To my great regret the gentleman stated that under existing circumstances the project, all important as he confessed it to be, was almost impracticable; so strong being the influence of the enemies of colonization that they would dissuade any colored persons so educated from leaving the United States.
I know that he was thoroughly acquainted with the subject in all its bearings, and therefore felt that he must have good reasons for what he said; still I hoped the case was not so bad as he thought, and, at any rate, I looked forward with strong hope to the time when the colored race would, as a body, open their eyes to the miserable, unnatural position they occupy in America; when they would see who were their true friends, those who offered them real and complete freedom, social and political, in a land where there is no white race to keep them in subjection, where they govern themselves by their own laws; or those pretended friends who would keep the African where he can never be aught but a serf and bondsman of a despised caste, and who, by every act of their pretended philanthropy, make the colored man’s condition worse.
Most happily, since that time, the colored race has been aroused to a degree never before known, and the conviction has become general among them that they must go to Liberia if they would be free and happy.
Under these circumstances the better the education of the colored man the more keenly will he feel his present situation and the more clearly he will see the necessity of emigration.
Assuming such to be the feelings of the colored race, I think the immense importance of a collegiate institution for the education of their young must be felt and acknowledged by every friend of the race. Some time since the legislature of Liberia passed an act to incorporate a college in Liberia, but I fear the project has failed, as I have heard nothing more of it since. Supposing however the funds raised for such an institution, where are the professors to come from? They must be educated in this country; and how can that be done without establishing an institution specially for young colored men?
There is not a college in the United States where a young man of color could gain admission, or where, supposing him admitted, he could escape insult and indignity. Into our Theological Seminaries a few are admitted, and are, perhaps, treated well; but what difficulty they find in obtaining a proper preparatory education. The cause of religion then, no less than that of secular education, calls for such a measure.