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on War, Revolution, and Peace 



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LIBERIA 




A Mandingo 



^Frontispiece 



LIBERIA 



By 

SIR HARRY JOHNSTON 

G.C.M.G.. K.C.B.. D.Sc. 

Gold Medallist Royal Geographical, Royal Scottish Geographical, and Zoological Societies 
Author of "The Uganda Protectorate," ** History of the Colonisation of Africa," etc. 



WITH AN APPENDIX ON THE FLORA OF LIBERIA 

By 

DR. OTTO STAFF, F.L.S. 

Principal Assistant, Kew Herbarium 



28 Coloured Illustrations by Sir Harry Johnston 
24 Botanical Drawings by Miss Matilda Smith 

402 Black and White Illustrations from the Author's Drawings 
and from Photographs by the Author and others 

22 Maps by Mr. J. W. Addison. Capt. H. D. Pearson, R.E., 
Lieut. E. W. Cox, R.E., and the Author 



*' A more enviable renown England never won— no, not when from the reluctant hand 
of the throne she wrung the Charter of her liberties, not when beneath the raging waves 
she sank the Spanish Armada, not even when her power struck down Napoleon— than 
when the perishing African cried to her and she listened and saved." 

R. R, Glrlev (one of the founders of Liberia), 

Philadelphia, U.S.A., 1839 



IN TWO VOLUMES 
VOL. I 



New York 

DODD, MEAD & COMPANY 

1906 



219367 




I. SURF OFF LIBERIAN COAST 



PREFACE 



THE Republic of Liberia is an attempt and an atonement 
in which the author of this book takes a great interest. 
It is an attempt to establish a civilised Negro State in the 
West African forest ; and a somewhat paltry atonement which 
has been made by Britain and her Daughter in America, for 
the wrong-doing of the slave trade. As France shared to 
some extent this traffic in negro bondsmen, we may claim her 
sympathy and participation also in the Liberian experiment. 
She holds back her mighty forces and the tidal wave of her 
African Empire from the skirts of this small African republic, 
wherein the descendants of slaves impressed with European 
culture may try to devise a new and appropriate civilisation 



Preface ^ 

for Negro West Africa : preserving all that is good and 
practical of America's teaching, shedding what is inappropriate, 
and inventing additional precepts suited to the Negro's mind 
and body. Personally, the author thinks the main future of 
those negroes in the United States who cannot be absorbed 
into the American community without risk of civil war lies 
in the West Indies and in portions of Tropical South America. 
He believes they have become too widely separated in physical 
constitution, in political and commercial ideals from Africa to 
resume with ease the African citizenship of their forefathers. 
For good or for ill, they must populate some portion of America, 
as partners with the white man or as a race by themselves. 
But amongst their millions some few thousands, now and 
again, may choose to try an African career. There is plenty 
of room for such adventurers within the 43,000 square miles 
of the Liberian Republic, room and to spare ; for this country, 
properly tilled and drained, cleared and cultivated, might easily 
sustain a population of twenty millions. 

The author classes Liberia as an attempt as well as an 
atonement. It is but a tiny portion of the African continent, 
soon to be (with the exception of Abyssinia, perhaps) the only 
truly independent African State which we have set apart for 
the unfettered development of the black race. We have allowed 
them to take — which means that we have given them — a little 
garden in which to show what their husbandry can do. To this 
careless gift we should at least add Time. We should not 



■^ Preface 

flurry them or worry them by expecting fifteen thousand, twenty 
thousand, twenty-five thousand Americanised Negroes to eflfect 
in a hundred years as much as P>ance and England could do 
in other portions of Negro Africa with unlimited resources 
in arms, men, and money, during the same period of time. 
Let us claim for Liberia at least another half-century of trial 
before the world in congress pronounces decisively upon the 
success or failure of the experiment. 

The author of this book first visited the coast of Liberia in 
1882; again in 1885 and 1888 he landed at one place and another 
on its shores, collected in its forests, and took sketches or 
photographs of its people, animals, or plants. After a consider- 
able interval of time, he re-visited Liberia in the summer of 
1904 and the winter of 1905-6, and during these visits took 
a considerable proportion of the photographs which illustrate 
this book, besides painting numerous studies in colour. On 
these last occasions the author compiled most of the vocabu- 
laries printed in this work, and acquired a good deal of the 
information — such as it is — which is here given. For portions 
of this book he is greatly indebted to the help of other people. 
In the first place. Dr. Otto Stapf of the Botanical staff at the 
Royal Gardens, Kew, has, with the consent of Sir William 
Thiselton Dyer, prepared a most valuable annotated list of the 
known flora of Liberia. A good deal of his information is 
acquired from the collections made on behalf of the Liberian 

Development Chartered Company and the Liberian Rubber 

vii 



Preface ^ 

Corporation by Mr. Alexander Whyte, M.A., F.L.S. Mr. 

Whyte was the first European, or indeed collector of any kind, to 
botanise in the liberian hinterland. His work as a collector in 
African botany may not unfitly be classed with that of Adanson, 
Hooker, Vogel, Mann, Schweinfurth, and Kirk. After thirteen 
years' service in the East and Central African protectorates he 
visited Liberia in 1903-4 to report on the flora of the 
country for the information of the two companies above men- 
tioned. Dr. Stapf has also derived much material for his treatise 
from the collections of Herr Dinklage (of Messrs. Woermann), 
and from those made by the foresters in the employ of the 
Liberian Rubber Corporation — Messrs. David Sim, Harold 
Reynolds, J. Cosh, and F. J. Whicker. 

The author has to thank the Directors of the Liberian 
Chartered and Monrovian Rubber Companies for the information 
derived from the botanical and zoological collections made by 
their employes which are now in the national collections at Kew 
and the British Museum. He has also used in this book a 
number of interesting photographs taken for the Liberian 
Development Company by Sir Simeon Stuart, Bart., Mr. T. H. 
Myring, the Due de Morny, Mr. J. P. Crommelin, and others. 
The Liberian Government or the Liberian Consul-General in 
London (Mr. Henry Hayman) has also placed photographs at the 
author's disposal, and he owes the use of others to Mr. G. W. 
Ellis, Secretary to the American Legation at Monrovia. Mr. 

C. H. Firmin, of the Sierra Leone Railway, has most kindly lent 

viii 



^ Preface 

the author a number of photographs illustrating the native 
industries, fauna, and scenery of the Western Liberian border- 
land. The botanical drawings for the book have been done by 
Miss Matilda Smith of the Kew Herbarium. In regard to the 
nomenclature of the mammals and birds, the author is indebted 
to Mr. Oldfield Thomas and Mr. C. Chubb, of the British 
Museum, for much assistance, and also to Mr. G. A. Boulenger 
for information regarding the reptiles and fish. Miss E. M. 
Rowdier Sharpe has examined and classified the butterflies. Mr^ 
R. I. Pocock has contributed some notes on the spiders. 

In compiling the lists of fauna, the author has to acknow- 
ledge his indebtedness to the work of Professor J. Battikofer^ 
who has laid the foundations of our biological knowledge of this 
interesting part of Africa. 

The author has received much information on Liberian 

commerce, history, and peoples from the American Minister 

to Liberia, Dr. Ernest Lyon, and from the General Manager 

of the Chartered and Rubber Companies, Mr. I. F. Braham. 

He has also to acknowledge assistance from the Liberian Rubber 

Corporation's foresters, Messrs. Harold Reynolds, D. Sim, F. J. 

Whicker, Maitland Pye-Smith, John Gow, and Percy Newman. 

Dr. E. W. Blyden, Liberian Minister to France, has been of 

great help in checking the historical account of modern Liberia,. 

a country of which he is a citizen, and with which he has been 

intimately connected since 1851. 

The Royal Geographical Society and Captain H. D. 

ix 



Preface ^ 

Pearson, R.E., and Lieut. E. W. Cox, R.E., have permitted 
the reproduction in this book of their map of the Sierra Leone- 
Liberia Boundary region. The rest of the maps have been 
•compiled and drawn specially for this book by Mr. J. W. 
Addison, of the Royal Geographical Society, from the Admiralty 
charts, the work of Dr. Biittikofer, the French, British, and 
Liberian frontier surveys, and from information supplied by 
Messrs. I. F. Braham, Maitland Pye-Smith, P. Newman, 
Conrad Viner, Harold Reynolds, and the author. 

So far as labour and expenditure go, the author's own 
■share in this work has been considerable. He cannot pretend 
that the book will be of general interest : Liberia may seem 
to many, in the words of R. L. Stevenson, " a footnote to 
history" ; although to the author it appears from many points 
of view the most interesting portion of the West African coast- 
lands. Its area is trivial — 43,000 square miles, more or less — 
but within these limits are locked up, he believes, some of the 
great undiscovered secrets of Africa, besides an enormous wealth 
of vegetable products, and perhaps some surprises in minerals. 
Here, also, is being tried the most serious and cautious ex- 
periment in Negro self-government. This book is an advance 
on the few works which have preceded it, merely because it 
is written sixteen to twenty years later, and in the meantime 
our knowledge of the country has increased. But Liberia^ 
like The Uganda Protectorate, is only an attempt to put before 
the reading world some information about a little-known part 



^ Preface 

of Africa. Perhaps the author may be enabled in subsequent 
editions to extend the scope and usefulness of this present 
study of Liberia by corrections and additions. 

Lastly, he feels he owes some explanation to his readers 
outside the limits of Liberia. If in his description of the 
■country and its productions he has stated obvious facts or has 
illustrated types familiar to men of science or to people who 
are widely read, he has done so, not with British readers 
in his thoughts, but in the desire to produce a book which 
may be primarily useful to untravelled Liberians, especially to 
those who are as yet unacquainted with the history, the fauna, 
flora, and anthropology of their own country. 

H. H. Johnston. 
London, 1906. 




2. MLSURAUO LAGOON 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

THE following list of books will be of use to students of Liberia, 
and some of them constitute the principal authorities for 
statements made by the author when not writing from his own 
experience or researches : 

I. History of Liberia down to 1822 

A History of Ancient Geography^ 2 vols., by Sir E. H. Bunbury, 2nd 
edition, 1883. 

Prince Henry the N'dvigafor, by Charles Raymond Beazley, 1895. 

T/ie Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea, Translated 
from the Portuguese by Gomez Eannes de Azurara, by C. R. Beazley and 
Edgar Prestage. (Hakluyt Society : with a very valuable introduction on the 
history of early African exploration, etc., by C. R. Beazley.) 2 vols. 1899. 

Chronica do Descobrimento e Co?u/uista de Guine, pelo chronista Gomez 
Eannes de Azurara (edition Visconde de Santarem, 1841).— It is useful to 
scan the Portuguese version as well as the English translation in regard to 
the spelling of place names. 

Relation des Voyages a la Cote occidentale d'Afrique d'Aloise de Ca' 
da Mosto, 1455-7- Publiee par M. Charles Schefer, 1895. Paris. — The cele- 
brated Italian geographer, Ramusio, published several sumptuous works at 
Venice about 1550 on the voyages of Ca' da Mosto and others. All or 
nearly all the editions of this Italian work may be seen at the British 
Museum Library. As in the case of the above-mentioned Portuguese works, 
it is interesting to see the Italian version for the checking of place names. 

Consideration sur la Priority des Dccouvertes maritimes sur la Cote 
occidentale d'Afrique aux XIV' et XV' Siecles, par L. G. Binger (published 
by the Comit^ de I'Afrique franc^aise, Nos. 4, 5, and 6 of Kenseignements 
coloniaux for April, May, and June, 1904). — This is a most valuable 
summary of all the evidence dealing with the Norman voyages to Liberia. 
It also contains a subsidiary bibliography of the fullest description. 

Afemoria Sob re a Prioridade dos Dcscobrinientos Portuguezes na Costa 
d' Africa Occidental, pelo V^isconde de Santarem, 1841. 

Revista Portugueza Colonial e Maritima, Lisbon, May 20th, 1898. 

Les derniers Jours de la Marine a Rames, by Admiral Jurien de la 
Graviere, Paris, 1885. 

Les Marins du XV' et du XVI' Siecles, 2 vols., by Admiral Jurien de la 
Graviere, Paris, 1879. 



Bibliography ^ 



Levi Hits Hulsius^ Theii VII., Siebende Schiffart, etc., Frankfurt, 1606. 

Ltvinus Huhius, Theii AVA'., Braitn's Voyages to Guinea, Frankfurt, 
1626. 

Hakluyfs Voyages, especially that portion dealing with the coast of 
Ciuinea in the sixteenth century. 

Description de VAfrique, Traduite du Flamand d'O. Dapper, Amsterdam, 
1686. — The celebrated work by Dr. Olivier Dapper, a Dutch surgeon who 
visited the Guinea coast in the latter half of the seventeenth century. 

Re marques sur les Cotes d\4frique, et Notamment sur la Cote d'Or, pour 
justifier que les Francais y out etc Longtemps auparavant les autres Nations^ 
by Villault de Bellefonds (1666-7). 

Description of the Coast of Guinea, etc. — Written originally in Dutch 
by William Bosman, etc., London, 1721. 

A New Voxage to Guinea, etc., by William Smith, London, 1745. — 
Much of this is borrowed from Bosman, but the notices of the Grain Coast 
are original. 

Essay on Colonisation, Particularly applied to the Western Coast of 
Africa, etc., by C. B. Wadstrom, in two parts, London, 1795. — ^ copy of 
this work in the possession of the Royal Geographical Society contains some 
rather amusing marginal notes by *' William Dickson, LL.D." According 
to Dickson's story, this work was " Really compiled by W. Dickson, Mr. 
W'adstrom having furnished only a small part of the material, namely, the 
contents of his voyage to the coast of Africa. Commercial queries, and 
certain Swedenborgian doctrines (namely, such as W. D. could not get 
excluded), claim Mr. Wadstrom as their author, the language having been 
corrected where possible by W. D." Dickson, according to his own account, 
was a sort of *' ghost " who did literary work for Wadstrom, and whose 
salary remained much in arrears and unpaid at the time oi Wadstrom's 
death. I^ickson seems rather to have resented the mixture of commercial 
enterprise with philanthropy which inspired the work of Wadstrom and his 
supporters in England, and he pencils at the bottom of the title-page : 

For the pale fiend, cold-hearted Commerce, there 

Breathes his gold-gendered pestilence afar, 

And calls to share the prey his kindred demon \^Vi\.-~Southey. 

Wadstrom's book, though it contains many fantastic notions about 
colonisation, nevertheless throws an interesting light on the condition of 
W^est Africa at the end of the eighteenth century. 

A History of the Colony of Sierra Leone, Western Africa, by Major 
J. J. Crooks (formerly Colonial Secretary), London, 1903 (Simpkin, Marshall 
& Co.). — An excellent compilation. 

A Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Africa, by the late 
John Leyden, M.D., etc., Edinburgh, 181 7. — This is a compilation remark- 
ably accurate for the time at which it was written, completed and added to 

xiv 



^ Bibliography 

by Hugh Murray. It is an interesting resum^ of what was known about 
Western and Central Africa at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

Article on ** Slavery " in Encydop(edia Britanniaiy 9th edition. — An 
admirable review, containing allusions to an exhaustive bibliography. 

II. History of the State of Liberia since its Foundation in \%22 

The Life of Jehiidi Ashmun, by the Rev. Ralph Randolph Gurley^ 
Washington, 1835. — Describes the foundation of Liberia. 

Report of the Rev, R. R. Giiriey on Liberia (United States State Paper), 
Washington, 1850. 

The African Repository^ 1S25 to 1892. — From 1892 onwards the orgar> 
of the American Colonisation Society was named LJberia, The African 
Repository and LJberia together constitute a kind of quarterly chronicle of 
events in and connected wiih Liberia for a period of something like eighty 
years. 

Twenty Years of an African Slave-trader, by Captain Theodore Canot, 
London, 1854. — This work, which was published by George Routledge at 
eighteen-pence, is one of quite extraordinary interest, and it is surprising 
that it has not been republished for those who like tales of adventure. 
Some proportion of it may be fiction, but much of that which relates to- 
Liberia is substantially true, except the story of Governor Findlay's deaths 
which is untrue. 

Wanderings in West Africa by an F.R.G.S. (the late Sir Richard 
Burton, K.C.M.G.), London, 1862. 

The African Sketchbook, by Win wood Reade, London, 1873. 

Liberia : Liistoire de la Fondation cTun Atat nhgre libre, by Colonel 
Wauwermans, Brussels, 1885.— An t^xcellent compilation of the history of 
Liberia as a Negro republic, with a good deal of interesting matter regarding, 
the frontier dispute with Great Britain. 

LListory of the Colonisation of Africa by Alien Races, by Sir Harry 
Johnston, 3rd edition, Cambridge, 1905. — This little work gives a. 
general history of European enterprise in West Africa. 

The Story of Africa and its Explorers, vols. i. and iv. by the late 
Dr. Robert Brown, M.A., London, 1892 (Cassell <& Co.). — An excellent 
history of African discovery. 

The Map of Africa by Treaty, by Sir Edward Hertslet, K.C.B. (Librariai^ 
to the Foreign Office), London, 1894. 

III. Biology, Anthropology, etc. 

Reisebilder aus LJberia, 2 vols., by J. Biitlikofer, Leyden, 1890. — This 
is the great work on Liberia, gathering up all the knowledge of the country 
which existed in 1890. A good deal of the book is of permanent value. 



Bibliography ^ 

Professor Biittikofer was not able to penetrate far into the interior of 
Liberia ; with the exception of a journey of a hundred miles up the St. 
Paul's River, he travelled no more than thirty miles from the coast. But 
he has given a correct and impartial sketch of Liberian history, and his 
services to biology in that country cannot be too highly praised, since 
before his explorations and those of the other Swiss collectors who acted 
-with him practically nothing was known of the zoology of this country. 
To Dr. Biittikofer, Stampfli, and their companions (who were nearly all 
sent out to this country by Dr. Jentink of Leyden Museum, Holland) we 
owe the revelation of the more interesting features of the Liberian fauna. 
For some reason not explained Dr. Biittikofer made practically no botanical 
■collections. At the commencement of the first volume of his work he 
gives a bibliography dealing with Liberia, and many of the works he quotes 
the present writer does not cite over again, as no one who wishes to study 
Liberian questions can do so without direct application to Biittikofer's 
work. 

A Gramwar of the Vei ( Vai) Language, by the Rev. S. W. Koelle, 
London, 1854. — This work, I believe, was subsequently republished by 
Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., and is now on sale. It is a 
most interesting treatise on the Vai language, and is very necessary to 
persons exploring Western Liberia, where that language, apart from English, 
is the chief means of communicating with the natives. 

Polyglotta Africana, by the Rev. S. W. Koelle, London, 1854. — This 
is Koelle's colossal work, compiled at Sierra Leone from slaves landed 
there by the British cruisers. These short vocabularies are on the whole 
wonderfully accurate in transcription. The languages represented range 
xis far afield from Sierra Leone as J^ke Chad, the Egyptian Sudan, Nyasa- 
land, Angola, and the western Sahara. He gives examples of most of the 
Kru and Mandingo dialects, of the Gora language, the Kisi speech, and 
two or three dialects of Kpwesi. 

The Revds. J. L. Wilson and J. S. Payne l)oth published works (at 
Boston, U.S.A., and also locally printed at Cape Palmas in Liberia) on the 
Grebo language in the middle of the nineteenth century. Copies of their 
works exist in the British Museum Library, and may be looked for under 
those names. 

Les Peuplades de la Sen^gambie, by L. J. B. Beranger-Feraud, Paris, 1879. 

The Modern Languages of Africa, by Robert Need ham Cust, London, 
1883, vol. i. — Mr. Cust in his well-known work summarises very ably 
all that was known about Liberian languages down to the year 1883, and 
gives useful hints as to where to obtain the works then existing on the 
subject. 

Christianity, Lslani, and the N'egro Race, by Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden, 
London, 1887. — This works deals incidentally with Liberian problems. It 



^ Bibliography 



is one of great interest, and has gone through two or more editions. 
Its author, though born in the Danish West Indies, became a Liberian 
subject as far back as 185 1, and has written many other works on or dealing 
with Liberia which will be found under his name in the British Museum 
Catalogue. He is Director of Muhammadan Education at Sierra Leone, and 
has several times been sent to Europe on diplomatic missions by the 
Liberian Government. 

I}e la Cote dVvoire au Soudan et a la GuMe^ par le Capitaine 
d'Ollone, Paris, 1901. — This is a work of primary importance on Eastern 
and Northern Liberia. The author, together with M. Hostains, first delineated 
with more or less accuracy on the map of Africa the eastern regions of 
Liberia. His book is not by any means fair to the Liberian (iDvernment^ 
as apparently one of its objects was to decry the results achieved by the 
Negro Republic so as to prepare the mind of his readers for a possible ex- 
tension of P'rench influence over these regions. But if the writer of the 
book had these intentions they were not carried into effect by his Govern- 
ment, and we owe to him and to his collaborator, M. Hostains, a great deal 
of valuable information on the geography, peoples, and fauna of Eastern 
Liberia. The book is well illustrated, chiefly from photographs. 

Le Boude du Ni^er, etc., par la Colonel L. G. Binger, Paris, 1890. — A 
description of Binger's great journey, useful for understanding the Mandingo 
question. 

Notre Colonie de la Cote d'/innre, by MM. Villamur et R'chard, with 
a preface by L. G. Binger. — This is an excellent description of the French 
colony of the Ivory Coast which adjoins Liberia. It commences with a 
historical summary of the connection of France with the regions immediately 
to the east of Liberia. 

Journal of the African Society (London), 1902-5 (Macmillan). 




HON. ARTHUR BARCLAY, PROFESSOR OK 
ENGLISH LITER ATUKK, LIHKRIA COLLEfiE 



ERRATA AND ADDENDA 

On pages 462 and 463 the alternative (native) name of the River Cestos should be Nijnve, 
The phrase should read, not "Cess or Cestos,*' but "Cestos or Nipwe." 

On pages 762-3 the bird referred to as the **Red*' Phalarope should be styled "Grey" 
(according to Mr. Chubb). The same correction should be made in the further 
description of this bird on page 790. 

On page 790 "Butler" should l)e read as " /f////<?r,*' and (on bottom line) "tertiaries 
feathers" as "tertiary feathers." 

On the top line of page 791 the word " margins" should be inserted after "brown" ; on 
the third line of the same page the phrase " becoming grey towards their lips " should 
read " becoming darker towards the tips." In the eighth and ninth lines, " l)eComing 
streaked with grey and while" should read "becoming streaked with white " 

On page 792 the record of ihe bird *' Lunpribii iplendida, Salvadori Ibis; 1903, p. 184 
(Liberia) " should be instrWd next to Hagcdaihia hagedaih, etc." On the same jiage 
" BiUtikofer" and not " Du Bus" should be given as the authority for Ibis olivaeea. 

On page 799 " Hengl." should be corrected to " Heugl." and " Cub." to " Cab." 

On page 800 " Cami'Ephagid.i-:" should read " Campophagid^." 

On page 802 the Vol. of the British Museum Catalogue quoted in reference to Ciiticola 
should bo VII., and not XII. On page i?04, in line 10, " Coliopaiier ** should 
read **Coliaipaiier." 

Throughout these lists of l)irds ** Rupp." stands for " Riipp.'" and " Mull." for " Miill." 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I 

CHAP. PACE 

I. Liberia i 

II. Ancient History 13 

III. Normans and Genoese 29 

IV. Portuguese 37 

V. Pepper and Gold 54 

VI. The Guinea Trade in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth 

Centuries 70 

VII. A Dutch Account of Liberia in the Seventeenth Century 83 

VIII. The Slave Trade 104 

IX. The Founding of Liberia 125 

X. The Last Phase of the Slave Trade . . . .161 

XI. Governors of Liberia 179 

XII. Independence 198 

XIII. President Roberts 224 

XIV. Frontier Questions 241 

XV. The Loan and its Consequences 258 

XVI. Recent History 277 

XVIL The Americo-Liberians 340 

Appendix I. Americo-Liberian Population . . -371 
„ II. Statistical information as to Government, 

Religion, Education, etc 374 

„ III. The Libcrian National Anthem . . . 394 

XVI IL Commerce 398 

XIX. Geography of Liberia 432 

XX. Climate and Rainfall 497 

XXI. Geology and Minerals 5M 

xix 



COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOL. I 

FROM THE AUTHOR'S PAINTINGS 



wo. TITLE. 

1. A Mandingo 

2. Malagucta pepper: leaves, seed-pod, and flowers {AfratHomitm 

melegtteta) .......... 

3. The Shield, Emblems, and Motto of Liberia as established in 1847 

4. The Flag of Liberia 

5. The Shield and Emblem of Liberia as they might be . 

6. President J. J. Roberts (painted from a photograph taken about 187 1) 

7. A Liberian homestead 

8. A Mandingo in blue cotton robe ....... 

^9. The Red-headed Guinea-fowl (Ageiastcs tticlcagroidcs) 

10. A Liberian stream in the short dry season ..... 

11. The Ytllow-flowered Mussaenda with white sepals, so common in the 

Liberian bush {Miissivnda conopharyngifolid) 

12. The Hoffmann Kivcr, Cape Palmas ...... 



Frontispiece 

To face p. 58 
218 



220 
222 
264 
346 
356 
370 
436 

456 
472 



BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS 

IN VOL. I 

KO. TITLE. SOURCE. PAGE 

1. Surf off Liberian coast Photograph by the Author . v 

2. Mesurado Lagoon m » >• ^i 

3. Hon. Arthur Barclay, Professor of English 

Literature, Liberia College ... ,, ,, •* xvii 

4. On the St. Paul's River . . ..»»»!»/ * 

5. River Ca valla ....... Photograph by Mr. Cromme/m 2 

6. Promontory of Cape Palmas .... „ n m 3 

7. On a Liberian river Photograph by the Author 4 

8. On the Liberian coast ..... „ n m 5 

9. Surf off the Liberian coast .... Photograph by Mr. Crommeliu 7 

10. Houses in Monroxia Photograph by the Author 8 

11. In the forest ,, „ „ 9 

12. Arums on the borders of a stream ... ,, » m 10 

13. On the beach, Monrovia : Bombax cotton 

tree in background Photographby Mr.T.H. Myrirtg 11 

14. The British village of Gene (River Mano) \ Photograph by Mr. Cecil H,\ 

from the Liberian shore . ( Firmin j 

15. Mandingos Drawing by the Author. 15 

16. The coast of Liberia near Cape Mount Photograph by Mr. T. II. Myring 19 

17. Agri bead from Putu, Eastern Liberia (pro- 

bably Venetian) ...... Dtaiving by the Author. . 22 

18. Agri beads from West Africa and elsewhere . „ „ „ ^3 

19. "Nivaiia'': a view of the peak of Tenerife, 

from a distance of forty miles ... „ „ ,, 25 

20. A Barca, early type of Portuguese sailing 

ship, fifteenth century .... „ ». »» 39 

21. The mountainous promontory of Sierra Leone 

from the lighthouse ..... Drawu by the Author in 1882 40 

22. Canoes coming off from the Liberian coast . Sketched by the Author in 1882 42 

23. Palms (Borassus, oil and coconut) at Cape 

Palmas Photograph by the Author 44 

24. Ca valla River near its mouth . . . Photograph by the Due de Momy 50 

25. Portuguese warrior in Africa on horseback: 

early sixteenth century. Drawn from a 

Benin carving in the British Museum . Drawing by the Author . 53 

xxi 



Black and White Illustrations in Vol. I ^ 



26. A Portuguese sea captain of the sixteenth 
century. Drawn from a Benin carving in 
the British Museum 



27. A native of Sino 



28. 
29. 
30. 

3'. 

32- 

33- 

34- 

35- 
36. 



Borassus flaMltfer ...... 

Kru canoes 

"The Mandingo robe of stoutly woven cotton" : 
group of Kondo people from behind Vai 
country 

The Caravela redonda or round caravel (from 
Revista Colonial of Lisbon) .... 

A Caravel ....... 

A Caravel (? of Genoa), fifteenth century : 
After Jurien de la Graviere 

A Portuguese warrior, sixteenth century. 
From a Benin carving in the British 
Museum 

Dutch sailing Vcsstl of seventeenth century. 
After Levinus Hulsius . . . . 

Dutch seamen of the early seventeenth century 
landing on the West African coast. After 
Levinus Hulsius 



Drawing by the Author . .61 

(Photograph by the late Mr.\ , 
\ Sam. Hall. j ^ 

Photograph by the Author . 67 

Photograph by Mr. T. H. Myring 69 

J Photograph taken by order of I 



Liberian Government 



Drawing by the Author. 



37. Mermaid Island on the St. Paul's Rivfr, re 

sorted to by European traders in the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 

38. A De man, aboriginal native of Mesurado 

district, described by Des Marchais . 

39. A (native) De kitchen near Monrovia (as de 

scribed by Des Marchais in the early 
eighteenth century) 

40. A mangrove thicket 

41. A native of the Kru coast 

42. A street in Sierra Leone (1905) 

43. Fura Bay Road, Freetown 

44. Providence or Perseverance Island in Mcsu 

rado Lagoon 

45. Jehudi Ashmun, the founder of Liberia (from 

the portrait in Gurley's Lt/e 0/ Ashmun) 

46. Vicinity of site of first stockade on Cape Mesu- 

rado (town of Monrovia in the distance) 

47. Last rapids of St. Paul's River twenty miles 

from its mouth ...... 

48. "Vai Town," on Mesurado Lagoon, nearly 

opposite Monrovia, once a famous locality 
for shipping slaves 

49. St. Paul's River above last rapids, near site of 

Elijah Johnson's fight with Chief Brumley . 



J Photograph by Sir Simeon \ 
j Stuafi 

Photograph by the Author , 

I Photograph bv Sir Simeon [^ 
I Stuart ' j 

(Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 
\ Firmin j 

(Photograph by the late Mr.\ 
{ Sam. Hall j 

Photograph by the Author 

j Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 
\ Firmin j 

Photograph by the Author . 131 

Drawing Ity the Author. . 133 

Photograph by the Author . 139 

Photograph by Mr. T. H. Myring 1 4 4 

J Photograph taken by order of I 
I Liberian Government j 



73 

78 
79 

80 

81 
87 

89 
95 

97 
99 

103 

109 

123 
124 



147 



Photograph by Mr. T. H. Myring 1 53 



SOURCE. 


PAGE 


Photograph >by the Author 


165 


ri n M 


167 


Photograph by Herr "Diiikhge 


169 


Photograph by the Author 


«7S 


»» M l» 


•77 



-*> ^}3^ and W hite llUistrations in Vol. I 

NO. TITLE. 

50. A " Kruman " from near Basa, Basa tribe 

51. Surf on the Li berian beach .... 

52. Liberian Settlement at Cape Mount (supposed 

site of Canot's establishment in 1847) 

53. A Mandingo of Western Liberia 

54. Oil palms {Ela'is guiueensis) .... 

55. A Boporo man visiting Government House, 

Monrovia .....•• n >• n t^l 

56. Governor Joseph J. Roberts (afterwards Pre- 

sidCLt). From an oil painting executed 

about 1849 Drawing by the Author . 186 

57. Harper (Cape Palmas) and Hoffmann River . Photograph by the Ducde Monty 190 

58. Old mango trees in Monrovia, near Roberts's 

house Photograph by the Author . 196 

,. , ^ ■ . ^ ,. (Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 

59. Bandasuma on the River Sulima . . . | Firmiii / '97 

60. Executive Mansion, Monrovia, the official 

residence of the President . . . Photograph by the Author . 222 

61. Mrs. Jane Roberts (widow of President j Photograph by Mr. Heiiry\ 

Roberts) I Irvitig j ^^> 

62. Dr. E. W. Blydcn in 1894 231 

63. Liberia College in 19CX) 237 

64. President's House, Monrovia .... ... ... 239 

65. River Scwa. once claimed as the Liberian (Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ , 

western frontier (Gallinhas country) . . (^ Firmin j ^ 

66. President Barclay in 1896 . 249 

67. Mandin^os from Boporo Photograph by Mr. T.H.Myriug 251 

68. A Mandingo horse (in Sierra Leone) . . Photograph by the Author . 253 

69. Abhmun Street, Monrovia .... ,, „ ,, 256 

70. Mano River, Liberian frontier, from Dia, (Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 

looking up-slrcam t Firmin J ^' 

71. General R. A. Sherman 263 

72. Memorial to President J. J. Roberts . . Photograph by Mr.T.H.Myring 265 

73. Kruman of Nana Kru Photograph by the Author . 269 

74. Liberian Order of Af ican Redemption . . ,, ,, „ 271 

75. A Liberian household iPh^ograph by Sir Sm,con\ ^.^ 

76. Hilary R. W. Johnson, Piesident of Liberia 

1884-92 281 

77. President James Cheeseman and Cabinet, 1894 285 

78. Group of European consuls and merchants, (Photograph by Sir Simeon'X 

in Monrovia, 1901 \ Stuart ' j ^ 

79. AKruboy ( ^ S^^ trt//"^^^' '"'"^ ''^'^' } ^^^ 

80. Kru headman on steamer .... Photograph by the Author . 293 

81. In Kru Town, Monrovia ,, „ „ 295 

82. President Gibson and his Cabinet . . Photo by Mr. Downing . 297 



Black and W hite Illustrations in Vol. I ^ 

NO. TITLE. SOURCE. PACE 

83. Sir Simeon Stuart in a Liberian village 298 

84. Chartered Company's headquarters in Men- (Photograph by Sir SmttoM\ ^ 

rovia \ Sfuart f ^ 

85. President G W. Gibson Photograph by Mr.TM.Myring 301 

86. A Vai chief, his wives and interpreter . . „ ,, ,, 302 

87. Mandingos from the Franco-Liberian frontier Photograph by the Author . 303 
.88. A Mandingo headman from the Dukwia River „ „ „ 305 

89. Natives of the Grebo country near the Lower 

Cavalla River ,, „ „ 307 

90. Natives of PadibcDuobe River . . ■ {^'StL'f "" '''''""") 3o8 

91. Natives of the Kelipo country, central Cavalla 

region „ „ „ 309 

92. Liberians and European visitors . . . Photographby Mr.I.F.Braham 310 

93. In Monrovia: firing a salute . . . J^Pholograph by Sir Sim<ou\ ^^^ 

94. A Gora chief and his wives at Sinko . . { ^%'^Zmc»f "" ^'""'"' } 3'* 

95. A Liberian schoolhouse Photograph by the Author . 318 

96. Hon. Mrs. Barclay (wife of the President) and fP/io/o^;o/>A by Sir SttueoH\ 

the pupils of a girls' school . ,\ Stuart j ^^^ 

97. Pupils of a school for indigenous Negroes . Photograph by Mr.T.H. My ring 320 

98. An Americo-Libcrian plantation . . fP^totogfa^^ ^^^ 

99. Americo-Libcrian coffee plantation. . . Photograph by Mr. Crofftme/iu 322 
100. Liberian postage stamps (issued prior to I906) ...... 324 

loi. Liberian stamps (issued prior to 1906) ........ 325 

102. Liberian stamps, new issue, 1906 ......... 327 

103. Liberian judges and lawyers .......... 329 

104. The late Hon. E. J. Barclay, a most respected 

Liberian Secretary of State ......... 331 

IC5. A Liberian family group (Photograph by Sir Simeon^ ^^^ 

106. Liberian silver and copper coins ......... 33c 

107. Hon. Arthur Barclay, President of Liberia 1906 Photograph by the Author . 337 

108. Looking towards the Customs House, Monrovia „ ,, ,, 339 

109. A Liberian planter (Mr. Solomon Hill) and 

his family ...... 

110. Mandingo woman of Western Liberia 

111. A Mandingo from Western Liberia. 



112. Telephone poles in Monrovia, erected by 
Mr. Faulkner, a Liberian. This tele 
phone extends to the St. Paul's River 
settlements 



113. In a Liberian general store at Buchanan 

Grand Basa ...... 

114. "Civilii.ed ' Krumen of Monrovia 

xxiv 



Photograph by Mr. T. H. My ring 34 1 
Photograph by the Author . 343 



45 



347 

349 
351 



-#i Black and White Illustrations in Vol. I 

HO. TITLE. SOURCE. PAGE 

115. Methodist Church, Monrovia .... Photograph by the Author . 353 

116. The " religion of the tall hat " 354 

. _ .. . , , i Photos;raph by Sir SimeoH\ ^^^ 

117. A Libenan lady ^ ^^f^^/ -^ | 355 

118. The "religion of the tall hat and frock 

coat": a masonic procession . . Photograph Ity Mr. T.H.Myring 357 

1 19. A municipal brass band, Liberia ... „ „ ,, 359 

120. A wedding at Government House, Monrovia . ! PownJv \ ^^' 

121. A wedding procession, Monrovia ... ,, ,, ,, 362 

122. A review of troops in Monrovia ... ,, >, .. 363 

123. Review of troops : "Quick march ! " . . „ „ ,, 364 

124. A funeral procession, Monrovia . . . Photograph by the Author . 365 
.25. Independence Day, July 26th. . . . { /-/- W'' *v i,W./.-Co WJ 3^^ 

126. Waiting for the President to be sworn into 

office, January 1st Photograph Ity Mr. T.H.Myring 367 

127. Teaching staff and some of the students of 

Liberia College (1900) .......... 369 

128. A Monde girl from the Sierra Leone frontier j Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 

of Liberia, wearing silver ornaments . . (^ Firmin ] ^' 

129. A Liberian house of wooden shingles, Green- 

ville, Sino . . . . . . . Photograph by the Author . 373 

130. Right Rev. J. C. Hartzcll, Methodist Bishop 

'of Africa 375 

131. Methodist Church, Harper, Cape Pal mas Photograpk by the Author . 377 

132. Protestant Episcopal Church at Harper, Cape 

Palmas 377 

133. Baptist Church, Monrovia .... Photograph Ity the Author . 38 1 

134. In the House of Representatives, Monrovia Photograph tty Mr. Downing . 382 

135. J. A. Railey, a Colonel 01 Liberian Militia J^rholof;j-.,f.h by Sir Sim.o,.\ ^g^ 

136. Uberian Militia: a march past . . [Photograph by UeHl..Colo,„lX g 
** I ^ Poivney j '^ ^ 

137. Liberian Militia in review order (white uni- 

form, blue sashes) „ „ ,, 387 

138. The Armoury, Monrovia Photograph by Mr. T.H.Myring 389 

139. Unfinished Masonic Lodge, Monrovia . . Photograph by Mr. Cromnteiin 391 

140. A house and garden, Monrovia . . . Photograph by the Author . 393 

141. " Green be her fame " — Liberian native coffee 

^^e«s » M M 394 

142. Sir Alfred Jones's agency in Monrovia (Elder, 

Dempster & Co.) Photograph by Mr. I. F.Braham 399 

^43- Coffea liberica in flower Photograph by Mr, Croninieiin 401 

144. A Liberian coffee plantation at White Plains 

on the St. Pauls River .... Photograph by Mr. T.H.Myring 403 

145. Oil palms Photograph by Mr. Croinmelin 404 

XXV 



Black and White Illustrations in Vol. I ^ 



NO. 
146. 

"47-9 

150. 

151. 

152. 
>S3. 

154. 
155. 

156. 

'57. 

158. 
159. 

160. 

161. 

162. 

163. 
164. 

165. 
166. 
167. 
168. 
169. 



Native i^omen manufacturing palm otU Note 
the wooden trough like a canoe Aril of 
palm oil 

. Native ascending the trunk of oil palm in 
order to collect palm kernels 

Young or small Raphia vinifera palm, to show 
inflorescence 



171. 
172. 
173- 
174. 
175. 

176. 
177. 



Raphia vinifera — Piassava palms. Rice is 
growing below the palms . 

Dalbergia meianoxyhn (producing ebony) 

Flowers and leaves of Cola acuminata (Kola 
nut) 

Fruit of the Cola acuminata (Kola nut) . 

Weighing rubber at Greenville (Sino) : Liberian 
Rubber Corporation .... 

Forester's house in interior (Rubber Corpora 
tion) 

Headquarters of the Liberian Rubber Cor 
po ration, Monrovia .... 

A forester's camp 

A dish of fruit from Liberia : pineapples, 
papaw, avocado pear, mangoes, orange, 
coconuts, and bananas 

Ox-cart on Liberian road 

•' In the wet season these paths become canals 

A porter, Liberia ..... 

Women porters 

Canoe-travclling : stopped by rapids 

A bush road near the Mano River . 

The shore of P'isherman Lake (Cape Mount) 

At Robertsport, Cape Mount . 

River scene on an afTluent of the St. Paul's 

On the Poba River 

The St. Paul's River about seventy miles from 
the coast, in the region of its rapids and falls 

The " Traveller's Tree "' . 

Mangrove and pandanus swamp 

The turfy streets and cattle of Monrovia 

A street in Monrovia .... 

Waterside vegetation : pandanus, mangrove 
palms 

Mangrove swamp: mangrove trees, showing 
aerial roots ...... 

Forest on the landward edge of the Mcsurad 



Peninsula 



\ Photograph by Mr. Cecil H. 
I Firmin 



Drawing by the Author . 



Y 405 

406-7 
. 408 



Photograph by the Authar . 409 
Dra wing by Miss Matilda Smitk 4 1 1 

413 
4"5 

Photograph by the Author . 417 

(Photograph by Mr. Harold \ « 

\ Reynolds jf ^'^ 

Photograph by the Author . 419 
Photograph by Mr. Crommelin 421 



Drawing by the Author . 

{Photograph by Sir Simeon\ 
Stuart f 

Photograph by the Authof 

{Photograph by Lieut. -Colonel\ 
Potency j 

Photograph by Mr. Crommelin 

M » » n 

(Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 
\ Firmin / 

Photograph by Herr Dinklage 

»» »» «» 

Photograph by the Author 
Photograph by Mr. I. F, Braham 

Photograph by the Author 



f Photograph by Mr. Cecil H.\ 
\ Firmin j 



423 
424 

425 
427 
428 
4^9 

433 

435 
438 
439 
440 

442 
443 
445 
447 
449 

450 
451 



Photograph by the Author . 453 



XXVI 



^ Black and White Illustrations in Vol. I 

KO. TITLE. SOURCE. PACE 

1 78. Mangrove trees on the borders of the Mesurado 

Lagoon ....... Drawing by the Author . .457 

179. Dense bush with white-leaved MusscendOf 

wild coffee, etc Photograph by the Author . 458 

180. A road near the St. Paul's River ... „ n »» 459 

181. Waterside, Monrovia ..... Photograph by Herr Dinklage 460 

182. On the outskirts of Monrovia . . . Photograph by Mr. T.H.Myring 461 

183. In Lower Buchanan (Grand Basa) . . . Photograph by the Author . 462 

184. Vegetation in Sino County: Cyrtosp^Tma 

arums, palms, etc „ „ „ 467 

185. In a Kru village on the coast . . . J^Ph^tograph by Sir Shueon^^ ^^, 

186. European travellers crossing a river in Liberia \^^p^\l^y^ ^^ Lieut.-Colonel^ ^^^ 

187. In a Kru village Photograph by the Author . 473 

188. Missionary College, Harper, Cape Palmas . Photograph by Mr. Crortiwe/in 474 

189. '• Oleanders fill most of the front gardens " . ,, „ ,, 475 

190. Cape Palmas : " the promontory . . . girdled 

with a ring of foam" Photograph by the Author . 476 

191. A road in Maryland Photograph by the Due deMorrty 477 

192. "Half Cavalla": the beach near the mouth 

of the Cavalla River „ „ „ 478 

193. Interior of Maryland County: marshy country Photograph by :he Author . 479 

194. The Gba or Bwe River, flowing into the f „# . ^, i ^ r r • 1 

Cavalla from the ^^est (note the Raphia J ^^^'^^'''^^^ ^>/'^ Ltber.au \ g, 
palms on the bank and the Muscovy du^ks) ( Goverumeut Comnusswnerj 

195. Village in Keticbo country, about a hundred f rt, , ^i l ai 7 / • 1 

miles from the coast : Arrival of Liberian ] Photograph by the L.Unan I g^ 

Commissioners \ Oovcn,me,,t J 

196. Kiki River, an affluent of the Lower Cavalla . Photograph by Mr. Cromnielin 483 

197. Cavalla River Photograph by the Due de Monty 484 

198. Cavalla River, about eighty miles from its 

mouth „ „ „ 485 

199. Travelling through the forest clearings in a 

hammock Photograph by Mr. Crommeliu 486 

200. A forest clearing „ „ „ 487 

201. A forest clearing : washing clothes in a brook „ „ „ 4S9 

202. A pool in the forest Photograph by the Author 491 

203. Evening in the forest „ „ „ 493 

204. The St. Paul's River above the rapids . . [''''^'Xotds ''^ ^'' "'"'°'''} 494 

205. The Mano River from Mina . . . IPI'otogrnfih by Mr. Ccc,/ HA 

206. A dug-out canoe ...... „ ,, ,, 496 

207. Quartz outcrop near the Lower St. Paul's River Photograph by Mr. Crotuuieiin 515 

208. Sinking a shaft in a quartz reef near the St. (Photograph by Sir Simeon\ ^• 

Paul's River \ Stuart ) ^^^ 

xxvii 



SEPARATE MAPS IN VOL. I 



NO. TITLE. 

1. General map of Lilx^ria 



2. Map of Sierra Leone-Lilxria Frontier 

3. Map of western half of Liberia . 

4. Map of eastern half of Lil>eria . 



SOURCE. OPPOSITE PAGE 

Draicn by Mr. J. IV. Aiidison 12 

r Drawn by Captain H. D.^ 
I Pearson , A'. E. , and Lieu- 
) tenant £. IV. Cox, /^.E. 
I {Reproduced by permission 
I of the Royal Geographical 
\ Society. ) 

Dra'iVn by Mr. /. W. Addison 434 

496 



279 



MAPS IN TEXT IN VOL. I 



2. 

3. 
4. 

5. 
6. 

7. 
8. 

9. 
10. 
II. 
12. 

13. 
14. 

15- 



TITLE. 

Kerne Island, or Rio de Oro 
Grand Basa Settlements 
Monrovia District 



Sketch-map uf West Africa. (Shf)\ving approximate 
boundaries of Liberia and Maryland in 1846.) 

Cape I'almas and Maryland .... 

.Sketch-map of West Africa. (Showing frontiers 
claimed by Liberia in 1876, also French counter- 
claims.) 



Ditto, showing supposed frontiers of Liberia in 1892 

Ditto, to show area and frontier of Liberia as pro 
posed by Lilx'rian Minister in Paris, 1905 . 

Ditto, to show frontier of Liberia proposed in 1906 

Cape Mount District 

Junk and Dukwia Rivers .... 

River Cestos 

.Sang win River 

Sino ........ 

Sketch-map showing com[3arative Rainfall of West 
Africa 

xxviii 



f Dra'.cn by Mr. J. W. Addi- \ 
\ son and the Author f 

Drawn bv Mr. J. W. Addison 



( Drawn by Mr. J. W. A 
i son and the Author 



ddi- \ 



SOURCE. PACE 

Drawn by Mr. /. I V. Addison 17 

31 
127 

189 

235 
255 
287 

313 
317 

Draion by Mr. J. W. Addison 437 

455 
463 
465 
469 



/ Draicn by Mr. ./. W. Addi- \ 
( son and the .tuthor I 



503 




4. ON THE ST. PAULS KIVEK 



LIBERIA 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

LIBERIA is a portion of the West African coast-lands between 
Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, which may be styled 
the end of Northern Guinea. Its most easterly point on 
the coast, the mouth of the Ca valla River, just beyond Cape 
Palmas, is in longitude 7''33' W. of Greenwich. The western- 
most point of Liberia (at the mouth of the River Mano) lies in 
about N. latitude 6^55', and in W. longitude ii°32'. In the 
interior, Liberian territory extends northwards to about 8^50' N. 
latitude. The trend of the coast from the mouth of the River 
Mano is in a south-easterly direction, and at the entrance to the 
Cavalla,"near Cape Palmas, reaches to within 4^2 2' of the Equator. 

VOL. I. I 



Liberia ^' 

From this point the Guinea coast curves to the north-east, and 
does not again approach near to the Equator till the delta ot 
the Niger is reached. The southernmost extremity of Liberia, 
generally associated with the striking promontory of Cape 




5. RIVLR CAVALLA 

Palmas rather than with the mouth of the Cavalla, has been, in 
fact, one of the stages in African exploration, just as the northern 
extremity of Liberia on the coast (the River Mano) very nearly 
represents the extreme limit reached by the Carthaginian ex- 
plorer Hanno in his celebrated voyage of discovery along the 
north-west coast of Africa about five hundred years before 
the Christian era. 

The political geography of Liberia^ at the present day makes 
it out to be a territory of approximately forty-three thousand 

* On the bases of the Franco-Liberian Treaty of 1892 and the Anglo-Liberian 
delimitation of 1903. 



-r» Introductory 

square miles in extent, bounded on the west by the British 
colony of Sierra Leone, on the north and east by the French 
possessions in the Niger Basin and on the Ivory Coast. The 
southern boundary, of course, is the Atlantic Ocean. By this 
coast-line Liberia occupies an important strategic position. The 
general trend of its scarcely indented littoral is from north- 
west to south-east, so that it is nearly parallel to the course 
taken by steamers plying between Europe and South Africa, 




6. PROMONTORY OF CAPE PALMAS 



In its physical geography Liberia does not at first sight 
seem specially marked off from the rest of West Africa ; and 
yet to a certain extent in its fauna and flora it is a peculiar 
country, almost rising to the dignity of a distinct sub-district of 
the West African sub-region. Its characteristic features in plants 
and animals are naturally not confined stricdy within the actual 
political boundaries, but overlap into the eastern part of Sierra 
Leone and the western part of the Ivory Coast. 

3 



Liberia ^ 



So far as conditions of physical geography go, Liberia may 
further be defined as the basin of the St. Paul's River and the 
western half of the basin of the Cavalla, together with the hill 




7. ON A LIBER I AN RIVER 

country (part of the Mandingo Plateau) lying about the head- 
waters of the Moa or Makona River. ^ Politically speaking, 

^ An important stream known as the Sulima in its lower course, which enters 
the sea within the Colony of Sierra^ Leone. 

4 



Liberia ^ 

Liberia is not taken to include any portion of the Niger water- 
shed, the northern frontier being so drawn by France as to 
exclude any portion of the basin of the Upper Niger from 
Liberian limits. This country, therefore, is the most southern 
portion of the land which slopes to the Atlantic from the 
knot of highlands, plateaux, and mountains that gives rise to 
the Niger, Senegal, and Gambia. 

On the north-east frontier of Liberia are situated the 
highest mountains as yet discovered in West Africa.^ Altitudes 
of nearly ten thousand feet are reported by the French in 
connection with the Druple Range, which, together with the 
Nimba Mountains close by, may be the kernel of truth in 
the old stories of the *' Kong Mountains." North-westwards, 
nearly parallel with the Atlantic coast-line, at a distance of two 
to three hundred miles, this range of highlands, mountains, and 
plateaux is prolonged to the vicinity of the Upper Senegal. 
It condenses the tremendous rainfall which creates the Niger 
River, and sends it like a western Nile on a long, long journey 
through the desert before it once more reaches in its lower 
course the rainy lands of the Gulf of Guinea. 

Liberia has a coast-line of three hundred and fifty miles,^ 
but little indented, and possessing no natural harbour or sheltered 
anchorage, while the mouth of each one of its rivers is defended 
by a bar that no vessel of any considerable draught could cross 
with safety ; though, unlike the pitiless Guinea coast from 
Cape Palmas eastward to the Niger Delta, the Liberian littoral 
offers several fairly safe landing-places where even at the height 
of the rainy season, when the surf is at its worst, a disem- 

* That is to say, westwards of the Canieroons. 

> About three hundred geographical miles. Measured in a straight line from 
the Cavalla River to the Mano River, without regard to indeutations, about three 
hundred and thirty English miles represent Liberia's section of the West African 
littoral. 



■^ Introductory 

barkation can be ejected with little or no danger. One of 
the easiest landing-places, which, with the construction of break- 
waters, might he made a good port, is Monrovia, the capital, 
on Cape Mesurado. Monrovia is only ten days' journey from 
Southampton or Liverpool by the thirteen-knots-an-hour steamers 
of the English and German lines which once or twice in every 
month make a direct run from England to Liberia. 




9. SLKF OFF THE LIHEKIAN COAST 



As a sovereign State, Liberia — '' the Land of the Free '' — 
has existed since 1847, ^^ which date it received formal 
recognition as an independent Negro Republic from England, 
France, and Prussia. The governing class in this country con- 
sists of approximately twelve thousand Negroes and Mulattos 
of American origin, to whom may be added, as the remainder 
of the Christian voting community, about thirty thousand 
** civilised " Liberians of local origin. The indigenous uncivilised 

7 




II. IN THE FOREST 



Liberia 



<^ 



in parts very mountainous. No fresh-water lake has as yet 
been discovered, nor has any traveller yet lighted on a large 
area of marsh. The coast belt is a little broken up by lagoons, 
but it does not degenerate into those extensive mangrove swamps 
intersected by countless creeks which are so characteristic of 
the Ivory and Slave Coasts. The rainfall is very heavy, perhaps 
an average hundred inches per aimum, rising in some districts 





1 ' 




1 


/ -.'V^* i ^< ivr u£/a iK^ '\^a 


^^F 


Wf/m&W- 




Prnk-it^A 












, -t ./.-O-i y ' v 


v^l 



12. AKUMS UN Tilt: 1K)KI»KKS OF A STKliAM 



to one hundred and fifty inches, and in the northern plateau 
country decreasing to seventy inches. Rain falls in every month 
of the year, but the true rainy season begins in May and 
ends in November. The coolest month is possibly August, in 
the middle of the rainy season ; the hottest, December. Except 
no doubt on those lofty mountains scarcely as yet explored 
by Europeans, the temperature throughout Liberia is high 




13- ON THK BKACH, MONKOVJA : BOMHAX COTTON TREK IN THE BACKGROUND 



Liberia ^ 

and fairly uniform, generally ranging between 75*" at night 
and 100° at noon, occasionally sinking as low as 56° and rising 
as high as 105''. With these preliminary details, sufficient to 
give a general idea of the situation of this little-known part 
of Africa and its geographical conditions, we will now pass on 
to a consideration of its history, which from several points of 
view is of great interest in connection with the development 
of Tropical Africa. 




14. BRITISH GENK, ON THE MANO KIVEK, SEEN FKUM LIBERIAN SHORE 
(LIBERIAN FRONTIER) 




N 



A-. 



" ;" •-.^.49»..„./'\^ 



■■^V 



\^ 



\ 



JXl 






n 



CHAPTER II 

THE HISTORY OF LIBERIA PRIOR TO THE MIDDLE 

AGES 

IN some respects it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that 
Liberia is still within the Miocene Period so far as its 
vegetation and its fauna are concerned. There are beasts, 
birds, and reptiles living to-day within its limits which (or 
near representatives of which) are found fossil in Miocene 
formations of France and Southern Germany. The mighty 
forests of Liberia, while they sheltered these ancient types, long 
kept the country from being overrun by man, so that Liberia, 
like parts of the Congo Basin and of forested West Africa, is 
in a far more backward condition (in respect of human develop- 
ment) than the rest of Africa. As yet, however, no traces have 
been found of any Pygmy race (such as is associated with the 
Congo Basin) either in Liberia or in any other part of the 
West African projection. The Pygmies of the Congo, who 
perhaps represent the lowest and most simian type of Negro 
existing at the present day, have not hitherto been found 
westwards of the Cameroons. It is just possible that they 
may never have reached the western extremity of Africa, though 
it would be premature to make any statement to that effect, 
considering how very little West Africa has been explored as 
regards its present or its past conditions.^ 

* Since this was written, reports of a Pygmy people have been transmitted from 
Central Liberia. 

13 



Liberia ^ 

Liberia was at some unknown period peopled, chiefly from 
the Niger Plateau on the north, by that black West African 
type of Negro which is so characteristic of Equatorial Africa, 
from Uganda westwards to the mouth of the Congo and the 
mouth of the Gambia. These Negroes are of the same general 
type as those of the whole West African littoral, from the 
regions south of the Gambia to Angola. After the big black 
Negroes had occupied the Equatorial belt of Africa, the African 
types of Caucasian man began to press westwards from the 
Nile and southwards from Mauritania, till they had reached the 
Niger and the Senegal. Many hybrids and intermixtures with 
the northern fringe of Negroes took place through the ages, 
forming different types and degrees in physical beauty of yellow 
men and brown men. 

Remarkable amongst the earliest of those semi-Caucasian 
races who colonised purely Negro Africa were the Fulas,^ who 
were probably the result of one of the first invasions of the 
Western Sahara by the Libyans (Moors) of Northern Africa. 
The element of Caucasian blood in the Fula people impelled 
them towards high lands with a relatively cool climate, and 
these they found on that mountain range and knot of plateaux 
already alluded to as the head-waters of the Niger. The 
Fulas (of whom more will be said in this book), though 
proud of their light colour, did not hesitate to interbreed with 
Negro women as well as with the carefully guarded females of 
their own stock. So they gave rise to many further hybrids 
with the Negro, of dark complexion, but with features showing 
the intermingling of Caucasian blood. Of such possibly were 
the Mandingo, the Wolof, the Tukulor. The Mandingo is 
the most notable of these Negroids, though this race is of 

» It is most convenient to call by this term the ¥u\, Fulbe, Fellata, Fulani, or 
Peulh people of Senegambia, Central and Eastern Nigeria. 

14 




15- MANDlNfJOS 



Liberia ^ 

very mixed origin, often no doubt due to direct intermixtures 
between the Tawareq and Arabs from north of the Niger 
and the Western Sudan Negroes, as well as through descent 
from the Fulas. At some time or other, however, the 
Mandingos developed a very distinct group of languages, 
which is nowadays the dominant speech (in a great many 
different tongues and dialects) of inner West Africa, all about 
the sources of the Niger, and along the main Niger nearly 
as far north as Lake Debo ; on the Upper Senegal and 
Gambia, and in the northern hinterland of Liberia. 

At a distant period in the unwritten history of West 
Africa this vigorous Mandingo Negroid race was impelled to 
push its way to the sea-coast, and it must have thus found 
an outlet in the north-western part of Liberia and the eastern 
part of Sierra Leone.^ The Mandingos seem to have been 
shut out from the Atlantic coast farther north by the savage 
and warlike Negroes that are still the main stock of western 
and southern Sierra Leone, PVench and Portuguese Guinea, 
and the Lower Gambia — peoples speaking a peculiar West 
African type of prefix-governed language. The Moors of the 
desert, the Fulas and the Wolofs, prevented the Mandingos 
reaching the sea-coast in Senegal. Consequently, at an early 
date they were compelled to force their way through the dense 
forests of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and there they have left 
traces of their former incursions In the existing Vai and Mende 
peoples, whose languages are members of the Mandingo group. 
In a general way It may also be said that the other tongues of 
Liberia, belonging chiefly to the Kpwesi and Kru families, oflFer 
faint and distant resemblances to the Mandingo languages. 
Perhaps these peoples also sprang from the original Mandingo 
stock. Through the Mandingo, at any rate, a small proportion 

^ Through the Mende and Vai countries. 
i6 



MAP t 




VOL. I 



'7 



Liberia ^ 

of Caucasian blood and a still smaller degree of Caucasian 
civilisation reached the unadulterated Negroes of prehistoric 
Liberia. 

So far as the pure-blooded Caucasian is concerned, his 
first historical appearance in these latitudes was in the persons 
of Hanno the Carthaginian and his crews of Phoenicians and 
Moors. Hanno left Carthage in perhaps 520 B.C. ;^ and 
after visiting and reinforcing the Carthaginian trading colonies 
along the north and west coast of Morocco, he founded 
the settlement on Kerne Island in the Rio de Oro inlet, passed 
the mouth of the River Senegal, Cape Verde, and the 
Highlands of French Guinea and of Sierra Leone, and 
apparently got as far as the swampy island of Sherbro — 
possibly even as far as Cape Mount and the very beginning 
of modern Liberian territory. On Sherbro Island " his sailors 
captured wild, hairy men, whom they called (in the Greek 
rendering of the Punic word) gorilla. This term they are 
said to have derived from their ^' interpreters," showing that 
these may possibly have been men of the F'ula or Wolof race.^ 
If they did not capture specimens of a low and savage type 
of real wild man (which might have still been lingering in 
Africa), then in all probability the story or the legend refers 
to nothing more than the chimpanzees, which are still common 
in the forest-covered coast region of Western Liberia and 
Eastern Sierra Leone. 

Han no's voyage took place about five hundred years before 

> Vide Bimbury, History of Ancient Geography, p. 332. vol. i. The date 
of the •• Periphis," or voyage of Hanno, is very uncertain. It may have occurred 
as late as 470 b.c. or as early as 520 b.c., according as the "Hanno" in 
question was the father or the son of the "dated" General Hainilcar. 

* Or on an island in a lake on Sherbro ? Macaulay Island ? 

' Gor- is the root for "man" in both Fula and Wolof. With one of the 
suffixes added it would make a combination not unlike " Gorilla." 

18 



^ History Prior to the Middle A^^es 



the Christian era if the story is a true one. Written first in Punic, 
and inscribed on a tablet dedicated by Hanno to a Carthaginian 
deity probably equivalent to Moloch, it is thought to have 
been placed in the temple of that deity at Carthage. This at 
least is the account given in the Greek version of the original 
record of Hanno's 
voyage. So far as 
authentic history is 
concerned, the record 
only exists in a Greek 
translation. It is 
possible that this 
translation was made 
in the fifth century 
before Christ by 
some Greek o\ Sicily 
who became ac- 
quainted with the 
original at Carthage. 
The first recorded 
publication of this 
"Periplus" of Hanno 
in its Greek form 
appeared, according 
to Sir E. H. Bun- 
bury,^ in Aristotle's work of marvellous narratives published in 
the third century B.C., but it is also reproduced in Latin by 
Pomponius Mela (though in a garbled form) about a.d. 43. 
A still more corrupt version was given by the Elder Pliny 
(Caius Plinius Secundus) a few years later. Apparently the 
actual version of the Periplus of Hanno, which has been the 
» Hisiofv of Ancient Geography, vol. i., p. 332. 
19 




16. THE COAST OF LIBKRIA NfclAK CAFE MOUNT 



Liberia ^ 

foundation of all translations and commentaries since the six- 
teenth century, goes back to the Periplus of Arrian, published 
in Greek at Bile in 1533 from a Greek MS. then in the 
Heidelberg Library. The authenticity of this interesting frag- 
ment has been once or twice disputed, but is apparently 
established beyond reasonable doubt, at any rate in its main 
features, though one or two geographical names differ in the 
Greek and Latin versions. But it was a voyage which, although 
overlooked by Herodotus (who wrote at a subsequent period), 
made a deep impression on the Mediterranean world in the 
centuries which immediately preceded and followed the Christian 
era, and considerable tradition of this exploring trip along the 
West Coast of Africa seems to have survived even the ignorance 
of the dark ages (perhaps kept alive and handed on by the 
Byzantines and the Spanish Arabs), and to have been currently 
discussed by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century, a hundred 
years before the publication of the Bale version. 

Apparently in the original Greek version of the narrative 
the River Senegal is styled the Chretes or the Chremetes.^ 
In Pliny's garbled version of Hanno's journey the river 
equivalent to the Senegal is called the Bambotus, a word which 
has a very African sound and may even be connected with 
the name of the existing Bambuk country on the Upper 
Senegal. The Island of Kerne so repeatedly mentioned in 
Hanno's journey is undoubtedly the little Island of Heme 
which is situated at the head of the bay or gulf known as 
the Rio de Ore, in the present Spanish Protectorate of that 
name on the Atlantic coast of the Sahara (see p. 17). There is 
much that might lead us to suppose that Hanno was not the 
first Caucasian adventurer who emerged from the Mediterranean 

' The Chremctes is mentioned by Aristotle as a large river on the West Coast 
of Africa. 

20 



^ History Prior to the Middle Ages 

and found his way on a trading voyage to tropical West 
Africa. In the first place, if there be any truth in Han no's 
story, he merely started with a small fleet of ships, colonists, 
soldiers, traders, and women, to revictual as well as to found 
Carthaginian posts along the north and north-west coasts 
of Africa.^ From the Morocco coast district round about the 
tpwn of Al-Arish (the ancient Lixus) Hanno took Moorish 
interpreters, who of course at that period, one thousand two 
hundred years before the Arab invasion, would have spoken 
Berber dialects like those that are still to be heard in Western 
Morocco. These Berber interpreters might have been able to 
link on with the less savage Fula and Wolof people about the 
Lower Senegal and Cape Verde ; and these latter peoples perhaps 
acted as interpreters during the third and southernmost voyage 
from Kerne to Sherbro. Such brief glimpses as we get of the 
West African Negroes in Hanno's narrative show them to have 
been sufficiently advanced in human development to know the 
use of fire, since at that period, two thousand five hundred years 
distant from the present day, they were burning up the dry 
grass and bush at the end of the rainy season, just as they do 
at the present time ; and the sheets of flame on the grass plains 
and the fires that climbed Mount Kakulima filled the Carthaginian 
explorers with terror. 

Was this first recorded intercourse between the civilised 
Caucasian and the black savages of Western Africa the 
commencement of a more or less unrestricted intercourse which 
has continued down to the present day } Did the Carthagin- 
iahs or Phoenicians repeat and extend Hanno's experiments .^ 
And when Rome took the place of Carthage, how far did 

1 Bunbury states that in the extant Greek version Hanno is credited with 
having conveyed thirty thonsand people in a fleet of sixty ships, but this was 
no doubt a great exaggeration. 



Liberia ^ 



Roman energy carry Roman commerce beyond the southern 
limits of modern Morocco ? How did the Agri beads reach 
Liberia ^ and the Gold Coast ? 

The Agri beads are undoubtedly of Mediterranean origin. 
In appearance they are most diverse. Some are of the chevron 
pattern, in layers of blue, white, red glass ; others are round, 
four-sided, or cylindrical beads of blue, red, or amber glass, or 
are of a mixture of glass and porcelain (or clay), with spots or 

dashes of different colours. With one 
notable exception, no bead has yet been 
discovered on the West African coast 
which need be older than the thirteenth 
century a.d., or which might not be 
of Italian manufacture. This exception 
is the component beads of a necklace 
long buried in the grave of a Gold 
Coast chief, about forty miles inland 
from Elmina (on the road to Kumasi). 
The glass beads of this necklace are 
undoubtedly of '' classical '' times {i.e. 
antecedent to the Renaissance), and 
resemble very closely beads of the Greek 
Islands of perhaps five hundred years before Christ (vide article 
and illustration by Mr. C. H. Read in Mail of January, 1905). 
So far as native tradition goes, these Agri beads are declared 
to be much older than the glass beads manufactured at Venice 




17. AGRI BKAI) FKo.M I'UTU, 
KASTEKN LIBKKIA (I'KOBAHLY 
VENETIAN) 



^ Writers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries mention Agri beads 
as being found on tlie Km coast of Liberia. Mr. Braham has recently discovered 
them to exist in the Putu country behind the Kru coast. Here they are of dull blue 
glass, long, and four-sided. The illustration given is of a Putu Agri bead now in 
the British Museum. This Putu bead is pronounced by Mr. C. H. Read to be of 
no car/f'er date than five hundred years ago, and to be of Venetian make. It may 
of course be much later in origin. 




l8. AGKI BKAIXS FROM WKST AFRICA AM) KLSEWIIKRF. 

1. Roman bead dredged up from mouth of Thames 

2. Beads from Hausaland (Nigeria) : possibly Roman 

8, 4, 5, 6. 7, and 8. Agri beads from Ashanti and Gold Coast 



Liberia ^ 

and in England for the last two hundred years. Chevron beads 
are found on the Central Niger and in Hausaland. These 
may have travelled thither from mediaeval Egypt. Did the 
Agri beads of West Africa likewise come across the Sahara 
and the Niger from Egypt or Carthage, or were they carried 
along the north coast of the Mediterranean from trading 
station to trading station, and so down the north-west and 
west coasts of Africa ? Both routes may have been followed, 
especially after the rise of Islam. It may be that once Hanno 
had shown Mediterranean sailors the way to Negro West 
Africa, that way may have been followed by Carthaginians and 
Greeks, and by Romanised Moors for some time afterwards. 

As to the Romans, they had conquered most of the Berber 
tribes of North Africa by the beginning of the Christian era 
(modern Morocco was incorporated in the Empire about a.d. 
42), and during the first century a.d. Suetonius Paulinus led 
a Roman expedition across the Atlas and Anti-Atlas ranges, 
and apparently reached as far south as the River Draa. This 
is the river — so far as resemblance of name goes — which is 
indicated by Pliny and other classical writers of that period as 
the Daradus ; but it is also mixed up in their descriptions with 
a supposititious River Gir or Nigir. • From this confusion some 
writers in the eighteenth century asserted, that Suetonius Paulinus 
had actually marched across the Sahara Desert to the River 
Niger, an impossibility with the means and time at his command. 
He probably got no farther than the River Draa, and between 
the Draa and the Senegal there is not, so far as we know, even 
a trace of an ancient or modern watercourse. 

The Nigir or Daradus (River Draa) was said by Polybius 
and Pliny to contain crocodiles ; but it is distinctly stated that 
the Bambotus or Chretes contained not only crocodiles, but 
river-horses. Of course, it is quite possible that nineteen 

24 




^ 



>mr,.''-^ ,, 



19. "NIVARIA"— A VIEW OFJTHE PEAK OF TENERIFE FROM A DISTANCE OF FORTY MILEJ? 



Liberia ^ 

hundred years ago crocodiles may still have lingered in the 
Draa River, just as they are still to be found in a Syrian river, 
and until recently were present in the lakes of the Isthmus of 
Suez. But the Gir or Nigir of classical writers, though con- 
founded by them with the geographical position of the River 
Draa, was undoubtedly the reflex of stories circulated by the 
Moors or Carthaginians of the tropical River Senegal and 
also of the Upper Niger ; and so much did this description 
linger in the minds of the Western Mediterranean people, that 
when the Portuguese first brought back the story of a great 
Nile-like river flowing from west to east beyond the coast- 
lands of Guinea, it was at once identified as Pliny's Nigir or 
Niger, and this is the origin of the name which that river 
bears in European languages at the present day. 

The islands of Madeira and Porto Santo seem first to 
have been discovered by Carthaginian or Phoenician seafarers 
of Cadiz. Some such agency, no doubt, revealed to the 
Mediterranean world the existence of the Canary Archipelago.^ 
In the earliest allusions to the Canary Islands no mention 
is made of their being inhabited ; but this may be due to a 
confusion with the Madeira Archipelago, which certainly had 
never been inhabited by man until rediscovered and colonised 
by the Portuguese. But the Canary Islands were already 
populated by a race of Berber (Libyan) origin when the 
rule of Rome was finally established over North Africa. 
The nearest of the Canary Islands to the mainland is 
Fuerteventura, which is only about sixty (English) miles distant 
from the Morocco coast. There is, however, nothing to show 
that the Libyan people of North Africa before the coming 
of the Carthaginians possessed any sea-going boats, and it 

» These islands were named by Pliny Nivaria, the Snowy (Teiierife); Canaria, 
the Doggy (Grand Canary), from its big shepherd dogs. 

a6 



♦. History Prior to the Middle Ages 

is just possible, therefore, that the Canary Islands may only 
have been peopled by Moors about two or three thousand 
years ago, with the aid of Carthaginian or Phoenician vessels. 
If, however, the case was otherwise, and the Moors of 
prehistoric periods possessed vessels in which they could 
at any rate cross the strait of sixty miles between the 
Morocco coast and the Canary Islands, they might have 
managed to journey in the same way along the north-west 
coast of Africa. Probably they travelled overland along the 
Atlantic fringe of the Sahara Desert to the Senegal even in 
prehistoric times. The Pula race is an ancient relic of Berber 
advance in this direction. 

After the destruction of the Roman Empire in North Africa 
at the hands of the Arabs and Arabised Berbers, all exploration 
of West Africa by Mediterranean peoples came to an end for 
a hundred and fifty years, yet afterwards developed in a more 
surprising way than ever. The first Arab invaders of Morocco 
possessed no means of sea-transport, and all communication 
between Morocco and the Canary Islands seems utterly to have 
ceased ; so that the Berber inhabitants of the Canary Islands, when 
they were rediscovered by Normans, Portuguese, Italians, and 
Spaniards, were absolutely untouched by Muhammadanism, and 
showed but little affinity in customs with the people of Morocco, 
though they spoke a Berber language and were apparently Libyan 
in their physical features. It is an interesting fact to be noted 
that Ca' da Mosto, a Venetian sea-captain in the service of 
the Portuguese, who visited the Canary Islands early in the 
fifteenth century, describes the natives (afterwards called Guanches 
by the Spaniards) as being much given to nudity, the adults 
sometimes appearing without a vestige of clothing. This 
trait — nudity — is absolutely unlike anything recorded of the 
inhabitants of North Africa in historic times. 

27 



Liberia ^ 

The Arab invasion of North and North Central Africa, 
bringing with it the religion of Islam, was not to affect the 
country of Liberia for many centuries, so that it can be passed 
over for the present. Assuming Liberia to have been peopled 
by something nearer to the genus Homo than the chimpanzee 
two thousand five hundred years ago, the Negro inhabitants of 
her jungles then may just have derived from their neighbours 
on the west rumours of this wonderful visit of the white men 
in their great winged boats ; and if, as I imagine, Carthaginian 
enterprises of this description did not cease with the return of 
Hanno, the Liberian savages of those distant days may have 
traded directly or indirectly with the men of the Mediterranean 
down to the beginning of the Christian era. But with the 
absence of all information on the subject in the writings of 
Roman or Greek geographers after the second century of the 
Christian era, we are obliged to assume that a complete break 
occurred in the intercourse between the Mediterranean peoples 
and the Negroes of tropical West Africa from the second century 
of the Christian era to about the twelfth century. By this time 
the Libyan races (Tamasheq) of the northern bend of the Niger 
had been Muhammadanised, and had begun to break up and 
destroy the Negro or Negroid kingdoms along the course of 
the Upper Niger. Some faint, faint wave of the turmoil they 
created, some tiny infiltration of their commerce, may have 
reached the northern and western regions of Liberia ; but 
assuming Hanno's expedition to have reached the confines of 
this country about two thousand five hundred years ago, we 
have no distinct record of its having any further contact with 
the Caucasian (Aryan, Mediterranean, Libyan) until the 
traditional journeys of the Norman adventurers from Dieppe 
in the fourteenth century of our present era. 



zS 



CHAPTER III 

« 

THE NORMANS AND THE GENOESE 

THE name of Dieppe is apparently but a Frenchification 
of the Scandinavian word Diep (deep), meaning a narrow 
inlet. It early became a point of settlement for the 
Normans, who fastened on the decaying power of the Franks 
in the ninth and tenth centuries. From ports such as this 
their princely rovers sailed round the coasts of Spain and Portugal 
into the Mediterranean to found kingdoms in Naples and Sicily 
and to attack the Saracens on the North Coast of Africa.* Even 
after the Duchy of Normandy had been fused once more into 
the empire of France, the Norman adventurers continued their 
explorations of the Atlantic coasts. The Canary Islands were 
accidentally visited about 1334 by a Norman vessel driven off 
the African coast by a storm. This shows, therefore, that as 
early as 1334 the Normans were feeling their way down the 
West Coast of Africa.^ 

* As early as 814 a.d., according to the Moorish historian Al Bakri, the 
Normans or Norse rovers were pillaging the Morocco coast, and these attacks 
continued during the ninth century. The Norse rovers were known to the Spanish 
and North African Arabs as Maju. 

^ In 1270 Lanciaroto (Lancelot) Malocello, a Genoese captain searching 
vaguely for the Guinea Coast and the '' River of Gold,'' discovered the easternmost 
Canary Islands, probably Lanzarote (named after him) and Fuerteventura. It is 
asserted that this Genoese captain was really of Norman descent from the French 
family of Maloisel. In 1341 a Portuguese expedition spent four months among the 
Canary Islands. Various Spanish expeditions between 1344 and 1395 attempted 
with ill success to effect a permanent settlement. In 1402 Jehan de Bethencourt, a 
Norman gentleman-adventurer, sailed from La Rochelle in the west of France, and 

29 



Liberia ^ 

Other unrecorded Norman adventurers may have sailed past 
the Canary Islands along the Sahara Coast to Cape Verde and 
the Land of the Blacks, probably trading with the natives in 
spices. It is asserted by Villault de Bellefonds^ that as early 
as 1339 (the year in which Dieppe was taken and plundered by 
the English) the Dieppois adventurers had sailed along the 
North-West African coast, and that in 1364-5 two of their 
ships reached the ^* Grain " Coast, which is now known as 
Liberia. They started in November, reached Cape Verde at 
Christmas, visited " Boulombel " (Sierra Leone), Cap Moute 
(Cape Mount), and extended their voyage to Petit Dieppe 
(Grand Basa). In 1365 and 1367^ the Norman adventurers 
founded this Petit Dieppe, which might be identified with Basa 
Cove, near the modern town of Lower Buchanan at the mouth 
of the Biso River (Grand Basa). " Grand Dieppe " was 

effected a landing at Lanzarote and Fiierteventura. This first expedition of Jehan 
de Bethencourt's was repulsed by the natives ; but four years after, having obtained 
a grant of the islands from Henry III. of Castille, De Bethencourt mastered four 
of the smaller among the Canary Islands, and proclaimed himself king. He was 
unsuccessful, however, in his attempts on Grand Canary and Tenerife, and died 
in France in 1408. His nephew disposed of the De Bethencourt claim to a 
Spaniard and afterwards to the Crown of Portugal. After some dispute as to 
ownership between private individuals and the Crowns of Spain and Portugal — 
disputes which dragged on for nearly eighty years — and after violent and effective 
opposition on the part of the warlike indigenes of Grand Canary, Tenerife, and 
Palma, the whole archipelago was finally conquered and occupied by Spain at 
the close of the fifteenth century. During the next hundred years the indigenous 
Berber inhabitants were either exterminated or became fused in the mass of 
Spanish settlers, to whom physically they were not very dissimilar. 

