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William Lloyd Garrison.

Thoughts on African colonization: or, an impartial exhibition of the doctrines, principles and purposes of the American Colonization Society. Together with the resolutions, addresses and remonstrances of the free people of color .. online

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the colonization scheme, together with the general sentiments of
colonizationists extracted from the African Repository, were laid before
the meeting, and the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that the American
Colonization Society is actuated by the same motives which influenced
the mind of Pharaoh, when he ordered the male children of the Israelites
to be destroyed.

Resolved, That it is the belief of this meeting, that the Society is the
greatest foe to the free colored and slave population with whom liberty
and equality have to contend.

Resolved, That we look upon the man of color that would be influenced by
the Society to emigrate to Liberia, as an enemy to the cause and a
traitor to his brethren.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that many of those who
are engaged in this unjust scheme would be willing, if it were, in their
power, to place us before the point of the bayonet, and drive us out of
existence - so that they may get rid of that dark cloud, as we are
termed, which hangs over these United States.

Resolved, That, in our belief, we have committed no crime worthy of
banishment, and that we will resist all the attempts of the Colonization
Society to banish us from this our native land.

Resolved, That we consider ourselves the legitimate sons of these United
States, from whence we will never consent to be transported.

Resolved, That we will resist, even unto death, all the attempts of this
Society to transport us to the pestilential shores of Liberia.

Resolved, That we will not countenance the doctrine of any pretended
minister of the gospel, who is in league with those conspirators against
our rights. We would, therefore, warn them to beware of following the
footsteps of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block in the
way of the children of Israel; for we verily believe, that if God
almighty have to deliver his people by his mighty arm of power, they
will share the fate of that false prophet.

Resolved, That, though we be last in calling a meeting, we feel no less
the pernicious influence of this Society than the rest of our brethren;
and that we consider all their pretexts, whether under the cloak of
religion or philanthropy, gratuitous and uncalled for. We would,
therefore, advise the Society, that as we have learned that there are
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in its funds, it had better
appropriate this sum in meliorating the condition of our brethren the
slaves, in this their native land, and raising them from that
degradation into which they are plunged.

Resolved, That the thanks of the meeting be returned to Messrs William
Lloyd Garrison, Isaac Knapp, and every friend of emancipation, for their
benevolent exertions in our behalf.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairman
and Secretary, and sent to the Liberator for publication.

HENRY FOSTER, Chairman.

PAUL DRAYTON, Secretary.

A VOICE FROM MIDDLETOWN.

MIDDLETOWN, Ct., July 15, 1831.

At a meeting of the colored citizens of Middletown, pursuant to public
notice, held in the Lecture Room in the African church - Mr Joseph
Gilbert was called to the chair, and Amos L. Beman appointed secretary.
The meeting being thus opened, it was warmly and freely addressed by
Messrs Jeffrey, Condoll and Gilbert, when, on motion, it was

Resolved, That the proceedings of our brethren in Brooklyn, N. Y., meet
our entire approbation: they breathe our sentiments in full, and may our
voices cheerfully accord with them in protesting against leaving this
our native soil. Why should we leave this land, so dearly bought by the
blood, groans and tears of our fathers? Truly this is our home: here let
us live, and here let us die. What! emigrate to Liberia, a land so
detrimental to our health! We have now before us a letter written by a
friend who emigrated from this place to the burning shores of Africa, in
hopes of splendor, wealth and ease; and he says that 'sickness and
distress prevail to a great extent - and it is a clear case that those
who come from the United States must undergo a long and protracted
sickness with this country's fever, and I would not advise my friends to
emigrate.'

JOSEPH GILBERT, Chairman.

AMOS G. BEMAN, Secretary


A VOICE FROM NEW-HAVEN.

NEW-HAVEN, August 8, 1831.

