Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors][ocr errors]














[blocks in formation]

The Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the American Colonization Society was held in the presence of a crowded audience, on Tuesday, the 15th December, 1835, at 6 o'clock, P. M. in the Hall of the House of Representatives of the United States.

HENRY CLAY, M. C., a Vice President of the Society, took the chair.

The following gentlemen appeared as delegates from Auxiliary Societies, namely:

From the Colonization Society of the State of Virginia: John Tyler, M. C.

From the New York City Colonization Society: William A. Duer, L. L. D., Alexander Proudfit, D. D., Anson G. Phelps.

From the Colonization Society of Canfield, Trumbull county, Ohio: Elisha Whittlesey, M. C.

Froin the Colonization Society at Norfolk, Virginia: John McPhail.

From the Washington City Colonization Society: Jobo Coyle, Josiah F. Polk

From the Alexandria, Colonization Society: Rev. Elias Harrison, Hugh C. Smith.

The Annual Report of the Managers was read.

Dr. DUER of New York rose to congratulate the Society on the favourable, nay, he would say encouraging and cheering views presented in the Report, both of the pecuniary affairs of the Society and of the general prosperity of the Colony. He feared, however, that the statements of the Report, animating as they were, would not be sufficient to procure for the cause the support it deserves. He rose, there, fore, not to offer a Resolution merely approving the Report, but one which he deemed necessary to vindicate the character of the Society, and which he trusted would silence some of the misstatements with which, at the North especially, it had been obliged to contend. It had met at the North with opposition of all sorts. Objections most contradictory were urged against it. It had been represented as in.


tended to promote immediate emancipation, and then as a device to interfere with the question of slave property at the South. These were easily refuted. With others, there was more difficulty. It was said the Society did not alleviate the condition of the man of colour; that it riveted closer the chains of the slave.

In vain we recur to the history of the Society; in vain appeal to numbers trans. ported to Africa-to the long list of slaves emancipated to be colonized;still the objection is urged, that the Society was constituted to perpetuate slavery. An. swers, it is true, effectual may be found for the more sober-minded people, in the circumstances connected with the origin of the Society, the uames of its patrons, the effects and results of its operations; in these there is much of weight for reflecting persons, to prove the charges against the Society unfounded. But our oppopents have gone a step farther, and said that the late proceedings of the Society prove that it operates to perpetuate slavery. To you, Mr. President, I know, and to other men of great distinction, the assertion may create surprise, because directly in the teeth of solemn declarations at the fornation of the Society, and often repeated since. Still some active, ardent, restless spirits, wealthy, (and on this point prodigal of wealth) bave had effect. It is to convince such of their error, to vindicate the course and character of the Society, that I offer this Resolution—that the Society may go on and assist coloured emigrants to settle in Africa, and show the prosperity that awaits them. Already the difficulties overcome are greater than those surmounted by our ancestors. Let us show the beneficial effects of our scheme upon the colonists themselves, and upon the kindred tribes around, and that ours is the speedy method for introducing religious light and all the blessings of civilization.

Let the people of the United States be convinced that such are the objects of the Society, that so far from perpetuating slavery, it is intended to alleviate the situation of the whole coloured race; and soon the coffers of the people will be unlocked, and the mad attempts of the Abolitionists be overturned. I say mad attemptsseeking as they do, to emancipate immediately, not only from the power, but protection of the master.

Dr. Duer then offered the following Resolution, which was upanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the present state of public feeling in regard to the Colonization of the free people of color, and the emancipation of slaves by philanthropic individuals, in different parts of the Union, this Society thinks it proper, to declare that those who distrust its good faith in the plan adopted and operations pursued by it to promote the present welfare and future prosperity of the people of Color, are either deceived in their opinions, or wilfully unjust in their representations, as is abundante ly manifest from the history of its proceedings, and its firm and undeviating adher. ence to the principles of its constitution--principles of that moderate, and concilia. tory spirit which, when duly appreciated and rightly understood, must obtain and secure the confidence and support of every true friend of his country, and of the African race.

The Rev. WILLIAM M. ATKINSON of Virginia, offered the follow. ing Resolution:

Resolved, That the establishment of Christian Colonies on the coast of Africa, is of unspeakable importance, not only as it will afford to the colored emigrant a happy home, but as the only approved means of bringing that vast continent under the saving influence of gospel truth.

Mr. ATKINSON, in support of this Resolution, addressed the Chair as follows:

It will be perceived, Mr. President, that the Resolution I have submitted, con• tains two propositions, which are highly important. If they be true, they present arguments in behalf of our Society which must address themselves with almost ir. resistible force to the hearts and the understandings of Christians and Philanthro. pists. It would seem that their truth ought to be admitted, almost as readily as their importance. The whole history of our Society, the principles it has always avowed and acted on; the condition of the colored man; the situation of the native African in his own country; the character of the African climate all these things afford a mass of evidence in demonstration of our propositions, which, it seems to me, ought fully to satisfy the candid mind. But on this subject, 'many mindo are

« PředchozíPokračovat »