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[291] climate of Africa is salubrious, nor whether the mortality among the emigrants has been excessive, nor whether the colony is in a prosperous condition, nor whether the transportation of our whole colored population can be effected in thirty years or three centuries, nor whether any slaves have been emancipated on condition of banishment; but whether the doctrines and principles of the Society accord with the doctrines and principles of the gospel, whether slaveholders are the just proprietors of their slaves, whether it is not the sacred duty of the nation to abolish the system of slavery now, and to recognize the people of color as brethren and countrymen who have been unjustly treated and covered with unmerited shame. This is the question—and the only question.

There follow thirty-eight pages of ‘Introductory Remarks,’ in which Mr. Garrison defends the sincerity of his opposition to the Society; tells how he was converted from a favorable opinion of it by examining its reports for himself; cites all the specifications he has brought against it in the Liberator and in his “Address to the free people of color” in 1831; declares his friendliness to voluntary colonization, whether in Liberia or elsewhere, but shows, by a review of the history of Liberia, that the boasted evangelization of Africa has been neglected—that forts and murderous wars, on the one hand, and rum and tobacco, on the other, have formed the basis of propagandism among the natives, while the colony itself is left in intellectual darkness, so that there are ‘two ignorant and depraved nations to be regenerated instead of one’:

One of these nations is so incorrigibly stupid, or 1 unfathomably deep in pollution, (for such is the argument,) that although surrounded by ten millions of people living under the full blaze of gospel light, and having every desirable facility to elevate and save it, it never can rise until it be removed at least three thousand miles from their vicinage!—and yet it is first to be evangelized in a barbarous land, by a feeble, inadequate process, before it can be qualified to evangelize the other nation!2

1 Thoughts, p. 33.

2 Fifty years later (1881) a friend of colonization and Liberia, after reviewing the deplorable condition of the republic, concludes: We shall be wise if we accept the condition imposed upon us, and do not persist in crowding upon the shores of Liberia ship-loads of poor, ignorant, and improvident negro laborers, to die or to degenerate to a state very nearly approaching their original barbarism, in the vain hope that we shall thus evangelize Africa The Liberian republic as it is, by George R. Stetson, p. 26. Boston: A. Williams & Co.

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