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lay before the House a copy of two letters from J. Ashmun, who is temporarily the acting Agent at Cape Mesurado : one dated 28th August, and the other 22d December, 1827; a schedule of the public buildings and other pro. perty, with their estimated value ; a statement of the disposition made of the Africans sent from Georgia by the ship Norfolk; and an extract of a letter from Master Commandant J. B. Nicholson, dated 20th February, 1828.
These papers contain all the information, recently received, of the present condition of the Agency, which is represented as prosperous and encouraging.
It will be perceived that all the liberated Africans have, by this time, ceased to be a charge to the United States.
Should no further captures be made, the only expense, under existing regulations, will be for the care of the public property and the salaries of the agents. It may be proper, however, to state that 121 Africans, landed from the wreck of a Spanish vessel, have lately been seized at Key West, and measures adopted by the Marshal of East Florida for their reinoval to St. Augustine, preparatory to a trial. The decision respecting them cannot be anticipated, but it is possible that the case may be considered as coming within the acts'of Congress; in which event, the duty will devolve upon the Executive of removing them from the United States. Provision was made for such an emergency, in the estimate presented at the commencement of the session.
Accounts of the expenditures at and for the Agency have been furnished to the close of the last year ; those subsequently received have not yet been settled.
Orders were given on thç 10th December, not to expend any more money on the public buildings, and the Agent was directed to prepare a schedule of ihem and their cost; this was parıly anticipated by one of the accompanying papers; but the current estimated value is substituted for the actual cost, which is probably not more than one-half the amount stated.
A map of the country having been engraved, a copy of it is herewith scnt, showing the position of the several settlements.
The Department is not in possession of any other information, particularly villustrative of the present circumstances of the settlement of free colored people at Liberia.” Reports on that subject are addressed to the Colonization Society ; nor has the Department any knowledge, turi her than what arises from the unavoidable connexion existing between the Agency and the settlement of free people, and which connexion has heretofore been explained in communications to Congress. All which is respectíully submitted.
SAM'L L. SOUTHARD. The SPEAKER of the House of Representalives.
UNITED STATES' AGENCY FOR RECAPTURED AFRICANS,
Cape Mesurado, August 28, 1827. Sı: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, through Doctor Todson, per the ship Norfolk,” arrived here on the 20th instant, forty-one days from Savannah, of your letter of the 11th of June, and copies of instructions therein referred to: those originally addressed to the late Doctor
Peaco, dated April 2, and those given to Doctor Todson, dated the 11th June; all of the present year.
In obedience to those instructions, I have received 142 Africans at the Agency, (the number embarked at Savannah having been diminished by two, from the death of a child and an aged paralytic,) and proceeded to dispose of them in the way judged most conducive to their own welfare; and most conformable to the views and instructions of the Department Under this disposition of these people, of which the particulars shall be forwarded by the return of the Norfolk, three-fourths of them will cease to be a charge to the United States at the end of one month, and all (except the sick) at the end of six months. All the adults are to receive lands, and will be admitted to the privileges of colonial settlers at the expiration of twelve months, provided their conduct within that term shall not prove them unworthy of the civil rights attaching to landed property in the colony.
Conformably with the same instructions, I have reorganized the service of the Agency, with a view to diminish and reduce, to the lowest estimated amount, its future expenses.
W. L. Weaver, the bookkeeper and assistant, appointed by the late Dr. Peaco, is discharged after the 31st of the present month.
The storekeeper, E. Johnson, whose services in keeping, distributing, and exchanging the stores and other property belonging to the Norfolk's cargo, cannot be dispensed with, is retained at a compensation of $333 per annum, for six months from the same date.
A. D. Williams, the former Superintendent, is also retained at a compens sation of $400, for the same term.
The reason for retaining Mr. Williams is, that his superintendency and other services are absolutely necessary to place the Africans in situations, accustom them to such employments, and form them to such habits, as shall enable them, some from the first, all at the end of six months, to support themselves.
On the supposition that no more Africans are to be sent to the Agency, I beg to submit an estimate of its future expenses in this country-anticipating its expiration on the first of September, 1828-exclusive of draughts on the Department previous to the present time, some of which appear not to have been received on the eleventh June last, and of the stores, &c. received per the Norfolk.
Estimate. 1. Compensation due to W. L. Weaver, in full for past services up to the time of his discharge, August 31, 1827
$175 00 2. Do. due to E. Johnson, storekeeper, in full for services up to the 31st August, 1827
75 00 3. Do. due to E. Johnson, storekeeper, in full for services
to be rendered the ensuing six months, when they are to terminate
166 50 1. Do. due to Griffin, Steward, and Clarke, associate carpen
ters, for carpenters' work accomplished and doing on the United States' buildings for recaptured Africans and Superintendent at Stocktontown
200 00 5. Do. due to the same carpenters for work done and doing on Fort Norris Battery, Cape Mesurado
650 00 400 00
6. Compensation due to Nelson's services as carpenter, Stock
ton buildings 7. Estimated amount of masons' and painters' bills for under
pinning and painting the Stockton buildings
Peaco, to build a very expensive double piazza, with Vene-
alterations in the house
sary to complete the new agency house 10. Do. carpenters and smiths for completing the large schooner
boat now on the stocks Materials for the same, and for repairing the Catharine 11. Do. of painters, and for materials for painting the United
States' ware, gun, and other remaining houses 12. Expenses incurred about Fort Norris Battery, for the pro
tection of the Roads, estimated at 13. Do. for compensation to A. D. Williams, Superintendent
recaptured Africans, February 28, 1828
end August 31st, 1828, $100, or exclusive of pay) extra
and ordnance storekeeper, 36
Eclipse, in favor of William De La Roche. Note. The
Of the 1st item of the preceding estimate, $72 871
92 00 Of the 6th do do do
And leaving, after abating this general estimate, $604 87] for pur
chases properly belonging to item 15
Making, exclusive of my own or substitute's pay through the
year beginning September 1, 1827, in full for all future ex-
In the foregoing estimate I have most anxiously studied economy on the one hand; but I have, also, on the other, not been regardless of the mode of closing a concern of so interesting a nature, situated in a foreign country, which becomes the justice and dignity of the Government of the United States. The actual state of the United States' dwelling, ware, and gun-houses, its fortifications and their armament, the buildings for recaptured Africans
and the boats, &c. belonging to the Agency (worth, at a moderate estimate, $14,000,) requires also a large part of the additional expense included in this estimate, in order to furnish and put them in a condition to fit them either for sale or preservation.
