sent of porter for the new settlement at Sierra Leone» returned,
bnd brought the enclosed receipt from themate^ in the absence
of the master. I wrote a letter to the passengers on board,
informing them that your generous donation is intended for the
benefit of the whole settlement ; that they must be careiul that
the most temperatt and proper use be made of it for the
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i . THE MYRO. JOl
lieiier s$nt by the Myro to the worthy Inhabitants of the
Province of Freedom, on the Mountains * of Sierra
'* Leadenhall Street, London,
^* Dear Friends, wth M.y, i»88.
*^ Ever since your departare from England, in April
1787, I have been exceedingly anxions for your welfare ;
but more particularly so, since the return of his Majesty's
«toop Nautilus, by which I received a melancholy account
of many deaths, which happened soon after your first
arrival, as well as during the voyage* This extraordinary
sickness, I fear, Inay be too truly attributed to tiie impru-
dence of those who daily consumed their iull allowance of
salt provisions, as well as of rum, ag^nA which I repeatedly
warned many of them before they sailed. Certainly the
climate of Sierra Leone is not chargeable with thb great
mortality of the Settlers; for the' disorder among them
commenced long before you reached the African coast;
and it appears that his Majesty's sloop Nautilus lost but
one man during all the time she was at Sierra Leone, from
the 8th of May to the 10th of September.
general good ; and ^Bt they must endeavour to ezchaoge it with
jUie Natives for rice, and also for soch articles of commerce as
may prove of the most advantage to the settlement,
*' My letter was read aloud to the passenj^ers, and they
seemed truly thankfal for the noble proof of your benevolence.
*' With great respect," &c, itc, ^.q ^,^
Is it probable, from the mention here made of the fifty
guineas, that the former donation of one hundred guineas
<p. 02) was likewise from Mr. Whitbread ?
* Alluding to the situation which Captain Thompson bad f^t
first filled PH.
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lot MEMOIRS OF GHAKTILLE SHARP. [IIL
** The reduction of yonr numbers since that time, as I
am informed, has been chiefly occasioned, not by sickness,
but by desertion, probably through the difficulty of pro-
curing fresh provisions : and, lest the same cause should
occasion ^ total desertion of the settiement, mj eamest
desire to prerept it ^as induced me to cbarter the Myro
brig at mj own expense, to carry passengers to recruit
tiie oeir settlep^t; and I have shipped too months'
proTisipns for sixty persons (as aboij^t that number had
given their namei^, though little m(nre than half the numbef
bave kqptt their wqrdX with arms^ bedding, clothings
and otti^ iiecessiBries, for such of them as npgbt be
deflititi^te. I have, t>esides, advanced cue hundred and
Q^iety dollars^ for purchasing Uv9 stocJL at the Cape de
,\^^r4 |slai^dp> which, I am iitformed, will ce of o^r buriab s and more so, wfae*
considering that great number which have abandoned
themselves from this settlement (-"-the whole of whidh w^
have essayed oftentfanes to give you on account <if, but
have found our endeavours hitherto abotftivedi eithei^ from
the rascality of the captains, as padLOl-beaversv irtio through
aome particular views hate destrdyed thdtt, or otbefwl«e
through their kidiflbtmee have lost tbem^ s)» ilial?«otiyteg
9, as we find, cak> prove elftotnal fai cMVknMkatiBg
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112 MEMOIRS OF GRANVIILE SHARP. [HI.
letters with aoy degree of safety into yoar hands. We are
therefore determined, ever hereafter, to use what policy
we are possibly able to collect, in the conveyance of either
packets of private letters ; one specimen of which your
great goodness will discover, when opening this packet
For nothing of nature could have struck us with greater
astonishment, than the different statements which the
arrival of the Myro brig furnished us with — viz. that you
had not received but two or. three letters from us, when,
to speak within compass, we do solemnly declare unto you»
Sir, that we have not sent less than ahuodred, at different
times, since our first landing here; in which there has
been, from time to time, every satisfactory account given
of the whole of the tratosaetions and proceedings of this
settlement. And truly it is, that the Almighty God has
been pleased to make us feel the weighty effects of some
of our imprudences in many respects, by which we are
taught what we knew not before ; for we are now satisfied
in.ouf own breasts, that the love of God and his righ-
teotisness bear the only tnie source of our happiness.