* A Relation of the Coasts of Africa called Guinea, a book published in 
London in 1670, apparently a translation of an earlier work in French. Villault 
was a supercargo or controller of the Europa, a trading vessel sent from Amsterdam 
to the Guinea Coast by the French West Indian Company. The Dutch writer. Dr. 
Dapper, also alludes to these traditions of pre-Portiiguese settlements by the 
French in his work published at Amsterdam in 1686 (p. 230). 

* For an admirable summary of all the traditions and evidences regarding 
these Norman voyages, see Beasley and Prestage, Discovery and Conquest of 
Guinea (Hakluyt Society), p. Ixvi. These authors consider the case "non 
proven." 

30 



MAP 2 




Liberia ^ 

possibly a station at or near the mouth of the River Cestos. 
*' Grand Buteau*' and " Petit Buteau " were placed, it is suggested, 
at Great and Little Butu (Bootoo), a few miles north of Greenville 
(Sino). Great and Little Paris are identified with Grand and 
Picaninny ( = little) Sesters (places in the western part of Maryland 
County). They are also thought to have had a calling-place at 
Fresco, on the Ivory Coast (near Lahou), stations at Cape Mount 
(1375) and Sierra Leone. By 1382 their ships are alleged 
to have reached the Gold Coast, and in 1382 and 1383 they 
built a fort at the modern Elmina, on a bastion of which (long 
called the French bastion) it is said (by Dr. Dapper) that two 
figures indicating the first part of " thirteen hundred " were still 
visible at the close of the eighteenth century.^ All these Norman- 
French settlements, however, seem to have been completely 
abandoned by about 141 3, at which time Normandy was involved 
in the internal internecine wars which raged in PVance after the 
death of Charles VI. 

Very soon after the Normans commenced their adventurous 
voyages in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the seamen of 
Genoa, Majorca, and Barcelona (the Moorish power in south- 
eastern Spain having abated) took to adventurous voyages for 
trading purposes along the North Coast of Africa and out into the 
Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar.^ During the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries there was a lull in the ferocious conflict 
between Christians and Muhammadans in the Mediterranean 

^ MCCCLXXXIII would represent 1383 in Roman numerals. It is almost 
certain that at that date Arabic figures would not be employed in inscriptions; 
consequently, as it would require four Roman numerals (MCCC) to indicate 1300, 
Dapper's story is not quite credible. Colonel Dinger, however, thinks that Norman 
seamen used Arabic figures, as did the English, in the thirteenth century. 

* Noteworthy among these adventures is the story of Jac Ferrer, a Majorcan 
captain who sailed for the River of Gold in 1346, and perhaps reached the Senegal 
River. In the French traditions about the Norman voyages to the Grain Coast there 
is one pointing to Catalan ships frequenting this coast in 1375. 

32 



-#i The Normans and the Genoese 

basin, and something like friendly intercourse arose between the 
polished Berber kingdoms of North Africa and the Italians and 
Catalans. The Crusades were over ; the bitter persecutions 
of the Moors by the fanatical Flemish kings of Spain had not 
begun. Constantinople was still a Christian city, and the awful 
infliction of the Osmanli Turks had not as yet paralysed 
the Arab world and sharpened its hatred of European 
civilisation. 

Islam, which had destroyed the Roman Empire in North 
Africa, Nearer Asia, and Eastern Europe, had nevertheless 
delivered a counter-stroke for the Caucasian's civilisation in 
Africa. The deserts which had baulked the Roman, the Greek, 
and the Persian in their attempts to reach the Sudan were no 
obstacle to the natives of Arabia. The invasion of Egypt in 
640 A.D. was soon followed by the conquest of Tripoli and 
Mauritania. By 711 a.d. the Arabs had not only overrun and 
Islamised Morocco, but had begun to penetrate southwards the 
Atlantic coast of the Sahara. By 950 (approximately) their 
influence had reached the mouth of the Senegal, and they had 
commenced travelling eastwards up the course of that river, thus 
reaching the Niger. Simultaneously,^ through Egypt, they had 
invaded Nubia and Darfur, and thence attained Lake Chad and 
the Upper Niger ; and before actual Arabs made this journey 
they sent in front of them a great religious movement of 
Islamised Nubians, Songhais, and Libyan Tawareq (the Berber- 
speaking indigenes of the Sahara). 

These same Tawareq,- or desert Moors, had also been 

* The movement began in the tenth century, but was most marked at the 
beginning of the eleventh. 

* Tawareq is the plural of Tarqi, an Arab name given to the Tamasheq or 
Imoshagh, the Berber tribes of the Sahara. These people are absolutely the 
same in race and language as the Berber inhabitants that form the bulk of the 
indigenous population in Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco. 

VOL. I 33 3 



Liberia ^ 

Islamised and generally stirred up to adventure by the Arab 
invasion of Mauritania. They surged backwards and forwards 
across the Western Sahara during the tenth, eleventh, and 
twelfth centuries, rushing in a few years from the banks of the 
Niger to Spain, or back again from Morocco to the Niger. 
Thus in about four hundred years after the Arab invasion of 
Egypt some of the most notable features of the Northern Sudan, 
from Senegal to Abyssinia, had reached the Arabs and Berbers 
of North Africa, and had been communicated by them to the 
Sicilians, the Normans, and Genoese. By the middle of the 
thirteenth century the Genoese and the Catalans had derived 
a very correct impression of the main geographical features of 
the Niger Basin, and even of the North-West African coast.^ 
More than this, the rapidly growing Moslem civilisation of 
Jenne and of Timbuktu, had got into touch southwards and 
north-westwards with the gold-bearing regions of Ashanti or 
of Bambuk. From such place-names as Jenne or Ghana arose 
a vague geographical designation — Ghine, Ghinoa, Ghinoia, 
which was mentioned by Arab and Italian geographers two 
hundred years before it was actually applied by the Portuguese 
to West Africa. In fact, the Portuguese had the word Guinea 
(Guine, Guinala) in their minds when they set out to discover 
these regions. They did not invent the word Guinea as an 
original term. 

The Genoese, either coming independently or as the 
captains or pilots of Spanish and Portuguese vessels, discovered 
the Canary Islands, as we have already seen, and two of their 

* In 1402 the priests or missionaries attending De Bethencourts expe- 
dition to the Canary Islands revived and recorded the accounts of a wonderful 
journey made about 1230 by a Spanish mendicant friar of the Franciscan 
Order to Morocco, and from Morocco overland to the Senegal, the •' River 
of Gold," the Kingdom of Melli, and perhaps to the Mandingo hinterland of 
Liberia. 

34 



^ The Normans and the Genoese 

ships passed beyond the dreaded Cape Bojador ^ in 1291, but 
were not known to return. Other Catalan or Genoese ad- 
venturers, however, may have been more fortunate in their 
attempts to reach the Guinea Coast, the ^' Land of Gold." 
There is certainly a very remarkable map of the continent of 
Africa painted in 1351,' and known as the Laurentian Portolano 
in the Medician Library at Florence. This map, of which a 
copy is reproduced in T/ie Discovery aftd Conquest of Guinea^ 
published by the Hakluyt Society,^ gives a remarkably true 
indication (for that period) of the bend of the West Coast of 
Africa, though of course the extent of this great bight is 
proportionately exaggerated at the expense of the rest of the 
continent. But this indication of the coast-line shows firstly the 
projection of Cape Blanco ; secondly, gives some idea of Cape 
Verde and Cape Palmas (Cape Palmas being not much out in 
longitude), the northward trend of the coast between Cape 
Palmas and the Bight of Benin ; and, thirdly, it suggests the 
sharp southward turn after the Niger Delta is passed. The 
situation of the Bight of Biafra is of course much too far to 
the east. It is curious, however, that the photograph of this 
painting shows an alternative line of coast much farther to the 
west and much more in the true position of the southern 
projection of Africa. Off this coast lie two islands which 
might be Sao Thome and Principe ; while there is the in- 
dication of a river that may be intended for the Congo. It is 
quite possible, however, that this alternative line may be a 
sketch by some traveller or geographer a century or two later, 

* This name meant in Portuguese "Jutting out" (Bojar = to bulge, jut out). 
The Cape does not appear particularly prominent on the coast of Africa to modern 
travellers, but it seems to have been a turning-point of winds and currents, and 
was for many years the obstacle at which Portuguese explorers turned back. 

* Nearly a century before the Portuguese discoveries. 
» Vol. i. (1896). 

35 



Liberia ^ 

who, in consulting this Portolano, chose to add a correction of 
his own. In any case this map is a very remarkable guess at 
the real configuration of the West African coast-line, drawn as 
it was in 1351, at least a century before the Portuguese had 
published the positive results of their West African discoveries. 
No doubt much in this map is due to the information given 
by Moors and Arabs to Italian geographers. To this source is 
obviously due the delineation of the upper course of the Niger 
and the outline of Lake Chad. Nevertheless, if we could turn 
back the leaves of the book of time, and see the West African 
coast as it was in the fourteenth century, we might descry 
Norman, Majorcan, and Genoese sailors trafficking with the 
blacks of Senegambia and Liberia for ivory and Guinea pepper, 
possibly even for gold on the Gold Coast. 

There can be little doubt (although it is hotly denied by 
Portuguese historians — who indeed have endeavoured to relegate 
the Norman adventurers on the West Coast of Africa to the 
region of myth) that the trade in gold, ivory, and pepper 
started by those Norman adventurers (whose attempts to seize 
the Canary Islands had already excited Portuguese ambitions) 
had come to the knowledge of Prince Henry the Navigator, 
and had, with other influences, created in him the desire to 
send forth the Portuguese on similar voyages of discovery. 
His desire in its accomplishment led to the turning of the 
Cape of Good Hope and the revelation of the sea-route to 
Arabia, Persia, India, the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago, 
China, Japan, and Korea.^ 

* The very citation of these East Asiatic names shows us that we first received 
our existing versions from the Portuguese. 



36 



CHAPTER IV 

PORTUGUESE EXPLORATIONS 

HENRY, the third son of Joao (John) I. of Portugal, was 
born in 1394. When he was only about twenty-one 
(in 141 5) he took part in a Portuguese expedition sent 
to capture Ceuta, on the north coast of Morocco.^ At Ceuta 
he gathered information from Moorish prisoners and merchants 
as to the fertile and gold-bearing countries beyond the Great 
Desert, on the Western Coast of Africa. He also desired to 
find for Portugal lands to colonise, and possibly the discovery 
of a short sea-route round Africa to the Indies. After his 
return from Ceuta the Prince was made Governor of the southern 
province of Portugal, the Algarve.'*^ From the year 141 8, at 
any rate, if not a little earlier, the ships dispatched by him on 
southern voyages of exploration rediscovered Porto Santo and 
Madeira, and later on visited the Canary Islands on a series of 
profitable raids. But in 1434 one of his captains, Gil Eannes, 
stuck more closely to the Morocco coast and rounded Cape 
Bojador. By 1435 ^^^ Portuguese had reached the narrow inlet 
which they named the Rio do Ouro, or River of Gold (see p. 17). 
At the head of this gulf, as already mentioned, is situated the 

^ It is interesting to note that Knglish and German merchant vessels assisted 
the Portuguese in the siege of Ceuta. 

* Algarve was simply the Portuguese softening of the Arab Algharb — the 
(Land of) Sunset, the Extreme West. 

37 



Liberia ^ 

little Island of Heme or Kerne, which was such an important 
rendezvous for the Carthaginians. 

Why the Portuguese named this place the River of Gold 
is not very clear, except that they were convinced from the out- 
set of their journeys that they were going to find the mysterious 
River or Coast of Gold reported by the Catalan and Norman 
adventurers, and most of all by the Moors and Arabs. It is 
possible also that in their intercourse with the Moors in this 
little inlet, known now as the Rio de Oro (the headquarters of a 
Spanish Protectorate), they may have met Moors returning from 
the Sudan to Morocco with gold-dust in their possession. In 
1 44 1 a Portuguese ship brought back from the Sahara coast 
near Cape Blanco several Moorish captives and some gold-dust. 
In the next year Nuno Tristam reached the Bay of Arguim 
inside Cape Blanco. In 1444 several Portuguese ships reached 
the mouth of the Senegal River, where they are said to have 
found remains of the Norman forts. Cape Verde, " the 
Green," was rounded by Dinis Diaz either in 1445 ^^ i^ H47> 
and about the same time another Portuguese captain discovered 
the mouth of the River Gambia. 

In 1455 and 1456 Luigi Ca' da Mosto,^ a Venetian sea- 
captain in the service of Prince Henry, visited the River Senegal, 
discovered the Cape Verde Islands, and reached in his explorations 
as far as the Bisagos Archipelago. Sierra Leone was perhaps 
first attained by the Portuguese Diego Gomez in 1460. Ca' da 
Mosto,^ the Venetian, was certainly the first notable explorer of 
the W^est Coast of Africa. Besides discovering the Cape Verde 
Islands (in which feat he was joined by a Genoese captain, Uso 
di Mare, who with other ships accompanied him on both these 

* His name is variously spelt Alvise, Aloysius. Cil or Ca', in the Venetian 
dialect, is short for Casa, '• house." 

* Only twenty-two years old when he started from Venice in 1454 

38 



-^ Portuguese Explorations 




20. A BARCA. EAKLV TYPK OF PORTl'GUKSE 
SAILING-SHIP (HFTKKNTH CF.NTURY) 



voyages), he was the first of these captains to give a clear and 
accurate account of the people and geography of North- West 
Africa. 

Pedro de Sintra, or Cintra (an account of whose voyages 
was written by Ca' da 
Mosto), was the first 
Portuguese to reach 
the coast of modern 
Liberia, part of which 
in the vicinity of the 
modern Marshall 
(River Junk) he de- 
scribes as " a great 
green forest." He set 
out from Portugal in 1461, shortly after the death of that 
great prince, Henry the Navigator. De Sintra was dispatched 
by King Alfonso V. to survey the coast of Guinea beyond 
Ca' da Mosto's farthest point (Cape Roxo, Casamance River). 
He passed the Bisagos Archipelago, Cape Verga, and the 
high mountain of Kakulima (near Konakri), which he named 
Mount Sagres, after the place of residence of Prince Henry 
in the Algarve. (This mountain was evidently the Theon 
Ochema in the Greek translation of Hanno*s voyage.) He 
also first gave the name *' Serra Leoa " (Sierra Leone) to the 
mountainous promontory which the natives at that period 
seemingly called Bulom-bel (by which name it was even 
quoted by the French and Dutch travellers ^). The western 

' We are distinctly told by Ca' da Mosto that tins name— The Lion-like Mountain 
Range — was given to Sierra Leone because of the loud noises coming from its 
echoing hollows to the ships out at sea, these noises being caused, he says, by the 
beating of the surf on the coast, or more probably by the constant thunderstorms. It 
is highly improbable that lions were ever found in the forest region of Sierra Leone. 
" t-eoai," moreover, in conjunction with " Serra," is an adjective meaning lion-lik^. 

3? 



Liberia ^ 




21. THK MOL'NTAINOLS PROMONTDKY OF SIKKKA LKONK FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE 
(DRAWN BY THE AUTHOR IN 1882) 

promontory of Sherbro Island was called Cape St. Anne, a 
name it still bears. 

Then Pedro de Sintra reached the coast of what is now 
called Liberia in the autumn of the year 1461 — certainly 
an important date in the history of that country, as, if the 
legends of the Dieppe adventurers are untrue, it was possibly 
the first time in which the Negroes of Liberia ever beheld a 
white man. Pedro de Sintra noticed and named the remarkable 
promontory of Cape Mount (Cabo do Monte), and beyond 
that. Cape Mesurado.^ Hereabouts the natives were lighting 

^ Mesurado in Portuguese does not mean '• measured " (as several writers 
have assured us), neither does it mean "miserable" (another explanation). The 
correct transhilion is "moderated," "diminished," •* quiet," and in this sense Pedro 
de Sintra may have intended to refer to the lessened surf (it is nearly always 
a safe place for landing) or an improvement in the weather. But Ca* da Mosto 
in his Italian version of De Sintra's narrative calls it alternatively " Capo Cortese '' 
(in the French translation, " Cap Courtois "). and one is led to infer that the name 
was given on account of the placable and quiet demeanour of the natives. As 

40 



^ Portuguese Explorations 

fires, apparently to announce with their smoke that something 
very unusual had occurred, and they seem to have conveyed 
to him in some way the intelligence that no European ship 
had ever come to their country before. But as in the same 
narrative it is distinctly stated that it was impossible to under- 
stand a word the people said, and as by their actions they 
appear to have been neither hostile nor timid, there is not 
much evidence in this to rebut the story of the earlier Norman 
settlements farther down the coast. 

Beyond this cape De Sintra's ships travelled " about sixteen 
miles," till they reached on the shore a wood formed of splendid 
green trees which extended itself almost to the water. This 
they called Bosque (or '* Arvoredo '') Santa Maria. Here the 
ships were brought to an anchor, and immediately several 
canoes ^ came off to them. In each canoe were two or three 
men, '' quite naked," carrying pointed spears, darts, javelins, 
bows, and here and there a shield of leather. Their ears were 
pierced in several places, and apparently also the septum of 
their noses, while their teeth were sharpened to a point. Not 
a single word of their language could be understood, and 
consequently when three of them boldly came on board one 

the first definite record of Liberian exploration is interesting for the purposes 
of this book, it may be well to give Ca' da Mosto's actual words as recorded 
by Ramusio in 1564: "Per la spiaggia si trova un capo che si mette molto al 
mare, et sopra di questo capo pare un monte alto, et a questo capo hanno messo 
nome il Capo del Monte, //rm oltra questo capo di Monte i)er la spiaggia andando 
avanti circa miglia sessanta si trova uii altro capo piccolo et non alto, il quale 
anche mostra sopra d* esso haver un monticello, et a questo hanno messo nome, 
il Capo Cortese 6 Misurado, et oltra questo caj)o a miglia sedici pur per la 
spiaggia e un bosco grande con moiti arbori verdissimi clie beono fina su 1' acqua 
del mare, al qual messono nome il Bosco ovcro Arboredo di Santa Maria, et 
drieto di qnello sorgetteno le caravelle," etc. 

' "Almadia" is the word used. This term, wlii. h is Arabo-Portugue.se, was 
employed from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries in Portuguese, Spanish, 
Italian, and English to indicate "canoe," until it was replaced by the American 
words can{Hi and pirogo. 

41 



Liberia ^ 

of the caravels the Portuguese detained a specimen of these 
Negroes as a prisoner, *' thereby accomplishing the command 
of their king," who had *' expressly ordered them on their 
return to bring a man of the last country they had visited " 
(provided they could not make themselves understood in seeking 
for information) ; they were to bring him *' by force or by Jove," 
in order that on arriving in Portugal he might, by meeting 
with other Negroes of possibly the same race, be able to 
give an account of his country. In this instance, the first' 
*' Liberian " who was forcibly brought to Europe actually did 




22. CAN0P:S coming off from THK LIBF.RIAN COAST (skKTCHED BY THE 
AUTHOR IN 1882) 

meet a woman slave in the service of a citizen of Lisbon, 
possibly a Vai woman who had come from an adjoining region 
and could make herself understood in a tongue which the 
native of "Bosque Santa Maria" could understand ; but appar- 
ently the only item of interest that his Portuguese majesty 
could extract from the conversation which resulted was that 
"unicorns" were found in Liberia! Consequently, after the 
Portuguese king had shown this Liberian all the sights of 
Lisbon, he loaded him with presents and sent him back to 
Liberia in 1462. 

42 



-^ Portuguese Explorations 

Probably this Negro returned with the second voyage 
of De Sintra in that year (1462). De Sintra travelled with 
another captain, Sueiro da Costa, and together these explorers 
seem to have extended their voyage along the Liberian coast 
as far as Cape Palmas, though this promontory did not 
receive its present Portuguese name till a later date.^ 

The Cavalla River was perhaps the limit of De Sintra's 
explorations in 1462, and after this there came a pause of 
nine years before further progress was made. Then, in 1471, 
the Portuguese captains, grown bold by familiarity with the 
smooth seas of the Atlantic coast of Africa, sailed eastwards from 
Cape Palmas to that Gold Coast of two hundred years' tradition, 
and farther on across the Bight of Biafra to the southward 
bend of the African continent. 

They had already named what we now know as Liberia 
the *' Malagueta " coast. The Malagueta pepper being 

* It was very soon noticed that this headland near the Kiver Cavalla was 
covered with a remarkable and striking form of palm tree. At the present day 
Cape Palmas is very notable for its growths of coconut palms, which crowd 
its rocky promontories and islets. But in all probability when the first Portuguese 
explored these coasts there were no coconut palms growing on Cape Palmas, 
but the stately fan palm {Horassus) which I have photographed myself on this 
spot, still lingering in the scrub. As will be seen later in the book, the first British 
explorer of this coast notices the considerable numbers of F'an palms in the close 
vicinity of Cape Palmas. 

When I asked the Grebo people at Cape Palmas if the coconut was in- 
digenous to their country, they replied positively that according to their traditions 
this tree was introduced by the Portuguese. Yet Dapper in the seventeenth 
century alludes indirectly to the Coco palm and its fruit as one of the products of 
the Grain Coast. 

The Coco palm is indigenous to the islands and shoresi of the Pacific 
and perhaps of the Indian Ocean. Apparently by the agency of man it was 
transported across the Central American isthmus to the Atlantic coast of that 
continent, and the far-sighted Portuguese planted it on the West African 
littoral : bringing it no doubt from Northern Brazil at the same time that they 
brought the pineapple. This last grows everywhere in the coast regions of Liberia, 
as though it was a native, and its presence there is noted by Dutch and English 
voyagers 9 hundred (ind fifty years after the Portuguese discovery of Liberi^. 

43 



Liberia <•- 



styled in Europe " Grains of Paradise," the Dutch and English 
soon applied the shorter designation of '* Grain Coast " to all 
the country between Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast (which 




23. PALMS— BOKASSUS, OIL, AND COCONUT— AT CAl'E I'ALMAS 



last was called by the Portuguese the Coast of Ma gente — 
Bad people). Between 1462 and 15 15 the Portuguese had 
practically the monopoly of trade with the Liberian coast and 
Guinea generally. After that date the French (usually 

44 



-^ Portuguese Explorations 

Dieppois) again frequented the West Coast of Africa. They 
had, indeed, commenced in 148 3 — perhaps earlier — to renew 
the Atlantic voyages interrupted seventy years before. But 
the Portuguese kept for nearly a hundred years a pretty tight 
grip on the Gulf of Guinea. They did not object, however, 
to engaging Genoese captains or officers for their vessels, and 
it was in this service that Columbus made several voyages to 
Guinea a few years before his great adventure. The Discoverer 
of America, therefore, in all probability landed on the Liberian 
coast when the Portuguese ships called there for fresh water 
or commerce in pepper. 

When Creasy was writing on the decisive battles of the 
world, it is curious that he did not include amongst them 
the battle of Kasr-al-Kablr, which occurred on August 4th, 
1578; for the results of this conflict in Northern Morocco on 
the banks of the River Aulkus were felt in a remarkable series 
of events all over the habitable globe — ^just as when some 
obscure volcanic outburst or earthquake occurs at the bottom 
of the sea in the Pacific, or in the Indian Ocean, tidal wave 
after tidal wave ravages the coasts and islands of some unwitting 
land a thousand miles or so from the scene of the scarcely 
noticed outbreak of natural forces. 

Portugal, ever since the capture of Ceuta in 141 5 (the 
event which had set Prince Henry of Portugal thinking on 
West African discovery), had been striving to conquer for 
herself an empire over Morocco. Spain — that is to say, 
Castille — was shut off from any such ambition in the first half 
of the fifteenth century because the Moorish kingdom of 
Granada still stood between the territories of the kingdom of 
Castille and the nearest part of the Morocco coast. Portugal 
by degrees laid hands on most of the principal ports, pro- 
montories, and islets along the coast of Morocco from Ceuta 

45 



Liberia ^ 

(the Roman Septa') to Mogadon. By the middle of the 
fifteenth century the Portuguese were masters of the northern 
horn of Morocco, that peninsular projection towards Europe 
which extends from Tangier and Ceuta, on the north, to the 
River Aulkus on the south. This intrusion of the Portuguese 
was singularly disconcerting to the Arabised Moors of Morocco, 
who, reinforced from time to time by fresh bands of Arabs 
coming right across Northern Africa from Egypt, or by some 
northward rush of Muhammadan Berbers from the Niger, had 
renewed over and over again the invasion of Spain, if not 
of Portugal.* This solid block of Portuguese dominion, there- 
fore, in the northern promontory of Morocco threatened to be 
a wedge which would completely separate the Moors (not then 
a bold seafaring people) from the Moorish kingdom of Granada 
across the Straits of Gibraltar. Consequently the Moorish hosts 
threw themselves with fanaticism again and again on the barrier 
of Portuguese fortresses and armies. 

The intrusion of the Portuguese in the fifteenth century 
had assisted to break up the Moorish dynasty of the Beni- 
Marln. Moorish opinion was in disarray. That portion of it 
which was founded on the less fanatical coast population de- 
scended from the Romans, Spaniards, Goths, Byzantines, and 
Christian Berbers, was half inclined to waver in its allegiance 
to the Crescent, and join the Empire of the Cross under Portugal. 
This reactionary feeling provoked another Mahdi in one of 
the Sharifs of Sijilmassa in Southern Morocco. This man 
finally led the Moorish armies against the Portuguese. The 
young King Sebastian had just succeeded to the crown of 

• The Portuguese generally pronounced this name Septa or Sevta, and spelt 
it Cepta ; it was the Spaniards that turned v into u, and made it Ceuta. The 
Moors call it Sebta. 

* The Moors had been finally expelled from their last foothold on Portuguese 
soil (Algarve) about 1254. 

46 



-^ Portuguese Explorations 

Portugal, and was full of crusading ardour. He dashed to the 
front in Morocco, and lost the battle of Kasr-al-Kablr against 
the Moorish forces under the last prince of the Marinide 
dynasty, Abd-al-Malek, and the first of the Sharifian, Abul 
Abbas Ahmad al-Mansur. Realising that he had not only 
lost the battle, but the Portuguese empire in Morocco, he 
rushed on death. He died unmarried. The house of Avis 
was left with but one royal representative, the Cardinal 
Henry, who assumed the royal power, and died two years 
afterwards. Philip II. of Spain, taking advantage of the dis- 
puted claim to the Portuguese crown, forced on the notables 
of the country his own rights through his wife, and by dint 
of cajolery, bribes, and threats he was chosen as King of 
Portugal. 

This union of the crowns of Spain and Portugal gave rise 
to many results, and even affected the future of Liberia ! The 
merchants of England, France, and the Low Countries had 
long been envious of the Portuguese monopoly on the West 
Coast of Africa, in Brazil and the Guianas, the Malay Peninsula 
and Archipelago, China and Japan. The Turks of Egypt and 
the Arabs of Western and Southern Arabia were furious at the 
way in which the Portuguese had ousted them from the strong 
places of Eastern Africa and Zanzibar, of the Red Sea, Aden, 
and the Straits of Ormuz in the Persian Gulf But England, 
France, and the Low Countries were ostensibly at peace with 
Portugal, and Portuguese valour and marvellous resourcefulness 
in the Eastern seas imposed submission on the Turks and 
Arabs. The act of Philip II. in uniting the kingdoms of Spain 
and Portugal put an end to this check on the greed and 
ambition of other Powers. In the first place, the same fatal 
paralysis which the rule of Madrid had exercised over Spanish 
operations in America was to numb much of the enterprise carried 

47 



Liberia ^ 

on during the next seventy years in the Portuguese settlements 
of Asia, Africa, and America. The Portuguese were enraged 
and disgusted at their '* captivity '* (as the Spanish rule was 
called), and worked with less heart at their defence of a 
magnificent empire no longer their own. But England, being 
intermittently at war with Spain, and in her hatred of Spain 
allowing piracy on the part of British subjects when ostensibly 
at peace with the cold Flemish Philip, seized with avidity an 
excuse for ousting Portugal from her gains. France followed 
precisely the same course, and the bitterest foe of the Portu- 
guese was Holland. The Dutch, affecting to consider all that 
was Portuguese as belonging to Spain (against whom they were 
in revolt), made descents on the Guianas and Brazil, ousted the 
Portuguese from the Gold Coast in West Africa and from 
Angola, replaced their fugitive settlements in South Africa by 
a Dutch colony, and took from them Mozambique in East 
Africa, the islands of Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, Flores, and Celebes. 
The French also attempted to secure a foothold in Brazil, of 
which French Guiana is the only vestige at the present day. 

But so far as the purpose of this book is concerned, it 
is more to the point to notice that at the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century the French replaced the Portuguese (as a ruling 
power) on the Senegal River and at Cape Verde, and as traders 
on the Liberian coast and elsewhere. The English under 
Elizabeth now deemed the time opportune for gaining a foot- 
hold in West Africa. Forts were built at the mouth of the 
River Gambia in 1588, and towards the close of the sixteenth 
century English trading-settlements were erected at or near 
Sierra Eeone, and during the seventeenth century Great Britain 
became one of the leading Powers on the Gold Goast. At the 
beginning of the seventeenth century travellers record that the 
natives along the Liberian Coast were becoming tri-lingual ; 

48 



-^ Portuguese Explorations 

that is to say, in addition to their native language they could 
speak Portuguese and English/ Dutch, PVench, and English 
adventurers who visited the Liberian coast in the sixteenth and 
early seventeenth centuries noted the extraordinary hold that the 
Portuguese language had acquired over natives of the littoral, 
especially in the Vai country. The early Portuguese visitors 
or settlers had intermarried much with native women, and 
hundreds of Mulattos, still speaking Portuguese, and resolutely 
firm in their Christianity, were dwelling on the Senegal River, 
on the Gambia, and on most of the rivers of Guinea as far 
as Sierra Leone, perhaps as far as the River Gallinhas on the 
borders of Liberia, down to the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. 

During the first hundred years of their adventures (1445 
to 1525) the Portuguese had named nearly every cape, inlet, 
river, and mountain on the west, south, and east coasts of 
Africa, from Morocco past the Cape of Good Hope to the Red 
Sea. Their nomenclature in West Africa has been more lasting. 
If we look at the coast of Liberia we may begin with the River 
Gallinhas, near the Liberian frontier, so named by the Portuguese 
from the abundance of domestic fowls in the possession of the 
natives. Inland of the Gallinhas, which is really little else than 
a lagoon, there is a considerable lake of brackish water named by 
the Portuguese " Palma,*' from the abundance of oil palms in its 
vicinity. Tracing the coast eastwards, we next come to Cape 
Mount, styled by the Portuguese Cabo do Monte, from the 
lofty hill of 1,066 feet which rises up from the shore. The 
biggest river of Liberia they named the St. Paul, and the cape 

' The Dutch travellers state that at Cape Mount there were chiefs who 
could speak Portuguese fluently, and in addition a little Dutch, French, and 
English. Between Cape Verde and Cape Palmas there arose a medium of 
intercommunication in the form of a '* pidgin " Portuguese, which only gave way 
to "pidgin*' English in the eighteenth century. 

VOL. I 49 4 



Liberia <•- 

which is near its mouth, Mesurado, a Portuguese name of 
which the true translation is given on p. 40. Then we come 
to the River Junk, which was named by the Portuguese '' Junco" 
{reed^ the Reedy River). The next river of importance entering 
the sea at Grand Basa was called the " River of St. John/' 
because discovered on the feast of that saint. The succeeding 
river eastwards (of any size) is still known as the Cestos or Cess 
River. (Cestos in Portuguese does not mean a girdle^ as a few 



'^^>\ii&^_ 




24. C A VALLA RIVF.K, NKAR ITS MOUTH 

writers on Africa have translated it, but a basket, a hamper. It 
was probably applied to this river because of the fish-weirs or 
fish-baskets which are placed in such streams of Liberia at the 
present day.) ^ The promontory now known as Rock Cess was 
called by the Portuguese Cabo Baixo, the Low Cape. The next 

' This name Cestos has been subsequently misspelt Sestos or Sextos, and 
is therefore confused with a totally different locality in Liberia, nowadays called 
Sesters. 

50 



-^ Portuguese Explorations 

big river eastwards of the Cestos is the Sanguin. This is from 
the Portuguese Sanguinho (= sanguine, bloody, blood-red). The 
origin of this name is supposed not to have had any lugubrious 
signification, but to express the blood-red colour of the stream 
after floods, when it is deeply loaded with ferruginous clay. 
The promontory eastwards of this river, which is now called 
Bafu Bay, was called by the Portuguese Cabo Formoso — the 
Beautiful Cape. The Island of Palma, named by the Portuguese 
because of its groves of palm trees, and situated near the mouth 
of the Sanguin River, is apparently represented at the present 
day by the Baiya rock, about sixty feet high, or by one of the other 
rocky islets in this vicinity. The Sino settlements the Portuguese 
called by their existing native name ; ' but the Sino River is 
on some early maps the Sao Vicente or the Rio Dulce. The 
Dewa River near Setra Kru was called by the Portuguese Rio 
dos Escravos, the River of Slaves. Grand Sesters (which is 
supposed to have been the site of Grand Paris of the Dieppe 
adventurers), together with Piccaninny - Sesters, derives its name 
from the Portuguese word Sestro— j/>//j/^r, or suspicious^ perverse y 
an adjective which apparently applied to the people of the 
locality. The promontory of Rock Town was called Cabo Sao 
Clemente. Cape Palmas was so named, as I have already related, 
from the abundance of palms, and the Cavalla River or point is 
from the Portuguese word Cavalla, meaning mackerel (Cava/a 
means a big fish like a tunny), a name given to it, no doubt, be- 
cause of the abundance of horse-mackerel on the bar of its mouth.^ 

* I spell this name as it was spelt by the Portuguese. It is pronounced Sino, 
more like the English word snow. There is no reason whatever for adding an " e " 
to this name, except the desire of all English and Americans and all Negroes 
under English or An.erican influence to misspell every African name they come 
across. 

* The Portuguese Pequeninho, '• very little." 

' Several writers on African geography have informed us that the transla- 
tion of Cavalla (corrupted quite recently into Cavally) is "mare"; and as in the 

51 



Liberia ^ 

The fate of the Portuguese kingdom after the battle of Kasr- 
al-Kablr determined, as has been sxid, much of th^ subsequent 
history of Africa, Asia, and South America. But for this 
crushing blow, it is quite possible that the Portuguese might 
have stuck as resolutely to the coast of Liberia as they did to 
that of Angola and the Congo, and there might have been no 
Liberia to-day in the sense of a free Negro republic inde- 
pendent of European control. But although they made an 
indelible impression on the Grain Coast, although they named 
most of its striking features and taught the Portuguese language 
to the Vais and the Kruboys, and in their hundred years of 
trade monopoly introduced to Liberia the orange tree, lime, 
coconut palm, pineapple, papaw, chili pepper, and tobacco 
plant, the European domestic ox (possibly), the hog, and 
the Muscovy duck, they did not succeed in effecting a per- 
manent hold. 

In the seventeenth century they were driven away from the 
Gold Coast. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they 
were forced to relinquish their hold over Benin and Dahome. 
All that remains to them at the present day of their " Lordship 
of Guinea '' (which once stretched nearly uninterruptedly from 
the Senegal to Old Calabar) is the small territory they have 
at different times disputed with England and France, round 
about the River Jeba and the Bisagos Archipelago ; this is 
now known by the restricted name of Portuguese Guinea. 

days of early Portuguese discovery there were no horses on that coast, it is 
supposed that the Portuguese explorers sighted a hornless female of the Kob 
water-buck, and mistook it for a mare ! But they argued from a false analogy in 
etymology Cavallo means horse in Portuguese ; but the word for mare is "egua," 
••jumenta,' " poldra." 

The recent form of this name — Cavally— is an Anglo-American corruption 
thoughtlessly adopted by the French, which should be at once discarded for the 
correct form— Cavalla. This is used in all the older documents connected with 
the Liberian Republic. 

52 



^ Portuguese Hxploratione^ 

The capital town is on the island of Bulama, and this is slightly 
interwoven with the more modern history of Liberia, because 
an attempt was made by the British at the close of the eighteenth 
century to found a precursor of Liberia on this large deserted 
island in the estuary of the River Jeba. But for a series of 
accidents and the great unhealthiness of the site, it is possible 
that '* Liberia/' the colony of free blacks, might have had 
its centre here. 




25. POKTUGL'ESK WAKKIOR IN AKKK A, ()N HoKsKMACK: KAKl.Y SIXll.KMII CENTURY. 
DRAWN FROM A HKNIN C.ARVINC; IN TIIK HRITlSIl ML'SKIM 



53 



CHAPTER V 

PEPPER AND GOLD 

WHAT were the first great inducements of gain which 
led to West African maritime discovery on the part 
of these Normans, Catalans, Genoese, Portuguese, 
and, as will be shown later, English, Dutch, French, Swedes, 
Danes, Germans, Flemings, and Spaniards ? Firstly, the search 
was for gold, then for pepper, and finally for slaves. To the 
gold quest they were spurred by the discoveries of the 
Arabs in the centuries that followed the outbreak of Islam. 
The ancient, like the modern, Semites seem to have had a 
kind of sixth sense, a " nose," a flair for gold. It was probably 
amongst the Semiticised Hamites of Lower Egypt and the 
pure Semites of Arabia, Syria, and Mesopotamia (in the Old 
World) that the admiration for and use of gold as a precious 
metal first arose ; though it may also have become a precious 
metal in the eyes of man in Eastern or Central Asia. At any 
rate, from the rising civilisations of Asia there spread to the 
nations of Northern and Western and Mediterranean Europe 
an appreciation of gold perhaps not longer ago than four 
or five thousand years. In the rocks of Egypt sufficient gold 
was found at first to content the cupidity of the Semitic world ; 
but later on the adventurous Arabs of Southern Arabia sought 
for it in South-East Africa, while their Phoenician kindred 
no doubt carried on a search in the Mediterranean world and 

54 



-#i Pepper and Gold 

in Spain. It is truly marvellous to think of the instinct, the 
sixth sense that must have led these Minasans, Saba^ans, and 
Himyarites to coast along the savage shores of Eastern Africa 
some two thousand to one thousand years ago, at a time when 
the navigation of the high seas by sailing vessels was only just 
beginning ; and that this instinct should have led them on and 
on, not merely along the coast of East Africa to the regions 
south of the Zambezi, but have prompted them to ascend that 
river and to make great journeys inland on foot from swampy 
landing-places like the present Beira, through countries which 
so far as we can tell do not in their coast regions offer any 
signs of gold. 

It is as yet one of the unexplained mysteries in the history 
of the human race how the Arabs learnt that gold was to be found 
alluvial and in the rock at distances of from one to five hundred 
miles from the coast of South-east Africa. Moreover, from 
the little we know of the conditions of Africa at that period, 
the Arabs were exploring a country sparsely inhabited by Negro 
races of low development, Bechuana and Makaranga Bantu, 
and others, practically identical with the modern Hottentots, 
Bushmen, or Berg Damara — a population caring little for 
gold or any other metal. Did these same pre-Islamic Arabs 
or kindred Semites or Hamites explore the regions west of 
Egypt, say, through Darfur towards the Niger Basin ? Were 
the gold-bearing rocks of the Fula and Mandingo Highlands 
and of the interior of Ashanti known in any way to the 
Semitic world before the Christian era and before the birth 
of the Muhammadan religion sent wave after wave of Semitic 
conquest over North Central Africa ? That is also a problem 
as yet unsolved, and one which again reverts for solution to 
the Agri (Aggry) beads. These Agri beads, as already stated, 
ofFer types which might be traceable equally to Egypt and 

55 



Liberia ^ 

Syria as to Rome and Carthage. But these patterns of beads 
also seem to have been continuously manufactured in Italy (at 
Venice) and perhaps also in Egypt down to the close of the 
Middle Ages. One or two ornaments, and some beads 
possibly of Ancient Egyptian origin, have been found in the 
possession of Negroes of the Bahr-al-Ghazal and the north- 
eastern part of the Uganda Protectorate, and Agri beads of 
a very Roman appearance have been obtained from the Central 
Niger (see p. 23). 

But certainly two or three centuries after the death 
of Muhammad the Semitic world had got into touch with 
the gold-bearing regions of West Africa by way of Lake 
Chad and the Niger, and later through direct trans-Saharan 
journeys from Tripoli, Tunis, and Morocco. Guinea gold 
therefore first inspired the European adventurers of the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries in their exploration of West 
Africa. 

The next most potent inducement was pepper. Pepper 
is a word derived through the Greek or Latin from an Indian 
root — pipli. The spice had become popular even amongst 
the Greeks in the Classical period ; still more amongst the 
Romans of the Empire. The taste for it reached the northern 
barbarians, and when Alaric the Goth put Rome up to ransom in 
408 he demanded three thousand librae of pepper. India sup- 
plied the condiment exclusively, and down to the eleventh century 
the trade was almost entirely carried on through Greeks and 
Arabs by way of India, the Rea Sea, and Egypt. In the eleventh 
century the Venetians took up the trade, owing to the increasing 
warfare between the Byzantine Greeks and Turks. Venice, in 
fact, soon obtained the monopoly of the pepper trade, created 
a '^ Trust '' in pepper, and made the price of this condiment 
so high that '' peppercorn rents '' in the Middle Ages were 

56 



^ Pepper and Gold 

by no means the joke that they now seem to us.^ The 
Normans, the Genoese, and the Portuguese successively felt 
after some sea-route to India round Africa which should enable 
them to obtain pepper in defiance of the Venetians and Turks. 
The invention in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries of the 
mariner's compass came as an aid to maritime exploration ; 
though without this help the bold Norsemen had already dis- 
covered North America and had in their Norman descendants 
explored the Eastern Atlantic. 

The first object, therefore, of European research along the 
Atlantic coast of Africa was gold, and, secondly, a route to 
India along that coast which might lead to a trade in pepper. 
Judge, therefore (if we may believe French traditions), of the 
delight of the Dieppois when in their tentative explorations 
of the Guinea coast they discovered pepper, apparently of two 
kinds, in use by the Negroes. The first of these spices which 
they brought to light was the ''grains of Paradise.'' These 
were obtained from Sierra Leone, and notably the coast of 
Liberia, which is the reason why that part of Guinea has been 
known on the maps for several centuries as the " Grain " 
Coast. These grains of Paradise are sometimes called cardamoms 
(cardamom is really the name of a kindred species from Eastern 
Asia), and sometimes Malagueta or Maniguette pepper. The 
origin of the word Malagueta is uncertain, but it may be that 
in the days of Moorish Spain, Malaga was an emporium for 
this new spice ; for it is known that these grains of Paradise 
were first introduced into the Mediterranean world by the 
Moors, who obtained them through the overland trade already 
existing between Mauritania and West Africa. The grains are 

* A peppercorn rent generally implied an obligation to supply at least one 
pound of pepper, a tax amounting possibly to as much as ^5 to ;£io in our 
money. 

57 



^ Pepper and Gold 

grains of Paradise in malt liquor, strong waters, and 
cordials. 

The other pepper^ that was found on the West Coast of 
Africa was closely akin to the Indian kind. It was a true pepper 
and of two species — Piper subpeltatum and Piper guineense. The 
first named, and perhaps the other as well, is still found growing 
wild in the Liberian coast forests and in most other parts of 
West Africa as far east as the Bahr-al-Ghazal region of the 
Nile. These kinds in the trade are known as " Ashanti " 
pepper. It is said to have been brought back by the Norman 
adventurers to Dieppe and Rouen in 1364. The Portuguese 
also pushed a trade in it, especially in the country of Benin, 
until towards the middle of the sixteenth century. When the route 
to India had been discovered, the importation of this African 
pepper was forbidden in Portugal, in order that it might not 
compete with the Indian trade. 

After gold, it was perhaps pepper that made the adven- 
turous spirits of Europe more anxious to explore the West 
Coast of Africa than any other motive down to the end of 
the fifteenth century. I have already described what led to the 
abrupt end of the Norman trade with West Africa, From 
the middle of the fifteenth to the middle of the sixteenth century 
the Portuguese had the Guinea trade entirely in their own 
hands, and they imitated the Venetians in trying to control the 
pepper trade and run up the price of these spices. With the 
same result, that the English under Mary I. and Elizabeth, 
and a little later the Dutch and the Flemings, resolved to follow 
the tracks of the Portuguese and find out where the pepper 
came from. 

The first Englishman that (so far as we know) found his 
way to West Africa travelled more or less in disguise as a sea- 

' Pepper is also made in Liberia from the fruits of Xylopia oethiopica. 

59 



Liberia ^ 

man on one of the Portuguese ships, ^nd fetched up in Benin. 
He discovered that pepper at any rate came from Benin. 
This discovery nearly cost him his life ; but he showed the way 
to other adventurers, and by 1553 Englishmen were trading 
with the Guinea Coast in their own ships. 

As early as 1482 King John II. of Portugal sent an 
embassy to Edward IV. of England, asking him to restrain by 
his orders two Englishmen, John Tintam and William Fabian, 
from making a voyage to Guinea, in defiance of the Portuguese 
restrictions, which forbade persons not subjects of Portugal to 
trade with that '^ lordship.'* These two English adventurers 
were to have gone out in the pay, and possibly commanding 
the ships of, the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, a great Spanish 
nobleman. 

A vigorous English trade with the Canary Islands had 
sprung up at the end of the fifteenth century, and even at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century English merchant captains sent 
back the most copious notes about the indigenes (Guanches) 
and natural productions of the Canary Islands/ Already at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century sugar-cane was grown there, 
and sugar was manufactured in twelve bakeries. Also, even at this 
early date the Spaniards, with the help of the Portuguese, had 
orange trees, lemons, and bananas'"' growing in Grand Canary and 
Tenerife. 

Probably the first Englishmen to see the coast of Liberia 
were the officers and crew of the Primrose and the Lio}i^ 
two goodly ships accompanied by a pinnace called the Moon 
which sailed from Portsmouth on August 12th, 1553. (Prior 

' "Tenerifais a high land with a great pike like a sugar loaf, and upon the 
said pike is snow throughout all the yeere, and by reason of that pike it may be 
knouen above all other islands. . . ''— Captain John I .ok, 1554. 

* The banana was introduced from Senegambia. The word "banana" comes 
from the languages of the Siena Leone Coast, such as Bullom. 

60 



^ Pepper and Gold 



to this it is said that two or three young Englishmen shipped as 
sailors on board vessels in order to find out the way to Guinea 
and the land of pepper and gold. They reached as far as 
Benin, but very nearly lost their lives at the hands of the 
enraged Portuguese.) 

About 1550 a Portuguese sea-captain called Antonio 
Anes Pinteado of Oporto, after holding high rank in the 
Portuguese naval service and defending the 
coasts of Portugal and Guinea against the 
French, got into trouble on his own account, 
and lost favour at Court. He came to South- 
ampton in anger, and resolved to show the 
English the way to Guinea. It was arranged 
to send him out in joint command of these 
two ships, the 'Primrose and the Lion, with a 
certain Captain Windham. Touching at the 
Canary and Cape Verde Islands by the way, 
they made a pretty straight coarse for the 
Grain Coast (Liberia), and fetched up at the 
Cestos River, " the great river of S*^sto," as 
it is called in the English chronicle. Here 
Pinteado proposed that they should fill up 
part of their cargo space with large quantities 
of grains of Paradise, the Amomum pepper already described. 
But Captain Windham thirsted to reach the land of gold, 
and so hurried on. This date may be fixed approximately at 
October 15th, 1553. Afterwards Windham's voyage met with 
something like disaster. The ships entered the Benin River, 
and Pinteado escorted a party of the officers and men to see 
the King of Benin, a monarch who was found to be speaking 
Portuguese perfectly. He promised them a great cargo of 
pepper ; but Pinteado delayed so long over his commercial 

61 




:6. A I'ORTUGUKSE 
Si;.\ -CAPTAIN OF 
T H K S I X T E i: N T H 
CKNTL'KY. DRAWN 
FROM A BKNIN 

CARVING IN THE 
HRITISII MUSKLM 



Liberia ^ 

transactions that the rest of the men in the two ships began 
to die four or five a day from all sorts of maladies, con- 
tracted generally through their imprudence. The result was 
that Windham lost his head completely. He smashed up 
Pirtteado's cabin, broke open his chests, and when he came 
on board he deprived him of his rank and treated him like 
a felon, so that on the return voyage he died of a broken 
heart. 

In the following year (1554) the Trinity^ the Bartholomew^ 
and the John Evangelist (the first and the last of one hundred 
and forty tons burden) sailed from London for Guinea on 
October nth. The captain of this expedition was Mr. John 
Lok, and there went with him Sir George Barn and Sir John 
York and other gentlemen. On December 21st they found 
theitiselves close to Cape Mesurado, which is described as 
*'like a porpoise head.*' The latitude of it was fixed fairly 
correctly. The next day they came to the Cestos River, where 
they collected a ton of grains of Paradise. Then on to the 
" Rio Dulce." The mouth of the River Cestos is described as " a 
good harborow, but very narrow in the entrance into the river. 
There is also a rock in the haven's mouth right as you enter." 
The high land which lay between the Cestos River and the 
River Dulce was called Cakeado, and in this land were two 
notable places of call for fresh water, Shawgro and Shyawe or 
Shavo. They called at the St. Vincent or Dulce River (? Sino), 
and experienced the dangers from submerged rocks. Cape Palmas 
is described as '' a fair high land, but some low places thereof 
by the waterside look like red cliffs with white streaks like 
highways." These two ships went on to the Gold Coast, and 
traded very advantageously in gold, ivory, and pepper, and 
apparently returned without misadventure to England, bringing 
back with them five black slaves. 

62 



^ Pepper and Gold 

In the year 1555 Master William Towerson organised 
an expedition to the " Guinea Grain Coast " (Liberia), the same 
River Cestos being his principal objective. Two ships, called 
the Hart and the Hinde^ started from Newport in the Isle 
of Wight on September 30th. They slightly overshot their 
mark.^ Captain Towerson describes very vividly his first sight 
of the (Liberian) coast : '' The land . . . full of woods and 
great rocks hard aboard the shore, and the billows beating 
so sore that the seas brake upon the shore as white as snow, 
and the water mounted so high that a man might easily discern 
it four leagues off/' On nearing the River St. Vincent 
(evidently that which is now known as the Sino), they *' met 
with divers boats of the country, small, long, and narrow, and 
in every boat one man and no more. We gave them bread 
which they did eat and were very glad." The description given 
is very similar to the present approach to the river and port 
of Sino : '' Directly before the mouth of it there lieth a ledge 
of rocks ... so that a boat must run in along the shore a 
good way between the rocks and the shore before it come 
to the mouth of the river; and being within it, it is a great 
river, and divers other rivers fall into it : the going into it 
is somewhat ill, because that at the entering the seas do go 
somewhat high ; but being once within, it is as calm as the 
Thames." 

As to the inhabitants on this coast, ''They are mighty 
big men, and go all naked except something before their 
privy parts, which is like a clout about a quarter of a yard 

* It will be noticed repeatedly in these early voyages to West Africa that 
most of the ships — Portuguese, English, Dutch, and French — seem to have made 
Liberia their first objective after rounding Cape Verde. No doubt this was a 
good deal connected with the currents and wind, but also the desire to avoid 
the treacherous shoals and the intricate archipelagos of islands which lie off the 
intervening coast of Northern Guinea. 

63 



Liberia ^ 

long, made of the bark of trees, and yet it is like cloth. . . . 
Some of them also wear the like upon their heads, being 
painted with divers colours ; but the most part of them go 
bare-headed, and their heads arc clipped and shorn of divers 




27. A NATIVK OF SIN 6 

sorts, and the most part of them have the skin of their bodies 
traced with divers works in the manner of a leather jerkin. The 
men and women go so alike that one cannot know a man 
from a woman but by their breasts, which in the most part 

64 



-^ Pepper and Gold 

be very foul and long, hanging down low like the udder of 
a goat." 

Here the mariners bought grains of Paradise and tusks 
of Ivory in exchange for basins, iron manillas, and '* margarits " 
(beads). After a time the headman of the place seems to 
have made a corner in grains of Paradise, and tried to raise 
the selling price, with the result that they suspended trade for 
a bit, and went off to visit a village in the interior and see 
something of the life of the country. Captain Towerson noticed 
the iron work which was being carried on, the making of 
arrow-heads, for example. The only domestic animals were 
goats, fowls, and dogs. He comments on the unending forest 
and the mangroves, which he compares to enormous pea-stalks. 
He even collected a few words and sentences of the language ; 
but these are no longer recognisable, except that they seem 
to be tinged with a Portuguese jargon. After buying more 
grains of Paradise along the coast, and passing Cape Palmas, 
he stopped at the River Cavalla (which he does not name), 
and this river was entered in boats in order to obtain fresh 
water. The bar at its mouth seems to have been fully as 
bad then as it is at the present day. It is interesting to note 
that although the actual palm trees on Cape Palmas are not 
described, other palm trees are, near the mouth of the Cavalla, 
and the description of these given by Captain Towerson is such 
as to Identify them with the Borassus, and not with the 
coconut : *' Their stems are very high and white -bodied, 
straight, and biggest In the midst.^ They have a round bush 
at the top of them." From these palms he says that the 
natives get their principal supply of palm wine. 

After going on to the Gold Coast, the two ships turned 

* The ventricose swelling which occurs near the middle of the stems of most 
Borassus palms. It is met with also in some Hyphaeiie palms— never in the 
coconut. 

VOL. I 65 5 



Liberia <#- 

back from a most successful trade. The Hart reached the south 
coast of Ireland on May yth, 1556. The Hinde parted company 
with her consort on March ist, in a tornado off the Guinea 
Coast, and was apparently never seen again, though there was 
no record of whether she was completely lost. Undaunted by 
these dangers, however. Master William Towerson (who, after 
landing on the south coast of Ireland and buying two sheep 
from *' the wild Kerns/' had brought up his good ship the Hart 
to Bristol) started off again on September 14th, in the same 
year, from Harwich to Bristol, and from Bristol sailed to Sierra 
Leone. Near the Cestos River they fell in with some French 
ships, who told them that they, the French, had just had a 
little battle with the Portuguese, who were now determining 
to bar the way on the part of foreign ships to the Gold Coast. 
The French had sunk one of the Portuguese ships, and they 
proposed to Master Towerson that he should join in his 
fortunes with them. They obtained water from one of the 
Liberian rivers, and bought ivory from the natives. They also 
landed their men with '' harquebuses, pikes, long bows, crossbows, 
partisans, long swords, and swords and daggers,'' in pursuit of 
two elephants, whom they '' stroke divers times with harquebuses 
and long bows," without apparently doing them much harm. 
Their subsequent adventures in fighting the Portuguese do not 
come within the scope of this book. Captain Towerson visited 
the coast of Liberia a third time in 1577. 

A voyage in 1562 was made by a number of English 
adventurers, one of whom, Robert Baker, afterwards a prisoner 
for ransom (salvage) in France, solaced his captivity by re- 
counting his adventures in doggerel rhyme {Hakluyt^ vol. ii. 
p. 518). These occurred, to begin with, on the coast of 
Liberia. He seems to have found the Kruboys of that period 
stark naked, though this may only have been due to facetious 

6h 




28. BOKAbSUS FLABLLLIFER 



Liberia ^ 

exaggeration on the part of the rhymester. He describes how 
the headman of some Kru village comes off to their big boat 
in a canoe (Almadie) 

.... made of a log 

The very same, wherein you know 

We used to serve a hog. 

Aloof he stayed at first, 

Put water to his cheek, 

A sign that he would not us trust 

Unless we did the like. 

During the night the natives, however, deftly robbed the 
pinnace of the big boat of the trade goods that were stored in 
it. The result was that the Englishmen landed with their 
men and had a great fight. The Kruboys came with a hundred 
canoes, in each two men with long shields and darts. Many 
of their darts had light strings attached to them, so that they 
could be recovered after they had been shot away ; but '^ the 
hail shot of the arquebus, the arrows of the long-bow men, and 
the pikes of the halberdeers '' killed and wounded some of the 
Kruboys. Nevertheless, they redoubled their attacks. The 
English had long since taken to their boats, and were rowing 
hard down the river out into the sea, being followed by this 
flotilla of a hundred canoes. The Kruboys' darts did consider- 
able execution. Seven out of nine Englishmen were badly 
wounded, one lying for dead, having been so pierced with a 
spear that his viscera were torn out. 

The writer describes with a certain amount of pathos his 
own pain and fever from his wounds, and how he passed into 
a delirium delicious by contrast with the misery of his surround- 
ings on board ship, and, when he regains his senses once 
more, the almost painful joy with which he learns from one of 
the seamen that they have got " a right merry wind " and are 
sailing for old England, which is safely reached at last. 

68 



■^ Pepper and Gold 

They again visited the coast of Liberia, but fared better 
as regards trade, and were well treated by the natives. The 
voyage commenced with a fight against a French pirate which 
ended in a British victory ; but when they reached the coast 
of Liberia, as usual nine of them quitted the big ships and 
entered the Liberian rivers to trade in their boats. Somehow 
the big ships were lost sight of and never seen again. The 
mariners went through the most terrible sufferings from hunger 
and thirst (though they constantly touched at the coast and 




29. KRU CANDtS 

obtained wild food from the natives). After extraordinary 
adventures they reached the Gold Coast. Here the Portuguese 
received them with outrageous cruelty. After a desperate 
fight for their lives, they passed along the coast, and then 
in despair landed through the surf on the shore of some 
Negro kingdom, where they were received with far greater 
kindness. After long and dreary waiting, during which six 
out of the nine died of fever, the remaining three were picked 
up by a French vessel, which conveyed them back to France, 
where they had to lie in captivity until they were ransomed. 

69 



CHAPTER VI 

THE GUINEA TRADE IX THE SIXTEENTH AND 
SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES 

OTHER West African products in those early days, 
besides gold, pepper, and Negro slaves, more especially 
from Senegambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, consisted 
of hides, ivory, civet perfume, indigo, ostrich feathers, gum, and 
ambergris. Most of these articles are enumerated in Azurara's 
History of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea by the Portuguese 
during the First Half of the Fifteenth Centufy. The hides 
so often mentioned were firstly the skins of seals, possibly 
Monachus albiventcr^ which the Portuguese found existing in 
large numbers along the Sahara coast between Cape Bojador and 
the Senegal River. They killed these, often fifty at a time, 
and used triumphantly to bring back their skins and the oil they 
produced to Prince Henry, who at last got so vexed at the 
way in which their exploring journeys were stopped by these 
seal-hunts that he forbade the practice. 

Then in the Senegal and Gambia Rivers they purchased 
the hides of oxen, goats, and sheep. Acacia gum and ostrich 
feathers, of course, came from the Sahara coast between the Rio 
de Oro, Cape Blanco, and the Senegal River, and in a lesser 
degree from Cape Verde and the Gambia. Ambergris, which 
is an intestinal product of the Sperm Whale, cast up on the 

* The Monk seal of the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic. 
70 



-9^ The Guinea Trade 

shores of the Atlantic and other oceans, seems to have been 
obtained from the Cape Verde Peninsula. It was much valued 
in the Middle Ages as the component part of perfumes, and 
most of all because of its supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Indigo 
came from the Gambia and the rivers of Guinea, and the scent- 
bags of the civet cat from all points on the coast between the 
mouth of the Senegal and Liberia, in which latter country the civet 
cat is extremely common at the present day. There was a 
great demand for the civet perfume during the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries, and besides the dried pods or pouches 
cut from the dead animal, live civet cats were esteemed a 
very choice present, a gift made from time to time by the 
chiefs of the coast regions to the Portuguese captains. Ivory 
was obtained in large quantities from the Senegal River, the 
Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Liberian coast, and from that less 
known region between Liberia and the Gold Coast which to 
this day is called " the Ivory Coast." But in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries it was chiefly Sierra Leone and Northern 
Liberia that furnished ivory. It seems to have been a common 
incident for chiefs or native traders in the Vai and Gallinhas 
countries near the coast to produce a hundred tusks of 
considerable size and weight at one deal. Camwood (Bap/iia 
hitida\ which produces a crimson dye, was much sought 
after from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. 

The traditions of the Norman traders who visited Liberia 
in the fourteenth century (if they be founded on fact), and 
the authentic records of the Portuguese commerce with that 
country before 1460 and 1560, reveal a condition of civilisa- 
tion and well-being amongst the untutored natives which is 
somewhat in contrast to what one finds on the same coast 
at the present day ; still more in contrast with the condition 
of the Liberian coast-lands in the early part of the nineteenth 

7< 



Liberia ^ 

century, suggesting that the rapacity of the Europeans, com- 
bined with the slave trade, did much to brutalise and impoverish 
the coastal tribes of Liberia during the two hundred years 
between 1670 and 1870. They seem to have been well 
furnished with cattle (in Northern, perhaps not in Southern 
Liberia), with sheep, goats, and fowls/ to have carried on a 
good deal of agriculture, and not to have been such complete 
savages as were the natives of the still little-known parts 
of Portuguese Guinea or the people of the Ivory Coast, who 
were wild cannibals. 

Having cast a glance at the principal commercial products 
of these countries when they were first discovered by Europeans, 
it may be interesting to note the trade goods which Europe 
was able to offer to the Blacks from the fourteenth to the 
seventeenth century. To begin with a negative statement, 
there were no cotton goods, no calicoes in the holds of these 
vessels such as there would be nowadays. Strange to say, 
it was the natives of the Gambia and other rivers of Northern 
Guinea, and of Cape Mount in Liberia, that impressed the 
Europeans with the excellence of their cotton fabrics, and 
actually, sent some cotton goods to Portugal ! 

Two or three species of cotton grow in almost all parts 
of Tropical Africa,- and it was the Arabs who had brought 
to Africa from India a knowledge of spinning cotton and 

* The domestic fowl, in fact, was so abundant amongst the tribes of Liberia 
and the borderlands of Sierra Leone, that the Portuguese named one of the 
streams of this country '* Gallinhas," ''the River of Hens.'* 

' There are many different species of the genus Gossypium (cotton) yielding 
a vegetable fleece which varies in length of staple, in colour, and in quality. One 
species only (it is said) is actually indigenous to West Africa, Gossypium punctatutn. 
The cultivated forms seem to be of either Indian or American origin. Divers 
species are indigenous to America, where the civilised natives of the tropical 
regions spun and wove the cotton into fabrics long before the Europeans discovered 
America. Columbus, in returning from Hispaniola in 1493, brought back with him 
pods of cotton-wool as curiosities. 

72 



^ The Guinea Trade 

weaving it Into cloth, and this art had spread rapidly during 
the first few centuries of Islam to the banks of the Niger, 
and thence had reached not only to the countries bordering 
on the sources of that great river, but the adjoining regions 
of Senegal and Guinea. Even as early as the sixteenth 
century it was remarked by the Portuguese that the i kings, 




30. "tmk mam»in(;() koiu; ok siouilv vvdn kn coiroN": (;k(>ui's ok kondo 

I'KOPI.K KKOM HKIIINI) VAI COL NTKY 

chiefs, and headmen of Northern Liberia round about Cape 
Mount wore the now familiar Mandingo robe of stoutly woven 
cotton in alternate stripes of blue and white. It is possible 
that no cotton goods were exported from Europe to West 
Africa till the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of 
the eighteenth centuries. Since that time the cotton goods 
of Lancashire, of Germany, and of Barcelona have almost killed 
the local industries of weaving and dyeing. 

73 



Liberia ^ 

But the Europeans probably brought linen with them 
even in the fifteenth century, and they certainly from the 
beginning of their journeys imported woollen cloth. In fact, 
garments made of wool were for long a subject of interest 
and astonishment to the Negroes. It is curious that the Arabs 
and Berbers who spread everywhere the knowledge of cotton- 
spinning and weaving should never have introduced breeds of 
wool-bearing sheep, or taught the Negroes any idea of textile 
fabrics to be made with the hair or wool of other animals, 
or the similar use of hemp fibre ; though hemp is widespread 
throughout Negro Africa as a cultivated plant, its dried leaves 
having been burnt and smoked (a practice derived from India) 
long before tobacco was introduced from America. 

The linen of Flanders anel of Normandy, therefore, the 
cloth and frieze coming from the same regions and also from 
England, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, were 
brought out for trading by the caravels that sailed from the 
Atlantic and Mediterranean ports. As early as the time of Ca' 
da Mosto (middle of the fifteenth century) cannon were taken 
on the ships, and gunpowder was fired to astonish and frighten 
the Negroes ; but there seems to have been no sale of gun- 
powder till the close of the fifteenth century. Mirrors, beads, 
daggers, swords, basins of pottery and tin, iron bars and 
manillas,^ and manillas of brass and of lead, tin pots (quart 
measure), iron saucers and pails, Dutch kettles, basins, and jugs 
of pewter and brass, caskets (small boxes), chests, pins of large 
size, blankets, red caps, axe-heads, hammers, bells, gloves (!), 
rosin, aqua vita^ (brandy), cheese, and blue and red coral were 
used as presents or for barter. Perhaps next to cloth the most 
important of the trade goods were coral ornaments and glass 
beads. We also find specially mentioned bars of iron, copper, 

' Made in the shape of bracelets. Manilla means bracelet in Spanish. 

74 



-^ The Guinea Trade 

bronze, and brass.^ Bronze, which is an amalgam of copper and 
tin, seems to owe its introduction into West Africa entirely to 
the Portuguese. 

To many this proposition seems to be difficult of belief, 
owing to the extraordinarily rapid way in which the bronze art 
of Benin developed. Some writers therefore have ventured to 
imagine an Egyptian commerce in bronze, carrying with it a 
sculptural art which found its way from Egypt two or three 
thousand years ago across Central Africa to the Lower Niger 
and Benin. But there seems to be absolutely no evidence to 
support such a theory. The art of Benin is entirely Negro, 
without any hint of Egyptian influence. This is not altogether 
the case, for example, with the Negroes or Negroids of the 
Bahr-al-Ghazal, who possess ornaments of brass showing dis- 
tinct signs of Ancient Egyptian influence, if indeed they are 
not trade goods that came from Ancient Egypt. Absolutely 
nothing of this kind, however, has as yet been discovered in 
Benin, and the earliest Benin bronze work seems to consist 
chiefly of portraits of the Portuguese soldiers. 

As early as the first Portuguese voyages to Guinea horses 
were brought from Portugal and from the Moorish coast and 
sold to the natives of the Gambia, even though it was remarked 
by Ca' da Mosto that these people had an indigenous breed of 

* Brass, which is an amalgam of copper and zinc, seems to have been brought 
to the regions of the Niger and Guinea by Arabs and Moors quite independently of 
its introduction along the coast by Europeans. Copper is found in the rocks of 
Liberia (copper pyrites) at the present day, and no doubt in other parts of West 
Africa, but it has never been worked there by the natives so far as is known. Iron 
of the best and most workable kinds is singularly abundant in Liberia and in all 
the inner regions of West Africa, and was worked by the natives when Europeans 
first came on the scene, though perhaps not so much as at the present day by the 
unmixed Negroes, who still seem to have been using weapons of wood, bone, horn, and 
stone in the fifteenth century, concurrently with the iron introduced from the north^ 
It is possible that at that period they did not smelt iron to any great extent (in the 
purely Negro countries), and so it was a particularly acceptable article of commerce, 
as it is even at the present day. 

75 



Liberia ^ 

their own. Pigs also were introduced into these countries by 
the Portuguese.^ 

Wine was carried in the Portuguese vessels as a beverage 
absolutely necessary for their use ; but at first the Negroes do 
not appear to have greatly appreciated it, preferring their own 
native alcoholic drinks, the fermented sap of various palm trees 
or a mead made from honey. Not much notice in these 
earlier days of African trade seems to have been taken of 
European alcohol until the seventeenth century, when the fatal 
development of distillation created such strong waters as gin 
and rum, which were to prove the curse of the coast regions 
of West Africa, as they have been the curse of Northern 
Europe. Perhaps one reason why less is recorded in the 
chronicles of the African trade from the middle of the fifteenth 
to the middle of the seventeenth century of violent fevers and 
deadly epidemics amongst the European traders and explorers 
was the relative sobriety of the latter, whose strong drink was 
for the most part the natural, uiibrandied wines of Spain and 
Portugal. Moreover, in spite of the slave trade, their relations 
with the natives seem to have been easier on the whole, and 
less marked by murders on both sides than they were from 
the middle of the seventeenth to the middle of the nineteenth 
century. 

The sugar-cane had apparently reached North-west Africa, 

^ In all Tropical Africa, with the exception of Sennar and the outskirts of 
Northern Abyssinia, there is no indigenous wild swine of the ^enus Sus. The 
nearest form to this genus would be /*o/a//ior/t(enis, the bush or river pigs of 
Tropical Africa and Madagascar. Fotamochacrus in its structure is so very nearly 
related to the genus Sus that by some it is fused with that genus. The wild 
Polamochoeriis will interbreed with our domestic pigs. The handsome red river 
hogs of West Africa {Potamochcurus porcus) are very easily tamed and domesticated ; 
but although they are sometimes found as pets in West African villages, there has 
never been any determined attempt on the part of the Negro to domesticate 
this animal. Consequently the domestic pigs which were introduced by the 
Portuguese in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were eagerly received. 

76 



^ The Guinea Trade 

coming along the Niger by the same Muhammadan agency as 
had introduced rice and horses into the same regions. But the 
Portuguese seem to have brought over the sugar-cane and 
sugar from Brazil before their trade with West Africa had 
been much more than a hundred years old, though, on the 
other hand, the sugarcane did not exist in the New World 
when first discovered in the fifteenth century. The Spaniards 
introduced the sugar-cane from West Africa to Hispaniola 
(Hayti) in the early part of the sixteenth century. 

Perhaps the most eflfective European trade goods of these 
days were beads from Venice and red coral from the Medi- 
terranean. It is curious that in contradistinction to North- 
east Africa and Asia, coined money, silver especially (assuming 
the African had as much gold in his own country as he 
wanted), should have taken so little hold in the West African 
trade even down to the present day. 

Silks and velvets began to be introduced from the middle 
of the seventeenth century.^ 

And what were the ships in which these early discoveries 
of West Africa were made ? Mr. Charles Raymond Beazley, 
quoting Ca' da Mosto,^' Osorio, and Candido Correa, describes 
the average exploring ship of the fifteenth century as follows : 
'* They were usually twenty to thirty metres long and six to 
eight metres in breadth ; were equipped with three masts 

* Dapper gives a list of the trade goods of the Dutch on the Sierra Leone- 
Liberia coast in the middle of the seventeenth century ; — Iron bars, hempen cloth, 
earthenware basins and pots, buttons, beads, copper medals, bracelets, ear-rings, 
axes, sailors' knives, collars (!), coarse lace, glassware, Indian cotton goods, mostly 
of red patterns, Spanish wines, olive oil, brandy, and silk kerchiefs or waist-belts 
for the women. To this list we may extract from Andrew Battel's sixteenth- 
century experiences ** long glass beads, round blue beads, seed beads, looking- 
glasses, red and blue coarse woollen cloth, and Irish rugs " (frieze). 

* In his introduction to his jotnt translation with Mr. Prestage of the Chronicle 
of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea by Azurara, published by the Hakluyt 
Society. 

77 



Liberia ^ 

without rigging tops or yards ; and had lateen sails stretched 
upon long, oblique poles, hanging suspended from the mast- 
head. These winged arms, when their triangular sails were once 
spread, grazed the gunwale, the points bending with the air 
according to the direction of the wind. They usually ran with 
all their sail, turning by means of it, and sailing straight upon 
a bow line, driving before the wind. When they wished to 
change their course it was enough to trim the sails." 

In the Revista Portugueza Colonial ^ the Navios de 




31. TIIK "(ARAVKLA KKDONDA," OK ROrND CARAVEL 

descobrimentos, or exploring ships, are divided into the following 
named classes : — The Barca^ the Barinel, the Caravel^ and the 
Nau ; while the Navios de couquistas, or war vessels, are styled 
the Fusta, the Caiur, the Almadir de Cathuri, the Gale^ the: 
Galiota, the Brigantim, the Gallea^a, the Taforea, the Galeao, 
and the Carraca, (The author has copied from the pictures in 
this article the accompanying illustrations of the commonest type 
of exploring ship in the fifteenth century — the Caravel:) The 

* May 20th, 1898. 
78 



^ The Guinea Trade 

navigation of these African waters by such vessels meant the 
victory of the sail over the oar. 

This was a movement which had been long developing 
in the Mediterranean world and in the Baltic and North Sea, 
as also contemporaneously in the Indian Ocean and the Sea 
of China. Man's first means of locomotion over the surface 
of the water was punting, urging forward his raft or hollowed 
log by the leverage of a pole pushed into the river bed or the 




32. A CAkAVKL 

bank. Next came the use of a shorter, broader stick as a 
paddle, and so developed the oar. On the estuary of the 
Cameroons River in West Africa I have seen the natives fasten 
a tall, bushy frond from the Raphia palm into the prow of 
their canoe, and this possibly, or some such idea, was the 
commencement of the sail. A skin, a stretch of bark-cloth, 
a sheet of matting (as in the Far liast) attached to an upright 
punting-pole, gradually transformed itself into the simple lateen 
sail which existed concurrently with oars as a means of pro- 

79 



Liberia 



pulsion in the ships of the Arabs, Phoenicians, Egyptians, 
Greeks, Romans, Norwegians, Portuguese, Italians, and other 
Mediterranean peoples down to the thirteenth century. Then 
oars were less and less used, were chiefly retained as sweeps 
to aid the vessel when the wind dropped, or in negotiating 
some intricate port, while the sail and the masts became more 




33. A CAKAVKL (? OF GKNoA), FIKTKKNTH CKNTIKY : 
AFTKK JIKIEN DK I. A GKAVIKKK 

and more important. But many of us do not realise that 
sailing as a fine art and the differentiated forms and complicated 
use of sails really only began as a maritime practice amongst 
the European nations (including the North African Moors) in 
the sixteenth century. The Arabs and Turks of North Africa 
did a great deal in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 
to abolish the use of oars, to elaborate sails and masts, and 

80 



The Guinea Trade 



to construct sailing vessels of a modern type. The Sailing ship 
did not arrive at perfection till it was becoming superseded by 
the Steamer. 

And the traders, sailors, soldiers, captains who travelled 
in these vessels, the early European visitors to Liberia ? They 
were very religious in their 
speech, literally very God-fear- 
ing, but for the most part utterly 
wanting in the practice of real 
Christian principles. Their 
dread of '' God's providence " 
and its wayward blows never 
restrained them from kidnap- 
ping, cheating, alcoholising, or 
otherwise corrupting the blacks, 
towards whom they had not yet 
developed a conscience. They 
introduced to this and other 
parts of West Africa all the 
diseases of Europe, shameful 
as well as unavoidable ; they 
brought, it is true, cultivated 
plants of the greatest value to 
the Negro, and they reinforced 
his stock of domestic animals. 
He learnt from them little or 
nothing in the industrial arts ; 
and though there were Christian missionaries (mostly Jesuits) 
at work during all the one and a half centuries of Portuguese 
domination, they made but few — and no lasting — converts, and 
apparently spread no knowledge of reading and writing, though 
they used their influence (in vain) against the slave trade and 
VOL. I 8 1 6 




34. A I'OKrUGlKSK WAKKIOK, SIXTKKNTH 
CKNTUKY. KKDM A HIININ CARVING 
IN THK HKITISH MUSKUM 



Liberia ^ 

cannibalism. These earlier European adventurers wore the same 
stuffy clothes in the hot-house climate of West Africa as they 
did in Northern and Western Europe. They often slept in 
their clothes on board ship, and seldom or never washed. (The 
frequent ablutions with native soap and water of the Kruboys 
and the Gold Coast natives are subjects of amused comment to 
the, no doubt, smelly Hollanders, Englishmen, or Portuguese 
who have left us records of their African experiences.) 

These clothes were mostly of wool and linen. Ruflfe were 
worn during the Elizabethan period, and, when on expeditions 
of a more or less martial character, steel hauberks or breastplates, 
which must have been well adapted for causing sunstrokes. 
The Europeans of the fifteenth to the first half of the seventeenth 
century, however, seem to have suffered less markedly from 
African fevers than occurred subsequently with their successors. 
Perhaps this may have been due to their small consumption 
of distilled spirits or to their being already inoculated with the 
malarial bacillus in their own aguish countries. 

The clothes worn by the Dutch and English on the African 
coast during the seventeenth century were simpler and better 
adapted to the climate than any costume in vogue until the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century : a broad-brimmed felt hat 
(usually), linen shirt, close-fitting coat, or jerkin of stout cloth, 
loose breeches, stockings, and stout, comfortable shoes. Unless 
sea-boots were worn, however, this left their ankles and calves 
exposed to mosquito-bites ; but protection against the mosquito 
was not understood or effected till about five years ago. 



82 



CHAPTER VII 

A DUTCH ACCOUNT OF LIBERIA IN THE 
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY 

THE Dutch had followed up the Portuguese on the West 
Coast of Africa nearly concurrently with the English ; 
that is to say, at the close of the sixteenth century, when 
both these Northern maritime nations could give themselves the 
excuse of the Spanish absorption of Portugal for wresting from 
the Portuguese such of their possessions in Africa, Asia, and 
America as could be torn from them. About 1600 the Dutch 
captured from the French Arguin Island near Cape Blanco, and 
the little Island of Ber near Dakar (Cape Verde), which they 
called Goree, after an islet off the coast of Holland.^ 

Of course, the main objective in West Africa at that period 
was the Gold Coast, the demand for slaves not having as yet 
become so important as to oust gold from its first place as a 
bait in African commerce. They therefore visited the coast of 
Liberia on their journeys to and from the Gold Coast, though 
occasionally a special voyage was made to the " Grain *' Coast 
for pepper and ivory. "Grain '' was apparently as much a Dutch 
as an English word (from the Latin grannm\ and was first applied 
by the Dutch in succession to the Portuguese name Malagueta. 

' These places were taken from Holland by the French in 1677-tS. Portugal 
was usually stripped of her colonies or forts in this order : first by the Dutch ; then 
the French plundered the Dutch in the seventeenth century, and the Britiish 
snatched or bought from France and Holland in the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries. 

