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Journal of an African Cruiser by Horatio Bridge

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which explains away all generosity and philanthropy on motives of selfish
policy. But it is difficult to give unlimited faith to the ardent and
disinterested desire professed by England, to put a period to the
slave-trade. If sincere, why does she not, as she readily might, induce
Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, to declare the traffic piratical? And again,
why is not her own strength so directed as to give the trade a death-blow
at once? There are but two places between Sierra Leone and Accra, a
distance of one thousand miles, whence slaves are exported. One is
Gallinas; the other New Sesters. The English keep a cruiser off each of
these rivers. Slavers run in, take their cargoes of human flesh and blood,
and push off. If the cruiser can capture the vessels, the captors receive
L5 per head for the slaves on board, and the government has more
"emigrants" for its West India possessions. Now, were the cruisers to
anchor at the mouths of these two rivers, the slavers would be prevented
from putting to sea with their cargoes, and the trade at those places be
inevitably stopped. But, in this case, where would be the head-money and
the emigrants?

It has been asserted that the colonists of Liberia favor the slave-trade.
This is not true. The only places where the traffic is carried on, north
of the line, are in the neighborhood of the most powerful English
settlements on the whole coast; while even British authority does not
pretend that the vicinity of the American colonies is polluted by it.
Individuals among the colonists, unprincipled men, may, in a very few
instances, from love of gain, have given assistance to slavers, by
supplying goods or provisions at high prices. But this must have been done
secretly, or the law would have taken hold of them. Slavers, no doubt,
have often watered at Monrovia, but never when their character was known.
On the other hand, the slave stations at St. Paul's river, at Bassa, and
at Junk, have undeniably been broken up by the presence of the colonists.
Even if destitute of sympathy for fellow-men of their own race and hue,
and regardless of their deep stake in the preservation of their character,
the evident fact is, that self-interest would prompt the inhabitants of
Liberia to oppose the slave-trade in their vicinity. Wherever the slaver
comes, he purchases large quantities of rice at extravagant rates, thus
curtailing the supply to the colonist, and enhancing the price. Moreover,
the natives, always preferring the excitement of war to the labors of
peace, neglect the culture of the earth, and have no camwood nor palm-oil
to offer to the honest trader, who consequently finds neither buyers nor
sellers among them.

The truth is, the slave-traders can dispense with assistance from the
Liberian colonists. They procure goods, and everything necessary to their
trade, at Sierra Leone, or from any English or American vessel on the
coast. If the merchantmen find a good market for their cargoes, they are
satisfied, whatever be the character of their customers. This is well
understood and openly avowed here. The English have no right to taunt the
Americans, nor to claim higher integrity on their own part. They lend
precisely the same indirect aid to the traffic that the Americans do, and
furnish everything except vessels, which likewise they would supply, if
they could build them. It is the policy of the English ship-masters on the
coast to represent the Americans as engaged in the slave-trade; for if, by
such accusations, they can induce British or American men-of-war to detain
and examine the fair trader, they thus rid themselves of troublesome

The natives are generally favorable to the slave-trade. It brings them
many comforts and luxuries, which the legitimate trade does not supply.
Their argument is, that "if a man goes into the Bush and buys camwood, he
must pay another to bring it to the beach. But if he buy a slave, this
latter commodity will not only walk, but bring a load of camwood on his
back." All slaves exported are Bushmen, many of whom are brought from two
or three hundred miles in the interior. The Fishmen and Kroomen are the
agents between the slave-traders and the interior tribes. They will not
permit the latter to become acquainted with the white men, lest their own
agency and its profits should cease. A slave, once sold, seldom returns to
his home.

If transported to a foreign country, his case is of course hopeless; and
even if recaptured on the coast, his return is almost impossible. His
home, probably, is far distant from the sea. It can only be reached by
traversing the territories of four or five nations, any one of whom would
seize the hapless stranger, and either consign him to slavery among
themselves, or send him again to a market on the coast. Hence, those
recaptured by the English cruisers are either settled at Sierra Leone, or
transported to some other of the colonies of Great Britain.

The price paid to the native agents for a full grown male slave, is about
one musket, twelve pieces of romauls, one cutlass, a demijohn of rum, a
bar of iron, a keg of powder, and ten bars of leaf-tobacco, the whole
amounting to the value of thirty to thirty-five dollars. A female is sold
for about a quarter less; and boys of twelve or thirteen command only a
musket and two pieces of romauls. Slave-vessels go from Havana with
nothing but dollars and doubloons. Other vessels go out with the above
species of goods, and all others requisite for the trade. The slaver buys
the goods on the coast, pays for them with specie, and lands them in
payment for the slaves, money being but little used in traffic with the

13.--The Decatur arrived this evening, after a passage of thirty days from
Porto Praya. She left the Macedonian on the way, the winds being light,
the current adverse, and the frigate sailing very badly.

17.--The Macedonian arrived.

Coming off from town, to-day, I took a canoe with a couple of Kroomen, who
paddled down the river, till we arrived at a narrow part of the
promontory. On touching the shallows, one of the Kroomen took me on his
back to the dry land. The two then picked up the canoe, carried her across
the cape, perhaps a hundred yards, and launched her, with myself on board,
through the heavy surf.

21.--Sailed at daylight for Sinoe, leaving the Macedonian and Decatur, an
American ship and barque, an English brig, and two Hamburg vessels, at

25.--Anchored at Sinoe at noon.

26.--Ashore. Visited Fishtown, a well-built native village, containing
probably four hundred inhabitants. It is within about two hundred yards of
the colonial dwellings. The people are said to have committed many
depredations upon the colonists; and there is an evident intention of
driving them off. This is the tribe with which we are to hold a palaver.

There are two grand divisions of native Africans on the Western Coast, the
Fishmen and the Bushmen; the latter being inhabitants of the interior; and
the former comprising all the tribes along the sea-shore, who gain a
subsistence by fishing, trading between the Bushmen and foreign vessels,
and laboring on shipboard. The Kroomen, so often mentioned, are in some
respects a distinct and separate people; although a large proportion,
probably nine-tenths of those bearing that name, are identical with the
Fishmen. The latter are generally treacherous and deceitful; the Kroomen
are much more honest, but still are not to be trusted without reserve and

The government of these people, and of the natives generally, is nominally
monarchical, but democratic in substance. The regal office appears to be
hereditary in a family, but not to descend according to our ideas of
lineal succession. The power of the king is greatly circumscribed by the
privilege, which every individual in the tribe possesses, of calling a
palaver. If a man deems himself injured, he demands a full discussion of
his rights or wrongs, in presence of the rulers and the tribe. The
head-men sit in judgment, and substantial justice is generally done. There
are persons, celebrated for their power and copiousness of talking, who
appear as counsel in behalf of the respective parties. The more
distinguished of these advocates are sometimes sent for, from a distance
of two or three hundred miles, to speak at a palaver; and, in such cases,
they leave all other employment, and hurry to the scene of action.

It would appear that, on other parts of the coast, or farther in the
interior, the native kings possess more power and assume greater state,
than those who have come under my notice. The King of Appollonia,
adjoining Axim Territory, is said to be very rich and powerful. If the
report of his nearest civilized neighbor, the Governor of Axim, is to be
credited, this potentate's house is furnished most sumptuously in the
European style. Gold cups, pitchers, and plates, are used at his table,
with furniture of corresponding magnificence in all the departments of his
household. He possesses vast treasures in bullion and gold dust. The
Governor of Dixcove informed me, that, about four years ago, he
accompanied an English expedition against Appollonia, which is still
claimed by England, although their fort there has been abandoned. On their
approach, the King fled, and left them masters of the place. Some of the
English soldiers opened the sepulchre of the King last deceased, and took
away an unknown amount of gold. Afterwards, by order of the Governor, the
remainder was taken from the grave, amounting to several hundred dollars.
Together with the treasure, numerous articles had been buried, such as a
knife, plate, and cup, swords, guns, cloth, goods of various kinds, and,
in short, every, thing that the dead King had required while alive. There
were also four skeletons, two of each sex, buried beneath the royal
coffin. It is said that sixty victims were sacrificed on occasion of the
funeral, of whom only the most distinguished were allowed, even in death,
to approach their master so nearly, and act as his immediate attendants in
the world of spirits. The splendor of an African funeral, on the Gold
Coast, is unparalleled. It is customary for persons of wealth to smear the
corpses of their friends with oil, and then to powder them with gold-dust
from head to foot, so as to produce the appearance of bronzed or golden

The present King of Appollonia deposited six hundred ounces of gold (about
ten thousand dollars) with the Governor of Cape Coast Castle, as security
for his good behavior. His cellar is well supplied with rare wines, which
he offers liberally to strangers who land at his residence. All these
circumstances, and this barbaric magnificence, indicate a far different
condition from that of the native Kings in the vicinity of Liberia, who
live simply, like their subjects, on vegetables and fish, and one of whom
was proud to array himself in a cast-off garment of my own. Their wealth
consists not in gold, plate, or bullion, but in crockery and earthenware.
Not only the Kings, but all the rich natives, accumulate articles of this
kind, until their dwellings resemble warehouses of crockery. Perhaps fifty
white wash-bowls, with as many pitchers, mugs, and plates, may be seen
around the room; and when these utensils become so numerous as to excite
the envy of the tribe, the owners are said to bury them in the earth. In
the house of King Glass (so named, I presume, from the transparency of his
character), I noticed the first indications of a taste for the Fine Arts.
Seventy coarse colored engravings, glazed and framed, were suspended on
the wall; and, what was most curious, nearly all of them were copies of
the same print, a portrait of King William the Fourth.

It is to be desired that some missionary should give an account of the
degree and kind of natural religion among the native tribes. Their belief
in the efficacy of sassy-wood to discover guilt or innocence, indicates a
faith in an invisible Equity. Some of them, however, select the most
ridiculous of animals, the monkey, as their visible symbol of the Deity;
or, as appears more probable, they stand in spiritual awe of him, from an
idea that the souls of the dead are again embodied in this shape. Under
this impression, they pay a kind of worship to the monkey, and never kill
him near a burial-place; and though, in other situations, they kill and
eat him, they endeavor to propitiate his favor by respectful language, and
the use of charms. Other natives, in the neighborhood of Gaboon, worship
the shark, and throw slaves to him to be devoured.

On the whole, their morality is superior to their religion--at least, as
between members of the same tribe--although they scarcely seem to
acknowledge moral obligations in respect to strangers. Their landmarks,
for instance, are held sacred among the individuals of a tribe. A father
takes his son, and points out the "stake and stones" which mark the
boundary between him and his neighbor. There needs no other registry. Land
passes from sire to son, and is sold and bought with as undisputed and
secure a title as all our deeds and formalities can establish. But,
between different tribes, wars frequently arise on disputed boundary
questions, and in consequence of encroachments made by either party.
"Land-palavers" and "Women-palavers" are the great causes of war. Veracity
seems to be the virtue most indiscriminately practised, as well towards
the stranger as the brother. The natives are cautious as to the accuracy
of the stories which they promulgate, and seldom make a stronger
asseveration than "I tink he be true!" Yet their consciences do not shrink
from the use of falsehood and artifice, where these appear expedient.

The natives are not insensible to the advantages of education. They are
fond of having their children in the families of colonists, where they
learn English, and the manners of civilized life, and get plenty to eat.
Probably the parents hope, in this way, to endow their offspring with some
of the advantages which they suppose the white man to possess over the
colored race. So sensible are they of their own inferiority, that if a
person looks sternly in the face of a native, when about to be attacked by
him, and calls out to him loudly, the chances are ten to one that the
native runs away. This effect is analogous to that which the eye of man is
said to exert on the fiercest of savage beasts. The same involuntary and
sad acknowledgment of a lower order of being appears in their whole
intercourse with the whites. Yet such self-abasement is scarcely just; for
the slave-traders, who constitute the specimens of civilized man with whom
the natives have hitherto been most familiar, are by no means on a par
with themselves, in a moral point of view. It is a pity to see such awful
homage rendered to the mere intellect, apart from truth and goodness.

It is a redeeming trait of the native character, so far as it goes, that
women are not wholly without influence in the public councils. If, when a
tribe is debating the expediency of going to war, the women come beneath
the council-tree, and represent the evils that will result, their opinion
will have great weight, and may probably turn the scale in favor of peace.
On the other hand, if the women express a wish that they were men, in
order that they might go to war, the warriors declare for it at once. It
is to be feared, that there is an innate fierceness even in the gentler
sex, which makes them as likely to give their voices for war as for peace.
It is a feminine office and privilege, on the African coast, to torture
prisoners taken in war, by sticking thorns in their flesh, and in various
other modes, before they are put to death. The unfortunate Captain Farwell
underwent three hours of torture, at the hands of the women and children.
So, likewise, did the mate of Captain Burke's vessel, at Sinoe.