** We have the pleasure further to inform you, great
Sir, that we have made a good progress in clearing our
land, all except our water lots, which remain as yet in a
state of anorky^ through our weakness in number of
people ; but we hope to have some tolerable good crops
this season. We have not had the opportunity of building
any houses as yet, neither is our town incorporated :
but there is one thing which we have to boast of, that
yomc great goodness has excited a courage in us, that we
had. nearly lost through our many embarrassments ; so as
we arb determined to follow your plans in building, as
soon as the weather will permit us, especially the three
principd houses — viz. churchi court-house, and prison.
But JtiU we *fin4 ourselves greatly at a loss for cement
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8.] ARRIVAL OF THE MYRO. 118
for die bricks: as to lime-stone and oyster-shells* which
yon were told were very plentiful here, yon may depend
on it, Sir, that is not the case, as we can assnre yon that
both of the articles are very scarce : for it is seldom that
we can get an oyster without payinfc a very extortional
price for them, as there is none growing near the spot
where we are settled, and the natives <are so very
crafty that they will not suffer us to catch any on their
grounds : so that the quantity of chalk, which yon were
pleased to send out with the late passengers to the settle-
ment, would have been of universal service to us, if we
had been so fortunate as to have got it ; but, alas ! we
never knew any thing of its being general, till it was for-
feited to Captain Taylor by his charter-^ arty. We offered*
then to get it out, and give him ballast in lieu of it, which
he said was as valuable to him ; but he still woUld not let-
m have it, without we would ag^ree to pay him twke the-
valnetof it each day as demurrage, as long as we should
be getting it out; so that we deemed it most requisite*
to let it remain en board. Captain Taylor has had'
the greatest advantage of us, which he did iiot fair to
triumph in, only from being deputed by your graci'ous'
goodness, as we judge, to settle a palaver with the Na- '
tives abodt our watering-place, &c. ; in which/- to glire
Satan his due, he exerted himself more than what we '
might have expected ; and 'the N&tives have been pretty
quiet since the arrival of the brig. But before, according '
to what they have been monitored by the Liverpool
traders, were very intruding, by sending repeated chal-
lenges to our senit, and endeavouring to aggravate us,
as much as possible, to break the peace with them, and
leaving us under constant apprehensions of being all/
massacred, for two months before the brig's arrival : but
we heartily thank God, and our feeling friends, for our
safe deliverance ; but we do jointly request, that your
VOL. II. I
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M4 MEMOIRS OF GRANVILLE ftHARP. [III.
honparable goodness 'will no longer leave us in this periloiis
situatipn, without granting us some better means pf defence :
for, in case of an attack from the natives, (he small arms
would only serve to aggptvate our guilt the more in the
fight of our adversaries ; for those people are well ac*
quainted with the use of small arms, and dread nothing in
war^ it seems, but a superior number of them. We poor
handfuji pf men atapd but a poor ohance, . either in appear*-
a^ce* or competition itsdi^ for they are swaming round
thousands thick, and the greatest numbev which we are able
to master ja oni^ forty odd : but even that ntunber in a
garrisoni supposing it ever so small, would be able to defend
themselves fire.tty iMUidsoimely : so that we humbly hope
Diat your* goQdness will not fail in supplying tis> if poa^
aiMie^wjAi sin or eight loiig nines and sij^es* as artideB
so ihighlgrinecespary to our present preservation; sis we
intend ^Ipp^Jf please God| to build our fortification b the
i^a^i 4ry eoason, on Obtain Thompson's Hill» which Will
cdt^iletoly defend the town from the Natives, and answer
ainiest e^eiy other purpose of defence*
** AmA, alsp; may it pjease your honourable goodness to
let ujs have- ar town-bell; as we find it very iil-ponvenieat
to call>tbe fp^le to' prayers.
** So, in: kumble hopes that your goodness will early
comply !«ith otyr ardent jaad most sincere request, we beg
leave to commend you to Almighty God, to multiply on
you hb perpetui^ blesnngs ; which wiH be ever the fervent
prayers of your humUe and devoted servants,
*' THB OLD 6BTTLBBS AT 61RA [SIBBRA] LBONB.''
To GrantnUe Sharp^ Esq.
" Being assembled (few and insignificant as we are)
for the purpose of offering gn^ul thanks to our bene-
faotors, it was impossible to fin^get him who. has been the
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8.] ARRIVAL OF THE MYRO. 115
great source and support of our hopes. We need not use
many words. We are those who were considered as
slaves, even in England itseU", till your aid and exertions
set us free. We are of those whose minds and bodies are
bartered from hand to hand on the coast of Africa, and
in the West Indies, as the ordinary commodities of trade.
