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supremacy among the states of the Niger, but had become subject to the kingdom of Tombuctoo. Wangara, called Guangara, had become an independent kingdom, the sovereign of which maintained a considerable army. The gold for which this region is so celebrated, is represented by Leo as found not within itself, but in mountains to the south. Bornou is described under its modern name; also Cassina, under the name of Casena, though it does not appear to have then occupied that high place among the African states which it afterwards attained. But the most remarkable change is the foundation of the kingdom of Tombuctoo, called here Tombuto, which took place in the year of the Hegira 610 (A. D. 1215). Ischia, one of its early sovereigns, appears to have been a most warlike and powerful monarch, and had subjected and rendered tributary all the surrounding kingdoms, among which were Ghinea or Genni, Melli, Casena, Guber, Zanfara, and Cano. The city itself does not appear to have been very splendid. The houses were built in the form of bells; the walls of stakes or hurdles, plastered over with clay, and the roofs of reeds interwoven together. One mosque, however, and the royal palace, were built of stone; the latter by an artist brought from Granada. Cotton cloth was worn in great quantity. The merchants were extremely rich; and the king had married his daughters to two of their number. The inhabitants were copiously supplied with water; that of the Niger, when it overflowed, being conveyed into it by sluices. The country round abounded with corn, cattle, and all the necessaries of life, except salt, which was brought from Tegazza, situated at the distance of 500 miles; which was held so valuable, that Leo had seen a camel's load sold for 80 ducats. The king had a splendid court, and many ornaments of gold, some of which weighed 1300 ounces. He maintained also 300 horsemen, and a numerous infantry; many of whom were in the habit of using poisoned
Horses were not bred, but imported from Barbary, and eagerly sought after; so that the king, when any number arrived, insisted on making a selection for himself, paying, how
ever a handsome price. Manuscripts are particularly mentioned, not only as one of the imports from Barbary, but as bringing more money than any other commodity. The inhabitants were mild and gentle, and spent a great part of the night in singing and dancing. The town was extremely exposed to fire, and our author had known half of it consumed in the space of five hours. The religion was Mahometan, but the intolerance, so strongly report. ed in modern times, is mentioned only in regard to the Jews, who are said to have been most rigorously excluded.
Cabra was a town similarly built, but smaller. It was situated on the Niger, at twelve miles from Tombuctoo, and was the port from whence the merchants sailed for Ghinea and Melli. Ghinea, or Genni, is described as an extensive country, 500 miles in length and 250 in breadth, extending along the Niger till that river fell into the
The country was very fertile, particularly in cotton; the manufacture of which formed the main staple of its trade. During the months of July, August, and September, it is completely overflowed by the branches of the Niger, which surround it in the manner of an island. At that time the merchants of Tombuctoo conveyed their commodities in small canoes made of a single tree. These they rowed during the day, then fastening them to the shore, spent the night on land. At the time Leo 'wrote, this country also had been conquered by Ischia, king of Tombuctoo. To the south of it lay Melli, upon a river which fell into the Niger. It is described as also fertile, abounding in merchants and artificers, who enjoyed a great degree of opulence. The inhabitants were the first who embraced the religion of Mahomet, and were superior to all other negroes in wit, civility, and industry. To the north of Ghinea was Gualata, probably Walet, which is represented to have been at one time the centre of the Mahometan power in Africa, and the chief resort of the Barbary merchants. But after the foundation of Tombuctoo, the happier situation of that ty enabled it to carry off all this trade, and Gualata ended, like all the neighbouring kingdoms, in becoming tributary to Ischia.
of the Colonists at Monrovia to the Free People of Colour in the United States.
September 4th, 1827. As much speculation and uncertainty continues to prevail among the 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 endeavour 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 libertyliberty, 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 distinguishes 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 for eyer, 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 al. together our own; they grew 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 fellowcitizens ourselves. We have all that is meant by liberty of conscience. The time and mode of worshipping God, as prescribed us 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 selfcomplacent 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 our. selves, 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 surveying your 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, wbo, with prudent regard to his own character, can associate with 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 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 that mental sloth and careless poverty, which you already
to the Free People of Colour in the United States.
