« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
meet contingencies during this period, of one hundred dollars per person.
This will be sufficient for their wants, preparatory to their entrance upon the regular labours of the Mission.
Suppose the mission family to consist of males and females: the latter ought to be married, and as many of the former as do not possess the power of uncommon command over their passions. After six months spent in the Colony, they remove to a situation previously chosen, having an easy water communication with our principal settlements. They would require a large well-built boat, which they ought to bring out with them. Six houses must then be built for their residence, place of worship, store-house, and for the accommodation of a number of native labourers and children, all of whom ought to receive daily instruction in religion, letters, &c. These buildings completed in the best native style, will not cost more than twenty-five dollars each: and, so built, will need no repairs; but must be replaced with new buildings at the end of four or five years.
Meantime let the Missionaries employ their own leisure, and the services of the native members of their family, in constructing permanent houses in the European style. Mechanical labour, and building materials, may be had from the Colony: but only at prices which would be thought high even in Europe. If you have funds to spare, your
avail themselves of aid from this quarter. But it is by no means absolutely necessary, either to their comfort and health, or to the establishment and success of this Mission, and thousands would be saved to the same fund on which it will be still necessary to draw for purposes of less questionable necessity.
You ask, “what will be the possible expense of founding and sustaining the settlement?” The necessary expense of the first eighteen months, will be moderate. But if the Missionaries preserve the European style of living-particularly an European table, the expense will be great.
Were I at the head of this family, the six months seasoning over, and a comfortable outfit of apparel, and little domestic utensils and furniture on hand:- I should accuse myself of want of economy, if for the next succeeding twelve months, including the six buildings, the preparation of a little farm and garden, and the subsistence of twelve to twenty native labourers and pupils,
and the support of the five persons constituting the Missionary family, I should expend more than $1500. I hesitate not to say, that comfort and economy of expenditure may be more easily combined in this country, than in any other part of the heathen world, if we except the Islands of the Pacific. After the first year, the expenses will diminish, in proportion to the age of the settlement, admitting the number of its members to be stationary. But these will, of course, be multiplied monthly. I cannot, however, yet suppose it would be expedient to suffer any one settlement to incur an annual expense of more than three or four thousand dollars; but to send off from it, periodically, the instruments and means of founding new ones, either along the coast, or farther in the interior.
You will excuse the liberty I take to state the project of a Missionary establishment by your Society in this country. The family consists of two young married men and their wives, and two single men: all well educated-having some knowledge of gardening, and the useful mechanic arts. Their health shall be good—their manners plain, and all inured to great industry, and capable of enduring fatigue, and submitting to great privations cheerfully. They proceed to Amsterdam or Bristol, England; lay in a good supply of useful books, clothing, stationary, tools, and domestic utensils, and small furniture, with groceries,* and sick-stores and money, or letters of credit on America, to the amount of two thousand dollars, after paying the
pas. sage out to Montserado. If they sail from Amsterdam, they take passage in a Dutch ship, bound to D'Elmina, which is to touch and put them ashore at this place: if from Bristol, the vessel will naturally make this Cape as her first land. They pass their first half year in the Colony, during which period they form acquaintance among the colonists—become familiarized to the African character-explore the surrounding country-visit the different tribes-enter into arrangements with the country authorities, for the founding, accommodation, and protection of their future settlement-settle a definite plan of future operations-do some good to our own people, and above all, acquire
Meaning with us, tea, sugar, wine, butter, cheese, and other articles of the kind.
a habit of body conformed to the sultry influences of a tropical African climate. They then remove to the site of their intended establishment,-avail themselves of the labour of as many natives, as they may require to erect the first houses form a regular family of about twenty persons-begin from the first, the great work of teaching the natives—study their language: if the Bassa, collect in a vocabulary, all its words, construct an alphabet and a grammar, print a few elementary tracts, translate select portions of the scriptures, and teach the young negroes to read and write them in their own language. If the language is Dey or Vey, substitute as the written language, the English; but preach and teach in the native dialect, the older classes. Meantime the agriculture and mechanical business of the settlements is carried on with a view to supply the wants of itself. The example thus given, will have its effect; first, on such as embrace the religion of the establishment, who will naturally come to settle themselves in or near to it, and afterwards on the people of the tribe generally.
