WE have subjoined in this Appendix documents for the most part written by colored persons from and about Liberia, showing the estimation in which that country is held by those who have the best opportunity of judging concerning it. Only a few letters are inserted, not for any want of materials, for enough could be obtained to fill a volume, but because the main object was to show that the statements in the preceding work have not been exaggerated. Most of the writers are well-known inhabitants of Liberia, whose names are sufficient guarantees for the fidelity of their assertions.
The American Colonization Society, commenced amid distressing discouragements, now occupies a commanding position, having branches or co-operating societies in nearly every state and territory in the Union. A few years will see the national government engaged in this great work of colonizing the free colored people in Liberia.
BEVERLY R. WILSON
Mr. Wilson is an emigrant from Norfolk, Virginia. He was a freeman, and exercised the office of a clergyman, while he supported himself by his trade as a carpenter. In 1837, he went to Liberia for the purpose of examining the colony. On his return, he made an Address to the Free People of Color in the United States. In it he says:
"After more than a year's residence in Liberia, I have returned to the
United States. I went to satisfy myself; I sought every opportunity of
informing my mind. Some of the things already
said about the colony are a fair and candid expose of things as they exist; other persons are too favorable in their estimates; while a third class, with hearts bleeding for the loss of friends, or angry at the loss of property, have wielded their pens to bring the whole scheme into disrepute. I hope to correct these statements. The facilities held out by Liberia are rarely equaled. Industry and economy meet with a sure reward. For proof, look at a Williams, a Roberts, a Barbour, and others, who, a few years ago, possessed limited means, but who now can live like the wealthy merchants of Virginia.
"The morals of Liberia I regard as superior. A drunkard is a rare spectacle. To the praise of Liberia be it spoken, I did not hear, during my residence in it, a solitary oath uttered by a settler. The Sabbath is rigidly observed and respected.
"If the colored man desires liberty, Liberia holds out great and distinguished inducements. Here you can never be free."
To prove by his actions as well as his words his high appreciation of the advantages enjoyed by his race in Liberia, Mr. Wilson soon sought a permanent home there. After his arrival, he writes:
"I am more in favor of the colony of Liberia than when I left it on my return home. No, there is no place like this for the colored race to be found in their reach, where they can enjoy the same privileges as here. To fly to the North or South is all folly; to go to Canada or Hayti is nonsense; for in either there are obstacles as high as mountains. Here is our home."
In 1840, during the contest with Gatumba, which terminated so fatally for him, Mr. Wilson's eldest son was killed while bearing a flag of truce to the savage tribe. But this, instead of disheartening, seems rather to have strengthened his love for his adopted land. In a letter written shortly after this event, he says:
"Since I have been in Africa, up to the first of December last, I can
truly say I have enjoyed almost uninterrupted pleasure; but O, since
that time, I have had sorrow. My eldest son was sent by the Governor
to a hostile native prince with the terms
of peace; and this fellow would have nothing to do with the embassadors, but drove them from his town, and they were followed by a merciless mob; and my son, with Mr. Peale, a very worthy man, was slain on the second day of December last. I would give you a detail of the whole affair, but it will be seen in the 'Luminary.' This has caused much grief, but I hope the Lord will give us grace. Pray for us.
"Here, at White Plains, we are doing well. We have been greatly blessed in our own labors. Our native boys and girls make rapid improvement. They read and write. Many of them promise great usefulness, and to be future blessings to their generation, for many of them have already embraced the religion of Jesus Christ. We have a considerable farm under cultivation, and we intend to connect a sugar plantation and a saw-mill to this institution. Our work-shops are doing well. We are making wheels, bedsteads, tables, and other articles, such as are useful in the colony. The native boys are remarkably ingenious. Indeed, sir, there is a glorious reformation going on in this vicinity; and as we believe the present wars are very near at an end, we must look forward to a more glorious day. But I must say that a great deal depends upon the advancement of the colony; for we plainly see, as she grows and strengthens, in the same proportion do the heathen superstitions yield to her influence, and thus the way is open for the Gospel. This we have sufficiently proved. Our first object was to extend our labors as far as possible into the interior, even beyond the general influence of the colony; but we soon found that our labor was lost. Then we changed our labors to the natives under the influence of the colony, and we find that every thing goes on well. My opinion is, that the only thing now wanting is men and means, and the barren land will soon become a fruitful field."
The colony in which Mr. Wilson's heart was so bound up became, in the course of a few years, a nation; and he, with ten others, was chosen to draw up the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Both documents are such as would do honor to any class of men in any country.
AARON P. DAVIS.
The Rev. Aaron P. Davis was born a slave in Virginia. In 1834, when he was about forty years old, he, with one hundred and nine others, was emancipated by the will of Dr. Aylett Hawes. On the twenty-fourth of October of the same year he sailed with his freed fellow-servants for Liberia, under the auspices of the Colonization Society. Soon after his arrival at Liberia, he turned his attention to the improvement of his mind. He taught himself to read and write. His business as a blacksmith demanded all his time during the day, but he devoted his evening hours to study, and his progress was rapid and remarkable. He is now independent and comfortable in his worldly cireumstanees, and the successful pastor of the largest Baptist church in Liberia.
Letters from Rev. A. P. Davis
Bassa Cove, October 11,1849.
A brief statement of things passing under my observation, at the request of Rev. R. R. Gurley.
I came to Africa in the year 1834, in December, had a very severe
attack of fever, lost a wife and child. Before I recovered from the
fever, in 1835, the 10th of June, the massacre occurred, but I
sustained no bodily hurt. The main part of the survivors removed to
Monrovia. I remained at Edina. In 1835, November 29, the principal
part of them returned to the Cove, and I with them, and the expedition
from Savannah joined us. In January, 1836, Governor Buchanan arrived
with supplies, and gave employment to all who would work, and
encouraged the hearts, and strengthened the hands of every one
possessing the spirit and independence of a man. In that year I drew
the lot on which I now reside, and built a blacksmith's shop, and
followed that business, principally, from 1836 to 1847, when I
accepted an appointment as a missionary, in the service of the
Southern Baptist Board. I was in low circumstances when I came to the
colony, but by industry and economy purchased my tools, built all
necessary houses, supplied them with furniture, and paid all debts
in less than six years, after making such improvements as made us both comfortable and independent, by laying out town lots, planting fruit trees, &c., cultivating farms, &c. I then accepted an appointment as a missionary, which was not until about the time last written. My time as a missionary is employed in various ways. 1. In the dry seasons, I preach through an interpreter in as many of the adjoining native towns as possible. My circuit embraces eight native towns. The women and children sit on a mat of hides of animals, flat on the ground. I have preached to large and attentive congregations. I think the preaching of the Gospel among them has not been without effect, though not many among the vast number make any profession of religion. All inquire after the day (Sabbath), and many observe it. A11 seem to be ashamed of their superstitions trust in gree-grees, while others have entirely renounced them. Their views as to a future state are like those of the heathen of other lands. They believe that a man dies and passes into a snake, fish, a monkey, or leopard. They also believe that a person, while living, can transform himself into a bird or animal, &c.
