On the morning of the 18th I bad my grateful adieu to Madeira, and the friendly roof of Mr. Wardrope and his united family, the abode of conjugal affection, friendship, and hospitable reception; and at 2 P.M. went on board. We weighed anchor under the protection of the Favorite, the Arab continuing at her moorings. Passing between the grand Canary and close in with Teneriffe, we arrived safe at the island of Goree, on the 5th of November, without our commodore, under convoy of the Favorite. The ship Andersons having freight to deliver at that island, we continued there until the 12th, and again resumed our voyage; arriving, without accident; at Bance Island, which I have previously noticed, on the 22d of the same month.
My residence was confined to this island, and in excursions through the neighbouring countries, until the 4th June, 1806, during which period, and from a general intercourse with an extended circle of chiefs, natives, and traders, I have been enabled to decide upon the situation of this country, and to form a conclusive opinion of the condition and character of its inhabitants, and its commercial resources.
From these sources of intelligence, and the example this island displayed, with observations upon the conduct and management of the Sierra Leone company, I first conceived the system that I shall hereafter delineate, upon which the African’s condition may be effectually improved, and his hereditary slavery exterminated.
[Illustration: BANCE ISLAND, in the RIVER SIERRA LEONE. The Property of John & Alexander Anderson Esq. London.]
The natives of Africa resident upon the coast, are uniformly considered as more ferocious and barbarous in their customs and manners, less numerous in population, and more encroaching and deceitful, than those of the interior. While this formidable opposition exists, and the baneful influence of barbarous habits continues, it is in vain to look to remuneration by natural commerce, or to the establishment of civilization. The African’s barbarity must be first here assailed, and the infinite resources upon the coasts and maritime rivers must be developed to his view, to pre-dispose him to refine his condition, and adopt the civilized habits of life; nor is there any site which I have met with upon the Windward Coast of Africa, more calculated to promote this beneficent undertaking, than the island of Bance, from its locality of situation, being central to windward and leeward operation, commanding an extensive circle of interior country, and being long established in the estimation of the natives of an extended district. But more of this subject in order.
Observations upon the natural Productions of the River Sierra Leone.—The Author explores its Branches, interior to Bance Island, the Rochelle, and the Port Logo.—The Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants.—Their Commerce.—The Author’s safe Arrival at Miffare.