Colonization Society of the State of Connecticut..

An address to the public by the managers of the Colonization society of Connecticut. With an appendix (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryColonization Society of the State of Connecticut.An address to the public by the managers of the Colonization society of Connecticut. With an appendix (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 4)
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His Excellency GIDEON TOMLINSON, President.

Hon. JOHN T. PETERS, Hartford, >" President*

Prof. BENJAMIN SILLIMAN, Yale Coll. \ Vice rresutenu

Rev. LEONARD BACON, New-Haven, Secretary.

SETH TERRY, Esq., Hartford, Treasurer.

His Hon. JOHN S. PETERS, Hebron, 1

Hon. EBENEZER YOUNG, Killingly,

Rev. JOEL H. LINSLEY, Hartford,

Rev. SAMUEL MERWIN, New-Haven,

Rt. Rev. T. C. BROWNELL, Wash. Coll. \ Managers.

Rev. T. H. GALLAUDET, Hartford,

Hon. SETH P. BEERS, Litchfield,

Hon. JOHN ALSOP,*Middletown,



To the People of Connecticut.

Triends and fellow Citizens,

In behalf of the Colonization Society of the State of Connec-
ticut, we beg leave to address you on a subject intimately
connected with the honor and the dearest interests of our
common country, and identified with the great cause of human

You are often called upon to lend your influence to schemes
of patriotic enterprise and Christian benevolence. The elastic
spirit of our age has long been busy here and has been moving
you to effort. You have founded and are sustaining noble
institutions of education. You have engaged in the work of
sending the Scriptures into every family. You have long been
contributing to impart the means of instruction to the ignorant
and destitute. You have not held back from the enterprise of
giving to Pagan tribes the blessed influences of the gospel. The
spirit which has prompted you to effort aims at doing good to
all within its reach ; — it finds none too degraded for its benefi-
cence, none too distant for its sympathy. It seeks to perpetuate
and to brighten that bright legacy of character and of privileges
which has come down to us from sainted ancestors. It seeks to
scatter every where the seeds of social improvement and of
spiritual life. It seems to forget none of the children of degra-
dation, or of intellectual and moral want. To the Pagan and
the Mahommedan — to the degraded and abject in our cities — to
the inmates of the manufactories rising along the streams of our
New England — to the settler on the prairies of the far South-
west — to the boatmen of our mighty rivers — to the sailor on the

erty can do any thing ior him, education and properti can ,i
as httfe for his children after him. Would you set before h^
the importance of a good character ? But of how much "due

is character to him who stands now, and must aluavs a „d ,

dWon of f de f° f S ° C , iety? , IUstl,1S ^gradation of the con-
dition oi our free coloured population which ensures then-
degradation of character, and their degradation of char 'etc
reacts to make their condit.on stdl more degraded lie con-
stitute a class by themselves-* class out of which no individual

tins i* tJm 3 r ,d b f l0W Which ' none ca » be depreLed And
his is the difficulty the invariable and insuperable difficulty™

the way of every scheme for their benefit. Much can be done
ior them-much has been done ; but still they are, and in this
country always must be a depressed and abjeel race.

2. Another principle, in which the friends of the Colonization
Society have been united from the beginning is, that the Zm-ovc
ment and < ultimate abolition of slaterfmust be brought ab I (l
moral influence only, and must be done by the people of the save
hOdmg states themselves, of their oJwill* There* inted
SEd".™'? W r lC J , S,aVe,y ™y at SOme time « «ther be alol
ons nZ?r ° f ab0,ltl ° n at the thou S ht ° f which the heart sick-
ens and the imagination revolts in horror ; but that is the very
catastrophe winch the promoters of this undertaking were anx-

ZrYT- D f g t( \ aVert \ But h ° W in this count 'V can slavery be
abohshed,,f not by violence and insurrection. By Legislation"

Ih relor^r? ° f " ^^ ParliamCDt is illdeed -trodudng
Wrmofslavery and preparing its gradual suppression in the Colonies; b ut the circumstances of the slave-hold "
Mates m th, s confederacy, preclude the thought of any such in?

erference here. The Legislatures of the States where slaver
doe, not exist have no more to do with the laws and social insti-

uuonsof he States where it does exist, than they have to
do with the mditary and ecclesiastical establishments of the

nCTr 11 W ( T S " . ThB Nati ° nal G ^rnment has no control
over the subject, for the right of the slave-holder to his property
.guaranteed by the very compact on which the National Govern-
ment rests for its existence. The Legislature of each slave-
holding State can Legislate only for its own constituents. Those

DeStel^l/ thC f FVantS ° f ih ° P eo P ,e i ™ d *"* the
people of those States demand the abolition of slavery, then
slavery will be abolished and not till then.