The natives are very cruel in their fights, and spare neither age nor sex;
they kill the women and female children, lest they should be the mothers
of future warriors, and the boys, lest they should fight hereafter. If
they take prisoners, it is either to torture them to death, or to sell
them as slaves. The Fishmen have often evinced courage and obstinacy in
war, as was the case in their assaults upon the Liberian settlers, in the
heroic age of the colony, when Ashman and his associates displayed such
warlike ability in defeating them. The Bushmen are as cruel as the former,
but appear to be more cowardly. I have heard the Rev. Mr. Brown, himself
an actor in the scene, relate the story of the fight at Heddington, in
which three colonists, assisted by two women, were attacked at daybreak by
five hundred natives, many of whom were armed with muskets. Zion Harris
and Mr. Demery were the marksmen, while the clergyman assumed the duty of
loading the guns. The natives rushed onward in so dense a crowd, that
almost every bullet and buckshot of the defenders hit its man. The
besieged had but six muskets, one hundred cartridges, and a few charges of
powder. Their external fortifications consisted only of a slight
picket-fence, which might have been thrown down in an instant. But,
fortunately, when there were but three charges of powder left in the
house, a shot killed Gotorap, the chief of the assailants, at whose fall
the whole army fled in dismay. One of the trophies of their defeat was the
kettle which they had brought for the purpose of cooking the missionaries,
and holding a cannibal feast. The battle-field is poetically termed the
bed of honor: but the bravest man might be excused for shrinking from a
burial in his enemy's stomach! Poetry can make nothing of such a fate.

Rude and wretched as is the condition of the natives, it has been affirmed
that many of the Liberian colonists have mingled with them, and preferred
their savage mode of life to the habits of civilisation. Only one instance
of the kind has come to my personal knowledge. We had on board, for two or
three months, a party of Kroomen, among whom was one, dressed like the
rest, but speaking better English. Being questioned, he said that he had
learned English on board of merchant-vessels, where he had been employed
for several years. We took this young man into the ward-room, where he
worked for three months, associating chiefly with the Kroomen on deck,
speaking their language, and perfectly resembling them in his appearance
and general habits. About the time of discharging him, we discovered that
he was a native of North Carolina, had resided many years in Liberia, but,
being idle and vicious, had finally given up the civilized for the savage
state. His real name was Elijah Park; his assumed one, William Henry.


Palaver at Sinoe--Ejectment of a Horde of Fishmen--Palaver at Settra
Kroo--Mrs. Sawyer--Objections to the Marriage of Missionaries--A
Centipede--Arrival at Cape Palmas--Rescue of the Sassy Wood-Drinker
Hostilities between the Natives and Colonists.

_November_ 27.--At Sinoe. The settlement here is in a poor condition.
The inhabitants are apparently more ignorant and lazy than the colonists
on any other part of the coast. Yet they have a beautiful and fertile

28.--The Macedonian and Decatur arrived. Governor Roberts, and other
persons of authority and distinction among the colonists, were passengers,
in order to be present at the intended palaver.

29.--At 9 A.M., thirteen boats left the different ships, armed, and having
about seventy-five marines on board, besides the sailors. Entering the
river, with flags flying and muskets glittering, the boats lay on their
oars until all were in a line, and then pulled at once for the beach, as
if about to charge a hostile battery. The manoeuvre was handsomely
executed, and seemed to give great satisfaction to some thirty colonists
and fifty naked natives, who were assembled on the beach. The officers and
marines were landed, and formed in line, under the direction of Lieutenant
Rich. The music then struck up, while the Commodore and Governor Roberts
slept ashore, and the whole detachment marched to the palaver-house,
which, on this occasion, was the Methodist Church.

The Commodore seated himself behind a small table, which was covered with
a napkin. The officers, with Governor Roberts and Doctor Day, occupied
seats on his right, and the native chiefs, as they dropped in, found
places on the left. If the latter fell short of us in outward pomp and
martial array, they had certainly the advantage of rank, there being about
twenty kings and headmen of the tribes among them. Governor Roberts opened
the palaver in the Commodore's name, informing the assembled chiefs, that
he had come to talk to them about the slaughter of the mate and cook,
belonging to Captain Burke's vessel. Jim Davis, who conducted the palaver
on the part of the natives, professed to know nothing of the matter, the
chiefs present being Bushmen, whereas the party concerned were Fishmen.
After a little exhibition of diplomacy, Davis retired, and Prince Tom came
forward and submitted to an examination. His father is king of the tribe
of Fishmen, implicated in the killing of the two men. The prince denied
any personal knowledge on the subject, but observed that the deed had been
done in war, and that the tribe were not responsible. When asked where
Nippoo was (a chief known to have taken a leading part in the affray), he
at first professed ignorance, but, on being hard pressed, offered to go
and seek him. He was informed, however, that he could not be permitted to
retire, but must produce Nippoo on the spot, or be taken to America.

The council went on. The depositions of three colonists were taken, and
the facts in the case brought out. They were substantially in accordance
with the narrative already given in this Journal; and, upon full
investigation, Captain Burke was decided to have been the aggressor. The
proceedings of the Fishmen had been fierce and savage, but were redeemed
by a quality of wild justice, and exhibited them altogether in a better
light than the white men.

This affair being adjusted, the business of the palaver might be
considered at an end, so far as the American squadron had any immediate
connection with it. But there were points of importance to be settled,
between the natives and the colonists. It was the interest of the latter,
that the Fishmen, residing in the neighborhood of the settlement, should
be ejected from their land, which would certainly be a very desirable
acquisition to the emigrants. It seems, that the land originally belonged
to the Sinoe tribe, whose head-quarters are four miles inland. Several
years ago, long before the arrival of the emigrants, this tribe gave
permission to a horde of Fishmen to occupy the site, but apparently
without relinquishing their own property in the soil. Feeble at first, the
tenants wore a friendly demeanor towards their landlords, and made
themselves useful, until, gradually acquiring strength, they became
insolent, and assumed an attitude of independence. Setting the interior
tribe, of whom they held the land, at defiance, these Fishmen put an
interdict upon their trading with foreigners, except through their own
agency. Eight or ten years ago, however, the inland natives sold the land
to the Colonization Society, subject to the incumbrance of the Fishmen's
occupancy, during good behavior; a condition which the colonists likewise
pledged themselves to the Fishmen to observe, unless the conduct of the
latter should nullify it.

For the last two or three years, the settlement at Sinoe, being neglected
by the Mississippi Society, under whose patronage it was established, has
dwindled and grown weaker in numbers and spirit. The Fishmen, with their
characteristic audacity, have assumed a bolder aspect, and, besides
committing many depredations on the property of the colonists, have
murdered two or three of their number. The murderers, it is true, were
delivered up by the tribe, and punished at the discretion of the Monrovian
authorities; but the colonists at Sinoe felt themselves too feeble to
redress their lighter wrongs, and therefore refrained from demanding
satisfaction. About a month since, an addition of sixty new emigrants was
made to the seventy, already established there. Considering themselves now
adequate to act on the offensive, they determined to drive off the
Fishmen. In this purpose they were confirmed by the Monrovian government;
and it was a part of the governor's business, at the palaver, to provide
for its execution.

Governor Roberts exhibited much sagacity and diplomatic shrewdness in
accomplishing his object. It was obviously important to obtain the
assistance of the Bushmen, in expelling and keeping away the Fishmen.
They, however, were unwilling to take part in the matter, alleging their
fears as an excuse; although it might probably be a stronger reason, that
they could trade more advantageously with merchant-vessels, through the
medium of the Fishmen, than by the agency of the colonists.

But the interposition of the American Commodore, and the affair of the
murder, afforded the Governor the advantage of mixing up that question
with the colonial one; so as to give the natives the impression that
everything was done at the instance and under the authority of our armed
force. This vantage-ground he skilfully made use of, yet not without its
being perceived, by the native politicians, that the question of expelling
the Fishmen was essentially distinct from that of the murder of Captain
Burke's seamen. Davis the interpreter, and one of the headmen of the Sinoe
tribe, inquired why the Commodore did not first talk his palaver, and then
the Governor in turn talk his. It did not suit his excellency's views to
answer; and the question was evaded. By this ingenious policy, the Bushmen
were induced to promise their aid in ridding the settlement of its
troublesome neighbors; while the Fishmen, overawed by the presence of a
force friendly to the colonists, submitted to their expulsion with a
quietude that could not, under other circumstances, have been expected.
Doubtless, they had forfeited their claim to the land by non-observance of
the conditions on which they held it; yet, in some points, the affair had
remarkably the aspect of a forcible acquisition of territory by the

No time was lost in carrying the decree of the palaver into execution.
Apprehending hostilities from the squadron, the Fishmen had already
removed most of their property, as well as their women and children, and
had evacuated the town. Governor Roberts, Mr. Brown, Doctor Day, late
government agent, together with a few colonists, repaired to the place and
directed its demolition. This was partially effected by the natives, of
whom some hundreds from the interior were present. They cut down and
unroofed many of the dwellings; and the Governor left directions to burn
every house, if the Fishmen should attempt to re-occupy the town. This
wild horde, therefore, may be considered as permanently ejected from the
ground which they held on so singular a tenure; and thus terminated an
affair which throws a strong light on many of the characteristics of the
natives, and likewise on the relations between them and the emigrants.

_December_ 3.--We sailed, at two o'clock A.M., for Settra Kroo, fifteen
miles down the coast. Anchored at eleven A.M. A boat being sent ashore,
brought news of the death of Mr. Sawyer, the missionary. He left a wife,
now the only white person at the place.

4.--The boats landed at Settra Kroo, to settle a palaver. The matter in
question was the violence offered by the natives to Captain Brown, master
of an American vessel, in striking and attempting to kill him. They
admitted the fact, begged pardon, and agreed to pay ten bullocks, four
sheep, and some fowls, or the value thereof, to Captain Brown, and further
to permit him to trade without payment of the usual "dash." This town is
said to be very superior to any other native settlement on the coast; and
the people are the best informed, most intelligent, and the finest in
personal appearance, that we have met with.

Dined on shore. Mrs. Sawyer presided at the table, although her husband
was buried only yesterday. It is impossible not to look with admiration at
this lady, whose husband and only child have fallen victims to the
climate, yet who believes it her duty to remain alone, upon a barbarous
coast, in a position which perhaps no other woman ever voluntarily
occupied. She is faithful to her trust, as the companion of him who fell
at his post, and is doubtless happy in obedience to the unworldly motives
that guide her determination. Yet I cannot reconcile myself to the idea of
a woman sharing the martyrdom, which seems a proper, and not an
undesirable fate (so it come in the line of his duty) for a man. I doubt
the expediency of sending missionary ladies to perish here. Indeed, it may
well be questioned whether a missionary ought, in any country, to be a
married man. The care of a family must distract his attention and weaken
his efficiency; and herein, it may be, consists one great advantage which
the Catholic missionary possesses over the Protestant. He can penetrate
into the interior; he can sleep in the hut, and eat the simple food of a
native. But, if there be a wife and children, they must have houses and a
thousand other comforts, which are not only expensive and difficult to
obtain, but are clogs to keep the missionary down to one spot. I know how
much the toil and suffering of man is alleviated, in these far-off
regions, by the tenderness of woman. But the missionary is, by his
profession, a devoted man; he seeks, in this life, not his own happiness,
but the eternal good of others. Compare him with the members of my own
profession. We are sustained by no such lofty faith as must be supposed to
animate him, yet we find it possible to spend years upon the barren deep,
exposed to every variety of climate, and seeking peril wherever it may be
found--and all without the aid of woman's ministrations. Can a man, vowed
to the service of a Divine Master, think it much to practise similar

5.--This morning, while performing my ablutions with a large sponge, a
centipede, four and a half inches long, crawled out of one of the
orifices, and, ran over my hand. The venomous reptile was killed, without
any harm being done. It had probably been hidden in one of a number of
large land-shells, which I brought on board a day or two ago. His touch
upon my hand was the most disagreeable sensation that I have yet
experienced in Africa.

For a month past it has rained almost every night, but only three or four
times during the day. The tornadoes have not troubled us, and the regular
land and sea-breezes prevail.

6.--At 4 P. M., anchored off Cape Palmas. The Decatur had hardly clewed up
her top-sails, when she was directed by signal to make sail again. Shortly
afterwards, a boat from the frigate brought us intelligence that there is
trouble here between the natives and the colonists. The boats are ordered
to be in readiness to go ashore to-morrow, in order to settle a palaver.
The Decatur has gone to Caraway to protect the missionaries there. Thus we
are in a fair way to have plenty of work, palavering with the natives and
protecting the colonists. Not improbably, the latter have felt encouraged,
by the presence of our squadron, to assume a higher tone towards the
natives than heretofore. But we shall see.

