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for their labour. They have at present some sort of industry, which by example might be increased. They would not at once be brought to regular and diurnal labour; but by little and little they might be reconciled to it *."
In 1789, he published a small tract, now out of print, compiled from his journals, and intitled “ Observations on the Slave-trade in a Voyage to the Coast of Guinea.'
” That trade was then under parliamentary investigation in England; and the author was slattered that his little piece might contribute to it's abolition. At present the colonization of Africa share's the attention of the friends of the same cause. With renewed alacrity, therefore, he again steps forward, agreeable to his promise in the above-mentioned tract, in hopes of promoting that grand design, by proving that the colonization of Africa is not only practicable, but, in a commercial view, highly prudent and adviseable.
The reader has no doubt, by this time, discovered that the person who now addresses him is a zealous friend to the Africans. But it is presumed that his zeal is not inconsistent with sober truth; and that friendship to the Africans is not incompatible with friendship to the Europeans, and to all mankind. The author has ever thought that the most likely way to promote the civilization of mankind, would bc to lead their activity into the cultivation of their country, as the best exercise for their affections, and to diffuse among them a spirit of liberal commerce, to exercise their understanding. Thus, cultivation and commerce established upon right principles, rendering the mind active, would carly dispose it for the reception of pure moral instruction: commodities in this case could not fail to become the
* Privy Council's Report, Part I. Art. “ Produce."
vehicles of ideas and inventions; the best systems of morality or religion would of consequence soon prevail; and the human species thereby would be ultimately improved and exalted.
Thinking thus, the author, particularly since he trod the fertile foil of Africa, and surveyed her rude, but valuable, natural stores, has often been grieved and astonished that fuch a country should have been so long overlooked by the industrious nations in Europe. Of this and some other curious circumstances relative to Africa, he will endeavour, in the ensuing tract, to trace the causes. Here he will only ask, in the words of the celebrated Professor Zimmerman of Brunswick, “ Why have not other mercantile nations long ago opened their eyes, and looked into the benefits that would arise from a better knowledge of Africa? It may be answered, that, besides the prejudice that so strongly governs the world in general, we must not altogether reproach them. One of the finest and most increasing Dutch colonies is that at the Cape of Good Hope. France has flourishing colonies in the Isles of France and Bourbon. Portugal has several important establishments, and Denmark has lately given us a proof of what she intends to do. The day, I hope, is not far distant when Africa will enrich Europe with the most lucrative commerce.” Indulging the same pleafing hope, the author most chearfully joins his efforts with those of the benevolent and enlightened Britons, who are now endeavouring to form colonies in Africa-happy if his personal observations, supported and illustrated by the beit authorities, should contribute to remove prejudices, and to prevent dangerous mistakes in those who may hereafter enter upon such undertakings in that quarter of the world.
1. WHEN HEN the maritime nations of Europe first at- Plans of the
first Europetempted to found colonies in the Indies, they
an colonists had prodigious difficulties to encounter. Few of the ad ill digested.. venturers feem to have been aware of the serious nature of such undertakings, and of the necessity of proceeding on regular and well digested plans. Many of them appear to have embarked with expectations of the speedy acquisition of wealth; but without well knowing where they were to land, and to reap this golden harvest. Even the best informed of them were unapprized of the inconveniences which they were to guard against, and unacquainted with the diseases of hot climates, and the means of prevention and cure; especially with that invaluable medicine, the Peruvian bark. Many of the lower class of settlers were men of debauched habits, and unaccustomed to the labour of clearing land; and all of them but indifferently provided
CH A P. with the accommodations and diet necessary to support them
under their exertions. Such, except in the case of Penn-
2. While such splendid establishments have been formed glected.
in Asia and America, “it is melancholy to observe that”
3. One grand incitement to European enterprize, in the this neglect. fifteenth century, seems to have been the discovery of a
Africa hitherto ne
* Postlethwayt's Dictionary, Article “ Africa."
passage by sea to the East Indies, which should lay open c H A P. to all nations the commerce of that country, then monopolized by the Venetians. In 1492, Columbus, in quest of a westerly passage to the East Indies, was unexpectedly interrupted in his course by the islands of America. Vasquez de Gama pursued and accomplished the same object, by doubling the Cape of Good Hope.
4. Both these events appear to have operated greatly to The Slavethe disadvantage of Africa. The coast of that continent, after having served as a clue to conduct navigators to the East Indies, was itself comparatively neglected; not on account of any natural inferiority in it's soil, climate, or productions; but because the Africans, not having advanced so far in the arts as the East Indians, nor having then discovered such quantities of the precious metals as the Americans, could not immediately supply the European demand for those desirable productions, which the commerce of the East afforded. Thus Asia and America became the principal theatres of the ambition and avidity of the Europeans; and happy had it been for Africa if they had so continued. But it is distressing to recollect the rapid progress of European iniquity among the simple and untutored nations inhabiting the other quarters of the world. Their operations in America were deplorably injurious to Africa. It was soon found that the aborigines of the former could not endure the toils imposed on them by their new masters. “ The natives of Hispaniola alone were reduced, in fifteen years, from at least one million to about 60,000*.” Hence arose the apparent or pretended necessity (for there never can be any real necessity to commit villainy) of resorting to
* Robertson's History of America.