83 



Liberia ^ 

The first definite account of the Grain Coast derived 
through the Dutch was compiled by a great German geographer, 
Levinus Hulsius, who published from the beginning to the 
middle of the seventeenth century all the records of navigation 
to Africa, the East Indies, and America which he could collect, 
chiefly from the captains of Dutch vessels. In the map of 
Africa which Hulsius printed in 1606 the following place or 
tribal names occur : Cabo do Monte, " Nc^surada " (Mesurado), 
Rio de S. Biante (Vicente), Cabo de S. Clemente (near 
Garawe), C. das Palmas, and Ponta de Cavallas (at the mouth 
of the Cavalla). '' Crou '* is written along the Kru Coast. 
Cestos is misspelt Chostes. Sino appears as " Synno,*' a spelling 
very like its present pronunciation. Wappo (at present spelt on 
the maps Wapi) was a frequent place of call on the Kru Coast. 
The far interior of the Grain Coast was described as being the 
''Bitornin province of the Kingdom of Melli.*'^ Hulsius, in 
gathering up the early Dutch impressions in 1606, writes that 
** the natives of the Grain Coast interlarded their conversation 
with French words, just as the Gold Coast people did with 
Portuguese." 

In 1626 Hulsius published at Frankfurt-am-Main an 
account of the voyages of Samuel Braun to the Guinea Coast 
(among other parts of West Africa), w^hich were undertaken in 
161 1 and 1614. Samuel Braun was a Swiss (though in those 
days he reckoned himself as a German generically), a citizen and 
dentist (*' Burger und Mund Artzt") of Basel. 

He first navigated vessels on the Rhine, and thus came 
into contact with Dutch merchants and seamen. He was offered 
the command (apparently) of two Dutch ships for an adventure 
in the Guinea trade. 

In 161 1 he proceeded almost direct to the Cameroons, the 

^ i.e. Mandingo. 

84 



^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

Congo, and Angola, touching at the Grain Coast only on his 
return ; but in 1 6 14 he visited the " Qua Qua '* (Ivory) Coast, 
and before or afterwards made a somewhat lengthy stay in 
Liberian waters. He called at Cape Mount, the River Cestos, 
and the Kru Coast. He calls the people near Cape Palmas 
" Gruvo." ^ Of the (Liberian) people generally he records : 
" Die Eynwohner sind grawsame und bose leute doch an einem 
Ort besser als am andern gedrucken stetigs wie sie die fremde 
Nationen so dahin kommen zu handthieren,'' etc. (Which may 
be freely rendered : " The natives are cruel and bad people, 
though in some places better than others, according to the way 
in which foreign nations coming there to trade have treated 
them.'*) 

" Doch ist ihnen ein Nation angenemmer und lieber als die 
ander nemblich die Franzoscn, so dess Orts lang gereiset und 
gefahren haben, aber die Portugaleser kommen jetziger Zeit 
gar selten dahin. Unser Teutsche Nation ist an einem Ort 
angenemmer als an andern und dasselbe daher dass sie es 
biszweilen da selbst gar grob gemacht und sehr verderbet haben 
derhalben dann die Mohren ofFt vcrsuchs ob sie sich an ihnen 
rechen mOchten.'' ('' Yet one nation is agreeable to them and 
beloved more than others — the French — who for such a long 
time have frequented and travelled in this district. The 
Portuguese in these present times come here but seldom. Our 
German nation is at one place more agreeable than another ; but 
from time to time we have made ourselves disliked by our 
rough ways, so that the Moors often try to take their revenge 
on us. ) 

In 161 1 Braun called at the Grain Coast chiefly to buy rice. 
In 1614 he traded for pepper with iron bars and for rice with 

* Grebo. This corruption " Grubo " of a tribal name may be the origin of 
•* Kruboy." 

85 



Liberia ^ 

coral beads (" glaserne corallen ") : from his first Guinea voyage 
he brought back to Holland about two tons of ivory and a 
thousand pounds of gold. 

All these journeys bristled with perils from Spanish pirates, 
with whom sea-fights were of constant occurrence, so that one is 
quite relieved at the end to know that this honest mariner landed 
his cargoes safely in Holland and lived to make interesting 
voyages to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, then a Turkish 
Lake. 

The results of Dutch exploration of the Grain Coast in 
the seventeenth century are summed up by the learned Dr. O. 
Dapper in his great work on African geography, which was 
published at Amsterdam in both Flemish and French in 1686. 
Dapper devotes a good many interesting pages to the description 
of the coast tribes of what is now called Liberia. The northern 
coast region of Liberia between the Mano River and Cape 
Mesurado is described as the kingdom of Quoja (? Kwoya or 
Kwia). The Quoja is said to be the name of the language ; but 
it would seem to be that of the dominant caste at the time, 
for all these people, Dapper is careful to tell us, belonged to the 
Vey (Vai) tribe. 

Dapper writes much of a warlike people called the Folgia, 
who are much mixed up in their history with the Kru tribes. 
One of the provinces of the Folgia kingdom was called ** Karou," 
and it is a question whether this word can be in any way 
connected with the name of the Kru people. It is stated by 
Dapper that the most widely spread language of all this part 
of the Liberian coast was that of the " Folgia '* people, of which 
he describes the ^uoja, Gebbe (Gibi), and the Gala (Gora) as 
being merely dialects. The Folgia appear to have repeatedly 
attacked and decimated the Vai tribes. The Mano River is 
mentioned under the name of Magwibba. The Mafa bears its 

86 



^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

present name, and the lake and creeks behind Cape Mount, 
which are nowadays known as Pisu/ are referred to as Plizoge. 
The Little Cape Mount River is called the Menoch or Rio 
Aguado. The interior people immediately behind the Kwoya 
or Vai are styled the " Galavey/* The tribal name of Hondo, 
still farther in the interior, is probably the modern Kondo. The 
De tribe is not referred to by name, but is evidently included 
under the generic term of Caroii, by which seems to be indicated 




35. DUTCH sailing; VKSSKL of TlIK SKVKN rKi:NTH CKMl-KY. 
AFIKR IJ-.VINLS Ilfl-SIL'S 



the Kru race in general. (Reference to my vocabularies will 
show that the De language is only one of the dialects of the 
Kru family.) The Folgia (? Fulja) may be a people belonging to 
the Gora stock. They seem to have inhabited the coast district 
now occupied by the De people ; but they were at that time — 
the middle of the seventeenth century — a powerful and warlike 
race which, under the name of Kwoya or Kwia, had partially 
conquered the coast Vai. Dapper's "Gala** are evidently the 

* Merely " lake " or '• river " in Vai. 

87 



Liberia ^ 

Gora of to-day and the *^ Golahs " of writers in the first half 
of the last century.' 

The St. Paul's River is referred to by Dapper, but is 
evidently regarded as a much more insignificant stream than 
the rivers farther north. 

According to Dapper, the true Grain Coast does not begin 
till the mouth of the River Cestos is reached, and extends 
thence to the mouth of the Cavalla. Dapper constantly refers 
to the French settlement of Petit Dieppe at the mouth of a 
river. (? Biso River, near Grand Basa.) 

The tribal name for the Kru people is spelt Krouw, which would 
be pronounced in Dutch *'Krau.'* The Kru people behind Cape 
Palmas were classed by Dapper as cannibals, no doubt correctly. 

Besides the Dutch, both the English and the French were 
very active on this coast. The River Cestos appears to have 
been the most frequented trading station, and during this 
century it exported large quantities of ivory. It was, as well, 
the headquarters of the pepper trade. 

According to Dapper, the English at this time frequently 
ascended the St. Paul River, and were always active on the 
Junk and St. John Rivers, searching for ivory and camwood. 
The Dutch were shy of this river exploration, because they 
disliked travelling in canoes. 

Dapper and the Dutch traders from whom he derives his 
stories seem to have concentrated their researches chiefly on the 
northern coast of Liberia, the Vai country, generally mentioned as 
Quoja. A very detailed description is given of the forest trees and 

' Benjamin Anderson's researches (1868) show that even at that late date there 
were De settlements fifty miles west of" the middle St. Pnul's Kiver, behind the Vai 
peoples and west of the Gora. So the Folgia and possibly Kwoya conquerors may 
have been akin to the Kru peoples. The Gora, by their language, are the indigenes. 
The Mamba people who inhabit the country east of the Lower St. Paul are allied to 
the De and Basa. 

88 



A Dutch Account of Liberia 



their uses : The Soap tree, the Kola nut, the Bombax, Parinarium, 
the Borassus, Oil, Raphia, and Coconut palms are all to be 
identified in Dapper's descriptions. He is somewhat more 
vague about the fauna. A large species of Pangolin or Scaly 
Ant-eater (^Manis gigafited) is described and illustrated, with the 




36. DUn^tl SKAMKN OK IHK HAKl.Y SKN l.M l.KM II CICNnKV I.ANPINC (^N VHV. 

WKsT ai-kk;an rih\sr. ai ikk i.i'.viM:.s m isiis 

suggestion that it is a relation of the crocodile. Its native name 
is given as quogiielo. In describing the wild pigs it is rather 
remarkable that Dapper distinguishes carefully between the red 
bush swine (which he calls Couja')and a gigantic species of 

* If, as is so common, tli»^ " n " in this word is a misprint for '' n," and the "j " 
has its Diitcli pronunciation, this word might read as Konia, its actual form in Va 
at the present time. 

89 



Liberia 



<^ 



black pig which is described as being very dangerous, and with 
teeth so sharp that they snap through everything they bite. 
It may be that an allusion here is made to the Forest Pig or 
Equatorial Africa, the existence of which in Liberia has been 
already reported from native accounts by Mr. M. Pye-Smith, 
while a skull collected by Mr. G. L. Bates serves to prove 
its existence in the Cameroons. The chimpanzee is described 
accurately, and the leopard is called a ** royal " animal, being 
regarded by the natives as the king of beasts. Dapper mentions 
that there is a tiger in the country which does no harm to 
mankind. The description given of the '' tiger '' is very vague, 
and may be due really to stories of lions brought to the coast 
by the Mandingo people. A good deal is said about the native 
beliefs in bird-oracles. This bird-lore, of which Dapper gives 
many instances, is another proof of the homogeneity of the 
Negro race, as they might be capped by similar stories from 
East, South, and Central Africa. 

According to Dapper, the natives of this part of Liberia 
knew nothing of dysentery, which was apparently introduced 
into West Africa by a Dutch trading ship that called at Sierra 
Leone in 1626. It spread to Northern Liberia as a terrible 
plague soon afterwards, so that the plantations were left untilled 
for three years, and many people died or fled into the interior 
in panic. Smallpox was already established in the country. 

The great monarch of the country appears to have been 
the King of Manu, referred to occasionally as '' Mendi Manou," 
possibly a Mandingo chieftain. No direct statement is made 
by Dapper of the advance of Muhammadanism, but it is pro- 
bable, from one or two of his allusions that Islam had already 
reached the interior of the Vai country. Dapper gives an 
admirable description of the various initiation ceremonies of 
boys and girls nearly identical with those of the present day. 

90 



-^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

As to the Karou, who at one time conquered the Vai, 
they are described as having lived recently in the country of 
the Folgia, which is located by Dapper in the vicinity of the 
present town of Monrovia. The first general of this conquering 
tribe was known as Sokwalla, who was succeeded by his son 
Flonikerri. Under these leaders the Karou first conquered the 
Folgia round about the River Junk, and then made friends with 
them. The united peoples of the Folgia and Karou conquered 
the tribes about the River Cestos on the one hand and the Gala 
(Gora), Vai, and Kwoya on the other, even carrying their 
victorious arms as far west as Sierra Leone, also bringing under 
their control the interior people called Dogo and the Gibi tribe. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, according to 
the letter of John Snoek,^ who visited the Grain Coast in the 
yacht Johanna Jaba^ ivory was becoming less abundant in 
Liberia as a trade product. Snoek describes the natives round 
about Cape Mount as wearing the voluminous Mandingo 
garments, but adds that the women are nearly and sometimes 
quite naked. In the country where the town of Monrovia is 
now situated he writes that the natives live in large houses con- 
taining two or three apartments, in one of which buildings as 
many as fifty or sixty men, women, and children were sleeping 
promiscuously. For the most part the people all along the 
coast were very hospitable and friendly to Europeans. The 
chiefs were already beginning to bear European names, 
and the slave trade had commenced, owing to the excessive 
warfare between the people of the coast and those of the 
interior, each party, when victorious, being ready to sell their 
prisoners of war to foreign traders. A chief amongst the 
Kruboys at Sanguin called himself James. *' He spoke a 
confused sort of language, a mixed jargon of English and 

* In Bosnian's Description of the Coast of Guinea. 
91 



Liberia <^ 

Portuguese. He seemed a great lover of the female sex, which 
was the whole subject with which he entertained us." 

Snoek describes the River Cestos ^ as being the port of an 
agreeable and friendly country. His sailing ship anchored first 
before a village called Corra, three miles west of the river 
mouth. The sea off this part of the coast was more than 
usually phosphorescent. The people along the banks of a little 
stream near the sea were much occupied in boiling water to 
produce salt. The water over the very rocky bar of the Cestos 
River appears to have had a depth of at least six feet, but even this 
amount of water would seem to have been too little for the 
sailing ships of earlier days. These, therefore, must have anchored 
off the coast outside the river, into which they sent their 
merchandise in boats. The principal village at the mouth of 
the River Cestos contained about sixty houses, " very neatly 
built, and so high that some of them appear three miles out 
at sea.'' They differ from those of Cape Mesurado, " only that 
there are here more Stories'* (i,e. that the houses were built with 
three or four platforms or stories). The now familiar West Coast 
*Mash" (meaning a tip, a pourboire^ a present) makes its appear- 
ance in Snoek's writings under the form of ''dasje." Apparently 
in trading with the Negroes of the Liberian coast at this time it 
was necessary to commence operations by giving a dash or piesent. 
(^Dasje, diminutive of Das in Dutch means a little strip of cloth.) 

The Cavalla River in these times seems to have been the 
boundary between the fiercely cannibal tribes of what is now 
the Ivory Coast and the more sophisticated Krumen, on the 
hither side of Cape Palmas. All the people to the east of the 
Cavalla River at this period had their front teeth sharpened to 
a point, and were very wild. 

^ Under the mistaken term of Seslre ; but the geographical definition in his 
contribution to Bosman's work shows it to have been the Cestos. 

92 



^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

After the wars of Louis XIV. were over, France and 
Holland somewhat drew together in their common policy ; so 
much so, that in the middle of the eighteenth century the 
informal alliance between them at the Cape of Good Hope 
became a danger to the British East India Company, and led to 
abortive attempts on the part of the British to seize the Cape of 
Good Hope. Under the Orleans Regency, advantage was taken 
of this friendlier feeling with the Dutch to call at the Dutch 
settlements on the Gold Coast, and the French began to think 
of creating depots for trade in slaves and even for colonisation 
far to the east of their establishments in Senegambia.^ In 
tropical South America, as well as in Africa, the Dutch and 
the French were in friendly relations, and in 1725 and subse- 
quent years the Chevalier des Marchais was sent by the 
French Government to visit the West Coast of Africa and the 
South American settlement of Cayenne (Guiana), and report 
on the trading piospects of both regions. The following is 
an abridgment of Chevalier des Marchais* description of his 
visit to Cape Mesurado (the modern Monrovia). 

*' Almost every vessel, after leaving Cape Mount, touches 
at Cape Mesurado. They are obliged to call at this last cape for 
wood and water, to serve them while they remain at the factory 
at Fida (Hwida'"), where the water is indifferent and difficult 
of access. Another reason is that the natives of Fida, looking 
upon trees of every kind as species of divinities, will neither cut 
them down themselves nor allow other people to do so. In 
the third place, rice, maize, or Indian corn, fowls, sheep, goats, 
and even oxen are in greater plenty at Mesurado than at F'ida. 

* Which had been commenced (perhaps) in 1360 by the Dieppe adventurers, 
recommenced in 1637, and definitely established by the building of Fort St. Louis 
du S6n6gal in 1662. In 1677-8 the French captured from the Dutch the forts of 
Beguin (South-west Sahara coast) and Gor^e (Dakar). 

* Otherwise "Whydah " in Dahome. 

93 



Liberia ^ 

*^ The course from Cape Mount to Cape Mesurado is south- 
east ; the distance eighteen leagues. The coast is clear, and 
the anchorage is everywhere good. If the wind be contrary 
it will be proper to anchor ; if there be a calm, for security 
against the currents, you must also put out your anchors." 
Chevalier des Marchais, owing to contrary winds, took six 
days to make this short passage of fifty-four miles. On 
December 9th, 1724, he anchored a mile and a half from Cape 
Mesurado. 

A canoe immediately came off to him. He was heartily 
welcomed by the natives, whom he had visited on a previous 
occasion on the affairs of the Royal Senegal Company. The 
'* king," being informed of his arrival, sent his Prime Minister 
to invite him on shore, and accordingly he landed the next 
morning. 

'*Cape Mesurado is a detached mountain, steep and high 
towards the sea, but less so on the land side. The summit 
forms a level plain, the soil of which is better than what is 
generally found in such situations. On the east is an extensive 
bay, bordered by a good and uniform soil, which is bounded 
by hills of a moderate elevation, covered with trees. On 
the west is another great bay, which receives the River 
Mesurado.'* ^ 

" The cape points to the south-east. Its latitude is 6^32' N. 
and its longitude s'^il' ^o^n the meridian of Tenerife. On the 
east a long spit of land separates the sea from a basin [flaque 
d'eau) formed by the River Mesurado and a smaller one which joins 
it. They navigate this last in their canoes, six or seven leagues 
at low water, and double the distance at high water. The water 
is always salt, or at least brackish ; and it is full of filth. 
The course of the River Mesurado is north-west for seventeen 
* Des Marchais means by this the St. Paul's. 
94 



^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

or eighteen leagues, afterwards north-east ; but its length is 
unknown." One of the people assured the Chevalier des 
Marchais that he had gone up this river in his canoe for three 
moons, when he came to a great river, whence it proceeded, 
which ran from east to west, on which there were rich and 
powerful nations, who drove a great trade in gold, ivory, and 




37. MKRMAIl) ISLAND ON THK ST. I>AI'L'.S KIVKK, RKSUKTKD TO HY KIROI'KAN 
TKADKKS IN THK KKJHTICKN 1 11 AM» NlNllTKI'.NI H ( KNITKIKS 

slaves (? the Makona River). '' The Mesurado runs through fine 
countries, but is so rapid that those who have laboured three 
months in ascending it may return in eighteen days. The 
Negroes call the rich country where their river originates Alam^ 
that is, the country of gold/* 

'* In the lagoon just mentioned are two islands, a small one 

95 



Liberia ^ 

at the mouth of the little river,' and a large at that of the 
great river. This last is called ' the king's island,' though he 
never resides there. But some of his slaves raise cattle and 
poultry on it for his use. [ The king gave this island to the 
Chevalier, and very much pressed him to settle on it.] It is 
never overflowed, even by the great annual inundations, which, 
as in the Niger, take place in July, August, and September. 
This island is two leagues long and three-quarters of a league 
broad. Its soil is excellent, as appears from the size and 
height of the trees, which also evince its depth. The winds, 
which blow without intermission, render it very temperate. The 
only inconvenience it labours under is the want of fresh water, 
which must be brought from springs on the continent. But 
these are at no great distance, and are very abundant." 

" The tide flows twenty leagues [a great exaggeration] up 
the Mesurado, at the equinoxes, and eight or nine during 
the rest of the year. In July, August, and September the 
water is brackish only three leagues up, owing to the rapidity of 
the stream in these months ; four or five leagues up the water 
is perfectly sweet." 

The king who reigned in 1727 was called Captain Peter, 
a name which had long been common to the kings of Mesurado. 
When dealing with the Dutch and English, both parties took 
every precaution against roguery. They were armed, hostages 
were exchanged, and mutual caution observed. The French,- 
on the contrary, traded there without the least suspicion. The 
natives put themselves in their power, went on board French 
ships without fear, and on all occasions manifested the most 

* This " little " river is now called the Mesurado River or lagoon. It is a tidal 
creek. The " large Island " would be Bushrod Island, and the " small," Providence 
Island.'— H. H. J. 

* The French, through the Senegal Company, began a renewed intercourse 
with Northern Liberia at the close of the seventeenth century. 

96 




38. A DK MAN, AN ABOKKJINAL NATIVE OF THK MPISURAIK) DISTRICT DKSCRIHKU 

BY DES MARCHAIS 



VOL. I 



Liberia ^ 

friendly disposition towards them. The French dealt with 
them as with old and faithful friends, went on shore unarmed, 
committed their persons and effects to the safeguard of the 
natives, and never had any reason to repent of this confidence. 

" The religion of the natives of Mesurado is a kind of 
idolatry, ill understood, and blended with a number of super- 
stitions, to which, however, few of them are bigoted. They 
easily change the object of their worship, and consider their 
fetishes only as a kind of household furniture. The sun is the 
most general object of their adoration ; but it is a voluntary 
worship, and attended with no magnificent ceremonies." 

^' In the space of a few leagues are many villages swarming 
with children. They practise polygamy, and their women are 
very prolific. Besides, as those people deal no further in slaves 
than by selling their convicted criminals to the Europeans, the 
country is not depopulated like those in which the princes 
continually traflSc in their subjects. The purity of the air, the 
goodness of the water, and the abundance of every necessary 
of life all contribute to people this country. 

" The natives are of large size, strong, and well proportioned. 
Their mien is bold and martial, and their neighbours have 
often experienced their intrepidity, as well as those Europeans 
who attempted to injure them. They possess genius, think 
justly, speak correctly, perfectly know their own interests, and, 
like their ancient friends the Normans, recommend themselves 
with address and even with politeness. Their lands are carefully 
cultivated, they do everything with order and regularity, and 
they labour vigorously when they choose, which, unfortunately, 
is not so often as could be wished. Interest stimulates them 
strongly, and they are fond of gain without appearing so. 
Their friendship is constant ; yet their friends must beware 
of making free with their wives, of whom they are very jealous. 

98 



^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

But they are not so jealous with respect to their daughters, 
who have an unbounded liberty, which is so far from impeding 
their marriage that a man is pleased at finding that a woman 
has given proofs of fertility, especially as the presents of her 
lovers make some amends for that which he is obliged to 




39. A I)E (NATIVK) KIK IlKN NKAK MONROVIA (AS UKSCKIHKlJ HV 
IJKS MAKCHAIS IN TIIK KAkIA' IKjIUKEN TH ( liN TLKV) 



give her parents when he marries her. They tenderly love 
their children, and a sure and quick way to gain their 
friendship is to caress their little ones and to make them trifling 
presents." 

"Their houses are very neat. Their kitchens are some- 
what elevated above the ground, and of a square or oblong 
figure ; three sides are walled up, and the fourth side is left 
open, being that from which the wind does not commonly 

99 



Liberia <^ 

blow. They place their posts in a row, and cement them together 
with a kind of fat, red clay, which, without any mixture of 
lime, makes a strong and durable mortar. Their bedchambers 
are raised three feet above the ground. This would seem 
to indicate that the country is marshy or sometimes inundated. 
But this is by no means the case. The soil is dry, and they 
take care to build their houses beyond the reach of the greatest 
floods. But experience has taught them that this elevation 
contributes to health, by securing them from the damps caused 
by the copious dews. 

*'The women work in the fields, and kindly assist one 
another. They bring up their children with great care, and 
have no other object but to please their husbands. 

" The extent of King Peter's dominions towards the north 
and north-east is not well known ; but from the number of 
his soldiers, there is reason to believe it considerable. The 
eastern boundary is the River Junco, about twenty leagues 
from Cape Mesurado, and the western is a little river, about 
half way from Cape Mount. 

'^ The whole country is extremely fertile. The natives have 
gold among them ; but whether found in this country or 
brought thither in the course of trade is not precisely known. 
The country produces fine redwood, and a quantity of other 
beautiful and valuable woods. Sugar-canes, indigo, and cotton 
grow without cultivation. The tobacco would be excellent 
if the Negroes were skilful in curing it. Elephants, and con- 
sequently ivory, are more numerous than the natives wish ; 
for those cumbrous animals very much injure their cornfields, 
notwithstanding the hedges and ditches with which they so 
carefully fence them. The frequent attacks of lions and tigers ^ 
hinder not their cattle from multiplying rapidly ; and their 

* Leopards of course are meant. 

lOO 



-^ A Dutch Account of LibeHa-, 

— _ — _. . •-.• 

' •'• 

trees are laden with fruit, in spite of the mischief done to 
them by the monkey tribes. In a word, it is a rich and 
plentiful country, and well situated for commerce, which might 
be carried on here to any extent by a nation beloved like the 
French ; for no nation must think of establishing themselves 
here by force." ^ 

The result of King Peter having given Bushrod Island, 
in the estuary of the St. Paul's, to the Chevalier des Marchais 
was that he formulated a scheme for the establishment of a 
French colony at Cape Mesurado. This was laid before the 
Senegal Company, and if it had been carried out a French 
settlement might have completely anticipated Liberia. The 
Chevalier, after careful consideration of the best sites for the 
capital of this colony, finally selected the actual plateau on which 
Monrovia is now built. He wrote : " Clay fit for bricks 
abounds everywhere, and even stone proper for ashlar work. 
Building timber grows on the spot, and the common country 
provisions are extremely cheap. Except wine, brandy, and 
wheat flour, which the Company must supply, everything else 
is to be had on the spot. Beef, mutton, goats, and hogs cost 
little, and game abounds. Antelopes and deer graze quietly 
with the tame cattle in the meadows. There are many species 
of birds. The basin {i,e, the lagoon), the rivers, and the sea 
afford plenty of fish and turtles. No river on the coast is 
as much frequented by sea-horses as the Mesurado. The flesh 
of these animals is good ; and their teeth, whiter and harder 
than those of the elephant, are scarce and dear/' 

Among the goods which he recommends should be sent 
from France for trade in such a colony are brandy, gunpowder, 

* The foregoing abstract is mainly taken from C. B. Wadstrom's translation 
in 1792. P6re Labal published Des Marchais* and other French explorers* works 
op West Africa about 1744. 

J9I 



. -Liberia ^ 

trade guns, swords, knives, striped linen, Indian cottons, glass 
ware of all sorts, beads, kauri shells, brass rods, pewter plates 
and pots, gunflints, iron bars, and coral. The Director of 
the colony was to have the munificent salary of ;^I50 a year, 
with a chaplain at ^^ 54 a year. 

Another French traveller, Grandpierre, who visited the 
River Cestos in 1726, wrote in his book of travels about this 
place : *^ My ambition is to be powerful and rich enough to 
fit out a large fleet, filled with able and intelligent people, to 
make a conquest of this fine country, and change its nature 
by introducing the best social laws and religious knowledge." 

Captain Snelgrave, an English slave-trader who visited 
the Liberian Coast in or about 1730, reported that on the 
windward or northern part of the coast there was not a European 
trader left, owing to the hostility of the natives, caused by 
kidnapping on the part of Dutch and English. English and 
Spanish pirates infested the northern littoral of Liberia from 
1720 to 1740, "the Spanish being the worst offenders." The 
Dutch frequented the Liberian Coast at first, mainly for the 
pepper and ivory. When they took up the trade in slaves 
they seem to have preferred dealing with their settlements 
on the Gold Coast — Elmina especially — leaving the Grain Coast 
to the attentions of the English, French, and Spaniards. Yet 
in the nineteenth century, soon after Liberia was formed, the 
Dutch traders came back, and the Dutch House (the Oost 
Afrikaansche Compagnie) is now one of the oldest established 
and most respected commercial agencies in the country. 

A Swede named Ulrik Nordenskiold in 1776 proposed 
Cape Mesurado and Cape Mount as suitable places for colonies 
which should start sugar plantations. A Dane — J. Rask — 
who wrote a description of Guinea in 1754, states on page 
46 that a sugar plantation was established in 1707 by the 



^ A Dutch Account of Liberia 

Dutch ^' about nine miles from the Fort of Boutra," Nor- 
denskiold also alludes to this sugar planting by the Dutch 
on the coast of Guinea. " Boutra " may have been on the 
coast of Liberia or on the Ivory Coast/ at Great or Little 
Butu. Rask states that "there is plenty of gold in the country 
above Cape Mount and Cape Mesurado." 

• From NordenskiOld's allusion it is more likely to have been on the Gold Coast. 




40. A MANT.KOVK rillCKKT 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE SLAVE TRADE 

DURING the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the 
great inducement that brought Europeans to the West 
Coast of Africa was not merely the trade in gold, ivory, 
camwood, and pepper, but it was, first and foremost, slaves. 
Liberia, however, for reasons which will be shown, suffered 
perhaps less than most parts of the West African Coast, the 
adjoining district of the Ivory Coast having even greater 
immunity/ Nevertheless, it was the slave trade that indirectly 
gave birth to Liberia as a recognised state, and it is therefore 
necessary to treat of it to some extent as a part of Liberian 
history. 

Negro slaves were used bv the Ancient Egyptians, and 
from Egypt in later days they were sent to Rome and to the 
Byzantine Empire. Carthage also procured Negroes for the 
Roman galleys, possibly from Tripoli. Under Islam, however, 
the modern trade in Negro slaves as we know it really began. 
The Arab wars of conquest in the Egyptian Sudan and along 
the East African Coast, and Arab and Berber raids across the 
Sahara Desert from North Africa to the regions of the Niger, 

^ The northern coast districts of Liberia were much infested by slavers ; but 
the natives of the Kru Coast utterly disliked existence in slavery, and, refusing to 
work under such conditions, were ordinarily left alone. The Ivory Coast people 
were, in those days, tierce cannibals and inaccessible. 

104 



-#i The Slave Trade 

rapidly led to the dispatch of Negro slaves to Southern Persia, 
Western India, the coasts of Arabia, Egypt, the whole of 
North Africa, and most parts of the Turkish Empire. Negro 
slaves were occasionally imported into Italy as curiosities during 
the Middle Ages. 

The early Portuguese explorers sent out by Prince Henry 
at first took every opportunity of kidnapping the Moors whom 
they met on the coast of the Sahara, and these people were 
dispatched as slaves to Portugal. Prince Henry, however, came 
in time to realise the iniquity of this proceeding and its bad 
policy on the part of a nation which at that time was aspiring 
to colonise and rule Morocco. He therefore ordered that 
they should be given a chance of ransoming themselves. One 
of these Moors explained that he was a nobleman by birth, 
and stated that he could give five or six Negroes for his own 
ransom and another five for the freedom of those amongst his 
fellow captives who were also men of position. The result 
was that Antao Gonc^'alvez, their captor, on returning to the 
Rio de Oro, received ten Negroes, a little gold-dust, a shield 
of ox-hide, and a number of ostrich eggs as ransom. 

The Portuguese learnt in this way that by pursuing their 
journeys farther south they might come to a land where it 
was possible to obtain " black Moors '' as slaves. It was already 
appreciated that the Negro as a captive was a far more tractable 
and manageable person than any one akin to the white man 
in race. Consequently, during the first hundred years of 
their African exploration, the Portuguese picked up Negroes 
by purchase from the Fula and Mandingo chiefs of Senegambia, 
and also by kidnapping them occasionally on the peninsula of 
Sierra Leone and on the Liberian Coast. They traded for 
them on the Gold Coast, in the Congo and Angola countries. 
Thes^ slaves were mostly sent to Portugal as curiosities, quite 

105 



Liberia ^ 

as much as for domestic service. Care was generally taken to 
have them baptized and even to a certain extent educated. 

Meantime, North and South America had been discovered 
and the West India Islands settled by Spaniards. As early 
as 1 50 1, only nine years since the West India Islands had been 
discovered by Christopher Columbus, it was found that the 
wretched inhabitants of the Antilles were dying out under 
the treatment of the colonising Spaniards. In 1502, therefore, 
it was decided to export from Spain and Portugal to the 
West Indies some of the Negro slaves who had reached the 
Iberian Peninsula from West Africa and had been converted to 
Christianity (!). By 1503 there were already quite a number of 
Negroes in Hispaniola (Haiti — San Domingo). In 15 10 the 
King of Spain (Ferdinand) dispatched more Negro slaves, 
obtained through the Portuguese^ from West Africa, to the 
mines in that island. 

The celebrated Bartolomeo de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa 
in Hispaniola, came to Spain in 15 17, to the court of the 
young King-Emperor Charles V., to protest against the wicked 
treatment which the West Indian indigenes were enduring at 
the hands of the Spaniards. As a remedy he proposed that the 
hardier Negroes of West Africa should be imported direct into 
the West Indies, to furnish the unskilled labour for which 
the native Americans were unsuited by their constitution. 
Charles V. had, however, already anticipated this idea, and a 
year or two previously had granted licences to Flemish courtiers 
to recruit Negroes in West Africa for dispatch to the West 
Indies. One of these patents issued by Charles gave the 

* The Spaniards were prevented by the Papal Bull of Demarcation— an 
anticipation by Pope Alexander VI. in 1493 of our modern term "spheres of 
influence " — from trespassing on the Portuguese sphere, which included the West 
Coast of Africa. This, therefore, was the reason why they had to contract with 
the Portuguese directly or indirectly for the supply of Negro slaves, 

10^ 



-#i The Slave Trade 

exclusive right to a Flemish courtier named Lebrassa to supply 
four thousand Negroes annually to Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, 
and Puerto Rico. This Fleming sold his patent to a group 
of Genoese merchants, who then struck a bargain with the 
Portuguese to supply the slaves. But the trade did not get 
into full swing till after the middle of the sixteenth century, 
when, amongst others, the English seaman John Hawkins took 
up a concession for the supply of Negroes from Guinea to the 
West Indies. He made in all three voyages, the first of which 
was undertaken in 1562. He obtained his slaves first from 
the rivers between the Gambia and the confines of Liberia, 
visiting Sierra Leone amongst other places. On the last of 
these journeys he was accompanied by Drake ' (afterwards Sir 
Francis), then a mere youth. They probably touched at the 
Liberian coast for water on their way to Elmina, where two 
hundred slaves were obtained by joining a native king in a 
slave raid. 

The coasts of Liberia were not so much ravaged by the 
slave trade as were the regions between the Gambia and 
Sierra Leone, the Dahomc or Slave Coast, the Niger Delta, 
Old Calabar, Loango, and Congo. Perhaps in all the ravages 
which the over-sea slave trade brought about, the Niger Delta 
and the Lower Congo suffered the worst. What damage was 
done to the coast of Liberia seems to be chiefly attributed to 
the English, who had already begun to visit that coast at the 
close of the sixteenth century, and were very busy there all 
through the seventeenth. The French traveller Villault de 
Bellefonds mentions repeatedly in his writings the damage that 
the English did on the Grain Coast (Liberia) In attacking the 

* Drake was a kinsman of Sir John Hawkins, wlio practically adopted and 
educated him. He was twenty years old when he started on this slave-trading 
voyage to Guinea. 

107 



Liberia ^ 

natives for little or no cause, and in carrying them off as slaves. 
In fact, a slang term, ^' Panyar '* (from the Portuguese Apanhar^ 
to seize, catch, kidnap), had sprung up in the coast jargon to 
illustrate the English methods. Even English travellers such 
as William Smith (who went out as a surveyor to the Gold 
Coast early in the eighteenth century) admit that the English 
had become very unpopular on the Gold Coast, owing to these 
aggressions on the natives ; and William Smith and his 
companions endeavoured to pass as Frenchmen when they 
visited Eastern Liberia and the Ivory Coast, ^* because of the 
bad name the English had acquired/' 

The Chevalier des Marchais, the French traveller who 
visited Cape Mesurado in 1724-5 {vide p. 94), wrote that the 
natives of this part of the (irain Coast were much addicted to 
human sacrifices, until they found that their captives were 
marketable commodities which could be sold with profit to the 
foreigner. He estimated that the region round about Cape 
Mesurado might yield two thousand slaves annually. 

Captain Snelgrave, who traded in slaves to the West Indies, 
had already reported in 1730 that all Europeans were through 
the hostility of the natives banished from the " Windward 
Coast " of Liberia ; for even if the chiefs and headmen profited 
by the slave trade, the common folk loathed it as the cause 
of all their wars and village troubles. Snelgrave asserted that 
he had witnessed human sacrifices, and apparently suggested, 
like many other writers during that century, that the slave 
trade was really a preservative of human life, in that it oflFered 
an inducement to the savage conquerors to spare the lives of 
their prisoners, in order to sell them into a Christian captivity 
wherein (to quote a much later apologist) they might "enjoy 
all Church privileges.'' These and other writers forget that 
even the worst excesses of barbarous kingdoms like B^nin or 



^ The Slave Trade 

Dahome, in ofFering human sacrifices at religious ceremonies, 
did not approach anywhere near the loss of life and the 
destruction of homes caused by wars undertaken to supply the 
slave market. Moreover, it is very probable that much of the 




41. A NATIVK OK THK KRl' CoASl 

ceremonial bloodshed of Benin, etc., did not come into existence 
until slave-raiding had accumulated large stocks of serfs, and 
made the human body a cheaper article of sacrifice than a 
domestic animal. 

109 



Liberia ^ 

English and Spanish pirates paid flying visits to the 
northern rivers of Liberia during the early part of the eighteenth 
century, but were not very successful in their search for slaves, 
and so left the Grain Coast pretty much to the Dutch and 
French traders in pepper and ivory. It was not until the early 
nineteenth century that the slave trade revived in the northern 
half of Liberia.^ 

During the seventeenth century French, Portuguese, and 
English writers dilate unctuously on the opportunity which the 
slave trade gives to the savage blacks of embracing the Chris- 
tian religion. It is amusing indeed, in reading the old travellers' 
tales of these earlier centuries, to note the scorn with which they 
described the nakedness, the ugliness of the Negroes, their 
'^ beastly '' habits, their wicked idolatry, their brutish lives, 
laziness, etc., etc. Yet perhaps on the next page to these 
objurgations there might be unconsciously contradictory accounts, 
showing that the civilisation among all these Negro tribes on 
the West Coast of Africa in, let us say, the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries was not so very far inferior to that of their 
white visitors. Indeed, the whole impression one derives after 
reading many books on West Africa, written in Portuguese, 
Italian, French, Dutch, Elizabethan and Miltonian English, is 
that the native culture and social well-being of the Negroes of 
West Africa from Cape Verde to the Niger Delra three and 
four hundred years ago were superior in degree to the condition 
of the same peoples in the nineteenth century. The sanitary 
arrangements in their towns were quite up to the level of 
sixteenth-century Europe. Their cookery was as appetising 

* The Coast peoples of Liberia were never much valued in the slave market. 
The Muhammadan Vais were too proud, the Des and Basas were not of strong 
constitution, and the Kru tribes, though quite w'illing to enslave their neighbours or 
to look on at other tribes being raided, were so averse to slavery in their own 
persons that they would commit suicide if they could not escape. 

no 



^ The Slave Trade 

(or unappetising). Their nakedness showed their good sense, 
and such spun and woven clothes they might wear, their inherent 
good taste. Agriculture seems to have been much more 
advanced than in present times, and the quantities of live-stock 
superior to their present resources. 

But to return to Christianity : the Portuguese, though 
they were ruthless man-catchers, and very often preferred kid- 
napping to fair trading, were really scrupulous about their 
self-imposed duties in this respect. Once the Negroes reached 
Portuguese America, they were well treated, had no ignominious 
servitude, and were certainly made into convinced Roman 
Catholic Christians. Those Negroes who reached the Spanish 
Main or Spanish West Indies found a sterner master in the 
Spaniard, but a fanatical proselytiser. The Dutch dealt with their 
slaves much better as regards the condition of their transport 
overseas, but do not seem to have worried themselves much 
with religious propaganda. Throughout they treated the whole 
transaction in the most prosaic, businesslike way, and did not 
seek to clothe their eager prosecution of this traffic with any 
sickening protestations of zeal for Christianity such as pro- 
foundly affected most of the English and French writers of that 
period.^ 

On the other hand, it was amongst English-speaking people 
first of all that the revolt against slavery and the slave trade 
began. The Quakers — to their honour be it said — led the 
way from 1670 (George Fox preached in that year against 
slavery in Barbados) ; they lighted a candle which, though it 
flickered uncertainly for a hundred years, could not be put out. 
The great body of Nonconformists in England and America came 

* Opinions collected from intelligent travellers during the eighteenth century 
seem to have resulted in the slave-holding nations being placed thus in order of 
kindliness : Portuguese, Spaniards, Danes, French, English, Dutch. 



Liberia ^ 

to their aid, especially the Wesleyans. Somehow the enthusiasm 
spread to the Lutherans of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. 
The first country which as a nation denounced the slave trade 
not only in principle, but in practice, amongst its subjects on 
the West Coast of Africa was Denmark (1792),^ followed by the 
United States in 1794, by Great Britain in 1807, Sweden in 
1 8 13, Holland in 18 14, and France in 181 5-18. 

In England the anti-slavery movement began about 1772 
by the trial of a Negro named Somerset before the bench of 
judges, presided over by Lord Mansfield. James Somerset was 
a slave who had accompanied his master to England, and there 
declared himself to be free ; but the majority of the judges 
decided against him, though the Lord Chief Justice dissented 
from the opinion of the majority and pronounced a famous 
decision which really fixed the law, namely, that every one was 
free who took refuge on British soil. The loss of the United 
States brought the question of slavery before the British public. 
A number of Negroes had fought with their Loyalist masters on 
the British side, and after the war received their freedom and 
were settled in Nova Scotia, where, as in Canada, many awkward 
questions regarding the validity of slavery began to arise. Not 
a few of these liberated Africans drifted to England, especially 
from Nova Scotia ; and to England also had come a number of 
ex-slaves from the West Indies, who, after the decision in the case 
of Somerset (for which Granville Sharp had struggled), found 
themselves in the status of free men. 

It would take up space unduly in this book to dilate on 
the eflforts of Granville Sharp, Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, 
William Dillwyn, and others to bring about the abolition of 
slavery and the slave trade. This great movement finally 

* Ten years' grace, however, was allowed for total cessation of the trade in 
1802. 

1 12 



^ The Slave Trade 

resulted in the prohibition of the slave trade in 1 807-11, 
and in the abolition of slavery throughout all the British 
dominions in the year 1833-40. Before this, however, 
many good people in the United States and in the British 
West Indies had been granting freedom to their slaves. Some 
of these were discontented with their position, and either drifted 
to b'.ngland or vaguely desired to return to Africa. As free 
men they felt themselves out of touch with their environment 
in America. The Church of England (which in a great measure 
only really awoke to a true sense of its duties and responsibilities 
in the nineteenth century) was rather on the side of the white 
people and the masters than on that of the blacks. It condoned 
or approved of slavery, and when it preached to the slaves at 
all, counselled contentment with the condition in which God 
had been pleased to place them. Nearly all the Negroes in 
America who could obtain education and choose their own 
religious sect became Baptists or Wesleyans. As an unconscious 
tribute to John Wesley, it may be stated that his name is one 
of the commonest even at the present day amongst West 
African or West Indian Negroes who are descended from 
freed slaves. 

Those who felt that vagrant Negroes were out of place 
in the English polity, in the streets of London and in Lancashire 
towns, and those who in the West Indies or in Canada 
realised the difficulty of a free black man living alongside 
a white colonist, began to entertain the idea of repatriating 
Negroes freed from slavery, of sending them back to Africa. 
The somewhat fanatical " philanthropy " of those who promoted 
this scheme in both hemispheres to a great extent spoilt the 
immediate results of their well-meant efforts. If the repatriation 
movement had been conducted in a more deliberate and scientific 
manner, ex-slaves would have been interrogated as to the tribe 
VOL. I 113 8 



Liberia ^ 

from which they sprang. In very few cases would the Negro 
or Negress have been unable to give some indication as to his 
or her racial origin. Then those who had come from the 
Niger Delta would have been sent back to the Niger Delta ; 
those from the Congo to the Congo ; those from Old Calabar 
to Old Calabar ; the Senegambian slaves to Senegambia ; the 
people from Little Popo, Hwida, and Lagos to those parts of 
the Slave Coast, and so on. Thus they would still have had 
some chance of returning to their own people and of re-uniting 
their life without too much break to the condition from which 
they or their parents had been torn.^ But the first care of the 
promoters of these repatriation schemes was that the Negro 
should be preserved in the Christian tenets learnt by him in 
his captivity. It was their desire to create a new Negro nation, 
as it were, from out of a heterogeneous gathering of Negroes 
derived from many different African races. 

In an informal way, as merchants and slave traders, the 
English had during the seventeenth century (if not earlier) 
ousted the Portuguese from the occupation of Sierra Leone ; 
and that mountainous peninsula and bay had become a good 
deal Anglicised in the eighteenth century, most of the native 
chiefs being able to talk broken English. It was decided to 
make the first attempt at repatriating these North American 
Negroes in the territory of Sierra Leone. This idea sprang 
first in 1783 from the brain of Dr. Henry Smeathman, an 
English surgeon who had spent four years on the West African 
Coast, but was later supported by the advocacy of a Swede, Carl 
Berns Wadstrom, who had travelled a good deal about the 
world. Wadstrom had developed from book theories rather 

' On the other hand, it might have been urged against this argument that 
the condition of all these parts of Africa was so uncertain that repatriated Negroes 
might be enslaved and sold again, whereas planted in a solid colony they could 
defend themselves. 

114 



^ The Slave Trade 

than from practical experience somewhat wild ideas on the 
subject of colonising the tropics. Accompanied by the naturalists 
Sparmann and Arrhenius, Wadstrom in 1787 visited the coast 
of Guinea, and finally recommended Sierra Leone and the 
Island of Bulama (in Portuguese Guinea) as suitable sites for 
commencing these colonies of freed slaves. 

One reason why Sierra Leone had been selected as the 
most suitable site for the commencement of a New Africa, 
a home of free Negroes, was its previous condition as a strong- 
hold or central depot of European and Mulatto slave traders 
and raiders. During the middle of the eighteenth century 
Liverpool had established a great trade between West Africa 
and the West Indies. Not a few mates or supercargoes of 
vessels had settled on the coast between the Gambia and Sierra 
Leone, had married native women, made large fortunes in the 
slave trade, and left their mulatto sons and daughters to 
carry on this commerce. 

The Directors of the Sierra Leone Company hoped that 
their colony of liberated Africans might influence the native 
chiefs to stop the slave trade. They collected through their 
agents much information concerning this traflic, which is 
published in the second part of Wadstrom's Essay on Colonisation, 
A few extracts of this evidence may be of Interest, because they 
will enable the reader to realise some of the misery which the 
slave trade inflicted. The dates of these reports or Incidents 
range between 1787 and 1792 : 

'' I have been to-day on board a slave ship in the river, 
with two hundred and fifty slaves. The men were chained 
in pairs ; the women were kept apart. The young slaves were 
cheerful, but the old ones were much cast down. At meals 
they were obliged to shout and clap their hands for exercise 
before they began to eat. I could then see shame and indigna- 



Liberia ^ 

tion in the faces of those more advanced in years. One woman, 
who spoke a little E'.nglish, begged me to carry her home. 
She said she was from the opposite shore of the river to 
Freetown,* that her husband had sold her for debt, and that 
she had left a child behind her. At the mention of the child 
she wept." 

" I was this morning on board a slave ship, where I saw 
a woman who had been newly sold, and who seemed to have 
been weeping. On asking her the reason, she pointed to the 
milk flowing from her breasts, and intimated that she had 
been torn from her unweaned infant, which the captain confirmed. 
She was from one of the towns nearest us, and said she had 
been sold for being saucy to the queen of it.'' 

*' In the neighbouring slave yard I saw a man about thirty- 
five years old in irons. He was a Muhammadan, and could 
read Arabic. He was occasionally noisy ; sometimes he would 
sing a melancholy song, then he would utter an earnest prayer, 
and then he would observe a dead silence. This strange conduct, 
1 was told, was from his strong feelings, on having been put, 
for the first time, in irons the day before. As we passed, 
he cried aloud to us, and endeavoured to hold up his irons 
to our view, which he struck very expressively with his hand, 
the tear starting in his eye. He seemed, by his manner, to 
be demanding the cause of his confinement." 

*' An American slave captain has been telling us that he 
lost a very fine slave a few days ago by the sulks. ' The man,' 
said he, ' was a Muhammadan, uncommonly well made, and 
seemed to be a person of consequence. When he first came 
on board he was very much cast down, but, finding that I 
allowed him to walk at large, he grew more easy. When my 

* Freetown was established in 1792. It is the capital of the Sierra Leon^ 
Colony. 

116 



^ The Slave Trade 

slaves became more numerous, I put him in irons, like the 
rest, on which he lost his spirits irrevocably. He complained 
of a pain at his heart, and would not eat. T/ie usual means ^ was 
tried, but in vain ; for he rejected food altogether, except when 
I stood by and made him eat. I offered him the best things 
in the ship, and left nothing untried ; for I had set my heart 
on saving him. I am sure he would have brought me three 
hundred dollars in the West Indies ; but nothing would do. 
He said from the first he was determined to die, and he did, 
after lingering nine days.'' 

"I shall give the substance of a conversation with an 
English slave factor who has lived some years a little way 
to the south, and is well acquainted with all the practices of 
the slave trade. The factor, having mentioned the Mulatto- 
trader - (of whose ravages the proprietors ^ have heard so much) 
as a very gentleman- like, well educated and respectable kind 
of man, I was induced to ask whether he had not been guilty 
of many excesses all round. 

" ' Excesses ! No. He would make war sometimes on 
the head-men that owed him just debts, and sell some of 
their people, if he could catch them ; or he might perhaps 
carry off the inhabitants of a town when the king or father 
of it gave him express permission. He was a good man 
on the whole, and a man of humanity ; for he did not shed 
all the blood he might, nor sell every one he had a right to 
sell. For instance, the chief now living near Freetown, and 
all his generation, were adjudged to be his property ; but the 
chief himself has never yet been sold, which is a mere act 
of forbearance in the Mulatto-trader. But I consider the sentence 
still in force against him.' 

* The " cat," it is elsewhere explained. • Possibly Ormond. See p. 163. 
' I/, the Directors of the Sierra Leone Company. 

"7 



Liberia ^ 

^* ' Did not the Mulatto-trader order an attack on the 
neighbouring island when the proprietor (a native chief) was 
killed in defending himself, and do not the friends of the 
proprietor consider this as an act of great injustice ? ' 

" ' The proprietor well deserved to be attacked, for there 
is reason to think he was then intending to attack the Mulatto- 
trader.' 

*' ^ I understand this affair is not over, and that the 
successors of this proprietor intend to retaliate on the successors 
of the Mulatto chief, when they have an opportunity?' 

" ' I believe they do ; but it ill becomes them to question the 
Mulatto chiefs conduct, for they should consider how much 
worse things their own father (the deceased chief or proprietor) 
did. For example, the old man has been known to sail up a 
river with some large craft, to land at a town under a great show 
of friendship. He has then made a speech to the head-men and 
people, remarking how shamefully all former traders had used 
them, and that he was come to trade fairly with them, as friends 
and brothers. He has then opened a puncheon or two of rum, 
and invited them to sit round and drink. At night, when 
he had got them thoroughly drunk, he has given the signal 
to his people in the craft, who have secured all the party in 
fetters, and sold every one worth purchasing to some slave ship 
all the while waiting at the river's mouth. This old proprietor 
did many such things. But the Mulatto-trader never used 
treachery, nor attacked a town without reason ; but the other 
plundered without distinction.* 

'' ' Does the Mulatto-trader's successor recover debts by the 
same means that he used ? ' 

'' ' Noy he is too easy' 

" ' Is it not unpleasant to carry on a trade so full of 
enormities as you describe the slave trade to be ? ' 



-^ The Slave Trade 

'* ' It is no doubt a bad trade, but it is very profitable. I 
hate it, and would get out of it to-morrow if I knew of one 
in which I could get the same money. ...'*' 

^ ** A slave vessel which has awaited some time in the 
neighbouring river arrived here. The captain complains bitterly 
of this detention, observing that if he had been well manned 
he would not have allowed the trader he dealt with to detain 
him thus ; for he would have carried off some of the people 
from a large town near which his vessel lay. I asked him if 
this was common. 

" * Oh, not at all uncommon,' said he ; ^ we do it every day 
on the Gold Coast. We call it panyarifjg} If a native there 
does not pay speedily, you man your boat towards evening, 
and bid your sailors go to any town, no matter whether your 
debtor's town or not, and catch as many people as they can. 
If your debt be large, it may be necessary to '' catch *' two 
towns. After this your debtor will soon complete his number of 
slaves.' 

'* ' But what if he should not ? ' 

'* * Why, then we carry our prisoners away, to be sure.' 

*' ^ But is this proper ? ' 

'^ ' Necessity has no law ; besides, panyaring is country law.' 

*^ ^ Did you ever recover debts in this way ? ' 

" ' Aye, many a time, and I hope to do so again. I wish 
we had the same law here that we have on the Gold Coast, 
or that the old Mulatto-trader was alive. He was a fine fellow 
for business : he never caused any delay. But the present 
man is afraid to make a haul of the people : he wants a proper 
spirit.' 

" ' How do you contrive to guard your slaves with your 
slender crew } ' 

* From the Portuguese Apanhar^ to catch, kidnap, 
119 



L iberia ^ 

** * I put them in leg-irons ; and if these be not enough, 
why, I handcufF them ; if handcuffs be too little, I put a 
collar round their neck, with a chain locked to a ringbolt on 
the deck ; if one chain won't do, I put two, and if two won*t 
do, I put three — you may trust me for that.' 

^' He afterwards very gravely assured me that he never knew 
any cruelties committed. 

" * But are not these cruelties ? ' 

** ^ Oh no ! these are not cruelties ; they are matters of 
course ; there's no carrying on the trade without them.* 

** The following is a sketch of the origin, progress, and 
end of a European slave trader who lately died at an island 
near Sierra Leone, and who seems to have attained to a degree 
of ferocity and hardness of heart proportionate to his success 
in that bloody traffic. As he appears to have neither friend 
nor connection left, the Directors [of the Sierra Leone Company] 
need not conceal his name, which was Ormond. 

*' He went from England about thirty-five years ago (/.<?. 
about 1758) as a cabin boy to a slave ship, and was retained 
as an assistant at a slave factory at Sierra Leone River. There 
he acquired a knowledge which qualified him for setting up 
a slave factory afterwards for himself in a neighbouring part 
towards the north [Rio Pongo], and, though unable to write 
or read, he became an expert slave trader, so much so that 
he realised about ^30,000. His cruelties were almost incredible. 
Two persons who seem to have had good means of information 
give the following account of them. One of them, who lived 
for some time near Ormond, said he knew it to be a fact that 
he used to tie stones to the necks of his unsaleable slaves, and 
drown them in the river during the night ; and that his cruelty 
was not confined to blacks, for, being offended by a white 
agent one Christmas day, when drinking freely with sonie 

1^9 



^ The Slave Trade 

company, he made his slaves tie up the European, and gave 
him, with his own hands, four hundred lashes, from which 
he died in a few days. The other person allowed his general 
character for barbarity, and added that he was told by a black 
witness that Ormond, having caught a black wife of his in a 
criminal conversation with one of his slaves, he burnt them 
both to death with a tar barrel. 

'^ This savage had attained to the same trust with 
the Africans in witchcraft and grigris or charms, and was 
subject to silly, superstitious fears. Providence, having 
permitted this man to become an abandoned and successful 
slave trader, was pleased also to allow him to experience a 
reverse of fortune. A few years ago, having lose his health, 
he went to the Isle de Los for the sake of sea air and medical 
help, leaving his affairs under the care of a Mulatto who was 
his son. Happening to have recently destroyed one of the 
towns of the Bagos, which surround his factory, they took this 
opportunity to retaliate. Ormond's slaves having been little 
attached to him, favoured the Bagos, and, the place being taken, 
they shared the plunder. The buildings were all burnt, and 
the goods in them, amounting, it is said, to a value of ^^30,000, 
were either destroyed or carried away. Young Ormond and 
his adherents were put to death. Old Ormond lived to hear 
the news, but died about a month after.'* ' 

The British philanthropists who had created Sierra Leone 
decided, after thinking more than once about Capes Mount and 
Mesurado, to establish another colony on Bulama Island (off 
the mouth of the River Grande). This place had been recom- 
mended for a European settlement by the Sieur Andre de Briie 
in 1710. 

Bulama Island was accordingly occupied by the Bulama 

* {See a continuation of this story in Chapter X. 
12; 



Liberia ^ 

Association in 1792, but was abandoned in 1793, owing to 
the determined hostility of the Negroes on the mainland and 
the sickness which prevailed amongst the repatriated Africans.^ 

The first recruits for the Sierra Colony in 1786 were 
obtained in an extraordinary way ; for besides sweeping together 
and sending out all the Nova Scotian and West Indian blacks 
that were then to be found in England, there was added thereto 
a company of sixty irreclaimable London prostitutes, who were 
to be landed at Sierra Leone and begin a new life under different 
conditions, as the spouses of some of these repatriated Africans. 

About four hundred Nova Scotian Negro ex-slaves were 
sent (with the prostitutes) in 1787, and 1,131 more Nova 
Scotians in 1792. All these proceedings at Sierra Leone were at 
first conducted under the British Sierra Leone Company, whose 
prospectuses were a mixture of pure philanthropy and shrewd 
commercial propositions. In 1794 the settlement was much 
damaged by a French squadron, and in 1807 Sierra Leone 
became a Crown Colony under a Governor, the British in the 
interval having begun to appreciate the strategic value of Sierra 
Leone harbour." 

When the British Government after 1833 began to take 
severe repressive measures against the slave trade, and captured 
slaver after slaver, the liberated slaves were landed usually at 
Sierra Leone, independently of their place of origin. The 
most extraordinary and heterogeneous collection of Negroes 
that could be imagined were got together on this little promon- 
tory of the Guinea Coast. The wonderful linguistic researches 

' On account of this attempt, sovereignty over Bulama Island was afterwards 
claimed by the British. The Portuguese, who, amid all their dynastic troubles, 
had somelmvv managed to retain a hold over the rivers of what is now styled 
Portuguese Guinea, disputed the British claim in 1870. It went to arbitration, 
and the case was decided against the British. The capital of Portuguese Guinea 
is on Bulama Island. 

' The best harbour along the whole West African Coast, 

122 



^ The Slave Trade 

of Dr. S. Koelle, of the Church Missionary Society, revealed 
the existence at Sierra Leone, amongst the freed slaves, of 
natives of East and South-east Africa, of Nyasaland, of the 
Ivualaba or Upper Congo, Tanganyika, and the greater part 
of the Congo Basin ; of Bornu, Wadai, the Shari, the Benue, 




42. STRKKT IN SltKkA I.toNK (1905) 

all parts of the Niger, and nearly every country on the West 
Coast of Africa from Cape Blanco to Angola. 

Negroes among Negroes are very clannish. So far as each 
Negro could pick, up a fellow-tribesman, these Negro colonists 
at Sierra Leone banded together, Congos with Congos, Ibos with 
Ibos, and so forth, hating each other far more than they may 
have disliked the white men. Then of course there was the 
abundant native population of what is now the Colony and 

123 



Liberia ^ 

Protectorate of Sierra Leone. Our wars and troubles in this 
colony may be said to have lasted a hundred years. It is only 
within the last eight years, especially in connection with railway 
construction, that this African state has made good progress 
and that its Negro inhabitants have shown some sign of fusing 
in defence of their; common interests. 




43. FURA DAY ROAD, FKKEIOWN (SltKKA LEONE) 



124 



CHAPTER IX 

THE FOUNDING OF LIBERIA 

THE experiments made at Sierra Leone between 1786 and 
1794 by an association of British philanthropists (growing 
as they did in 1807 into the establishment of a Crown 
Colony) aroused some enthusiasm and much interest in America, 
so that to no small extent Sierra Leone has been the elder 
sister, the forerunner of Liberia. 

From the very beginning of American independence the 
northern states of the American Union were opposed to the 
idea of slavery. V^ermont abolished slavery in 1777; most 
of the northern states had followed suit by 1804. Only the 
English-speaking south-east held out, and these states were 
supported by the French and Spanish states (slave-holding), which 
joined the Union between 1782 and 1845. In 1794 Congress 
forbade the participation of American subjects in the slave 
trade. In 1808 the importation of African slaves into the 
states of the Union was prohibited. 

Meantime free black men were growing as an element 
in the American polity. Washington had freed his slaves at 
his death. Many followed his example. But the black citizen 
did not live on easy terms of equality with the white. Some 
philanthropists in the United States felt that giving freedom to 
the slave was not enough as reparation : he should be restored 
to the land of his fathers and resume an existence in Africa 
as a Christian and an enlightened propagator of civilisation. 

*25 



Liberia <4- 

In 1816 philanthropists of the northern and southern 
states united their efforts in founding the American Colonisation 
Society. By this time there were some two million Negro slaves 
living in the United States, and about two hundred thousand free 
people of colour. These last at any moment might want a 
home in Africa, for at that period the West Indies were scarcely 
open to the immigration of free settlers. 

Elijah Caldwell and Robert Finley^ proposed the Colonisa- 
tion Society at a meeting held at the Capitol in Washington 
on December 4th, 1816, under the presidency of Henry Clay. 
On January ist, 181 7, the Society was constituted, with Bushrod * 
Washington as President, Robert Finley and Francis Key as 
Vice-presidents, and Elijah Caldwell as Secretary. 

At first it was suggested that the Negro emigrants from 
the United States should be sent to Sierra Leone, and a com- 
mission to this British colony under Mill and Burgess in 181 8 
reported favourably on this project. Accordingly in 1820 the 
Rev. Samuel Bacon, John P. Bunkson, and Dr. S. Crozer (all 
white Americans) started for Sierra Leone on the Elizabeth with 
eighty eight Negroes. But Charles Macarthy, the Governor 
(afterwards of Ashanti fame), became suspicious of p^olitical motives 
at the back of' this enterprise, and could find no room in the Sierra 
Leone peninsula for Bacon's Negro colonists ; so the Elizabeth 
moved southwards to Sherbro Island, and attempted to start 
the colony there. But in a few weeks fever of a virulent type 
killed all the whites and twenty-two of the black passengers ; 
the remainder, under the leadership of Daniel Coker and Elijah 
Johnson, returned sadly to Sierra Leone (Fura Bay) to await 
events. 

In 1 82 1 the Rev. Fphraim Bacon, brother of Samuel 

* After whom the Finley Mountains of Ba?a county are named. 

* Bushrod Island was called after him. 

12O 



MAP 3 




Liberia ^ 

Bacon, came out (with his wife) on the U.S.A. brig Nautilus^ 
commanded by Captain R. F. Stockton,^ with Messrs. Joseph 
Andrus, J. B. Winn, and Christian Wiltberger. They brought 
a few more Negro colonists, and came especially to relieve 
the unhappy band of pioneers remaining over from the 1820 
voyage, who were temporarily settled at Fura Bay, Sierra 
Leone. 

The first impulse of the party was to proceed to Cap)e 
Mesurado and negotiate there for a site of land. But their 
reception was unfriendly, so the ships passed on to Grand Basa, 
where a contract was entered into with the local chiefs. Here 
a beginning in colonisation might have been made but for an 
outbreak of fever which laid low Ephraim Bacon (whose 
brother Samuel had already died), Winn, and Andrus. These 
three returned at once to America, leaving Wiltberger in sole 
charge of the emigrants. The returning ships brought back 
with Captain Stockton a Dr. Kli Ay res to take joint charge 
of the expedition with Wiltberger. Ayres and Stockton returned 
on December iith, 1821, to Cape Mesurado^ six months 
after Bacon and Joseph Andrus had failed in their negotiations 
with the De chiefs. Through the intercession of an English 
Mulatto trader, John Mill, who had a trading licence on Cape 
Mesurado, Ayres and Stockton were more fortunate. 

On December 15th, 1821, not only was the future site of 
Monrovia bought, but, in addition, the chiefs or '' kings " Peter, 
George, Yoda, and Tong Peter (of the De and Mamba tribes) 
made over to the American Colonisation Society (represented by 
Ayres and Stockton) a strip of coastland one hundred and thirty 
miles long and forty broad, which might be reserved for ever for 

^ Commemorated in Stockton Creek. 

* The early expeditions to Liberia misspelt this cape as ** Monlserrado.'' 
This led to the county being called Montserrado. Subsequently the correct spelling 
for the cape — Mesurado — was restored. 

128 



-#i The Founding of Liberi a 

the settlement of American freed slaves.^ For this cession of land 
Ayres paid to the chiefs the following goods : — Six muskets, 
one small barrel of powder, six iron bars, ten iron pots, one 
barrel of beads, two casks of tobacco, twelve knives, twelve forks 
and twelve spoons, one small barrel of nails, one box of tobacco 
pipes, three looking-glasses, four umbrellas, three walking-sticks, 
one box of soap, one barrel of rum, four hats, three pairs of 
shoes, six pieces of blue baft, three pieces of white calico. 
In addition, the purchasers bound themselves to pay when they 
could : six iron bars, twelve guns (probably long Danes), three 
barrels of powder, twelve plates, twelve knives, twelve forks, 
twenty hats, five barrels of salt beef, five barrels of salt pork, 
twelve barrels of ships' biscuit, twelve glass decanters, twelve 
wineglasses, and fifty pairs of boots. 

The native chiefs, after their fashion, recked little of the 
consequences which might follow the signing of this deed and 
the acceptance of the part payment. They probably thought, 
if they looked at all to the future, that these eccentric persons — 
enthusiastic, thin, fever-stricken white men, who loathed drink, 
debauchery, and the slave trade," and English-speaking Christian 
Negroes dressed in Eluropean fashion — merely wished to settle 
here and there along the coast and start some novel conmierce 
no doubt profitable to one or other party. They certainly did 
not realise that they were *' selling their country.'* 

On the other hand, the colonists as implicitly believed they had 
purchased a section of the Grain Coast. Possibly they excused 
themselves for the modest value of the purchase price ^^ by the 
belief that they would never have occasion to turn the indigenes 

' This very unreal concession was alterwards made actual by Ashmun's 
agreements in 1825. 

* At that date a very new type in West Africa. 

' The chiefs of Mesurado afterwards complained that the supplementary goods 
mentioned in the above list were not paid in full. 

VOL. I 129 9 



Liberia ^ 

out of their holdings on the soil, and that they were bringing 
Christianity and true civilisation to a country still ravaged by 
the slave trade. The first disillusionment began over Bushrod 
Island (as the colonists named it, after the President of their 
Society, Bushrod Washington), a considerable tract of low-lying 
but fertile land between the St. Paul's River, Stockton Creek, 
and Mesurado Bay. Here the colonists were opposed by the 
local Negroes, who forcibly prevented their settlement. 

The colonists — some eighty Negroes in all and two white 
men — moved over to Perseverance (or Providence) Island, a 
low, rocky, tree-crested islet in Mesurado lagoon, only two or 
three furlongs in length. Here the mulatto trader, John 
Mill, had his establishment.* 

Dr. Ay res proposed a final return to Sierra Leone. 
Wiltberger, on the other hand, declared for remaining and for 
securing a site on the high land of Mesurado promontory 
(where Monrovia is now built). He met with strong support 
from a Negro, Elijah Johnson," a survivor of Samuel Bacon's 
Sherbro expedition. Johnson exclaimed, when pressed by Ayres, 
" Two years long have I sought a home ; here I have found 
one, here I remain.'' He probably decided thus the fate of 
" Liberia." 

After Ayres had left for Sierra Leone, Christian Wiltberger 
in June, 1822, set himself to lead the colonists to the inland 
aspect of the Mesurado promontory, and to the great astonish- 
ment of the natives trees were felled and slight fortifications 
were erected on this plateau. But fever prostrated Wiltberger, 
who was forced to return to America with Dr. Ayres. He 

> This was called Kiiifistown. Mill seems always to have befriended the 
Liberians, and his help is justly commemorated in the name of Millsburg, a 
settlement on the St. Paul's River. 

» Johnson's son was the celebrated Hilary Johnson, President of Liberia 
from 1884 to 1891. 

130 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

left the poor bewildered colonists under Elijah Johnson's 
leadership. Only twenty-one among them (and they were 
scarcely eighty in number) were capable of bearing arms as 
fighting men. 

Yet Elijah Johnson was a host in himself. Determined 
not to pass the rainy season on the unhealthy little "Persever- 
ance " Island in the lagoon, he carried on Wiltberger's idea, 




44. PKOVIUKNCK OK I»KKSK\ KKANC K ISLAND o.N MK^UKADO LAtiUON (THK ISLKT WITH 
TRKKS AND A HOtSK JUST UKYuM) llli: KtKJFx FAK THKk AWAY Is BLSHKOI) ISLAM)) 

and in spite of the natives' opposition, he with his band of 
soldier workers cleared the site of the future Monrovia. The 
natives '^ sniped '' the labourers from the shelter of the dense 
forest, and their attacks grew fiercer and more determined, 
when suddenly a British gun-vessel appeared off Cape 
Mesurado. The commander inquired into the troubles, and 
offered to punish the natives if Johnson would cede a small 
piece of land to the British Government and hoist the British 

131 



Liberia ^ 

flag on the same. Johnson refused point-blank/, the British 
vessel sailed away, and a resolute turning of the maddened 
colonists on their native enemies produced a lull in the attempts. 

Fortunately this trying position was not unduly prolonged. 
On August 8th, 1822, arrived at Cape Mesurado the American 
brig Strong from Baltimore, with fifty-three new colonists, new 
supplies of stores, and a white American as the Director of the 
colony. This was Jehudi Ashmun, a native of Champlain in 
New York State and the practical founder of Liberia. 

Jehudi Ashmun came of New England Puritan stock. 
His father was Samuel Ashmun, a well-to-do settler. Jehudi 
was the third son out of ten children, and was born April 21st, 
1794. He grew up at a time and in surroundings when 
Methodist Christianity in the United States was in its most 
enthusiastic, dominant, and yet ahiiost repellent form. He 
seems to have been naturally a bright-spirited, happy boy ; but 
he was constrained by the feeling of those around him to ex- 
perience that sudden call to religion at an emotional age which 
during the last century impressed so many lives in the middle 
classes of England and America with good and bad results. 
The bad results in the case of Ashmun (as evidenced by his 
copious written diaries, prayers, meditations, and so forth) was 
the gradual evolution of a God of Terrors, before whom he was 
perpetually accusing himself in exaggerated language of awful sin.*^ 

The life of Jehudi Ashmun'^ was written in 1835 by 

* Johnson was no warm I'ritMul of the British, as he liad fought on the American 
side in the war of 1812. 

* One of his characteristic prayers, written down in his diary, begins: **Oh 
heart-searching and rein-trying ( lod I who requirest ... a broken heart of aU 
who worship Thee, . . ." p. 388 in the Rev. K. K. Gurley's Li/c of Ashfnun. 

' The accompanying portrait of Ashmun lias been carefully reproduced by 
the author from an engraving in Mr. Gurley's book. Ashmun is described as 
being a good-looking man, with refined features, tall, slender, in later life rather 
ascetic, at all times an impressive personage. 

132 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

the Rev. Ralph R. Gurley, who himself visited Liberia at a 
subsequent date to report on the conditions of the settlement, 




45. JKIIUDI ASIIMUN, rilK KOl.NDKU OF l.IliF.UI.V (KKoM Till. I'OKIKAIT IN 
GIRLKY'S "l.lFi: OF ASUMUN") 



and to him alone we owe a most intcrestin": account of the 
man who made Liberia and of that man's character. 

After his conversion at the age of seventeen, Ashmun, 
by inclination and by the wishes of his parents, trained himself 

^33 



Liberia ^ 

for ministry in the American Episcopal Church. But when 
not much over twenty he accepted the position of professor 
at a college. About this time he made the acquaintance of 
a young woman, also a teacher, for whom he conceived a certain 
attachment ; but his proposal of marriage was received rather 
ambiguously. He met her once or twice at intervals during 
the next few years, but (so far as the very involved language 
of his biographer can be understood) she was of the Early 
Victorian type, and preferred her sentiments to be divined rather 
than to express them herself in a simple Yes or No. At last 
Ashmun made her a decided proposal of marriage. While 
she shillyshallied, he accidentally crossed the path of a '' Being " 
unwillingly described by his biographer as ''a person of radiant 
beauty,'' but apparently no precisian. What took place — 
whether Ashmun merely kissed her and fled and was onlj^ 
momentarily unfaithful to his first love, or whether the case was 
a less innocent flirtation, it is impossible to divine from the 
inflated language and mysterious hints of Ashmun's biographer. 
It may quite well have been a blameless love conceived too late ; 
but having already made this unanswered proposal, Ashmun felt 
himself in duty bound to press for a reply. At last the 
object of his earlier attachment said Yes, and they were soon 
afterwards married. Owing, however, to the gossip which 
had arisen over the incident (which only merits description 
because of its important bearing on Ashmun's life), the latter felt 
obliged to give up his professorship and travel ''a thousand miles 
by sea '' to Baltimore.* Here, later on, he was ordained, and 
ofl^ered himself as a missionary. At this juncture, in 1821, 
the American Colonisation Society was in want of a capable man 
to take charge of their derelict settlements at Cape Mesurado. 

* This journey was undertaken apparently from Portland, Maine, to Baltimore 
in Maryland. 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

Ashmun ofFered himself, and was appointed, and together with 
his wife left for the Grain Coast in an American sailing ship 
which took eighty-one days to reach Cape Mount by way of 
the Azores. Ashmun took with him, among fifty-two other 
Negro settlers, the Rev. Lot Carey. 

This man also deserves some description. Carey was a 
pure-blooded Negro, short, broad, thick-set, ugly of features, 
but a man of remarkable natural ability and dogged determination. 
He was a slave employed by his owner in the southern states 
to manage a large store where the tobacco of the plantation 
was kept for sale. He married early, like most slaves, and had 
several children. He also contrived, somehow or other, in 
between his hours of work, to get a little elementary education, 
so that he could read and write. He possessed extraordinary 
business ability and a remarkable memory, and was so clever 
and upright in his commercial transactions that his master 
again and again rewarded him with gratuities in the form of 
five-dollar bills, or allowed him, when ofF duty, to do a little 
work for payment on his own account. Gradually in this way 
he accumulated a sum of money with which to purchase his 
freedom and that of his wife and children. Learning that he 
had nearly reached the required amount, some of the merchants 
who had dealings with his master clubbed together out of 
respect and liking for Carey, and enabled him to tender eight 
hundred and fifty dollars for his redemption and that of his 
family. He became a free man, therefore, in 1813. He then 
studied eagerly, and qualified himself for the ministry. He 
took an ardent interest in this repatriation scheme, and was 
selected as one of Ashmun's principal assistants. 

Ashmun infused from the moment of his arrival new 
energy and hope into the minds of the Liberian pioneers. He 
brought to the Mesurado promontory, apparently from Bushrod 

13s 



Liberia ^ 

Island, where they had been landed from the " American ships," 
five guns (four of cast iron, one of brass). Besides the cannon, 
the settlement possessed only forty muskets. The cannon were 
mounted in a martello tower constructed of rubble and timber 
near the point of the peninsula ; for it was realised that the lull 
in the native attacks was only likely to last until the rains were 
over. The De chief George was particularly bitter against the 
new colonists, and he and other De and Mamba chiefs were 
urged against them (and supplied with munitions of war) by the 
Cuban slave traders who had settled in the adjoining Gallinhas 
country and realised that the definite establishment of this colony 
of free Negroes would be a great blow to the slave trade. A 
strong palisade was erected round the martello tower, near the 
site of the modern lighthouse. Those of the colonists able to 
bear arms (only thirty-five in number, even with Ashmun's new 
recruits — and of these, six were mere boys under sixteen years 
of age) were daily drilled by Carey and Elijah Johnson.' For 
months twenty of these warriors out of the thirty-five had to 
remain on guard every night. 

On August 3 1 St, a fortnight after Ashmun's arrival, he issued 
the following proclamation organising the available force of the 
settlement. It may be interesting to reproduce this in detail, as 
it gives us the names of the more notable among the Negro 
colonists, the ''pilgrim fithers," some of whom have left 
descendants who are living in twentieth-century Liberia. 

'' I. The Settlement is under military law. 

'' 2. Elijah Johnson is Commissary of Stores. 

"3. R. Sampson is Commissary of Ordinance. 

''4. Lot Carey is Health Oflicer and Government Inspector. 

'' 5. F. James is Captain of the brass mounted fieldpiece, 

' Johnson had fought on the American side against the British in 1812, and 
knew something about soldiering. 

'36 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

and has assigned to his command R. Newport, M. S. Draper, 
William Meade, and J. Adams. 

" 6. A. James is Captain of the Long i8, and has under his 
command J. Benson, E. Smith, William Hollings, D. Hawkins, 
John and Thomas Spencer. 

*' 7. J. Shaw is Captain of the Southern Picket Station, 
mounting two iron guns. To his command are attached S. 
Campbell, E. Jackson, J. Lawrence, L. Crook, and George 
Washington. 

" 8. D. George is Captain of the Eastern Picket Station, 
mounting two iron guns. Attached to him are A. Edmondson, 
Joseph Gardiner, Josiah Webster, and J. Carey. 

" 9. C. Brander is Captain of a carriage mounting two swivels 
to act in concert with brass piece, and move from station to 
station as the occasion may require ; attached are 1\ Tines, I^. 
Butler. 

*' 10. Every man to have his musket and ammunition with 
him, even when at the large guns. 

''II. Every officer is responsible for the conduct of the 
men placed under him, who are to obey him at their peril. 

*' 12. The guns are all to be got ready for action immedi- 
ately, and every effisctive man is to be employed at the pickets. 

" 13. Five stations to be occupied by guards at night till 
other orders shall be given. 

" 14. No useless firing permitted. 

" 15. In case of alarm, every man is to repair instantly to 
his post and do his duty." 

On September 15th, 1822, Mrs. Ashmun died of fever after 
days of terrible suffering, during which the floods of rain pene- 
trated her miserable hut and soaked her bed. Some Negro 
colonists also died. The worst of the rainy season was on, and 
the condition of these unfortunate creatures, cooped up on a 

137 



Liberia ^ 

narrow piece of cleared rocky ground, with dense, gloomy forest 
on all sides but that which looked towards the sea, was dismal in 
the extreme. For two months they were exposed to a downpour 
of rain day after day. 

