Imatges de pàgina

18. 6d. a-day, is one of the most noto, and it will be seen how ineffectual rious beggars who infest the town. those have generally been where they

A Greenwich pensioner of 71. a-year were attempted. gets from 5s. to 10s. for writing beg- Before they proceed, however, to ging letters.

do that, they think it right to observe, The last description of beggars that that remain for your Committee to take The frequent resort to gin shops is notice of, are those who seek charity stated as a means of encouraging begby letters.

gars in their practice. Some thousand applications by let- And that lotteries have reduced ters are made for charity to ladies, no- some to want. blemen, and gentlemen, in the metro- On the other hand, Sunday schools polis : two thousand on an average are stated to have produced a most were within the knowledge of one in. beneficial effect on the morals and hadividual, who was employed to make bits of the lower order of the people. inquiries.

The sturdy beggars are sent to Some were from persons receiving Bridewell, but are turned loose again. pensions as sailors or soldiers, or from Beggars are sent to Bridewell for the public companies.

merely begging; if insolent for a month, Several persons subsist by writing the city parish officer sends them alletters ; one woman profits by the prac

ways out of his district. tice, who receives a guinea a-week as

The chaplain of Bridewell, who apa legacy from a relation, and has laid pears to have been not merely attentive out 2001. in the funds. Letters have to the duty required of him, but with been written by the same person in much zealto have exceeded that, states, five or six different hands.

that in the course of fourteen years, Persons who write begging letters there were not six instances of persons are called twopenny-post beggars, and having been reformed by having been profit considerably by the practice. committed to Bridewell. He mention

Petitions carried about frequently ed one of a woman having been comobtain money; many persons live by mitted there thirty-nine times, for a writing these letters.

week, a fortnight, or a month; and A man who keeps a school writes others a great number of times. begging letters for 2d. each.

Beggars are not reformed in BrideA gross imposition detected, that well ; too short a time there. was attempted in a begging letter. Apprentices have been committed

The vagrant act evaded by persons to Bridewell two or three times ; but resorting to begging by letters. A not many instances of that. person who has been an attorney's Vain attempts at reform of women. clerk much employed in writing such In ten days or a fortnight after the letters.

beggars from Bridewell are passed inThe facts here stated having im- to the country, they are on their hands pressed upon your Committee a clear again. conviction of the extent of the practi- It appears from the whole of this ces of mendicity in various ways in the evidence, that a uniform and active metropolis, and having brought under exercise of the duty of the magistrates their view the magnitude and perni- would go far to clear the streets of the cious consequences of the evil, they metropolis ; but if the mendicants, next thought it their duty to inquire when removed by the justices, shall be what corrections had been applied; allowed to go where they please in the

country, the evil will only be trans- are to be subject to the said punishferred there, where the nuisance of ments as rogues and vagabonds; and their practices is as intolerable as in a reward of ten shillings is payable to the capital.

any one, whether parish officers or not, There is clear evidence that when who shall take up such persons. they are sent on their way to their parishes, they escape and disperse after the first stage: Beggars who have been passed to

MEMORIAL their parishes, frequently return.

Reference has been had to the evi- To the American, Senate and House of dence of the person who contracts for Representatives on African Coloniconveying the beggars from the me- zation. tropolis, to shew, that he conveys annually from 12,000 to 13,000 in a The President and Board of Mana. year; many times the same persons gers of the American Colonization who have returned to the capital. Society respectfully represent, that be.

The legal authority for repressing ing about to commence the execution the practices so justly complained of, of the object to which their views have and so clearly proved to exist, appears been long directed, they deem it pro. apparently to be confined to the pro- per and necessary to address themselves visions of the 17th Geo. II. c. 5. ge- to the legislative council of their counnerally called the vagrant act ; no in- try. They trust that this object will stances appear where the magistrates be considered in itself of great national have acted under any other.

