To do justice to the natural history of Africa, and to introduce to the public its various sources of commerce, would require a union of political interests, and vigorous execution, which none but government can apply with full effect.
The principal outline which I have endeavoured to confine myself to, is a recital of such traits of the disposition and character of the natives, as seem requisite to be understood to form an accurate judgment of the present condition of Africa. The advantages that may possibly result not only from moral, but political considerations, in forming upon sure principles, agricultural and mercantile establishments, calculated to instruct and civilize the Negroes employed in the necessary avocations, will unfold the fertility of their soil which is now left to nature; and will also fulfil the expectations of a rational humanity, while it might rapidly expel slavery and the Slatee trade, to the establishment of civilization, and more natural commerce. I have also endeavoured to demonstrate the eligibility of the position of the river Sierra Leone, from whence a controlling and administrative authority might employ the resources of the Windward Coast from Cape Verde to Cape Palmas, at the same time submitting solely to the wisdom of government, the propriety of annexing Senegal to our possessions on the coast; which of course would tend to the total exclusion of France from this part of the world.
I have besides dwelt upon such positions, as appear to me best calculated to establish factories of trade and agricultural operation; and upon the nations whose barbarism must first be subdued, in order to influence other tribes, and to obtain a free intercourse with the interior, and have pointed out those chiefs whose dispositions and influence, would greatly co-operate to facilitate this beneficent undertaking.
The rivers I have dwelt upon, are surrounded with fertile lands and a numerous population, and may be navigated a considerable distance into the interior country; and by reducing all operations to one well adapted system, under the guidance of experience, moderation, and wisdom, I am firmly persuaded that success will be the result.
What I have said relative to the present state of the natives of Africa, may tend to demonstrate the nature of the opposition, which civilization has to guard against, and the barbarism it has to contend with. The condition of a free Negro in Africa is easy and contented, and the class of slaves attached to them, are satisfied with their fate. They only are to be lamented, who are procured from condemnation, either for real or imaginary crimes, or who are taken in war; and it is from this class that slaves are procured by other nations. It is a remarkable circumstance, that the major part of these unhappy creatures come from the interior, and that the maritime places which have had intercourse with Europeans, afford only a small number of slaves; and I am persuaded,