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occupy the principal places. The cotton plant and the sugar-cane are also native to the soil, and are capable of being cultivated with facility to a large extent, although it does not appear that any great share of attention has hitherto been devoted to raising them in any quantity; and among other indigenous products are coffee and indigo, the former of which grows in abundance in the forests, and is found to be of excellent quality.
for the purpose of establishing a free settlement | grain raised by the settlers, rice and Indian corn of negroes. After it had been decided to make the settlement in Africa-the country to which the constitution of the negro is best suited-a number of voluntary emigrants of the class referred to were sent out in 1820, followed by others in the succeeding year, when a purchase was made from the native African chiefs of a tract of land in the neighbourhood of Cape Mesurado (lat. 6° 19′ N., long. 10° 48′ W.), and the foundation laid of a town called Monrovia,-the whole district occupied by the colony being called Liberia. Since the period of its foundation, the settlement, although experiencing considerable fluctuations during several years, has continued to progress in extent
and in the number of its inhabitants.
Liberia at present comprehends the whole line of coast extending from Cape Mount on the northwest, to the Cavally River on the south-east; a length of more than three hundred miles, with a territory extending inland to a width, varying in different places, of between ten and thirty miles. Within these limits are comprised several settlements, established by various Colonization Societies which exist in the different States of the American Union; each of them containing one or more towns or villages. The principal of these, holding the rank of capital, and distinguished as the seat of government for the whole colony, is Monrovia, situated on the neck of land which terminates in Cape Mesurado. Near it are the towns of Millsburgh, Caldwell, and New Georgia, the population of the last-mentioned of which consists of Africans recaptured from vessels engaged in the slave-trade. Caldwell is described by Mr. Jones (an intelligent man of colour, who was sent out by the American Colonization Society in 1833, for the express purpose of inquiring into and reporting on the condition of the settlement) as being larger and more prosperous than Monrovia. Along the coast farther to the south-east, are the towns of Marshall, at the mouth of Junk River, and Edina and Bassa Cove, on the opposite sides of the St. John's River; further up the same stream are also the more recent settlements of Bexley and Rosenburg. Other esta blishments have likewise been formed at Sinou and at Cape Palmas. The country is in general level, with merely a few trifling rises of ground intervening between the sea-shore and a chain of mountains situated above thirty miles inland. The land is well covered with wood, producing several kinds of trees which constitute articles of commerce, one of the most valuable among which is that called Cam-wood, the wood of which is of a red colour, and is extensively used as a dye. Besides this the palm-nut, from which palm-oil is manufactured, is produced in abundance, as well as other trees and fruits of the most valuable kind; among the latter pines, guavas, limes, plantains, bananas, &c. Among the different kinds of
The whole population of Liberia amounted, in 1838, to about 5000 persons, of whom 3500 were negro emigrants from the United States, and the remaining 1500 natives of Africa, who had voluntarily united themselves with the colonists, in order to become sharers in the advantages which the superior civilization of the latter enabled them to realise. There are not more than about thirty white men in the entire community, most of whom are attached to the colony as physicians, or connected with the different missionary and education societies; but with the exception of the governor, scarcely any of them hold authority of any sort. The governor is appointed by the American Colonization Society; but all the other officers, including a vice-governor, legislative councillors (constituting a House of Assembly), a high sheriff, constables, &c., all consisting of coloured men, are elected annually by the people themselves. Their legislative enactments pass through the forms usual to the most civilized communities, are reported by, or referred to, committees, discussed, amended, and finally referred to the governor for his approbation and signature. Should they not meet with his assent, they still become law if passed by a vote of two-thirds of the legislature. Thus the inhabitants of Liberia enjoy the advantages and privileges of political and civil freedom, and live under an administration by which the lives and property of the citizens are secured by laws which have every probability of being adapted to their wants and condition, since they are made and administered by the most intelligent among themselves. There are at present 21 places of worship in the colony, and about 60 ministers of the gospel, belonging to the various denominations of Christians in the United States: four of the former,-embracing a Baptist, a Methodist, an Episcopalian, and a Presbyterian Church,-are in the capital Monrovia. Besides these there are various mission stations located among the natives in different places, as at Cape Palmas, and among the Kroos and Bassas, each of which have presses attached to their mission, by means of which they have been enabled to print and circulate among the natives the Bible and several other books translated into their native tongue.
