The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States
by Martin R. Delany
Previous Part     1  2  3  4     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Robert Morris, Jr., Esq., attorney and counsellor at law, is a member of the Essex county bar in Boston. Mr. Morris has also had the commission of magistracy conferred upon him, by his excellency George N. Briggs, recent governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, a high honor and compliment to an Attorney; the commission usually being conferred on none but the oldest or most meritorious among the members of the bar. He also keeps the books of one of the wealthy rail road companies, a business almost entirely confined to lawyers in that city. Mr. Morris is a talented gentleman, and stands very high at the Boston bar. He sometimes holds the magistrate's court in Chelsea, where his family resides, and is very highly esteemed by the whole community of both cities, and has a fine practice.

Macon B. Allen, Esq., attorney and counsellor at law, is also a member of the Essex bar. He is spoken of as a gentleman of fine education.

Robert Douglass, Jr., for many years, has kept a study and gallery of painting and daguerreotype in the city of Philadelphia. Mr. Douglass is an excellent artist—being a fine portrait and landscape painter, which art he practised before the discovery of daguerreotype. He is also a good lithographer, a gentleman of fine educational attainments, very clever talents, and highly esteemed in that city. Mr. Douglass has been twice to the West Indies and Europe.

J. Presley Ball is the principal daguerreotypist of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Ball commenced the practice of his art about seven years ago, being then quite young, and inexperienced, as all young beginners are, laboring under many difficulties. He nevertheless, persevered, until he made a business, and established confidence in his skill; and now he does more business than any other artist in the profession in that city. His gallery, which is very large, finely skylighted, and handsomely furnished, is literally crowded from morning until evening with ladies, gentlemen, and children. He made some valuable improvements in the art, all for his own convenience. There is none more of a gentleman than J. Presley Ball. He has a brother, Mr. Thomas Ball, and a white gentleman to assist him. Few go to Cincinnati, without paying the daguerrean gallery of Mr. Ball, a visit.

The great organ of the "Liberty Party" in the United States, is now conducted by one who requires not a notice from such an obscure source—we mean Frederick Douglass, of Rochester, N.Y. His history is well known—it was written by more faithful hands than ours—it was written by himself. It stands enrolled on the reminiscences of Germany, and France, and in full length oil, in the academy of arts, and in bust of bronze or marble, in the museum of London. Mr. Douglass is also the sole owner of the printing establishment from which the paper is issued, and was promoted to this responsible position, by the power of his talents. He is a masterly letter writer, ably edits his paper, and as a speaker, and orator, let the scenes of a New York tabernacle, within two years, answer instead. Mr. Douglass is highly respected as a citizen and gentleman in Rochester.

In Syracuse, N.Y., resides George Boyer Vashon, Esq., A.M., a graduate of Oberlin Collegiate Institute, Attorney at Law, Member of the Syracuse Bar. Mr. Vashon, is a ripe scholar, an accomplished Essayist, and a chaste classic Poet; his style running very much in the strain of Byron's best efforts. He probably takes Byron as his model, and Childe Harold, as a sample, as in his youthful days, he was a fond admirer of GEORGE GORDON NOEL BYRON, always calling his whole name, when he named him. His Preceptor in Law, was the Honorable Walter, Judge Forward, late Controller, subsequently, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and recently Charge de Affaires to Denmark, now President of the Bench of the District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Vashon was admitted to the Bar of the city of New York, in the fall of 1847, to practise in all the Courts of the State. He immediately subsequently, sailed to the West Indies, from whence he returned in the fall of 1850. He has contributed considerably to a number of the respectable journals of the country.

Mrs. Ann Maria Johnson, of the School of Mrs. Tillman and Mrs. Johnson, Teachers in French Worsted Needle Work, at the Exhibition of the Mechanics' Institute in Chicago, Ill., 1846, took the First Prize, and got her Diploma, for the best embroidery in cloth. This was very flattering to those ladies, especially the Diplomast, considering the great odds they had to contend with. The ladies were very successful teachers—their classes were always large.

In Williamsburg there is T. Joiner White, M.D.; in Brooklyn Peter Ray, M.D.; and in the city of New York, also, John Degrass, M.D., all young Physicians, who have time and experience yet before them, and promise fair to be good and useful members of society.

Miss Eliza Greenfield the BLACK SWAN, is among the most extraordinary persons of the present century. Being raised in obscurity, inured to callings far beneath her propensity, and unsuited to her taste, she had a desire to cultivate her talents, but no one to encourage her. Whenever she made the effort, she was discouraged—perhaps ridiculed; and thus discouraged, she would shrink again from her anxious task. She knew she could sing, and knew she could sing unlike any body else; knew she sung better than any whom she had heard of the popular singers, but could not tell why others could not think with, and appreciate her. In this way it seems, she was thrown about for three years, never meeting with a person who could fully appreciate her talents; and we have it from her own lips, that not until after the arrival of Jenny Lind and Parodi in the country, was she aware of the high character of her own talents. She knew she possessed them, because they were inherent, inseparable with her being. She attended the Concerts of Mad'll. Jenny Lind, and Operas of Parodi, and at once saw the "secret of their success"—they possessed talents, that no other popular singers mastered.

She went home; her heart fluttered; she stole an opportunity when no one listened, to mock or gossip; let out her voice, when ecce! she found her strains four notes above Sweden's favored Nightingale; she descended when lo! she found her tones three notes below! she thanked God with a "still small voice"; and now, she ranks second in point of voice, to no vocalist in the world. Miss Greenfield, if she only be judicious and careful, may become yet, in point of popularity, what Miss Lind was. The Black Swan, is singing to fine fashionable houses, and bids fair to stand unrivalled in the world of Song.

Patrick Henry Reason, a gentleman of ability and fine artist, stands high as an Engraver in the city of New York. Mr. Reason has been in business for years, in that city, and has sent out to the world, many beautiful specimens of his skillful hand. He was the first artist, we believe in the United States, who produced a plate of that beautiful touching little picture, the Kneeling Slave; the first picture of which represented a handsome, innocent little girl upon her knees, with hands outstretched, leaving the manacles dangling before her, anxiously looking and wishfully asking, "Am I not a sister?" It was beautiful—sorrowfully beautiful. He has we understand, frequently done Government engraving. Mr. P.H. is a brother of Professor Charles L. Reason.

David Jones Peck, M.D., a graduate of Rush Medical College, a talented young gentleman, practised Medicine for two years in Philadelphia. He left there in 1850.

William H. Allen, Esq., A.B., successor to Professor C.L. Reason, is Professor of Languages in Centre College, at McGrawville, N.Y. Professor Allen, is a gentleman of fine education, a graduate of Oneida Institute, and educated himself entirely by his own industry, having the aid of but fifty dollars during the whole period. The Professor is a talented Lecturer on Ancient History, and much of a gentleman.

Martin H. Freeman, A.B., a young gentleman, graduate of Rutland College, in Vermont, is "Junior Professor," in Allegheny Institute, Allegheny county, Pa. The Professor is a gentleman of talents, and doing much good in his position.

Rev. Molliston Madison Clark, a gentleman of great talents, a noble speaker, educated at Jefferson College, Pa., sailed to Europe in 1846, and was a member of the Evangelical Alliance. Mr. Clark kept a regular Journal of his travels through the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Ireland. As well as a Greek and Latin, he is also a French and Spanish Linguist. He has all the eccentricity of Rowland Hill, manifested only in a very different manner.

William C. Nell, of Rochester, N.Y., formerly of Boston, has long been known as a gentleman of chaste and lofty sentiments, and a pure philanthropist. Mr. Nell, in company with Mr. Frederick Douglass, was present by invitation, and took his seat at table, at the celebration of Franklin's Birth Day, by the Typographical and Editorial corps of Rochester. In 1850, being again residing in Boston, he was nominated and ran for the Legislature of Massachusetts, by the Free Soil party of Essex county. Mr. Nell stood even with his party vote in the District.

He recently issued from the Boston press a Pamphlet, on the colored men who served in the wars of the United States of 1776, and 1812. This pamphlet is very useful as a book of reference on this subject, and Mr. Nell, of course does not aim at a full historical view. The circumstances under which it was got out, justify this belief. He was collecting materials in the winter of 1850-51, when he was taken down to his bed with a severe attack of disease of one of his lungs, with which he lingered, unable to leave his room for weeks. In the Spring, recovering somewhat his health, so as to go out—during this time, he had the little pamphlet published, as a means of pecuniary aid, promising another part to be forthcoming some subsequent period, which the writer hopes may soon be issued. Mr. Nell, is an excellent man, and deserves the patronage of the public.

