A Glance at "Topsey's" Home.
For the Independent
Amid the exciting scenes of the day, and the objects of attraction scattered around us, while the eye is turning with anxious gaze to Cuba, California, and thence to the "Old World," there is danger of our overlooking a quiet little Republic, far over the waters, one whose independence we have not even acknowledged, but one, nevertheless, which is connected with our own destiny, and soon to wield an influence among the nations of which we have not dreamed "in our philosophy."
In a sunny clime, amid orange and palm groves, the "lone starred flag" of Liberia waves in the breeze. A free and independent people, having unloosed the chain that fettered them, and cast forever from their brow the badge of shame and disgrace which we have placed thereon, enjoy the honors and privileges of the new republic, make their own laws, and enforce them, and stand up before the world to falsify forever the assertion "they are neither capable of governing or supporting themselves."
If any one doubts the reality of this fact, let him enter the thriving town of Monrovia, walk through its wide, well-shaded streets, look at the school-houses, churches, court-house, and even pass into the "Government Buildings." Casting a glance upon the English consul on one hand, and the Brazilian "charge d'affairs" on the other, let him listen to the Inaugural address of the President, surrounded by his colored cabinet. Leaving the capital, let him go up the clear, beautiful river St. Paul's. At one village, strains of martial music fall upon the ear, and a gathered throng are seen in an orange grove. It is only an entertainment given by the "ladies," to the military. Pleasant residences are seen along the river, homes of independent scientific farmers, commodious brick dwellings, the lawns ornamented with flowers, sugar-cane and coffee waving in the distance. Let our doubting traveler enter one of these homes, and sit down to the plentiful table loaded with luxuries, the product of this new country, and listen to the conversation of the sensible, well-informed men who have thus with their own hand, turned the wilderness into a fruitful field. Let him walk over the grounds, hear how many pounds of sugar have been manufactured, how much coffee exported, see the yards filled with cattle, and the barns stored with rice. Returning to the well-furnished parlor to recover from his fatigue, let him entertain himself with the "Liberia Herald," read the notices of the commerce, the new "High School," the "Literary institute," the "act to incorporate a college," the "recognition of the independence of the republic by the Pressian envoy," &c. &c.; then let him seriously and with consideration ask himself the question—"are these the 'goods and chattels' which are scarcely removed above the brutes? Are these the people who are so low in the scale of creation, many profess to believe they 'have no souls'? Is this the way the problem is solved—'can they take care of themselves'?" Let him still ponder, if his doubts are not removed.
Slowly and surely the work is going on. Not with uproar and fanaticism, but with judgment and moderation, have the Colonization Society pursued their course for many years, and are now seeing the fruit of their labors, a small gleaning it is true, but one which promises a most plentiful harvest. More than 7,000 emigrants have been sent out from the land of their bondage, and every packet to Liberia is now freighted with hundreds more. Who shall tell the influence they will exert, when they reach the home of the freeman, and become officers, judges, and statesmen?
Let the "St. Clares" generously, no, justly, restore the captives their freedom,—let the men of the north who have no personal share in the shame and disgrace of our land, extend a helping hand to those whose object is to transport the exiles to the home waiting to receive them, and soon the curse will be removed from our name.
When the last chain shall be broken, the last slave be borne away from our shores, the sun of Liberty, no longer obscured, shall shine forth with noonday splendor, the banner of out "stars and stripes," no longer significant, shall wave proudly in the breeze, and a shout, long, loud and universal, arise to heaven—"the victory is gained, and the bondman is free."