Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816.

In order to obtain these results, it is evident that it would be no less essential to preserve the colonies from the scourge of arbitrary authority, from the excesses of power, which always accompany abuses, injustice, and corruption.  When favor and caprice are the only laws that are attended to; when intrigue supplies the place of merit; when cupidity succeeds to honorable industry; when vice and meanness are titles to distinctions, and the true means of making a fortune; when honours are no longer synonimous with honour; then society presents only disorder and anarchy, then people renounce obscure virtue, and laborious acquisition to follow the easy ways of corruption; then enlightened men, for whom public esteem is a sterile recommendation, the true servants of the king, the faithful friends of their country, are forced to disappear, to withdraw from employments, and the interest of the public, as well as that of humanity, is miserably sacrificed to the basest calculations, to the most guilty passions.

He who desires the end, desires the means of attaining it.  The end at present, should be to prepare every thing beforehand, and rather sooner than later, in order to repair in Africa the past losses and disasters, which irremediable events have caused in the Western Colonies, and to substitute for their riches their prosperity, the progressive decline of which is henceforward inevitable, new elements of wealth and prosperity:  the means will be to carry into these countries, so long desolated by our relentless avarice, knowledge, cultivation, and industry.  By these means we shall see in that vast continent numerous colonies arise, which will restore to the mother country all the splendour, all the advantages of her ancient commerce, and repay her with interest for the sacrifices she may have made in the new world.  But to effect this, let there be no more secret enterprises; no more connivance at fraudulent traffic, no more unhappy negroes snatched away from their families; no more tears shed on that sad African soil, so long the witness of so many afflictions; no more human victims, dragged to the altars of the shameful, and insatiable divinities, which have already devoured such numbers:  consequently, let there be no more grounds for hearing in the English Parliament, voices boldly impeaching our good faith, attacking the national honour, and positively asserting that France maintains in her African possessions, the system of the slave trade in the same manner as she did before she consented to its abolition.

Africa offers to our speculators, to the enterprises of our industry, a virgin soil, and an inexhaustible population peculiarly fitted to render it productive.  It must be our business to form them according to our views, by associating them in these by a common interest.  In conquering them by benefits, instead of subjugating them by crimes, or degrading them by corruption, let us lead them to social order and to happiness, by our moral superiority, instead of dragging them under scourges and chains to misery and death, we shall then have accomplished a useful and a glorious enterprise; we shall have raised our commercial prosperity on the greatest interest of those who have been the voluntary instruments of it, and above all, we shall have expiated, by an immense benefit, this immense crime of the outrages, with which we so long afflicted humanity.

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Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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