Doctor Todson will furnish himself with a properly authenticated schedule of all the permanent property belonging to the United States at this date, attaching to the Agency, which probably will not materially vary at the year's end.
Having formed the above estimate in the exercise of my best discretion, I beg leave, in conclusión, to observe, that, intil further instructions from the Department, to which I beg most respectfully to submit it for approval, I shall regulate my expenditures by it, and, without the most extraordinary necessity, shall not exceed any one of the items.
J. ASHMUN. Hon. SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD,
Sec'ry United States' Navy, Washington City.
P. S. A general statement of my accounts since the departure of Doctor Peaco was forwarded by the United States' schooner Shark, which sailed fron Mesurado for the West Indies, 12th February last; and a full statement of my accounts up to the 30th of April, 1827, went by the Doris, which sailed hence for Baltimore, on the 22d June last. If my health, which has been bad for two months past, proves sufficient, I shall forward by Dr. Todson a further statement of the accounts to the date of the Norfolk's arrival, August
Understanding a vessel, to be chartered by the American Colonization Society, is expected to sail from the United Siates for Cape Mesurado some time in Autumn, I have to request that twenty-five thousand of juniper, cypress, or yellow pine shingles may be forwarded by that conveyance, in order to cover the most valuable of the United States' houses, &c. in this country. The shingles of the country are dear, and too indifferent to last longer than two seasons. Some require to be annually renewed
U. S. AGENCY FOR RECAPTURED AFRICANS,
Cape Mesurado, December 22, 1827. SIR: The United States' ship Ontario, having arrived in Mesurado Roads last evening, ten days from Sierra Leone, and forty-one from Gibraltar, on her return to the United States, will be the bearer of this communication.
I have the satisfaction of being able to state, that all the recaptured Africans at the Agency are, with nearly every individual of the American settlers, in perfect health, with the exception of nine cases (of which two are recaptured Africans) of ulcerated legs. The sufferers from this malady have, however, been convalescent since the termination of the rainy season, which the present year was unusually protracted, and scarcely terminated at the beginning of the present month.
The number of Africans from Georgia has been diminished by two deaths since the date of my letter per the Norfolk. The first was that of an adult, drowned, or, as there is reason to suppose, destroyed by an alligator, while bathing in the Mesurado river, on the 10th of October. The other case is of a child, three years old, carried off by a malignant fever of 30 hours' continuance. About forty of the whole company from Georgia have been slightly affected with intermittents. The worst case continued nearly two months, but, generally, the patient recovered in ten days.
These people have proved, far beyond expectation, orderly, peaceable, and industrious. Only a solitary offence deserving corporeal punishment has come to my knowledge, and this grew out of a sudden exasperation of passion. Five marriages have been solemnized; and the irregular connexions of the unmarried strictly prohibited, and, as far as is known, prevented entirely. Seven women, having one or more small children each, not obtaining situations in the families of the settlers, have been employed in the best manner I could plare them in the public service. Three of them wash and cook for the public laborers, the rest have situations in the Colonial Infirmary and Orphan House, where they enjoy the strictest paternal superintendence of the manager of that establishment, and are fully employed, without any actual increase of the sum total of the public expense. It has proved a truly auspicious circumstance, when only the temporal lot of these people, and their restoration to Africa, are considered, that more than 40 of their number have brought with them that best of all personal endowments, a simple and imperfect, but serious and practical knowledge of Christianity The true rel:gion operating on such minds, exists and displays itself only in its influence on the life and character. And this is only salutary. I trust their good conduct during their probationary year will secure them the good wishes and patronage of all in the colony whose friendship can hereafter be most useful to them. A part of them is destined at the end of the year to the newly projected settlement at Grand Bassa; another division 1 hope to provide for on the Stockton, midway between Caldwell and Monroe. The lands of both districts are good, and equally good. The third or remaining part of the company, consisting of single women and minors, will remain attached to the families of the settlers, and accede, in time, to the privileges of the American emigrants.
The expenditures on account of the Agency have been regulated strictly according to the estimate forwarded by the schooner Eclipse, under date of August 28th, 1827—no event having occurred, or appearing likely to happen, requiring me to exceed it. The injury sustained by the schooner boat has been repaired, and she is again in active service. We still keep her armed, but have considerably reduced the expense of her ordinary armament and crew this season, which may be increased at pleasure. It is quite necessary she should occasionally show a gun, but more so that she should fetch good freights of rice and oil for the comfort of the people, and in this service we hope hereafter chiefly to employ her.
The other unfinished boat is under shelter, and will be completed at leisure, in the best style which our materials and workmen will permit. The great multiplication of decked coasting craft in the colony the present season, both delays the completion of the public boats, by engaging the mechanics, and renders that delay the less' prejudicial to the common welfare of the es tablishment.