Joseph G. Anderson, successor to Captain Frank Johnson, of Philadelphia, is now one of the most distinguished musicians in the country. Mr. Anderson is an artist professionally and practically, mastering various instruments, a composer of music, and a gentleman of fine accomplishments in other respects. His musical fame will grow with his age, which one day must place him in the front ranks of his profession, among the master in the world.

William Jackson, is among the leading musicians of New York city, and ranks among the most skillful violinists of America. This gentleman is a master of his favorite instrument, executing with ease the most difficult and critical composition. He is generally preferred in social and private parties, among the first families of the city, where the amateur and gentleman is more regarded than the mere services of the musician. Mr. Jackson is a teacher of music, and only requires a more favorable opportunity to vie with Ole Bull or Paganini.

Rev. Daniel A. Payne, commenced his literary career in Charleston, South Carolina, where he taught school for some time. In 1833 or 1834, he came North, placing himself in the Lutheran Theological Seminary, at Gettysburg, under the tutorage of the learned and distinguished Dr. Schmucker, where he finished his education as a Lutheran clergyman. To extend his usefulness, he joined the African Methodist Connexion, and for several years resided in Baltimore, where he taught an Academy for colored youth and maidens, gaining the respect and esteem of all who had the fortune to become acquainted with him. He is now engaged travelling and collecting information, for the publication of a history of one of the colored Methodist denominations in the United States. Mr. Payne is a pure and chaste poet, having published a small volume of his productions in 1850, under the title of "Pleasures and other Miscellaneous Poems, by Daniel A. Payne," issued from the press of Sherwood and Company, Baltimore, Maryland.

Rev. William T. Catto, a clergyman of fine talents, finished his education in the Theological Seminary in Charleston, South Carolina. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Charleston, and in 1848, under the best recommendations for piety, acquirements, and all the qualifications necessary to his high mission as a clergyman, was sent out as a missionary to preach the Gospel to all who needed it; but to make himself more useful, he joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church Connexion, and is now a useful and successful preacher in Philadelphia.

The musical profession of Philadelphia has long had a valuable votary in the person of William Appo, an accomplished pianist. Mr. Appo has been a teacher of the piano forte, for more than twenty years, alternately in the cities of New York and Philadelphia, and sometimes in Baltimore. His profession extends amongst the citizens generally, from the more moderate in circumstances, to the ladies and daughters of the most wealthy gentlemen in community. This gentleman is a fine scholar, and as well as music, teaches the French language successfully. His young daughter, Helen, a miss of fourteen years of age, inherits the musical talents of her father, and is now organist in the central Presbyterian Church. The name of William Appo, is generally known as a popular teacher of music, but few who are not personally acquainted with him, know that he is a colored gentleman.

Augustus Washington, an artist of fine taste and perception, is numbered among the most successful Daguerreotypists in Hartford, Connecticut. His establishment is said to be visited daily by large numbers of the citizens of all classes; and this gallery is perhaps, the only one in the country, that keeps a female attendant, and dressing-room for ladies. He recommends, in his cards, black dresses to be worn for sitting; and those who go unsuitably dressed, are supplied with drapery, and properly enrobed.

John Newton Templeton, A.M., for fifteen years an upright, active, and very useful citizen of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was a graduate of Athens College, in the State of Ohio. Mr. Templeton, after an active life of more than twenty years, principally spent in school teaching, died in Pittsburg, in July, 1851, leaving an amiable widow and infant son.

Thomas Paul, A.B., of Boston, a gentleman of fine talents and amiable disposition, whose life has been mainly devoted to teaching, is a graduate of Bowdoin College, in Maine. Mr. Paul is now the recipient of a salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year as teacher of a school in Boston.

Rev. Benjamin Franklin Templeton, pastor of St. Mary street Church, Philadelphia, was educated at Hanover College, near Madison, Indiana. In 1838, Mr. Templeton was ordained a minister of the Ripley Presbytery, in Ohio; subsequently, in 1841, established a church, the Sixth Presbyterian, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, from which place he was called, in 1844, to take charge of his present pastorate. Mr. Templeton is a beautiful speaker, and an amiable gentleman.[3]

John B. Russworm, a gentleman of splendid talents, graduated at Bowdoin College, many years ago. Mr. Russworm was a class-mate of Honorable John P. Hale, United States Senator, and after leaving College as his first public act, commenced the publication of a newspaper, for the elevation of colored Americans, called "Freedom's Journal." Subsequently to the publication of his paper, Mr. Russworm became interested in the Colonization scheme, then in its infancy, and went to Liberia; after which he went to Bassa Cove, of which place he was made governor, where he died in 1851.

Benjamin Coker, a colored Methodist clergyman, forty years ago, wrote and issued, in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, a pamphlet, setting forth in glowing terms, the evils of American slavery, and the wrongs inflicted on the colored race. Rev. Daniel A. Payne, a talented clergyman, mentioned in this work, has now in his possession a copy of the pamphlet, and informs us, that the whole ground assumed by the modern abolitionists, was taken and reviewed in this pamphlet, by Daniel Coker. We may reasonably infer, that the ideas of Anti-Slavery, as taught by the friends of the black race at the present day, were borrowed from Mr. Coker; though, perhaps, policy forbade due credit to the proper source. Coker, like Russworm, became interested in the cause of African Colonization, and went to Africa; where he subsequently became an extensive coast trader, having several vessels, one of which he commanded in person, taking up his residence on the island of Sherbro, where he is said to have lived in great splendor. He died in 1845 or 1846, at an advanced age, leaving a family of sons and daughters.

Henry Bibb, an eloquent speaker, for several years, was the principal traveling lecturer for the Liberty Party of Michigan. Mr. Bibb, with equal advantages, would equal many of those who fill high places in the country, and now assume superiority over him and his kindred. He fled an exile from the United States, in 1850, to Canada, to escape the terrible consequences of the Republican Fugitive Slave Law, which threatened him with a total destruction of liberty. Mr. Bibb established the "Voice of the Fugitive," a newspaper, in Sandwich, Canada West, which is managed and conducted with credit.

Titus Basfield, graduated at Franklin College, New Athens, Ohio, receiving his religious instruction from the late Dr. Jonathan Walker, of that place, a physician and Covenanter clergyman. He afterwards graduated in theology at the Theological Seminary of Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, was ordained, and traveled preaching and lecturing to the people of his peculiar faith and the public, for several years. He went to New London, Canada West, where he has charge of a Scotch congregation of religious votaries to that ancient doctrine of salvation.

Mary Ann Shadd, a very intelligent young lady, peculiarly eccentric, published an excellent pamphlet, issued from the press in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1849, on the elevation of the colored people. The writer of this work, was favored with an examination of it before publication, which he then highly approved of, as an excellent introduction to a great subject, fraught with so much interest. Miss Shadd has traveled much, and now has charge of a school in Sandwich, Canada West.

James McCrummill, of Philadelphia, is a skillful surgeon-dentist, and manufacturer of porcelain teeth, having practised the profession for many years in that city. He is said to be equal to the best in the city, and probably only requires an undivided attention to establish the reality.

Joseph Wilson, Thomas Kennard, and William Nickless, are also practising dentists in the city of Philadelphia. Mr. Kennard is said to be one of the best workmen in the manufacture of artificial teeth, and gums—a new discovery, and very valuable article, in this most beautiful and highly useful art. He devotes several hours a day, to the manufacture of these articles for one of the principal surgeon-dentists of Arch street.

James M. Whitfield, of Buffalo, New York, though in an humble position, (for which we think he is somewhat reprehensible), is one of the purest poets in America. He has written much for different newspapers; and, by industry and application—being already a good English scholar—did he but place himself in a favorable situation in life, would not be second to John Greenleaf Whittier, nor the late Edgar A. Poe.

Mary Elizabeth Miles, in accordance with the established rules, graduated as a teacher, in the Normal School, at Albany, New York, several years ago. Miss Miles (now Mrs. Bibb) was a very talented young lady and successful teacher. She spent several years of usefulness in Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after which she went to Cincinnati, as assistant-teacher in Gilmore's "High School for Colored Children," which ended her public position in life. She now resides in Sandwich, Canada West.

Lucy Stanton, of Columbus, Ohio, is a graduate of Oberlin Collegiate Institute, in that State. She is now engaged in teaching school in that city, in which she is reputed to be successful. She is quite a young lady, and has her promise of life all before her, and bids fair to become a woman of much usefulness in society.