3. A third point in which the first promoters of this object were
united is, that few individual slave-holders can in the present
state of things, emancipate their slaves if they would. There is
acer am relation between the proprietor of slaves and theheings
ho. thrown upon him which is far more complicated and fit
leas dissolved than a mind unacquainted with the subject

Is ready to imagine. The relation is one which, where itexfsfc,

grows out of the very structure of society, and for the existence
of which the master is ordinarily as little accountable as the
slave. Tt is a relation, like the relation of parent and child, or
master and apprentice, involving reciprocal duties — on the one
hand protection and support, and on the other hand obedience.
It is an arbitrary relation in that it does not result from the neces-
sary condition of human nature but rather from an artificial and un-
natural organization of society ; and yet it is not arbitrary in any
sense which implies that it depends for its existence, or its con-
tinuance on the consent of the parties. You may go to a slave-
holder and propose to him to emancipate his slaves. You may
set before him all the evils of slavery in the most vivid col-
ours. You may make him feel those evils as strongly as you
feel them. But what shall he do ? Perhaps the laws of the
State forbid emancipation as an act which goes only to swell the
amount of pauperism, and wretchedness, and crime. But suppo-
sing there is no legal obstacle in the way ; what shall he do ?
Here are a hundred human beings dependent on him for protec-
tion, and support, and government, and he, on the other hand, is
dependent on their services for the means of supporting himself
and them. This relation he did not voluntarily assume ; he was
born the proprietor of these slaves, just as really as he was born
the subject of civil government. It is his duty, a duty which he
cannot avoid, to make the best provision in his power for then-
sustenance and comfort. It is proposed to him to emancipate
them. He looks around him and sees that the condition of the
great mass of emancipated Africans is one in comparison with
which the condition of his slaves is enviable ; — and he is convin-
ced that if he withdraws from his slaves, his authority, his sup-
port, his protection, and leaves them to shift for themselves ; he
turns them out to be vagabonds, and paupers, and felons, and to
find in the work-house, and the penitentiary the home which they
ought to have retained on his paternal acres. This is no unreal
case. There may be slaves— there are slaves by thousands and
tens of thousands— whose condition is that of the most abject dis-
tress ; but these are the slaves of masters whose whole conduce
as a constant violation of duty, and with whom the suggestion of
giving freedom to their slaves would not be harbored for a mo-
ment. The case which we have supposed is the case of a mas
ter really desirous to benefit his slaves. Hundreds of humane
and Christian slave-holders retain their fellow-men in bondage
because they are convinced that they can do no better.

The simple object of the American Colonization Society is to
plant Colonies of free blacks from the United States upon the
coast of Africa. This object they have been pursuing for eleven
vears, and they are now more fully convinced than ever that fhe

accomplishment of this object will be attended with the best re
suits, both as it respects the improvement of the character and
condition of llie free blacks, and as respects the gradual and safe-
abolition of slavery.

Vi hat such Colonies are to do for the free blacks it is not diffi
cult to understand. Here the black man is degraded. You
may call him free, you may protect his rights by legislation, you
may invoke the spirit of humanity and of Christian benevoience
to bless him, but still he is degraded. A thousand malignant in-
fluences around him are conspiring to wither all that is manly and
noble in his nature. But in Africa he becomes a member of a
community in which he is not only free but equal. There he
stands up to be a man. There he has a home for himself, and
for his children after him. There as he looks about him on a
soil of unrivalled and almost incredible fertility, on the dark for-
est already beginning to fall at the approach of civilization, on the
varieties of mountain and valley and stream, already known by
names dear to freedom and benevolence, on all the magnificence
and luxuriance of that tropical -land, he can feel that there is bis
home, the land of his fathers, the refuge of the exile, and that
there his children through succeeding ages shall enjoy a rich and
noble inheritance. There he finds himself moved to industrious
and honorable, and virtuous enterprize, by all the motives that
inspire and quicken the freemen of our own New-England. Ev-
ery man of colour who removes from the United States to our
African Colonies, remover from a land of degradation, from n
land where his soul is crushed and withered by the constant sense
of inferiority, to a land where he may enjoy all the attributes of
manhood and all the happiness of freedom.

