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By the British, the Danes, and the Swedes,

328. H


AVING, in the first part, given brief descrip: INTRODUC.

tions of the colonies formed, or attempted by the Europeans in Africa, and it's islands, on the princi-ples of commerce, I now proceed to offer some account of those which the British, the Danes and the Swedes have attempted, or are now endeavouring to establish, in that part of the world, on the principles of humanity, for the noble purpose of civilizing the natives. This, I acknowledge, would be to me a pleasant task, if I were provided with all the proper materials, and could promise to describe the rise, progress and present state of those undertakings, with an exactness corresponding to their importance. But, unfortunately, neither my materials, nor abilities, are equal to my inclination, to do justice to a subject, which has long been 'dear to my heart. Respecting the Danish colony, my information; though it has both novelty and authenticity to recommend it, is by no means so full as I could wish; and of the internal history





CH A P. of the British colony at Sierra Leona, and the late attempt

at Bulama, I have not been able, with all my afsiduity, to INTRODUC- collect so many authentic particulars as I expected, which

have not already been inserted or touched on in the reports of the gentlemen, who respectively preside over those undertakings. But, of the Swedish attempt, or rather design, I can give a more satisfactory statement. The reports of the Directors of the Sierra Leona Company, and those of the Trustees of the Bulama Association, are really instructive and interesting, as far as they go: but, having been chiefly intended to inform the proprietors of the state of their affairs, and of the proceedings of the Directors and the Trustees, we cannot reasonably expect them to contain more of the internal history of those colonies, (my chief defideratum) than was consistent with the principal design. The truth is, that, consider ing the various calamities which befel those infant establishments, and which rendered the keeping of regular journals extremely difficult, I am more surprized at the fulness than the brevity of the historical parts of thofe reports: and their defects cannot I think be fairly attributed to any other causes than those just mentioned. In fhort, it is but too well known, that early misfortunes checked the colony at Sierra Leona, and overwhelmed, but it is hoped not irrea trievably, that of Bulama. The same unhappy events çould not fail to obscure the history of both.

329. The reports, I am obliged to compress into a compass bliged to a

suitable to my limits. But I mean to retain all the essential circumstances, and to infert in the appendix, the additional ones which I have been able to ascertain, and such remarks as the subjects will fairly bear. Thus, a circumftantial and faithful abridgment of the reports will form the basis of what I have to deliver respecting Sierra Leona and Bulama;

The author o.

bridge his materiais,



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and the additions will most probably, after all, more than CHA P. occupy the space gained by abbreviation. By way of

apo. logy to the gentlemen concerned, I can only express my TORXORES hope that, in consideration of the intention, they will excuse Marks. the liberty I have been obliged to take in abridging their reports, as well as in differing with them in some of their opinions. Subjects in their nature controvertible, necessarily suppose and admit diversity of sentiments. But surely men may entertain different opinions of particulars, whose great, primary motive to a&tion is the same. The more I consider the subje&, the more I am convinced that the motive of the gentlemen alluded to, is a conscientious anxiety to promote the civilization of Africa, and I am willing to interpret all their opinions and actions, by the same rule of candour and charity, which I wish to be applied to my own.

330. Before I proceed to abridge the reports, it seems Dr. Smeath. proper to observe, that, as far as I have been able to learn, colonizing s. the late Dr. Henry Smeathman was the person who first proposed a specific plan for colonizing Africa, with a view to civilization* From his letter to Dr. Knowles, dated



* I say, a specific p!an; for that great ornament of society and friend of man. kind, the late learned Dr. Fothergill, had before “suggested the cultivation of the sugar-cane upon the continent of Africa, where it seems to have been indigenous, and thrives luxuriantly (See 8,63;) and that the natives should be employed as ser. vants for hire, and not as slaves, compelled to labour, by the dread of torture." See “ Some Account of the late John Fothergill, M. D. F. R. S. &c. read before the Medical Society of London, in 1782, by John Coakley Lettsom." Fothergill's Works, Vol. III.

I cannot omit that Dr. J. C. Lettsom, who was born to an inheritance of flaves, after having trained them, by a long course of kind and beneficent offices, to a due regard for social and religious obligations, generously declared them free. As far as I have been informed, the Doctor is the only West Indian who has emancipated any confiderable number of Nayes; but, in North America, such instances have been nu.

B 2



CH A P. July the 21st, 1783, (see 621, et seq.) it appears, that he

u conceived this noble design, in Africa itself, where he reINTRODUC- fided four

years. In 1786, he published his “ Plan of a settlement, to be made near Sierra Leona, &c. intended more particularly for the service and happy establishment of blacks and people of colour, to be shipped as freemen, under the direction of the Committee for relieving the black poor, and under the protection of the British Government." ( 9 648, et seq.) The principle and object of this plan were so congenial with the benevolent views of Granville Sharp, Esq. that it could not but meet with his general approbation. Mr. Sharp had for many years, with great labour and expense, maintained the claims and rights of the enflaved Africans. His exertions in the famous cause of the negro Somerset, are alone sufficient to immortalize him. After a long litigation, Lord Mansfield, in June 1772, delivered the judgment of the Court of King's Bench, the effect of which is, that the instant a slave lands on the British fhore, he becomes, IPSO FAC'ro, free: and the judgment itself was a noble effect of the British Constitution, which, fays another learned judge, abhors and will not endure the existence of slavery, within this kingdom *," Mr.


Mr. Granville Sharp's exertions.

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merous. Indeed the whole society of QUAKERS, in that country, have, in confift. ency with their principles, “ let the oppressed go free." But, so well had they been prepared for the change, by the care and humanity of their praiseworthy mafters, that they still, in general, serve them, and so faithfully, that, even in a pecu. niary view, they have no reason to repent of their liberality.

For a very extraordinary proposal, for civilizing Africa, see in the Appendix, Notes, &c. respecting S. Leona and Bulama, Note A.

* Blackstone's Comm. If it be asked why slavery is endured within the British colonies? the true answer seems to be, that, like some other abuses and usurpations, it stole into those distant dependencies, in unsettled times, when the communi

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