Monday, January 31, 2011
After the election of Rutherford B.Hayes to the Presidentcy of the United States in a hotly contested elections of 1876 and 1878.In these elections the Southern States conspired to filibuster Congress until the Liberal Hayes agreed to withdraw Union troops from the South.Also since the Republican power base which was the liberal or progressive at the time was supporting the ex slave,they gained an advantage in the Congress.They did this by giving the free Blacks equal votes.The backlash to this liberal experiment was mass lynchings of Blacks,discrimination and intimidation.Now throughout the South from as far away as Arkansas and Oklahoma,African Americans were under attack.The Ku Klux Klan and the night riders terrorized people into submission.
The election of 1878 was last straw
One of the narratives in African American history is that Afr'Am's were rescued from savagery and primitiveness and brought to civilization in America.Nothing could be further from the truth.Ancient African civilizations in West Africa proves the notion of black inferiority is a myth.So since African American history did not begin in America why should it end here.Fed up with America and its lies and hypocrisy many African Americans decided to leave her forever.There were already a movement to return to Africa led by the American Colonization Society.The organization successfully transported 20,000 African Americans over the previous 55 years.
The Liberia Exodus Co was Black operated
Unlike the ACS the LEC was founded by African Americans living in Charleston SC.This made the prospect of an exodus real and genuine.Now Uncle Toms and White Racist plotted against the company from the very beginning.The Uncle Toms feared losing their place as middlemen and buffer between themselves and the White community.The Whites feared losing their lifeblood-cheap black labor.Also when the voyage and ship the Bark Azor was purchased and stock in the company was issued tens of thousands of African Americans from all over the country flooded to Charleston SC in hope of booking a passage on the AZOR.But only 250 were allowed 50 others out of desperation stowed away.This underscores the belief that most African Americans wanted a homeland of their own.According to witnesses thousands gathered in Charleston as sang We are going to the Promised Land,sang the Liberian National Anthem and waved the Liberian flag.
The following is an official account of the Voyage of the Azor in 1878 to Monrovia,Liberia from Charleston South Carolina
THE LIBERIAN EXODUS.
AN ACCOUNT OF VOYAGE
First Emigrants in the Bark "Azor,"
THEIR RECEPTION AT MONROVIA,
WITH A DESCRIPTION OF LIBERIA--ITS CUSTOMS AND
CIVILIZATION, ROMANCES AND PROSPECTS.
A SERIES OF LETTERS FROM A. B. WILLIAMS,
THE SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT OF THE NEWS AND COURIER.
CHARLESTON, S. C.
THE NEWS AND COURIER BOOK PRESSES.
THE LIBERIAN EXODUS.
THE AZOR'S TERRIBLE TRIP--OUT ON THE DEEP, DEEP SEA--NINETY MILES THE FIRST DAY--SOCIETY ABOARD--ST. JAMES'S AND ST. GILES'S--PATIENCE OF THE DUSKY PASSENGERS IN THE THROES OF SEA-SICKNESS--PROVISIONS INSUFFICIENT AND OF BAD QUALITY--NO MEDICAL STORES OR STIMULANTS--WASTE AND DIRT--A MATRIMONIAL ROW--PRAYERS ABOARD--THE FIRST DEATH AND FIRST BIRTH--GEORGE CURTIS EXPOSED--THE FIRST STORM--A SCENE THAT BEGGARS DESCRIPTION--THE FATED SUNDAY--DECEPTION PRACTICED BY THE EXODUS ASSOCIATION--MEASLES ABOARD--CURTIS AND HIS WIFE FIGHTING--A SUDDEN DEATH--AND YET ANOTHER--MEASLES QUITE PREVALENT--FORMING A SUNDAY-SCHOOL--PERVERSITY OF THE EMIGRANTS--THEIR OBJECT IN LEAVING THE SOUTH--THE SIXTH DEATH--TWO MORE--A BROILING SUNDAY--SHIP FEVER CERTAINLY ABOARD--WATER RUNNING SHORT--HALF RATIONS ISSUED--MORE AND MORE DEATHS--A TERRIBLE TORNADO--FRESH PROVISIONS ALL GONE--MAKING FOR SIERRA LEONE--IN PORT AT LAST--OFF AGAIN FOR MONROVIA.
SIERRA LEONE, May 30, 1878.--You all know how the Azor, with her experimental load, left Charleston amid the sounds of "The Gospel ship is sailin' " and "We'r boun' for the promis' land,' " sung from the bark's decks, and re-echoed from the Pocosin and Allison. The last sound of Charleston heard by the emigrants were the notes of "The Sweet Bye and Bye" from the excursionists aboard the Pocosin. It is customary in letters similar to this to give over two or three pages of
"REFLECTIONS ON LEAVING OUR NATIVE
as if anybody cared a snap what your reflections were. We aboard the Azor had our reflections, and very grave ones, on leaving our native land. We reflected whether or not we were destined to be sea-sick, and to what extent. Doubts on the point were speedily and decisively decided after crossing the bar. One by one the passengers fell until, with one or two honorable exceptions, everybody was down. But surely such a good natured and philosophical set of sick people was never before seen. The steerage passengers would each, between the intervals of his or her own attacks, laugh at, and imitate with grotesque gestures and words, some unfortunate comrade, amid the uproarious hilarity of the others. The few who were not affected seemed to witness the sufferings of their fellows with exquisite enjoyment. The hours passed thus until bedtime, when most of the passengers "turned in." A few, however, preferred catching what breeze there was by
sleeping on the decks. There was little application for or dissatisfaction concerning the food that evening.
I think most of the passengers were much disappointed in the ocean. They had evidently expected to meet with waves about a hundred feet high, ornamented with piscatorial banquets of whales, leviathans, sharks, mermaids, sea cows, and all the real and mythical monsters of the deep. They were therefore somewhat disgusted at the ripples which sparkled in the sunlight in every direction, and the fish which declined showing themselves in any direction.
The morning of the second, regular, day found everybody languid, feeble and disposed to fasting. Despite sickness, however, amusement could be found, for one way, in watching the arrangement of society which even so soon began to take place. The cabin passengers composed the élite--the créme de la créme The quarter deck composed the "West end" of the Azor (she was steering east) and there the foot of the plebeian who lived and moved and had his being in the lower strata of the steerage could not tread. The captain, the two mates and I, the only white souls aboard, represented those frayed ends of society ashore who are tolerated everywhere, welcomed nowhere. At 12 o'clock on Monday, April 22, it was announced that we were
NINETY MILES FROM CHARLESTON BAR.
having been becalmed during a large portion of the night. All traces of land had faded from sight, and I felt some curiosity to see how the sentimental, or love of home, would display itself. Careful observation, however, failed to discover an indication of either of those feelings. When the strip of mist, representing the land of these people's birth and bringing up, which contained all the memories, sweet and bitter, of their past lives, and on which their friends and kin yet remained, was fading from their sight forever, there was no development of any feeling other than a slight interest in the distance from them at which it could be seen
Every witling and witless wight who has ever been to sea has exhausted his literary abilities in describing the developments of sea-sickness. It is unnecessary, therefore, for the description to be gone into, especially as my appreciation of the humorous features of the performance is as yet slight. Suffice it, therefore, to say that the affliction was generally remarkably well borne. The passengers of the Azor had been forewarned, and seemed to have made up their minds to submit with equanimity. I would take this opportunity to give notice that, having been rocked in the cradle of the deep, I am prepared to sell out my stock in that article of furniture on extremely moderate terms, the subscriptions having been (very) fully paid in, and no dividends having as yet been drawn.
The second nautical day terminates at noon on Tuesday. During that day we made 134 miles, having had a light wind nearly abeam, and steering northeast. This put us 224 miles from Charleston bar--the "miles" referred to being nautical ones, a fraction longer than the statute measurement. On this day the captain and mate went vigorously to work reducing
THE ISSUING OF FOOD AND WATER
to a system. Messes were formed among the 'tween decks passengers, containing from ten to twenty-five persons each. Some man was appointed to draw cooked provisions for each of these messes, two meals a day being allowed, at about 11 A. M. and 4 P. M. These provisions were taken from the general store, and cooked in the galley. One of the emigrants assisted the ship's cook each day, the African potentate engaged for that purpose having absconded in Charleston. As soon as the food was cooked, the name of the head of each mess was called from a list, and he was given prepared food sufficient for his party, which it was his duty to divide equally. The food was generally not good. There was a superabundance of meal, flour and rice and a good quantity of meat, the latter being pork and salt beef. The flour, however, was coarse and black, and the meal seemed to give general dissatisfaction, being freely stigmatized as "kiln-dried stuff, only fit for hogs to eat." The rice, too, was broken and dirty, requiring much cleaning. The meat was enough to last when carefully doled out. All of it, except five barrels, belonged to the "six months' stores," intended by the emigrants for their support in Liberia until the first crop is made, but it was of necessity used on the voyage. Of this
matter I shall have more to say hereafter. The supply of molasses was so scant that it could only be issued occasionally as a treat. In the haste and confusion generally prevailing about the galley, the food was almost invariably ill cooked, causing much complaint, and, doubtless, suffering, to persons whose stomachs, made delicate by sea-sickness, loathed the coarse and badly prepared food which might have been eaten with tolerable relish at another time under the influence of exercise and health. A significant remark was that made by one of the emigrants: "I ate a piece of that fat bacon, sir, and hung over the ship's side for two days." Each steerage passenger received about a full pint of cooked rice, corn and wheat bread, of each about as much as is contained in an ordinary baker's loaf, and some two square inches of meat at each meal. There was therefore no danger of starvation. The supply of coffee was small, rendering an extensive dilution necessary. Tea there was in plenty, but the emigrants were not generally drinkers of that beverage. What are technically known as "medical comforts," consisting of small quantities of good spirits and wines, sago, arrowroot, &c., were entirely absent. When stimulants were needed for the sick, the slender private stores of the captain or myself had to be called on.
THE CABIN PASSENGERS,
of course, fared differently. They had their meals in the forward saloon, having a comfortable table, chairs, napkins, knives and forks, &c., while those in the steerage had nothing of the sort. The fortunate ones in the cabin had also cabin boy and steward to wait on them. Of course the ration system did not apply to them, they partaking of their food at a general table, as at a hotel. The captain, the two mates and I took our meals in the after saloon, getting the same food that the cabin passengers had. Indeed, I think some of them used to watch us closely to make sure that we did not have the advantage of them either in quantity or quality of "grub." Our salt beef was usually made into hash, (known among seafaring folk as "mystery,") while our bacon was carefully boiled, cooled and sliced. We had also an occasional roast or broiled fowl, generally good biscuit or bread, butter, potatoes, codfish, mackerel, baked beans, curry, every now and then, and rice, with an invariable dessert of pies, pudding, or hot cakes and syrup. We had two meals a day. Other advantages that the aristocracy of the Azor possessed were pickles, vinegar, a limited supply of fresh water to wash in and a plenty to drink. There should have been a good supply of vinegar for everybody, for it would have rendered much of the food and the water greatly more palatable; but there was only a small cask aboard, and it was a scarce luxury among the people in the steerage. The latter were required to perform their ablutions in salt water, (when they did perform them,) and were allowed three quarts of the beverage per adult. From this was subtracted a sufficient quantity with which to make coffee and tea. Each adult received about a quart and a half a day. It was issued as early as possible in the morning. Capt. Holmes tried all imaginable ways to make the food "go" as well as possible, having it made into general stews, &c. Now, I expect that most of us have seen the time when rice, meat, meal and other etceteras, well boiled together and seasoned, would have been relished; but these people took a curious antipathy to it, and would have none of the mess. However bad the supplies may have been, it seems as if any sane person, out at sea with all the possibilities of a long voyage before him, would refrain from wasting them. Yet I've seen nearly enough bread, meat and rice which would have looked eatable enough to a starving man, thrown carelessly or angrily over the Azor's side, to feed all aboard of her for a week.
On this second nautical day of the voyage, Tuesday, the "good order" of the quarter deck was treated to that most cherished and relished of all things by good society everywhere, a mild scandal involving matrimonial infelicity. Among the good society aforesaid was a light colored missionary of youthful aspect, who wore a meek expression of countenance and a tall hat. He had a wife of about his own age and color, and from the first there were indications of war between them. On this evening he summoned her to attend with him a prayer meeting in the steerage, and upon her declining, went below into the forward saloon, from whence, in a few moments, his voice came through the skylight in dismal groans and fervent prayers, to be delivered from the power of this "tormenting woman." After this he rushed up, and stamping wildly about the deck, speaking bitter words of his spouse, and fiercely clutching his hair, like an Othello with the black partially washed off. This incident, of course, furnished material for much gossip and grave
moralizing, and was a perfect windfall in the way of a social event. I went down to
THE PRAYER MEETING
and wished, for the first time, that THE NEWS AND COURIER was a "picture" paper, that I was an artist, and that the scene could have been reproduced in all of its strange picturesqueness, even were the other two conditions fulfilled. The long, low apartment, with its crowded bunks, was dimly lighted. About each of the three lamps, placed against the two hatches and the foot of the foremast, was clustered a group of men bending over tattered hymn books, and singing with full strength. From the semi-darkness around came voices of all varieties, joining in the camp meeting refrain, while the half dressed forms of men and women were dimly to be seen, leaning forward, listening and participating, the benches were crowded with others similarly engaged, and the children slept soundly through it all, bundled up in a wonderful diversity of ways in bed. The ladder and doors and windows of the main batch-house were crowded with other faces and forms, and at the foot of the former stood the preacher. When the hymn was over all heads were generally bent in prayer, the devotions being led either by the minister or some prominent man in the congregation (for this is but a sample of scenes often repeated). The preaching was launched into the darkness when the time came, most of the preacher's audience being invisible to him. On almost all of these occasions I was fervently prayed for, one brother revealing by a little extra plain language the probable inspiration of this portion, when he said, in tones of passionate pleading, "Bless the Reporter. Oh, help him not to write any lies to Thy glory, and the advancement of Thy work." Though the grammatical construction of this sentence rendered it somewhat dubious, it was easy to discern its meaning.
The minister brought along in charge of the A. M. E. congregation is a fair specimen of his class. I think, from close observation, that he is a man of really earnest piety, who does his best according to his lights. But the lights are so dim. He lacks entirely the education and training which many colored ministers--especially in the cities--possess. He seems barely able to read and write, mispronouncing the simplest words, and producing painfully ludicrous effects at the most solemn moments. With crude, twisted and half developed ideas and reasonings on subjects, he covered up and hopelessly confused what meaning he had, with a flood of misapplied, miscalled, and confounded words.
To the observer who thinks a moment there is something peculiarly saddening in this. This man is a representative of those chosen expounders of the plan of salvation who taught, and doubtless believed, in '76 that servants of God could only work and vote for Chamberlain, and that his political opponents constituted the world, the flesh and the devil. Is not this most literally the leading of the blind by the blind? Heaven only knows what diverse, tangled and mistaken ideas and theories these poor darkened minds do extract from the shapeless mass of confused words, sentences and metaphors hurled upon them by their teachers. The negro's intensely devotional nature is distracted and wanders until nearly every one acquires a separate belief and doctrine, some of them as horrible and gross as can be. It seems to me that the managers of the L. E. A. could do better than feed these unfortunate involuntary prodigals on theological and doctrinal husks, which satisfy the natural craving for a religion without strengthening the spiritual life which is to be the negro's greatest incentive and aid to civilization. For a preacher who can teach his people sound, simple Christianity, there is work to do among these emigrants. While we are told that from the mouths of babes and sucklings shall proceed wisdom, I don't believe it was ever intended that those persons or their grown-up prototypes, should furnish a steady intellectual diet for men and women.
The third nautical day closed at 12 o'clock on Wednesday, April 24. The Azor has made good use of the preceeding breeze of the twenty-four hours, and scored 214 knots, or miles, thus bringing her total run to 438 miles in the three days, and putting her on the average required to make Monrovia in twenty-five days--144 miles per diem. On this day the captain and mates raided on the steerage and had every piece of bedding brought on deck and spread out in the sun and wind to be aired and ventilated. The quarters were then
THOROUGHLY CLEANED OUT,
the floors being scraped, and everything thrown open to admit fresh air. The selection of officers for the Azor really seems providential, for not one sailor in a hundred would have taken the unceasing pains to secure health and cleanliness that Capt. Holmes and his mates, Messrs. Horne and Thatcher, did. One of the greatest obstacles that they had to contend against was the wonderful indifference displayed by the passengers themselves on the subject. It was only by the most unremitting begging' and driving that they could be induced to "clean up", around their own berths, and in many instances even those means failed. So it was throughout the passage. They were not rebellious or ill-natured, but their inaction appeared to result solely and simply from a profound indifference and aversion to trouble. Of course there were some honorable exceptions. The Shaw and Reeves families from Georgia, Clement Irons of Charleston, who voluntarily surrendered his cabin passage for which he had paid, and went in the steerage to make room: William Adams from Lancaster, and a few others set examples worthy of imitation, cheerfully doing whatever seemed necessary to make the voyage a success;
never grumbling, and always looking at the best side. Early on the trip the steerage had begun to assume the appearance of the plantation quarters so familiar to all Southerners. Scraps of rags, bones, pieces of bread and "chunks" of rice lying about; dirt and grease about the floors, and "piccannies" crawling about over it all; and the old man or woman sitting around, munching, smoking and "jawing." Against all of these things did the officers perpetually war.
On the evening of the third day the missionary and his wife fought on the quarter-deck. The skirmish culminated in a running battle, lasting to their cabin door. Here the affair was stopped, good society gathering in a body on the field, where Mrs. Missionary gave in panting tones an account of the fray, while her spouse contemplated her visage with his head on one side, wearing a critical air, as if he rather thought that another thump on the left eyebrow and a touch of a scratch on the starboard side of the nose would lend the work an artistic finish. The pair were reconciled, however, and retired on their laurels.
At noon on Thursday we had made 206 miles, making the total for the four nautical days 614, giving a full average and something to spare. A number of craft were sighted, although none came near enough to speak. The eager outlook for marine monsters was rewarded by the sight of a whale blowing away off to windward. He did not, however, create half the excitement that a poor, tired little land bird, which had probably been blown off shore, did. It alighted on the spanker boom, and flew about the ship amid many expressions of wonder and delight. The idea that it was a good omen sent especially by Providence seemed to strike the popular mind at once. The little creature was assiduously fed and petted, but disappeared during the evening. Probably not one of the passengers had ever read or heard of "Ye rime of ye Ancient Mariner," but the mysterious taking off of the little visitor was received with as much genuine gloom probably as was displayed by the companions of Mr. Coleridge's hero. Always afterwards, whenever there was a prospect of anything like "dirty" weather, this matter was generally recurred to with solemn head-shakings, expressive of evil forebodings. My own theory is that the bird was taken for food to the "mariner's hollow," but which mariner's hollow it is difficult to say, all the mariners appearing to me to be in a habitual state of hollowness, albeit well fed. The only Moses of the exodus, however, a huge black cat of the captain's bearing that cognomen, was generally suspected of the crime, getting into bad odor thereby, and being regarded as an emissary of the devil.
During the day ending at noon on Friday, April 26th, we made 155 miles. Total distance 799 miles northeast of Charleston, 79 miles ahead of the required average. During most of this time there had been fresh breezes, and as we were steadily working northward, there had been no suffering from heat after the first two nights, which had been very unpleasantly close and hot in the steerage. Sea sickness still lasted, although
A GENERAL RECOVERY
from that malady had begun. The weather had been generally fine and sunshiny, and the general health was good. It was announced, however, that two children were dangerously sick below. The decks and the tops of the different houses made splendid lounging places, and the emigrants, having begun to feel better, and being tired of looking at the water, usually lay about in a confusion by no means beautiful, most of the men sleeping on their backs the entire day. As recovery progressed, the Exodites, like their exemplars of Israel, became more and more discontented with food, water and surroundings, and murmured especially when certain developments, which this narrative will hereafter develop, were made. I myself could not but confess a longing for the flesh-pots of Egypt as embodied in the soft boiled eggs, buttered toast and beefsteak of the Pavilion, also remembering with regret that at that hostelry, there was no necessity for holding fast to your soup plate to prevent its drifting down to leeward, and becoming a nameless and shapeless wreck against the butter dish.
During Friday night the wind shifted to the cast, and finally dead ahead, driving the Azor to the north. She, however, made 112 miles, bringing her total to 911, and keeping her still ahead of her average. The head winds continued all during Saturday, still driving her north, and occasioning many relapses to the sick, dashing bright hopes, and reducing victims to the depths of despair. There was one man, however, who was not reprostrated. That was the man who owned and operated the accordeon. On Saturday evening he produced the article and opened up. He was not particularly well acquainted with its manipulation, and his music was mostly of an experimental nature. He would grind along at random until some note was stumbled upon that bore the semblance of something he had heard before. Carefully learning how this was done, he would feel around until he found something to fit it, and so go on building up a tune, a note, a bar and key at a time. Sometimes the foundation, or some other important part, would be forgotten, and then the entire structure would tumble, with a wild squeak or a hollow groan, a diastrous and melancholy ruin. During Saturday night the force of the head wind increased, obliging the furling of all light sails, aud keeping the vessel constantly careened, and still driving her north of her course. On Sunday morning
THE FIRST DEATH
occurred, being that of a four year old daughter of William Johnson. The child had been ailing when brought aboard in Charleston, and had steadily grown worse during the
whole time. A few moments before its death, the minister was summoned, and it was baptized "Amelia Johnson." Very soon after breath had left the little body, it was prepared for burial, and that saddest of all funerals, a funeral at sea, was arranged for. A plank seven feet long by two wide was laid across the end of a barrel, one end projecting over the lee (port) gangway rail. A folded American flag was knotted around this plank, and that much of the simple preparation was complete. One by one and in knots the emigrants gathered about this suggestive object, until all were crowded around it, observing a profound silence, and watching with curious eyes for the completion of the, to them, novel ceremony. The cabin passengers gathered on the poop overlooking the scene, and the neighboring shrouds and rigging were filled with other spectators. In a few minutes two sailors came up from the steerage, replacing their needles in their cases with a business-like air, and then two or three men stumbled up the ladder bearing the shapeless canvas bundle containing the corpse and the large stone wrapped with it at its feet. The body in this sea coffin was laid upon the plank and the flag spread over it, a sailor standing at each side. One by one the men who stood about took off their hats, and the crowd clustered closer as the minister came forward and proceeded to read the Methodist burial services. At the words, "We commit this body to the deep," the flag was lifted, the inside ends of the plank tilted up by the sailors, and the body slid off into the water, which boiled and surged against the vessel's side, sinking immediately to its resting place "till the sea gives up her dead." Then the crowd slowly dispersed.
THE SAME SCENE
was repeated later in the same day, Shellevy Adams, an infant son of William Adams, dying that evening. He also was christened a few minutes before his death, which was attributed to dysentery. Apropos of these deaths, I must speak of a matter that strikes me as being an outrage. In giving the particulars of the arrangement for the first voyage of the Azor, the managers of this Exodus distinctly stated that a physician from Washington would accompany her, and that statement was published in THE NEWS AND COURIER.
from Washington or anywhere else could be found among her passengers. The law requires the presence of one aboard emigrant ships, and George Curtis was used to clear with. I am informed that the Rev. B. F. Porter assured the Customhouse authorities that Curtis understood the practice of medicine, having studied it in his youth. He knows about as much of medicine as a street car mule. During the whole voyage he was prowling around 'tween decks with a small book called "the mariner's medical guide" in one hand, and all sorts of compounds extracted from the medicine chest in the other. Even the book was given him by the captain. I feel very confident that he was unacquainted with the symptoms of the simplest diseases, and my idea is that he went almost entirely by guess-work. When he had formed some opinion as to what the disorder was, he would refer to the book, and treat it thereby. He used continually to be consulting the captain as to what he should do. I was called in to one or two of these consultations, but my medical knowledge being acquired principally from a fence somewhere, and consisting of a vague idea that Tutt's liver pills were good for something or another, I was subsequently, and wisely, ignored. This thing seems to me to have been either a deliberate crime, and a very grave one, or equally criminal carelessness on the part, of the managers of this exodus. It is horrible to think of
A BLUNDERING IGNORAMUS
like this man having charge of the health of some three hundred people, a large majority of whom were women and children. It is only Heaven's mercy that there are not even more deaths to record. Capt. Holmes, while possessing considerably more knowledge of the simpler diseases than Curtis, of course could not be expected to be able to cope with anything of a complicated nature. So there we all were, entirely at the mercy of any pestilence that might arise. I am certain that the more intelligent of the passengers agreed with me in my estimate of this "Doctor's" skill. I don't think he was ever allowed to experiment on any one in the cabin, and I know that his practice (and it literally was practice) was a laughing stock on the quarter deck, where he was generally known as "calomel and jalap," that being his favorite prescription. He administered it to Johnson's child, which died in convulsions. Its death was attributed to worms, although he was in doubt as to whether it was that or cerebro spinal meningetis. Of Dr. Curtis, too, I shall have more to say hereafter.
The log showed on Sunday at noon that we had made 144 miles that day, making a total of 1,033, and leaving us still ahead of the necessary average. In addition to the funeral services already mentioned, regular services were held twice on Sunday, being largely attended. On Monday, 28th, the log scored 125 miles, a total of 1,180. Still slightly ahead of the average. On this day
THE FIRST BIRTH
took place, being that of a boy, (reported to be a fine one,) to the wife of Ned Clark, a steerage passenger. Mother and child both flourished from the first. We had by this time been driven into about 39 north latitude, being about the latitude of Cape May, and two degrees further north than the captain had intended going, he having proposed to run only as far up as Baltimore, latitude 37. As soon as the head wind abated the vessel's course was changed, and she went into her long southeast stretch.
On Tuesday, 29th, we made two hundred and fourteen miles, gaining a trifle south, the wind having shifted somewhat, and making a total for the nine days of one thousand three hundred and ninety-four miles. We were still ahead of the required average, but lost considerably by being becalmed during Tuesday night, only making seventy-two miles to Wednesday at 12 o'clock. The sea during nearly all of Wednesday lay like a sheet of flexible glass, only disturbed by a heavy but quiet swell, which rolled abeam, producing, as heavy swells generally do a most unpleasant effect, keeping the vessel rocking violently. During the evening, however, a brisk breeze came up, just forward of the quarter, and the Azor went bowling along before it, running on her port side, keeping everybody and everything drifting to leeward, making the holding of one's self in a bunk a process requiring considerable science, and adding to the difficulty of the problem how to stow six feet of anatomy comfortably in five feet eight inches of bunk, which I had been endeavoring to solve from the beginning. The wind continued to freshen until it became
A LIGHT GALE,
and the vessel tossed on the waves at a great rate. The royals, and stay, top gallant and upper topsails were taken in one by one, and the pumps were set to work. Wednesday was the regular "bed-airing" day, but the spray and wind obliged the hasty taking in of all such furniture. The emigrants had great fun at first coaxing their unwary fellows to stand near the windward gangway, and get well "soused" by the water which now and then came dashing over the rails. Much diversion was also caused by the loss of several hats, which took to themselves wings and flew away, that being the only thing about them suggesting riches even in the most remote manner. (By the way, I believe nearly every man aboard the Azor lost head gear at some stage of the voyage, and a collector of curiosities in the way of ancient and dilapidated tiles might have reaped a rich harvest had he been in our wake.) Towards night, however when the vessel careened so much as to dip up water through her lee scuppers, and the wind still freshened, many of the passengers became first anxious, then timind, and finally thoroughly frightened. The doors of the batch houses were closed and everybody sent below. A driving rain had set in, and neither in the lowering sky above nor in the rushing water beneath was any comfort.
I took a walk through the steerage on Wednesday night and found everybody nervous and disposed to be sick. The nervousness and sickness both increased, and on Thursday morning they had become almost universal. We scored 213 miles to Thursday at noon with what sail we carried, bringing the total run to 1,679 miles. Daylight brought some comfort, but the wind still blew freshly, with occasional light squalls, which brought rain and kept everybody indoors. Thursday night the blow had reached its height, and there was
GENERAL DARK FOREBODING
and dismay. The minister organized a prayer meeting 'tween decks, and another scene was presented which beggars description. While the wind whistled and howled through the rigging, and the water surged against the sides, and waves now and then came down on the decks with a "swish-h-h," the people sat in the dim light below, listening and shivering. They evidently supposed that they were going through a great storm, and asked many questions based on that belief, greatly to the amusement of the sailors. When service was begun, fear gave place to or combined with religious enthusiasm, and some persons in the congregation became perfectly frantic, rolling about the floor, shrieking, calling out hoarsely that they were prepared for death, and professing their willingness to be taken at once, ejaculating over and over, "Jesus, come now! come right now!" A few really displayed courage of a high order for they were firmly persuaded that they were menaced by great danger. They took matters very coolly, saying that as they had to die sometime, they were willing to do it then if necessary. In the midst of the shouting, leaping, clapping and rolling, the Captain came down, and by a few words of quiet assurances stilled the excitement which seemed becoming wilder every moment. During the night a squall blew the jib from the bolt ropes, tearing it to tatters.
