The Journal of Negro History, Volume 7, 1922
Author: Various
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A communication having been received from the Petersburg African Mission Society, and also from brother Colston W. Waring, a preacher of colour at Petersburg, desiring the patronage of this Board in favour of the said Waring, as a missionary to Africa.

Resolved, That the said communications impart pleasure to this body, and that the Board will cheerfully countenance and encourage the said Waring as their missionary to Africa, provided the expenses of his outfit, &c. can be met by his own resources and those of his brethren in that quarter.

Sixth Annual Report of the Board, in The Latter Day Luminary, Vol. II, p. 134.


KNOW ALL MEN, That this Contract, made on the fifteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred twenty-one, between King Peter, King George, King Zoda, and King L. Peter, their Princes and Head-men, of the one part; and Captain Robert F. Stockton and Eli Ayres, of the other part; WITNESSETH, That whereas certain persons Citizens of the United States of America, are desirous to establish themselves on the Western Coast of Africa, and have invested Captain Robert F. Stockton and Eli Ayres with full powers to treat with and purchase from us the said Kings, Princes, and Head-men, certain Lands, viz: Dozoa Island, and also all that portion of Land bounded north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south and east by a line drawn in a south-east direction from the north of Mesurado river, We, the said Kings, Princes, and Head-men, being fully convinced of the Pacific and just views of the said Citizens of America, and being desirous to reciprocate the friendship and affection expressed for us and our people, DO HEREBY, in consideration of so much paid in hand, viz: Six muskets, one box Beads, two hogsheads Tobacco, one cask Gunpowder, six bars Iron, ten iron Pots, one dozen Knives and Forks, one dozen Spoons, six pieces blue Baft, four Hats, three Coats, three pair Shoes, one box Pipes, one keg Nails, twenty Looking-glasses, three pieces Handkerchiefs, three pieces Calico, three Canes, four Umbrellas, one box Soap, one barrel Rum; And to be paid, the following: three casks Tobacco, one box Pipes, three barrels Rum, twelve pieces cloth, six bars Iron, one box Beads, fifty Knives, twenty Looking-glasses, ten iron Pots different sizes, twelve Guns, three barrels Gunpowder, one dozen Plates, one dozen Knives and Forks, twenty Hats, five casks Beef, five barrels Pork, ten barrels Biscuit, twelve Decanters, twelve glass Tumblers, and fifty Shoes, FOR EVER CEDE AND RELINQUISH the above described Lands, with all thereto appertaining or belonging, or reputed so to belong, to Captain Robert F. Stockton and Eli Ayres, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Premises, for the use of these said Citizens of America. And we, the said Kings, and Princes, and Head-men, do further pledge ourselves that we are the lawful owners of the above described Land, without manner of condition, limitation, or other matter.

The contracting Parties pledge themselves to live in peace and friendship for ever; and do further contract, not to make war, or otherwise molest or disturb each other.

We, the Kings, Princes, and Head-men, for a proper consideration by us received, do further agree to build for the use of the said Citizens of America, six large houses, on any place selected by them within the above described tract of ceded land.

In WITNESS whereof, the said Kings, Princes, and Head-men, of the one part; and Captain Robert Stockton and Eli Ayres, of the other part; do set their hands to this Covenant, on the day and year above written.

(Signed) KING PETER, X his mark. KING GEORGE, X his mark. KING ZODA, X his mark. KING LONG PETER, X his mark. KING GOVERNOR, X his mark. KING JIMMY, X his mark. (Signed) CAPTAIN ROBERT F. STOCKTON. ELI AYRES, M.D.

Witness, (Signed) JOHN S. MILL. JOHN CRAIG.


I HEREBY CONTRACT, for the consideration of one barrel of Rum, one tierce of Tobacco, one barrel of Bread, one barrel of Beef, one barrel of Pork, and one piece of trade Cloth, to give to Captain R. F. Stockton and Eli Ayres all my right and title to the Houses situated on the Land bought by them on Cape Mesurado.

In Witness whereof, I have here unto signed my name, on this sixteenth day of December, one thousand eight hundred twenty-one.

(Signed) JOHN S. MILL.

Witness, (Signed) CHARLES CAREY, X his mark. WILLIAM RODGERS, X his mark.

We promise to present to Charles Carey, one Coat. (Signed) R. F. STOCKTON. ELI AYRES.

The Fifth Annual Report of the American Colonization Society, pp. 64-66.

L—— C——.

A black man, has been a member of this Colony since the beginning of the year 1820. He made a profession of religion in America: but never never since I knew him, either discharged its duties, or evinced much of its spirit, till within the last ten months. He was a man of good natural sense, but wretched in the extreme; and the cause of equal wretchedness to his young family. His wife, naturally of a mild and placid temper, failed in almost every thing to please him, or prevent the constant outbreakings of his morose and peevish humor. He was her tyrant—and so instinct with malevolence, the vain conceit of superiority, jealousy, and obstinate pride, as to resemble more an Arab of the desert, or a person destitute of natural affection, than a person by education and in name, a Christian. As a neighbor, his feelings were so soured and narrow, as to render him disobliging, suspicious, and equally an object of general dislike and neglect. His heart was a moral desert—no kind affection seemed to stir within it; and the bitter streams which it discharged had spread a moral desolation around him, and left him the solitary victim of his own corroding temper.

Such an ascendant had these evil qualities over the other faculties of his mind as in a great measure to dim the light of reason, and render him as a subject of the colonial government, no less perverse and untractable, than he was debased and wretched, as a man.