But it b said that we are the factors of our own slavery,
and sell one another at our own market for a price. No
doubt but in our uncivilized state we commit much e^vil ;
but surely the trader cannot believe that the strong on the
eoast of Africa are entitled to deprive the weak of every
right of humanity, and to devote to the most cruel slavery
them and their posterity for ever ; or that it belongs to him,
more enlightened than we, to execute so horrid a doom.
But our cause is in better hands than our own ; and hum-
bleness and sobriety, we are sensible, will best become
our condition : and this, also, we know to be the return
deured by you, looking for your own peculiar reward in
the consciousness of doing good.
** But yet. Sir, you may allow us to believe that the
name of Gramvillb Sharp, our constant and generous
friend, will be drawn, forth by our more enlightened
posterity, and distinguisbingly marked in future times for
gratitude and praise.
" THOMAS COOPER. " JOHN SOOT.
GEO. BOBT. MANDBVILLB. JORGE DENT.
JOHN STUART. THOS. OXFORD.
DANIEL CHRISTOPHER. JAMES BALBY.
BERNARD ELLIOTT. JAMBS FRAZBIU
JAMBS F0R8TER. THOMAS CARLISLE.''
* Each in his own handwriting.
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116 MEMOIRS OF GRANVILLE SHARP. [IIL
Some disasters, however, had attended the rein*
forceoient sent by the Myro, and numerous obstacles
still opposed themselves to the security of the colony,
but not sufficient either to damp the courage and
perseverance of its founder, or wholly to destroy the
satisfaction which he derived from the success of
his last effort.
G. S. to the Hon. John Jay, President of the Society at
New York for promoting the Manumission of Slaves,
jfc. and protecting such of them as have been liberated.
(In answer to a Letter dated Sept. 1, 1788, inserted vol. i. p. S76.)
" Sir, « March 7, 1789.
' '^ I am truly sensible of the honour conferred upou me
by the Society at New York for promoting the Manu-
mission of Slaves, &c., and request you, Sir, to return
my sincere thanks for so great a mark of their favour, and .
approbation of my poor endeavours in the same charitab>Ie
cause which they patronize. I ought, indeed, to have
made my acknowledgments much sooner; but I was then
in daily expectation of the arrival of a small ship, the
Myro brig. Captain Taylor, which I sent out last June to
the coast of Africa, with some poor Negroes and other
Settlers, to the new settlement at Sierra Leone ; and as
I had heard that there are also many poor Negroes at
New York, and other parts- of America, who wish to find a
comfortable settlement on the coast of Afiica, and that the
States were inclined to provide them with shipping, I
thought it right to defer my answer, until I should be able
(by the return of the Myro) to give some more authentic
account of the present state of that settlement; because
my only views in promoting it seem to be perfectly similar
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8.] FBOG BESS OF THE SETTLERS. 117
to the deohred purposes of your Society ; for I wished
that the Province of Freedom, on the Monntaius of
Sierra Leone, micj^ht become a happy asylum for the
liberated Negroes of America and the West Indies, as
well as of the Black poor sent from England. — It is bat
within a very few days that I have received the long-
expected letters from the settlement, and the diary of
Captain Taylor's proceedings. — 1 am sorry to inform yon,
that the accounts are much more unfavourable than I had
reason to expect : thirteen persons out of thirty-nine^ whom
I sent by the Myro, are dead ; and almost all the pas-
sengers had been ill. This, however, 1 still fin^, is not to
be attributed altogether to the climate, but to a total
neglect in clearing the underwood near the settlement,
and to the want of judgment in the Settlers, who have
built their houses and huts on swampy ground, near the
bottom of a bill, instead of the top of it, where Captain
Thompson, who conducted the first Settlers, pitched his'
tent : for that gentleman assured me that he found a much'
cooler and fresher sea-breeze at the top of the little hill,'
Aan even on board his ship, which lay out at some distance
from shore ; and that there are some very high hills, on
which all degrees of climate are to be found. It seems,
also, that too free a use of strong liquors (notwithstlinding-
the earnest warning I gave to the passengers of the Myro
concerning the fatal intemperance of the former Settlers)'
is still to be reckoned among the causes of continued im-'
pediment and sickness. I do not yet repent, however, of
the great e:rpense I have been at in assisting the settle-'
ment; for I still hope that it may be maintained, and*
improved by a little prudent management.