On Friday morning the sun shone out genially, and everybody cheered up and quieted down. At noon the log shewed 216 miles run--total, 1,895--still ahead of the average. The wind kept up briskly, though not too much so to allow the setting of all sail. Then there was a great comparing of experiences, thoughts and feelings during the blow of the previous two days. One man said that what he feared was that "the boat would turn over," while another had apprehended that if "she kept rocking so much she'd burst open." Of course many funny things could be told of the sayings of the passengers, but such things lose their flavor without a reproduction of the negro dialect, and that has always seemed to me in bad taste. While on this subject think a minute. Suppose any of you had, intentionally or unintentionally, broken a man's spine, wouldn't it be a horrible thing to wince and laugh at the unfortunate cripple's contortions and gestures? We white people are certainly responsible in a great measure for the deprivation of the negro of his educational backbone, and, aside from the general broad rule that it is not a genteel thing to ridicule the misfortunes and deformities of others, this mimicry of the darkey seems to come with especially bad grace from us. I know that this aside is a sort of cross between a sub-editorial and a Sunday-School story, but it's true nevertheless.
The second Saturday out passed off without any particular incident. The fore deck was enlivened during the morning by a fight between the cook and an emigrant, during which the former doused the latter with hot water. This was the second affair of the kind that the chef de cuisine had been engaged in, and both parties were severely reprimanded by the captain. Nobody was hurt. As usual, several craft were sighted at greater or less distances. It may be mentioned here, that throughout the voyage the Azor never failed to pass any craft steering in her course, thus demonstrating that her sailing capacities are at least considerably above the average. At 12 o'clock on Saturday the log registered 200 miles. Total 2,093 in the thirteen days, an average of 161 miles and a fraction per diem. Sunday seemed to be
A FATED DAY.
On this third Sunday died Anna Maria Sigler, an unmarried daughter of Boatswain Sigler, of Edgefield. She was another of George Curtis's patients. He attributed her death to a cold caught while suffering from measles. The unfortunate woman had certainly been imprudent, having gone on deck a few days before her death with what was apparently a case of measles on her. On the morning of her death she was administered coffee with an infusion of ginger, a Dover's powder, and Friar's Balsam. What before, it is hard to say. After her death, it was ascertained that she had been confined only a day or two before coming aboard, and had exposed herself to the dangers and discomforts of the embarkation while in that delicate condition. This, with the meazles, probably formed a complication of disorders with which Curtis coped about as intelligently and effectively as I could have done. Of course, there is no telling how far the three deaths are attributable to his malpractice. I know that after this affair, Capt. Holmes put his veto on any further independent practice by this "physician," and refused to allow him to dispense any more medicines except under his supervision. THE NEWS AND COURIER has always given this scheme a perfectly fair showing before the community. I hope therefore that the colored people will heed what is said now, and believe that it is dictated by no prejudice, but by a knowledge of facts. President B. F. Porter wilfully and
DELIBERATELY MISLED THE COLLECTOR
by assuring him he "knew" that George Curtis was capable of acting as ship's physician, and he also wilfully and deliberately sent the Azor to sea with the health of her three hundred passengers in the keeping of a man of whose competency he either knew nothing, or knew enough to doubt. The same person and some of his assistants sent the Azor to sea having reason to believe that she had measles aboard of her, and they assiduously sought to conceal, and did conceal, that matter from the Customhouse authorities. I have said nothing, and, in any charges or statements that I may make hereafter, will say nothing, except what I can establish in a court of justice if need be.
The dead woman was buried with the usual ceremonies on the day of her death, her young infant being taken charge of by its grand-parents. This Sunday was the first that the existence of
was definitely known, although there had come rumors of it from the steerage on previous occasions. Indeed it had been suspected before we left Charleston, but the matter was promptly hushed up. The intelligence caused no panic, every one seemed to realize immediately that there was no escape, and to resign themselves to whatever might come. The log Sunday showed 136 miles. Total 2,231. The weather was now beautiful, and
EVERYBODY WAS RECOVERING
from sickness and despondency. The emigrants became more cheerful and active as they felt better and had grown more accustomed to their new surroundings. Appetites also improved, and, arrangements for assisting the cook being perfected, the cooking became more tolerable, and the issue of rations better regulated. It was now a source of pleasure and amusement to go to the galley and watch the distribution of food. The bread, if made of black flour, was now thoroughly cooked and sweet, a little molasses was mixed with the corn bread rendering it quite a dessert, and every means was taken to gratify the varying tastes of those who respectively preferred "fat" or "lean," and beef or pork. The mate, Mr. Horne, would sit at the galley door, and call out his list, the mess system being abolished, and each head of a family would come up with a pan, plate or bucket, and have his alloted portion rapidly served to him as it was passed out. First would come into the utensil a large portion of boiled rice, from the big iron pots; on top of that great "hunks" of meat as specified, and then the appropriate quantities of corn and wheat breads and molasses cake, with occasionally a taste of molassés for everybody in a separate cup, and always a potfull of coffee of varying strength. A perfect jewel of a mate this was too, with a pleasant word of badinage for everybody, producing many broad grins and guffaws, and casting a cheery influence over the whole performance. There is no doubt that the almost uniform good humor which prevailed through all the discomfort was largely due to the never failing pleasantry and inexhaustible good temper and spirits of this officer. From this time cheerfulness was the prevailing order of things. After their meals were completed the emigrants generally dispersed
ABOUT THE DECKS
in the sun. Probably one-half could read and about a fourth write. These fortunate ones
would lie about poring over bibles, learning hymns by heart, or studying over old geographies, histories, newspapers or slates. Pleasant to relate, some would gather around them a few of their uneducated fellows and laboriously instruct them in the rudiments of the three "R's." Others would lie on their backs staring at the blue sky and white clouds, constructing nobody knows what grotesque castles in the air, doubtless, however, enjoying the atmospheric architecture as intensely as those whose buildings, similarly erected, are more symetrical and fair to look upon. Then there were others who would gather about the rails, and alternately look out for sails, whales, Portuguese men-of-war, bunches of sea weed, flying fish, and the fragments of old wrecks which now and then floated by, and indulge in repartee and jest, which, if not polished, were generally harmless and provocative of much mirth. The women and children generally sat about gossiping, laughing and plaiting, combing and arranging each other's hair. This last seemed to be a favorite amusement, and before we reached the end of the voyage every head was decked with countless little pig-tails tied up with strings and drawn so tightly that it was a matter of wonder to me how the possessors managed to shut their eyes. The sick, too, generally revived under the improving influences, and matters looked decidedly better in every way. Good society on the quarter deck passed its time in very much the same way; even the one or two chronic grumblers there having at last agreed to give the others "a rest." The younger portion of good society usually gathered about the wheel in the evening and amused itself by singing Sunday-school and other hymns: "The ninety and nine," " 'Tis done," "In the sweet bye and bye," "Rescue the perishing," &c., the music sounding very sweetly when heard at a little distance. The log showed on Monday 61 miles, the bark having been becalmed nearly the entire 24 hours. Total 2,292.
About this time a Baptist congregation was organized 'tween decks, the Methodists having previously had it all their own way. Robt. Williams seemed to take lead in this movement, and generally on one or two nights in the week he and his assistants used to be heard below exhorting, praying and singing. The Methodist leader took the pains to come and state to me that a discourse, delivered on the previous evening, was from one of the Baptists, and not any of his flock's doings. He evidently thought that I intended burlesquing the whole affair. That persons have burlesqued, and in a feeble way attempted to make "fun" of, the utterances of a man striving to teach the Word of the Almighty is one of the shames of the Press, and shows what a false, vulgar and insane idea some of its contributors have in mistaking irreverence for wit, and idiotic imitations of well-meant words for humor. The remarks already made regarding the Methodist leader will apply equally to this other. A particularly loud and enthusiastic singing, a night or two after the formation of this congregation, was caused, I was told, by a woman present having professed conversion. I looked anxiously thereafter to see how the ordinance of immersion could be performed aboard a ship running at an average of six knots per hour, expecting to be furnished a choice "Fatal Accident" thereby, but it was postponed. On Tuesday we made 145 miles. Total, 2,437.
On Wednesday George Curtis distinguished himself in another role by having a violent altercation with his wife, during which she claimed that he struck her. The cabin boy with wide opened eyes summoned the captain with the announcement, "Dr. Curtis and his wife fighting," and good society was stirred to its very depths. The wife had certainly, as far as I could see, conducted herself in the most exemplary manner, and I am inclined to think that the gorgeous fraud of a "Doctor" was in fault. I earnestly urged at that time, as a measure of public safety, that the Doctor be thrown overboard with a jar of calomel and jalap suspended from his neck. The captain, however, contented himself with a reprimand and caution. It seems unfortunate that the Missionary and the "Doctor" sent out with this first expedition should each have seen fit to beat his wife. During Wednesday we made 172 miles. Total, 2,609. On Thursday the usual weekly sweeping, cleaning and airing was had. On this day, May 9th, and the eighteenth day out, while in north latitude 32 deg, 4 min., and longitude 29 deg, 28 min.,
A SUDDEN DEATH
occurred. Charlotte Mason, aged 43 years, the wife of William Mason, of Abbeville, had just recovered from her sea sickness, and had left her bunk for almost the first time. Upon returning to it, she suddenly fell in a fainting fit, but was subsequently revived. In about half an hour, however, she began to sink rapidly, and soon passed into a state of insensibility, from which it was impossible to rouse her. The body retained its warmth for an hour or two after action of the heart had ceased, and hopes were entertained that death had not actually occurred, These were subsequently given up, however, and the body was lowered into the sea that evening with the usual ceremonies. Death was attributed to some affection of the heart. It seems a curious fate that this woman, who for forty-three years had passed her life in the quiet of the country, knowing no world beyond the precincts of the township or county, should find her grave beneath the waves of the Atlantic three thousand miles from anywhere previously within her ken. Her husband was generally sympathized with as he was a hard working and amiable man. He acted as assistant cook during all the latter portion of the voyage, and performed the duties very satisfactorily. On Thursday the log scored
139 miles. Total 2,768, in eighteen days. Still ahead of the average necessary to make Monrovia in the time promised. On Friday, nineteenth day, we made 144 miles, the exact average. On this day
THE FIFTH DEATH
occurred being that of Whitfield Smallwood, aged 23, the son of Jackson Smallwood, of Edgefield, S. C. His death was attributed to measles, that disease having become quite prevalent between decks. He also was buried with the usual ceremonies.
Saturday, May 11th, was the twentieth day out, and the log showed 132 miles, the wind having been light and variable. It was the habit every day when the solar observation was taken at noon, to gather around and get the exact time of eight bells, or 12 o'clock. All who had watches had carefully set them by St. Michael's clock before leaving Charleston, and kept them at that time, the object being to note the difference between the time of Charleston and Monrovia. As we progressed eastward, we, of course, gained, and the change was watched with much interest. Indeed, these watches did seem a sort of connecting link with the shore left behind. The owners would look at them when the ship's clock, for instance, indicated 10 o'clock A. M., and say "its 7 o'clock in Charleston, and so and so's doing so and so." Then when the sun set, the time in Charleston would be noted with much curiosity. This was a sweet comfort. I could sit on the Azor's quarter deck and think at certain hours of friends and familiars far away. When the bell tolled midnight, on Saturday night, I could think, "Now its 9 o'clock in Charleston, and two policemen are lugging Rachæl Mazyck out of Elliott street to the Guardhouse to recover from her regular weekly drunk: the Orderly Sergeant has just given orders to put all the tramps together in cell 8, so as to make room for a pickpocket, two inebriates and an amateur pugilist, with a club slash across his head: and there'll be a gorgeous "Clubs and Stars" report for THE NEWS AND COURIER on Monday." Such are the sweet reminiscences and delightful reveries of a newspaper man. The event of Sunday, May 12th, was the
FORMATION OF A SUNDAY- SCHOOL,
a young man named Moultrie taking charge as superintendent. Quite a number of the children attended, and were divided off into classes. A considerable number of tracts, papers, &c., were distributed among them. Services were also held by the two different denominations at different times during the day, the Baptists appearing rather to out-number their Methodist brethren. With a strange persistency they one and all refused to heed suggestions that the services be had on deck, but seemed to prefer crowding down into the narrow, close and dark space below. Indeed, there were some who, I verily believe, did not come on deck during the entire voyage, but lolled in their bunks all the time. The log this day showed only 72 miles, the Azor being on the verge of the trade winds, and encountering the light winds generally prevailing there.
On Monday the log showed sixty-one miles. Total in twenty-two days 3,177 miles, being just a fraction ahead of the required average. All hands had by this time begun to look forward to the speedy termination of the journey, and calculations were made that Monrovia would be reached by Thursday. These bright hopes were dashed, however, by the captain, who, in answer to eager inquiries, informed the passengers that the vessel had been driven so far, and kept so long, northward of her course by the almost continual headwinds that she was still a full thousand miles from "the haven where she would be," and could not be reasonably expected to reach that point before Saturday. From this point I believe the passegers were
COUNTING THE MINUTES.
The longing for the sight of some green thing; for some break in the weary monotony of "sea and sky, sky and sea; the dreary sea and sky again;" for something solid on which to rest the foot, seemed to be most intense. Some gratified this feeling in a simple way by posting themselves up in the bow, sitting there all day long, and straining their eyes before them to catch the first glimpse of the shore. On Tuesday the log showed 125 miles. About noon, however, the wind came in briskly, almost abeam, and the bark responded well, skimming smoothly along with all her sails well filled. The Azor, by the way, is a remarkably easy runner, pitching very little, and going through the waves with a motion that can only be described by the word "sliding." The weather was now becoming decidedly warm again, and the steerage was unpleasantly close. While the passengers had "waked up" on some subjects, their indifference on others was discouraging in the extreme. Some of them, as I said before, would persist in lying around below, and keeping their children there, thus making the atmosphere continually close and disagreeable instead of going on deck and allowing the air to be purified against the inevitable pollution of the night. The captain had disinfectants and various substances of a fumigating nature distributed about in the steerage quarters several times during each day and night, thus keeping the atmosphere what seemed to me to be barely endurable, but which many of the passengers seemed to find very comfortable. Not even the glorious tropical moon, which made us seem to be floating down an endless track of mellow, sparkling, liquid light, could tempt these people from the dark stifling quarters below. The very demon of perversity seemed to have taken possessien of them. Then again, none of them seemed to have the slightest desire for or appreciation of exercise. They seemed to regard my walks
on deck as caused either by a terrible restless and uneasy conscience, or a mild form of lunacy. They couldn't understand it. I never saw, of all that 300, a single one higher in the rigging than the foot of the ratlines, and only one or two there, except one young man whose leg beecame entangled in a rope, causing his elevation about twenty feet up the foremast. Some lusty yelling proclaimed the situation of this unlucky emigrant, and he was released, while his fellow passengers fairly fell down and rolled over and over in their spasms of laughter at the mishap: I interviewed the emigrants quite generally on
THE OBJECTS OF EMIGRATION
as soon as they were strong enough to undergo the process. My conclusion is that there is no cause or reason which can be called general. The grievances complained of and the hopes entertained were almost invariably of a local or personal nature. Some were going because they thought they would have a better chance to "rise in the world" with a generous and cheaply procured soil and perfect social equality with their neighbors; others were tired of "renting" or "working out," and wanted to be their own masters; others complained that the farmers were banding more and more firmly together to keep down the wages of the laborer; others could give go good reason for going, falling back on the old talk of "Ku-Klux," "Night Hawks" and "political persecutions." Some assigned nearly all of these reasons, others some, others one. One of the most intelligent of the Georgia emigrants said that it was becoming such a general practice for farmers in that State to avail themselves of the homestead exemption laws, that the laborer had no security for his earnings, and, therefore, no inducement to work. To other persons with whom they talked, the emigrants ground the "Outrage mill" much more freely. One of them, while in Charleston, implored Capt. Holmes to give up a contemplated trip to Columbia, assuring him that if he went there the white men would find out who he was, and certainly murder him. I have often thought that these people tell such lies so frequently that they get to believe them themselves, and this instance helps to confirm me in that belief. I have heard them tell what I knew to be most infamous falsehoods in a matter-of-fact, simple manner that would almost convince a man against the evidence of his senses. I never wondered that Northern correspondents and visitors were deceived. The fact is, I think, the "Outrage" has taken the place of the gruesome "Spook" or "Big snake" story of the olden time, each darkey trying to raise his listener's hair the highest with the most horrible story, and allowing his imagination to run away with him. During the campaign of 1876 I heard an honest looking colored man in Columbia tell to a knot of listeners that he had seen about a week before five colored women tied to trees and disembowelled with bowie knives by Democrats just above the city, and I really, think he had repeated the story so much that he had begun to believe it. By constant repetition of and additions to these tales of horror they get to put implicit confidence in them, and such groundless fears have probably really something to do with this movement. It seems though that in the main various and widely differing opinions and views brought the emigrants to Charleston. Once there they were soon rallied under the general watchwords of "Political persecution" and "Social equality." On this day (Tuesday)
THE SIXTH DEATH
occurred, being that of Stephen Johnson of Ninety-Six, aged 64 years. He died quite suddenly in the evening, a few moments after having eaten dinner and declared himself better. He, too, had been ailing ever since coming aboard. His death was attributed to congestion of the lungs, as he had been suffering from cold and hoarseness. There was, thanks to the managers, no one on board capable of deciding what the old man's death really was caused by. He was buried about dark with the usual ceremonies. There had been developed by this time a large number of cases of sore throat, pain in the lungs, &c., which seemed almost an epidemic. The captain was unremitting in his attentions to the sick, going regularly through the steerage several times every day and night, and prescribing, as far as he safely could. George Curtis had about relinquished the practice of medicine. His last exploit was a somewhat peculiar one. Ambling around the deck one day, as usual, with both hands full of villanous compounds, he met a steerage passenger's wife who was coming on deck for the first time after a long spell of sea sickness. He promptly administered to her a dose of something, subsequently tersely described as "d--d pison," which speedily made her terribly sick again. He stumbled around for awhile and then ambled back, coolly announcing that he had given the woman a dose intended for somebody else. Whatever it was, it kept the victim sick for several days with nausea and pain, "loosening her teeth" and making her mouth sore.
On Wednesday we made 220 miles. This was the twenty-fourth day out. Sickness was rather on the increase, the sore throats and slight fevers becoming apparently more of an epidemic. The captain continued night and day to attend the wants of the sick, which were as numerous and varied as they well could be. These emigrants are certainly the most extraordinary people! It was the general habit to send the sick soups, puddings, &c., from our table. This day, as a great treat; we had soup made of canned fresh meat, which we enjoyed hugely. A portion being sent into the steerage it was rejected scornfully, with the remark that they "couldn't eat that stuff."
Thursday was the 25th day out, and the
one on which we had hoped to have concluded our journey. The log showed 213 miles, a total run of 3,735 miles, and an average of 149 10-25 miles per day, with several calms and almost constantly unfavorable winds. Had it not been for that unfortunate three days of southwesterly gales, the Azor would have made Monrovia in the time promised. On Friday the wind was somewhat slack, but we made 190 miles. That evening the Cape Verde light was sighted, about ten miles distant, and the bow was pointed out a little for the run down the coast. The light was the first indication of land seen since the departure from Charleston, and it infused new cheerfulness into everybody. On Saturday
THE SEVENTH DEATH
occurred, being that of Pressley Hood, aged 19, son of Alfred Hood, of Meeklenburg County, N. C. He died at 3 o'clock in the morning, and was buried at 8. He had fever of some sort, but its exact nature could not be defined, there being, as before stated, no one on board possessing any medical skill worth speaking of. On this day the sailors were removed into a tent erected on the roof of the forecastle, and the forecastle was converted into a hospital, in which all the sick were placed. A large tent was erected on the poop, in which two or three families of the steerage passengers were moved, they being thereby made greatly more comfortable, and more room being obtained below. Awnings were also spread over the fore and quarter decks, affording shelter from the sun, which was becoming very hot. Under these awnings the passengers were generally gathered, although a few would still persist in remaining below. On Saturday we made 101 miles. During the night occurred
THE EIGHTH DEATH,
being that of Mattie Tyler, aged 30 months, daughter of Howell Tyler of Barnwell County, South Carolina. Her disease was attributed to the measles, being probably another illustration of the beauties of the economical policy of the managers of the L. E. A. J. S. S. S. Co. Another instance of this same thing was furnished by the food provided for the cabin which by this time had settled down to a business basis. The bill of fare was about like this:
Baked beans, Codfish,
Meal cakes, Bread,
Bean soup, Codfish,
Boiled beans, Rice cakes,
Cold beans, Boiled rice.
Rice pudding, Hash.
I think I ate a billion of beans during the trip. I never "hankered" much after beans either. On Sunday morning Tyler's child was buried.
Phew-w-w! how hot it was that Sunday! There was heat everywhere; heat, scorching, burning heat, in the sun's rays; heat in the mirror-like, flashing expanse of water; heat rising in quivering clouds from the decks; heat glared from the white sails which flapped to and fro like the wings of some great bird, too utterly prostrated with heat to move; heat, heat heat, expressed in every object in the great oven on the bottom of which we rested, and the arched cover of which seemed to shut out every breath of air, and slowly to be roasting us. It was a day compared with which the memorable 28th of June, 1876, in Charleston was cool and refreshing. We slowly drifted and rocked, and rapidly perspired all through it, while tantalizing visions of rolling on long grass beneath green trees among breezy Virginia hills; of fishing lazily in clear, placid streams under drooping willow trees; of the drinking of iced lemonades and cobblers behind cool venetian blinds; of the eating of cold watermelons in shady back piazzas; of all the delightfully cool and refreshing things ever done or thought of, would intrude themselves and add to the torments. On that day everybody joined with languid ardor in singing that part of the hymn about Greenland's lcy Mountains, but the most enthusiastic missionary turned with disgust from the consideration of Afric's sunny fountains or India's coral strands, with their horrible suggestiveness of hot weather, and seemed resigned to allow the heathen of those countries to bow down to wood and stone all they wanted to during the summer. Between decks it was terribly hot, but still some of the emigrants would remain there!
The Sunday-school did not flourish as had been hoped for. Even in the narrow precincts of the steerage denominational intolerance manifested itself. The Baptists, who were largely in the majority, refused to allow their children to attend a school taught by Methodists. Clement Irons, who showed throughout as much good sense, conscience and general zeal as the rest of the boat-load put together, succeeded in organizing one tolerably good meeting for religious exercises in the evening. I had expected to find the Azor's passengers colored Pilgrim Fathers, straight-laced, pious and continually at prayer. But this idea was not realized. Some as vigorous swearing as, in the course of a long and varied experience I have ever heard, was done on the fore decks by emigrants, and the public prayer meetings were by no means universally attended. I do not mean to say that these emigrants were worse than other emigrants. On the conttrary the proportion of people trying to be religious (which is about all that the best of us can do) is probably much larger than usual. But I merely mention as a fact that the Azor's passenger's were by no means all model Christians.
Monday, May 20.--I have written up the account of this voyage, so far, in narrative form. Intelligence received this morning,
however, casts a general shadow of doubt over the termination of the present picnic, and I shall therefore unfold the remainder of the tale in journal form. This day affairs assume a serious phase. The captain informs me that ship fever is certainly aboard. Though in a mild form, so far, it is liable to break out into the virulent one at any time. One of its unpleasant characteristics is, that it removes its victim on short notice, and gives him little time to complete unfinished letters in. We are a good four days from Monrovia, partially becalmed, beneath a tropical sun, living on salt meat, beans and rice, provisions are getting bad, and ship fever and measles are spreading. All of which is pleasant. This morning we buried two persons who died during the night, making a total, thus far, of
They were Grant Williams, aged 3 years, son of Brum Williams, of Burke County, Ga., and Simpson Matthewes, aged 16 months, son of Matthieson Matthewes, of Edgefield County, S. C. Both of these deaths are attributed to the fever. The measles has reached the cabin, one of ex-Senator Gaillard's children being down with it. On Sunday we made 112 and to this morning 78 miles. While conversing with the missionary sent out to teach the heathen, to-day, he informed me as a fact, that I could remove an eruption from my hand by binding on it a piece of black bacon skin, provided I stole the remedy and kept the fact of its possession and use a profound secret.
I do not wish to be understood as "running down" these people or their project. I will say now, what I had intended leaving for the summing up, for fear of an accident. The emigrants have generally behaved themselves excellently. They have uniformly easily been managed, obedient and accommodating. They have complained much, it is true, but when it is considered that they were suddenly brought into unaccustomed surroundings, with manifold discomforts insufficient, poor and generally novel food, and with no physician, this can not be wondered at. They have showed themselves as helpless as babes, but it must be remembered that landsmen are generally so at sea. The only real trouble has been their indifference to their own comfort and cleanliness, which proceeded probably from a lack of appreciation of the importance of those matters. While all are lamentably, some grossly, ignorant, that is hardly their own fault. Altogether, despite the many reprehensible characteristics displayed by some, I have been favorably impressed with the mass of these emigrants. Most of them will make good citizens; some will be invaluable acquisitions to the new country. I don't think there is a really bad or viciously disposed person among their number. I cannot, however, find terms strong enough in which to denounce the conduct of the managers of the expedition, in deliberately sending the Azor to sea without a competent physician. It was a crime against the Almighty, statute laws and humanity. The deaths of a large proportion of the deceased emigrants lie directly at their door. The stain of innocent blood is as deep on their hands as on Cain's. If I should never write another line, my last earnest advice to the colored people interested in this movement would be to rigidly investigate this matter, and cast out every man, participant in or cognizant of, this great iniquity.
May 21.--We are nearly becalmed, having made but 70 miles during the past 24 hours. In the middle of the night a great routing of seamen from bed, pulling and hauling at ropes and stumbling of sailors over sleeping emigrants, the latter being accompanied by much profane language, roused everybody. The turmoil was caused by the approach of a squall, of which, however, we got only the tail end.
The sick are generally progressing tolerably well, no deaths having occurred to-day. Good society has been engaged in delightful but unsuccessful angling for fresh shark meat. Hot? Don't mention the word!
Another development of George Curtis's medical skill was made to-day. He has been bathing the sore eyes of a passenger's child with warm salt water, reducing the little suffer's optics to a distressing condition. Practice suspended.
May 22.--Becalmed. We have made twenty-one miles during the past twenty-four hours. Distance from Monrovia computed to be 379 miles. So near, and yet so far. The fever spread no more, but two sick men in the forecastle are expected to die. The water is beginning to run short, and half rations are being issued all around. Fearfully hot! The emigrants seem generally comparatively happy and contented. They absolutely take no thought whatever for the morrow. The Methodists and Baptists are holding enthusiastic meetings on alternate nights in the bow.
Beans! beans! beans! at every meal beans. In my dreams I am pursued by the genius of Famine over endless deserts of baked beans, with an occasional "chunk" of salt pork by way of an oasis. If I ever get back to Charleston, I'll go voluntarily before a full court of judicial and ministerial trial justices and make solemn affidavit never to eat a bean again. Beans! faugh! Beans will ever hereafter he associated in my mind with colored emigrants, and I'd as lief eat one as the other. Then, besides the beans, there are the babies. Every emigrant has one of the latter. They squall and yell by detachments from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, and when the evening shades prevail the night squad comes on duty. My friend Horne (that's the mate) deposes and says that when the innocents run down for a season, their parents, without provocation, wind them up again with a strap, (with which every parent aboard, foreseeing the scarcity of peach switches, has provided
him or herself.) Oh, shades of good Kings Herod and Pharaoh!
May 23d. In the language of Old Jack, it's "wusser and wusser." We have only made twelve miles during the past twenty-four hours, and the sea is a sea of molten, scorching blue glass. Early this morning, within a few minutes of each other, occurred
TWO MORE DEATHS,
being those of Stanford Smallwood, aged eight years, son of Jack Smallwood of Edgefield County, S. C., and Samuel Hadley of Burke County, Ga., aged sixty-four years. The poor creatures were given the usual hasty sea burial and scantly ceremonial, in place of the peace and plenty and halcyon days on sunny shores for which they were journeying, respectively, to pass in comfortable tranquillity the remaining years of an old life, and in bright prosperity the many promised ones of youth. Smallwood's death was attributed to measles, and Hadley's to the fever. The people are very hard to manage in sickness. Just as they are with infinite trouble being brought around, they gorge themselves with fat pork, and down they go again. It is a subject for wonder that we haven't more sickness. Very few of the steerage passengers have changed their clothing, and many have not even washed their hands and faces, since leaving Charleston. They watch the mate, the captain and I, taking salt water shower-baths, with awe, and vow that they are afraid of it. Not one of them has limited us. Two more men are expected to die.
May 24.--A ray of comfort came last night in the shape of a light and shifting breeze, in which we managed to scuffle 63 miles. We are 310 miles from Monrovia at noon to-day.
TWO MORE DEATHS
this morning, making a total of fourteen so far. They were Bermille Clarke, aged 15 months, daughter of Ned Clarke, of Clarendon County, S. C., and Laura Williams, aged 22 years, wife of Brian Williams, of Burke County, Ga. The death of the former was attributed to convulsions, and that of the latter to the fever. Several more deaths are expected. The captain is barely able to get about, being completely knocked up with fatigue and anxiety. Still very hot. We have probably gotten into the current setting along this coast, which will help us some.
Yesterday the people drank their half rations of water all at once, and there was much suffering in consequence. In some instances one portion of a family would rob the others of what of the fluid was reserved. To-day they seem to have learned more prudence. It is a curious fact that our efforts to catch fish from the stern are defeated by the scraps and other food continually being thrown overboard. We can see the fish turn contemptuously from our bait and snap up these drifting provisions. Everybody in the steerage seems to have a cold, and the coughing is continuous. The emigrants have become so used to seeing funerals that they fail to attend them, and the putting of a body overboard seems to create no excitement whatever.