Several times have the laws, which guard the peace of our little community, been called in, to check the excesses of his turbulent passions, by supplying the weakness of more ingenuous motives. Still this person discovered, in the midst of this wreck of moral excellence, a few remaining qualities, on which charity might fix the hope of his recovery to virtue, usefulness and happiness. But these were few, and mostly of a negative kind. He was not addicted to profane discourse. He allowed himself in no intemperate indulgences. He observed towards sacred institutions a cold, but still an habitual respect. And, strange as the fact may seem, he was laborious in his avocations, even to severe drudgery, and equally a stranger to avarice, and a passion for a vain ostentation. Whether these relieving traits of his character were the effects of habit, produced by the influence of former piety; or whether they were the result of constitutional temperament, or of education, is not for me to decide. But such was L. C., until the autumn of 1824; when not only a reform but an absolute reversal, of every perverse disposition and habit in the revolting catalogue of his character took place. A more obliging and affectionate husband I am convinced is not to be found on the Cape, few in the world! And there is no appearance of constraint, or affection in this display of tenderness. It is uniform, untiring, cordial, and increasing, as far as it is permitted to any one, except the Searcher of hearts, to judge. In all his intercourse with his family, and neighbors, he carries with him, an inimitable air of sweet and profound humility. You would pronounce it to be the meekness of the heart springing from some deep-felt sentiment of the interior of the mind. But so far from abasing the possessor, in the estimation of others, this very trait commands their respect, and their love. It gives to him a value, which he never appeared to possess before. Ten months have I now had daily opportunities to observe this altered man in a great variety of circumstances, and some of them, it must be confessed, sufficiently trying. In one instance, I have had to regret, and censure the appearance of that perversity which made an important part of his character. But happily this fit of turbulence was of short duration; and some months have passed since, without witnessing a repetition of the infirmity. Were I this evening asked to name a man in the Colony, who would most carefully guard against offending, or causing even a momentary pain to any of his fellow-men, I should not hesitate to say that in my judgment, the man is L. C. On this point I insist, because it was precisely in his revolting and unfeeling churlishness, that his greatest and most incurable infirmity seemed to consist. I hardly need add, were silence not liable to misconstruction, that the duties and ordinances of religion are matters of his most devout and diligent observance. How often have I been awaked at dawn of Sabbath, by his devout strains of prayer and praise, sent up from the midst of a little company of praying people, who at that hour assemble for religious exercises in a vacant building near my residence. How sure am I to find him reverently seated in his place, among the earliest who assemble in the house of God. What an active promoter of every commendable and pious design, is sure to be found in him.

Every laudable habit, which had survived the general extinction of all practical virtue, seems to have acquired additional confirmation: and from the operation of higher principles, seems to follow of course, and derive the best guaranty of its continuance. I might go on to particularize; but it would only be to fill up the outline already sketched, and which, whether relating to his former or his present character, however, imperfect, is strictly true. Ask of him the cause of so obvious and surprising a change, and he humbly, but unhesitatingly ascribes it wholly to the power of the Divine Spirit, operating, he cannot tell how, but evidently by means of the word and ordinances of God, upon his whole mind. Such was the origin of this great moral renovation, and such are the agency and means by which its effects are sustained, and under the operation of which they are beginning to combine into a habit of holiness. He rejoices in the hope of its duration to the end of life, solely he would say from the confidence he has in the immutable love and faithfulness of the Holy Being, who has wrought so great a work in him. And let philosophers cavil and doubt, if they must; but this man's example is a refutation in fact of a thousand of their sceptical theories. He is a new man, and the change was effected chiefly before discipline, or example, had time to work it. He is an honest man, and soberly asserts that to his certain knowledge he did not perform the work himself. But where is the example to be found of such and so great a change, wrought by mortal means? The history of the human race is challenged to produce it. To God then who created man, to Christ who redeemed him, and to the Holy Ghost who sanctifies him, be ascribed without abatement, or reserve, the power and the grace displayed in this and every similar instance of the conversion of a blind, and hardened and wretched sinner.

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, pp. 136-138.

"June 16th, 1827. "To the Rev. R. R. Gurley.

"Rev. and Dear Sir, I transmit to you a few lines, which I trust may find you well. The last emigrants that you sent out, has fared remarkably well, as it respects the disease; we have only lost two children. We have several cases of bad ulcers; and from seeing advertised in the Compiler of Richmond, a medicine called Swaim's Panacea, said to be a sure cure for ulcers; please try if possible to procure some, and send out, for we should have very healthy inhabitants at present, but for the prevalence of that uncontrolable disease. We are also in want of Salts, Castor-oil, Cream of Tartar, mignesea, and Mustard, as much as you can send well put up. I am greatly in hopes to be over the next spring, and try to wake up my colored friends in Virginia. We have a plan in contemplation which if accomplished will, I think insure my making one visit to America, that is, to purchase, or aid in the purchase of a vessel to run constantly from this, to America, to bring out our own supplies, emigrants, &c. I hope sir, when such an attempt is made you will facilitate it all that you can.

"I think that you would be pleased with the improvements that we have made since you left if you were to make another visit to this country—both our civil and religious state I think has improved very much. No more but wishing that the blessing of the Lord may attend you, both in your public and private life, and the Board of Managers, in all their administrations.

"Yours, &c. "LOTT CARY."

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, p. 153.


"MONROVIA, April 24th, 1826.

"Rev. and Dear Sir: I received your letter sent to me by the order of the Board of Managers of the American Colonization Society; and I expected until a few days ago that the return of the Indian Chief, would have enabled me in all respects to have realized their wishes. But on a more minute examination of the subject, Mr. Ashmun and myself both were apprehensive that my leaving the Colony at present, would endanger the lives of a number of the inhabitants; Mr. Ashmun, however, has made a full statement to the Board, which I have no doubt will be satisfactory to them. I think that through the blessing of the Almighty, I shall be able to get the last expedition through the fever with very little loss; we have lost only three, the Rev. Mr. Trueman, from Baltimore, and two children belonging to the Paxton family. But the emigrants who came out in the Vine, have suffered very much; we lost twelve of them. The action of the disease was more powerful with them than is common—they unfortunately arrived here in the most sickly month in the year, February. I am strongly of the opinion, sir, that if the people of New England leave there in the winter, that the transition is so great, that you may count upon a loss of half at least. They may, in my estimation, with safety, leave in the months from April to November, and arrive here in good time; I think it to be a matter of great importance; therefore I hope, that you will regard it as such.