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
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 month's 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. On these points there are, and have been, much misconception, and some malicious misrepresentations in the United States.
We have nearly all suffered from sickness, and of the earliest emigrants a large proportion fell in the arduous attempt to lay the foundation of the colony. But are they the only persons whose lives have been lost in the cause of human liberty, or sacrificed to the welfare of their fellow men? Several out of every ship's company have within the last four years been carried off by sickness, caused by the change of climate. And death occasionally takes a victim from our number, without any regard at all to the time of his residence in this country. But 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 climate 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 two or three years, not one person in forty from the middle and southern states, has died from the change of climate. The disastrous fate of the company of settlers who came out from Boston, in the brig Vine eighteen months ago, is an exception to the common lot of emigrants; and the causes of it ought to be explained. Those people left a cold region in the coldest part of winter, and arrived here in the hottest season of our year. Many of them were too old to have survived long in any country. They most imprudently neglected the prescriptions of our very successful physician, the Rev. Lot Carey, who has great experience and great skill in the fevers of the country—and depended on medicines brought with them, which could not fail to prove injurious. And in consequence of all those unfortunate circumstances, their sufferings were severe, and many died. But we are not apprehensive that a similar calamity will befall any future emigrants, except under similar disadvantages.
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, as 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 fa ledgment of the bounty of Divine Promine and all the evils of want and po vidence to say, that we generally enverty. We do not dispute the sound joy the good things of this life to our ness of this conclusion neither—but we entire satisfaction. utterly deny that it has any application Our trade and commerce is chiefly to the people of Liberia.
confined to the coast, to the interior Away with all the false notions that parts of the continent, and to foreign are circulating about the barrenness of vessels. It is already valuable, and this country—they are the observa. fast increasing. It is carried on in the tions of such ignorant or designing productions of the country, consisting men as would injure both it and you. of rice, palm oil, ivory, tortoise shell, A more fertile soil, and a more produc dye woods, gold, hides, was, and a small tive country, so far as it is cultivated, amount of coffee; and it brings us, in there is not, we believe, on the face of return, the products and manufactures the earth. Its hills and its plains are of the four quarters of the world. Selcovered with a verdure which never dom, indeed, is our harbour clear of fades; the productions of nature keep European and American shipping; and on in their growth through all the sea the bustle and thronging of our streets, sons of the year. Even the natives of show something, already, of the activithe country, almost without farming ty of the smaller seaports of the United tools, without skill, and with very little States. labour, make more grain and vegeta Mechanics of nearly every trade are bles than they can consume, and often carrying on their various occupations more than they can sell.
