Sivut kuvina

Ingislation-making all due allowance for honest and intelligent men; and they sre constantly infringing upon individual or corporate rights, or running their leads against the Constitution. Peti:ions and remonstrances are the remedies For these evils, if applied with promptness and decision. Send your complaints, ben, (if you have any,) to the Legislature ; and if your prayer be refused seven sma, send seventy times seven. Weary, if you cannot persuade them to grant you redress. pp. 16. 17.

The degradation of the free people of color in the free states, is not owing to the laws. The grievances under which they suffer, are such as no legislative enactments can remedy. The feeling that they are an inferior class in society is found every where, and is found operating no where more powerfully than in their own bosons. Now the fault which we find with Mr. Garrison's advice thus far, is, that much of it, instead of soothing and subduing these feelings, tends rather to irritate and exasperate. He forgets that prejudices cannot be beaten down by violence, but will rather gather strength from every assault. He forgets that the way for an individual black to become the object of respect and affection, and to overcome the feelings which associate him with a degraded and servile condition, is not to insist on his rights, and to thrust himself without invitation or introduction into the highest classes of society, but by honest and modest usefulness in the sphere in which Providence has placed him, to show himself a man, and thus to purchase to himself a good degree. The colored man who undertakes to quarrel with the unphilosophical prejudices of society, and who complains that he is dishonored and abused because he does not eat at the same table, and visit in the same company, or sit at church in the same pew, with his employer, will find society very stubborn towards him on these points, and need not wonder if he discovers something like a combination to make the negro know his place. But on the other hand, if any man of color, instead of complaining as if the rights of human nature were violated in his person, because he is not in the place of Daniel Webster, sets himself to make the best use of the advantages which he has, and if he fears God and keeps his commandments, and if he is diligent in the labors of his humble calling, sober and steady in his habits, and unassuming towards those whom custom or the constitution of society regards as his superiors; he will find ere he is aware of it, that he is happy not only in his own contentedness and quietness of spirit, but happy in the respect and confidence of others; and while the forward, who claimed as his right, the uppermost rooms at the feast, is ejected with contempt, the unobtrusive hears many a kind voice above him saying, Friend, come up hither. As it is with individuals, so is it with the colored people taken in the mass. They must vanquish prejudice, not by contention, but by their

merits. In the nature of things, the change, whenever wrought, must be effected, not by the law of wrath, but by the law of love. :

The concluding part of the discourse before us, is an attack on the Colonization Society. And here we find some things which we are constrained to pronounce unfair and deceptive. We begin with the following.

The supporters of the African scheme, do not hesitate to avow, that the whole colored population must be removed to Liberia. But how do they expect to 8ccomplish this design? By puiling on knapsacks and pointing bayonets at your breasts? No-but by adopting another plan which is about as cruel and effectual. By removing some of your number every year, they persuade the people that your entire removal will not be ditficult. The people, cherishing this opinion, yet perceiving how reluctantly you go, resolve to starve you out. They are determined to give you as little instruction and employment as possible, in order to render your situation so uncomfortable as to compel you to remove. As long, therefore, as a considerable portion of vour number consent to be removed, po matter where, the same disastrous effects will follow. Those who remain (of course, the great body,) will obtain little or no employment, and receive little or no education; consequently they will always be miserable and degraded. p. 17.

Now we affirm that it is unfair and deceptive, to say that "the supporters of the African scheme do not hesitate to avow that the whole colored population must be removed to Africa." Every man who reads the tenth part of what is published about colonization, knows that on this particular subject there is much diversity of opinion among the members and supporters of the society. Some there are, indeed, who avow that the whole colored population must be removed. Others believe that the result of colonizing Africa, will be the gradual, voluntary, and cheerful removal of the colored population, till ultimately, at some distant period, the last traces of it shall have disappeared. Others believe that colonization will draw off from the southern states, a part of the increase of the blacks, and will give the white portion an opportunity to keep up with the black, and to gain upon it, while the process of amalgamation which is already going on so rapidly, advances to its comple: tion. Others believe that though emigration should be ever so rapid, a certain portion of the southern country will inevitably be occupied sometime hence by a colored population alone. And yet persons holding all these different opinions respecting the ultimate destiny of the colored people, may unite in sustaining and advancing the colonization of Africa-some because the success of this work will raise the negro character every where from its degradation; some because the colony will be instrumental in illuminating the African continent; some because the prosecution of the scheme brings out, in the slave states, a party known as desiring, and ready to promote the abolition of slavery; some because the establishment of a free, industrious, and enterprising nation in Africa will infallibly, by the power of commercial competition, break down the

unprofitable and spendthrift system of slavery wherever it exists ; and some perhaps for all these reasons and many others united.

But is there any more truth or justice in the other part of this statement? Can the author himself, upon serious thought, believe it to be true that in consequence of the efforts of the colonization society, there is any thing like a combination among the people of Philadelphia and New-York, and in the cities of New-England, * to starve out” the people of color, and “to make their situation so uncomfortable as to compel them to remove"? Or, to put the question in another form : Is it a matter of fact that the colored people, from Philadelphia northward, are treated with less kindness now than they were fifteen years ago ? Are they starved out now more than they were then? Is their condition now in any respect less tolerable or comfortable than it was then? Let any candid observer, let the people of color themselves, give the answer.