"I am respectfully yours, "Lott Cary."

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, p. 152.

In April, 1826, Lott Cary made arrangements to embark for the United States. The following is extracted from a letter addressed by Mr. Ashmun to the Managers of the Colonization Society:

"The Rev. Lott Cary, returning by the 'Indian Chief,' has, in my opinion, some claims on the justice of the Society or Government of the United States, or both, which merit consideration. These claims arise out of a long and faithful course of medical services rendered to this Colony, (the only such services deserving much consideration, if we except those of Dr. Ayres and Dr. Peaco, since the commencement of the settlement, in 1820).

"It is perhaps known to the Board, that Mr. Cary has declined serving any civil office, incompatible with a faithful discharge of his sacred functions: and it may be added, that although one of the most diligent and active of men, he has never had the command of leisure or strength to engage in any Missionary duties, besides the weekly and occasional services of the congregation. More than one-half of his time has been given up to the care of our sick, from the day I landed in Africa, to the very moment of stating the fact. He has personally aided in every way, that fidelity and benevolence could dictate, in all the attentions which all our sick have in so long a period received. His want of science acquired by the regular study of Medicine, he has gone a long way towards supplying by an unwearied diligence which few regular physicians think it necessary—fewer superficial practitioners, have the motives for exercising.

"Several times have these disinterested labors reduced him to the verge of the grave. The presence of the other physicians has, instead of affording relief, only redoubled the intensity of his labors, by changing the ordinary routine of his attentions to the sick with the exhibition of their own prescriptions.

"Mr. Cary has hitherto received no compensation, either from the Society or the Government, for these services. I need not add, that it has not been in his power to support himself and family by any use he could make of the remnants of his time left him, after discharging the amount of duty already described. The Missionary Board of Richmond have fed, clothed and supplied the other wants of himself and family, while devoting his strength and time to your sick colonists, and Agents in this country. Justice seems to demand that he should be placed in a situation as an honest man, to refund the whole or part of the fund thus engrossed, not to say misapplied, to the Missionary Board.

"I beg leave also to state, that on the 15th of February, 1826, I came into an agreement with Mr. Cary, to allow him a reasonable compensation for his medical services, devoted to the then sickening company of Boston emigrants. His time has from the date of that agreement, to the present hour, been incessantly occupied in attending upon the sick."

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, pp. 151f.

On the 25th of June Gary wrote to Ashmun:

"About three o'clock to-day, there appeared three vessels—two brigs and a schooner. The schooner stood into the Roads, and one of the brigs near in, but showed no colours until a shot was fired by Captain Thompson; when she hoisted Spanish colours, and the schooner the same. All their movements appeared so suspicious, that we turned out all our forces to-night.—About eight this evening it was reported that they were standing out of our Roads; and at sunset, that the schooner had come to anchor very near the 'All Chance,' from Boston; and that the brig which had passed the Cape, had put about and was standing up, trying to double the Cape; and that the third vessel (a brig) was standing down for the Roads. The first mentioned brig showed nine ports a side. From all these circumstances I thought best to have Fort Norris Battery manned, which was immediately done by Captain Johnson. I also ordered out the two volunteer companies to make discoveries around the town, and the Artillery to support the guns, and protect the beach; which orders were promptly executed, and we stood in readiness during the night. At daylight the schooner lay at anchor and appeared to be making no preparations to communicate with us; I then ordered a shot to be fired at a little distance from her, when she sent a boat ashore with her Captain, Supercargo, and Interpreter. She reported herself the Joseph, from Havana, had been three months on the coast trading, but not for slaves, had one gun, and twenty-three men. Also, that the brig was a patriotic brig in chase of her, and that through fear she had taken shelter under our guns. The Captain wished a supply of wood and water; but I told him I knew him to be engaged in the slave trade, and that, though we did not pretend to attempt suppressing this trade, we would not aid it, and that I allowed him one hour, and one only, to get out of the reach of our guns. He was very punctual, and I believe before his hour."

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, p. 157.

A letter to the American Colonization Society through her Secretary, July 17th (1828):

Until we can raise crops sufficient to supply a considerable number of new comers every year, such an arrangement (a vessel large enough to run down to Cape Palmas and occasionally to Sierra Leone) as will enable us to proceed farther to the leeward than we have ever done, in order to procure supplies, will be indispensably necessary; as there we can procure Indian Corn, Palm Oil, and live stock. For these, neither the slave traders nor others, give themselves much. Corn can be bought there for from fifteen to twenty cents per bushel. Fifteen or twenty bushels which I bought of Captain Woodbury, I have been using instead of rice for the last two months. Besides, it can be ground into meal, and would be better than any that can be sent. Upon the supposed inquiry, will not the lands of the Colony produce Corn? they will produce it in abundance; but with the quantity of lands appropriated at present, and the means to cultivate them, each landholder will, I think, be able to raise but little more than may be required by his own family, and consequently will have little to dispose of to new comers. (It has been resolved by the Board of Managers to increase the quantity of land alloted to each settler.)

Permit me to inform the Board, that proposals have been made by a number of very respectable citizens in Monrovia, to commence a settlement near the head of the Montserado River, which would be a kind of farming establishment; which, should it be the pleasure of the Board to approve, would be followed up with great spirit, and found to contribute largely towards increasing our crops, for the soil is very promising.

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, p. 158.



As much speculation and uncertainty continue to prevail among the free people of colour in the United States, respecting our situation and prospects in Africa; and many misrepresentations have been put in circulation there, of a nature slanderous to us, and in their effects injurious to them; we feel it our duty by a true statement of our circumstances to endeavor to correct them.