8.--We landed, this morning, with nine armed boats, to examine into the
difficulties above alluded to. The first duty that it fell to our lot to
perform, was one of humanity. We had scarcely reached Governor Russwurm's
house, when, observing a crowd of people about a mile off, on the beach,
we learned that a man was undergoing the ordeal of drinking sassy-wood.
The Commodore, with most of the officers, hastened immediately to the
rescue. On approaching the spot, we saw a woman with an infant on her
back, walking to and fro, wailing bitterly, and throwing up her arms in
agony. Further on, we met four children, from eight to twelve years of
age, crying loudly as they came towards us, and apparently imploring us to
save their father. Beyond them, and as near the crowd as she dared go,
stood a young woman, supporting herself on a staff, with the tears
streaming down her cheeks, while she gazed earnestly at the spot where her
husband was suffering. Although she took no notice of us, her low moans
were more impressive than the vociferous agony of the former woman; and we
could not but suppose that the man was peculiarly amiable in the domestic
relations, since his impending fate awakened more grief in the hearts of
_two_ wives, than, in civilized life, we generally see exhibited by one.
Meeting a colonist, with intelligence that the victim was nearly dead, we
quickened our pace to a fast run.

Before we could reach the spot, however, the man had been put into a
canoe, and paddled out into a lagoon by one of the party, while the
remainder moved on to meet us. The Commodore ordered two of the leaders to
be seized and kept prisoners, until the drinker of sassy-wood should be
given up. This had the desired effect; and, in half an hour, there came to
the Government House a hard-featured man of about fifty, escorted by a
crowd, no small portion of which was composed of his own multifarious
wives and children, all displaying symptoms of high satisfaction. He
looked much exhausted, but was taken into the house and treated medically,
with the desired success. When sufficiently recovered he will be sent to a
neighboring town, where he must remain, until permitted by the customs of
his people to return. He had been subjected to the ordeal, in order to
test the truth or falsehood of an accusation brought against him, of
having caused the death of a man of consequence, by incantations and
necromantic arts. In such cases, a strong decoction of the sassy-wood bark
is the universally acknowledged medium of coming at the truth. The natives
believe that the tree has a supernatural quality, potent in destroying
witches and driving out evil spirits; nor, although few escape, do the
accused persons often object to quaffing the deadly draught. If it fail to
operate fatally, it is generally by the connivance of those who administer
it, in concocting the potion of such strength that the stomach shall
reject it. Should the suspected wizard escape the operation of the
sassy-wood, it is customary to kill him by beating on the head with clubs
and stones; his property is forfeited; and the party accusing him feast on
the cattle of their victim. The man whom we rescued had taken a gallon of
the decoction the previous evening, and about the same quantity just
before we interrupted the ordeal. His wealth had probably excited the envy
of his accusers.

We had just returned to the Government House and were about to seat
ourselves at the dinner-table, when an alarm-gun was heard from Mount
Tubman. A messenger soon arrived to say that the natives were attempting
to force their way through the settlement, to the Cape. The marines,
together with all the officers who could be spared, were instantly on the
march. The Commodore and Governor Russwurm led the force, on horseback;
the flag-lieutenant and myself being the only other officers fortunate
enough to procure animals. Mine was the queerest charger on which a knight
ever rode to battle; a little donkey, scarcely high enough to keep my feet
from the ground; so lazy that I could only force him into a trot by the
continual prick of my sword; and so vicious that he threw me twice, in
requital of my treatment. The rest of the detachment footed it four miles,
on a sandy road, and under the scorching sun. On the way we overtook
several armed colonists, hurrying to the point of danger. Passing the foot
of Mount Vaughan we reached Mount Tubman, and, ascending a steep, conical
hill, found ourselves on a level space of a hundred yards in diameter,
with a strong picket-fence surrounding it, and a solitary house in the
centre. Fifteen or sixteen armed men were on the watch, as conscious of
the neighborhood of an enemy; the piazza was crowded with women and
children; and from the interior of the house came the merry voices of
above a score of little boys and girls, ignorant of danger, and enjoying a
high frolic. Apart, by the wall, sat a blind man, grasping his staff with
a tremulous hand; and near him lay a sick woman, who had been brought in
from a neighboring farm-house. All these individuals, old and young, had
been driven hither for refuge by the alarm of war.

Not far off, we beheld tokens that an attack had been made, and sternly
resisted by the little garrison of the stockade. On the side opposite the
Cape, a steep path rose towards the gate. Some twenty yards down this
passage lay a native, dead, with an ugly hole in his scull; and, in a
narrow path to the right, was stretched another, who had met his death
from a bullet-wound in the centre of his forehead. The ball had cut the
ligature which bound his "greegree" of shells around his head, and the
faithless charm lay on the ground beside him. Already, the flies were
beginning to cluster about the dead man's mouth. The attacking party, to
which these slain individuals belonged, were of the Barroky tribe. It is
supposed that, knowing King Freeman to be at variance with the colonists,
and hearing the salute in honor of the Commodore's landing, they mistook
it for the commencement of hostilities, and came in to support the native
party and gather spoil.

As their repulse had evidently been decisive, we looked around us to enjoy
the extensive and diversified view from the summit of the hill. Casting
our eyes along the road which we had just passed, the principal settlement
was visible, consisting of two separate villages, intermingled with large
native towns, the dwellings in which greatly outnumbered those of the
colonists. On one side of the rude promontory ran a small river; on the
other, the sea rolled its unquiet waves. At a short distance from the
shore was seen the rocky islet, bearing the name of Go-to-Hell, where the
natives bury their dead. Northward, were the farms of those whom the
recent hostile incursion had driven to this place of refuge. In various
directions, several spurs of hills were visible, on one of which,
glittering among the trees, appeared the white edifices of the Mount
Vaughan Episcopal Mission.

On our return, some of the party halted at the Mission establishment; but
I urged my little donkey onward, and, though this warlike episode had cost
me a dinner, made my re-appearance at the Governor's table in time for the


Palaver with King Freeman--Remarks on the Influence of
Missionaries--Palaver at Rock Boukir--Narrative of Captain Farwell's
Murder--Scene of Embarkation through the Surf--Sail for Little Berebee.

_December_ 9.--At Cape Palmas. We again landed, as on the preceding day,
and met the redoubtable King Freeman, and twenty-three other kings and
headmen from the tribes in the vicinity. The palaver, like that at Sinoe,
was held in the Methodist Church; the Commodore, the Governor, and several
officers and colonists, appearing on one side, and the natives on the
other. There were several striking countenances among the four-and-twenty
negro potentates, and some, even, that bore the marks of native greatness;
as might well be the case, in a system of society where rank and authority
are, in a great measure, the result of individual talent and force of
character. One head man was very like Henry Clay, both in face and figure.
It is remarkable, too, that one of the chiefs at Sinoe not only had a
strong personal resemblance to the same distinguished statesman--being, as
it were, his image in ebony, or bronze--but, while not speaking, moved
constantly about the palaver-house, as is Mr. Clay's habit in the
senate-chamber. The interpreter, on the present occasion, Yellow Will by
name, was dressed in a crimson mantle of silk damask, poncho-shaped, and
trimmed with broad gold lace.

The palaver being opened, the colonists complained that the chiefs had
raised to double what it had been, or ought to be, the prices of rice and
other products, for which the settlements were dependent upon the natives;
also, that they would permit no merchant vessels to communicate with the
colonial town. On representation of these grievances, the Kings agreed to
rescind the obnoxious regulations. This, however, did not satisfy the
Governor, who had hoped to induce King Freeman to remove his town to
another site, and allow the colonists more room. As matters at present
stand, the King's capital city is within three hundred yards of Governor
Russwurm's house, and entirely disunites the colonial settlements on the
Cape. In case of war, the communication between these two sections of the
town of Harper would be completely broken off. The Governor, therefore,
proposed that King Freeman should sell his land on the Cape, receiving a
fair equivalent from the colony, and should transplant his town across the
river, or elsewhere. But the King showed no inclination to comply; nor did
the Commodore, apparently, deem it his province to support Governor
Russwurm, or take any part in the question. The point was accordingly
given up; the Governor merely requesting King Freeman to "look his head,"
that is, consider--and let him know his determination.

There was also a complaint made, on the part of the missionaries, that the
natives had cut off their supplies, and had attempted to take away the
native children, who had been given them to educate. I was subsequently
informed, however, by the Rev. Mr. Hazlehurst, that the missionaries had
no difficulty with the natives, and did not wish their affairs to be
identified with those of the colonists. The above representation,
therefore, appears to have been unauthorized by the mission establishment.
And here, without presuming to offer an opinion as respects their conduct
at this particular juncture, I must be allowed to say, that the
missionaries at Liberia have shown themselves systematically disposed to
claim a position entirely independent of the colonies. They are supported
by wealthy and powerful societies at home; they have been accustomed to
look upon their own race as superior to the colored people; they are
individually conscious, no doubt, in many cases, of an intellectual
standing above that of the persons prominent among the emigrants; and they
are not always careful to conceal their sense of such general or
particular superiority. It is certain, too, that the native Africans
regard the whites with much greater respect than those of their own color.
Hence, it is almost impossible but that jealousy of missionary influence
should exist in the minds of the colonial authorities. The latter
perceive, in the midst of their commonwealth, an alien power, exercised by
persons not entitled to the privileges of citizenship, and to whom it was
never intended to allow voice or action in public affairs. By such a state
of things, the progress of Christianity and civilisation must be rather
retarded than advanced.

There is reason, therefore, to doubt whether the labors of white
missionaries, in the territory over which the colonists exercise
jurisdiction, is, upon the whole, beneficial. If removed beyond those
limits, and insulated among the natives, they may accomplish infinite
good; but not while assuming an anomalous position of independence, and
thwarting the great experiment which the founders of Liberia had in view.
One grand object of these colonies is, to test the disputed and doubtful
point, whether the colored race be capable of sustaining themselves
without the aid or presence of the whites. In order to a fair trial of the
question, it seems essential that none but colored missionaries should be
sent hither. The difficulties between the Government and the Methodist
Episcopal mission confirm these views. At a former period, that mission
possessed power almost sufficient to subvert the Colonial rule.

Let it not be supposed, that these remarks are offered in any spirit of
hostility to missionaries. My intercourse with them in different parts of
the world, has been of the most friendly nature. I owe much to their
kindness, and can bear cheerful testimony to the laborious, self-devoting
spirit in which they do their duty. At Athens, I have seen them toiling
unremittingly, for years, to educate the ignorant and degraded descendants
of the ancient Greeks, and was proud that my own country--in a hemisphere
of which Plato never dreamed--should have sent back to Greece a holier
wisdom than he diffused from thence. In the unhealthy isle of Cyprus, I
have beheld them perishing without a murmur, and their places filled with
new votaries, stepping over the graves of the departed, and not less ready
to spend and be spent in the cause of their Divine Master. I have
witnessed the flight of whole families from the mountains of Lebanon,
where they had lingered until its cedars were prostrate beneath the storm
of war, and only then came to shelter themselves under the flag of their
country. Everywhere, the spirit of the American Missionaries has been
honorable to their native land; nor, whatever be their human
imperfections, is it too much to term them holy in their lives, and often
martyrs in their deaths. And none more so than the very men of whom I now
speak, in these sickly regions of Africa, where I behold them sinking,
more or less gradually, but with certainty, and destitute of almost every
earthly comfort, into their graves. I criticise portions of their conduct,
but reverence their purity of motive; and only regret, that, while
divesting themselves of so much that is worldly, they do not retain either
more wisdom of this world, or less aptness to apply a disturbing influence
to worldly affairs.

But it is time to return from this digression. Matters being now in a good
train at Cape Palmas, we go to use our pacific influence elsewhere.

10.--We sailed at daylight, and anchored this evening at Rock Boukir.

11.--In the morning, twelve armed boats were sent ashore from the three
ships. We landed on an open beach, all in safety, but more or less
drenched by the dangerous surf. One or two boats took in heavy seas,
broached to, and rolled over and over in the gigantic surf-wave. On
landing, we found a body of armed natives, perhaps fifty in number, drawn
up in a line. Their weapons were muskets, iron war-spears, long
fish-spears of wood, and broad knives. They made no demonstrations of
opposing us, but stood stoutly in their ranks, showing more independence
of bearing and less fear, than any natives whom we have met with. They
were evidently under military rule, and, as well as the remainder of the
tribe, evinced a degree of boldness, amounting almost to insolence, which,
it must be owned, would have made our party the more ready for a tustle,
on any reasonable pretext.

The town of Rock Boukir is enclosed by palisades, about eight feet high,
with small gates on every side. It was not the purpose of the natives to
admit us within their walls; but a rain made it desirable that the palaver
should be held in a sheltered place, instead of on the beach, as had been
originally intended.