May 25.--The prospect to-day is gloomy enough. With all sails set we have only made seven miles during the past twenty-four hours; the wide circle of sea surface is smooth, except when now and then a wide irregular swell heaves restlessly up as if the water were panting under the heat which beats down fiercely from the blazing sun hung in a cloudless sky; the Azor rocks sleepily, her head swinging aimlessly about, and her sails flapping lazily against the yards. The passengers huddle about, crouching under the awnings, conversing occasionally in subdued tones, perfectly idle and listless; the vessel is becoming overrun with vermin, and the smell about the steerage is fearful. This morning we buried
THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CORPSES,
being those of persons who died during the night. They were Matilda Williams, aged 20, wife of Simon Williams, of Burke County, Ga., and Mary Ella Robinson, aged 14 months, daughter of Fred. Robinson, of Edgefield County, S. C. The death of the former is attributed to the fever, and that of the latter to measles. All amusement is denied. Yesterday I shot a sea gull and one or two bonitas, and this morning the oldest emigrant aboard came, cap in hand, on the quarter deck, and woke me from my hammock with the petition that I would shoot no more, as he felt convinced that it would bring us bad luck. The mortal remains of the slaughtered gull had, he said, been floating about the bark all night. Two "mare-maids" had also been seen to go by. "Ancient colored individual, said I,
"Where we lay
Were there 'lamentings heard i' the air: strange screams of death;
And prophesying with accents terrible.
Of dire combustions, and confused events
New hatched to the woeful time:' Did the
'Obscure bird clamor the livelong night?' "
He said that they were, and furthermore averred that an ancient dame, full well reputed for veracity, had seen a spectre dire backed like a shark, but very like a horse (probably having some connection with the mare maid) about the ship, which she supposed to be the disembodied and distorted spirit of the gull. This is an actual occurrence, and bears out what was said somewhere in the misty past of this letter about the negro's "ghost" and "Ku-Klux" factories. The latter is not available here, and they return to the former, repeating these horrible tales to each other.
I find on the sheets of my "copy" strange thumb marks, which lead me to believe that somebody is surreptitiously engaged in reading this communication. I sympathize heartily with whoever it is, as I've had that job to do myself.
May26.--Last evening, just before dusk, black clouds began to pile up above the western
horizon. Before long the glassy surface of the sea was rippling into wavelets, and just as darkness was coming on a welcome and body and soul refreshing gust of wind came from the west, being immediately followed by a steady breeze, which filled the hanging sails, and awoke the vessel from her lethargy, and sent her gliding along "like a thing of life," leaving behind her in the phosphorescent water a long, shining trail extending into the night. The clouds promised rain, and arrangements were made to secure as much water as possible. Everybody seemed to be taking in great draughts of the fresh air, which went rushing down through the wind sails and doors, scattering the close and fetid atmosphere 'tween decks, and filling every place with the very elixir of life. Cheerfulness and activity replaced the apathy and languor engendered by the week's calm, and in a few minutes all hands had gathered about the decks, and the joyful noise of old-fashioned hymns and choruses was heard from a hundred voices. The breeze held until about 3 o'clock this morning, when it suddenly changed to the east, filling the sails the wrong way, ("taking her aback.") The helm was immediately put hard down, the vessel brought before the wind, and all hands put to work clewing up everything. In the twinkling of an eye, amid the bellowing and crashing of thunder, the howling of wind, and the flashing of lightning, which followed each other very rapidly,
broke upon us in all its grandeur. The excitement and exhilaration of the next few minutes amply compensated for the weary days of calm and discomfort. The wind roared, shrieked and whistled through the rigging, the thunder discharged itself in peal after peal, the sails beat with dull monotonous thuds or cracked like a thousand whip lashes, the rain pelted and rattled, and the cries of sailors and orders of officers could be heard faintly as the wind swept them away. The continuous vivid flashes of lightning brought out all the surroundings in momentary tableaux dark figure of a sailor far up in the rigging would be brought into startling relief--the captain at the helm standing out in a flash and swallowed up by the darkness--a group of sailors in the attitude of running or hauling at a rope, disappearing before the motion or gesture could be completed--a knot of passengers crouching under some shelter, with anxious, startled faces. All of these things would come and go with almost inconceivable rapidity, leaving themselves photographed on the mind with their background of intense, sudden light and surrounding of dense darkness. What added to the weirdness of the effect was that the storm had come so suddenly that there was no sea, and the Azor, amid all the crash and confusion above, ran as noiselessly through the water as if she were a phantom ship, the spectral effect being heightened by the balls of pale electric light which lodged on the end of each yardarm, and on the top of each mast, (a phenomenon very common in these regions.) The two outer jibs went as an attempt was being made to haul them in, a rope parting. A large piece of one of the sails (now become literally a "flying" jib) went flying away. This sight being witnessed by one or two of the steerage passengers who had come on deck, they rushed rushed down stairs and gave the alarm to their comrades, who awakened by the uproar, were gathered there in the darkness, that the sailors had lost control of the vessel, that the sails were all going to pieces, and that inevitable destruction awaited the entire party. Then to the other noises were added those of praying and wailing and shouting. The sailors, however, with wonderful selfdenial, calmed the excitement, and that much of the trouble was donself-deniale away with. In a few minutes everything was snug, and the Azor was running by the wind under bare poles. The sail arranged to catch the water had been torn loose and was lodged up in the rigging, and no entreaties or commands could get the passengers to go out and catch the gallons of the precious fluid pouring from the roof of the poop. So we got no more than two or three bucketsful. This may partly be accounted for by the experience of one of them. In the beginning of the storm, after catching a large bucketful on the quarter deck, I discovered that it was still slightly brackish and threw it out in the companion way. As I did so I heard a faint "whoo," like the catching of breath after a sudden submersion, and caught a second's glimpse of a dark figure. A few minutes afterwards I found a thoroughly saturated emigrant in the steerage telling how, just as he was going on the quarter deck, the rain struck him in a sheet "like 'twas poured out of a bucket." Put this and that together.
The wind really did "blow great guns," while it lasted, which was about three quarters of an hour, it being a genuine tornado. So quickly was the ship handled, however, that she lost nothing except the two jibs. When the violence of the gale had abated, it gave place to a steady breeze, which allowed the setting of all sail except the royals, the weather being too unsettled to allow their use. We made 68 miles by dead reckoning to noon to-day, putting us within 245 miles of Monrovia.
TWO DEATHS AND A BIRTH
marked to-day. The former were those of Mitchell Williams, aged 52, of Burke County, Ga., who died of the fever, and Cicero Daniel, aged 15 months, son of Scott Daniel, of Barnwell County, S. C., who died of diarrhoea. This brings the total number of deaths to 18. The birth, the second one on this voyage, was that of a son to the wife of Aleck Clark, of Clarendon County, S.C.
May27.--A succession of light tantalizing breezes and dead calms has lasted twenty-four hours, during which we have gained but two
miles, being sailing across the current which drifts us to the north and west. We have only water to last for ten days on half allowance; the fever is likely to break out violently at any time, and there is an epidemic of sore throats and colds, somewhat resembling diptheria, which nobody aboard understands or can cope with. Fresh provisions all gone, and others becoming bad. This unprecedented calm may last a month; and the current is steadily losing us ground (or water;) a cheerful outlook. To-day's event was the catching of a shark, which was cooked and generously divided out as far as it would go.
Later.--The captain has decided to
PUT INTO SIERRA LEONE,
which is only 57 miles from us now, for water, fresh provisions and medical attendance. The announcement gives general satisfaction, and the people are gathered on the bow singing joyfully. This seems a most wise measure, for it would be running a fearful risk to pass the port and take the chance of being becalmed without water and a pestilence raging.
THE NINETEENTH DEATH
occurred, being that of an infant son of Scott Bailey, of --, aged fifteen months. Death is attributed to the fever. It seems as if we were getting in just in time. Two more persons sickened with the fever this morning. The hills about Sierra Leone came in sight at 9 o'clock, and now at 2 P. M. they are plainly to be seen with the naked eye. Everybody is singing, dancing and shouting, and people are constantly running to my cabin window or door, announcing that they can see houses and trees. Some seem almost wild with joyous excitement at seeing something besides sky and water. At 4 o'clock the town (Freetown) was in plain sight dead ahead.
The land, as seen from shipboard, consisted of a long, irregular range of hills, backed up by other and higher irregular hills. On one side, to the northeast, or on the left side going in, the range terminates in a steep incline, from which the coast runs low and flat, as far as the eye can reach. On the right, away off, there is a break in the hill chain, after which there are several abrupt hills (what in East Tennessee they call "knobs,") which apparently decrease in height as they run to the southwest. This is the general outline of the horizon. The town proper is apparently clustered in picturesque confusion on the side of the last hill to the left, just in the bend which the cape forms at its junction with the mainland.
As we slowly sailed in a British mail steamer was made out following us. The shore became more and more distinct as we approached, until we could plainly see the while lighthouse situate on the cape, built close to the water's edge and surrounded by deep green foliage. The hills looked like any other hills, with patches of red clay peeping out here and there, through the trees and grass, with the little water courses, or gullies, furrowing their face. Their appearance was very familiar to eyes accustomed to Southwestern and Northern landscapes. Many of the trees, however, were palms and cocoas, and all the others were strange to us. Several fishing boats, precisely similar in build, rigging and crew, to those plying in Charleston harbor sailed out past us, one or two coming quite close. Those aboard of them must have surmised that the Azor contained the inmates of a lunatic asylum out for an airing, from the scrambling, rushing, shouting and vociferous iaughing of the passengers, as well as from the variety of aprons, skirts, hats, rags and handkerchiefs waved at them. We couldn't make out much of the town, as it was covered by the trees, which seemed planted in great profusion all through it.
At about half-past 4 o'clock an ordinary ship's boat was seen pulling out containing five men. As it approached nearer, it was seen that all five were black as tar, and that four were dressed in a narrow cloth hung about the loins, and nothing else. The other was attired just about as the ordinary colored longshoremen or boatmen around Charleston usually are. As the boat came up on the port side of the Azor, there was a general break among the emigrants, who fled in every direction, scrambling over the hatch houses and tumbling over each other in their precipitate flight. The children seemed especially frightened, and fled below. The individual with the clothes on scrambled up the side, a rope, being thrown him, and proved to be a small, weazened and respectable-looking old black man. His companions stood up in their boat, slipped on loose blouses and pantaloons, put on their hats, and came aboard, excepting one philosophical savage, who remained in his boat and state of nudity with as much freedom from embarrassment as Adam ever did. The Azor's passengers rallied at the sight of the clothes, and crowded around the visitors, who held out their hands and suffered them to be shaken, and looked around them with natural surprise. The four strangers then went aft to the quarter deck, where the old man announced himself to the captain as a pilot.
I think if all the humbugs in the world could be collected and settled somewhere, that George Curtis would be king by natural right. As he did on all occasions, he eagerly embraced this opportunity of making an ass of himself, approached this old man with a book about the size of a common ledger, and proceeded to ask him questions and record the answers, as if he were taking a deposition. The pilot spoke a sort of cross between a Frenchman's English and a negro's, and answered the inquiries of "Pills" (Curtis's soubriquet) in a helpless sort of way, while his companions stared in open-eyed wonder. The captain finally got the victim away, and he proceeded to attend to piloting, while his three friends (one of whom was
his son) wandered about, being so beset with questions and stared at that two of them finally took refuge in the rigging, where one immediately took off all his clothes again. The boat was meantime towed astern, and its solitary occupant proceeded to light a chalk pipe and smoke to the great delight of all beholders. The steamer passed us and went on in, and we dropped anchor about 100 yards from the landing. Very soon the lights in the town began to glimmer out, and a beautiful effect they produced shining brightly up the dark side of the hill from the water's edge.
Soon after dark the deputy harbormaster came out in a neat little gig, pulled by two black oarsmen in sailor dress. He himself was a tall, well-made and good looking quadroon, looking very officer-like, in spotless duck pantaloons and vest with brass buttons, loose blue coat and official cap. As he went into the captain's cabin the passengers clustered about the windows and knocked their heads together, trying to get a glimpse of this prodigy, and discussing warmly and audibly whether he was a "yellow fellow," or merely a white man tanned by tropical suns. The officer asked a few questions as to what was wanted, &c., touched his cap, and went back over the side. He was very respectful and polite, and didn't "put on style" half as much as the average Circuit Court tipstaff does. "Pills" had penned the pilot's son up in a corner, and proceeded to converse with him on the same principle pursued by Mrs. Somebody in "Little Dorrit," with a foreigner--talking broken English. Said Pills: "Me sabe one time several years ago, one, two, three much good men from here, and me sabe a man, he call Mr. Hazely, who was educated here." Then, his victim having made some remark in perfectly intelligible English, said Pills: Jah, yea, yes, oui, ce, me understand," evidently desiring to impress us all with his profound knowledge of the African dialect.
At about, 9 o'clock the deputy harbormaster returned, bringing with him a black policeman in a trim blue jacket with red trimmings and pewter buttons, armed with a familiar-looking club, wearing a guardsman's cap, and evidently a perfect martinet in the matter of discipline, as he immediately proceeded to pace the gangways, never for a moment unbending, replying to all questions with a stiff, official bow, holding his head up, and invariably touching his cap to the captain, mates and I. He is a West Indian, and speaks excellent English. He was put in charge, and the pilot and crew were ordered to stay aboard the Azor during the night. As I write, 10 P. M., the lights are gleaming ashore, and voices come now and then from land or passing boats which can be plainly distinguished as negroes, speaking negro. I could shut my eyes and easily imagine myself on the Battery in Charleston, with boats from the shore going by. The weather is delightful, there being a stiff sea breeze.
May29, 11 P. M.--Have been ashore all day "knocking around," and my note-book and head are both in an appalling state of plethora, from incidents, pictures, figures, &c. The captain has decided in view of the uncertain state of the weather and his passenger's health to be towed to Monrovia by the mail steamer. We will leave here at an early hour to-morrow.
TWENTY-THREE DEATHS IN ALL.
Two more deaths occurred on Thursday night, being those of Laura Clark, wife of Aleck Clark, of Clarendon, aged 25 years, of effects of confinement, and Hattie Brue, child, 10 years old, from Burke County, Ga., of fever. One occurred to-day, being that of -- Shaw, daughter of Wm. Shaw, of Georgia. Another took place at 10 o'clock to-night, being that of the wife of Wm. Johnson.
May 30--Off this morning in tow of steamer Ethiopia. Will be in Monrovia in thirty hours, (D. V.) from whence I will date my next.
A BRITISH CAPTAIN LEAVES THE EMIGRANTS IN THE LURCH--VISIT OF A DANDY DOCTOR--DANGER IN DELAY--THE CONTRACT FOR A TOW TO MONROVIA WANTONLY BROKEN BY THE MAIL STEAMER--VISITING THE TOWN--ITS ETHNOLOGICAL, POLITICAL, AGRICULTURAL AND SOCIAL PECULIARITIES--NO NEED THERE FOR THE XVTH AMENDMENT--ARRIVAL OF ANOTHER STEAMER--THE AZOR SAFE AT MONROVIA.
MONROVIA, Sunday, June 2--Midnight.--My last letter, dated Sierra Leone, May 30, was abruptly concluded with the anouncement that we were off for this place in tow of the steamer Ethiopia of the British mail line between Liverpool and the west coast of Africa. After posting that somewhat voluminous document. I hastened, in company with Capt. Holmes, to the landing, whence we discerned, to our astonishment and grief, the Ethiopia steaming away over the bar without the Azor, which lay anchored at her place. We hurried aboard the bark, and signals were vainly made to recall the steamer, which finally disappeared around the cape. This desertion of us was not only a breach of commercial contract and plighted word on the part of Capt. Simmons of the Ethiopia, but it was a piece of the most heartless cruelty. He had distinctly made an agreement with Capt. Holmes to tow the Azor to Monrovia for £150, ($750,) the latter promising to be ready by 11 o'clock A. M. We were ready by 10.45 A. M., at which time the Ethiophia was steaming away nearly out of sight. Capt. Simmons perfectly knew our situation. He had been informed of the opinion expressed by the physician--that should further delay occur in disembarking the Azor's passengers, a large number would certainly die. What his motives were I do not know. I do know that he has violated the rules held sacred by every merchant and sailor, not to speak of gentleman or man of honor. He is a disgrace to his company and his nation. His conduct was generally characterized in Sierra Leone as "dirty."
My last entry in the "Journal" of any importance was on the 28th, the day of our arrival in Sierra Leone. Early next morning several bumboats were about the ship, most of them having plentiful stores of pineapples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, alligator pears and cocoanuts, which their owners clamorously offered for sale, speaking, like the pilot, a jabber apparently equally savoring of French and African English. One or two women were also on hand, vociferously soliciting orders for washing. The Azor people clustered like bees on the rails, and stared with open eyes on the visitors, and with watering mouths on the fruit. This latter, however, was rigidly excluded by the ship's officers. We had about 300 souls aboard, and had fruit been allowed as it was wanted, we should have had 300 severe stomach aches before night.
THE DANGER OF DELAY.
About 8 o'clock on this morning (29th) the colonial physician came out in the harbor-master's boat. He (the physician) is an octoroon with the white duck suit, cork hat, canvas shoes, side whisker and vocal inflection of the average Englishman in these parts. He was a little afraid of us, I think, and kept his boat at a safe distance, asking questions as to the disease aboard, its symptons, &c., and entering the answers in a morocco notebook with a gold pencil. He was rowed by black oarsmen, and spoke to them in a manner that showed plainly that universal social equality was by no means an accomplished fact there. Bye and bye the doctor came aboard, looked at the patients, prescribed for them, and promised to send medicines and disinfectants. He confirmed our previous impression that the sickness was a mild form of ship fever,
caused by overcrowding, uncleanliness, insufficient medicines and inefficient medical attendance. He gave as his opinion that every day of delay in getting the emigrants ashore increased the danger of a violent and fatal outbreak. He was asked what the consequence would be should the Azor sail and be delayed for ten days longer. "From fifty to sixty deaths," was the ominous and significant answer. This proved the wisdom of putting in, for the sickness alone, omitting mention of the scarcity of food and water.
As soon as the doctor had gone, Capt. Holmes and I went ashore, in a boat propelled by two black oarsmen attired in cotton shirts and pantaloons and red skull caps. Our arrival at the landing seemed to create considerable excitement among the numerous loungers in that vicinity. We were immediately surrounded by about twenty black men and women, the former touching caps and the latter curtsying, and all offering to do all sorts of things--"for a consideration." Right here I will get through with describing the style of dress that prevailed.
THE LATEST AFRICAN FASHIONS.
The dress of the fishermen has been already spoken of as generally consisting of a rag about the loins. The habiliments of the boatmen and policemen have been also mentioned. The ordinary laborers, porters and longshoremen usually wear loose thin shirts and trowsers; although they frequently have only the latter, and in other instances what resembles a long bag cut open at the ends with two holes cut above for the arms. All are barefooted and most are barelegged below the knee. The almost invariable head covering is a skull cap of gaudy color. Clerks, messengers, store and shop keepers, and those belonging to that class, usually wear clothes of European cut and make, of different colors and fashionings, with shoes and hats, like anybody else. Then come the Mussulmans dressed in long pure white and flowing robes, not unlike an Episcopal minister's surplice, with sandals secured across the instep with huge buttons, and tall brimless linen or cloth caps. These are the fellows who come in from the country, and are "not at work today." Their humbler brethren who are at work (a condition of life in which a Mussulman never is if he can possibly help himself) wear gowns of coarse blue cotton, generally dirty, but of the same shape. Not only these followers of the prophet, but many others of the colored citizens of Sierra Leone have suspended around their necks leather pouches, bits of stone, &c., containing charms. The dress of the women is as diverse as the men's. Sometimes they wear a single long, loose garment of thin cotton gathered in at the waist. Others have a gaudily colored robe wrapped around their waists and falling below their ankles, with a spare piece hanging in front which they pull up over their bosoms when a strange man is approaching. Very frequently an infant is bound up in the folds of this garment, resting quietly behind and forming a bustle. The mother always looks profoundly unconscious of, and unconcerned about, this burden, which is invariably quiet. Everybody, unless engaged in commercial pursuits, manages to get some bright color introduced in his or her dress, except the aristocratic Mussulman in his spotless white, and even his cap is often a bright red or scarlet.
THE LABORING PEOPLE OF BOTH SEXES
are generally very erect, and walk with what in a white man would be a swagger, but in them, with their free limbs, is merely a graceful independence. The business men have the business man's usual stoop, methodical walk and steady look, and generally carry an umbrella and wear a broad hat. I think these natives are usually very strong, and some of them are magnificently shaped, especially the women. The most beautiful and massive pair of female shoulders I have ever seen, I saw here. Their owner had a heavy load on her head, but walked under it as straight as an arrow, and the shoulders just spoken of were studies for an artist, being straight, square, clean cut and well rounded--altogether perfect. Almost all the overland transportation is done on human heads, there being only three horses in the entire colony. A woman will walk into town at a good pace from miles in the country, with a child swinging at her back, and from thirty to seventy pounds of produce on her head, carrying herself as well and showing as little fatigue as an average American or English woman would after a mile's unencumbered stroll. What the men can carry I am afraid to say. I saw one start home with two huge iron pots balanced on his head, weighing probably one hundred pounds, and he looked as if he hardly felt them. The laborers whom we met at the wharf bore two two-gallon demijohns of rum in each hand and another on their heads. I saw no woman whose dress would forbid her appearance on the streets of an American city. The children to about eight years old wear very little--very often nothing at all. Now you have the people as they appear on the streets.
LOOKS OF THE TOWN.
From the large stone dock on which we landed we walked probably half a block across a sort of court, on the right side of which was a large brick warehouse, in and about which demijohns and bales were being handled by a gang of black men. Here we reached a flight of broad steps made of heavy stone, in the interstices of which grew grass and weeds. On these steps we get up a short hill and are fairly within the town, which does not differ much so far as I can see from any small American seaport town. The town proper (Freetown) contains about 3,600 population, and the colony of Sierra Leone extends some thirty miles back of the coast,
and contains between 30,000 and 40,000 people. Freetown is built more along the foot of the high hills than I thought, not running more than a third of the distance up them. The streets are of ordinary width, being unpaved. The soil is common red clay beaten hard by much treading, and the streets or roads are fringed on each side by a broad border of grass precisely similar to our American grass and weeds.
are generally one-story, and built of wood, with roofs made of reeds or rushes plaited. From the front of each of these houses projects a wide roof, covering where the pavement should be. The fences are also familiar, being the ordinary slat ones, the slats being boards or barrel staves. In the little gardens, which are generally about seventy-five feet square, grow short stalks of corn, yams and a few other vegetables, and in most of them a cocoanut tree or two towers up. At long intervals a more pretentious building is reached, there being several large two-story frame stores, the upper story surrounded with lattice work, a few brick stores, and probably half a dozen brick and wooden warehouses. A tin or tile roof is occasionally seen. The town is well laid off into streets, with English names, such as "Rawdon street," "Water street," "Oxford street," &c., painted at their corners. A short walk down several streets and around several corners brings us to the place of business of
THE AMERICAN CONSUL,
from which the "glorious gridiron" floats. Our guide has been a black man picked up from a boat, and on the way he succeeds in engaging himself to wait on the ship with his conveyance. We note en route that nearly every man we meet touches his hat and says "goo mornin !" We see only one white man--a squarely built Englishman, in a cork hat and his shirt sleeves, smoking a large pipe, and standing under a tree, superintending a gang of laborers--who eyes us superciliously as we pass. The American representative is a member of an English firm doing the largest business in Sierra Leone. On the first floor of his establishment is the retail store, a wide and deep apartment, stocked with bright prints, cotton, beads, hats, sandals, hardware, "notions," clothing and guns. The latter are the old flintlock, long barrelled, smooth bore musket. My idea is that the man who fires one of them thereby gives proof of courage of a very high order. The store has a counter, behind which stands the keeper, black--the head clerk, black--the junior clerks, black--porter, black--messenger, black. Back of this store is the warehouse, where gangs of laborers are at work. Up stairs are the offices, of which there is a large suite. Here are four white men, including proprietors, and several colored and black clerks, all working together.
THE BUSINESS STREET.
There is little difficulty in getting our American notes changed and drafts cashed here, and we sally out to see the town further. One of the junior salesmen is sent along to take care of me and my umbrella. My guide is European dressed, plodding, methodical and business-like. We go around a few more corners and get into the business street, which is lined on both sides with the one story shops with their broad porches in front. Under these porches are grouped samples of the wares for sale within--bright prints, painted china, clothing and so on--which gives the boulevard an extremely animated and picturesque appearance. Put in this street the people heretofore described with baskets, calabashes and trays on their heads, and you have Sierra Leone. Like everybody else on the Azor, I had lost head gear, and I went to buy a hat. None of the shops are deeper than four or five feet, being more booths than stores, and the stock can easily be reached by the proprietor without his having to move around much. The old heathen to whom I was taken reached down an old white article lined with cork, and shaped like the coal scuttle in a railroad car after a collision. He wanted to sell it for thirty-six shillings. After a little cyphering this came to $9. Then I looked at the hat.
"Colored person," I asked, "suppose I walked down King street in this fearfully and wonderfully constructed tile, how many hundred boys would sing out to me 'Shoot the hat,' between Line street and the Battery?"
He said he would take 34 shillings, and followed us out, falling rapidly in price to 28. This was a characteristic of Sierra Leone shopkeepers. They always charge about twice what they will take. I finally got a hat capable of effecting the most startling changes in one's appearance. It is a broad-brimmed felt, and, when turned down, makes its wearer look like a sullen Quaker. Turned up, it changes him immediately to a combination of Bloody-Nose Bill the Avenger, a stage-pirate, and Sir Walter Scott's Alsatian. Now you have the town and the people.
NO LIONS IN FREETOWN.
There are no lions to look at in Freetown. A regiment of soldiers is quartered there -- They are black, and dress in zouave uniform. There is a market which looks like a section of Charleston Market sawed off. There is a town hall which is an ordinary village courthouse. There are barracks for the soldiers, and that's all. The police are all colored, all dressed in blue, red and pewter, all have clubs, and are very frequently barefooted.
I did not see a flower in the town. The trees are mostly cocoanut, the others being non-fruit bearing. Some of them were very handsome, but nobody could tell me what they were called.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
Sierra Leone produces principally ginger,
hides, palm oil and peanuts. She raises a few "nubbins" of corn for table consumption, rice, fruits, yams and plantains. Cocoanuts you all know, yams you all know, bananas you know; alligator pears are about the size of a large cucumber, soft inside, eaten with salt and pepper, and having a large stone. For a steady diet I would prefer mule meat to them. Mangoes are delightful, having an aromatic, spicy taste impossible to describe. The oranges are good. Pineapples sell at Freetown at a penny (two cents) each, cocoanuts about the same price, the pears ditto, mangoes at a half penny, oranges at almost anything. Palm wine is also sold here, but it tastes like hot water and bad molasses.
A SOUVENIR OF RICHMOND.
We procured fruits, onions, "greens," spinach, eggs, fresh meat and water at reasonable prices. The latter tasted more like the "Jeems River" fluid, so dear to the hearts of Richmond (Va.) people, than anything I have seen in a long time. The fresh meat comes from small, but sleek-looking and generally fawn colored cattle, which are raised in the country. It is excellent. I forgot, by the way, to mention that our old friends, the goats and hogs, perambulate the streets quite freely, and were quite as independent and greedy as in American towns.
The captain of the Ethiopia was seen by Capt. Holmes on the occasion of this first visit, and an arrangement was made with him to tow the Azor out the next morning. When we got back aboard this announcement was made known, and it gave general satisfaction, as the steamer could tow us in thirty hours over the distance it might have cost days of time and many lives for us to have sailed. Capt. Holmes wished to make the expense as light as possible for the Liberian Exodus Association, and he proceeded to attempt the raising of half the amount from the passengers. I was elected treasurer. The Exodists raised $62 in cash among them. For the first time I got some idea of the extent to which these people have been drained to push the scheme. Several of the steerage passengers started from Charleston with actually not one cent. Others had sums varying from $1 to $10. One told me: "I gave the last $5 note I had, when they told me the ship couldn't start without more money." Another, who came away without a dollar in his pocket, holds claims for $1,200 against the Association. I don't think more than five of those aboard have over $50 in clear cash. The managers knew this too!
A DRAFT ON THE L. E. A.
These revelations induced Capt. Holmes to refrain from further drawing upon the pittances remaining, and he decided to draw on the Association for the full amount of $750, and restore what money had been paid in. Early on the morning of the 30th one of the sailors took it in his head to be stubborn, and a half hour's delay and hard work was required to get him in irons. Then we rushed ashore, where I finished and mailed my last letter. Our bitter disappointment I have already told you of.
A VAIN HOPE.
As the steamer disappeared everybody looked almost ready to cry for vexation and disappointment. My mortification and sorrow were doubled, for a hope of "Pills" Curtis being left ashore had arisen, when we, hurrying to the ship, caught sight of him on a distant corner, making an ass of himself in the presence of a number of the natives, and swelling around like a ridiculous old peacock without any feathers. This hope was, however, vain, as he came aboard about an hour after the time fixed for our departure. There was some consolation when we went ashore, for there we were informed that the Senegal and Bonnie (steamers) were due on Saturday, the former homeward and the latter outward bound, and that we would certainly get towing from one of the two.
KINDNESS OF GOVERNOR ROWE.
