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might we expect a man to be born in the full maturity of his mental faculties, or an infant to run before it had learned the use of its limbs.
"A plan, then, for universal emancipation, to be practicable, must be gradual. The slave must be made to pass through a state of pupilage and minority, to fit him for the enjoyment and exercise of rational liberty.
"If then the extremes of emancipation, and perpetual, unlimited slavery, be dangerous,' and impolitic, 'the safe and advisable measure must be between them.' And this brings us again to the question, How can we get clear of the evils of slavery, with safety to the master and advantage to the slave? For the solution of this difficult problem, the following Outlines of a plan for a gradual but general and universal emancipation are proposed. Let the slaves be attached to the soil,-give them an interest in the land they cultivate. Place them in the same situation in relation to their masters, as the peasantry of Russia in relation to their landlords. Let wise and salutary laws be enacted, in the several slave-holding States, for their general government. These laws should provide for the means of extending to the children of every slave, the benefits of school learning. The practice of arbitrary punishment for the most trivial offences, should be abolished.
"An important step towards the accomplishment of this plan would be, to prohibit by law the migration or transportation of slaves from one State to another :-and also to provide, that no slave should be sold, out of the county or town in which his master resides, without his own consent. Provision should then be made for the introduction of a system of general instruction on each farm or plantation; each slave who has a family should be furnished with a hut, and a portion of land to cultivate for his own use; for which he should pay to the landlord an annual rent. For each day he was employed by the master or landlord, he should be allowed a stipulated price : out of the proceeds of his stipulated wages, those things necessary for his comfortable maintenance should be deducted, if furnished by the master.
"The time given him to cultivate his allotment of ground, should be deducted from his annual hire. A wise and equitable system of laws, adapted to the condition of Blacks, should be established for their government. Then a character would be formed among them; acts of diligence and fidelity would meet their appropriate reward, and negligence and crime would be followed by their merited chastisement. The execution of this plan, in its fullest extent, would be followed by increased profits to the landholder.
"It would be productive of incalculable advantage to the slave, both in his civil and moral condition :-and thus the interest of the master, and the melioration of the condition of the slave, would be gradually and reciprocally advanced in the progress of this experiment. Although legislative provisions would greatly facilitate the adoption of this plan, it is not necessary for individuals to wait the movement of Government. Any one may introduce it on his own plantation, and reap many of its most important advantages.
"The plan now proposed is not new. It is not a Utopian and visionary theory, unsupported by experience. It has been successfully tried in the Island of Barbadoes by the late Joshua Steele; and the result exceeded his most sanguine expectations. The first principles of his plan,' says Dr. Dickson, are the plain ones of treating the slaves as human creatures: moving them to action by the hope of reward, as well as the fear of punishment; giving them out of their own labours, wages and land, sufficient to afford
them the plainest necessaries; and protecting them against the capricious violence, too often of ignorant, unthinking, or unprincipled, and perhaps drunken men and boys, invested with arbitrary powers, as their managers, and 'drivers.' His plan is founded in nature, and has nothing in it of rash innovation. It does not hurry forward a new order of things;-it recommends no fine projects, or ticklish experiments; but, by a few safe and easy steps, and a few simple applications of English law, opens the way for the gradual introduction of a better system.' 'To advance above three hundred debased field Negroes, who had never before moved without the whip, to a state nearly resembling that of contented, honest and industrious servants; and, after paying them for their labour, to triple in a few years the annual net clearance of his estates-these were great achievements for an aged man, in an untried field of improvement, preoccupied by inveterate vulgar prejudices. He has indeed accomplished all that was really doubtful or difficult in the undertaking; and perhaps all that is at present desirable, either to owner or slave: for he has ascertained as a fact,-what was before only known to the learned as a theory, and to practical men as a paradox,—that the paying of slaves for their labour, does actually produce a very great profit to their owners.""
66 CIRCULAR ADDRESS
To the Abolition and Manumission Societies in the United States of America. "At the close of the session of 1821, the American Convention deem it` proper to address you on the important subjects which have occupied our attention.
