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III.

CH A P. lated to an intimate friend of mine by the surgeon of the

ship who was present at the inauguration.

38. The conduct of the king (formerly grand marabou *) of Almammy, while I was in Africa, appeared to me more interesting; as it seemed to evince the manly and sagacious character of the negroes, when enlightened, even by an. African education. His understanding having been more cultivated in his youth than that of the other black princes, he foon rendered himself entirely independent on the whites. He not only prohibited the slave-trade throughout his dominions; but, in the year 1787, would not suffer the French to march their slaves from Gallam, through his country, so that they were obliged to change their route. He redeemed his own subjects, when seized by the Moors, and encouraged them to raise cattle, to cultivate the land, and to practise all kinds of industry. As grand marabou, he abstained from strong liquor, which, however, is not an universal rule among that order; for some who travel with the whites are not very scrupulous in this respect. His subjects, imitating his example, were more sober than their

neighbours. thewing that

39. This instance seems to prove to what a degree of ciluxury

would incite them vilization these people might be brought, if this noble enterture, and o- prize should be pursued with prudence and patience; for

it will undoubtedly require a great deal of both. But some degree of luxury (in my restrained sense) appears to me to be absolutely necessary to the success of any plan of this kind. Indeed, I cannot comprehend how the human understanding can be led on, from it's first imperfect dawn

pen their

minds.

* The marabous ere the chief priests among the negroes, and are the only people I have seen who can read and write Arabic.

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III.

ings,“to that state of improvement which is necessary to the CHA P.
formation of civilized society, without a relish for the com- L
forts of life., Mere animal instinct impels uncivilized tribes
to procure mere necessaries: wishes for innocent gratifica-
tions would stimulate them to cultivation, which would fur-
nish equivalents for the objects of their new desires. And
when they are once brought to bestir themselves, and re-
conciled to regular, but moderate, labour, the improvement
of their understandings will follow of course. For a people
who have acquired habits of application, and whose indus-
try, having secured them from want, affords them leisure
for thought, will not be long without a desire for moral and
intellectual improvement: or, at least, many individuals
will feel, and hasten to gratify, this desire, and will gradual-
ly impart a degree of knowledge and refinement to the
whole community. :

40. To accomplish this magnificent design, in Africa, let Agricultural
us form agricultural colonies on its coast, which present a commended.
variety of situations, where we shall be little, or not at all,
disturbed in our operations. Let us kindly mix with the
inhabitants, and aslist them in cultivating their fertilè foil,
with the view of inviting them to participate with us in it's
inexhaustible stores, and in the concomitant blessings of im-
proving reason and progressive civilization. Let us give
them a manly and generous education, which will make
them feel the nobility of their origin, and shew them of
what great things they are capable-an education which
will teach them no longer to suffer themselves to be drag-
ged, or to conspire to drag others, from their simple, but
improveable and beloved societies—which will teach them
to avenge themselves on the blind and sordid men who pur-
chase them, only by becoming more useful to them as free-

men,

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IV.

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CHA P. men, than ever they have been, or can be, as slaves. Thus,

on the wreck of tyranny, let us build altars to humanity,
and prove to the negroes that the Europeans, become just
from sound policy, and generous from a sense of their true
interests, are at last disposed to make some atonement for
the irreparable mischiefs their perverted system of com-
merce has occasioned in Africa.

41. On principles nearly approaching to these, a colony
has already been formed at Sierra Leona, and another at-
tempted at the island of Bulama, of both which some ac
count will be given in the following pages.

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42.

THE

CLIMATE.
HE climate of Africa, like that of other countries,

varies with the nature of the soil, in it's dryness or
moisture, it's elevation or depression, the comparative state
of improvement, the height of thermometer, and other cir-
cumstances, perhaps, not yet fufficiently investigated. The
latitude of a place is by no means a certain criterion of it's
climate, as seems to be commonly suppofed *. Even in the
midst of the torrid zone, we meet with all possible grada-
tions of heat and cold, almost the only circumstances which
enter into the common idea of climate. The lofty summits

* See an excellent discourse on this subječt, delivered in the Royal Acad Sciences at Stockholm, by B. Ferner, counfellor of the king's chancery.

of

of

seasons.

of the Andes, in South America, though under the equator, C HA P. and the high lands of Camarones, on the coast of Africa, though within between three and four degrees of it, are covered with everlasting snow.

43. In the temperate zones, the year is divided into win- Wet and dry ter and fummer; for spring and autumn may be considered as transitions from each of these extremes to it's opposite. But, in most parts of the torrid zone, nature has distinguished the seasons into the wet and the dry. The former is, in Guinea, the season of sickness; but during the greater part of the latter, that country is, upon the whole, as healthful as any other whatever.

44. From what I have seen, and been able to collea, the rainy seafons follow the passage of the sun to either tropic, fo as generally to prevail in those places where the sun is vertical. East of Cape Palmas, however, they feldom set in before June, when the sun returns from the northern tropic; but to the westward of that

up

the whole country, those feasons generally commence within the month of May, and continue for three or four months. In the beginning of this season, the earth being foftened with rain, the negroes till and plant their grounds; and, after the return of dry weather, they gather in their crops; occupations which they feldom abandon, even though allured by the most advantageous commerce.

45. To give the reader some idea of the quantity of rain, Quantity of which deluges Africa during the wet season, I need only mention that, at Senegal, one hundred and fifteen inches in depth of rain were found to fall in four months; a quantity which exceeds that which falls in most parts of Britain during four years *. Even during the dry season, the dews are + See Lind on the Diseases of hot Climates, p. 43.

fo

cape, and

rain.

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CHA P. so copious as to preserve young and ripening' vegetables

from being scorched by the heat. It may indeed be ques-
tioned, whether the rain which falls in some countries, equal
the dews which distil on most parts of the fertile shores of
Africa. But the magnitude and number of the rivers, which
rise and fall, in the wet and dry seasons, are evident proofs
that that continent is abundantly, watered. In short, the
notion of the ancients, that the torrid zone was not habit-
able for want of moisture, is perfectly inapplicable to most

parts of the western tropical coast of Africa.
Thermome 46. The range of the thermometer is but in confiderable

in the tropical regions; and, what is still more remarkable,
the barometer remains almost stationary during those sur-
prising transitions from dry to wet, and the contrary. In
Europe, the mercury rises and falls about three inches; in
the torrid zone, seldom half an inch. It is even said to be
but little affected by the most violent hurricane *. But M.
West, in a description of St. Croix, published at Copenhagen
last

year, says that in a hurricane, or violent storm, which
happened there in 1791, the mercury in his barometer rose
very considerably t.

ter and Ba.
rometer.

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1

SO I L.

Irom Cape
Blanco down

Gambia.

47. The soil all along the coast is very unequal. From
Po the River Cape Blanco down to the River Gambia, it is in general

very sandy; but the sand contains a very large admixture
of broken shells, and is covered, in many places, with a rich
black mould. Even the most barren and unpromising
tracts of this part of the country, except just on the sea shore,
are covered with bushes and grass of a great growth; and

* Lind ibid.

+ Bidrag til Beskrivelse over St. Croix, &c.

where

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