On November iith, at daybreak, the struggle with the 
natives began. The settlement was attacked by the De, the 
Mamba, and the Vai. The assault was at first so overwhelming 
that many of the colonists fled in panic into the woods. Women 
were wounded in their huts, and children killed or kidnapped. 
If the enemy had been resolute they would have pushed on to 
the palisade and overwhelmed the small band of resolute fighters 
under Ashmun, Carey, and Johnson. But they stopped and 
scattered to plunder the goods of the colonists. This gave 
Ashmun his chance, and under his directions "common shot" was 
fired trom the five guns into the serried masses of the marauders.^ 
Great execution was done, and the De fled precipitately down 
the slopes of Mesurado promontory and away to their canoes. 

Ashmun ordered a day of thanksgiving ; but this first defeat 
of the natives was not decisive. Soon the little colony found 
itself living in a state of siege, and gradually they withdrew 
from the larger area of the settlement to the restricted limits 
of the palisade. Their case seemed desperate, for their supplies 
of provisions and gunpowder were running out. Fortunately 
a British trading ship from Liverpool arrived in the anchorage 
on November 29th. Its commander, Captain H. Brassey, most 
generously gave the colonists all the supplies he could spare, 
and probably saved the situation for the time. 

' Ashmun writes in his diary : •" Eight hundred men were here pressed shoulder 
to slioulder in so compact a force that a cliild mip;ht easily walk upon their heads 
from one end of the mass to the other. They presented in their rear a breadth of 
rank equal to twenty or thirty men, and all exposed to a gun of great power, raised 
on a platform at only tiiirty to sixty yards' distance. Every shot literally spent its 
force in a solid mass of human flesh." 

'38 



-^ The Founding of Liberia 

On November 30th the Des once more began to assemble 
large forces in the woods round the apex of the peninsula, and 
on December ist about a thousand of them attacked the stockade. 
The thirty-five warriors within kept them at bay for hours; T. 
Tines was killed, Gardiner and Crook very badly wounded, and 
Ashmun received three bullets through his clothes. Towards 
evening the enemy withdrew, and some one in or outside the 



^•^' 
>»^' 






i// '!)■;' 



.^r^^ 



46. VICIMTV OF sni. OF FIRM s !(»( K ADl-. ON < AIM! MFSl'KADO 
(TOWN OF MONROVIA IN I)IMAN(F) 

palisade discovered the cause by sighting the approach of a ^ 
British war vessel. This was the Prince Re^ent^ a colonial '/ 
schooner on its way from Sierra Leone to Cape Coast Castle. 
Hearing the noise of gun-firing, the Captain of the Prince 
Regent sent to inquire the reason, and soon afterwards dispatched 
a midshipman named Gordon, with eleven seamen (who were 
the crew of a prize travelling under Gordon's command), to 
the assistance of the beleaguered colonists. Gordon conveyed 

139 



Liberia ^ 

to them most welcome supplies of food and munitions of war, 
and ofFered to remain with them till other relief came. The 
arrival of the Prince Regent^ in fact, occurred at a most critical 
moment in the history of Liberia. On board this colonial 
schooner was the celebrated African traveller Major Laing, 
who was afterwards to lose his life at or near Timbuktu. He 
came on shore to see Ashmun, and gave the colonists great 
assistance. The gallant little midshipman Gordon, who had 
volunteered to remain with his eleven stalwart bluejackets, 
brought for a brief period a breath of cheerfulness into the 
sad and disenchanted band of colonists. On December 4th, 
1822, through the efforts of Major Laing, peace was made 
between the Americans and the De and Mamba chiefs. The 
Prince Regent went on its way to the Gold Coast with Major 
Laing, and Ashmun recommenced the work of building which 
had been interrupted by the war with the natives. 

Gordon, the midshipman, lived with them for one month. 
Just before he and his men could be relieved he died of a 
virulent fever, and this disease carried off eight of the eleven 
bluejackets. He was wept for with unfeigned regret by Ashmun 
and the Negro colonists. His memory lingers in Liberia to 
this day, and Dr. E. \V. Blydcn has proposed to found a 
Gordon Scholarship at Liberia College. 

As soon as a respite had been obtained by the victories 
over the native chiefs, Ashmun set to work with vigour to get 
the houses re-built in the space outside the palisade. We read 
that these houses were very much like those in the poorer quarters 
of modern Monrovia, raised from the ground on wooden or stone 
supports, built of planks and roofed with wooden shingles. This 
evidently was a style of architecture brought direct from America. 
It is nowhere else seen in Africa. A market was established 
where the natives could bring their food products for sale, 

14Q 



-#i The Founding of Liberia 

In the spring of 1823 the American war vessel Cyane 
visited the settlement on Cape Mesurado, and in place of 
the old palisade with the wooden tower built a strong little 
fort of stones, on which six cannon were mounted. About 
the same time Lieutenant Dashiell, of the Cyane^ went to Sierra 
Leone, and had the schooner Augusta^ which had been used 
by Samuel Bacon, put into proper seaworthy condition and 
manned by twelve seamen. Dashiell gave much assistance to the 
Liberian community, and then, like so many who helped in this 
task, died of fever. This also was the fate of Richard Seaton, 
clerk to the Cyane^ who also volunteered for service in Liberia, 
and also died after having done excellent work on the Kru Coast. 

During the first part of 1823 the task of Ashmun was 
one of peculiar difficulty. Relieved of the dread of attack 
from the natives, the Negro colonists became unruly. Several 
of them took to dissolute or drunken habits, others were lazy, 
and a good many disliked agricultural work. Ashmun for 
his firmness and courage was detested by the slave-trading 
chiefs in the vicinity, who called him the 'Svhite American devil'* 
of Cape Mesurado. An intrigue was started within the colony 
against him, and news of it reached the American Colonisation 
Society. In this body there were some who disapproved of 
Ashmun's vigorous attacks on the slave trade : it is hard to 
say from what point of view ; but several of these philan- 
thropists, though easily moved to tears over the woes of the 
Negro slaves in America, seem to have had very little sympathy 
for the indigenous natives of Africa, who might or might not 
be despoiled by American slave traders, under the eyes of 
the freed slaves whom the Society was repatriating. Their 
sympathies apparently were restricted to those Negroes who 
had embraced the Christian faith, wore the white man's clothes, 
and talked his language. 

141 



Liberia ^ 

On May 24th, 1823, Dr. Eli Ayres came back as agent 
for the Colonisation Society. Soon after his arrival he 
attempted to appease local dissensions by allotting to each 
colonist a definite share of the land on the Mesurado peninsula. 
His allotment, however, did not give satisfaction, and led to 
further bickerings. Ayres soon left Liberia, and returned 
for the last time to America, while Ashmun resumed work as 
Director of the Colony. In February, 1 824, the Cyrus 
brought one hundred and five fresh colonists from Virginia. 
Soon after this Ashmun, whose health had suffered most 
severely, went away for a rest and change of scene to the Cape 
Verde Islands. Here he met the Rev. Robert Gurley, after- 
wards his biographer, who had been entrusted both by the 
Colonisation Society and by the American Government with 
the task of drawing up for the little colony at Mesurado a 
provisional constitution. He was proceeding to the Grain 
Coast on the American warship Porpoise. At his request 
Ashmun accompanied him. Gurley had the wisdom to ap- 
preciate the full merits of Ashmun's work, and he succeeded 
in bringing home to the grumbling colonists their indebtedness 
to this man's talents and devotion. He definitely installed him 
as the principal agent of the American Colonisation Society, 
in fact, as the practical (jovernor of the settlement. 

With Ashmun, Gurley drew up a kind of constitution, 
and about the middle of August he endowed the little colony 
with its name, '' Liberia," at the same time christening the 
settlement on the Mesurado plateau with the name of Monrovia, 
after Monroe, then President of the United States.^ Both 
these names, it is said, were the invention and suggestion of 
Robert Goodlowe Harper of Baltimore, who had interested 

• Ashmun had at first called the settlement on Cape Mesurado *' Christopolis," 
but afterwards felt the name to be a little unsuitable. 

142 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

himself greatly in the colonisation project, and had suggested 
them, both in the councils of the Colonisation Society and 
in the Senate of the United States.^ 

Gurley returned to America August 22nd, 1824. So good 
were the reports that followed from Liberia that his measures 
were not long in receiving the ratification both of the American 
Colonisation Society and of the United States Government, 
and this ratification of the constitution and the name of Liberia 
was conveyed to Monrovia March 14th, 1825, by the U.S.A. 
ship Hunter^ this vessel also bringing at the same time about 
sixty-six fresh colonists. 

Ashmun had at the advice of Mr. Gurley resumed his 
holiday at the Cape V^erde Islands, leaving the direction of the 
colony during his absence to Dr. Randall ; but he soon returned 
to Liberia, and busied himself with increasing the lawful bounds 
of the settlement ; that is to say, not wishing to lock up the 
colonists within the limits of the township of Monrovia, he 
proceeded to find strips of country where they could be 
scattered to their own advantage. Bushrod Island (of which, 
however, the Liberians have made very little use down to the 
present day) was definitely taken over from the natives," and 
Ashmun secured a right to plant colonists along the St. PauFs 
River, up to about twenty miles from its mouth, where the last 
rapids closed navigability seaward. To this end he concluded 
a treaty or alliance on May iith, 1825, with the chiefs Peter, 
Long Peter, Gouverneur, Yoda, and Jimmy. Near the spot 
where the Stockton Creek branches off from the St. Paul's 

* After Harper has been named the principal settlement in Maryland, on Cape 
Palmas. 

' Ashmun distinctly writes that this took place by an agreement concluded 
with "old King Peter" on May nth, 1825. VVauwermans, writing in 1885, states 
that it was purchased from " its native owner, Mary Mackenzie, on December I5tii, 
1827." I cannot find any other mention of Mary Mackenzie, who, if she existed, 
was possibly the mulatto daughter of a British trader. 

M3 



Liberia ^ 

River a new town or settlement was founded, to which Ashmun 
gave the name of Caldwell in honour of Elijah Caldwell, the 
Secretary of the Colonisation Society. A station called New 




r,«i 








47. I.ASl RAl'Ih'" or IIIK SI. I'ALl/s UIVI K, IWKNIV MILKS FKUM ITS MOl'I H 



Georgia was made near the Stockton Creek as a depot for the 
receiving and planting out ot treed slaves who might come as 
refugees. 

Ashmun's health was better in 1825. He had begun to 
receive proper appreciation of his work in the United States, 
and had won the affection and respect in Liberia of the Negro 
colonists. Something approaching gaiety in this year tinges 

144 



^ The Founding- of Liberia 

his sombre diary, modifying the deep religious gloom which 
earlier and later made his outlook one of great melancholy. 

On July 4th, 1825, the Monrovian volunteers gave a 
dinner to celebrate United States Independence Day and also 
to entertain certain American and British guests, among whom 
was a Captain Ferbin, apparently the master of a trading vessel 
on the West Coast (who afterwards got into some trouble by 
his alleged participation in the slave trade). 

The dinner began at 3 p.m., and the repast consisted 
chiefly of the products of the country — (a fact recorded by 
Ashmun with justifiable pride in his diary). ^ 

It is mentioned somewhat grimly that two cases of drunken- 
ness occurred among the fifty diners, "of which the Justices 
took cognisance the next morning.'' 

After the terrible fashion then prevailing in Anglo-Saxon 
America and Britain, the toast list was portentously long, a 
condition which it is to be hoped caused the justices to temper 
with mercy their sentences on the inebriate volunteers. 

It was as follows : 

'' I. The present President of the United States : the 
Champion of the People's rights, he deserves the people's 
honour. 

"2. The Day we commemorate. 

'^ 3. The Colony of Liberia : may the history of the nation 
which has founded it become its own. 

*' 4. Africa : may It outstrip its oppressors in the race for 
liberty, intelligence, and piety. 

'* 5. The Heroes and Statesmen of American Independence. 

' Under Ashmun's vigorous management the little settlement had in three 
years developed a very good local food supply. Ashmun records in his diary the 
industrious horticulture of a certain Sarah Draper, an American Negress, " the 
first woman for whom land deeds were issued in Monrovia." Sarah Draper pro- 
vided vegetables from her garden all the year round, •' generally three kinds." 
VOL. I 145 10 



Liberia ^ 

They fought and legislated for the Human race — even the 
people of England are freer and happier for their labours. 

" 6. The Monrovian Independent Volunteers : armed for 
the defence of rights which it is the trade of war to destroy. 
May they never forget their character ! 

*' 7. General Lafayette in America. We honour him not 
because we are Americans, but because we are men. 

'' 8. (In politeness to our guest, Captain Ferbin) His 
Britannic Majesty, the Constitutional King of England. 

" 9. Success to Agriculture. 

'' 10. (by Captain Ferbin) Health of the President of the 
United States, and Prosperity to the Colony of Liberia." 

During 1825 and the succeeding years vigorous action was 
taken against the slave trade, which by 1820 had acquired a 
very firm hold over the Lower St. Paul's River. Even as late 
as the year 1825, two hundred slaves were shipped from the 
mouth of the St. Paul's River to America by an American ship. 
Dr. Randall explored the St. Paul's River with some success, 
and in 1827 a Liberian settlement was made at the limit of 
tidal navigation called Millsburg, after John Mill, the Mulatto- 
trader. This, together with later measures taken along the banks 
of the river, practically abolished the slave trade in these regions. 
At the same time, Ashmun took still more vigorous measures 
against this traffic in other parts of the Grain Coast. So that 
he might proceed with a show of right, he was careful to con- 
clude arrangements or treaties with the various native chiefs 
in the coast regions, by which he purchased or acquired rights 
over definite pieces of land, so that he might from the mere 
trespass plea object to the presence thereon of slave traders or 
their agents. On October 27th, 1825, he made such a contract 
with the chief Freeman for a piece of ground to the south of 
Grand Basa Point, round and about a little stream called New 

146 



^. The Founding of Liberia 

Cess or Poor River, a district, oddly enough, which some years 
later, through the temporary lapse of power on the part of 
the Liberian Government, was to become the headquarters of 
Theodore Canot's slave trade. He also bought land round 
the promontory of Cape Mount, where powerful Spanish slave- 
trading stations were established. This was done by a treaty 
signed on April I2th, 1826, to which was attached a condition 




48. " VAI town" on MKSrKADO LAGOoN, M. \KLY OPl'OSITb: . MONROVIA, ONCE A 
FAMOUS I.O( ALIIY K(^K SlIIPl'lNO SLAVKS 



by the natives that the said Cape Mount territory should never 
be sold by the Liberians to any foreigners. On October iith, 
1826, the Mamba chiefs, Will, Tom, and Peter Harris, sold or 
ceded to the Liberian colony the territory about the Junk 
River and that which lies between the rivers Dukwia and 
Farmington/ On October 17th in the same year, the ''king,*' 

* At the mouth of the Junk River in 1827 was founded tlie town of Marshall, 
named after the Chief Justice of the United States. 

147 



Liberia ^- 

Joe Harris, of Grand Basa, with the approval of the headmen 
of his country, ceded to the Liberian colonists a strip of territory 
at the mouth of the St. John River, as far south as the Biso 
(Bissaw) stream, near Basa Point. 

By this and by the preceding agreements entered into by 
Ayres, the Liberian colony now possessed some sort of political 
rights to ail that part of the Grain Coast between Cape Mount 
on the north and Grand Basa Point on the south, besides 
territory up the St. Paul's River. While Ashmun was still in 
the colony, a (.'^ Mandingo) chief known on the coast as King 
''Boatswain'* (said to have served in that capacity in British 
ships) wished to enter into friendly relations with these American 
strangers. This chief or his father had established a Mandingo 
colony in the Kondo country at or near the site of the modern 
town of Boporo.^ The envoys of "King'' Boatswain made a 
treaty with Ashmun on March 14th, 1828. It is by no means 
certain that the envoys who put their marks to this piece of 
paper realised its import, or that King Boatswain ratified their 
action ; but at any rate this treaty conferred on the young 
colony of Liberia considerable rights over the interior to the 
north of Cape Mount. 

Not content with mere treaty-making, however, Ashmun 
obtained the help of three American warships, and conducted 
an expedition to Trade Town, a slave settlement near the mouth 
of the New Cess River. Here the Spanish slave traders made 
a very determined resistance, but without avail. Their " factories " 
(as these trading establishments are called throughout West 
Africa) were completely destroyed. Ashmun landed on the 
beach with the armed parties of marines ; the first of the towns 

^ Bosan or '* IJoatsuain " was not a chief by descent or iniieritance, but an 
astute trader — probably Mandingo — wlio gathered around him at Boporo a mixed 
following of Mandingo, Buzi, Fula, Mamba, Kpuesi, Bandi, Gora, Vai. and 
Gbwalin people. This confederacy went by the name of Kondo. 

148 



^ The Founding- of Liberia 

was set on fire ; the fire reached a great store or magazine 
of powder, and a terrific explosion occurred, filling the air 
with debris^ thatch, splinters, and fragments of human beings. 
Nevertheless, in a few years the slaving stations were built up 
again, and lasted till the British and Liberians destroyed them 
finally in 1842. 

In spite of constant ill-health, Ashmun worked unceasingly 
to lay the foundations of an agricultural prosperity for Liberia. 
He incessantly urged on the ofttimes lazy colonists the im- 
portance of field work. He would devote rare moments of 
leisure, for example, to drawing up instructions how to obtain 
manure and how to apply it to the plantations so as to obtain 
the best crops. He introduced fresh breeds of cattle, sheep, 
pigs, goats, ducks, and fowls. He encouraged the planting of 
cotton, coffee, indigo, sugar-cane, rice, maize, and sorghum. In 
spite of fever, floods of rain, peevish interruptions of grumbling 
settlers, Ashmun managed to get through a great deal of study 
in his Liberian exile. He tells us in his diary that in 1825 
he beguiled the worst months of the rainy season by reading 
through the whole of Blackstone's Commentaries^ The Letters 
of Junius, The History of England by Aquitel, Robertson's 
America, Marshall's Life of IVashington^ Hamilton's Political 
Writings, Robertson's Scotland, Voltaire's Essays and Henriade^ 
Madame de Stael's Delphine, etc., etc. 

In 1827 a fresh invitation had been sent to America to 
free Negroes that they should seek their homes and independence 
in Liberia. By 1828 the total American population of the colony 
had risen to over twelve hundred, some of whom were Mulattos. 
To these had been added a number of freed slaves and natives 
of the country, who had left their own homes to associate with 
their civilised brethren. It really seemed as though the enter- 
prise was marching rapidly towards a great success. In 1824 

149 



Liberia ^ 

a code of laws had been drawn up, and about the same time a 
printing press had started, and the first newspaper, the Liberia 
Herald^ edited by John Baptist Russwurm, a mulatto, was 
born. Four companies of militia, raised from among the 
twelve hundred colonists, kept the peace. Churches and schools 
were built. 

But in the spring of 1828 Ashmun's health, never very 
strong, gave way completely, and in an almost dying condition 
he left Liberia for America on the ship Doris, 

Ashmun sailed towards America, but was so ill that he 
had to be landed at St. Bartholomew Island in the British West 
Indies to endeavour to attain convalescence. On August 4th, 
1828, he returned to the United States, and died on the 
25th of that month at Newhaven (Connecticut). Before his 
death he had induced the American Colonisation Society to 
accord a greater measure of independence and self-government 
to this little colony on the West Coast of Africa. By this new 
arrangement, which practically came into force on October 28th, 
1828, the direction of the Colony of Liberia was entrusted 
to an agent and vice-agent, who were to be appointed direct 
by the American Colonisation Society. All the other officials 
were to be elected by the colonists themselves, and then to 
receive their appointment at the hands of the agent, provided 
he approved of the selection. Every adult black or coloured 
man in Liberia was to have the vote who had taken an oath 
to the constitution. 

When Ashmun left Liberia no other white man existed 
in the colony. He had chosen Lot Carey to succeed him as 
agent ; but Carey was killed by an explosion of gunpowder 
in a fight which the colonists undertook against a chief called 
Bristol in December, 1828. 

The American Colonisation Society, however, appointed 

150 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

another white American, Dr. Richard Randall (who had been 
in Liberia before) to succeed Ashmun as agent. He arrived 
at the end of 1828, and in 1829 he founded the station of 
Careysburg in remembrance of Lot Carey. This place is 
situated some distance to the east of Millsburg, and originally 
was intended to be a settlement for freed slaves rescued from 
captured slave traders. Unhappily, Dr. Randall died of fever 
in April, 1829, j^^t as he was conducting important negotiations 
with the powerful King Boatswain of Boporo. He was succeeded 
by a young doctor, Mechlin, who had accompanied him to 
Liberia in 1828. 

Mechlin's first endeavour was to strengthen the hold of 
the Liberian colonists along the banks of the St. Paul's River. 
In his dealings with the chiefs he gave much evidence of ability, 
and thus attracted the attention amongst others of I>ong Peter, 
chief over Cape Mount, and Bob Gray, the principal Chief of 
Grand Basa. Mechlin founded the settlement of Marshall, at 
the mouth of the Junk River (which is the common estuary 
of the Dukwia and Farmington streams). He continued with 
vigour Ashmun's policy against the slave traders, and took 
special pains to keep in good repair the fort which Ashmun 
had caused to be built to control the peninsula of Cape Mount. 
In 1832 a number of slaves who were being sent down by 
a petty chief (called the Sultan of ''Brumley") on the St. 
Paul's River, above the falls, escaped from their guards and 
took refuge in Monrovia. They were on their way via Cape 
Mount to the Gallinhas territory, where they were to be 
handed over to the Cuban slave trader Pedro Blanco. 

Shortly afterwards Kaipa, the son of the Sultan of "Brumley,"^ 
arrived at Monrovia, and in very insulting language demanded 

* No doubt a Muhammadan Mandingo. He is generally referred to in the 
records as the Sultan of Brumley. 

151 



Liberia ^ 

that these slaves should be restored to him. His demand was 
refused. The Chief of Brumley, receiving assistance from the 
slave traders, gathered together a number of armed men and 
attempted to take the Liberian settlements on the St. Paul's 
River. Mechlin accordingly dispatched against him a force 
of one hundred and seventy militia with one field-piece, under 
Elijah Johnson, which proceeded to the St. Paul's River above 
the first rapids. The expedition was also accompanied by one 
hundred and twenty freed slaves who acted as scouts. Johnson 
seized the villages of the chiefs of " Brumley " and '' Gurrats " 
and forced them to sue for peace. Favourable terms were 
accorded to them by Mechlin, on the understanding that these 
chiefs were no longer to hinder the trade of Liberia with 
the interior populations, whose caravans hitherto had been 
constantly turned away from Monrovia. 

In 1827 the state of Maryland organised a society some- 
what in rivalry with the American Colonisation Society of 
Washington, and sent out to Monrovia on the Orion 
(October, 1831) Dr. James Hall (a white) with thirty-one 
emigrants. Hall and Mechlin could not quite come to terms 
as to the allotment of ground to the Maryland Society within 
the then existing limits of ** Liberia." Consequently, Dr. 
Hall returned to America to receive fresh instructions. The 
Maryland State had heavily subsidised this attempt to export 
free Negroes, and the philanthropists who attached themselves 
to the scheme did so with the special aim of promoting the 
principles of temperance or total abstinence amongst these 
African colonists, realising as they did from the reports that 
reached them year by year that the abuse of alcohol was not 
only a universal fault amongst the Europeans and civilised 
natives of West Africa, but that it occasionally sullied the 
records of Liberia. 

152 




49- THE ST. PAUL'S RIVHK, AKOVli LAST KAPIUS, NEAR THE SITE OF ELIJAH JOHNSON'S 
EIGHT WITH CHIEF BRUMLEY 



Liberia ^ 

Dr. Hall returned again to Monrovia in 1833 with twenty- 
eight fresh colonists and several Methodist and Presbyterian 
missionaries. He was instructed to pick up at Monrovia the 
thirty-one colonists whom he had deposited there two years 
previously, and to take all his party beyond Liberian limits, 
there to found another state to be called Maryland. He 
directed his expedition to Cape Palmas. Here he found the 
Grebo chiefs very ill-disposed to receive the colonists or to 
give them any rights over the land, chiefly because of the 
temperance or total abstinence principles which were inculcated. 
The chiefs were furious at the idea of giving up brandy, which 
had become quite a vice along the Grain Coast. They did, 
however, in return for small presents, sign deeds which conveyed 
the usual large areas of territory on the part of the non-under- 
standing native. But when the colonists had settled down and 
began to make themselves at home, the Grebo chiefs brought 
pressure to bear upon them by withholding food supplies — 
chiefly rice — in the hope that from fear of starvation the 
colonists would trade in brandy or rum A violent altercation 
ensued between Dr. Hall and the Grebos, the former threaten- 
ing if driven to desperation to attack and burn the Grebo 
villages. At last the chiefs gave way and the Marylanders 
settled down to their independent effort of colonisation. 

In 1833 another philanthropic society at a town called 
Edinburgh in the United States ^ sent a batch of coloured 
emigrants to Liberia, and for these was purchased from the 
chief Bob Gray a piece of land on the south bank of the St. 
John's River (Grand Basa). This settlement was therefore 
named Edina, and exists to this day. In 1834 Mechlin returned 
to America, breakdown in health being the cause of his depar- 

* Either Edinburgh in Pennsylvania, or Edinburgh in Mississippi : probably 
the latter. 

154 



^ The Founding of Liberia 

ture. He had played a very notable part, however, in the 
development of Liberia, and his name stands high amongst those 
white Americans who laid the foundations of this state. He was 
succeeded by the Rev. John B. Pinney. Mr. Pinney, however, 
only stayed a few months, became very ill, and went back to 
America, being succeeded temporarily by Mr. Brander, the vice- 
agent, who during his short tenure of power had to suppress 
a rising of the natives at Grand Basa against the Liberian 
settlements. 

In 1835 the Pennsylvania Young Men's Society interested 
itself in the emigration to Africa. It was a Quaker organisation, 
and had very practical ideas on the subject of colonisation. This 
Pennsylvanian body therefore dispatched to Liberia one hundred 
and twenty-six Negro colonists, who were entirely men of their 
hands — blacksmiths, carpenters, potters, brick-makers, shoe- 
makers, and tailors. Like the Marylanders, they were bound 
by vows as regards total abstinence ; but they met with a 
kindlier reception at Monrovia, as the little state of Liberia was 
already beginning to regret that its churlish reception of Dr. 
James Hall had brought about the institution of an independent 
organisation for colonisation on the east. Therefore, strong 
efforts were made to obtain for the Pennsylvania Young Men's 
Society tracts of land at Grand Basa. The Basa chief Joe Harris 
was induced to sell an island in the St. John's River in front of 
Edina. Here the one hundred and twenty-six emigrants sent 
out by the Quakers established themselves in a village called 
Port Cresson. But the Spanish slave traders, who still possessed 
great influence over the Basa chiefs, incited them to attack this 
Liberian settlement. The head of the little colony at Port 
Cresson refused to resort to arms. Consequently, when his 
settlement was attacked by the Basa people, eighteen of the 
colonists were killed, the houses were all destroyed, and the rest 

155 



Liberia ^ 

of the colonists were obliged to flee for their lives to Edina. 
But another Basa chief, Bob Gray, was faithful to his engage- 
ments towards the Liberian Government. He assisted the 
settlers of Edina to repel the people of Joe Harris, and even to 
frighten the latter into suing for peace. 

Joe Harris himself rebuilt the Quaker village on a site 
farther to the north on the St. John's River, where it 
received the name of Basa Cove. This incident of the fight 
at Grand Basa is also referred to elsewhere in describing 
the adventures of the slaver Theodore Canot. Whilst the 
Basa country was in this disturbed state, ''Governor'' Finley, 
of the Mississippi Colonisation Society of Sino, insisted on 
going ashore, no doubt to find out what was going on. The 
Governor had been on a cruise along the coast for his health, 
and had unsuspectingly accepted the hospitality of Canot on 
his fast sailing ship. But the unfortunate man soon after 
landing was killed on the shore. Canot stated that he 
co-operated with the Libcrians in attacking and punishing Joe 
Harris and his people, though he gives a difl^erent version of 
the results of the operations, making out that the Liberians 
lost their guns and did not conduct themselves with anything 
approaching valour. But soon following on these events appeared 
the warlike Elijah Johnson, with one hundred and twenty militia, 
from Monrovia, who by his capture of one of the principal Basa 
villages brought Joe Harris to reason. 

In 1^35 lands were bought from the natives along the coast, 
which carried the Liberian dominions as far east as the Sino 
River, and secured, amongst other important points, the mouth 
of the Sanguin River. 

The successor as principal agent to the Rev. John B. 
Pinney was Dr. Skinner, whose appearance in Liberia was very 
fleeting. He came out in 1835, and returned at the end of 

156 



-^ The Founding of Liberia 

1836. He was succeeded by Anthony D. Williams, who was 
principal agent from 1837 to 1839. Under the brief direction 
of Skinner, Thomas Buchanan, a white American (like Skinner 
and Williams and all previous agents), came out as an envoy 
from the colonisation societies of New York and Pennsylvania 
to report on the condition of Liberia. He built the first 
lighthouse at Cape Mesurado, and after him was named later 
on the Liberian settlements of Upper and Lower Buchanan at 
Grand Basa. 

During Anthony Williams's tenure of office as agent 
another independent colony was founded. A fourth colonisation 
society had been formed in America, that of the Mississippi 
State. Funds for this Society were chiefly found by a philan- , 
thropist named Reed. The Mississippi Colonisation Society 
decided to establish its own little colony at or near the mouth 
of the Sino River. About 1838 the colonists sent by this 
Society built the town of Greenville, which is still the principal 
settlement at the mouth of the Sino River. This place was named 
after James Green, one of the first advocates of emancipation. 

The census taken in 1838^ gives the total population of 
American origin (leaving out the colony of Maryland) as only 
2,281. The death-rate amongst these American immigrants had 
been somewhat high, and a certain number had drifted away to 
Sierra Leone or had gone back to the United States. It was 
generally assumed about that time that four thousand emigrants 
had been sent away from America. Even including those dis- 
patched to Maryland, this was probably an over-estimate, and at 
first sight the effort strikes one as being feeble in face of the 
three million Negroes who then inhabited the United States. 
But as has been pointed out by several writers, the object of 

* On p. 191 1 give a resume of the censuses taken in connection with the 
Liberian immigrants between 1820 and 1843. 

157 



Liberia ^ 

the American Colonisation societies which sprang up in nearly 
all the organised southern states was not so much the 
abolition of slavery as an attempt to deport free Negroes. 
The position of the slave in American society was then clearly 
defined, and it was thought even by good men and women 
that slavery as an institution was so necessary to the planting 
interests of the Southern States that its abolition was a very far- 
off event. But the society of the South felt there was no place 
in its midst for the free Negro, for the black or coloured man 
who demanded the same rights as his white fellow-citizens. 
These men were considered to be a growing danger to society, 
and in the efforts made by the association which directed this 
emigration may be traced not only pure philanthropy but even 
a certain anxious fear. 

In 1838 fresh attention was given to the government of 
Liberia. A new constitution was drawn up for the country, 
probably by Professor (ireenlof, of Harvard College. By^ this 
the Colony of Maryland which had been built up round 
Cape Palmas was left out of consideration, as an independent 
state. The rest of what we now know as Liberia was divided 
into the two counties of Montserrado and Grand Basa, and 
stretched from somewhere about Cape Mount on the west to 
beyond the Sino River on the east. It was placed under a 
Governor and a Vice-Governor. To these was added a Council 
of Liberians, who under the direction of the Governor were 
constituted as a legislative body. The Governor and Vice- 
Governor were practically appointed by the Committee of the 
American Colonisation Society, which also retained the right 
of veto on any laws promulgated by the Governor and Council. 
The members of this Council were to be elected by the people. 
The suffrage was granted to every male citizen of twenty-one 
years and upwards, without property qualification. The Council 

158 



-^ The Founding of Liberia 

consisted of ten members, of whom six sat for the county of 
Montserrado and four for the county of Basa. The administra- 
tion of justice was vested in a High Court, of which the 
Governor was president. Slavery and the slave trade within 
the limits of Liberia were declared unlawful. The question 
of granting citizenship to white men of European or Euramerican 
origin was much discussed, but finally it was decided (mainly 
through the bitter opposition to this principle on the part of 
Elisha Whitdesey, a member of the commission appointed to 
discuss this constitution) to confine citizenship in Liberia 
to persons of colour, or " Africans/' " African/' I believe, 
was the term originally employed and woven, so to speak, 
into the Liberian constitution. (This was made use of a 
good many years later by a Moorish trader, Attia, possibly 
a Morocco Jew, who boldly established factories on the coast 
and up the rivers of Liberia and carried on trade outside the 
limits of ports of entry, claiming his right to Liberian citizenship 
as an African. He was able to enforce this claim by the terms 
of the constitution, although he and his sons were for the 
most part as fair-complexioned as Europeans.) Many people 
thought this condition in Liberia most illiberal ; but unless 
there had been some restriction excluding white men from 
citizenship, the slave traders already settled on that coast might 
have claimed to form part of the Liberian community. More- 
over, the experiment was being conducted admittedly in the 
sole interests of coloured people, and considering the way in 
which already in the 'thirties of the last century the European 
Powers were laying hold of the African coast, it was not over- 
generous to select for a purely African experiment three hundred 
miles of the West African littoral. 

By 1838 Liberia as a State had attained a certain consistency. 
The number of the American colonists was not seemingly so 

159 



Liberia ^ 

great as often mentioned in round numbers by contemporary 
and later writers : the official census, as already stated, made 
it out at 2,247, to which might be added about four hundred 
in Maryland. But attached to these Negroes and Mulattos 
of America were already large bands of freed slaves and 
a good following of friendly natives. A lighthouse had been 
built on Cape Mesurado ; the slave trade had been practically 
abolished along the St. Paul's River and on the Basa and 
Kru coasts, and very nearly done away with at Cape Mount 
and in the Vai country. Twenty churches had been built, 
ten schools, and four printing presses. The Liberia Herald 
commenced its issue as a newspaper in 1824, with Russwurm 
(afterwards Governor of Maryland) as editor, and was 
followed later on by the Afrian Luminary, A system of paper 
money had been adopted to facilitate trade with the natives. 
These first notes were of a most original nature. Writing, 
which would have been unintelligible to the natives, was replaced 
by pictures, generally of natural objects akin to the value of 
the note, which was also transcribed in figures. A constant 
service ot sailing vessels kept up communication between Liberia 



CHAPTER X 

THE LAST PHASE OF THE SLAJ'E TRADE 

ALTHOUGH in 1808 the United States Congress had 
declared the over-sea slave trade to be illegal, had 
stopped, in fact, the importation of slaves from Africa 
into the United States, slavery and the need for slaves grew 
to be more important than ever in the development of the 
Cuban plantations, as well as in Puerto Rico and Brazil. Owing 
to the disproportionately large number of males imported as 
slaves and the high mortality which prevailed amongst these 
Africans, the slaves in tropical America did not increase in 
numbers, the births not even meeting the deficit caused by the 
deaths. Moreover, as the prices of produce rose and the de- 
mand for labour became more and more acute, the slaves were 
greatly overworked, and their proportionate value rose higher 
and higher. These reasons concentrated in Cuba more especially 
the vigorous slave trade of the first half of the nineteenth 
century, and it was from Cuba chiefly that fast sailing vessels 
started for the West Coast of Africa.' In the first decades of 
the nineteenth century the Spanish and Portuguese slavers, with 
whom were associated recreant English, French, and Italians, 

* The privateering permitted undcT the British and otiier Hags ihiring the 
Napoleonic wars naturally degenerated often into sheer piracy. After the peace 
of 181 5 many of the fast sailing vessels built for the privateering business were 
bought up by the slavers of England, the United States, Spain, and I'ortugal, and 
put into the business of slave-running. The French also took part in this trade. 
VOL. I 161 II 



Liberia ^ 

found two parts of the North-west African coast well adapted 
for their purposes.' These were the River Pongo, in a No-man's 
land north-west of Sierra Leone, and the Gallinhas lagoons on 
the western frontier of Liberia. In those days the French had 
made no attempt to establish themselves on the River Pongo, 
nor did the British or the Liberians exercise any authority over 
the Vai country east of Sherbro Island. 

One of the slavers of those days, Captain Theodore Canot, 
has left us in his reminiscences a vivid picture of what the slave 
trade was like in West Africa in its last phase. Canot was 
born at Florence (Italy) in about 1803. His father was a 
captain and paymaster in Napoleon's army, and his mother a 
Piedmontese who was left a widow with six children. In his 
boyhood Canot, through his uncle, a person of influence — 
made the acquaintance of Lord Byron. But finding no chance 
of employment near his home, and having a thirst for adventure, 
he decided for a sea life, and in 181 9 became an apprentice on 
the American ship Galatea of Boston, trading with the East 
Indies. He rose to be mate, but met with several disasters, 
one of which caused him to be wrecked off the coast of Cuba, 
where tne Dutch ship on which he was then serving was 
captured by pirates. One of these pirates saved his life by 
pretending a relationship, and through this man's advice he 
drifted into the slave trade with Africa by engaging on a sailing 
ship destined for the River Pongo. This was in 1826. When 
this vessel, named the Areostatica^ reached the River Pongo, a 
furious mutiny broke out on board owing to the incapacity of 
the captain and the timidity of the mate, who were natives of 
Majorca or Barcelona. Canot, in his own story, quelled the 
mutiny by prompt action and the shooting of five of the 

' The Portiigo-Hrazilians devoted themselves more to the Dahome and Lagos 
coast-J. 

162 



-^ The Last Phase of the Slave Trade 

mutineers. He did this partly to save the life of an English 
cabin boy, who in some extraordinary way had drifted from 
Lancashire to this horrible service, and who had been frightfully 
ill-used by a British mate on board some vessel at Cuba, his 
part having been taken by Canot then, as later on in the slave 
ship at the Pongo River.^ 

At the Pongo River, Canot made the acquaintance of a 
great local celebrity of those days, a mulatto named Ormond,^ 
the son of a Liverpool merchant by a native wife. Ormondes 
father had married a woman of good family and influence in 
the vicinity of the River Pongo. He took his mulatto son to 
England, and did his best to give him a good education. 
After his father's death, the boy felt out of place in his English 
surroundings, and indeed was almost penniless. He managed 
to find his way back to Sierra Leone and eventually to the 
River Pongo, where his mother at once recognised him, and 
calling all her connections together managed to get him installed 
by the native authorities in all the possessions of his late father — 
houses, lands, slaves, boats, and barracoons. Ormond started a 
large harem of wives, and settled down as a native chief, being 
known by the local designation of '' Mongo." 

Mongo John or Mongo Ormond was quite a personality 
in Senegambia between 1820 and 1830. Canot became his 
bookkeeper, and made a journey to the Fula kingdom in the 
interior. After quarrelling with Ormond, however, he set up 
as an independent slaver on his own account, taking into 

* Canot, after quelling the mutiny, managed to arrange that the Arcostafira 
should convey the cabin boy back to Cuba, whence he should be sent to his home 
in Lancashire. He states that the boy actually reached his home in safety. What 
extraordinary experiences must this Lancashire lad have had to relate to those 
who cared to listen ! It would be interesting to know what became of him. 

' Compare this story with the accounts of the Ormonds given {ex Wadstrom)on 
pp. 117 and 120. There is some discrepancy in dates and in one or two other points 
between the story told to the Sierra Leone Company in 1792 and Canot's version. 

163 



Liberia ^ 

partnership a vagrant Englishman, Edward Joseph. But at 
last the authorities of Sierra Leone, and later on the French 
ships of war, came down on this nest of slavers. Ormond died, 
Joseph fled, the slave-trade settlements were broken up, and 
Canot eventually fell into the hands of the French, and was 
sentenced to a long term of imprisonment at Brest, from which 
he succeeded in escaping. He then found his way out with 
scarcely any money to Sierra Leone, and here started a small 
coasting trade which eventually led him to the Gallinhas country 
beyond Sherbro. 

The region round the Gallinhas lagoon and the River 
Sulima had become the chief focus of the West African slavers 
after the Rio Pongo had been rendered more or less impossible 
by English and French action. Don Pedro Blanco, a native 
of Malaga, and originally the mate of a sailing vessel, settled 
in the Gallinhas country about 1821. Amid the islands of 
these lagoons, with their occasional openings on to a surf-lashed 
sea-coast, he gradually built up an extraordinary establishment, 
which had its subsidiary stations at various points on the 
Liberian coast, as flir down as New Cess in the Grand Basa 
district. 

Pedro Blanco had of course been led into the slave trade 
by his original voyages to Cuba, He was a man of very 
cultivated mind, and, it is asserted, not naturally cruel. He 
finally retired from the trade in 1839 with a fortune of nearly 
a million sterling, and after living for a time in Cuba he 
settled at Genoa, and ended his days in a pleasant Italian home. 

Pedro Blanco surrounded himself with every luxury that 
could be imported from Europe. His bills were as promptly 
cashed as a banknote in Cuba, London, or Paris. He had 
large numbers of Negroes under his command as paid servants, 
watchers, spies, and police. From a hundred look-outs on 

164 



-#i The Last Phase of the Slave Trade 

the GalHnhas beach and the islands of the lagoon, these men, 
trained to use telescopes, watched the horizon for the arrival 
of British cruisers. By their signals they repeatedly saved 
incoming or outgoing ships engaged in the slave trade from 




50. A " KRIMAN " 1 KOM NilAK HASA (HASA IKIML) 

detection and capture by the British. Pedro Blanco derived 
most of his slaves from the countries of what is now the 
eastern part of the Sierra Leone Protectorate. But Canot, after 
being taken into his employ, was detailed to establish a vigorous 
slave trade at " New Sesters,'* a place called nowadays New 

165 



Liberia 



^ 



Cess, at or near the mouth of the Pua River, about eight 
or ten miles south-east of Grand Basa Point and the modern 
settlement of Ix)wer Buchanan.^ Canot created what he called 
his "chapels of ease" (or minor depots to feed the central 
station), at Digbi (to the north-west of Monrovia), at Little 
Basa (ten miles south of the Farmington River), and at Manna, 
near the Cestos River. His main establishment at New Sesters 
he claims as a model of what such establishments should be. 
It was built by the paid labour of Kru men, who, though entirely 
averse to slavery themselves, were the faithful (because well paid) 
allies of Canot and other slavers. The barracoons were spacious 
and cleanly. The slaves while stored there were well fed (many 
bullocks being killed each week), and they even became relatively 
happy through the dances and entertainments organised for 
their benefit. 

From New Sesters, Canot shipped his slaves on board 
Spanish, Portuguese, and even American or Russian vessels 
sent to him by Don Pedro. The British cruisers soon directed 
a special attention to this place. Their commanders were 
frequently gammoned or cajoled by Canot into letting important 
consignments of slaves slip past them. Graphic descriptions 
are given of the terrible dangers of the surf both at this 
and at other points on the coast. Often Canot had, with the 
sails of a British gunboat in sight, to ship hundreds of 
slaves in tiny Kru canoes through the surf on to the im- 
patiently-waiting slaver ship, and when some of the canoes 
upset — as almost invariably happened in crossing the breakers 
— some of the slaves would be devoured by sharks. He 
mentions that on one occasion off the Gallinhas Coast Don 

^ Which itseJf is on the presumed site of Grand or Petit Dieppe. BQttikofer 
considers it to be " Grand " Dieppe, and would place Petit Dieppe at LitUe Basa, 
a place much farther west. 

166 



^ The Last Phase of the Slave Trade 

Pedro Blanco lost in this way a hundred slaves while trying to 
send them off in a hurry through the terrible breakers. 

Canot seems to have had a very engaging address, and 
could speak equally fluently English, French, Italian, and Spanish. 
He had about him such an English manner that he often 
impressed favourably British naval officers or Colonial officials, 
who should have viewed him with suspicion. Unlike most 
of his colleagues (if one may believe his asseverations), he 
led a clean, gentlemanly life, even though he was a slave trader. 
Of course, when he willingly permitted inspection of his depots 
on the Liberian coast, there were no slaves en evidence, and 




51. SURF ON rili: MIU.KIAN UKAr M 



everything was arranged to convcv the impression of lawful 
trading in the ordinary products of the country. He had 
a good cook, and gave excellent dinners, and had at all times 
an eye for a trim-built sailing vessel. On board one of these 
vessels travelling up the Liberian coast he met '' Governor " Finley 
of the American settlements at Sino (a white man), who had 
been to Monrovia for change of air and recovery from fever. 
Canot ofl^ered to take him on a cruise, and the Governor 
accepted, but afterwards seemed very impatient to be landed, 
possibly suspecting the true nature of his host. Such was his 
impatience, in fact, that he insisted on going through the surf 
to land at what is now Upper Buchanan (Grand Basa). It is 

167 



Liberia ^ 

stated by Canot that as soon as he reached the beach he was 
murdered by the Basa boatmen for the money that he carried 
with him. Canot writes that his body was discovered seriously 
mutilated on the beach, and that in consequence of this outrage 
he co-operated with the forces of the Liberian Colony just 
established at Upper Buchanan, and with the crews of several 
vessels, in a punitive attack on the people of Grand Basa. 
This fight was little more than a drawn battle, Canot himself 
retiring with a wound which disabled him for some time.^ 

After this he paid a visit to his sub-station at Digbi, 
where an attempt to set up a second store with a rival chief 
was the cause of a furious native civil war. The chief, whose 
jealousy was stirred, called in the interior people to his aid, and 
Canot's new friends not only lost their town but their lives. 
The scene of frightful barbarity that followed is given in his 
own words : 

" Each female leaped on the body of a wounded prisoner. 
They passed from body to body, digging out eyes, wrenching 
off lips, and slicing the flesh from the quivering bones, while 
the queen of the harpies crept amid the butchery, gathering 
the brains of each severed skull as a honne-bouche for the ap- 
proaching feast. After the last victim had yielded his life, it 
did not require long to kindle a fire and fill the air with the 
odour of human flesh. A pole was borne into the apartment 
on which was impaled the living body of the conquered chieftain's 
wife. A hole was dug, the staffs* planted, and fagots supplied. . . . 
The bushmen packed in plantain leaves whatever flesh was 

^ By an odd coincidence the contemporaneous Governor of Sierra Leone 
was named Findlay ! Canot, deceived by tliis similarity of names, asserts in his 
memoirs that his unwilling guest, afterwards murdered by the Basa Negroes, was 
the British Governor of Sierra Leone. This was not so: General Findlay was for 
long Governor of Sierra Leone, and died in England in 1853. Canot's guest was the 
American *' governor'" of a small Liberian settlement at Sino. 

168 



-#i The Last Phase of the Slave Trade 

left from the orgie, to be conveyed to their friends in the 
forest. . . .'* ^ 

Canot and his companions managed with great difficulty 
to escape from the scene of this massacre of which he was the 
indirect cause, and eventually reached Sierra Leone, where he 
was imprisoned on board ship. Getting away from here, however, 
he returned to New Cess. Hearing in 1839 that Pedro 




52. LIHKKIAN M.rn.l-.MKM AT (AIM, MOl N'l (.Si I'l'OSKD MTK Ul-~ (. ANDl's 
KSTAin.IMIMI'M IN 1847) 

Blanco had retired for ever from Gallinhas with a large fortune, 
Canot came to terms with the British cruisers at New Cess, 
and gave a solemn pledge that he would for ever abandon 
the slave trade. On this occasion he released the remainder 
of his slaves in store.- He then proceeded to England in 

* The whole of this episode may be mere sensational fiction. The Vai people 
at Digbi have never been cannibals. 

* This is his own story- But other Spanish slave traders seem to have 
lingered on the Basa coast even if Canot retired, for in 1840 they induced the 
Fish men of Basil Cove and the chiefs of New Cess and Little Basa to attack 
the Liberian settlers. 

169 



Liberia ^ 

1839, ^"^ induced an important merchant to interest himself 
in the establishment of a kind of colony and trading station 
at Cape Mount, a site to which Canot had taken a great liking. 
He endeavoured at this time to free himself entirely from all 
connection with Pedro Blanco, but for monetary reasons this 
seems to have been not altogether possible. He revisited New 
Cess in 1842, but found that Governor Buchanan had destroyed 
all the slave-trading stations. There is no doubt, therefore, 
that after his return to Liberia he gave some slight assistance 
to the slave trade from his settlement at Cape Mount, although 
affecting the greatest friendship and community of interests with 
the young state of Liberia. He purchased the promontory 
of Cape Mount * and offered it to the British Government, who, 
however, coldly declined. At Cape Mount he seems to have 
done great things in the way of planting, but in 1847 his 
whole establishment was burnt and utterly destroyed (including 
the plantations, which was a pity) by a force of British sailors 
and marines landed from one of the gunboats. 

Canot then left the coast of West Africa and settled at 
New York. His experiences as related and transcribed by 
Mr. Brantz Mayer are of thrilling interest, and it is surprising 
that they attained but little vogue, though they were published 
at New York and in London (Routlcdge) at the modest cost 
of eighteenpence. Whether his story is all true or whether 
Canot was an earlier De Rougemont, is impossible to determine. 
There seems, as already shown, to be some discrepancy between 
Canot's account of Ormond, the mulatto slave trader on the 
River Pongo (if one compares dates) and the information 
given of Ormond's Liverpool father in Wadstrom's compilation." 

' Of course ignoring tlic {)revioiis purchase by Ashmun. 

* //// Essay on Colonisation applied to the West Coast of Africa, by C. B. 
Wadstrom. London, 1795, PP- 8?. 88. 2nd part. 

170 



^ The Last Phase of the Slave Trade 

But this may be explained by slight errors having occurred 
in both stories. In Wadstrom's book, published in 1795, ^^^ 
Ormondes (only) mulatto son is represented as having been 
killed by the natives in 1792, but he may have escaped and 
reached Liverpool, or Ormond the elder may have had several 
sons by his native wife. 

It is probable that by the year 1847 ^^^ ^^e Spanish 
slave-trading depots on the coast of Liberia or in the debatable 
land between Liberia and Sierra Leone had been destroyed partly 
by the British cruisers on the coast, and partly by the vigorous 
action of the American Agents or Governors of Liberia — Ashmun, 
Mechlin, Buchanan, and Roberts. The United States, though 
it created Liberia and generously lent the infant colony the 
support of its ships, did nothing — or very little — until after 
1842 to interfere with the oversea slave traffic. Frequently 
it occurred that within a few miles of where an American 
war-ship was landing Liberian colonists pledged to abolish 
the slave trade, an American sailing vessel would be cramming 
the slaves between her decks, preparatory to starting to dispose 
of several hundred captive Negroes in the markets of Cuba 
or even of the Southern United States, wherein, despite musty 
prohibitions of 1792, 1807, *^^^^^ 1808, fresh slaves from West 
Africa, Madagascar, and Mozambique were constantly being 
admitted. Even the British West Indies and British Guiana 
offered a surreptitious market for the slave trader until the 
abolition of slavery in 1833. 

The Spaniards, Portuguese, and Brazilians were the worst 
offenders after 1808, Great Britain had to pay Spain ^400,000 
and Portugal ^300,000 to induce them to declare the slave 
trade illegal to their subjects and agree to a right of search. 
France and Scandinavia behaved much better. Frenchmen indeed 
were less connected with the slave trade in the nineteenth century 

171 



Liberia ^ 

than the subjects of Britain, the United States, or Spain and 
Portugal. The only power which besides Great Britain took 
any effective naval measures against the West African slave 
trade was France/ The reign of Louis Philippe was dis- 
tinguished by a noble activity in this respect. "Libreville" 
in the Gaboon was the French analogue to Freetown at Sierra 
Leone. 

The accounts of Liberia and the writings of Canot and 
others give vivid pictures of the horrors of the nineteenth-century 
slave trade. It is probable that during the last thirty years 
of its existence (1815-35) the oversea slave trade caused 
more misery than in the previous centuries, because, being illegal, 
the risks were greater and the inconveniences much increased. 
Reference has already been made to the difficulties of shipping 
slaves through the surf. In terror of the arrival of some British 
or French cruiser, the slave merchants dared not wait for a 
change of tide or wind. Thus many slaves were drowned by the 
swamping of canoes ; still more were devoured by sharks. The 
herding in the barracoons provoked or intensified epidemics. 
If smallpox broke out, the infected Negroes were often murdered, 
drowned, poisoned, to prevent the disease spreading. Canot 
himself admits poisoning a Negro boy on board ship because 
he had contracted smallpox ; the body was then thrown overboard. 
The slaves were also " medicated '* hv the native dealers, so 
as to deceive even astute European purchasers at the coast 
markets. The application of drugs internally and externally 
swelled out the muscles and gave a glossy look to the dry skin. 
Before the slaves were shipped they were — men and women 
alike — reduced to absolute nudity, in case rags might harbour 

* Nevertheless, between 18 18 and 1830 there were French slavers on the 
Liberian coast, especially at Cape Mount and the St. Paul's River. French war 
vessels assisted Ashmun, the de facto Governor of Liberia (1822-8), to punish 
their compatriots and destroy their ships. 



-^ The Last Phase of the Slave Trade 

parasites or infection. They were branded by a hot iron with 
their owner's marks, usually under the breasts. 

A continual warfare raged in West Africa during the first 
half of the nineteenth century, provoked and sustained by the 
slave trade with America and the Mediterranean. Tribe fought 
against tribe, nation against nation, and within each tribe were 
scenes of bloodshed and civil war (similar to that described by 
Canot at Digbi) caused solely by the demand for slaves. The 
Fulas and Mandingos were distinguished beyond all other West 
African peoples for the zeal they threw into this commerce. 
Fula merchants visiting Sierra Leone or Cape Mount might 
the year previously have travelled to Morocco, Algeria, or Tunis. 
Morocco Jews were established at Timbuktu by 1827, solely 
as brokers in the slave trade. Jews from Northern Europe and 
the Mediterranean settled at Sierra Leone soon after the colony 
was founded, and enabled Canot and other slave traders to carry 
on their business by giving them advances of goods and cash, 
and by scrnding timely information as to the movements of 
British cruisers. 

Alcohol was the main inducement to the Negro chief to 
become a slave trader. From the middle of the seventeenth 
to the end of the nineteenth century West Africa lay under 
the curse of this poison — not the mild fermented liquors made 
by the natives from palm sap, honey, or grain, but the distilled 
spirits invented by the European. First, brandy (Aqua vitae, 
Brantwein, distilled grape juice) ; then rum, the product of the 
sugar cane ; then gin, made from malted rye or potatoes and 
juniper berries ; last and worst, whiskey. 

Gunpowder and guns, of course, figured largely in the 
white man's trade goods ; but these were necessary to the Negro 
chief or slave trader for slave-catching expeditions, or to support 
an authority under which the punishment for all offences was 

173 



Liberia ^ 

slavery. Silks and velvet, beads, cloth, calico, iron bars were 
all appreciated by Negroes of high or low degree ; but 
the one article for which the black potentate or trader was 
ready to sell his soul (be he Muhammadan ^ or pagan), his wife, 
child, brother, or unoffending subjects and friends was distilled 
spirit. 

The natives of the Kru coast of Liberia strongly objected 
to the first American colonists because they were pledged to 
temperance and were likely to discourage the trade in brandy, 
rum, and gin. To some extent the curse of alcohol has affected 
the Americo-Libcrians themselves. The early records contain 
but infrequent allusiofis to drunkenness amongst the colonists. 
This vice became very prominent in the sixties and seventies 
of the last century, and is only recently on the wane, thanks 
to fashion having veered round towards temperance or abstinence 
as the characteristic of a civilised community. 

On the march from the interior to the coast the slaves 
were usually tastcncd in this manner, writes Canot : 

*' Hoops of bamboo wcrj claspeJ round their waists, while 
their hanvis were tied by stout ropes to the hoops. A long tether 
was then passed with a slip-knot through each rattan belt, so 
that the slaves were firmly secured to each other, while a small 
coil was employed to link them more securely in a band by 
their necks." 

The prices paid on the Liberian coast for adult slaves 
in gooj condition were only about ten dollars (^2) each. 
Children or inferior slaves were bought at from three to eight 
dollars. Slaves of Mandingo or Fula race were more valuable, 
owing to their lighter skin and handsomer appearance. Man- 
dingos were very much in request in Cuba, as the smartest type 
of domestic servant. But speed and economy of space in the 

' P^or the drunkenness of tlie Fulas read Canot. 
174 




53- A MAN'DINGO OF WEbTEKN LIBERIA 



Liberia ^ 

oversea transport being essential considerations, after the British 
interference with the slave trade had commenced, not so much 
attention was paid as in the eighteenth century to the comfort 
of the slaves on board. 

''Sometimes on slave ships the height between the decks 
where the slaves were chained was only eighteen inches, so that 
the slaves could not turn round, the space being less than the 
breadth of their shoulders. They were chained by the neck 
and the legs. They frequently died of thirst, for the fresh 
water would often run short." ^ 

The establishment of the Liberian colony contributed 
remarkably to the driving out of the slave trade from the 
regions east of Sierra Leone ; but the real hard work in the 
suppression of this traffic in Negro slaves in West Africa 
was done by Great Britain sending her cruisers to patrol the 
Atlantic and the Cult ot Guinea, and abolishing slavery in 
the West Indies (as in South Africa) at a cost of something 
like ^30,000,000. When the British West Indian market was 
closed, half the inducements were removed. Moreover, it became 
apparent to the men of Liverpool and Bristol that there were 
other pursuits in West Africa as profitable as slave trading and 
far less perilous. The invention and growth of railways had 
stimulated the search for lubricants. Palm oil in consequence 
succeeded slaves, gold, and pepper as the attraction to West 
Africa. The oil in the pericarp of the nuts of Elais guineensis^ 
the handsome palm tree of the West African forest region, 
had been used as a food by the natives from a remote period, 
but its value only became realised in Europe and America in 
the twenties and thirties of the nineteenth century, and some 
of the earliest exportations of palm oil (and later of palm 

* Governor Buchanan writes in his Journal, 1840 : "The space between slave 
deck and upper deck is only ten inches." This must be a clerical error. 

176 




VOL. I 



54. UIL PALMS (KLAIS GUINEENSIS) 



Liberia -^ 

kernels, which produce a still more valuable oil) were made from 
Liberia. 

The place of the slave traders in the Gallinhas region 
was taken by traders in palm oil, who were in turn to prove 
the source of much trouble and anxiety to the little Negro 
republic. 



178 



CHAPTKR XI 

GGl'EKXORS OF LIBERIA 

IN January, 1836, as related in the last chapter, Thomas 
Buchanan, a citizen of Philadelphia, a white American, and 

a cousin of James Buchanan, afterwards President of the 
United States, came out as an envoy of the Colonisation Societies 
of New York and Pennsylvania to Monrovia, and amongst other 
things built the first lighthouse on Cape Mesurado. He went 
on to Grand Basil, and spent the year 1837 as administrator of 
the little group of settlements of Kdina, Port Cresson, and 
Basa Cove. In 1839 he was sent to Monrovia as the first 
'' Governor '' of Liberia under the new constitution, relieving 
from his post of agent Mr. Anthony D. Williams. 

From 1838 to 1840 the country at the back of Monrovia 
was convulsed by constant warfare between the Gora and De 
tribes, in which the Gora people were eventually victorious, the 
Des ever since having taken an inferior position and become a 
dwindling tribe. This warfare was not at first especially directed 
against the American settlers, though it did considerable damage 
to their little colonies, and under Williams's timid rule they 
were powerless to impose peace by force of arms. But when 
Buchanan took up the reins of government, he resolved to put 
an end to this disorder, the more so as the chieftain of Boporo 
had constituted himself the champiofi of the Gora people, and in 
his defeat of the Des had glanced aside to attack those Liberians 
who were settled along the St. PauTs River. These settlers had, 

i7g 



Liberia ^ 

no doubt, assisted the Des to defend themselves. The Boporo 
chieftain, Gatumba, was the successor of ** King '' Boatswain or 
Bosan, who, as already related, had built up a heterogeneous 
confederacy of peoples in the hilly country round Boporo. 
Boatswain had been a steady friend of the young Liberian 
Government, but his successor Gatumba disliked them because 
of their interference with the slave traffic. 

Buchanan had been suffering from a violent attack of fever 
towards the close of 1839 ^^hen he heard of Gatumba's advance 
down the St. PauFs River. He dispatched a message to this 
chief, warning him that he would be held answerable for any 
attack on Liberian settlements. Gatumba sent an insulting 
reply. The destruction of Millsburg decided Buchanan (though 
still very ill) that the time for energetic action had arrived. 
He therefore organised a force of three hundred Liberian Militia 
with several field guns, and appointed a young octoroon trader, 
Joseph Jenkins Roberts, to command the expedition. Gatumba 
had a ferocious ally named (iotora, supposed, like many other 
natives of the interior, to be a professing cannibal. With seven 
hundred men (iotora attacked the little Liberian mission station 
of Heddington on the St. Paul's River ; but although Hedding- 
ton was only inhabited by a handful of American settlers, thev 
were well armed, and offered such a determined resistance that 
Gotora was killed and his men desisted from attack. Buchanan 
accompanied the little army which he had placed under General 
Roberts's command. He resolved to carry the war into the 
enemy's country, and so the three hundred Liberians marched 
through the dense forest on Gatumba's stronghold, which is said 
to have been a walled town about twenty miles from Millsburg. 
They were obliged to leave their cannons behind, owing to the 
great difficulty of transporting heavy loads through the forest 
and occasional swamps. But they made up for the lack, of 

180 



-^ Governors of Liberia 

artillery by well-directed volleys, which so impressed Gatumba's 
soldiers that after the first fierce conflict they abandoned their 
stronghold and chief. The Liberians occupied Gatumba*s town 
for twenty-four hours and then burnt it to the ground. 

Gatumba became a wanderer, and this determined action 




515. A HOI'C»K<,) MAN VI>ITIN(: r;oVKKNMKNT HOlSK, 
MONROVIA 



acquired for the L.iberian Government considerable prestige in 
the eyes of the natives. A fresh treaty of peace and friendship 
was made with the chiefs at Boporo ; but although Gatumba had 
lost all power, the country on both banks of the St. Paul's 
River remained in an unsettled state for some time, and its 
agricultural development, which had been proceeding so satis- 

181 



Liberia ^ 

factorily during the 'thirties, received a check from which it 
took a long time to recover. 

Writing in May, 1839, Buchanan states that ''the right 
bank of the River St. Paul presents an almost continuous line 
of cultivated farms.** Some of the recent colonists derived from 
America were not by any means suited to the Siberian life. 
They were townsmen, and not agriculturists, and it is to be 
feared that from 1840 onwards nothing like the same propor- 
tionate advance in Liberian agriculture has been made such as 
occurred during the 'thirties of the nineteenth century. 

Buchanan took advantage of the prestige acquired by the 
Liberian forces in the war against Gatumba' to conclude treaties 
of friendship with several native chiefs and bring all his influence 
to bear in suppressing internecine warfare amongst the tribes, in 
putting down barbarous customs such as the poison ordeal, and, 
above all, in attackit^g the slave trade, which had been again 
reorganised and had at its command a powerful confederacy of 
chiefs. Unfortunately, this slave trade was actually (at that 
period) encouraged and maintained by American ships under the 
Stars and Stripes. American slaving ships bore ofl^ their cargoes 
of wretched men and women unmolested, because at that period 
the British Goverfiment had not acquired the right to search 
American vessels, while the United States Government would 
not (until about 1842) take any measures of its ow^n to stop 
this traffic. But for the British cruisers, Buchanan must have 
looked on impotently whilst the vicinity of the Basil settlements 
and Cape Mount was turned into slave-exporting stations.^ 

' As the result of this war, he himself received the nickname of Big Cannon, 
a very easy corruption of •• Burhanan." 

2 Writing of the British naval officers,' Buchanan says, " Whilst making 
various complaints against English traders, I cannot forbear placing in distinguished 
contrast the honourable and gentlemanly conduct of the naval officers of that 
nation. They invariably manifest a warm interest in the prosperity of the colony, 
^nd often lay me under obligations by their kind offers of service." 

182 



-^ Governors of Liberia 

But the co-operation of British ships was not without its 
danger for the independence of Liberia. The palm-oil trade 
was ousting the commerce in slaves as an inducement for 
European enterprise on the West Coast of Africa ; and Great 
Britain at this time, and for many years to come, was the 
principal purchaser of palm oil, a commodity to which Liverpool 
and British shipping owe not a little of their development during 
the last sixty years. Liberia was found to be well endowed 
with the oil palm, and British traders from Sierra Leone began 
to settle on the Lberian coast, very anxious to carry their flag 
with them, and very scornful of a Government conducted by 
civilised Negroes. In 1840 Buchanan decided to send an agent 
to England to obtain assurances that English colonisation societies 
would not encroach on the limits of Liberia. The Liberians 
viewed with suspicion the motives of the British Anti-Slavery 
Society even under the direction of philanthropists like Fowell 
Buxton. It was thought that under the guise of philanthropy 
Great Britain would extend her rule eastwards from Sierra 
Leone until she linked it with the Gold Coast Colony. 
Americans interested in the future of Liberia at this time urged 
the United States to purchase the Dutch and Danish settlements 
on the Gold Coast, ^ in the hope that this action might intensify 
United States* interest in Liberia, which Buchanan was desirous 
of turning into a regular American colony for American Negroes. 

In 1840 it was calculated that Liberia (excluding Maryland) 
had a population of 2,221 American settlers and 30,000 freed 
slaves or natives who had placed themselves under Liberian 
government. But the whole colony still remained heavily ifidebt 
to the American societies, little attempt having ever been made 
to raise money by local industry so as to repay to these 
societies the cost of founding Liberia. Buchanan addressed very 

^ Eventually acquired by Great Britain. 

183 



Liberia ^ 

drastic remarks from time to time to the settlers on their want 
of self-respect, urging them to become self-supporting. When 
a settlement or township asked for a school, he told them there 
was nothing simpler than to start such an institution if they 
would club together amongst themselves for the necessary- 
money to support it. He himself was rebuked by the American 
Colonisation Society for the very poor cargoes of agricultural 
produce which were sent back from Liberia to the United 
States by the return voyages of the ships that brought out 
emigrants. Moreover, during his Governorship several of 
the sailing vessels that kept up communication between Liberia 
and the mother-country were lost on the coast, and com- 
munications with America gradually dwindled. Some years 
later, the first British steamer from Liverpool came out to the 
West Coast of Africa (the Macp'ej;or Lainf), and gradually 
by this means it became easier and quicker to visit Great 
Britain than to cross the Atlantic to the United States. From 
this time perhaps (1840) may he dated the gradual turning 
towards Great Britain on the part of Liberia, which in spite 
of a few rebuffs and some harsh treatment has till the present 
time increased gnidually into a very strong sympathy between 
the two countries, aided no doubt by the brotherly relations 
which have grown up between Liberia and the very similar 
Negro colony of Sierra Leone. 

Buchanan was much worried durinir the last two years of his 
life by the intrigues and opposition of the Rev. Mr. Seyes, a 
prominent (? Baptist) missionary. Mr. Seyes appears to have 
wished to become a sort of religious Dictator or Grand Elector, 
to control the Government and iornore the American Colonisa- 
tion Society. 

Governor Buchanan died at (lovernnient House, Basa Cove, 
on September 3rd, 1841, after an illness lasting about ten days. 

184 



^ Governors of Liberia 

He had been on a vessel to Marshall, at the mouth of the 
Junk River, and here had narrowly escaped drowning in the 
surf, his soaking with sea water being followed by exposure 
to drenching rain. He returned to Basa very ill with fever, 
recovered somewhat, and then imprudently left his sick-room 
to resume business before he was properly convalescent. He 
was seized wnth a relapse, and after a tough struggle for life 
died, to the deep regret of natives and colonists alike along 
the coast regions of Liberia. After him were named the 
two principal Liberian settlements at Grand Basa — Upper and 
Lower Buchanan. He was the last c>f the white administrators 
of Liberia. 

His successor in the (iovernorship was General Joseph 
Jenkins Roberts, the first man of colour ' to rule Liberia. 
He was a native of V'irginia, born in 1809. He came to 
Liberia as a young man of twenty years old in 1829. Roberts 
at first was a trader, had seen something of the nearer interior 
in this capacity, and had developed very friendly relations with 
several native chiefs. Entering the Liberian Militia, he rose 
rapidly to a position of command, and was already a "General '' 
in 1839 when he was placed by Buchanan at the head of the 
troops which delivered such a spirited attack on Gatumba's 
stronghold. His success in the armed forces marked him out 
very naturally as the leading man of the colony in succession 
to Buchanan. He took up the reins of office as soon as the 
news reached Monrovia of Buchanan's death, and was later 
on confirmed in the position of Governor by the American 
Colonisation Society. 

He had not been in office many months when he was 

' His tinge of NVgro blood was but slight. He is generally callcnl an 
octoroon, and at the age of (say) forty was a slight-built, handsome man with 
a very English-looking face, brown hair, blonde moustache and grey eyes. As 
he grew older and stayed longer in Africa he became more sallow in complexion. 

185 



Liberia ^ 

faced with a serious difficulty. Since Louis Philippe had 
become King of the French, vigorous measures had been 
taken on the West Coast of Africa by the French Navy 
against the slave trade, partly from a spirit of genuine 
philantliropy, and partly because, owing to naval jealousy of 
England, it was not desired to leave to Great Britain alone 
the task of policing these waters. Witnessing the success 




56. (;(;VERN<)R JOSKTII 1. kOHKKTS (AFTKK- 
WAKPs I'KKSIDKm). from AN OIL 
l'AINlIN(i I \1 ( 111 I> AHoir 1849 

from a commercial point of view which had attended the 
establishment of Sierra Leone and other British colonies and 
depots on the West Coast of Africa (especially since the 
development of the palm-oil industry), it not unnaturally 
occurred to the French Government that in this work of 
suppressing the slave trade it was necessary to have points 
d'appui on the coasts for their own cruisers, French footholds 
pn the West African littoral eastwards of Senegal. Up till 

|8(5 



-Pi Governors of Liberia 

about 1S40 the French possessions on the West Coast of Africa 
were practically limited to the course of the River Senegal, 
the Cape Verde Peninsula, and the little island of Goree.^ But 
after 1840 France took possession of places on the coast to 
the south of British Gambia and the north of Sierra Leone. 
She acquired Grand Bassam and one or two other points on the 
Ivory Goast, certain claims at Porto Novo, near Lagos, and 
the mouth of the Gabun River, which was subsequently to 
develop into her vast Congo possessions. In 1842 she en- 
deavoured to establish herself on the coast of Liberia by 
purchasing from the native chiefs (who were ready to sell 
their countries fifty times over) Cape Mount, the site of Great 
or Little Dieppe at Basa Cove, Great and Little Butu, and 
Garawe, on the western borders of the State of Maryland. 
At Garawe the French flag was hoisted '' by Royal authority," 
and it was asserted that a considerable portion of the Kru 
coast had been purchased from the natives. Apparently, though 
there is no clear record of the circumstances. Governor Roberts 
protested strongly against this overriding (in most cases) of 
previous Liberian purchases ; but as no immediate attempts 
were made by the French to follow up these actions on the 
part of naval commanders by any definite taking of possession, 
the question dropped for a long time out of view, and the 
French claims were only revived (more for purposes of negotia- 
tion than anything else) in 1892. 

But this action of the French, combined with the increased 
commercial activity of the British, stirred up Governor Roberts 
to make fresh efibrts to purchase from the natives all the more 
important sites along the coast of Liberia between Cape Mount 
and the borders of Maryland. On February 22nd, 1843, 
Roberts concluded a treaty with King Yoda of the Gora country, 

^ Originally Dutch and often occupied by the English, 
»87 



Liberia ^ 

which enabled Liberian influence to be a good deal extended 
up the St. Paul's River. In this treaty the Goras pledged 
themselves to abolish slavery and trial by poison ordeal. In 
December, 1843, on various dates in 1844, and in 1845, Roberts 
concluded other and further arrangements, strengthening the 
position of Liberia on the Junk River, at Grand Basa, at Sino, 
on the Sanguin, and west of Cape Mount in the direction of 
the Mano River; so that by 1845 the Liberian Colony could 
claim something like direct government over the whole coast 
between the Mafa River on the west and Grand Sesters River 
on the east, where the territory of Maryland began.' 

Maryland had insisted on maintaining an existence inde- 
pendent of Liberia proper. Founded in 1831, it numbered 
about four hundred colonists in 1840. In 1843 '^^ coast-line 
extended for about ten miles west of Cape Palmas, but by the 
year 1846 treaties with the various petty chiefs of the Kru 
tribes on either side of Cape Palmas extended the Maryland 
State from the Liberian frontier at the Grand Sesters River 
on the west to the River San Pedro, sixty miles east of Cape 
Palmas. 1 his therefore was a coast-line of about one hundred 
and twenty miles. In 1892 the l^Vench Ciovernment suddenly 
annexed the fifty miles of coast between the San Pedro and the 
Cavalla River, taking away the hinterland at the same time. 
Thus the existing county of Maryland is but a fragment of 
the State which was projected in the 'forties of the nineteenth 
century. The administrative capital of Maryland was situated 
at Cape Palmas, and named Harper, after Robert Goodloe 
Harper of Baltimore, who had been one of the most active 
members of the American Colonisation Society. The first 

' Considerable sums in cash were occasionally ])aid in these territorial 
acquisitions, the money being furnished by the American and other Colonisation 
Societies. 

188 



MAP 4 




Liberia ^ 

Governor of Maryland was John H. Russwurm/ an octoroon 
like Roberts, the contemporary Governor of Liberia, and also 
a most energetic, capable man. It was agreed between Roberts 
and Russwurm that Maryland and Liberia should, as it were, 
make common cause against the outside world, and should as far 
as [x^ssible pursue a common jx^licy, especially in the matter 
of a Customs taritF, wh^ch in the case of both colonies was 




: : ^ ■\ \ \ V : ■. r k 



twcvi M A i::.:! •• 
was hv^pv\: v^;:: 
fvnuis tx> jr.vv: :: 
to lOHvicr tiu:r. 
\anous Anu t'.v.i 



1^ *:: :\ r: vi..:\ : ' :vr cc:::. .:.: z\i.^rc'n:. It 

. t' ::^ > v^\>:.^:^^< -v.^' ..c to obtain sufficient 

v^ vv^s: v^T ...v^. •' >:v:-*.i: the colonies and thus 

.r.vic'.vr.v'v-t .: :r. '.vMT-N Svjpix^rt trom the 






Nv^' r ru-.ition of Liberia 

. r. , i. . . .: oi :hc West lncie<. 




^ Governors of Liberia 



(including Maryland — about 400) was 2,790.^ In the same year 
there were only six white men (traders) settled on the coast of 
Liberia, and perhaps one or two more at Cape Palmas in Maryland. 
In this year it was noted that the north-western part of Liberia 
was invaded by an increased number of Muhammadan traders 
coming from the Mandingo countries, and these Mandingos 
commenced an active propaganda amongst the natives in favour 
of Muhammadanism. The Vai had already embraced the faith 

' The following abstract of census of Liberia down to September, 1843, is taken 
from TAe African Refosiiory^ and may be of interest at this stage. It does not 
refer to Maryland. 



Year. 
1820 
182 1 
1822 
1823 
1824 
1825 
1826 
1827 
1828 
1829 
1830 
1831 
1832 
1833 
1834 
183s 
1836 

1837 
1838 

1839 
1840 
1 841 
1842 
1843 



Total 



Arrivals. 

86 

33 

37 

65 
103 

66 
182 

234 
301 

147 
326 
165 
655 
639 
237 

183 

2C9 

76 
205 

56 

86 

229 

19 

4,454 



Deaths. 
15 
7 

14 
»5 
21 
2 1 
48 

29 
137 

67 
1 ro 

«3 
129 
217 
140 

83 
»45 
141 
185 

135 
180 

ICO 

91 

85 

2,198 



Removals. 

35 
8 

5 
8 
8 

3 
6 

14 
24 
25 
25 
12 

83 
122 

31 
32 

»3 

6 
12 
10 

6 

9 
15 

2 

5'4 



Births Uiving) * 



3 
6 

3 
6 

3 
6 
12 
20 
20 
30 
13 
44 
33 
48 

47 
58 
56 
55 
40 
78 

35 
29 

645 



Population. 
36 

54 

75 
120 
200 
248 

379 
576 
638 

813 
1,024 
1,117 
1.573 
1.917 
2,016 

2,132 
2,230 
2,217 
2,281 

2.247 
2,216 
2,271 
2,429 
2,390 



In the same year the Americo-Liberian population of Maryland was estimated 
at 400. The total of the Americo-Liberians in that year, therefore, may be stated, 
at only about 2,790. 

* i>. number of children of each year who were surviving in 1843. 

191 



Liberia ^ 

of Islam more or less, without abandoning their initiation 
ceremonies and *' devil dances/' The Goras also began to go 
over to the Arabian religion, which many of them have adopted 
at the present time ; and the Des, the great Kpwesi tribe in all its 
various divisions, and all the Kru peoples remained aloof and 
attached to the vague fetishistic beliefs which they still profess. 
On the other hand, at Cape Palmas some slight progress was 
made in Christianising the Grebo people, and the Rev. J. S. 
Payne (who died in 1874), commenced in 1843 ^^^ somewhat 
remarkable missionary labours amongst them. The cessation 
of the slave trade and the remarkable activity of Governors 
Roberts and Russwurm gave a considerable fillip to commerce 
on the Liberian coast. The natives began to give up their 
incessant internecine fighting (originally undertaken to supply 
the slave market), and brought increasing quantities of palm oil, 
palm kernels, and ivory to the coast. 

The definite establishment of a 6 per cent, ac/ valorem import 
duty at the Customs Houses of Liberia provoked a crisis in the 
status of the colony. British merchants who had come to 
the country to trade scoffed openly at the idea of a Negro 
Government, and refused to recognise the rights of Governor 
Roberts or Governor Russwurm to submit their commerce to 
any tax, or to interfere in any way with their engagement of 
Kruboys or other more questionable acts still savouring of the 
slave trade. They therefore set the Liberian authorities at 
defiance. 

To deal with these and other problems afFecting the 
continued existence of Liberia, Governor Roberts paid a visit 
to the United States in 1844, and in the same year an American 
squadron visited the coast of Liberia. After Roberts returned 
from America, he concluded an important agreement with the 
chief Bob Gray, who had long been an ally and friend of 

192 



^ Governors of Liberi a 

the American colonists in the Grand Basa district. A treaty 
with this chief was concluded on April 5th, 1845, which 
definitely established Liberian authority over the coast between 
Marshall (Junk River) and the Grand Basa settlements. Later 
on in 1845, Roberts further strengthened the rights of the 
colony over the Sino and Kru coast, and the prestige conferred 
on him by the visit of the American squadron to some extent 
counteracted the shock to the Liberian influence over the 
natives by an unexpected protest from Sierra Leone against 
the assertion of sovereign rights. 

