Bound for Liberia: An Article from the Charleston Courier

From GenealogyBank, November 7, 1866, here is an article from the Camden Journal, reprinted from the Charleston Courier.



From the Charleston Courier.


The African Colonization ship Golconda, Capt. Joseph Miskelly, will sail from this port on Saturday or Sunday next, with six hundred and fifty emigrants for Liberia.

We learn from Mr. Wm. Coppinger, Agent of the Society, that some three or four weeks ago there were twelve hundred applications for passage to Liberia this fall. The Society has also received numerous letters of inquiry from parties anxious to go in the spring. The passengers to go by the Golconda are mostly from South Carolina and Georgia, some three hundred being from Columbia, Newberry and other places in the interior of the State.

The voyage generally takes from thirty-five to forty days. Two of the parties are old residents of Liberia, returning home. These are a Dr. Isaac H. Snowden, who has been residing in Liberia some fifteen years, and the Rev. H. W. Erskine, who was taken there when a small boy by his parents from Knoxville, Tenn., and, after a residence there of thirty-six years, is now on a visit to America. He is now Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia. He takes with him his sister, 70 years old, and her husband, with their children, grand-children and great-grand-children.

The Rev. John Seys, Consul General for the United States Government and resident Minister at Liberia, who has crossed the ocean sixteen times, also goes out in the Golconda.

The Golconda was bought by the African Colonization Society last September and fitted out for an emigrant ship for this purpose. The vessel was purchased for $30,000, and the expense of provisioning and fitting her up has cost some $50,000 more, in all $80,000.

The emigrants are given free passage, and are supported by the Society for six months after their arrival at Liberia, by furnishing them with provisions and a house to live in. Grants of from five to ten acres of land are given, according to the size of the family.

Mr. Coppinger gives some interesting statistics in relation to the population, trade, etc.

Liberia is on the West coast of Africa. The Republic has six hundred miles of sea coast, and extends inland from fifteen to forty miles.– The soil was bought from the native proprietors, they having jurisdiction and ownership. The Americcan colored population is about fifteen thousand, colonized by the above Society. There are about three hundred thousand natives residing on the soil, all amenable to the laws of the Republic. Public schools have been established and there are several seminaries sustained by missionaries of this country. The college at Monrovia has a faculty of four colored men with about forty students. The college is in a most flourishing condition.

Considerable quantities of sugar, coffee and cotton are raised for export, and a large trade is springing up. During the war this trade was mainly with Great Britain, but it is now taking this direction, where it naturally belongs. Palm oil, and article peculiar to Africa, and obtained from the palm tree by the natives, is also a chief article of export. It is used mainly for the making of palm soap and for lubricating machinery. The value of the article exported in 1864 amounted to two million pounds sterling, or ten millions of dollars.

No white person is allowed to own land in Liberia or become a citizen of the Republic.

A tract of the Colonization Society gives the following account of a sugar planter:

Mr. Jesse Sharp, who was a house painter at Charleston, S. C., removed to Africa in 1852: had a few acres of cane on the St. Paul’s river, has aided in getting a mill by a judicious Vice-President of the American Colonization Society, and made his first shipment of sugar to the United States in March, 1859. He has been steadily adding to his fields of cane every year. In 1863, a much larger mill, with improved machinery, was advanced to him by two active friends of Africa, costing about two thousand dollars. This he paid for in 1864, with warm expressions of gratitude, and in the fall of 1865, he had some two thousand dollars in money in New York for the purchase of goods, and over twenty thousand pounds of sugar and nine thousand gallons of molasses undisposed of at home.

The editor of the Liberia Herald says:

“For the information of those who are incorrectly asserting in America that “Liberians have not anything else to eat but roots and wild animals,” we have thought proper to give a list of such animals, fruits, and edibles as are in general use with us in their appropriate season.

Animals–Domesticated--Cows, bullocks, swine, sheep, goats, ducks, fowls, pigeons, turkeys. Wild–Deer in abundance; partridges, pigeons, goats, cows, doves, red squirrels, summer ducks, rice birds, ground doves, etc.

Fruit–Water melon, musk melon, mango plums, orange, rose apples, sour sop, guava, tamarind, plantain, bananas, grammadilla, limes, lemons.

Fish–Mullet, whiting, perch, pike, bream, baraconta, mackerel, cursalli, herring, drum, catfish, grippers, oysters, crabs, carp, sun.

Edibles–Sweet potatoes, arrow root, turnips, carrots, shilote, cymblain, chiota, pawpaw, lima beans, ochra. peas, radishes, beets, cabbages, snaps, cucumbers, greens, salads, cassavas, yams, corn.

Besides the foregoing, there are many others, which we have neither time nor room to arrange here.

A coffee tree once planted and reared (which takes four years) will yield its increase two crops a year, year after year, bringing its reward with it–a hundred, a thousand, and tens of thousands, will do the very same, and certainly the scions, or the seed, are to be bought in sufficient quantities in Liberia. Arrow root, ginger, pinders, and pepper, grow with almost half trouble, yielding in full abundance if half planted. Indigo grows luxuriantly beyond all possible expectation; and as for fruits, the orange, lime, lemon, sour sop, guava, mango, etc, etc, we place Liberia against any country in the world, and with a fraction of labor, compared with the benefits they yield. Vegetables–the yam, potatoes, cassada, plantains, Indian corn, beans, peas, etc, etc, time would fail us to tell. Put them in the earth, and they are as sure to produce as the God of nature is to bring about the seasons. Still the idle will not have them. The lazy man has no part in this lot of good things. The word labor frightens the lazy man, and he will not curse us with his presence and example. The industrious love that word, or the thing it means, will come determined to do, and coming will conquer and be rewarded.”


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