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men, and to unite and strengthen the literary spirit and enterprise of the upper and lower counties. New Hampshire has secured to herself a highly respectable name among the states of the confederacy; a name which has been won and will be sustained, we trust, by the industry and enterprise of her inhabitants, by their patriotism, and by the favorable disposition which is prevalent, towards a general dissemination of useful knowledge. From the first settlement of the country, she was ever willing to do her part towards the military expeditions, which were fitted out against the French and the savages, and it was not often that any portion of her soldiers shrunk from toils and hardships, or dishonored their name by discovering a deficiency of courage. Those, who take pleasure in recalling the periods of our wars and fightings, will associate with this state the names, among others, of Stark, Sullivan, and Miller; men, who have secured to their memories a durable renown.
We do not know that poetry has found many votaries among the sons of New Hampshire, but we have at times seen specimens of their efforts, which show that her mountains and lakes are beheld by some, who can inhale the breath of their inspiration, and rejoice in the surrounding sublimities of nature. There are few portions of the Union, which can furnish more to gratify and to excite the powers of an imagination truly poetic, one that is fond of the marvellous in incident, and of the wild and enrapturing in scenery, The wonderful stories, which were told in the primitive times, of Passaconaway the Penacook, of Paugus the chief of the Pequacketts, and of Wohawa, who, though a Frenchman by birth, invaded the frontier settlements with more than the cruelty of a savage, are yet remembered and repeated with interest. Even Jocelyn and Darby Fields are not forgotten, and many an untutored lad has been more than half persuaded to leave the unpoetic roof of his forefathers, and emulate the marvellous wanderings of those early adventurers, by going to search for carbuncles on the Chrystal Hills. We are not of that number who imagine that poetry is an useless art, and, though republicans by birth and by principle, we think that Plato devised but a poor plan, when he contemplated the banishment of the sons of the lyre beyond the precincts of his ideal commonwealth. It is true, we have to lament, as all well meaning men will lament, the unhallowed use of their powers by some of the great poets of the day, and we sincerely confess that we should wish our hills and waters to remain unsung ; incidents, worthy of a long remembrance, to continue unconsecrated ; and the breath of the Muses' enchantment never to be heard, rather than our soil should be burdened and contaminated by a race of poets, who cannot keep away infidelity and impurity from their strains. But we hope better things from American poets; Bryant has set them a good example, both in the purity of his taste, and the serious and heart ennobling tone of his sentiments. Poetry is chiefly valuable, when, by revealing the odiousness of vice, and displaying the charms of virtue, it is able to secure an elevation to the thoughts, and to correct the errings of the affections. It is not necessary that it should lose sight of these great ends, even when it undertakes to paint the deepest and wildest of the human passions, and to embody, in the forms of language, whatever is beautiful, and picturesque, and sublime in nature.
Art. III.— The Sixth Annual Report of the American So
ciety for Colonizing the Free People of Color of the United States; with an Appendix. Washington City, 1823. If we should be thought to come forward at a late hour, in noticing the labors of a Society, formed in this country more than seven years ago, for the purpose of adopting some efficient plan of colonizing the free people of color, we trust our negligence will be attributed to any other cause, than a want of deep interest in the objects of the Society, or indifference to the zeal with which these objects have been pursued. The broad foundation on which the schemes of this Society are built, as well as the character of its patrons, raises it to an importance, not to be claimed by any other private association in this country. Its aims have a pointed bearing on our political concerns, and, if successful, cannot fail to operate most favorably on our civil institutions, and our domestic peace and happiness.
Coming to us in this shape, and patronized as it is by some of our most enlightened statesmen and disinterested
philanthropists, the Colonization Society demands of those, who would judge with fairness, to examine dispassionately, not its history and details only, but its purposes and principles, not the failures which it may have suffered from accidents or inexperience, but the motives by which it is actuated, and the objects which it would attain. Such an examination we are disposed to give it. What has this Society done? What advantages can be expected from its success? Are its designs practicable ? By what means can they be best promoted ? To these general topics our inquiry shall be directed.