With this we were of necessity satisfied, especially as the Governor (Governor Rowe) had intimated very plainly that if we attempted sailing he would institute a rigorous investigation into the number of passengers aboard the Azor, and enforce the English laws on the subject. This gentleman was exceedingly kind to us during our stay, lending his own boats and breakers to facilitate our watering, and furnishing us large quantities of medicines gratuitously.
GOVERNMENT OF THE COLONY.
There is much information regarding Sierra Leone which was gleaned at odd times and places, which I will have to throw together in as much shape as possible. First, because the easiest disposed of, comes the politics. The Colony is ruled by a Governor and council appointed by the British Government. They are all white men, (or, as they are called there, "Europeans.") Some of the petty civil officers are colored, I believe. So here we see a happy people never troubled with elections, and they do seem the happier and better for it.
AN AFRICAN NEWSPAPER.
They have a newspaper in Sierra Leone, the existence of which is sporadic. The man who owns the press is strongly opposed to Governor Rowe's administration and policy, and wants to make a rowe with him on all occasions, while the man who owns the type is a strong Rowe man. Consequently there is always a rowe. When the paper supports Rowe the anti-Rowe man kicks up a rowe and takes away his press, and when the unfortunate sheet opposes Rowe there is a d--1 of a rowe, and the Rowe man takes off his type. Then there ensues a suspension until enough men, who want to see some "little thing" of theirs in print, get together to hire the portion of the
outfit owned by the opposition. Then the sheet which is about the size of a pocket handkerchief, comes out, sometimes giving fits to Rowe, and sometimes to those who make the rowe with Rowe. There's politics and literature.
WAGES IN THE COLONY.
Now for society and the relations of the two races. The lower class of blacks, such as laborers, clerks and salesmen, are very much like our own negroes. A common day laborer earns a shilling (25 cents) per diem, a good clerk or shopman from £3 to £5 ($15 to $25) per month, and all seem to live very comfortably and contentedly in their respective states of life. The Mussulmans are the principal agriculturists, and, outside of the thirty miles of British possessions, work their farms with slaves, either bought or inherited. The slavery is of a very light nature, the nearness to John Bull's line making it easy for the slave to run off if ill-treated. He is, therefore, generally exceedingly well cared for.
THE ORDINARY NEGRO.
There is one point where the Sierra Leone negro far supasses the American citizen of African descent. He washes himself always once and generally twice a day. He generally lives on rice, preferring the native grain which is parboiled before being beaten out, which process ruins its clear white, but renders it more nourishing and pleasant to eat--they say so, and I think so. If the ordinary negro is in your employ for five minutes or five years he always addresses and speaks of you as "massa," touches his cap when approaching you, and takes it off in your presence. He makes a respectful, ready, cleanly and faithful servant, works cheaply, and is delighted by a "tip," bowing almost to the ground, scraping, and grinning from ear to ear when presented with six pence or a shilling. He never calls you "bos" or speaks of you as "ole--." Yet he knows his rights too. People can, and do, call him an infernal fool, a bloody idiot, a blasted son of a gun, and an "onery cuss," and he takes it patiently and good-naturedly. But they are deprived of the sweet consolation of calling him "a durn nigger." The latter is an opprobitious term, and he will immediately have you summoned before a magistrate and fined from five to fifteen shillings. We were not very favorably impressed with the morals of this class, however, as the "drummers" at the wharves offered chickens, ducks, cabbages and young women all in the same breath and with the same business-like air.
"STRUCK ALL OF A HEAP."
So much for the lower classes, now for the other. An English gentleman, with whom I became acquainted, invited me to his house to dinner. He was a prominent man, and there is no doubt as to his business and social standing being of the best. On going to his house, I was "struck all of a heap" by being introduced to his son and daughter, both unmistakably colored. In the expressive language of Mrs. Gamp, "You might 'a knocked me down with a feather." Blue Moses! Here was I who had never, never, never, sat at meat with anything but pure Caucasian; who had never called colored man or woman "Mr.," "Miss" or "Mrs." (resorting often-times to ingenious devices to avoid doing so without giving offence, such as asking a boy coming to the door "who lives here?" in order that he should say "Mr. Johnson," and I shouldn't have to.) I, who had been explaining to my host, while on the way home, why, in my judgment, a social distinction between the races was natural and proper; here I was suddenly confronted with this appalling problem. Of course there was only one thing to be done, and I went blindly and recklessly in and did it--that was to pretend that there was nothing unusual, and that I didn't know white from otherwise. She did the honors of the table very gracefully, and afterwards performed several airs on the piano with correctness and taste. I was so afraid she had noticed my involuntary start at first, that I assured her with tears in my two e'en that her music was the sweetest I had ever heard.
A CONCERT BADLY MIXED.
After dinner that night, (that was Friday, June 1,) I went to a concert, magic lantern and amateur theatrical performance in the courthouse hall. The room was about thirty feet square and divided by an ordinary railing. Outside of this were rough benches. Here were the shilling, half price seats. Inside the railing the walls were decorated with cocoa tree branches, and there were chairs, which formed the two shilling seats, occupied by the élite Against the wall, opposite the entrance door, was a stage, on which the sheet on rollers, used for the magic lantern, was placed. This part of the performance was over. In the centre of the stage sat Governor Rowe, on his right a British officer in uniform, and old, and a middle aged colored woman, and on his left an octoroon girl and another young British officer. Against the wall on the left was another and smaller stage for the theatricals. The audience was of all colors, mostly black, there being a slight sprinkling of English officers, one or two white civilians, the curate and, in fact, everybody. The play was a farce entitled "John Dobbs," and the actors were all black, the female parts being assumed by men, (shades of Manager Ottolengui!) When the farce, which was a very perfect farce in every way, was over, all went home, several of the colored damsels being escorted by white men, while others of the latter race and gender stood about the doors (after the manner of empty-headed young men in general,) uncovering and bowing.
A LITTLE SUPPER.
I met there an American--a New Yorker and a "Copperhead," who had been living five years in Sierra Leone, and he carried me
off to a "little supper," in a delightfully cool upstairs room somewhere, where a miniature fountain played from among green shrubs in the centre of the table, and we ate roast fowl and salmon, and drank claret from porous clay utensils in company with two men black as crows, one of whom addressed my friend by his last name. There's social equality, and nobody seems to feel or see any difference. My American friend says "You soon get used to it." The fact is the colored people in Sierra Leone are so thoroughly Anglicized in every respect that the English find no difficulty in forgetting their skins. I ain't English. I learn that the colored daughter of my English friend is a leader of the Freetown ton. Indeed, while I was in the house, the wife of a major in the army came in and paid a sociable visit.
I have not been able to see much of the town which, they say, lies behind the hill, as it was too far to walk, and the only other conveyances are wheeled and sedan chairs, propelled or carried by natives, which don't look either clean or pleasant. The Governor has a large hammock, carried by a small company of servants, in which he can stow himself and family, but he never offered to lend it to me. The total number of white people in the Colony is about 200. The thermometer usually ranges between 90 and 100.
OFF FOR MONROVIA.
That's about nearly all I know about Sierra Leone, as we started from there at 3 o'clock, yesterday (Saturday) evening, in tow of the steamer Senegal. I've been working almost this entire Sunday to get this ready to go back with her. Now it's 9 P. M. I will date this the time of our arrival in Monrovia. The steamer charges us £210 for towing down.
This, in common with the preceding letter, has been written in the upper berth of a narrow cabin, and with all the disadvantages of sickness, the rolling and pitching of the vessel, and other discomforts and inconveniences which were necessary consequences of our crowded condition and poor provision. Under such circumstances the brain does not work freely, nor is the hand cunning in transcribing. There is one comfort, however. The handwriting of most of this is such as to give me assurance that it will avenge me of my adversary, the intelligent compositor, to whom I owe a grudge of long standing. My next from Monrovia.
MORE ABOUT SIERRA LEONE--FREETOWN, AS A PLEASANT CONTRAST TO DISMAL MONROVIA--OTHER FEATURES OF THE AZOR'S STOPPING-PLACE--THE CHURCHES AND THE FOUNTAINS--AN EXECUTION--NATIVE HATRED OF EUROPEANS--THE KINDLY BEHAVIOR OF THE OFFICERS AND AMERICAN CONSUL.
MONROVIA, June 3.--I sent letters back by the mail steamer, which towed us here and started on its return to Sierra Leone before daylight this morning. As everybody does when writing in haste, I omitted several interesting points about Sierra Leone. One of the principal of these was what nearly everybody (more shame to them) is prone to omit, when necessity compels some omission--
Churches are plentiful in and about Freetown. The first one noticed on arrival is St. George's Cathedral, which stands near the water side, and is a large structure apparently of stone. (I had no opportunity of examining closely,) with a tower and clock. It has that substantial, solid look common to English ecclesiastical edifices, (according to the illustrated magazines,) which always impress one with the feeling that their's is indeed an established church, able to withstand attacks from within and without, as the buildings themselves with stand the assaults of wind, weather and time. Over this presides an English clergyman. I met him in the street and recognized, him immediately. I had seen him a thousand times before, in pictures, in society dramas and elsewhere, cleanly shaven face, shovel hat, cravat, coat and all. He bore his profession all over him, and in this regard it seems as though the English set an example worthy of imitatation by American ecclesiastics, many of whom seem to dress with a view of concealing their vocation as much as possible. It is a well known fact that it is often impossible to decide on sight whether a man is a minister of the Gospel or a sewing machine agent. Those known as clergymen invariably command respect from everybody, and it would be very easy for them to be always recognizable. I saw a somewhat distinguished preacher once at a secular meeting which he had opened with prayer, leaning over the platform railing habited in a rough overcoat and slouch hat, smoking a cigar, and in no way distinguishable from Tom, Dick and Harry, who similarly attired and unemployed, swore and talked smut all around him, totally ignorant of who and what he was. Besides the cathedral there are twelve or more church buildings in Sierra Leone of less architectural pretensions, belonging to Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and other denominations. All of these; I was informed, are attended by congregations of fair numerical strength; composed, of course, of the civilized and educated natives, with a sprinkling in nearly all of Europeans or their descendants. When I met the English clergyman above alluded to, he was apparently returning from
which took place on Friday. The subject of the operation was a civilized native, a member of a Protestant Church, and a man of previously good character, who had arisen one night, killed one or two persons, and nearly hacked the life out of others. English courts have never put faith in the temporary insanity business, and this interesting personage was duly convicted, sentenced and hanged without fuss or feathers. He seemed perfectly sane, and made the usual speech declaring his assurance of heaven. I heard one old black woman remark with manifestations of considerable disgust that she could'nt be made to believe that the murderer would go to sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob while the murdered, cut off unwarned and unprepared, descended to the pit of infinite horrors. At least she tried to say that, and it does seem as if there was some reason in her remark. The execution was witnessed by a crowd of about 1,500, natives, Europeans, Mussulmans, Christians and heathens, all of whom preserved the utmost decorum throughout. In the course of his remarks, just previous to the falling of the trap, the condemned man warned his fellow natives that they were standing in their own light, and injuring themselves by the disposition shown by some of them to oppose European influence. (Everything not pure native African is called "European.") There is some feeling of this sort, but I don't think it amounts to much, although I heard one native of some prominence quoted as having said that he hated everything with a drop of European blood in it. Such cases, however, are probably very
rare. I really cannot see what the people have to complain of. They are
NOT HEAVILY TAXED, WELL GOVERNED,
protected, given enough to do, if they want to work, their commerce and trade encouraged and every possible measure is apparently taken to insure their comfort and welfare, spiritual and temporal. Besides all this they have that crowning glory and blessing, the privilege of abusing anybody and everybody as much and long as they please, which is what I conceive to be the real meaning and intent of those watch words which have passed about the camp-fires of humbug from time immemorial almost--"Free Speech and a free Press." So, really, it does look as if they ought to be reasonably happy and contented, and I think that they are. Of course, they don't hang all of the criminals in Sierra Leone, but they make crime a rather serious business. About the town, in several places, I met gangs of men, in blue and white striped suits, bearing the word "Convict" across the back of the shoulders in large white letters. They were invariably at work at something, and were guadred. One guard, I noticed, bore a "cat," which probably helped to keep the prisoners laboring. Among the convicts I saw no white man.
THE PUBLIC FOUNTAINS.
Another feature of Sierra Leone which I omitted mentioning is the public fountains or hydrants which stand on the corners in several places. (The idiots who wrote the English grammars have failed to show as yet how you can speak of a number of "fountains," plural, composing a "feature," singular, and make a smooth sentence. The fact is, I have discovered that when a plural forms a singular, the effect is apt to be singular -- a -- a -- a -- that is -- the fact is that exactly how plural fountains can be made to form a singular feature is one of those singular features of English grammar that no fellow can find out. This is a grammatical parenthesis, and may be skipped by the reader greatly to his own edification.) As I was going to say when interrupted by the vision of some five thousand school boys and girls, aided, abetted and incited by parents and teachers, writing to criticise my grammar, these plural fountains form quite a feature, the effect of which is heightened by the continual presence in and about them of swarms of half, seven-eighths and eight-eighths nude boys and girls splashing around and catching water in their calabashes, while tired men and women in picturesque costumes sit around the edges and rest after drinking. The natives are all very cleanly, invariably bathing once and frequently twice or thrice each day. I think they generally go in with their clothes or clothe (another English linguistic idiotcy; why isn't there a regular singular for "clothes" to answer the requirements of people who wear only one garment?) on and either remove them, or it, in the water, or keep them, or it, on. They, or it, do not, or does not, suffer from wetting.
Another feature is the tornado, which comes almost every day during the rainy season, from May to October. It rises away up in the still mysterious interior somewhere, and comes sweeping down, sometimes hardly stronger than a good land breeze, sometimes furiously, bringing a driving rain with it. It generally lasts from a quarter to half an hour, and cools the atmosphere delightfully.
I spoke in my last of the two deaths which occurred aboard while at Sierra Leone. The two bodies were taken ashore and buried in consecrated ground, being each accompanied by a few friends. It seems the very essence of the "sarcasm of fate" that these poor creatures should have come thousands of miles to Africa only to die in sight of its shores, and find their graves in its longed-for soil. The scamp of an undertaker charged £5.12 (about $28) for the two burials, which were as simple and plain as could be. Neither of the families of the deceased could raise the $14 to pay their share, and the captain was obliged to advance it.
A VOTE OF THANKS.
We left Sierra Leone with some regret, for we were treated with great kindness and consideration by everybody, and had enjoyed the abundance of fresh meats, vegetables and fruits, and the walks about the streets, always full of animation and bustle, intensely. Besides this, we received there from everybody the most discouraging reports of Monrovia. I interviewed several ex-Liberians, and received the most unfavorable accounts of this country, in comparison with which they seemed to regard Sierra Leone as an earthly paradise. But we had to come, and we came. I cannot close without again speaking of the kindness experienced from the Governor, and from Mr. Broadhurst, the American representative, an Englishman. It was unremitting, and displayed in a thousand ways, and everebody aboard the Azor has reason to be extremely grateful to those gentlemen. When I have gotten my bearings here a little, I will write what I know about Liberia.
THE EMIGRANTS IN LIBERIA--THEIR DISEMBARKATION AND RECEPTION AT MONROVIA--FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF "THE PROMISED LAND"--AN IRRUPTION OF BLUE-STREAKED KROOMEN--THEIR UNPLEASANT PECULIARITIES--GOING ASHORE--A TOWN IN THE JUNGLE--THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION--PITIFUL PLIGHT OF THE DUSKY PILGRIMS--CRIMINAL NEGLECT OF THE EXODUS ASSOCIATION--THE MISSING PROVISIONS--PAID FOR, BUT NOT FORTHCOMING--KINDNESS OF THE LIBERIAN GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE--SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL FEATURES OF THE FREE AFRICAN REPUBLIC, WHERE NO WHITE MAN IS ALLOWED TO VOTE, AND A PROPERTY QUALIFICATION IS ENFORCED.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA, June 17, 1878.--How the Azor left Sierra Leone in tow of the British mail steamer on the afternoon of the 1st of June and arrived here before day on the morning of the 3d has already been told. On the evening of the 2d we caught our first certain glimpse of Liberian soil in
GRAND CAPE MOUNT,
to which we passed close enough to make out the trees on its sides and top. It seemed densely wooded down to the very water's edge, though what the trees were we could not tell. After passing this point, which remained in sight a long time, it being 1,060 feet high, we saw along the flat coast a continuous fringe of lofty tree-tops. Everybody stayed on deck and watched these until darkness shut out the "promised land." A few of the more enthusiastic pilgrims remained above, and nearly all night strained their eyes to see something. The more practical, however, consoled themselves with the reflection that the Continent would not run away before daylight, and "turned in." Finally we stopped, the anchor was let go, and we were
All we could see of Monrovia then was an exceedingly sickly looking light above and some distance off, said to be on the top of Cape Mesurado. Then the captain of the steamer came aboard, collected his £150 for towing and his £10 for the use of his hawser, went off, and soon steamed out and disappeared.
"Little by little as daylight increased,
Deepening the roseate flush in the east,
Little by little did daylight reveal"--
the Cape rising high above us (its height is given as 250 feet) with a flimsy looking light-house, quite in keeping with the light, on top. About half-way up the hill a little house stood among the dark green trees. The Cape was covered on the sides that we could see and on the top with a thick growth of trees, bushes and vines, growing down to the low cliff which forms its base, and against which the waves leap up and break in masses of white foam. To the left (westward) of the cape was a wide bar, over which the breakers were rushing, and to the left of that again was a broad white beach fringed by trees stretching gradually away as far as we could see. Behind the bar there was a glimpse of still water and a clump of trees. This was Monrovia, with its cape, as first seen that morning. Some of the passengers began singing:
"Land ahead, its fruits are waving,
O'er its fields of endless green,
And the living waters laving
Shores where Heavenly forms are seen."
But the Heavenly forms were seen about then, and the singing stopped. They consisted of
A FLEET OF "DUG OUT" CANOES,
each propelled by two or three gentlemen in
the aforementioned state of near nudity, with paddles shaped like a pointed spade, or a trowel bayonet. These individuals came paddling out through the surf like mad, and soon reached the ship's side to which the emigrants eagerly crowded. Each of the new arrivals had a dark blue line about an inch broad tattooed from the roots of his hair to the end of his nose, and it was discovered that all had on some clothes. Some had only a cloth, others a coat and cloth, others a coat only, others a shirt, one all three. They had each suspended about their necks a string or two of beads, and small bags of "medicine." Some had hats, some gaudily trimmed smoking caps, some ridiculous woollen night caps. It reminded one of the old Mother Goose melody:
"Hark, hark, the dogs do bark,
Beggars come to town,
Some in rags, and some in
Tags, and some in velvet gown,"
except that there was nothing in the remotest degree suggestive of velvet gown. These fellows gabbled away among themselves in some heathenish and unknown dialect, with a great many "o's" and short and long "a's" in it. They occasionally addressed us in some few words of imperfect English. I at once conceived the idea that they were the original intoners. Their whole language seemed to be a series of intonations. Their words for "yes" is a sound something like a drunken man's utterance of the letter N, and they say it so much as a High Church Episcopalian does the last syllable of "amen," that the resemblance is startling.
BOARDED BY THE NATIVES.
The emigrants were the most disgusted and crestfallen looking set that ever I saw. They wandered disconsolately around inquiring axiously of each other whether these were specimens of Liberians. "Why," said the passengers indignantly, "they can't even talk English." The mate stationed himself at the gangway and ordered every canoe to keep off, forbidding our visitors to fulfil their announced desire to come aboard. The rascals paddled around, however, and made a feint of climbing up on the side, and when the vigilant officer rushed around to drive them back, their companions streamed in over the gangway in such numbers and scattered about the ship so quickly that it was impossible to get them off except by inaugurating a knock-down and drag-out fight which would have been unpleasant. The whole gang therefore got aboard. The head men immediately sought the captain, and produced their "books," i. e. their written recommendation of good character and working ability procured from various captains, and carried in water-tight tin tubes about twelve inches long by two thick, suspended about their necks. It then transpired that our new friends were Kroomen, that is members of the Kroo Tribe of Africans. Detachments of this tribe, which is a very large one, are scattered up and down the west coast. They are amphibious animals, and will do no work except on or in the water. Their perfect familiarity with that element, and their skill and endurance in rowing and working about ships, render them an indispensable auxiliary to the trader along the coast, especially as there are few good harbors, the ports having generally, like Monrovia, only open roadsteads, and vessels being loaded or unloaded by small boats. These visitors of ours were desirous of procuring work, and therefore the visit. Being disposed of by the captain, they spread themselves about the vessel, and soon gave proof that at least two bumps were largely developed on their craniums--inquisitiveness and acquisitiveness. They are the most whining, persistent and shameless beggars I ever saw.
A Krooman will beg until you give him nineteen shillings, then charge you the odd one for a service worth a penny, and want his pay in advance. If they, as a people, have a single redeeming trait of character, I confess I have never seen it manifested. They seem "villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves and treacherous by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars and adulterers by an enforced obedience to planetary influence." Their inordinate inquisitiveness is unfettered by any conventional delicacy. The first one I ever spoke to stuck his head in the cabin, and wanted to know where was I from? Was America a big place? Were my father and mother there? What did they do for a living? Was I married? Wasn't I "co'tin'?" Why wasn't I? How old was I, and so on, ad infinitum, until it would up--had I an old coat, hat shirt, handkerchief, knife or piece of chewing tobacco to give him? No Krooman ever asks for pantaloons, and I think they begin to chew tobacco when about 4 years old. I will have more to tell of these gentry further on. The cause of the blue marks on their noses is, however, curious enough to be recorded here. It seems that in the time when the slave trade flourished, the Kroos were as useful watermen as now. The slavers would, therefore, never purchase one, or only did so to set him at liberty, fearing to incur the hostility of the tribe, and the Kroos adopted the blue mark as a sign of their nationality, which always protected them from purchase by the white men. They are very proud of having never been slaves, and frequently twit the Liberians with the fact, when a quarrel occurs. About 9 o'clock on the morning of our arrival, a large row boat, manned by eight Kroomen, pulled out with the harbormaster and emigration commissioner, who came aboard. They being
THE FIRST AMERICO-LIBERIANS
that we had seen, were watched with much
interest. The harbormaster is a young man, a quadroon, and was attired in a dark blue coat, brilliant with tarnished gold shoulder straps and trimmings and buttons, while his head was ornamented with a white cork hat, from the back of which depended a "pugaree" (a scarf or veil of white cloth worn around the hat, and much affected by the bloods of the tropics.) The rest of his dress was that of an ordinary civilian. The commissioner is also acting secretary of State. He is about the same color as his companion, but taller and apparently several years older; and was made very sick by the swell. The appearance of these two well dressed and intelligent specimens of the inhabitants of the "Black Republic" was a great comfort to the emigrants, giving them assurance that there were at least some clothed and civilized beings ashore. Just here
A SURPRISING DISCOVERY
was made. It was found, from the statements of the visitors, that the Liberian government had received no notification whatever of the departure of the emigrants, or of any of the proceedings of the Liberian Exodus Association, or the Steamship Association. Nothing was known in Monrovia of the emigration except what had been gathered from stray copies of and extracts from THE NEWS AND COURIER. This was not encouraging news to begin with, by any means. Another discovery was also made, which tended still further to lower our opinion of British steamship captains. This was that the commander of the steamer which had towed us had quietly dropped us about three miles further out to sea than we should have been, leaving us anchored probably four miles from the Cape. Capt. Holmes having never visited this port before was to a certain degree at the Englishman's mercy, and had accepted his statement that we were on the usual anchorage as true, whereas it was totally false. The wishes for a prosperous voyage for the Britisher were not very fervent after that. About 10 o'clock several of us went ashore in the harbormaster's boat. On the way we passed a small schooner, anchored just off the head of the Cape, bearing the name A. Lincoln, and were informed that she was a Liberian craft owned in Monrovia. We also learned that the dense green foliage which covered the Cape was the coffee tree, the hill being a coffee plantation belonging to the estate of ex-President Roberts. A German bark also at anchor composed the remainder of the shipping in the roadstead. We pulled over the bar with no trouble, the surf being light. Now we were inside the Cape, and on the Mesurado River, which here is about half a mile wide. On the left the beach stretches away, with a landscape of wooded country extending back from it. On the right a bit of white beach comes out, and behind it is a small extent of flat land, lying between the foot of the hill and the water. Among the trees and bushes of this little plain are to be seen the thatch houses composing the village where the Kroos live, while on the beach are generally a few sleek looking little cattle, Kroo men and women, and a number of canoes, the latter drawn out of the water and resting bottom up. A little further up past this beach the green trees and wild Indiarubber vines again come down to the water, which here is placid and clear, bending over and almost sweeping it. Under the roots of the trees the water has worn away the soil, leaving the reddish looking stones bare. Some of these trees are valuable, among them being cam wood. Past this, and a few yards further up, the water runs in again, forming a shallow little bay, and we see
THE TOWN OF MONROVIA,
looking picturesque and pretty, straggling up the hills, and the scattering houses only half seen through trees and undergrowth. Along the waterside are a few large stone buildings, apparently warehouses. In the shallow water is moored a cutter of probably twenty tons, bearing the name of the "Enterprise." But her hull gapes in unseemly seams, her mast looks dry and decayed, and a few ropes hang rotting about her. She is secured by a rusty chain to the decayed and sunken stern of a craft of about her own size, the remainder of which is out of sight. Another similar craft lies just above anchored by another rusty chain. On the shore are one or two large row boats bottom up, another lies half in and half out of the water, and on another, mounted on trestles, a black man is sleepily hammering. An iron wharf runs out from one landing, and from another is built one of stone--both with weeds and grass growing over and about them. There is hardly a sound of life, and we see no moving thing except a cow or two, a few Kroo children, and the inevitable and ubiquitous mongrel dog. We pull up to a small landing and disembark. On our right here is a dark, empty-looking stone warehouse, and the ground is trodden bare, except a few desultory grass patches. To the left of this house stands a huge cotton tree, around whose root is wrapped a few coils of rusty chain. On either side the landing is a shallow muddy slip in which rest two or, three boats similar to the one we came in. Under the cotton tree stands a group of four or five tolerably well dressed men and boys who regard us curiously. A few steps up the landing, and we reach four heavy partially dismantled stone walls, the remnants of a burned warehouse. Then, walking single file in a narrow path through the thickly clustering wild verbena growing from three to six feet high, we climb the hill over loose stones, and through occasional streaks of wet mud, caused by the trickling of some tiny stream. On top of the hill we find a broad street grown over with grass, with cattle grazing in it, through which runs another narrow path, just wide enough for one man to walk in. As we went on, I noticed
the houses--generally stone--on either side. Many of them had windows broken and gaping, and all showed sad need of repairs. Nearly every yard, like the street, was grown up in rank vegetation. On every side was the very
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.
We did not meet a soul in the streets. Then we went to breakfast with dark forebodings of the character of the country. At this breakfast I repeated that novel experience of sitting at the table with colored folks. It struck me as curious that in a country whose vegetation is so exuberant that it is impossible to keep it out of the streets, (that being the reason assigned in answer to my inquiries as to the existence of the previously mentioned condition of "no thoroughfare,") that everything composing the first meal I saw there should be imported. So it was, however. A piece of fresh fish, and the coffee were the only Liberian products on the table. The meat, the oysters and the vegetables were all canned goods from England. More of this too, hereafter. After breakfast, through the same paths, through the same streets and by the same dilapidated houses, we visited the American Consul. The position is held here by Mr. M. A. Aenmy, a Hollander, who fulfils its duties pending the appointment of a successor to J. Milton Turner, colored, the former consul, who has resigned and gone home. Our next expedition was to the customhouse, the entrance to which is on the main street. This
could be made a very handsome one by the expenditure of a little time, labor and money. It is broad and straight, and runs through the town to the Lighthouse on the Cape. Monrovia, in fact, seems to have been quite well laid off originally. The streets are all broad and appear to intersect each other at the proper angles and distances. The original settlers seem to have had a care for that decency which Addison tells us is so nearly akin to virtue, for nearly all of the old houses are two story ones, well built of stone or brick, and arranged with an eye to architectural beauty, and about most of them were once neat stone fences surrounding large yards and gardens. These buildings are, however, fast going to rack and ruin, and the more modern, though hardly less dilapidated, edifices are of wood, and look what I would imagine to be an artistic architect's nightmare. The present condition of the streets I have already told you. Monrovia has between 2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants, and straggles over about a mile from the head of the Cape inland, extending about half way across (about half a mile) on the side opposite to which we landed. The town stops down in the woods somewhere. I walked across once, and found the dense growth of banana, cocoanut, mango, cotton and other trees, and undergrowth, which is termed here "the bush," terminating abruptly at the ragged back fences of the neighborhood.
was originally intended to be quite a handsome building, being of brick, with a deep porch, having high pillars supporting an upper portico, and being neatly divided off into the various offices. Nature here has done her best to conceal the original ugliness, and the neglect-fathered increase thereof, of man's handiwork, and at a distance this structure looks very well. Going from the main street through an opening in a low stone wall, which surrounds a park about the size of a block in one of our American cities, the visitor approaches the Customhouse on what was a long, narrow brick walk, but is now a mere succession of stumbling-blocks and pitfalls. On his right, at the corner of the park stands the Courthouse, a square brick building, about twenty by twenty, with numberless panes out of its windows, weather-stained and generally indigent looking, as if the firm formerly doing business there under the name and style of Law & Equity had gone into bankruptcy and left the property in the hands of a neglectful assignee. The visitor ambles over the "walk" aforesaid, ("stumble" would be a more appropriate name for it,) and has time to cast a moralizing eye on the weeds and grass on either side of him. Some handsome trees branch over his head, and drip cold drops of rain water down the back of his shirt collar. Passing another opening he crosses an open space and reaches the Customhouse. As he has already learned to suspect, he finds the brick floors of the portico sunken or projecting, the plastering falling and the glass broken. The business is all transacted in one room, and is quickly gotten through with, the officers being of average intelligence, and apparently disposed to be accommodating and business-like, which is a wonder, considering how little business there is to do. Then the official business disposed of, we stumbled back down hill to the water side, there being neither restaurant nor hotel in Monrovia. I forgot to chronicle that half way up the stumble which leads through the park there is a plain neat marble slab to the memory of some Liberian hero, which stands in just such a position that the unwary wayfarer may bark his shins and smash his features there against. I beg leave to apologise to the readers of THE NEWS AND COURIER for omitting to wind up this description of Monrovia with a quotation from "the deserted village." The fact is, however, that there are no books of "familiar quotations" or copies of Goldsmith accessible, here. Besides that it is impossible to imagine Monrovia as having ever been the loveliest village of the plain--especially as it is built on a hill. Apropos of this absence of Goldsmith, I would remark here a lamentable fact. In none of the many houses that I visited in Liberia did I see a book worthy of the name except the Bible. It is literally true
that, with the exception of that, and a few school books, a hymn book or two, a small medical library, and a couple of those familiar Sunday school novels, (those cowardly introducers of a very few grains of flabby morality in an inferior sugar coating of flabbier sentiment and diluted sensation,) I did not see a book, or an apology for a book, of any sort.
