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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.

1853NY2of2.18.pdf

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48

enough to ESCAPE at the end of this period, the best part of his life has been spent in a profitless servitude, and he is turned adrift without anything he can call his own, except a sheepskin on his back.” "At that time (1798– 1802) the Hottentots were a miserable, abject race of people ; generally living in the service of Boors, who had so many of them that they were thought of little value as servants, and were treated more like brute beasts than human beings. Indeed, the colonists in those days scarcely considered them human; they were mostly naked; seldom was one of them to be seen with any other clothing than the sheepskin caross, together with a piece of jackall's skin for the men, and a wretched sort of leathern apron for the women, attached to a girdle of rawhide, which encircled, their loins. Their food was commonly the flesh of old ewes, or any animal the Boor expected to die from age. If he was short of that, he shot a few quagges or other game for them. Their wages were generally a few strings of glass beads in the year, or, when the Boor returned from a journey to Cape Town, a tinder-box and knife were considered a reward of faithful services. Perhaps a very obedient man, and more than commonly industrious, got a heifer, or a couple of ewes, in a year. And if by accident any of these poor wretches happened to possess a few cattle, there was often some means fallen upon by the Boor to get rid of him, and thus his cattle became his master's. When a Hottentot offended any Boor or Booress, he was immediately tied up to the wagon wheel, and flogged in the most barbarous manner; or if the master took a serious dislike to any of these unhappy creatures, it was no uncommon practice to send out the Hottentot on some pretended message, and then to follow and shoot him on the road; and when thus put out of the way, his relations durst not make any inquiry about him, else they were also severely punished. Such was the condition in which we found the natives of that period.”

Such were the blessings that the Dutch conferred upon Africa by their colonization, after a lapse of nearly half a century.

II. The eighteenth century opened upon Africa, with TWO NEW SCHEMES OF COLONIZATION.

First--The British government commenced colonizing whites.

Secondly--It was about that time, the Americans began to turn their attention to Africa, for the purpose of colonizing free colored persons.

As early as 1798, an American Naval Officer, (Lieut. Stout,) being at the Cape, wrote a long letter to John Adams, then President of the United States, urging the importance of colonizing the free colored people in that part of Africa, as a counter movement of the British government, which was about to seek an opening there for portions of her population. Thus it is seen that jealousy of Great Britain had something to do with the origin of this scheme. The letter in question was published, and your committee regret they have not been able to find a copy. This they regret the more, because they have little doubt, that although no official notice was ever taken of the letter, yet, access to it in the State Department, WHERE IT IS NOW, has done much to form the opinions of Presidents, Secretaries, Senators and Representatives on this subject. It should also be kept in mind, that just about this time, an alarm began to prevail that the British Islands would soon be over-populated. The crown had just lost the thirteen colonies, and was not disposed to encourage emigration hither, no, not even to the Canadas, knowing that many would re-emigrate to the United States. The point of contest was obvious. The United States had a sufficiency of labor in the persons of free colored people, but she wanted also to rival Great Britain in population. The United States well knew that the class of population they would get from Britain would be laborers. Political economy cautioned them against over-stocking their infant Republic with labor. To get over the difficulty, this plan was adopted :-- dismiss the negroes, who have hewn our wood and drawn our water, while we were preparing ourselves to become independent, and who helped us to fight our battles of independence, send them to Africa. and then we shall be in a position to receive Britain's redundant population. Your committee are serious and candid in the opinion, that these views entered fully into the original policy of colonization. How far they accord with

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