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tives, on account of its productiveness, for their rice and cassada plantations. The agricultural habits of the present occupants of this tract concur with the advantages of their situation in affording promise of success to their exertions. “ Nothing,” says the Colonial Agent, “but eircumstances of the most extraordinary nature, can prevent them from making their way directly to respectability and abundance.”
Oxen were trained to labor in the Colony in 1825, and it was then expected that the plough would be introduced in the course of another year. Although commerce has thus far taken the lead of agriculture, yet the excellence of the soil, the small amount of labor required for its cultivation, and the value and abundance of its products, cannot fail, finally, to render the latter the more cherished, as it is certainly the more important interest of the Colony.
The trade of Liberia has increased with a rapidity almost unexampled; and, while it has supplied the colonists not only with the necessaries, but with the conveniences and comforts of life, the good faith with which it has been conducted has conciliated the friendship of the natives, and acquired the confidence of foreigners.
The regulations of the Colony allowing no credits, except by written permission, and requiring the barter to be carried on through factories established for the purpose, has increased the profits of the traffic, and prevented numerous evils which must have attended upon a more unrestricted license.
Between the 1st of January and the 15th of July, 1826, no less than fifteen vessels touched at Monrovia, and purchased the produce of the country, to the amount, according to the best probable estimate, of $43,980, African value. The exporters of this produce realize, on the sale of the goods given in barter for it, a profit of $21,990, and, on the freight, of $8,786, making a total profit of $30,776.
A gentleman in Portland has commenced a regular trade with the Colony, and for his last cargo landed in Liberia, amounting to $8,000, he received payment in the course of ten days. The advantages of this trade to the Colony are manifest from the high price of labor, (that of mechanics being two dollars per day, and that of common laborers from 75 cents to $1 25,) and from the easy and comfortable circumstances of the settlers. «An interesting family, twelve months in Africa, destitute of the means of furnishing an abundant table, is not known; and an individual, of whatever age or sex, without an ample provision of decent apparel, cannot, it is believed, be
“Every family," says Mr. Ashmun, “and nearly every single adult person in the Colony, has the means of employing from one to four native laborers, at an expense of from four to six dollars the month; and several of the settlers, when called upon in consequence of sudden emergencies of the public sorvice, have made repeated advances of merchantable produce, to the amount of 300 to 600 dollars each."
The Managers are happy to state that the efforts of the Colonial Agent te enlarge the TERRITORY of Liberia, and particularly to bring under the government of the Colony a more extended line of coast, have been judicious and energetic, and in nearly every instance resulted in complete success. From Cape Mount to Tradetown, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, the Colonial government has acquired partial jurisdiction. Four of the most important staTIONs on this tract, including Montserado, belong to the Society, either by actual purchase, or by a deed of perpetual lease; and such negotiations have been entered upon with the chiefs of the country as amount to a preclusion of all
Europeans from any possessions within these limits. The fine territory of the St. Paul's, now occupied by settlers, was described in the last annual report of the Society.
The territory of Young Sesters, recently ceded to the Society, is ninety miles South of Montserado, in the midst of a very productive rice country, affording also large quantities of palm oil, camwood, and ivory. The tract granted to the Colony includes the bed of the Sesters river, and all the land on each side to the distance of half a league, and extending longitudinally from the river's mouth to its source. In compliance with the terms of the contract, the Chief of the country has constructed a commodious storehouse, and put a number of laborers sufficient for the cultivation of a rice plantation of forty acres under the direction of a respectable colonist, who takes charge of the establishment.
The right of use and occupancy has also been obtained to a region of country on the South branch of the St. John's river, North nine miles from Young Sesters; and the trading factory established there, under the superintendence of a family from Monrovia, has already proved a valuable source of income to the Colony. Rice is also here to be cultivated, and the Chief who cedes the territory agrees to furnish the labor..
The upright and exemplary conduct of the individual at the head of this establishment has powerfully impressed the natives with the superiority of civilized and Christian men, and with the importance of inviting them to settle in their country; and consequently, the offer made by the Colonial Agent, for the purchase of Factory island, has been accepted by its proprietor. This island is in the river St. John's, four miles from its mouth, from five to six miles in length, and one third of a mile in breadth, and is among the most beautiful and fertile spots in Africa. A few families are about to take up their residence upon it, and prepare for founding a settlement, “which cannot fail,” says Mr. Ashmun, “in a few years, to be second to no other in the Colony, except Monrovia.”