THE LITERARY TASTE OF THE LIBERIANS
seems to have expended itself in photograph albums, of which there are two or three or four or five to be found on every parlor table, the spaces intended for pictures gaping like open mouths. I really believe that much of the wonderful inertness of the people proceeds from the utter lack of intellectual food. It seems as though no book at all were worse than the bad one, than which, Lord Bacon says, there is no worse robber. There are very few books from which some idea or information may not be extracted. I noticed that the supply of newspapers was also very limited. There were a few copies of the London papers, but America seemed almost entirely represented by the Washington Republican, the Toledo Blade, and THE NEWS AND COURIER, which proves that some other things besides poverty make strange bed-fellows. We learned ashore, much to our relief, that having some ten days' notice of the arrival of the emigrants through the newspapers, the Liberian government had made arrangements to receive them. I will say for the Monrovians that they seem to have actively aided the government in this matter. So, more by the mercy of Providence than good management on the part of the L. F. A. the emigrants were
ASSURED OF A SHELTER
for a time at least. This was especially welcome as the rainy season has just set in. If these poor people had been left to the tender mercies of the managers in Charleston, they would have arrived here unannounced, unexpected and unprovided for, and many of them without means, and their condition would have been deplorable indeed. When we returned to the Azor we were, of course, eagerly plied with questions, the kindest possible answers to which were that we had as yet seen nothing, and could judge of nothing. I confess that in my own mind I had grave misgivings. From what I could see, the land seemed anything but a Canaan. George Curtis had also gone ashore, and returned with glowing accounts of the feed he had had. Before he went he had set on foot
to hamper and injure the L. E. A., by whom he was sent out. He, ex-Senator Gaillard, Clement Irons, Rev. S. F. Flegler and Jackson Clark had been appointed a board of commissioners to attend to all the affairs of the steamship company and its emigrations on this side. The ex-senator was elected chairman of the board, and on arrival here Curtis, who had anticipated the chairmanship, seceded, and formed a new board among the steerage passengers, of which he had himself elected chairman. Hastening ashore, he announced himself as the head of the immigration by virtue of his chairmanship, and on the strength of his suppositions official capacity was invited to sundry "feeds," and regaled upon the fat of the land. He went ashore again before night, with his wife. Before taking the reader ashore again, I will give some general information regarding this
NEW "LAND OF PROMISE."
Liberia lies on the west coast of Africa between the 4th and 7th parallels of latitude, and the 7th and 12th meridians of longitude. Her territory runs along the coast for about 600 miles, at a depth varying from 45 to 150 miles, the land having been generally acquired by purchase from the natives. The inhabitants consist of colored immigrants from America and their descendants, variously estimated in number from 8,000 to 20,000, there being no reliable census. From the best information I could get, I am inclined to think that they number from 12,000 to 15,000, and that they have about held their own with probably a very slight increase. Besides these there are a few native Africans taken from captured slave ships and brought here, uncivilized detachments of various native tribes, a number of civilized and semi civilized natives scattered about among the Americo-Liberians, and about a dozen white men, generally traders. The Government is called a Republic, and is, in its general features, about in the form of our State Governments, there being a president, vice-president, secretary of State, ditto of the treasury, attorney-general, comptroller and auditor. These officers compose the Cabinet, like our National one. The Republic is divided into four counties--Montserrado, of which Monrovia is the capital: Grand Bassa, of which Buchanan is the capital; Sinoe, of which Greenville is the capital, and Maryland, of which Harper is the capital--each having its own local government. The towns are governed by municipal officers, just as ours are. Monrovia, which is named after ex-President of the United States Monroe, is the capital of the country, although Grand Bassa, which is situated south of it on the coast, is said to greatly surpass it in the amount of business done. Each county elects four delegates to the National Legislature, and two senators, except Montserrado, which elects three of the latter. The Congress, or Legislature, is, therefore, composed of sixteen representatives and nine senators. The Vice-President presides over the Senate, and the lower house elects its own chairman. Every head of a family is given by the Government twenty-five acres of land, and each male adult ten acres, selected from any unallotted lands. Only property-holders can vote, after taking the oath of allegiance. There is no prescribed term of residence before becoming a voter. No white man can hold property, and that race is, therefore,
disfranchised, which is a practical satire on the universal suffrage dogma to which the American negro and his particular friends have ever been so especially devoted. Early on the day next after our arrival, June 4,
THE TWENTY-THIRD DEATH
occurred, being that of an infant child of Cæser White, of Edgefield County, S. C. Later on, during the day, a child of Rufus Clark, of Clarendon, which had been born and had lost its mother on the passage, died. The death was not announced to the captain, the relatives taking the body ashore with them, with the face concealed. This brought the total number of deaths aboard to twenty-four. Going on deck after breakfast that morning, I met a strange colored man with whom I entered into conversation. He had, he said, come out from Lynchburg, Va., just after the war. In answer to my inquiries, he expressed himself as being delighted with the country. In some years, he said, he made from $1,500 to $2,000 clear. I was much pleased, being interested in the fate of the emigrants. Here was a man, who, from his own accounts, had come out with little or no capital, and generally very much in the condition of the components of the present emigration, and yet achieved competence and attained the high road to wealth. I was inexpressibly gratified and relieved. One more question. "What is your occupation?" I asked. "An undertaker," was the cheerful response. Now this is no fancy incident put in here for fun's sake, but is an actual occurrence. That day
THE EMIGRANTS BEGAN TO DISEMBARK.
in large row boats furnished by the Government. Each family generally took with it its immediate personal effects, such as bedding, &c. Most of them arrayed themselves in their Sunday best to go ashore in, although a few adhered to the somewhat dilapidated, and, frequently, uncleanly habilaments in which they had made the voyage. For general information, and for the satisfaction of the friends of the parties, I will give here
THE LIST OF PERSONS LANDED,
which is as follows:
* William Adams, aged 26, Lancaster, S. C., farmer and carpenter, and wife.
* Scott Bailey, aged 29, Lancaster, S. C., farmer and shoemaker, wife and four children.
* Robert Monger, Lancaster, S. C., aged 38, farmer, wife, grown son and five children.
* Okra Adams, aged 42, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer, wife and two children.
* Robert and Faith Bishop, aged respectively 20 and 17, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmers.
* Levi Graham, aged 22, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer, and wife.
* James Johnson, aged 26, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer, wife, mother and four children.
* Moses Mason, aged 49, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer and carpenter, son with wife and one child.
* Matt Matthewes, aged 45, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer and shoemaker, wife, two grown sons and two children.
* Joshua Phillips, aged 38, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer and carpenter, wife, grown son and four children.
* Abram Robinson, aged --, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer, wife and two children.
* Frank Tolbert, aged 29, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer, wife and five children.
* Ned Wilson, aged 46, Ninety-Six, S. C., farmer, wife, two grown sons, one grown daughter and five children.
* John Bell, aged 65, Selma, Ala., wife, grown son; grown daughter and four children.
* Green Barr, aged 34, Augusta, Ga., hatter, wife and one child.
* George Shaw, aged 31, Augusta, Ga., machinist and farmer, wife, two children and father (the latter aged 60.)
* Simon Ware, aged 58, Augusta, Ga., farmer, and wife.
* Wm. Willhight, aged 37, Augusta, Ga., mer, and wife.
* Delia Bynes, aged 40, Burke County, Ga., farmer, four grown daughters and five children.
* Allen Duval, aged 16, Burke County, Ga., farmer, two sisters and their three children.
* Isham Hughes, aged 22, Burke County, Ga., farmer, and wife.
* Lucinda Lodge and Patsy Sherrard, Burke County, Ga., farmers, aged respectively 55 and 34 years.
* Rachael Williams, aged 47, Burke County, Ga., widow, (husband died on voyage,) three grown daughters and three children.
* Thomas Williams, aged 47, Burke County, Ga., farmer.
* Herbert Williams, aged 20, Burke County, Ga., farmer, with one brother and one sister.
* Simon Williams, aged 22, Burke County, Ga., farmer, and two children.
* Berrian Williams, aged 24, Burke County, Ga., farmer, and wife.
* Robert Williams, aged; 55, Burke County, Ga., farmer, three grown sons and one child.
* Wm. Adams, aged 50, Burke County, Ga., farmer.
* John Young, aged 36, Burke County, Ga., wife, grown daughter and two children.
* Ned Clark, aged 23, Clarendon County, S. C., farmer, wife and two children.
* James Clark, aged 70, same, farmer, wife and child.
* Jackson Clark, aged 32, same, farmer, wife and four children.
* Alexander Clark, aged 35, same, farmer, five children.
* Rufus Clark, aged 38, same, farmer, wife, grown son, two grown daughters and three children.
* Joseph Clark, aged 60, same, farmer, wife and child.
* Moses Hilton, aged 61, same, farmer, and wife.
* Frederick Robinson, aged 33, same, farmer, and wife. Page 32
* Scott Daniels, aged 24, Barnwell County, S. C., farmer, wife and child.
* Lydia Johnson, aged 70, Barnwell County, S. C.
* Moss Stevens, aged 28, Barnwell County, S. C., farmer, wife and four children.
* Howell Tyler, aged 50, same, farmer, wife, two grown sons and two children.
* Abraham Tyler, aged 27, same, farmer, wife and two children.
* S. F. Flegler, Charleston, minister of the Gospel.
* W. J. Moultrie, Charleston, aged 23, and wife.
* Thaddeus Middleton, aged 68, Charleston County, S. C., farmer, and wife.
* Pompey Green, aged 49, Charleston, tradesman, wife and two children.
* S. E. Gaillard, aged 38, Charleston, S. C., machinist and tradesman, wife and four children.
* Clement Irons, aged 50, Charleston, millwright, wife and five children.
* Geo. Curtis (no particular age, occupation or hailing place) and wife.
* Eliphas Killick, Florida, grown daughter and child.
* Spencer Reeves, aged 60. Aiken County, S. C., farmer, wife, four grown sons, daughter-in-law and child.
* Boatswain Siegler, aged 57, Edgefield County, S. C., farmer, wife and three children.
* Jackson Smallwood, aged ----, same, farmer, wife, two grown daughters, one grown son and four children.
* Casar White, aged 31, Edgefield County, farmer, wife and four children.
* Alfred Hood, aged 39, Charlotte, N. C., farmer, wife, two grown sons and one child.
Total number of souls landed 252.
Born during voyage 2, died 24. Total number started 274.
I have always had a vague idea that an organization of insane tailors exists somewhere, the especial object of which is to furnish clothing for the Southern country darkey, and I know of no other hypothesis to account for the astounding results in the matter of fit and cut, with which the colored brother is wont to adorn himself on festivals and high days. As I before hinted, the emigrants brought out such specimens of antedeluvian architecture and enveloped themselves therein preparatory to
ASTONISHING THE NATIVES.
By several neat tacks, the Azor had been brought close into shore, and one by one her passengers went over the sides which had continued them so long, disposing themselves as singly as possible among the baggage in the boats, amid a vast deal of vociferous swearing and gabbling from the Kroomen. The Liberians had somehow become possessed with the idea that the Azor's people were generally independent capitalists, coming out to invest their funds in the country. Consequently there was some disappointment at the appearance of the emigrants, which, to put it mildly, was not suggestive of wealth. They were well received and welcomed at the landing, however, and immediately conducted to the houses prepared for their reception in different parts of town, what furniture they had along being borne on the heads of Kroo boys. Whatever else may be said of the Monrovians, they certainly displayed great kindness to the strangers, who were in many instances utterly destitute of provisions, sending them cooked meals and delicacies for the sick liberally and continuously. In this way only was suffering avoided. During Tuesday and Wednesday the emigrants were being transported from the Azor, the last leaving Wednesday afternoon, except ex-Senator Gaillard, whose family remained aboard in consequence of one of his children being down with the measles. He and his three loyal commissioners had, however, not been idle, having been hard at work assisting the Liberian commissioner in arranging for the emigrants, and
COUNTERMINING GEORGE CURTIS.
This latter was so successfully done that that ancient reprobate was shortly left without "a leg to stand upon," his adherents deserting him in a body. A general visit among the emigrants on Wednesday showed that they were tolerably comfortable. None of their provisions had yet come ashore, but the kindness of the Monrovia people kept them supplied. This was no light matter by the way, as provisions are fearfully high and hard to get. The people in the country seem never to think of producing anything to eat beyond their own immediate wants, and hardly that. Although there seems to be plenty of cattle, they are usually owned by the natives, who never kill them unless they are obliged to do so, as cattle, wives, brass kettles and iron bars serve them just as bonds, stocks and real estate do European or American moneyed men, as permanent investments, and outward and visible signs of wealth. Cassada, the great staple of the country, sells at 50c. per bushel, a bushel of the roots being about equal to a bushel of sweet potatoes; yams sell at the same price. Fresh meat is almost impossible to get. Even chickens are exceedingly scarce, and very small ones sell at 25c. each. Eggs are 3c. apiece by the dozen. American flour is $14 per barrel. American pork is $28 per barrel. English canned meats and vegetables are 50c. per can. Onions (English) bring 12c. per pound. That is about all the Monrovian bill of fare, and it is largely procured from English mail steamers which nominally pass twice a week. Even in the country they live largely on
In answer to inquiries on the subject I was told that it was supposed that beets, carrots, parsnips, onions, peas, beans, potatoes, &c., would grow there, but they had never tried. Everybody coincided in my expressions of wonder, and everybody re-echoed the set
phrase, "Yes, it ought to be done, but you see what we lack here is enterprise; enterprise, sir, new blood and capital would make this country one of the greatest in the world. Our resources, sir,"----. It seems to me I've heard something of that sort down South in Dixie. The contrast between Liberia and Sierra Leone strikes one forcibly and hourly, but in nothing more than in the matter of food. In the latter place we procured an abundance of all fresh meats, fruits and vegetables cheaply. There is a large, brisk looking market, and nice crisp looking loaves of bread sell on the streets at a penny. In Liberia there is no fresh meat (denominated "fresh."). Hard raking for two weeks procured us about four dozen chickens (marvels of lankness,). which the steward always dispatched with trembling eagerness to prevent dissolution from inanition, as they always seemed on the very verge of it when brought aboard. Monrovia sends sixty miles down the coast to Grand Bassa for fowls! Vegetables it was impossible to get, and although mangoes, delicious pineapples, oranges, bananas, lemons, limes, cocoanuts, bread fruit, butter pears, soursaps, and other fruits may be had for the gathering almost anywhere, they were scarce and high. Under these conditions, and as few of the emigrants had any means to speak of, and many were entirely without funds, it will be seen that they ran a great risk of being without food altogether. People more poorly provisioned and fitted out for a struggle with the difficulties of a strange country it would be hard to imagine. Many of them had absolutely no money at all, except the I O U notes, stock and receipts of the "Steamship" Company, which are not worth their paper here. When at last the provisions were gotten ashore and divided, (a work which by needless delays in transportation was spun out over a week's time,) it was found that there were
BARELY THREE WEEKS' PROVISIONS
around. Every passenger of the Azor had paid, besides his or her passage money, for provisions for a month's voyage, and six months' provisions after arrival here. After a forty-two days' journey, with the replenishing at Sierra Leone, there were barely three weeks' scanty provisions left, including all of the ship's stores, which Capt. Holmes turned over to them, and the stores belonging to those put ashore in Charleston. There has been foul play somewhere. The money that these people paid to buy food with, for which they have receipts, generally signed by the Rev. B. F. Porter, has been misappropriated. In fact, it has been difficult to conceive what has been done with the funds, which seem to have been wrung from them by all imaginable devices. I will give an instance of this, as showing the modus operandi. In looking over the papers held by the Williams family from Burke County, Ga., one of the heads of which died on the voyage, I find the following receipts:
Mitchell Williams, (deceased,)
Provisions $ 70 00
Provisions 60 00
Provisions 60 00
Provisions 90 00
Share in grist mill 33 20
Dry goods 120 00
Due bill 5 00
Due bill 10 00
Stock 100 00
Total $558 20
For this the widow has the stock, the dry goods, about fifteen dollars' worth of provisions, and the papers. There has been no sign of any grist mill. This is but a fair sample of many similar instances. This Williams family paid in and have receipts for $1,441 65 in cash for the bringing over of thirty-six persons, many being children, and would be in a starving condition had they not some other little means. The "Steamship company" seems to have
these people, having actually started some of them off in a penniless condition. This, with the criminal neglect which allowed the emigrants to come over at the beginning of the rainy season, for all they knew unannounced, without physician or shelter, makes matters look very black. It savors strongly of criminal misappropriation of funds and breach of trust, or of more criminal carelessness regarding the lives and welfare of a band of helpless people who relied on them, by the officers of the "Steamship company." Many of the buildings occupied by the passengers were dwellings which had apparently been long vacant, and had become leaky, exposing the occupants to the rain, which in this season pours down almost every day. After the first day or two, however, the roofs were patched up so as to render them tolerably water-tight. The health of most of the sick began to improve as soon as they got free from the rolling and confinement of the ship. Some of those, however, who had suffered from measles, now became subject to a general swelling up of their limbs, which was annoying and painful. There is only one regular physician in this part of Liberia, and his practice is extended certainly in point of space, as he visits from twenty miles up the St. Paul's River and down to this place. He is a young colored man, a graduate, I think, of Harvard, and displayed much kindness in sending medicines, food, &c., gratuitously, to the strangers, and in visiting them whenever called. All during Wednesday and Thursday, and for several days thereafter, the emigrants (now immigrants) were busily engaged at the landing identifying their furniture and other effects, and superintending their transportation by the Kroo boys to their houses. There are
NO HORSES IN LIBERIA,
although I am informed that they are abundant and cheap in the interior. The Azor's people turned up their noses (figuratively speaking) at the statement that horses will not live here, and declared their belief that they only lacked proper attention. Inquiry on the subject leads me to coincide somewhat in their opinion. From all I can learn, what few equines were here in years gone by were left to shift for themselves about the streets just as the cattle and hogs are now. What seems to be the universal principle obtaining in regard to them--"a thing that won't grow itself, and take care of itself, is'nt wanted." The cattle show the effects of this system, being all undersized, and although sleek and fat, having tasteless flesh, the result of feeding on coarse grass and weeds and nothing else.
LIGHT AND SHADE IN LIBERIA--VAST NATURAL RICHES AND A SHIFTLESS PEOPLE--THE MEETING TO WELCOME THE EMIGRANTS--SENSIBLE ADVICE--OFFICE-HOLDERS VERSUS OFFICE-SEEKERS--CLEMENT IRONS TALKS BUSINESS--THE LIBERIAN ARMY AND NAVY--UP THE ST. PAUL'S--THE KROOMEN--VIE TOWN--AN HONEST PEOPLE--FAMILIAR NAMES--GORGEOUS SCENES ON THE RIVERS--AN EARLY SETTLEMENT--THE FAUNA AND FLORA--HOW TO GROW RICH BY COFFEE-GROWING--MAMMOTH COTTON-TREES THAT NEED NO REPLANTING--NOTES AND INCIDENTS.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA, June 17, 1878.--In my last letter, I described the landing of the emigrants and the appearance of Monrovia. On Friday, June 7, two days after the disembarkation, a meeting of welcome was held in the dilapidated Temple of Justice, already mentioned.
About seventy-five of the townspeople, and a fair sprinkling of those to be welcomed, were present. Capt. Holmes, Rev. R. J. Kellogg, the newly arrived superintendent of the Monrovian High School, and I, the only representatives of the Anglo-Saxon present, sat in a row like three white crows, the color of the assemblage shading off from our white skins, through octoroon, quadroon and various other "roons" to the pure ebony. The component parts thereof were generally about as well dressed, and gave promise of about as much intelligence, as a similar gathering of the dear people in America. The mayor of the town (black) presided, sitting behind the judge's desk. The secretary (light) read the proceedings of the previous town meeting, and Rev. A. C. Pittman, a black man, was introduced as
THE ORATOR OF THE OCCASION.
He spoke well, correctly and fluently, and without the superfluity of language and gesture common with the colored speaker. He said that not only Monrovia, not only Liberia, but the entire continent of Africa was to-day stretching out a hand to welcome these arrivals. He rejoiced with his whole heart to see these times, when in spite of all opposition light and intelligence were coming in. He was glad to see so many individuals voluntarily seeking their fatherland. He bid the immigrants and their friends a hearty "welcome!" They were greeted as brethren and friends. They were welcomed as individuals willing to contribute each his quota towards sustaining the principles laid down by the fathers. It remained to them all, he said, to prove whether they were true to the times. The black race had its chance then and there. They could not plead hereafter that they had not had the same chances as other men. Further on, he remarked that Liberia's friends had done her great harm by painting her in too bright colors. Then he went on to say that Liberia afforded a refuge and asylum from degradation and oppression. When Liberians welcomed their brethren it was because they expected them by individual and united effort to assist in the elevation of their race, by elevating themselves by honest labor. If they had other ideas, they had better stay and die in America. [Applause.] Their mission was to stamp on the world's history that black men were men. [Applause.] The colored people were a religious people, and he welcomed them to help in building up the Church of God. Liberia was
THE OPEN DOOR TO HEATHEN AFRICA,
and a nobler work than her people had before them was never given to man. They were the lump of leaven which, with God's help, would leaven the whole. Men were wanted, he continued, who would work. They were
not wanted for presidents and legislators. [Great applause--particularly among the office-holders.] Men were wanted who would and could work! He was glad to see so many working men. They were the kind wanted. Then, he said, if this effort was to succeed, there must be harmony and peace. There should not and would not be factions. [A very palpable hit at the Communistic Curtis who sat on the platform.] He, the speaker, was a pure African. None of his ancestors had ever been to America. [Laughter.] He felt entitled therefore to reiterate that Africa, as well as Liberia, cordially welcomed the brethren. A preamble and resolution was then presented and adopted declaring that, whereas the bark Azor containing the first company of those voluntarily fleeing "social ostracism and political oppression," had arrived in port, that the meeting
HAILED THEIR ARRIVAL.
with pleasure and gave them the right hand of fellowship, welcoming them as fellow-workers. Nobody had said anything to Geo. Curtis, but that pirate appeared like a jack-in-the-box or a persevering Banquo's ghost, and proceeded to speak, his remarks being largely devoted to a biographical sketch of himself. He "put his foot in it" most beautifully in the first place by announcing himself as an Englishman, and therefore a lover of liberty, as it is part of the Liberian creed to hate England and her people with a holy hatred. He then proceeded to give a sketch of the Exodus movement, which the audience had previously read in THE NEWS AND COURIER. God's hand was evident in it, he said. It was nothing short of a miracle. The people brought over were not seeking to escape from labor. They knew that they would have to labor. But every lick they struck here would be for themselves, and
NOT FOR THE WHITE MAN.
[Applause.] They had come to elevate themselves and their children, which they could not do in the presence of the master race. They desired to be where they could assert their manhood. They had brought two hundred and odd working people to develop the resources of the country, and would bring thousands more--not only of laborers, but of skilled laborers--men whose masters had taught them trades to make them profitable servants. Those were the jewels they had brought out of Egypt. [Applause.] The white men took good care that no more negroes should learn trades and mechanics, but, thank God, they couldn't take them away from those who had already acquired them. He, the speaker, did not hate the white race. There were good as well as bad white men. The white men could have crushed this movement in its infancy had they chosen, but they refrained. He thanked them for that. The white man in the South at present occupied
THE POSITION OF JAILER.
He was degraded by his office, which kept him constantly in contact with a subject race, which he had to keep down. This movement would render him a great service. It would leave him to be a homogeneous race. Then Curtis revealed the blood in his eye. He said that he had found this a good country. There were those who had said that no chickens could be obtained here. He had had chicken for dinner every day. [Laughter.] This was a blow--a foul blow--at the Captain and I, who had complained of the lack of poultry. But, thank Heaven, what he and his people would send back would outweigh by thousands any adverse reports that might be sent back by any one (a slash at me, emphasised by a tragic scowl.) They didn't believe that this was a God-forsaken country as that Reporter (me again) had already said. On the contrary, they believed it to be a God-blessed country and the people would come. He himself had started from Charleston with eighty cents, and arrived here with sixpence, but he did not expect to starve. Heaven had already helped him. That very morning a gentleman, Mr. Kellogg, had presented him, unsolicited, with a five dollar bill. Then he had read an apparently very badly written and ungrammatical letter from somebody in New Orleans "and 1,800 others," declaring that the entire 1,801 had kissed his photograph, and incidentally mentioning that they would probably have a cargo and boat ready to leave that port for Liberia in January.
CURTIS'S FLOATING UTOPIA.
He then passionately addressed the audience with the assurance that if they would help him, he (Curtis) would promise by January to have an independent steamboat running, loaded with Liberians and Liberian produce, owned by Liberians, manned by Liberians and commanded by Liberians, (terrific stress on "commanded," being evidently a parting slap at the Captain.) This floating Utopia did not seem to meet with very great favor, and I feel safe in prophesying that it will meet with the fate of all other Utopias, and come to naught, especially as Curtis stock is considerably below par in Monrovia. I was immensely amused at the malice displayed by this individual in treasuring up and exaggerating some careless remark made by me under the sense of injury induced by having to eat salt meat while lying in port.
As before stated, he hated and was hated by everybody aboard, but I came in for a special share of disfavor some how or other. But I was amazed to observe the blackest sorts of looks directed at me from all parts of
the room, and to observe sundry whisperings of which I was evidently the subject. At that moment the Monrovia militia company filed out on the green, and my surmise was that I was to be immediately taken out and summarily shot as a defamer of "the finest country the sun shines on." The execution was suspended a while, however, and
REV. S. F. FLEGLER,
of Charleston, came forward, and spoke at some length. The main point of his address was that he felt, for the first time in his life, that he was at home--that he was where he belonged. For the first time, he could breathe freely, because he could look around and realize that he was the equal in every way of every other man he saw. [Applause] Clement Irons, of Charleston, followed, in a sensible little speech. He exhibited with much pardonable pride a medal awarded him at one of the South Carolina State fairs for an improvement in cotton gins, and concluded with the shrewd and practical remark, "we don't ask you to give us corn, but only to show us where to grow it." [Applause.]
(a blatherskite whose name I have forgotten) next spoke. He is an octoroon with long side whiskers, and bears demagogue stamped on his face as with a branding iron. Being an officer-holder himself, he very disinterestedly advised the immigrants not to come seeking offices. What the country needed was not office-seekers but workers. Then he took a slight turn at the worthy Curtis, deprecating the stirring up of strife in the movement, and denouncing those who would create divisions. I felt somewhat avenged of mine enemy, until the speaker proceeded to make an attack upon myself, and all who should hold with me the heresy that this was anything but an earthly paradise. He concluded with the warning to be careful how I wrote, as they could write "a little" there too. I expect that when he said "a little" he spoke more truly than he intended. I began to be really afraid from the looks of the audience that Curtis's attack would so prejudice them as to seriously hamper me in obtaining information. I was therefore extremely obliged to the secretary of the meeting, a light-colored young man, when he rose and deprecated the lugging of personalities into the meeting, hinting at the same time that in his opinion it was not either a very brave or very magnanimous thing to make an unprovoked attack upon a gentleman who was a stranger and a visitor, and whose mouth was presumably closed.
MR. WILLIAMS MAKES A LITTLE SPEECH.
He wound up with the remark that it was a free meeting, and that anybody had a right to speak. I took the hint, and requested the immigrants themselves to say whether or no THE NEWS AND COURIER had not always given them and their movement "a fair show." Hereupon Curtis again rose and forestalled several of the Charlestonians who would have contradicted his imputations of prejudice, by praising THE NEWS AND COURIER and its representative in extravagant terms, declaring that he hadn't meant anything and had the most unalterably high regard for both. I think that Curtis designed making this resemble the closing scene of the quarrel between Brutus and Cassius, and from his gestures I expected every moment to hear him break out with:
"There is my umbrella,
And here my naked breast; within, a heart,
If that thou be'st a Roman take it forth."