2. I supply destitute churches with the Word of Life, and perform other needful services.
3. In the rainy season I teach a day-school at Bassa Cove. I was present at the organization of the first Baptist Church in the county of Grand Bassa, and took part in the services. I was pastor of the first Baptist Church in the county of Grand Bassa. I assisted Governor Buchanan to organize the first Sabbath-school in Bassa Cove, on the spot where he now silently sleeps under those large trees. The first Bible-class in Bassa Cove was taught by Governor Buchanan in my house. I still have the honor to be pastor of that Church at Bassa Cove. I have not less than 75 members of the congregation, a prosperous Sabbath-school, at least 25 Congoes and other natives besides.
Bassa Cove, October 4,1851.
VERY DEAR SIR,—Your favor of July 18th
came safe to hand; also the file of the "Colonization Herald," and the
papers, by Judge Benson's hand. I sincerely thank you for all. I am happy, indeed, that the coffee I sent as a token of my good wishes for you, and the good cause, reached you, and found acceptance. I hope soon to be able to send some for your market, but at present it brings us a better price on the coast; however, you did not say what price might be relied upon. I also received the letter and books from Dr. Malcom, and can say that they will prove a blessing to my Sabbath-school, particularly the class on whose account I wrote for them. In it are many men and women of families, some native youths. His books prove to be the very thing. I introduced them last Sabbath, to take up the morning lesson only; read Testaments in the evening. Our new settlement (Cresson) is going ahead; I still think it destined to be the greatest sea-port town on the coast.
More natives are to be seen in our town than over before known. Confidence being fully established, they now acknowledge our power as a government. As a proof of this, the fishermen, who considered themselves so formidable a few months ago, were indicted for giving some of their fellows sassy wood, by which they put each on the trial for matters of great importance, and not unfrequently put each other to death that way. It has a stupefying effect, and operates differently on persons differently constituted. It possesses medical properties, rendering one insensible to pain, on others causing violent vomiting. Some of the fishermen were arraigned, and punished for committing offenses against the peace and dignity of the laws of the republic. Thus I trust light after light will shine, and influence after influence spread, till the vast tribes of Africa be raised to the level of men and women. Education is to do this, to take away their present views and give them better. I rejoice to say, I have lived to see that which I once thought could not be accomplished—the settlement of Fishtown and Grando; the great annoyance to our settlements is now as harmless as a lamb. Why? Because a spirit of bravery, under God, went against him.
A. P. Davis.
The hero of Hedington is an emigrant from Tennessee. He is a carpenter by trade, and at the time of the attack upon Hedington he was engaged there in building a church and schoolhouse for the Mission. The reader will remember that by his presence of mind and courage the enemy were driven back, under circumstances of such great disparity of numbers, that his success seemed miraculous to the simpleminded natives. Some came from great distances to see him, begging for his "gree-gree" or charm, and exclaiming "'Merica man's God is God for true."
He is as famous for his skill in hunting as for his bravery in battle. During one year Mr. Harris supplied the Liberia market with more than two hundred dollars' worth of venison, the product of his own rifle; and his promise of taking a boa constrictor is no idle boast.
A few years ago he visited the United States, in fulfillment of a promise made to his father-in-law, the Rev. Mr. Erskine, on his death-bed, to assist his remaining children and grand-children to emigrate to Liberia. He returned with thirteen of Mr. Erskine's descendants.
Letter from Zion Harris.
Caldwell, May 26, 1851.
REV. R. R. GURLEY:
DEAR SIR,—I write to inform you that we
are all well, hoping you and family are the same. I never will forget
you for the great good in telling me and my father about the land of
Liberia. I have got a good home. I would not change it for any under
heaven I have tried it twenty-one years. I have borne the heat and
burden of the day, and it gets better and better. I was eighteen years
old when I came here. I have grown to be a man; in America I never
could have been a man—never would get large enough. Would my colored
brethren believe this? They keep writing to me to tell them all about
the country. Let me
tell them a little: Liberia has raised up her bowed-down head, and has taken a stand with some of the greatest nations of the earth. She has struck off the stone that bowed us down in America. I have grown so large that I have had the honor and the pleasure of being a member of the Legislature five or six years. Did you ever hear of such a thing in America? No, no—nor never will. I was in America a few years ago; it was all the time, boy, where are you going? old man, which way? I was really tired; I wanted to be a man again; but never found it until I hit the coast of Africa. I even saw the change in the captain; he talked so familiar to you: "What is the matter, Harris? Harris is going to be a man again." Sweet Liberia! the love of liberty keeps me here.
All of you that feel like it, my friends, come on home—the bush is cleared away—you can hear no one say there is nothing to eat here. Why, one man, Gabriel Moore, brought better than two hundred cattle from the interior this year; another a hundred; some sixty, some fifty, &c.; There are no hogs there, they say; no turkeys; why, I saw fifty or sixty in the street at Millsburg the other day. No horses; I have got four in my stable now. I have a mare and two colts, and I have a horse that I have been offered a hundred dollars for here; if you had him, he would bring five hundred. If you don't believe it, let some gentleman send me a buggy or a single gig; you shall see how myself and wife will take pleasure, going from town to town; throw the harness in too—any gentleman that feels like it—white or colored, and I will try to send him a boa constrictor to take his comfort. I know how to take the gentleman without any danger. My oxen, I was working them yesterday; and as for goats and sheep, we have a plenty. We have a plenty to eat, every man that will half work. I give you this; you are all writing to me to tell you about Liberia, what we eat, and all the news—I mean my colored friends.
REV. MR. WILLIAMS.
The subjoined letter from Rev. Mr. Williams will show how he estimates Liberia. Mr. Williams, went out in the packet in July, and therefore had been but a short time in Liberia when he wrote. He went from Columbia, Pennsylvania, and is also well known and respected in this city and Baltimore.
Bassa Cove, Liberia, October 5, 1851.
DEAR SIR,—I write you a few lines by the packet, to let you know that I have not forgotten the kindness I received from you and the Colonization Society in preparing me for this land of liberty. I never shall forget the heartfelt thankfulness due to the society for helping me and my family here. We had one of the finest passages any one could have. Plenty to eat; a good captain, and one that was kind to all in sickness and health. A11 hands were good to us. I have not wanted to return once since I left the United States. I was twelve days at Monrovia. It is a fine town; the people are kind, and doing well. I think this is a much better place for new beginners. I had the African fever; myself and wife both took it on the same day. We had it about fourteen days. The doctor says we are over it, though we are weak; but it is not so bad as I expected. Mr. Benson is preparing a house at Cresson for one. It is a fine location for a town—the best one I have seen. I shall be the first one there. I look for more by the September vessel. I shall feel lonely for some time until more arrive.