The first consideration which caused our voluntary removal to this country, and the object which we still regard with the deepest concern, is liberty—liberty, in the sober, simple, but complete sense of the word:—not a licentious liberty—nor a liberty without government—or which should place us without the restraint of salutary laws. But that liberty of speech, action, and conscience, which distinguished the free, enfranchised citizens of a free state. We did not enjoy that freedom in our native country, and from causes which, as respects ourselves, we shall soon forget forever, we were certain it was not there attainable for ourselves, or our children. This then being the first object of our pursuit in coming to Africa, is probably the first subject on which you will ask for information. And we must truly declare to you, that our expectations and hopes in this respect have been realized. Our Constitution secures to us, so far as our condition allows, "all the rights and privileges enjoyed by the citizens of the United States," and these rights and these privileges are ours. We are proprietors of the soil we live on; and possess the rights of freeholders; our suffrages, and what is of more importance our sentiments, and our opinions, have their due weight in the government we live under. Our laws are altogether our own; they grow out of our circumstances; are framed for our exclusive benefit; and administered either by officers of our own appointment, or such as possess our confidence. We have a judiciary chosen from among ourselves; we serve as jurors in the trial of others; and are liable to be tried only by juries of our fellow-citizens, ourselves. We have all that is meant by liberty of conscience. The time and mode of worshipping God as prescribed in his word, and dictated by our conscience, we are not only free to follow, but are protected in following.

Forming a community of our own, in the land of our forefathers, having the commerce and soil and resources of the country at our disposal; we know nothing of that debasing inferiority, with which our very colour stamped us in America. There is nothing here to create the feeling on our part—nothing to cherish the feeling of superiority in the minds of foreigners who visit us. It is this moral emancipation—this liberation of the mind from worse than iron fetters, that repays us ten thousand times over, for all that it has cost us, and makes us grateful to God, and our American patrons, for the happy change which has taken place in our situation. We are not so self-complacent as to rest satisfied with our improvement either as regards our minds or our circumstances. We do not expect to remain stationary,—far from it; but we certainly feel ourselves, for the first time, in a state to improve either to any purpose. The burden is gone from our shoulders; we now breathe and move freely, and know not (in our present state) for which to pity you most, the empty name of liberty, which you endeavour to content yourselves with, in a country that is not yours; or the delusion which makes you hope for ampler privileges in that country hereafter. Tell us; which is the white man, who, with a prudent regard to his own character, can associate one of you on terms of equality? Ask us which is the white man who would decline such association with one of our number, whose intellectual and moral qualities are not an objection? To both of these questions we unhesitatingly make the same answer: there is no such white man.

We solicit none of you to emigrate to this country; for we know not who among you prefers rational independence and the honest respect of his fellow men, to the mental sloth and careless poverty, which you already possess, and your children will inherit after you, in America. But if your views and aspirations rise a degree higher—if your minds are not as servile as your present condition, we can decide the question at once; and with confidence say that you will bless the day, and your children after you, when you determined to become citizens of Liberia.

But we do not hold this language on the blessing of liberty, for the purpose of consoling ourselves for the sacrifice of health, or the suffering of want, in consequence of our removal to Africa. We enjoy health after a few months' residence in the country as uniformly, and in as perfect a degree, as we possessed that blessing in our native country. And a distressing scarcity of provisions, or any of the comforts of life, has for the last two years been entirely unknown, even to the poorest persons in this community. We never hoped, by leaving America, to escape the common lot of mortals—the necessity of death to which the just appointment of Heaven consigns us. But we do expect to live as long, and pass this life with as little sickness as yourselves.

The true character of the African climate is not well understood in other countries. Its inhabitants are as robust, as healthy, as long lived, to say the least, as those of any other country. Nothing like an epidemic has ever appeared in this colony; nor can we learn from the natives, that the calamity of a sweeping sickness ever yet visited this part of the continent. But the change from a temperate to a tropical country is a great one; too great, not to affect the health more or less,—and in the cases of old people and very young children, it often causes death. In the early years of the colony, want of good houses, the great fatigues and dangers of the settlers, their irregular mode of living, and the hardships and discouragements they met with, greatly helped the other causes of sickness, which prevailed to an alarming extent, and was attended with great mortality. But we look back to those times as to a season of trial long past, and nearly forgotten:—our houses and circumstances are now comfortable, and for the last 2 or 3 years, not one person in forty, from the Middle and Southern States has died, from the change of climate.

People, now arriving, have comfortable houses to receive them, will enjoy the regular attendance of a Physician in the slight sickness that may await them; will be surrounded and attended by healthy and happy people who have borne the effects of the climate, who will encourage and fortify them against that despondency, which alone has carried off several in the first years of the colony. But, you may say, that even health and freedom, good as they are, are still dearly paid for, when they cost you the common comforts of life, and expose your wives and children to famine and all the evils of poverty. We do not dispute the soundness of this conclusion neither—but we utterly deny that it has any application to the people of Liberia. Away with all the false notions that are circulating about the barrenness of this country. They are the observations of such ignorant or designing men, as would injure both it and you. A more fertile soil and a more productive country, so far as it is cultivated, there is not, we believe, on the face of the earth. Its hills and its plains are covered with a verdure which never fades—the productions of nature keep on in their growth through all the seasons of the year. Even the natives of the country, almost without farming tools, without skill, and with very little labour, make more grain and vegetables than they can consume, and often more than they can sell.

Cattle, swine, fowls, ducks, goats and sheep, thrive without feeding—and require not other care than to keep them from straying. Cotton, coffee, Indigo, and sugar cane are all the spontaneous growth of our forests; and may be cultivated at pleasure to any extent, by such as are disposed. The same may be said of rice, indian corn, guinea corn, millet, and too many species of fruits and vegetables to be enumerated. Add to all this, we have no dreary winter here, for one half of the year, to consume the productions of the other half; nature is constantly renewing herself, and constantly pouring her treasures, all the year round, into the lap of the industrious. We could say on this subject more; but we are afraid of exciting too highly the hopes of the imprudent. It is only the industrious and virtuous that we can point to independence and plenty and happiness in this country. Such people are nearly sure, to attain in a very few years, to a style of comfortable living, which they may in vain hope for in the United States. And however short we come of the character ourselves, it is only a due acknowledgment of the bounty of Divine Providence, to say that we generally enjoy the good things of this life to our entire satisfaction.