The plan of colonizing the free people of color, in some place remote from the United States, originated in the legislature of Virginia nearly twenty years ago. A correspondence on the subject was entered into between Mr Munroe, then governor of Virginia, and Mr Jefferson, President of the United States. The purpose of this correspondence is explained in a letter from Mr Jefferson, written ten years afterwards, and published among other documents appended to the First Annual Report of the Colonization Society. It appears, that the governor of Virginia, at the request of the legislature, consulted the national executive on the best means of procuring an asylum for the free blacks of that State, and of establishing a colony where they might assume a rank and enjoy privileges from which the laws and structure of society must forever prohibit them, in their present situation. Mr Jefferson proposed to gain them admittance into the establishment at Sierra Leone, which then belonged to a private company in England, or, in case this should fail, to procure a situation in some of the Portuguese settlements in South America. He wrote to Mr King, then our minister in London, to apply to the Sierra Leone Company. This application was made, but without success, on the ground that the Company was about to dissolve, and give up its possessions to the government. An attempt to negotiate with the Portuguese government proved equally abortive, and no further active measures were taken.
The legislature of Virginia, however, ceased not to hold fast its original purpose. The subject was from time to time discussed, till, in the year 1816, a formal resolution was passed, authorizing the executive of the state to correspond
New Series, No. 17. 6
with the President of the United States, soliciting his aid in procuring a situation for colonizing the free blacks, and such as might afterwards be emancipated. The senators and representatives in Congress from Virginia, were requested to lend their exertions in advancing this object. Mr Mercer, in his address at the first annual meeting of the Colonization Society, observed, that this resolution passed the popular branch of the legislature of Virginia with but nine dissenting voices out of one hundred and forty six; and a full quorum of the senate, with but one. It was, in fact, but a repetition of certain resolutions, which had been unanimously adopted by the same legislature, though in secret sessions, at three antecedent periods in the last seventeen years. It was truly the feeling and the voice of Virginia.' The legislatures of Maryland, Tennessee, and Georgia, followed the example of Virginia, and adopted a resolution of the same import. The doings of these four states were mentioned with approbation in the report of a committee of Congress, although the great object at which they pointed, the plan of colonization under the patronage of the government, seems never to have engaged the deliberations of the national councils.
The first person, as far as we can learn, who conceived the notion of forming a society for colonizing the free blacks, was the Rev. Dr Finley of New Jersey. This gentleman had long felt a warm interest in the condition of this class of our population, and had consulted his friends on the best mode of providing for them a country and a home beyond the limits of the United States. He finally settled it in his mind, that Africa was the most suitable place for such a colony. In December, 1816, he went to Washington, where he began in earnest to put his plan in execution, wrote a pamphlet to recommend it to the public, applied in person to several members of Congress, and citizens of Washington, and at length succeeded in causing a few persons to listen to his representations and embrace his views. On the 21st of the same month, several gentlemen convened to consider the subject, when the meeting was opened by an address from Mr Clay, explaining its object, and setting forth the advantages, which might be expected to result from a colonization society. He was followed by Mr Randolph and other gentlemen, who accorded with him in sentiment. A committee
was appointed to prepare a constitution, which was adopted the week following, and Judge Washington, of the Supreme Court, was chosen president of the Society.
On Dr Finley's return to New Jersey, the legislature was in session at Trenton, and by his exertions, an auxiliary society was formed, which received the cordial support of several members of the legislature. About this time he was chosen president of Franklin College, at Athens, Georgia, to which place he soon after repaired. For some months his health had been on the decline, and he died, we believe, in Georgia, before the close of the next year.*
Immediately after the organization of the Society, it was determined to send out two agents to explore the western coast of Africa, and seek for the best position to commence a colony. Samuel J. Mills and Ebenezer Burgess were appointed to this enterprise, and they sailed for England in the latter part of November 1817. It was deemed advisable to visit England on their way, for the purpose of gaining a favorable reception at the colony of Sierra Leone, of establishing a friendly intercourse with the African Institution at London, and of obtaining such knowledge as would be essentially important in preparing them for their inquiries on the coast of Africa. By Judge Washington they were provided with a letter to the Duke of Gloucester, the president and zealous patron of the African Institution, who received them with kindness, proffered assistance, and expressed an interest in the benevolent undertakings of the American Colonization Society. Mr Wilberforce, whose name is so intimately blended with all the schemes of humanity, which the last thirty years have witnessed in favor of the degraded Africans, was assiduous in his attention to the agents, and active in forwarding their designs. He introduced them to Lord Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, who gave them a letter of introduction and recommendation to the governor of Sierra Leone. In their letters from England, the agents also acknowledged themselves under obligations to Lord Gambier, Lord Teignmouth, and many other gentlemen
* Dr Finley was educated at Princeton College, under the celebrated Dr Witherspoon. He was respected as a scholar, and esteemed as a faithful pastor, and amiable and benevolent man. His pamphlet above mentioned speaks well for his understanding and his education. See Memoirs of Dr Förha ley, page 82.