There is, and can be plenty of every thing raised here. The climate is
fine and the land productive. Sweet potatoes of the finest quality,
and as good as produced in New Jersey; rice, sugar, coffee. I will
send you some as soon as I can get about. I wish you would come out in
the packet; you need not fear the fever. I want you to see the finest
country you ever saw. Cows, sheep, goats, chickens, and hogs are
plenty. I helped to kill a hog since I came here, and saw it salted
and smoked nearly as good as in Pennsylvania. It is cool here. I can
and do wear
two cloth coats. I have not felt a warm day since I left Baltimore. I think all the colored people that can take care of themselves in America bad better come here, for this is the place where they will do well. All they need is a small start; and, above all, he is a freeman from the highest to the lowest. If I were seventy years of age, and knew as much as I now know, I would come to Liberia and be a man, and no longer a nigger. I shall write more when I see more; I only write what I see and feel
I am truly yours,
LEONARD A. WILLIAMS.
Jasper Boush is one of the company who went from Norfolk, Virginia, to Liberia, in July, 1850. And as he was extensively known to be an honest, upright Christian—one of the most intelligent of his class—industrious, economical, and prosperous; standing high in the regards and confidence of the free colored people, he was selected as a fit person to inquire of concerning certain evil reports that have been industriously circulated, viz., that the emigrants from this country can enjoy no health in Liberia; that the soil is sterile, refusing a support to the industrious; that the laws are oppressive, and the government badly administered; and that the few who yet remain are a miserable set of wretches, always sick and sighing to get back again.
His letter is a matter-of-fact refutation of those false and injurious rumors.
Clay—Ashland, Liberia, May 10, 1852.
Truly I am better and better pleased with Liberia each morning when I
awake and find myself in it. I could not be prevailed on by any
earthly consideration to leave Liberia, or exchange it for any other
country. Here I am in the land of my forefathers; here I can enjoy all
those rights which a benevolent God hath so liberally vouchsafed to
man; here I can exercise and improve my gifts and graces in
enlightening, instructing, and exhorting the benighted sons of the
forest in the truths of the Christian re-
ligion; here I can bow down in the sanctuary of the Most High, or at home, and unmolestedly worship the God of my fathers under my own vine and fig-tree, while none dareth to molest or make me afraid, here my children to their latest generation can enjoy the privileges of freemen in storing their minds with education and useful knowledge, and participating in the duties, &c., of civil government; and here I have as many political, social, and religious rights as any man any where beneath Heaven's widespread canopy. And should not these considerations endear this my own country to me? I say, from the bottom of my soul, with gratitude to my good God for what I enjoy—yes.
In addition to these blessings of situation, I am thrice blessed in the blessings of condition. I live in my own house, on my own farm of eighty acres, and eat every day of my life provisions and breadstuffs of my own raising. I have now growing, as my 1852 crop, a large quantity of cassadas and potatoes, several acres of sugar-cane, several acres of rice, and several also of ginger. I have now to be transported from my nursery several thousand coffee scions, nearly one hundred cocoa scions (not cocoa-nut, mind you, but the chocolate), and about the same quantity of mango plums. My present crop, when it matures, will be worth about $600 or $700. My sugar crop alone will be worth over $200. I will have about one hundred and fifty croos of rice, which is worth from 75 cents to $1 per croo.
I shall labor to benefit mutually myself and my country. I intend to
be well represented in the commerce of Liberia, which is now
increasing, and commanding the respect of the commercial world. I am
convinced fully that agriculture is to be the great dependence of
Liberia; that will furnish an extensive
commerce, produce manufactories, and in every way benefit the country.
In America the free colored man can never be "a man." I believe it
true that the free colored women are the great hinderance to the full
tide of emigration which would have, and, indeed, ought to have poured
long since into Liberia. Let them alone, however, if they do not come
now, they will come soon; if they are so
stupidly blind that they can not have an intelligent sight at their
own and only interests, I am sure the inevitable force of circumstances by which they are surrounded, the organization of the social elements, both as to the circle in which they move and that in which the whites belong, and the genius of legislation, will soon, very soon convince them of their situation and condition.
Sir, the free colored people can not go any where else but to Liberia, and they are beginning now to know that. They must come, and would to God that they would do it, not compulsively, but willingly and cordially, like rational beings.
I and my family are well; we enjoy as good health here as in America. I eat my allowance every day, setting down at each meal with a good appetite, made so by my industry, and rising satisfied. I tell you that the enjoyment of one's self in Liberia, by him or them who appreciate Liberia, is much like religion—it can well be felt, but illy expressed. Please oblige me by representing this letter, and my special exhortation to brothers Lemuel Bell, John Williams and families, and all my acquaintances, to come at once—come now to Liberia, without unnecessary delay. Believe me truly to be yours in Christian love,
The following letter w as written by an intelligent and respectable colored man, who left the city of New York for Liberia in October, 1851. It was addressed to a colored friend of his in the city:
Monrovia, Wednesday, April 7,1652.
With respect to this country, my expectations are more than realized.
I have found that the opinion I formed of Liberia while in America was
very nearly correct. This country is certainly a most beautiful one,
and the climate delightful. I have often thought, since my arrival
here, how the better class of colored people, or at least a portion of
them, would flock to Liberia if they knew the real condition of the
country and people. I always thought that it was their ignorance of
the country that caused their opposition to it, but now I am convinced
of that fact.