importance, will be found inseparably That act professes to divide the va. connected with another, vitally affectgrants into three classesmidle and dis- ing the honour and interest of this naorderly persons, rogues and vagabonds, tion, and leading in its consequences and incorrigible rogues ; allotting dif- to the most desirable results. ferent punishments to each, according Believing that examination and reto the degree of the offence. But the fection will shew that such are its humble mendicant, asking alms in a connexions and tendency, they are enstate of nearly famishing, is included couraged to present themselves, and in the first class, and so is liable to their cause, where they know that a commitment to the house of correction, public measure, having these advantain like manner as the sturdy and inso. ges, cannot fail to receive all the counlent beggar, living in a state of com- tenance and aid it may require. parative luxury, is : “ All persons The last census shews the number going about from door to door, or of free people of colour of the United placing themselves in streets, high- States, and their rapid increase. Supways, or passages, to beg or gather posing them to increase in the same alms, in the parishes or places where ratio, it will appear how large a prothey dwell, shall be deemed idle and portion of our population will, in the disorderly persons ; and it shall be course of even a few years, consist of lawful for any justice of the peace to persons of that description. commit such offenders to the house of No argument is necessary to shew correction, to be kept to hard labour that this is very far indeed from confor any time not exceeding one month.” stituting an increase of our physical If such persons shall resist being car- strength; nor can there be a popularied to the house of correction, they tion, in any country, neutral as to its

effects upon society. The least obser. ticability, though doubted by many at vation shews, that this description of first, is daily less questioned. persons are not, and cannot be, either The two last Reports of the Society, useful or happy among us; and many to which your memorialists beg leave considerations, which need not be men- to refer, shew the success of their mistioned, prove, beyond dispute, that it sion to Africa, and the result of their is best for all the parties interested that inquiries upon that continent. From there should be a separation; that those those it is manifest that a situation can who are now free, and those who may be readily obtained, favourable to combecome so hereafter, should be pro- merce and agriculture, in a healthy vided with the means of attaining to a and fertile country, and that the nastate of respectability and happiness, tives are well disposed to give every which it is certain they have never yet encouragement to the establishment of reached, and therefore can never be such a settlement among them. Tbus likely to reach in this country. it appears, that an object of great pa

Several of the states, deeply interest tional concern, already expressly de ed in this subject, have already applied sired by some of the states, and truly to the general government, and con- desirable to all, receiving also the curring in the views of your memorial- approbation of those upon whom it ists, both from considerations of justice is more immediately to operate,

is towards themselves and humanity to brought within our reach. the coloured people, have expressed But this subject derives, perhaps, to the general government, their de. its chief interest from its connexion sire that a country should be procured with a measure which has already, to for them in the land of their forefa- the honour of our country, occupied thers, to which such of them as should the deliberation of the Congress of the choose to avail themselves of the op- United States. portunity might be removed. It has Your memorialists refer with pleabeen the one single object of the so- sure to the act passed at the last ses ciety, which your memorialists repre- sion of Congress, supplementary to the sent, to effect this end. They have act formerly passed for the suppression made the most cautious and particular of the slave trade. The means afford. inquiries as to the practicability of ed, by the provisions of that act, for such a plan, and its prospects of suc- the accomplishment of its object, are cess, both in this country and in Afri- certainly great ; but the total extirca; and they are warranted in decla. pation of this disgraceful trade casring, that there are no difficulties which not, perhaps, be expected from any they do not confidently expect will be measures which rely alone upon the easily overcome by a moderate exer- employment of a maritime force, how. tion of discretion and perseverance. ever considerable.

In this country, and in almost every The profits attending it are so espart of it, they have found a zealous traordinary, that the cupidity of the and decided approbation expressed, unprincipled will still be tempted to both in words and deeds, by a vast continue it, as long as there is any majority of all classes of our citizens ; chance of escaping the vigilance of the and this sentiment is continually in- cruisers engaged against them. From creasing as the measure becomes more the best information your memorialists the subject of discussion and reflection. have been able to obtain of the nature, Its importance all admit ; and its prac- causes, and course of this trade, and of

the present situation of the coast of That such points of settlement would Africa, and the habits and dispositions diffuse their light around the coast, of the natives, they are well assured and gradually dispel the darkness that the suppression of the African which has so long enshrouded that conslave-trade, and the civilization of the tinent, would be a reasonable hope, natives, are measures of indispensable and would justify the attempt, even if connexion.

experience had not ascertained its sucSuch an opinion has been avowed cess. Although, therefore, much may many years ago, by those best ac- be effected by the vigilant operations quainted with this subject, and expe- of a well-disposed naval force, it is to rience has abundantly confirmed it. be feared that much will always remain

The documents and papers which to be done, until some degree of civilyour memorialists had heretofore the ization is attained by the inhabitants honour of presenting to Congress, and of the coast of Africa. The present those contained in the late Reports of measures, therefore, for the suppresthe society, prove this position. sion of the slave trade, if unconnected

Since the establishment of the Eng with others for the improvement of lish settlement at Sierra Leone, the the natives, must be long continued, slave-trade has been rapidly ceasing and the effects produced by them will upon that part of the coast.