Negotiations are also in progress with the Chiefs of Cape Mount, which, if successful, will secure to the Colony the whole trade of that station, estimated at $50,000 per annum, and may ultimately lead to its annexation to the territories of Liberia. «The whole country between Cape Mount and Tradetown," observes Mr. Ashmun, “is rich in soil and other natural advantages, and capable of sustaining a numerous and civilized population beyond almost any other country on earth. Leaving the seaboard, the traveller, every where, at the distance of a very few miles, enters upon an upland country, of moderate elevation, intersected by innumerable rivulets, abounding in springs of unfailing water, and covered with a verdure which knows no other changes except those which refresh and renew its beauties. The country directly on the sea, although verdant and fruitful to a high degree, is found every where to yield, in both respects, to the interior.”
Much progress has been made the last year in the construction of public buildings and works of defence, though, with adequate supplies of lumber, more might doubtless have been accomplished. Two handsome churches, erected solely by the colonists, now adorn the village of Monrovia. Fort Stockton has been rebuilt in a style of strength and beauty. A receptacle, capable of accommodating one hundred and fifty emigrants, is completed. The new agency house, market house, Lancasterian school, and town house, in Monrovia, were, some months since, far advanced, and the finishing strokes were about to be given to the government house on the St. Paul's.
The wing of the old agency house has been “handsomely fitted up for the colonial library, which now consists of 1,200 volumes, systematically arranged in glazed cases, with appropriate hangings. All the books are substantially covered, and accurately labelled; and files of more than ten news. papers, more or less complete, are preserved. The library is fitted up so as to answer the purpose of a reading room, and it is intended to make it a museum of all the natural curiosities of Africa which can be procured.”
No efforts have been spared to place the Colony in a state of adequate defence; and, while it is regarded as perfectly secure from the native forces, it is hoped and believed that it may sustain itself against any piratical assaults. “ The establishment has fifteen large carriage guns and three small 'pivot guns, all fit for service.
Fort Stockton overlooks the whole town of Vonrovia, and a strong double battery is now building on the height of Thompson Town, near the extremity of the cape, which, it is thought, will afford protection to vessels anchoring in the roadstead. The militia of the Colony consists of two corps, appropriately uniformed; one of artillery, of about fifty men; the other of infantry, of forty men; and on various occasions have they proved themselves deficient neither in discipline nor courage.
It is impossible for the Managers to express the regret excited by the re. flection that the system of education in the Colony, second as it is to no one of its interests, is extremely defective, and that the best endeavors to improve it have, for the present, been arrested by the or linations of an all wise but mysterious Providence. Several primary schools continue in operation, but the ability of the teachers is only equal to the communication of the mere rudiments of knowledge. The plan of instruction commenced by the Rev. Mr. Holton promised inestimable benefits, but his sudden and lamented decease has shaded the prospect which seemed so fairly opening for the intellectual improvement of the Colony. It is hoped that men of color may be found, qualified to act in the capacity of teachers, and thus prevent the recurrence of so sad a disappointment. Regarding this subject as one of vital interest, the Managers will not fail to give to it the most sedulous and unremitted attention.
It is a fact, which cannot fail to awaken in this meeting the deepest concern, that the records of the Colony afford abundant and unequivocal evidence of the undiminished extent and atrocity of the African slave trade. From eight to ten, and even fifteen vessels have been engaged at the same time in this odious traffic, almost within reach of the guns of Liberia; and as late as July, 1825, there were “ existing contracts for eight hundred slaves, to be furnished in the short space of four months,” within eight miles of Monrovia. Four hundred of these were to be purchased for two American slavers. A boat belonging to a Frenchman, having on board twenty-six slaves, all in irons, was, in September, 1825, upset in the mouth of the St Paul's, and twenty of their number perished. This is one of the lesser scenes of tragedy, says the Colonial Agent, which are daily acting in this wretched coudtry. But the crimes of these lawless invaders of human liberty are not confined to their acknowledged profession; they defy the laws of all civilized nations, and engage in every species of piracy.
The crew of a Spanish schooner recently boarded and robbed an English brig, lying at anchor off Cape Montserado, the captain of the latter being at the time in Monrovia. The aid of the Colonial Agent was invoked for the punishment of the offence, who felt himself obliged, from regard to his own safety, not to leave unnoticed so flagrant a violation of the law of nations. The otter of a number of the colonial militia, to proceed immediately to take possession of the factory, built by the master of the piratical vessel a few miles from Monrovia, was accepted, and the expedition resulted in the capture of fourteen slaves, and the entire destruction of the establishment. A few of the poor Africans thus relieved from their manacles, ignorant of the language of the settlement, and unable to appreciate the motives which led to their capture, and the benevolence which was still operating for their benefit, fled from the Colony, and were soon after taken by the natives, and sold to a Frenchman who was then employed in purchasing slaves on the St. Paul's. When their situation was made known, the Colonial Agent demanded that they should immediately be delivered to the authorities of the Colony. A peremptory refusal having been made to this demand, it was judged necessary to attempt their recovery by force, which was speedly effected, and possession at the same time obtained of the whole number of slaves at the factory, amounting in all to ninety nine.