At a meeting of the Peace and Benevolent Society of Afric-Americans,
held on the 7th inst., Mr Henry Berrian was called to the chair, and Mr
Henry N. Merriman was appointed secretary. The following resolutions
were then unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That we consider those christians and philanthropists, who are
boasting of their liberty and equality, saying, that all men are born
free and equal, and yet are endeavoring to remove us from our native
land, to be inhuman in their proceedings, defective in their principles,
and unworthy of our confidence.

Resolved, That we consider those colonizationists and ministers of the
gospel, who are advocating our transportation to an unknown clime,
because our skin is a little darker than theirs, (notwithstanding God
has made of one blood all nations of men, and has no respect of
persons,) as violaters of the commandments of God and the laws of the
bible, and as trying to blind our eyes by their vain movements - their
mouths being smooth as oil, and their words sharper than any two-edged
sword.

Resolved, That, while we have no doubt of the sinister motives of the
great body of colonizationists, we believe some of them are our friends
and well-wishers, who have not looked deeply into the subject; but when
they make a careful examination, we think they will find themselves in
error.

Resolved, That it is our earnest desire that Africa may speedily become
civilized, and receive religious instruction; but not by the absurd and
invidious plan of the Colonization Society - namely, to send a nation of
ignorant men to teach a nation of ignorant men. We think it most wise
for them to send missionaries.

Resolved, That we will resist all attempts made for our removal to the
torrid shores of Africa, and will sooner suffer every drop of blood to
be taken from our veins than submit to such unrighteous treatment.

Resolved, That we know of no other place that we can call our true and
appropriate home, excepting these United States, into which our fathers
were brought, who enriched the country by their toils, and fought, bled
and died in its defence, and left us in its possession - and here we will
live and die.

Resolved, That we consider the American Colonization Society founded on
principles that no Afric-American, unless very weak in mind, will
follow; and any man who will be persuaded to leave his own country and
go to Africa, as an enemy to his country and a traitor to his brethren.

Resolved, That we have heard with pleasure of the proceedings of our
brethren in neighboring cities; and that a number of this Society will
willingly become auxiliary to the parent Society of Philadelphia, for
the mutual benefit of the Afric-Americans throughout the United States.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairman
and Secretary, and sent to the Liberator for publication.

HENRY BERRIAN, Chairman.

HENRY N. MERRIMAN, Secretary.


A VOICE FROM COLUMBIA.

COLUMBIA, Pa., August 5, 1831.

At a respectable meeting of Afric-Americans convened pursuant to public
notice, at their school-house, with a view of taking into consideration
the novel scheme of the American Colonization Society, Mr Stephen Smith
was called to the chair, and Mr James Richards appointed secretary. A
prayer was then offered to the throne of grace, by Mr Smith. The
chairman called the house to order, and explained the object of the
meeting in a few preliminary remarks; after which, the meeting proceeded
to business, and adopted the subsequent resolutions.

Resolved, That we view the country in which we live as our only true and
appropriate home; and let colonizationists pour contempt upon our race,
and slaveholders look on our brethren as a nuisance to the country, yet
here will we live, here were we born, this is the country for which some
of our ancestors fought and bled and conquered, nor shall a conspiring
world be able to drive us hence.

Resolved, That it is our firm belief, that the Colonization Society is
replete with infinite mischief, and that we view all the arguments of
its advocates as mere sophistry, not worthy our notice as freemen. Being
citizens of these United States, we could call upon our brethren to
awake from their slumber of ignorance, break the chain of prejudice that
has so long bound them, and in the strength of the omnipotent Spirit
give their hearts to God.

Resolved, That we will resist all attempts to send us to the burning
shores of Africa. Beware of Alexander, the coppersmith, for he hath
done us much harm. May the Lord reward him! We verily believe that if by
an extraordinary perversion of nature, every man and woman, in one
night, should become white, the Colonization Society would fall like
lightning to the earth.

Resolved, That we will not be duped out of our rights as freemen, by
colonizationists, nor by any other combination of men. All the encomiums
pronounced upon Liberia can never form the least temptation to induce us
to leave our native soil, to emigrate to a strange land.