The successful establishment of these colonies will not only
bless the colonists themselves but will react to elevate the
standing of those who remain behind. From beyond the Atlan-
tic there will come a light to beam upon the degradation of the
negro. Let it be known among the coloured population of this
country what Africa is, and what advantages it offers to the
emigrant ; and soon the selfsame spirit which now lands thou-
sands of suffering Irishmen every year upon our shores, will be
yearly landing thousands of our free blacks upon the shores of

What effect the execution of this scheme is to have on the
progressive abolition of slavery in our country may be easily

1. In the first place, it will give to many benevolent masters
an opportunity for the safe and happy emancipation of their
slaves. This scheme solves the dilemma in which many ;/
humane and Christian slave hohlcr has found himself. It shows
him how he can free his slaves, ami at the same time free himself

from the responsibility of holding them in bondage, and at the same
time secure the permanent improvement of their condition. Al-
ready has many a benevolent holder of slaves availed himself of the
opening which is thus presented. In the State of North Carolina
the entire community of Quakers have emancipated their slaves
and by their own contributions have provided for their emigration
to more favorable climes.

2. In the second place, the prosecution of this scheme will
excite discussion and will fix public attention on this great
national interest. Attention, discussion is what this subject
needs. We need attention and discussion — not declamation
aiming at no good result — not the invectives of heated politi-
cians — but calm, serious, kind investigation, leading the nation to
estimate the extent and nature of the evil more exactly, and
seeking out the remedies by which it may be alleviated and sub-
dued. To this result the scheme is even now most obviously
fending. What has already been done in the way of freeing and
transporting slaves has sent a thrill through the hearts of thou-
sands. And every new example of this kind, as it awakens new
applause will act on public opinion with a wider and more pow-
erful influence. Good men and patriotic men in the slave -
holding States will be led to examine the subject anew ; they
will see it in new relations, they will regard it with new emotions.
Thus the public mind will be gradually enlightened, and public
opinion will be renovated.

3. In the third place, the successful prosecution of this plan
will soon make the abolition of slavery through the world a thing
inevitable. Slavery will never exist in any community much
longer than it can be rendered profitable to the slave-holder.
The reason why slavery was never successfully introduced into
New-England, and the reason why it is already nearly abolished
in the middle States, is principally the absolute impossibility of
sustaining it. It is an established and now a familiar principle
that the labor of slaves is far more expensive and far less produc-
tive than the labor of freemen. The labor of one freeman is
equal in value to the labor of three slaves. Consequently the
product of free labor can everywhere be sold at a far lower rate,
than the same articles produced by slave-labor. If the slave-
holders of Maryland and Virginia could have a monopoly of
wheat and tobacco they could make their system of slavery
profitable. But the fact is that slavery in those States is un-
profitable, and is felt to be a burthen, and is therefore growing
unpopular. And the reason of that fact is, that they have not
and never can have the monopoly which they need. The pro-
ducts of their slave labor come into competition with the pro-
ducts of free labor. And while the price of wheat and tobacco
ia pourinrr back wealth on the farmers of New- York and Ohio,



and Ohio could raisf cotton i. I ? mi ? ° f N ™-YorJ

as they raise wheat slavery n^lthl g K ^ COffee aud indi g°>
arable a burthen as i Ts [, Vir * T* WouId be as *S

would be gradually word™ ou In ^ *"? £•** WOfId °™ *«
-che, Slavery j. SdKow on,X^?' "f *!* ^
enjoys. onJV °y the monopoly which it

yea B r S U Vete: i t,"tt S ^od%ri C r SfU,iy 11 P ; U - 9Ued ' a » d ■ *w
hands of fre^en Then he'e w!li a b: * C " Ili ? lad ^ *•
slavery can be sustained and L ■ °, monopoly on which
will be ; not far distant Thenlt .ITr' 8 * 1 I™*™ ofs ^very
sudden commotion b u t bvhPn f' ff 1 ° y vioIence » not bv

that it is a hurt en to^lfeVvv tnT er *' ^ ° pim ° n ' conv '«cecl
wisdom and the Tpowe^of ? Z^tnT^hu 9A CaUin § on U,e
but sure removal of fhe curfe CfleCt the ***** and "*

