A Desperate Plea for a Divine Plan

August 19, 1850: By Jonas Johnston

Washington, D.C.- The American Colonization Society, which founded Liberia in 1830 with the assistance of our good President James Monroe1, has recently put out a request for the people of the United States to raise twenty thousand dollars in a fundraising attempt to buy and establish a series of vessels to transport freed blacks back to Africa2. The Society, currently headed by Bushrod Washington, the nephew of our great founding father George Washington, conceived originally by the Presbyterian minister Rev. Robert Finley3, asks for two hundred generous donors, who will each contribute one hundred dollars to this Godly service4. The Society, fully distinguished as ‘The American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color in the United States’5, recognizes that payments may be made in sums of ten at a time, as to not impact daily functions or personal necessity for the funds6.

Readers may remember when The Society was founded in 18167, upon the realization by the Reverend Finley, and many private sponsors, that although the bonds of slavery were unholy, the blacks of America could never truly be part of civilization, along with the fact that they would take jobs from the average working man. Through compensation to slave owners upon taking their slaves, it was theorized that the collected slaves could be returned to Africa, where they would charitably spread God’s word to the savages. Little opposition questions this divine plan, but comes only from blacks who have never truly felt the severity of slavery as it is in the deep South, such as Mr. Frederick Douglass, who says, “Shame upon the guilty wretches that dare propose, and all that countenance such a proposition. We live here- have lived here- have a right to live here, and mean to live here.”8 Mr. Douglass, although well-meaning, highlights the importance of educating civilians of this Godly plan. Even the black President of Liberia, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, whom we have included a photo of, has been quoted saying that living in Africa is, “free[in190537-004-9A9C1D3Dg] from the demoralizing and wilting influence of the Slave trade [of America].”9 In acknowledging the long-known fact that blacks cannot and will never be able to be integrated into American society, Mr. Roberts encourages others to follow in his footsteps to the sovereign nation of Liberia.

Mr. Frederick Douglass was born the bastard of a slave mother and white mother in the great state of Maryland in 1818. Although he was treated quite well in his childhood, upon being moved back to the countryside, he was kept and treated in brutal conditions at the hands of Mr. Edward Covey, his owner. Mr. Douglass eventually found refuge after escaping to New Bedford, Connecticut, he continues still his tirade against the institution of slavery, a sickening decision even after this man has condemned his kind to the same cruel fate10. Mr. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a Virginian, however, the son of free blacks, and immigrated to Liberia with his family at the age of twenty to become a merchant. Mr. Roberts, along with his current position as president of Liberia, has strived to mend relations between the savage tribes of Africa and the civilized colonists. Mr. Roberts has truly seen the tremendous benefits the blacks have to gain by leaving the United States for Liberia11.
Along with the generous action of releasing the slaves from their bondage, in turn dissuading the rebels from inciting a black rebellion, the average American man would profit from the black return to their homeland by the promise of commercial resources in Africa, which could be collected before a vessel’s turn to America. God’s grace will shine upon those righteous men who assist in spreading the word of Christ, through funding, to allow the foundation of colonies built in the name of Christianity12. Although The Society’s original funding was supplemented by members of Congress, the great states of Virginia and Maryland, and multiple private donors, The Society hopes that a subscriber system will connect the average worker to a great, Godly, and just cause13.


Bibliography:
1. “American Colonization Society .” PBS. Accessed April 24, 2017.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3p1521.html.

2. Brenton, Felix. “American Colonization Society (1816-1964).” American Colonization Society (1816-1964) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Accessed April 24, 2017. http://www.blackpast.org/aah/american-colonization-society-1816-1964.

3. “American Colonization Society .” PBS. Accessed April 24, 2017.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3p1521.html.

4. Brenton, Felix. “American Colonization Society (1816-1964).” American Colonization
Society (1816-1964) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Accessed April 24, 2017. http://www.blackpast.org/aah/american-colonization-society-1816-1964.

5. Ibid.

6. “Colonization.” The Native American, October 05, 1839. Accessed April 24, 2017.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86053569/1839-10-05/ed-1/seq-4/#date1=1810
&index=11 &rows=20 words=American COLONIZATION Colonization
Society &searchType=basic sequence=0 &state=& date2=1860&proxtext=American
Colonization Society Ny=0&x=0 date FilterType=yearRange page=1.

7. “American Colonization Society .” PBS. Accessed April 24, 2017.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3p1521.html.

8. Douglass, Frederick. “The North Star: Colonization.” Douglass on Colonization. January 26,
1849. Accessed April 24, 2017. http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/abar03at.html.

9. Roberts, Joseph Jenkins, Wagner &. McGuigan’s, and Rufus Anson. “The
African-American Mosaic Liberia.” Liberia – The African-American Mosaic
Exhibition | Exhibitions (Library of Congress). July 23, 2010. Accessed May 02, 2017. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam003.html.

10. “Frederick Douglass.” PBS. Accessed May 02, 2017.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p1539.html.

11. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Joseph Jenkins Roberts.” Encyclopædia
Britannica. June 27, 2016. Accessed May 02, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Jenkins-Roberts.

12. “Colonization.” The Native American, October 05, 1839. Accessed April 24, 2017.
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86053569/1839-10-05/ed-1/seq-4/#date1=1810
&index=11 &rows=20 words=American COLONIZATION Colonization
Society &searchType=basic sequence=0 &state=& date2=1860&proxtext=American
Colonization Society Ny=0&x=0 date FilterType=yearRange page=1.

13. Brenton, Felix. “American Colonization Society (1816-1964).” American Colonization
Society (1816-1964) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Accessed April 24, 2017. http://www.blackpast.org/aah/american-colonization-society-1816-1964.


Image Citation:
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Jenkins-Roberts.

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