Ben Johnson, not old English Ben, but one not less rare in his peculiar pro-
vince of killing leopards, bush-cats, and monkeys with his famous "kill-deer."
Fletcher could then v^rite a tolerable hand, and spell strong, according to
sound, having, as is not uncommon in Liberia, an utter abhorrence of super-
numerary italics. On becoming acquainted with this gift of writing in the
boy, we employed him as clerk in the public store, where he remained some
five or six years, having in charge the whole merchandise of the Society.
Some four or five 3'ears since, he engaged himself as an assistant to Dr.
McGill in preparing medicine, administering it to patients, &c. He soon
concluded to commence a regular course of study in the profession, and now
comes to America to attend lectures in some medical institution at the North,
probably that of Dartmouth College, where Dr. McGill took his degree, with
a view to graduation, and we doubt not but he will succeed.
Let those who question the beneficial influences of African Colonization,
call and judge for themselves, whether he Is a more intelligent, more happy,
and more useful being in society, than a plantation hand in the Carolinas, of
some twenty-five years of age, which he would now have been were it not
for Colonizatioji. Whether he is himself satisfied with his home and con-
dition in Africa, a few months will determine; either by his voluntary return
to Cape Palmas, or by his declining to do so. He goes to the north, the
hot-bed of abolitionism, among the anti-colonizationists, free and untram-
melled, with many roads open to Canada, and the north star to guide him.
They have an open field for the exercise of all their influences. Let us
await the result. We would invite our coloured friends to call and see
Mr. Fletcher at Mr. Anderson's, corner of Front and Plo\vman-sts.
We copy the following interesting corespondence from the Dec. No. of
the Liberia Herald. It is a valuable relic of Liberian History.
Extract from the Journal of Commodore M. C. Perry, when \st. Lieutenant
of the U. S. Ship Cyane in 1820.
Messurado Roads, Friday, April \Ath. 1820.
" I had been requested by Mr. Bacon to observe the different Head Lands
as we passed to leeward and to enquire whether the natives would be wil-
ling to dispose of a tract of land for the accommodation of the American
settlers. Learning that Mr. Mill, an intelligent mulatto who had received his
education at Liverpool, resided at this place and presuming that I could
obtain from him the desired information, I addressed him the following letter."
U. S. Ship "Cyane." Messurado Roads, April \Ath, 1820.
Sir: A benevolent society in America have appointed a gentleman, the
Rev. Mr. Bacon, to come to this country and purchase a tract of land for
the purpose of building a town, and forming an American settlement. The
desire of the society is to have a comfortable asylum for all those free peo-
ple of color who may wish to emigrate to this country, to instruct the natives
in the arts of civilization, and to carry on an honorable trade.
Mr. Bacon is now at Sherbro with about 60 free people of color, but it is
feared that Sherbro is not sufficiently healthy for a settlement, and as we were
coming to leeward he requested me to make the enquiry whether the peo-
MARYLAND COLONIZATION JOURNAL. 329
pie of this country would have any objection to sell a portion of land for the
erection of a town, to be established on the same principles as the settle-
ment of Sierra Leone.
I regret to hear you are indisposed, but hope you will be well enough to
communicate your opinion on the present interesting enquiry.
I am respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. Perrt.
Mr. J. S. Mill, Cape Messurado.
Mr. Mill replied to my letter as follows:
Jamies Island, Coast of Africa, April \4th, 1820. S. A.
Sir: Not being natives of this part of the country, we are not capable of
returning you an explicit answer by the boat, but are favorably impressed
with the general tenor of your object, and have sent runners into the coun-
try to convene the kings and chiefs of the country who will meet this eve-
ning and consult, on the nature of your propositions which we think can be
effected to the mutual benefit of both countries.
Witness our hands, (Signed)
J. S. Mill,
Charles Henry, X.
Lieut. M. C. Perry. William Rodgers, X.
N. B. An answer will be returned to-morrow if you will please remain
till that time.
Here follows my reply.