The British merchants were told by the authorities at Sierra 
Leone that the Liberian Administration had no right to levy 
Customs duties anywhere on the Liberian coast, and they were 
therefore guaranteed against acts of aggression on the part of 
the unrecognised Government of that country. The first test 
case was the attempt of the Liberians at Basa Cove to charge 
harbour and import dues on a British trader settled there who 
was known as Captain Dring. A naval oflicer of the West 
African Squadron, Commander Jones, was sent from Sierra 
Leone to Monrovia with a letter from the British Government, 
in which Governor Roberts was plainly told that Great Britain 
could not recognise the right of " private persons " to con- 
stitute themselves a Government, and amongst other acts of 
sovereignty to levy Customs duties. The Liberians later on, 
in 1 845, having seized in the anchorage of Basa a ship known 
as the Little Ben (belonging to a Captain Davidson of Sierra 
Leone) for non-payment of harbour dues. Commander Jones 
arrived on an English gunboat, and sent an armed cutter into 
the anchorage of Grand Basa, which there seized a vessel, the 
John SeyeSj belonging to Benson, a Liberian subject. The 
reason of this action was alleged to be the desire to possess 
an equivalent for the indemnification of Dring and Davidson; 
VOL. I 193 13 



\ 



Liberia ^ 

but at the same time it was stated that Benson, the Liberian, 
was susp)ected of shipping slaves to America. Nevertheless, the 
Government of Sierra Leone seems to have invited Governor 
Roberts to state a case for Liberia which would have the 
attention of Her Majesty's Government. 

The Liberians at this time were a prey to great anxiety. 
Six months had elapsed without direct news from America, 
and the French were beginning to annex places on the Ivory 
Coast in addition to their paper claims to Cape Mount, Grand 
Basa, and points on the Kru coast. The seizure of the "John 
C^ Seyes, however, decided the United States Government to ap- 

proach the British Ministry with the desire for an explanation. 
The reply was that Great Britain could not recognise the 
sovereign powers of Liberia, which it regarded as the commercial 
experiment of a philanthropic society. It was alleged that 
Captain Dring by residence had prior rights at Basa Cove to 
those of the Liberian colonists. Lord Aberdeen, then Foreign 
Minister, wrote to Mr. Everett, the American Ambassador at 
the Court of St. James, stating that " Her Majesty's naval 
commanders would afford efficient protection to British trade 
against improper assumption of power on the part of the 
Liberian authorities'' (referring presumably to the levying of 
Customs duties and harbour dues). The United States did not 
follow up their intervention very energetically. Their Minister 
in Great Britain replied that his country had no intention of 
'' presuming to settle differences arising between Liberian and 
British subjects, the Liberians being responsible for their own 
acts." Throughout this correspondence it was plain that the 
United States had no intention of claiming for Liberia the status 
of an American colony ; in fact, that it was desirous of re- 
linquishing any responsibility entailed on it by the creation of 
this Negro settlement. 

194 



-#i Governors of Liberia 

In January, 1 846, it was resolved by the American Colonisa- 
tion Society through its Board of Directors that " the time had 
arrived when it was expedient for the people of the Common- 
wealth of Liberia to take into their own hands the whole 
work of self-government, including the management of all their 
foreign relations." 

Fortunately for this experiment, the British Government 
at that time was not anxious to increase its territorial responsi- 
bilities on the West Coast of Africa, or there is little doubt 
that had it decided during 1846 to annex Liberia the United 
States would not have offered any very determined opposition. 
But there were as yet no steamships plying between Britain 
and the West Coast of Africa ; the British Government was 
in no hurry to act precipitately, and during this fortunate lull 
Governor Roberts strengthened the hold of his country over 
the Grain Coast by further purchases from the natives. In 
this year eighty miles of the Kru coast (and later on the Kru 
towns of Setra Kru and Grand Sesters) were purchased from 
the natives. During this year also a determined attack on the 
slave trade was made, especially in the region of Cape Mount, 
where Canot was settled, ostensibly as an innocent trader. The 
British cruisers co-operated whole-heartedly with the actions 
of Governor Roberts, and seem to have landed the slaves they 
liberated from the Spanish vessels on the coast of Liberia. 
Here they were ''apprenticed" to Liberian subjects, the adults 
for seven years and the children till the age of twenty-one, 
the girls being mostly sent to the mission schools already 
established. 

The additional purchases of territory, however, and this 
apprenticeship system both attracted the unfavourable notice 
of the British Government. It was alleged with some degree 
of truth that the forcible apprenticeship of these released slaves 

195 



Liberia ^ 

to Liberian settlers was little else than slavery for a term of 
years under another name, and the British Government resented 
the activity of Roberts in buying up all the vacant spots on 
the coast as an attempt to pre-judge the eventual solution of 
the status of the Liberian colony. With regard to the ap- 
prenticeship, it is of course the case that where this system 



^^l^^^^^HH 






1 ^-^.'r* Jv^HHH 


«'AiU:r..;!R-j4»VG^ 



OI.I) MAN<. 



IRI.l S IN MO.NUONIA, MiAK KOHKKTSS HOL'SE 



has been abused from 1846 to the present day it has resulted 
in these released slaves leading a life of servitude under a 
Christian Liberian which differed in little but dulness and 
respectability from the life he would have led witli a Muhammadan 
master in the interior. But hiany of these slaves were worthless 
people, convicted of crimes in their own land, and in almost 
all cases it was impossible to repatriate them. Left to themselves 

196 



^ Governors of Liberia 

they would have led a vagrant, useless hfe which would have 
turned them into criminals once more, or have resulted in 
their being enslaved by the Kruboys or the Mandingos. On 
the whole, the apprenticeship resulted in no great abuse, and 
many of these apprenticed Negroes settled down eventually in 
the status of Liberians. 




59. n.WDA.^lMA ON WW. KIVKR SII.IMA 

(Pre«-idem Roberts sinjve to int hide the Lower SuHina River within Liherian boundaries 
It now only bounds I-iV>eria on the north-west) 



197 



A 



CHAPTER XII 

INDEPENDENCE 

FTER the communication from the American Colonisa- 
tion Society in January, 1 846, Governor Roberts decided 
that the only way of saving the special character of 
the Liberian colony was to declare it to be an independent 
Negro republic. He obtained the assent of the mother societv 
to this proposition. It was then submitted to a council of 
Liberians, and voted for by a large majority on October 7th, 
1846. Nearly all the local opposition to this scheme came, 
curiously enough, from the people in Grand Basa. 

The news of this decision was not received by the British 
Government with any disfavour ; on the contrary, it seems to 
have been intimated that, provided Liberia constituted itself a 
definite State with definite responsibilities, it would receive full 
recognition from the British Government. Through the spring 
and early summer of 1847 the Liberians continued to discuss 
the question of independence. On May i8th an ordinance for 
administering justice in the State of Maryland was passed, and 
preparation was made to declare Maryland an independent State 
simultaneously with Liberia.' July 8th, 1 847, was declared a day 
of public thanksgiving in Liberia, to mark the conclusion of 
the efforts which had been made to draw up the terms of the 

1 No recognition was afforded by foreign Powers to the independent status of 
Maryland. It seems to have been realised that its fusion with Liberia wjis ap 
inevitable and a desirable event. 

198 



^ Independence 

Declaration of Independence and the future constitution of the 
Liberian Republic. 

On July 26th a solemn Declaration of Independence on the 
part of the Liberian nation was made in Convention. Roberts 
seems to have been absent from Monrovia at the time ; Samuel 
Benedict, the Chief Justice of Liberia, was elected President of 
the Convention which made this declaration. The other 
members were H. Teage, General Elijah Johnson, J. N. Lewis, 
Beverly Wilson, and J. B. Gripon (representatives of the 
Montserrado County); John Day, Amos Herring, A. \V. Gardner, 
Ephraim Titler (representatives from Grand Basa) ; and R. E. 
Murray, representative from Sino. Mr. Jacob W. Prout was 
the Secretary of the Convention. The Constitution was adopted 
by a unanimous vote, and as it is still the Constitution of the 
Liberian Republic, it may be here given together with the text 
of the preliminary declaration : 

IN CONVENTION— DECLARATION OF 
INDEPENDKNCE 

We, the representatives of the people of the commonwealth of 
Liberia, in convention assembled, iinestcd with the authority of 
forming a new Government, relying upon the aid and protection 
of the Great Arbiter of human events, do hereby in the name and 
on behalf of the people of this commonwealth, publish and declare 
the said commonwealth a free, sovereign, and independent State, 
by the name and title of the Republic of Liberia. 

While announcinj^ to the nations of the world the new position 
which the people of this republic have felt themselves called upon 
to assume, courtesy to their opinion seems to demand a brief 
accompanying statement of the causes which induced them, first 
to expatriate themselves from the land of their nativity and to form 
settlements on this barbarous coast, and now to organise their 
Government by the assumption of a sovereign and independent 
character. Therefore, we respectfully ask their attention to the 
following facts : 

199 



Liberia ^ 

VVc recognise in all men certain inalienable rights ; among these 
are life, liberty, and the right to acquire, possess, enjoy, and defend 
property. By the practice and consent of men in all ages, some 
system or form of government is proven to be necessary to exercise, 
enjoy, and secure these rights, and every people has a right to 
institute a government, and to choose and adopt that system, or 
form of it, which in their opinion will most effectually accomplish 
these objects, and secure their happiness, which does not inter- 
fere with the just rights of others. The right, therefore, to institute 
government and powers necessary to conduct it is an inalienable 
right and cannot be resisted without the grossest injustice. 

We, the people of the Republic of Liberia, were originally 
inhabitants of the United States of North America. 

In some parts of that country we were debarred by law from 
all rights and privileges of man — in other parts, public sentiment, 
more powerful than law, frowned us down. 

\Ve were everywhere shut out from all civil office. 

We were excluded from all participation in the Government. 

\Vc were taxed without our consent. 

VVc were compelled to contribute to the resources of a country 
which gave us no protection. 

We were made a separate and distinct class, and against us 
every avenue of improvement was effectually closed. Strangers 
from other lands, of a colour different from ours, were preferred 
before us. 

W'c uttered our complaints, but they were unattended to, or 
only met by allci^ing the peculiar institutions of the country. 

All hope of a favourable change in our country was thus 
wholly extinguished in our bosoms, and we looked with anxiety 
for some asylum from the deep degradation. 

The western coast of Africa was the place selected by 
American benevolence and philanthropy for our future home. 
Removed beyond those influences which oppressed us in our native 
land, it was hoped we would be enabled to enjoy those rights and 
privileges and exercise and improve those faculties which the God 
of nature has given us in common with the rest of mankind. 

Under the auspices of the American Colonisation Society, we 
established ourselves here, on land acquired by purchase from the 
lords of the soil. 

2O0 



^ Independence 

In an original compact with this Society, we, for important 
reasons, delegated to it certain political powers ; while this institu- 
tion stipulated that whenever the people should become capable of 
conducting the government, or whenever the people should desire it, 
this institution would resign the delegated power, peacefully withdraw 
its supervision, and leave the people to the government of themselves. 

Under the auspices and guidance of this institution, which 
has nobly and in perfect faith redeemed its pledges to the people, 
we have grown and prospered. 

From time to time our number has been increased by immi- 
gration from America, and by accession from native tribes ; and 
from time to time, as circumstances required it, we have extended 
our borders by the acquisition of land by honourable purchase 
from the natives of the country. 

As our territory has extended and our population increased, 
our commerce has also increased. The flags of most civilised nations 
of the earth float in our harbours, and their merchants are opening 
an honourable and profitable trade. Until recently, these visits 
have been of a uniformly harmonious character ; but as they have 
become more frequent and to more numerous points of our ex- 
tending coast, questions have arisen which, it is supposed, can be 
adjusted only by agreement between soverei^^n Powers. 

For years past, the American Colonisation Society has virtually 
withdrawn from all direct and active part in the administration of 
the Government, except in tlic appointment of the Governor, who 
is also a colonist, for the apparent purpose of testing the ability 
of the people to conduct the affairs of government, and no complaint 
of crude legislation, nor of mismanagement, nor of maladministration 
has yet been heard. 

In view of these facts, this institution, the American Colonisa- 
tion Society, with that good faith which has uniformly marked 
all its dealings with us, did, by a set of resolutions in January, in 
the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-six, 
dissolve all political connection with the people of this republic, 
returned the power with which it was delegated, and left the people 
to the government of themselves. 

The people of the Republic of Liberia, then, are of right, and 
in fact, a free, sovereign, and independent State, possessed of all 
the rights, powers, and functions of government. 

2o\ 



Liberia ^ 

In assumtng the momentous responsibilities of the position 
they have taken, the people of this republic feel justified by the 
necessities of the case, and with this conviction they throw them- 
selves with confidence upon the candid consideration of the civih'sed 
world. 

Liberia is not the offsprinij of grasping ambition, nor the tool 
of avaricious speculation. 

No desire for territorial aggrandisement brought us to these 
shores ; nor do wc believe so sordid a motive entered into the 
high consideration of those who aided us in providing this asylum. 
Liberia is an asylum from the most grinding oppression. 

In coming to the shores of Africa, we indulged the pleasing 
hope that we would be permitted to exercise and improve those 
faculties which impart to man his dignity ; to nourish in our hearts 
the flame of honourable ambition ; to cherish and indulge those 
aspirations which a beneficent Creator had implanted in every human 
heart, and to evince to all who despise, ridicule, and oppress our 
race that wc possess with them a common nature ; are with them 
susceptible of equal refinement, and capable of equal advancement 
in all that adorns and dignifies man. 

We were animated by the hope that here we should be at 
liberty to train up our children in the way that they should go ; to 
inspire them with the love of an honourable fame ; to kindle within 
them the flame of a lofty philanthropy, and to form strongly within 
them the principles of humanity, virtue, and religion. 

Among the strongest motives to leave our native land — to 
abandon for ever the scenes of our childhood and to sever the most 
endeared connections— was the desire for a retreat where, free from 
the agitations of fear and molestation, we could approach in worship 
the God of our fathers. 

Thus far our highest hopes have been realised. 

Liberia is already the happy home of thousands who were once 
the (loomed victims of oppression ; and if left unmolested to go on 
witli her natural and spontaneous growth, if her movements be left 
free from the paralysing intrigues of jealous ambition and un- 
scrupulous avarice, she will throw open a wider and yet a wider 
door for thousands who are now looking with an anxious eye for 
Moin<* land of rest. 

Our ctuirts of justice are open equally to fhe stranger and th^ 

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^ Independence 

citizen for the redress of grievances, for the remedy of injuries, and 
for the punishment of crime. 

Our numerous and well-attended schools attest our efforts and 
our desire for the improvement of our children. 

Our churches for the worship of our Creator, everywhere to be 
seen, bear testimony to our acknowledgment of His providenc^. 

The native African, bowing down with us before the alte^r of 
the living God, declares that from us, feeble as we are, the light 
of Christianity has gone forth, while upon that curse of curses, the 
slave trade, a deadly blight has fallen, as far as our influence 
extends. 

Therefore, in the name of humanity, and virtue, and religion, 
in the name of the great God, our common Creator, we appeal to 
the nations of Christendom, and earnestl\' and respectfully ask of 
them that they will rcL^ard us with the sympathy and friendly 
considerations to which the peculiarities of our condition entitle us, 
and to extend to us that comity which marks the friendly inter- 
course of civilised and independent communities. 



CONSTITUTION 

Article I. Declaration of Rights 

The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration 
of government is to secure the existence of the body politic ; 
to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it 
with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquillity their 
natural rights, and the blessings of life ; and whenever these 
great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to 
alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their 
safety, prosperity, and happiness. 

Therefore we, the people of the commonwealth of Liberia 
in Africa, acknowledging with devout gratitude the goodness 
of God in granting to us the blessings of the Christian 
religion, and political, religious, and civil liberty, do, in order 
to secure these blessings for ourselves and our posterity, 

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Liberia ^ 

hereby solemnly associate and constitute ourselves a free, 
sovereign, and independent State, by the name of the Republic 
of Liberia, and do ordain and establish this Constitution for 
the government of the same. 

Section i. All men are born equally free and independent 
and have certain natural, inherent, and inalienable rights, 
among which are the rights of enjoying and defending life 
and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, 
and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. 

Section 2. All power is inherent in the people ; all free 
governments are instituted by their authority and for their 
benefit, and they have a right to alter and reform the same 
when their safety and happiness require it. 

Section 3. All men have a natural and inalienable right 
to worship Go J according to the dictates of their own con- 
sciences, without obstruction or molestation from others : all 
persons demeaning themselves peaceably, and not obstructing 
others in their religious worship are entitled to the protection 
of the law in the free exercise of their own religion, and no 
sect of Christians shall have exclusive privileges or preference 
over any other sect, but all shall be alike tolerated, and no 
religious test whatever shall be required as a qualification for 
civil office or the exercise of any civil right. 

Section 4. There shall be no slavery within this republic ; 
nor shall any person resident therein deal in slaves either within 
or without this republic. 

Section 5. The people have a right at all times, in an 
orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon 
the common good, to instruct their representatives, and to 
petition the Government or any public functionaries for the 
redress of grievances. 

Section 6. Every person injured shall have remedy 

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therefor by due course of law ; justice shall be done without 
denial or delay ; and in all cases not arising under martial 
law, or upon impeachment, the parties shall have a right to a 
trial by jury, and to be heard in person, or by counsel, 
or both. 

Section 7. No person shall be held to answer for a 
capital or infamous crime, except in cases of impeachment, 
cases arising in the army and navy, and petty offences, unless 
upon presentment by a grand jury, and every person criminally 
charged shall have a right to be seasonably furnished with a 
copy of the charge, to be confronted with the witnesses against 
him, and have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in 
his favour ; to have a speedy, public, and impartial trial by a 
jury of the vicinity. He shall not be compelled to furnish 
or give evidence against himself; and no person shall for the 
same offence be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. 

Section 8. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, 
property, or privilege, but by the judgment of his peers, or 
the law of the land. 

Section 9. No place shall be searched nor person seized on 
a criminal charge or suspicion unless by warrant lawfully issued, 
upon probable cause supported by oath or solemn affirmation, 
specially designating the place or person, and the object of 
the search. 

Section 10. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor 
excessive fines imposed nor excessive punishments inflicted ; nor 
shall the legislature make any law impairing the obligation of 
contracts ; nor any law rendering any act punishable in any 
manner in which it was not punishable when it was committed. 

Section 1 1 . All elections shall be by ballot, and every male 
citizen of twenty-one years of age, possessing real estate, shall 
have the right of suffrage. 

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Liberia ^ 

Section 12. The people have a right to keep and to bear 
krms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, 
fermies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained 
without the consent of the legislature, and the military power 
shall always be held in exact subordination to the civil authority, 
and be governed by it. 

Section 13. Private property shall not be taken for public 
use without just compensation. 

Section 14. The powers of this Government shall be divided 
into three distinct departments — the Legislature, Executive, and 
Judicial ; and no person belonging to one of these departments 
shall exercise any of the powers belonging to others. This 
section is not to be construed to include justices of the peace. 

Section 15. The liberty of the press is essential to the 
security of freedom in a state ; it ought not, therefore, to be 
restrained in this republic. 

The press shall be free to every person who undertakes 
to examine the proceedings of the legislature, or any branch 
of the Govertiment ; and no law shall ever be made to restrain 
the rights thereof The free communication of thoughts and 
opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every 
citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being 
responsible for the abuse of that liberty. 

In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating 
the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or 
where the matter published is proper for public information, 
the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all 
indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine 
the law and the facts, under the direction of the Court, as in 
other cases. 

Section 16. No subsidy, charge, impost, or duties ought 
to be established or levied under any pretext whatsoever, without 

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the consent of the people or their representatives in the 
legislature. 

Section 17. Suits may be brought against the republic in 
such manner, and in such cases, as the legislature may by 
law direct. 

Section 18. No person can in any case be subjected to 
the law martial, or to any penalties or pains, by virtue of 
that law (except those employed in the army or navy and 
the militia in actual service) but by the authority of the 
legislature. 

Section 19. In order to prevent those who are vested 
with authority from becoming oppressors, the people have 
a right at such periods, and in such manner as they shall 
establish by their frame of government, to cause their public 
officers to return to private life, and fill up vacant places by 
regular elections and appointments. 

Section 20. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient 
sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident 
or presumption great ; and the privilege and benefit of the 
writ habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this republic, in the 
most free, easy, cheap, expeditious, and ample manner, and 
shall not be suspended by the legislature except upon the 
most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time, 
not exceeding twelve months. 

Article II. Legislativk Powers 

Section i. The legislative power shall be vested in a 
legislature of Liberia and consist of two separate branches — 
a House of Representatives and a Senate, to be styled the 
Legislature of Liberia — each of which shall have a negative 
on the other ; and the enacting style of their acts and laws 
shall be '' It is enacted by the Senate and House of 

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Liberia ^ 

Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in legislature 
assembled." 

Section 2. The representatives shall be elected by and 
for the inhabitants of the several counties of Liberia, and shall 
be apportioned among the several counties of Liberia as follows. 
The county of Montserrado shall have four representatives, 
the county of Grand Bassa shall have three, and the county 
of Sino shall have one, and all counties thereafter which shall 
be admitted in the republic shall have one representative, 
and for every ten thousand inhabitants one representative 
shall be added. No person shall be a representative who 
has not resided in the county two whole years previous to 
his election, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant 
of the county, and does not own real estate of less value 
than one hundred and fifty dollars in the county in which 
he resides, and who shall not have attained the age of twenty- 
three years. The representatives shall be elected biennially, 
and shall serve two years from the time of their election. 

Section 3. When a vacancy occurs in the representation 
of any county by death, resignation, or otherwise, it shall be 
filled by a new election. 

Section 4. The House of Representatives shall elect 
their own Speaker and other officers ; they shall also have the 
sole power of impeachment. 

Section 5. The Senate shall consist of two members from 
Montserrado county, two from Bassa county, and two from 
Sino county, and two from each county which may be hereafter 
incorporated in this republic. No person shall be a senator 
who shall not have resided three whole years immediately 
previous to his election in the republic of Liberia and who 
shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of the county which 
he represents, and who shall not have attained the age of 

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twenty-five yeirs. The senator for each county who shall 
have the highest number of votes shall retain his seat for 
four years, and the one who shall have the next highest 
number of votes, two years, and all who are afterwards elected 
to fill their places shall remain in office four years. 

Section 6. The Senate shall try all impeachments ; the 
senators being first sworn, or solemnly affirmed, to try the 
same impartially, and according to law, and no person shall be 
convicted but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators 
present. Judgment in such cases shall not extend beyond 
removal from office, and disqualification to hold an office in 
the republic, but the party may still be tried at law for the 
same ofience. 

When either the President or Vice-President is to be tried, 
the Chief Justice shall preside. 

Section 7. It shall be the duty of the legislature as soon 
as conveniently may be after the adoption of this Constitution, 
and once at least in every ten years afterwards, to cause a 
true census to be taken of each town and county of the 
republic of Liberia, and a representative shall be allowed every 
town having a population of ten thousand inhabitants, and for 
every additional ten thousand in the counties after the first 
census one representative shall be added to that county until 
the number of representatives shall amount to thirty — afterwards 
one representative shall be added for every thirty thousand. 

Section 8. Each branch of the legislature shall be judge 
of the election returns and qualifications of its own members. 
A majority of each shall be necessary to transact business, but 
a less number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the 
attendance of absent members. Each House may adopt its own 
rules of proceeding, enforce order, and with the concurrence 
of two-thirds may expel a member. 
VOL. I 209 14 



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Liberia <4- 

Section 9. Neither House shall adjourn for more than two 
days without the consent of the other ; and both Houses shall 
sit in the same town. 

Section 10. Every bill or resolution which shall have 
passed both branches of the legislature, shall, before it becomes 
a law, be laid before the President for his approval. If he 
approves he shall sign it ; if not, he shall return it to the 
legislature with his objections. If the legislature shall afterwards 
pass the vote or resolution by a vote of two-thirds, in each 
branch, it shall become law. I; the President shall neglect to 
return such bill or resolution to the legislature with his 
objection for five days after the same shall have been so laid 
before him — the legislature remaining in session during that 
time — such neglect shall be equivalent to his signature. 

Section 11. The senators and representatives shall receive 
from the republic a compensation for their services, to be 
ascertained by law ; and shall be privileged from arrest, except 
for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, while attending at, 
going to, or returning from the session of the legislature. 

Article III. Executive Power 

Section i . The supreme executive power shall be vested 
in a President, who shall be elected by the people, and shall 
hold his office for the term of two years. He shall be 
commander-in-chief of the army and navy. He shall, in the 
recess of the Legislature, have power to call out the militia 
into actual service in defence of the republic. He shall have 
power to make treaties, provided the Senate concur therein by a 
vote of two-thirds of the senators present. He shall nominate, 
and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint and 
commission all ambassadors, and other public ministers and 
consuls, secretaries of state, of war, of the navy, and of the 



^ Independence 

treasury ; attorney-general, all judges of courts, sheriffs, coroners, 
marshals, justices of peace, clerks of courts, registrars, notaries 
public, and all other officers of state, civil and military, whose 
appointment may not be otherwise provided for by the Constitu- 
tion, or by standing laws ; and, in the recess of the Senate, he 
may fill any vacancy in those offices, until the next session of 
the Senate. He shall receive all ambassadors and other public 
ministers. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed. He shall inform the legislature of the condition of 
the republic and recommend any public measures for their 
adoption which he may think expedient. He may, after con- 
viction, remit any public forfeitures and penalties, and grant 
reprieves and pardons for public offences, except in cases of 
impeachment. He may require information and advice from 
any public officer, touching matters pertaining to his office. 
He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature, 
and may adjourn the two Houses whenever they cannot agree 
as to the time of adjournment. 

Section 2. There shall be a Vice-President, who shall be 
elected in the same manner and for the same term as that of 
the President, and whose qualifications shall be the same ; he 
shall be president of the Senate, and give the casting vote 
when the House is equally divided on any subject. And in 
case of the removal of the President from office, or his death, 
resignation, or inability to discharge the powers of the said 
office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President, and the 
legislature may by law provide for the case of removal, death, 
resignation, or inability both of the President and Vice-President, 
declaring what officer shall then act as president, and such 
officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, 
or a President shall be elected. 

Section 3. The secretary of state shall keep the records of 

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the State, and all the records and papers of the legislative body 
and all other public records and documents, not belonging to 
any other department, and shall lay the same, when required, 
before the President or legislature. He shall attend upon 
them when required, and perform such other duties as may 
be enjoined by law. 

Section 4. The secretary of the treasury, or other person 
who may by law be charged with the custody of the public 
moneys, shall, before he receive such moneys, give bonds to 
the State, with sufficient sureties for the faithful discharge of 
his trust. He shall exhibit a true account of such moneys 
when required by the President or legislature ; and no moneys 
shall be drawn from the treasury but by warrant from the 
President, in consequence of appropriation made by law. 

Section 5. All ambassadors and other public ministers and 
consuls, the secretary of state of war, of the treasury, and of 
the navy, the attorney-general, and postmaster-general, shall 
hold their offices during the pleasure of the President. All 
justices ot the peace, sheriffi>, marshals, clerks of courts, 
registrars, and notaries public shall hold their office for the 
term of two years from the date of their respective commissions ; 
but may be removed from office within that time by the 
President, at his pleasure ; and all other officers whose term 
of office may not be otherwise limited by law shall hold their 
office during the pleasure of the President. 

Section 6. Every civil officer may be removed from office 
by impeachment, for official misconduct. Every such officer 
may also be removed by the President, upon the address of 
both branches of the legislature, stating the particular reasons 
for his removal. 

Section 7. No person shall be eligible to the office of 
President who has not been a citizen of this republic for at 

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least five years, and shall not have attained the age of thirty- 
five years ; and who shall not be possessed of unencumbered 
real estate of not less value than six hundred dollars. 

Section 8. The President shall at stated times receive for 
his services a compensation which shall neither be increased 
nor diminished during the period for which he shall have 
been elected ; and before he enters on the execution of his 
office he shall take the following oath of affirmation : 

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully 
execute the office of President of the Republic of Liberia, and 
will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the 
Constitution and enforce the laws of the Republic of Liberia. 

Article IV. Judicial Department 

Section i. The judicial power of this republic shall be 
vested in one supreme court, and such subordinate courts as 
the legislature may from time to time establish. The judges 
of the supreme court and all other judges of courts shall hold 
their office during good behaviour, but may be removed by the 
President on the address of two-thirds of both Houses for that 
purpose or by impeachment or conviction thereon. The judges 
shall have salaries established by law, which may be increased but 
not diminished during their continuance of office. They shall 
not receive any other perquisite or emoluments whatever on 
account of any duty required of them. 

Section 2. The supreme court shall have original jurisdic- 
tion in all cases affiscting ambassadors or other public ministers 
and consuls, and those to which the republic shall be a party. 
In all other cases, the supreme court shall have appellate 
jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, and with such exceptions 
and under such regulations as the legislature shall from time 
to time make. 



Liberia ^ 

Article V. Miscellaneous Provisions 

Section i. All laws now in force in the commonwealth 
of Liberia, and not repugnant to this Constitution, shall be in 
force as the laws of the Republic of Liberia, until they shall 
be repealed by the legislature. 

Section 2. All judges, magistrates, and other officers now 
concerned in the administration of justice in the commonwealth 
of Liberia, and all other existing civil and military officers 
therein, shall continue to discharge their respective offices in 
the name and by the authority of the republic, until others 
shall be appointed and commissioned in their stead. 

Section 3. All towns and municipal corporations within 
this republic shall retain their existing organisation and privileges, 
and the respective officers thereof shall remain in office and 
act under the authority of this republic. 

Section 4. The first election of President, Vice-President, 
Senators, and representatives shall be held on the first Tuesday 
in October in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty- 
seven in the same manner as elections of members of the Council 
are chosen in the commonwealth of Liberia, and the votes 
shall be certified and returned to the Colonial Secretary, and 
the result of the election shall be posted and notified by him as 
it is now by law provided in cases of such members of Council. 

Section 5. All other elections of President, Vice-President, 
senators, and representatives shall be held in the respective towns 
on the first Tuesday in May, in every two years, to be held and 
regulated in such manner as the legislature may by law prescribe. 
The returns of votes shall be made to the Secretary of State, who 
shall open the same and forthwith issue notice of election to 
the persons apparently so elected senators and representatives ; 
and all such returns shall be by him laid before the legislature 

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at its next ensuing session ; and the persons appearing by 
such returns to have been duly elected shall organise them- 
selves accordingly as the Senate and House of Representatives. 
The votes for President shall be sorted, counted, and declared 
by the House of Representatives. And if no person shall 
appear to have a majority of such votes, the senators and 
representatives shall in convention, by joint ballot, elect from 
among the persons having the three highest number of votes 
a person to act as President for the ensuing term. 

Section 6. The legislature shall assemble at least once in 
every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in 
January, unless a different day shall be appointed by law. 

Section 7. Every legislator and other officer appointed under 
this Constitution shall, before he enters upon the duties of his 
office, take and subscribe a solemn oath or affirmation to support 
the Constitution of this republic and impartially discharge the 
duties of such office. The presiding officer of the Senate 
shall administer such oath or affirmation to the President, in 
convention of both Houses ; and the President shall administer 
the same to the Vice-President, senators, and representatives 
in convention. Other officers may take such oath or affirmation 
before the President, chief justice, or any other person who 
may be designated by law. 

Section 8. All elections of public officers shall be made by 
a majority of the votes, except in cases otherwise regulated 
by the Constitution or by law. 

Section 9. Offices created by this Constitution which the 
circumstances of the republic do not require that they shall 
be filled, shall not be filled until the legislature shall deem it 
necessary. 

Section 10. The property of which a woman may be pos- 
sessed at the time of her marriage, and also that of which shq 

?T5 



Liberia ^ 

may afterwards become possessed, otherwise than by her husband, 
shall not be held responsible for his debts, whether contracted 
before or after marriage. 

Nor shall the property thus intended to be secured to the 
woman be alienated otherwise than by her voluntary consent. 

Section ii. In all cases in which estates are insolvent, the 
widow shall be entitled to one-third of the real estate during 
her natural life, and to one-third of the personal estate which 
she shall hold in her own right, subject to alienation by her, 
devise or otherwise. 

Section 12. No person shall be entitled to hold real estate 
in this republic unless he be a citizen of the same. Neverthe- 
less, this article shall not be construed to apply to colonisation, 
missionary, educational, or other benevolent institutions, so long 
as the property or estate is applied to its legitimate purposes. 

Section 1 3. The great object of forming these colonies being 
to provide a home for the dispersed and oppressed children 
of Africa, none but persons of colour shall be admitted to 
citizenship in this republic. 

Section 14. The purchase of any land by any citizen or 
citizens from the aborigines of this country, for his or their 
own use, or for the benefit of others, as estate or estates in fee 
simple, shall be considered null and void to all intents and 
purposes. 

Section 15. The improvement of the native tribes and 
their advancement in the arts of agriculture and husbandry being 
a cherished object of this .government, it shall be the duty of 
the President to appoint in each county some discreet person 
whose duty it shall be to make regular and periodical tours 
through the county for the purpose of calling the attention of 
the natives to these wholesome branches of industry, and of 
instructing them in the same, and the legislature shall, a$ 

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^ Independence 

soon as can conveniently be done, make provision for these 
purposes by the appropriation of money. 

Section i6. The existing regulations of the American 
Colonisation Society in the commonwealth relative to emigrants 
shall remain the same in the republic : nevertheless, the legislature 
shall make no law prohibiting emigration. 

Section 17. This Constitution may be altered whenever two- 
thirds of both branches of the legislature shall deem it necessary ; 
in which case the alterations and amendments shall first be 
considered and approved by the legislature by the concurrence 
of two-thirds of the members of each branch, a»id afterwards 
by them submitted to the people, and adopted by two- thirds 
of all the electors at the next biennial meeting for the election 
of senators and representatives. 

Done in convention at Monrovia, in the county of 
Montserrado, by the unanimous consent of the people of the 
commonwealth of I^ibcria this twenty-sixth day of July, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven 
and of the republic the first. 

In witness whereof we have hereto set our ?iames. 

S. Benedict, PresidoiT 

J. N. Lewis, 

H. Teage, Montserrado 

Beverly R. Wilson, County 

Elijah Johnson, 

J. B. Gripon, 

John Day, 

A. W. Gardner, Grand 'Basa 

Amos Herring, County 

Ephraim Titler,. 

R. E. Murray, County of Sim, 

J. W. ^KOUTy Secretary of Convention, 



Liberia <^ 

Flag and Seal of the Republic of Liberia 

The following flag and seal were adopted by the convention, 
as the insignia of the Republic of Liberia, and ordered to be 
employed to mark its nationality. 

Flag : Six red stripes with five white stripes alternately 
displayed longitudinally. In the upper angle of the flag, next 
to the spear, a square blue ground, covering in depth five 
stripes. In the centre of the blue, one white star. 

Seal : A dove on the wing, with an open scroll in its 
claws. A view of the ocean, with a ship under sail, the sun 
just emerging from the waters. A palm-tree, and at its base 
a plough and spade. Beneath the emblems, the words Republic 
of Liberia ; and above the emblems the national motto. The love 
of liberty brought us here. 

By order of the convention, 

S. Benedict, F resident. 

The foregoing Constitution,* modelled a good deal on that 
of the United States, was a sound piece of work expressed in 
clear language and without the verboseness and oratorical 
flourishes of the preliminary Declaration of Independence. It 
contains, so far as I know, only one really inconvenient and 
unworkable proposition : the President, House of Repre- 
sentatives, and half the Senators arc to be elected" for a term 
of fjco years only. This means that every other year the 
little republic is convulsed by political agitation, while neither 
Executive nor Congress can initiate new legislation and set it 
going efl^ciently without the paralysing check of a more or 

* Which still remains in fon <* uiialt<Tt.*il. ihoii^'h Dr. K. \V. Blydcn and some 
others attempted in 1S64 to effect slight chaiii^es. In i(/.)6 a movement has been 
started to alter tin* constitution in a lew ])artirulars. 

* On the first Tuesday in May every " odtl " year, to take office on January ist 
following, 

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The Shield, Emblems and Motto of Liberia, as established in 1847 



^ Independence 

less immediate appeal to the people. The electors are thus 
often called upon to pronounce a verdict on new measures which 
have had no fair trial. The term of office of Executive and 
people's representatives alike should be enlarged to four years, 
the term of the senators perhaps to eight. 

The franchise is to be exercised (apparently only in towns) 
by "every male citizen of twenty-one years possessing real 
estate.*' The Constitution did not define the relations which 
were to exist between the (American) colonists and the 
indigenous Negroes. The real natives of Liberia, indeed, are 
only alluded to in Section 15 of Article V.' No doubt for 
some time to come the position of native '' kings " and chiefs 
must continue to be recognised, but as the component parts of 
the republic are welded together the Constitution will have 
to be enlarged so as to admit of a reasonable extension of the 
franchise to all Africans who are Liberian citizens, and who 
acknowledge the central Government at Monrovia. 

The flag which was adopted under the Constitution for 
the Republic of Liberia was copied from the flag of the 
United States. The United States of America had dis- 
played no originality in selecting its own national colours. 
It had copied without reflection the red, white, and blue of 
Great Britain.'"' Without consideration, therefore, the new 
State of Liberia adopted the colours of the United States 
and a modification of the same design — alternate red and 
white stripes, with a white star on a blue ground in the left- 
hand corner. 

No combination of colours has been done to death in the 
same way amongst the nations of the world as red, white, 

* And in S'^ction 14 of tlie .same articlo. wluTein the natives' riglit to their 
own land is somew hat obscurely safegnardcd. 

' Our own colours being derived from the red and u iiite of England and 
Scotland combined with tiie blue and white of Ireland (St. Patrick's colours}, 

219 



Liberia ^ 

and blue. Holland was apparently the first to start this arrange- 
ment, Great Britain followed suit in the reign of Queen Anne, 
then the United States, France, Russia, half a dozen South 
American republics and the kingdom of Servia. If those who 
directed the shaping of Liberia had given a little thought and 
attention to this important symbolism, they would certainly 
not have chosen a combination of colours which has no reference 
whatever to the characteristics of the Liberian Republic. If 
ever Liberia decides to make a change in her Constitution (of 
which the flag design is a part), the present writer respectfully 
recommends for adoption a design like the one of which he 
gives an example. In this the stripes would be black and 
golden yellow, with one white stripe in the middle, and in the 
left-hand corner a white star on a green ground. Instead of the 
spear-head of the flag-staflP, the writer would suggest a white 
cross with an olive branch, indicative of Christianity and peace. 
The predominating black would of course represent the pre- 
dominating Negro type in the State ; the yellow would represent 
those African races which have mingled anciently with the 
Caucasian — Mandingos and Fulas — who are, and may be still 
more in the future, inhabitants of the interior highlands. The 
one white line across the flag would be the recognition on the 
part of Liberia that she owes her existence to the impulse of 
White America, and perhaps also to occasional acts of kindly 
help from Great Britain and France, that the Black Republic on 
the West coast of Africa by no means excludes White enterprise 
or energy from its territories, just as it may aspire at a future 
day to see its citizens trading without fear or favour in the 
white countries of the world. Green must be the special colour 
of Liberia, as representing the forest land par excellence of all 
Africa, the most densely forested State in the African common- 
Wealth- In these rich forests, nevertheless, will shine (the 

229 




The Flag of Liberia. 



^ Independence 

author hopes) the white star of the black man's growing 
civilisation. 

With like presumption, he would venture to suggest when 
a day of prosperity justifies any development of the work of 
1847, the substitution of a different design from that which 
is laid down as the seal or emblem of the Liberian Republic. 
The illustration opposite p. 220 has been drawn by the author 
from that which is usually circulated as the design of the Liberian 
seal. (As a matter of fact, it differs slightly from the verbal 
description given in the Constitution, which says, " A dove 
on the wing, with an open scroll in its claws." As it is 
apparently difficult to render the open scroll in this position, 
the dove is usually represented as carrying a document in its 
beak. The reason of this symbolism is not given us by the 
founders of the Constitution, but it is apparently intended to 
typify the dispatch from the United States of the American 
Colonisation Societies' renunciation of their rights and consent to 
the proclamation of Liberian independence. In most versions of 
the Liberian seal — though it is not mentioned in the aforesaid 
definition — the promontory of Mesurado appears with its light- 
house.) None of the emblems in this seal are particularly ap- 
plicable to Liberia. Ships under full sail have long been out 
of date as a means of communicat^'on between Liberia and the 
outer world, and the plough is nowhere employed in Liberia, 
it being very doubtful whether much use could be made of 
it in ground that is better tilled by the African hoe. If any 
change is made in the flag and the colours of the Republic, 
the writer of this book would venture to recommend a similar 
change in the design of the seal, and he has been bold enough to 
append a painting as a suggestion for a new design. In this 
the real national colours of Liberia are once more embodied, 
(black, yellow, white and green), and on the shield are depicted 

291 



Liberia ^ 

representations of the three principal types — Christian Negro, 
Muhammadan Mandingo and Fula — that may go to the making 
of this African State. 

A somewhat similar Constitution was drawn up at Harper 
in the same year for the Maryland State, which continued under 
its own Governor. When this State was annexed (at its own 
desire) in 1857, it was allowed to send three members to the 




60. KXl.CUnVK MANSION, MoNKiJVIA: IHl. OKKiriAl. Kl.SlDKNCK OF THK PRESIDENTS 

Lower House, and was represented by two senators in the 
Liberian Senate. At the same time the number of repre- 
sentatives for Sine was raised equally to two in the Upper and 
three in the Low^er House. 

The proceedings in this eventful year, 1847, were closed 
by the solemn hoisting of the new flag of the republic on 
August 24th, and the British Government, apparently kept 




The Sliicld and Emblem of Liberia as they might be 



-#i Indep endence 

informed of all these proceedings, sent a man-of-war to 
Monrovia and there saluted with twenty-one guns the Liberian 
flag, as a sign that Great Britain recognised the new African 
republic as a sovereign State. 

On the first Tuesday in October, 1847, Joseph Jenkins 
Roberts was elected first President of the republic. Until 
then he remained " Governor " of the colony. On January 3rd, 
1848, he was installed as President. 



223 



CHAPTER XIII 

PRIiSIDnXT ROBERTS 

1847—1856 

PRESIDKN r ROBERTS paid his first visit to Europe 
in 1847.' He concluded with the British Government 
(whom he describes as " exceedingly kind ") a treaty 
of amity and commerce which placed the Liberian Republic 
on the footing of the most favoured nation. This treaty was 
ratified by the Liberian Senate on February 26th, 1849. It 
acknowledged the right of Liberians to levy duties and of the 
British to reside where they pleased in Liberia ; but their ships 
might not enter certain specified ports of entry to search for 
slavers except by the permission of the Liberian authorities. 
The treaty was signed by N'iscount Palmerston and the Right 
Hon. Henry Labouchere.'- 

' He was accompanied on tliis ami suhseqiient journeys by Mrs. Roberts. This 
lady, born in 181 8 (she was the daughter of a Baptist minister named Waring), 
came to Liberia with lier parents in 1824 Her father ministered to the colonists. 
He and liis wife were octoroons. Kobens lost 1 is tirst wife before he left America, 
He married Miss Waring at Monrovia in 1836. This wonderful old lady still lives 
(in full possession ol her faculties) in a (piict street otf Battersea Park, She 
visited most of the European courts with her husband in the middle of the niueteeuth 
century, knew Napoleon HI. as "Prince-President,'' saw King Edward VII. as 
a little boy, lived in Liberia for over .seventy years, and is the only survivor of the 
early immigrants. 

^ The last named was tlien Unde-r-Secrctary of .State for the Colonies. He 
was afterwards Lord Taunton, and was tin* uncle of the better-known Henry 
Labouchere, the proprietor of Truth. 

224 




6l. MRS. JANK ROKKKTS (WIDOW Ul- I'RKSIDENT ROHKRTS). PORTRAIT TAKKN IN I905 

VOL. I 225 15 



Liberia ^ 

^ President Roberts went on from England to France and 
Belgium, in which latter country he received a most cordial 
welcome from Leopold I. He then proceeded to Holland and 
to Berlin, where the Government of Prussia formally recognised 
the existence of the Liberian Republic, its recognition following 
closely on that of England and France. Upon Roberts's return 
to England, the Ambassador of Prussia, the Chevalier de Bunsen, 
gave a dinner in his honour. At this dinner were present, 
amongst others, Lord Ashley (afterwards the great Earl of 
Sh.iftesbury), the Rev. Ralph Randolph GurJey (the biographer 
of Ashmun and one of the most prominent American promoters 
of Liberia), and the Bishop of London (Blomfield). The 
Bishop asked permission to take notes of Roberts's conversation, 
and the President described amongst other matters the shocking 
condition of the Gallinhas country on the western frontiers 
of the little republic, due to the ravages of the Cuban slave 
traders — Pedro Blanco and his associates. Roberts went on 
to say that the only way in his eyes finally to suppress the slave 
trade in this region would be to purchase the sovereign rights 
of the countries between Sherbro Island and Cape Mount from 
the native chiefs, and then roolutely exert the authority of 
Liberia to put an end to the slave trade. The Bishop of London 
inquired as to the sum necessary for the acquisition of these 
rights, and Roberts placed it at ^^ 2,000. 

Lord Ashley declared this sum should be raised immediately, 
and after dinner was over he offered to obtain the money for 
the purchase of these lands if Mr. Gurley approved. Needless 
to say, he expressed the liveliest pleasure at the offer. Accord- 
ingly, the next morning Lord Ashley took Roberts to a bank 
in Lombard Street, and there ^1,000 was obtained on the spot, 
and arrangements were made by Lord Ashley for the raising 
of the remainder of the estimated amount. With this money 

226 



-^ President Roberts 

Roberts on his return proceeded to come to terms with the 
chiefs of Mattru, Gumbo, Kasa, Gallinhas, Manna, and Manna 
Rock, though the actual purchase of these territories was not 
entirely finished until the year 1856. 

It is curious to notice (as will be seen in a subsequent 
chapter) that though a British philanthropist raised the funds 
for the purchase of these north-western territories of Liberia, 
it was the British Government that took them away from the 
republic and added them to the colony of Sierra Leone, with 
scant compensation and no show of right whatever. 

Queen Victoria gave the most kindly reception to President 
Roberts, and The Illustrated London News of April, 1848, 
contains an illustration of the reception by the Queen of the 
African President on board the Royal yacht, whereon he was 
accorded a salute of seventeen guns. When Roberts and his 
family were ready to return they were sent back to Liberia on the 
British warship Amazon^ and the Queen from her yacht signalled 
to the President, *' I wish you God-speed on your voyage/' 
The British Admiralty made a present to Roberts at this time 
of a vessel called the Lark for transport purposes on the 
Liberian coast, and a small sloop of four guns, the Quaily 
as a revenue cutter, to assist in suppressing smuggling and 
the slave trade. 

Roberts returned to Liberia, delighted above all with his 
reception in England, and also gratified at the kindliness with 
which other foreign courts had received him, and the readiness 
which they showed to recognise this Liberian Republic. Indeed, 
soon after his return to Monrovia France sent a gunboat, the 
PenelopCy to salute at Monrovia with twenty-one guns the flag 
of the Liberian Republic. The American corvette Torktown 
and the English gun-vessel Kingfisher also visited Liberia in 
the early part of 1849 and assisted Roberts in a final attack 

a37 



7x 



f 



Liberia ^ 

on the obstinate Spanish slave-trade settlements at New Cess 
River, just beyond Basa. These were again destroyed, and 
on this occasion 3,500 slaves were released. 

In the year 1849 Portugal, Sardinia, Austria, Denmark, 
Sweden and Norway, Brazil, Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, and 
Haiti followed the Powers of Western and Central Europe 
in formally recognising the Liberian State. Alone amongst 
the then Great Powers of the world, the United States withheld 
its own act of formal recognition : for the extraordinary reason 
that in 1849 it was feared if Liberia was recognised as an 
independent State, the United States would have to receive at 
Washington a *' man of colour '' as the Liberian envoy to the 
Great Republic. Such was the preposterous colour prejudice 
then in vogue, that this disability lasted until the great war 
between North and South in 1862. It was not till that year 
that the United States formally acknowledged the independence 
of this little State created by American philanthrophy. 

At this period of emergence into the status of a Sovereign 
Power Liberia was estimated to extend between 4^ 41' and 6^ 48' 
N. Lat. and between 8'^ 8' and ir 20' W. Long. Its length 
of sea coast from Cape Mount to Grand Sesters was 286 
miles. The average width of the country was 45 miles, and 
its approximate area 12,830 square miles. Amongst the Negro 
population professing allegiance to the republic were 6,010 
Liberians of American origin. The annual value to which the 
exports had risen was stated at 500,000 dollars (^100,000). 
The population of Monrovia (in 1850) was estimated at 1,300. 
The public debt (that is to say, the adverse balance between the 
receipts and expenditure of the Liberian Government at the 
commencement of 1850) was 8,000 dollars (^1,600). 

In 1849 I'iobertsport was founded at Cape Mount. In 
the same year the Rev. Ralph Gurley was requested by the 

228 



^ Presid ent Robe rts 

Liberian Government and the American Colonisation Society ^ 
to proceed to Liberia and rep)ort on the condition of the country 
since its proclamation of independence. He left Baltimore on 
August 1st, 1849, ^^^ reached Cape Mount on September i8th. 
As he approached the West African coast he commented in 
his report on the gorgeous sunsets and sunrises of this region. 
The present writer has noticed the same phenomenon at a 
similar time of year. It has no doubt something to do with 
the rainy season, though the full glory of these spectacles 
is rather to be observed on the limits of the rain-belt than 
within the area of drenching rain. Quoting Chateaubriand, he 
writes : " It seemed as though all the purple of Rome's consuls 
and Caesars were spread out under the last footsteps of the 
God of Day." Gurley remained about a month in Liberia, 
and returned to America, writing a very rose-coloured report 
on the country and its possibilities, which was printed as a 
State Paper in 1850 by the United States Congress. With this 
act may be said to have ended the direct patronage of the 
United States and the American colonisation societies, though 
in 1877 a number of Negroes were sent from the Southern 
States as colonists. But in various philanthropic circles the 
interest in the Liberian experiment never died out. The 
African Repository was the journal of these philanthropists. 
Founded in 1832, it has continued to give regular reports on 
Liberia down to the present day, though its name was changed 
to Liberia in 1892.^ 

Not only did the Liberian Republic imitate the United 

* The American Colonisation Society still exists and still publishes this review, 
Liberia, The President elected in 1905 is the Rev. Judson Smith, D.D. Mass. 
Among the Vice-Presidents are the familiar names of Crozer (in remembrance of 
whom Crozerville was founded in Liberia), Professor Edward W. Blyden, and 
Bishop Joseph C. Hartzell, Methodist Bishop of Africa (see page 376). The 
Chairman of the Executive Committee bears the honoured name of Gurley, and is 
no doubt a son of Ashmun's biographer. 

229 



Liberia '^ 

States in its flag, but it imported unnecessary political distinc- 
tions and a system of party government. The Conservative- 
minded amongst the Liberian voters styled themselves Whigs 
or Old Whigs, while the more Radical or Progressive section 
of the people called themselves firstly the "True Liberian 
Party," and later on '' Republicans." The term " Whig " — 
which, like '' Tory," arose as a political nickname in Ireland 
— travelled across to England, thence to the United States, and 
from America back to Liberia, where it is in use at the present 
day.^ 

In May, 1849, Roberts was elected for a second term as 
President, the term commencing January ist, 1850. He was 
again chosen for President between 1851 and 1853, and soon 
till December 31st, 1855. 

In 1850 two Hamburg trading houses established them- 
selves in Liberia." In 1851 the British Government appointed 
its first Consul at Monrovia, the Rev. Mr. Hanson, a native of 
Cape Coast Castle, and of African birth ; but he only held 
the post for a year, as he complained of disrespectful treatment 
from the Liberians. In this same year Dr. Lugenbeel reported 
the ** sleep disease " (sleeping sickness) to exist in Liberia. 
This malady still occurs from time to time. The missionary 
Koelle from Sierra Leone, who visited the Vai country of 
Liberia in 1850, also alludes to a case of sleeping sickness (the 
death of the inventor of the Vai alphabet, Doala Bukere). 

* The Wiiigs in hiter days have been further differentiated as "True Whigs" 
and " Old Whigs." As a party they desire to limit and restrain the rights 
of foreigners in Liberia, and to preserve the commerce and land-settlement as 
much as possible for Negroes. The True Liberian, called later on the Republic 
Party, on the other hand, advocated a far more liberal policy, which should admit 
strangers to nearly all the advantages of Liberia. To this last party belonged 
President Roberts, and also Stephen Allen Benson for the first part of his career. 
But Benson afterwards went over to the Whig party, and since i860 this has been 
the dominant faction, both for the good and for the ill which have come on Liberia. 

* One of them being the now celebrated house of Woermann. 

230 



^ President Roberts 

In 1 85 1 there arrived in Liberia a remarkable personage 
who has had a great deal to do with its subsequent history — \ 
Edward Wilmot Blyden, a Negro born in the Danish island of \ 
St. Thomas in 1832, but brought up to all intents and purposes 
as a British West Indian. He came to Liberia when only 




62. DK. K. W. HLYnKSriN 1894 



nineteen years of age, and soon became a person of note, owing 
to his exceptionally good education. He was well versed in 
Latin and Greelc literature, became subsequently an Arabic 
scholar, and was conversant with several European languages 
besides English. He is the author, amongst many other books, 

^31 



Liberia ^ 

of Christianity^ Islam, and the Negro Race, and he has 
taken a position of his own as a writer on African subjects. 

During 1851 there were serious troubles in the interior 
of Liberia, which caused considerable damage to commerce on 
the coast. The Boporo people ^ had practically stopped all trade 
between the Mandingo countries and the Liberian settlements 
by their exactions on caravans. This was the more exasperating 
because President Roberts, by skilful diplomacy, had for a time 
negotiated peace between the Vai, Gora, and Buzi people at 
the end of 1850, and had attempted by this action to clear 
the way for a great development of commerce. At Grand Basa 
everything was thrown into confusion by an attack on the 
part of a chief named Grando. He practically destroyed the 
new settlement at Lower Buchanan, and killed ten Liberians. 
But the rest of the settlers at Basa Cove, fighting for their lives, 
managed to drive off Grando with considerable loss to his 
following. In the adjoining State of Maryland troubles with 
the natives quite disorganised the community of American 
settlers, and the Governor, John B. Russwurm, died of over- 
work and worry. 

President Roberts, having completed his purchases of 
territory between Cape Mount and the vicinity of the Bulom 
country, at the back of Sherbro Island, left on another trip to 
Europe in 1852. In October of that year he had an interview 
with the Prince-President of the French Republic, Louis 
Napoleon, who was not yet Emperor. One reason of Roberts's 
visit to England was to secure recognition from the British 
Government of Liberian sovereignty over the Gallinhas country. 
He was sent back to Liberia on a British warship. 

In 1853 Roberts declared the civilised population of 

^ A congeries and mixture of African races- -DOs, Vais, Goras, Buzis, etc., 
permeated and ruled by Mandingos. 

232 



^ President Roberts 

Liberia to be ** about lC,Ooo/* If these figures referred to 
Negroes of American origin, it would seem to have been an 
exaggeration, their numbers at this time probably not exceeding 
7,500. He made a declaration at the same time to the effect 
that the policy of the Liberian Government would be to stop 
all wars in the interior by closing the coast ports to the im- 
p)ortation of arms and ammunition intended for trade. But 
apparently it was found impracticable to give effect to this 
policy, no doubl because the belligerents could obtain what 
supplies they required of guns and powder from the direction 
of Sierra Leone. 

Governor Russwurm had been succeeded in Maryland by 
S. ,M. McGill ; but although the foundations of a fine town 
were being laid at Cape Palmas, Maryland as a State did not 
prosper, owing to the constant troubles between the American 
colonial administrators and the warlike coast tribes —the Grebos 
and Krus and the allied races of the Lower Cavalla River. At 
the same time, any advice from Monrovia was resented, as 
interfering with the independence of Maryland. This in- 
dependence was solemnly declared at the beginning of 1854^^ 
when William A. Prout was elected Governor in succession to \ 
McGill. Maryland was then declared not to be a colony,^ 
but an independent republic. No recognition, however, was 
accorded to this by European Powers, it being expected that 
before long the State would fuse with Liberia. 

On January i8th, 1 857, occurred the Sheppard Lake dis- 
aster, in which, while attempting to chastise the Grebo tribe on 
the borders of Sheppard Lake (a lagoon between Cape Palmas 
and the Cavalla River), the Maryland State lost a number of 
men and guns. Prior to this there had been a fiercely contested 
fight between the colonists and natives at Cape Palmas 
(December 22nd, 1856). General J. J. Roberts, no longer 

233 



Liberia ^ 

President, came to the assistance of Maryland with two hundred 
and fifty men, and on February 1 8th, i 857, he and the Hon. J. T. 
Gibson signed a treaty of friendship between Liberia and Mary- 
land, which was followed, through their efforts, by the conclusion of 
a treaty between the Grebos and Maryland State on February 25th. 
William Prout, the Governor of Maryland, had died in 1856, 
and had been succeeded by J. B. Drayton. It was felt, however, 
that the only way to settle the difficulties of Maryland was to 
annex it to the larger republic on the west, and this was finally 
carried out on February 28th, 1857, the "Governors '' of Mary- 
land being succeeded by Superintendents, as is the case with 
each of the other counties of the Liberian Republic. The first 
Superintendent of Maryland after its annexation was the Hon. 
J. T. Gibson. Maryland, as already mentioned, now sends 
'two senators and three representatives to the Liberian Congress. 

Roberts during the last year (1854) of his first tenure of 
power as President paid a third visit to Europe, reaching 
England in October, 1854. On this occasion he was so confident 
of the future that lay before Liberia, and elated at the en- 
couragement afforded by Great Britain, that he went to the 
length of asking the Earl of Clarendon (then Foreign Minister) 
to consent to Sierra Leone being annexed to Liberia, on the plea 
that the latter country stood in need of a really good harbour. 
'' The proposition,'' Roberts wrote at the time, '' was received 
with some indications of surprise, and but little favour." During 
this visit, however, Liberian coins were struck in England with 
the financial assistance of Mr. Samuel Gurney (after whom 
Roberts had named a settlement in the Gallinhas country). 
Other British philanthropists subscribed at the same time 
generously to Liberian needs. Roberts returned to Liberia 
in December, 1854, to find himself confronted with some degree 
of local opposition to his policy. In May, 1855, Stephen 

234 



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'nr'"'"''f"T[-|1i "rfiiiiiilil"' 






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2^ 



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7VJ" 



Liberia ^' 

Allen Benson was elected President, to take office in 1856. 
Benson was born in Maryland (U.S.A.) in 18 16 and had come 
to Liberia in 1832. He had risen to be a General and a Vice- 
President in the Liberian State. 

Roberts had rendered great services to the Liberian Re- 
public, only to be matched by those of Ashmun. It is 
possible that but for his vigorous management the State might 
never have had any independent existence at all, but have 
drifted into such a condition as to render annexation by Sierra 
Leone a necessity for the welfare of West Africa. Though 
Roberts had a strain of Negro blood in his veins, he was 
mentally and physically a white man, a fact which perhaps 
gave him more weight at that time in the councils of Europe, 
but a circumstance which raised some jealousy about him 
amongst the pure-blooded Negroes in the Liberian State, and 
perhaps also in America. He was much exasperated in the 
summer of 1855 by the attacks of a Mr. George S. Downing, 
described as a ** free coloured man of New York City," who 
" wrote bitter articles containing various aspersions on Liberia 
and President Roberts.'' 

Roberts after ceasing to be President still continued to 
devote his talents and energies to the service of Liberia. As 
already related, he took command of the armed force that 
went to save Maryland at the beginning of 1857, and he played 
a leading part in the annexation of that colony. 

In 1857 he was appointed principal of Liberia College, 
an institution founded on paper in 1856, but not brought into 
being until 1858-62. With Mrs. Roberts he resided on the site 
of the College (outskirts of Monrovia) for a good many years. 
In 1862 he was sent on a six months' mission to Europe. 
Soon after his return to Liberia he was appointed by the King 
of the Belgians Belgian Consul at Monrovia, and, as will be 

236 



-^ President Roberts 

seen in a later chapter, he was again called to the Presidency 
at a critical time in the condition of his adopted country. 

Roberts on the occasion of his visit to France in 1852 
had attracted the sympathies of that much maligned man, 
Napoleon III., then Prince-President. In 1856, when the 
troubles of the Crimean War were over, Napoleon III. 
remembered the little African republic, which he seems to 




f^f!^-^ 



63. mukkia < (>i,i.i.(;k in 1900 

have wished to help from a spirit of pure disinterestedness. He 
sent them out in that year equipment for a thousand armed 
men, and at the same time gave them a smart little gunboat, 
the Hirondelle^ which was very soon turned to account. It 
conveyed Roberts with his two hundred and fifty troops to 
Cape Palmas when he came to the rescue of the Government 
of Maryland in its disastrous war against the Grebos. 

In the year 1858 an unfortunate event occurred, which 
for a time threw a cloud over the relations between France 

237 



Liberia ^ 

and Liberia. The French ship Regina Cceli arrived on the 
Kru coast, and the captain treated with various Kru chiefs 
for a number of their men to be shipped as labourers. These 
Krumen of course believed when they voluntarily came on 
board that they were to be taken to various parts of the 
West Coast of Africa — a practice to which they had long been 
accustomed — to serve for a year in the establishments of 
merchants or possibly as seamen on board French ships. But 
when they heard their destination was to be the West Indies 
they took alarm and believed that the long conversations 
between the captain of the ship and the various headmen on 
the shore indicated their having been sold as slaves. With 
their horror of slavery, they lost their heads, and whilst the 
captain was still on shore they mutinied, took possession of 
the ship, and killed all the white crew with the exception of 
the doctor (who had already become a favourite with them, 
owing to some attention which he had paid to sick men 
amongst their number). The Krumen having returned to 
the shore, the ship was adrift, without a crew, and might 
have become a wreck had it not been noticed by a passing 
English steamer, which took it in and brought it to a Liberian 
port. The French Government instituted an inquiry, in which 
it was shown that the Liberian Government was in no way to 
blame for this unfortunate incident, due no doubt to a complete 
misunderstanding. 

Benson was anxious to open up relations with the interior 
of his country. When a young man he had engaged in trade up 
the St. Paul's River and had been taken prisoner by a boisterous 
native chief and kept in the interior for some time as a captive. 
Soon after he became President he sought for men who might 
be dispatched on journeys of discovery to the utterly unknown 
regions beyond the forest. Two Liberians seemed to him 

238 



^ President Roberts 

suitable for this purpose : Seymore ^ and Ash. They left for 
the interior early in 1858, and travelled for six months. 

A description of their journey, in which they are supposed 
to have reached a place called Kwanga, two hundred and eighty 
miles distant from Monrovia, is given In the Proceedings of 
the Royal Geographical Society for i860. The journey was 
in no sense a scientific one, and no means were taken to map 
the route. Kwanga can no longer be Identified on the map 
(it is probably the Mandingo state of Kwana) ; but the travellers 




64. I'KESlDKM's IIOISH, MONROVIA 

describe with emphasis the high mountains which they reached. 
There is little doubt that they made a considerable journey 
and reached the great mountain mass'of NImba, where the Cavalla 
River takes its source. 

In 1858 the first hospital (St. Mark's) was founded at 
Cape Palmas. 

Throughout this decade, from 1850 to i860, Increasing 
trouble was experienced by the State In controlling the natives, 
especially on the Kru coast, when sailing ships or steamers 

' The name is sometimes spelt Seymour. 
239 



Liberia ^ 

struck on rocks or drifted ashore. It is still the custom of 
natives in those parts to regard a shipwrecked vessel as a gift 
from the gods, and attempts on the part of the Liberian or Mary- 
land Governments to enforce proper treatment of stranded ships* 
generally resulted in conflicts in which a very doubtful victory 
was obtained by the civilised Government. This condition of 
afFairs on several occasions during the latter part of the nine- 
teenth century led to sharp reprisals from Germany or Britain. 
By 1855 it is stated by Roberts that there were '* four 
English steam-propellers'' keeping up a regular communication 
between England and Liberia. These were the pioneer vessels 
of the African Steamship Company, which in conjunction with 
the firm of Elder Dempster was to become the great carrying 
agency on the West Coast of Africa, existing almost without a 
rival until the Hamburg Woermaiin Line started in 1875. 



24C 



CHAPTER XIV 

FRONTIER QUESTIONS 

AS already mentioned in the last chapter, British philan- 
thropists had furnished the funds which enabled 
President Roberts to extend by purchase the coast 
territories of Liberia westwards to the Gumbo country. This 
may be roughly described as the Gallinhas territory. The land 
round about Cape Mount had been bought from the coast chiefs 
in the year 1850. Beyond the Mano (Manna) River (now the 
frontier of Liberia) the territory had been purchased westwards 
as far as the Sewa River and the vicinity of Sherbro Island, 
either in 1850 or in 1856. Apparently no objection was raised 
by the British Government at the time of these purchases, 
perhaps for one reason amongst others, that in the 'fifties of 
the last century no very great interest was taken in the 
extension of our West African possessions. 

But the Slave trade had given place to the trade in Palm- 
oil, which was beginning, in our modern phrase, to " boom," and 
enterprising men from Lancashire or Bristol established them- 
selves on the West Coast of Africa, sometimes as repre- 
sentatives of companies, sometimes with their own capital of 
two or three hundred pounds. As often as not these men 
were the ex-stewards, pursers, or mates of steamers and sailing 
ships engaged in the African trade, who, having amassed a little 
gain, settled on shore, generally choosing for their first venture 
some river or coast port, not too near civilised government and 
VOL. I 341 x6 



Liberia ^ 

Customs duties. Usually these men married daughters of 
native chiefs, had a brood of mulatto children, and became very- 
powerful, turning their efforts towards establishing a close 
monopoly in trade. It was desirable in the debatable lands 
between Liberia and Sierra Leone to establish more effective 
control over these independent traders, or their trading without 
heed of Customs duties would be detrimental to the more 
settled establishments farther west and east. It may be that 
the pioneer traders themselves invited the intervention of the 
British Government, to enforce claims justifiable and unjustifi- 
able against natives for debts or robbery. ^ 

In the early days of the Sierra Leone colony (1817 and 
1825) some attempt was made by the Governors of that colony 
(Sir Charles MacCarthy, for example, in 18 17, and Sir Charles 
Turner in 1825) ^^ extend British political influence along the 
coast eastwards past Sherbro Island ; and on September 24th, 
1825, a convention with the chiefs of Sherbro and the ad- 
joining islands and mainland was concluded, which certainly 
brought the British frontier to the vicinity of the Sewa 
River. It is true that by a subsequent proclamation Sir 
Charles Turner, though expressly leaving the Gallinhas 
territory outside British limits, instanced the intersection of the 
7th degree N. Lat. with the coast as being in some way the 
British boundary. But in that case he claimed a boundary to 
which he had no treaty rights, and for which apparendy it was 
not thought worth while to acquire any. 

No attempt was made to contest the right of the Liberians 
to the coast-line up to the Sewa River and the Turner 
Peninsula until i860, when trouble arose through a trader 
named John Myers Harris, who had taken advantage of the 
lack of any efl^ective Liberian occupation to the west of Cape 
Mount, to establish himself between the River Sulima and the 

242 



^ Frontier Questions 

/*^ 

River Mano. Soon after his establishment, however, he was 
reminded of the Liberian political rights. His presence wgs 
the more obnoxious because it was suspected, not without some 
probability, that he was carrying on a disguised trade in slaves. 
In consequence of his refusing to acknowledge in any way 
Liberian authority, President Benson sent a coastguard boat 
in the employ of the Liberian Customs to seize two schooners 
belonging to Harris. Actually the seizure of these schooners 
(for the infringement of Customs regulations) took place be- 
tween Cape Mount and Mano Point, consequently within limits 
always recognised as Liberian since 1847. Nevertheless, acting 
on orders issued from Sierra Leone, a British gunboat, the 
Ton/i, appeared suddenly at Monrovia, and took away by 
force the two schooners belonging to Harris. Liberia being too 
feeble to resist, was obliged to submit to this display of force. 

In 1862 President Benson decided to visit the Governor 
of Sierra Leone on his way to England, in the hope that by 
friendly negotiation he might arrive at a definition of the 
boundary between Sierra Leone and Liberia, which should 
leave no room for a no-man's-land — -a boundary within which 
Liberia might exercise her sovereign rights. At Sierra Leone, 
of course, though civilly received, he was referred to London 
for a decision. Soon after his arrival in London, Earl Russell 
addressed a dispatch to him according to which the British 
Government recognised the political rights of Liberia be- 
ginning on the coast east of Turner's Peninsula, somewhat 
vaguely known as Mattru.^ Thence eastwards Great Britain 
recognised the whole coast as being under Liberian jurisdiction 
as far as the River San Pedro.^' 

* Mattru seems to have been in the Gumbo country, between the Rivers Sevva 
and Mongrao. 

' About sixty miles east of the Cavalla. 

243 



Liberia ^ 

Meantime the trader Harris got up a considerable agitation 
against Liberian rights being recognised in the vicinity of his 
stations. With the backing of the Governor of Sierra Leone 
(Hall), Harris and his friends protested vigorously against 
the concession to Liberian rights which Earl Russell had just 
made. No decided action was taken by the British Govern- 
ment one way or the other, either to intimate to Liberia 
that a revision of the frontier was necessary or to inform 
these Sierra Leone traders that if they chose to settle within 
Liberian limits they must obey Liberian laws. In this year, 
1862, Harris's two schooners were again seized by the coast- 
guard vessel of the Liberian Customs ; but on this occasion 
his evasion of I.iberian Customs regulations had been markedly 
impudent, since his ships were found landing goods close 
to Cape Mount, well within the range of effective occupation 
by the Liberian Government. 

After this agitation the Governor of Sierra Leone allowed 
a mixed Anglo-Liberian commission to consider the details of 
the north-west frontier. This commission met at Monrovia in 
March, 1862. The British commissioners offered to recognise 
Liberian rights as far as the so-called River Gallinhas,^ but the 
Liberians refused this definition, and held out for the whole of 
the territory allowed to them by Earl Russell's dispatch. Never- 
theless, although the commissioners could not come to an 
agreement about the frontier definition, the Liberian Govern- 
ment restored his sailing ships to Harris after inflicting on 
him a small fine for breach of Customs regulations. 

The frontier still remained undetermined on the part of 
the Colonial Government of Sierra Leone. Harris, rendered 

* Gallinhas is really the name of the country to the north and west of the 
River Sulima. The river to which that name is sometimes given is a little stream 
entering the sea near Falma Lagoon. 

244 



^ Frontier Question s 

bold by his repeated flouting of Liberian authority, in which 
he was secretly-, jpported by the Sierra Leone Government, 
began at last to act almost as an independent chief in the 
Gallinhas country, and his exactions and disputes aroused 
the adjoining Vai tribe to reprisals. Harris met these reprisals 
by organising an attack on the Vai country by the Gallinhas 
people. The Liberian Government dispatched a body of 
its militia to defend the Vai. The Gallinhas natives took 
to flight and avenged their defeat by turning on Harris and 
destroying one of his factories. A demand for an indemnity 
of j^6,ooo was put in by Harris and apparently supported 
by the Sierra Leone Government. Another joint Anglo- 
Liberian commission was sent to inquire into the matter and 
ascertain the circumstances under which Harris's property had 
been destroyed and the real monetary value of the damage. 
It is doubtful whether at this time the Governor of Sierra 
Leone would not have carried matters with a higher hand 
had not Liberia made some kind of appeal to the United States, 
or at any rate to the commander of the United States battle- 
ship which happened to be in those waters (Commodore 
Shufeldt). This naval officer was chosen as arbitrator. The 
monetary claim of Harris was reduced to the sum of ;^300. 
But at the sitting of this conference the senior British repre- 
sentative claimed for the colony of Sierra Leone a protectorate 
over the coast east of Sherbro as far as the mouth of the 
Mano River, on the ground that the Liberian forces were 
unable to maintain order west of the last-named stream. 
Undoubtedly they were unable to fight British traders, since 
every time they used force, maritime or military, the said 
traders were able to command the armed interference of the 
Sierra Leone Government. 

The question was once more referred to London, and was 

245 



;q 



Liberia 



met at first by a very vague dispatch from Lord Clarendon, 
which settled nothing. In 1870 President Roye went to 
England to see Lord Granville, who proposed that the British 
frontier should be carried eastwards to the banks of the Sulima 
River. A joint commission was to be established at the mouth 
of the Sulima to inquire into the validity of Liberian rights 
west of that stream ; but by consenting to this somewhat curious 




t)5. klVKK Si:\VA, ONLK CLAIMKI) AS TIIK LIHI.KIAN WESTKKN FKONTIKK 

((TALLIN HAS c;oi;ntkv) 

proposal President Roye had no doubt gravely compromised 
the right of his Government to an extension west of the Sulima. 
As a matter of fact, no steps were taken to carry Lord Granville's 
proposals into effect, owing to the disaster which led to the 
death of President Roye in 1871. The question, therefore, of 
this north-west frontier continued to remain open until closed 
by the Anglo-Liberian Treaty of 1885, as will be related in 
due course. 

246 



^ Frontier Questions 

Meantime, the United States had at last, on October 22nd, 
1 862, officially acknowledged Liberia's independence as a sovereign 
State. This recognition, as already stated, had been delayed 
for fourteen years by an absurd prejudice against regarding any 
country ruled by black men as a State which could send 
diplomatic representatives who were men of colour. This 
treaty of October 22nd, 1862, did not, as has sometimes been j 
thought, guarantee the independence of Liberia, nor did it | 
convey any distinct assurance of United States protection.^ J 

* Whilst touching on this question, it might be well to summarise as far as 
possible the instances in which the United States Government have intimated 
to other great Powers their special interest in Liberia. The extracts in question 
are abridged and quoted from the first edition of The Map of Africa by Treaty^ 
by Sir Edward Hertslet, K.C.B. 

"In 1879, °" ^^'^ occasion of tlie reported offer of French protection to Liberia, 
the American Minister at Paris was instructed to make inquiries on the subject, 
and he was reminded in his instructions that when it was considered that the 
United States had founded and fostered the nucleus of native represematlv|e 
government on the African shores, and that Liberia, so created, had afforded a 
field of emigration and enterprise for the emancipated Africans of America, who had ^ 
not been slow to avail themselves of the opportunity, it was evident that the 
United States Government must feel a peculiar interest in any apparent movement 
to-'divert the independent political life of Liberia for the aggrandisement of a great J 
Continental Power, which already had a foothold of actual trading possession on/ 
the neighbouring coast. 

" In 1880 Mr. Evarts informed Mr. Hoppin (the United States Charg6 d'Aflfaires 
in London) that the United States were not averse to having the great Powers 
know that they publicly recognised the peculiar relations which existed between 
them and Liberia, and that they were prepared to take every proper step to 
maintain them. 

" In 1884 Mr. Frelinghuysen informed M. Roustan (French Minister at Washing- 
ton) that Liberia, though not a colony of the United States, began its independent 
career as an offshoot of that country, which bore to it a quasi-parental relationship. 
This authorised the United States to interpose its good offices in any contest 
between Liberia and a foreign State. A refusal to give the United States an 
opportunity to be heard for this purpose would make an unfavourable impression 
on the minds of the Government and the people of the United States. 

" In 1887, on the occasion of the reported French aggressions on Liberian 
territory, the United States Government stated that their relations with the 
republic had not changed and that they still felt justified in employing their good 
offices on her behalf." 

247 



Liberia ^ 

In 1864 S. A. Benson (a negro) had been succeeded as 
President by Daniel Bashiel Warner, a mulatto, who, being 
re-elected once, served from 1 864 to 1 868. Although, like Benson 
and Roberts, Warner was a Republican (or True Liberian) 
candidate, he went over while in office to the Whig policy of 
preserving Liberia jealously from white invasion. He was 
moved to this distrust of Europeans by the actions of Harris 
and other merchants, nor can he be held to have been wholly 
unreasonable in establishing his Ports of Entry Law in 1865. 

According to this measure commerce to non-Liberians (and 
any person of African race could become a Liberian citizen even 
if he were a white Jew of Morocco) was restricted to six ports 
of entry and a circle of six miles diameter round each port 
of entry. The six places selected as trading ports were 
Robertsport (Cape Mount), Monrovia, Marshall, Grand Basa 
settlements, Greenville (Sino), and Cape Palmas.^ 

At all these places Liberian Customs-houses would be 
established and the Liberian Government would as far as possible 
be responsible for the safety of persons and property. 

Bitter complaints were raised, by British merchants chiefly, 
against this law, since it restricted their commercial intercourse 
with the" indigenous Negroes at many calling places on the 
coast. But it is difficult to see what other course could then 
have been taken by the Liberian Government at that juncture. 
Its revenue was far too small to permit of its equipping more 
than six Customs-houses ;uid ensuring law and order at these 
stations, with all the monetary consequences resulting from 
any failure to keep the peace between natives and Europeans. 
After all, even on the coast of British and French Africa, there 



^ To these were added subsequently Grand Cestos River and Nana Km, 
and in addition foreigners may trade under certain provisions and restrictions 
three miles into Liberia from any foreign frontier line. 

24S 



-^ Frontier Questions 

were only a stipulated number of places at which goods could 
be landed or embarked under Customs supervision. 