(I will pause to remark that insomuch as Cassius was "the hungry Cassius," I could have played the part to perfection almost any time during my stay in Monrovia.) No reconciliation occurred, however, and the meeting adjourned after several other speeches from several other persons, all breathing very much the same spirit. It was pleasant to note that none of the immigrants forgot to pay a well deserved
TRIBUTE TO CAPT. HOLMES
and his officers. The Captain not only never relaxed his efforts to contribute to the comfort and safety of his helpless charges while aboard, but even after they had all been landed, took every possible means that kindness and generosity could devise to prevent suffering, personally visiting and, as far as possible, supplying their wants. It was pleasant therefore to see that this was appreciated as we came from the meeting.
were just being dismissed. The company seemed to be composed principally of boys and very young men, vastly inferior in arms, equipments and drill to the colored military in Charleston. They are armed with the Snider rifle, and the uniform of the privates seems to consist of coarse blue cotton. The officers, however, were handsomely uniformed. I am told that Liberia claims to be able to turn out an army of 3,500 armed militia, service being obligatory on every citizen between 15 and 45 years of age. My informant also told me that this force (there being no standing army) had done good service in the wars with the natives, of which there have been several. From all I can learn the "wars" seem to consist of a week's popping away at long range and a retreat by the natives or a treaty. I was told that in the last "war" the Liberians had lost thirty men killed and wounded. They estimated the loss of their adversaries at one thousand. This reminded me of some war news that I heard between '61 and '65. This warfare is one reason why immigration is so desired, each new arrival contributing to keep the natives in the interior, who receive greatly exaggerated reports of the numbers, quiet. Having told of the army, I may as well mention
It consists of a small sailing cutter, not over
150 tons, with a few small guns, (mostly six-pounders, I believe) and manned by, what I judge from reports to be, a dilapidated crew. On Sunday I went ashore, and succeeded, with much difficulty, in arranging for a frequently deferred visit
UP THE ST. PAUL'S RIVER.
It is due to THE NEWS AND COURIER'S readers, as well as to its representative, to explain that the day was not selected from choice, but under pressure of hard necessity, it being the only one on which I could obtain boat, crew and companion, (the last being requisite to make the expedition of any use at all) and there being a prospect of the Azor leaving early in the week. Of course, the whole journey to Liberia would have amounted to nothing without some sight of the country. As for the Kroomen who rowed, they, in all probability, only exchanged that exercise for gambling, with which they usually occupy Sundays, and, in fact, all of their leisure time. While waiting at the boat I endeavored to obtain some idea of the religious convictions of these villains, but they seem entirely destitute of any such thing. When I asked one of them if he ever went to church, and, receiving a negative reply, asked "Why not?" he replied: "What Krooman want go church for? No make money goin' church. What for want go den, eh?" I could, therefore, only class them as being worshippers of
THE GREAT AMERICAN GOD GREENBAX,
of whom Cheek is said to be the prophet. From all that I can learn they do not even bow down to idols. They seem absolutely without any god or any religion, or apology for religion. The only act approaching a recognition of any superhuman power is the suspending around their necks of bones and other "medicines," done up in a particularly dirty little bag. Even this seems less thought of than the strings of gaudy glass beads and brass or bone rings, which they wear about their necks, ankles and wrists. Their whole object in life seems to be to accumulate money with which to buy tobacco, cattle, women and--(beg pardon, I was on the point of saying "other trash,")--law dry ornaments. All this in despite of long contact with civilization. Some few of them have been to school, and can read and write, while others have made voyages to foreign countries. All these are more intelligent than their fellows, and one or two privately told me that they didn't believe in the efficacy of the "medicine," which they nevertheless wore. These "educated" ones, too, generally seem disposed to limit themselves to one wife, but they never go to church, use their superior knowledge of English chiefly in the more correct rendition of English profanity and obscenity, and wear no more clothes than the others. Their constant exercise at the oar gives them beautifully developed arms and chests, but. like other savages, they cover them up when they cover anything, and leave exposed to view a set of miserable black and scaly looking spindle shanks with the well known "parrot heel," although their feet are generally reasonably small. Of honor or gratitude they seem to have no conception, and they lie by the yard at the drop of a hat. Of female purity they have, of course, little idea, although they rigorously exact faithfulness from their wives, and punish most severely any breach of fidelity. I strongly suspect, though, that even this is largely due to their appreciation of the commercial value of the females.
A WIFE IS AN EXPENSIVE AFFAIR
to a Krooman. In the first place he has to pay her father for her a certain number of cattle, beads, guns, kettles, &c., the price being regulated by the demand. Then with each new wife there is some rude marriage ceremony, and a grand feast, the principal feature of which is a large supply of poor rum. Then the wife has to be decorated as far as the means of her husband will go. I saw one of these females, presumably a favorite, with one leg from the ankle to the knee covered with brass rings, several on the other nether limb, a few on each arm, and several necklaces of beads. These represented a good many days' work, as a common Krooman's wages are only twenty-five cents per day, the head man of a crew getting thirty-eight. The Kroo women generally dress in one large coarse cotton cloth, made by the natives, wrapped around their bodies. If they happen to have an infant, the cloth is wrapped about the waist, with the unfortunate looking piccaninny enveloped in its folds, and tied in front. On this day the conscientious convictions of the Kroomen would not allow them to violate the Sabbath for less than a half a dollar per diem each, just double wages. I was forced to submit to this extortion, and off we started. Crossing the Mesurado River from Monrovia, we stopped for a few minutes in
just on the opposite bank. This is the residence of the Vei tribe, who live there in closely built houses made of interlaced bamboo, padded with clay, and covered with heavy thatching of leaves. These houses are generally circular in form, and the roofs slope down to within five feet of the ground, where they terminate in deep eaves. The inside walls were of clay as were the floors, and the general interior was very smoky, there being no chimneys. The buildings are close together, with barely room to pass between them. They generally have a little covered porch at the entrance, however, in which the proprietor is to be found on Sundays either standing about or swinging in a hammock, while his wife or wives (according to his means) sit about inside. These Vei men are magnificent specimens of manhood, with broad square shoulders, full chests and well developed limbs, and are generally tall and erect. On Sunday they seem to clothe themselves in European
raiment, although on week days they usually wear the one garment of large cloth, but so draped as to produce an effect not unlike that of the Roman toga. Their women dress very much as the Kroo women do, and are not remarkable for virtue. The Veis, however, seem immeasurably superior to the Kroos. One of their striking characteristics, I am told, is honesty, their laws mercilessly and severely punishing any breaches of the Eighth Commandment. My informant had in his employ a little Vei boy whom, he told me, he would intrust with untold amounts of small change. I think the Veis are making some progress towards civilization. They certainly have that appearance. The Liberian Government allows these native tribes to have each its own magistrate, who fills, in some degree, the position of legal governor or government representative among them. They seem generally to behave themselves tolerably well, and to be law-abiding. Then from "Vei Town" we rowed up a few yards and entered
which here empties into the Mesurado. The creek is a branch of the St. Paul's, about five miles in length. The land opposite Monrovia, on which "Vei Town" stands, is Bushrod Island, forming a sort of triangle, bounded on the Monrovia side by Mesurado river, above by the creek, and on the opposite side by the St. Paul, its apex being formed by the fork where the creek flows from the river. The mouth of the latter is about six miles north of Monrovia, (or in the direction of Sierra Leone,) where it empties into the sea over a heavy bar. Bushrod Island is therefore about six miles broad at its base by five long. I couldn't help thinking that it would make splendid rice crops, as the tide rises and falls on both sides, and the water is fresh within a mile from the bar. Such an idea seems never to have occurred to anybody in Liberia. Stockton creek is a stream of generally uniform width, about one hundred and fifty yards, I should judge. Its flow is quiet, and its surface placid. On either side it spreads away among the roots of the mangove and other trees, and through the thick growth of "dragon's blood," (a plant resembling our sword grass, only stronger, sharper and more savagely barbed.) The vegetation forms a jungle which not even the eye, much less the body, can penetrate. The view is varied by the feathery tops of the palm, cocoanut, or banana; or mango, cotton and other trees, with an occasional indiarubber vine drooping from the branches. In one or two places the ever useful palm grows in what are apparently plantations. The palm, by the way, is the crest of the Liberian coat of arms, being stamped on their ugly one and two cent coins. So precious is the tree held, that the wanton destruction of one is punishable by a fine of $5. The view on Stockton Creek is generally monotonous, and a description of one portion of it will answer for all. In one or two places the foliage is varied by beautiful trees, like giant ferns, of which my companion did not recollect the names, while a few large, white water or common weed flowers, and the white leaves of the "tooth plant" gleam out from the dark green bordering to the quiet water. There is nothing especially beautiful about the scenery of the creek. It is one of those streams that one dreams about sometimes amid the hurly-burly, wishing that he could drift down forever on its tranquil bosom shut out by the leafy screen on each side from everything except lazily floating clouds and blue skies above. For a picture of perfect rest and repose it is beautiful. Even the brightly hued parrots and blue kingfishers that fly about among the branches and across, seem to move languidly as if infected with the general silence.
ESSENCE OF MUSQUITO.
But, like all the poetical dreams I ever heard of, Stockton Creek is a delusion and a snare. I would hate mightily to float forever down its tranquil bosom. In the first place the floating would have to be accompanied by the unpoetic accessories of "ingun rubber overcoat an' gum elastic shoes," and an umbrella. In the second place, the swamps are infested at intervals by an insect who seems to be a cross between a sand fly and a musquito, possessing the concentrated vices of both. (I would like to stop here to write a chapter on the proneness of ants, sand flies, gnats and others of that ilk to pervade the realms made beautiful by poetic fancy, and knock the romance out of tender situations. Space forbids, however, and any young gentleman who has walked on the Battery with his adored one during sand fly time can appreciate it.) Then, after floating down Stockton Creek for a night or so, the floater would probably have African fever, and complete his floating with a shaven head, taking immense quantities of quinine. Altogether, I would prefer allowing somebody else to do my floating. While on this subject, however, I must propound one question over which my mind has often been exercised: Is it presumable that the insects above referred to infested the Garden of Eden? If so, can it be supposed that the state of our first parents in their unprotected condition was one of unmixed happiness? A reply is anxiously awaited. When about two and a half miles up Stockton Creek, the rain began to fall as if the floodgates were indeed open. It did not seem to fall in drops, but in continuous streams. It was literally a "pouring" rain. The Kroomen rowed on through it all very unconcernedly, while rubber clothing turned the water from the bodies of us passengers, and allowed it to flow in streamlets into the crackers and cheese in the lunch basket. So we progressed. By and by I noticed at one or two places on the right bank slight clearings; in which a native canoe was generally tied up. This, I was informed, was
THE FIRST SETTLEMENT ABOVE MONROVIA.
It is called New Georgia, and runs along
the banks for two or three miles, the houses being built far apart. The number of inhabitants in this municipality is estimated at five hundred souls. Through the openings in the bush I caught occasional glimpses of the dark green coffee trees, or bananas, surrounding some house. Then, after a while, we swept around a bend, and were
ON THE ST. PAUL'S,
which is here about two-thirds of a mile wide. The banks of the river are more elevated than those of the creek, and generally rise in miniature bluffs from three to ten feet above the water. The land speedily begins to assume a more cleared appearance, the view being unobstructed by large trees. The grass and undergrowth, however, generally come down nearly to the river's edge. The banks themselves seemed to consist of a hard, gray clay. Marl is said to be abundant along the river. Most of the buildings I noticed along the shore were of brick, a large proportion being two story. About five miles up the river we stopped at a "landing." The "landings" invariably consist of either a few steps cut in the clay from the water's edge to the top of the bank, or of a cut down slope into the bank itself. Such a thing as comfortable wooden or stone steps, or a wharf, seems to have occurred to none of them, and the Liberians go on stumbling and sliding on the slippery clay, and falling down and muddying their good clothes, and swearing just as their fathers did. It may be remarked also that their sole means of transportation to Monrovia seems to consist of the native canoe, (what we call a "dug out.") Everybody who can afford it keeps from one to five of these craft of different sizes, lying either at the "landing" or turned bottom up on the ground in the neighborhood. When they want to go anywhere, they put in a crew of from three to ten natives (according to the boat's size,) and go. What objection there would be to having decent boats I don't know. I am told that a path leads down through the woods by the creek to Monrovia. That is how the poor folks reach there I suppose. The "landing" we stopped at was of the usual order. My companion had a Krooman to "tote" him through the water and mud to the grass above, and I, very absurdly followed his example. One hundred and seventy-five pounds of weight, however, seemed to make my Krooman sick, and I mentally registered a vow never to try that experiment again. When I do break my neck or smother in mud, I want to do it all by myself. Besides it is not, strictly speaking, pleasant to be so closely embraced by a moist Kroo. The rain had temporarily suspended, and after reachlng solid ground we wended our way to a very neat looking frame cottage, the residence of a colored man named Beam. He has been in this country for a number of years. He has fifty acres under cultivation in sugar cane, and expressed his regret that he could not show us around owing to the all-pervading dampness. He did show us, however, over his sugar mill, which is of the ordinary pattern, run by a six horse steam engine. The
is coarse, but of a good quality and color, and brings from seven to eight cents per pound from American refiners. The Liberian production is from 3,000 to 3,500 pounds per acre. They make from their sugar boiling also an excellent quality of syrup, and rum, which is pronounced by connoisseurs to be very fine. This yield of sugar shows what the soil is--magnificent. It can be cyphered out readily that there should be money in sugar-raising at this rate, especially as a crop is to be obtained in one year, and the cane, so I get it from the best authority, does not require replanting for years, a new growth springing up every season from the old stumps. I saw some cane, uncut remnants of this year's crop, which I would estimate at being twelve or thirteen feet high and two inches thick a foot from the roots. There are only two or three sugar mills on the river, however, and the profit is greatly reduced to the general producer by the tolls charged for grinding out the cane--one-third of the gross proceeds. Re-embarking, we continued our course up the river. About five miles above New Georgia comes a similar town named
stretching along the river front, and containing a population of from 500 to 600. The word "town" may mislead the reader, "settlement" would be the more proper word, as they consist of a number of small farms adjoining each other, and generally connected by broad roads, miscalled "streets." Just opposite Caldwell on the other shore, are Lower and Upper Virginia, the two together containing between 800 and 900 people. Behind Upper Virginia is Brewersville, where there are about 600 people. Next above Upper Virginia is Clay-Ashland, which claims a population of 1,000. Nearly all of the older houses along the shore are of brick, but farther back frame is the general rule, with a proportion of thatch houses. These latter it is very difficult for any one but a native to make comfortable. They can be run up with a few days' labor, and are sometimes used temporarily by immigrants until frame or brick buildings can be erected. There is a saw-mill on the river, and a considerable quantity of the dressed lumber is imported. As the brick clay is abundant and easily accessible, and the sun is hot enough to bake brick, it would be, I should think, more advisable to build of brick always. Manufactured brick can be bought for four dollars per thousand, and lime is cheap and easily obtained. Dressed shingles are also made in small quantities up the river. There is a bug, a sort of ant, in the country, commonly called "bugaboo," which is very destructive to dressed timber, especially in building. I think from all accounts they would cat a frame house entirely up in ten or twelve years if let alone. The Liberians seem to think
that American timber withstands the ravages of these insects better than that produced in Africa. These ants are different from the black ants, which make occasional raids, and if not smoked back, overrun houses, completely clearing them of animals, insects, &c., and acting as thorough scavengers. I saw some of the mounds built by these latter four feet high by two or three thick, and overgrown with grass and bushes. At Clay-Ashland I saw
A SMALL IRON STEAMBOAT
tied up just below the landing. It was formerly the property of Messrs. Morris, of Philadelphia, but by some means or other has passed into the hands of a Liberian. It seems to be rusting itself out now, and I am informed is never used, exactly why, I could not learn. It seems to me that it would be an incalculable benefit to the people on the river, were it run regularly, as well as a source of profit to the owner. It seems at present to afford a fair illustration of Liberian entrprise. We landed at Clay-Ashland, took dinner, and spent the night. There I first saw what Liberia could do in the way of cotton. In my host's yard was a large bush some eight feet high, and branching out about twelve feet each way. It was
A COTTON PLANT
which, he informed me, had been growing there for nine years, bearing regularly every year, and on two or three occasions twice a year, from 2,000 to 3,000 bolls. Of the cotton itself I secured a specimen. It is long staple, and resembles our sea island, only it is not quite so fine. This
COTTON GROWS WILD
about the country, and nobody seems to pay any attention to it, except the natives, who with their primitive looms, manufacture from it a coarse strong cloth which they wear almost universally. They weave strips about six inches wide, and of any required length. These strips are subsequently woven together into the cloth, which is traded to the Liberian store keeper, who sells it out again to his customers. The cloths generally sell according to width, about 12½ cents being charged for each "strip" contained in them. They are dyed usually with indigo, which also grows wild, in blue stripes of different widths on the white ground. One I saw, however, which was quite elaborate, there being rude attempts at reproducing the shapes of flowers on it. I obtained a couple of these also. From all I can see, I know of no reason why Liberia should not with proper care become one of the great cotton producing countries. There is no replanting necessary except every twelve or fifteen years; the plant bears the first year, and soon becomes strong enough to defy grass.
NATURE SEEMS TO PROVIDE EVERYTHING HERE.
In rambling around, my companion, the doctor, showed me the fever plant, the leaves of which, made into tea, are almost a sovereign cure for fevers; the soap tree, the leaves of which, when bruised, lather like soap and are almost as efficacious for cleaning rough surfaces; the tooth plant, a white leaf, which, as I ascertained by experiment, by a little rubbing, clean and polish your teeth beautifully; the hemorrhage plant, the leaves of which when applied to a wound staunch the flow of blood; pepper plants, licorice, ginger and lemon plants, a leaf smelling and tasting like lemon and an admirable medicinal agent; then the mangove ash makes the strongest sort of lye; and the uses of the palm and bread fruit tree, everybody knows. Cassada is a long root, generally about two inches thick, which is palatable when properly cooked, and is very nutritions. Indigo is abundant. Walking about Clay-Ashland you kick up pure silicate from the ground in flakes at every step, and I was shown specimens of ore which, even I could see, were rich in iron. Some of this ore, I am told, yields 85 per cent. of pure iron. The natives bring pure gold from the interior to trade, and we procured a ruby, picked up from the ground. The Liberians claim that there are diamonds also, but precious stones seem very scarce. These things I do not give as rumors but as the result of diligent inquiries among different people at different times and places, and of personal inspection. At Clay-Ashland, as well as everywhere else in Liberia, every body is mad on the subject of coffee.
THE COFFEE TREE
is a beautiful one, generally growing, when developed and under cultivation, from six to ten feet high, with a large dark green leaf, (here like everything else an evergreen.) It is generally planted by scions or slips, the little trees being taken from the beds when well started, and transplanted. The coffee grows in thickly clustering bunches along the branches, and is green in color, until ripe, when it turns red. A thick pod or case envelopes the grains, which is beaten off when gathered and dried. The grains are very large, and the coffee itself is delicious, to my taste fully equalling, if not surpassing, Mocha. The coffee trees are usually planted about 400 to the acre, and begin to bear well the third year. The trees yield from one to five pounds of coffee grains each, which sell at 20 cents per pound, wholesale, at Monrovia. While on this subject, I may say that I saw in the Courthouse yard in Monrovia a coffee tree fully twenty-five feet high, from which from five to ten pounds of the grain are gathered every year. The coffee picking season is over now lasting from February to May. I saw the trees growing wild and uncared for in the bush in one place, and about the yards and streets in Monrovia. Almost everybody near the landings along the St. Paul's has a little store under their dwelling where they carry on a
TRAFFIC WITH THE NATIVES.
Exchanging calicoes, kettles, guns, beads, &c., for country cloths, palm kernels, coffee
and rice. The palm kernels are the nuts gathered from the palm tree, and, with the oil pressed from them, form one of the chief articles of export, the oil being extensively used for the manufacture of fine paints and soaps. The English and French manufacturers extract the oil from the kernels, and press the remainder into cakes, which is said to make an excellent food for cattle. Almost everybody handles palm oil; nearly the whole of Liberia seems to smell of it, and the odor is not a particularly delightful one.
also grows in a wild and half wild state, and but little care seems to be devoted to its production. It is kept in the husk until wanted for use, when the required quantity is put in a wooden mortar, and hammered on until it is cleaned, and tolerably well broken up. It is a good article to the taste, being richer than our fine white rice. The Liberians claim that this effect is produced by keeping it unhulled. Notwithstanding its growth at their very doors, however, they import India rice for consumption. Although in the country with cattle all about, we had English canned butter at Clay-Ashland. I only saw milk at two places in Liberia, and then it was in the coffee. They say that the cows give so little milk that it's hardly worth while feeding them. I believe, though, that the experiment of carefully feeding and attending to milch cattle has not as yet been tried. Clay-Ashland is like the other settlements, scattering far and wide over the country, with every vacant lot densely overgrown with underbrush, and all the roads covered with grass. We left there early on Monday morning, continuing our course up the river. The day was the one appointed for the opening of the quarterly court at Monrovia, and as we went up we met quite a number of planters coming down to attend. They make quite
of the long "dug-outs" having cushioned or covered and backed seats near the stern, in which the "boss" reclines beneath the shade of his umbrella and smokes his pipe, or leisurely discusses a lunch or a bottle of wine, while the seven, eight, nine or ten natives who compose the crew paddle away singing merrily. In one of these craft I noticed the two "bosses," leaning comfortably back, facing each other, with a little table between them, from which they ate breakfast. In several places, on each side of the river, small creeks flow into it. These are generally bridged just at their mouths by flimsy foot bridges, supported on long, insecure looking poles. These creeks are the great resorts of the hippopotamus, (river horse.)
does not seem very abundant. I saw but few birds along the river. There are several species of deer, the principal one being apparently the water deer, a small animal, savory to the taste, and from whose skins the natives make shot pouches and other articles. Quite a number of other deer are, however, killed in "the bush." Monkeys are abundant, but I saw none, those ancestors of ours having a constitutional objection to being wetted by the rain. Panthers occasionally make themselves troublesome by leaping the apologies for fences and killing cattle. Those interesting animals are, however, becoming scarcer. Porcupines, squirrels and similar small "varments" seem plentiful. I saw one large alligator on a rock. He seemed to be rather lighter in color than his American brother, but gave evidence of equal alacrity in moving at the whistle of a rifle bullet, and of equal persistency in refusing to give any tangible evidence of whether he was hit or not. There are no tigers or lions hereabout, but elephants there must be not far in the interior, as the natives bring considerable numbers of their tusks in for sale and barter. Fish swarm, so I was told, in the rivers. I noticed many traps along the banks.
THE PLANTERS OF LIBERIA--EACH GENERATION NEARER TO PERFECT CIVILIZATION--A SUCCESSFUL COLUMBIA COLORED MAN--VIEWS OF SOUTHERN LIFE--BELIEF IN THE BLOODY-SHIRT YARNS--HOW THE ST. PAUL'S PLANTERS LIVE--SUPERIORITY OF THE LIBERIAN TO THE AVERAGE FREEDMAN--SOCIAL DIFFICULTIES--THE SERVANT-GIRL BOTHER--FARMING WITH SLAVE LABOR--CONFIDENCE IN SOUTHERN FACTORS--ANXIETY OF THE LIBERIANS TO TRADE WITH CHARLESTON.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA, June 17.--When I closed my last I was on my way up the St. Paul's River, having left Clay-Ashland, and started for further exploration.
Five miles above Clay-Ashland we stopped at the plantation of Jesse Sharp, a native of Columbia, S. C., who left there as a freeman, a number of years before the war, when a young man. He is light colored, and has a fine sugar plantation, which pleased me more than anything of the sort I saw on the river, giving evidence as it did of thrift and care. He showed us with much pride over his cane fields, of which he has some 150 acres, which looked unusually clean and free from weeds and grass. Their owner seemed delighted to meet some one from South Carolina, and he and I had a long talk, comparing notes about Columbia and Columbia people. Most of his knowledge, it is needless to say, was too deep for me, being too far back for my ken. He could and did, however, inquire regarding the children and descendants of those whom he had known. He seemed to have a great admiration for Governor Hampton, whom he says he remembers perfectly as a young man. He related with great glee several
REMINISCENCES OF HIS EXCELLENCY,
among others, one of his administering a severe castigation to a champion who was "on his muscle" and insulted him. The incident the remembrance of which seemed to give him the greatest delight though, was the Governor's purchasing a horse which its owner was riding over everybody on, and "bragging" about, and giving it to his servant to ride to market on. He laughed most heartily over this last anecdote and remarked that he would never forget to his dying day how "cut up" the former owner of the horse had looked. When shown a photograph of the Governor, he evinced so much pleasure that I gave it to him. He has accumulated a comfortable fortune at sugar planting, and is preparing to retire from business, having a handsome house in process of erection at Monrovia. His
VIEWS OF AMERICAN POLITICS
differ materially from those of the general run of Liberians, his idea being that the negro can most safely trust his interests in the hands of his former master. The average Liberian derives his impressions of American life and politics from the National Republican and the Toledo Blade, as THE NEWS AND COURIER is only taken for its superior information regarding the emigration scheme. I know too much about newspapers to think of saying anything against one, just as the gunmaker is always the most careful in handling firearms. It can hardly be denied, however, that the Republican and the Blade are a "leetle" inclined to Republicanism in their political proclivities, and their utterances do much towards shaping sentiment here in that direction. The Liberians seem to have a general idea that nobody in the South calls a negro anything but a "d--d nigger," or at best "them niggers;" that the colored citizen habitually resides in caves, dens and other fastnesses, that he is habitually hunted at the point of the revolver just for fun, and that he has no rights whatever before the law or anywhere else. In talking with one of the most intelligent citizens and discussing the causes of the decrease of the colored population of the United States, he said, perfectly seriously and earnestly:
"Well, then, I suppose some ten thousand are killed every year." (Notes of admiration!! at the reader's expense.) Another seemed somewhat astonished and incredulous when I told him that I did not belong to
and had never done a colored brother to death, he apparently believing that every male citizen south of Mason and Dixon's line was a member of that organization, and only acquired a standing in the community by performing that feat. When informed that I belonged to one of those horrible "rifle clubs," the females of another family gazed on me with apparently the same feelings as those with which they would contemplate a caged cannibal in a circus. I fear that the Azor's passengers, having such sympathetic listeners, will tell some terrible "yarns." All this is the more surprising from the fact that most of the more wealthy citizens have travelled. That is one feature of Liberian life worthy of commendation. As soon as they acquire means, they seem generally to go out to enlarge their ideas by travel and observation. Many of those whom I met had been to, and generally through, England and America, and several over the Continent of Europe. It is hard to imagine how any one could go to Europe, and be contented to come back and live in Liberia. It is said, however, that "the Laplander loves his home," (for that reason I have always regarded the Laplander as an ass.) None of the younger men seem ever to have gone down South much. This is natural, as they have no ties there to induce them to brave the dangers which they believe beset the path of every colored man who gets your side of Baltimore. Besides this they have a social recognition and associations, in England and in places on the Continent and in the United States, which they certainly could not expect in the South. One or two who have been there expressed themselves as much disgusted and disappointed by the general poverty and ignorance of their race.
THE GENERAL LIFE
of the older and wealthier planters along the St. Paul's resembles in many particulars that of the Southern planter in the "good old days." Having a good brick house built, and his coffee, or sugar plantation well under weigh, the tiller of the soil generally takes his case, wears good clothes, and smokes, only exercising a supervision of his affairs. The spirit or wine decanter is almost invariably at the service of his guests, and when he goes visiting or to Monrovia, he steps into his canoe, calls his crew together, and travels comfortably and sedately. As the present generation is growing old, the children take charge after the return of the heir from his schooling and "finishing tour." In view of all this, it is ridiculous to suppose that the Liberians are relapsing into barbarism. On the contrary, it is apparent that each generation is bringing them steadily nearer to perfect civilization. While these old lords of the soil in their conscious or unconscious aping of their former master's former lives, present occasionally ludicrous contrasts to their models by ignorance and lack of culture, their sons and daughters are growing up better educated, trained and supplied with the requirements of intelligent men and women. I saw the Liberians (especially the younger ones) brought into contact, and consequently contrast, with the Azor's immigrants. It showed there and then that whether the negro is capable of attaining the white man's level or not, he is capable of becoming much nearer a perfect man than he is in America. It showed that there is more capability in him for improvement than we have developed. It is conclusive evidence that there is a vast amount of good mental ground lying fallow, wasting or running to noxious weeds, in the negro. It is as well to say it right here--despite their many ignorances, their conceit and their improvidence and inertness, the average Liberian is in most ways immeasurably superior to the average American negro, and those at Sierra Leone are as as far above him in acquirements as the clouds are above the earth. In the social refinements the better classes of colored people there soem perfect. In one thing I could notice distinctly the three degrees of progression, as illustrated by the English Colony negro, the Liberian negro, and the American negro--
THE OBSERVANCES OF TABLE ETIQUETTE.