Resolved, That we readily coalesce with our brethren in the different
towns and cities, and take the liberty to say, that we as a little flock
feel a fixed resolution to maintain our ground, till the great Author of
our being shall say to those who deprive us of our rights, - Thus saith
the Lord, because ye have not hearkened to me in proclaiming liberty,
every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor, behold I will
proclaim liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the
pestilence, and to the famine.

Resolved, That it is the decided opinion of this meeting, that African
colonization is a scheme of southern policy, a wicked device of
slaveholders who are desirous of riveting more firmly, and perpetuating
more certainly, the fetters of slavery; who are only anxious to rid
themselves of a population whose presence, influence and example have a
tendency (as they suppose) to produce discontent among the slaves, and
to furnish them with incitements to rebellion.

Resolved, That this meeting will not encourage a scheme, which has for
its basis prejudice and hatred. Though there may be some good wheat, yet
it is to be feared the enemy has sown tares among it.

Resolved, That we will support the colony at Canada, the climate being
healthier, better adapted to our constitutions, and far more consonant
with our views than that of Africa.

Resolved, That we unanimously agree to patronize the Liberator, and use
our best endeavors to get subscribers for the same; and that we are
under renewed obligations to God, that he ever raised up such honest
hearted men as Messrs Garrison and Knapp.

Resolved, That this meeting cause its proceedings to be sent to the
Liberator for publication; praying that the Lord will succeed all the
lawful efforts of its conductor to meliorate the condition of our
brethren in these United States, trusting his weapons are not carnal,
but mighty through God to pull down the strong holds of the devil.

Signed by the Chairman and Secretary.

STEPHEN SMITH, Chairman.

JAMES RICHARDS, Secretary.


A VOICE FROM NANTUCKET.

NANTUCKET, August 5, 1831.

At a respectable meeting of the colored inhabitants of the town of
Nantucket, convened for the purpose of taking into consideration our
views in relation to the American Colonization Society, Mr Arthur Cooper
was called to the chair, and Edward J. Pompey appointed secretary.

Addresses were delivered by Messrs William Harris and Edward J. Pompey,
in which they took a general view of the Colonization Society, of its
leading members, and some of the speeches and remarks made by gentlemen
at the meetings of said Society. The following resolves were then
adopted:

Resolved, That the call of this meeting be approved of, and that the
colored citizens of this town have with friendly feelings taken into
consideration the objects of the Colonization Society, together with its
movements preparatory for our removal to the coast of Africa; and we
view them as wholly gratuitous, not called for by us, and in no way
essential to the welfare of our race; and we believe that our condition
can be best improved in this our own country and native soil, the United
States of America.

Resolved, That we hold this truth to be self-evident, that all men are
born free and equal; and we are men, and therefore ought to share as
much protection and enjoy as many privileges under our federal
government as any other class of the community.

Resolved, That we will be zealous in doing all that lies in our power to
improve the condition of ourselves and brethren in this our native land.

Resolved, That there is no philanthropy towards the people of color in
the colonization plan, but that it is got up to delude us away from our
country and home into a country of sickness and death.

Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting be returned to every friend
who vindicates our rights and interests.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairman
and Secretary, and sent to Boston, to be published in the Liberator.

ARTHUR COOPER, Chairman.

EDWARD J. POMPEY, Secretary.


A VOICE FROM PITTSBURGH.

PITTSBURGH, (Pa.,) Sept. 1, 1831.

At a large and respectable meeting of the colored citizens of
Pittsburgh, convened at the African Methodist Episcopal church, for the
purpose of expressing their views in relation to the American
Colonization Society, Mr J. B. Vashon was called to the chair, and Mr R.
Bryan appointed secretary. The object of the meeting was then stated at
considerable length, and in an appropriate manner, by the chairman. The
following resolutions were then unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That 'we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men
are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness' - Liberty and Equality now, Liberty and Equality forever!