The Liberian Customs duties at that time were low — 
a uniform 6 per cent, ad valorem — but the foreign merchants, 
chiefly British, delighted in defrauding the weak little Negro 
Government by landing or shipping goods at other spots on the 
Liberian coast outside the ports of entry. To a certain extent 
this practice still goes on. A 
steamer in attempting to traffic 
on the " wild ** coast away from 
a port of entry occasionally runs 
on the rocks and becomes a 
total wreck. The ungrateful 
aborigines (having perchance 
some score to pay off against 
the captain of the vessel) dart 
out in their canoes, plunder 
the ship of all they can lay 
hands on, the passengers and 
crew have to walk miles (quite 
unmolested) to the nearest 
Americo-Liberiaii settlement, and 
the Liberian Government is ,, i.KKsn>KM hak< lav in ,896 

called upon subsequently to pay 

an indemnity and engage in an expensive war with the erring 
natives. 

All things considered, perhaps the Ports of Entry Law was 
a wise measure. Its scope will no doubt be widened as the 
expanding revenue of Liberia permits of more Customs stations 
being opened along the coast and on the British and French 
frontiers. The Liberian Government has expressed the intention 
of creating numerous trading stations in the interior as soon 

249 




Liberia ^ 

as it can construct a series of roads for wheeled traffic and 
establish police-stations. 

In 1865 three hundred West Indians (mainly from the 
British West Indies) emigrated to Liberia. Amongst these 
was a boy (Arthur Barclay) who is now President of the Liberian 
Republic. Barclay's father was a free Negro of Barbados who 
had associated himself with political agitation, and in consequence 
found himself obliged to leave the island. He emigrated with 
all his family, who throve greatly in their new home. Ernest 
Barclay, one of his sons, became a Secretary of State and 
might have risen to the higher office but for his untimely 
death in 1894 (see p. 331). He was a very able man and 
much regretted. The Barclays were of unmixed negro origin 
and originally came from Little Popo (Dahome). 

American interest in Liberia began to revive when the 
terrible war between North and South was at an end and when 
the Negro question was forcing itself on the attention of thought- 
ful Americans in a new form — namely, the Negro as a free 
itian and a citizen enjoying equal rights with white men. 
Several abortive attempts were made to start Negro emigration 
to Liberia on a large scale, and for this purpose information 
as to the unknown hinterland was desirable. 

Benjamin Anderson, a young Liberian (born in 1834^), had 
received a good education together with some knowledge of 
surveying. Between 1864 and 1866 he had been Secretary 
of the Treasury under President Warner. He paid a visit to 
the United States when he left office, and there found several 
American philanthropists who asked why no attempt had been 
made to fix some limits in the interior for the future bounds 
of Liberian territory. Anderson professed himself to be able 
and willing to make a journey through the dense forests to 

' He was still living at Monrovia in I9<:>5. 
250 



Liberia ^ 

the more open country at the back believed to be inhabited 
by Mandingos. Funds were found in America, chiefly by 
Henry M. Schieflfclin, to meet the cost of Anderson's journey, 
and in 1868 he set out on an enterprise which has scarcely yet 
been repeated in the same direction. For a great many years, 
in fact, Anderson's journey loomed large in the exploration of 
West Africa. It did not shrink into insignificance until the 
more remarkable explorations of Captain L. G. Binger' twenty 
years later. 

Anderson started from Monrovia on February 14th, 1868, 
and journeyed by zigzags to the town of a chief called Besa, 
quite close to the coast, to the west of the River Mano. He 
found at first considerable opposition to his journey on the 
part of the Mandingo colony at Boporo. At Boporo, however, 
he managed to conciliate the chieftain and obtained porters 
to take him through the " Boatswain " country.^ Anderson 
found the Boatswain country ruled over by Mandingo chiefs 
or head-men who were large slave-holders, having in fact 
enslaved most of the local population or purchased slaves from 
the adjoining Kpwesi or Buzi tribes. Travelling north through 
the Busi or Buzi country (Doma Buzi), Anderson finally quitted 
the great forest, to his relief, at Zigapora Zue. From this 
point his way lay over a country of parklands ascending 
to a plateau of an average altitude of 2,200 feet. The Buzi 
people (Bousie in Anderson's spelling) seem to have been 
able in many districts to hold their own as an independent 

' Now Colonel L. G. liingcr, of the French Colonial Office. 

' The true meaning of this ridicnlons appellation is not very clear. Need- 
less to say, there never has been any tribe calling itself by such a name 
pronounced phonetically. The patriarch or founder of the community was caHed 
Hoatswain from having served in that capacity on r>ritish ships. This chief of the 
Hoporo district (Tom Boatswain) was in existence at the foundation of Liberia in 
1822, and is supi)osed to have rendered some assistance to the early Liberian 
settlers by his influence over the Goras. 

2^2 



-Pi Frontier Questions 

race (admitting the Mandingos as traders or friends). At Bulata 
(2,253 feet) Anderson passed beyond the limit of oil palms, which 
throughout Western and Equatorial Africa are associated with 
the forest region. He was now in an open country of grass- 
lands, with a dry atmosphere and (seemingly) a healthy climate, 
with deliciously cool nights. The people of the country were 




A MANDINCit) HOK^K (iN SIKKKA MiONK) 



Mandingos, Muhammadans of course, horse-breeders and riders 
of horses. Their capital town was Musadu.^ 

At Musadu and elsewhere in the Mandingo country 

' The Americo-Liberians have never yet mastered the true principles of modern 
Enghsh orthograpliy, copying in this the mass of the United States population, 
which is still very eighteenth-century in its use of the English alphabet. Con- 
sequently, again and again the letter ;- is used to supplement the vowel a in order 
to give the latter the sound of a xn father. Musadu is the phonetic spelling. The 
place has not been foimd (seemingly) or recognised by subsequent French travellers. 

253 



Liberia ^ 

(which, by the bye, is described by Anderson and others of that 
period as the country of the IVestern, instead of, as it should 
be, the Southern Mandingos) Anderson made treaties with the 
chiefs by which they placed their countries within the limits 
of Liberia. These treaties, the originals of which, written in 
Arabic, are still in the archives at Monrovia, do not seem to 
have been much more in intention than treaties of friendship. 
But as the result of them a somewhat eccentric hinterland 
boundary was fixed for Liberia. 

Anderson made in 1874 another exploring journey north- 
eastward through the densest forest of Liberia. But the 
geographical results were so vague and untrustworthy that it is 
scarcely worth mentioning, except for his further dealings with 
the Buzi people. 

Anderson's journeys and treaties (together with arrange- 
ments which had been made subsequent to the fusion with 
Maryland along the Ivory Coast) caused Liberia to claim a 
hinterland of a curiously zig-zag outline. The suggested limits 
of the republic's territory in 1876, and for some years later, 
are depicted on the accompanying sketch-map. It says something 
for the scrupulousness of Liberian agents that whilst they were 
about it — mere map-making, so to speak — they did not boldly 
include the Buzi territory and so round off the future boundaries 
of their republic. But the Buzi tribe was a formidable one, 
and had apparently agreed to no arrangements which could 
be construed as bringing them by their own consent within the 
limits of the Liberian State. 

The great traveller, Burton, visited the coast of Liberia 
(chiefly Cape Palmas) in 1861, on his way out to Fernando 
Po, to take up his consular work in the Bights of Biafra 
and Benin. In one of the best hooks he ever wrote 
{IVanderings in West Africa by a F.R.G.S.) he gives an 

254 



MAP 6 




Liberia ^■ 

interesting description of the condition of Liberia at the 
beginning of the 'sixties of the last century : his writing a 
little tinged with malice, perchance, for to Burton the pure- 
blooded non-Muhammadan Negro was never an object of much 
liking. Moreover, Burton represented with some efficiency the 
spirit of revolt at that time against the sickly sentimentalism 



I 




AsHMTN MRII I, MONKOVIA 



of Exeter Hall, according to which if the Negro only professed 
Christianity he could do no wrong and need not do much work. 

A disciple of Burton's and a writer of brilliant style, 
Winwood Reade glanced at Liberia in 1863, and visited the 
country in 1870, spending about three months on the coast 
between Cape Palmas and Monrovia. He also set out on a 
journey to Boporo with Dr. Blyden, but he has left us no clear 
description of that Kondo town. His chapter on Liberia in the 
second volume of T/ie African Sketch-book (published in 1873) 

256 



^ Frontier Questions 

and his notes on the Kru people are wonderfully true to life 
(even after thirty-five years' interval) and instinct with that 
charming sympathy, that real genius, which ran through the 
works of this wonderful young man, who died in 1874 after his 
return from the Ashanti Expedition, aged only thirty-four years.^ 

' He and the late Professor Henry Drummond were perhaps the only two 
writers of genius who ever touched Africa — Reade on the west, Drummond on the 
south-east. Burton came very near genius in some of his work but lacked the 
sympathetic insight of Reade. Reade's A/^r/r/v/(f?;w of Man, his swan-song, planned 
in a squalid hut at Kalaba in the Mandingo Highlands, where he was detained a 
prisoner, was not '' writ in water " as he feared. It is now in its seventeenth 
edition and should be given by the State to every young man and woman in the 
United Kingdom, the United States, and shall we add ? — Liberia, on their 
attaining the age of twenty-one years. It is the first rational exposition of the 
relations of mankind to the mystery which shrouds the how and wherefore of man's 
existence, the first honest protest against our long, long martyrdom. 




70. MxNNU KIVLK, LIBKKIAN I-KuNTlKK (FKUM DIA, LOOKING fl' S'IKKAM) 



VOL. 1 



257 



»7 



CHAPIER XV 

THE LOAX AM) ITS COXSEQUEXCES 

PRESIDENT WARNER' was defeated in the election of 
1867, and on January ist, 1868, his place was taken 
by another mulatto President, James Sprigg Payne, a 
candidate of the Republicans. Payne's tenure of the Presidency 
was uneventful, and on January ist, 1870, he was succeeded by 
the first Whig President, Edward James Rove, a pure-blooded 
Negro. 

Towards the close of the 'sixties there was much discussion 
in Liberia on the question of public works and the means of 
opening up the interior to a more profitable and extended com- 
merce ; for, owing to the restrictive law already described, 
foreigners — that is to say, non- Africans or persons not of Negro 
race-- could not trade away from the ports of entry. In fact, 
whilst the Constitution and legislation of Liberia were very 
naturally directed towards keeping this small pordon of Africa 
open to the black man's enterprise, the civilised fringe of this 
Negro republic nevertheless stagnnted, and the volume of trade 
was very small compared with that of the possessions of Britain 
and France on the West Coast of Africa. Perhaps also Liberia, 
now an independent State of twenty years* existence, thought it 
was time she should imitate all the other independent States of 
the world and have a loan and a public debt. 

' Warner's sons and danghters, unlike the descendants of other Americo- 
Liherians, are said to have adopted the life of the indigenous natives. 

258 



^ The Loan and its Consequences 

It was decided to negotiate this loan in London. At that 
period the Liberian Consul-General for Great Britain was an 
English financial agent named Chinery, who was apparently 
in touch with certain banking agencies not perhaps of the 
first rank. Two Liberian commissioners (W. S. Anderson 
and W. H. Johnson) were directed to proceed to London 
and negotiate through Chinery a loan of 500,000 dollars 
(^100,000). An agreement was come to with the firm of 
bankers introduced by Chinery of a character unfortunate 
for Liberia. Bonds to the extent of ^100,000 were to 
be issued against a payment in cash of ^70,000. This loan 
was to carry interest (on ^^ 100,000) at 7 per cent., and the 
whole loan — that is to say, ^(^ 100, 000 — was to be repaid over a 
term of fifteen years. This would mean that in order to touch 
^^70,000 in money --if the agreement had been carried out to 
the letter — Liberia was to repay to the lenders at the end of 
fifteen years a total sum, including the 7 per cent, annual 
interest, of ^132,600. Of course the indifferent security (in 
the eyes of the lenders) counted for much. The loan was to 
be guaranteed on the Customs or on some branch of the Customs 
revenue ; but the lenders alleged that the Customs revenue 
was collected in a somewhat haphazard fashion, and that 
there was sometimes an insufficiency of revenue to meet the 
actual working expenses of Liberia. Also they were aware that 
if the country repudiated the debt no steps would be taken by 
the British Government to exact payment. News of the terms 
of this loan whtn it reached Monrovia created a lively dis- 
satisfaction among the citizens. But although a protest was 
forwarded to Chinery, the matter was further complicated by 
the absence from Liberia of President Roye, who had gone 
to England to discuss the long-disputed Gallinhas question. 
Roye whilst in London seems to have given his approval to the 

259 



Liberia ^ 

scheme of the loan. He was accompanied on his journey to 
England by his Secretary of State, Hilary R. W. Johnson 
(afterwards President). Johnson disagreed with Roye on some 
point connected with the frontier, and returned to Monrovia 
before the President. 

Although President Roye had not taken any direct part 
in the negotiation of the loan, on his return to Monrovia he 
intimated his approval of the scheme before the matter could 
be submitted to the Legislature. From this and other indica- 
tions it had been thought for some months that Roye was 
aiming at a coup d'etat which would get rid of the trammels 
of the Constitution and enable him, at any rate for a time, to 
govern Liberia despotically. A story went abroad, for which 
no actual proof could afterwards be found, that Roye had 
himself received a portion of the money raised for this loan, 
or else a very heavy commission for according it his approval. 
Roye knew that according to the terms of the Constitution 
his Presidency would come to an end on January ist, 1872. 
Therefore, soon after his return from England, at the be- 
ginning of October, 1871, he issued a proclamation to the effect 
that he had on his own authority extended his tenure of the 
Presidency for another two years. Popular discontent soon 
made itself manifest at Grand Basa and Monrovia, and in most 
of the Americo-Liberian settlements. The President attempted 
to arm those of his party who had promised to stand by him 
in this unconstitutional manner of provoking a constitutional 
change which in itself had often been advocated by Liberian 
statesmen ---namely, the extension of the President's term of 
office from two years to four. To this principle the people 
were not by any means ill-disposed, although it has not yet 
been brought about. But it was felt that Roye was aiming at 
something more extended than this — that he intended to act 

260 



-^ The Loan and its Consequences 

as not a few contemporary presidents of South American 
republics had done, in arrogating to himself supreme and 
uncontrolled power. 

An attempt on the part of Roye's supporters to seize a 
building in Monrovia used as a bank by an industrial society 
of the St. Paul's River settlements was the last straw that 
broke the camel's back. The people of Monrovia rose against 
him in the first — and, let us hope, the last — of Liberian in- 
surrections. They soon overpowered the armed resistance of 
Roye's followers, though several lives were lost on both sides.^ 
The President's house was sacked by an angry crowd hunting 
everywhere tor him, and with one of his sons he was caught 
and imprisoned. 

The Senate and House ot Representatives then met in a 
hurriedly summoned congress and issued a most temperately 
worded manifesto. In this the ''sovereign people of the Re- 
public of Liberia" declared on October 26th, 1871, that the 
President, E. J. Roye, was deposed from his office ; the Govern- 
ment was to be provisionally carried on by an executive 
committee of three members until constitutional measures had 
been taken for the election of a new President. The proclama- 
tion ended with an expression of thanks to God that this 
uprising had been attended with so little bloodshed. The three 
personages appointed to be members of the executive committee 
were Charles B. Dunbar, General R. A. Sherman, and Amos 
Herring. The Secretary of State, H. R. W. Johnson, still re- 
mained in office. 

Ex-President Roye was then brought to trial before the 
Supreme Court of Justice, but during the night he managed, 

^ It is said that Roye commenced the actual fighting by going into the street 
and flinging hand grenades at the crowd. The populace soon retorted by sending 
^ cannon-ball through the President's house. 

?6j 



Liberia ^ 

either through the negligence or the connivance of his guardians, 
to escape. An English steamer was anchored ofF Monrovia, 
and it is said that the ex-President removed nearly all his 
clothing, in the hope that he might be mistaken for an ordinary 
native or Kruboy boarding the ship for work. Around his 
waist was a belt, said to have been heavily charged with 
sovereigns, which of course it was further alleged were part 
of the loan. He attempted to cross the breakers in a native 
canoe and thus reach the steamer ; but the canoe was badly 
steered and capsized, and the unfortunate Roye was drowned. 

As regards the loan, no very clear account exists as to 
the precise sum in money which actually reached the Liberian 
treasury. The estimate has been put as high as ;^2 7,ocx) 
(out of the theoretical ^100,000). Assuming that ^70,000 
was really found by the London bankers, three years' interest 
was apparently retained or deducted by them from the ^{[70,000. 
This would reduce the amount to be handed over in cash to 
^49,000. But of this sum again several thousands of pounds 
were represented by trade goods and /^ 12,000 was paid in more 
or less bad paper, in bills which could only be cashed at a 
terribly high discount. A good deal of the money seems to 
have disappeared with Rove, and a small sum which was being 
brought out by \V. S. Anderson was further diminished before 
it reached the Liberian treasury owing to his flight to St. 
Paul de Loanda, from which place he refused to return to 
Liberia unless he was guaranteed against prosecution. One 
way and another, it is perhaps a generous estimate to supp)ose 
that ^27,000 in money reached Liberia out of this unfortunate 
loan. Against this sum bonds had been issued to the extent 
of ^80,000, chiefly by President Roye's Government. It is 
doubtful indeed whether bonds to the extent of nearly 
/ 1 00,000 were not in circulation, but a considerable proportion 

?62 



^^ The Loan and its Consequences 

of these at any rate were disavowed and cancelled by the 
Liberian Government. 

It cannot be said, however, that Chinery or the bankers 
associated with him profited by their share in the enterprise. 
The bankers received only paper for their money, and were 




'I. GKNKK.M, K. A. >.ll liKMAN 



not of course responsible for the defalcations of President Roye, 

and soon afterwards they went into liquidation. Chinery's 

commission as Consul-General was revoked, and he was replaced 

by another Englishman, who brought an action against him in 

the Courts at the instance of the republic.^ 

' Little or no satisfaction was obtained by these proceedings. Chinery went 
out to Sierra Leone and there made the acquaintance of Dr. E, W. Blyden, who 

263 



Liberia ^' 

On January ist, 1872, the veteran Joseph J. Roberts 
was recalled to the Presidency, and served his country in that 
capacity till 1876.' He then refused re-election on the ground 
of age and enfeebled health. James Sprigg Payne was elected 

to succeed him. 

Three years' interest, it will be remembered, had been retained 
in London out of the principal of the loan. The Liberian 
Government were inclined to repudiate the whole transaction 
after the deposition of Rove ; but this was not easy, as a 
certain proportion of the loan — ^20,000 to ^27,000 — had 
been received and spent by the republic. A Mr. Jackson 
had succeeded Chinery as Liberian Consul-General and financial 
agent in London, and during his tenure of the post for some 
nine years he had attempted to do his best for the affairs 
of the republic. After the brief reappearance on the scene 
of Chinery, the post of Consul-Cjencral was finally conferred 
on a \lr. (iudgeon, who was succeeded in 1891 by the present 
Consul-d'eneral and Acting Minister Resident — Mr. Henry 
Hayman. It was not until Mr. Hayman took up this office 
from 1885-91 (first as Consul) that any attempt was made to 
clear up the business of the loan. For years Mr. Hayman 
fought his way through an extraordinary tangle of fraud and 
the results n\ negligence, owing to which large numbers of 
bonds ('' to bearer ") had found their way on to the London 
Stock Market, or to Holland, or even more remote places. 
It is supposed that there had been negligence and malfeasance 

came to the coiiclu-sion that ho had lujt beni to blame for the unfortunate aflair 
of th«.^ loan. Owing to JMyJcns representations, Chinery acted as Consul-Genenl 
in London for a short period in i8«Su; but this step on Dr. Blyden's part (Blyden 
was then Liberian Minister at the Court of St. James) was not confirmed by the 
Liberian Kxeculive. 

' He died on February 2ist. 1876, two months after leaving the presidential 
chair. He had just attended the funeral of a colleague at which a tornado burst 
with an awful downpour of rain. Roberts died from the chill. 

?04 




IVcsitlcnt J. J. Roberts 

(Pointed from a PImtoKruph taUtn ;jh«)ut IS71) 



t 

m 



C 






•^ The Loan and its Consequences 

in Liberia as well as in England, and that bonds to bearer 
in both countries had been disposed of for trivial sums of money. 
Finally the republic (in 1898) admitted a loan of between 
^70,000 and ^80,000 and agreed to pay a progressive in- 




^2. ML.MOKIAL TO I'HKMDKNT J, J. KoHKKlS 

terest at 3 to 5 per cent. Since 1898 the interest (which is now 
4 per cent.) has been paid without default. This honourable 
settlement with the bondholders (honourable especially to the 
Liberian Government) was achieved by Mr. Arthur Barclay 

265 



Liberia ^ 

(then Secretary to the Liberian Treasury), Mr. J. C. Stevens 
(Attorney-General), and Mr. Henry Hayman (Consul-General). 
The negotiations were materially assisted by Mr. I. F. Braham, 
manager of the Liberian Rubber Syndicate.* 

' I append the text of this agreement : 

JJheriiin (iovcrnment 7 per cent. External Ijoan of 1871. 

Bases of Acreememt submitted by the Honourable A. Barclay, Secretary of 
the Treasury, and the Honourable J. C. Stevens, Attorney- General of the 
Govrrnment of Liberia, of tlie one part, and approved by the Committee 
of Liberian Bondholders acting in conj miction with the Council of Foreign 
Bondholders of the other part. 

I. The interest on the debt to be reduced as follows : 3 per cent, for three 
years; 3^ per rent, for three years; 4 per cent, for three years jhe present rate 
of interest ; \\ prr cent, for three years ; 5 per cent, thereafter until extinction. 
Interest to be paid half-yearly in gold in London, by a banking house to be 
appointed by the Government of Liberia and approved by the Council. The 
first payment of iritt^rest to b^^ made on October ist, 1899. 

II. Amortisation of the principal of the bonds deposited with the Council 
under this arrangement, in accordance with Article VI H.. to commence after 
five years, viz. cm October 1st, i(/)4, by means of an accumulative sinking fund 
of I per c<'nt. ptr annum, to be applied half-yearly by purchases on the market 
or by tenders, as the Government may decide, when the price of the bonds is 
under par, or by drawings for redem[)tlon at par when the price is at or above 
par. Tlie G(»vernnient reserves the riglit to increase the sinking fund at any time, 
or to [»ut it into operation at an earlier date. 

Ill For the arrears of interest reckoned up to March 31st, 1899. the Council 
of Foreign Bontlholders will i<s\ie non-interest bearing certificates, which shall 
be redeemed in ih" following manner. Alter the extinction of the principal 
of the debt, the Government of Liberia will continue to remit in the manner 
hereinbefore i)rovided, for a period of four years, the like amount of interest 
and sinking fund payable at the date of such extinction in respect of the amount 
of bonds which may be deposited with the Council within the period prescribed 
by Article VIII. This sum shall be applied by the bankers charged with the 
service of the debt to the redem{)tion of the certificates, either by a pro rata 
payment or by half-yearly drawings as may be determined by the Council in 
conjunction with the Committee. The Government of Liberia is entitled to 
purchase certificates on the market at any time if it so desires, and to participate 
with the holders of the other outstanding certificates in the fund appropriated for 
their redemption. 

IV. As security for the service of the debt the Government especially assigns 
the exports duty of 6 cents per lb. on rubber, to be paid by the exporters direct 
to the Consul-General for Liberia in London, and to be handed by him to the 
bank charged with the service of the debt. Any sums hereafter paid to the 

?66 



^^ The Loan and its Consequences 

It was under Roberts's last Presidency, in 1874, that the 
explorer Benjamin Anderson was again sent into the interior, 
if possible to reach the alleged gold-mines near Musadu. He 

Government by the existing Liberian Rubber Syndicate, or any other syndicate 
or company that may succeed it, are to be appHed in Hke manner to the service 
of the debt. 

V. Should the product of the rubber export duties within the first five years 
amount to more than is required for the payment of the interest on the debt at 
the rates set forth in Article I., such surplus shall be applied to amortisation, 
or if after the fifth year there should be a surplus from the same source after 
providing for the payment of interest and the accumulative sinking fund of 
I per cent, as set forth in Article II., such siuplus sliall be applied to additional 
amortisation, 

VI. The service of the debt shall be further secured on the general Customs 
revenue of the republic, it being understood tiiat the acceptance of these bases 
of arrangement on the part of tiic Council and Committee is contingent on some 
effective control of the collection of the Customs duties satisfactory to the 
Committee being established, and that any deficiency in the product of the rubber 
export duties rerjuircd for the service of the Kxternal IV'bt is to constitute a first 
charge on the revenues derived iVom the general Custom^- revenue, subject only 
to the expenses of collection and the payment of interest not exceeding 6 per 
cent, per annum on any advance made by the syndicate or company which may 
be formed to undertake the collection of the said revenue?. 

In any event the full sum required in gold for the half-yearly service of the 
debt is to be in the hands of the bankers in London at least a fortnight before 
tlie due date of the coupons as altered under this arrangement. 

The Government will also at the same time pay tlie bank the usual commission 
for administering the debt service. 

VTI. The bonds of 1871 are to ht lodged with the Council, and stamped on 
their face as assenting to the new arrangement, and the coupons endorsed with 
the altered dates and rates of payment in accordance with Article I., or new 
coupon sheets are to be j)rinted and attached to the bonds. If any stamp duty 
in England is involved in this operation, the cost shall be borne by the Govern- 
ment of Liberia. 

VI II. In order to participate in this arrangement the bonds must be deposited 
with the Council of Foreign Bondholders within one year from the date of its 
acceptance by the bondholders. 

IX. In the event of default of any payment contemplated by this arrangement, 
or of failure to carry out the terms thereof, the existing rights of the Bondholders 
to revive. 

X. This arrangement is subject to ratification first by the Legislature of 
Liberia, and afterwards by resolution of a general meeting of bondholders to be 
convened by the Council. 

XI. A reasonable sum to be paid by the Liberian Government to the Council 

267 



Liberia ^ 

did not succeed, nor did his vague wanderings in the central 
forests lead to any definite increase of geographical knowledge, 
although they increased the political influence of Liberia. 

Lord (iranville had promised President Roye in 1870 
that although Great Britain could not bind herself to recognise 
Liberian territorial rights west of the River Sulima, nevertheless 
a mixed commission would be appointed to meet in the vicinity 
of that river and discuss the Liberian claims to the territories 
farther west. Roye had accepted this proposal, but before it 
could be carried into efl^ect the Vai people had again attacked 
(in revenge for injuries sufl^ered) the factories which Harris 
had founded on the Mano and Mafa Rivers. The Governor 
of Sierra Leone demanded an indemnity for these acts from 
Liberia, reminding the Government of that country at the 
same time that the indemnity agreed upon in 1869 had not 
yet been paid. President Roberts paid over this first indemnity 
in 1872, but demurred to the second claim. The matter 
remained dormant until 1878, when it was revived with some 
asperity by Sir S:u-niicl Rowe, then Governor of Sierra Leone. 
This second indemnity was a demand for about ;^8,500. At 
the same time Sir Samuel Rowe revived the claim of the 
British Government to extend its protectorate along the coast 
as far as the Mano River, partly on the pretext that the 
Liberians were unable to keep order amongst the tribes west 
of that river. 

lor their expenses and services, to be settled Ixtweeii them and the Consiil- 
Geiieral ol Liberia. 

London, the 28th day of September. 1S9S. 
For the Guvernment ot Liberia, 

AKTiiLR Bak( LAV. Sccrciarv of Treasury. 
J. C\ Stevens, Attorney-General. 
For the Committee of Liberian Hondliolders, 

(\ VV. Fremantle, Vicc-Presiih'ut of the Council^ 

Acting Chairman. 
^68 



^ The Loan and its Consequences 

Roberts in 1876 had been succeeded as President by 
J. S. Payne, and this last had been followed by Anthony 
William Gardner at the beginning of 1878. President 
Gardner met Sir Samuel Rovve's dispatch by agreeing to the 
meeting of that boundary commission which had been already 




7:^. KK I.MAN OF NANA KKU 



foreshadowed in Lord Granville's protocol of 1870. It was 
decided, however, that the mixed commission of Liberian and 
British delegates should meet at Sierra Leone on January 
1st, 1879. The Liberian delegates arrived at that place on 
December 29th. Through all the negotiations that followed 



Lil 



)cria 



during the next few months it cannot be said that they received 
even cijmmon courtesy from the colonial authorities at Sierra 
Leone, nor were the proceedings of the commission conducted 
fairly and impartially. The matter was allowed to drag on 
and on, and during these delays much pressure was brought 
to bear on the chiefs of the frontier districts west of the 
Mano River to deny that they or their predecessors had ever 
made any cession of their territories to the Liberian Republic. 
Naturally, in the time which had elapsed between 1850 and 
1856 and the year i8"9 local conditions had changed. Tribes 
had increased or diminished in power. Those which were 
dominant when the Liberian rights had been acquired by 
President Roberts thirty years before were now displaced bv 
other tribes, who were much better disposed to come under 
the rule of the British than under the Liberian Government. 
The British commissioners sought to compel the Liberians 
into accepting as their frontier the little River Mafi or Mafa, 
which lies to the east of the Mano and which would have 
brought the valuable possession of Cape Mount almost within 
the grasp of the British. A long wrangle also took place when 
the commission was estaI')li^hed on the Sulima River on the 
amount of iiulcmnity due not onl\' to Harris but to several 
other British or Sierra Leone traders who declared themselves 
to have suffered from the attacks of the Liberian Vais in 
I 87 I. The commission bn)kc up without arriving at any settle- 
ment of the questions of frontier or indemnity. 

Later on, in 1 Syc;, another unfortunate incident occurred 
to lessen the dignity of the Liberian Republic, already gravely 
compromised by tlie British action on the north-west and the 
repudiation of the London loan. A (ierman steamer, the Carlos 
went on the rocks at Nana Kru, near the mouth of the Dewa 
River. The K rumen on the coast not only pillaged the vessel 




74. 



THE INSIGNIA OF THE LIBERIAN ORDER OF AFRICAN REUEMIHION, FOUNDED 
BY PRESIDENT A. W. GARDNER IN 1 879 



Liberia ^ 

but treated very badly the shipwrecked Germans who had landed 
in their boats. These unfortunate people were robbed of the 
small luggage they had saved and even stripped of their clothes. 
Adding insult to injury, they:were compelled to sign a grotesque 
document drawn up in broken English by an educated Kruboy 
in which they professed to have received most considerate treat- 
ment from the natives of the place where they had been shi{>- 
weecked. They were then compelled to walk along the beach 
(fording streams where necessary) until they could reach the 
European trading establishments at Greenville (Sino). A 
(ierman ship of war, the yiitoria^ was immediately dispatched 
to the Liberian coast. Taking for granted that the Liberian 
(iovernmcnt had no effective power over the Kru people, the 
commander of the J'ictoria proceeded first to Nana Kru and 
bombarded the towns round about the scene of the shipwreck. 
The I'icioria then proceeded to Monrovia, and deposited a claim 
for £^)00 on behalf of the shipwrecked Germans, a claim by 
no means unreasonable. So short of money was the Liberian 
Treasury, however, that even after a delay of six months which 
was granted to them for the purpose they were unable to find 
this sum, ami it was onlv paid eventually under the threat 
of a bonil)ai\inR'nt, and by the co-operation of the European 
merchants settled at Monrovia. 

Soon after tliis (in 188";) occurred the wreck of the Corisco^ 
a British mail steamer belonging to Messrs. Elder Dempster. 
The (j))isio, carried out of her course by a current, struck on 
a concealed rock (Manna rocks) near the mouth ot the Grand 
C'estos River. The passengers took to the boats, and crew 
but thev were surrounded (^n landing by crowds of natives who 
plundered them of all they possessed, including most of their 
clothing. Amongst the passengers were four ladies, who would 
have surteretl cruellv but for the kind consideration of the 



-#i The Loan and its Consequenceg 

principal agent at the Dutch factory, who gave them shelter and 
clothing until another steamer could call for them. 

This was utterly indefensible behaviour on the part of the 
natives. The steamer was not trying to land or embark goods 
away from a port of entry, and the natives plundered not only 
the derelict ship but the unfortunate shipwrecked passengers. 




A I.IIU.KIAN llOUMlllULn 



The British Government dealt with the matter in a conciliatory 
manner, and the Liberian forces under Major-General Sherman 
inflicted more punishment on the Grand Cestos people. The 
Senegal was also wrecked on the Liberian coast and plundered 
in much the same manner by the indigenous natives. 

The 'seventies of the last century had not been a happy period 
for Liberia. Besides the loan and the Monrovia uprising there 
VOL. I 273 18 



Liberia ^ 

had been a terrible outbreak of smallpox in 1871 in Maryland, 
beginning at Cape Palmas. Then ensued in the same region 
more wars with the natives, chiefly the Grebos. In 1875 ^^^ 
Grebes burnt two Liberian settlements on the outskirts of 
Harper -Bunker Hill and Philadelphia. In the following year 
(1876) ''jiggers'* ^ or burrowing fleas were first introduced, by 
a ship coming from the Portuguese island of Sao Thome to land 
or recruit Kru labourers. The jigger has since spread all over 
the coast regions of Liberia, but is not so abundant as it was 
a few years ago. 

In 1879 President Gardner (who had recently been made 
a Knight Grand Cross of the Spanish Order of Isabella 
Catolica) resolved to institute a Liberian Order of Chivalry, 
which was named the Order of African Redemption (see p. 271). 
Under Gardner's Presidency, on April ist, 1879, Liberia joined 
the Universal Postal Union.- 

In 1877 there had been a fresh accession of Negro colonists 
from Louisiana, who were mainly distributed about the Lower 
St. PauTs River. Some of these subsequently returned to 
America. No immigration of any organised or important kind 
has taken place subsequently from America, though individuals 
from the United States and the West Indies have from time 
to time found their way to Liberia and settled there more or 
less permanently. By 1880 it is probable that the total Americo- 
Liberian population scarcely reached ten thousand in number. 
The birth-rate was small, and the somewhat slow increase at most 
atoned for the departure of disappointed settlers or the rather 
heavy death-rate from disease ; for some sixty years' experience 

' Sitr,o/*sy//ffs /unttfans. This pest is indigeiKuis to tropical America, where 
it is known as thf "ohiro." It was brought in saiui ballast by a Brazilian ship 
to :\inbri/ in i^5S- 

* In ii;o3 an agrrtnuMit with regard to the exchange of money postal orders 
was cntcreii into with the United States and Great Britain. 

274 



-^ The Loan and its Consequencies 

had shown that Negroes born in America, especially in the 
temperate climate of the United States, were scarcely less immune 
from African fevers than a people of European origin. Mulattoes 
suffered more than full-blooded Negroes, and quadroons more 
than mulattoes. The result has b'^en the gradual dying out in 
Liberia of the half-breeds and the proportionate increase of a 
purely Negro type. Down to 1880 a somewhat foolish spirit 
of distinction had been kept up between the " civilised *' 
Christian Negro immigrants from America and the ^* natives." 
A marriage or an illicit union between an Americo-Liberian 
man and a native woman (though some of the native women, 
especially those of Mandingo race, are distinctly comely) was 
looked upon as a shameful occurrence, at any rate as an episode 
to be kept in the shade as much as possible. That these 
unions did take place in spite of caste prejudices was perhaps 
fortunate, since they decidedly infused new vigour into the next 
generation. 

But about the period named (1880) a feeling of dis- 
appointment as regards the results of Negro repatriation was 
making itself felt, and public spirit in Liberia was taking — 
wisely, perhaps — a more African turn. In spite of the some- 
what harsh treatment which the country was then receiving 
from England over frontier questions, an increasing disposition 
to turn to England for advice was manifested. The constitution 
of the adjoining colony of Sierra Leone, with its coast population 
of freed slaves so similar in origin to the fundamental stock of 
the Americo-Liberian, was a bond of union between the British 
Empire and Liberia. The United States continued its practical 
philanthropy on the part of individuals, who sent from time 
to time donations towards the educational work of the Liberia 
College ; but this benevolence was also matched by splendid 
gifts for missionary and educational purposes from the British 

275 



N 



Liberia ^ 

philanthropist of Leeds, Mr. Robert Arthington (after whom 
a settlement on the St. Paul's River has been named). Moreover, 
throughout Liberia an extraordinary affection and reverence grew 
up during these years for Queen Victoria. This feeling dated 
possibly from the journey of President Roberts to England in 
1849; but the late Queen had often testified her interest in 
West African Negroes by the adoption or even the bestowal 
of her godmothership on Negro girls, one or two of whom 
afterwards settled in Liberia with their husbands. Liberian 
ladies, the wives of such statesmen who occasionally travelled 
to England on business, were not infrequently presented to the 
Queen, and brought away memorials of her in the shape of 
photographs and kindly speeches, the result of which was a 
kind of cult for the Queen of Great Britain which the present 
writer found still lingering on his visit to Liberia in the 
summer of i 904. Her picture was to be seen almost wherever 
a Liberian settlement existed. 



276 



CHAPTER XVI 

RECENT HISTORY 

SIR ARTHUR HAVELOCK had succeeded Sir Samuel 
Rowe for a time as Governor of Sierra Leone in 1880, 
and under his administration of that colony renewed steps 
were taken to procure British predominance over the territories 
between the Sherbro and the Mano River. It was resolved to 
exact Liberia's consent to this restriction of her frontiers, and 
also to compel the payment of an indemnity to Harris. Ac- 
cordingly, Sir Arthur Havelock (who was also Consul-General 
for Britain in Liberia) came to Monrovia on March 20th, 1882, 
with four gunboats, and demanded that the Liberian Government 
should at once give its consent to a frontier delimitation, which 
would bring the British Protectorate up to the River Mafa 
and the vicinity of Cape Mount. Also the Liberians were 
simultaneously to pay the indemnity of ^^8,500 claimed on behalf 
of Harris and the other merchants. President Gardner, over- 
awed by the appearance of this section of the British fleet, 
hastened to appoint Dr. Edward Blyden (then Minister of the 
Interior) to arrange the bases of an understanding with Sir 
Arthur Havelock. It was agreed between the two plenipoten- 
tiaries that Liberia should pay an indemnity to Harris and the 
other merchants supposed to have suffered from the Vai in 
1871, that Liberia should abandon her rights to any territory 
west of the Mafi or Mafa River (subject to a promise from 

277 



Liberia ^ 

Sir Arthur Havelock that he would intercede with the British 
Government for the line of the Mano River instead), but that 
Britain should repay to Liberia all the sums which could be 
shown to have been spent by her since 1849 in acquiring 
territories west of the Mano. 

The treaty was signed, and Havelock returned to Sierra 
Leone with the British gunboats ; but these terms aroused 
most violent opposition, and the Senate rejected the treaty 
soon afterwards. The Liberians declared themselves willing to 
submit the matter of the disputed territories to arbitration. 
Floods of eloquence were poured forth in the Liberian press, 
some of it very true and very touching, but all futile in face 
of this incontestable fact, that paper rights cannot always remain 
paper rights in Africa, and that claims to political control must 
be supported by evidence of the control being sufficient to 
maintain law and order and the recognition of sovereign rights, 
at any rate after a reasonable lapse of time. The hardness of 
Liberia's position arose from this, that if it had been a mere case 
of keeping in order turbulent blacks, she might have been able 
to show that she possessed sufficient resources for that purpose. 
But the dispute about the Mano, Sulima, and Gallinhas 
territories really arose from Liberia not daring to use her 
force to restrain within limits of law and order the arrogant 
English traders who had established themselves on the confines 
of her territory and who had refused to obey her regulations. 

On September 7th, 1882, Sir Arthur Havelock returned 
with the gunboats and demanded a ratification of the treaty. 
The Liberian Executive opposed to him two arguments. If 
the contested territory was British, why did the British 
Government claim from Liberia an indemnity for acts of 
violence amongst the natives which had taken place thereon ? 
If, however, Liberia acknowledged her responsibility, as she 

278 



' -Mad done, and agreed to pay an indemnity, why should she 
^^^^ in addition deprived of territories for the law and order 
^ -^ which she was held responsible, and which were hers by 
^^^^"s of purchase admitted by the British Government ? The 
-*" ^>^rian Senate, again summoned, persisted in refusing to 
^^^^^y the treaty. In March, 1883, the Colonial Government 
Sierra Leone took possession on behalf of the British 
"^5-^=^ ernment of the territories between Sherbro and the Mano 
^^ ^^^r, lands which from first to last, in original purchase 
.ey, in special missions of negotiation to England, military 
editions to punish the natives for attacking English factories, ' 

mnities due for such attacks, and in the expenses of three t 

^^ tier commissions had cost Eiberia in all ^'20,000. 1 

President Gardner was so much upset over the forcible • 

^^«-==Jxation of this north-western strip of the Libcrian coast T 

^^^ he resigned office before his Presidency terminated/ 
~^^^^^^^ wording to constitutional usage, he was succeeded for the ; 

*^"^^ of the term by the Vice-President, A. K. Russell. On • 

^^ laary ist, 1884, Hilarv Richard WRicinr Johnson - (who ; 

^^^^ been elected in the previous May) was installed as President, i 

^^v\ at once commenced negotiations in London to regularise f 

^^t: action taken by the British Ciovernment in 1883. These 
"^"^^gotiations finally resulted in the treaty of November iith, 
^-^85, which was subsequently ratified by both Governments, 
'^iy this the boundary of Liberia on the west commences at the 
'*Ylouth of the River Mano.' Its continuation in the interior in 

' January 20tli, i<SS3 Hi- lU'vt.T rccuvcTod from the nKirtirtcation oausi-d by 
Governor Havt^lrx-ks artions ami died early in 1SS5. 

- lolinson, a mulatto, was a man ol vory distiiif;ui>li<(l attainmruts. who had 
served as professor at Liberia College, had been a LilxTian dijilouiatist aud 
Secretary ol State. He was the tirst Pri'sident boru in Lilx-ria (F'^37) aud was 
the son of the gall.uit jiioueer, Elijah JohuNon. 

•' Spelt Mannah in all the doi lum-nts of an earlier date, but u«)W known as 
the Mano. 



Liberia <•- 

Article II. of this treaty was defined in such extraordinarily 
vague language that its purport could have been clear to no one.^ 
But the question was finally set at rest by further negotiations in 
1902, which resulted in the Anglo-Liberian boundary commission 
in 1903. The same treaty also provided for the repayment 
to Liberia of the sum of ^4,750, which was intended to 
reimburse Liberia for sums originally paid between 1849 ^"^ 
1856 for the purchase of some of these contested territories. 

French opinion at the time censured the British Govern- 
ment for this action in forcibly curtailing Liberian limits. 
The Belgian author, Colonel Wauwermans, who in 1885 
published an admirable work on the history of Liberia, reflected 
French feeling when he compared the aggressive attitude of 
Great Britain to the kindly and indulgent demeanour which 
France displayed towards the little republic. But France, too, 
soon afterwards was to have her unscrupulous mood. By deeds 
of purchase and treaties, the little State of Maryland (and 
subsequently the bigger Republic of Liberia with which it 

^ The actual text of Article II. of the Treaty of 1885 runs thus: 
•' The line marking the north-western boundary of the Republic of Liberia 
shall commence at the point on the sea coast at which, at low water, the line of 
the south-eastern or left bank of the Mannah River intersects the general line of 
the sea coast, and shall be continued along the line marked by low water on 
the south-eastern or left bank of the Mannah River, until such line, or such 
line prolonged in a nortli-casterly direction, intersects the line or the prolongation 
of the line marking the north-eastern or inland boundary of the territories of 
the republic, with such deviations as may hereafter be found necessary to place 
within Liberian territory the town of Hoporo and such other towns as shall be 
hereafter acknowledged to have belonged to the republic at the time of the 
sighing of this Convention." 

It is regrettable that those who negotiated this treaty should have composed 
an article so vaguely and cumbrously worded. Fortunately, when it came to a 
delimitation of the boundary many years afterwards Cireat Britain was sutficiently 
actuated by goodwill towards Liberia not to avail herself of the bad definition 
of her frontier expressed in this article. But evidently this fault was not confined 
to British or Liberian diplomatists. The wording of the French boundary treaty 
of 1892, as will be seen later on, was almost equally vague and contradictory, 

280 




76, HILARY K. W. JOHNSON, rKESIDKNT OF UKKKIA 1884-92 



Liberia ^ 

fused) had extended the limits of the republic eastwards along 
the Ivory Coast to the River San Pedro, about sixty miles 
east of the Cavalla. This extension really covered all the coast 
territory inhabited by people belonging to the Kru race, so 
that it was to a great extent coincident with an ethnographical 
boundary. When the present writer was Acting Consul for 
the Niger Coast, etc., in 1888, he visited this portion of the 
Liberian coast to settle some disputes which had arisen between 
Kruboys and their employers in Southern Nigeria. At that 
date the territory between the Cavalla and the San Pedro 
was distinctly recognised as Liberian. Nevertheless, when 
French ambitions in the matter of an African empire were 
revived in the beginning of the 'eighties of the last century, 
it was determined to extend the scattered French possessions 
on the Ivory Coast until they covered the whole region between 
the British Gold Coast on the east and the Cavalla River on 
the west. An indication of this intention was given by a 
decree published in the Bulleiiu cits Lois in 1885, which declared 
the coast to be French territory not only between the San Pedro 
and the Cavalla but beyond the Cavalla and Cape Palmas to 
the town of Garawe. France also began to revive claims of 
a very shadowy nature^ to Cape Mount, to the original site 
of Petit Dieppe (Grand Basa), and to a large piece of territory 
at Grand Butu." Most of these claims were based on ofFers 
of territory by native chiefs to the commanders of French war 
vessels. 

In 1 89 1 an official communication of these intentions on 
the part of the French Government was made to Great Britain. 
But no doubt unacknowledged negotiations had been" proceeding 

^ Dating from 1842. 

^ Also the site of a supposed Norman settlement, Le Grand et le Petit 



^ Recent History 

for some time, and the late Lord Salisbury had induced France 
to restrain her aggressions on Liberian territory within reasonable 
limits. Consequently, in the French official notification of 
October 26th, 1891, the French boundary was drawn at the 
Cavalla. The Liberians protested in vain against this spoliation, 
but receiving no assurances of support either from the United 
States or Great Britain, they were fain to conclude a treaty with 
France on December 8th, 1892, according to which the River 
Cavalla became the boundary between P>ance and Liberia from 
its mouth "as far as a point situated at a point'* about twenty 
miles to the south of its confluence with the River '' Fodedougou- 
ba,*' at the intersection of the parallel 6" 30' N. Lat. and the 
(Paris) meridian 9° 12' of W. Long/ From this ''point at a 
point '* so contradictorily fixed on the Cavalla, the boundary 
was then to be carried along 6^ 30' parallel of N. Lat. as far 
west as the Paris Meridian 10^ of Longitude, with this proviso, 
that the basin of the Grand Sesters River should belong to 
Liberia and the basin of the Fodedougou-ba to France. Then 

' This starting-point of Franco-Liberian delimitation on the River Cavalla is 
determined in the most contradictory manner. The treaty first says that it shall 
be sitnated at a point on the Cavalla abont twenty miles to the south of its confluence 
with the Hiver Fodedugu-ba, which was at that time supposed to be an affluent of the 
Cavalla. But the treaty supplements this definition by adding the words '• at the 
intersection of the parallel 6^ 30' N. Lat. and the (Paris) meridian g' 12' of W. Long." 
At the date this treaty was drawn up, almost nothing was known of the course 
of the River Cavalla. The name Fodedugu-ba is a Mandingo word (apparently) 
for rh'fr or watercourse which under varying forms appears and reappears con- 
stantly in the Upper Niger basin. The river which is indicated under this name 
in the Franco-Liberian treaty is obviously the main course (I)ugu or Duyu) of the 
River Cavalla, placed a good deal too much to the north in the hypothetical map 
of 1892. This was confused by native tradition with a real •• Fodedugu-ba" which 
occurs a great deal farther to the north as an affluent of the Sasandra River. It 
was therefore foolish enough that the negotiatiors of this treaty should assume a 
point of junction between a hypothetical Fodedugu-ba and an equally hypothetical 
Upper Cavalla ; but when in addition they went on to postulate that twenty miles 
below the confluence of these two streams the main course of the Cavalla would 
be intersected by 6' 30' N. Lat. and 9" 12' (Paris) W. Long., they were simply courting 
subsequent confusion. 

283 



Liberia ^ 

the boundary was to be carried north along the loth meridian 
of Paris to the intersection of the 7th degree of N. Lat., 
and from this point in a north-westerly direction till the 
(supposed) latitude of Tembi Kunda was reached, after which 
the boundary was carried due west along the latitude of Tembi 
Kunda till it intersected the British frontier near that place. 
At that time it vvas supposed by both French and English that 
Tembi Kunda was situated in about J^t. S^ 35'. Subsequent 
surveys, however, show that Tembi Kunda is in about 9" 5'. 
All these lines drawn by latitudes and longitudes from 7° N. Lat. 
to Tembi Kunda were, however, to be inflected and diverted 
should they conflict with the basin of the Niger and its affluents, 
all of which was to belong to France. It was also decided 
that the Mandingo towns of '' Bamaquilla '' and " Mahom- 
modou " should belong to Liberia, while '' Mousardou " and 
*' Naalah '' should belong to France. 

Disadvantageous as this treaty was in some directions to 
Liberia, it, at any rate, coupled with the Sierra Leone settlement, 
enabled the territory of Liberia to appear on maps of Africa 
with some greater dcfiniteness of outline and without the 
fantastic zi^za^s introduced hv Anderson's surveys. 

President Flilary Johnson ' (whose (iovernment had beon 
chiefly responsible for negotiating this frontier treaty with 
France) retired from the Presidency before it was concluded, 
on January ist, 1S92, and was succeeded by President Joseph 
James CnrESEM.w, who occupied the chief magistracy till his 
death in November, 1896. Cheeseman was succeeded by 
WiLLiA.Ni David Coleman, first as \'ice-President and later 
as President. 

' Johnson died in 1898. He had rrccivfd several dtiorations from European 
Powers and was much respected. After his letirement from the Presidency he took 
up the position of Postmaster-General. 

284 



- ra 




Liberia ^ 

In 1893 the Grebos, excited by French aggressions on 
Liberian territory east of the Cavalla River, attacked the Americo- 
Liberian settlements near Harper and on the Lower Cavalla 
River, and the Liberian forces in the conflict met with several 
disasters involving loss of guns. The Liberian Government's 
armed steamer, the Gorrofwmah^^ was completed in that year, and 
this vessel co-operating with the land forces under General R. A. 
Sherman enabled the Monrovian Government to gain an eventual 
victory over the natives in this, the so-called " Third Grebo 
War/' - General R. A. Sherman, a mulatto oflicer, directed the 
Liberian forces on most of these punitive expeditions, but he 
died in 1894 (see p. 263). In 1896 fresh troubles arose with 
the Grebos, in which one or more Liberians were killed. 

About 1880 the question of admitting Europeans in a 
more extended degree to the development of Liberian resources 
was agitated. Sharing in the spirit of the time, there was a 
talk of '' concessions,'' of privileges to be granted in mining 
or rubber-collecting which might prove lucrative to the State, 
and enable it perchance to pay off that debt which hung like 
a millstone about the neck of the republic's finances. In 1869 
there had sprung into existence the Mining Company of Liberia, 
which was granted certain special rights by the Government of 
Liberia, but which failed to raise any capital for the working 
of these mining rights. In 1881 this was transformed into 
the Union Mining Company, and to it was granted a charter 
containing important privileges. This chartered company was 
to languish in inaction, since it was unable on a purely Liberian 
basis to raise any capital for its purposes. 

' The native name of C'ape l^alinas. 

* These " wars *' were mostly skirmishes with small loss of life and many 
••alarums and excursions" on both sides. 

286 



MAP 7 



^1 



. « 


* n „ 


,«?<5r 


-fl 




i: » e 


^ K> 


o 


> 



s 
o 



vS? 




Liberia ^ 

The belief in mineral wealth in Liberia then (and perhaps 
one may add now) was persistent but hypothetical. Benjamin 
Anderson had written a great deal that was alluring about 
mines of fabulous wealth in the vicinity of Musadu, which, 
however, he had not been allowed to visit. He had tried to reach 
these regions in 1874, but had failed. Although the French 
have since occupied this country and presumably have explored 
it, the wonderful gold-mines of Buley (? Bula) have not been 
discovered, or if they have been found by the French they have 
been kept absolutely secret. But after the diamond discoveries 
in South Africa in 1869 and the revival of the gold-mining 
industry on the (iold Coast following on Burton and Cameron's 
journey and report, it was believed that any part of Africa must 
of necessity be packed with precious stones or minerals of great 
value.' 

Between 1886 and 1888 the writer of this book, then 
Acting Consul in the Niger Delta, had drawn attention to the 
existence in that region and in the adjoining Cameroons 
of enormous quantities of rubber-producing vines and trees. 
Various French travellers had done the same in regard to 
Senegambia, and by the end of the 'eighties the great rubber trade 
of West Africa had begun. Long before this it had been realised 
that the Liberian torests down almost to the sea coast were 
equally well provided with rubber-bearing lianas and trees. 
These and other sources of wealth had been pointed out by 
the celebrated Swiss traveller, Professor J. Biittikofer, and the 
question ot a rubber concession had been suggested either by 
a Liverpool or a Hamburg rirm. Finally this resulted in the 
granting ot a concession to export rubber (subject to a royalt\^ 
to the Liberian Ciovernment) and to work exclusively all the 

' As to Liberian diamonds the cautious remarks of Professor Biittikofer on 
p. 426 of vol. i. of his Travels in Liberia should be read. 

288 



^ Recent History 

rubber of all the public lands and forests throughout Liberia 
to a firm in London. This concession had been re-drawn in 
an amended form at the request of Lord Raglan, who visited 
Liberia for this purpose in 1894. The royalty payable to the 
Liberian Government on the rubber exported was to range 
from twopence to fourpence a pound according to selling price, 
and a considerable sum of money as additional bonus was to be 
paid in instalments for the granting of this concession.^ 

In 1879 Professor J. Biittikofer,' at the suggestion of Dr. 
Jentink of Leyden, started to begin his celebrated explorations 
of the fauna of Liberia, which at that period was felt to be with 
justice one of the least explored and yet most accessible parts 
of Africa. Professor Bottikofcr travelled in Liberia from the 
beginning of 1880 to the middle of 1882, and from the end of 
1886 to the middle of 1887. On his return he published in 
1890 at Leyden his ReisebiUier aus Liberia. 

Professor BiUtikofer was a Swiss by birth, employed in 
Holland, where he still resides. There may have been good 
reasons for his not publishing his work in Dutch. He decided 
to write it in his native language, German. This, if one may 
say so without unfairness, was unfortunate for those most 
interested in Liberia, since German is a language too little under- 
stood in England, not very commonly known in America, and 
absolutely ignored in Liberia. There is little doubt that had 
Biittikofer's work been published in French like Wauwermans's 
book (which appeared in 1885) it would have had the extended 
vogue which it thoroughly deserved, for it was, and is, one of 

' The rubber royalties were afterwards applied to the service of the 
Liberian debt. The concession after passing through several hands was finally 
bought by the Chartered Company, and has now become tiie Liberian Rubber 
Corporation. 

^ Nowadays Director of the Zoological Gardens, Rotterdam ; formerly 
Conservator of the Leyden Museum in Holland. 

VOL. I 289 1.; 



Liberia ^ 

the best books ever written about Africa, as useful to-day as 
when it first appeared sixteen years ago. 

The results of Biittikofer's journeys were firstly a consider- 
able increase of our knowledge of the coast geography of Liberia, 
which was then very incorrectly represented on the British 
Admiralty charts and even less accurately given in contemporary 
French or American maps. The journeys of Bottikofer and his 
friend and fellow-countryman F. X. Stampfli produced some 
remarkable results in the discovery of what were new, or practi- 
cally new, species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and inverte- 
brates. Battikofer collected a great deal of information 
regarding the history and natives ot the country. 

During the 'eighties and 'nineties of the last century 
German interest in Liberia began to grow considerably, partly 
through the publication of BtUtikofcr's work, but also and 
mainly through the establishment of factories (as trading stations 
are named in West Africa) at various points along the Liberian 
coast bv the celebrated Hamburg firm of Woermann, who had 
commenced trading in Liberia in 1850. In 1886 the old- 
established firm of Wiechers & Helm (also of Hamburg) 
founded trading stations at Monrovia, Marshall, and Cape 
Palmas. The Dutch trading house (Oost Afrikaansche Cie.) 
which did so much to develop the commerce of Mozambique 
has long been established in Liberia, but without any political 
bias whatever ; whereas the Germans, like the French and the 
British at other times, have cast a longing eye on the territory 
of Liberia as a possible field for (ierman "colonisation." The 
great explorer Nachtigal seems to have had a half intention 
(when sent out by (Germany in 18S4 to secure the Cameroons 
and Togoland) to get a foothold in or near Liberia. As it 
was, he did raise the Cierman flag in some territory on the 
North Guinea coast, but it was removed in deference to the 

290 



^ Recent History 

feeling displayed by France. Curiously enough, Dr. Nachtigal 
died at sea as he was returning from the Cameroons, and 
was actually buried at Cape Palmas on Liberian soil. From 
this time onwards, however, Germany was disposed to increase 




78. .^(iRolP Ol- KIKOI'K.W CitNsn.S AND MKKCHANTS IN MONROVIA (1901) 

her influence in Liberia, cither by demanding indemnities and 
threatening bombardments when German ships were wrecked on 
the coast or by tendering Liberia loans of money when she was 
hard up. In 1897 the German Consul concluded a dispute 
about damage to a German plantation at Cape Palmas by o fleering 
to the Liberian Government a treaty placing the country under 

291 



Liberia ^ 

German protection. News of this was dispatched as soon as 
possible to England and to the United States. Germany 
disavowed the action of her Consul and withdrew him. 

Nevertheless, the house of VVoermann has conferred great 



WSiT^ 





•Kf. A KRri;uV 



benefits on that country, not easily to be overlooked or for- 
gotten. The British house of Klder Dempster, acting through 
the two British steamship companies which are practically one 



292 



--^ Recent History 

(the African Steamship Company and the British and African 




Company) has long maintained (since 1855) a steamer service 
between Liverpool and nearly all the Jjberian ports; but the 



Liberia ^ 

steamers were formerly the slowest boats of the line, uncertain 
and unpunctual, and not always very comfortable.^ Therefore 
the Woermann service, which provided an express boat once 
a month from Hamburg and Southampton to Monrovia, and 
which placed on the line modern steamers of fair speed and 
thoroughly comfortable accommodation, proved most beneficial 
to European intercourse with Liberia, and naturally these efforts 
by the Woermann firm provoked similar improvements in the 
steamers of their English rivals. 

During the last decades of the nineteenth century Liberia 
acquired an a«.ided importance in the eyes of Europe as being 
the home ot the Kruboys. This race had for nearly a century 
been the seanicrn of West Africa. Refusing ever to be enslaved, 
though quite willing to assist in the enslavement of other tribes, 
they were the first free labourers to engage themselves voluntarily 
for employment with Europeans on the West Coast of Africa. 
They entered willingly the service of the British Navy, in 
which large numbers of them continue to the present day in 
ships of the Cape and West African Squadron. As British 
sailors they might he seen up And down the coasc of West 
Africa, from the (ianihia to the Cape of Good Hope. They 
engaged in service with all the commercial houses — British, 
German, l^Vench, Spanish, Dutch, Belgian, and Portuguese — 
along the ccxist of West Africa from Sierra Leone to Mossa- 
medes. It was soon found that thev were of little use as porters 
in inland expeditions ; but they were invaluable in any service 
connected with the water or the waterside. They formed the 
universal boats' crews up and down the coast. 

This race accepted the settlement bv the Americo-Liberians 
on either side of their country with good-humoured tolerance 
until attempts were made to maintain law and order within 

^ I am writing of course of the state of attairs which prcvaihd twenty years ago. 

294 



Lil>cria ^ 

the Kru country and to prevent the pillaging of wrecked ships. 
Then, and at every other effort on the part of the Liberian 
Government to assert its authority, the Kruboys showed fight ; 
but in spite of their splendid muscles and their bullying manner 
they are a cowardly race, and generally gave in to resolute 
action on the part of the Liberian Militia. Nevertheless, the 
writ of Monrovia does not completely run through the Kru 
country yet. The existence of the Krumen both tempted to 
aggression on Liberian territory and yet was one of the motives 
which obliged England on several occasions to intervene when 
any Power seemed advancing towards the absorption of Liberia. 
France snapped up the sixty mile stretch of coast between the 
San Pedro and the Cavalla so as to have under her own flag 
a supply of Kru labour. But although at that period Great 
Britain was disposed to make many concessions to France, the 
late Lord S.disburv drew, the line at the Cavalla. Several 
attempts were made by the (icrnuui house of Woermann to ob- 
tain a concession for the recruiting and exporting of Kru labour, 
and regulations governing this recruitment were from time to 
time drawn up by the Liberian (jovernment ; but so far, any 
monopoly has been wisely avoided, while on the other hand 
not too much unnecessary red tape has been introduced into the 
engagement of a [K-ople who have very good ideas of looking 
after themselves. Now and again, of course, unscrupulous 
steamer capt;iins managetl to conve)' Kruboys to a destination 
which was opposed to their wishes. Lmployers on the West 
Coast are very soon ticketed with a character good or bad bv 
the Kru community on the coast of Liberia and at Sierra Leone. 
A bad or inconsiderate employer very soon fails to get men ; 
so in time, on the lines of the survi\al of the fittest, it has 
come about that Krumen receive fair and considerate treatment 
wherever they are employed, lest by breaking this rule it would 

2u6 




82. I^RKSIDENT GIHMJN AND HIS CABINET 



Lil>cria ^ 

be impossible to secure fresh ^n2> of Kru labourers. Thev 
rarely engage for more thin a year. 

The Monrovian (iovemme:^: ir: iSt^; strengthened its 
position amongst the Krun^cr. by securing declarations on the 




\N \ II LA«i 



part of their chiefs of luihcsioii to the (lovcrnment ot Liberia, 
to put a stop to tc;rcign intrigue in this direction. 

In 1900 IVesident Coleman entertained somewhat ambitious 
views about establishing Siberian influence in the interior north- 
west of the St. I^iuFs River. He therefore organised and 
conducted an expedition in that direction, which, however, was 

29S 



-#i Recent History 

disastrously defeated by the tribes it had been intended to 
subdue. As this policy towards the natives was not approved 
of by his Cabinet, President Coleman resigned and was suc- 
ceeded by Vice-President Garretson Wilmot Cjibson (who 
was already President-elect). 

Under Gibson's Presidency a further change took place 
in regard to the development of Liberia. The agent of the 




^ ±< 




8|. (HAKI l.KI-.Ii ( OMI'AW's UIAIKJIAK 11 RS IN MoNKuNIA 

Union Mining Company offered the charter of that body to 
an English syndicate, of which Lieut.-Coionel Cecil Powney 
was chairman. An agreement to purchase the charter was 
concluded, but as there were matters concerning the tenure of 
the charter in dispute, and as the transfer of such a document 
to a foreign company might require the direct sanction of the 
Liberian Government, Sir Simeon Stuart and Mr. T. H. 
Myring went to Liberia on behalf of the syndicate. In 

299 



Liberia <#- 

December, 1901, the transfer of the charter in an amended form 
from the Union Mining Company to the West African Gold 
Concessions, Limited, was sanctioned by an Act of Congress. 
Colonel Powney travelled through part of Liberia to investigate 
its possibilities in 1903. Soon after his return his company 
changed its name to that of the Liberian Development Chartered 
Company. Some further modifications were introduced into 
the tenure of this company's charter (which conveyed mining 
rights over the counties of Montserrado and Maryland, and 
general banking, railway, telegraph, and other rights throughout 
Liberia) in August, 1904, and January, 1906. 

The Chartered Company between 1902 and 1904 dispatched 
six expeditions to search the hinterland for minerals ; and in 
1903 engaged Mr. Alexander Whyte, F.L.S., to make a thorough 
investigation of the Liberian flora. The results of Mr. Whyte's 
work have been of some importance to science : he has done 
for the flora of Liberia what Biittikofer did for the fauna. 

In 1904 a great step was madcr towards the extension of 
Liberian rule over the hinterland of this country. President 
Arthur Barclay, who had succeeded the Hon. G. W. 
Ciibson on January ist, 1904,' summoned to Monrovia an 
important congress of ''kings'' and chiefs from the interior, 
chiefly from the (iora, Boporo, and Kpwesi countries. In 1903 
missions had been dispatched under native commissioners to 
places on the Cavalla River a hundred miles and more from 
the coast, and also to native towns and markets at about a 
similar distance up the St. Paul's River, not only to hoist the 
Liberian flag, hut to endeavour to assuage the internecine wars 

' President Bardayuas born in Barbados in 1854. He came to Libt^ria in 
1865, and entered the pnblic service in 1878, becoming first Clerk to House of 
Kepresentatives, and then successively Judge of the Court of Quarter Sessions* 
Sub-Treasurer, Montserrado ; I\)stmaster-General ; and Secretary to the Treasun*. 
He has been re-elected for a fresh term of c^flice from January ist, 1906. 



^ Recent History 

between tribe and tribe and open a road to commerce with the 
coast. President Barclay's conference of native chiefs (which 
was succeeded by other meetings of Kru and Grebo chiefs from 




85. i'Kksil)i:nt g. w. gihson 

the eastward) markedly improved the trade relations of the 
iVmerico-Llberian settlements with the western Mandingo and 
Gora country and with the regions behind Cape Palmas. 

President Barclay's arguments against the French assump- 

301 



Liberia ♦ 

tion that the absence of Americo-I.iberian settlements in the 
far interior argues a lack of Liberiari *' occupation " are that 
he considers all the Negroes inhabiting Liberia to be Liberians, 




8'.». A \ \i < iiiHr, ni^ uivis wn in 1 1 ui'kki kr 



and has not the slightest desire to displace native-born Negroes 
by colonists born on the coast. This is a perfectly sound 
doctrine ; but of course the present weakness of the civilised 



\02 



Liljeria ♦ 

Americo-Liberian Government on the coast is that it has no 
sure means of maintaining law and order between tribe and 
tribe, and between all these tribes in the hinterland in regard 
to their relations with the French and English possessions across 
the frontiers. The British have borne with patience the 
occasional lawlessness of Kisi, Kondo, and other tribes on the 
Sierra Leone boundary, together with the gun-running — namelv, 
the passing of guns and ammunition in defiance of Customs 
regulations from Ijberia into the recently agitated hinterland 
of Sierra Leone. 

France complains of similar lawlessness on the north-east 
and north-west frontiers of Liberia. On the other hand, the 
Liberian Ciovcrnment retorts that the Muhammadan Negroes 
who arc now l^Vcnch subjects are eating steadily into the Liberian 
hinterland. They arc penetrating the north-east parts of Liberia, 
firstly as peaceful traders, and secondly as somewhat exclusive 
colonists. They cut down the forest and take possession of 
the country little by little, vlriving back the forest-dwelling tribes 
towards the heart of Liberia. 

Time aiui p.itiencc arc required to settle these problems, 
and to settle them more satisfactorily bv peaceful negotiation 
than by armed expevlitions. It is surely not too much to ask 
from the kindliness aiul civilisation of Europe that the poor 
little Americo-Liberian Republic shall have grace accorded to 
it -say another fifty years -within which to show how it can 
bring into an orderly condition the not very large territory 
entrusted to its charge. It has made considerable progress in 
that direction in the coast regions, where it is scarcely ex- 
aggeration to say that the life of a white man is absolutely safe, 
even though the same assurance cannot be given about his 
property in every hole ;;iid corner, just as there are parts of 
London and Paris at the present moment in which it would 

304 



^ Rec ent Histo ry 

be very unsafe for a well-to-do person to appear, flourishing 
signs of wealth on his person and without the escort of the 
police. 

In 1903, during President Gibson's tenure of oflice the 
Anglo-Liberian boundary had been demarcated locally from the 




I Ail 



88. A M.\M)l.N(;o HKADMAN FROM THK ULKWIA RIVEK 

mouth of the Mano River to Tembi Kunda. In 1904 President 
Barclay strove to have the same needful work carried out by 
a Franco-Liberian commission so that the northern and eastern 
boundaries of the Liberian Republic might be fixed from the 
vicinity of Tembi Kunda to the mouth of the Cavalla River. 
Between 1898 and 1900 a very remarkable journey of explora- 
tion had been accomplished which, while adding greatly to our 
VOL. I 305 20 



Liberia ^ 

knowledge of the Liberian hinterland, had aroused French land- 
hunger once more as regards Liberian territory. This exp)edi- 
tion was under the joint command of a colonial official of the 
Ivory Coast, M. Hostains, and a military officer, Captain d'Ollone. 

This mission started on February 19th, 1899, from Berebi 
on the Ivory Coast. It crossed the Cavalla River and the Ivory 
Coast frontier at Fort Binger, travelled through the interior 
of Maryland and Sino counties, passed through the Niete 
Mountains, mapped the upper course of the Duobe, recrossed 
the main Cavalla at its great western loop, followed the Upper 
Cavalla at intervals till they rounded the mountain mass of 
Nimba, and passed almost at the same time out of the great 
forest and the political boundaries of Liberia. 

Their journey was the most remarkable piece of explora- 
tion that has yet been accomplished in the Liberian hinterland. 
Americo-Liberian officials and traders and European represen- 
tatives of the British companies had, it is true, traversed some 
of the regions described by Captain d'Ollone and had met 
with a much more peaceable and less sensational reception 
amongst the (so-Called) cannibal tribes. Biittikofer's journeys 
had been more productive of general knowledge, but this 
French expedition was the first to reveal with any approach 
to accuracy the configuration of the Cavalla basin. It discovered 
the lofty Nimba Mountains and enabled us to make a more 
accurate guess at the sources and affluents of the St. PauFs 
River. The accuracy of all their estimates and deductions has 
been called in question : Hostains and d'Ollone may prove 
to be wrong here and there ; but their journey threw a beam 
of bright light through the dark Liberian hinterland.* 

' The results of this expiditi(ni are enibcxlied in an interesting and admirably 
illustrated work by Captain d'Ollone (A /</ O'fr tflT'i^irt- au Soudan^ etc., Paris, 
1901, Hachette). 




89. NATIVES OF THE GREBO COUNTRY NEAR LOWER CAYALLA RIVER 



Liberia ^ 

Hostains had explored a portion of South-eastern Libena 
in 1897. Between 1901 and 19OA Mr. 1. F. Braham (General 
Manager of the Chartered and Rubber Companies), Mr. J. P. 
Crommelin, and the Due de Morny had done the same. In 
addition there had been exploration from the north-cast and 
north-west. The increasing success of the French warfare from 
the Niger eastward and southward against the Mandingo chieftain 
Samori brought them to established posts at Kisidugu and Bella 




90. NATIVI s ()l- i'ADllUi, DIOIU: KIVF.K 



on the verge of Northern Liberia {i.e. near the limits of the 
Niger watershed). From these points enterprising French officers 
like Lieut. Woelffel (one of the captors of Samori) discovered 
the lofty Druple and Nimba Mountains and collected informa- 
tion regarding the sources of the Cavalla and of the mysterious 
Nipwe or Nuon River, which is a western tributary of the 
Cavalla, or an eastern affluent of the St. Paul, or an independent 
stream, the head-waters of the Dukwia or the St. John's River. 

308 



■^ Recent History 

Other expeditions revealed the upper waters of the Moa or 
Makona with its many affluents on the Mandingo Plateau ; 
the most important of these affluents, the Meli, being discovered 
by the Anglo-Liberian boundary commission under Captain 
H. D. Pearson and Lieut. E. W. Cox. 

Several French officers and Senegalese soldiers lost their lives 




91. NATIVKS OF THK KKLIl'O ( UlNTKV, 'C KM KAL CAVALLA KtGION 

in these explorations, attempting to pierce the dense Liberian 
forests from the north. The pagan cannibal tribes of the forest 
did not regard them as deliverers from Samori's raids but as 
fresh invaders come to ravage the forest villages. So there were 
not a few fights until they became better acquainted with the 
true character of the French explorers. On the other hand, a 

309 



Liberia ^ 

devoted, and capable public servant, the Hon. H. J. Moore, 
Secretary of the Interior. His father, G. Moore, Esq., a prominent 
merchant largely interested in the interior trade, for many years 
before the formation of the Interior Department was recognised 
as the Agent of the Government of Liberia among the tribes of 
the hinterland of Montserrado, among whom he was widely known. 
His tactful management maintained the peace of a great part of 
the province for many years, especially of the districts contiguous 
to the Americo-Liberian townships. It was throuijh neglect of the 
advice given by him toward the end of his life that the country 
between the Little Cape Mount and the St. Paul's Rivers has been 
for over twenty years in a disturbed condition. Secretary Moore 
received from his father much useful information and sound advice 
as to the manner in which the native population ought to be 
controlled and governed. 

Dr. Moore was appointed Secretary of the Interior by President 
Cheeseman in 1892, and directed that department for about twelve 
years. His attitude toward the native population was sympathetic 
and his policy conciliatory. It is to be regretted that his ideas were 
not always popular, especially among the less thoughtful section 
of our civilised population. But Secretary Moore made a lasting 
contribution to the country's prosperity and progress when he 
succeeded eventually in convincing the community that the policy- 
he advocated and invariably followed was and is the correct one. 

No bill, as far as I have been able to ascertain, has since the 
Declaration of Independence passed the Legislature providing for 
the local organisation and government of the territory. The necessity 
for such a measure has now become urgently necessary. It may 
be said we have town.ships— our smallest political units — and these 
townships are grouped into counties. So much was done before 
1848. Since that time as regard townships, and their boundaries, 
every man has done what was right in his own eyes. The public 
statutes accord to the township a territory of eight miles square. In 
Montserrado County the township of V^irginia claims that the town- 
ship of Brewerville is in its territory. No one knows where the 
township of Brewerville begins and cnd'^. There is also an un- 
pleasant boundary dispute between the townships of Arthington 
and Millsburg in the same county. Misunderstandings and difficulties 
of a like nature e.xist elsewhere in the territory of the republic. 



MAP 8 




Liberia <♦- 

I recommend that the townships should have an area of six miles 
square ; that all townships be laid out under direction of the 
President ; that they be called into existence by public proclamation, 
and in such proclamation the boundary of each be indicated and the 
inhabitants dwelling therein be directed to elect and appoint the 
local authorities, notifying their initial action to the Secretary of 
the Interior, who shall immediately give publicity to the same ; said 
township shall then be considered as properly organised. In the 
same connection I think it will be found advisable that the native 
districts be considered and treated as townships under the govern- 
ment of the native authorities. In the Act, power of sub-division 
and rearrangement under direction of the President ou^ht to be 
reserved. The native chief in charge, commissioned by the President, 
will be treated as the local authority. 

The government of townships needs your attention. The 3rd 
Article of the Act establishing the boundaries of counties of 
the republic, and regulating towns and villages, declares that the 
several townships shall be bodies corporate, but it is not settled 
by whom the corporate authority is to be exercised after town 
meeting has adjourned. The power of taxation was placed in the 
hands of the town assembly which meets the first Tuesday in 
October, and also the appointment of one treasurer and three over- 
seers of police. Without warrant, as far as I can see, the assemblies 
have appointed the commissioners to exercise executive authority. 
The town assembly has not been altogether a success. I suggest 
that a mayor and council, elected every two years, be substituted for 
the town assembly, the elections to take place the first Tuesday in 
October in specified \ cars. 

The Act authorising the President to open certain roads in the 
county of Maryland has been put into operation. Starting from 
Webo, stations have been established, at intervals of one day's march, 
at Tuobo, Ketibo, and Pan Each commissioner is supported by a 
police guard of twelve men. The upkcc[) of the stations and police 
guard will necessitate an annual expenditure of $11,000. Of this 
sum it is proposed to spend $1,000 a year in widem'ng and improving 
old paths, building permanent bridges and cutting out new roads. 
The establishment of the stations was a matter of gratification to the 
native population of the districts affected. 

The route suggested for the proposed water-way between Harper 

314 



"^ Recent History 

and the Cavalla River has been examined. It cannot be made 
practicable unless at an expense of about $6,000. A map of the 
country and of the creeks between Harper and Cavalla River drawn 
by Mr. T. J. R. Faulkner, who with the Hon. J. I. Dossen was 
appointed to survey the route, will be laid before you. 

The stations authorised on the Anglo-Liberian frontier have not 
yet been taken in hand. 

I hope the Legislature will not adjourn before passing a bill to 




93. IN MONROVIA : FIRING A SALUTE 



regulate the government of the native communities of the country. 
This matter cannot be any longer delayed. A national policy in this 
regard ought to be initiated. The territory should be controlled 
through the leading native families. We ought to make it a point to 
recognise and support them and get them to work with us. The 
desired bill should be arranged on the following lines. Assimilation 
of tribal territory to townships ; right of inhabitants to land within 

3'5 



f ^ 



Liberia ^ 

a specified area : local self-government granted to F)eopIe ; 
recognition and administration of customary native law, both lo 
and by Courts of the republic ; sujxrrvision of native p>opulatio 
commissioners living among them ; the creation of two new Cou 
the Court of the native chief and that of the District Commissi 
The former will take, in native communities, the place of the ju 
of the peace in the townships inhabited by the civilised popula 
The latter will deal with appeals from the Court of the native t 




94. A (.OKA run h AND Mis \\IVF.> A I MNKO 



and will hear and settle disputes between members of different 
tions of the same tribe, or persons of different tribes within 
jurisdiction. Jails, fees, and costs are subjects which for the pre 
ought to be left to Kxccutive regulation, through the Attori 
General. Appeals from District Commissioners should be to 
Court of Quarter .Sessions of each count\', which Courts should 
deal with crimes of a serious character. The bill should also ac< 
to the Kxecutive the power of issuing such regulations as ma\ 
requested or advised by the native chiefs, which regulations w< 

316 



Liberia ^■ 

of course have the force of law until expressly disallowed by i 
Le^^islature. It should also be made a misdemeanour for any ch 
or other person to refuse to obey the summons of the President, 1 
Secretary of the Interior, or the Superintendent of county or disti 
when it becomes necessary to investii^ate matters and thin<;s tendi 
to disturb the peace of the country. 

The Actin*^ Secretary of the Interior will submit his report, a 



'3 
I 

ar 



'i 1 i iTnr 




A I 111 Ki \N s» mihu.hoim: 



from that ducuincnt the LcL^i^hilurc will be informed what t 
GovernnuMit has striven to tftcct in the hinterland and on the co; 
since your last session. 