Our trade and commerce are chiefly confined to the coast, to the interior parts of the continent, and to foreign vessels. It is already valuable, and fast increasing. It is carried on in the productions of the country, consisting of rice, palm oil, ivory, tortoise-shell, dye-woods, gold, hides, wax, and a small amount of coffee; and it brings us in return the products and manufactures of the four quarters of the world. Seldom indeed is our harbour clear of European and American shipping; and the bustle and thronging of our streets show something of the activity of the smaller seaports of the United States.

Mechanics of nearly every trade are carrying on their various occupations. Their wages are high, and a large number would be sure of constant and profitable employment. Not a child or youth in the colony, but is provided with an appropriate school. We have a numerous publick library, and a Courthouse, Meeting-houses, School-houses, and fortifications sufficient, or nearly so, for the colony in its present state.

Our houses are constructed of the same materials, and finished in the same style as in the towns in America. We have abundance of good building stone, shells for lime and clay of an excellent quality for bricks. Timber is plentiful and of various kinds, and fit for all the different purposes of building and fencing.

Truly we have a goodly heritage, and if there is any thing lacking in the character or condition of the people of this colony, it never can be charged to the account of the country. It must be the fruit of our own mismanagement or slothfulness or vices. But from these evils, we confide in Him to whom we are indebted for all our blessings, to preserve us. It is the topic of our weekly and daily thanksgiving to Almighty God, both in publick and private; and he knows with what sincerity, that we were ever conducted to this shore. Such great favours in so short a time, and mixed with so few trials, are to be ascribed to nothing but his special blessing. This we acknowledge. Judge then of the feelings with which we hear the motives and the doings of the Colonization Society traduced—and that too, by men too ignorant to know what that society has accomplished; too weak to look through its plans and intentions; or too dishonest to acknowledge either. But without pretending to any prophetic sagacity, we can certainly predict to that society the ultimate triumph of their hopes and labours; and disappointment and defeat to all who oppose them. Men may theorize and speculate about their plans in America. But there can be no speculation here. The cheerful abodes of civilization and happiness, which are scattered over this verdant mountain; the flourishing settlements which are spreading around it—the sound of Christian instruction, and scene of Christian worship, which are heard and seen in this land of brooding pagan darkness; a thousand contented freemen, united in founding a new Christian Empire, happy themselves, and the instruments of happiness to others—every object, every individual, is an argument, is demonstration of the wisdom and the goodness of the plan of Colonization.

Where is the argument that shall refute facts like these? and where is the man hardy enough to deny them?

The American Baptist Magazine, Vol. VIII, pp. 50-53.


The Colonial Agent, J. Ashmun, esq., went on board the brig Doris, March 26th, 1828, escorted by three companies of military, and when taking leave he delivered a short address, which was truly affecting; never, I suppose, were greater tokens of respect shown by any community on taking leave of their head. Nearly the whole (at least two-thirds) of the inhabitants of Monrovia, men, women, and children, were out on this occasion, and nearly all parted from him with tears, and in my opinion, the hope of his return in a few months, alone enabled them to give him up. He is indeed dear to this people, and it will be a joyful day when we are again permitted to see him. He has left a written address, which contains valuable admonitions to Officers, Civil, Military, and Religious. The brig sailed on the 27th. May she have a prosperous voyage.

Thursday, March 27.

Feeling very sensibly my incompetency to enter upon the duties of my office without first making all the Officers of the Colony well acquainted with the principal objects which should engage our attention, I invited them to meet at the Agency House on the 27th, at 9 o'clock, which was punctually attended to; and I then read all the instructions left by Mr. Ashmun without reserve, and requested their co-operation. I stated that it would be our first object to put the Jail in complete order, secondly to have our guns and armaments in a proper state, and thirdly to get the new settlers located on their lands; as this was a very important item in my instructions. This explanation will, I think, have a good effect; as by it the effective part of the Colony is put in possession of the most important objects of our present pursuit; and I trust through the blessing of the great Ruler of events, we shall be able to realize all the expectations of Mr. Ashmun, and render entire satisfaction to the Board of Managers if they can reconcile themselves to the necessary expenses.

March 29.

From a note received from Mr. James, dated Millsburg, I learn that he visited King Boatswain, and that the new road from Boatswain's to Millsburg will shortly be commenced.—The Headmen expect, however, to be paid for opening the road. Messrs. James and Cook, who came down this evening, state, that the Millsburg Factory will be ready in a few days for the reception of goods, and wished consignments might be made early. But as I had been on the 27th paying off the kings towards the Millsburg lands, and found that one hundred and twenty bars came so far short of satisfying them, I thought best to see them together before I should attempt to make any consignments to that place.

Know all men by these presents: That we, Old King Peter, and King Governor, King James, and King Long Peter, do on this fourth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, grant unto Lott Cary, acting Agent of the Colony of Liberia, in behalf of the American Colonization Society, to wit:

All that tract of Land on the north side of St. Paul's river, beginning at King James' line below the establishment called Millsburg Settlement, and we the Kings as aforesaid do bargain, sell, and grant, unto the said Lott Cary, acting in behalf of the American Colonization Society, all the aforesaid tract of land, situated and bounded as follows: by the St. Paul's river on the South, and thence running an East Northeast direction up the St. Paul's river, as far as he, the said Lott Cary, or his successor in the Agency, or Civil Authority of the Colony of Liberia, shall think proper to take up and occupy: and bounded on the West by King Jimmey's, and running thence a North direction as far as our power and influence extend. We do this day and date, grant as aforesaid for the consideration (here follow the articles to be given in payment); and will forever defend the same against all claims whatsoever.

In witness whereof we set our hands and names: OLD X KING PETER, LONG X KING PETER, KING X GOVERNOR, KING X JAMES.


June 18, 1828.