Resolved, That it is the decided opinion of this meeting, that African
colonization is a scheme to drain the better informed part of the
colored people out of these United States, so that the chain of slavery
may be rivetted more tightly; but we are determined not to be cheated
out of our rights by the colonization men, or any other set of
intriguers. We believe there is no philanthropy in the colonization plan
towards the people of color, but that it is got up to delude us away
from our country and home to the burning shores of Africa.

Resolved, That we, the colored people of Pittsburgh and citizens of
these United States, view the country in which we live as our only true
and proper home. We are just as much natives here as the members of the
Colonization Society. Here we were born - here bred - here are our
earliest and most pleasant associations - here is all that binds man to
earth, and makes life valuable. And we do consider every colored man who
allows himself to be colonized in Africa, or elsewhere, a traitor to our
cause.

Resolved, That we are freemen, that we are brethren, that we are
countrymen and fellow-citizens, and as fully entitled to the free
exercise of the elective franchise as any men who breathe; and that we
demand an equal share of protection from our federal government with any
class of citizens in the community. We now inform the Colonization
Society, that should our reason forsake us, then we may desire to
remove. We will apprise them of this change in due season.

Resolved, That we, as citizens of these United States, and for the
support of these resolutions, with a firm reliance on the protection of
divine providence, do mutually pledge to each other our lives, our
fortunes, and our sacred honor, not to support a colony in Africa nor in
Upper Canada, not yet emigrate to Hayti. Here we were born - here will we
live by the help of the Almighty - and here we will die, and let our
bones lie with our fathers.

Resolved, That we return our grateful thanks to Messrs Garrison and
Knapp, publishers of the Liberator, and Mr Lundy, editor of the Genius
of Universal Emancipation, for their untiring exertions in the cause of
philanthropy.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairman
and Secretary, and published in the Liberator.

J. B. VASHON, Chairman.

R. BRYAN, Secretary.

A VOICE FROM WILMINGTON.

WILMINGTON, July 12, 1831.

At a large and respectable meeting of the people of color of the borough
of Wilmington, convened in the African Union Church, July 12th, 1831,
for the purpose of considering the subject of colonization on the coast
of Africa:

On motion, the Rev. Peter Spencer was called to the chair, and Thomas
Dorsey appointed secretary.

The meeting was addressed by Abraham D. Shad, Junius C. Morell, Benjamin
Pascal and John P. Thompson, after which the following resolutions were
unanimously adopted.

Resolved, That this meeting view with deep regret the attempt now making
to colonize the free people of color on the western coast of Africa;
believing as we do that it is inimical to the best interests of the
people of color, and at variance with the principles of civil and
religious liberty, and wholly incompatible with the spirit of the
Constitution and Declaration of Independence of these United States.

Resolved, That we disclaim all connexion with Africa; and although the
descendants of that much afflicted country, we cannot consent to remove
to any tropical climate, and thus aid in a design having for its object
the total extirpation of our race from this country, professions to the
contrary notwithstanding.

Resolved, That a committee of three persons be appointed to prepare as
soon as practicable an address to the public, setting forth more fully
our views on the subject of colonization. The following persons were
appointed: Abraham D. Shad, Rev. Peter Spencer and W. S. Thomas.

Signed on behalf of the meeting.

PETER SPENCER, Chairman.

THOMAS DORSEY, Secretary.


_Address of the Free People of Color of the Borough of Wilmington,
Delaware._

We the undersigned, in conformity to the wishes of our brethren, beg
leave to present to the public in a calm and unprejudiced manner, our
decided and unequivocal disapprobation of the American Colonization
Society, and its auxiliaries, in relation to the free people of color in
the United States. Convinced as we are, that the operations of this
Society have been unchristian and anti-republican in principle, and at
variance with our best interests as a people, we had reason to believe
that the precepts of religion, the dictates of justice and humanity,
would have prevented any considerable portion of the community from
lending their aid to a plan which we fear was designed to deprive us of
rights that the Declaration of Independence declares are the
'unalienable rights' of all men. We were content to remain silent,
believing that the justice and patriotism of a magnanimous people would
prevent the annals of our native and beloved country from receiving so
deep a stain. But observing the growing strength and influence of that
institution, and being well aware that the generality of the public are
unacquainted with our views on this important subject, we feel it a duty
we owe to ourselves, our children and posterity, to enter our protest
against a device so fraught with evil to us. That many sincere friends
to our race are engaged in what they conceive to be a philanthropic and
benevolent enterprise, we do not hesitate to admit; but that they are
deceived, and are acting in a manner calculated most seriously to injure
the free people of color, we are equally sensible.

