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THE LIBERATED AFRICANS,
Series of Letters
YOUNG LADY TO HER SISTER,
IN 1833 & 34.
SOLD BY LONGMAN & CO. PATERNOSTER ROW
AND ALL BOOKSELLERS IN TOWN
FROM the interest which my account of SIERRA LEONE contained in the following Letters excited in my friends, I am induced to hope that their publication may be acceptable in general as an unprejudiced narrative of the Liberation, Location, Instruction, Habits, and Disposition of the Liberated Africans; and also a slight sketch of the principal Animals and Productions of Sierra Leone.
To such as are in any way connected with that Colony, or with the Missionary Societies, this Pamphlet may perhaps be doubly interesting; for even without those inducements, what can be more entertaining, as well as instructive, to an enlightened mind, than to contemplate the advance of religion and civilization amongst a people who have hitherto ranked so far below the rest of the world in every thing that raises man in the scale of creation?
The discovery of America became by the avarice and cruelty of European nations, the greatest calamity that ever befel Africa; her Sons were from that time encouraged in their internal wars, by a sure and lucrative sale for their captives; and even when peaceably employed, torn from their country, their homes, and all they loved best on earth to lead a miserable life on a foreign shore. The hourly dread of such a fate must be sufficient to damp
the energies of any people, and deprive them of every wish for improvement: for although they do not regard captivity, and consequently slavery in their own country, as more degrading than being a prisoner of war is considered among us, yet when all chance of being freed by their own friends obtaining the ascendant is taken from them, their situation beecomes truly dreadful even in their own estimation. England may justly pride herself on having been the first to express her abhorrence of the inhumanity with which they are treated, by making every effort for their freedom and instruction. Their freedom has, by Treaty, Law, Force, and the establishment of the Colony of Sierra Leone, been in a degree effected by Government; but for their instruction the liberated Africans are almost wholly indebted to the exertions of the individuals belonging to the Missionary Societies, who sacrifice their comfort and hazard their lives for their benefit; and nothing can be more meritorious than their conduct in this colony, where they have such arduous difficulties to encounter in the ignorance of the people and malignity of the climate. However, through those exertions, and from the earnest desire to profit by them (evident in the liberated Africans) we may fairly hope that Sierra Leone will become in time a great and powerful nation, willing and capable, independent of Europeans, of civilizing the rest of Africa. Then may England glory in having raised millions of immortal souls from the grossest Idolatry, Ignorance, and Barbarity.
I AM truly thankful to be able to tell you that we anchored yesterday evening about five o'clock, and that we have had a very fair voyage. But I have not improved in my seamanship at all; the rough channel weather completely knocked me up; and although we had fair wind from the time we left the Lizard Point till within 600 miles of Sierra Leone, yet I never recovered myself so far as to really enjoy a single day. How strikingly does one feel the difference between living and existing on board ship, for they are certainly not synonimous terms. It appears to me that one can do nothing but eat and drink from morning till night: I may literally say that I lived but one short hour, and that was spent in admiring the magnificent Peak of Teneriffe rising above a bank of clouds. It was some time before I could be persuaded that it was really the snowy Peak I saw, for my imagination could never have conceived such a height.
You will expect a regular account, therefore I