Page images
PDF
EPUB

CH A P.

IX.

PROPOSITION IX. 189. That every association for forming colonies in Africa, ought to act connectedly and in harmony with the Sier. ra Leona company, and every similar establishment; so combining their interests, that every resolution, taken in the general court of directors of any one company, should be generously communicated to the others; and, when a general election is held, and new resolutions taken into consideration, that two of the Directors of every such company should be invited to be present.

PROPOSITION X. 190. That no other currency be introduced, from the commencement of the colony, but that recommended in the judicious plan of that friend of mankind, Granville Sharp, Esq. founded on labour*, which will tend to create and encourage an activity for raising useful productions, better than any other method. This plan, it is evident, may be adapted, or made applicable, to all the pecuniary transactions that can take place in the largest community.--If gold and silver should be ever introduced, they should never appear in the form of any coin; but should circulate according to their weight and intrinsic standard. See s 142. Query LI.

PROPOSITION XI. 191. In order compleatly to secure focial virtue and order in the colony, the ancient and venerable English system

* See “ Sketch of temporary regulations for Sierra Leona," where the worthy author recommends day-labour; but I prefer piece-work which in all, or in moft, cases, may be as easily accommodated to the intended purpose as day-labour.

[blocks in formation]

CHA P. of frankpledge should also be introduced; but with some al

teration to adapt it to the present state of things *

PROPOSITION XII.

[ocr errors]

192. The company ought to keep a compleat store-house in the colony, 'containing a proper assortment of articles suited to that part of the coast : and, in order to give spirit and support to every active and useful colonist, there should be a discounting account in articles kept for the general use of the colony, that those colonists who have abilities, but no means, may obtain such articles, to a certain limited extent, under the direction of the company.

PROPOSITION XIII,

193. When in process of time, taxes come to be raised in the colony, partly for the maintenance of public order, (see $ 170,) and partly for raising such revenue to the subscribers as may afford them a liberal, but specific, indemnification for risking and lying out of their property, it is proposed that the following ground for taxing may be observed, by which the overbearing influence of commerce, to the prejudice of more useful and necessary occupations in the colony, may be prevented, viz. 194

That the inhabitants of the colony may be divided into three distinct classes : the first, producers, or cultivators of raw materials, such as sugar, coffee, cotton, indigo, spices, cattle, corn or any other kind of productions in their first state. The second, the tradefmen or manufa&turers in the co

* Society is also indebted to Mr. Sharp for illustrating and recommending the adoption of that excellent system. See his Treatise on Congregational Courts. --Also ( 167

lony,

IX.

lony, who form the before-mentioned raw materials or C H A P. productions by means of industry into some shape for use; and the third or last, the class of merchants in the colony, who are chiefly occupied in traffic and negociation, both within and without the colony. It is of very great importance, that every inhabitant, from the beginning, may class himself yearly under either of these three, and that the imposts may be laid by the colonial legislature, in such proportion, that the first class be taxed the lowest, and the last the highest, and that the right of voting, in all cases, shall be confined to the first clafs only*.

PROPOSITION XIV.

195. That no colonist be allowed to possess more than a certain portion of land, say acrest.

PROPOSITION XV.
196. That, in order to prevent certain obvious irregu-
larities, as much as possible, every colonist that remains un-
married after the

age
of

years, shall pay a tax to the community of

per cent. on his property, and all married people shall be encouraged in that state by an exemption from certain taxes.

PROPOSITION XVI.

197. That no colonist be arrested or imprisoned for debt,

* See the Plan of a free Community on the Coast of Africa, entirely independent of all European laws and Government, 4to, 1789, p. 23.

+ " Experience has shown the inconvenience of private persons possessing too large quantities of land in our colonies, by which means the greatest part of it must lie uncultivated; and the inhabitants are thrown at such a distance that they can neither assist nor defend one another." Reasons for establishing the Colony of Georgia, p. 29.-See the Note to Prop. II. R 2

at,

[ocr errors]

CH A P. at the instance of another; but that it may be the creditor's

own fault, if he part with his property on trust *.

IX.

PROPOSITION XVII. 198. That every useful mechanical invention, especially such as are calculated to abridge and facilitate human labour, in clearing and cultivating the soil, be particularly encouraged.--See § 132 et seq.

* Every individual belongs to the community, and not to any other individual. He cannot therefore be fold for money, far less for credit; because credit is often given by infidious men, or debts bought up by them, in order to inveigle and confine their competitors; and competition is the very life of an industrious communi. ty. The number of persons who are loft to fociety, to their families and themselves, by imprisonment for debt, is very great. Sixty years ago, it was calculated that four thousand were annually cast into prison for debt in England, and that one third of their debts were never thereby recovered.—(See Reasons for establifhing the Colony of Georgia, printed in 1733, page 18.) If the number of such victims has increased, as it is natural to believe it has, with the trade of the kingdom during that period, few thinking men will be disposed to rejoice at an extension of commerce which has brought such an evil in it's train. I am, indeed, credibly informed that, in the be. ginning of the present year (1794) no fewer than 27,000 persons were confined for debt in the gaols of England and Scotland. What a number to be thus shut up from the eyes, and, I fear, too often excluded from the hearts, of their fellow subje&ts!—But it is to be hoped that the promoters of colonization in Africa, will effeĉtually prevent this affli&ting evil from entering into any of their establishments, always remembering that one of their primary obječts is, the abolition of the flavetrade!-Se: $ 142, Query LI.

[ocr errors]

CHAP

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

COLONIES FORMED IN AFRICA, ON THE PRINCIPLES OF COMMERCE,

by the Portuguese, Spaniards, French, Dutch and Austrians.

199. MOST

OST men yield a readier assent to facts, showing

what has already been done, than to arguments, proving what it is practicable to do. For the information then of persons who may be inclined to subscribe, or to embark as colonists, in any new undertaking of this kind, it may not be improper to introduce into this work, a short history of those modern European colonies which have already been established, or attempted, in Africa, on the principles of commerce, and of those which are now forming on the principles of humanity *. But it seems unnecessary to describe the temporary settlements or factories.

1

THE PORTUGUESET.
200. The Portuguese explored the coast of Africa, before
* The interests of commerce and humanity, were at first so successfully reconciled
by the Dutch, at the Cape of Good Hope, that the sketch hereafter given of the first
establishment of their colony in that part of Africa, deserves particular attention.
Upon the whole, it appears to me to afford a very good model for forming colonies
in general.

+ The following short account of the Portuguese colonies in Africa, I have
compiled from the Atlas Maritimus et Commercialis, London printed 1728.-Morti-
mer's and Postlethwayt's Commercial Dictionaries, both printed in London, 1766.
-Tableau General de Commerce, Londres, 1787.-The Report of the British Pri-
vy Council, London 1789.–And the volumes already published of the Encyclopæ.
dia Britannica, 3d. edition now printing at Edinburgh. It may be observed, how-
ever, that the present state of Portuguese Africa is different from what it was at the
period which furnished the materials for these works.

any

« PreviousContinue »