We therefore marched in, took possession of the place, and stationed
sentinels at every gate. The town was entirely deserted; for the warriors
had gone forth to fight, if a fight there was to be; and the women and
children were sent for security into the "bush." In the central square
stood the Palaver House, beneath the shadow of a magnificent
wide-spreading tree, which had perhaps mingled the murmur of its leaves
with the eloquence of the native orators, for at least a century. Here we
posted ourselves, and awaited the King of Rock Boukir.

The messengers announced, that he wished to bring his armed men within the
walls, and occupy one side of the town, while our party held the other. As
this proposition was not immediately acceded to, and as the King would not
recede, it seemed doubtful whether there would be any palaver, after all.
At length, however, the Commodore ordered the removal of our sentinels
from the gates, on one side of the town, and consented that the native
warriors should come in. A further delay was accounted for, on the plea
that the King was putting on his robes of state. Finally, he entered the
Palaver House and seated himself; an old man of sinister aspect, meanly
dressed, and having for his only weapon a short sword, with a curved
blade, six inches wide. Governor Roberts now opened the palaver, by
informing the king that his tribe were suspected of having participated in
the plunder of the Mary Carver, and the murder of her captain and crew. I
subjoin a brief narrative of this affair.

Two years since, the schooner Mary Carver, of Salem, commanded by Captain
Farwell of Vassalboro', was anchored at Half Berebee, for the purpose of
trading with the natives. Her cargo was valued at twelve thousand dollars.
Captain Farwell felt great confidence in the people of Half Berebee,
although warned not to trust them too far, as they had the character of
being fierce and treacherous. One day, being alone on shore, the natives
knocked him down, bound him, and delivered him to the women and children,
to be tortured by sticking thorns into his flesh. After three hours of
this horrible agony, the men despatched him. As soon as the captain was
secured, a large party was sent on board the vessel, to surprise and
murder the mate and crew. In this they were perfectly successful; not a
soul on board escaped. They then took part of the goods out, and ran the
schooner ashore, where she was effectually plundered. Within a space of
twelve miles along the beach, there are five or six families of Fishmen,
ruled by different members of the Cracko family, of which Ben Cracko of
Half Berebee is the head. All these towns were implicated in the plot, and
received a share of the plunder. A Portuguese schooner had been taken, and
her crew murdered, at the same place, a year before. The business had
turned out so profitably, that other tribes on the coast began to envy the
good fortune of the Crackos, and declared that they likewise were going to
"catch" a vessel.

The object of our present palaver was to inquire into the alleged agency
of the tribe at Rock Boukir in the above transaction. The King, speaking
in his own language, strenuously denied the charge; at the same time
touching his ears and drawing his tongue over his short curved
broad-sword. By these symbols and hieroglyphics, I supposed him to mean,
that he had merely heard of the affair, and that his sword was innocent of
the blood imputed to him. It seems, however, that it is the native form of
taking an oath, equivalent to our kissing the book. The King agreed to go
to Berebee, and assist in the grand palaver to be held there; complying
with a proposal of the Commodore, to take passage thither in the
Macedonian. Matters being so far settled, the council was broken up, and
the party re-embarked.

Several of the boats having been anchored outside of the surf, the
officers and men were carried off to them in the native canoes. The scene
on the beach was quite animated. Hundreds of natives, having laid aside
their weapons, crowded around to watch the proceedings. The women and
children came from the woods in swarms, all talking, screaming, laughing,
and running hither and thither. The canoes were constantly passing from
the shore to the boats, carrying two persons at a time. Our men, being
unaccustomed to such rough water and unsteady conveyances, often capsized
the canoes and were tumbled ashore by the surf, perhaps with the loss of
hats, jackets, or weapons. Here was visible the head of a marine, swimming
to one of the boats, with his musket in his hand. Another, unable to swim,
was upheld by a Krooman. Here and there, an impatient individual plunged
into the surf and struck out for his boat, rather than await the tedious
process of embarkation. All reached the vessels in safety, but few with
dry jackets. His majesty of Rock Boukir, too, went on board the frigate,
according to agreement, and probably, by this mark of confidence, saved
his capital from the flames. If all stories be true, he little deserves
our clemency; and it is even said, that the different tribes held a grand
palaver at this place, for the division of the spoil of the Mary Carver.

We set sail immediately.

12.--Anchored at half past five P.M., off Little Berebee.


Palaver at Little Berebee--Death of the Interpreter and King Ben Cracko,
and burning of the Town--Battle with the Natives, and Conflagration of
several Towns--Turkey Buzzards--A Love-Letter--Moral Reflections--Treaty
of Grand Berebee--Prince Jumbo and his Father--Native system of
Expresses--Curiosity of the Natives.

_December_ 13.--At nine A.M., the boats of the squadron repaired to the
flag-ship, where they were formed in line, and then pulled towards the
shore abreast. The landing-place is tolerably good, but contracted. Four
or five boats might easily approach it together; but when most of the
thirteen attempted it at once, so narrow was the space, that one or two of
them filled. They were hauled up, however, and secured. Our force, on
being disembarked, was stationed in line, opposite the town of Little
Berebee, and the wood in its immediate vicinity. Many of the officers went
up to the Palaver House, a temporary shed erected for the occasion, about
fifty yards from the town-gate. King Ben Cracko now making his appearance,
with five or six headmen or kings of the neighboring tribes, the palaver

The interpreter, on this occasion, was well known to have been, in his own
person, a leading character in the act of piracy and murder, which it was
the object of the palaver to investigate. He had therefore a difficult
part to act; one that required great nerve, and such a talent of throwing
a fair semblance over foul facts, as few men, civilized or savage, are
likely to possess. With the consciousness of guilt upon him, causing him
to startle at the first aspect of peril, it is singular that the man
should have had the temerity to trust himself in so trying a position. His
version of the Mary Carver affair was a very wretched piece of fiction. He
declared that Captain Farwell had killed two natives, and that old King
Cracko, since deceased, had punished the captain by death, in the exercise
of his legitimate authority. He denied that the tribe had participated in
Captain Farwell's murder, or in those of the mate and crew, or in the
robbery of the vessel; affirming that the schooner had gone ashore, and
that everything was lost. All this was a tissue of falsehood; it being
notorious that a large quantity of goods from the wreck, and portions of
the vessel itself, were distributed among the towns along the coast. It
was well known, moreover, that these people had boasted of having "caught"
(to use their own phrase), an American vessel, and that the neighboring
tribes had threatened to follow Ben Cracko's example.

Governor Roberts, who conducted the examination on our part, expressed to
the man his utter disbelief of the above statements. The Commodore,
likewise, stept hastily towards him, sternly warning him to utter no more
falsehoods. The interpreter, perceiving that the impression was against
him, and probably expecting to be instantly made prisoner, or put to
death, now lost the audacity that had hitherto sustained him. At this
moment, it is said, a gun was fired at our party, from the town; and,
simultaneously with the report, the interpreter sprang away like a deer.
There was a cry to stop him--two or three musket-bullets whistled after
the fugitive as he ran--but he had nearly reached the town-gate, when his
limbs, while strained to their utmost energy, suddenly failed beneath him.
A rifle-shot had struck him in the vertebra of the neck, causing
instantaneous death. Meanwhile, King Ben Cracko had made a bolt to escape,
but was seized by his long calico robe; which, however, gave way, leaving
him literally naked in the midst of his enemies. A shot brought him to the
ground; but he sprang to his feet, still struggling to escape. He next
received two bayonet wounds, but fought like a wild beast, until two or
three men flung themselves upon him, and held him down by main force.
Finding himself overpowered, he pretended to be dead, but was securely
bound, and taken to the beach. A lion of the African deserts could not
have shown a fiercer energy than this savage King; and those who gazed at
him, as he lay motionless on the sand, confessed that they had never seen
a frame of such masculine vigor as was here displayed. His wounds proved

The melee had been as sudden as the explosion of gunpowder; it was wholly
unexpected, but perhaps not to be wondered at, where two parties, with
weapons in their hands, had met to discuss a question of robbery and
murder. When the firing commenced, about two hundred natives were on the
spot, or in the vicinity; they were now flying in all directions, some
along the beach, a few into the sea itself, but by far the greatest number
to the woods. Many shots were fired, notwithstanding the Commodore's
orders to refrain. We were now directed to break down the palisades, and
set fire to the town. A breach of twenty or thirty feet was soon made in
the wall, by severing the withes that bound together the upright planks.
Before this could be effected, another party crept through the small
holes, serving the purpose of gates, and penetrated to the centre of the
town, where, assembling around the great council-tree, they gave three
cheers. The houses were then set on fire, and, within fifteen minutes,
presented one mass of conflagration. The palisades likewise caught the
flames, and were consumed, leaving an open space of blackened and smoking
ruins, where, half an hour before, the sun had shone upon a town.

The natives did not remain idle spectators of the destruction of their
houses. Advancing to the edge of the woods, they discharged their muskets
at us, loaded not with Christian bullets, but with copper-slugs, probably
manufactured out of the spikes of the Mary Carver. A marine was struck in
the side by one of these missiles, which tumbled him over, but without
inflicting a serious wound. A party from our ship penetrated the woods
behind the town, where one of them fired at an object which he perceived
moving in the underbrush. Going up to the spot, it proved to be a very
aged man, apparently on the verge of a century, much emaciated, and too
feeble to crawl further in company with his flying towns-people. He was
unharmed by the shot, but evidently expected instant death, and held up
his hand in supplication. Our party placed the poor old patriarch in a
more sheltered spot, and left him there, after supplying him with food; an
act of humanity which must have seemed to him very singular, if not
absurd, in contrast with the mischief which we had wrought upon his home
and people. Meantime, the ships were disposed to have a share in the
fight, and opened a cannonade upon the woods, shattering the great
branches of the trees, and adding to the terror, if not to the loss, of
the enemy. Little Berebee being now a heap of ashes, we re-embarked,
taking with us an American flag, probably that of the Mary Carver, which
had been found in the town. We also made prizes of several canoes, one of
which was built for war, and capable of carrying forty men. The wounded
King Cracko, likewise, was taken on board the frigate, where, next
morning, he breathed his last; thus expiating the outrage in which, two
years before, he had been a principal actor. We afterwards understood that
the natives suffered a loss of eight killed and two wounded.

15.--The season for palavers and diplomacy being now over, we landed at
seven o'clock this morning, ten or twelve miles below Berebee, in order to
measure out a further retribution to the natives. On approaching the
beach, we were fired upon from the bushes, but without damage, although
the enemy were sheltered within twenty yards of the water's edge. The
boat's crew first ashore, together with two or three marines, charged into
the shrubbery and drove off the assailants. All being disembarked, the
detachment was formed in line, and marched to the nearest town, which was
immediately attacked. Like the other native towns, it was protected by a
wall of high palisades, planted firmly in the soil, and bound together by
thongs of bamboo. Cutting a passage through these, we entered the place,
which contained perhaps a hundred houses, neatly built of wicker-work, and
having their high conical roofs thatched with palmetto-leaves. Such
edifices were in the highest degree combustible, and being set on fire, it
was worth while for a lover of the picturesque to watch the flames, as
they ran up the conical roofs, and meeting at the apex, whirled themselves
fiercely into the darkened air.

While this was going on, the war-bells, drums, and war-horns of the
natives were continually sounding; and flocks of vultures (perhaps a more
accurate ornithologist might call them turkey-buzzards) appeared in the
sky, wheeling slowly and heavily over our heads. These ravenous birds
seemed to have a presentiment that there were deeds of valor to be done:
nor was it quite a comfortable idea, that some of them, ere nightfall,
might gratify their appetite at one's own personal expense. To confess the
truth, however, they were probably attracted by the scent of some
slaughtered bullocks; it being indifferent to a turkey-buzzard whether he
prey on a cow or a Christian. After destroying the first town, we marched
about a mile and a half up the beach, to attack a second. On our advance,
the marine drummer and fifer were ordered from the front of the column to
the rear, as being a position of less danger. They of course obeyed; but
the little drummer deeming it a reflection upon his courage, burst into
tears, and actually blubbered aloud as he beat the _pas de charge_. It
was a strange operation of manly spirit in a boyish stage of development.

As we approached the second town, our boat-keepers, who watched the scene,
distinctly saw a party of thirty or forty natives lying behind a palisade,
with their guns pointed at our advanced guard. Unconscious that the enemy
were so near, we halted for an instant, about forty yards from the town,
and then advanced at a run. This so disconcerted the defenders that they
fled, after firing only a few shots, none of which took effect. In fact,
the natives proved themselves but miserable marksmen. They can seldom hit
an object in motion, although, if a man stand still, they sometimes manage
to put a copper-slug into his body, by taking aim a long time. After
firing, the savage runs a long distance before he ventures to load. Had
their skill or their hardihood been greater, we must have suffered
severely; for the woods extended nearly to the water's edge, and exposed
us, during the whole day, to the fire of a sheltered and invisible enemy.