With regard to the United States having claims on Liberia, I would ask if England, France, Prussia, and Brazil would acknowledge her independence if the United States had any rights to or claim on the country? England has made this government a present of an armed schooner, and has a consul residing here. Brazil has also a minister residing here, but of a higher grade than consul; he is charge d'affaires. The facts are, I think, sufficient to convince any reasonable person that Liberia is really an independent republic, and that the United States has no claim to this country. There is a kind of blind prejudice which keeps most colored people from coming to this country, and for the life of me it is difficult to conceive why this prejudice exists; for in the United States we are exposed to all kinds of insults from the whites, which, in nearly every ease, we dare not resent; whereas, in this country we are all equal, and can enjoy the shade of our own vine and fig-tree, without even the fear of molestation. In the United States we are considered the lowest of the low, for the most contemptible white man is better in the eyes of the law, and in the opinion of the majority of the whites, than the best colored man; whereas, on the other hand, in this country there are no distinctions of color; no man's complexion is ever mentioned as a reproach to him; and furthermore, every one has an equal chance and right of filling any office in the government that they may be qualified to fill. Liberia ought to be the most interesting country (to the colored people of the United States) in the world, from the fact that it is the only republic entirely composed of and governed by the colored people, and it is the only country where a colored man can enjoy liberty, equality, and fraternity, without having to encounter the prejudice of the whites, which exists more or less, in some degree, in every country in which the whites predominate. If this prejudice ever dies away, I believe that many generations yet unborn will have passed away before it. Although this country offers many inducements to colored people, yet it is not a paradise; it has a few unpleasant features, owing principally to its being a new country. The most unpleasant feature that I know is the acclimating fever, and that is far
from being as bad as most people in the United States think it is. On account of the improvements made, such as clearing, &c., it is much more healthy here than formerly; and also, the kind of treatment best adapted to the acclimating fever is better known. The acclimating fever is nothing more than a simple chill and fever, and persons are affected with it according to the degree of care they take of themselves, and also much depends on the constitution of the person. Some persons have told me that they were sick only one day, and that slightly; while others (I speak of old settlers) had it one week, and some have had it from six months to a year or more. A person is seldom sick more than from one day to three weeks at one time. I have been in the country a little more than three months, and have had several attacks of the fever. The longest time I was confined to bed was one day and a half. The symptoms in my ease were a slight chill, followed by a very high fever. I felt no pain whatever during the continuance of the fever, but always after it I would have a slight pain in the back, which soon wore off. I would sometimes be sick in the morning and well in the afternoon. I once had the fever in the forenoon, and was well enough by night to attend a tea party. I am told that all children born here, even the natives not excepted, have the fever while very young. This I have been told by mothers, and I have seen children with the fever who were born here. The general health of the place seems to be very good. A person coming here will not find large cities with splendid buildings, and large bustling populations; but we have only small villages with corresponding populations; you will not hear the sound of numerous carts, drays, &c., but all the carrying is done by native laborers, for the people have not yet begun to use horses and oxen for such purposes. Both may be had from the interior. Bullocks are brought down from the interior, but only to kill. There are at present only three horses in Monrovia, they are used only for riding. I have ridden several times myself The buildings are generally quite plain, built of wood, stone, or brick. There are, however, some very neat brick buildings in Monrovia, and along the banks of the St. Paul's River. I
made an excursion up this river a few weeks ago, and never did I enjoy a trip more than I did this one. The waters of the St. Paul's are delicious to the taste. The river is about half a mile wide; its banks are from about ten to about fifteen feet high, and lined with fine large trees with a thick undergrowth. Among the other trees may be seen the bamboo, and that most graceful of all trees, the palm. This is the most useful tree in Liberia. I have drank the wine made from this tree, and have swung on hammocks manufactured from it, and I have seen very good fishing-lines made from it; besides, numerous other uses are made of this tree. There are four villages on this river: Virginia, Caldwell, Kentucky, and Millsburgh. I saw in many places people making bricks, and busily engaged on their farms of coffee, sugar-cane, I must now come to a close, as I have but little more space to write. I will remark that I advise no man to come here unless he has a little money to begin with. A single man should have at least one or two hundred dollars; although many come here without a cent, and yet do well; but it is generally difficult to get a start in this country without a little means. For my own part, you may infer from what I have said that I like my new home.
We learn that the writer of the following letter, addressed to the Rev. Mr. Pinney, has been appointed consul to Liberia by the British government, in place of Hanson, removed. Mr. Blackledge seems to be a sensible man, and will, no doubt, prove an efficient officer and a valuable citizen to his adopted country:
Upper Caldwell, Liberia, May 8, 1852.
DEAR SIR,—I embrace this opportunity to
address you a line. I am still doing what I can to demonstrate that
Liberia is a rich and productive country. My crops of cane in 1850
produced 8000 lbs. of good sugar, and 500 gallons of sirup. My crop
last year (1851)
was not so large—only about 3500 lbs. of sugar, and 250 gallons of sirup. This falling off was in consequence of having to neglect my sugar-cane farm to give attention to J. R. Straw's cotton farm. I sell my sugar at 8 and 10 cents a pounds, which is quite a saving to the people of Liberia. This year I am giving my whole attention to cane-raising, and I have a crop now in the ground which will produce a much larger quantity of sugar and sirup, and beat, possibly, both my preceding crops together. A few days ago, I, with one or two others, noticed, in many hills of cane on my farm, from forty-nine to sixty stalks. This can not easily be surpassed, I am persuaded, in any country. I am certainly fully convinced that by industry a man may have all the necessaries of life, and a surfeit of the luxuries, in this very prolific and God-blessed country. I have the privilege, doubtless, of saying what no other person can say in Liberia—certainly before any other could say it, if there is any other who can say it now—that is, I use at my table coffee, sugar, sirup, and molasses of my own raising. I have now about twenty-five hundred coffee-trees, which will very soon enable me to export a small quantity to America.
In connection with my sugar-raising, I would just say, that I have to regret that I have not a proper sugar-mill. In consequence of our very poor facilities, in both materials and manufacturing mills (being compelled to do with wooden fixtures entirely), not more than two thirds of the juice can be expressed from the cane; hence, had I an iron mill from the United States, I, and others who make sugar, could, by even less labor than we now perform in grinding, have at least one third more of sugar, &c., from the same quantity of cane, than we now get. This, you perceive, is a clear loss. You see, therefore, we need some help, both in means and advice, to the development of our enterprise and industry.
These remarks are not confined to sugar-growing, but are in every way
applicable to the subject of agriculture in general in this country. I
have been here now between nine and ten years, and am able to say
something respecting Liberia's resources and
the means necessary to their development. By the aid of capital (and where are we to expect it from rather than from the United States?), arrow-root, ginger, cocoa, coffee, sugar, and other products of superior quality can be successfully raised here in large quantities, and exported to the United States, so as to create a competition in the market. Who, then, is sufficiently enterprising among your acquaintances to embark in so noble a scheme, that of developing in Liberia her agricultural resources?
The want of means, together with the holding out no inducement whatever for industrial enterprise, are what have kept me so long in the background. Let us, therefore, have the means, have the tin, and let a door be thrown open in your country to invite Liberia's productions especially; let an interest be thus awakened there in our behalf, and an impetus will be given to Liberia, which will force her forward in advance of the age. Be you sure, sir, that agriculture is the dependence, and will become the future glory and greatness of our youthful country. I speak here for myself; others are capable of speaking for themselves. I believe, sir, that all the farmers in Liberia need help in the way I have alluded to.
I am, most respectfully, sir, yours, &c.,
JOHN MUSU NEAPO.
We could not give a more touching evidence of the blessings conferred on heathen Africa, through the instrumentality of Christian education, than in the subjoined letter of Musu. It is but a few years since this consistent Christian was an ignorant Pagan. After acquiring a partial knowledge of the English language, he was admitted into the missionary school of Cape Palmas. This letter is a fine specimen of the happy change he has experienced—his walk and conversation being in beautiful conformity with his Christian profession, and rendering him a most useful auxiliary to the devoted men whose lives are dedicated to the regeneration of that dark Continent.