Doctor Bias, of Philadelphia, spoken of in another place, graduated at the close of the session of 1851-52, in the Eclectic Medical College, in that city. The doctor is highly esteemed by the physicians of his system, who continually interchange calls with him. He is also a practical phrenologist,—which profession he does not now attend to, giving his undivided attention to the practice of medicine,—and has written a pamphlet on that subject, entitled, "Synopsis of Phrenology, and the Phrenological Developments, as given by J.J. Gould Bias." No man perhaps, in the community of Philadelphia, possesses more self-will, and determination of character, than Dr. James Joshua Gould Bias. Mr. Whipper says of him, that he is "a Napoleon in character." The sterling trait in his character is, that he grasps after originality, and grapples with every difficulty. Such a man, must and will succeed in his undertakings.


[3] During the last twenty years, there have been, at different periods, published among the colored people of the United States, twenty odd newspapers, some of which were conducted with ability. Among them, the "Colored American," in New York city; Samuel E. Cornish, Philip A. Bell, and Charles B. Ray, at different times, Editors. "The Demosthenian Shield," issued from a Literary Society of young colored men, in the city of Philadelphia. "The Straggler," by Philip A. Bell, New York, out of which the Colored American took its origin. The "National Reformer," an able monthly periodical, in pamphlet form, in Philadelphia; William Whipper, Editor. "The Northern Star," a Temperance monthly newspaper, published in Albany, N.Y.; Stephen Myers, Editor, still in existence—changed to ——. "The Mystery," of Pittsburg, Pa.; Martin Robison Delany, Editor—succeeded by a committee of colored gentlemen as Editors. The "Palladium of Liberty," issued in Columbus, O., by a committee of colored gentlemen; David Jenkins, Editor. "The Disfranchised American," by a committee of colored gentlemen, Cincinnati, O.; A.M. Sumner, Editor—succeeded by the "Colored Citizen"; Rev. Thomas Woodson, and William Henry Yancey, Editors. The "National Watchman," Troy, N.Y.; William H. Allen and Henry Highland Garnett, Editors. Another issued in New York city, the name of which, we cannot now remember; James William Charles Pennington, D.D., and James McCune Smith, M.D., Editors: the issue being alternately at Hartford, the then residence of Dr. Pennington—and New York city, the residence of Dr. Smith. The "Excelsior," an ephemeral issue, which appeared but once, in Detroit, Mich.; William H. Day, Editor.

The "Christian Herald," the organ of the A.M. Episcopal Church, published under the auspices of the General Conference of that body; Augustus Richardson Green, Editor, and General Book Steward. This gentleman has, also, written and published several small volumes of a religious character; a pamphlet on the Episcopacy and Infant Baptism, and the Lives of Reverends Fayette Davis and David Canyou. The "Elevator," of Philadelphia; James McCrummill, Editor. The "Ram's Horn," New York city; Thomas Vanrensellear, Editor. There is now a little paper, the name of which we cannot recollect, issued at Newark, N.J., merely a local paper, very meager in appearance. "The Farmer and Northern Star," in Courtland, N.Y., afterwards changed to the "Impartial Citizen," and published in Boston; Samuel Ringgold Ward, Editor. "The North Star," published in Rochester, N.Y.; Frederick Douglass, and Martin Robinson Delany, Editors—subsequently changed to the "Frederick Douglass' Paper"; Frederick Douglass, Editor.

A number of gentlemen have been authors of narratives, written by themselves, some of which are masterly efforts, manifesting great force of talents. Of such, are those by Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Henry Bibb.

Of the various churches and clergy we have nothing to say, as these do not come within our province; except where individuals, from position, come within the sphere of our arrangement.

There have been several inventors among the colored people. The youth Henry Blair, of Maryland, some years ago, invented the Corn-Planter, and Mr. Roberts of Philadelphia, 1842, a machine for lifting cars off the railways.

It may be expected that we should say something about a book issued in Boston, purporting to be a history of ancient great men of African descent, by one Mr. Lewis, entitled "Light and Truth." This book is nothing more than a compilation of selected portions of Rollin's, Goldsmith's, Furguson's, Hume's, and other ancient histories; added to which, is a tissue of historical absurdities and literary blunders, shamefully palpable, for which the author or authors should mantle their faces.

If viewed in the light of a "Yankee trick," simply by which to make money, it may, peradventure, be a very clever trick; but the publisher should have recollected, that the ostensible object of his work was, the edification and enlightenment of the public in general and the colored people in particular, upon a great and important subject of truth; and that those who must be the most injured by it, will be the very class of people, whom he professes a desire to benefit. We much regret the fact, that there are but too many of our brethren, who undertake to dabble in literary matters, in the shape of newspaper and book-making, who are wholly unqualified for the important work. This, however, seems to be called forth by the palpable neglect, and indifference of those who have had the educational advantages, but neglected to make such use of them.

There is one redeeming quality about "Light and Truth." It is a capital offset to the pitiable literary blunders of Professor George R. Gliddon, late Consul to Egypt, from the United States, Lecturer on Ancient Egyptian Literature, &c., &c., who makes all ancient black men, white; and asserts the Egyptians and Ethiopians to have been of the Caucasian or white race!—So, also, this colored gentleman, makes all ancient great white men, black—as Diogenes, Socrates, Themistocles, Pompey, Caesar, Cato, Cicero, Horace, Virgil, et cetera. Gliddon's idle nonsense has found a capital match in the production of Mr. Lewis' "Light and Truth," and both should be sold together. We may conclude by expressing our thanks to our brother Lewis, as we do not think that Professor Gliddon's learned ignorance, would have ever met an equal but for "Light and Truth." Reverends D.A. Payne, M.M. Clark, and other learned colored gentlemen, agree with us in the disapproval of this book.—EDITOR.



There are a number of young gentlemen who have finished their literary course, who are now studying for the different learned professions, in various parts of the country.

Jonathan Gibbs, A.B., a very talented young gentleman, and fine speaker, is now finishing his professional studies in the Theological School at Dartmouth University. Mr. Gibbs also studied in the Scientific Department of the same Institution.

William H. Day, Esq., A.B., a graduate of Oberlin Collegiate Institute, is now in Cleveland Ohio, preparing for the Bar. Mr. Day is, perhaps, the most eloquent young gentleman of his age in the United States.

John Mercer Langston, A.B., of Chillicothe, Ohio, also a graduate of Oberlin College, a talented young gentleman, and promising orator, is completing a Theological course at the School of Divinity at Oberlin. It is said, that Mr. Langston intends also to prepare for the Bar. He commenced the study of Law previous to that of Theology, under Judge Andrews of Cleveland.

Charles Dunbar, of New York city, a promising, very intelligent young gentleman, is now in the office of Dr. Childs, and having attended one course of Lectures at Bowdoin Medical School in Maine, will finish next fall and winter, for the practice of his profession.

Isaac Humphrey Snowden, a promising young gentleman of talents, is now reading Medicine under Dr. Clarke of Boston, and attended the session of the Medical School of Harvard University, of 1850-51.

Daniel Laing, Jr., Esq., a fine intellectual young gentleman of Boston, a student also of Dr. Clarke of that city, one of the Surgeons of the Massachusetts General Hospital, who attended the course of Lectures the session of 1850-51, at the Medical School of Harvard University, is now in Paris, to spend two years in the hospitals, and attend the Medical Lectures of that great seat of learning. Mr. Laing, like most medical students, has ever been an admirer, and anxious to sit under the teachings of that great master in Surgery, Velpeau.

Dr. James J. Gould Bias, a Botanic Physician, and talented gentleman of Philadelphia, is a member of the class of 1851-52, of the Eclectic Medical School of that city. Dr. Bias deserves the more credit for his progress in life, as he is entirely self-made.

Robert B. Leach, of Cleveland, Ohio, a very intelligent young gentleman, is a member of the medical class for 1851-52, of the Homeopathic College, in that City. Mr. Leach, when graduated, will be the First Colored Homeopathic Physician in the United States.

Dr. John Degrass, of New York city, named in another place, spent two years in Paris Hospitals, under the teaching of the great lecturer and master of surgery, Velpeau, to whom he was assistant and dresser, in the hospital—the first position—for advantages, held by a student. The Doctor has subsequently been engaged as surgeon on a Havre packet, where he discharged the duties of his office with credit.

