The Independent
New York: 26 August 1852


  Mr. James G. Birney has recently advised the free colored people in favor of going to Liberia. The closing chapter of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" also urges it very forcibly.* Even the editor of the National Era, in an article condemning state laws expelling free people of color, remarks: "He is not a true friend of the colored man who would check his spirit of enterprise or insist upon his remaining where he is, instead of seeking by all rational means to better his condition. The slave who flees from bondage to freedom is not blamed for the act; why censure the free man of color for attempting, by emigration, from want and degradation?" The Christian Press holds similar language.

  In this day of "compromises" is there not here an excellent opportunity for a new one?* There are prejudices against the Colonization Society and the name—but why not have a new compromise society for "AFRICAN EMIGRATION"? The old arguments in favor of Liberia are now new-cast. Chiefly, they are three, and always must be, (1,) the personal advantages of the emigrants or colonists, (2,) the good of Africa, (3,) the relief of our own country prospectively from the embarrassments and dangers of the slavery question. But as to the shape, prominence and proportion given to each, they are differently presented by the new advocates. The last used to be first, and the first last. There were suspicions that southern interests wished—through northern benefactions to the Colonization Society—to ex[illegible] difficulty. Those suspicions are wearing away somewhat—and it is seen to be impossible thus to relieve the South. And now the personal advantage of the African claims notice. On this ground news journals, strongly anti-slavery, like the N. Y. Times, urge emigration. Colonization, too, as such, is ready to come to an end. Its experimental stage has passed. The settlements on the western shore of Africa are thoroughly established. They are ready to live, not as dependencies, but by their own vitality. Liberia itself is a colony no longer; it is an independent Republic. Free emigration thither may be looked for as the order of the day. Is it not time for a movement for African emigration—a new compromise—in which such men as Sumner, Hale, Greeley, Birney, Bailey, Whittier, Gurley, Roberts, Tracy, Barnes, Beecher and Leavitt; in short, the friends of the African race and the African continent of various ways of thinking, may unite together? This is the natural suggestion of circumstances.

  Extreme men on both sides may demur; what do wisdom, expediency and benevolence dictate?