Page images
PDF
EPUB

C H A P.

VIII.

filver, &c. to circulate freely, by their weight and standardand will not the establishment of these fimple regulations render commerce fubfervient to manufačtures, and both fubfervient to agricultureand, in fine, will not the grand object of the whole community be the produktion of useful and necessary commodities, and ultimately lead to FREEDOM, Peace, and HAPPI

NESS.

с нА Р.

VIII.

HINTS ON THE ESSENTIALS OF A COLONIAL GOVERNMENT,

EDUCATION

Its imsort.

143. THE happiness and stability of every society, en

ence.

individuals who compose it; and, if there be no influx of strangers, the continuation or increase of the society will depend on the rising generations, who are successively to become members of it. The mind receives it's most

permanent impressions and habits during the period of nonage. The education of youth, therefore, is a matter of the highest importance to every society. So very important is it, that, in my opinion, it ought to form a distinct department of the administration of a new colony.

144. For the instruction of such children, either of the colonists, or of the natives, as may shew marks of genius and inclination for literature, it will be necessary to establish schools. But, from what I have observed, it appears to me, that paternal care during childhood, and stridly regulated

appentice

Schools and apprenticefhips.

VIII.

should in

apprenticeships afterwards, would be found the most eli- C H A P. gible' mode of education for those who wish to pursue the ordinary business of the colony; and who might receive sufficient instruction, from their parents and masters, in reading, writing, arithmetic and the principles of religion, as well as in the manual arts which they might choose to learn.

145. And, in order to accelerate the civilization of the Colonists natives, every colonist should undertake the education, both fruct natives. with respect to body and mind, of two negro children, to be received as apprentices, on certain conditions to be fixed by law. These apprentices ought, at stated times, to be examined before the superintendants of education, who should be empowered to fix the time of their coming of age,

after which they are to be entitled to all rights of members of the community, and to be accountable to the fame, for their conduct. By such means, a small number of colonists might, within a few years, furnish the community with a valuable accession of negro members, instructed in christianity, trained to regular habits and diurnal labour, and who would soon spread a taste for such acquirements, and pursuits, among their countrymen. 146. It were also to be wished, that a school for the na- Schools and

apprenticetives of Africa were erected in some fertile part of Europe,

where the cultivation of raw materials is more pur- with theory. sued than manufactures and commerce. To such school negro children might be sent to be trained up, till a certain age for an active, social life, and returned to the colony, when their elementary instruction may have prepared them for such apprenticeships, as have been just mentioned. Along with the theory of religion, they should be taught the practice of it, in order to form them for union with

O

their

fhips should

CHA P. their Creator, and harmony with society. All their exerVIII.

cises, bodily and mental, should be directed to social and religious uses. Thus their understandings would be gradually opened; practice would follow theory, and action spring from instruction. In short, it appears to me, that the children should be taught, not only the general principles, but the ałtual practice, of cultivating land, making bricks, building houses, and of the most common and necessary trades, such as those of taylors, blacksmiths, &c*. Such a course would tend much more to form their minds for useful, social purposes, and for spreading civilization in their own country, than the most refined literary accomplishments. Not that I would wish book-learning to be excluded from this plan; but, unless the pupil manifest un. common talents, and an earnest desire for pursuing science or literature, I would certainly confine him to reading, writing and common arithmetic.

147. The desire of the Africans to have their children children al. educated in Europe, appears from their voluntarily sending ready sent to Europe for them over for that purpose. There are generally from fifty education.

to seventy of these children at school in Liverpool, besides those who come to London and Bristol, “ to learn sense and

* In the commercial academy of Hamburgh, which I have visited, and which is now conducted by the very able Professors Bush and Ebeling, the most ellential mechanical arts are taught, both in theory and practice; and that academy, mutatis mutandis, offers an excellent model for such a one as I recommend.— Forfer la. ments that O'Mai, a native of O'Taheitee, though he spent near two years among the fashionable circles in London, was not taught the use even of the most essential mechanical implements. Being unable, therefore, to be useful to his countrymen, it was fit that he should be furnished with the means of amusing them; and he accordingly carried out a portable organ, an electrical machine, a coat of mail and a suit of armour !-His country man, Aotourou, whom M. de Bougainville brought to France, died there, after receiving an education equally insignificant!-Forster's Voyage, Preface.

get

African

[blocks in formation]

get a good head," as they express it. After receiving a common school education, they return to Africa, where they endeavour to dress and live in the European manner; and they value themselves much, and are respected by their countrymen, on account of their European education*. Many African children were formerly sent to France for the same purpose.

RELIGION.

148. At a time, when such differences of opinion prevail among all ranks of people, in civilized nations, in confe. quence of their unsettled notions concerning God; it might be esteemed presumptuous in me to offer any opinion of my own on this momentous subje&.

149. I shall therefore content myself with mentioning African idea what I have been able, with my utmost assiduity, to collect of God. of the opinion of the Africans on this subject. They believe simply that there exists one God, the Creator and Preserver of all things; and, in order to fix their ideas, they think on God, in some form or other; for, to believe in any thing without form, they seem to think is to believe in nothing. Yet, although some of them appear to consider the sun as the emblem of God, for they turn their faces towards it when praying, they seem all to believe, that God must be a man, or in human form; as they cannot think of any more perfect or respectable form to compare him with. . How easy would it be to bring a people already predisposed, by their natural dispositions and principles, to receive christianity, the basis of which is a confidence in one God,

* Privy Council's Report, part 1. detached pieces of evidence N. 4.- I received a similar account, by letter, from the late Mr. R. Norris of Liverpool.

Toleration

CH A P. and that this God is manifested in the person of Jesus VIII.

Christ?

150. All that I can venture to offer on this head, to the recommend ed,

consideration of the founders and directors of any new colony, is diligently to look out for the most active, social and virtuous persons, as the first colonists; taking care to promote early and regular marriages as the very foundation of all social order. For experience shews, that the irregularities, which necessarily result from a celibacy, are the primary causes of most of those disorders which too frequently convulse civil focieties. The rest should be left to the Providence of the Lord, who is the only searcher of hearts; allowing, with a generous toleration, the colonists to settle this very delicate matter among themselves, free from all external restraint or imposition from any one quarter whatsoever,

EMPLOYMENT S.

[blocks in formation]

151. It is a trite observation, that “people who have nothing to do, will do mischief.” To prevent idleness, therefore, is to prevent vice, which may be much more easily excluded from an infant society, than eradicated from an old one, where it has already taken root and borne it's pestiferous fruits. For this grand purpose, I can think of no means likely to be so effectual as the formation of a distinct department, in the government or direction, which shall have for it's object, the study of the characters and inclinations of the youth, with a view to their instruction in occupations necessary in the colony. It should also be the business of the same board, to provide employment for

grown persons, male and female, the frequent want of which, in most countries in Europe, gives rise to many, or most, of those vices and crimes which infest society. Thus the ob

ject

« PreviousContinue »