After the storm and conflagration of the second town, we took a brief
rest, and then proceeded to capture and burn another, situated about a
mile to the northward. This accomplished, we judged it to be dinner-time.
Indeed, we had done work enough to ensure an appetite; and history does
not make mention, so far as I am aware, of such destruction of cities so
expeditiously effected. Having emptied our baskets, we advanced about
three miles along the beach--still with the slugs of the enemy whistling
in our ears--and gave to the devouring element another town. Man is
perhaps never happier than when his native destructiveness can be freely
exercised, and with the benevolent complacency of performing a good
action, instead of the remorse of perpetrating a bad one. It unites the
charms of sin and virtue. Thus, in all probability, few of us had ever
spent a day of higher enjoyment than this, when we roamed about, with a
musket in one hand and a torch in the other, devastating what had hitherto
been the homes of a people.

One of the sweetest spots that I have seen in Africa, was a little hamlet
of three houses, standing apart from the four large towns above-mentioned,
and surrounded by an impervious hedge of thorn-bushes, with two palisaded
entrances. Forcing our way through one of these narrow portals, we beheld
a grassy area of about fifty yards across, overshadowed by a tree of very
dense foliage, which had its massive roots in the centre, and spread its
great protecting branches over the whole enclosure. The three dwellings
were of the same sort of basket-work as those already described, but
particularly neat, and giving a pleasant impression of the domestic life
of their inhabitants. This small, secluded hamlet had probably been the
residence of one family, a patriarch, perhaps, with his descendants to the
third or fourth generation--who, beneath that shadowy tree, must have
enjoyed all the happiness of which uncultivated man is susceptible. Nor
would it be too great a stretch of liberality, to suppose that the green
hedge of impervious thorns had kept out the vices of their race, and that
the little area within was a sphere where all the virtues of the native
African had been put in daily practice. These three dwellings, and the
verdant wall around them, and the great tree that brooded over the whole,
might unquestionably have been spared, with safety to our consciences. But
when man takes upon himself the office of an avenger by the sword, he is
not to be perplexed with such little scrupulosities, as whether one
individual or family be less guilty than the rest. Providence, it is to be
presumed, will find some method of setting such matters right. In fine,
when the negro patriarch's strong sable sons supported their decrepit sire
homeward, with their wives, "black, but comely," bearing the glistening,
satin-skinned babies on their backs, and their other little ebony
responsibilities trudging in the rear, there must have been a dismal wail;
for there was the ancestral tree, its foliage shrivelled with fire,
stretching out its desolate arms over the ashes of the three wicker

The business of the day was over. Besides short excursions, and charges
into the bush, the men had marched and countermarched at least twelve
miles upon the beach, with the surf sometimes rolling far beyond our
track. Some hundreds of slugs had been fired at us; and, on our part, we
had blazed away at every native who had ventured to show his face; but the
amount of casualties, after such a day of battle, reminds one of the
bloodless victories and defeats of an Italian army, during the middle
ages. In a word, we had but two men wounded; and whether any of the enemy
were killed or no, it is impossible to say. At all events, we slew a
number of neat cattle, eight or nine of which were sent on board the
ships, where they answered a much better purpose than as many human
carcasses. The other spoil consisted of several canoes, together with
numerous household utensils--which we shall bring home as trophies and
curiosities. There was also a chain cable, and many other articles
belonging to the Mary Carver, and a pocket-book, containing a letter
addressed to Captain Robert McFarland. The purport of the epistle is not a
matter of public interest; but it was written in a lady's delicate hand,
and was probably warm with affection; and little did the fair writer dream
that her missive would find its way into an African hut, where it was
probably regarded as a piece of witchcraft.

Thus ended the warfare of Little Berebee. The degree of retribution meted
out had by no means exceeded what the original outrage demanded; and the
mode of it was sanctioned by the customs of the African people. According
to their unwritten laws, if individuals of a tribe commit a crime against
another tribe or nation, the criminal must either be delivered up, or
punished at home, or the tribe itself becomes responsible for their guilt.
An example was of peremptory necessity; and the American vessels trading
on the coast will long experience a good effect from this day's battle and
destruction. The story will be remembered in the black man's traditions,
and will have its due weight in many a palaver. Nevertheless, though the
burning of villages be a very pretty pastime, yet it leaves us in a
moralizing mood, as most pleasures are apt to do; and one would fain hope
that civilized man, in his controversies with the barbarian, will at
length cease to descend to the barbarian level, and may adopt some other
method of proving his superiority, than by his greater power to inflict
suffering. For myself personally, the "good old way" suits me tolerably
enough; but I am disinterestedly anxious that posterity should find a

16.--We sailed at day-light for Grand Berebee. Nearing the point on which
it is situated, the ships hoisted white flags at the fore, in token of
amity. A message was sent on shore to the King, who came off in a large
canoe, and set his hand to a treaty, promising to keep good faith with
American vessels. He likewise made himself responsible for the good
conduct of the other tribes in the vicinity.

On board the Macedonian, there were five prisoners, who had been taken two
months ago, by the brig Porpoise. One was the eldest son of this King, and
the others belonged to his tribe. The meeting between the King and prince
was very affecting, and fully proved that nature has not left these wild
people destitute of warmth and tenderness of heart. They threw themselves
into each other's arms, wept, laughed, and danced for joy. To the King,
his son was like one risen from the dead; he had given him up for lost,
supposing that the young man had been executed. The prisoners were each
presented with a new frock and trowsers, besides tobacco, handkerchiefs,
and other suitable gifts. The prince received a lieutenant's old uniform
coat; and when they got into their canoe, it was amusing to see how
awkwardly he paddled, in this outlandish trim. He made two or three
attempts to get the coat off, but without success. One of his companions
then offered his assistance; but as he took the prince by the collar,
instead of the sleeve, it was found impracticable to rid him of the
garment. The more he pulled, the less it would come off; and the last we
saw of Prince Jumbo, he was holding up his skirts in one hand, and
paddling with the other. There will be grand rejoicings to-night, on the
return of the prisoners. All will be dancing and jollity; plays will be
performed; the villages will re-echo with the report of fire-arms and the
clamor of drums; and the whole population will hold a feast of bullocks.

20.--Anchored at Cape Palmas. The natives here were alarmed at the return
of the three ships; and many of them carried away their moveables into the
woods. News of the destruction of the towns below had reached them several
days since. They have a simple, but very effective system of expresses.
When information of great interest is to be conveyed from tribe to tribe,
one of their swiftest runners is despatched, who makes what speed he can,
and, when tired, entrusts his message to another. Thus it is speeded on,
without a moment's delay. Should the runner encounter a river in his
course, he shouts his news across; it is caught up on the other side, and
immediately sent forward. In this manner, intelligence finds its way along
the coast with marvellous celerity.

23.--We sailed two days ago. Yesterday, there came off from the shore,
some six or eight miles, a couple of canoes, paddled by six men each, who
exerted themselves to the utmost to overtake us. They had nothing to sell;
and their only object seemed to be, to obtain the particulars of the fight
and conflagration at Little Berebee, a hundred and fifty miles below.

25.--Anchored at Monrovia, and landed Governor Roberts, who, with Dr.
Johnson, had been a passenger from Cape Palmas.

28.--Sailed for Porto Praya, with the intention of visiting Madeira,
before returning to the coast.


Madeira--Aspect of the Island--Annual races--"Hail Columbia!"--Ladies,
Cavaliers, and Peasants--Dissertation upon Wines--The Clerks of
Funchal--Decay of the Wine-Trade--Cultivation of Pine-Trees--A Night in
the Streets--Beautiful Church--A Sunday-evening Party--Currency of

_January_ 19, 1844.--We made Madeira yesterday, but, the weather being
thick and squally, stood off and on until to-day.

20. Our ship rides gently at her anchor. The Loo rock rises fifty feet
perpendicular from the water, at so short a distance, that we can hear the
drum beat tattoo in the small, inaccessible castle, on its summit. This
rock is the outpost of the city of Funchal. The city stretches along the
narrow strip of level ground, near the shore, with vine-clad hills rising
steeply behind. On the slopes of these eminences are many large houses,
surrounded with splendid gardens, and occupied by wealthy inhabitants,
chiefly Englishmen, who have retired upon their fortunes, or are still
engaged in business. On a height to the left, stands a castle of
considerable size, in good repair. High up among the hills, in bold
relief, is seen the church of Our Lady of the Mount, with its white walls
and two towers. The hills are rugged, steep, and furrowed with deep
ravines, along which, after the heavy rains of winter, the mountain
torrents dash headlong to the sea.

My remarks on Madeira will be thrown together without the regularity of a
daily journal; for our visit to the island proves so delightful, that it
seems better worth the while to enjoy, than to describe it.

The annual races are well attended. During their continuance, throngs of
passengers, on foot, on horseback, and in palanquins, are continually
proceeding to the course, a little more than a mile and a half from town.
The road thither constantly ascends, until you find yourself several
hundred feet above the sea, with an extensive prospect beneath and around.
A tolerable space for the track is here afforded by an oblong plain,
seven-eighths of a mile in length. Near the judges' stand was a large
collection of persons of all classes, ladies, dandies, peasants, and
jockeys. Here, too, were booths for the sale of eatables and drinkables,
and a band of music to enliven the scene.

These musicians saw fit to honor us in a very particular manner. They had
all agreed to ship on board our vessel; and, with a view to please their
new masters, when three or four of our officers rode into the course, they
played "Hail Columbia." We took off our caps in acknowledgment, and
thought it all very fine. Directly afterwards, two other officers rode in,
and were likewise saluted with "Hail Columbia!" Anon, two or three of us
dismounted and strolled about among the people, thinking nothing of the
band, until we were reminded of their proximity by the old tune again. In
short, every motion on our part, however innocent and unpretending, caused
the hills of Madeira to resound with the echoes of our national air.
Finding that our position assumed a cast of the ridiculous, we gave the
leader to understand, that, if the tune were played again, the band's
first experience of maritime life should be a flogging at the gangway. The
hint was sufficient; not only did we hear no more of "Hail Columbia," but
none of the musicians ever came near the ship.

With few exceptions the running was wretched. One or two of the
match-races (which were ten in number, all single heats, of a mile each)
were well contested. The first was run by two ponies; a fat black one with
a chubby boy on his back, and a red, which, as well as his rider, was in
better racing condition. The black was beaten out of sight. The second
race was by two other ponies, one of which took the lead, and evidently
had the heels of his antagonist. Suddenly, however, he bolted, and leaped
the wall, leaving the track to be trotted over by the slower colt. Two
grey horses succeeded, and made pretty running; but their riders, instead
of attending to business, joined hands, and rode a quarter of a mile in
this amiable attitude. Rather than antagonists, one would have taken them
for twin brethren, like two other famous horsemen, Castor and Pollux. To
the ladies this mode of racing appeared delightful; but the remarks of our
party, consisting of several English and American officers and gentlemen,
were anything but complimentary. The last quarter of this heat was well
run, one of the horses winning apparently by a neck. The judge, however, a
Portuguese, decided that it was a dead heat.

At one extremity of the course, the hill rises abruptly; and here were
hundreds of persons of both sexes, in an excellent position to see the
running, and to impart a pretty effect to the scene. A large number of
peasantry were present, dressed in their peculiar costume, and taking
great interest in the whole matter. Both men and women wear a little blue
cap lined with scarlet, so small that one wonders how it sticks on the
head. In shape it is like an inverted funnel, running up to a sharp point.
The women have short, full dresses, with capes of a dark blue, trimmed
with a lighter blue, or of scarlet with blue trimming. These colors form a
sectional distinction; the girls of the north side of the island wearing
the scarlet capes, and those of the south side, the blue. In the intervals
of the races, ladies and gentlemen cantered round the course, and some of
them raced with their friends. Three Scottish ladies, with more youth than
beauty, and dressed in their plaids, made themselves conspicuous by their
bold riding, and quite carried off the palm of horsemanship from their

A sketch of Madeira would be incomplete indeed, without some mention of
its wines. Three years ago, when it was more a matter of personal
interest, I visited this island, and gained considerable information on
the subject. Madeira then produced about thirty thousand pipes annually,
one third of which was consumed on the island, one-third distilled into
brandy, and the remainder exported. About one-third of the exportation
went to the United States, and the balance to other parts of the world.
The best wines are principally sent to our own country--that is to say,
the best exported--for very little of the first-rate wine goes out of the
island. The process of adulteration is as thoroughly understood and
practised here, as anywhere else. The wine sent to the United States is a
kind that has been heated, to give it an artificial age. The mode of
operation is simply to pour the wine into large vats, and submit it for
several days to a heat of about 110. After this ordeal, the wine is not
much improved by keeping.

