Imatges de pàgina


prietors had long enjoyed under all the sanctions of positive law and of ancient usage.

Your memorialists beg leave, with all deference, to suggest that the lairest and most inviting opportunities are now presented to the General Government for repairing a great evil in our social and political institutions, and at the same time for elevating, from a low and hopeless condition, a numerous and rapidly increasing race of men, who want nothing but a proper theatre to enter upon the pursuit of happiness and independence, in the ordinary paths which a benign Providence has left open to the human

Thuse great ends, it is conceived, may be accomplished by making adequate provision for planting, in some salubrious and fertile region, a colony, to be composed of such of the above description of persons as may choose to emigrate; and for extending to it the authority and protection of the United States, until it shall have attained sufficient strength and consistency to be left in a state of independence.

Independently of the motives derived from political foresight and civil prudence on the one hand, and from moral justice and philanthropy on the other, there are additional considerations and more expanded views to engage the sympathies and excite the ardor of a liberal and enlightened people. It may be riserved for our Government, (the first to denounce an inhuman and abominable traffic, in the guilt and disgrace of which most of the civilized nations of the world were partakers) to become the honorable instrument, under Divine Providence, of conferring a still higher blessing upon the large and interesting portion of mankind benefitted by that deed of justice, by demonstrating that a race of men, composing numerous tribes, spread over a continent of vast and unexplored extent, fertility, and riches, unknown to the enlightened nations af antiquity, and who had yet made no progress in the refinements of civilization; for whom history has preserved no monuments of arts or arms; that even this hitherto ill fated race may cherish the hope of beholding at last the orient star revealing the best and highest aims and attributes of man. Out of such materials, to rear the glorious edifice of well ordered and polished society, upon the deep and sure foundations of equal laws and diffusire education, would give a sufficient title to be enrolled among the illustrious benefactors of mankind; whilst it afforded a precious and consolatory evidence of the all prevailing power of liberty, enlightened by knowledge and corrected by religion. If the experiment, in its more remote consequences, should ultimately tend to the diffusion of similar blessings through those vast regions and unnumbered tribes, yet obscured in primeval darkness; reclaim the rude wander:r from a life of wretchedness to civilization and humanity; and convert the blind idolater, from gross and abject superstitions, to the holy charities, the sublime morality, and humanizing discipline of the Gospel, the nation or the individual that shall have taken the most conspicuous lead in achieving the benignant enterprise, will have raised a inonument of that true and imperishabie glory, founded in the moral approbation and gratitude of the human race; unapproachable to all but the elected instruments of divine beneficencema glory, with which the most splendid achievements of human force or power must sink in the competition, and appear insignificant and vulgar in the comparison. And above all should it be considered, that the nation or the individual, whose energies have been faithfully given to this august work, will have secured, by this exalted beneficence, the favor of that Being, "whose compassion is over all his works,” and whose unspeakable rewards will never fail to bless the humblest effort to do good to his creatures.

Your memorialists do not presume to determine, that the views of Congress will be necessarily directed to the country to which they have just al. luded. They hope to be excused for intimating some of the reasons which would bring that portion of the world before us, when engaged in dicovering a place the most proper to be selected; leaving it, with perfect confidence, to the better information and better judgment of your honorable body to make the choice.

Your memorialists, without presuming to mark out, in detail, the measures which it may be proper to adopt in furtherance of the object in view; but implicitly relying upon the wisdom of Congress to devise the most effectual measures, will only pray, that the subject may be recommended to their serious consideration, and that, as an humble auxiliary in this great work, the association represented by your memorialists may be permitted to aspire to the hope of contributing its labors and resources.

BUSH. WASHINGTON, President. The memorial, after being read in the House of Representatives, and ordered to be printed, was referred to the Committee on the Slave Trade, Messrs. Pickering, Comstock, Condict, Tucker, Taggart, Cilly, and Yooks: their report and resolutions follow:

Note.—The report and resolutions here referred to, are those presented by Mr. Pickering, February 11th, 1817, and will be found in the preceding part of this appendix.