We are natives of the United States; our ancestors were brought to this
country by means over which they had no control; we have our attachments
to the soil, and we feel that we have rights in common with other
Americans; and although deprived through prejudice from entering into
the full enjoyment of those rights, we anticipate a period, when in
despite of the more than ordinary prejudice which has been the result of
this unchristian scheme, 'Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands to
God.' But that this formidable Society has become a barrier to our
improvement, must be apparent to every individual who will but reflect
on the course to be pursued by the emissaries of this unhallowed
project, many of whom, under the name of ministers of the gospel, use
their influence to turn public sentiment to our disadvantage by
stigmatizing our morals, misrepresenting our characters, and endeavoring
to show what they are pleased to call the sound policy of perpetuating
our civil and political disabilities for the avowed purpose of
indirectly forcing us to emigrate to the western coast of Africa. That
Africa is neither our nation nor home, a due respect to the good sense
of the community forbids us to attempt to prove; that our language,
habits, manners, morals and religion are all different from those of
Africans, is a fact too notorious to admit of controversy. Why then are
we called upon to go and settle in a country where we must necessarily
be and remain a distinct people, having no common interest with the
numerous inhabitants of that vast and extensive country? Experience has
proved beyond a doubt, that the climate is such as not to suit the
constitutions of the inhabitants of this country; the fevers and
various diseases incident to that tropical clime, are such as in most
cases to bid defiance to the force of medicine.

The very numerous instances of mortality amongst the emigrants who have
been induced to leave this their native, for their adopted country,
clearly demonstrate the fallacy of those statements so frequently made
by the advocates of colonization in regard to the healthiness of
Liberia.

With the deepest regret we have witnessed such an immense sacrifice of
life, in advancing a cause which cannot promise the least advantage to
the free people of color, who, it was said, were the primary objects to
be benefitted by this 'heaven-born enterprise.' But we beg leave most
respectfully to ask the friends of African colonization, whether their
christian benevolence cannot in this country be equally as
advantageously applied, if they are actuated by that disinterested
spirit of love and friendship for us, which they profess? Have not they
in the United States a field sufficiently extensive to show it in? There
is embosomed within this republic, rising one million free people of
color, the greater part of whom are unable to read even the sacred
scriptures. Is not their ignorant and degraded situation worthy of the
consideration of those enlightened and christian individuals, whose zeal
for the cause of the African race has induced them to attempt the
establishment of a republican form of government amid the burning sands
of Liberia, and the evangelizing of the millions of the Mahometans and
pagans that inhabit the interior of that extensive country?

We are constrained to believe that the welfare of the people of color,
to say the least, is but a secondary consideration with those engaged in
the colonization project. Or why should we be requested to move to
Africa, and thus separated from all we hold dear in a moral point of
view, before their christian benevolence can be exercised in our behalf?
Surely there is no country of which we have any knowledge, that offers
greater facilities for the improvement of the unlearned; or where
benevolent and philanthropic individuals can find a people, whose
situation has greater claims on their christian sympathies, than the
people of color. But whilst we behold a settled determination on the
part of the American Colonization Society to remove us to Liberia,
without using any means to better our condition at home, we are
compelled to look with fearful diffidence on every measure of that
institution. At a meeting held on the 7th inst. in this borough, the



Online LibraryWilliam Lloyd GarrisonThoughts on African colonization: or, an impartial exhibition of the doctrines, principles and purposes of the American Colonization Society. Together with the resolutions, addresses and remonstrances of the free people of color .. → online text (page 24 of 29)