There are other modes of adulteration, into the mysteries of which I was
not admitted. One fact, communicated to me by an eminent wine-merchant,
may shake the faith of our connoisseurs as to the genuineness of their
favorite beverage. It is, that, from a single pipe of "mother wine," ten
pipes are manufactured by the help of inferior wine. This "mother wine" is
that which has been selected for its excellence, and is seldom exported
pure. The wines, when fresh from the vintage, are as various in their
flavor as our cider. It is by taste and _smell_ that the various kinds
are selected, after which the poorer wines are distilled into brandy, and
the better are put in cases, and placed in store to ripen. The liquor is
from time to time racked off, and otherwise managed until ready for
exportation. It is _invariably_ "treated" with brandy. French brandy was
formerly used, which being now prohibited, that of the island is
substituted, although of an inferior quality.

Besides the "Madeira wine," so famous among convivialists, there are
others of higher price and superior estimation. There is the "Sercial,"
distinguished by a kind of Poppy taste. There is the Malmsey, or "Ladies'
wine," and the "Vina Tinta," or Madeira Claret, as it is sometimes called.
The latter is made of the black grapes, in a peculiar manner. After being
pressed, the skins of the grapes are placed in a vat, where the juice is
poured upon them and suffered to stand several days, until it has taken
the hue required. The taste of this wine is between those of Port and
Claret. There is a remarkable difference in the quality of the vintages of
the north and south sides of the island; the former not being a third part
so valuable as the latter. The poorer classes drink an inferior and acid

The vineyards are generally owned by rich proprietors, by whom they are
farmed out to the laborer, who pays half the produce when the wine has
been pressed; the government first taking its tenth. The grape-vines run
along frame-work, raised four or five feet from the ground, so as to allow
the cultivator room to weed the stalks beneath. The finest grapes are
those which grow upon the sunny side of a wall. At the season of vintage,
the grapes are placed in a kind of canoe, where they are first crushed by
men's feet (all wines, even the richest and purest, having this original
tincture of the human foot), and then pressed by a beam.

Perhaps the very finest wines in the world are to be found collected at
the suppers given by the clerks, in the large mercantile houses of
Madeira. By an established custom, when one of their corps is about to
leave the island, he gives an entertainment, to which every guest
contributes a bottle or two of wine. It is a point of honor to produce the
best; and as the clerks know, quite as well as their principals, where the
best is to be found, and as the honor of their respective houses is to be
sustained, it may well be imagined that all the _bon-vivants_ on earth,
were they to meet at one table, could hardly produce such a variety of
fine old Madeira, as the clerks of Funchal then sip and descant upon. In
no place do mercantile clerks hold so respectable a position in society as
here; owing to the tacit understanding between their principals and
themselves, that, at some future day, they are to be admitted as partners
in the houses. This is so general a rule, that the clerk seems to hold a
social position scarcely inferior to that of the head of the
establishment. They prove their claim to this high consideration, by the
zeal with which they improve their minds and cultivate their manners, in
order to fill creditably the places to which they confidently aspire.

At my second visit to Madeira, I find the wine trade at a very low ebb.
The demand from America, owing to temperance, the tariff, and partly to an
increased taste for Spanish, French, and German wines, is extremely small.
Not a cargo has been shipped thither for three years. The construction
given to the tariff, by the Secretary of the Treasury, will infuse new
life into the trade.

The hills around the city of Funchal are covered with vineyards, as far up
as the grape will grow; then come the fields of vegetables; and the
plantations of pine for the supply of the city. The island took its name
from the great quantity of wood which overshadowed it, at its first
discovery. This being long ago exhausted, considerable attention is paid
to the cultivation of the pine-tree, which produces the most profitable
kind of wood. In twelve or thirteen years, it is fit for the market, and
commands a handsome price. Far up the mountains, we saw one plantation, in
which fifty or sixty acres had been covered with pines, within a few
years; some of the infant trees being only an inch high. Thus in the
course of a morning's ride, we ascend from the region of the laughing and
luxuriant vine, into that of the stately and sombre pine; it is like being
transported by enchantment from the genial clime of Madeira into the
rugged severity of a New England forest.

In going up the mountain, the traveller encounters many peasants, both men
and women, with bundles of weeds for horses, and sticks for fire-wood,
which are carried upon the head. Thus laden, they walk several miles, and
perhaps sell their burthens for ten or twelve cents apiece. Articles
cannot easily be conveyed in any other manner, down the steep declivities
of the hills. In the city, burthens are drawn by oxen, on little drags,
which glide easily over the smooth, round pavements. The driver carries in
his hand a long mop without a handle, or what a sailor would term a "wet
swab." If any difficulty occur in drawing the load, this moist mop is
thrown before the drag, which readily glides over it.

The beggars of Funchal are numerous and importunate, and many of them
wretched enough, as, in one instance, I had occasion to witness. With a
friend, I had quitted a ball at two o'clock in the morning. The porter of
our hotel, not expecting us at so late an hour, had retired; and, as all
the family slept in the back part of the house, we were unable to awaken
them by our long and furious knocking. Several Englishmen occupied the
front apartments, but scorned to give themselves any trouble about the
matter, except to breathe a slumberous execration against the disturbers
of their sleep. On the other hand, our anathemas were louder, and quite as
bitter upon these inhospitable inmates. Finally, after half an hour's
vigorous but ineffectual assault upon the portal, we retreated in despair,
and betook ourselves to walk the streets. The night was beautifully clear,
but too cool for the enervated frame of an African voyager. We were tired
with dancing, and occasionally sat down; but the door-steps were all of
stone, and, though we buttoned our coats closely, it was impossible to
remain long inactive.

Near morning, we approached the door of the Cathedral, and were about to
seat ourselves, when we perceived a person crouching on the spot, and
apparently asleep. The slumber was not sound; for when we spoke, a young
girl, a mere rose-bud of a woman, about fourteen years of age, arose and
answered. She was very thinly clad; and, with her whole frame shivering,
the poor thing assumed an airy and mirthful deportment, to attract us. It
was grievous to imagine how many nights like this the unhappy girl was
doomed to pass, and that all her nights were such, unless when vice and
degradation procured her a temporary shelter. Ever since that hour, when I
picture the pleasant island of Madeira, with its sunshine, and its
vineyards, and its jovial inhabitants, the shadow of this miserable child
glides through the scene.

One of the most beautiful houses of worship I have ever seen, is the
English church, just outside of the city of Funchal. The edifice has no
steeple or bells, these being prohibited by the treaty between Portugal
and Great Britain, which permits the English protestants to erect
churches. You approach it through neat gravel walks, lined with the most
brilliant flowers, and these in such magnificent profusion, that the
building may be said to stand in the midst of a great flower-garden. The
aspect is certainly more agreeable, if not more appropriate, than that of
the tombstones and little hillocks which usually surround the sacred
edifice; it is one method of rendering the way to Heaven a path of
flowers. On entering the church, we perceive a circular apartment, lighted
by a dome of stained glass. The finish of the interior is perfectly neat,
but simple. The organ is fine-toned, and was skilfully played. Pleasant it
was to see again a church full of well-dressed English--those Saxon faces,
nearest of kin to our own--and to hear once more the familiar service,
after being so long shut out from consecrated walls!

Sunday is not observed with much strictness, in Madeira. On the evening of
that day, I called at a friend's house, where thirty or forty persons, all
Portuguese, were collected, without invitation. Music, dancing, and cards,
were introduced for the entertainment of the guests. The elder portion sat
down to whist; and, in a corner of the large dancing room, one of the
gentlemen established a faro-bank, which attracted most of the company to
look on, or bet. So much more powerful were the cards than the ladies,
that it was found difficult to enlist gentlemen for a single cotillion.
After a while, dancing was abandoned, and cards ruled supreme. The married
ladies made bets as freely as the gentlemen; and several younger ones,
though more reserved, yet found courage to put down their small stakes. I
observed one sweet girl of sixteen, standing over the table, and watching
the game with intense interest. Methought the game within her bosom was
for a more serious stake than that upon the table, and better worth the
observer's notice. Who should win it?--her guardian angel? or the gambling
fiend? Alas, the latter! She bashfully drew a little purse from her bosom,
and put her stake down with the rest.

The currency of Madeira is principally composed of the old-fashioned
twenty cent pieces, called cruzados, which pass at the rate of five for a
dollar. Payments of thousands of dollars are made in this coin, which, not
being profitable to remit, circulates from hand to hand.


Passage back to Liberia--Coffee Plantations--Dinner on Shore--Character of
Col. Hicks--Shells and Sentiment--Visit to the Council Chamber--the New
Georgia Representative--a Slave-Ship--Expedition up the St. Paul's--Sugar
Manufactory--Maumee's beautiful Grand-Daughter--the Sleepy Disease--the

_February_ 29.--We are on our return to Liberia. The ship is destined to
cruise along the whole coast, from Cape Mesurado to the river Gaboon,
touching at all important and interesting points. It will present the best
opportunity yet enjoyed, to observe whatever things worthy of notice the
country can present. Hourly, as we approach the coast, we perceive the
difference in temperature. It is a grateful change, that of winter to
summer. Last night was as mild as a summer evening at home. I remained on
the forecastle till midnight, enjoying the moonlight, the soft air, and
the cheerful song of a cricket, which had been, in some manner, brought on
board at Porto Praya, a week ago. He seems to be the merriest of the crew,
and now nightly pipes to the forecastle men.

Our ship slides along almost imperceptibly, yet gets over the sea
wonderfully well. She is a noble ship, stiff, fast, and dry. Her motion is
very easy, and her performance, whether in strong or light breezes, is
always excellent. Her grating-deck has been taken off, as it made her a
little top-heavy and uneasy, and detracted from her speed; and she is
infinitely better for the change.

_March_ 2.--Anchored at Monrovia, in less than eight days from Porto
Praya, although the winds were light, most of the time. Several of our
Kroomen, who left us, two months ago, completely dressed in sailor-rig,
came on board with only a hat and a handkerchief, and forthwith proceeded
to haul upon the ropes, as before.

6.--I have been walking through Judge Benedict's coffee-plantation, from
the condition of which I find little encouragement to persons disposed to
engage in the business. The trees are certainly not so thrifty, and are
apparently less in number than they were three years ago. There is little
or no weeding done; consequently, the plantation is overgrown with grass
and bushes, and looks as if the forest might, at no distant day, reclaim
its children. All the trees have been transplanted from the neighboring
woods, and, it is said, do not flourish so well as those raised from seed,
in nurseries. General Lewis has several thousand coffee-plants growing
from the seed, and, in two or three years, will have tested the
comparative advantages of this plan.

I dined ashore to-day. At the table were a Dutchman, a Dane, four American
officers, and Colonel Hicks. All, except myself, were good talkers, and
composed a delightful dinnerparty. Colonel Hicks, of whom I have before
spoken in this Journal, is one of the most shrewd, active and agreeable
men in the colony. Once a slave in Kentucky, and afterwards in
New-Orleans, he is now a commission-merchant in Monrovia, doing a business
worth four or five thousand dollars per annum. Writing an elegant hand, he
uses this accomplishment to the best advantage by inditing letters, on all
occasions, to those who can give him business. If a French vessel shows
her flag in the harbor, the Colonel's Krooman takes a letter to the
master, written in his native language. If an American man-of-war, he
writes in English, offering his services, and naming some person as his
intimate friend, who will probably be known on board. Then he is so
hospitable, and his house always so neat, and his table so good--his lady,
moreover, is such a friendly, pleasant-tempered person, and so
good-looking, into the bargain--that it is really a fortunate day for the
stranger in Liberia, when he makes the acquaintance of Colonel and Mrs.
Hicks. Every day, after the business of the morning is concluded, the
Colonel dresses for dinner, which appears upon the table at three o'clock.
He presides with genuine elegance and taste; his stories are good, and his
quotations amusing. To be sure, he occasionally commits little mistakes,
such, for instance, as speaking of America as his Alma Mater; but, on the
whole, even without any allowance for a defective education, he appears
wonderfully well. One circumstance is too indicative of strong sense, as
well as good taste, not to be mentioned;--he is not ashamed of his color,
but speaks of it without constraint, and without effort. Most colored men
avoid alluding to their hue, thus betraying a morbid sensibility upon the
point, as if it were a disgraceful and afflicting dispensation. Altogether
the Colonel and his lady make many friends, and are as apparently happy,
and as truly respectable as any couple here or elsewhere.