Also Dr. Peter Ray, of Brooklyn, named on the same page, graduated at Castleton Medical School, Vermont, spent some time at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, where he held the position of assistant and dresser to Surgeon Parkman, in his ward of the hospital.

Dr. John P. Reynolds, has for a number of years been one of the most popular and successful physicians in Vincennes, Indiana. We believe Dr. Reynolds, was not of the "regular" system, but some twenty-three or-four years ago, studied under an "Indian physician," after which, he practised very successfully in Zanesville, Ohio, subsequently removing to Vincennes, where he has for the last sixteen years, supported an enviable reputation as a physician. We understand Doctor Reynolds has entered into all the scientific improvements of the "eclectic school" of medicine, which has come into being in the United States, long since his professional career commenced. His popularity is such, that he has frequently been entrusted, with public confidence, and on one occasion, in 1838, was appointed by the court, sole executor of a very valuable orphans' estate. The Doctor has grown quite wealthy it is said, commanding a considerable influence in the community.

Dr. McDonough, a skillful young physician, graduated at the Institute, Easton, Pennsylvania, and finished his medical education at the University of New York. The Doctor is one of the most thorough of the young physicians; has been attached to the greater part of the public institutions of the city of New York, and is a good practical chemist.

Of course, there are many others, but as we have taken no measures whatever, to collect facts or information from abroad, only getting such as was at hand, and giving the few sketches here, according to our own recollection of them, we close this short chapter at this point.



It may not be considered in good taste to refer to those still living, who formerly occupied prominent business positions, and by dint of misfortune or fortune, have withdrawn. Nevertheless, we shall do so, since our simple object in this hasty sketch of things, is to show that the colored people of the country have not as has been charged upon them, always been dregs on the community and excrescences on the body politic, wherever they may have lived. We only desire to show that they have been, all things considered, just like other people.

Several years ago, there lived in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Berry Mechum. This gentleman was very wealthy, and had at one time, two fine steamers plying on the Mississippi, all under the command and management of white men, to whom he trusted altogether. As late as 1836, he sent two sons to the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, desiring that they might become educated, in order to be able to manage his business; who, although he could read and write, was not sufficiently qualified and skilled in the arts of business to vie with the crafty whites of the Valley. But before his sons were fitted for business though reputed very wealthy, which there is no doubt he was, his whole property was seized and taken: and as he informed the writer himself, he did not know what for, as he had no debts that he knew of, until these suits were entered. Mr. Mechum was an energetic, industrious, persevering old gentleman—a baptist clergyman, and published a small pamphlet on the condition of the colored race. And although, it evinces great deficiency of literary qualifications, yet, does credit to the good old man, for the sound thoughts therein contained.

Also in the city of St. Louis, David Desara, who was a Mississippi pilot for many years. He made much money at his business, and owned at one time, a steamboat, which he piloted himself. Mr. Desara also failed, in consequence of having his business all in the hands of white men, as most of the slave state colored people have, entrusting to them entirely, without knowing anything of their own concerns.

Charles Moore, long and familiarly known as "Chancy Moore the Pilot," was for many years, one of the most popular pilots on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Mr. Moore made much money, and withdrew from his old business, purchasing a large tract of land in Mercer County, Ohio, where he has for the last ten or twelve years been farming.

Mr. Moore was an honest man, and we believe upon him originated the purely Western phrase, "Charley Moore the fair thing"; he always in his dealings saying "gentlemen, do the fair thing."

Abner H. Francis and James Garrett were formerly extensive clothes dealers in Buffalo, N.Y., doing business to the amount of sixty thousand dollars annually. They were energetic, industrious, persevering gentlemen, commencing business under very unfavorable circumstances, in fact, commencing on but seventy-five dollars, as the writer has been authentically informed by the parties.

They continued successfully for years, where their paper and endorsements were good for any amount they wanted—highly respected and esteemed; Mr. Francis sitting at one time as juryman in the court of quarter sessions. These gentlemen failed in business in 1849, but since then, have nearly adjusted the claims against them. Mr. Francis has since settled in Oregon Territory, Portland City, where he is again doing a fair mercantile business. They bid fair again to rank among the "merchant princes" of the times.

Robert Banks was for many years, a highly esteemed and extensive clothes dealer, on Jefferson Avenue, in Detroit, Mich. No man was more highly respected for unswerving integrity, and uprightness of purpose, than Robert Banks, of Detroit. Mr. Banks, had much enlarged his business, immediately succeeding a fire in which he was burnt out two years previous to closing, which ensued in July, 1851, being the second time he had lost his store by fire. He might have, had he done as merchants usually do under such circumstances, continued his business; but instead, he made an assignment, with few preferred creditors, rather as he expressed it, ruin his business, than wilfully wrong a creditor. What speaks volumes in his behalf, every person, even his greatest creditors say, "He is an honest man"; and while settling the business of the late concern, those to whom he was indebted, offered him assistance to commence business again. But this he thankfully declined, preferring to take his chance with others in the land of gold, California, where he now is, than commence again under the circumstances. Doubtless, if no special prevention ensue, Mr. Banks will be fully able to redeem his present obligations, and once more be found prospering and happy.

Henry Knight, of Chicago, commenced business in that city without capital; but by industry, soon gained the esteem and confidence of the public, making many friends. He fast rose in prosperity, until he became the proprietor of the most extensive livery establishment in the city, in which he had much capital invested. Determined to be equal to the times, the growing prosperity of the city, and the demands of the increasing pride of the place, he extended his possessions—erecting costly buildings, besides increasing his stock and livery extensively. He was burnt out—a pressure came upon him—he sold out his stock, staid suits against himself; went to California, returned in a year and a half—paid off old claims, saved his property—went back; opened a California hotel, returned in less than one year with several thousand dollars, and now stands entirely clear of all debt—and all this done in the space of two and a half years. Mr. Knight is a man of business, and will hold his position with others if he have but half a chance. With such a man, there is "no such a thing as fail"—he could not again, if he desired, because, his friends would not permit him.



Late Captain Frank Johnson, of Philadelphia, the most renowned band leader ever known in the United States, was a man of science, and master of his profession. In 1838, Captain Johnson went to England with his noble band of musicians, where he met with great success—played to Her Majesty Queen Victoria and His Royal Highness Prince Albert—Captain Johnson receiving a handsome French bugle, by order of her Majesty, valued at five hundred dollars—returning, he held throughout the Eastern, Northern, and Western States, grand concerts, known as "Soirees Musicales." He was a great composer and teacher of music, and some of the finest Marches and Cotillions now extant, have been originally composed by Captain Frank Johnson. On his Western tour, by some awkwardness of management, he lost at Buffalo, original music in manuscript, which never had been published—as much of his composition had been; valued at one thousand dollars, which, although advertised, he never got. But his name was sufficient to give additional value to the prize; and there is no doubt, but the world is now being benefited by the labors of Captain Johnson, the credit being given to others than himself. This was an unfortunate circumstance, and had his amiable and excellent widow, Mrs. Helen Johnson of Philadelphia, now this composition, she could support herself in ease, by the sale of the published work. Captain Frank Johnson, died in Philadelphia in 1844, universally respected, and regretted as an irreparable loss to society. At his death the band divided, different members taking a leadership.

Andrew J. Conner, one of the members of Captain Johnson's band, also became a distinguished composer and teacher of music. Mr. Conner taught the piano forte in the best families in the city of Philadelphia—among merchants, bankers, and professional men. He contributed to the popular literary Magazines of the day, and very many who have read in Graham's and other literary issues, "Music composed by A.J. Conner," did not for a moment think that the author was a colored gentleman. Mr. Conner died in Philadelphia in 1850.

James Ulett, formerly of New York, became quite celebrated a few years since, as a comedian. He played several times in the old "Richmond Hill" Theatre, and quite successfully in Europe. Mr. Ulett was not well educated, and consequently, labored under considerable inconvenience in reading, frequently making grammatical blunders, as the writer noticed in a private rehearsal, in 1836, in the city of New York. He, however, possessed great intellectual powers, and his success depended more upon that, than his accuracy in reading. Of course, he was a great delineator of character, which being the principal feature in a comedian, his language was lost sight of in common conversation. Mr. Ulett died in New York a few years ago.

