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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all others others with whom the people of that involving expense and labour, may be settlement have opened a communica- withdrawn, as soon as these establishtion, have been prevailed upon to aban.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 ener 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 memorial. or 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 be session, and before referred to, the caps queath to our descendants, this will re. tives 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
of our patriots have suggested for ef- it may be thought to require and defecting what they have so greatly desired, the colonization of Africa, in the Your memorialists further request, manner proposed, presents the fairest that the subscribers to the American prospects of success. But if it be ad- Colonization Society may be incorpomitted to be ever so doubtful whether rated, by an act of Congress, to'enable this happy result shall be the reward them to act with more efficiency in carof our exertions, yet, if great and cer- rying on the great and important obtain benefits immediately attend them, jects of the Society, and to enable why may not others, still greater, fol- them, with more economy, to manage low them?
the benevolent contributions intrusted In a work evidently progressive, who to their care. shall assign limits to the good that zeal John Mason, and perseverance shall be permitted to
Committee. accomplish? Your memorialists beg E. B. CalDWELL, leave to state, that having expended
F. S. Key, considerable funds in prosecuting their inquiries and making preparations, Washington, Feb. 1, 1820. they are now about to send out a colony, and complete the purchase already stipulated for with the native kings and chiefs of Sherbro, of a suitable ter
REPORT ritory for their establishment. The number they are now enabled to trans. On the Constilution of the Royal Burghs port and provide for is but a small
of Scotland. proportion of the people of colour who have expressed their desire to go ; and, The Select Committee, to whom without a larger and more sudden in- the several petitions which have been crease of their funds than can be ex- presented to this House from the pected from the voluntary contribu. Royal Burghs of Scotland, during the tions of individuals, their progress must years 1818, 1819, and 1820, were rebe slow and uncertain. They have al. ferred, to examine the matters thereways flattered themselves with the of, and to report their observations and hope, that when it was seen they had opinions thereupon to the House ; and surmounted the difficulties of prepara- to whom the reports
the tion, and shewn that means applied to 17th day of June, 1793, and the 12th the execution of their design would day of July, 1819, were made from the lead directly and evidently to its ac- Committees appointed to examine the complishment, they would be enabled matters of the several petitions from to obtain for it the national counte- the Royal Burghs of Scotland, were nance and assistance. To this point also referred, have considered the said they have arrived ; and they therefore petitions, and have agreed upon the respectfully request, that this interest- following Report :ing subject may receive the considera- Your Committee, in offering the retion of your honourable body, and
sult of its labours, feels it necessary to that the executive department may be bespeak the indulgence of the House, , authorized, in soch way as may meet for the limited progress it has made in your approbation, to extend to this the inquiry intrusted to its charge ; object such pecuniary and other aid as and such indulgence will, perhaps, appear but reasonable, when the House pences of their journey, and of their shall advert to the peculiar circum- residence in London, (which is all stances under which your Committee your Committee have thought them. was appointed, and has continued to selves warranted to allow,) affords but sit, during the present Session. a very inadequate compensation. Your Committee was appointed on
Under this impression, your Com. the 4th of May; since which time the mittee have proceeded chiefly by the press of public business has been al help of documentary evidence ; but most unprecedented in amount, in im- feel it due to the petitioners, whose al. portance, and peculiarity of interest. legations they have been appointed to Numerous other committees, of local examine, as well as to the House, as well as of general importance, have which has devolved to them an imoccasionally called its members to other portant trust, to state here the two inquiries, who have, besides, been sub- following material considerations :ject to their full share of the imperious Ist, That the documentary evidence claims upon their time, and attendance obtained is necessarily made up by the on the committees relative to matters very official persons whose conduct the of election.
