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were fettered, we are destitute of that instinct which compels the very brute to preserve its existence : or that we cannot see the drift of a Frenchman's exhortation? We are, to adopt thy own terms, born slaves or free, and are yet considered rebellious and revolted. We were, indeed, the slaves of despots; the idea, far from exciting a blush, is our pride. We were not slaves from inclination or misconduct, but were made so by the cruelty of thy countrymen. Our swords have conquered again our native rights; we have wiped away in their detested blood the spots of slavery! Spots they were indeed! It would be disgraceful, in the last degree disgraceful, were we to cease to be free, and resume once more the chains of despotism. But to remove slavery and regain liberty, at what period would not this be a glorious deed?
Go then, and derive from whatever source thou thinkest proper, thy exhortations and thy menaces! We shall, as thou hast said, return either to our former condition, or perish. This we thought of long ago, and our election is made. We can cease to exist; we cannot cease to be free.
Thunder, as thou tellest us, strikes the sturdy oak, and respects the humble cane. Hurl then thy thunders at the oak, or play thyself the part of the humble cane : base, servile, creeping, it is suited to thy character.
We long to hasten to a conclusion : we feel ourselves freed from an enormous burthen. The soul is weary and the heart ready to break, when forced into an ocean of ills, prejudices, and oppression. When will the period arrive at which France shall cease to exercise a tyranny so unprecedented, a persecution so severe and disgraceful?
When shall French writers cease to profane the august name of Europe by their insults and menaces ? Have not we also claims to the regard of Europe ? Is not our independence an object most interesting to Europe, most worthy of attracting notice, the attention of the philosopher, and the admiration of mankind ? Is tiot our return to life a new confirmation of the rights of nations ? Does it not supply undoubted proof, that Africa is capable of civilisation, and that happiness and knowledge may be diffused throughout the earth.'
*If we were not under the necessity of curtailing our remarks, we might introduce in this place some ideas on African civilisation.
Africa, we are of opinion, can be civilised only by a conquest, of which the object is civilisation, and not in imitation of the conduct of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the iwo Indies. Manners cannot be changed, established customs and prejudices cannot be destroyed, except by powerful means. If you speak to men, who cannot understand you, you preach to the deserts. To influence men who are buried in profound ignorance, they must be en
If men feel interested in the happiness of men, and if it be the province of philanthropy to subdue the force of passion and prejudices; ought not the world, instead of repressing our exertions, instead of interposing to prevent the increase and improvement of our social condition; ought it not to lend assistance ? What do we ask, that cannot be granted ? Liberty, independence, and peace !
Liberty ! the natural inheritance of all men. Independence ! so dearly purchased by us, and paid for by torrents of blood ! Peace! which we so well deserve after 25 years of war, trouble, and miseries ! Peace, which we ask only in order to cultivate more securely, agriculture, commerce, industry, arts and sciences.
At a moment when great and powerful princes occupy the thrones of Europe ; princes who, themselves enlightened, are surrounded with men whom wisdom, knowledge, and philanthropy have made illustrious; it is in such a moment we venture to raise our voice. We hope their hearts will be touched, and that they will throw on the people of Hayti, a look of kindness, protection, and benevolence. And you, my brethren, who are lately born to a new life, render thanks with me to the Creator of the universe, who has vouchsafed to rescue us from a state of slavery, ignorance and barbarism, to impart to us the blessings of civilisation and comfort. Let us show ourselves worthy of those blessings, which we never can sufficiently appreciate, by applying, every day, to a nobler and better use, our independence and liberty !
lightened. Perhaps the Germans, Gauls, and Britons would have been barharians, if it had not been for the conquests of the Roman's. The Romans theinselves owed their civilisation to ihe Greeks alone, and the Greeks to the Egyptians.
Sir, It has often occurred to me, that it would be a useful plan, if persons who had directed their attention to political subjects, were occasionally to print short statements of their opinions, to be circulated among persons of power and influence in the government of the country; and also to be sent to such intelligent persons, as might furnish additional useful information. Having, occasionally, adopted that plan myself, I have been led, at your request, and at the desire of several friends, to collect some scattered papers, printed by me, but never published, and to send them for insertion in your valuable repository.
Persons are often discouraged from drawing up fugitive pieces, from the little attention that is generally paid by ministers to such communications. But it often happens that papers of that description, when opportunely drawn up, and properly circulated, have, indirectly, more beneficial effects than the authors themseves are ever aware of. The situation of ministers in this country, also, is peculiar ;-for there never was so extensive an empire, that had so complicated a government, and such insufficient numbers to carry it on. The consequence is, that the public offices are frequently overwhelmed with business ; much of which, on that account, is either totally neglected, or imperfectly done. In regard to our public establishments, indeed, it ought always to be kept in view, “ That, as the same clothes which may fit a youth of twelve years of age,
will not suit him when he becomes a man ; same establishments that might be sufficient for England when it was a separate kingdom, could never answer when it became united to Scotland and Ireland ;--and far less, since it has become the mistress of such immense possessions, in every quarter of the globe.”
JOHN SINCLAIR. Ormly Lodge, Hum Common,
14th Sept. 1818.