** Great numbers of the dispersed Settlers returned on
the arrival of the Mjfro ; and King Naimbanna, one of
the most powerfiil chiefk in that neighbourhood, who before
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118 MEMOIRS OF OHANVILL£.SUAaP. [III.
refused to sigD the fonaer deed of pncohase for the land*
and lately* just before the arrival of the Myro, had even
given the Settlers warning to qi^it the settlement, has now
formed a solemn covenant with Captain Taylor in ))ehalf of
the Settlers; and» in consideration of the presents received
as the stipulated price of re-purchaae, has signed a coWf^
plete deed of resignatiop to the Settlers fyt ^ver» .of dl
the Iwd before grmted by .IjiLbg Tom*, whose suoeesson
since his death, has also signed the deed, with .some other
chiefs : so that my sending the Myro has really saved the
setflemcint. . Bat Kiog Naimbanaa has reserved to himself
% duty of fifteen bars, to be paid by 9II ships which water
in the Bay : each bar is worth about 8s. 4d^ '
** Captain Thompson likewise informs me, that the dis*
tance from St. George's Buy (formerly called Frenchman's
' Bay), where the new settlement commences on the toeei
aide, to Gambia Island, the eastern boundary of it, is
above twenty miles : so that the new territory is rei^ly
much larger than the whole island of Barbadoes, beii^
twenty miles each way, or full four hundred square miles
« of land, covered with noble fiurests of timber and perpetpul
*' When Captain Taylor left the settlement last 30ptomT
ber, the number of people was still about one h^^^d,
and thirty in all ; and I have no doubt they will igladly
receive any free Negroes that the Sjtates of America shall
be pleased to assist with passage^ provisions^ nod neces-.
saries for defence and establishment ; provided that such
new Settlers will promise to observe and maintain the
pr^se^t laws and regulations of the settlement, which mre
founded on the Coamion Law of England.
'' I have not yet been able to hear of any odier paM; of
the Afpcan coast that is equally fit for a free settlement ;
and I am well aware that yiror 8Mm may probid^Iy. be.
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8.] PROOEESS OF THE 6ETTLEES. 119
unwilling to incur any connderabto expense in soppljring
a territory with inhabitants, who mnst be required to ae*
knowledge the sorereignty of the Crown of England ; the
first purchase of the lands, as well as the second, haying
been made in the King's name. But as the Government
of England permits the Settlers to make their own laws
ft. €. such as are not inconsistent with the Cfmmon Law
9/ England Jp to hold their own courts, assemblies, folk-
motes, &c. to choose their own chiefs and officer^ and to
keep up a free militia amongst themselves, — the settle*
ment, on such conditionsj must of necessity be perfectly
" For your further information, I send you the printed
*^ Having incurred a very large expense already in the
new settlement, I cannot afford it any further pecuniary
assistance at present ; but I shall be very happy to use my
best endeavours to promote the kind reception of all such
firee Negroes, or other persons, as the States of America,
or your Society, shall think proper to send thither; pro-
vided they have no objections to the Regulations.'
*' I am, with great respect, Sir,'' &c. kc.
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120 MEMOIftS Of GRANVILL£ SUARF. [UI*
In the Spring of 1789, Mr. Sharp appears t» have
been called on by the Lords of the Treasury, to give
an account of the state of his Colony. In a letter
(dated .4th May 1789) to Thomas Steele, Esq. one
of the principal secretaries, he apologises for " not
having returned a more speedy answer respecting
the information required by the Lords Commis-
sioners." He then gives a general statement of the
circumstances (already related) of the Colony, and
adds — '
** The nnmber of persons whom I sent out at my own
expense^ last year, on board the Myro brig, amounted
only to thirty-nine (chiefly White people), though t made
provision for fifty, in order to assist in supporting the
setdement. Of these, twelve died of fevers and one by a
woimd, four were left at the Cape de Verd Islands, and
two returned; so that only twenty remain there. But
though I have failed in doing so much good as I wished
and intended, yet I have the satisfaction to find that the
settlement has been saved by this exertion.
** I have received no regular return of the people
remaining at the settlement ; for they have been so much
dispersed into the neighbourhood, that sometimes there
were not above forty persons left ; but when the Myro
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p.] STAT£ OF THE COLONY. 121
arriyed, they retarned, to the amount of about one hun-
dred and thirty.