petitioners arraign; and, 2dly, That Your Committee being early im. such evidence is made up from records pressed with the impossibility of ex. under the exclusive inspection and cos. tending its inquiries, by oral testimony, trol of the same official persons. into the minute detail of all the sixty- From these documents, however, it six Royal Burghs of Scotland, in re- will appear, that the allegations of ference to the various matters com- fact, made by the petitioners, are very plained of by the petitioners, with any generally and substantially true; whilst prospect of concluding such inquiry the allegations of inference may excite within a moderate period of time, have considerable diversity of opinion. adopted the classification of the alle- Thus, with reference to the allegagations of the petitioners, detailed un- tion of the mode of forming and conder eight separate heads of complaint, tinuing the councils of the burghs, the in the Report of last year, as their mere fact, that these councils do geneguide in conducting their present rally possess and exercise the powers course of investigation ; subject, how- vested in them by existing laws, of ever, to such occasional deviation as self-election and self-continuance, (apcircumstances, disclosed in the pro- plying these terms to the bodies corgress of their inquiry, or arising from porate, and not to the individual memsome inherent peculiarity of case, bers) admits of no doubt ; but the al. might point out.
legation of inference, that to this cause Your Committee have been confirm. is to be attributed mismanagement and ed in this arrangement, and in their abuse, when they exist, is indeed matadoption of documentary, in preference ter of opinion, and can be best ascerto oral testimony, by observing the ex- tained by patient and minute investigatreme inconvenience to which the wit- tion. nesses summoned to give evidence from The same persons are indeed gene. a distance of from 400 to 600 miles, rally found to compose the council of are necessarily subjected, besides the a burgh for a series of years, with loss of their time, and interruption to merely such partial change of official their professional employments ; for station as the set of the burgh or conwhich, the mere payment of the ex
venience of the ruling party may re
quire ; until the adverse party gains is manifest, from the documents before the ascendancy, when a similar system your Committee ; as also the frequent of self-formation and self-election in expenditure beyond income, and in sethe body of the council continues, veral instances the accumulation of until again displaced by a similar 'debt. But the inference drawn by the cause ; however the persons or parties petitioners, that these things result may change, the system continues the from the mode of forming and consame. And it is here most essential to tinuing the councils, is a point on remark, that in many burghs it con- which the Committee, not having fulstantly happens, (and in all of them it ly considered it, have forborne to demay happen) that persons not quali- cide. fied to be chosen into the council of a Under these circumstances, your burgh are so chosen ; and yet there Committee have thought it would be seems much reason to doubt, whether most satisfactory to its own Members such unqualified persons, after being as well as to the House, to include in there sixty days, can be displaced by their Report, not only the evidence, any proceedings of law, but such as but also the several distinct resolutions are so tedious and expensive, that they it has come to in reference to these are never likely to be resorted to. matters ; and to express their hope,
Indeed, a recent case of this abuse that if the House shall think proper to has been stated, in a letter addressed appoint the same or another Commit. to the Chairman of the Committee, tee upon this subject, in the next Seswhich is given in the Appendix rela- sion of Parliament, this and the retive to Kirkcudbright. In that burgh, maining allegations of the petitioners a person avowedly not qualified by the may undergo a full and adequate conset (or constitution of the Burgh) to sideration. sit there, was lately elected into Coun- Your Committee cannot omit to no. cil ; an action was brought to displace tice in their Report the evidence subhim in the Court of Session. But the joined relative to the burgh of Cupar. judgment pronounced in that Court An inquiry into the particulars of this was in substance to this effect, that a Burgh was instituted, and witnesses person who could not legally be elect- summoned, in consequence of a specific ed into council, having obtained ad. allegation of the petition from thence, mission there, and the illegality of his That seats in the council of that election remaining unchallenged for burgh had frequently been bought and the space of sixty days, such person sold : and that the system of alternate is not removable by the ordinary election and re-election between indicourse of law.
viduals, by bargain, in continual sucAnother case of a different descrip- cession to each other, prevailed there, tion has lately occurred, as appears among the merchant-councillors, as a from the evidence of Mr Kennedy, a constant and uniform practice. member of the Committee, in which Your Committee lament to report, it was held, that an idiot knowingly that the evidence has fully confirmed appointed to the office of town-clerk this allegation ; that these proceedings, by the magistrates of a royal burgh, so gross and iniquitous in their nawas not removable at their suit. ture, and so injurious in their effects,
Again, the fact of large alienations have been fully established ; nay, even of property from most of the burghs admitted to be true by the very persons