"In reviewing the labours of Abolition Societies in this country, we find much reason for congratulation. The cause of truth and humanity has regularly advanced in the minds of an enlightened community; and nothing but perseverance, in presenting this subject to the public in its appropriate simplicity, is requisite to promote its triumphant march over the prejudice, hostility, and opposition of its enemies. To the perseverance of its advocates alone may be imputed the great change in the public opinion, in favour of the abolition of slavery, that has already been effected in the northern, middle, and some of the western States: and we confidently hope that this will ultimately produce a similar change in the south. We therefore trust, that you will never relax your efforts to promote the emancipation of slaves, till every human being in the United States shall equally enjoy all the blessings of our free constitution,
"The best mode of effecting the abolition of slavery, so as to promote the interests and the happiness of the slave, and to be satisfactory to the master, is a subject of difficult solution; and one that has much engaged the attention of the Convention. However desirable a total emancipation might be to the philanthropist, we cannot expect the speedy accomplishment of that
"Although the subject of colonizing the free Blacks has been repeatedly considered and disapproved by former Conventions; it has been revived, fully discussed, and, as we trust, definitively decided by this, that such a colony, either in Africa or in our own country, would be incompatible with the principles of our Government, and with the temporal and spiritual interests of the Blacks.
"How far voluntary emigration to Hayti should be encouraged, is a question which we do not possess sufficient information to decide; but which may receive much additional light from the correspondence already directed · to be instituted for that purpose. We think it worthy of consideration, how far any measure should be recommended that may tend to draw from our country the most industrious, moral, and respectable of its coloured population, and thus deprive others, less improved, of the benefit of their example and advice.
"Deeply injured as they have been by the Whites, the coloured people certainly claim from us some degree of retributive justice. And if our efforts succeed in improving their intellectual and moral condition, and in imparting to them a correct knowledge of the only true God, we shall do much towards compensating them for all the wrongs they have sustained. This object can be best attained by their permanent residence in a Christian country, and under suitable moral and religious instruction.
"Influenced by a conviction of this truth, our attention has been ¿ected to a gradual melioration of their condition, and to the adoption of such measures as will conduce to their elevation to a higher rank in society. We' conceive that these objects may be promoted, by giving the slaves an interest in the soil they cultivate, by placing them, in relation to their masters, in a situation somewhat similar to that in which the peasantry of Russia are placed in relation to their landlords.
"This plan has been successfully executed by an extensive planter in Barbadoes; and it was found to conduce essentially to the promotion of his interests, and the moral and industrious habits of his slaves. Should our southern planters be induced to adopt a similar course, there is no doubt that the result would be equally favourable.
"We think it particularly desirable, that the Legislatures of the slaveholding States should be induced to fix a period after which all who are born of slaves shall be free. This is an object which we ought never to lose sight of, until it is attained. Although this period should be remote, and therefore no benefit be afforded to the present generation, yet an inestimable benefit would thus be ensured to posterity."
ART. XXI.—African Instruction.
HE minutest fact, which contributes in the minutest degree to the promotion of this capital object, is calculated to call forth a very awakening interest, and cannot be too early or too extensively circulated. The instruction of the African world is an object, the magnitude of which-apparently so far beyond the reach of all ordinary and accessible expedients-strikes despair into the most executive bosom. Any thing like a new opening is an agreeable surprise, and an encouraging stimulus. Projectors are ever for accomplishing too much at once, and all by single measures, and on a grand scale, and thus by aiming at efforts beyond all attainable execution usually defeat their own purposes.
But "here a little, and there a little," perseverance, watchfulness, seizure of small opportunities,-these are the slow but certain methods of effecting the most arduous undertakings. These are the homely but valuable qualities of earnestness; and such as are blessed with successes, where the flashes of occasional rigour and the parading of public profession terminate in less than nothing. It is a prime object with us, to give publicity to every effort in the cause of African improvement. We present our readers with the account of a small society established recently for this noble purpose among a few Quakers, whose silent labours are probably altogether unknown out of the narrow circle of their immediate connexion.
"The present publication* is offered to the notice of the Society of Friends, by a Committee, to whom was confided the management of a small fund, raised by members of that society, for the purpose of promoting African Instruction: an object which, superior as it is in intrinsic importance, even to the vindication of the personal rights of that oppressed people, may be admitted by us, who feel interested in their welfare, to have, at least, an equal claim upon our attention.