'* The master of the Myro was persuaded by the Settlers
to re-purchase the whole settlement^ with some expense in
presents to Naimbanna^ king of Robanna, who did not
sign the former agireement, and would have taken pos-
session of the ceded land on the death of King Tom^ an
inferior chief: but the King has now signed an agreement
for himself and his heirs for ever ; and King Tom's sue-
cessorsy and other chiefs* have also signed the same agree-
ment: so that I hope it is now amply secured, and may
prove hereafter a very useful settlement to the trade and
manufactures of this kingdom^ if some further timely
expense and attention be bestowed upon it ; for I believe
it to be the most eligible spot for an European settlement
on the whole coast of Africa.
** If their Lordships should require a more particular
account of the settlement, I will do myself the honour to
transmit to you copies of two letters, which I wrote for
the information of some gentlemen at Philadelphia and
New York, who were desirous of finding a settlement for
about two thousand free Negproes how in America.
" With great respect, Sir," Sec. &c.
Two other letters, likewise addressed to Mr,.
Steele, shew that Granville was now beginning- *to
extend his views to the formation of a Company of
Merchants, for the purposes of a free trade with the
new colony. In the first letter, he gives an account,
for the information of the Lords of the Treasury, of
a dispute that had arisen at Sierra Leone between
the Settlers and Captain N ^ the master of a
Liverpool slave-ship; which, he says, occasioned
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12$ MEMOIRS OF GRANVILLE SHARP. [IIL
'* a cniel plot, in revenge, between the slave-traders
and some Native savages, the partners of their ini-
quitous traffic, to cut off and destroy the settle-
ment/' After partly exculpating the Settlers, he
**^(ragli the apprehended eveat would be an outrage so
enormously wicked and daring, that we should scarcely
coDceiTe that a body of European traders (British and
French) could be so utteriy abandoned and profligate as
to promote it; yet it is not entirely iperedible, if w6 con-
sider that the Slare Trade has initiated^ and gradually
produced, the most consummate iniquity and hardness of
heart, in many known instances/'
*' I must further beg leave to remark, that the whole
proceeding of the Settlers, on this occasion, proves that
they really maintained some reasonable form of govern-
ment among them, as well as an efficient civil power to
support it *•
^^ It u probable that the Martha, of Liverpool, Captain
Nm ■ n , and several other slave-ships, which were then
at Sierra Leone, are by this time returned to Liverpool ;
and therefore I humbly submit whether it may not be right
that Captain N ^n should be summoned to give an
account of the transaction.
^' I am aware that the SetUers will be roundly charged
' * The dispute arose from Captain N 's refusal to pay a
demand made for the burial of a sailor, and for three days'
previous attendance on him. Captain N bad afterwards
seized a free man, and confined him in irons for three days ;
and the Settlers, in return, seised the Captain, and detained
him until he consented to pay a fine agreeably to their estima-
tion of the injory committed by him.
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9.] STAT£ OF Ttt? COLONY. 123
with being a set of mere robbers and banditti, drageroiiB
to the existence of the neighbooring staverfactories ; — ^for
snob was the language of a letter which I saw about twdre
months ago, from an agent at one of the sla?e^labtori6& le
his employers ; ihoagh the occasion itself, on which ha
wrote, proved thai the Settlers, as a body, had beha? ed
with the utmost propriety, in detecting and delivering vp
to the factors five indlvidoals of their settlement, who had
been guilty of robbing a storehouse at the said factory :
but the factors, on their part, shewed neither mercy nor
prudence, for they sold the poor culprits to the French
traders into slavery for life, wherelyr they have rendered
themselves liable to all the severe penalties above men-
'' I am, with great respect. Sir," &c. &jc.
O. iS. to the same.
" Sir, " **d Jniyt if^'
** Yesterday I received letters from the new settlement
at Sieira Leone, copies of which I have enclosed. Though
1 have great pleasure to find that the combination of the
slave-traders to cut off the setflement, as mentioned in my
last, has not yet had any bad effect, yet my satisfaotion is
much allayed by farther accounts of the Settlers having
arrested and fined another slave-trader, who had plun-
dered a vessel not belonging to their settlement, fani
coming from Robanna : but as this restitution of property
was undertaken publicly and openly, on a formal requisi-»
tion of the owner of the vessel to the Goveriior for Justice,
I hope their manifest intention to render the justice xe«
quired will be considered as a reason for excusing the
excess they have ignorandy been guilty of, in pursuing
the slat^captain, and arresting him at theialff des Im^