Coming to the beach, we found no boat; and nearly half an hour passed
before one arrived to take us on board. In the interim, I strolled along
the shore, picking up the small shells, which the waves had thrown in
abundance upon the sand. In the eye of a conchologist, they would have
been of little value, as all of them were common, and none possessed more
than a single valve. But the purple blush of the interior pleased me; and
what is more, I was gathering these trifles for a lady whom I have never
seen, yet whom I trust that I may venture to count among my friends. I
know that she will be pleased with the poor offering and its giver; for
each of these shells is linked with a thought that flew over the sea--from
the sunset shore of Africa to a fireside in New England--and returned
thence to the wanderer, bringing grateful fancies, reminiscences, and
hopes. It was a smiling half-hour.

9.--Ashore, and in the council-chamber. It is a spacious apartment on the
second floor of the stone building recently erected for the purposes of a
Legislative Hall and Court-House. The Governor presided, sitting in a high
backed rocking-chair; which, by the by, the natives call a "Missionary
Horse." The colonial Secretary acted as chief-clerk, and Doctor Prout, in
gold-bowed spectacles, as his assistant. An ungainly lad, with big feet
and striped hose, seemed to engross in his own person the offices of
door-keeper, sergeant-at-arms, and page. The council proper consisted of
ten members, who sat at separate desks, arranged semi-circularly in front
of the Governor. The spectators occupied rude benches in the rear of the

The question before the council related to the building of a market-house
in Monrovia, at the expense of the commonwealth, as proposed in one of the
sections of a bill to form a city government. This being a matter of some
interest, each member expressed his views, but with such brevity that the
whole debate occupied scarcely forty minutes, although several individuals
spoke twice. This conciseness was less a virtue of choice than necessity,
being attributable chiefly to the fact, that the presiding officer set his
face against all vagaries of eloquence, and kept the speakers strictly to
the point. If one wandered in the least, he was instantly called to order,
and compelled to take his seat, upon the slightest deviation from the
rules of the house. One of the members was a wilder specimen of humanity
than even our legislative bodies at home have ever presented to an
admiring world. He was a re-captured African, representing New Georgia, an
uncouth figure of a man, who spoke very broken English, with great
earnestness, and much to the amusement of his brother counsellors and the
audience generally. I regret my inability to preserve either the matter or
the manner of so original an orator.

Here, as in the various other situations in which I have seen him placed,
Governor Roberts acquitted himself as a dignified, manly, and sensible
person. Deriving his appointment from the Society at home, he can act with
more independence, in an official capacity, than if indebted to the voices
of the members for his position.

15.--At sea again, on our way to Gallenas.

17.--Fell in with the English brig-of-war Ferret. Our captain went on
board, and was told that she had been engaged with a large slaver, four
days ago. Previous to the action, the slave-ship went to Gallenas, where
the Ferret's pinnace was at anchor. She ran alongside of the boat, with
three guns out on a side, and her waist full of musketeers--a superiority
of force in view of which the pinnace did not venture to attack her; and
the ship took in nine hundred or a thousand slaves, and went off
unmolested. At sea, she encountered the Ferret, and was fired into
repeatedly by that vessel, during the night, but succeeded in making her
escape. The slaver was under Portuguese colors, and is said to have been
formerly the American ship Crawford, now owned by Spaniards, and bearing a
Spanish name.

18.--Again came to an anchor at Monrovia.

19.--Just returned from an excursion up the St. Paul's river. Three
officers, in company with Dr. Lugenbeel, left Monrovia seasonably in the
forenoon, in one of our boats, rowed--and well rowed too--by five Kroomen.
Near the village, we passed from the Mesurado river through Stockton's
creek, seven or eight miles, to the St. Paul's. Our first landing was at
the public farm, where the manufacture of sugar was going on. Twelve
Kroomen (whose power, in this country, is applied to as great a variety of
purposes as those of steam and water in our own) were turning the mill by
two long levers, walking round and round in one interminable circle, like
the horse in an old-fashioned bark-mill. Three or four boys fed the mill
with cane, which about a score of colonists were employed in cutting and
bringing in by small armsfull, from a field in the immediate vicinity. The
overseer, Mr. Moore, and a few other persons, were occupied in boiling the
cane-juice. Mr. Moore informed me that sixteen Kroomen were employed on
the premises, at three dollars per month, and twenty-five colonists at
sixty-two and a half cents a day, besides their food. This year, they make
about thirty barrels of sugar (which will cost at least twenty-five cents
per pound), and two pipes of molasses. The cane, now in process of
manufacture, is very small and unprofitable, all of the larger kind having
been already ground. The sugar-house is a wretched building, with a
thatched roof, and the sides roughly boarded like a cow-shed. There were
four boilers in full bubble, and ten thousand bees in full buzz about the
establishment; the insects bidding fair to hoard up more profit than the

Mr. Moore had accompanied the Niger expedition in the capacity of farmer,
and resided nine or ten months on the model farm, without undergoing the
prevalent sickness. While almost every white man perished, the colored
colonists all survived. A large amount of property was left in the charge
of Mr. Moore, and he returned with the expedition to England. As
superintendent of the public farm, he now receives from the Colonization
Society a salary of three hundred dollars.

Leaving the farm, we soon entered the St. Paul's, a noble river, which
comes rolling onward from the yet unexplored interior of the country.
Following its course a mile or more towards the sea, we arrived at
Maumee's Town, a village of thirty or forty huts, where a considerable
slave-trade was carried on, until broken up by the colonists under
Governor Ashman. Old Maumee still resides here, and cherishes a bitter
hatred against the Liberians, and all Americans and Englishmen, as having
caused the ruin of her profitable commerce. The old hag was not now at
home, having obeyed the custom of the country by retiring to a more
secluded spot, for the purpose of nursing a sick granddaughter. The
persons who remained were quite uninteresting. The only noticeable group
was composed of two women, one lying flat on her face, with her head in
the other's lap. Her hair being combed out as straight as the tenacity of
its curls would allow, her friend was arranging it in that fine braid with
which it is customary to cover the head.

Having procured a guide, we crossed the river, and, at the mouth of
Logan's creek, exchanged our boat for a large canoe, in which we followed
the windings of the deep and narrow inlet for nearly two miles. This
brought us to a village of six huts. Without ceremony, we entered the
dwelling of the old Queen (who was busied about her household affairs),
and looked around for her grand-daughter, to see whom was the principal
object of our excursion. On my former visit to Maumee's town, four or five
months ago, this girl excited a great deal of admiration by her beauty and
charming simplicity. She was then thirteen or fourteen years of age, a
bright mulatto, with large and soft black eyes, and the most brilliantly
white teeth in the world. Her figure, though small, is perfectly
symmetrical. She is the darling of the old Queen, whose affections exhaust
themselves upon her with all the passionate fire of her temperament--and
the more unreservedly, because the girl's own mother is dead.

We entered the hut, as I have said, without ceremony, and looked about us
for the beautiful grand-daughter. But, on beholding the object of our
search, a kind of remorse or dread came over us, such as often affects
those who intrude upon the awfulness of slumber. The girl lay asleep in
the adjoining apartment on a mat that was spread over the hard ground, and
with no pillow beneath her cheek. One arm was by her side--the other above
her head--and she slept so quietly, and drew such imperceptible breath,
that I scarcely thought her alive. With some little difficulty she was
roused, and awoke with a frightened cry--a strange and broken murmur--as
if she were looking dimly out of her sleep, and knew not whether our
figures were real, or only the phantasies of a dream. Her eyes were wild
and glassy, and she seemed to be in pain. While awake, there was a nervous
twitching about her mouth and in her fingers; but, being again extended on
the mat, and left to herself, these symptoms of disquietude passed away;
and she almost immediately sank again into the deep and heavy sleep, in
which we found her. As her eyes gradually closed their lids, the sunbeams,
struggling through the small crevices between the reeds of the hut,
glimmered down about her head. Perhaps it was only the nervous motion of
her fingers; but it seemed as if she were trying to catch the golden rays
of the sun and make playthings of them--or else to draw them into her
soul, and illuminate the slumber that looked so misty and dark to us.

This poor, doomed girl had been suffering--no, not suffering, for, except
when forcibly aroused, there appears to be no uneasiness--but she had been
lingering two months in a disease peculiar to Africa. It is called the
"sleepy disease," and is considered incurable. The persons attacked by it
are those who take little exercise, and live principally on vegetables,
particularly cassady and rice. Some ascribe it altogether to the cassady,
which is supposed to be strongly narcotic. Not improbably, the climate has
much influence, the disease being most prevalent in low and marshy
situations. Irresistible drowsiness continually weighs down the patient,
who can be kept awake only for the few moments needful to take a little
food. When this lethargy has lasted three or four months, death
comes--with a tread that the patient cannot hear, and makes the slumber
but a little more sound.

I found the aspect of Maumee's beautiful grand-daughter inconceivably
affecting. It was strange to behold her so quietly involved in sleep--from
which it might be supposed she would awake so full of youthful life--and
yet to know that this was no refreshing slumber, but a spell in which she
was fading away from the eyes that loved her. Whatever might chance, be it
grief or joy, the effect would be the same. Whoever should shake her by
the arm--whether the accents of a friend fell feebly on her ear, or those
of strangers, like ourselves, the only response would be that troubled
cry, as of a spirit that hovered on the confines of both worlds, and could
have sympathy with neither. And yet, withal, it seemed so easy to cry to
her--"Awake! Enjoy your life! Cast off this noon-tide slumber!" But only
the peal of the last trumpet will summon her out of that mysterious sleep.

On our return, we passed under the branches of the mangrove tree, and
pulled some of the long fruit or seed. This singular seed is about fifteen
or sixteen inches long, and in its greatest diameter not more than an
inch. It is round, heavy, and pointed at both ends. When ripe, it detaches
itself from a sort of acorn, to which the smaller end has been firmly
joined, and falls with sufficient force to implant itself deeply in the
mud. After a few days, it begins to shoot, and soon becomes a tall
mangrove. This tree has many strings to its bow; for, while the seed is
growing, as here described, the branches send down slender and cord-like
shoots, perhaps thirty feet long, and less than an inch in thickness.
These strike into the mud, and aid in giving sustenance to the tree. Thus
the Mangrove presents the appearance of a large tree, supported by
hundreds of lesser trunks, standing so thickly together as to be
impassable for even small animals. Therein it differs from the tree
described by Milton, to which it otherwise seems to bear an analogy:--

"In the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother-tree, a pillar'd shade,
High overarched, and echoing walks between!"

Returning to the ship, we found it lighted up, and the Theatre about to
open. The scenery has been much improved, since the last performance, and
the actors are more perfect in their parts.


The Theatre--Tribute to Governor Buchanan--Arrival at Settra Kroo--Jack
Purser--The Mission-School--Cleanliness of the Natives--Uses of the
Palm-Tree--Native Money--Mrs. Sawyer--Influence of her Character on the
Natives--Characteristics of English Merchant-Captains--Trade of England
with the African Coast.

_March_ 21.--The scenery of the theatre having been damaged by the rain,
the other night, it is spread out to dry, and will be re-painted. Much
interest is felt in the Drama, and the exertions of the performers are
rewarded with full houses nightly. Some of the actors have evidently
trodden other boards than these. Among two hundred men, many of whom have
led wild and dissipated lives on shore, it is easy to suppose that enough
are familiar with the theatre in front of the curtain, and a few behind
it. Thus a tolerable company has been collected, needing only a few female
recruits to render it perfect. The dresses and scenery were procured by
general subscription, and are showy as well as appropriate; and many a
manager might deem himself fortunate to engage the whole corps, with
wardrobe and decorations included, for a summer campaign. On board ship,
our buskined heroes are of more importance than Booth, Forrest, or
Macready ashore, as affording amusement to a set of fellows who would have
precious little of it, without this resource.

22.--At 3 P.M. up anchor for the leeward, and stand off with a good

23.--We have passed Bassa Cove, merely sending in some letters by a
Kroo-canoe, which boarded us. A considerable settlement of colonists is
established here. Many of their houses are visible along the shore, while
two smaller villages, in the immediate vicinity, are concealed by the
woods. The bar at this place has a bad reputation; several boats having
been swamped in passing it. In 1836, ten persons, including a midshipman
and purser's clerk, were drowned here, by the capsizing of a boat
belonging to the frigate Potomac.

At Bassa Cove, in 1842, died Thomas Buchanan, Governor of Liberia; a man
who has identified his name with the existence of the colony, by his
successful exertions to promote its strength and respectability. No other
person had done so much to impress the natives with awe and respect for
the colonists, and to give Liberia an independent position in the eyes of
foreigners. A year before his death, it was my good fortune to be a
shipmate of this great and excellent man; for great and excellent I do not
hesitate to call him, although the remoteness of his sphere of action has
left his name comparatively obscure. Like all who came in contact with
him, I was deeply impressed with his pure, high, determined, and chivalric
character. In a grove, near the village, he selected a spot for his
burial; and there rest the remains of a finished gentleman, an
accomplished scholar, a fearless soldier, a wise legislator, an ardent
philanthropist, and a sincere Christian. So long as Liberia shall have a
history, Governor Buchanan will be remembered in it. Honor to his ashes!