One of the features in the colony, which it is most pleasing to contemplate, is the great attention paid the instruction of the young, and to
the acquisition of knowledge by the settlers in general. There are numerous day and Sunday schools in each of the settlements; some of them manual labour schools, in which various branches of trade and agricultural arts are taught in addition to the usual instruction; and if our space permitted us, we might quote some interesting accounts of the examinations held in them from the "Africa's Luminary," a periodical published twice a month at Monrovia, under the management of the mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America. | Besides this, there is also published at the same place, a monthly newspaper, the "Liberia Herald," | edited by a coloured man, one of the most striking features in which is the great quantity of original | matter which it contains, and the whole management of which would do credit to the intellectual tastes and intelligence of its contributors and readers, were they members of any class of men; but which is more especially deserving of notice when it is regarded as resulting from a race in whom even the existence of a capacity for such undertakings has been so often and so obstinately contested. In some of the settlements, literary societies and lyceums have been formed for mutual improvement, and at Bassa Cove and Monrovia there are public libraries for the use of the inhabitants; that at the former of these places contains from 1200 to 1500 volumes. The general tone of society is religious, and the state of morals is admitted to be of a high order, even by many of those who have adopted unfavourable views of the ultimate success of the colony; profanity and drunkenness are vices of very rare occurrence. The general prevalence of temperate habits is evidenced by the fact that the temperance society established at Monrovia numbered 502 members within two months after its foundation.
Nearly all the inhabitants of Liberia are engaged in mercantile transactions, and the amount of the commerce carried on is already considerable. Among the articles exported annually are camwood, palm-wood, ivory, tortoiseshell, gold-dust, palm-oil, and hides, in return for which are obtained the manufactured commodities of Europe and America. The harbour of Monrovia is frequented annually by more than seventy foreign vessels belonging either to the United States or to various European countries; besides which, the town carries on a considerable coasting trade, by means of small vessels built and owned by her own citizens. In the year 1838, there were twelve or fifteen of these, averaging from ten to thirty tons burthen; and the number has probably increased since that time. In reference to the commercial prospects of the colony, it must, however, be admitted, that its situation is subject to the disadvantage of not possessing a large navigable river, which might furnish an easy opening into the interior. The river St. Paul, which appears to
have a longer course than any other, is obstructed by a bar at its mouth, which prevents vessels of much burthen from entering it; and when this is passed, it is described as dangerous, from its shallowness and its being full of rocky shoals. Mr. Laird remarks, that "as to the commercial situation of the colony, the Americans have certainly not shown their usual acuteness in the choice of natural advantages."* But probably this disadvantage is more than compensated for by the superior healthiness of this part of the coast to that near the mouths of the larger rivers. This consideration leads us to make a few remarks upon the climate of the settlement, a subject upon which great differences of opinion have been expressed.
The climate of Liberia appears to be liable to the usual evils which prevail in the climates of tropical countries in general, and particularly in tropical Africa, such as the prevalence of fevers which are liable to affect injuriously the health of white men at certain seasons of the year, and which make themselves apparent even among those of the negro race on their first arrival in the colony. But these defects are of comparatively little importance in regard to the constitution of white men, for the settlement was never intended for such, and we have the united testimony of numerous witnesses who have been resident there for a length of time in support of the fact that "the inhabitants are as robust, as healthy, and as long-lived, as those of any other country." On first reaching the colony, emigrants are commonly attacked with a fever, which is generally of short duration, and which, if proper precautions be taken, is very rarely attended with fatal results; but after this period of "seasoning" has elapsed they usually enjoy excellent health. The temperature of the air is mild and uniform,—the thermometer rarely being lower than 68° or higher than 88°; this regularity is doubtless in a great measure owing to the constant prevalence of a seabreeze. It is admitted on all hands that the coast of Liberia is less unhealthy even for whites than either that further to the north or to the east. If on the one hand there has been a disposition to exaggerate the advantages of the colony in this respect, so there has been on the other at least an equal disposition to draw too unfavourable a picture, by attributing to unhealthiness of climate many of the evils which are invariably attendant upon the early periods of new settlements, and which are in great measure produced by the change from a temperate to a tropical country, and vice versa, the want of comfortable houses, by the irregular mode of living, and the various fatigues, dangers, and privations invariably experienced in such cases. Instances of the mortality produced by these causes are furnished by the early history of
"Narrative of an Expedition into the Interior of Africa, by the River Niger, in 1832, 3, and 4." By M'Gregor Laird and R. A. K. Oldfield. Vol. i. p. 40.
all new settlements, by whatever nation and in whatever part of the globe, and they constitute no proof of the unhealthiness of the climate of a country unless confirmed by the experience of subsequent years. In regard to Liberia the results of this experience are decidedly and increasingly favourable in their bearing upon the general health of the inhabitants.