^pris^S^^ Wi* the success of our eu-

of the slave trade still nil JT' a " ent "»- We might tell

its suppression^ b IXWy Te "(M ^\^ •*«
Sierra Leone. We miX .oH, Y V Coloni es of Liberia and
barbarism, and or .which o t ItT ? a co ^ nent c °™«° with
has ever sinned. Bui k "«£Lh f ^ ,lwatl0n ? r of Christianity
as these. We nee^l^i^r f^ considerations
m detail how the prosecution of n ° r this appeal to show

and perpetual end T^L^^hR^ T * Speed ^
the indignation of the world in vain 1V«! , S ° lon - roused
our Colonies the light wil sp "ad Uhe t^""^ ^ te]1 b ° W from
tains, when aftei summit' an? i^ "^^-
the sunbeam. Your thoimh I ii and ; alle y after valley catches
Africa, so long dar lei ed a 1 £Z« T^ *? the tirae " h °»
deemed from its m series and 1 S L / "*?*"*• shM be re-
shall be filled with the ^^TZ^£ ***** and

willing and qu^otake "MS£" h ? '" "' f ° Und

'I !

and utterly defeat the enterprise. Then there were few who hao
that prophetic scope of judgment, or that deep and inspiring en
thusiasm of benevolence which could endure such disheartening
anticipations as seemed inseparable from the project. Then it
was no wonder that the people of New England, knowing little
of the nature, and feeling nothing of the direct pressure of thai
flood of evils for which an outlet was to be provided, looked on
the scheme with comparative apathy and incredulity. But the time
for apathy or incredulity, the time for doubt or backwardness is past.
During the first five years there was little to encourage the
promoters of this object and much to create despondency. From
the inexperience of their Agents in Africa, from the treachery
of native proprietors with whom they were compelled to negotiate
for territory, from the diseases of the country, and from the as-
saults of savage enemies, they suffered multiplied calamities.
And at home there were obstacles hardly less discouraging. By
some whose favor they had anticipated with confidence, the en-
tire project was scouted as chimerical. By others every appeal
of theirs was received with indifference. By others their motives
were misunderstood, and their expectations misconstrued. The
friends of abolition opposed them because they did not go far
enough, and charged them with a design to perpetuate the evils
which they hoped to remedy. The friends of slavery hated them
because they went too far, and charged them with a rashness of
philanthropy that was to be the ruin of their country. But for
the past six years a kind Providence has been pleased to smile on
the undertaking. The Society is now in possesion of a Territory
extending one hundred and fifty miles on the sea coast. The
Colony consists of more than twelve hundred souls. It is defend-
ed by fortifications sufficient to repel any probable attack. It is
under the immediate direction of a man,* who, by six years of ar-
duous and successful effort, has given the most abundant proof of
his competency for the work, and of his devotion to the noble en-
terprise. It is enjoying all the blessings of a government repub-
lican in spirit, well regulated, and wisely administered. It has
under its jurisdiction eight several stations by means of which it
maintains an extensive commerce with the natives. Its principal
town, which bears the venerated name of the late Chief Magis-
trate of this nation, is a thriving commercial village, whose port
is ' rarely clear of European and American shipping.' The insti-
tutions of religion are planted there ; houses are erected for the
worship of the Living God ; and on the bold promontory of Mon-
rovia, the white spire, pointing to the heavens, stands a beautiful
monument of the triumph of the gospel in that land of blood and
darkness. Every child in the Colony enjoys the advantages of