24.--Sunday. No service to-day, in consequence of a heavy rain, which
commenced at nine in the morning, and continued till one in the afternoon.
In the evening, four or five miles from land, we were boarded by the mate
of an English brig, at anchor off Grand Botton. He seemed a well-disposed,
off-hand man, telling us, among other things, that he had run away from
the U.S. schooner Enterprise, in the Pacific ocean, four years ago. This
was rather a hazardous communication to make, on the deck of a national
vessel; and it so happened that one of our lieutenants was in the
Enterprise, at the time referred to, and remembered the circumstance and
the man. However, as he had put confidence in us, we did not molest him.

25.--Anchored at Settra Kroo.

26.--Ashore, and dined upon roasted oysters, in a native hut. A large,
shrewd Krooman, Jack Purser by name, seems to be the most important
private individual here. He is the great tradesman of the place, and very
accommodating in his mode of transacting business. We saw a specimen of
his dealings with the natives. Being told that we wanted wood, he sent
intelligence through the town; and, directly, many women and girls flocked
to his house, each with a bundle of wood upon her head, which she
deposited near the door. After twenty or thirty loads had been brought,
Jack Purser came forth with a bundle of tobacco under his arm, and threw
the price of each load upon the wood, one, two, or three leaves of
tobacco, according to its size. There was no haggling, as is invariably
the case when a white man is the customer, but all assented to the
decision of the trademan. Jack Purser is a man of fortune, if the number
of his wives, twenty-nine, be a criterion.

I saw a native doctor making his "greegree," or charm, for rain. There
were two large mortars, with leaves, bark, and roots, in each, and a long
vine extending from one to the other. Into these mortars he poured water,
until it ran over.

27.--Dined on shore, at Mrs. Sawyer's. The repast consisted of bits of
mutton in palm-butter, mutton roasted, rice, palm-cabbage, chicken, and
papaw, with coffee, but no wine. There are thirty children in the
Mission-school, mostly boys, who show considerable aptitude for learning.
It is an obstacle in the way of educating girls, that many of them are
betrothed before entering school, and, just when their progress begins to
be satisfactory, their husbands claim them and take them away. Mr. Wilson
adopted the plan of taking the pair of betrothed ones; and, after pursuing
their studies in unison (doubtless including the conjugation of the verb,
to love), they left the school together.

One of the scholars, a little fellow called Robert Soutter, took a strange
fancy to me, and followed everywhere at my heels, expressing a strong wish
to accompany me to Big America. When we returned to the ship, he actually
jumped into the boat, without saying a word, and came off, ready for the
voyage. To be sure, there were few preparations requisite to rig him out.
A handkerchief about his loins comprised all the earthly goods of Robert

The houses at Settra Kroo are often two stories high, with piazzas round
the whole. The entrance to the upper story is by a ladder from without.
Like other native houses, they are built with bamboo, and thatched. There
being a war with other portions of the Kroo-people, the Beachmen have been
obliged to plant cassada in the town itself, instead of the neighboring
fields. Hence high fences are necessary to keep out the cattle; and these,
being irregular, make it a kind of labyrinth for a stranger. The place is
one of the best on the coast for watering ships, in the dry season. A
large stream of sweet and clear water runs through a grove of palm-trees,
to the sea. Hither come all the women of the village, in the old
scriptural fashion, with the water-jar, holding three or four gallons, on
the head. The consumption of water by the natives is very great. Whether
it be part of their religious ritual, I know not--although cleanliness is
in itself a religion--but the whole population wash themselves from head
to foot, at least twice a day, in fresh water, when to be procured. These
naked people, however, are as much averse as ourselves to being wet by the
rain; and every man of consequence has his umbrella, to protect him both
from sun and shower.

Palm-trees are more abundant here, than in any place which I have visited
on the coast. No tree, as has been said a thousand times, is so useful as
the palm. It gives a good shade, and is pleasing as an ornamental tree.
The palm-nut is very palatable and nutritious for food, and likewise
affords oil, the kernel as well as the pulpy substance being available for
that purpose. Palm-wine is the sap of the tree; and its top furnishes a
most delicious dish, called palm-cabbage. The trunk supplies fire-wood,
and timber for building fences. From the fibres of the wood is
manufactured a strong cordage, and a kind of native cloth; and the leaves,
besides being used for thatching houses, are converted into hats. If
nature had given the inhabitants of Africa nothing else, this one gift of
the palm-tree would have included food, drink, clothing, and habitation,
and the gratuitous boon of beauty, into the bargain.

I have procured some of the country-money. It is more curious than
convenient. The "Manilly," worth a dollar and a half, would be a fearful
currency to make large payments in, being composed of old brass kettles,
melted up, and cast in a sand-mould. The weight is from two to four
pounds; so that the circulation of this country may be said to rest upon a
pretty solid metallic basis. The "Buyapart," valued at twenty-five cents,
is a piece of cloth four inches square, covered thickly over with the
small shells called cowries, sewed on. The other currency consists
principally in such goods as have an established value. Brass kettles,
cotton handkerchiefs, tobacco, guns, and kegs of powder, are legal tender.
[Footnote: Specimens of the native money have been presented by the author
to the National Institute at Washington.]

29.--Mrs. Sawyer was on board yesterday. It is not without regret that we
part with this interesting, energetic, and truly Christian woman. She is
the only white person here, and lives alone among a tribe of savages, as
safe, and perhaps more so, than in a civilized city. The occasional visits
of vessels of war prevent any evil-minded person from molesting her; but
she has little need of guardianship of this nature; for her own kind acts,
and purity of character, will always ensure her the respect of the
natives. Mrs. S. told us, that, before her husband died, the war-king of
the Settra Kroos had quarrelled with him, and was his enemy at the time of
his death. Not long afterwards, this war-king came to Mrs. Sawyer, and
assured her of his protection and assistance to the utmost of his power,
which is very great, as he commands all the fighting-men of the tribe. I
know not that the power of feminine excellence has ever been more
strikingly acknowledged, than by this act of an incensed and barbarous
warrior. Somewhat of her influence, as well as that of the missionaries
generally, is probably owing to her color. Many of the natives look with
contempt on the colonists, and do not hesitate to tell them that they are
merely liberated slaves. On the other hand, the colonists will never
recognize the natives otherwise than as heathen. Amalgamation is scarcely
more difficult between the white and colored races in America, than it is
in Africa, between the "black-white" colonist and the unadulterated

On our arrival here, we found an English brig, whose commander has been
once on board of us. He has a large assortment of trade-goods of all
sorts, and his vessel is fitted up with a view to comfort in living, as
well as the convenience of trade.

A native colored woman has her residence on board, as his washerwoman and
stewardess, and likewise, if the captain be not belied, in a more intimate
relation. To-day, also, came in another English brig, the master of which
has a female companion, filling the same variety of offices as the former.
Many of the English trading vessels retain such persons on board, during
the whole time they are on the coast. The masters, so far as we have had
opportunity to observe, have generally been hard-drinking unscrupulous
men. Few of them hesitate to avow their readiness to furnish slavers with
goods, equally with any other purchasers, if they can make their profit,
and get their pay. There is great jealousy among the traders, and much
underhand work to get the business from each other. They have native
trade-men in their interest, all along the coast, watching their rivals,
and preparing to take any advantage that may offer. Profound secrecy is
observed as to their movements and intentions. The crews of some vessels
are seldom allowed to visit the shore, lest they should give information
about the affairs of the master.

Not a few of the reports about American slavers spring from this jealousy
of trade. The masters of English merchant-vessels, jealous of the
Americans, and desirous to engross the trade to themselves, report them to
the British cruisers as suspicious vessels. The cruiser, if he give too
ready credence to the calumny, will probably overhaul the American, and
perhaps break up his voyage; he being, nevertheless, as honest as any
trader on the coast. But the ends of the Englishman are answered; he sells
his cargo, and cares little about the diplomatic correspondence that may
ensue, and the possible embroilment of the two nations.

English vessels far outnumber all others on the coast. Dr. Madden, the
commissioner to examine the condition of the British colonial settlements,
reports the total imports into England from the West Coast of Africa, in
1836, at L800,000. In 1840, the exports of British products to Africa
amounted to L492,128, in the transportation of which, 72,000 tons of
shipping were employed. The government and people of England are giving
great attention to this coast, as an important theatre of trade.

A committee of the House of Commons, in 1842, made extensive and minute
inquiries into the subject, and published a great mass of interesting
information. They recommended, that the Crown should resume the
jurisdiction of several forts, on the Gold Coast, which have been given up
to a committee of merchants; and that there be new settlements
established, and block-houses erected at various points.

The English have lost the gum-trade, by the French subsidizing the King of
the Trazars, who holds the key to the gum-country; and the mahogany-trade
has been destroyed by that of Honduras, the wood from which is of a better
quality. The experiment on the part of the English, of carrying African
rice to compete with that of America, has likewise failed.

The subject of American Trade with the west of Africa is so important,
that it may be well to devote a separate chapter to some account of its
nature, and the methods of carrying it on.


American Trade--Mode of Advertising, and of making Sales--Standard of
Commercial Integrity--Dealings with Slave-Traders--Trade with the
Natives--King's "Dash"--Native Commission-Merchants--The Gold Trade-The
Ivory Trade--The "Round Trade"--Respectability of American
Merchant-Captains--Trade with the American Squadron.

More vessels come to the coast of Africa from Salem than from any other
port in the United States; although New York, Boston, and Providence, all
have their regular traders. Some of these trade chiefly to Gambia or
Sierra Leone; others to Gallinas, Monrovia and down the coast, touching at
different points. Others, again, go to the Gaboon river, and the islands
of Princes and St. Thomas; and some stretch still farther south, to
Benguela, and beyond. Most American vessels bring provisions, such as
flour, ship-bread, beef, pork, and hams, which are bought chiefly by the
European or American colonists. The natives, however, are yearly acquiring
a taste for them. The market being often overstocked, this part of the
trade is precarious. Other exports are furniture, boots and shoes, wooden
clocks, and all articles of American manufacture, or such as are used
among civilized men. All the vessels bring New England rum, leaf-tobacco,
powder, guns, large brass pans, and cotton cloth. On these points, a great
deal of correct information has been given by Dr. Hall, and may be found
in some of the numbers of the African Repository.

The mode of trading has some peculiarities. On arriving at a civilized
settlement, the captain sends his "list" ashore to some resident merchant.
This list contains a schedule of his cargo, with the prices of each
article annexed, and the kind of pay required. Some take only cash. Most
vessels, however, take the productions of the country at a stipulated
price; for instance, camwood at, say, sixty dollars per ton, palm-oil, at
twenty-five to thirty-three cents per gallon, ivory, ground or peanuts,
gold dust, and gum. At the Cape de Verd islands, salt, goat-skins, and
hides, are the chief commodities received in exchange; at Gambia, hides;
at Monrovia, Cape Palmas, and other settlements in Liberia, camwood and
palm-oil are the great staples. There is likewise some ivory, but not in
large quantity. On the Gold Coast, the trade is in gold-dust and palm-oil;
at the Gaboon, in ivory and gold-dust,--and at Benguela, in gum.

The "list" being put up conspicuously in the merchant's store (such being
the method of advertising in Liberia, where the newspapers are not made
use of, for this purpose), the traders, purchasers, and idlers, come to
see what is for sale. The store becomes, for the time being, the public
Exchange of the settlement, where people assemble, not merely with
commercial views, but to hear the intelligence from abroad, and to diffuse
it thence throughout the country. In due time, the captain comes on shore
with his samples, and individual purchasers bargain for what they want.
The captain receives payment, whether in cash or commodities, and weighs
the camwood, or measures the palm-oil, at the merchant's store. If credit
be given, the merchant is responsible, and receives a perquisite of five
per cent on all sales. The captain takes up his residence on shore, and
sends for goods from his vessel, as they are wanted; while the mate and
crew remain on board, to despatch and receive the cargo. Every vessel has
in its employ several Kroomen, by whom all the boat-service is performed.

When the demand for goods appears to have ceased, the captain either takes
his unsold cargo away, or leaves a portion to be disposed of in his
absence, and sets sail for another settlement. Here the same process is
gone through with, and so on, until the cargo is sold. The captain then
turns back, touching at the several places where he has left goods, to
receive the proceeds, and thence home to America, for a new cargo. Regular
traders have numerous orders to fill up, from persons resident on the
coast; taking care, of course, to allow themselves a good profit for their
trouble and freight. The trade with the colonists is easy and sufficiently
plain; the only difficulty being the somewhat essential one of obtaining
payment. Colonial traders, in abundance, are eager to buy on credit; but,
possessing little or no capital, they often fail to satisfy their

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