be partial, tedious, and uncertain ; and Not only the kingdoms in its im- the least relaxation of this vigilance mediate neighbourhood, but those up- will revive it. on the Sherbro and Bagroo rivers, and But those measures, and all others others with whom the people of that involving expense and labour, may be settlement have opened a communica- withdrawn, as soon as these establishtion, have been prevailed upon to aban. ments upon the coast become strong don it, and are turning their attention enough to participate in the contest to the ordinary and innocent pursuits against avarice and inhumanity, and of civilized nations.

shall obtain from their evident adThat the same consequences will re- vantages over the natives a proper insult from similar settlements cannot be Auence among them. And here your doubted. When the natives there see memorialists beg leave, respectfully, to that the European commodities, for suggest their fears, that many of the which they have been accustomed to profligate adventurers in this trade will exchange their fellow-beings, until evade the search of our cruisers by vast and fertile regions have become their artful contrivances in disguising almost depopulated, can be more easi- their national character. We have realy and safely obtained by other pur. son to believe that the slave-ships of suits, can it be believed that they will other nations assume the flag and chahesitate to profit by the experience ? racter of Americans to evade the search Nor will the advantages of civilization of British cruizers. Is it not, therebe alone exhibited. That religion, fore, to be expected, that the act latewhose mandate is “ peace on earth, ly passed will often be defeated by and good will towards men,” will American slave-ships assuming a fo“ do its errand ;” will deliver them reign flag and character? A careful from the bondage of their miserable consideration of this subject has consuperstitions, and display the same vinced us, that all our efforts will be intriumphs which it is achieving in every sufficient to accomplish their purposes, land.

unless some friendly arrangement can be made among the maritime powers agriculture and the arts, would render of the world, which shall leave no shel- them most useful assistants, should be ter to those who deserve to be consi- connected with such an establishment. dered and treated as the common ene- When, therefore, the object of the mies of mankind.

Colonization Society is viewed in conWhether a permission, under any nexion with that entire suppression of modification, to certain specified ships, the slave-trade which your memorialor in certain latitudes, to search and ists trust it is resolved shall be effected, seize slave-ships under our flag, such its importance becomes obvious and as Great Britain and other European extreme. The beneficial consequences powers have mutually given to each resulting from success in such a meaother, can be properly granted by our sure it is impossible to calculate. To government, we cheerfully leave to the the general cause of humanity it will wisdom and justice of Congress to de- afford the most rich and noble contritermine. Your memorialists will only bution ; and for the nation that reexpress their hope and belief, that your gards that cause, that employs its pow. deliberations upon this interesting sub- er in its behalf, it cannot fail to project will enable you to discern a way, cure a proportionate reward. It is by without any compromisement of our such a course that a nation insures to national honour, by which our coun- itself the protection and favour of the try may

be placed among the foremost Governor of the world. Nor are there and most efficient assertors of the wanting views and considerations, arirights of humanity. But your memo- sing from our peculiar political instirialists humbly consider, that the co- tutions, which would justify the sure lonization of Africa offers the most expectation of the most signal blesspowerful and indispensable auxiliary ings to ourselves from the accomplishto the means already adopted, for the ment of such an object. If one of extermination of a trade, which is now these consequences shall be the gradual exciting, in every country, that just and almost imperceptible removal of a indignation which has been long since national evil, which all unite in lamentfelt and expressed in this.

ing, and for which, with the most inNo nation has it so much in its power tense, but hitherto hopeless anxiety, to furnish proper settlers for such esta- the patriots and statesmen of our counblishments as this ; no nation has so try have laboured to discover a remedeep an interest in thus disposing of dy, who can doubt that, of all the them. By the law passed at the last blessings we may be permitted to besession, and before referred to, the cap- queath

to our descendants, this will retives who may be taken by our crui- ceive the richest tribute of their thanks *zers from the slave-ships are to be and veneration ? taken to Africa, and delivered to the Your memorialists cannot believe custody of agents appointed by the that such an evil, universally acknowPresident. There will then be a set- ledged and deprecated, has been irretlement of captured negroes upon the movably fixed upon us. Some way coast, in consequence of the measures will always be opened by Providence, already adopted. And it is evidently by which a people, desirous of acting most important, if not necessary to justly and benevolently, may be led to such a settlement, that the civilized the attainment of a meritorious object. people of colour, of this country, whose And they believe, that of all the plans industry, enterprize, and knowledge of that the most sagacious and discerning

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