Letter from the Committee of the Colonization Society to the House of

Representatives. To the Hon. HENRY CLAY,

Specker of the House of Representatives: Sır: In obedience to instrictions from the American Society for Coloniza ing the Free People of Color of the United States, we beg leave to lay before Congress some account of the measures pursued by the Society for accomplishing the great objects of its institution; and the result of their inquiries and researches after such facts and information as might most clearly demonstrate how far any scheme of colonization, dependent for its success upon the interior state of Africa, and upon the actual condition and disposition of her native tribes, might be practicable, and also enable the founders of the intended colony to make the most prudent and judicious selection of a situation for it. In order to obtain the most recent and accurate information, from sources of the most unquestionable authority, the Society sent out, at great expense, two agents, Mr. Mills and Mr. Burgess; who have proved themselves eminentiy qualified for the undertaking. The agents first visited England, with a view to acquire such preparatory instruction in the most efficacious mode of pursuing the objects of their mission, as the great mass of rare, valuable, and authentic information, collected in that country, from various sources, might afford them. They proceeded from England to the West coast of Africa, where they prosecuted their researches with such zeal, industry, and intelligence, as to have contribated essentially to the illustration of many inportant and interesting facts, connected with the geography, climate, soil, and products, of that part of the continent; and with the habits, manners, social institutions, and domestic economy, of its inhabitants. From the information thus obtained, the present period would seem to be designated by a combination of favorable circumstances, as the fortunate crisis for reducing to the test of practical experiment these views and objects of the Society, which have already met so encouraging a notice from Congress; and upon the comprehensive utility and beneficence of which (abstracted from any doubts of their being susceptible of practical execution) no question seems to be entertained in any quarter.

The present facilities for acquiring the requisite territory from the native tribes, in situations combining every advantage of salubrious and temperate climate, with fertile soil; the pacific and humanized temper of mind prevailing among these tribes; their existing prepossessions in favor of the expecte i colonists from America; the actual settlement, in that part of Africa, of some prosperous, intelligent, and well disposed emigrants from among the free people of color in this country; and the state of general peace, so favorable to enterprises of benevolence and utility, wholly unconnected with any political schemes of territorial or commercial aggrandizement; altogether form a conjuncture, which must prove decisive of the success of an immediate experiment. But upon any permanent continuance of so favorable a state of things, no human wisdom or foresight can calculate with any reasonable certainty, if the present opportunity be not adequately improved.

It is now reduced to the single question, whether the undertaking shall be adopted and patronized by the Government, so as to become essentially national in its means and its objects; or whether its ultimate success is to depend upon the responsibility and exertions of individuals, whose zeal and perseverance, unsubdued and unabated by difficulty, by delay, or disappointment, may be surely counted on; but whose unprotected exertions and unaided resources, whether of power or of capital, must necessarily be contingent and precarious, if not in their ultimate effect, at least in the acceleration of the results.

It is now conceived to be apparent that, with the adequate aids and sanction from the Government, the present generation cannot pass away without permanent, practical, and important benefits from the experiment-benefits which will be felt equally in our social and domectic relations, as in the advancement of the great object of political and internal morality, connected with the suppression of the slave trade: and this nation has ever stood foremost in the most decided and vigorous efforts to abolish that opprobrious traffic.

From the journals kept by the agents, of their proceedings and personal observations, with an abstract of collateral information of unquestionable authenticity and great interest, collected by them from sources not frequently accessible to the general reader or inquirer, the Society has become possessed of many rare and valuable materials, not only for forming a more accurate judgment of the utility of the scheme of colonization, but also for demonstrating how flagrantly and notoriously, and with what impuniły, the prohibitory laws of the United States, and of other nations, in regard to the slave trade, are violated by their respective citizens and subjects. Some important hints also may be derived from these documents, for making the penal sanctions of those laws more effectual; and there is good reason to conclude, that the establishment of such a colony as has been projected by our Society, may prove an important and efficient adjunct to the other preventive checks provided by law.