About the same time, two or three others of these recaptured Africans, who had escaped from the Colony, were conveyed by the natives to a factory at Tradetown, a slave mart, one hundred miles South of Cape Montserado, and the most notorious o:c existing between Cape Palmas and Sierra Leone.
An effort to recover these individuals peaceably proved entirely unsucessful. It was known, also, that one of the three vessels then waiting for their complement of slaves at Tradetown, hard committed various piratical acts since her arrival on the coast. Justified, therefore, as was believed, by those principles of right which ought to govern all human actions, the Agent, attended with thirty-two volunteers from the Colony, assisted by the Colombian armed schooner Jacinta, Captain Chase, immediately embarked for Tradetown, detained the two vessels. (the third having been previously captured by a French brig of war,) effected a landing, seized fifty-three slaves, and reduced all the stores and buildings of the factory to ashes.
These bold and energetic measures have done much towards the exclusion of the slave trade from this part of Africa, and have indeed banished it entirely (at least for the present) from the whole district of country between Cape Vlount and Tradetown. But the Managers cannot hope that a traffic so long established, so gainful, so extensive, and which enlists in its support so many of the deep and malignant vices of the heart, will be exterminated without more decided and combined measures than have ever yet been adopted by the Powers of the Christian world.
The influence of the Colony with the natives is great and increasing, and resulting, as it does, principally from the integrity and kindness manifested towards them by the colonial government in all its transactions, may be expected to be permanent. They begin to feel the superior advantages of civilized life, and to secure, through the settlement, by lawful trade, those articles which were formerly acquired only by the sale of their brethren.
- No man of the least consideration in the country, says Mr. Ashmun, 6 will desist from his importunities until one, at least, of his sons is fixed in some settler's family. We have their confidence and friendship, and these built on the fullest conviction that we are incapable of betraying the one, or violating the other.
Here the managers pause, to pay a mournful and affectionate tribute of respect to the memory of the dead. The Rev. Horace Sessions, the Rev. Calvin Holton, and Mr. Charles L. Force, the two former agents of the Society, and the latter employed as printer for the African colony, have been called from the field of toil on which they had but just commenced exertions most honorable to themselves and useful to the Society; to the invisible and eternal world. Mr. Sessions superintended the embarkation of the emigrants by the Vine, and accompanied them to Liberia, in the hope of acquiring information which might enable him more successfully to prosecute an Agency for the Society in the United States. Mr. Holton had devoted himself, with a martyr's spirit, to Africa, and his instructions and missionary labors in the colony, promised greatly to advance its literary, moral, and religious interests. But the will of Heaven has removed them, and to that will it becomes us to bow, in humble confidence that He who prepared them for usefulness in life will not leave to perish the influence of their example.
The events which have occurred in the United States during the year, favorable to this institution, are too numerous to be given in detail, and too important to be left unnoticed. They have been such as must confirm the faith of the wavering, strengthen the confidence of the irresolute, and stimulate the decided friends of our cause to higher and nobler exertions.
The number of subscribers to the African Repository and Colonial Journal has very much increased, and it is circulated at present in nearly every State in the Union.
The managers have heard with pleasure that an institution, denominated the Kosciusko school, has been founded in New Jersey, and that one of its prominent objects is to qualify young men of color for usefulness in Liberia. The name of Kosciusko is associated with this school, in honor of that illustrious individual, who, on his final departure from America, intrusted to Mr. Jefferson a fund to be applied by him to the purchase and education of African slaves, which fund is, on certain conditions, to be appropriated to the benefit of this Seminary, which will long stand, we trust, a monument of the charity of that noble foreigner, whose valor and services in the cause of freedom and humanity are revered throughout our country and the civilized world.
The free people of color are becoming more generally and decidedly favorable to the views of the Society, and many of the best informed and most industrious have resolved upon an early removal to Liberia. In Baltimore they have recently, in a memorial to the whites, implored the treans of emigration, and expressed their full conviction of the benerolence and wisdom of the plans of the Society.
The clergy of nearly all denominations have taken occassion, on the anniversary of our National Independence, or on the Sabbath immediately preceding or succeeding that day, to explain to their congregations our desiga, and solicii contributions in its behalf; the amount of which has, it is believed, exceeded any similar collections in former years.
The brig Doris is now preparing to sail to Liberia, with a considerable number of emigrants, most of whom are from North Carolina.
The reports of the Agents employed by the Society in different sections of the country are of the most encouraging character, and prove that a deep, rapid, and extensive change, favorable to the interests of this institution, is taking place in the public mind. More than twenty Auxiliary Societies have been formed in the course of the year. Among these is the Coloni. zation Society of the State of Pennsylvania, which, from its situation, (Philadelphia,) the energy with which it has commenced operation, and the liberality which has thus early been evinced in its support, may be expected to act very effectively in aid of our cause.