All spiritual blessings be on my dear friend—whatever the tender heart or the almighty arm of the loving Jesus has to bestow, may it be all yours! What glad news you wrote to me about Mrs. ——. Did you see her? Yes, glad and joy speak to my heart, and laugh come to my mouth. I believe that you have seen her; you told me that you saw her, and that she wants very much to return to Africa as a missionary. I have got a letter from her, and my believing and wishes are one, my gladness and happiness follow after. Oh my happiness is very great; and a good, happy Christian, who is fixed to a point, go where he will, one object is his all. The crucified Savior is his happiness; and this heaven he carries about with him. No time, no place, no circumstances, make any change. He has one Lord, one faith, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. Come pain, sickness, death, the Savior's love and power bears him up. Come temptations of all kinds, I will be with thee in the hour of temptation, says Lord God. Where he is, nothing need be feared, because nothing can hurt. Oh, my dear friend, the true knowledge of Jesus Christ is certainly a cure for all the miseries which come upon the world by sin. There is no evil of mind or body, temporal or eternal, but our precious, dear Lord is by office engaged to remove. And shall not you, and I, and our friends value and love him? What we set our hearts upon, what can bid so high for them as this adorable Savior?
Dear Mr. Rambo, I wish very much to see you. How glad and happy I should be when I meet you, and Doctor May, and Mr. Hoffman; and then—then my heart will talk to my mouth, and my tongue will speak all what I have done or seen.
I am your affectionate friend,
JOHN MUSU NEAPO.
The writer of the following letter is a native of Grand Bassa. One of
the Swiss missionaries (the Rev. Mr. Sessing), who were invited to
Liberia by Mr. Ashmun, took him, when a child, under
his charge, and subsequently he pursued his studies in the schools of Sierra Leone. He is employed by the Northern Baptist Board, and has a very good reputation as a Christian and teacher.
Bexley, July 5,1850.
REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,—In the following lines, which I have taken on myself to address you, I hope to find you in the enjoyment of good health, the same as we are at present. Our mission still continues, with its different operations, in which we are severally engaged, endeavoring daily to instruct the poor, benighted heathen. Not long ago we received a letter of instruction from our Board, that the lead of the mission affairs is now considered to be under the superintendence of my native brother and cousin, Lewis K. Crocker, at Little Bassa, and myself; which serious charge to keep we humbly depend on God to help us. Our schools are still kept daily, this, and that of Little Bassa, where brother Crocker resides. Our children are improving well in their acquisitions of the different branches of knowledge, such as spelling hard words, reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, natural philosophy, &c. I am glad to state that the grown people of this country, though they have not the privilege of improving themselves by daily instruction, like the children, yet many of them are getting civilized, getting acquainted with the law, political economy, and secular improvement; forgetting their old habits, and adopting those of their civilized fellow-creatures.
I am, dear sir, respectfully yours, JACOB VONBRUN.
Mr. Abraham Cauldwell was sent out to Liberia by an association of colored persons in New York, to examine the country and prepare the way for emigrants to go there.
New York, November 24, 1852.
BRETHREN AND FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN,—You are
aware that I was appointed traveling agent to Africa on the 23d of
cember, 1851, by the New York and Liberia Agricultural Association. I returned to New York on the 12th November, 1852, and it now becomes my duty to give you some account of Africa, and of the benefits to be obtained by emigration to that country, and whether there are any benefits to be obtained by so doing, or not. I will endeavor to give you as true a statement as my humble ability will admit. In truth and soberness, it would be needless for me to tell you that Africa flows with milk and honey, or that corn grows without planting. Liberia truly is a garden-spot; her lands are beautiful, her soil is most fertile, her prairies and her forests are blooming and gay, her rivers and streams abound with fish, and her forests with game. Her Constitution is a republican government, and a most excellent code of laws are strictly observed. There are several churches and schools in Monrovia, and they are well filled with people and scholars. The Monrovians are the most strictly moral, if not the most strictly religious people, I ever saw.
I shall now speak of emigration, which I have some knowledge of In
1823 I emigrated to Hayti, and in 1839 I emigrated to the island of
Trinidad, West Indies, and lastly to Africa, where I find a peaceful
home, where storms of prejudice never come on account of my
complexion. I have been noticing for several years the movements of
the Abolition Society, and once thought they were right, and still
believe they are sincere and really desire to elevate the colored man.
Some of them have shown it too plainly for me to be mistaken. For
instance, Mr. Gerritt Smith, who gave away part of his fortune. Many
others have also sacrificed their good names and their money. But,
alas! how many good men have been deceived. I, for one, have been
blind to my best interest. I hesitate not to say that colonization is
the only thing to elevate the colored man. It is vain for many of us
to talk of settling on Mr. Smith's land, or of emigrating to Canada
and settling on land without money, which, comparatively speaking, few
have. Africa holds forth inducements whereby the colored man may be
elevated, without money and without price. There are many
noble-hearted philanthropists, who stand
ready, with willing hearts and open purses, to aid in the cause, if called upon. Awake, brethren, to your best interests!
. . . . The government grants ten acres to each family, and if they want more they can get it for about 50 cents per acre. . . .
. . . . Liberia calls for you. Emancipated slaves are not the men to enlighten a heathen nation, for they are not enlightened themselves. Liberia calls for men of understanding, energy, and capital. Come, brethren, let us leave our beloved country; there is an asylum for you in Africa. You can there raise every thing to make you happy. There is a wide field open for the farmer. If a man plants ten acres of coffee, in four or five years he will realize a handsome income. Coffee requires very little labor, and it would be of more value than what you could make in America in twenty years by labor. Every thing grows abundantly, with very little labor. It is a fine country for cotton, corn, and rice, though cotton is not much planted as yet. . . . . You can salt down beef, pork, and fish. I would, in particular, recommend farmers to emigrate to that country. Monrovia is decidedly the best market, in my opinion. If you go there to labor by the day, month, or year, you will not make much, for laborers' wages are very low.
I would advise emigrants to take as much house furniture as they need—for every thing they want here they want there—besides a little money, if they can. Mechanics may find work, though wages are low. Men of capital, as mechanics, can do well, and are much wanted. Young men of energy, now is your time. Freemen of the North, Africa calls for you. There you can enjoy the luxuries of life and the freedom God intended for man. To all those who may feel friendly to the cause of emigration to Liberia, and wish to aid the same by giving, I say that donations will be thankfully received and forwarded to Liberia by the Association.
The following letters were for the most part sent to the Secretary of the Colonization Society, Rev. J. Morris Pease:
From William H. Taylor.
Edina, June 6,1852.