Doctor Lewis G. Wells was a most talented orator and man of literary qualifications. Residing in Baltimore, Maryland, he raised himself high in the estimation of all who knew him. He studied medicine, and was admitted into the Washington Medical College, attending the regular courses, and would have graduated, but for some misunderstanding between himself and the professors, which prevented it. He was a most successful practitioner, and effected more cures during the prevalence of the cholera in 1832, than any other physician in the city. Doctor Wells was also a most successful practical phrenologist, and lectured to large and fashionable houses of the first class ladies and gentlemen of Baltimore, and other cities. Being a great wit, he kept his audiences in uproars of laughter. Mr. Wells was also an ordained minister of the Gospel, belonging to the white Methodist connexion; and was author of several productions, among them, a large Methodist hymn book, containing several fine original poems. Dr. Wells died the same year of cholera, after successfully saving many others, because there was no physician at that time who understood the treatment of the disease.



Little need be said about farmers; there are hundreds of them in all parts of the country, especially in the Western States; still these may not be considered of a conspicuous or leading character—albeit, they are contributing largely to the wants of community, and wealth of the country at large. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, all, are largely represented by the farming interests of colored men. We shall name but a sufficient number to show the character of their enterprise in this department of American industry.

Rev. William Watson, of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the owner of a fine farm in Mercer county, and six hundred acres of additional land.

Mr. Richard Phillips, of the same city, is owner of a fine farm in the same county, and three hundred and fifty additional acres of land.

Rev. Reuben P. Graham, of Cincinnati, owns a finely cultivated farm in Mercer county, three hundred acres of adjoining land; and one near Cincinnati.

Mr. John Woodson, of Jackson county, is one of the most successful farmers in the State of Ohio. Having a large tract of land, he has one of the best cultivated farms in the West, in a most productive state, raising grains, fruits, and livestock. In the year 1842, his farm produced that season, three thousand bushels of wheat, several hundred bushels of rye, eleven hundred bushels of oats, large crops of corn, potatoes, and other vegetables; large quantities of fruits, three hundred stacks of hay, with a large stock of several hundred heads of cattle on the place. Mr. Woodson has for many years, been a highly respectable man in his neighborhood, and continues his farming interests with unabated success.

Dr. Charles Henry Langston, of Columbus, Ohio, is also the proprietor of a very fine farm of eleven hundred acres, in Jackson county, upon which he has a white tenant. This gentleman is a surgeon-dentist by profession, educated at Oberlin College, making his home in Columbus.

Robert Purvis, Esq., a gentleman of collegiate education, is proprietor of one of the best improved farms in Philadelphia county, fifteen miles from Philadelphia. His cattle consist of the finest English breed.

Joseph Purvis, Esq., of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, a gentleman also of education and wealth, is an amateur stock farmer. Every animal on Mr. Purvis' farm is of the very best breed—Godolphin horses, Durham cattle, Leicestershire sheep, Berkshire swine, even English bull-terrier dogs, and whatever else pertains to the blooded breeds of brutes, may be found on the farm of Joseph Purvis. Mr. Purvis supplies a great many farmers with choice breeds of cattle, and it is said that he spends ten thousand dollars annually, in the improvement of his stocks.

Robert Briges Forten, also of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, is an amateur farmer. Mr. Forten is a gentleman of fine education, a pure, chaste poet, and attends to farming for the love of nature. He is a valuable member of the farming enterprise in the country.

If such evidence of industry and interest, as has been exhibited in the various chapters on the different pursuits and engagements of colored Americans, do not entitle them to equal rights and privileges in our common country, then indeed, is there nothing to justify the claims of any portion of the American people to the common inheritance of Liberty.

We proceed to another view of our condition in the United States.



We give below the Act of Congress, known as the "Fugitive Slave Law," for the benefit of the reader, as there are thousands of the American people of all classes, who have never read the provisions of this enactment; and consequently, have no conception of its enormity. We had originally intended, also, to have inserted here, the Act of Congress of 1793, but since this Bill includes all the provisions of that Act, in fact, although called a "supplement," is a substitute, de facto, it would be superfluous; therefore, we insert the Bill alone, with explanations following:—