U. S. Skip Cyane, Messurado Roads, April lUk, 1820. .S*. A.
Gentlemen : I have received your very friendly letter, in reply to mine
of this morning and regret extremely that Mr. Mill's indisposition is so se-
rious. I shall take much pleasure in communicating the contents of your
letter to Mr. Bacon who contemplates visiting your country after the rains.
As I am not authorized to treat for land, but, as a friend of Mr. Bacon, mere-
ly requested to collect information, I deem it more proper for my friends to
receive the final answer of your chiefs, which from the tenor of your letter,
I have every reason to believe will be favorable to his wishes and I assure
you I feel very much gratified at the friendly reception you have given to my
I am gentlemen, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Messrs. M. C. Perry.
J. J. Mill,
This appears to me to be the most eligible situation for a settlement I have
yet seen. The natives are pacific in their dispositions, engage but little in
the slave trade, and from the tenor of the foregoing letter express a willing-
ness to admit our countrymen among them. The land is extremely rich and
is capable of producing rice, coffee, sugar cane, indigo, cotton, and the com-
mon fruits and vegetables of tropical climates.
Cape Messurado, extends about 3 miles into the ocean forming on its
northern side a fine Bay where vessels may anchor near the shore in 10
fathoms water. On the western side of the Cape the town should be located
330 MARYLAND COLONIZATION JOURNAL.
and on its summit which is not less than 1000 feet* above the level of the
sea, a Fort might be erected which would effectually protect the town, har-
bour and interior country.
This Cape, were the trees to be cut down and the land cultivated, would
undoubtedly prove the most healthy spot on the coast, its projection into the
sea affords it the advantage of the sea breeze, the strongest preventive of
It is to be hoped that the advantages of this place will induce Mr. Bacon
to remove his colony hither, his present location possesses but few advanta-
ges. It is low and unhealthy, inaccessible for ships of burthen, and far in-
ferior in point of fertility of soil.
I certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the journal.
Wm. p. Rodgers, Commodore' s SecWy.
(From the Christian Advocate and Journal.)
The following letter answers so fairly and conclusively the common objec-
tions to the scheme for establishing colonies of people of color on the western
coast of Africa, that it gives us great pleasure to transfer it to our columns,
and we earnestly commend it to all who have been induced to withhold their
support from the Colonization Society by any misapprehension of the objects
or prospects of that most benevolent association.
(From the Commercial Advertiser.)
Captain George Barker,
Sir: You informed me that in prosecuting your agency for the Coloniza-
tion Society, you meet with persons who acknowledge our object to be good,
but pronounce it impracticable. They say we are "trying to bail out the
ocean with a spoon." "The whole commercial marine of the United States,"
they assert, "is not sufficient to transport to Africa even the annual increase
of the colored population." You ask, how shall such objectors be answered
The true answer is, that such objectors wholly misunderstand our object.
We have never expressed or entertained the hopes of removing the whole
colored population, or even the annual increase. We have undertaken to
create in Africa a desirable home for colored people from the United States;
to found a republic there, to which many tens of thousands shall ultimately
emigrate at their own expense, just as many thousands of laborers find their
way, annually, from Europe to this country.
Some colonizationists have expected that the legislatures of the southern
states will encourage and assist such emigrants to Africa; and two of them,
Maryland and Tennessee, are actually doing it. We know it will be a long
time before our African republic can be large enough to receive ten, twenty,
or fifty thousand in a year; but meanwhile, we shall place a very great
number of colored people in a better condition than can be found for them
here; we shall be diffusing Christianity and civilization in Africa; and so
far as our influence extends, we shall put an end to slavery and the slave
trade in Africa, and thus dry up the sources of the slave trade across the
Atlantic. And it sliould be considered, that since the fall of Egypt and
Carthage, which were originally Asiatic colonies, no impression has ever
*NoTE, 1S44. The estimated height of the Cape is inaccurate being much too great,
the mistake must have arisen either in copying the original notes, or by a hasty estimate
made from the ship.