We have thus given a brief statement of the actual condition of the colony of Liberia at the latest period to which our information extends, and shall conclude with a few remarks upon the probable influences of the colony on the general cause of African civilization. There are many who have expressed disappointment at the nature of the relations in which the settlers have been placed with regard to the surrounding tribes, and assuredly the frequent hostilities in which they have been engaged with the natives are deeply to be regretted. These, however, are now to be in great measure numbered with the dangers and difficulties attendant upon the first establishment of every new settlement,-dangers and difficulties which have in the present case arisen both from the barbarism and ignorance of the natives on the one hand, and from something of an over-grasping spirit on the part of the colonists on the other; and we have already observed that great numbers of the natives are now united with the settlers, while the friendly relations between them are daily extending and increasing. As to the influence of the colony in promoting the advancement of civilization among the native Africans, it is obvious that such a result can only be the slow work of years, for the superiority of civilized life to barbarism must be made evident to their faculties of observation as well as to their intelligence, before they will willingly relinquish their old habits and adopt new ones. Too much ought not to be expected from a single colony; and so long as the effort has been made in the right direction, we must be content to wait patiently for the results. That the effort has been thus rightly directed we feel deeply convinced, for if Africa is to be civilized at all it must by the agency of people belonging to her own race. The question is like that of education for the lower orders in this or in any other country :—who shall educate the poor but those of their own class, for who else can be acquainted with the wants-moral, social, and intellectual of the poor? So none but the negro can truly appreciate the wants of the African, the prejudices and difficulties under which he labours, and the consequent means to be adopted for their removal, and for his advancement to a higher position in the scale of happiness. The white men, whether of Europe or America, may be (and it is requisite that they should be) the directors and guiders in the task, but the agents in it must be those who are themselves of the negro race. In reference to their physical wants, we have the assurance of com
petent observers that there is no class of men better formed and adapted by nature and circumstances for African colonists than the American negroes, who are distinguished by an acuteness and enterprise which is the more valuable as it is engrafted on an African constitution. And it is gratifying to reflect on the fact, that in the United States there are daily growing up a class of men with negro blood in their veins who are likely to be so capable of ministering to the intellectual wants of their African brethren. We have before us a letter addressed by a coloured man of the name of Hansom-(grandson of the king of Ashantee, and resident in the United States)-to Elliott Cresson, Esq., of Philadelphia, the benevolent promoter of the cause of African colonization, in which the writer expresses his earnest desire to aid as a missionary in the christianization of his native land, and from which, if our space permitted us, we might quote many passages indicative of the pure benevolence, the deep feeling, and the lofty faith, by which the sentiments of its author are prompted, as well as the high order of intelligence by which they are guided. And who that had ever seen or heard of the barbarous court of an Ashantee monarch, with its superstitious ceremonies and its bloody sacrifices of human victims, would a few years ago have anticipated a member of such a family becoming the author of a document of this kind? In the colony of Liberia itself, too, many of the native youths are already qualifying themselves, by the diligent study of the sacred writings, to become agents in the diffusion of christianity among their countrymen.
We think, then, that every one who disinterestedly desires the well-being of his fellow men, must regard with complacency and gratification this settlement of free negroes-this Liberia-upon the coast of Western Africa,-during so many centuries the resort only of the inhuman slave-trade, and the scene of the sufferings and misery of the victims of that iniquitous traffic. The colony may not have accomplished all that had been anticipated by the sanguine spirit of some of its benevolent founders and promoters, but still it has effected much. The light of christianity has by means of it been kindled upon those long-benighted shores, and the blessings of civilization made apparent in a land of previous barbarism;-and belief in the history of the past, grateful experience of the present, and faith in the beneficent purposes of that Providence which will regulate the future, alike forbid us from thinking that that light is doomed to be extinguished, or that those blessings attendant upon it are destined to pass away. W. H.
We are never so well pleased with an antagonist as when he makes an objection to which we are provided with a good answer.-Menage.
THE WESLEYAN CENTENARY.
him while living, and to his character after death THE WESLEYAN CENTENARY HALL AND that respect and admiration which none but the
It is one of the privileges of a good man, thatin a moral sense-he never dies. His character, his actions, his words, become the property of posterity, and shine out more and more brightly as time advances. Even those who may not join in opinion with him on certain points, bear towards
good can command.
Such a man was John Wesley, the founder of the large Christian community which bears his name. To those who belong to this community, it is unnecessary to say a word as to the sentiments held towards his name and memory; but the title at the head of this paper, and the object of the
paper itself, make it necessary that we should briefly allude to an event, or rather a series of events, which took place two or three years ago, and which are only partially known to other communities of the Christian world.