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the persons who have been, or may hereafter be, appointed commissioners, in virtue of any act of Congress, by the circuit courts of the United States, and who, in consequence of such appointment, are authorized to exercise the powers that any justice of the peace or other magistrate of any of the United States may exercise in respect to offenders for any crime or offence against the United States, by arresting, imprisoning, or bailing the same under and by virtue of the thirty-third section of the act of the twenty-fourth of September, seventeen hundred and eighty-nine, entitled "An act to establish the judicial courts of the United States," shall be, and are hereby authorized and required to exercise and discharge all the powers and duties conferred by this act.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the superior court of each organized territory of the United States shall have the same power to appoint commissioners to take acknowledgments of bail and affidavit, and to take depositions of witnesses in civil causes, which is now possessed by the circuit courts of the United States; and all commissioners who shall hereafter be appointed for such purposes by the superior court of any organized territory of the United States shall possess all the powers and exercise all the duties conferred by law upon the commissioners appointed by the circuit courts of the United States for similar purposes, and shall moreover exercise and discharge all the powers and duties conferred by this act.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the circuit courts of the United States, and the superior courts of each organized territory of the United States, shall from time to time enlarge the number of commissioners, with a view to afford reasonable facilities to reclaim fugitives from labor, and to the prompt discharge of the duties imposed by this act.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners above named shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the judges of the circuit and district courts of the United States, in their respective circuits and districts within the several States, and the judges of the superior courts of the Territories, severally and collectively, in term time and vacation; and shall grant certificates to such claimants, upon satisfactory proof being made, with authority to take and remove such fugitives from service or labor, under the restrictions herein contained, to the State or territory from which such persons may have escaped or fled.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of all marshals and deputy marshals to obey and execute all warrants and precepts issued under the provisions of this act, when to them directed; and should any marshal or deputy marshal refuse to receive such warrant or other process, when tendered, or to use all proper means diligently to execute the same, he shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in the sum of one thousand dollars to the use of such claimant, on the motion of such claimant, by the circuit or district court for the district of such marshal; and after arrest of such fugitive by such marshal or his deputy, or whilst at any time in his custody, under the provisions of this act, should such fugitive escape, whether with or without the assent of such marshal or his deputy, such marshal shall be liable, on his official bond, to be prosecuted, for the benefit of such claimant for the full value of the service or labor of said fugitive in the State, Territory, or district whence he escaped; and the better to enable the said commissioners, when thus appointed, to execute their duties faithfully and efficiently, in conformity with the requirements of the constitution of the United States and of this art, they are hereby authorized and empowered, within their counties respectively, to appoint in writing under their hands, any one or more suitable persons, from time to time, to execute all such warrants and other process as may be issued by them in the lawful performance of their respective duties; with an authority to such commissioners, or the persons to be appointed by them, to execute process as aforesaid, to summon and call to their aid the bystanders, or posse comitatus of the proper county, when necessary to insure a faithful observance of the clause of the constitution referred to, in conformity with the provisions of this act: and all good citizens are hereby commanded to aid and assist in the prompt and efficient execution of this law, whenever their services may be required, as aforesaid, for that person; and said warrants shall run and be executed by said officers anywhere in the State within which they are issued.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That when a person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the United States has heretofore or shall hereafter escape into another State or Territory of the United States, the person or persons to whom such service or labor may be due, or his, her, or their agent or attorney, duly authorized, by power of attorney, in writing, acknowledged and certified under the seal of some legal office or court of the State or Territory in which the game may be executed, may pursue and reclaim such fugitive person, either by procuring a warrant from some one of the courts, judges, or commissioners aforesaid, of the proper circuit, district or county, for the apprehension of such fugitive from service or labor, or by seizing and arresting such fugitive, where the same can be done without process, and by taking and causing such person to be taken forthwith before such court, judge or commissioner, whose duty it shall be to hear and determine the case of such claimant in a summary manner; and upon satisfactory proof being made, by deposition or affidavit, in writing, to be taken and certified by such court, judge, or commissioner, or by other satisfactory testimony, duly taken and certified by some court, magistrate, justice of the peace, or other legal officer authorized to administer an oath, and take depositions under the laws of the State or Territory from which such person owing service or labor may have escaped, with a certificate of such magistracy or other authority, as aforesaid, with the seal of the proper court or officer thereto attached, which seal shall be sufficient to establish the competency of the proof, and with proof, also by affidavit, of the identity of the person whose service or labor is claimed to be due as aforesaid, that the person so arrested does in fact owe service or labor to the person or persons claiming him or her, in the State or Territory from which such fugitive may have escaped as aforesaid, and that said person escaped, to make out and deliver to such claimant, his or her agent or attorney, a certificate setting forth the substantial facts as to the service or labor due from such fugitive to the claimant, and of his or her escape from the State or Territory in which such service or labor was due to the State or Territory in which he or she was arrested, with authority to such claimant, or his or her agent or attorney to use such reasonable force and restraint as may be necessary under the circumstances of the case, to take and remove such fugitive person back to the State or Territory from whence he or she may have escaped as aforesaid. In no trial or hearing under this act shall the testimony of such alleged fugitive be admitted in evidence; and the certificates in this and the first section mentioned shall be conclusive of the right of the person or persons in whose favor granted to remove such fugitive to the State or Territory from which he escaped, and shall prevent all molestation of said person or persons by any process issued by any court, judge, magistrate, or other person whomsoever.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct, hinder, or prevent such claimant, his agent or attorney, or any person or persons lawfully assisting him, her, or them, from arresting such a fugitive from service or labor, either with or without process as aforesaid; or shall rescue, or attempt to rescue such fugitive from service or labor, from the custody of such claimant, his or her agent or attorney or other person or persons lawfully assisting as aforesaid, when so arrested, pursuant to the authority herein given and declared: or shall aid, abet, or assist such person, so owing service or labor as aforesaid, directly or indirectly, to escape from such claimant, his agent or attorney, or other person or persons, legally authorized as aforesaid; or shall harbor or conceal such fugitive, so as to prevent the discovery and arrest of such person, after notice or knowledge of the fact that such person was a fugitive from service or labor as aforesaid, shall, for either of said offences, be subject to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months, by indictment and conviction before the district court of the United States for the district in which such offence may have been committed, or before the proper court of criminal jurisdiction, if committed within any one of the organized territories of the United States; and shall moreover forfeit and pay, by way of civil damages to the party injured by such illegal conduct, the sum of one thousand dollars for each fugitive so lost as aforesaid, to be recovered by action of debt in any of the district or territorial courts aforesaid, within whose jurisdiction the said offence may have been committed.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the marshals, their deputies, and the clerks of the said district and territorial courts, shall be paid for their services the like fees as may be allowed to them for similar services in other cases; and where such services rendered exclusively in the arrest, custody, and delivery of the fugitive to the claimant, his or her agent or attorney, or where such supposed fugitive may be discharged out of custody for the want of sufficient proof as aforesaid, then such fees are to be paid in the whole by such claimant, his agent or attorney; and in all cases where the proceedings are before a commissioner, he shall be entitled to a fee of ten dollars in full for his services in each case, upon delivery of the said certificate to the claimant, his or her agent or attorney; or a fee of five dollars in cases where the proof shall not, in the opinion of such commissioner, warrant such certificate and delivery, inclusive of all services incident to such arrest and examination, to be paid in either case, by the claimant, his or her agent or attorney. The person or persons authorized to execute the process to be issued by such commissioners for the arrest and detention of fugitives from service or labor as aforesaid, shall also be entitled to a fee of five dollars each for each person he or they may arrest and take before any such commissioner as aforesaid at the instance and request of such claimant, with such other fees as may be deemed reasonable by such commissioner for such other additional services as may be necessarily performed by him or them: such as attending to the examination, keeping the fugitive in custody, and providing him with food and lodging during his detention, and until the final determination of such commissioner; and in general for performing such other duties as may be required by such claimant, his or her attorney or agent, or commissioner in the premises; such fees to be made up in conformity with the fees usually charged by the officers of the courts of justice within the proper district or county, as near as may be practicable, and paid by such claimants, their agents or attorneys, whether such supposed fugitive from service or labor be ordered to be delivered to such claimants by the final determination of such commissioners or not.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That upon affidavit made by the claimant of such fugitive, his agent or attorney, after such certificate has been issued, that he has reason to apprehend that such fugitive will be rescued by force from his or their possession before he can be taken beyond the limits of the State in which the arrest is made, it shall be the duty of the officer making the arrest to retain such fugitive in his custody, and to remove him to the State whence he fled, and there to deliver him to said claimant, his agent or attorney. And to this end the officer aforesaid is hereby authorized and required to employ so many persons as he may deem necessary, to overcome such force, and to retain them in his service so long as circumstances may require; the said officer and his assistants, while so employed, to receive the same compensation, and to be allowed the same expenses as are now allowed by law for the transportation of criminals, to be certified by the judge of the district within which the arrest is made, and paid out of the treasury of the United States.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That when any person held to service or labor in any State or Territory, or in the District of Columbia, shall escape therefrom, the party to whom such service or labor shall be due, his, her, or their agent or attorney may apply to any court of record therein, or judge thereof, in vacation, and make satisfactory proof to such court, or judge, in vacation, of the escape aforesaid, and that the person escaping owed service or labor to such party. Whereupon the court shall cause a record to be made of the matters so proved, and also a general description of the person so escaping, with such convenient certainty as may be; and a transcript of such record authenticated by the attestation of the clerk, and of the seal of the said court, being produced in any other State, Territory, or District in which the person so escaping may be found, and being exhibited to any judge, commissioner, or other officer, authorized by the law of the United States to cause persons escaping from service or labor to be delivered up, shall be held and taken to be full and conclusive evidence of the fact of escape, and that the service or labor of the person escaping is due to the party in such record mentioned. And upon the production by the said party of other and further evidence, if necessary, either oral or by affidavit, in addition to what is contained in the said record of the identity of the person escaping, he or she shall be delivered up to the claimant. And the said court, commissioner, judge or other person authorized by this act to grant certificates to claimants of fugitives, shall, upon the production of the record and other evidences aforesaid, grant to such claimant a certificate of his right to take any such person identified and proved to be owing service or labor as aforesaid, which certificate shall authorize such claimant to seize or arrest and transport such person to the State or Territory from which he escaped: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as requiring the production of a transcript of such record as evidence as aforesaid; but in its absence, the claim shall be heard and determined upon other satisfactory proofs competent in law.

HOWELL COBB, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

WILLIAM R. KING, President of the Senate, pro tempore.

Approved September 18, 1850. MILLARD FILLMORE.

The most prominent provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and those which form the fundamental basis of personal security, are they which provide, that every person shall be secure in their person and property: that no person may be deprived of liberty without due process of law, and that for crime or misdemeanor; that there may be no process of law that shall work corruption of blood. By corruption of blood is meant, that process, by which a person is degraded and deprived of rights common to the enfranchised citizen—of the rights of an elector, and of eligibility to the office of a representative, of the people; in a word, that no person nor their posterity, may ever be debased beneath the level of the recognised basis of American citizenship. This debasement and degradation is "corruption of blood"; politically understood—a legal acknowledgement of inferiority of birth.

Heretofore, it ever has been denied, that the United States recognised or knew any difference between the people—that the Constitution makes no distinction, but includes in its provisions, all the people alike. This is not true, and certainly is blind absurdity in us at least, who have suffered the dread consequences of this delusion, not now to see it.

By the provisions of this bill, the colored people of the United States are positively degraded beneath the level of the whites—are made liable at any time, in any place, and under all circumstances, to be arrested—and upon the claim of any white person, without the privilege, even of making a defence, sent into endless bondage. Let no visionary nonsense about habeas corpus, or a fair trial, deceive us; there are no such rights granted in this bill, and except where the commissioner is too ignorant to understand when reading it, or too stupid to enforce it when he does understand, there is no earthly chance—no hope under heaven for the colored person who is brought before one of these officers of the law. Any leniency that may be expected, must proceed from the whims or caprice of the magistrate—in fact, it is optional with them; and our rights and liberty entirely at their disposal.

We are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently, and unconcernedly—indifferently and stupidly, for masters to come and lay claim to us, trusting to their generosity, whether or not they will own us and carry us into endless bondage.

The slave is more secure than we; he knows who holds the heel upon his bosom—we know not the wretch who may grasp us by the throat. His master may be a man of some conscientious scruples; ours may be unmerciful. Good or bad, mild or harsh, easy or hard, lenient or severe, saint or satan—whenever that master demands any one of us—even our affectionate wives and darling little children, we must go into slavery—there is no alternative. The will of the man who sits in judgment on our liberty, is the law. To him is given all power to say, whether or not we have a right to enjoy freedom. This is the power over the slave in the South—this is now extended to the North. The will of the man who sits in judgment over us is the law; because it is explicitly provided that the decision of the commissioner shall be final, from which there can be no appeal.

The freed man of the South is even more secure than the freeborn of the North; because such persons usually have their records in the slave states, bringing their "papers" with them; and the slaveholders will be faithful to their own acts. The Northern freeman knows no records; he despises the "papers."