The Superinlendenl of Public Instruction will submit his rep 
for 1904. It will show over 5.000 i)Ui>ils in the public and inissi 
schools of the country. The expentliture has averaged $25,0 
Besides this we are spendini; about $10,000 a year on the Colle; 
The latter is an absolute necessity, since it is from the ranks of 
students that we will obtain the most efficient teachers of our priin; 
and secondary -chools. The great wants of the public schools 

MS 



-#i Recent History 

present are books, and a defined course of instruction. The Govern- 
ment will give the tuition. Parents must pay for the books which 
their children need. People never properly value that which costs 
them nothing. We must not pauperise the people. My idea is 
that as soon as the prescribed course is laid down and a list of the 
books required given, the Government might arrange for the 
establishment of a book depository in Monrovia with agencies 
throughout the country. The owner or manager ought to be 
guaranteed ag^ainst eventual loss. We oui^ht not to sacrifice the 




96. HON. MRS. HAKCl.AV, UIKK (»K IMK I'RKSI DKM , AND IHI". I'l I'lLS 
OK A (".IKI.s' .S( H«l«)L 



future of our children to the necessities of the present adult genera- 
tion. The education of the youth of the country should in no way 
be connected with its political parties. Our public schools system 
will never amount to very much as long as the Superintendents and 
Commissioners of Education arc for the most part political appoint- 
ments. For the party system is necessarily applied, and controls in 
the main the ai)pointment of the teachers. We need efficient, zealous, 
and punctual teachers. There is need for careful selection. Many 
otherwise capable persons cannot impart instruction to others. They 

319 



Liberia ^ 

do not attract and cannot interest the children, have no enthusiasm 
for the work, indeed are often otherwise objectionable. The 
Superintendents, knowing this, are hindered from refusing employment 
to such jx;rsons for fear of offending a good partisan or a local boss. 
Then it is observed too that the County Suj^erintendents do not 
inspect the schools in their districts quarterly as is required by the 
public school law. Hence they can make no suggestions. They 
do not often remove teachers, many of whom shamefully neglect 




V7. I'L'l'Il.^ OK A S<,1I(«»I. H>k INDKiKNOrs NKGROES 

their charges. It is necessary to put life into the dead bones of our 
system of public instructiun. \Vc oui^ht to take the schools out of 
politics. It is universally recognised that the money spent on public 
education of the right sort is a national investment of great produc- 
tive value. It is a gilt-edged national security. We ought not then to 
be so indifferent about it. If we must make the investment, then we 
must get full value for the money expended. I recommend that the 
Superintendent of Public Instruction be created a member of the 

320 



^ Recent History 



Cabinet so as to place him in immediate touch with the heads of 
the State ; that an advisory Board of Flducation be created, the 
members of which shall be appointed by the President for a term of 
three years, serving without pay, to advise and assist the Super- 
intendent of Instruction. To the Superintendent and Board ought 
to be handed over the distribution of the educational funds, the 
appointment of Superintendent of the schools in each county and 
the management of the whole system of public instruction. I cordi- 




1. AN A.NfKKK <)-LIHI:KI.\N IM ANIAIION 



ally endorse the suggestion of the Superintendent of Public Instruc- 
tion that a fee of two cents per week be required of each child 
attending a public school, the money to be applied to the purchase 
of books. 

Bureau of Ai^ritu/turc 

The Act creating the Bureau of Agriculture has been put into 
operation. Its organ, T/ic Ai^n'cu/turai W'or/d, is printed at public 
expense, besides which the Bureau will issue bulletins on subjects of 
VOL. 1 321 21 



Liberia ^ 

interest to the agricultural communities. These it will distribute 
through the local committees provided for by the Act. 

The question of cotton-growing in West Africa is claiming 
considerable attention in Europe. Liberia is well known to be a 
cotlon-producing country. The plant here is perennial. Some of 
our citizens, 1 learn, are giving special attention to its culture. In 
view of the depression in the coffee trade it will be to the interest 
of our agricultural districts to extend the industry in the fertile 
regions with which the republic abounds. The Government it is 
needless to say, will give every assistance and afford every facility 




(/.i. AMKkH «)-l.ir.KkI.\N toKFKK I'LANTA T KJN 

for the extension and development of the growth of that and other 
valuable staples. 

Post Office 

The report of the Postmaster-General will show you that the 
Postal Department continues to make satisfactory progress. The 
money order office is of great public service and its advantages are 
daily being utilised. The progressive development of the department 
has entailed considerable outlay, and its revenues are insufficient to 
meet its expenses. It ought to be remembered that this department 
is maintained as a public agent, and that it cannot in this country, 
at present, afford a surplus revenue. What is maintained for the 
service of the people of the State should be supported by the people. 

The revenue of the Post Office this year is returned at 
$746670 

322 



-#i Recent History 

All expenses, except the salaries of some of the officials, have 
been met out of this. Contributions to the expenses of the Inter- 
national Bureau at Berne, sea transit of letters, stationery, printing 
of stamps, postal supplies, salaries of General Post Office officials* 
boat hire, salaries of the Monrovia Post Office, are paid out of the 
postal revenues. The Postmaster-General is exceedingly anxious to 
place the service on the same footing in all parts of the country, 
but he is hampered by want of funds. The state of the public 
finances will not admit of any large sum being spent on the service 
out of revenue from other sources. I hope that the Legislature will 
after ten years' solicitation pass the Stamp Act constantly suggested 
since 1894 If not satisfactory in the way put before you, pass the 
measure modifying the scale of fees. There is no tangible reason 
why it should be longer ignored. It is a proposal entirely in the 
interest of the people. I think, too, the Legislature should pass some 
measure for the encouragement of thrift among our people. I would 
recommend that the Postal Department be authorised to establish 
Postal Savings Banks. 



Judiciaty 

I fear the unguarded expressions of some of our judges arc 
affecting the reputation for impartiality which our Courts have 
hitherto sustained. The judges of subordinate Courts seem at present 
to have the opinion that they are subject to no sort of control either 
on the part of the Supreme Court or of the Executive Government. 
With their judgments, where there does not exist a well-grounded 
suspicion of corruption, or provided they do not violate Constitution 
or law, the Executive power has nothing to do. I am of the opinion 
that if a judge proves unfit from want of legal knowledge, the 
Executive ought to suspend him and report the facts to the Legis- 
lature for action. The judges are civil officers, they arc therefore 
to be supervised by the Executive Government as regards their 
conduct and deportment, since these must materially affect the 
respect in which the judicial office ought to be held. These remarks 
are to some extent called out by a discussion which the Government 
of the Republic has been carrying on during the year with the 
Imperial German Foreign Office, with regard to the case of 

323 



Liberia ^ 

Fisi'/ier & Lemckc v. Houston Bros. & Co. for dissolution of part- 
nership. This case was filed in the Court of Kquity, Montserrado 
County, in November, 1903, and was decided for plaintifTs at the 
December term of 1903. The defendants appealed, and the judgment 
was reversed by the Supreme Court at its session of January of 
the present year. On May 19th the German Consul complained 
(i)that in said case several serious violations by illegal actions of 
Liberian officials had been committed, and (2) that the Supreme 
Court of this republic by its judgment in said case had been per- 














100. i.ir.KKiAN P()siA(;i: ^lAMrs — issikd i'KIok to 1906 



verting justice to the disadvantage of a German firm, and intimated 
that an indemnity would probably be demanded. 

It may not be generally known that alien residents have wider 
powers of redress for judicial wrongs than citizens. The latter are 
bound by the action of the Court of their owii country. The former 
are not so precluded. Government ma\- question the judgment, and 
may institute an investigation as to its fairness and legality. 

The principle is thus enunciated in Taylor's hitertiatiojial Lau\ 
p. 260, sec. 214: '*The responsibility of a State for the conduct 

324 



^ Rece nt History 

of its judicial officers rests upon an entirely different basis. In all 
highly organised modern State systems such officers are placed in 
positions of greater or less independence so as to protect them, 
except in case of high misdemeanours, from all responsibility to the 
other departments of power. International law supposes that the 
tribunals are open for impartial administration of justice between 
natives and foreigners, and only when there has been palpable denial 
of it, after the foreigner has made adequate appeal to such tribunals, 
does the occasion arise for diplomatic intervention." It is not neces- 









lOI, LIUEKIAN STAMIVS— ISSIKL) i'RIOR TO I906 



sary to affirm that a government is not responsible in any case to 
a foreign government for an alleged erroneous judicial decision 
rendered to the prejudice of a subject of said foreign government. 
But it may be safely asserted that this responsibility can only arise 
in a proceeding when the foreigner, being duly notified, shall have 
made a full and houa fuic, though unavailing defence, and, if neces- 
sary, shall have carried his case to the tribunal of last resort. If 
after having made such defence and prosecuted such appeal he shall 
have been unable to obtain justice, then, and then only, can a demancj 

32$ 



Liberia ^ 

be with propriety made upon the 'government. Redress must be 
denied on some palpably unjust ground, such as discrimination on 
account of aliena^je, or there must be arbitrary acts of oppression 
or deprivation of property as contradistinguished from penalties and 
the punishments incurred through the ordinary infraction of law, 
before the administration of a Stale's justice can be subjected to 
diplomatic inquisition. 

That this discussion has taken place at all is directly due to 
the indiscreet remarks and unfounded statements of persons connected 
with the judiciary of Liberia. 

The representatives of foreign Powers in Liberia should remem- 
ber that in all countries, especially in oriental lands, before making 
complaints it is absolutely necessary to verify your facts. The first 
point in the complaint of the German representatives was understood 
incidentall}' to question the right of the Supreme Court of Liberia to 
control the procedure of the subordinate Courts. As a brief statement 
of the law in this regard may be serviceable, I will cite it. In the 
Constitution of Liberia, Article I\'., it is ordained as follows : 

"Section i. The judicial power of this republic shall be vested 
in one Supreme Court, and such surbordinate Courts as the Legis- 
lature may from time to time establish. 

" Section 2. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction 
in all cases affecting ambassadors, or other public ministers and 
consuls and those to which a country shall be a party. In all other 
cases the Supreme Court shall have apj)ellate jurisdiction, both as to 
law and fact, wich such exceptions and under such regulations as 
the Legislature shall from time to time make." 

The term "judicial power " is thus defined by Mr. Bouvier : " The 
authority vested in the judges. The authority exercised by that de- 
partment of government which is charged with the declaration of what 
the law is and its construction so far as it is written law. The power 
to construe and expound the law as distinguished from the legislative 
and executive functions. The power conferred upon Courts in the 
strict sense of that term ; Courts that compose one of the great de- 
partments of the government. The term ' power ' could with no 
propriety be applied nor could the judiciary be denominated a depart- 
ment without the means of enforcing its decrees. The term 'judicial 
power ' convc}'s the idea both of exercising the faculty of judging- 
and applying physical force to give effect to a decision. Judicial 

326 







^^Vl^l 1 1 u I ■ 1 I I »^ 





- - - - - -^^ rf»i<*j^*d 







J02, LIHKRIAN .ST.\M1'S — NKW ISSUK, I906 



Liberia ^ 

power is never exercised for the piirpxise of giving effect to the will 
of the judge; always for the purpose of giving effect to the will 
of the legislature ; or in other words to the will of the law." It 
will be noticed that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, both 
original and appellate, is fixed by the Constitution. It is a 
settled legal principle th it where a jurisdiction is conferred and 
no forms prescribed for its exercise, there is an inherent |x>wer 
in the Court to adopt a mode of proceeding adapted to the 
exigency of the case. 

I do not think it will be denied therefore that the Supreme 
Court has an inherent right to supervise the subordinate Courts, 
in such a manner as to prevent disorder and failure of justice. 
This right grows out of its appellate jurisdiction in all cases. 

But notwithstanding this, the Legislature has from time to time 
affirmed the right by statutory enactment. The 7th section of 
an Act to amend the 5th Article of an Act entitled ** An Act to 
establish the Judiciary and fixing the Powers common to several 
Courts," passed in 1S5S, rccid as follows: "It is further enacted, 
that the Supreme Court, nr Chief Justice, in the interim of said 
Court, shall have power to issue writs of prohibition to the County 
Courts when proceeding as Courts of Admiralty and in the exercise 
of maritime jurisdiction ; and writ^ of mandamus, in cases when 
a new trial, a writ of crr^r. or an appeal has been denied ; or when 
it is proved that the judj.^e otherwise failed to do his duty, agree- 
ably to the principles and u^agrs of law, to any Courts created, or 
persons appointed and holding oftlcc under the authority of the 
Republic of Liberia." 

An Act reorganising the Supreme Court was passed in 1875. 
Sec. 5 of this law contains the following : *' Upon satisfactory 
application to the Chief Justice or either of the Associate Justices 
during the rvirss of the Supreme Court, it shall be lawful for 
either of them to issue such writs or processes as arc usual in 
the common law and the practice of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, or order the same issued from the Clerk's ofHce." 

Among the prerogative writs mentioned in common law, which 
by statutory enactment is a part of our Civil Code, except when 
otherwise expressly directed by the Legislature of Liberia, is the 
writ of mandamus. The riL;ht to issue such a writ appertains ex- 
clusively to a judge of the Supreme Court. 

.^28 



^ Recent History 

or this writ it is said that it h'es to prevent failure of justice. 
It extends to the control of all inferior tribunals, corporations, 
public officers and persons. It may be granted by an appellate 
court to require a judge to settle and allow a bill of exceptions. 

In the case of Fischer ^n' Levuhe v. Houston Bros & Co.y 
Judge King made an ex parte otder to which defendants took 
exceptions. The judge refused to allow their exceptions to be 
recorded. The defendants then applied to Associate Justice Richard- 
son, who upon their petition issued a mandamus to Judge King to 




1Q3. i,iMi:i<iAN jii)(;es and lawyers 



allow their exceptions to be noted or show cause why he refused 
to do so. The judge upon this declared that he would have nothing 
further to do with the case, and thus created the impression that 
the judges of the Supreme Court were exercising an authority not 
warranted by law. 

It would have been impossible to have had the order of Judge 
King reviewed on appeal, unless the defendants' exceptions were 
on record. 

The law on Appeals, Chap. XX., .sec. 10, ist Liberian 
Statutes, declares : ** The Court to which the appeal is taken shall 



Liberia ^ 

examine the matter in dispute, upon the record only ; they shall 
receive no additional evidence, and they shall reverse no judgment 
for any default of form, or for any matter to which the attention 
of the Court below shall not ap|>ear to have been called either by 
some bill of exceptions or other part of the record." 

Of course in the end the mandamus was obeyed and the 
exceptions noted, but the erroneous impression remained. The 
right of the judges of the Supreme Court to supervise the 
procedure of the subordinate Courts rests securely on both 
Constitution and statute law. 

With respect to the second exception, that the judgment of 
the Supreme Court was a perversion of justice, the German 
authorities have so far presented no evidence. Indeed the discussion 
would seem to indicate a charge of erroneous judgment rather than 
of intentional unfairness. The Government of Liberia took the 
ground that the defendants having gone into court it must be 
presumed that they went there to have some wrong corrected or 
injustice redressed. They were therefore bound to prove their 
allegations. If they did not do so, no blame can be attached 
to the Supreme Court. They were quite at liberty, too, to renew 
their case, which ought not to be made the subject of diplomatic 
action until the point in dispute had been legally and fully 
adjudicated. 

It has been finally agreed that the question whether there was 
intentional unfairness in the trial be settled by an arbitrator whose 
decision shall be final. 

This case attracted locally a great deal of attention and elicited 
much passionate discussion. It would perhaps be a wise innovation 
if the judges of the Supreme Court would sometimes reserve their 
opinions until the passion of suitors, counsellors, and supporters had 
had time to subside. \\c are pleased to sec the Courts of Justice 
dispatch business promj^tly and without delay ; but with regard 
to the Supreme Court, the Bar and thinking citizens generally would 
be glad to see just a little less hurry — more time given to cases 
argued before it. It is due to the country that the Court place 
itself above just criticism, and it can only do this by keeping reso- 
lutely apart from the passions of the arena, and by its calm, careful, 
well-digested, and matured opinions on the many important cases 
submitted for its decision. I am impressed, after twenty years* 



^ Recent History 

contact, that the Court has always striven to act up to its motto: 
•* Let justice be done to all." 

Cofistitiitional A mcndtnents 

A ^rcat source of weakness in the Government of Liberia is 
the very short tenure of office accorded to the President and members 



■4"^ 




104. TIIK I.MK HON. K. J. HAK( LAV, A MIC M- 
KtSI'l.C ThI) l.IHKKIA.N M( RKTAKY OF MATK 

of Legislature. Twelve months after inauguration the President 
is called upon to justify his administration and to undergo all the 
trouble and strain of a fresh election. Six months must elapse 
before he can resume his projects of administration, and if he is defeated 
he knows that it is useless to do so. In any case he can only have 

33 » 



Liberia ^ 

cifjhtccn months' continuous administration before his policy is 
challenged. Under these circumstances a continuous and progressive 
policy is almost impossible because an advance is nullified by a 
return to the old un progressive conditions. We are to some extent 
goin^ around a circle. We have worn out and sacrificed many 
of our brainiest men without any corresponding national benefit. 
A member of the Legislature is of very little service until after his 
first term. If he is not re-elected, the $1,200 dollars the State has 
paid him is as much wasted as if it had been thrown into the sea. 
For every avocation in life men must have a special training. It 
takes quite two years for even a fairly well-educated man to learn 
the House ; how to manage it ; how to catch its ear — and interest 
it ; the rules of order and of business ; how to deal with the leaders ; 
how to conciliate and compromise with opponents ; and where to 
go for and how to obtain information on matters of public concern. 
The good sense of the j^eople has usually accorded to the President 
and members of the Legislature two terms at least, but many good 
men have been forced out of the public service by the expense and 
worry of constant elections. For more than thirty years the necessity 
for an amendment of the Constitution has been discussed, and agreed 
upon as a national want. 

The amendments have been framed, passed the Legislature and 
submitted to the people at the least on three occasions. Why have 
they not been carried ? Because of a want of moral courage on the 
part of the men in office, and because of the selfishness of political 
opponents. Why sacrifice the interest of the country to our passions 
and prejudices ? If the amendments are adopted, all will have the 
same chance. Hut I would not advise that the necessary amend- 
ments be considered at this session. I would like to see first of all 
a plank in the platform of some political part}' to the eflFect that 
the Constitution ought to be amended. In two years the people 
will have become accustomed io the idea, will have had time to 
hear and consider the reasons for the changes, and will be ready 
doubtless to adopt them. Perhaps it would be better, in order 
to avoid any charge t)f self-seeking, if the Legislature passed an Act 
providing for the calling of a Constitutional Convention for framing 
a new Constitution, which might cmbotly most of the features of the 
present, submitting same to the })e()})le for adoption. It would 
greatly simplif)* matters. 

332 



^ Recent History 

In the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of 
Liberia the word " Negro " is conspicuously absent. The impression 
is sought to be conveyed that we are of American origin. 

The adhesion, attachment, and support of the native population 
of the country are of vital importance to us. Yet these important 
State papers place the civilised Liberian in a false light before the 



r#f#t*ii#t«i#iM^^^*» 




05. A I.inr.KIAN FAMII.V GR(.>U1* 



eyes of the aboriginal citizen. lie is made to appear as an alien 
and stranger in Africa, the land of his fathers. 

I trust that the recommendations of the Attorney-General will 
have your careful consideration. Abuses and disorder in the 
judicial branch of the Government ought to be carefully examined 
and scrutinised with a view to their immediate correction. The 
question with regard to the legality of aj)peals from the Courts 
of Monthly Sessions to the Courts of Quarter Sessions, rather 
than to the Supreme Court, should be set at rest by positive 
enactment. 

333 



iJbcria ^ 



lutfn'i^N ReiatioNS 



Our relations with foreij^n Powers are on the most friendly 
footing^. In pursuance with the provisions of the An^lo-Liberian 
Boundary Agreement the British Government has announced that 
the survey of the coast c^f Liberia will be taken in hand during the 
present month. A map of the frontier and other documents relative 
to the An^lo-Libcrian Delimitation Commission has been received 
at the Department of State. Liberia's share of the joint expense 
was found to be /4.S36 iS.v. 2(i., cqu.il to $23,117.16. You are 
requested to make provision for the piyment of this sum. 

A commission composed of the Attorney-General F. E. R. 
Johnson and Associate Justice Do -sen was dispatched to France 
durinij the year. The commissioners, with our Minister Resident in 
France, were charged to (/btain the speedy execution of the Franco- 
Liberian agreement of 1892, and to endeavour to arrive at a 
preliminary understanding^ with rcL^ard to the deviations or changes 
which mii,dit become necessary on lines designated on the agree- 
ment, in consecjucnce of said lines runnini^ between towns, and the 
territory belon<;iiv4 to them, or si)litting the country of a small 
tribe in two, and such other chanc;es as might appear proper ^nid 
in accord with the spirit of said agreement. 

The representatives of the two (governments were unable to 
agree with regard to the Cavalla frontier, for which cause, and other 
good reasons, our eomnn'ssioners suspended the negotiations and 
returned home. 

The Government has often found itself much hampered and 
embarrassed by the fact that its foreign representatives are too 
little acquainted with the laws and institutions of the country. 
Therefore where ex})lanations have U) be made, and the Civil 
and Criminal Code of the country ex[)lained, we arc placed at a 
great disadvantage. 

For this reason the Hon. li. W. Travis, Secretary of State, was 
dispatched to Herlin to discuss with the German Foreign Office 
the Fischer-Lemcke — Houston case. He was received in the 
most courteous and friendly manner. He was able to reach a 
friendly accord. He has communicated to me his impression that 
the republic will receive at all times just and considerate treatment 

334 



^ kecent History 

from the Imperial German Government, and that we have many 
warm friends amon^ the people of that great State. 

Finances 

The revenue for the year is expected to show a decrease 
compared with that of the last year of at least $50,000. The 




106. LIHKKIAN SILVKK AND COPPER COINS 



accounts have not been fully made up, but for the half-year 
ended March 30th, from all sources only $158,664.04 had been' 
received. No blame can be attached to the administration for this. 
Revenue is an index of the industrial condition of the country and 
its relation to the markets of the world. The greater in volume 
and in value the exports, and the larger the imports the greater 
the revenue. For, since it is principally obtained from the move- 
ment of trade, it must flourish or decline in accordance with that .. 
movement. First the coffee crop decreased both in quantity and \ 

335 



Liberia ^ 

value, and then the piassava-fibre, ihc principal article of export 
in the leeward counties, declined in quality and consequently in 
price. Disturbances in the interior, especially in Montserrado County 
and in other quarters, have affected conditions. Everything possible 
is being done to settle the disturbed districts, but as it is easier 
to excite disturbances than to allay them, it will be some time 
before the result of these efforts can be seen and appreciated. 

Nations, like individuals, must live within their income or else 
go into bankruptcy and so lose control to a ver>' great extent of 
their affairs. It may be useful to place before you a statement of 
our financial condition. 

The foreign bonded debt amounts to ^96,997. We are paying 
interest on ^78,2 50 at the rale of 3 A per cent, and the charge on the 
revenue for sinking fund and interest will be $16,000 for the next 
three years. The inlcrnal bonded debt amounts to $135,557.17, 
of which $36,000 bears interest at 6 per cent, ani the balance at 
3 per cent. The annual charge is about $5,000. 

The floating debt is estimated at under $200,000, less than one 
years average income. It consists of currency, audited bills, and 
drafts on the Treasury. 

About $150,000 of this sum is held by foreign merchants. It 
forms the principal embarrassment of the Treasury, since it is bein*^ 
constantly liquidated out of current revenue. To meet the deficit 
and pay current expenses of government, the Treasury has con- 
stantly to ask for advances from the mercantile holders of this 
debt. For this accommodation it is paying interest at the rate of from 
25 to 33 per cent. 

The total debt of the country is about $800,000, of which the 
English 1 87 1 7 per cent. Loan is the largest item. The debt would 
be covered by about three years' revenue. 

F'or the last ten years, 1S93 to 1903, the revenue from all 
sources is returned at $2,243,148. The disbursements were 
$2,177,556, showing a balance in favt)Ur of the country of 

$65,592. 

Unpaid balances due by the receivers of the revenue stamps, etc., 
account for a very large amount of this balance. Now if our disburse- 
ments represented approximate!}' the sum annually appropriated, 
there would be no floating debt ; but unfortunately they do not. 
The local budgets of the counties of Sino and Maryland especially, 

33(y 



^ Recent History 

for the last ten years, approved and passed by the Legislature, have 
been double the estimated revenue, as I shall now proceed to show. 
The total revenue collected in the county of Maryland for the last 
ten years amounted to $335,598.02. A little less than one-half of 
this sum is placed at the disposal of the local administration, say 




HON. AKTIILK HAKCI.AY, rRKSlDKNT 
OK LIIJKRIA, ICfOG 



$160,000. The appropriations for Mar\'land County for the same 
period, or let us sa\' the local budt^ct, ha\c amounted to $243,139.06, 
most c^f which was drawn for, and the difference between receipts and 
expenditure went to form the floating debt. 

In fact, the tlcxiting debt in that district was found to be 
about $44,000. Everybody can see how this debt has been 
VOL. I 337 22 



y 



l Liberia ^ 

'if brought about. The case is the same in the county of Sino, wher 

the total revenue has during the last ten years amounted t 
$202,24570 while the local budgets for same period have amountei 
to $235,435.00. As the local administration could control only hal 
at the most, of the revenue, the difference against the Treasury \va 
^ at least $100,000. Now the case is different in the two uppe 

counties ; the budgets are more in accord with their financia 
position. The General Government having to meet many unforescei 
expenses, always, too, owes something. The Secretary of th 
Treasury, confronted on one hand with the necessity of payinj 
the floating debt, must, on the other, find means of meeting curren 
expenses. If he does not pay the persons who hold the Govcrnmen 
paper, they will make no advances, and if he does pay and endeavour 
at the same time to extinguish the debt by not asking for advance^ 
he is met by the angry murmurs of citizens employed in Governmen 
service, wlio require i)aymcnt of their bills. Now the real blame lie 
on the shoulders of the Legislature. The annual budget must res' 
on certain data, which ought to be estimated for the five years las 
past and forwarded to Houses b\' the Treasury. But if th< 
Legislature will not, as it does not, draw up the budget in accordanci 
with these data, the situation will never improve. The avera*^^^ 
revenue each year for the last ten years has been for the first fiv< 
years $225,000, and for the last five $266,000. The budget for th< 
General (jovcniment then must not exceed $160,000 ; for th< 
county of IMontserrado $40,000; Hasa $35,000; Sino $16,000 
Maryland $16,000 in hand. If wc could be suie that this estimate 
would be adhered to, then a small loan could be negotiated for paying 
off the floating debt. 

The President of the Republic has for many years been de 
prived of his right of veto so fiir as concerns the budget, as it i: 
made the last bill and is gcnerallv presented on the last dav, jus 
at the last hour or even a little after the Legislature has adjournec 
sine die. I hope this course will be abandoned. It is contrary t( 
the Constitution. 

With the desire, doubtless, of as>isting the republic and o 
facilitating the development of the country, the French Governmen 
by a decree i.ssued during the present year directed its West Africar 
State Bank to establish a branch at Monrovia. 

338 



^ Recent History 

As a direct incentive to vigilance I recommend the passage of 
a resolution granting to the officers of Customs at the ports one-half 
of the penalty recovered from persons convicted of smuggling at said 
ports, to be divided among the staff in proportion to the amount of 
salary. The County Attorney for the purposes of this Act should be 
considered a member of the Customs staff. 

Arthur Barclay. 




108. LOOKING lOWARI)^ NIK ^.r.sK>M.s Htn'sK, M<)NK<I\IA 



339 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE AMERICO-LIBERIAXS 

NO official census has been taken in Liberia (so far as the 
author is aware) since 1 843. When the author visited 
that country in 1904, he made a rough computation, 
from data variously obtained, of the approximate Americo- 
Liberian population of the civilised settlements, and adding to 
the total thus obtained one or two hundred to represent 
Liberian traders or (iovernment officials travelling from place 
to place in the far interior, he came to the conclusion 
that the men, women, and children of American origin did not 
exceed i2,oco in number.^ In an appendix to this chapter is 
given an enumeration of the Americo-Liberian settlements known 
to the writer, and their approximate population. The author 
confesses that the results arc less than the estim.ates of some 
recent writers on the subject ; but when there has been taken into 
account the rather high death-rate amongst the civilised Negroes, 
the poor birth-rate, and the return to America of some few 
dissatisfied persons, it is probable that his estimate is not far 
short of the mark. Is this to be regarded as a source of 
discouragement? Are we to pronounce the Liberian experiment 
after eighty years* trial to be a failure? The author thinks not, 
decidedly. 

^ This is not the cont-ct estimate of the Liberian {i.e. more or less civilised and 
Christiin Negro) population, whieh in the various co.ist centres of population reaches 
to quite 40,oco. TJ:e appendix only deals with settlers of Attieriean origin. 



^ The Americo-Liberians 

Many of the first immigrants from America were broken- 
down people, worn-out slaves, dissatisfied, sickly mulattoes or 
octoroons. Liberia is no country for the half-breed between 
the Northern European and the Negro ; nor is this a mis- 
cegenation to be encouraged. It is not a good cross. In distant 
centuries, in historic and prehistoric times, the Caucasian of 




** *--»> * ^^.am^ «-J 



109. A I.IP.KKIAN IM.AMKK (MK. .SoUi.MoN HILI.) AM) HIS FAMILY 

the Mediterranean and of Western Asia repeatedly invaded 
Africa and interbred with the Negro. But this type of 
Caucasian was less widely separated from the Negro stock. 
The long-headed, brunet division of the white man's species ranges 
in infinite gradations of skin colour but with scarcely any change 
of head form from Dravidian India to the Berbers on the shores 

341 



Liberia ^ 

of the Atlantic Ocean. The Dravidian type of Indian in its lowest 
form almost links on to the Australian, and thereby to that 
fundamental primitive human stock from which the Negro also 
sprang. The result of intermixture past and present between the 
Mediterranean type or the Dravidian, direct from India, with the 
Negro has produced exceedingly good results in physical develop- 
ment. It has brought beauty in varying degrees to the Negro, 
who in his unmixed type is usually a hideous creature. So 
inveterate have been the permeations of Caucasian blood through 
Negro Africa that only the Congo Pygmies and a few forest 
tribes in Equatorial West Africa and the desert peoples of South- 
west Africa can be described as pure Negroes, and consequently- 
hideous. Near as the Libyans of North Africa are to the 
Iberians of the Spanish Peninsula or the Southern Italians, there 
is just that extra drop of Dravidian blood in their veins that 
causes them to fuse with the Negro and produce a satisfactory- 
hybrid so far as the human animal is concerned. Most mulattoes 
of Portuguese parentage are feebler in race than are the cross- 
breeds produced by the Spaniard, because the average Portuguese 
(except in the Algarve) contains more Northern, Aryan blood in 
his veins than does the average Spaniard. French and English 
hybrids with the Negro are still less satisfactory from the point 
of view of physique. But the cross between the northern white 
man and the Negro rises far higher hitcHectnally than does the 
cross with Arab, Libyan, Hamitc, or Indian. The Aryan mulatto 
(so to speak) has usually a poor physique but a " white'' brain/ 
The future for the Mulatto will lie in two directions. He must 

• Tht»re are exceptions to every rule, and there are isolated instances of 
fine-looking \wvx\ and women in ditlVient parts of America who arc apparently pro- 
ducts of the cross between the northern white man and the Negro. But very often if 
the past lustor>' of thes^' exceptional individuals was incjnired into it would be 
found that the Negress mother was not a pure Negress. Itui of Fula or Mandingo 
stock — that is to say, already partly mixed with Caucasian blood. 

342 




no. MANDINCIO WOMAN OF WKbTLKN LIBKKIA 



Liberia ^ 

re-marry with the Negro and fuse by degrees into a purely 
Negro community, or he must take his part with one or other 
of the white peoples. Pride in his white parentage may stand 
in the way of his marrying a Negro wife, in which case his 
place is not in Liberia or in any other part of tropical Africa. 
The caste prejudice of the Northern European may reject for 
a long time to come any absorption of the Quadroon into the 
white community. In Spanish and Portuguese America, where 
these prejudices arc scarcely existent, lies perhaps the best chance 
for these Negro hybrids in the future. Gradually they will 
fuse with the Southern luiropean element and that mixture of 
Mongolian blood represented by the American Indian ; and a 
strong composite race may yet arise which by continued physical 
improvement will acquire an ever clearer skin — unless in the 
course of centuries the admiration of humanity should once 
more gravitate towards a darker ideal instead of a pink and 
white complexion. 

But even the pure-blooded Negroes of American origin — 
that is to say, born in America, perhaps bred in America for 
several generations- have not withstood triumphantly the severe 
test of the Liherian climate. 1 hey have been far more subject 
to attacks of malarial fever than the indigenous blacks, and 
are prone at the same time to luiropean diseases not yet 
endemic in Tropical Africa. Hie only remedy for this lies in 
marriage with the indigenous peoples. No American Negro 
need scorn alliance with a Mandingo woman or even with some 
of the Vai. 7'he Mandingo race ought to become the backbone 
of the Liberian Republic. Even the people of Basa and the 
Kru country not infrequently present comely types in both 
men and women ; yet there is nearly alwavs a grotesque appear- 
ance in these unmixed negroes ; whereas there is a something 
about the Mandingo people that checks the white man's sneer 

344 




III. A MANDINGO FROM WESTERN LIBERIA 



Liberia ^ 

and even compels his admiration if he has an artist's eye. Not 
a few among the interior tribes — Buzi or Gora — are of fine 
physique and comelv lineaments, due no doubt to some ancient 
infiltration of northern blood. 

The Americo-Liberians have a right to boast of their 
civilisation. They are an intelligent, often well-educated, polite 
people, whose method of life is perhaps more akin to that of the 
Englishman or New Knglander than it is to habits of the African 
Negro. Mentally, they are much more European than African. 
Physically, their best friends cannot maintain that they are a 
handsome race, taken as a race. Here and there a man or 
woman of good physique and pleasing face announces Mandingo 
descent or an origin from the more refined races of Dahome. 
Thev arc composed of the most diverse West African elements. 

Senegal and Scnegambia sent handsome Wolofs, an occasional 
aristocratic Fula, hideous Kclups and Papels to Louisiana and 
Haiti and the French West Indies. The Gold Coast sent slaves 
to the Dutch possessions of Manhattan and New Amsterdam 
in the State of New York. Other Gold Coast negroes and 
natives of the coast of Dahome and of the Niger Delta were 
dispatched to the Danish and Dutch West Indies. The British 
West Indies recruited fr(^m all parts of the African coast, from 
the Gambia to the Congo. The hulk of the slaves, however, 
imported into what are now the United States of America when 
they were British colonies came more from the Gambia, Sierra 
Leone, and Northern Liberia. Add to this the permeating inter- 
mixture of Lnglish, Scorch, Dutch, Krench, and Spanish blood, 
and from this extraordinary amalgam vou have the i 2,000 civilised 
Liberians who have been with some success and certainly no 
excesses administering for eightv ve.irs a territory on the West 
Coast of Africa not much smaller than Lngland. Given their 
pitifully small numbers, one may pronounce their achievements 




A Libcrian Honiestcnd 



^ The Americo-Liberians 

considerable. Several of their towns, in the appearance of their 
buildings and accessories of a civilised existence, need not fear 
comparison with European towns in West Africa. They are, as 
has been already stated, a most polite race, of instinctive good 
manners, and evince considerable dexterity in building and in some 
other directions. They can construct and work a telephone, for 



V*':r<" ■( 




112. 11 I iriloM. I'Ul.i;s IN MONROVIA, IKI( 11.1) l!V MR. lAlI.KNI.R, A l.Iltl.RIAN. 

nils 1 1 I.I 1M10NI-. i:.\ri.Ni)s ro iiii. sr. I'Ail's kivkr si.i h.kmkms 



example, and nothing but want of means has prevented them 
from linking their capital by an overland telegraph wire with 
the Sierra Leone system or with that of the Ivory Coast. They 
are quite as well read as the average English peasant, are law- 
abiding, and almost invariably of a kindly disposition. 

So much for their virtues ; and now for their faults or 
defects and their mistaken ideals, (i) They are too religious. 

347 



Lil 



)cria 



(2) I'hcrc is still rather a tendency towards abuse of alcohol, 
in which of course it may be said that they arc no worse or 
even a little better than the luiropeans on the West Coast of 
Africa. ("}) They are too American in their devotion to frothy 
oratory and tloovis of eloquence in print, orations on this subject 
and on that. Over v.nd over aaain one is reminded of the 
American scenes in MtintH C/iuzzlciiit as one passes through 
the coast rei^ions of I-iberia. (4) They are too much given up 
to politics, after the American fashion; and with a zest for 
unproductive disputation and ridiculous hair-splitting on public 
questions i^oes an American facility tor — how shall one phrase 
it delicately : makint^ politics more openly a trade than they 
are yet mavie in I'jiLiland. 

We arc uivcn to boasting in our own country of the 
pure tone of our offiLial life and its relative freedom from 
corruption- in plain words, the more or less unbribable nature 
of our officials. Ihis happv state of affairs is brought about 
not bv anv deeper attachment on the part of the Briton to 
abstract moralit\-, but because for a long time past we have 
realised that to ^euire impartial and incorruptible officials we 
must pa\' men suffix ieiuK' well to place them above temptation. 
This prini^iple is lu^t yet realisevl in somj parts of Kurope and 
America, af,d certainly n^t in Liberia. Iti these regions it is very 
often impossible for a si;b«M\iinate official to live within his 
means, on his official iiKoir.e ; *.oi>equently, in some cases, severe 
temptations are put in h:^ \\a\ :«> avid to that income by illicit 
means. 'I'hc'-e are ot Loiir^e otfi^Mi^, high and low, in 1-iberia of 
absolute integrity, aiui as !iigh.-s(.iilcvl in their ideals as the men 
ue ha\e in our own service. But, again, there have been in 
the past others as there would be in b'.ngland under similar 
circumstajices- not aboxe taking a monetary inducement to 
depart from their strict J. uty 1 his has been hitherto one of 

S4-^ 




113. IN A LIBKKIAN GENKKAL STORE AT BUCHANAN, GRAND BASA 



Liberia ^ 

the weaknesses of the Customs service in Liberia. High- 
handed officers of European steamers or influential merchants 
have used both threats and monetary blandishments to evade 
the strict payment of duties, export and import. 

This tendency has not been helped by the unfortunate 
condition of the Liberian currency. Absence of cash in the 
Liberian exchequer has compelled the (iovernment from time 
to time to issue a certain amount of paper money in the 
form of Treasury bonds. These are taken by various mercantile 
houses in Liberia, at a greatly reduced rate, in payment for 
goods supplied to the Government or to officials in their 
private capacity. They then tender these bills (as they have 
a right to do) at their face value in payment of Customs 
duties. Consequently, what with this unreal value of the paper 
and the mixture of threats and cajolery on the part of 
foreigners connected with shipping on the coast or some 
commercial firms on shore, the receipts of the Liberian Customs- 
house, instead of being ampiv sufficient to meet the cost of 
administering the country, do not yield to the exchequer 
more than half the value of what should really be gathered in. 

Reference has been made to high-handed procedure. It is 
meant in this sense ; that the officers ot certain European 
steamers plying up and down this coast occasionally try to 
carry things with a high hand because the country is run by 
'* niggers." In defiance of the law prescribing nine specified 
places as ports of entry where Customs-houses are established, 
officers ot the at'uresaid steamers will attempt to land or to embark 
cargo (without paymetu of Customs duties) at more or less 
wild spots on the coast where there is no Liberian official 
to interfere with their movements. These adventures not 
infrequently result in the steamer striking an uncharted rock 
or in being driven ashore by some sudden tornado. Then 

350 



^ The Americo-Liberians 

people — excess of religion. With a few rare exceptions the 
mass of the Americo-Liberian community suffers from 

religiosity. 

Almost without exception they belong to various branches 
of the Protestant Church. They are Episcopalians (Methodist, 
Protestant, and African ^), Free Methodists, Baptists, Pres- 






115. METHODIST CHURCH, MONROVIA 

byterians, Lutherans, Zionists, and so forth. They betray 
little or none of the superstition that clings to the uncultivated 
West Indian Negro or to the Negroes of Spanish, French, and 
Portuguese America ; but they have erected the Bible into a 
sort of fetish. They exhibit the Puritanism of New England 
. in the eighteenth century almost unabated. 

* These three adjectives represent three separate Episcopahan bodies in 
America and Liberia. 

VOL. I 353 23 



Liberia ^ 

Their average morality is probably no higher than that 
of European nations or even of the Negroes indigenous to 
Liberia. But so far as outward behaviour, laws, and language 
go they are prudish to a truly American extent. Sparsity of 
clothing on the part of the native is treated in some settlements 
as an ofFence. The mistaken idea which arose after the 
Christianising of the Roman Empire that there is something 
sinful in man's body divested of clothes is still a leading idea 
amongst the Liberians. The Americo-Liberian still worships 




Il6. THE " KKI.IfJION OF; THE TAl.I. HAT" 



clothes as an outward and visible manifestation of Christianity 
and the best civilisation ; that is to say, the European clothes ot 
the nineteenth century. He shares with our fathers the religion 
of the tall hat and frock coat. No self-respecting Liberian 
would be seen abroad on a Sunday or would pay a call or 
take part in any social function, even under a broiling sun 
in a Turkish-bath atmosphere, except in an immaculate black 
silk topper and a long black frock coat. 

Their women of course follow the fashions of Europe • 

354 



-»i The Americo-Liberians 

but although one hears them much derided for this by Europeans, 
it must be admitted that as a rule Liberian ladies are attired 
in good taste. It is impossible to put back the clock, and 
although one would infinitely prefer the costumejof the beautiful 




H7. *^XIBER1AN LADY 



Mandingo womcr- — a combination of golden-brown skin, silk 
turban, cotton waist-cloth, and velvet drapery — I imagine that 
the Liberian lady would go willingly a martyr to the stake 
sooner than clothe herself after the fashion of her half-wild but 

355 




A Mandingo in blue cotton robe 




Il8. THK " RKLU;i<JN OF TMK TALL HAT AND FROCK CoA 1 " I A MASONIC PKOCKSSION 



Liberia ^ 

arc the folklore of Genesis, the trivial and often silly pre- 
scriptions of Leviticus, the confused and bloody wars of f>etty 
Syrian tribes a thousand years before Christ, the dismal 
ravings of Jeremiah or of the minor prophets ? Christianitv 
may not appeal to some races or individuals as a divine revela- 
tion — it depends on the definition one would dare to give to 
the adjective "divine''; but so far, the world has known 
nothing like the simple teaching of Christ for the perfection 
of religion. We are only beginning to appreciate it now. 
Unhappily, not many years after the death of Christ, men of 
second-rate, third-rate, fifth-rate insight and intelligence began 
to overload His direct teaching with more or less nonsensical 
dogma-- dogma of absolutely no profit either to human intelli- 
gence, morality, or life. 

Worshipping, as they do, the Old Testament, they are 
strong Sabbatarians ; that is to say, they transfer to Sunday 
the rigitl respect given to Saturday by the Jews, coupled, of 
course, with the spiteful mortification of poor human flesh 
which began with Pauline Christianity. 

In this of course, as in other things, they will not resist 
the emollient tendciicics of modern civilisation. They will 
learn that true religion is not to be reserved for one day in 
the week only ; that one day of rest in the seven is absolutely 
necessary to humanity, but that the day of rest — more or 
less compulsory rest —should not be associated with dreariness, 
or dissociated from every lawful form of happy enjoyment. 
Their newspajKTS will cease to devote a large portion of their 
space to profitless examination papers on the Old Testament ; 
and one may begin to hope that there, as in America and in 
Protestant Enghuul, some surcease may be given to the bestowal 
of Jewish names. Let the Jews by all means style themselves 
with expressions derived from the Hebrew language ; but 

35S 




.^f:^^^•;J^f 






119. A MUNICIPAL BRASS BAND, LIBKRIA 



Liberia ^ 

surely the Knglish, the Americans, the Liberians, and all future 
races that may come within the pale of the Christian religion — 
or the MuhammaJan need not be obliged to give Hebrew 
appellations t«> their sons and daughters? They are inappro- 
priate, their real meaning is verj' seldom understood, and the 
pronunciation given to them in the English language is ugly 
and most inaccurate. 

The Amcrico-Liberian need not throw away any precept 
of Anglo-Saxon civilisation which can be usefully adapted to 
Africa. They have a battle to fight, or, let us say, a friendly 
rivalry to wage with the civilisation of Arabia, which is being 
steadily brought into Liberia from the north by the Mandingos. 
The present writer has little more sympathy with Muham- 
madanism as a religion than with that strange amalgam of \ 

Judaistic Christianity which became associated for a time with 
the Protestant Reform, but which is now being shed rapidly by 
the Reformed Churches. But it is useless to deny — though 
it be inconvenient to admit- -that Muhammadanism has done 
a great deal to raise the Negro in the social order. It has 
clothed his nakedness with good taste. It has given him pride 
and confidence in himself which makes him look a man and 
a ruler. It has given him great ideals for which he is ready 
to lav down his life, and it has brought to him the reasonable 
amenities of the Kast. Whether it be possible to fuse in one 
community what is best in iMuhammadan civilisation with what 
is practical and cheerful in Christianity remains to be seen. 
France in North Africa, England in Egypt and the Sudan, 
are trying the experiment. Liberia on a much smaller scale 
must solve the same problem in this forest-land of West 
Africa. Muhammadanism, though it has greatly helped the 
Negro, has been a bitter foe of the more reasonable side of 
European civilisation in India, in Turkey, in Syria, Asia Minor, 

:;r)o 



Liberia 



and North Africa. The strength and pride with which it 
infuses its believers hardens them for a struggle which is 
lamentable, and wasteful of human effort. There is absolutely 
no reason but the inherent perversity of man why the precepts 
of Christ in the New Testament might not be the basis of all 




religion, the common dcnoniinator, with liberty to each race and 
tribe to tack on what superfluous adornments they choose. 

Perhaps in this direction the present and future statesmen 
of Liberia may work out the redemption of their country and 
their race. 

But it is not only for their fetishistic worship of the Old 
Testament that one is disposed to criticise these people: it cannot 
be too often repeated that their ideals hitherto have been those of 

362 



•^ The Americo-Liberians 

New England and not of Africa. Dwelling on the West Coast 
of Africa, they still turn their faces and their intelligence towards 
the east coast of North America, which again but reflects the 
culture of eighteenth-century England. **Have done with this!" 




122. A KLlVltW UK TKOOl'S IN MONKUV lA 



their friends might say. " Make yourselves polished Africans, 
not imitation Anglo-Saxons. Study the languages of West 
Africa, not Hebrew, Greek, and Latin ; or at any rate only 
teach your boys a suflficient smattering of Greek and Latin that 
they may understand the construction of that English language 



Liberia ^ 

which must bt the I'w^ua franca of West Africa, must be used 
by Liberia tor intercourse with the world at large, as Japvan 
and China, I lolland and Scandinavia, use it." For eig^hty years 




123. KF.VIKW ol- I K« )(»!•>: "vL'irK MAKriI ' 



have these American Negroes and their descendants inhabited 
this part of West Africa. Several of them, quite exceptionally, 
have studied the Grebo language on the eastern frontier of 

3^M 



^ The Ameri co-Liberians 

the republic, and have published their studies. The Liberia 
College has existed since 1862. It has taught a great deal 
of useless Greek and Latin, Miltonian and Shakespearian 
English to its pupils. It has not conveyed one particle of 
instruction in the languages of Africa, notably those which are 
spoken in Liberia itself Yet the various dialects of the 




124. A FIINERAL PROCKSSION, MONROVIA 



Mandingo tongue were well worth attention, and in studying 
the evolution of African ideas minute examination should have 
been made of the Kru group of languages. Has anything *been 
done for African botany } — No. African zoology ^ — No. A 
little tropical American agriculture has been taught ; there has 
been no society founded for the study of indigenous cultivable 
plants ; there has been no attempt made to domesticate in- 

365 



Liberia ^ 

digenous birJs and beasts. The average Americo-Liberian is 
far more ignorant of the fluina and flora of his own country than 
is the casual Englishman, Frenchman, or, above all, Gvrrman who 
lands on his shores. He brought with him from America 
that exasperating habit of mis-naming birds and beasts, a per- 
versity which will long afflict American-English. The Civet Cat 




12^. IN.itl'KMil.N{.i: DAY, J L L\ 26tH 



is called a "raccoon," the splendid Bongo Tragelaph (^Boocercus 
e'«nT£'r<?5) is styled the "elk/' the Harnessed Antelope is called 
the "red-deer,'' Jentink's Duiker is named the "tapir" 
the Manis is called the " armadillo/* the Chimpanzee is 
known as the "baboon," the Zebra Antelope is styled the 
" mountain deer " ; other antelopes are called the " roebuck " 
the " bush-goat/* and so forth. The present writer was told 

366 



Liberia ♦ 

by one Liberian that the forest near his settlement was full of 
" peacocks." He intended to indicate by this term the Great 
Blue Plantain-cater. Not one prominent bird or beast in that 
country is known by its right name. 

A little more attention has of late been applied to botany, 
and there have even been one or two interesting articles in the 
Liberian press describing familiar plants of the country in their 
correct (and consequently universal) I^tin names. No portion 
of Africa is more interesting for its biology than Liberia. The 
Americo-Liberians may be proud of having inherited a rare piece 
of Miocene Africa, one of the choicest morsels for the modern 
naturalist. They may rcioice in a somewhat specialised fauna 
and flora, and the present writer earnestly hopes that the new 
generation will drop the attempt to translate Plato and Cicero, 
will cease troubling about the vicissitudes of David, leave Israel 
to wander in the wilderness, and devote itself whole-heartedly 
to studying the fascinating folklore of the Vai, the religious 
rites and ceremonies of the Cirebo or the Gbalin, and the 
marvellous Miocene flora and equallv remarkable fauna to be 
found within the limits of their 43,000 square miles. 

If the author of this book were a Liberian, he would strive 
(within reason) to do everything as difirrently as possible from 
what is done in l\urope, Asia, or America. He would try to 
be original. Kor instance, if he were the Principal of the 
Liberia College he would resolutely exclude '* mortar-boards " 
from the heads of his students, not only because they are an 
unsuitable form of headgear, hut because they happen to be the 
mode adopted in iMigland and America. He would try to 
develop a special African architecture, an African school of 
painting. He would certainly study and develop the inherent 
musical talent evinced by many of the Liberian natives. He 
would attempt to domesticate the Red Bush-pig, and not introduce 

368 




VOL. 1 



369 



24 



Lil)cria '• 

Berkshire swine ; the red Buffalo, and not the English Short- 
horn ; the Ajjeliisres (»uinea-fowI, and not the Cochin-China. 
Along this route there are lite, hope, and a future before the 
Liberians. In their obstinate adhesion to the ideals of New 
Kiigland there is a h«»peless stumbling-block in the way of their 
very existence. They must turn their backs on America and 
their taces towards AtVica, or they will dwindle to nothing, leave 
no heirs, and implant no permanent civilisation on those whonl 
thev have come to redeem. 




I-'S. A Ml M -l <;il>'l. IK< 'M I III. MKi;i.A I 1 . -M I K« ).N 1 II- K ol' LIHKKIA 
(Wturiii^ silver i-riNiiiiciils .,r,.l .i t.iNitfiil .ij-pi-'prialt i.osluiuc) 



370 




Red-hcadcd Guinea Powl {Agclastcs nwlcagroiifcs) 



APPKNDIX I 



AMERICO-LinERIAM POP TLA TION 

TllK follo\vin<4 is a summary of the principal Amcrico-Liberian 
towns and settlements with their approximate population of American 
origin. The enumeration commences with Robcrtsport, not far from 
the western (Sierra Leone) frontier of Liberia, and proceeds north- 
wards, southwards, and eastwards to the French frontier along the 
Cavalla River : 



tll<*imMits — 

20() 



(.'ounty of Moiitsi-rrado : — 

Kobertsport 

Koycsvillc 

St. Paul's kiv«T 
New Gt'(>r<;ia 

\'irginia ... ... nx) 

raklu-fll 200 

Ikcwcrville 3(0 

Clay Asliland V-y<^ 

L()iii>iana ... ... 100 

Xt'w Yi'fk 50 

White Plains ... ... 300 

Millsburg 230 

Arthington ... ... 300 

Carcysburg ... ... 400 

Crozerville ... ... i(.)o 

Bcnsonville 150 

Robcrtsville 150 

Harrisbiirg 250 

Settlements on the Mesu- 
rado River: — 
Barnersville 
Gardnersville 
Johnsoiiville j 
Paynesville j 

Carried forward 



Amei ito- 
Libcrian 
population. 

-|.(X) 



Amcrico- 
Liberian 
population. 
3900 



Ikoii^lit forward 
County of Montserrado {(onfd.) : — 

Monrovia ... ... ... 2500 

Junk Kiver settlements — 
Sehieffelin and Powells- 

ville 225 

Mount Olive 150 

Marshall 125 

Farmington River and 
Owen's Cifove 



325( 



3900 



... 300 

County of (irand Basa : — 
Ha^a settlements - 

Little Hasa 50 

Edina ... ... ... 250 

Hartford 50 

St. John's River ... 350 

Upi)er Buchanan ... 400 
Lower Buchanan( Grand 

Basa) 600 

Tobakoni 50 

Coast between Grand Basa 

and River Cestos 

On the River Cestos 



Carried forward 



8uo 



I7SO 
150 

9150 



371 



Liberia 







Americo- 






A 


merico 






Liberian 






Lib^rian 






(Mtpii)ation. 






popuUtioD. 


Broupht 


forward 


... 


9150 


Brought forward 


... 


10050 


County of Sino : — 








County of Maryland {.contdJ). 


— 




Sino Settlements - 








Brought forward 


... 


IIOO 




Sino River 




5" 




Latrobe 


... 


50 




Lexington 




1M> 




Cuttington 


... 


100 




Greenville 




35" 




HalfCavalla ... 




5« 




Philadelphia .. 




i-'S 




Iloffmann 




50 




Georgia 




■-> 




Middlesex 




SO 











750 


Jacksonville ... 




75 




Settlements on Km Coa^t 






Bunker Hill ... 




25 




Nana Km ' 








Tubman Town... 




100 




Setra Km 








New Georgia ... 




25 




Nifii 






150 


lliilierville 




-5 




Sas T<nvn 














1650 


Garawe 















County of Maryland . — 

Settlements round ('ap<' Tahnas 
and on the Lowi-r (avall.i 
River 

Rock Town Kh. 

lJar|)er ... <><)«) 

Philadelphia i«ki 

( 'arried forward 



.Americo-Liberians scattered about 
Kelii>o in far interior of 
Mar\land County; in the 
BojKiro oountr)*, near the 
.•*^ierra Leone frontier, and 
on the Upp>er St. Paul's 
River, etc., say 



150 



Total Liberians 
origin 



of American 



1 1,850 



The appro.xirnatc total coast |)0[Hilali()ii of ** civilised ** Liberians 
(mo.stly Chri.stian, and of mixed .American and indi«:^enous negro 
races) amounts to 40,(^).x Tin- *' Liherian " cc^mmunity therefore 
at the present time amounts to a })oiuilation in the coast regions 
of about 50,000 in numi)er. 





129- A I.IHKKIAN HOUSK OK WOODKN MIINGLKS, GKKKNVII.LE, SIXO 



ArPKNDIX II 
KE/j(Uors, rouricALy KnrcATioyAL, and other 

KSTAIUJSIIME.XTS IX LIBERIA 

I. TiiK Protkstant Ki'iscoPAL CnrKCH seems to have begun 
in America as a branch of the Church cf England or of the Church 
Missionar\' Society. It started work in Liberia in 1830. A few 
years later the first Missionar\' Hishop was elected (Bishop Auer). 
The second Bishop was the celebrated John Payne, who did such 
a splendid work amongst the Grcbo of Cape Palmas. The present 
Bishop is a man of colour, the Rii^ht Rev. Samuel Dav-id Ferguson, 
D.I)., born at Charlest(Avn in the United States, but settled in 
Liberia since 1S4S. He was elected Bishop of Liberia in 1884 «^"d 
consecrated in 1885. He attended the Lambeth Conference in 
1897 and was one of the Bishoi)s received in audience by Queen 
Victoria. 

Under the Pn)testant P^piscop.d Church, Liberia is divided 
into four districts, Mesurado, Basil, Sino, and Cape Palmas. These 
aj^ain are divided into a number of sub-districts. Nearly every 
Americo-Liberian settlement has a church or school belonging to 
this body, which is also very active as a missionary institution 
amongst the natives. At Cape Mount the P.E. Church has a fine 
establishment: the Irving Memorial Church, Langford Memorial 
Hall,^ St. George's Hall, etc. The residence of the Bishop is at 
Monrovia. I'his Church maintains, besides the Bishop, 18 clergy, 
69 catechists and teachers, i"^ da>' schools, 18 boarding schools, 
and 31 Sunday schools. It gives instruction to over 3,000 pupils. 

2. TiiK Mktiiodist Ki'Iscopal Church. -This, as a missionary 
body in Liberia, started in 183:^. Its work in Liberia is controlled 
by the American Methodist J^ishop of Africa, the Right Rev. 

' L'sed as a sc hool. 
.w4 




130. RIGHT REV. J. C. HARTZELL, METHODIST BISHOP OF AFRICA 



Liberia ^ 

Joseph C. Harlzell, U.U., a well-known and much-respected p)ersonagc 
in West, South, and South-east Africa. Bishop Hartzell supervises 
all the American missionary work in Western Africa between Liberia 
and Angola, and in Rhodesia and Mcx^ambiquc. The Associate 
Bishop in Liberia is the Riy;ht Rev. Isaiah Scott. 

The Methodist ICpiscopal Church has abc^ut 2.700 adherents 
48 ministers and missionaries. 40 lay te.ichers, 59 Sunday schools, 
and 2,709 scholars. 

3. TllK rKKsr.YTKKlAN CllUKCii.— l^rcsbyterian missionaries 
began work in Liberia in 1S32. At present their operations are 
chiefly confined to Monrovia antl the St. Paul's settlements. 

4. Tin: lV\in 1ST ('lll'K( n.— Larliest of all Christian Churches, 
the American Baptists entered Liberia (in 1821; to perform 
chaplain's dutio- so to speak — ft)r the American colonists. Their 
pioneer pastor was the Rev. Mr. Warini;, the father of Miss Jane 
Warin^f who marrietl Roberts, the first President of Liberia. Mrs. 
Roberts is living still in London , the only survivor of the original 
band (^f colonists. 

The Haptists have most of their adherents in Monrovia (with 
a lar^e church and Sundav school and in the Hasa settlements. 

5. Tin-: African Mkthodist KriscorAL CiirKCii. — This 
Church or Mission, which in a sense is more exclusively Ncj;jro in 
its sympathies, hei^an work in Liberia in 1885. It has mis.sion 
stations in thiee counties of Liberia not in Sino . 

6. 'riiK Ll nil KAN ClHk' H is represented by a very energetic 
missionary enterprise chietl\- in the St. Paul's River district, 
with stations at Arthini^ton and Mount Cofrec. 

'J here are Muhammatlan moscpies at Vanswa (Hrcwerville), 
and of course in the far interior Mandin<^o towns. 

Of the appro.ximate 2,000,000 of population, about 40,000 are 
Christians, about 300,000 Muhammadans, and the remainder Pagans. 

I. /ST OF J'AFS/J)JlA7S OF LIBERIA 

Jo.SKPH Jknkins Ror.KRTS, January ist, 1848, to January 

1st, 1856. 
STi;rnKN Allan HKNsr»N, Januarx- 1st, 1856, to January 

Lst, 1864. 

37^^ 




lU. Ml. I lI'MUsl < iirk( II, IIAKI'I R. I AIM I'AI.MAs 




132. PROTKSTANT KPISCOPAL CHURCH AT IIARPKK, CAPE PALM AS 



Liberia ^ 

Danikl Bashiel Warner. January ist, 1864, to January 

1st, 1868. 
Jamks Spric.cs Payne, January ist, 1868, to January ist, 187a 
Edward James Roye, January ist, 1870, to October 19th, 

1 87 1 (deposed;. 
(Vice-President) James S. Smith, October 19th, 1871, to 

January ist, 1872. 
Joseph Jenkins Roberts, January ist, 1872, to January 

1st, 1876. 
James Sprk^cs Payne, January ist, 1876, to January- ist, 1878. 
Anthony William Gardner, January ist, 1878, to January 

20th, 1883. 
(Vice-President) Alfkkd \\ RussELL, January 20th, 1883, to 

January 1st, 1S84. 
Hilary Ruiiard Wriciit Johnson, January ist, 1884, to 

Januar)' ist, 1892. 
Joseph Jamks Chkkskman, January ist, 1892, to November 

1 2th, 1896. 
(Vice-President; WILLIAM David ('('LKMAN, Xovcmber 12th, 

1896, to January ist, 189S. 
William David Colkman, January ist, 1898, to December 

1 1 til, 1900. 
(Secretary of Stale (iARKi:TSuN WiLMOT GlHSON, December 

ilth, I900, to January 1st, 1902. 
Garretson WilmoT GiusoN, January ist, 1902, to January 

1st, 19O-I. 
Arthur Barclay, January ist, 1904. Rc-clcctcd for further 

term from Januar\' ist, 1906. 



The Cabinet and ICxeculive usuall\- consists of the President, 
the Secretary of State (at present time Hon. H. W. Travis), the 
Secretary of the Treasury (Hon. D. K. Howard), the Attorney- 
General (Hon. V. K. R. Johnson), the Secretary of the Interior 
(vacant), the Secretary of War and Navy Hon. J. B. Dennis), and 
the Postmaster-General (Hon. S. T, Prout). There is an official 
private secretary to the President (N. H. Gibson). 

The Senate is composed of <7>/// member.s — two from each 
of the four counties or provinces (Montserrado, Basa, Sino, and 

37« 



-^ Relig ious, Political, Educa tional 

Maryland). Each Senator receives about ^£'140 a year whilst serving. 
The Senators are selected for four and two years (viWe terms of 
Constitution). 

The House of Representatives consists of thirteen members 
— four from Montserrado and three from each of the other counties. 
Each member of the House receives about £\QO a year whilst 
serving in that capacity. They sit for two years, and are elected 
biennially. 



President 



LIST AND SALARIES OF PRINCIPAL LIRERIAN OFFICIAIS 

$ £ 

^^500^^ 

Entertainment Allowance... 1,000) ' 

Vice-President... 
Secretary of State 
Secretary of the Treasury 
Secretary for War and Navy 
Secretary of the Interior 
Postmaster-General 
Attorney-General 
Chief Justice 

Two Associate J usticcs, each ... 
Superintendent, Public Instruction ... 
Controller of Treasury 
Auditor-General 
Treasurer-General 
Statistician 
Superintendent, Montserrado County 

„ Grand Basa County 

„ Sino County 

„ Maryland County 

„ Grand Cape Mount 

JUDiciARv Department 

His Honour Zachariah B. Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme 

Court. 
His Honour R. B. Richardson, Associate Chief Justice. 
His Honour J. J. Dossen, Associate Chief Justice. 
His Honour F. E. R. Johnson, Attorney-General. 

379 



1,000 


= 200 


1,000 


= 200 


1,000 


= 200 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


I 000 


= 2CO 


750 


= 150 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


700 


= 140 


500 


= 100 


500 


= 100 


400 


= 80 


500 


= 100 


375 


= 75 



Liberia 



Tkeasikv Dkpartmknt 
r'ive Sub- Treasurers one for each county j, at $400 to $5CX). 

ClSTOMS DErAKTMENT 
Thirteen Principal Collectors of Customs, at $250 to $500 each 



//AM/}' KSTA/W.ISI/ME\T 

Brigadier-General J. S. Pad more (only paid when on active 
service), pay about $-^5 a month, with rations. 

Major-( General J. A. (iibson (Cape Palmas) (only paid when on 
active service;, pa\' about $40 a month, with rations. 

Co/on els of Militia : — 

l'*lijah Johnson 
A. F. Jones 
Francis l^iyne 
A. D. Williams 
J. A. Railcy 
J A. Tolivcr 
J. H. Tubman 
J. W. Dent 
A. H. Stephens 

There are five regiments of Militia, divided into a number of 
companies, which bear the followini; names: — 

The Newport \'oluntcers, Clay Ashland Defcnsibles, Edina 
Regulars, lUichanan Rallies, St. John's Volunteers, Cheeseman 
Guards, Roberts (iuards, Jackson X'olunteers, Gibson Guards, 
Independent Blues, Johnson (iuards, Cooper's Invinciblcs. l^almas 
Union Guards, Ashton (iuarcU, Johnson Artillery, etc. 



l^iy when on active service about $38 a 
month, with rations.^ 



nil'LOMA TIC 

As regards diplomatic and consular representation, Liberia is 
represented in Great Ihi'taiu by a Charge d'Affaires and Consul- 
Gcneral (Mr. Henry Hayman), in l^^rancc b\- a Charge d'Affaires 

' The pay of a licutciiant-rolonel is 83$ a month, that of a major $30, captain 
^22, heuteiiant .^17, serg'-ant Si 5. corporal I c, private S8 -all with lalioiis. 

380 



-^ Religious, Political, Educational 

(Mr. J. P. Crommclin), in the United States by a Consul-General 
(Mr. C. H. Adams), in Germany by a Consul-Gcneral ([lerr Dinkla^je), 
and elsewhere by consuls-general or consuls. Amkric.a is repre- 
sented in LlHKRIA by a Minister-Resident (Dr. Krnest Lyon), Great 




133. KAIMIM" ( HrK( H, MONKOMA 



Britain, 1^'rance, and Gcrmanv by Consuls (/e carricrc ;X'ai)t. Hraith- 
waite VVallis, M. Germcnot, and Merr Franouxj, and the other 
Powers by tradin<; consuls or vice-consuls. 



EDVCATIOXAL 

I'llK LinKRiA C()LLK(ii:. - This College, represented at the 
present day by a L;rcat gaunt building of iron and brick about one 
mile outside M<;nr<)via, on the verge of the tropical forest, and not 
far from the sea coast, dates its existence in idea from 1848, when it 
was suggested by the Right Rev. John Payne, afterwards a Missionary 



LilxTJa ^ 

Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and the celebrated 
missionary and philolojrist of Cape Palmas. The Rev. John Payne 
made the suggestion to the Hon. Simon Greenleaf of Boston of 
establishing a School of Theology. Greenleaf and those who were 
working with him for philanthropical objects in Liberia decided that 
the college had better be placed in the vicinity of Monrovia anJ that 
it should be un>ectarian. In 1S50 a Board of Trustees under the 
title of the ** Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia'* was 
incorporated in Massachusetts. In 1851 the Legislature of Liberia 




IN IHK Horsj: OK KKI'KtNKNTATI\K>, MONROVIA 



passed an Act incorporatin[j: Liberia College. In 1857 ex-President 
J.J. Roberts was appointed the Principal of this College, and together 
with Mrs. Roberts took up his residence in the vicinity of the existing 
building, of which he practically superintended the construction. 
By 1S61 further funds had been derived from America, and the 
endowment was vested in eighth en Trustees, of whom eight represented 
the Mcsurado Count}-, three Grand Bnsa, three Sino, and three Mary- 
land, J. J. Roberts making the eighteenth. In the same year the Colleee 
buildings were completed, and in 1862 the institution was opened for 

382 



^ Religious, Political, Educational 

work. In 1865 Dr. E. VV. Blyden became one of the principal pro- 
fessors. But towards the close of the 'sixties the teaching of this 
institution languished, and it remained in a very unsatisfactory con- 
dition until 1892, when, under the impulse of ex-President W. D. 
Coleman, the College regained new life, and was to some extent re- 




135. J. A. KAILKV, A COLONEL OK LIHEKIAN MILITIA 

organised in 1900. The President of the College at the present time 
is His Honour Dr. R. B. Richardson. His predecessor was ex-President 
G. VV. Gibson. There is a department for the teaching of women in 
this College under the direction of Mrs. S. A. King, with one or more 
assistants. This last department educates at the present time about 
forty-eight pupils. 

383 



In !•*• •; ihi' ttMihin.; <taff of the College stood as follows : — 

^n'^:tU•N: : n«.n. I)r. K. H. Kichards.m AssMciato Chief lustice,. 
rfvft>s r ' Mori/ /*/):/ s /*/n i/'.'c/ .Vi v//tv .* Ci. \V. liibson. LtizL' ti9fd 
.]/ttMiif:,i:r.s : Y. \\ . J. Ha\ i^cs. lini^/is/i and L,2ti9i : Mon. Arthur 
Baicl.iy. M lUn: I..if.\:tit.^'.s : O. 1'. M.irch //istt';r tint/ /^o/iiny : 
O. A. M.i-<cy. Pr:nc:Y,i/ / t/ic Pfr/^anUify Dcpartnitfit : H. B. 
HayiK-^. \':\t-rrinc:Y:i/ of ///<■ l^rt-f^anit-ryDcf^artmcftt: K. J. Barclay. 

So: !ar:^'::f<.- l^ur schi.i.irship^ have bet n established in the 
Liberia i'« Hcl^c 1 l.c tV.s: is tiu- "(i.irdMn Memorial Scholarship," 
proposed by 1 )r. K. \\ . H!\dcn in i«/CO in mcmnry of the Kn*»^lish 
midshipni i:i linrd-.n. v. h.idicd tf tcvtr at Mcnnivia in September, 
1S22. dciVn-iin^, llu ii:t".:.t SLt:lcme:.t a:;ain>t llie attacks of the 
natives. The * lui.n I'.iyi.c ^cholar•^hip " is in honour of Bishop 
John I'ayi.c it' T.jm. I'aliv.a-. riu'"Sinv»n Grccnlcaf Scholarship" 
and "lji."iu;i r»i:_,^- Sc: 1 ■'. v:>Mp" p^ rpctii.itt: the mcnii>ry of American 
Licntlt-mc:^ wl." \\\\\\ «t'u:N kA M,issiclui>ctts ti ok an active part 
in tr.di -'A iii^ I ::)ir..i i « ••«>,^t-*- 

Liberia i*«'.!t ..,». rccuvc-- a-i a:Kui il L;rani from State funds, at 
prociU /; ;.J'. •■ : (.t .i..nr.in. 

\\\ law- p.i.--«^.«l in iSSi awkX \>>2 piil)Iic funds arc appropriated 
for llu- -ujM/oil ^'f t i.r prLpar.itiny sch«'ol< in the f<.ur counties of 
Liberia lo >vr\c as kilei- :.> il.r ^'ii'.Icl;*. at Monn>via, 

I 111: i'.'Mi- 1 ■ I Wi-r Ai!;i<A OT.ductL-d by the Methodist 
Kpi>c pa! I '1 lire:: 1 :.c <. .iiK.itioiia! wi-rk cf the Methodist Epis- 
copal i.'I.uiLh. \\\\\ \\ :> vl:\' 1v!'^:^.1> ^'-n^.ir.cndcd by all who know 
Liberia, \\a> c.'iv.nu :.l\ d in i>;v u-^'i'^r the direction c»f the Rev. 
Jabt/ A. Hurt-:! fir-t Principal k\ the College . Mrs. Anne Wilkins 
anil Mrs. luii.icv.- M-- re. I:^ iS.iu a larL^c brick buildintr with stone 
foundati«»:iS i< •• .'.^ tb.e p". .«.c « 1 tb.e e uiier structure. This was erected 
under the Ktv. N. S. H.i-ti- w .il a ^^ -i ..Io\er i."2.CKX\ 

l\uh/:\. rr.^ii.-.:: A. T. i.a;nphi'i A.M.. D.D. ; also Professor 
otMrra' .v:d .1/. k:.}^ S.:. :\r, /..' ..v.'/ ';,</;.</ /V/«-.'/t>^r. f/i/yrciA.^ Greek 
ami iMtiu : Tb.e Ke\. W . It^ r II. Hawkins, A.^L, L).l>, .\fodeni 
L<vfi^u<l^ys and JA//.>.;//<///.\.v; Mi-s i;;;a H. P- »\vell. A.^L /'//<- English 
Latii^uai^c and Mu>:c : M;<- Ida M. Sii.irp. M dcrn Scicfice : .vacant 
in i(/35 . Assis:a)i: Ma>:n\s : Me-^r^. \\ . II. I'ouell and Ji>seph Cop- 
land. r)\\ypl)\'-s <v:ii Ma:;- ti : y[\<. \\. A. R. Cainph<.>r. / eac/ier of 
Priniary (iradcs: Mr*-. Lmnia \\ . I'ayr.e. 

3^4 




MARCH I'Asr 



VOL. I 



25 



Liberia ^ 

The f^!; '.vi-:^ i:.f.irmiti«j:i is j^iven about the work of the 
( ' -LI.Ki.K "f \\ \ ^T At M' A : 

' f\'t'::s t:: fi.— l. Ihi: rrimary Schocl. the work of which 
I..-. ir> .1 }^ri'-i « f three years and leads up to the Grammar 

Stho .;. 

II. 1 he 'irarninitr Scho ! furni-hes in-truction in the ordinar}' 
Kn^li'h Ijr.irKi.' - a: d pr-jp ira'.ury fur the Hijh School. It oovers 
I ; eri- vi 'f three year>. 

Ill li.-- Hi^-h S-h ■ ; endeav-.urs tu '^ive a knowledge of the 
h^^hi r br.i'iche- l' h.:.^!i-h. Ihe cuuisc may be completed in two 
year- 

I\'. 1 he N rina! c- ;;r>e i> de-ij;ncd tt» prepare teachers for 
their w tk. 

\'. Ih.'. <■ ".it^e rrv-paiiit-.Ty and Cullejije Departments ^ive 
tla-MCii! «.'iii'..'i'.i- ■:.. 

\I Ih.' liii/.ici'. l)«.;>ar:me:.t " ^ives y•Jun^J men preparing for 
the « h::-::»in ::.:: .-\ry tivit >y-te:r.atic preparation which will help 
thMTi ':j*.-\ :■■ ^i::'-'.-:-.' ::.<: ::.te:e-t- « ■?" the kini;d«..m ol God." 

\'II. I:i :l:-*.: .i! 1 '• :> ir:::.er.t embraces wi.rk in carpentry, tin- 
Mnit:.::.. -:.".::.; :::_;. '•!.:. •.-:::i:!u:^^^ printing:, and home training 
1 r -:■:-. 

.'.' ' ' ^ ■' -:l: :.: :- .h.., caiiii^rt attend school in the day. 

'II:. •:.'. : :/■.. ! > -. - r ::;- :;th. 

I\.\ '■■.:> '.r ' - ' '; .'. .'. littLii examinations will be held at 

th^- <:.■: ■ :" ( .v.\\ '..: :. . 

/'^". ./ -■■■■-■ li:- t.-.lle-e of West Africa is open 

t'^ i'l'.!. ijT' .-; lC ; ■. : ;.:<.!::. i^c. r.icu, >e.\ or relii^ion. 

/:i/'A'.... h- ;■ / .■■ -V.:. .V ■•.-., i:i the College, College Prepara- 
t^;r\- ;iii'.: S"V\i.u\ I ^c; .;::::.- :.:-. i": j<er month. 

h. the 11:.!; .-<.;.■../. (i:-.i:r.iii;ir and Primary Departments, 
y> ct-. I he u-ii ;1 r< 'i'lLti'ii k-\ iricitlc-ntal fee will be made for 
two or more co:!.i:i.^ fr- :;; iht. s iiric fa: nil}".) 

Vny lu.tUfiuiy; St/i'i://! .--'J\ib!c b<-ard. including room, wash- 
in;^, incidental lee, and th.r- u.-e «'!" the necessary text books $Q 
per month. Students must lin:i;->h their own bcd-clothcs, towels 
lamp^, oil and toilet articles. .Suuients who are not afraid of 
indiscriminate work can earn :f3 |.»er ni'.'nth to help pa\* their 
expenses. Hill.^ paid in advance and quarterly. 




137- LIBERIAN MILITIA IN REVIEW ORDER (WHITE UNIFORM, liLUE SASIIES) 



Liberia ^ 

Gnxdnatioti Fee. — Diploma from College Department, S5. 
Diploma from College Preparatory Department, $3. 
Diploma from Normal Department, $3. 
Diploma from High School, $2. 

Diploma from Biblical and Industrial Departments, each ;?2, 

This College of the Methodist Mission has an Industrial Schoo 

on the St. Paul's River, in charge of Mr. J. B. McGill. It has als< 

an Industrial School on the Sino River, and a High School at Cap 

Pal mas. 

Ei'iriiANv Hall, CnTiNdTOX :the College of the Protcstan 
Flpiscopal Mission). 

Cuttinglon is the name given to a former station of the Pro 
testant Kpiscopal Mission, four and a half miles north of Cap< 
Palma.s. This station takes it name from Mr. R. F. Cutting, th< 
late President of the P.h'. Mission in the United States. Th( 
College was founded in iS<S9. It is sometimes known as the Cutting 
ton Collegiate and l)ivinil\' School. 

The operation of the Institution is maintained \w three depart 
ments : 

The Higher, formerly known as the Hoffmann Institute, whict 
had its origin at Cavalla station on March 8th, 1868, under th< 
late Rev. Dr. Auer, and was transferred to Harper at the beginning 
of the political trouble with the (irebo tribe. The object aimec 
at in this department is similar to that of the Theological Depart 
ment. 

The Preparatorv' Department, knt)vvn as the High School, whicl 
was for many \ ears a flourishing institution at Mount V^aughan, i: 
to impart a Christian education to the aborigines and others. 

'ihe Theological Department is to "train young men to tak( 
part in the work of advancini,^ the cause of Christ in the capacit} 
of clergymen, catechists, teachers, or other laymen, according to th< 
doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Holy Catholic Church a 
is maintained in one of her true branches — the P.E. Church ii 
U.S.A." 

The Preparatory Department has a two years' Primary course 
and a two years' Secondar\- course. 

The Higher Department has a two years* Advanced course 
a two years' Collegiate course, a year's course for Certificate o 

3S8 



-^ Religious, Political, Educational 

Proficiency in General Education, and a Normal course for candi- 
dates for teaching. 