DEAR SIR,—I am well, and hope you are the same. I arrived safe after a passage of thirty-seven days from the Capes. I am happy to inform you that instead of being received in Baltimore in chains, as I was told I would be, I was received very hospitably. I am certainly grateful to the society for sending me to Africa. I am perfectly satisfied with the change, only that I had not started in 1842 instead of 1852. Here I stand erect and free, upon the soil of my ancestors, and can truly say to all of my race, you that would be free, Africa is your home, and the only home where he that is tinctured with African blood can enjoy liberty. This alone of him that loves liberty, for it is liberty alone that makes life dear. He does not live at all who lives to fear. Please say to any that may come to your office, that I say, come to Africa and assist us in raising a light that may never go out. Enterprise is what we want to make this country and people equal with any on the face of the globe. Should any of the people of Camden county, New Jersey, come to you for information, show them this letter—tell them that I say there is land enough and provision enough, by industry, for every enterprising colored man in the United States. I find in Edina a fine soil, that will raise any thing that a tropical country will produce. A fine, healthy-looking people, that are kind and benevolent—who receive the emigrants with the greatest kindness, and welcome them to the land of liberty.
Should Charles S. Miller or Benjamin Griffin come to your office, please encourage them all you can, and show them this letter, and tell them to come over and help to fight the battles of the Lord against the mighty. I stop writing to eat my palm-nuts, which are very delicious when roasted; the stone of the nut tastes just like the cocoa-nut. I add no more at present, but when I see more I will add more. I remain,
Yours respectfully, WM. H. TAYLOR.
From D. A. Madison.
Buchanan, July 2, 1852.
MOST RESPECTED SIR,—Liberia is destined to be the glory, the home, and the resting-place for all the dark race. Then let them come home, and rove abroad no longer, and that the chains of all who will or could come and will not may be made tenfold faster, because here they can come and be free. I mean my brethren of color. There has been no disturbance with the republic by the natives.
I believe the American Colonization Society is doing more now to alleviate the condition of the colored race than ever; for I do not know when I have seen as good-looking a set of people as came out in the Ralph Cross and by the Morgan Dix.
I sent you a small box of coffee of my own raising, which I hope you may have got before this time. Our Sunday-school is doing tolerably well, and wishes to be remembered to you and their friends in America.
Excuse my blunders. I think I said to you before that I have not had a day's schooling in my life.
Yours in truth, D. A. MADISON.
From Charles Deputie.
Mr. Deputie was born free—a native of Pennsylvania.
Monrovia, January 10,1853.
DEAR FRIEND,—Through a kind Providence we
landed here on the 6th instant, in forty days from Baltimore. All
well. I went ashore and met for the first time in my life on the same
platform with all men, and the finest people in the world. I never met
with more kindness in my life, and every attention is paid to
visitors. On Sabbath day there were seven flags flying in the harbor.
I attended the Methodist Sabbath-school, and found it interesting; was
invited to address it, and made some remarks. There were seventy-five
scholars in the school. I have been up the St. Paul's River. It is the
finest country in the world. Mr. Blackledge's sugar farm is splendid.
Dined with Mr. Russel,
Senator of New Virginia, and think his land somewhat better than some of the rest. The river is sixty feet deep. Every thing is getting along well, and all that is wanted are industrious men and good mechanics. I would say to my friends, that every thing that I have seen surpasses my expectations. Should I be spared to return, you shall see some articles that I intend bringing with me. I wish you would try to make some arrangement with the society to let me off with a free passage home, as I want to labor for the cause, and my means will be far run by the time I get to Philadelphia. Brother Williams intends doing all he can for the cause. We intend to go into the coffee business. Our object is to get five hundred acres of land in one plot, and have it settled by none but respectable people from Pennsylvania; and I think that if you could send some from Philadelphia it would have a good effect.
Respectfully yours, in the cause of liberty,
P.S.—The immigrants by the bark Linda Stewart are all well, and almost all have settled at Millsburgh.
From Henry M. West.
A native of Philadelphia—born free
Buchanan, January 17, 1863.
DEAR SIR,—I avail myself of the present
opportunity to address you a line or two, hoping they may find you as
well as they leave me. I had laid off to write to you before this, but
I have not done so; however, I hope you will take the will for the
deed. I have now been a resident of Liberia for upward of two years,
and I think I can now safely express my opinion as regards the
advantages to be gained by locating here. Unquestionably this is the
place, and these are the shores which are to contain the multitudes
which have for ages been laboring under the greatest disadvantages,
and who have been allured into the belief that they will not be placed
under the inconvenience of removing; but the time has come which
proves to a demonstration, more and more, that this is a forlorn hope.
Doubtless there are many who a few
years ago spurned the thought of leaving, who now turn their eyes in solicitude to various parts for relief, but there is no quarter which presents equal attractions with that presented by Liberia, and they know it; and although they may be men of penetration, who foresee that something must be done, and these may be men of influence, who will exert this influence in a contrary direction, yet I believe the masses will speak for themselves, and such a mighty flood will be poured upon these shores as has not been witnessed since the world began. I have not written any on this subject, but I watched with increasing interest the "signs of the times," as exhibited in the United States, and I am convinced that my impressions are not erroneous. There are many false representations made to deter persons who are anywise inclined to emigrate to this country, but I feel confident that those who use this means to oppose us had better begin to think of some other method, for they will ultimately be exposed in the midst of their base attempts. Truth will eventually triumph over falsehood.
All that Liberia was ever represented to me to be I have found it,
with the exception of a few base misrepresentations, to avoid which I
spoke to but few of my intentions. I am here, and I am right glad of
it. "The flesh-pots of Egypt" present no attractions to me. But to be
deprived of my present privileges and advantages would be to me a sore
calamity. But I have said more than I intended, and I fear lest I
should tire your patience. But when I consider that so many of my
brethren suffer themselves to be deprived of rights and privileges
which they are constantly attempting in vain to gain; and when I know
from experimental knowledge that it needs no such crouching, that the
very things they want are within their reach, if they would only make
the effort; and when I see that they will obstinately refuse a
blessing, in hopes of obtaining what I consider a curse, I can not
refrain from speaking. But I am thankful that I discern a ray of light
through the heavy darkness—that men, laying aside old prejudices, are
beginning to examine the subject in a different light-and hope the day
is not far distant when my brethren will
cease to contend against their own interests, and when Liberia will have as many friends as now she has opponents.
Pardon me for my lengthy remarks. For the last twelve months we have been blessed with tranquillity, a few rumors of war, but no outbreak. I hope to hear from you shortly. No more at present, but I remain
Yours respectfully, H. M. WEST.
P.S.—You will doubtless remember me as being one of that company that sailed from New York by the bark Edgar, October 2, 1850. I was originally from Philadelphia, Pa. H. M. W.
From John D. Johnson.