Depend upon no promised protection of citizens in any quarter. Their own property and liberty are jeopardised, and they will not sacrifice them for us. This we may not expect them to do.

Besides, there are no people who ever lived, love their country and obey their laws as the Americans.

Their country is their Heaven—their Laws their Scriptures—and the decrees of their Magistrates obeyed as the fiat of God. It is the most consummate delusion and misdirected confidence to depend upon them for protection; and for a moment suppose even our children safe while walking in the streets among them.

A people capable of originating and sustaining such a law as this, are not the people to whom we are willing to entrust our liberty at discretion.

What can we do? What shall we do? This is the great and important question:—Shall we submit to be dragged like brutes before heartless men, and sent into degradation and bondage?—Shall we fly, or shall we resist? Ponder well and reflect.

A learned jurist in the United States, (Chief Justice John Gibson of Pennsylvania,) lays down this as a fundamental right in the United States: that "Every man's house is his castle, and he has the right to defend it unto the taking of life, against any attempt to enter it against his will, except for crime," by well authenticated process.

But we have no such right. It was not intended for us, any more than any other provision of the law, intended for the protection of Americans. The policy is against us—it is useless to contend against it.

This is the law of the land and must be obeyed; and we candidly advise that it is useless for us to contend against it. To suppose its repeal, is to anticipate an overthrow of the Confederative Union; and we must be allowed an expression of opinion, when we say, that candidly we believe, the existence of the Fugitive Slave Law necessary to the continuance of the National Compact. This Law is the foundation of the Compromise—remove it, and the consequences are easily determined. We say necessary to the continuance of the National Compact: certainly we will not be understood as meaning that the enactment of such a Law was really necessary, or as favoring in the least this political monstrosity of the THIRTY-FIRST CONGRESS of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA—surely not at all; but we speak logically and politically, leaving morality and right out of the question—taking our position on the acknowledged popular, basis of American Policy; arguing from premise to conclusion. We must abandon all vague theory, and look at facts as they really are; viewing ourselves in our true political position in the body politic. To imagine ourselves to be included in the body politic, except by express legislation, is at war with common sense, and contrary to fact. Legislation, the administration of the laws of the country, and the exercise of rights by the people, all prove to the contrary. We are politically, not of them, but aliens to the laws and political privileges of the country. These are truths—fixed facts, that quaint theory and exhausted moralising, are impregnable to, and fall harmlessly before.

It is useless to talk about our rights in individual States: we can have no rights here as citizens, not recognised in our common country; as the citizens of one State, are entitled to all the rights and privileges of an American citizen in all the States—the nullity of the one necessarily implying the nullity of the other. These provisions then do not include the colored people of the United States; since there is no power left in them, whereby they may protect us as their own citizens. Our descent, by the laws of the country, stamps us with inferiority—upon us has this law worked corruption of blood. We are in the hands of the General Government, and no State can rescue us. The Army and Navy stand at the service of our enslavers, the whole force of which, may at any moment—even in the dead of night, as has been done—when sunk in the depth of slumber, called out for the purpose of forcing our mothers, sisters, wives, and children, or ourselves, into hopeless servitude, there to weary out a miserable life, a relief from which, death would be hailed with joy. Heaven and earth—God and Humanity!—are not these sufficient to arouse the most worthless among mankind, of whatever descent, to a sense of their true position? These laws apply to us—shall we not be aroused?

What then shall we do?—what is the remedy—is the important question to be answered?

This important inquiry we shall answer, and find a remedy in when treating of the emigration of the colored people.



That there have been people in all ages under certain circumstances, that may be benefited by emigration, will be admitted; and that there are circumstances under which emigration is absolutely necessary to their political elevation, cannot be disputed.

This we see in the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt to the land of Judea; in the expedition of Dido and her followers from Tyro to Mauritania; and not to dwell upon hundreds of modern European examples—also in the ever memorable emigration of the Puritans, in 1620, from Great Britain, the land of their birth, to the wilderness of the New World, at which may be fixed the beginning of emigration to this continent as a permanent residence.

This may be acknowledged; but to advocate the emigration of the colored people of the United States from their native homes, is a new feature in our history, and at first view, may be considered objectionable, as pernicious to our interests. This objection is at once removed, when reflecting on our condition as incontrovertibly shown in a foregoing part of this work. And we shall proceed at once to give the advantages to be derived from emigration, to us as a people, in preference to any other policy that we may adopt. This granted, the question will then be, Where shall we go? This we conceive to be all important—of paramount consideration, and shall endeavor to show the most advantageous locality; and premise the recommendation, with the strictest advice against any countenance whatever, to the emigration scheme of the so called Republic of Liberia.



That we desire the civilization and enlightenment of Africa—the high and elevated position of Liberia among the nations of the earth, may not be doubted, as the writer was among the first, seven or eight years ago, to make the suggestion and call upon the Liberians to hold up their heads like men; take courage, having confidence in their own capacity to govern themselves, and come out from their disparaging position, by formally declaring their Independence.

As our desire is to impart information, and enlighten the minds of our readers on the various subjects herein contained, we present below a large extract from the "First Annual Report of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia." This Extract will make a convenient statistic reference for matters concerning Liberia. We could only wish that many of our readers possessed more historical and geographical information of the world, and there could be little fears of their going anywhere that might be incongenial and unfavorable to their success. We certainly do intend to deal fairly with Liberia, and give the reader every information that may tend to enlighten them. What the colored people most need, is intelligence; give them this, and there is no danger of them being duped into anything they do not desire. This Board was incorporated by the Legislature of Massachusetts, March 19th, 1850—Ensign H. Kellogg, Speaker of the House, Marshall P. Wilder, President of the Senate. Trustees of the Board—Hon. George N. Briggs, LL.D., Hon. Simon Greenleaf, LL.D., Hon. Stephen Fairbanks, Hon. William J. Hubbard, Hon. Joel Giles, Hon. Albert Fearing, Amos A. Lawrence, Esq. Officers of the Board—Hon. G.N. Briggs, President; Hon. S. Fairbanks, Treasurer; Rev. J. Tracy, Secretary. The conclusion of the Report says:—"In view of such considerations, the Trustees cannot doubt the patrons of learning will sustain them in their attempt to plant the FIRST COLLEGE on the only continent which yet remains without one." In this, the learned Trustees have fallen into a statistical and geographical error, which we design to correct. The continent is not without a College. There are now in Egypt, erected under the patronage of that singularly wonderful man, Mehemet Ahi, four colleges conducted on the European principle—Scientific, Medical, Legal, and Military.[4] These are in successful operation; the Military College having an average of eleven hundred students annually. The continent of Africa then, is not without a college, but though benighted enough, even to an apparent hopeless degeneration, she is still the seat of learning, and must some day rise, in the majesty of ancient grandeur, and vindicate the rights and claims of her own children, against the incalculable wrongs perpetrated through the period of sixty ages by professedly enlightened Christians, against them.

A glance at the map will show a sharp bend in this coast at Cape Palmas, from which it extends, on time one side, about 1,100 miles north-west and north, and on the other, about 1,200 or 1,300 almost directly east. In this bend is the Maryland Colony of Cape Palmas, with a jurisdiction extending nearly 100 miles eastward. This Colony is bounded on the north-west by the Republic of Liberia, which extends along the coast about 400 miles to Sherbro. These two governments will ultimately be united in one Republic, and may be considered as one, for all the purposes of this inquiry. The extent of their united sea-coast is about 520 miles. The jurisdiction of the Republic over the four hundred miles or more which it claims, has been formally acknowledged by several of the leading powers of Europe, and is questioned by none. To almost the whole of it, the native title has been extinguished; the natives, however, still occupying, as citizens, such portions of it as they need.

The civilized population of these governments, judging from the census of 1843, and other information, is some 7,000 or 8,000. Of the heathen population, no census has ever been taken; but it probably exceeds 300,000.

The grade of Liberian civilization may be estimated from the fact, that the people have formed a republican government, and so administer it, as to secure the confidence of European governments in its stability. The native tribes who have merged themselves in the Republic, have all bound themselves to receive and encourage teachers; and some of them have insisted on the insertion, in their treaties of annexation, of pledges that teachers and other means of civilization shall be furnished.