MARYLAND COLONIZATION JOURNAL. 331
been made upon the pagan barbarffem of Africa, except by colonizing, either
with people of European descent, as in the case of the Romans in the north,
and the Dutch and English at the south, or with persons of African descent,
returning from civilized countries to the land of their ancestors. Ancient
African Christianity was confined to the comparatively civilized countries
on the Nile, and the Roman dominions north of the Great Desert. Modern
Christian missions, which have been at work for nearly four centuries, have
never been successful, except where sustained and defended by colonies.
Nor has either the internal or foreign slave trade of any part of Africa ever
been stopped, without the assistance of colonies.
These things would be none the less true and important if "the whole
commercial marine of the United States" were, as is asserted, "insufficient
to take away the annual increase of our colored population." Our enterprise
would still be worth prosecuting, for the good we are doing to Africa, and
for the good of those whom we transfer from slavery here to freedom and
Such is the proper answer to this objection ; and I feel some reluctance
to notice it in any other way, lest I should seem to admit that if it were true
it would be an argument "against us. Still there may be an advantage in
showing how well some of our confident opponents understand arithmetic.
I will therefore examine the truth of their assertion, taking my numbers
from the columns of that very accurate work, the American Almanac: â€”
Slaves in the United States in 1810 . . . 2,487,355
Do. do. 1830 . ... 2,010,436
Increase in ten years ..... 476,919
This divided by 10, gives an annual increase of a fraction less than 47,692
Free colored persons in the United States in 1810 . . 386,235
Do. do. do. . 1830 . . 319,599
Increase in ten years . ..... 66,636
Annual increase, a fraction less than .... . 6,664
Add the annual increase of slaves .... 47,692
Annual increase of colored persons .... . 54,356
By the laws of the U. States a vessel is allowed to carry three passengers
for every five tons of her measurement. â€” But we must consider that a vessel
may make three trips to Africa in a 3^ear. This appears to be a perfectly
safe estimate, as 1 find that the Marisposa, with emigrants, was 45 days
from Norfolk to Monrovia; the Lime Rock 55 days from New-Orleans,
which, the Captain says, "is a fair average,'' the Virginia 50 days from Nor-
folk ; the Globe 48 days from Baltimore, and the Latrobe, on her return to
Baltimore, 30 days from Monrovia to the capes. A vessel, then, making
three trips annually, and carrying at each trip the number allowed by
law, would carry nine persons annually for every five tons of her mea-
surement. Then by the "Rule of Three,"
As 9 : 5 :: 54, 356 : 30. 197
The transportation of the whole annual increase, then, would require
shipping to the amount of 30,197 tons.
The tonnage of "the whole commercial marine of the United States," in
1843, was ...... 2, 158,602 tons
One seventieth part of it would be .... 30,837 tons
or 640 tons more than enough to transport the whole annual increase. We
are told that the whole would not be enough ; but one seventieth part proves
332 MARYLAND. COLONIZATION JOURNAL.
to be more than enough ; and that, without taking into consideration the
fact that ships might occasionally make four trips in a year. '
But let us see what our "whole commercial marine is sufficient to do;"
though we have no expectation of doing it. Take another statement in the
"Rule of Three."
As 5: 3 : : 2.15S. 602 : 1,293. 161.
It might carry at a single trip . ... 1,295,161 persons.
At two trips . . . 2,690,322
At two trips and a quarter . . 2,914,112
The whole colored population is
Slaves ... . . 2,487,355 > ^ q^q rnn
Free 386,235 5^'*=^^''''*'^"
Our whole commercial marine, then, is sufficient to transport, at two trips
and a quarter, the whole colored population, bond and free, and 40,522
more. Instead of being insufficient to remove the annual increase, it is
more than sufficient to remove the whole colored population, bond and
free, in a single year. In three trips it might give passage to 3,885,483,
which is more than their present number.
It is strange that sane men will make such enormous blunders, in a mat-
ter of simple arithmetic. They must certainly forget that a part of our
"commercial marine" actually brings from Europe, every year, a number
of emigrants far greater than the increase of our colored population, and
scarce feels the transportation of them as an addition to its business.