I found it necessary, in order to preserve the frame of the second floors of the Government House, to have the frame and ceiling painted, which is now doing. I have also been obliged to employ another workman to make the blinds, or else leave the house exposed the present season, as —— refused to do it under the former contract. On the 13th I visited Millsburg (named after Mills and Burgess) to ascertain the prospects of that settlement; and can say with propriety, that according to the quantity of land which the settlers have put under cultivation, they will reap a good and plentiful crop. The Company's crop of rice and cassada is especially promising. The new settlers at that place have done well; having all, with two or three exceptions, built houses, so as to render their families comfortable during the season. They have also each of them a small farm, which I think after a few months will be sufficient to subsist them. But I find from a particular examination, that we shall be obliged to allow them to draw rations longer than I expected, owing to the great scarcity of country produce, the cassada being so nearly exhausted, that it is, and will be, impossible to obtain, until new crops come in, much to aid our provisions, unless by going some distance into the country. Therefore I think it indispensably necessary, in order to keep the settlers to their farming improvements, to continue their rations longer than I at first intended; as I consider the present too important a crisis to leave them to neglect their improvements, although it may add something to our present expenses.

The people at Caldwell are getting on better with their farms than with their houses. I think some of them are very slow, notwithstanding I have assisted them in building. The Gun House at Caldwell is done, and at present preparations are making for the fourth of July. I think that settlement generally, is rapidly advancing in farming, building, and I hope, in industry. Our gun carriages are done; the completion of the iron work alone prevents us from mounting them all immediately. We have four mounted, and I think we shall put them all in complete order by the end of the present week.

Captain Russel will be able to give something like a fair account of the state of our improvements, as he went with me to visit the settlements on the 13th and 14th, and seemed pleased with the project at Millsburg, Caldwell and the Half-way Farms.

Mr. Warner, who has been engaged nearly the whole of the last twelve months on business of negotiation with the native tribes to the leeward, is at present down at Tippicanoe, the place which I mentioned in my former communications, as being a very important section of country, since it would connect our Sesters and Bassa districts together. He is not, however, now engaged in business of negotiation, but only in business of trade.

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, pp. 153-156.

In a letter to Mr. Ashmun, Mr. Cary wrote:

Things are nearly as you left them; most of the work that you directed to be done, is nearly accomplished. The plasterers are now at work on the Government House, and with what lime I am having brought down the river, and what shells I am getting, I think we shall succeed.

The Gun House in Monrovia and the Jail have been done for some weeks; the mounting of the guns will be done this week, if the weather permits.

The Houses at Half-way Farms are done; the Gun House at Caldwell would have been done at this time, had not the rain prevented, but I think it will be finished in three or four days. The public farm is doing pretty well. The Millsburg farms are doing very well. I think it would do you good to see that place at this time.

The Missionaries, although they have been sick are now, I am happy to inform you, recovered; and at present are able to attend to their business, and I regard them as entirely out of danger.

I hope we shall be able to remove all the furniture into the new house in two or three weeks.

Speaking of the celebration of the 4th of July under date of July 15th, Mr. Cary remarked to Mr. Ashmun:

The companies observed strictly the orders of the day, which I think were so arranged as to entitle the officers who drew them up to credit. Upon the whole, I am obliged to say, that I have never seen the American Independence celebrated with so much spirit and propriety since the existence of the Colony; the guns being all mounted and painted, and previously arranged for the purpose, added very much to the grand salute. Two dinners were given, one by the Independent Volunteer Company, and one by Captain Devany.

Mr. Cary wrote to the Secretary of the Colonization Society, July 19th, 1828:

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, forwarded by Captain Chase of Providence, also your Report and Repository, directed to Mr. Ashmun, but owing to his absence, they have fallen into my hands; and permit me to say, that these communications are read with pleasure, and that nothing affords more joy to the Colony, than to hear of the prosperity of the Colonization Society, and that you have some hopes of aid from the General Government, which makes us more desirous to enlarge our habitation and extend the borders of the Colony.

I must say, from the flattering prospects of your Society, I feel myself very much at a loss how to proceed, in the absence of Mr. Ashmun, with regard to making provisions for the reception of a large number of emigrants, which appears to be indispensably necessary. Therefore, after receiving your communication, we conceived the following to be the most safe and prudent course. First, to make arrangements to have erected at Millsburg, houses to answer as receptacles sufficient to shelter from one hundred and fifty to two hundred persons, I have therefore extended the duties of Mr. Benson so as to embrace that object. I was led to this course from the following considerations. First, from the productiveness of the Millsburg lands and the fewness of their inhabitants. I know if Mr. Ashmun were present, it would be a principal object with him to push that settlement forward with all possible speed, and that for this purpose, he would send the emigrants by the first two or three expeditions to that place. I think that those from the fresh water rivers, if carried directly after their arrival here, up to Millsburg, would suffer very little from change of climate. Second, the fertility of the land is such a temptation to the farmer, that unless he possesses laziness in its extreme degree, he cannot resist it; he must and will go to work. Thirdly, it is important to strengthen that settlement against any possible attack; and though we apprehend no hostilities from the natives, yet we would have each settlement strong enough to repel them.

I am happy to say, that the health, peace and prosperity of the Colony, I think, is still advancing, and I hope that the Board of Managers may have their wishes and expectations realized to their fullest extent, with regard to the present and future prosperity of the Colony.

Gurley, Life of Jehudi Ashmun, appendix, pp. 156-158.

Letter to the treasurer of the Massachusetts Baptist Education Society:


Here is a mite enclosed for your society. It is part of the proceeds of a cotton field, for benevolent purposes. I helped to plough the ground, plant, hoe, pick, gin and pack the cotton with my own hands. A part of the proceeds is for the Colonization Society. My servants would shew their large white teeth, when, to encourage them to do their work well, I informed them that this cotton was designed to be a means of enlightening their brethren in Africa. Don't you think that Christians by and by, will act more like stewards with the property God has given them? I think it better to give now and then a mite, which the Lord may have bestowed upon me, to advance his cause, than to lavish it on profligate and dissipated sons. Will not God at a future day require the property he has loaned us?