Our accounts of churches, clergy and schools are defective, but show the following significant facts:

The clergy of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Liberia are nearly all Liberian citizens, serving as missionaries of the Methodist Missionary Society in the United States. The last Report of that Society gives the names of fifteen missionaries, having in charge nine circuits, in which are 882 members in full communion, and 235 probationers; total, 1,117. They have 20 Sabbath Schools, with 114 officers and teachers, 810 scholars, and 507 volumes in their libraries. They have a Manual Labor School and Female Academy. The number of Day Schools is not reported; but seven of the missionaries are reported as superintendents of schools, and the same number have under their charge several "native towns," in some of which there are schools. The late superintendent of the missions writes:—

"It appears plain to my mind, that nothing can now retard the progress of our missions in this land, unless it be the want of a good high school, in which to rear up an abundant supply of well qualified teachers, to supply, as they shall rapidly increase in number, all your schools."

The Baptists are next in number to the Methodists. The Northern Baptist Board, having its seat in Boston, has in Liberia one mission, two out-stations, one boarding school, and two day schools, with about twenty scholars each, one native preacher, and four native assistants. The whole mission is in the hands of converted natives. The Southern Board operates more extensively. More than a year since, the Rev. John Day, its principal agent there, reported to the Rev. R.R. Gurley, United States Commissioner to Liberia, as follows:

"In our schools are taught, say, 330 children, 92 of whom are natives. To more than 10,000 natives, the Word of Life is statedly preached; and in every settlement in these colonies, we have a church, to whom the means of grace are administered; and in every village we have an interesting Sunday school, where natives as well as colonists are taught the truths of God's word. Say, in our Sunday schools, are taught 400 colonists, and 200 natives.... We have this year baptized 18 natives and 7 colonists, besides what have been baptized by Messrs. Murray and Drayton, from whom I have had no report."

The missionaries are all, or nearly all, Liberian citizens.

The Board of Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States has five missionaries at four stations in Liberia. The first is at Monrovia, under the care of the Rev. Harrison W. Ellis, well known as "the Learned Black Blacksmith." While a slave in Alabama, and working at his trade as a blacksmith, he acquired all the education, in English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Theology, which is required for ordination as a Presbyterian minister. The Presbyterians of that region then bought him, and sent him out as a missionary. His assistant, Mr. B.V.R. James, a colored man, was for some years a printer in the service of the American Board at their mission at Cape Palmas and the Gaboon River. He first went to Liberia as a teacher, supported by a society of ladies in New York. In the Presbyterian Church under the care of Mr. Ellis are 39 communicants. During the year, 24 had been added, and 8 had been dismissed to form a new church in another place. Mr. Ellis also has charge of the "Alexander High School," which is intended mainly for teaching the rudiments of a classical education. This institution has an excellent iron school-house, given by a wealthy citizen of New York, at the cost of one thousand dollars, and a library and philosophical apparatus, which cost six hundred dollars, given by a gentleman in one of the southern States. The library contains a supply of classical works, probably equal to the wants of the school for some years. The land needed for the accommodation of the school was given by the government of Liberia. The number of scholars appears to be between twenty and thirty, a part of whom support themselves by their daily labor. The English High School under the care of Mr. James, had, according to the last Annual Report, 52 scholars. At a later date, the number in both schools was 78. Mr. James has also a large Sabbath school; but the number of pupils is not given.

The second station is at the new settlement of Kentucky, on the right or north bank of the St. Paul's, about fifteen miles from Monrovia, and six miles below Millsburgh. The missionary is a Liberian, Mr. H.W. Erskine. On a lot of ten acres, given by the government, buildings on an economical scale have been erected, in which is a school of twenty scholars. A church was organized in November, 1849, with eight members from the church in Monrovia. They have since increased to fourteen. Here, too, is a flourishing Sabbath school. The citizens, and especially the poor natives in the neighbourhood, are extremely anxious that a boarding school should be established. To this the Committee having charge of this mission objects, as the expense for buildings and for the support of pupils would be great, and would absorb funds that can be more profitably expended on day schools.

The third station is on the Sinou river, 150 miles down the coast from Monrovia, where, at the mouth of the river, is the town of Greenville, and a few miles higher up, the newer settlements of Readville and Rossville. It is under the care of the Rev. James M. Priest. The number of communicants, at the latest date, was thirty, and the field of labor was rapidly enlarging by immigration. The station is new, and it does not appear that any mission school had yet been organized.

The fourth station is at Settra Kroo, where there are five or six miles of coast, to which the native title has not yet been extinguished. This station has been maintained for some years, at a lamentable expense of the lives and health of white missionaries. About 200 boys and a few girls have been taught to read. The station is now under the care of Mr. Washington McDonogh, formerly a slave of the late John McDonogh, of Louisiana, so well known for the immense estate which he has bequeathed to benevolent purposes. He was well educated, and with more than eighty others, sent out some years since at his master's expense. He has a school of fifteen scholars, with the prospect of a large increase.

The mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church is located in the Maryland Colony at Cape Palmas. Its last Report specifies seven schools, and alludes to several others, in actual operation; all containing from 200 to 300 scholars, of whom about 100 are in one Sabbath school. Five other schools had been projected, and have probably gone into operation since that time. The greater part of the pupils are from native families. The Report states the number of communicants at sixty-seven, of whom forty are natives. A High school was opened January 1, 1850.

The laws of the Republic of Liberia provide for a common school in every town. It is supposed, however, that where there is a mission school, accessible to all children of suitable age, no other school exists; so that, in fact, nearly all the common schools in Liberia are connected with the different missions, the missionaries have the superintendence of their studies, and the Missionary Societies defray a large portion of the expense. Yet it must be remembered that a large majority of the missionaries are citizens of the Republic, and some of them native Africans; so that the immediate control of the schools is not generally in foreign hands. A portion, also, of the missionary funds, is contributed in Liberia; and something is paid by parents for the tuition of their children. Yet the Republic evidently needs an educational system more independent of missionary aid and control; and for that purpose, needs a supply of teachers who are not raised up in mission schools. And we have it in testimony, that the missions themselves might be more efficient for good, if well supplied with teachers of higher qualifications.

Here, then, we have a Republic of some 300,000 inhabitants, of whom 7,000 or 8,000 may be regarded as civilized, and the remainder as having a right to expect, and a large part of them actually expecting and demanding the means of civilization and Christianity. We have,—supplying as well as we can by estimate, the numbers not definitely given,—more than 2,000 communicants in Christian churches, and more than 1,500 children in Sabbath Schools; some 40 day schools containing, exclusive of the Methodists, who are the most numerous, and of whose numbers in school we have no report, about 635 scholars. The whole number in day schools, therefore, is probably not less than 1,200. We have the Alexander High School at Monrovia, where instruction is given to some extent in the classics; the English High School, at the same place, under Mr. James; the Methodist Manual Labor School and Female Academy at Millsburg; the Baptist Boarding School at Bexley; and the Protestant Episcopal High School at Cape Palmas. These institutions must furnish some students for a higher seminary, such as we propose to establish; and such a population must need their labors when educated.

However foreign to the designs of the writer of ever making that country or any other out of America, his home; had this been done, and honorably maintained, the Republic of Liberia would have met with words of encouragement, not only from himself, an humble individual, but we dare assert, from the leading spirits among, if not from the whole colored population of the United States. Because they would have been willing to overlook the circumstances under which they went there, so that in the end, they were willing to take their stand as men, and thereby throw off the degradation of slaves, still under the control of American slave-holders, and American slave-ships. But in this, we were disappointed—grievously disappointed, and proceed to show in short, our objections to Liberia.

Its geographical position, in the first place, is objectionable, being located in the sixth degree of latitude North of the equator, in a district signally unhealthy, rendering it objectionable as a place of destination for the colored people of the United States. We shall say nothing about other parts of the African coast, and the reasons for its location where it is: it is enough for us to know the facts as they are, to justify an unqualified objection to Liberia.

In the second place, it originated in a deep laid scheme of the slaveholders of the country, to exterminate the free colored of the American continent; the origin being sufficient to justify us in impugning the motives.

Thirdly and lastly—Liberia is not an Independent Republic: in fact, it is not an independent nation at all; but a poor miserable mockery—a burlesque on a government—a pitiful dependency on the American Colonizationists, the Colonization Board at Washington city, in the District of Columbia, being the Executive and Government, and the principal man, called President, in Liberia, being the echo—a mere parrot of Rev. Robert R. Gurley, Elliot Cresson, Esq., Governor Pinney, and other leaders of the Colonization scheme—to do as they bid, and say what they tell him. This we see in all of his doings.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4     Next Part
Home - Random Browse