This is a small matter at first sight, but it tells a story when looked into. History will show that in proportion as men have become civilized they have paid more and more attention to the little niceties and daintinesses that redeem the taking of food from the uncleanly and disgusting obedience to necessity and exercise of gluttony of the savage to the pleasurable, graceful and cleanly indulgence in a luxury of the well bred European or American. It is very well to spout Burns, but even the most rabid universal social equality lunatic would find it difficult to realize that the man who sits opposite, who makes of his mouth an open sepulchre in which he inters all of his feelings, sensibilities and intellectual developments, shovels in on them huge and indiscriminate masses of food with his knife, and gulps his wine as if it were a dose of medicine, is a man for a' that. People's style of eating is generally a fair indication of their progress in civilization. The Bushman eats his fish half raw with his hands; the Chinaman conveys it neatly and deftly to his mouth with chopsticks; the Englishman carefully, and as deftly, "scoops" it in with a silver fork. These are the three degrees. (I don't mean to say that a man is uncivilized unless he eats his fish with a bit of bread and a fork, but the civilized man, however he does handle his food, does it cleanly.) Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askalon, but almost every meal I took while
on African soil was in company with colored people. A man, and especially a newspaper reporter, has, from policy and decency both, to subordinate his prejudices and habits to politeness, besides which
"We can live without knowledge; what is knowledge but grieving?
We can live without hope; what is hope but deceiving?
We can live without love; what is love but repining?
But where is the man who can live without dining?
I can safely asseverate that he isn't in my boots at any rate. The correctness of the quotation is not vouched for. (It's the only part of "Lucille," if it is "Lucille," that ever impressed me much.) But the Sierra Leone people display a spontaneous and unconscious scrupulousness regarding the observance of all points of table etiquette, such as is hardly seen in the best American households, and puts an habitual sitter at hotel tables to diligently recalling the precepts inculcated in his youth regarding the proper manipulation of table furniture, &c. The Liberians are apparently much less enlightened on this subject, and seemed, with one or two exceptions, to pay little attention to it, while the Azor's people had each their own original and untrammelled style, the main object seeming to be the consumption of the greatest possible amount of food in the least possible time. Almost everybody, both in Sierra Leone and Liberia, had claret at dinner, and there was usually a glass of sherry or Maderia tendered before or after the meal.
TRADE WITH THE SOUTH.
But all this is wandering far away from my friend Sharps, which is my last geographical point. He displayed a feeling which seems quite prevalent among a large portion of the Liberians--a desire to do his trading with the United States, if possible with the South. More than one repeated to me his expressed sentiments, that "in spite of everything" their sympathies were with the land of their birth, and they would like to deal with her people. It is a flattering compliment to the business men of that section, that they seem to possess the confidence of those who knew them years ago, in the highest degree. One of the leading Liberians said: "I know the men who generally do business in South Carolina are gentlemen, and that they are above a dirty trick, or taking advantage of a man because he is far away," (the speaker is a Carolinian.) This feeling seems to be generally entertained. It may perhaps be partly attributed to the desire to escape from the monopoly held by a New York house, who do much business along the West Coast, and have been clever enough to obtain almost complete control of the Liberian trade, which seems to be quite a plum. They sell almost everything that is sold in Liberia, the Monrovian storekeepers replenishing their stocks from the New Yorker's ships, and paying, certainly, very good prices in produce or money. This is, I think, one of the obstacles to Liberian progress. Competition would enable them to sell higher and buy cheaper, thus stimulating trade, and necessarily increasing prosperity. Various Dutch and English firms have been established from time to time, and, receiving their own goods on their own ships, have been enabled to undersell and go away ahead of the Liberian merchants, making fortunes while they plod along in the same old ruts.
THE FIRST ORDER FOR CHARLESTON.
Jesse Sharp, who seems to be one of those men always willing to back up his words by his acts, showed his sincerity by sending a cash order to a large Charleston firm for sashes, timber, &c., for his house, the goods to be brought by the Azor on the return trip. While on this subject I will say that the new immigrants all manifested the same feelings. To precede the narrative a little, when I returned to Monrovia, and in answer to questions told them what I had seen of country cotton, exhibiting the samples, they generally and joyfully exclaimed, "Well, you bet the cotton makers are here now. We've got lots of cotton seed and tools, and when you come back again if you don't see cotton bales around here you kin whip us." The next inquiry of several of them was as to whether I thought it would be possible to deal with
THEIR OLD FACTORS IN CHARLESTON,
and all of the Carolina darkeys seemed anxious on the subject. The matter may be worthy of consideration by Charleston business men. If many of the colored people come a valuable direct trade may be opened.
It may be more of the "sarcasm of fate," but exactly the state of affairs exists here now that I imagine made slave labor necessary in America. That is, every man is a landholder, an owner and an equal. No lower classes have come in yet to do the manual work. There are no servants, and servants are a necessity, except in an imaginative jackass's Utopia. A few of the poorer Liberians hire out, but they are as good as their hirers, and consequently matters don't work smoothly, All such "servants" are addressed by everybody as "Mr." and "Miss." It sounds funny to hear the master of the house say "Miss --, a glass of water, please." When I visited the President I heard him ask: "Mr. Ross, will you bring in the wine?" This is, of course, a great hindrance to the cultivation of land on any extensive scale, especially when there are no horses. It cramps fearfully the sugar production, where much and cheap labor is indespensable at certain times. So, disguise it as they will, the Liberians have to
DEPEND ON SLAVE LABOR
at last, for it comes to that. They hire from a native king a certain number of his superstition-bound slaves for so much rum, so many brass kettles, iron bars and guns, and so
much calico paid to him. The "hands" work well and are faithful and obdient until the king, through caprice or having been paid, and wanting them to cut rice, sends orders to them to come back. Then they leave in a body, just, maybe, as the planter needs them most, and the Liberian government is too weak to enforce the performance of contracts made with its citizens. One secret of my friend Sharp's success I was told is that he makes an excellent quality of rum, with which he pays a king for "help," and is shrewd enough to keep on good terms with the potentate by sending him an extra cask now and then. In this way he and a few others manage to secure labor when they want it for their 50, 100 and 150 acre farms. One of a thousand acres,, though, it would be difficult to work here. There are some comparatively free natives who hire cheaply, but they are unreliable and apt to "knock off" and go at any time. You can pick up a few always, enough to man your canoe or do odd jobs, and if you treat them kindly, they will hire out to you again, and do any kind of work. They can not be depended upon in any considerable number, however. These natives are abjectly afraid of the white man, having acquired the idea (probably from the Liberians), that he is not only an habitual cheat, but an habitual cutthroat. It requires several months of acquaintance to get them fairly reconciled to the Caucasian. Then unless he be a bastard to the time who doth not smack of observation, they like him above all, and will give him the preference in hiring. These natives will take anything, and the Liberians (who "fled here from the slave holder's lash") do not scruple to administer unto them a thrashing when provoked thereto. The native frequently discerns the anger in his employer's face and the stick in his hand, and precipitately takes to flight, leaving, if necessary, like Joseph, his garment in the hands of the pursuer. All the revenge he ever takes is to quit and go home. It must be
AN INSPIRITING SPECTACLE
to see what was described to me in an incidental way by the chief actor himself, a free black Liberian man, soundly cudgeling a free black native man with a stick, while two more free black native men were flying over the neighboring hedges to avoid similar castigation, the three free black natives having been caught in the act of dragging a bag of rice through the mud. Such things make me weep when I think that Wendell Phillips was not there. The native is rarely "sassy," and the most he does is to complain in a sort of whine, in his broken English. It is a universal custom for them to address all who they consider as superiors as "daddy" and "mammy." (This information was a great comfort to me, as I had been much scandalized by being addressed as "daddy" by a fat Kroo boy, within an hour after my landing.)
THE DIFFICULTY REGARDING HOUSE SERVANTS
is in a great degree obviated by a practice now fortunately becoming common. That is the binding out of native children by their parents to serve in Liberian families until twenty-one years of age. There were from two to six of these youngsters around nearly every house I visited, and very bright, "handy" and honest they seem. In return for their services they are clothed, fed, learned reading, writing, Christianity and her handmaid Civilization. Quite an attachment in some instances seems to exist between master and servant. This shows a long step forward on the part of the natives--an appreciation of their inferiority to civilized people. A people or a man who can be made to see their or his own imperfections, is not beyond hope. Perfect self-satisfaction is the greatest bar to improvement, as it is the most unmistakable mark of a fool. Had the Liberians a little of the humbleness and conciousness of inferiority of the natives, I might have more hopes of them. So far, the civilized natives have made little progress. When they return to their tribes they have to doff European clothes, as, if they didn't, the medicine man would probably attribute the first misfortune that befell to his violation of the customs of his ancestors, which are more honored in the breech cloth than in the observance of pantaloons and paper collars, and a "settling" dose of poison would remove the progressionist. Their knowledge of the reading and writing of the English language, too, is now generally employed in aiding the king in some villany. During their residence with the whites, they usually pick up a knowledge of commercial values, which makes them useful in facilitating the trading operations of their tribe. As the numbers of these civilized ones increases, however, their influence is bound to be felt for good.
Apropos of the natives, it may be mentioned that the principal tribes hereabouts are Mandingoes and Veis, the former noted for their aptness in manufacturing and trading, and the latter for having invented (patent not yet applied for) an alphabet of their own. These natives generally live in thatch villages, and subsist mainly on rice and cassada, varied by occasional game, or a free lunch composed of black ants, caught by sinking a kettle in the ground and allowing them to tumble in. Wheaten bread is a very rare treat, and they beg or trade for it eagerly. With considerable regret I took leave of my friend, the planter, and we re-embarked for the return trip. Where we stopped was about twenty miles above Monrovia. The St. Paul's is only navigable some five miles farther up, where the rapids, which are about nine feet high, interrupt progress. Nobody in Liberia has taken the trouble to explore the stream, and little is known of it above these rapids. The natives along its course are reported to be hostile and savage, and its source is unknown. Some persons seem to think that it is
A BRANCH OF THE NIGER,
which makes a long bend to the westward at
a point about opposite the Liberian territory, but they advance nothing but theories and vague beliefs in support of their idea. Above Clay-Ashland are the settlements of New York, (200 population,) and Louisiana, (400 population.) Just above the rapids is the flourishing settlement of Arlington, with a population of between 600 and 700. This portion of the St. Paul's is the most thickly populated in the Republic, and most of the unoccupied land along the river front is owned by old settlers. There are a few settlements along the Junk and Po, and one on the lower portion of the St. Paul's. Then a few families are scattered about here and there, all of the remainder of the population being in the towns, most of which have already been named, and smaller settlements. Liberia has only received an addition of a few hundred by immigration during the past ten years.
THE CURSE OF LIBERIA--WHAT IT COSTS TO GOVERN THIRTY-FIVE HUNDRED VOTERS--DOWN THE RIVER--LIBERIAN HOUSES--A WRANGLE WITH THE KROOMEN--TAKING A HINT--AN INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT--WHAT HE LOOKS AND TALKS LIKE--THE MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT--AVERAGE COST, TWENTY-EIGHT DOLLARS FOR EACH VOTER--THE WHOLE WORK COULD BE DONE BY A MAN AND TWO SMART BOYS.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA, June 17.--From Clay-Ashland we came back down the St. Paul's River, stopping at several places to do a little foraging. The result was a bushel or two of butter pears, (a fruit about the size and shape of a very large pear, with a green or purple rind, and containing a soft, buttery interior which is very palatable when eaten with a spoon and well mixed in a disgusting looking mess with sugar and vinegar, (a few sour-saps, (a fruit much commended, which grows on a tree, resembles a dropsical cucumber, and tastes like nothing at all, seasoned with weak vinegar,) a few delightful pineapples, a dozen or so chickens and an equal number of eggs, collected one, two and three at a time; a few oranges, plenty of lemons and limes, and several large bunches of bananas, and a sheep, which was evidently in the last stages of consumption (the sheep here have no wool, and I couldn't to save me tell sheep from goat.) For all of these we paid good prices. The quadruped just alluded to was devoured at a single meal, and then we wanted more. It was about the size of an ordinary black and tan dog, but tasted very well. He and his like sell for about two dollars, when they can be gotten, while a pair of turkeys brings five dollars. At a few places along the river they grow
in small patches, but it deteriorates greatly in this soil and climate, producing, however, fair "nubbins," suitable for feeding stock. I saw a few watermelons, generally of the "Joe Johnson" (or "rattlesnake") pattern, but they, too, were small, although there is little difference between their taste and that of "Hanover County" or "Augusta" rapture.
I had an opportunity of inspecting the interior of more of the houses. Nearly all of the dwellings in Liberia, outside of Monrovia, are furnished plainly--very much in the style prevalent among colored folks in America. There were the familiar plaster of Paris images, dogs and cats on the mantles, the familiar gaudily gilded and painted china cups and mugs, and the familiar ghastly caricatures of Scriptural scenes, where a knock-kneed Joseph is always being sold into captivity in a yellow shawl by an obviously intoxicated gentleman with very pink legs and very large arms, who holds in his other hand a long walking stick, while a blue camel watches the proceedings with an air of personal interest. Altogether I could easily imagine myself in the best room of a respectable colored family down South. In Monrovia more of an attempt at elegance is made, there being wide settees and more elaborate furniture generally. The pictures, however, are invariably common and poor.
THE CONCILIATION POLICY.
We got back to Monrovia some time after dark that evening. Here it transpired that Dr. Roberts, who had very kindly acted as my guide, understood the management of Kroomen much better than I did. He had been stern, exacting and sharp with our crew throughout, while I tried the pacific policy. They refused point blank to row out to the vessel, and it was only after the assumption of a threatening tone by us regarding the withholding of wages and rum that they finally consented. It was characteristic of the animals that, after being paid in full, they came to me and demanded repayment on the ground that their headman had failed to pay them. This headman followed me around for
two days trying to persuade me that he had been promised an extra dollar, until I took occasion to inquire, in his hearing, how much it would cost to break a Krooman's head. Then he desisted, although he might with impunity have continued dunning to this hour, as he weighed, apparently, about 225 pounds, and an assault upon his precious person would have cost me (being a white man) about $25. One day Capt. Holmes and I took heart of grace and called to see
The Executive mansion is not a very imposing structure, being an ordinary red brick, two-story tenement house, with a porch in front, to which a flight of common wooden steps leads up from the front gate which opens on the street. The yard in front is shallow, and has apparently little care taken of it, although the building itself is in tolerable repair. On the benches in the front porch there are usually several persons loafing, probably either petitioners for something or hangers-on. The interior is plainly furnished, the most noticeable objects in the parlor being two large and elaborately gilt, old-fashioned parlor tables, surmounted by large mirrors, in equally elaborately gilt frames. Our cards were taken up, and in a few minutes the President, Anthony W. Gardner, came down stairs, and we were introduced by a young man who had taken up our "pasteboards"--I as "Mr. ah-um NEWS AND COURIER," and the captain as "Captain ah-um Azor." The President is tall, thin, apparently about sixty years of age, and a shade or two darker than the octoroon. He dresses as becomes his years and position, plainly but well, adhering to the old-fashioned high collar with which our ancestors used to make themselves uncomfortable. He shaves clean except small patches of whisker close to his cheek bones. Altogether he is a good specimen of the wealthier and more intelligent free colored man of the "old school." He received us in a sort of negligé costume with smoking cap and slippers. He is a native of Virginia. The Old Dominion, by the way, retains her ancient prestige as
THE MOTHER OF PRESIDENTS,
even here, six out of eight Liberian executives having sprung from her soil. Three of the six, singular to say, have come from the immediate neighborhood of Petersburg. ("Northern," "Eastern," "Southwestern," "Valley" and "Southside," will probably be each clamoring for representation anon.) His Excellency does not assume any airs, and talks freely and intelligently. He seems heartily in sympathy with the exodus movement, and says that "the hand of Jehovah is plainly to be seen in it." He expressed much pleasure at the arrival of the immigrants, but seemed disappointed in them, remarking on their indigent appearance, and unprepared state. He said, however, that the government would do what it could to help this party, but hoped that no more would come equally unprovided and destitute. He also said that he intended addressing a communication to the President of the United States on the subject of the emigration from that country, with a view to its facilitation. He talks with the deliberate drawl characteristic of the Southerner, white or colored, and seemed pleased to have an opportunity of talking about Virginia and the old times there. He says that he left that State just as he was "getting big enough to ride the horse to mill." As usual in Liberian households, wine was brought out, it being in this instance a harmless and pleasant compound wherein ginger was the predominating feature. Of course I appreciated the grandeur of my position, clinking glasses--hob-nobbing--actually chumming in as it were--with one of the rules of the earth; a president of a republic. There was a great uplifting of heart, which was suddenly checked by the remembrance that I (at present the companion of a potentate) would return to my own country and have the bell rung on me by a street car driver just the same as if I had never known any president beyond the head man in a building and loan association. Such is life, The beverage was brought, as heretofore mentioned, by a colored man addressed as "Mr. Ross," who took up a position behind the president's chair, from whence he silently but actively participated in the conversation, nodding approvingly when something pleased him that was said, and again expressing unqualified dissent. He was from Richmond, Va., having come out just at the close of the war. He had formerly belonged to one of the most prominent families there, and seemed exceedingly delighted when given some tidings of them. We took our leave after a very pleasant visit. The president, in common with all Liberia, seems fully impressed with the importance of encouraging immigration from America. The question as to
THE NEGRO'S ABILITY TO GOVERN HIMSELF
is not decided by Liberia. That Government is as yet an experiment, of the result of which it is difficult to form any forecast. The Liberian people have not even a general name, having not attained to the dignity of a nation, and being beyond a tribe. Whether the world will ever see a great negro nationality is yet to be determined. There is nothing now on which to form a judgment. They have borrowed from the United States a form and system of government designed for an intelligent, virtuous and progressive people, which they are applying to a people with as little virtue and far less intelligence, and apparently utterly lacking the progressiveness of the American. The negro has not had as yet a fair chance. It must be remembered that this is his first attempt in a really civilized state to rule himself by himself. It is, perhaps, fortunate that there has been no promiscuous streaming in of newly-freed and ignorant slaves. The absence of this has afforded an
opportunity for the laying of a foundation of partial education and civilization, on which to build. This, of course, has its evils, already hinted at. Every man is a proprietor and master. What is wanted now is manual labor and population. As this comes in, one of two things must happen. Either the people will learn what is wanted, and improve the Government, or, in blind dissatisfaction, they will overturn it, and anarchy will ensue. The present
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
is too cumbrous and expensive, and encourages petty ambition for offices. When Dr. Johnson said that patriotism was the last resort of a scoundrel, he might have added, "and a loafer;" besides which it is a well established fact that rascality and loafing are usually the last resorts of a "patriot." The pernicious doctrine that to be elected to some office by an unreasoning, dirty and fickle populace is a worthy ambition, seems very prevalent here. Consequently large numbers of men who might be developing the country and themselves, are constantly engaged in either seeking or holding office. Liberia, with her 3,500 voters, is a pettier and meaner edition of the cesspool of American politics. Dozens of miserable small holders of miserable small offices are loafing around destroying themselves and eating up the land. There is more than one instance of men who have relinquished business which was a benefit to themselves and the community to participate in the struggle for some trifling office. To sum up, politics seems destined to be
THE CURSE OF THIS COUNTRY,
as it is of nearly every other. Here is what these three thousand five hundred voters elect, and what they pay:
President, salary $2,500
Private clerk 300
Table expenses 800
Secretary of State, salary $1,000
Secretary of Treasury, salary $1,000
Legislative expenses 13,000
Associate Justices 1,500
Office-holders General Government $25,350
Four judges' court quarter sessions (one for each county) $700 per annum each $ 2,800 00
Four judges monthly and probate courts, $300 each 1,200 00
Three county superintendents and clerks 1,500 00
Four county attorneys 1,600 00
Three county district attorneys 235 00
Two local superintendents 425 00
Six collectors of customs 2,325 00
Four postmasters 275 00
Three "chairmen" courts 300 00
Six commissaries 635 00
Five jailers 800 00
Two lighthouse keepers 380 00
Five sub-treasurers 1,050 00
Four customhouse clerks 450 00
Three county auditors 900 00
Officeholders four counties 14,875 00
Total cost, 116 office-holders $40,225 00
Besides all this comes contingent fund general government $ 2,000 00
Navy (one cutter) 5,000 00
Public printing 1,000 00
Revising statutes 3,000 00
Lighthouse expenses 150 00
Supreme Court 1,000 00
English postage 1,168 58
Consul General, London 600 00
Stationery 100 00
War expenses 1,566 16
Liberia College 600 00
Total $16,184 74
Surveying and plotting (counties) $ 500 00
Contingent funds (counties) 3,450 00
County judicial expenses 15,500 00
County public schools 6,400 00
County pensions 2,350 00
"Rents" (presumably offices for county office-holders) 920 00
Stationery (for use of county office-holders) 470 00
"Interest on deposits" in four counties 3,300 00
Outstanding claims (four counties) 12,983 15
Fortifications, and other military expenses 6,000 00
Public buildings, bridges and improvements 26,075 00
Total $77,948 15
Total expenditures general and county governments $134,357 89
Subtract from this:
Public schools and Liberia College $7,000
Public buildings, surveying, &c 26,575
and we have the cost of running the government for 3,500 voters--$100,782 89, or, ciphering in round numbers, about $29 for each voter. I have estimated the number of office-holders from the legislative appropriation list for 1876-77. The above 116 does not include a host of magistrates, constables, police and petty court officials, who generally pick up a precarious livelihood from small fees earned from petty squabblings among the neighbors, municipal officers, tax collectors, &c. From my observation, I think that a man and two smart boys could easily do all of the work of the general government.
PHASES OF LIBERIAN LIFE--POLITICAL ISSUES--TAXATION--THE CURRENCY--RESULTS OF EXPERIMENTS WITH INCONVERTIBLE PAPER--SHABBY SHODDYISM--THE RELIGIOUS FEELING--CONDITION OF THE SCHOOLS--A CHEERFUL ESTIMATE OF THE COMING GENERATION--NO DRUNKENNESS OR BRAWLING--THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM--LAWYERS WHO, CROOK THE PREGNANT HINGES--AN AMUSING SCENE IN COURT.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA, June 17.--The principal question that the political parties split on are hard to get at, as hardly anybody seems to understand them. As well as I can make out however, one party ("Republicans" or "True Liberians") favor the borrowing of what money is to be borrowed by the government from Liberians, and a generally conservative course. The other side are more liberal, and wish to borrow from outside, and also to modify the laws in some respects--especially regarding the white man. The former party is now in power, their ticket having been elected, so it is said, by 1,500 majority. Campaigns are warm, however, and detachments of the 3,500 voters manage occasionally to get up very decent riots among themselves, there being the fullest scope for a display of demagogry. The President tells me that
THE GOVERNMENT INCOME
from duties is about $150,000, and from internal revenue about $15,000. Total, $165,000. The Government tax is half per cent. on real estate and personal property, besides which there is usually a municipal tax (it must be recollected that the municipal officers, office-holders and expenses are not included in the above estimate) of the same, the total taxes being generally one per cent. There are complaints made that property is greatly overvalued, although as the above revenue returns show taxes paid only on less than $3,000,000 of real and personal property in the country, (there being a poll tax of $1,) that can hardly be possible. Some person or persons, in England, was or were foolish enough to make up a loan to the Liberian Government of one hundred thousand pounds sterling, for which bonds were issued. Some of the Liberian officials, who were sent to London for the money, succeeded in "losing" a considerable portion, while much of the remainder was squandered by a ring composed of other Liberian officials and English contractors and agents. The public debt is now stated to be £30,000, the remaining £70,000 having either been paid, or "the bonds securing it having been lost by the holders." That's the tale that somebody told me. Liberia has pinned much of her faith on
"Blest paper credit; last and best supply,
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly."
She has a
gotten up in a style that reminds me forcibly of old Confederate dollars. They promise on their face to pay the bearer in gold so much, no date, however, being specified. As long as the government had gold, matters progressed very well, but by and by a hitch occurred in the arrangements. In 1876 an act was passed authorizing the signing and issuing of $100,000 additional currency. Then the paper went down, and down, until at length it became 50 per cent. below par. The act authorizing the issue was repealed last year, and the currency has been gradually getting back. Now it is only at a discount of from 12 to 15 per cent. Even this price, however, is paid, principally I expect, because the money is receivable for duties. There appears to be a lack of confidence in the government. In the matter of currency, by the by, Liberia is thoroughly cosmopolitan. Any thing in the shape of money is received. One time in a handfull of change for half a sovereign I found a Mexican dollar, a French five franc piece, two English sixpences, United States coín and notes, and Liberian
currency. This is another point of difference between Monrovia and Sierra Leone. At the latter place anything but English money was rejected scornfully, and Uncle Sam's promises to pay were evidently little trusted. The control of politics in Liberia is largely in the hands of a class, consisting of the older settlers and their descendants. Many of these persons are, as before hinted, par excellence, demagogues. We can respect and sympathise with shabby gentility, (generally, in the South, on the principle that a fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind) and be dazzled by the displays of shoddyism with its barbaric splendor, but
is an altogether disgusting spectacle. That is the class in which the political men in Liberia most frequently may be found however. They will incur trifling debts to Kroo boys rather than carry a parcel home through even the unobservant streets of Monrovia. They belong to that species that glories in linen bosom and coarse cotton body to their physical and moral shirts, scrupulously particular and vulgarly extravagant as to what is in sight, caring nothing how many rents, and stains, and crooked brass pins there may be beneath the outward gloss either on mind or body, and delighting in cheap champagne and flash cigars. I formed this opinion from my own observation. There are, doubtless, a few exceptions, but I saw only a very few.
I was not surprised to hear that such persons were anxious to devise means to keep back the intelligent and wealthy immigrants, whom they expected, and of whom they were already jealous. It is only fair to say, however, regarding this last statement, that I have it only on hearsay evidence, and that the general run of people seem to appreciate the importance of immigration, and to be anxious to encourage and disposed heartily to welcome it! I will dismiss he subject of polities with the statement that there is said on good authority to be a deficiency of $12,000 and over in the budget this year, which is attributed to war debts. This government is fortunate in having no paupers to look out for. The President says there are only two of that class in the territory. This speaks well for the soil. One thing gives me hope of Liberia, and that is the apparently
UNIVERSAL RELIGIOUS FEELING.
From the highest to the lowest all seem to have an unalterable faith in the Almighty, and believe in His active interference in human affairs. Solomon was a wise man, and knew more and had seen more of real life than nine hundred and ninety-nine thousandths of us with all our steam and telegraph, and when he said "in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths," he must have meant it. Or looking at it from an entirely outside standpoint, there is another proposition. Christianity, where it exists, must be progressive. For that we have the word of its greatest exemplars and teachers. The progressiveness of Christianity is certainly towards perfection, and the nearer a people approach perfection their creations must keep pace. This isn't a sermon, but a practical view of matters, which the veriest infidel can agree with. Churches are everywhere, and in almost every settlement in Liberia. The Methodists largely predominate, but there are quite a number of Baptists, with a fair sprinkling of Presbyterians: and some Episcopalians. Of the latter church the Rt. Rev. Dr. Penick, a Virginia clergyman, is the bishop. His residence is at Grand Cape Mount, and I had no opportunity of seeing him, but on all sides he is most highly spoken of both as a minister and a man. From all accounts he is setting the Liberians a good example of the quaintly expressed principle,
"Pray to God devoutly,
And hammer away stoutly,"
as I was told of his having been engaged in the woods, cutting away with his own hands, preparing timber. The missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church has its agents always at work here too, and is one of the props of Liberia. Its drafts are printed, and circulate here at par, as currency. This society supports a number of primary and intermediate
and with the government schools there is a well attended institution of learning in every settlement. Besides the children of settlers, a number of those of the natives attend. There is, thanks to this American society, no lack of educational facilities although the government schools are said to be much injured by political wire-working obtruding on their management. It is very rare to meet a Liberian who cannot read and write, and most of them have progressed much further. Besides these, there is Liberia College, supported and controlled by the New York Colonization Society and another body; the Alexandria High School, supported by somebody else, and the Monrovia Seminary, under the auspices of the A. M. E. Church Missionary Society, and of which Rev. Royall J. Kellogg is principal. The Liberians manifest the same inertness regarding their schools that they do about everything else. Politics are allowed to mix in the public schools, and the appropriation for their support is spoken of as "merely nominal."
albeit it has turned out "the best men in the country," has been allowed to languish of late years, for, as I gather, lack of efficiency in the board of trustees and president. Dr. Pinney has been recently sent out from America to take charge of it, and while he rushes energetically about devising improvements, &c., the Liberians, for whose benefit he is working, stand back and stare, and express the opinion that he is crazy. I think that Mr. Kellogg, who has recently come out, has adopted the best plan. It is probable
that much of the Liberian's constitutional dislike to doing anything for themselves, is due to their having learned to depend so much on their American backers. Mr. Kellogg is teaching that most valuable of all lessons--independence. All who are able to pay for the instruction of their children are required to do so. The system in vogue in public schools in America has been adopted in this institution, which has been opened since I have been here. The scholars had already acquired the drill, marching, &c., when visited a week after the opening, and the operations were well under weigh. There were ninety scholars, (all pay,) divided up into appropriate classes and departments, and they seemed generally intelligent and well advanced for their respective ages. The instructors "skip about" in the lessons, and the pupils' answers give evidence that they understand what they say, and have not merely learned by rote. Generally, I think that
THE COMING GENERATION OF LIBERIANS
promises to be a considerable improvement on the present one. Mr. Kellogg has introduced a number of novelties, beyond those already stated, including the telephone in a miniature form. This gentleman cannot fail to make a good impression upon all who are brought into contact with him. It is encouraging to see that he is already being much looked up to, as he may be able to exert a most beneficial influence. He seems just Yankee enough to set an example of shrewdness energy and enterprise, and true man enough to teach morality, honor and the arts and sciences along with them. Probably one of the chief causes of
is that in the arrogance of newly acquired social equality, they have refused to heed counsel, and shut out white men who, better educated and more experienced, might have taught them something. I doubt if it would be advisable to change the laws regarding white men as yet. The Caucasian has a trick of shoving weaker and less intelligent people to the wall when brought into contact with them, and were he allowed to overrun this country, with his superior advantages, it would not be long before the colored brother would be either relegated to his former back seat, or forced to move on. As before mentioned, the few white men here have invariably gone far ahead and made thousands, while the Liberians were slowly accumulating hundreds. In this state of affairs such men as Bishop Penick and Mr. Kellogg, who can act as the people's exemplars without being their rivals, must be of inestimable benefit.