The body of accurate and valuable information thus collected, will be found among the documents, which we now beg, Sir, through your kind mediation, to present to Congress.

We have the honor to be,

With great respect,

Your obedient servants,
WALTER JONES, Committee.

F. S. KEY,
WASHINGTON, January 23d, 1819.

In the House of Representatives of the United States,

January 23d, 1819. The Speaker presented to the House a letter addressed to him, signed by Elias B. Caldwell, Walter Jones, and Francis S. Key, a Committee of the American Colonization Society, accompanied with an account of the measures pursued by the society for accomplishing the great object of its institution, and of the result of their inquiries and researches; as, also, of documents, showing the unlawful participation of the citizens of the United States in the African slave trade; which letter, and its accompanying documents, were referred to a select committee; and

Mr. Mercer, Mr. Mills, and Mr. Campbell, were appointed the said committee. An extract, &c.



In the House of Representatives of the United States,

March 3d, 1819. Resolved, that the account of Messrs. Davis and Force, for printing the documents accompanying the letter from the Committee of the American Colonization Society to the Speaker of this House, amounting to two hundred and fifty-nine dollars, be paid out of the contingent fund of the House.



Extract from the First Annual Report of the Board of Managers.

“ The Managers have ascertained that there are numbers of the highest atanding for intelligence and respectability among that class of people, who are warmly in favor of the plan, from a conviction that it will, if accomplished, powerfully co-operate in placing the situation of their brethren, here and in Africa, in that scale of happiness and respectability among the nations of the earth, from which they have long been degraded. Offers of service have been received from many worthy and influential individuals of their own color, and from a number of families from different parts of the United States, to beeome the first settlers in the colony, whenever a suitable situation shall be procured. The Managers can with confidence state their belief, that they would have no difficulty in procuring individuals among them, worthy of trust and confidence, to explore the country, if necessary, and to plant a colony of sufficient strength to secure its safety and progperity. This being accomplished, there can be no difficulty in presenting its importance to their brethren, in such a manner, and with such unquestionable testimony, as must command their fullest confidence."

Extract of a letter from a respectable gentleman in Vincennes, Indiana,

to the President of the Society. “I feel a deep interest in your society, and highly approve the patriotic and benevolent motives which have induced its formation, and with every American citizen feel a pride in seeing the name of Washington at its head.

“ To aid its views, I am prompted to send you the following information. There are in this vicinity between fifty and a hundred free people of color, who have by my means heard of your society, and are desirous of going to Africa, to help in forming a settlement or colony, should one be attempted. They live on the Wabash, on both sides; some in the Illinois Territory, and some in Indiana. They are in general industrious and moral. Some of them have landed property, and are good farmers; and some can read and write. They are sensible of the existing degraded condition in which they are placed by our laws, respecting the right of suffrage, and other disabilities.”

Extract of a letter written by Capt. Paul Cuffe to Mr. Mills, dated

Westport, 1st mo. 6th, 1817. " In 1815 I carried out to Sierra Leone nine families, 38 in number; and in 1816 I have had so many applications that I believe I might have had the greater part to have carried out of Boston and the vicinity.

Extract from the Second Annual Report of the Board of Managers.

“Continued assurances have been received by the Board of Managers, in the last year, of the readiness of the free people of color in the United States to avail themselves of their contemplated asylum, whenever a suitable territory for its erection shall have been procured. These have proceeded from the most enlightened of this class of persons, comprehending individuals engaged in all the occupations of civil life, dispersed throughout the United States, and in sufficient number to form the basis of a respectable colony. To these assurances have been added the repeated declarations of several proprietors of their readiness to emancipate the whole, or a part of their slaves, whenever a suitable abode in Africa shall have been provided for them, upon condition that they shall repair to it.

“When the Managers add, that they have purposely avoided all appeals to those motives which ought to, and doubtless will, hereafter induce the free

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