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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.
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that generous, and statesman-like spirit, which was due from the States, to their sable sons, they will leave you to judge. It must be added, however, that the attempt to counter-move the British crown in South Africa was an utter failure; Britain took South Africa from the Dutch, and soon began to colonize there, whites from England, Scotland and Ireland. The Americans then turned their eyes to Western Africa.
Your committee now ask your attention to this singular coincidence, that those two schemes of colonization began about the same time, the British colonizing whites; and the Americans colonizing colored men on the same continent, but from entirely opposite motives; Britain, to relieve herself from what she believed to be over-grown population; America, to relieve herself from what she calls obnoxious population. The influence of British colonization upon South Africa, and the interior and western coast, has been a curse to Africa; the whites there have nearly exterminated several tribes, to make room for themselves. They seized on the best lands, without paying the owners. The Caffres have for forty years held them in check, without arms, ammunition, or military tactics. They have fought like men, guarding their ancestor's tombs. But the whites have paid no regard to the African's love of home or veneration for his father's grave. The white in the land of Ham has been cruel and rapacious. He has outlawed the African in his own land, he has taken from him thirty thousand square miles of maiden land, at the dash of a pen. He has robbed him of twenty-five thousand head of prime cattle, as a day's job! This is not fiction. On the 30th day of April, 1820, five thousand whites landed on the shores of Africa, with a patronage of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars from their government! To give a view of the motives which prompted this emigration, on the part of the persons themselves, we will make an extract from the writings of one of the the best men among them. He says, "I had two objects in view, in emigrating to Africa. One was, to collect again into one social circle, and to establish in rural independence, my father's family, which untoward circumstances had broken up, and began to scatter over the world," &c. &c. Such is a specimen of the feeling with which these five thousand whites went to Africa. At that period there were seventy-five thousand others, of the same sort, demanding admission into the land of Ham. With all the liberality of the British people towards the African, (and we distinguish between the government and the people of the country,) your committee regret that they are not able to report any material change for the better, in the treatment of the natives by the whites, since the colony came under the control of the British crown, except relieving the remnant of the Hottentots from abject slavery. But this one good act of the government seems to have been overbalanced, and more, by the unparalleled cruelty tolerated towards the Caffres. The Caffres, as a race, have generally been equal, and sometimes more than a match for the whites. Indeed, in reading the history of the Caffre war, for forty years, (the longest on record, except the second Punic—forty-seven years,) it seems that the mortal offence of that noble race is, that they consider themselves quite equal to, if not superior to white men; and that they have done much to prove the truth of their opinion. Forty years ago, a Dutch Boor took a farm near a ford, on the banks of the great Fish River, over which the Caffres frequently drove their cattle. His fences were bad, and the Caffres' herds sometimes got into his fields. The plan he adopted, to retaliate, was to take of such trespassing cattle, one out of three, and two out of five, &c. After suffering considerable loss in this way, the Caffres became cautious; but with their utmost care, the Boor still got his toll, in the shape of two or three fine cattle, every time a Caffre crossed with a flock. At length several Caffres combined, and set a watch over the Boor's plan of operation; and obtaining positive knowledge that he regularly decoyed their cattle into his fields, they went and complained to their chief. That he might act upon indubitable evidence, he send two reliable men to lie in watch, and ordered his own cattle to be driven over the river. The Boor, the rapacious old Boor, seized three of the Royal Kine. The men reported to the chief, who went with his forces, and took his cattle vi et armis. The Boor flew to the governor, and represented that the chief had robbed him. The matter was examined or explained, but the
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