NO "DRUNK AND DISORDERLYS."
Monrovia, and in fact all of the towns through Liberia, seem to be very orderly and quiet. I have not seen a single drunken or disorderly person. A municipal police system is maintained, however. In Monrovia there are fifteen policemen, who wear no uniforms or badge of authority. They stand on corners and expectorate, however, as gracefully and vigilantly as any other guardians of the peace, although the American officer does possess a great advantage in having a club to swing on a red cord, There are jails in nearly every settlement, but they rarely confine anybody except petty criminals. I think most of the work the jailer at Monrovia has to do is to keep the cows out of the building. It resembles the ordinary country jail in the South, but, from what I saw. I can't see why any man should stay in unless he wanted to.
THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
resembles that of South Carolina. There is first the magistrates' court, then come the monthly and probate courts for each county; from this appeal may be taken to a court of quarter sessions, and from it to the Supreme Court which sits in Monrovia, and is composed of a chief justice and two associates. The courts seem to have little to do, there being not much litigation. Although a number of petty larcenies are being constantly perpetrated, the "bush" is so handy that the depredators, who are generally natives, flee thereto, and escape, even should pursuit be be made. Petty assaults are usually disposed of by the magistrates. Petty thieving is a source of great annoyance to planters, natives and others picking small quantities of green coffee while passing along, which they find plenty of storekeepers to purchase. Even in Liberia, therefore, the much maligned shotgun is greatly relied on as an enforcer of the rights of property. "Anti-green coffee shop clubs" may be in the near future.
does not seem to be one of great ability. I attended the quarterly court where a suit for damages was in progress. The proceedings were opened by the reading of the journal of the previous day; after which the judge put the question whether or no the minutes should be confirmed, and kept on putting it until every one of the four lawyers present voted "aye." Altogether there seemed to be a delightful absence of those formalities and accessories which make the administration of the law so terrible and grim elsewhere. There were no gowns, no cocked-hats, no swords, no tipstaves, only one bald-headed man, and but about twenty constables. There was not even a man with a paper collar on to stand at the door and deafen everybody by yelling "silence!" and no piles of law books and green bags to fill the spectator with dark forebodings. The only book I saw was a copy of the Statutes of Liberia. There wasn't even an alamanac for when the judge wanted to see what date a certain day would fall on he had to lean over the desk and look at the tine calendar hung to the clerk's watch chain. When the jury brought in a verdict of $1,000 damages for plaintiff, the constables hastily dispersed themselves to the four winds in a state of apparent but to me inexplicable
excitement. Honorable counsel for plaintiff and ditto ditto for defendant (the latter in a very short jacket and having the general appearance of an insolvent hotel waiter) sprang simultaneously to their feet, an 1 each claimed the ear of the court, the former with a motion to record the verdict, and the latter proposing to have it set aside as being contrary to the law and the evidence. Each seemed to think that it was a matter of vital importance to have his say first, claiming the floor on the ground that he had first spoken. The judge ordered both to sit down several times, to which they responded by easing very gradually to their seats, keeping one eye on each other, and suddenly straightening out their legs and coming on their feet again. Finally the honorable counsel entered into verbal compact, each binding himself to sit down if the other would. From this scene I would judge that the legal talent of the country lies in the supple hinges of the knee, the advocate who can come to his feet quickest being the successful one. When it is said, therefore, of a Liberian attorney that he is a rapidly rising young man, it is high praise, and the man who waits is not the successful man. The Judge, on this occasion, after consulting the Statute book, and after several attempts on the part of honorable counsel for the defence to put the motion properly in writing, set a day for the hearing of argument on the motion to set aside. This Judge, by the way, is
being from Richmond, and laid aside his dignity for a time to talk of old times and old people, and the "new market." Virginians seem to about run the machine here. I expect that from them the Liberians inherit the delusion that they are constantly occupying a large share of the world's attention, that being a weakness of the Old Dominion. In fact many of our Southern foibles obtain here. When I heard "our colleges have turned out world renowned scholars, our soil is the most fertile, and our climate the most salubrious, our men brave and our women handsome," I could have sat me down and wept, at hearing the familiar song of Zion in a strange land. Another peculiarity which the Liberians, despite their peace and good will platform, seem to have brought from the South with them is the
PASSION FOR FIREARMS.
I don't think it a manifestation of a blood-thirsty spirit, but a Southern man who does not delight in the owning and handling of a handsome rifle, a fine shotgun or an improved pistol is a rarity, and the same remark will hold good of the Liberians, there being hardly one, as far as my knowledge goes, who is not the possessor of several of those instruments. The favorite revolver appears to be the old-fashioned Colt, which Mr. Thomast Nast delights to delineate in the hands of the Southern white man who is not a Republican. I don't think the practice of carrying such toys is at all an uncommon one. One or two cases I heard incidentally mentioned, where one individual had either "drawn a pistol" or "levelled a shotgun," and administered a quietus to some other individual. At one or two places there was quite a collection of old-fashioned regulation duelling pistols, but the owners appearing to be profoundly ignorant of all the usages and requirements of "the Code," it is probable that they are intended more for show than use. The carrying of arms here, however, is not without excuse, as the natives occasionally seek to wreak private vengeance through the medium of
A HANDFUL OF SLUGS
fired from a bush. In Monrovia there is a yard and garden tastefully arranged, enclosed in a neat iron fence, and adorned with carefully planted trees and flowers, in the midst of which are four stone walls--the beginning of a large house. This place was to have been the residence of a successful Liberian planter and merchant named Wilson. From its appearance, it would have been undoubtedly by far the handsomest residence in Monrovia, and an ornament to the town. The owner, however, had incurred the bitter hatred of the natives in some way, and, after several attempts to poison him, he was shot and killed one evening while walking in a path through the bush, for which deed one or two natives were subsequently tried and hanged. His new house was just well under way there, and the widow either lacked the spirit or means to complete it. She keeps the garden and yard, however, in good order, and even now it presents a very attractive appearance, giving an idea of what a beautiful place Monrovia could be made by a little care and attention. I have seen few floral novelties, our common roses, coxcombs and white lilies being the general reliance. There is, however, a bright scarlet lily which grows wild, and is very beautiful; a "coral plant." the flower of which exactly resembles a branch of coral, a pretty variously colored "Jacob's coat," a horribly suggestive "leprosy plant," with partially white leaves, the hybisca, the sensitive plant, an inferior violet, and a few others coming under the general term "pretty."
THE BLACK REPUBLIC--IS LIBERIA THE PLACE FOR THE SOUTHERN COLORED MAN?--MR. WILLIAMS'S CONCLUSIONS AND ADVICE--JOURNALISM IN MONROVIA--JEALOUSY OF A CONSPICUOUS COLORED MAN--A POPULATION SENSITIVE TO CRITICISM OF THEIR COUNTRY--THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CLIMATE AND THE AFRICAN FEVER--WILL JOHN BULL GOBBLE LIBERIA?--THE CHANCES FOR IMMIGRANTS--WHAT THEY SHOULD BRING WHEN THEY COME--LAZINESS THE BANE OF LIBERIAN CIVILIZATION.
MONROVIA. LIBERIA, June 17, 1878.--There is a newspaper in Monrovia. It is styled the Observer, is published semi-monthly, and reminds one forcibly of American country papers before the war, bring filled with long letters on all sorts of subjects, from "Nestor," "Jasper," "Subscriber," &c., which fill up many of its sixteen columns, it being a four page journal. The correspondence compares very favorably, however, with the general run of "communications" before they have been "dressed up," "boiled down" or rewritten by a man in the office. The editorials and Supreme Court reports are really well done, and show that there is brains and learning somewhere in the Republic. I should like a situation on such a paper. Think, oh brother ouill drivers, of the luxury of having two whole weeks in which to get up and arrange a column of local news! That would be compensation enough of itself without any salary. The, Observer seems to have had a flickering sort of existence, occasionally disappearing mysteriously, and then reappearing under another name. The present issue is a very creditable one, and, from its tone, will be of great advantage to the country if encouraged. It is well printed and neatly gotten up, and contains very few typographical errors. There is a good font of type and a press here, and I am especially requested to say that one or two good printers are wanted--colored ones, of course. The Observer's correspondence, I notice, is disposed to attack the President for for ignoring his secretary of State and appointing
as minister to England, over his opposition, I heard of this minister at Sierra Leone and elsewhere, and from all accounts he is probably the ablest colored man in the world. There can be no doubt of his great natural ability, and from what I can see and hear, he is well calculated to hold his own as a literary man and a thinker anywhere. Yet, among some of the Liberians there is a prejudice against and opposition to him, which is remarkable. Jealousy, I fancy. At any rate, the manifestations of this feeling seem to have still more deeply damned the Liberians in the estimation of the people of Sierra Leone, who know and seem greatly to admire the doctor. I also find in the Observer, which I read thoroughly as an index of public sentiment, a most savage attack upon
J. MILTON TURNER,
colored, the late American consul-general. He is bitterly denounced on all hands, and charged with being a drunkard, a liar and an adulterer. A Liberian very complacently gave me an account of one or two attempts to mob this consul by indignant citizens, and of his having been forced to take his departure "between two suns." From my observation, I do not believe that Liberian virtue has attained to such a pitch as to involve an indignity to the United States Government and the mobbing of its minister as an involuntary manifestation of the detestation of the three vices above named. It is much more probable that the cause of the trouble was the wounding of the Liberian self-conceit by the consul, in letters of his published in America. His jocular remark that "for six months, in Liberia, it is as dry as the traditional powder born, and the other six it rains as if there was a contract with Noah," seems to have offended the National pride, as much as mine, to the effect that it was "a good forgotten, turkey trottin' place anyhow," as reported by George Curtis. They will never forgive either of us. In fact, it was intimated that, had not "the boys" been busy drilling on the day of the meeting, your correspondent might have fallen a victim to
the just indignation of an outraged people. It is
to whisper a word against the country; and none of its citizens dare to say that they are not prosperous and delighted until at a safe distance. As those who are here have nothing but praise for Liberia, those who have left and been unsuccessful have nothing but abuse. Besides this, disinterested persons who see Monrovia only, pronounce the whole country a stagnant hell, while those who go back of the town, under a revulsion of feeling, speak of it as a heaven without blemish. Persons coming under the latter impression are disappointed, and see things worse than they are. So Liberia is as much injured by her friends as her enemies. I will say for myself that I came perfectly unbiased one way or the other, having purposely prevented myself from forming any judgment as to whether I was coming to an "Eden" like Martin Chuzzlewit's or like the original one.
is assuredly a most delightful one, so far as temperature is concerned, the thermometer never falling below 70, and very rarely rising above 93. It generally ranges between 80 and 90 during the "dries," and between 70 and 80 during the rains. Trees, vegetables and flowers retain their verdure, bear and bloom throughout the year. The rains begin to fall about the middle or latter part of May, and continue until October or November, During this time the rain comes down regularly during a large portion of several days and nights in the week. Now and then there is a clear day during this time, and in July come what are known as the "middle dries," that is, a week or two of clear weather without rain. At the expiration of this season the wetness continues to wetten, as Josh Billings says, until the expiration of the term. It is a mistake to suppose that
does not affect persons back from the coast. It seems to visit all new settlers wherever they go unless great care is taken, although in the interior it assumes more of the form of our familiar fev'r n' ager." Old residents tell me, however, that the fever is "nothing" to what it was formerly, before the bush was cleared away. I can believe this, for in Freetown, which is well built up and kept cleared, Europeans do not seem to dread the disease at all, and many of them have not had it although they have resided there for some time. At Monrovia a number of the mulatto children whom I saw about the river side struck me as looking frail and unhealthy. At the schools, however, there were many chubby cheeks, and as much apparent health existed among the children as among a collection of juveniles anywhere. Monrovia has a sea breeze almost constantly, and if it were properly cleared up and the rank vegetation kept down there is no reason why it should not be perfectly healthy so far as I can see. There is not generally much disease here, and there has been nothing of an infectious nature since the small-pox, which was very severe a number of years ago. The people here are not like the natives at Sierra Leone, who prefer having that disease, considering the "pits" highly ornamental. Apropos of the mulattoes spoken of above, there seems to be a large preponderance of persons having more or less white blood among the inhabitants, many of them being very light. A majority of the offices of trust and emolument seem to this complexion to have come at last, although about the most intelligent and sensible man I have seen is as black as the ace of spades. Still most of the leading men bear traces of white blood. There is a possibility that the experiment of a black man's government may be nipped in the bud by
OUR FRIEND JOHNNY BULL.
Not long ago the Liberian navy, as hereinbefore described, boarded and took possession of a British trading vessel, on the charge of smuggling. Thereupon one of John's gunboats ran down and presented to the colored brother the alternative of "getting out o' that" vessel and releasing her, or having the town knocked into "smithereens." Liberia gave up the ship without more ado. Besides this, the Liberians claim that British vessels are constantly countenanced by her Majesty's officers in a system of smuggling along the coast. They also claim that English influence is at the bottom of the attacks on them by the natives. The attention of Englishmen has been turned to Liberia's coffee facilities, and I am told that arrangements are on foot for them to go into the cultivation of the plant extensively, on leased land. Liberia would, undoubtedly, be a valuable possession in proper hands, and its ownership would go far towards completing the chain of English seaports on the West Coast, and helping that country to monopolize the trade of the entire African continent, which with its ivories, gold, precious stones, vegetable and other productions, seems destined to assume immense proportions. All these things considered, it is not impossible that John may land two or three regiments some day, on some pretext, and gobble Liberia as is his wont, without winking. This would be a subject of regret, insomuch as it would prevent the completion of an interesting experiment, but that it would be the best possible chance that could befall the experimenters no one who has seen a British colony and contrasted it with Liberia can doubt. The iron hand of England from which, in these parts at least, the kid glove is never removed except where the patient becomes fractious, would protect and establish the Liberians, while English enterprise, industry and capital would develop the resources of the country, aiding her citizens to make money while their legal and social equality would be better
maintained than it can be now. Nobody who witnesses the tranquillity, prosperity and general contentment prevailing in Sierra Leone can fall to be impressed with the fact that
there, at least, must be firm and humane. The blackest people there, with few exceptions, are thoroughly and completely English in feeling, thought, manners and customs, and applaud "God Save the Queen" with as much apparent sincerity as an audience of genuine Britons could do.
Now, after all I have been writing, comes the question, What after my personal observation, do I think of Liberia and of a general immigration of the colored people hither? I will try and answer the question so that the colored people themselves can understand it. Liberia is undoubtedly
A MAGNIFICENT COUNTRY,
and possesses a soil which it is hard to beat. There is money to be made here, and lots of it. But it will take hard work, thrift and good management to get it. Then there is a risk to be run of fever and other disease. A man who can work, manage, restrain his appetites, put up with hard living for a while, and be prudent and careful, has all the chances in his favor for getting well through the sickness. Patience will have to be exercised too. Above all things, no man should come without six months' full provisions, a supply of simple medicines, a little ready money, and all the bright calicoes, brass trinkets, notions and leaf tobacco he can lay his hands on. These will be worth double their value here to trade with, or pay natives for work. Salt is always valuable here too. In the interior the natives lick visitors' hands for the salty taste of the perspiration. He should try and arrange to have as little to buy here, and to depend as little on the Liberians as possible. Those who have two hundred dollars or three hundred dollars over their passage money, and can fill the rest of the above bill, will, I am sure, have a much better chance of becoming independent here than in America. Those who fall short, and come expecting to find a heaven on earth, in which they will have to work no more, and who are unprovided with means, will soon become disappointed and disgusted, and want to get back to America. Many have come here and gone away to abuse the country, but I think they generally belong to the class last named. I can see no earthly reason why a careful, well provided and good emigrant cannot, by a few years' faithful work, achieve independence. There should be as large a proportion of able-bodied hands brought along as possible. The man who has no sons or brothers to help him can well afford to bring along two, three, four of five single nephews, cousins or friends. They can all draw land, if twenty-one years of age, and immigrants
SHOULD DEPEND ON THEMSELVES
for labor and everything else, as far as possible. They should also bring a supply of matchets, hoes, &c., and garden seed. In short they should equip themselves completely in America. The first three or four months will be lost here, in building, fever, &c., and for some time after that it will not be prudent to work between 10 A. M. and 2 P. M. They must remember, too, that the land given them is not fenced meadow. It is a dense growth of woods, brush and grass, which will have to be cleared, and the sooner that is done the better. Every cargo of such immigrants that comes here greatly strengthens the country, and the more it is settled the easier row the new comers will have to hoe: Let no one come here depending on the government or people for aid. He won't get it. Neither are in a condition to help anybody much, and they have strained a point in favor of these present immigrants. One thing I forgot--bring plenty of powder and shot. They are always useful, not for killing anybody, but for game, &c., and powder especially is very high, the government's specific duty on it being 5c. per pound. It is the same, by the way, on tobacco, and the ad valorem duties are 12½ per cent. When the immigrant arrives here he should go to his place as soon as possible, and get to work. He should not bother his head about politics. They will only make him enemies where he needs friends, and take his attention from his business. If England should take a notion to gobble Liberia, and the immigrant has to march out with the militia, my advice to him is, as soon as he sees the red coats to fire his gun in the air, then run home with it, and stay there. If our forefathers had had sense enough to do that, the negroes would have been free and paid for fifty years ago, educated and prosperous: we would never have heard of Chamberlain, Scott, Kimpton or any of their gang, and there wouldn't have been any "great civil war." Englishmen will not confiscate private property, nor interfere with peaceful citizens, and they are perfectly willing to gratify colonists by allowing them to vote once or twice a year for members of a council or something, (which don't amount to a row of pins) and the principle of universal equality is strictly carried out. I would not take the responsibility of advising the colored people to come here. I will say, however, that if they are willing to take the risks and able to fulfill the requirements as above stated, they will here have their own lands, be among their own color, and have perfect social equality, a certainty almost of a comfortable living, and a fair chance for wealth on coffee, sugar or cotton plantations, either of which will be so much sure income after a few years.
NO MORE SHOULD COME
without having arrangements made for their transportation and location, so that they can go to their new homes immediately on arrival, and not have to stop in Monrovia and
spend money. It seems to me that the best plan is to get lands a little back of the present settlements on the St. Paul's, so as to be near stores, schools, churches, river and neighbors. It is also probably best for the persons composing each cargo to settle as near together as possible. By spreading the settlers back from the river, new land can be taken up and occupied without the discomfort and dangers incident to the wilderness. A good physician should certainly accompany the next shipload of immigrants. He could do well on the St. Paul's. Those who come here should be particularly careful about fruit, and eat it only very moderately, as any excess is very dangerous.
THE GREAT DANGER HERE,
and what keeps the country and people back so, is that a mere living is so easily made that settlers get in the habit of being satisfied with that, and loafing. Besides this, the climate is undoubtedly enervating to a new comer, and the enforced partial idleness of the first year or two is apt to increase the indisposition to labor. The land and country about Grand Cape Mount is enthusiastically spoken of by visitors, the former as being wonderfully fertile, and the latter as possessing almost inconceivable beauty of scenery. The settlements there are very sparse, but it may be advantageous for the next cargo to land and settle there. This can best be arranged by the emigrants, themselves. Grand Bassa is also well spoken of, and it is said that great inducements are held out by persons located there. One colored man there, who is the leading merchant in Liberia, does an "immense" business, and is said to be worth $250,000. It may be mentioned here that several moderate fortunes have been made in trading in and about Monrovia, besides those on the river.
LAST WORDS FROM LIBERIA--PROSPECTS OF THE IMMIGRANTS WHEN "THE AZOR" SAILED--WHERE THEY WILL PROBABLY SETTLE--WELL PLEASED SO FAR--CLEMENT IRONS AGAIN--ALL DETERMINED TO STICK AT IT--SOME MORE DEATHS--A BACKSLIDER AND HIS STORY--SPLENDID CONDUCT OF CAPTAIN HOLMES--HOMEWARD BOUND--END OF THE CHRONICLE.
MONROVIA, June 17.--Where the Azor's passengers will finally locate it is very hard to say. No arrangements having been made for them, they are totally at sea, and the numerous advisers who gather around, each eagerly arguing the claims of his own favorite section, increase the difficulties of coming to a decision. The great probability is, though, that most of them will settle a little way back from the St. Paul's River. In two or three days from now some of the leading men will go up that river to look around, but there is hardly a chance of their becoming permanently located before the latter part of July. The government and a number of the people are very much interested in them, and it is very certain that they will not be allowed to suffer. One of my chief reasons for thinking that they will settle on the St. Paul's is that this part of the country is easier of access than any other. Transportation is very slow, very hard to get and very expensive, and at this season quite dangerous to strangers. Besides this, the two or three who have already been exploring seem delighted with the county thereabouts.
have continued to be tolerably comfortable, and the landing of their furniture has made their condition much more tolerable. Many have been imprudent in eating fruit, which causes some additional cases of sickness to those landing. One family, in two or three days, completely stripped a large mango tree in their yard, many of the mangoes being green. This is only one case that I happen to know of. With what little provisions they procured from the Azor, eked out by occasional purchases by those who have money, and by the charity of the Monrovians, they have been very well off for food, too. Most of them seem well pleased so far, and some have sent for their friends to come. One head of a family only seems discouraged, and expresses a wish to return. The others seem disposed to re-echo the sentiments expressed (whether sincerely or no, I can't say,) by most of the Liberians, who say that they would not leave the country for any inducement that could be offered. Several planters have expressed
A DESIRE TO HIRE IMMIGRANTS
to work on their farms, and I heard one or two offer to house several families gratis in the country until their own places were fit for occupation. A few of the Azor's people who are rather better off than the general run may locate at Grand Cape Mount. Clement Irons, the millwright, has received several advantageous offers from persons along the St. Paul's, and will doubtless locate there. The immigrants generally seem to have made a favorable impression, and fraternize rapidly with the Liberians. Arrangements have been made to keep the readers of THE NEWS AND COURIER fully advised of the fate and doings of all of the members of the immigration. I think they are generally of
THE RIGHT STUFF
to succeed. They, one and all, avow their eagerness to get to work, and their determination to "stick at it" until they accomplish something. All have, as before mentioned, a good supply of seeds of various sorts. Several valuable and useful pieces of machinery, carts, ploughs, &c., were also brought along. So far as it is possible to judge, they will prove enterprising and energetic. There have been
among them since landing, the deceased in every case having been sick when brought ashore. These were, Simon Williams, Jr., of Burke County, Ga.; an infant, (whose mother died on the passage,) grandchild of Boatswain Seigler, of Edgefield, S. C.; a grandchild of Joshua Phillips, of Ninety-Six, S. C.; an infant of Ned Clark, (born on the passage) of Clarendon; and a grandchild of Howell
Tyler, of Barnwell County, S. C. Those who do not wish to settle in Liberia permanently had best not come, as it is a matter of some difficulty to get away again. By law
NO LIBERIAN CITIZEN CAN LEAVE THE TERRITORY
without a passport signed by the secretary of State, to obtain which he has to give ten or fifteen days' public notice of his intended departure. A day or two after our arrival a colored man named Morrow came to the landing and inquired as to the terms he could make for a passage back to Charleston with his family. He has only been here four months, having come under the auspices of the Colonization Society from Mississippi, and seemed very anxious to get back. When interviewed he answered questions about the country in a shifting, hesitating way, saying that he liked it "tolerably" and might come back, and that he was going to America to carry a "widow woman" whose husband had left her. It struck me as curious that he should take his wife, three or four children and a relative's family back across the Atlantic as an escort for one "widow woman," but he explained that he did not want to "part them." Accordingly he made his arrangements, and a few days afterwards appeared in a boat with family, bag and baggage, and went aboard. After that he was occupied for several days in trying to obtain leave to go from the civil officers. He is still very reticent, and refuses to talk or commit himself in any way. His desire to leave, whatever may be its cause, is very fortunate for the Azor. Capt. Holmes having, as far as was in his power, compensated for the neglect of the company by distributing the remaining ship's stores among the emigrants, was placed in
AN EMBARRASSING POSITION
concerning provisions to get back with. Geo. Curtis had so persistently and industriously circulated rumors of the bad financial condition of the Steamship Company, that the Liberians, not withstanding their protestations of interest and of desire to purchase stock, refused to cash drafts. Thus the passage money of this man came in very well, enabling the captain to procure a supply of such provender as Liberia can furnish, consisting mainly of inferior quality pork, salt beef and flour, purchased from storekeepers at high figures, who in turn had purchased them from America at high figures. There is one matter which has been spoken of before, but which simple justice demands should be reiterated until it is thoroughly understood.
can in no way be held responsible for the mistakes and sins of the Steamship Company. I have no earthly interest in that gentleman, and hardly an acquaintance with him, except in an official capacity. I would not be candid, however, did I not state the result of observations through the whole of the trying voyage. He has in every possible way rectified the errors of the owners, unhesitatingly taking on several occasions grave responsibilities which many men would shrink from: He has been the friend, treasurer, counsellor and physician for the Azor's passengers, besides fulfilling his own duties as master. The weather we have had here has justified the wisdom of his decision to tow from Sierra Leone. There has not been wind enough in a fortnight to sail here with against the coast current, and through all that time the pestilence would certainly have been raging, and the average of deaths could not have been less than that of the few days preceding our arrival--two per diem. Whoever may be to blame, and however much they may be blamed for the misfortunes of the voyage, the captain and his first mate are entitled only to unqualified praise; and I mean it. I speak with particular feeling on this last matter, having myself felt the chest burnings which presaged the fatal fever, which gives me an idea that, had it not been for that Sierra Leone visit and the rapid transit here, I would by this have been permanently located somewhere on the African coast, held in position by a rock.
TO-NIGHT THE AZOR SAILS
on her return voyage, and I have decided to return with her. The difficulties of any extended exploration or minute examination of this country are very nearly insurmountable, especially at this season. It would require an almost unlimited amount of money and time, and the information additional to that already contained in this letter would not be worth the required expenditure of those commodities. This evening, therefore, we will take leave of our companions of the Azor, and then--"Ho! for the sound of St. Michael's chimes."
ABOARD THE AZOR, June 20.--We weighed anchor (that is the sailors did) early on Tuesday morning, and soon began to leave Afric's sunny shores behind us. The last few days I have spent ashore, accepting the kind invitation of Mr. Aenmey, the consul, and staying at his house. We went all over Monrovia on the last evening bidding farewell to the late inhabitants of the Azor, in whom it was impossible to restrain an interest. They all appeared to the last moment tolerably comfortable, quite happy and contented and very hopeful. We left them, burdened with letters, messages, kindly farewells and good wishes.
MY OLD ENEMY,
the head Krooman, took a last shot at me by using his influence to the utmost to incite the boat's crew to mutiny and refuse to row me to the ship, and we parted, breathing mutual anathemas. A feint of an advance in force, however, caused him again to flee ingloriously, and our last sight of Liberia was this enlightened citizen on the hillside, hurling maledictions, threats and abuse on the head
of myself and the entire race of "d--d 'Merican mans." I left with a splitting headache and fever, and came within an ace of having my head shaved by zealous friends who were certain that it was the dreaded coast fever. Indeed it probably was the beginning of an attack of that disease, as the ailments aforesaid subsequently developed into a chill. One of the last injunctions laid on me was to announce that Liberia is in need of intelligent colored school teachers, and that Monrovia wants a barber and restaurant or hotel.
Our passenger back now opens his mouth and speaks freely. He says that he feared to say what he thought while on Liberian soil, but now abuses the country and people without stint, saying that the former is unhealthy, and the latter are dishonest. He tells me nothing specific, however, except what is set down above. He came out under the auspices of the Colonization Society, and had the usual representations, that Liberia was a paradise, made to him. Consequently he was disappointed, and consequently disgusted. He tells me, however, that he never went near his allotment of land, and he has, therefore, done no work. It is no cause for wonder that he has not succeeded.
I know, however, from other sources, that one statement is correct. There was considerable difficulty about his passports, and matters were in a hopeless tangle, until he cut the Gordian knot with a $5 bill presented to the attorney-general, which was in addition to the fees paid the secretary of State for the documents. Five dollars is pretty cheap for an attorney-general, considering the high price of all other articles in Liberia.
OFF CHARLESTON HARBOR, July 24.--After an uneventful passage of thirty-six days, only varied by a few days drifting under a blazing sun, a few days breezy rush with the northeast trades, and a struggle through constantly shifting winds, successive squalls, and continuous thunder storms in the Gulf Stream, we arrived here early this morning. Here end the chronicles of the Azor's first voyage to Africa.
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