-their wages are high, and a large Cattle, swine, fowls, ducks, goats, number would be sure of constant and and sheep, thrive without feeding, and profitable employment. require no other care than to keep Not a child, or youth in the colony them from straying. Cotton, coffee, but is provided with an appropriate indigo, and the sugar cane, are all the school. We have a numerous public spontaneous growth of our forests; library, and a court house, meeting and may be cultivated at pleasure, to houses, school houses, and fortificaany extent, by such as are disposed. tions, sufficient or nearly so for the coThe same may be said of rice, Indian lony in its present state. corn, Guinea corn, millet, and too ma Our houses are constructed of the ny species of fruits and vegetables to be same materials, and finished in the enumerated. Add to all this, we have same style as in the towns of America. no dreary winter here, for one half of We have abundance of good building the year to consume the productions stone, shells for lime, and clay of an of the other half. Nature is constant excellent quality for bricks. Timber ly renewing herself—and constantly is plentiful of various kinds, and fit for pouring her treasures, all the year all the different purposes of building round, into the laps of the industrious. and fencing. We could say on this subject more, Truly we have a goodly heritage ; and but we are afraid of exciting too high if there is any thing lacking in the chaly the hopes of the imprudent. Such racter or condition of the people of persons, we think, will do well to keep this colony, it never can be charged to their rented cellars, and earn their the account of the country; it must twenty-five cents a day, at the wheel be the fruit of our own mismanagebarrow, in the commercial towns of ment, or slothfulness, or vices. But America ; and stay where they are. from these evils we confide in Him, to It is only the industrious and virtuous whom we are indebted for all our blessthat we can point to independence, and | ings, to preserve us. It is the topic plenty, and happiness, in this country. of our weekly and daily thanksgiving Such people are nearly sure to attain, to Almighty God, both in public and in a very few years, to a style of com in private, and he knows with what fortable living, which they may in vain sincerity,—that we were ever conducthope for in the United States. And, ed by his providence to this shore. however short we come of this charac Such great favours in so short a time, ter ourselves, it is only a due acknow and mixed with so few trials, are to be
ascribed to nothing but his special the justice or the policy of slave-holdblessing. This we acknowledge. We
ing was as clear as they would seem only want the gratitude which such
to intimate, it is difficult to conceive signal favours call for. Nor are we willing to close this paper without why they should start and storm at adding a heartfelt testimonial of the
every measure, however innocent, that deep obligations we owe to our Ame
points toward the eventual extinction rican patrons—and best earthly benefactors; whose wisdom pointed us to
of slavery. The following extract may this home of our nation; and whose be taken as a specimen : active and persevering benevolence enabled us to reach it. Judge, then, " That the people of the south, at of the feelings with which we hear the the time of the adoption of the conmotives and the doings of the Colo stitution, considered not only the renization Society traduced—and that, tention, but the increase of the slave too, by men too ignorant to know what population, to be all-important to the that Society has accomplished; too welfare and interests of their states, is weak to look through its plans and manifest from a reservation in that intentions; or too dishonest to acknow instrument itself, which, it cannot be ledge either. But, without pretending doubted, was inserted on their express to any prophetic sagacity, we can cer requisition. By the 1st clause of the tainly predict to that Society, the ulti 9th section of the 1st article, it is promate triumph of their hopes and la vided, that the migration or importabours; and disappointment and defeat tion of such persons as any of the to all who oppose them. Men may states shall think proper to admit, theorize, and speculate about their shall not be prohibited by the congress plans in America, but there can be no prior to the year 1808. Who were speculation here. The cheerful abodes
the persons here meant ?-Africans. of civilization and happiness which are And for what purpose were they to be scattered over this verdant mountain
imported, and into what states ?-the flourishing settlements which They were to be imporled to be held in are spreading around it—the sound of
slavery in the southern states. Who then Christian instruction, and scenes of were the parties interested in making Christian worship, which are heard such reservation ?—The people of the and seen in this land of brooding pagan south, and they alone. What was the darkness-a thousand contented free motive of those people in insisting men united in founding a new Christian upon the reservation of the right to empire, happy themselves, and the in make such importation for twenty strument of happiness to others: every years ?-Unquestionably to increase that object, every individual, is an argu
species of population. Why increase it? ment, is demonstration, of the wisdom
--Because they believed it to be essential and the goodness of the plan of colo to the improvement, welfare, and prosnization.
perity of their section of the country: Where is the argument that shall and upon the numbers of which, by anrefute facts like these?-And where is other provision of the constitution, the the man hardy enough to deny them? weight of the southern states in the
general council in part depended.
“ If such were the motive, (and what other could there have been for the in
sertion of that reservation?) can it be A committee of the legislature of
believed, that those very people meant, Georgia have produced a report which
by another clause, to give to congress
the power to appropriate money out of manifests a degree of sensibility on the the common fund to which they were subject of slavery, to be accounted for so largely to contribute, for the purpose only by admitting that they feel them of again removing that very populaselves but ill at ease in their possession | carefully reserved; that they insisted
tion, the right to increase which was so of this species of property. If either upon retaining the right to import Afri
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