Mr. Johnson for some years kept a shaving and hair-dressing saloon, and also a refreshment saloon, in the Equestrian Institute of Williamsbugrh, N. Y. He was well known and esteemed by the community.
Monrovia, January 23,1853.
MESSRS. BENNETT & SMITH:
GENTLEMEN,—I promised to let you hear from me when in Liberia, Africa, but although I have been here two months, I can not at this time give you much account of the place. This little republic is so far ahead of what I expected to find it, that your good people of the United States would scarcely think I were narrating truth were I to describe all that I have seen. Liberia is a fine, fertile country. Things of every kind grow here. The people are more comfortable in every respect, and enjoy themselves much better than I have ever known them to do elsewhere. The houses are very large, and are built mostly of brick and stone; they are two stories and two stories and a half high; from 30 to 50 feet front, and from 25 to 40 feet deep. The steps to these houses are composed of iron ore—a substance on which the city is built. Iron ore is as plentiful in Monrovia as common stone is in Williamsburgh.
Most of those who farm it are located on the banks of the St. Paul's
River, about five miles from the city, and some are doing well. Allen
Hooper, of New York, has been here a little over
two years. He had but small means to commence with, but now has one of the best coffee plantations on the river. He was seven thousand trees growing, two thousand of which are loaded with coffee; and he is of opinion that next year all will bear. Next I will mention A. Blackledge, who is making about twelve thousand pounds of sugar a year, and some hundreds of gallons of molasses and sirup—all of which will favorably compare with the best imported articles of the kind.
Sweet potatoes, Lima beans, Indian corn, cassada, plantains, and other table vegetables are raised up this river, which is 26 or 30 miles long. A fine town is situated at the source of this stream; it is called Millsburgh, and contains a population of 800 or 1000 persons—the most of whom employ themselves in making brick and in hewing timber of all kinds for market.
I have not ability to describe the advantages to be reaped in this country, nor have I the time. My business is so much better than it ever was before, that I am constantly occupied in attending to it.
One word as to the fever. My children have all had it; so have all the emigrants who came out with us, except my wife, myself, and two others. None of them kept their beds more than two or three days. The fever is not as bad as it is represented to be. I have seen persons who have lived here for from two to twenty years, and who never had it at all.
This is a great country for men and women who love liberty, and who love themselves, for money can be made here.
Please to give my thanks to the gentlemen in your city whose philanthropy was the cause of my success. I trust you will publish this letter for the information of those who may wish to know something of this country. My next letter shall be longer, and will contain much more information respecting this colony of Liberia—a day-star of hope for the colored race.
JOHN D. JOHNSON.
From Stephen A. Benson.
Mr. Benson was taken to Liberia when a child.
Buchanan, February 1, 1853.
VERY DEAR SIR,—Fishtown was reoccupied on the 11th of October, and the settlement is progressing rapidly—far in advance of what it was before the massacre. The immigrants by the Zeno, Morgan Dix, Liberia Packet, and Ralph Cross, enjoy much better health down there than they did up at this place, and even the old settlers moving there have derived much benefit. It has already commenced attracting settlers from other settlements in this county, and I am sanguine that in one or two years it will be in advance of the other settlements of this county. Physicians pronounce it a good place for emigrants to pass through their acclimation, and I know it to be an excellent place for them to to do well after acclimation. Sharp, Till, and Taylor, by the Ralph Cross, from New Jersey, are doing pretty well for beginners. They seem to be fine, industrious people, especially the two former. They occupy three of the houses I built on the banks of the St. John's River, opposite Factory Island, by direction of your Board, and their produce is growing around them finely. They would have settled at Fishtown had it been occupied sooner.
It affords me much pleasure to communicate, as it no doubt does you to hear, that our saw-mill has been in successful operation nearly three months. It is certainly a great acquisition to Liberia in general, and to this county in particular. The aborigines in our vicinity find abundant employment in cutting logs (timber), and floating them in rafts down to the mill. I assure you they are not idle in this respect; they seem to take an interest in the matter in common with Liberians (proper).
Though gradually, yet how certainly is civilization spreading over this Continent. Please say to the worthy gentlemen constituting your Board, that the pecuniary aid tendered the company (loan) in 1851 may be classed among the most prudent and beneficial acts in the annals of colonization.
I had the pleasure of being handed your letter of introduction, to and
by Captain Lynch, United States Navy. I accompanied him up to Bexley
on the 8th instant, and found it quite a treat to spend
a day in his very agreeable and enlightened company. I am preparing some specimens of coffee from my farm, which he has kindly promised and offered to exhibit at the World's Fair, next June, in New York. I must close by subscribing myself, respectfully,
Your obedient servant, STEPHEN A. BENSON.
From Thomas Mason.
Mr. Mason was born free, in Pennsylvania—went to Liberia a year or two ago.
Cape Palmas, February 3, 1853.
MY DEAR SIR,—In your letter you expressed a desire to know my first impressions of Liberia and Liberian society. On my arrival at Monrovia, Mr. James very kindly invited us to spend the day at his house, which invitation we accepted. While on shore, I became acquainted with quite a number of intelligent ladies and gentlemen. The society at Monrovia I think similar to that of Philadelphia, while that at Bassa Cove and Edina I think less favorably of. I am now living at Mount Vaughan, about two and a half miles from Cape Palmas, at which place I am employed as an assistant teacher in the high school belonging to the Protestant Episcopal Mission, for which I receive three hundred dollars. The society at Palmas, when we compare the number, is equal to that of Monrovia in point of intelligence. This colony is in quite a flourishing condition. There are in Palmas seven yoke of oxen, well broken, and work quite steadily. We get the bullocks from the natives, at eight dollars a piece. I have drawn my farm land, and planted five hundred coffee-trees, twelve pounds of ginger, and a thousand cassada sticks, besides arrowroot, pea-nuts, and fruit trees. We have an abundance of fresh vegetables, egg-plants, tomatoes, and fine large cabbage. Plenty of venison, fresh fish, and oysters. We are on the eve of declaring our independence. The spirit with which the people take hold of the subject would do credit to 1776. There will be a Convention held next week, to prepare a Constitution for our new state.
Yours most respectfully THOMAS MASON.
From Samuel H. G. Sharp.
Born free, in Camden, N. J.
Grand Bassa, February, 1853.
DEAR SIR,—I received your letter in answer to mine, and was very glad to hear from you; also to receive those papers you sent me. My health and that of my family is tolerable. At present we are perfectly satisfied, and glad we came here. The society did a good part by us. I have a house and ten acres of good land; all but three acres in cultivation. I do not find it so warm here as I had been told or as I expected. I have tried both seasons. Tell the colored people they need not be afraid to come, but they must be industrious, or they had better stay where they are. I would not change homes now if they would give me five hundred dollars and free toleration. Every man can vote. I visited the courts, where I saw colored men judges, grand and petit jurymen, squires, constables, &c. Business is carried on as correctly as in the United States.