We see you Northern folks seem conscious of this, by the exertions you are using to advance the Redeemer's cause. This has become a fortunate legatee, in comparison with what it was fifty years ago.

We, down here, so near the equator, think we can discover the upper limb of the millennium sun already. Will he not get clear above the horizon by 1866.

A Georgia Planter.

The American Baptist Magazine, Vol. IV, p. 181.


[1] These extracts were collected by Miles Mark Fisher.


The Master's Slave—Elijah John Fisher. By MILES MARK FISHER. The Judson Press, Philadelphia, Pa. Pp. 194.

This work is a biographical sketch of one of the most prominent Negro Baptist preachers of his time. The author, the son of the subject of the sketch, believes that too little has been said concerning the Negro Church, which is largely responsible for whatever advancement the race has made. To stimulate interest in this institution and to give it the proper place in the history of the race, this biography is given to the public.

The book contains an introduction by Dr. L. K. Williams, the popular successor of Dr. Fisher at the Olivet Baptist Church in Chicago, where the latter faithfully served many years. It contains also an appreciation by Martin B. Madden, Congressman from Illinois, who personally knew Dr. Fisher and speaks most commendably of his character and achievements in that State.

The actual sketch begins with the chapter entitled "Bound and Branded," presenting the life of Dr. Fisher during the slavery of the last decade prior to emancipation. Herein are set forth interesting facts showing the connection of the Negro with Africa and his status in the slave-holding South. The effects of the Civil War in this section appear also from page to page.

Then follows that part of his career when he as a youth undertook to secure an education by which he might be qualified for the serious duties of life. How he began as a teacher during the beginning of Negro education of the Reconstruction period, and how he finally became an exhorter and developed into a minister acceptable to the communicants of his denomination, make the story increasingly interesting. The sketch reaches its climax through a detailed account of Dr. Fisher's work at Atlanta, Nashville, and Chicago, emphasizing the last mentioned as the place of his most successful labor.

The historian will find this work valuable in that it illuminates one of the most interesting periods of Negro church history. It is not only a sketch of one distinguished churchman but a narrative presenting an important chapter of the story of the Baptists by relating the many incidents connected with the leading churchmen and ecclesiastical organizations interested in the uplift of the Negro since the Civil War. This narrative, moreover, shows how the Negro minister, in keeping with the exigencies of the time, often had to be drawn into politics in self defense and that in the case of unselfish service like that of Dr. Fisher, he may come out of the controversy untarnished.

History of the United States. Vol. V. By EDWARD CHANNING. The Macmillan Company, New York City. Pp. 615.

This is the most recent volume of Professor Channing's eight volume History of the United States from the very beginning of our history to the present time. This particular volume covers the years from 1815 to 1848 and is entitled "The Period of Transition." It is written in keeping with the standard of thoroughness characteristic of the author and is made further informing by the use of ten valuable maps illustrating important facts in American History.

In this volume the author engages the attention of the reader with an account of the wonderful century in which he writes. He then discusses the westward movement of the population, urban migration, the rise of labor unions, giving more attention to economic matters than his predecessors have been accustomed to do in the treatment of this period. A study of the documentary history of the United States has convinced the author that these important factors in the making of this country have been neglected. His treatment, therefore, is a change in the point of view in American historical writing.

This volume does not show the usual interest in slavery and abolition. Only one chapter of this large work is devoted primarily to the plantation life and abolitionism. The author discusses the lot of the slave, accounting for his tendency to escape from bondage, the traffic in human flesh, the free people of color, the colonization movement in the South, and abolition in the North. This chapter culminates in a discussion of the efforts of William Lloyd Garrison, the agitating editor of the Liberator, of Wendell Phillips, the abolition orator, of Prudence Crandall, the sacrificing worker, and of Elijah Lovejoy, the martyr in the cause. Prof. Channing does not go into details as to the achievements of the abolitionists. His account is merely sufficient to connect this movement with other forces at work in the country at that time.

Most of this volume is devoted to changes in religion, education, literature, and politics, effected by such outstanding figures as James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and Daniel Webster. The book shows an extensive treatment of the territorial expansion of that time, especially the efforts to secure Texas, California and Oregon, and the war with Mexico. On the whole, this book has a decided economic and social trend. It is an effort to account for the significant upheavals in our history through connection with important industrial and economic events which have materially influenced the history of the United States during the last century. The book emphasizes the fact that current history can not be easily written, that one must be far removed from situations in the past in order to weigh the influences having a bearing thereon to determine exactly how the country has become what it is today.

Recent History of the United States. By FREDERICK L. PAXSON. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. Pp. 588.

This book beginning with the inauguration of Hayes shows how he reestablished home rule in the South, thus clearing the way for a realization of education and economic reconstruction of both South and North. The author then treats the civil and border strife as expressed in the Mexican Revolution of 1876, Indian wars, social unrest, national labor unions, and the War with Spain. Then follows the treatment of post-bellum ideals as expressed by literary periodicals and new writers showing a revolution in literature, and especially in historical writing.

In his treatment of silver, greenbacks, railroad and mine booms, and the like, he shows that the country had reached a new stage in its development when a transition both economic and political was apparent. This is made evident by his discussion of election frauds, Republican factions, office holders in politics, the abuse of patronage and the necessity for civil service reform. Next the author takes up the era of prosperity, the disappearance of the frontier, the land grants to railroads, the development of the telephone, telegraph, typewriter, electrical appliances, and the like, in their bearing on the industrial reconstruction of the whole country.

The author then discusses events more in detail, directing his attention to the tariff revision of the eighties, the "Mugwump Campaign" of 1884, the Wild West, labor ideals, protection, populism, the revival of the Democratic party through the leadership of Cleveland, industrial unrest, political schism, the Spanish-American War, business in politics, the career of Theodore Roosevelt, government control, insurgency, the rise of Woodrow Wilson, watchful waiting, neutrality and preparedness, the United States in the World War, and the League of Nations. Some attention is also given to the reconstruction and the election of 1920.