"It will be in the recollection of many friends, that about the close of the year 1819, this subject was brought forward in London by our friend Hannah Kilham of Sheffield, whose mind had been for some years under an impression of duty to employ her talents in this way for the benefit of these untutored members of the human family; and that a subscription was soon afterwards set on foot to defray the necessary expenses of educating, or teaching, some young Africans, under her superintendence. Her views extend not merely to the personal instruction of individuals, but to the forming of an Institution for cultivating some of the unwritten languages of Africa: for reducing them to grammatical principles: composing elementary books: translating portions of the Scripturest, and diffusing them, by the instrumentality of the natives, and through the medium of school-teaching, among their countrymen.
"For these purposes, and with the concurrence of several friends, who agreed to act as a Committee, Hannah Kilham took under her care, in the Third Month, 1820, two African youths as pupils. The one, named Sandance, is from Goree; the other Mahmadee, from the banks of the Gambia. Both of them speak the Jaloof (or Waloof) language; in which our friend herself has since become, by continued application, a considerable proficient,
"Report of the Committee managing a Fund raised by some Friends for the Purpose of promoting African Instruction; with an Account of a Visit to the Gambia and Sierra Leone :-published by Harvey, Darton, and Co." We recommend the "Visit" as full of good sense, and bearing the visible impress of truth and sober observation.
"The superintendant of the school at Free Town gave me a grammar and vocabulary of the Bullom language; and informed me, that he has translated into the same tongue, the four Gospels. The Gospel by Matthew is printed. George Caulker, a Native man of rank, is translating into another dialect of the Bullom, some parts of the Scripture."
VOL. I. NO. II.
and is now employing the knowledge she has acquired in the formation of elementary lessons, for the purposes of teaching and translation. These pupils have conducted themselves with propriety, applying diligently to their learning, and evincing qualities of mind, in respect both of talent and disposition, which may be deemed altogether encouraging at the commencement of a labour so arduous and uncertain as is that of imparting instruction to those, whose infancy and early youth have been passed in almost total ignorance. Their present proficiency will be reported in its place.
"The next step in the prosecution of these endeavours presented greater difficulty. The work of forming teachers, on this side the water, was necessarily connected with prospective measures, as to the best mode of employing them (when they should be deemed fit for employment) among their countrymen; and a direct intercourse with the natives, especially with some of their chiefs, began to appear desirable, both for this object and for the purpose of completing the necessary elementary books in the Jaloof language. Thus circumstanced, the Committee received an unexpected offer from William Singleton, of Loxley near Sheffield, (under whose care the two Africans had been for some time receiving their English instruction,) to proceed to Africa, on such service as the Committee might think fit to assign to him, in furtherance of the general object; which, it appears, had by this time deeply interested his mind. The Committee having made such inquiries as the case suggested, and deliberately considered his proposals, after a personal conference, accepted his aid for the present occasion. He was instructed to visit, and open a friendly intercourse with, the chiefs of the Jaloof nation; to engage, with their own consent, and that of their friends or parents, two more pupils of that nation; and to employ his leisure time in collecting information on the state of the country, the natives, and their language: he was left at liberty to return by way of Sierra Leone, in order to have a view of the improvements going on among the natives attached to that settlement. William Singleton sailed towards the end of 1820; and returned, in good health, after a visit to the Gambia and Sierra Leone, in the seventh month, 1821, his stay in Africa having been originally limited by the Committee, on prudential considerations, to the commencement of the rainy season in those latitudes. His voyage, and abode on the continent, though not productive of the whole result that was desired, has materially contributed, by a variety of information derived through his means, to clear the way for future proceedings, should the object in view receive the support of friends to the requisite extent. His Report to the Committee, and extracts from his Journal, contain a sufficient store of facts, it is hoped, to satisfy the subscribers to the fund, that this portion of it has not been improperly applied.
"Since the return of William Singleton, the Committee have had opportunities of conferring with respectable merchants, and others acquainted with the Gambia, (some of whom had rendered important services to W. S. there,) on the subject of the plan in contemplation. It is believed on their evidence, in concurrence with that of W. S., that the instruction of the natives in reading, writing, and useful arts, will be a measure acceptable to the European settlers, and will receive their countenance and support; that the Africans, treat with respect those persons who at present travel among them, from the European settlements, on account of commerce; and that the slave-trade, which was the impediment the most apprehended, is not now so prevalent,