They must forget, too, at what rate a few slave traders have actually, in
defiance of the combined navies of the most powerful nations in Christen-
dom, transported Africans westward across the Atlantic. Could the com-
bined piety and philanthropy of our country, aided by their own enterprise,
transport them at the same rate across the Atlantic eastward, the whole col-
ored population of the United States would be in Africa in less than a quar-
ter of a century. Should they be removed as fast as the slave trade depop-
ulates Africa, counting those who perish in the wars it excites and on their
way to slavery, the whole would be gone in less than seven years.
Let me repeat in conclusion, that we neither promise nor expect any
such result. It is not at all probable that the whole colored population will
ever be removed from this country. It is enough for our justification, if
without injury to any, we can promote the well being of thousands whom
we assist to emigrate, and of other thousands who will follow their example
without our aid, while we firmly plant Christian civilization and republican
freedom in a region which has effectually resisted all other forms of effort
for its good.
Very truly your's, Joseph Tracy.
Colonization Office, Boston, Feb. 17, 1845.
In the above calculations Mr. Tracy is so far from underrating the amount
or tonnage necessary to transport all the colored population of this country
to Africa within a reasonable time, that he has not availed himself of the ob-
vious fact, that every succeeding immigration must not only diminish the
aggregate supply of the original stock ; as the births at home must neces-
sarily be in proportion to those who are left, and not to the number with
which the process of immigration began. It must be remembered too, that
it will be chiefly the breeding population that will first emigrate ; and those
in advanced life will not be inclined to new enterprises.
But it is chiefly to the benevolent design and purpose of the Colonization
Society that we would call the attention of our readers. The opponents of
MARYLAND COLONIZATION JOURNAL. 333
the scheme have always opposed it as an impracticable project, because
they had assumed, without the least authority, that the society proposed to
transport the whole colored population of the country to their colony on the
western coast of Africa. Now the society could never have imagined that
individual benevolence would contribute the money necessary to carry out
such a plan, and therefore never contemplated any such thing. Yet their â–
scheme is a noble and benevolent one, and has been demonstrated by ex-
periment to be a perfectly practicable one. Many of us, however, did hope,
that when this was done, public munificence would come to the aid of indi-
vidual effort; nor do we yet despair.
It had been doubted whether the colored race were capable of any degree
of civilization, and there are some semi-infidel philosophers who affect to
doubt it yet. / It was necessary to demonstrate by experiment the fallacy
of this theory, and to show that the colored man was not only capable of
civilization under the government of those who claim to be a superior race,
but that he was capable of self-government under the freest form of a com-
monwealth ; and the experiment has been made by the Colonization Socie-
ty with a success which leaves no ground for doubt or cavil. We point to
the shores of Africa for the example, and challenge the most rigid scrutiny
of an infidel philosophy. Never was colonization and the establishment of
free government attempted under more discouraging circumstances. The
colonists were gathered from a community which it is no reproach to say
were, at home, little elevated above the condition of paupers. The most
of them, too, had been slaves, a condition of life under which it is not to be
expected that men can learn the habits of forecast and providence, which
are so essential to success in a competition for the means of subsistence.
The slave is accustomed to have his physical wants supplied by his owner.
He has no occasion to take thought for to-morrow, in regard to food, rai-
ment, or shelter ; freemen only do so from necessity. The colonists were
also, for the most part, uneducated ; very few of them could write or read,
and scarcely any went to their new home, with any other preparation to
enter upon the new state of society it presented, than was furnished by the
hand of charity. Yet the forest has been felled, and the earth made to
yield its fruits. Villages have been built, mechanics, tradesmen, and mer-
chants, have sprung up and thriven among them, and a commonwealth has
been established, in which liberty, regulated by law, is enjoyed by the whole
population ; and all this without a single civil functionary at present taken
from any other race than their own.
But what is still more gratifying, the colonies of Liberia and Cape Palmas
contain a religious population, greater in proportion to the whole number of
inhabitants than any other country in the world. Christian doctrines and
morals pervade the community and secure obedience to the laws, while they
shed their benign influence throughout all the social and domestic relations
of life. Verily the Colonization Society has accomplished a prodigy, which
will be a notable event in the history of humanity. We pity the man who
must endure the remorse of conscience which a recollection of any opposi-
tion to this glorious scheme of benevolence must inflict upon him. But let
him hasten to make atonement by a zealous advocacy and liberal support of
the Colonization Society in future ; for the good it has done, great as it is,
is only preparatory to what it is yet destined to accomplish.