While the work is a valuable treatise from the point of view of a man who is trying to write the history of a particular race, it does not come up to the standard of history of the United States in all of its national and racial ramifications. So far as the Negro is concerned, it merely refers to his undoing as a political factor in the Reconstruction, the efforts for his education by northern sympathizers, the rise of Booker T. Washington, the elimination of the Negro as a factor in the South, the efforts to pass a force bill protecting the Negro in the exercise of the right of suffrage, and the continued control of the South of the Democratic party. A foreigner who reads this work might wonder whether the Negroes by this political upheaval have been exterminated or have emigrated from the country. Any student of the history of the whole Southland knows that it is centered largely around the Negro and any historian failing to take this into account cannot be recognized as an authority.

The Backbone of Africa. A Record of Travel during the Great War, with some Suggestions for Administrative Reform. By SIR ALFRED SHARPS, K. C. M. G., C. B., formerly Governor of Nyasaland. London, H. F. & G. Witherby, 1921. Pp. 232.

This is the reaction of a public functionary to the scenes of colonial life as they appeared to him from a different angle in a survey of the whole continent and under the circumstances of a political upheaval. He had in mind here the regions of Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Tanganyika, Ruanda, the Congo, and the Upper Nile. The book is illustrated, well written and suggestive throughout. It contains four valuable maps and has an index largely of names.

Writing from the point of view of the exploiter of Africa, the author considers such questions as the disposition of the German Colonies coming into the possession of England at the close of the Great War, the question of restitution, the partition of Africa, the suggested union of the Protectorates in Eastern Africa under a Governor General, the partition of German East Africa, the redelimitation of boundaries, problems of railway construction and a united East African Colony. He discusses also the Home Government, native taxation, local representation, land along with land laws, native rights, their education, the labor problem, migration, industrial questions, and missions.

Treating the colonial policy in dealing with the natives, the author shows some sympathy. He does not believe that the tax on natives has been wisely imposed and, therefore, asks for a uniform and more equitable system. To effect such a reform, however, he believes that the local government with increased authority in its own affairs should exercise such power rather than have such a policy determined by the Home Government through its appointive executive and legislators who act for the colonies though not of them. The question of native ownership of spare land, he believes, should be carefully considered, inasmuch as there has never been any real title to the possession of definite blocks of freehold lands in Native Africa. Native education also should be taken in hand and there should be adopted a suitable scheme, applicable to all the Protectorates.

"In the first place in one shape or another," says the author, "we introduce a direct but immoderate impost such as a hut-tax or a more general poll-tax, the money for which has to be earned. Next, we endeavor to create new wants: clothes, ornaments, manufactured goods and luxuries of all kinds. All this represents a gradual process of regeneration, as the native is by nature very conservative and, therefore, slow to adopt new tastes or acquire ambitions. But we endeavor to raise his ideals and to inculcate the view we ourselves hold: that man should not be satisfied with mere existence, like beasts in the field, but should adopt civilisation and everything that, in the main, we consider to be essential to civilised life. We ask him, therefore, to produce something—other than for his own immediate wants—whether it be by labour done for an employer, or on his own account."


The next annual meeting of the Association will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday and Friday, the 23d and 24th of November. The day sessions will be held at the Branch Library on West Chestnut Street and the evening sessions at the Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church on the same street. The management is endeavoring to make this a national meeting effective in arousing universal interest in the study of Negro life and history.

During the academic year 1922-1923 Mr. A. A. Taylor, formerly Instructor in Economics at the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, will devote a part of his time to research in the field of Negro Reconstruction History as an investigator of the Association. The remaining portion of his time will be devoted to the completion of some graduate studies at Harvard University.

Mr. Taylor is a product of the Washington Public Schools and of the University of Michigan. He is the author of two articles recently published in THE JOURNAL OF NEGRO HISTORY, namely, "Making West Virginia a Free State" and "Negro Congressmen a Generation After." It is expected that Mr. Taylor may find it possible to devote his future to investigation under the auspices of the Association.

Mr. Hosea B. Campbell, who during his four years at Grinnell College held a Julius Rosenwald scholarship, has been awarded a fellowship of $500 by the Association to prosecute at Harvard graduate studies in Negro American and African History.

* * * * *

An authorized translation into English of Rene Maran's Batouala has been published and is being sold throughout the United States. It is expected that in this form the work will more thoroughly inform the American public as to the African situation and as to the ability of this man of Negro blood to treat it.

Les Noirs de l'Afrique, an historical essay on the people of Africa, their customs and art, by Mr. Delafosse, appeared in Paris in 1921.

* * * * *

[Transcriber's Notes:

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies. The transcriber made the following changes to the text to correct obvious errors:

1. p. 5, professsors —> professors 2. p. 6, posssible —> possible 3. p. 34, Haper's Ferry —> Harper's Ferry 4. p. 51, tself —> itself 5. p. 54, Douglas —> Douglass 6. p. 61, banquent —> banquet 7. p. 70, Geogre —> George 8. p. 79, Ninteenth —> Nineteenth 9. p. 81, Footnote #19, Grimke's —> Grimke's 10. p. 81, No footnote marker for footnote #19. 11. p. 110, ecnouragement —> encouragement 12. p. 119, disfranchisment —> disfranchisement 13. p. 122, subscripion —> subscription 14. p. 133, Virgina —> Virginia 15. p. 137, successivly —> successively 16. p. 151, establisment —> establishment 17. p. 154, Eliott —> Elliott 18. p. 161, distinquished —> distinguished 19. p. 208, Piqua, —> Piqua. 20. p. 251, No footnote marker for footnote #10. 21. p. 334, villified —> vilified 22. p. 338, childern —> children 23. p. 355, No footnote marker for footnote #21. 24. p. 357, wheras —> whereas 25. p. 376, Footnote #8, Mossel —> Mossell 26. p. 381, missonary —> missionary 27. p. 385, Footnote #29, Toussiant —> Toussaint 28. p. 433, and and —> and

Also, many occurrences of mismatched single and double quotes remain as published.

End of Transcriber's Notes]

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