No; one of the most obvious and immediate tendencies of the colonization of Africa, is to elevate the free people of color here, not only in their own self-respect, their consciousness of their own capacities and powers, but also, and if possible still more, in the regard and estimation of the community. Not Hayti has done more to make the negro character respected by mankind, and to afford the means of making the negro conscious of his manhood, than Liberia has already accomplished. The name of Lot Cary is worth more than the name of Boyer, or Petion. He was one of nature's noblemen. Yet his nobleness would have remained unknown, his eminent virtues and endowments would have remained in a great measure undeveloped, had he not become a colonist in Liberia. There he found a field for the exhibition of every talent and every virtue. From the pulpit he taught his fellow-adventurers to mingle the fear of God and the love of God with all their enterprises, and to sustain themselves upon the word of God in all their troubles. The necessities of the community and his own quick observation and ready skill, soon made him a physician competent to administer to the diseases of the climate. He shared with Ashmun the perplexities of the council, and side by side they encountered the perils cf battle. To his hands his friend, when about to leave the spot of all the earth dearest to the affections of both of them, confidently committed the government of their infant republic. He showed himself equal to every work and every emergency to which Providence called him. And his name now stands among the records of illustrious men self-made,* along with the names of Sherman and Franklin, to awaken aspiration and hope and noble

* See Biography of Self-educated Men. By B. B. Edwards.

effort in many a mind that but for the electric touch of such examples, might have remained through life unconscious of its powers. Such a name, such an example, is a personal treasure to every man of color that hears of it. It has done, and is doing, more to rescue the African character from degradation, than could be done by a thousand volumes of reproaches against prejudice. And aş this work proceeds; as Liberia grows up into an intelligent and enterprising nation; as its productions begin to find their way into every market; as its flag begins to display the cross and stripes in the ports of either hemisphere ; as its schools, its academies, its benevolent enterprises, begin to be spoken of throughout christendom; every black man will see and feel, that the degrading asso ciations connected with his person, are beginning to vanish.

Mr. Garrison introduces his next paragraph by saying that "colonizationists”—for by that long word does he designate the friends of the African colony—“ generally agree in publishing the mise statement that [the people of color] are strangers and foreigners." He adds, “Surely they know better.” It might be retorted upon the orator, surely he knows better than to believe luis own representation. Surely he knows that on this subject the friends of colonization generally have no peculiar opinion. Every body is aware that the people of color are a distinct and separate body; that they form a class clearly marked out and divided from the rest of the community ; that the laws of almost every state treat them in many respects as if they were aliens; and that in the present state of society, and with the associations that now cling to the features and complexion of the African, though they may have a residence here, and many rights, and though the laws may protect their persons and their privileges, they do not constitute an integral part of the community. This nobody denies, and yet this is the only sense in which the friends of colonization generally, have ever asserted the black man to be a foreigner. Their language has been, that the people of color are left to "wander like foreigners and outcasts in the land which gave them birth.” This is the precise state of things which Mr. Garrison thinks to remedy in one way, and the Colonization Society in another.

The next point of attack is stated in these words. “Colonizationists generally agree in asserting that the people of color cannot be elevated in this country, nor be admitted to equal privileges with the whites.” Now we affirm that, though many assertions like this have been made by advocates of the cause in loose and unguarded terms, yet if we interpret Mr. G.'s language strictly, it is not true that “colonizationists generally agree” in any such thing. They do indeed generally affirm that the people of color suffer here under many disadvantages; and that in the present state of

society it cannot be otherwise. As to what may be, precisely, respecting the standing of colored people here, a hundred, or fifty years hence, they are not generally agreed in asserting any thing. This however, we presume not many among them will deny. Wherever two distinct races of people have lived intermingled on the same soil, their relative situation has always been productive of great evils to both parties, till all distinction of language and lineage has been lost in the entire amalgamation of the races. But the distinction which separates an African from the man of European descent, is not, like that which long separated the Saxon from the aboriginal population of Britain, a distinction of language and of manners merely; it is a physical distinction, marking out the African from generation to generation, as belonging to a peculiar variety of the human species. The Irish peasantry who come over to this country are, in the first generation, not less degraded certainly, or better esteemed, than the free blacks; but their children are less Irish than themselves, and in the third generation they are lost in the mass of American population. Not so with the African; all the distinctions which separate him from the people, mark bis children after him. We do not mean, however, that the condition of the people of color is incapable of any improvement. They can "be elevated in this country;" they can “be admitted to equal privileges with the whites," and they ought to be—the laws ought to recognize no difference of color; but whether, while the two races remain separate, the time will come when neither prejudice, nor any association of ideas, nor any sense other than sight shall recognize a difference between the white man and the black, and whether something like the present state of things will not be for ages to come a disadvantage to the African, we are willing to let every man consider and judge for himself.

The next position shall be exhibited at large, in the author's

own language.

. Colonizationists too generally agree in discouraging your instruction and eleva

D at home. They pretend that ignorance is bliss; and therefore 'tis folly to s, wise. They pretend that knowledge is a dangerous thing in the head of a colored man; they pretend that you have no ambitio

retend that you have no ambition : they pretend that you have no brain are no brains; in fine, they pretend a thousand other absurd things--they are a ombination of pretences. What tyranny is this ? Shutting up the human intelech-binding with chains the inward man--and perpetuating ignorance. p. 20.

Undeniably the impression does exist to a considerable extent, even among philanthropic minds, that it is unsafe to communicate

struction to slaves and the free people of color at the South. We are perfectly ready to acknowledge, that when we first turned our attention to the subject, we were influenced by the same impresSion. But for a long time past, we have been satisfied that the dan

« EdellinenJatka »