The African Repository
E. W. Blyden
Washington: American Colonization Society, August 1854

[From the N. Y. Colonization Journal.]

Letter from Mr. E. W. Blyden.

MONROVIA, Liberia, October 1st, 1853.

Rev. JOHN B. PINNEY: Dear Sir:

   . . . I have no means of learning much about abolition. I presume, however, that it continues about the same, and the condition of the colored people in the United States so far as it operates upon it, not a great deal better than it was twenty years ago. I would gladly think well of abolitionists, and do think that some of them are true-hearted men; but it seems to me that they deal too much in resolutions, plans, &c. They resolve and resolve, but I can never be informed as to the carrying out of those resolutions.

  Abolition does not appear to be a practical scheme, which it should be, in order to be successful in this age of action and effort. This, I think, is the secret of the success which has attended colonization.--It is practical, and therefore triumphant; it is practical, and therefore it conquers. "The true credentials," now-a-days, "are deeds"--deeds! deeds! The disposition seems to be to judge of a tree by the fruit it produces, and not by the appearance it presents.

  Do not the intelligent portions of the colored people in the United States exhibit the most astonishing infatuation in their opposition to African colonization? I often wonder why it is that, with all the evidence which from time to time they receive of the progress of Liberia, they still continue to disregard her claims.

  I was very agreeably surprised at noticing that Mrs. Harriet B. Stowe, at the close of her inimitable "Uncle Tom's Cabin," represents an intelli-


gent colored man in America, educated abroad, as expressing a desire for an "African nationality," and as intending to emigrate to Liberia; thus favoring the idea that that is the position which every intelligent colored man should take, and giving the world to understand that it is, in her opinion, the ground which every enlightened colored man ought to and will eventually occupy. Mrs. S. is no doubt conscientious; in fact, "she could'nt find any place else at which she could [conscientiously] come out."

  Mrs. S. evidently believes that colored men should aspire to a separate nationality, in order to their permanent elevation and respectability. It seems to me that a want of expansion of soul and independency of spirit is what renders so many of them contented and indifferent as sojourners in a land of strangers--nay, as menials in a land of oppressors.

  These are two considerations to which I would call the attention of every intelligent and reflecting colored man in that country, and after he has carefully and deliberately pondered them, I would leave him to act.

Yours respectfully,