In the foregoing project, perhaps unnecessarily minute, you will perceive no allowance made for deaths, protracted illness, wars, the opposition of the natives, discontent and perversity on the part of the Missionaries, and nameless other casualties which may occur, and are at the disposal of the Almighty.The door is an open one to human appearance, but God may close it suddenly and entirely, by means which human foresight would never have discovered. But on the other hand, I do not, Sir, write from theory; God has made me one of his humble instruments for building up, amidst unnumbered difficulties and discouragements, from the humblest beginnings, a flourishing and hopeful Colony. I have descended in the preceding project, by your kind permission to a plain matter of fact detail; which, with the blessing of Providence, I know can be carried into full execution. I see no reason for delay.
There are situations offering, which I should account it a very great privilege, to be able to provide with Missionary families immediately. The populous country of Grand Bassa, is one of these. The Chiefs of the country are importunate in their demand, for good white men to come and reside with them, and teach them the Book of God, and the good customs of their
country. They offer to provide with houses, lands, rice, and whatever their country affords, such as shall come recommended from the Colony. Little reliance can be placed on these promises, I admit, but they at least prove the commencement of a missionary settlement in that country, to be easily practicable.
This letter will be accompanied by another from the Directors of the Colony in Washington; and if both together shall authorize an establishment by your Society, in connection with this Colony, none will experience a sincerer gratification, and more cheerfully aid in the undertaking, according to his ability, and prior obligations; than, Rev. and Dear Sir, your devoted, And very humble Servant,
J. ASHMUN, Agent of the American Colonization Society,
and Principal of the Colony of Liberia. P. S. In the project of a Mission to this country, I propose that the Mission Family have an outfit of two thousand dollars: should half this sum be laid out in trade goods in Europe, the advantage would be great; and this purchase ought to have been particularly insisted upon, in the body of the letter. Of this merchandise the chief articles are Leaf-Tobacco, large Smoking Pipes, common printed Cottons, India Cottons, Cotton and Silk Handkerchiefs, Pocket Looking-Glasses, common Beads, Cutlery, cheap Hats, Iron Pots and Cast Ware, Iron Bars, and Earthen and Glass Ware. The four first enumerated of these articles, are the most important.
Mission to Liberia.
In our last number, page 253, we had the pleasure of announcing to our readers the purpose of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to establish a Mission in or near the Colony of Liberia. We rejoice that we have it now in our power to add, that a similar purpose is immediately to be executed by the Society for Domestic and Foreign Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The following extract is from
a letter of the Secretary of that Society. A considerable fund, exclusively devoted to the support of an African Mission, is now in the Treasury of this Society.
“I have the pleasure of informing you that the Board of Directors of the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church, at their meeting held in this city on the 24th and 25th instant, appointed Mr. Jacob Oson, a coloured man of great respectability for piety and worth, (as testified by sundry of the most respectable inhabitants of New Haven, Connecticut, where he has resided many years, including Clergymen of the Episcopal and Congregational Churches, the Mayor of the city, several Members of the Senate of that State, three Magistrates, and others,) to serve as a Missionary under their support, at some suitable place in or near the Colony of Liberia. Mr. Oson will shortly be admitted, it is expected, to Holy Orders by Bishop Brownell of Connecticut; and he would, probably, be ready to take his departure in a very short period. His family is small, consisting, I believe, of himself, wife, and one child. He is about 50 years of age.”
Portland, Me.--With a coloured population of nine hundred, provides one school for the education of their children, under the care of a mistress. Better things are in progress.
Boston, Mass.--With a coloured population of two thousand, provides, assisted by the liberal donation of the late Abiel Smith, Esq., three schools for the instruction of their children, viz. two primary, under the care of African female teachers, and a grammar school under a master. As we have more than once referred to the donation of Mr. Smith, perhaps a better chance may not occur for gratifying the curiosity of our readers.
[Abiel Smith, Esq. of Boston, left by will, for the support of a school for African children, $4000 of three per cent. stock; thirty shares in the Newburyport Turnpike; twenty shares in the Second New Hampshire Turnpike; seventeen shares in the Kennebeck Bridge; five shares in the Bridge at Tiverton, R. I.; and five in the Bathing House, Boston.-Notes to Dr. Harris Sermon before the African Society. ]
Salem, Mass. With a coloured population of four hundred,