■J, A.sbmun,E-"t-


Bchoo|s, for the support of which the settlers in addition to whai
the Society has done, contribute by voluntary subscription eleven
hundred dollars annually. Not only are the institutions of reli-
gion and education enjoyed, but their influence is seen in the or-
der, peace^ industry, contentment and happiness of the commu-
nity. I he light of civilization and religion is gradually spreading
among the savage tribes of the vicinity. Missionaries from the
Baptist churches of this country, have for years been stationed
at the Colony. Others from the Protestant Episcopal Society
and from the American Board of Foreign Missions, have been
appointed to that work and are soon to embark. And even the
Lutheran church of Germany and Switzerland has directed its
evangelical efforts to Liberia, as affording the best means of ac-
cess to heathen Africa ; and intelligence has just been received
that two missionaries well qualified and amply furnished for their
work, have already arrived, as pioneers of a much larger force ex-
pected soon to follow. In a word a civilized Christian Colony—
the germ of a nation— has been planted on the coast of Africa
and is already diffusing light through its benighted regions.

Such success gives palpable demonstration that the scheme
is something more than a chimera. The consequence is that the
undertaking is daily exciting more and more attention, is becom-
ing better understood, and is enlisting in greater numbers warm
and devoted friends. It is awaking a deep and earnest interest
throughout our land ; and, especially in the slave-holdina States
it is fixing public attention and eliciting inquiry and discussion
on that great national interest, the remedy and ultimate removal
of the evils connected with the condition of our coloured popu-
lation. Already has it been- agitated, and soon will it be thor-
oughly discussed in the halls of our national legislature.

The Colonization Society of the State of Connecticut, in
behalf of which we now address you, was organized in the hope
of concentrating and heightening that interest in this noble
undertaking which is known to exist among the people of this
State. A year has just elapsed since the formation of the
Society was announced to the public. The managers had hoped
by the employment of some competent agent to bring the subject
in detail before the minds of their fellow citizens. That hope
has been hitherto disappointed, but is not yet finally relinquished'
Meanwhile we bring before you, for your candid consideration,
the summary statements contained in this address. And as our
J rcasurer's account for the last year shows that without a word
of solicitation, and without any direct effort on our part, two
hundred dollars have been thrown into the treasury, we arc the
more encouraged to hope that this appeal to your patriotism and
your Christian feeling will not be made in vain.


We ask you to bestow on this subject a fair and thorough
investigation. And that you may know fully what has been
accomplished, and what is now going cm we beg leave to com-
mend to your special notice the publications of the National
Society. We are bold to say that no man whose mind is open
to conviction can read the annual Reports and the Monthly
Magazine of that society — so full of the most striking and unan-
swerable facts — without becoming interested even to enthu-

We ask you to use your influence towards forming in this
community a correct and vigorous and active public opinion
respecting the claims of Africa. We ask you to use your influ-
ence in your several spheres, towards rousing inquiry and diffu-
sing information on this great subject. Who that understands
the merits of this enterprise may not in this way lend it an effi-
cient patronage ? Who may not in this way contribute some-
thing towards forming that strong current of public opinion which
will by and by direct the application of the national resources
for the fulfilment of this national design ?

We ask your contributions. A subscriber of thirty dollars at
one time becomes a member for life of the National Society.
The payment often dollars at one time, or of one dollar annually
is the condition of membership in this auxiliary. How many
men are there in Connecticut who might, without material in-
convenience to themselves, and without subtracting any thing
from their ordinary charities, constitute themselves life members
of the parent institution ? How many more who might with
equal ease become either annual or life subscribers to the Con-
necticut Society ? How many ministers of every denomination
might be constituted members of the National or State Society,
by the benefactions of their people ? In which of our towns or
villages might not the exertions of a few spirited individuals
secure a public contribution to this great national object, on
the anniversary of our independence ? There are in this State
one hundred and twenty-nine incorporated towns. If the average
amount of only thirty dollars could be raised annually among
the citizens of each of these towns, it would send nearly four
thousand dollars every year to diminish the yearly increasing
pressure of the greatest curse which rests upon this nation, and
to build up the institutions of freedom and intelligence and piety
on a continent over which darkness and misery have brooded
for uncounted generations.

We trust that this appeal, brief and imperfect as it is, will not
be in vain. For we address a community famed for its intelli-

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Online LibraryColonization Society of the State of Connecticut.An address to the public by the managers of the Colonization society of Connecticut. With an appendix (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 4)