Having demonstrated that there is a place, a country, in which the color-
ed race can not only be free, but enjoy all the blessings of freedom, the
Colonization Society has removed the most plausible objections to the vol-
untary emancipation of the race â€” objections which have had their influence
on the most benevolent and pious masters. The advocates of voluntary
emancipation have been constantly met by their opponents with the degrad-
334 MARYLAND COLONIZATION JOURNAL.
ed condition of the free colored population among us; and though thous-
ands of exceptions to the general rule could always be taken, yet as a gen-
era! rule it could not be denied that, so far as physical comforts are concern-
ed, the condition of the colored man was not essentially mended by free-
dom. Indeed, it was not to be expected. The previous state of slavery ren-
dered it next to impossible to acquire the knowledge or the habits necessary
to a competition with the white man for the means of subsistence. Genera-
tions would be required to remove these disabilities, while the relative legal
and social positions of the two races remain. The Indians have melted
away before the face of the white man more by contact with the arts of civ-
ilized life, which they refused to adopt, than by war, and the same causes
must always produce the same effects. The civilized man must civilize his
savage neighbor, or inevitably destroy them.
Under these circumstances does not humanity rejoice in the fact, that the
colored race have been provided with a home, where they are no longer to
occupy an inferior position in the scale of humanity ; where their mental
and physical faculties may be developed to their full capacity, and employed
for their own benefit; where unrestrained and unawed by contact with a
race, who, by reason of accidental and artificial circumstances, possess ad-
vantages which defy all competition, and who necessarily and instinctively
repress all approaches to social equality with them, they may claim the com-
mon rights of humanity, and enjoy the common privileges of Christianity
and civilization ? He is an enemy to the African race, however he may
congratulate himself on his sublimated philanthropy, whose heart does not
enter into the practicable scheme of the Colonization Society for benefiting
^he afflicted people, whose unhappy condition, whether bond or free, in this
/country, constantly cries to him lor help â€” immediate and practical deliver-
' ance â€” not for visionary theories, and abstract speculations, which only
mock his misery.
But if all this fail of effect, if the civil and social benefits conferred on
the colonist in Africa by the Colonization Society are disregarded in the vis-
ions which our opponents indulge, they cannot, if they be Christians, look
without interest upon the missionary aspect of colonization. Let them look
at what has been done, with comparatively small means, toward the conver-
sion of the natives of Africa, bordering on the colonies of Liberia and Cape
Palmas; let them hearken to the Macedonian cry from the villages far in
the interior ; let them learn that God has opened a door of access to half â€”
yes, more than half â€” a continent, heretofore shut against Christian enter-
prise. In short, let him look upon the nations, and tongues, and people,
which these colonies have rendered accessible to missionary effort, where
the whole rising generation may at once be brought under Christian training
and discipline, if the pecuniary means can be found. Let him accustom
himself to reflect on all this, when he repeats in his closet the prayer,
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven," and then ask
himself. Have I done the will of God in opposing, or in withholding my aid
from, the Colonization Society ?
The last arrival from Liberia brings a letter from Gov. "Roberts, under
date of â– 24th January, addressed to the President of the American Coloniza-
tion Society, says :
"You will no doubt be a little supprised to hear that the well known brig
'Atulanta! left the coast a week or two ago for the 'Havana' with upwards of
four hundred slaves on board, and in sight too of a British cruiser. It had
been arranged, it seems, a month or two before between the parties, that
MARYLAND COLONIZATION JOUllNAL. 335
the 'Atalanta' should return to Cape Mount at a set time, land her officers
and crew, deliver the vessel into other hands, receive a cargo of miserable
human beings, and make the best of" her way off the coast. This was done
in a few hours. The 'Atalanta' being an old trader on the coast, and known
by most of the naval officers on this station, was not suspected by the
officers of the men of war in sight, consequently no notice was taken of her,
nor did they discover the delusion until the vessel was far, far away, and