would be a partial and particular act, wbile their object is to abolish all slavery.

C. Ş. It is an axiom in geometry that the whole is made up of all its parts; if we can only contrive to get rid of the parts of slavery we may find in the end that we have got rid of the whole of it. It is an old maxim too, that if we cannot do what we would, we should at least do what we cap.

Mr. B. These, sir, are "colonization principles;” they belong to an age that has gone by; they are altogether too tame to satisfy the bold and upcompromising spirit of a true reformer. Slavery will never be abolished by men who hold such principles......

C. S. I am a practical man, Mr. Birney. I have thought of the subject of slavery chiefly in relation to personal duty, and particularly my own duty to my own slaves. With my colonization principles, I am an emancipationist; because I see clearly that emancipation with colonization will be a great practical blessing to my slaves, and in acting on these principles I see that I am sulfilling the great law of Christian love that I am treating them as I would that they in like circumstances should treat me. But if Ï abandon cilovizationism, what shall I do, for the law you know will not allow me to emancipate theni here.

Mr. B. Use your influence to procure a repeal of the law.

C. S. That I shall do whether I abandoy colonizationism or not. But it may be many years it may be half a century--before we can succeed in procuring the repeal of the law. Meanwhile, what am I to do with my slaves?

Mr. B. Why, if the law makes them bond-men, that you know is not your fault. You can quiet your conscience by a mental renunciation of the right of property.

C. S. Mental renunciation of the right of property! What practical benefit will such a renunciation coufer upon my slave? Will it save him from the penalties imposed by our slave code? Will it authorize me to teach him to read and write? If I am unfortunate in business, will it prevent him from being sold at auction to pay my debts? If I die, will it keep him from going to my heirs? Will not be and his children still be liable at every turn, to fall into the hands of a cruel master? Do you seriously think, Mr. Birney, that I could retain my slave, and satisfy my conscience with a mental renunciation of the right of property, if I knew that I had it in my power to place him in a country where he and his children would be free, and where all his interests would be under the guardian care of a benevolent society, composed of some of the best men in this country? Which course is the most consistent with the law of love that which you recommegd, or that adopted by the friends of colonization?

« AnteriorContinuar »