The year 1739 was that in which John Wesley began formally to devote himself to the ministry, and to enter upon that career which terminated only in his death. As the period advanced when a complete century from that time would have been passed through, the Wesleyan body became influenced by a wish to celebrate the circumstance in some notable manner. In 1838 it was resolved,
that religious services should, at particular times in the following year, be performed, suitable to the occasion; and also that a subscription should be entered into among the Wesleyan body, for the furtherance of certain objects pertaining to that body. Among the objects thus proposed were such as the following:-To erect and endow a Wesleyan Theological College or Seminary, for the education of preachers for home stations, and missionaries for abroad; to provide a Polynesian Missionary Ship, for the conveyance of missionaries to and from several of the Eastern islands; to provide superannuation allowances for aged ministers, and pen
sions for their widows; to aid in building or repairing chapels; and to aid in another object which we shall detail presently. The subscription was commenced, and has ultimately amounted to a sum most unexpectedly large. The religious commemoration of the Centenary, and the general manner in which the subscribed funds have been, or are to be, appropriated, are subjects which we do not propose to enter upon here; one portion of these funds has, however, been devoted in a manner which it is the object of this paper to notice.
The Wesleyan-Methodists, in the same Christian spirit which has actuated the Established Church, the Baptists, and other religious bodies, have established a missionary society, which has gradually increased the sphere of its operations to an important extent. The Mission House in Hatton Garden, where the business of the society was transacted, became every year less and less adequate to the wants of the establishment; and the Wesleyan Centenary Committee determined to devote a portion of the subscribed funds to the purchase of a building for the transaction both of the missionary business and of the general business of the Wesleyan body. In one of the “ Missionary Notices" (January, 1841) the subject is thus alluded to:" In pursuance of this part of their design, the Centenary Committee authorized the purchase of extensive freehold premises, in Bishopsgate Street Within, formerly well-known as the City of London Tavern,' and directed the adaptation of them, by various alterations and additions, to the purposes above-mentioned. In connexion with the more general object to which these premises are devoted, the Centenary Committee were desirous to provide (what had for some years been felt be indispensably necessary) some more central and adequate accommodation for the extended and extending business of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society. To the special use of that society, | therefore, they resolved to offer certain portions of the front buildings in Bishopsgate Street; and also to erect (in addition) in the rear of the same premises, and in immediate contiguity with the general and connexional apartments, a NEW MISSION HOUSE, for which, as a place of missionary business, the locality was peculiarly desirable and advantageous"
connexion with, the former. The two taken together consist of apartments for the general business of the connexion, and others for the missionary business; and we may remark that the latter portion has been liberally and gratuitously presented to the missionary society, at the expense of the Centenary Fund, without any charge, either for the ground or for the buildings, upon the missionary fund.
The building presents an elegant exterior on the eastern side of Bishopsgate Street, exactly opposite Threadneedle Street. There are three stories visible in front, the upper and middle one of which are each lighted by five large windows; while the ground-story has two windows on either side of the entrance door. The door opens into a large entrance hall or vestibule, on each side of which are doors leading to several apartments appropriated as reception rooms, secretary's offices, &c.; while opposite is a flight of steps leading to a square enclosure which-under any other circumstances— would be deemed a central court or quadrangle. It occupies a vacant space between the old house and the new one; and the architect has ingeniously contrived that numerous rooms, on all four sides of it, shall receive light by windows opening into this square. If it were open overhead, it would really be a quadrangular court, such as is found in most Eastern and in many European houses; but it is entirely closed,-lighted by side windows a little below the ceiling,—and painted with the same taste and neatness as every other part of the building.
From this central part (which, for convenience, we will call the quadrangle) entrance is obtained to various parts of the building. Proceeding ontowards from the quadrangle, we come to two or three apartments appropriated as warehouses, in which the printed publications, as well as other property belonging to the society, are deposited. The arrangements of the warehouses illustrate, in some degree, the extent of the society's transactions, and the geographical organization (if we may use such a term) by which those transactions are carried on. On one side of one of the warehouses is a range of recesses, about thirty in number, each one inscribed with the name of some country, island, or region in foreign parts ;-here Ashantee, there Tonga, in another part Caffraria, in another Gambia, and so on. These are for the reception of packets and parcels, received from, or about to be forwarded to, the foreign missionary stations of the society. Again, the home transactions, by which the parent society keeps up regular intercourse with the auxiliary branches all over the country, are aided and systemized by a similar contrivance. A nest of small cells or boxes, three or four hundred in number, is appropriated to the reception of orders, &c., from these auxiliaries, each cell being devoted to, and inscribed with the name of, some particular town in the kingdom.
In the early part of the present year, the building and alterations were sufficiently advanced to permit the transfer thereto of the missionary business from Hatton Garden; and we may now proceed to give a rapid view of the arrangements of the building, so far as these arrangements have been completed.
It will be seen from the above extract, that the building is of a two-fold character, both as respects its construction and its destination. It consists of an old building, greatly altered and thoroughly renovated, and of a new one built behind, and in