I remain yours truly, SAMUEL H. G. SHARP.
From Henry B. Steuart.
Mr. Steuart is from the South—born a slave—was freed, and went to Liberia about four years ago.
Greenville, Liberia, February, 1853.
DEAR SIR,—You wish that I would give some
statement of things in general, and in particular of the growth of
cotton, rice, &c. Our answer is this: this is emphatically a tropical
region, as all geographers will tell you. You have only to put your
seed into the ground, and with half the labor you have to perform in
the states you here may make a comfortable living. Cotton and rice
grow here as well as in your Southern States. It is true, a fair trial
was never made for the culture of that valuable staple (cotton),
enough to prove that it can be raised in great quantity. Rice is
indigenous to this country: it will grow almost any where you may
plant it, on high or low land. We have coffee, potatoes, ginger,
arrow-root, and pepper. There has not
been much pains taken with the planting of corn; enough has been done, however, to satisfy one that it can be made, for I have eaten as much as I wanted in proof of it.
As respects coffee and other products, for a recent comer and a young man, I need only refer to Mr. Joseph Bacon, one among many others who bid fair to become independent farmers, to say nothing of those who are living at ease on their farms. Come and see for yourselves. Born and raised for the first part of my life among the very best farmers of Liberty county, Georgia, I know that these things can be raised in great quantities.
You wish to know what is my occupation. I answer, a little of any and every thing, from a house carpenter to a boat-maker. I have not yet seen the day that I have regretted my coming to this country. All my objects have been realized, while I have contributed my humble aid in laying the foundation of a civil and religious government.
From J. M. Richardson.
Monrovia, February 13,1853.
TO THE N. Y. EMIGRATION AND AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION:
GENTLEMEN,—Since I have been here I have
done very well, better than I expected. I have bought five hundred
dollars worth of goods and paid for them. I have bought ten bullocks.
I have on hand one hundred bushels of rice. I paid in trade about
forty cents. If I keep which I shall do three months longer, I can get
$1 50 per bushel for it. I also have on hand six tons of cam-wood. I
want to increase it to ten tons by next month, and shall ship it to
England by the steamer on the 7th, and remit the money to New York by
a bill of exchange, so as to have more funds here in the vessel which
I understood will sail from New York with our emigrants in the spring.
I had only eight hundred dollars worth of goods when I started from
New York. I have on my shelves one thousand dollars worth now.
Notwithstanding, I shall send one thousand dollars to New York after
more goods. I also have fifty pounds of ivory, worth here one dollar
per pound. I write this to show you what can be done here with a very
money. If a man has half what I had he would soon get rich, if he conducted himself aright; if a man has nothing, and came out under our Association, having a house and lands cleared, he would soon rise, if he has any spirit; therefore, come one, come all to the sunny climes of Africa.
Our expedition are all getting along finely; most of them have the fever now, but they are now all able to be about, with a prospect of soon recovering. I was attacked with the fever on Christmas-day, and am now considered entirely well. I, at all events, feel as well as ever I did in America.
I am now in Monrovia, where I have been one week trying to buy coffee scions, but there is such a great demand for them that I fear I shall not be able to get more than a thousand. I want seven thousand to plant in April.
I have had several interviews with the president—I had not this pleasure in the States. He is very affable and gentlemanly; he received me with great cordiality. I should have told you beforehand that he and his lady called at my store, up the river, and invited me to call and see them; they also bought quite largely of my wares. He offered to assist me in any way he could, if I wished any assistance.
As the steamer is about to sail, I must close. Give my respects to all the boys; tell them that I am in good health and spirits; tell them, if they want to feel like men, to come to Liberia.
Please write to me via England; the steamer stops here once a month. Your most obedient servant,
J. M. RICHARDSON.
From William W. Findlay.
Upper Caldwell, Liberia, March 8,1853.
To GOVERNOR WRIGHT, OF INDIANA:
SIR,—As I look upon you as being an old friend of mine, I take pleasure in addressing you a few lines to let you know something about how we are getting along in Liberia, believing you to be a true friend to Liberia, and to the colored race.
I am much pleased with this country, and I do believe that
every colored man that respects himself as a man would do well to come here, for truly I do think that it is a good country; but, like all other new countries, a man has privations to undergo, and a reasonable man can not expect that he can get every thing here as handy as he can in old, settled countries. But if he has money, he need not lack for luxuries here, and some that he can not get in America.
To be sure, there is some sickness here in going through the acclimation process; but when we come to look at the people who come here, we must expect it. But in the last three or four expeditions that have come out, there have been but few deaths.
Now I shall say something about agriculture and the prospects. This country is, I suppose, as good a coffee and sugar country as there is in any place in the world; at least, it is pronounced so by those that pretend to judge of these things. We may plant coffee, and on the same land raise arrow-root, bird-pepper, or ginger at the same time, and, by so doing, keep the coffee clean after it is planted—raise a crop of arrow-root, ginger, or bird-pepper, which I believe will pay all the other expenses, and will pay the interest until the coffee commences to bear, which will be about the third year.
And now in the States there are several gentlemen that have offered to find men to go into the coffee speculation, which they can not help making money at. If there should be a friend of mine, or a friend to Liberia, who will go into that business, I should be happy in hearing from him. The pepper, ginger, and such things as I should raise, I should expect those who went in with me to attend to in America, to sell these things, and send me in return such things as I should need to carry on business with. If there should be any that would be willing to risk money in that way, I should be glad to hear from them.
I have been appointed a justice of the peace in Caldwell county. Nothing more than I remain your humble servant,
W. W. FINDLAY.
From Samuel Williams.
Mr. Williams, a free colored man of Pennsylvania, intelligent, respectable, and rich for one of his class, was sent about a year since to Liberia, by an association of his people in this state, who desired to learn the prospects that country held out for the emigrants. The following is an extract from his report:
"Here I must end my advice and my report of what I have seen. Much that is to me deeply interesting I must omit. It only remains for me to return my sincere thanks to those whose friendship has cheered me, in undertaking a voyage fraught with anxiety and peril, but which has richly repaid me. I see in Liberia the elements of a great state. From her borders I behold an influence issuing which shall yet elevate my race in the future to that proud position which it once held in the past. Although they are my birth-place, and the birth-land of my fathers, and endeared to me as holding the bones of a now sainted parent, it is my wish only to remain in the United States until a company can be organized which shall go out together, taking with them a saw-mill and an apparatus for making iron—ore yielding, in Liberia, 90 per cent. In a few months longer, I trust, I shall go to the home of my fathers, there to aid in upbuilding a new republic, and in founding a mighty empire. Would to God I could persuade my brethren every where to go with me, so that after being aliens and exiles, like Israel in Egypt, for so many long years, we might at least die in the land of our fathers.