The Theological Department has a three years' course and a 
Postulant course. 

hidustrial Departnioit. — A valuable work is carried on in this 
College in inculcating habits of manual labour. It has a coffee 




138. THK AKMOLKV, MONROVIA 

plantation on which the [)upils work, and a farm. The pupils are 
generally called upon to work for about four hours a day. during 
the week in learning practical agriculture and horticulture. There is 
a printing department in connection with Epiphany Hall, situated 
at the town of Harper, where the students are taught printing. 

Faculty, — Principal : The Rev. A. Dunbar. Vice-Principal : The 
Rev. G. \V. Gibson. Professor of Bible History, Secular Histor)\ and 

389 



Liberia ^ 

Speilhig: T. M. Gardner. Lau^i^inji^^es and Music: E. D. W. 
Shannon. Mathematics: S. P. Hodges. Modern Languages : N. W. 
Valentine. 

TiiK Hall Frke School.— Dr. James Hall, of the United 
Stales, founded in 1S75, on his own endowment, the Hall Free 
School in Maryland (Harper). This school was chartered by the 
Legislature of Liberia in 1875. Its funds were invested in five 
Trustees. When Dr. Hall died, he left money to continue the 
upkeep of this institution. The Principal of this school is Mr. 
S. J. Dossen, IVL. 

In addition to the fore^^oin*^ colleges, the Liberian Government 
has appointed a General Superintendent of Public Schools, Mr. 
J. Deputie. 

Each county has a local School Commissioner. There are 55 
Government Schools in Mesurado County, 13 in Grand Rasa, 15 
in Sino, and 19 in Maryland, with 102 teachers and 3,320 pupils, 
male and female. A number of these pupils, according to Govern- 
ment statistics, are native Africans. 



LITERARY SOCIETIES 

The principal amoni^st these is ])robably the MARYLAND 
AcADKMV OF PillLOSorilv, with its headquarters in the town of 
Harper (Cape Palmas i. At Monrovia is established Dr. Blyden's 
LlTEKAKV Union. At Cape Palmas is the Ladies' MUTUAL 
Rklikf Sociktv. 

The other societies trail away into secret, freemasonic, or bene- 
volent institutions, such as the (ikAND UNITED ORDER OF ODD- 
FELLOWS ('with fifteen lodi^^cs throughout Liberia), the UNITED 
Brothers of I^'riendsiiii- .described as a secret order, having 
its origin in the United States in 1861). ''Like all other secret 
orcyanisations, this (the U.B.F.j inculcates the principles of brotherly 
love, friendship, and truth." This institution has an organisation 
of a somewhat lurid character as rcL^ards nomenclature. Besides 
the Grand Lodge of Monrovia, there is the " Eastern Star Temple," 
or Female Branch, further known as the •' Sisters of the Mysterious 
Ten." The United Brothers of 1m<iendshii> maintain about 

390 



Liberia ^ 

eleven lodges in various parts of Liberia, besides the female mysteries 
of the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten. 

Colonel Powney has supplied me with the following information 
regarding the organisation of Freemasonry in Liberia : " There are 
nine lodges established at Monrovia, St. Paul's River, Cape Mount, 
Edina, Grand Rasa, Greenville, and Cape Palmas, — viz. the 
Oriental, St. Joiin'.s, St. Paul's, Excklsior, Widow's Son, 
Rising Star, KvKNiNci Star, and Morning Star." 



THE PRESS IN LIBERIA 

The ncwspa[)crs and periodicals now published in Liberia consist 
of the following : 

The Liberia Reeorder fKditor, the Rev. N. II. B. Cassell). Monrovia. 
This paper is in its seventh \car. It comes out every fortnight, and 
each copy costs 2\ti. it often contains excellent articles. 

I'/ie Ai^riciil/urai W'or/d {VA\\or, \\ 1\ Gray), Monrovia. Price 
ihd. monthly. In its sixth year. 

Lib:ri(i and West Jfriea ( luiitor, the Rev. A. P. Camphor). A 
monthly publication, in its fifth year. Yearly subscription, 6s. 3^/., 
including postage. 

J he Afrieati Leai^/u^ (hAlitor, J. H. Green), Grand Basa. A 
monthly paper, price yi. 

7 he Livitii:; Chrotiiele Kditor, the Rev. S. D. Ferguson, Jun.), 
Gregory Street, Har[)cr, Cape Palmas. Monthly paper, price \\d, 
A useful handbook on Liberia is issued yearly from the office of 
The Lii'if/i^ ChroJiicle. 



Mi'MClPALITlES AM) PORTS OE EXTRY 

There are at present four incorporated cities in Liberia — namely. 
MoNKOx lA, Grand Basa Lower Ikichanan ;, Kdina, and Harpkr, 
Each of these cities has a Mayor and Council. The other centres 
of population of the second order arc described as town.ships. 

The ports of entry at which foreigners are free to trade and 
settle (the theoretical areas of these ports of entry being reduced to 
a radius of three miles from the centre of the town) are at present nine 
in number— RonKRTSPoRT Cape Mount;, MONROVIA, Marshall, 
Grand Basa Lower lUichanan), RivKR Ckstos, Greenville 

392 



^ Religious, Political, Educational 

(Sino), Nana Kru, Harper (Cape Palmas), and Cavalla (mouth of 
Cavalla River). 

The following are not yet ports of entry but are places on 
the coast where Americo-Liberians carry on trade : Little Basd, 

V 




140. A HOUSE AM) (JARDKN, MONROVIA 



Tobakoni\ Netv Cestos^ Trade Town^ Grand Kulio^ Tembo^ Manna^ 
Rock Ccss^ Bafu Bay^ Butu, Setra Kru, Kroba, Nifu, Beddo, Sas 
TowHy Pikanini Ses, Grand S esters, IVedabo, Fish Town, Rock Town, 
Puduke, and Garaivi. 



393 



Liberia -^ 




141. 



i.lvIlN 1:1. Ill R 1 \\:i I IKI KIAN NMIM (( •H-I K 'I KT-KS 



AIMM'.NDIX ill 

7///-; XA'IJOXA/. nvMx or LinERIA 

It is not very cU-ar when ihi^ came into existence. As early 
as the 'fifties of the last century there was a fceUng that as an 
independent state Liberia should be endowed with a National 
Anthem. The stories circulated about it^ — to the effect that the 

394 



^ The National Hymn 

words were " indented for " in America and the music was supplied 
by a student at Dresden — are untrue. The words of " Hail, Liberia, 
hail ! " were (it is said) written by President D. B. Warner. The 
music, certainly, was composed by a Liberian citizen, Olmstead Luca, 
in the early 'sixties. The Luca family was a very musical one. 
They were mulattoes from the southern United States, of whom 
one or more settled in Liberia. 

This musical talent in the Eurafrican, the mixed breed between 
the Caucasian and the Negro, is a noteworthy feature. Many of the 
beautiful airs of the early " nigger " songs from the United States 
were invented by mulattoes and quadroons. A well-known com- 
poser of the present day rapidly coming to the fore in the British 
musical world is of this mixed lineage, and hnils from Sierra Leone, 
next door to Liberia. 



L1BI:KIAX NATIONAL ANTIIKM. 



Music !)>• Oi.MsrKAi) Luca, a Libnian composer. 
Words said to l)e by I'resident D. B. War MR. 

/w/r( '<///(>■</ //-.'/// /hr Ani<-rii.in m/tU' ^' Lihn-'h'" for i8»;j. 
Sop unit cd Alii. 



1^^ 



J. J' J J 



J. J- J J 



All 

TtnOTK t 



f f. f f 

ill, Li be ria, 



hail 

Bassi. 



T 

bant 



All 
All 



MM 



f c r r 

hail^ Ld- be • ria, 
hail, all 



m 



^ 



r 



I \j rj 



M 



* 



J. ;^ J J 



J- j' J J 



^zi 



T — =r 

hail I This 

bail, Li • be ria, 

J- J 

T f r f 



r^ c r r 

glorious land of 
baill This . . 

J J J J 

r r f f 



r 't; r f 

li • bcr • ty shall 

»» » 9 tf 

I I I i E 



long 



^ 



m 



395 



t 



^ 



Liberia ^ 



U^_'A\^ 



fe^ 



$ 



^fe^ 



F^ 



mighty be her 
tf f» ft ff 



ours. Tho* 



Dew her name, (rreen 
IT* 



be her fame, and 

9 9 n 



^m 



^^ 



ju r r 



==f 



rr 



m 



DSC 



3z: 



2Z= 



pow'rs, 



Tho' 



new her name, green 




«:. ^ 



H 



u^ 



be her fame, and 

jUM. 



3 



hty be ber 



^ 



m 



T T 



i 



st4= 



and 
pow'rs, 

j2 '^ " 



^ 



^ 



mighty be her 



pow.rs 



and 



-sU 



3221 



mighty be her 



^ 



^ 



pow're. 



a 




^ The National Hymil 

LJLAi 





~^m 



3b 



home of glorious 

rTT 2 



ffl 



"f 



liberty by 




^^ 



God's com 



^ 



mand, a 



m 



-^^_ 



j^ 



m 



home uf gloijous 



^ 



■^^l^ 



3L±r^ 



-^-^ 



liberty, by 



^= 



^' 



:|= 



God's com 



=t: 



mand. 
— # — 



All hail, Liberia, hail! 

In union strong, success is sure. 

We cannot fail. 

With (}od above 

Our rights to i)rove 

We will the world assail. 

With heart and hand our country's cause defending, 
We'll meet the foe with valour unpretending. 
Long live Liberia, happy land, 
A home of glorious liberty by God's command. 



397 



CHAPTKR XVIII 

COMMERCE OE LIBERIA 
(BV THE AUTHOR ANT) MR. I. F. BRAHAM) 

THE imports into Liberia comprise practically every sort 
and description of cotton goods, hardware, tobacco, silks, 
crockery, guns, gunpowder, rice, stock-fish, herrings, 
and salt. The natives are most conservative in their tastes, and 
there is great difficulty in finding a market for new goods. 
Certain articles such as brass kettles, cutlasses (matchets), and 
tobacco are now of the same pattern and description as they 
were when introduced by the Spaniards and the Portuguese 
in the fifteenth (?) century, and no inducement will tempt the 
natives to purchase any modern variation of these old patterns. 
As a matter of fact, this description of articles has become the 
currency of the interior tribes (who up to the present do not 
understand the value of a coinage), and from time immemorial 
have been employed in the purchase of their wives and cattle 
and this may be taken to be the principal reason why a change 
is unappreciated. The value of wives varies in different 
districts, but an average may be struck — viz. 6 brass kettles 
15 kegs of powder, and 5 pieces of cloth. The value of a 
slave boy is 15 kegs of powder, and of a slave girl 10 kegs 
of powder, or too sticks of salt. 

Salt and rice are very largely imported. Although the 
natives throughout the hinterland grow rice in large quantities, 

39^^ 



^ Commerce of Liberia 

they do not cultivate nearly sufficient for their own consumption, 
and thousands of bags are imported annually. We may compute 
the amount of rice at 150,000 bags = 700 tons per annum, and 
salt in rather larger quantities. The import of salt, rice, and 
fish may be regarded as the greatest import trade of the country. 
Another article of consumption imported in great quantities, 
especially on the Kru Coast, is stock-fish from Norway. The 




142. SIR ALFKKD JONKs's AGKNCY IN MONKOVIA (KLDI.K, DEMr>IKK AND CO., KTC. ) 

Kru people, Grebos, and in fact all those tribes living between 
Grand Basa and Maryland, are extremely fond of stock-fish, 
which has become one of their principal articles of diet. Fish, 
generally in the shape of herrings in barrels, is largely imported. 

Gin and rum are imported in considerable quantities, but 
the liquor traffic, so much discussed, does not appear, from 
the writer's experience, to have in any way affected the natives 
of the interior, and on the whole there is very little drunkenness 

399 



Lil)cria ^ 

among the interior tribes. These strong waters are much used 

in compounding native medicines. 

Cotton goods such as blue baft, prints of various descrip- 
tions, romals and white shirting, have a large sale. Kven in 
their choice of cotton goods the natives are very conservative, 
and a new pattern does not *' catch on " very readily. Strangely 
enough, the Liberian natives have little fondness for gorgeous 
and brilliant colours and patterns, sombre blue and white 
being their favourite colours. Another feature is that the 
cloth must be sold in pieces made up of twelve yards — 
smaller pieces, although correspondingly lower in price, are not 
easily disposed ot. 

The total value of the imports per annum into Liberia 
may be estimated at about ^f 200,000. 

Hie exports of Liberia at the time of writing consist of 
the following products : 

Camwood {liaphid uitida). 

Cacao (cocoa). 

Calabar beans [Physosti^j^vui vcPicHOSci). 

Cassa\a (manioc) (^MiUii/iot ntHissima), 

Coffee [CoJlfrd lihrrioisis). 

(linger. 

Indiariibbcr (^1 .dndoiphid^ luntumid^ Clitandra^ etc.). 

Ivory. 

X'ciretablc i\-ory (nuts o\ Bordssus palm). 

Kafa or Konibo oil seeds [SiSdwum or Pycnanthus), 

Hides. 

Kola nuts. 

Palm kernels/ 

Palm oil I --^ 

Piassa\'a hbre (Rdp/iid vi}iiftrd). 

Annatto seed (Bixd orclldud^, 
400 




143- COFFEA LIBKRICA IN FLOWKR 



VOL. I 



26 



Liberia ^ 

Amongst other products of the country not included in 
any recent list of exports, but which, if they could be worked 
with industry, might well add to the stream of Liberian com- 
merce, are rice, cotton, peppers of various sorts, the Strophanthus 
drug, timber from the African mahogany and teak, copal gum, 
and pineapple fibre. 

Reliable statistics relative to the exports are not easily 
obtainable, but their average annual value at the time of writing 
is about ;^20o,ooo. 

Coffee w.'is once the principal article of export, but now 
takes a secondary rank. It is mainly exported from Monrovia 
and Cape Mount (Robertsport). It is grown extensively on the 
St. PauKs River by the Americo-Liberians. At one time 
Liberian cofFee was greatly appreciated in the European markets, 
and for many years averaged the high price of ^5 per cwt. 
The increasing importations from Brazil, Ceylon, and from 
other sources have had, however, a serious effect upon the 
value of Liberian cofFee, which is now only worth from 38/. to 
44J. per cwt. The reason for this fall in the value of Liberian 
coffee is not only to be sought in the larger imports from 
other countries, but also in the fact that the Liberian planters 
are unscientific in their methods of preparation for market, 
the machinery employed is primitive, and, as a consequence, the 
coffee berries come into the market in a broken and imperfect 
condition. There is no doubt that proper treatment would 
have the effect of greatly enhancing the value of this product. 
It is a delicious coffee of full flavour and improves with age. 
The Liberian planters are gradually awakening to the fact that 
their old and primitive methods are retarding progress, and are 
beginning to attempt improvements. 

About 1,500,000 lb. avoirdupois of coffee are annually 
exported from Liberia. This output is growing to some slight 

402 



^ Commerce of Liberia 

extent, but not in the proportion anticipated. The planters 
have become nervous by long depression and have to some 
extent lost faith. 

Palm Oil is a large export — mainly from the Basa 
and Kru Coast.:: This substance is used in the manufacture 




144. A LIBERIAN COFFEE PLANTATION AT WHITE PLAINS ON THE ST. PAUL'S RIVER 

of the best kind of soaps and candles and takes the place of 
tallow. It is extracted from the outer coating of the palm 
nut. The method of obtaining the oil is simple : The palm 
nuts are gathered and thrown together into a pit dug in the 
earth, and allowed to remain until decay and fermentation set 
in ; the outer coating is then squeezed by hand, and the oil 

403 



Liberia ♦ 

is thus extracted. The inner nut is then thrown aside to be 
cracked for its yield of palm kernels. 

Mr. John Gow gives the author the following description 
of palm-oil manufacture in the Kaka country (Dukwia River) : 
** The fruits are cut off the palm raceme and boiled in water. 




T45. OIL TAI.MS 



They are then put into a large mortar and pounded with a 
pestle until the fibrous covering of the kernel is separated 
from the latter. The kernels or nuts are then picked out and 
put apart. The orange-coloured pericarp is put into a hollowed 
wooden scoop or trough, which is supported on crossed sticks 
at an angle of about 45 degrees. Hot stones are then mixed 

404 



•^ Commerce of Liberia 



with the oil-producing pericarp, and as this mass becomes 
hardened the oil detaches itself from the fibre and trickles 
down into a pan. In some districts they do not trouble to 
put the hot stones amongst the oily coverings of the nut, but 
soak this oily covering in hot water and then boil the water 
that is drained ofF. As it boils they skim the oil ofF the 
top. 




146. NATIVK WOMKN MANl FA(;HK1N(; I'AI.M «»I1.: NOTE IHE WUOhEN TROKiH 
I.IKE A CANOK, FL I.L OF I'AI.M OIL 

Liberian palm oil (again owing to careless treatment) is not 
the best quality on the market. There is too large a percentage 
of dirt and extraneous matter, but the ruling prices for this 
oil are good, and Liberian palm oil is now quoted at £2^ \os, 
per ton. 

Palm Kernels are the inner kernel of the palm nut, 
the outer shell of which is cracked by hand ; they were exported 
from Africa for the first time in 1850 by a Liberian. Liberia 

405 



Liberia ^ 

can claim therefore to have been the introducer of at least 
one product of great economic value. Very large quantities 
of kernels are exported. The present price per ton is 





147. CLIMIIIN*; OIL PALM To Cl'T lU NCII OF OIL NL'TS 

^13 1 5 J. Palm kernels are employed for the same purposes 
as palm oil. The oil expressed from the kernels is worth 
£2 'J a ton. 

406 



Commerce of Liberia 



■>> 



m 














148. HALF-WAY UP 





149. AT THK TOP 



PiAssAVA.^ The history of the piassava industry in 

Liberia is somewhat extraordinary. Piassava is the fibre of the 

' This word is of Brazilian origin. A similar fibre is yielded by a Brazilian 
palm nearly allied to the Raphia. 

407 



Lib 



•ena ^ 



fronds of the Raphia palm {R. v'wiferti]. Its use was discovered 
about 1889, and in 1890 it was first exported, the value at that 
time being from £ho to ^'-o per ton. It was easy to prepare, and 
the Raphia palm (^f which it is a product was extremely plentiful, 




150. Vi)r.\<; MK -MAM. K \IHI \ \IMIl.k\ I'AIM, !«) Sllt)W INFLOKKSCKXCF. 



The natives rushed in and the production in the course of 
a few years grew to enormous proportions, Liberia being 
for many years practically the sole country exporting this 
product. As the production grew the natives became careless (as 

40S 



Liberia ^ 

is the case with most Liberian products), the merchants who 
handled this article gave it little attention — prices and profits 
being so good — and in course of time prices in the home 
markets tell. Other West African countries began to compete 
and gradually the price dwindled, the value decreasing rapidly 
until it descended to the low level of about ^lo rising to ;(^20 per 
ton, at which quotation it now stands. The difficulties of selecting 
the good from the bad piassava are great, enormous losses occur 
by shrinkage in weight, and the trade is practically at a stand- 
still. Although a steady export goes on and profits are made, 
the risks are great and merchants are less keen to embark in 
this uncertain trade ; the piassava market is too speculative — for 
one shipment /]i5 may be obtained, and for the next, identical 
in quality, only /[lo. 

Grand Basil was, and still is, the headquarters of the pias- 
sava export. Efforts are being made, with some slight success, 
to regulate this trade and to improve the methods of production, 
but the low and uncertain prices ruling (and which are likely 
to rule) will prevent the trade from increasing to its former 
proportions. 

Coffee^ Rnbbti\ Palm O'll^ Pahn Kernels^ and Piassava may 
be regarded as the staple exports from Liberia. 

Camwooix — At one time — in the 'seventies and 'eighties — 
camwood was a most important article of export in Liberia (as 
with other parts of the West Coast), and as much as ^40 and 
^50 per ton were realised ; but the discovery of aniline dyes 
had a disastrous effect, and now, although small quantities are 
still shipped, the price (^10 to /' 13) is too low to encourage a 
steady export. These remarks apply to annatto and other dye 
stuffs, all of which have been affected by the introduction of 
aniline. 

IvoRv is not largely exported, although occasionally a ton 

410 




hx/i'^ctLA^ 



152. 1. DALBKRGIA MELANOXYLON (PRODUCING EBONY) (nat. size) 

2. Flower (enlarged). 8. Calyx laid open (enlarged). 4. Wing petal (enlarged). B. Keel (enlarged). 

0. Section of ovary (enlarged^ 7. Pod (nat. size). 



Liberia ^ 

or so is shipped. The natives regard their stores of ivory 
as v^ery precious, and there is little or no profit in the ivory 
trade. Most ivory finds its way through the hinterland to the 
French colonies, and very little to the seaboard. The develop- 
ment of the transport system of the country, the opening of 
roads, and the settlement of native disputes will have a 
beneficial effect with regard to this as well as to other products 
of the country. The natives state there are two descriptions 
of elephant inhabiting the vast virgin forests — a smaller and a 
larger, the latter producing the smaller ivory ! From obser- 
vation this has not been proved, and the statement is to be 
doubted. 

Fbonv. -A species of Diospyros and of Dalbergia are both 
present in the Liberian forests. It is not difl^icult to understand 
why no ebony is exported since the present price is onlv about 
/,'6 a ton. 

Cacao. - Owing to the bad outlook for the future of the 
coffee industry, many Libcrian planters have started cocoa- 
growing on their plantations. This industry is in the earlv 
stages of inhincy, but bids fair to develop into useful pro- 
portions. Samples sent to England have touched high prices 
(47J. per cwt.). 

CorroN.— l^xperimcnts are being made by the Liberian 
planters. It is too early to discuss this product from the 
point of view of trade, but there is no doubt that the soil is 
well adapted to the growing of cotton. The interior natives 
grow cotton for their own consumption, from which they weave 
beautiful cloths. The cotton industry is increasing. 

Calabar Beans have only an uncertain sale and cannot be 
regarded an an article of export. They are plentiful, however 
and if the home market demanded, large exports could Imj 
made. 

412 




rh ■A^^.^cM^ del ^, 



153. FLOWKKS AM) LKAVKS OF COl.A A( I'MINATA (KOLA Ml) 

1. Flowering branch (nat. size). 2. Male tlowcr with calyx removed (enlarged). 3. Anthers (enlarged). 

4. Female flower with calyx removed (enlarged). 5. Stellate hairs (enlarged). 

Vide Sterculiacca in Appendix. 



Liberia ^ 

Kola Nuts. — Ver)' few kola nuts are exported to Europe 
although there is a comparatively large local trade — mostly ii 
the hands of the Sierra Leoneans. As this valuable nerv 
stimulant (the basis of certain brands of cocoa and tonic wines 
is likely to attain a greatly extended use in Europe and America 
kola production in Liberia should receive attention. 

Ginger. — The export of ginger varies considerably. It i 
largely planted by the Americo-Liberians, the soil being splendidl 
adapted to the purpose, but the home market for ginger i 
most irregular, and this has had the effect of reducing the amoun 
planted and exported. In spite of all drawbacks, however 
some considerable quantity of ginger is shipped. Presen 
prices are about 24/. the cwt. 

SuoAR. — In the early days of Liberia sugar-cane wa 
largely grown on the St. PauTs River, but the introduction o 
beet sugar has had the same effect in Liberia as in other sugar- 
growing countries, and none is now exported, although a smal 
quantity is prepared for local consumption and the molasse 
and syrup are sold locally. The cane grows freely and well 
and with a better demand and higher prices a trade in thi 
product could be resuscitated to advantage. 

Tobacco. --KxpLTinicnts are now being made by ; 
Liberian recently arrived from America, but results so far hav< 
been negative. 

Gum Copal {Copaifcra dinklagci) exists in quantities in thi 
forests, and the natives are beginning to gather it. It is ai 
increasing industry, and little more can be said. The qualiti 
is about on a par with that exported from Sierra Leone, anc 
the value reaches to ^^74 a ton. 

IvoRV Nuts have been exported in small quantities witt 
negative results. These nuts — probably the fruit of a Pandanui 
or Borassus — are used in the manufacture of cheap buttons. 

414 





.iy^M^UU' 



154. FKUIT OF THE COLA ACUMINATA (KOLA NUT) 
1. Fruit. 2. Section of fruit. S. Seed. 4. Section of seed (all nat. sire). 



Liberia ^ 

CiRoi'M) Nrrs {.h'ihhis and J'oanJzeiii) are grown in 
small quantities aiui arc disposed of locallv. 

RrnnbR. — The industry in this product is increasing since 
the foutuiation of the Monrovian Rubber Company^ in 1904. 
In all probability rubber will become in time the principal article 
of export. 

The present price of I/iberian rubber is about zs. ^iL per 
lb. The price during i S9S, 1899, and the first half of 1900 
remained very constant at an average of about 2s. 3^/. per lb. 
During this time Para rubber rose from y. i)ii. to 4.C. 9^/. per lb. 
The lowest price for Para rubber since i88ohas been zs, iJ. 
in 1SS4; in 1S91 it was 2.f. Si/, per lb., and it steadily rose to 
4.f. ()(/. per ll>. in the beginning of 1900. During the first half 
of 1900 Para rul^ber fell rapidly, recovered somewhat, and again 
fell, until at the envi of the year it was 4.^. per lb. It is now 
about s». per lb. The average price for the last ten years has 
been aboLit V- v/. per lb. During the latter six months of 
19CO Liberiaii rubber fell steadily to about ijr. 8^. per lb. 
\s. "{c/. having been the lowest price ttniched ; 2s. lO//. was the 
highest reachcvl '. 1 9c; ). 

r.iberia:i rubber is chiefly used, mixed with other 
kinds, in the nianutacture ot rubber for mechanical piirpxjses. 
The qiiantitN' of rubbL-r u^Cvl in ''mechanicals'' is very large 
indee 1, probably ab.)iir equal to the total amount of Para 
imported. 

In I jbv-ria sixteen «. lasses of rubber are known at present 
probabb attributable to as nianv species of rubber-producing 
trees and vines, a list ot which, so far as they are known will 
be found in the Botanic. il Appendix (p. 616 r/. seq.). 'I*he quality 
of the rubber varies ver\ much according to the species. Lan^ 
dolphiti oii'iirioisis and iHUtHniia euisti:ii probably yield the best. 

' Now .styltid tilt' Libciiaii Ivubhrr (.(irporation. 
4"> 





155. WEICiHING RLJIHEK AT GKKENVILLE (SINO), LIBERIAN KLIiHKR CUKl'ORATION 
VOL. I 27 



IJberia ^ 

The lianas of I^ndolphias, which produce so much of the rubber, 
grow up tall trees and extend sometimes three or four hundred 
feet along their tops. The rope-like stems of these creef>ers 
are as much as nine inches in diameter, the slenderest probably 
being about three inches. 

Rubber abounds not only where it has been seen by the 
officials of the Company, but right through the vast forests of 




150. Fukbl-ll.KS 11«'L>1. IN INllkloK (KIHBKK COKIH»RATION) 

the interior. The method of treating the rubber at present is 
somewhat crude, but the quality, although it is not considered 
the best on the market, is very fair, and, barring a certain un- 
pleasant odour, is equal to the average rubber exported from 
the West Coast of Africa. 

Hitherto rubber-collecting in Liberia has been merely in 
its infancy, but the Liherian Rubber Corporation is making 
rapid strides towards opening up stations throughout the country 

4f8 



-^ Commerce of Liberia 

with satisfactory results. Down to about 1898 no attempt was 
made by Europeans to trade for rubber or to collect it away 
from the coast ports. In that year, however, two agents of the 
Liberian Rubber Syndicate (which preceded the Monrovian 
Rubber Company) made some attempt to collect rubber in the 
Dukwia country, but the enterprise, though successful, was not 
persisted in. In 1903-4 the journeys of Mr. Alexander Whyte 




157. HEADQUARTERS OF THE LIBERIAN RUBBER CORPORATION, MONROVIA 



revealed the extraordinary wealth ot rubber-producing trees, 
shrubs, and lianas in the interior forests. Early in 1904 Mr. 
Harold Reynolds, on behalf of the Monrovian Rubber Company, 
opened the first permanent station in the interior, opposite 
Dobli Zulu Island on the St. Paul's River, near Boporo. 
Prior negotiations had been entered into with the Gora and 
Boporo chiefs in the neighbourhood by Mr. Braham, the General 

419 



Liberia ^ 

Manager of the Company, with the assistance; and supf 
the Liberian (Fovernment. Similar measures brought abc 
foundation of other stations at distances of from twenty- 
one hundred miles from the coast at Mount Barclay, Kal 
(Dukwia), Sikombe, Putu, and Woffbke ' (Maryland). 
stations were occupied by foresters (mostly from the Edii 
Botanical (iardens) in the service of the Rubber Conipan 
1905 Mr. I). Sim, one of these foresters, discover 
Fioiiunii.i cliistica (the rubber-tree of I-agos) existing 
vast Nidi forest in the Sapo country behind Putu. The 
soon realised the public importance of this asset, and are 
great pains to see that the trees are not injured by ex 
tapping. Since the end of 1905 a number more r 
collecting stations in the interior have been opened by Eu 
and negro foresters. 'I'he first of this new series ^ 
Kaitikpo's town, on the T'armington River. 

Rubber-collecting bv the natives is carried on i 
ways : either as an indivivlual enterprise — the native 
out into the forest and collecting rubber which he aftei 
brings for silc to the Company's stations or to the tradt 
the coast or by direct salaried employment at the hands 
Company. 

i'he best rLil)ber-c«)llecting season is in August and 
October to March, during the (more or less) dry season 
this is because at that time of vear the natives have less w< 
do on their farms, anvi of course the slackening in the r 
makes outdoor work in the f)rests more agreeable. 

When rubber-collecting is undertaken bv the nativ 
their own initiative, their procedure is usuallv as fol 
Their wives prepare about three weeks' food, which they 

' Wotl'.k*' ii;is simr bccii c^lc-d. Aljoiit Unw suh-statiojis, mainly im 
Oijargc of Sierra Leone nn'ii or I.ihirians, (lc|)<'nd on each head-station. 

420 




158. A forester's camp 



Liberia ^ 

in the baskets {kiftja) borne on the back and forehead of th( 
porter. They then settle down in the forest in the middle oj 
the rubber vines and proceed to collect the latex of the vines 
or trees by tapping the bark and allowing the ** milk " to run 
into little receptacles (broken bottles, large snail-shells, gourds 
tin cans, etc.), or else by cutting up the smaller lianas into seg- 
ments, from each end of which the latex streams off into basins 
or other receptacles. 

The supplies of latex ('' milk '') are either collected toward* 
evening or in the early morning, and are all mixed together ir 
brass kettles or iron pots. The rubber is thence obtained b] 
promoting coagulation. This is effected by boiling the latex 
or precipitating the caoutchouc by the admixture of acid reagents 
such as iinie-juice or the juice or tannin ot wild fruits or bark 
infusion. The better educated natives then put their strips oi 
balls of rubber aside to dry by hanging them over the rafters o 
huts in the smoke from the hearth. The stupider or the men 
dishonest in^merse their rubber in flowing streams^ believinj 
that by so doing thcv cleanse it from impurities and yet caus 
it to absorb moisture and so increase its weight fraudulently 
As a matter of fact the caoutchouc does not absorb the water, bu 
immersion pre\ents it from exuding its inherent moisture, so tha 
it is brought to the trader in a damp and " mucky " condition. 

The ordinary pay of the native labourer is about 9^/. t( 
IS. per day. By working systematically one man can readilj 
collect up to ;^ or 4 lb. of rubber per day, tor which he woulc 
receive about \s. per Ih. The natives prefer collecting rubbei 
to growing or collecting any other kind of product, as wher 
brought to the coast it realises /'2 lO.f. per load as againsi 
about 4J. for the same weight of palm kernels, loj. for pain" 
oil, and 14.^. for coffee. They will rarely carry produce othei 
than rubber more than a two days' journey. 

422 



Q > 



o *^ 



> r 

Z M 

D i« 

> > 

> > 




»»'^^^!.^^ 



Liberia ^ 



The whole of the rubber trade and collecting of rubber 
in Liberia is under the supervision of the Liberian Rubber 
Corporation, which is for all practical purposes the Forestry Board 
of the Liberian (iovernment, for whom it collects the royalties 
or export duties on the rubber (an approximate 8 cents [4//.] 
per lb.). The Liberian Rubber Corporation makes arrange- 
ments with and subsidises native chiefs for the carrj'ing out of 




\-< \lx I <'N l.Il'.I.KIAN K()A1> 



its regulations (which hiivc the force of by-laws) for the pre- 
servation of the forests and the replanting of rubber vines and 
trees. It spreads instruction amongst the natives as to the 
proper methods of collecting rubber, and by its stations and sub- 
stations in the interior endeavours to provide /or/ for the trade. 
Any person may trade in or collect rubber in Liberia by obtaining 
a licence from the Company and agreeing to pay the royalties due ^ 

^ \d. per Ih. to the Liberian Ciovernmerit, 4^/. per lb. to the Company = 8^/ 
per lb. total royalties. 

424 



Commerce of Liberia 



and observe the regulations in force. The sums derived from 
the rubber royalties are pledged by the Liberian Government 
to the service of its public debt. 







^.A^^K 












'^ * ^^r^ 




^ ? 

' ft: 


'■^t 



l6l. "IN THK WKT SI:AS0N TUKSE PATHS BKCOMK CANALS " 

The foregoing list ought not to limit by any means the 
possible trade products of Liberia. Any quantity of valuable 
timber — African mahogany {Khaya), African teak {Oldfieldia\ 

425 



Liberia ^ 

besides other trees mentioned in the Botanical Appendix — i 
present in the forests ; there are many undescribed nuts and seed 
yielding fine oils ; the bark of the mangrove and of certain acacia 
is valuable for tanning. Besides articles of export there are \oa 
wants to be supplied. Liberia ought — so far as climate an 
soil are concerned — to grow all the Rice her inciigenous an 
American population requires, and yet become a rice-exportin 
country — instead of which she imports rice by the hundred 
thousand-pounds' worth. Her coasts are well provided wit 
fish. She should set up her own fish-curing establishments o 
the seashore and send dried fish to the people of the interic 
instead of importing it from Norway. 

The fruit produced in the coast regions consists of coconut: 
pineapples, oranges, limes, mangoes, papaws, Avocado pear: 
" sour sop,'' bananas, and plantains. 

Cattle thrive well in Liberia : they ought to be bred an 
fattened for the West African market, likewise sheep, goat; 
fowls, and ducks. Cieese will not breed in this climate, an 
turkeys find it too wet. 

The mineral wealth of Liberia is still an unknow 
quantity ; it will he discussed in another chapter. 

To quicken the stagnant commerce of this land sever; 
things are necessary : imprimis, a far greater devotion to a^ricu 
ture on the part of the Negro population : practical, tropic; 
agriculture should be taught at all the colleges and schools 
secundo, more coin, instead of paper money, should circulate 
tertio^ roads must he made into the interior and European tradei 
be allowed to settle at convenient points along those roads. 

Present means of transport are most defective and primitive 
In the coast districts there are short stretches of roads inac 
by the Liberian Government, with a few wooden bridges. O 
these, rudely made ox-carts ply between the plantations an 

426 



■^ Commerce of Liberia 

the villages. Beyond the coast strip of ten to twenty miles 
all roads narrow into a footpath which becomes often a mere 
tunnel through dense vegetation sufficiently high for foot 
passengers with loads on head or' back to pass through. In 
the wet season these paths 
become canals, along which 
Europeans and natives can 
only progress by wading, 
sometimes up to the armpits. 
In the far interior (/.^. 
over seventy miles from the 
coast) another inconvenience 
to caravans arises occasion- 
ally from the simultaneous 
occupation of the roads by 
herds of elephants, who arc 
very fierce, and rush at the 
human trespassers (for many 
of these paths appear to have 
been elephant-tracks in origin) 
with angry screams and up- 
lifted trunks. Needless to 
say, the native porters, if ' -^ 

not the European master, 1 

fling down their loads and 

scatter into the dense forest. f^A 

But when the region 

^ 162. A POKTEK, MBKRIA 

quite beyond coast influence 

is reached, at, say, one hundred miles inland, these narrow 
paths often broaden out into fine highways, constructed and 
kept clear of vegetable growth by the industrious, warlike (and 
often cannibalistic) natives of the far interior. 

427 




Liberia ^ 

The native porters prefer to carry their loads in the kinja^ 
a wicker '' pottle " or long hamper slung on the back (see Index), 
but European boxes are carried on the head. In many districts 
the women readily proffer themselves as porters, and carry all 
loads poised on the head. 

On the rivers in their navigable stretches dug-out canoes (see 
p. 496) are much used for transport and travel. Horses and 




I'>3. \\i>Mi.N I'OKTKKS 



donkeys arc employed as pack animals by the Mandingo beyond 
the forest zone, hut never within the region of dense vegetation. 
The Amcrico-Liherians arc keen traders, fonder, indeed 
of trade than of agriculture. Most of them, however, carry 
on their business as the agents or employes of European 
firms. Mr. S. Harmon, of (irand Basa, is an important trader. 
Attia, a Moorish Jew, came to this country a long while ago 
and, on the strength of his African nationality, was able to 

428 



^ Commerce of Liberia 



enjoy all the privileges of a Liberian citizen. He built up a 
big trading business, but since his death the firm seems to have 
left Liberia. The most powerful trading house is that of 
Woermann, with agencies in every port of entry ; then follow 
the Liberian Development Chartered and Rubber Companies 




64. CANOK-IRAVKLMNU : MurPKD H\ VllK KAI'IDS 



(British), the German firms Wiechers and Helm, J. West, etc., the 
Dutch East African Company, Messrs. Woodin (British), etc., etc. 
The total value of British trade with Liberia in /(^o~/ was 
^112,779 (imports from United Kingdom, ;f 50,069 ; exports to 
United Kingdom, ^62,710) ; total trade with British Empire, 
including about ^^20,000 with Sierra Leone and Gold Coast = 
^132,000. 

429 



Liberia 



The value of Liberian trade with Germany during the same 
period (1904) was ^105,000 ; with Holland (about) ^{[70,000 ; 
and with other countries (United States, France, Spain and 
Belgium), about ^ioo,ocx5. 

A list of Custom Duties in force is appended : 
The regular IMPOSTS or CUSTOMS on Goods. Wares, or 
Merchandise brought into this Republic arc as follows, as per Tariff 
as enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
Republic of Liberia. All import duties payable in gold. 

Specific 
Dried r'ish, per 100 lb. Si. 00 ^ 

Pickled r^ish, per barrel ..... i ,00 
Beef, per barrel . 
Beef Tongues, per barrel 
Pigs' r^ect and Heads, per barrel 
Bacon, per lb. 
Ham, per lb. 
Pickled Sausages, per lb 
Sugar (Refined), per lb. 
Fancy Biscuits, per lb. 
Butter, per lb. 
Lard, per lb. 

Cand}' Confectionery, per lb 
Salt, per 100 lb. . 
Tea, per lb. . 
Rice, per i i 2 lb. . 
Common Soaj), per lb. 
P'ancy Toilet Soap, per lb 
Starch, per lb. 
Steel, per lb. 
Brass Kettles, per lb. . 
Cutlasses, per doz. 
Gunpowder, per lb. 
Kcrosine, per gallon . 
Tobacco — Leaf, per lb. 

' The Liberian currency is in dollars 
dollar) = 4J. 2d. English money; one cent — .Vc/. I' 

430 



1.^^ 

2.00 

1. 00 

.01 

.02 

•03 
.06 
.02 
.04 
.06 

•05 
.05 
.10 

.02 
.06 
.06 
.02 
.06 

•25 
.08 
.04 
.08 



and cents (loo cents = I doHar). 
nglish money. 



81 (one 



-•J Commerce of Liberia 



Percussion Guns, each 
Flint Lock Guns, each 
Oven and Spiders, per lb. . 
Manufactured Tobacco, per lb. 
Cigars, each 



$2.50 

2.50 

.01 

.25 
.01 



Cigarettes ....... ad valorem 

Lumber, per foot ...... .oo^ 

Trade Plates (not in sets), per doz. . . . .12 

Basins not exceeding 12 inch, per doz. . .12 

„ exceeding 12 inch, per doz. ... .25 

Brandy, Old Tom Gin, Jamaica Rum, Scotch or 

Irish Whisk}', and all other fine qualities of 

Alcoholic Liquors, per gallon 
Common Rum or Gin, per gallon 
Wine, Chami)agne, Cordial, and all other Liciucurs 

or Sweet Waters, per gallon 
Beer, Ale, Stout, Porter, Cherry Wine, per gallon 
Empt\' Demijohns, each ..... 



2.CXD 

•75 

2.00 

•50 
1. 00 



Ad Wxlorcm 

Up(-)n all other goods not enumeratetl in the foregoing, there 
shall be levied and collected a Dut\' of \2\ per cent, ad valorem, tran- 
sient traders not excepted. 

h }'ee Goods 

Seine, Lye, Thread, Agricultural Implements, and Machinery 
of all kinds (Bill-hooks and Cutlasses excepted). Tools, Sewing- 
machines, Palm Kernel and Coffee-bags, Shooks, Hoop-iron, Rivets, 
Tenter-hooks, Musical Instruments, Books for use of Missions and 
Schools, in cases of direct consignment from abroad. 



EXPORT TARIFF 

Export Duties are payable in gold and currency. 

Palm Oil, per gallon ...... ^.01 

„ Kernels, per bushel ..... .02 

Camwood, per ton ....... 3.50 

Rubber and Guttapercha, per lb. . . . .06 to .08 

Ivory, per lb .05 

Piassava, per lb 005 (half cent) 

43' 




l6^. A BL'SH KOAl) NKAK THE MANO KIVEK 



VOL. 1 



28 



l.iberia ^ 

River discharges partly into the large lagoon known as Fishe 
man I^ke and also directly into the sea, besides giving acc< 
to a long creek which runs westwards parallel to the coj 
and is known as Shuguri (Sugary) River. Into Fisherm 
Lake also flow from the north the Morfi * and Japaka Rive 
and a smaller stream called Yonni (Johnny) Creek. 

Fisherman Lake, sometimes known by the alternative \ 
name of Pisu (which simply means *' lake "), is a large sh< 
of slightly brackish water subject to the influence of the tid 
It is about ten miles long and five miles at its greatest bread 
with depths of from thirteen and a half to ten feet. It communica 
with the sea by a narrow outlet, rather inclined to shoal wat 
The entrance at once to the Mafa River and to the oul 
of the b'ishcrman Lake (the delta of the river and the outi 
of the lagoon being strewn with islands, big and little) is 
Barmouth, immediately to the north of a little rockv' peninsi 
which is a promontory of Cape Mount. At low tide tK 
is only three feet of water on the bar ; otherwise there mif 
be the making of a useful harbour behind Cape Mount. 

Cape Mount is the most interesting and noteworthy feati 
on the coast of Liberia, and the earliest known and record< 
F^'or the most part the West African coast, north of the Kquat< 
is low and sinj^ularly uninteresting in outline. This excessi 
monotony and vagueness is broken by a few noteworthy featun 
such as Cape X'crdc, which, though not very lofty, is still visit 
at a considerable distance ; by Mount Kakulima and the oth 
highlands near Konakri, which attracted the notice of Han; 
the Carthaginian ; by Sierra Leone, with its mountains risii 
to 3,OQO feet ; and by Cape Mount in Liberian territor\% t 
highest point of which is i,o68 feet above the sea. Eastwar 

^ Pt-rhaps " Miievi " in Vai, or it may hv the ohi trade name for Ivory (Moi 
Martim). 

434 



S I ' " "^ 



KajiHn,iiiraa° ,■«'} <)* 



^.I\lielimi °Srn»hunJ 



' C ^ ^ 



I) 



^ Geography of Liberia 

of this there is no very noteworthy promontory on the whole 
coast till the Cameroons Mountains are reached. Cape Mesurado 
is a noticeable clifF, and there are some bold bluffs here and 
there along the Gold Coast, but nothing which can vie with 
Cape Mount, rising as it does more than a thousand feet straight 
up from the sea coast, the Gibraltar of Liberia. On the northern 
seaward fiice of this steep acclivity is situated Robertsport 




160. nil. ^Ik)KI. «>K I l>in KMAN l.AKi; ((AIM MOLN 



(Wakoro), the Americo-Liberian settlement. On the coast 
for two or three miles round the shoreward face of the mountain 
is a succession of small settlements, either native or Liberian. 
The mission station of the American Episcopal Mission and 
the factories or places of business of the foreign merchants are 
on the inner shore facing Gambia Island. 

It is difficult to understand how such a splendid site as 
this mountainous peninsula with its spacious lagoon on the east 
and half-formed seaport on the west did not tempt the nucleus 

435 



Lil 



)eria 



of the American settlers in 1822 to choose it for their future 
capital instead of the less attractive Cape Mesurado. Several 
times slave traders or pirates in the past conceived the idea 
of Cape Mesurado as a stronghold. The last to do so was 
Captain Theodore Canot, who, as related in another chapter, 
was so taken with the beauty of the scenery and agreeable 
conditions of Cape Mount that he resolved to lead a new life 
there and settle down as an agriculturist and stock-breeder. 
He would in fact have done so had not a ruthless British gun- 
boat destroyed his settlement, in the conviction that he was 
still carrying on a disguised slave trade. 

East of Cape Mount the coast is low, and in places 
swampy. It is broken by the Little Cape Mount River (called 
Lofa in the upper reaches) at Half Cape Mount.* This is a 
stream of some length of course, which may be the Lofa which 
rises on the Mandingo Plateau. It flows in its lower course 
past the Po range of hills in the Boporo country. The river 
deserves to be called by its native name of Lofa, instead of 
by the unwieldy term of" Little Cape Mount.'* The settlement 
of Half Cape Mount was so named because it was half-way 
between that promontory and the next cape. 

On or near the little Poha River, a few miles to the east 
of Half Cape Mount, arc the Vai and Liberian settlements 
of Digbi and Roycsvillc. Digbi was often the scene of slave 
raids and wars provoked by the slave trade, or of the em- 
barcation of slaves down to the middle of the nineteenth 
century. 

A short distance beyond Poha stream (always proceeding 

* The trim •'Halt'" is coiistai.tly applied to rivers or capes or places of call 
all along this coast, originating from s.iilnrs, who, unable to find the native name 
or to invent a distinc tive term of their own, named such places thus because they 
were halt-way or halt" a days journry between one prominent feature and 
another. 

4 V^ 





A IJheriim Stream in the short Dry season 



MAP lO 



no- 




escape Mount ^^ - 



SiJcLm. Jetf 



6^ 



CAPE MOUNT DISTRICT 

Englieh Miles 

o 5 (0 
* — L- — i — I 1 1 I 



\VM 



\ym' 



IIVO* 



Liberia ^■ 

eastwards) is the mouth of the St. Paul's River. The native 
name of this, the second longest and perhaps the most important 
river of the Liberian Republic, is the De in its lower course, 
and (it is said) the Diani higher up. Taking the source of the 
Diani to be the ultimate origin of the St. Paul's River, that 
stream may be said to rise in about 8' 55' N. Lat., on 
the Mandingo Plateau, within a few miles of the sources ot 
streams flowing to the Niger or to the River Moa or Makona.' 




l'7. AT k.'l.l Ul^l'olM, CAl'K Mol M' 




The approxiiiKitc Icnyth of the St. Paulas River, if its "source 
(Diani) has been ;u\unitcl\' fixed by French surveyors, is about 
two hundred and eighty miles. It receives several important 

* A river ol" K;i«-t<'rn Si«'rra Lronc known as tlic Siilima in its lower course. 
Tlif Mna Iia«^ many .tillinnts li-inu in .iiul flowing tVoin tlif north-western part of 
Liht'ilan tiTritnry. tlimn^Ii tin- Mai ilii-^o tonntiy. It is curious to note that one 
(jf the HKist im|)ortant ol thc^e atlluci.ts whirh rises near Tembi Kunda is known 
by the name of Mch. It would !)«• intorrbting if it should turn out to be gold- 
bearing in its san(N, as in this jiart of Africa, according to tradition, was situated 
the Kiver of Gold of the Meli kingdom so l(»ng souglit for by the early explorers, 

43« 




l68. RIVER SCENE ON AN AFFLUENT OF THE ST. PAUL'S 



Liberia 



affluents, so far as conjectural geography goes at present. One 
of these is the River Nipwe or Tige, coming from the northern 
slopes of the Nimba Mountains; another is the River Tuma or 
Toma. According to information collected by Mr. Harold 
Reynolds, the Toma is the most important tributary of the 




l6o. ON Tin: roHA KIVER 



St. Paul's, and a river which should be navigable for some part 
of its course. 

The considerable River Lofa which flows to the west of 
the St. Paul's in its upper course is said by the natives to be 
the '^ Little Cape Mount River/' and not an affluent of the 
Toma or St. Paul's. 

The River St. Paul was, as already stated, discovered and 
named by the Portuguese on St. PauPs Day. It has a very 
bad bar at its mouth, and would therefore be almost impossible 

440 



Liberia ^ 

diminishing De tribe, the most westerly projection of the Kru 
peoples. About the region of the rapids, the Gora race seems 
to inhabit both sides of the St. Paul's River, though here 
and there are trading settlements of Mandingos. On either 
side of the Lower St. Paul's, however, there are frequent Americo- 
Liberian settlements, the enumeration of which is given in an 
appendix (No. I., p. 371). Including Monrovia in this region of 




170. 1111: M. V.\[ 



KIN IK AIUUI m:vKNTY MIM:> FKuM 1HK|( t>Asr, IN THE 

KE-.loN <»F 11^ KAriI)> AM) lALI.S 



the Lower St. Paul's, it m:\v be said that quite half the Americo- 
Libcrian population is settled in the region between Careysburg 
and the coast. About ten miles inland from Monrovia the 
country becomes hilly and picturesque. Dense virgin forest 
alternates with thriving Liberian plantations of cotton, cacao, 
and other tropical products. The houses of the Liberian settlers 
are of pleasing appearance, generally built of shingles (flakes 

442 




i/I. THE *• TRAVELLER'S tree' 



Liberia ^ 

of wood), and often attractively painted. The better-class house! 
are of masonry or brick, with roofs of corrugated iron. Somt 
of the villas on the banks of the St. Paul's River are of attractive 
appearance, with prettily planted gardens, and of an aspect 
quite cheerful for dismal West Africa. A prominent featun 
in the surroundings of these settlements is the Traveller's Tre< 
{Uj-aniij speciosa)^ that remarkable species of banana originally 
from Madagascar which stores up water at the junction of t\x\ 
fronds with the stem. It is grown by the I-iberians for it 
ornamental appearance, as are also oleanders, frangipani, aloes 
roses, hibiscus, etc. 

Monrovia is a town of two divisions : the civilised quarter 
inhabited by Americo-Liberians and a few luiropean merchants 
consuls, etc., is built on the top of the plateau of Capi 
Mesurado,' which rises to the altitude of about two hundre( 
and ninety feet above sea level. At the extremity of this plateau 
which drops in a sheer cliff to the sea, is a lighthouse (Manib 
Point). The second division of the town is the not unpicturesqu 
Kru quarter, which is along the shore-line, both on the sea coast 
near Mamba point, and also on the Mesurado lagoon. Thi 
lagoon, which is really the harbour of Monrovia, communicate 
with the sea between two sandbanks opposite '* Bushrod Island," 
a large island which is formed bv Stockton Creek on the east and th< 
sea on the west. As already mentioned, the bar at Monrovi; 
is nearly always benign, at any rate as compared with tht 
landings at all other points on the coast. Between Stocktoi 
Creek and New (ieoryia Creek, on the north side of Mesuradc 

' Kor origin ot" the name " Mesnrado," sc«» j). 40. 

^ The sea beach ol "Monrovia, which miglit be made an agreeable promenade, i 
foul to nose and eye with the ordure of the Kru (juartcr, a nuisance which ought t< 
be abated. 

^ Named after Bushrod Washington, an original member of the Colonisatioi 
Society at Washington and a nephew (?) of the first President of the United States 

444 




WJm% 



Liberia ^ 

lagoon, is a large triangle of mangrove and pandanus swamp, 
known as Bali Island. 

Monrovia ^ itself is built on the western end of a broad 
promontory or tableland nearly insulated by the creeks of the 
Mesurado River on the west and north, and by the Junk 
River on the east. But for the narrow isthmus between 
Paynesville and the westernmost branch of the Junk River the 
Monrovian or Cape Mesurado promontory would be a long island, 
about thirty miles in length and an average three miles in breadth, 
surrounded by the sea, the Mesurado and the Junk creeks. If 
this narrow isthmus could be canalised and the Junk River con- 
nected with the Mesurado lagoon, it would give Monrovia not 
only safe water communication with the St. Paul's River on the 
one hand, but with the Dukwia and P'armington Rivers on the 
east. This would enable an enormous quantity of produce to be 
brought cheaply, safely, and quickly to Monrovia for shipment 
by ocean-going steamers. As it is, steam-launches and canoes 
can penetrate a considerable distance to the east of Monrovia. 

The streets and blocks of Monrovia are rectangular. The 
town has been laid down with mathematical accuracy ; but the 
broad streets are merely the surface of the ground in its natural 
formation : they have never been turned into roads of even 
surface suitable tor wheeled traffic. Abrupt fragments of rock 
break their surface, which is mostly covered with a fine turf. 
This turf is the ramification of various herbs mixed with a little 
grass. It presents a lawn-like appearance from being constantly 
browsed on by the small cattle which pasture on these roads 
and give a pretty, almost Arcadian appearance to the capital. 
In addition to cattle, however, there are pigs of a less pleasing 
aspect that play the part of scavengers, a part unfortunately 

^ Native name '' Diiku." The Liberian name is derived from President Mor.rce 
U.S.A. 

446 




173- !"• ilKlV .-IKL1 1^ AND c.MlI.i: Ol' NK'NKoMA 



Liberia <#- 

necessary, as very little has been done to prevent oflal of all 
descriptions from being thrown from the houses into the streets- 
Owing, however, to the industrious pigs, who keep pace with 
the untidiness of the inhabitants, the upper town is fairly clean of 
aspect, and would be really smart but for the excessive growth of 
herbage in places where the cattle cannot keep it under.^ The 
houses for the most part are spacious and prettily coloured, 
more or less surrounded with gardens and handsome trees. 
There are five large and spacious churches (and one still 
unfinished), some handsome Government buildings, and at a 
little distance from the main town rises the gaunt iron-and- 
brick structure of Liberia College. 

On Mamba point, near the lighthouse, is an unfinished 
fort, with the ancient historic guns of the settlement. 

There is a large and sad-looking cemetery outside 
Monrovia, with a view of the sea-beach below. The con- 
siderable number of graves testifies to the mortality among 
the American settlers. Amongst the interments are those of 
wealthy or important Kru people from the native town, mostly 
the wives of leading Krumen. These graves are marked by 
slabs or crosses of wood on which rude inscriptions have been 
painted, probably by the Kru widower. One of these reads 
somewhat as follows : '' Here lies my dear wife, Upsidedown," 
the adverb being really the name of the Kruman, John Ui>- 
sidedown. Between the cemetery and the town is an undrained 

* My last stay in Monrovia, however, has convinced me that public municipal 
spirit in that town should be aroused, not only to do away with the vegetable 
growth on waste land and the refuse-heaps in back yards (which breed mosquitoes, 
sandflies, and cockroaches), but also to abate the farmyard nuisance of the 
domestic animals. Sleep is often interrupted at night by the incessant barking of 
dogs, the squeals of fighting boars, lowing of cattle, baaing of goats, miauing of 
cats, crowing of cocks, to say nothing of guntiring by watchmen, musical serenades 
at untimely hours, loud talking, whistling, and singing. Some of these noises are 
inseparable from town life ; but tlie pigs and dogs might be restrained. 

448 



^ (jcography of Liberia 

SWamp used as a place for washing clothes. This, in its present 
state, is unwholesome ; but the springs that feed the swamp 
might well be diverted into a useful basin of fresh water, with an 
overflow to the sea. 

Perhaps what makes the locality so melancholy and gives 
such a gloomy touch to Monrovia in general is the rampant, 
choking, monotonously green vegetation, which for ever 




174. A SIKI.1. 1 IN M<»NKl)VIA 

threatens to smother the small settlement. No one is so 
near a tree-worshipper as I am, or so keen a botanist from the 
aesthetic point of view ; but I must confess Liberia is a country 
to disgust one with vegetation and even with forest. It is 
as though mankind in this part of Africa was fighting a well- 
nigh desperate battle against the hostility of the vegetable 
world. In the far interior man has won a victory which has 
been almost too extreme. He has absolutely killed out the 
VOL. I 449 29 



Liberia ^ 



forest, and thus diminished the rain supply to a point whi 
makes famine a possibility. Yet in the surroundings 
Monrovia, as throughout much of Liberia, you feel as thouj 





175. UAllUMDi: VI (.l.lAlloN- I'ANDAM S, MANGKt)VE, I'ALMS 

you would like to banish the forest and the bush and begi 
anew with domesticated, cultivated, and easily controllc 
vegetation. Not a few of the landward streets of Monrov 

450 



^ Geography of Liberia 

end in a wall of forest. This as it grows down to the banks 
of the Mesurado lagoon (on the north and east of the Monrovia 
plateau) merges into the waterside vegetation of pandanus, 




176. MANGKt)Vt: TREKS, SHOWINt; AKKIAL Kt>OT.S 

mangrove, raphia and oil palms, coarse ferns, draca^na trees, 
bombax, Albizziciy Lonchocar^uSy and Parinarium. 

There are in the natural site of Monrovia and the Mesurado 

45 « 



Liberia ^ 

peninsula the makintrs <»f a handsome and healthy city, with 
its attendant plantations, farms, and pleasure-gardens. There is 
no marsh in the vicinity except the small patch near the cemetery, 
and the whole of the peninsula is high, fertile land, with patches 
of magnificent furest. 

The Mesurado lai:«»on, as already related, extends its 
tidal creeks eastw.irJ.s within a short walk of the most westerly 
creek of the Junk River. Navigation up these creeks can be 
carried on to some extent by a steam-launch, but canoes arc 
required for the narrower and shallower parts. The mangroves 
lining these creeks ri^e to a fair altitude, though not to such 
magniricent pr. .portions as the mangroves of the lower Congo. 
As Usual, the root^ up to the highest tide-mark are often 
set with o\ster clusters. On the high branches of these man- 
grove^ perch th'.- white and black, pink-faced fishing-vultures, 
almost the onlv si^ii of bird life, while on the mud the common 
Nile crocodile atul the short-headed crocoJile may sometimes 
be seen. Cirev manuMbey and greenish colobus monkeys 
frequent the thicker part or" the mangrove bush ; but all this 
region, like so nuich «»f the coast-belt of Liberia, is singularly 
lacking i?i aniiTi:il l:fe. N(^rrhwards of these creeks of the 
\Iesuravio the -munvi rises :md the scenery becomes agreeable 
to the eve. Numerous plantations, belonging, with one exception, 
to Americo-l jberians, J^ot the country behind Monrovia in the 
direction of the ^r. Paul's Kiver. 

The Mount Barclav plantation (Louisiana) belongs to the 
Liberian Rubber Corporation. It was initiated by an enter- 
prising Bavarian name*.! I lumplinayer. Here the ground rises 
to about four or five hundred feet, and from this point a 
view of M()nro\ia can be obtained, twenty miles distant. 
Along the roads to this and similar plantations are charming 
avenues of oil palms, coffee trees, oranges, and raphia palms. 

45-' 




177. FOREST ON THE LANDWARD EDGE OF THE MESURADO PENINSULA 



Liberia ^ 

An occasional Borassus fan palm towers above the other trees, 
or even higher than the Borassus reach the climbing Calamus 
palms, which scramble higher than the highest tree-top and 
wave their hooked branches in the air. Much of the forest 
round about Monrovia is enlivened with the brilliant white 
bracts of a Muss^cpida^ these large, smooth, pure-white leaves 
looking as though they had been cut out of velvet. 

The Junk River, which is fed by streams from the 
Mamba country to the north, is a long, winding, tidal creek 
that flows almost parallel with the coast for about fifteen miles. 
In its eastern half it is really the estuary of two rivers, the 
Dukwia and the Karmington. The Dukwia is a rather im- 
portant river which is navigable for about thirty miles (it is 
very winding) from the sea to the last rapids, a little beyond 
Saddle Hill, a mountain sait/ to be nearly two thousand feet high. 
The source of the Dukwia River is unknown. It may possibly 
have a course of about a hundred miles, and it flows through 
a country in its upper part exceedingly rich in indiarubber and 
covered with the thickest forest, much and dangerously 
frequented by herds of elephants. A rough road exists from 
the Liberian settlements on the lower Dukwia and Junk Rivers 
overland to Careyshurg, Crozerville, and White Plains on the 
St. PauTs River. I have not personally visited Saddle Hill. 
It would be interesting to ascertain if its altitude really is two 
thousand feet, as in such case it ought to be a valuable and 
easily reached sanatorium for Monrovia, since it is close to 
the banks of the Dukwia River, where it is still navigable from 
the sea upwards. At the mouth of the joint estuary of the 
Junk, Dukwia, and Farmington Rivers is the important settle- 
ment of Marshall, a place of growing importance, founded 
by the Liberians about 1828.' Unfortunately, the entrance 

' Named after Chief Justice IVIarshall, U.S.A., the biographer of Washington. 



MAP II 




Liberia '^■^ 

to the Junk River at Marshall from the sea has a very bad 
bar, or this would become an important ix)rt, as it would receive 
produce from so many directions by cheap and easy inland 
water carriage. Marshall and the other Liberian settlements 
on the adjoining rivers have an Americo-Liberian population 
of about eight hundred. 

From the Mano River on the west to the Farmington 
River on the east are the coast boundaries of the county of 
Montserrado. This is the largest province or county of Liberia, 
though its inland boundaries, with the adjoining county of 
Grand Basa, have not yet been fully determined up to the 
French frontier on the north. They are assumed to take 
a straight line in a north-easterly direction from the source 
of the Little Basil or Farmington River. The county of 
Montserrado therefore contains nearly the whole of the basin 
of the St. PauTs River. Originally there was another county 
to the west of Cape Mount — the Gallinhas or North-Western 
Territories ; but when the frontier agreement with England 
pushed hack the Liberian boundary to the Mano River, this 
definition was alxmdoned, and the territory between the Mano 
and Cape Mount was added to Montserrado County. The name 
'' Montserrado*' has given rise to manv conjectures. Amongst 
others it was supposed to be derived from the West India 
island of Montserrat, called by the Spaniards Montserrado. As 
a matter of fact, it is nothing else but a mis-spelling of 
'* Mesurado." The Americans who first dealt with the question 
of Liberian colonisation, not understanding the Portuguese 
word " Mesurado,'* wrote the cape " Montserrado.'' As Cape 
Mesurado was the principal settlement, it gave its name under the 
corrupt form of Montserrado to the province of which it is the 
capital. In this form the name of the province has been so long 
established that it is impossible to change it back to Mesurado, 

45 ^> 




The \cll()\v-n<)u creel Miissn-ntlti , with W'iiitc Sepals, so common in 
the Liberian Hush {Mii.s.swmlit conophnrynfii/olitt) 




178. MANGROVE TREES ON THE BORDERS OF THE MESURADO LAGOON 



Liberia -^ 



^ 



The Farmington or Little Basa River is the northern 
boundar)- both of the Basa people and county. Basa is a native 
tribal name covering a section of the Kru races. The Basa 




179. DKNSK lU .sll wriH U H ITK-l.l.AVI .1) Ml'.sS-KNDA. WILD COFFKE, ETC. 

people speak a dialect closely resembling the Kru, but physically 
they seem to be rather a mixed Negro stock. Occasionally 
types amongst them are seen which strongly suggest an 

45S 



( 



-»i Geography of Liberia 

ancient infusion of the Mandingo tribes, while others are 
the most hideous examples of the broad-nosed, prognathous, 
thick-lipped Guinea Negro. The principal river of the Basa 
county is the St. John's (Portuguese, Sao Joao). This is also 
known as the Hartford River, and a small western affluent is 
called the Mechlin, after Dr. Mechlin, one of the founders 
of Liberia, who did something to settle colonies in the Basa 
country in 1830. The St. John's River rises, it is supposed. 




180. A ROAD M:.\K ['HE ST. l»AL"l.".S KIVLK 



near the conjectural Mount Bo, on the western limits of the 
Satro range. Midway along its course it flows past the important 
Finley Mountains.^ 

There are considerable Liberian settlements at the mouth 
of the St. John's, Edina, and Upper Buchanan. The pro- 
montory of Grand Basa Point, together with certain reefs on 
the coast, to some extent protect the anchorage in this bay 
* Named after Finley of the American Colonisation Society. 
459 



Liberia ^ 

of CJniiul Basa, a bay which with but little work in the 
wav ot breakwaters might become a very decent harbour. 
As it is, the surf on the l^each is nearly as bad as elsewhere 
on the LilxTian c<iast, and landing or embarking is always a 
matter of uneasiness. On the south side of the bay is Lower 
Buchanan, where most of the foreign factories are situated. 
Close to I.nwer Buchanan is the little Biso (Bissaw) River, 




v \ N . \ : A 



■> 



av.v: 




\' V * 


.. .% 


sm:: 


v-^. 


.-" 


l\ 


;s ^' 


* s.* 


sc::' 


^..,, 


two 


V V 


•::.: 


'■ . J > 


K-.xcr. 


.i« 


» -v. 


Y.n: 


nc 


s^ 


:>:o 




>: 


M.i 




Ksur 


c\ 


>■.■■», 





l\:: in-. 



w.i< 



S..l\0 



ruiary site of the old Norman 

•c cast of Cirand Basa Point 

::a:r.e which goes back some 

is New Cess or Pua (Poor) 

:he adjoining village of 

of Theodore Canot. 

> s::uitoi a: the m,nuh of the 



.i: 




l82. ON THK UUTSKIRTS OF MONROVIA 



N 



Liberia ^ 

Between the Cestos River and the Sanguin there is the 
important native town of Rock Cess. All this part of the 
coast is dangerous from rocks and reefs, one of which bears 
the Portuguese name of Diabolitos, or *' Little Devils." The 
Sanguin River is the eastern boundary of Basa County. It 
is a stream of some size, which rises in the Nidi Mountains 
and flows through the Sikofi country. East of the Sanguin 
mouth on the coast is Bafu Point, a notable promontory, and 
eastwards of this again are the Tuba and Butu Rivers, with 
various Butu villages between, villages which are also supposed 
to have been sites of Norman settlements. 

The entrance to the Sanguin River is, like so manv other 
ports on the coast of Liberia, beset with rocks above and 
below water, some of which might be blown up and others 
marked by buoys. But from the south, with a turn to the 
east, there is a fairly clear entrance over a bar which is 
better than the bars of most Liberian rivers, inasmuch as it 
has from nine to ten feet of water in the shallowest part at 
lowest tide. The long spit of land, which is called Wilson 
Point, should form an excellent protection against the surf 
inside the bar, and there are distinct possibilities therefore 
about the Sanguin River as a future port of some iinportance. 

The Sanguin River is the western boundary of the Sino 
County, named after the Sino River, which was also called 
by the Portuguese Rio Sao Vicente or Rio Dulce. Sino 
is a native name, either for the river in its lower course 
or for the district, which was noted by the Portuguese as 
far back as the sixteenth century.' 

To those who are greedy of sensational experiences I 
recommend a landing at the mouth of the Sino River at a 

* The pronunciation of tliis word should be Sino, very like the English *' snow.' 
It is more convenient — once tiiis is understood— to spell the word S/fto. 

464 



MAP 13 




VOL. I 



30 




Liberia <•- 

time of the tide and year when the surf is bad. Leaving 
the steamer at a distance of about three-quarters of a mile 
off Blubarra Point, they will be rowed over the lumpy waves 
for a distance of a mile before the actual danger commences. 
To avoid the worst of the rollers they will have to pass 
very close to the Savage Rocks on North Point, rocks which 
above and below water exhibit sharp fangs, on which with 
the slightest contact a boat would be instantly impaled. To 
the west and north are great sandbanks on which the breakers 
are foaming angrily, and chains of rocks or rocky islands. 
As the extremity of North Point is reached, the boat, 
propelled with all the vigour of Kruboy arms and with all 
the way on her, is suddenly arrested by the force of the 
tremendous current of the Sino River, which pours violently 
as from some cataract round North Point into the sea. If 
the tide is at the ebb, it is well-nigh impossible to withstand 
the force of this current which is striving to dash the boat 
on the savage rcKks or fling it on the sandbank where 
the surf would brcdk it to pieces. But the Kruboys know 
their danger, to which they have become used and callous 
and though the boat may remain stationary for half an hour 
while the hoys strain their muscles to keep it from gliding 
backwards (m to the rocks or the shallows, it begins at length 
to move forward bv inches and feet till North Point is rounded 
and the boat makes its way up the relatively tranquil stream 
of the clear ri\cr to the Liberian town of Greenville, which 
was founded in 1S3S. 

Greenville is a town of pleasing appearance, with well- 
built houses and regular streets ; but here again, as at 
Monrovia, the rampant vegetation has to be fought. Away 
behind the town there is gracious forest, and the bush along 
each side of the red roads is full of interest to the botanist. 

466 




184. .VEGETATION IN SINO COUNTRY : CYRTOSl'KRMA AKLMS, PAl.MS, KTC. 



^ 



Lil)eria <•- 

Every little dike or pool of water is sprinkled with a very 
delicate pink orchis, which apparently grows on the surface 
of the water. The Cyrtosperma arums with their purple and 
green spathes line the outskirts of the forest. There is a 
beautiful little water-lily with blue sepals on the lagoons or 
creeks near the river. Three or four miles up its course from 
the sea, the Sino River receives a creek which connects it with 
the Butu River farther north, so that the town of Greenville 
and the other settlements are really on an island. The Sino 
River can be navigated by canoes for about fifteen miles from 
its mouth, though usually caravans disembark at a place called 
Jacktown, nearly opposite the mouth of the Butu Creek. The 
Sino River rises in the Niete or Nedi Mountains, close to the 
Cavalla watershed, and flows through the Putu country. 

With the Sino River may be said to begin on the west 
the true Kru country. The real Kru language is spoken between 
the Sino on the west and Grand Sesters on the east. A creek 
starting off from the eastern bank of the Sino River near its 
mouth runs parallel with the Kru coast at a distance of two 
or three miles from the sea, with one or more openings, as 
far as Little Kru River. The country behind this long creek 
is hilly, almost mountainous. The most important river of 
the Kru country between Sino and Grand Sesters is the Dewa, 
which the Portuguese called Rio dos Escravos. This rises also 
in or near the Nicte Mountains, not far from the sources of 
the Sino and (irand Sesters Rivers. All along this coast are 
the villages of the Kru seamen who are employed on the 
steamers plying on the West African coast between the Gambia 
and Angola. A g(M)d many of these steamers now recruit their 
Kruboys at Sierra Leone, from the colony which is established 
there ; but those which are proceeding to the Bights of Benin 
and Biafra call oft' the Kru coast for the canoes of boatmen 

468 



MAP 14 





KRU VILLAGE ON THE COAST 



Liberia ^ 

more to the west than was expected when the 1892 treaty 
was made. 




186. ELRcI'KAN I RA\ 1:1.1.1 Ks CRosSlNt; A KIVKR IN LIBERIA 



About Grand Sestcrs the Kru race changes into the Grebo, 
closely allied to the former in language. There are no rivers 
of any importance east of the Grand Sesters until the Cavalla 

472 




The Hoffmann River, Cape Palmas 



^ Geography of Liberia 

River is met with, at once the boundary and the most southern 
limit of the Republic of Liberia. There is, however, on the 
coast of Maryland that rare feature in Liberian geography, 
an island, something more than a mere rocky islet, called Old 
Garawe, which lies off the mouth of the small Garaw6 River, 
and is about three miles long, being separated from the main- 
land by a broad creek. The western approach to the River 
Try or Garaw6 is beset with rocks ; but the eastern end of 




187. IN A KRL' VILLAGE 

this Garawi Island might be inspected with a view to the creek 
behind it forming a harbour. There is said to have been an 
old French settlement at Garawi, as there was also at Grand 
Sesters. 

A remarkable reef of rock stretches out into the sea near 
the mouth of the River Dia and to some extent prevents the 
approach to Fish Town, a Liberian settlement on a promontory 
which was called Cape Sao Clemente by the Portuguese. 

473 



Liberia ^ 

Beyond this is Rock Town, an important Grebo settlement, 
where a Grebo king resides, and beyond this again is the cele- 
brated Cape Palmas, an attenuated headland plumed with groves 
of coconuts. A rocky island called after Governor Russwurm 
lies off Cape Palmas. The harbour of Cape Palmas is the 
mouth of a lagoon-like river of short course, which under the 




■i8. Mlv^ioNAKY (. (»I.l.K(;i., HAKI'KK, i'AVE PALMAS 



name of Hoffman ii rises a few miles back in the interior in 
two branches. 

The name of the Liberian town at Cape Palmas is Harper,^ 
very prettily situated on the palm-tufted promontory. This is 
perhaps the town of most pleasing appearance on all the coast 
of Liberia. The houses are well constructed, with red roofs, 
green palings and white fronts. They are built of brick, stone, 
or wood. Besides handsome coconut palms, there are many 

' Named after Robert Goodloe Harper. 
474 



^ Geogr aphy of Liberia 

bouquets of vegetation. Brightly flowering oleanders fill most 
of the fi-ont gardens, together with Pride of Barbados (an 
acacia-like tree with splendid scarlet blossoms), bread-fruit 
trees, oranges, bananas, borassus palms, and oil palms. The 
town is cleaner, quieter, and better-governed (municipally) than 
Monrovia. 

There is nothing about Cape Palmas to suggest ill-health. 
A strong breeze blows all day off the sea, the roar of which 




189. "OLEANDERS FILL MOST OF THK FRONT GAKDKNS" 

is never out ot one's ears. The red promontory with its green 
vegetation is girdled with a ring of foam. The temperature 
of the air around is seldom oppressively hot, owing to the sea 
breeze ; while in the height of the rainy season it is often too 
low — sixty- nine degrees — for West Africa ; eppur si muore ! — - 
or at least one can fall very ill at Cape Palmas, not only from 
ordinary fever but from black-water. This is one of the 
unexplained mysteries, because owing to the strong winds 
mosquitoes are seemingly absent. 

475 



Liberia ^ 



Harper is practically the port for the i 
because the mouth of the river has a very h 
tor the Cavalla River therefore are always landed 
going steamer at Harper, and sent on their d< 
overland to the Cavalla or along the coast ant 




Ii/x (AIM. lAl.M \-> (IN 1 oKl.t.kUlM)) : "IIIK l-KOMONloKV 
Willi A RIN<i OF FOAM" 

of that river. There is a salt-water lagoon C 
which goes nearly half-way trc^ni Harper to th 
Sometimes goods are sent to the eastern extremit 
by canoe and are then conveved along the t 
porterage to the Cavalla mouth. 

The Cavalla River is probably the longest s 

476 



-Pi Geography of Liberia 

It rises, so far as our information goes, in the high mountain 
mass of Nimba, nearly under the 8th parallel of N. latitude 
(in the vicinity of a place called by the French Fanha), under 
the name of Diugu or Yubu. Perhaps its farthest source 
com.es just under the highest point of the Nimba Mountains 
(approximately 6,560 feet). The extreme Upper Cavalla or 
Yubu would then seem to flow through a valley or pass 




lyr. A KUAL) IX MARYLAND 

between the Nimba Mountains on the west and the lofty 
Druple range on the east, the latter a mountain mass with 
an approximate altitude of 9,840 feet. The Diugu or Yubu 
then flows south-westwards till it comes in contact with 
another range of mountains, vaguely and perhaps incorrectly 
called Satro, the culmination of which seems to be Mount 
B6. To the north of this range the Yubu turns abruptly 

477 




fl.' 



-Pi Geography of Liberia 

It rises, so far as our information goes, in the high mountain 
mass of Nimba, nearly under the 8th parallel of N. latitude 
(in the vicinity of a place called by the French Fanha), under 
the name of Diugu or Yubu. Perhaps its farthest source 
comes just under the highest point of the Nimba Mountains 
(approximately 6,560 feet). The extreme Upper Cavalla or 
Yubu would then seem to flow through a valley or pass 




Nimba Mountains 011 the west and the lofty 

eastj the hitter a mountain mass with 

of 9,840 feet. The Diugu or Yubu 

rds till it comes in contact with 

tains, vaguely and perhaps Incorrectly 

lition of which seems to be Mount 

'this range the Yubu turns abruptly 

477 



Liberia , 

in a sharp bend to the south-east. Captain Woelffel, a French 
officer who has surveyed the northern part of Liberia^ thinks 
that at this abrupt bend to the south-east the Cavalla receives 
another affluent, nearly equally important in volume — the Nuon 
or Western Cavalla, which also rises (according to his statements) 
in the Nimba Mountains. Captain d'Ollone, however, argues 
that the Nuon docs not join the Cavalla, but flows either towards 
the St. Paul's or to the Farmington River. Captain d*01Ione 





.^ .-.J. 

.Io2. " HAI.I (AVAII.A- mi. 11 A( H NKAR THE MOlTII .<)F TlIK CAVALLA RIVER 

asserts that the natives who accompanied himselt and the civil 
administrator, Hostains, said that the Cavalla receives no 
important affluent above its junction with the Duobe. In any 
case, it seems correct to regard the Yubu as the main stream 
of the Cavalla. I'he Ximha Mountains also, according to the 
I^Vench surveyors, give rise to the Tige or Nipwe River, which 
joins the St. PauTs. Our knowledge, however, of the hydro- 
graphy of the innermost parts of Liberia is still extremely vague. 

47S 



Liberia ^ 

After its bend to the south-east the Cavalla is generally 
known as Diugu or Duyu. From its supposed junction with 
the Nuon it flows in a south-easterly direction for about a 
hundred and fifty miles, and then turns abruptly to the south- 
west and south, receiving an important aflluent at Fort Binger, 
and a little farther on being joined by the Duobc. This last 
river seems to have its ultimate source on the northern flanks of 
Mount Bo, a lofty peak of the Satro Mountains. The Duobe 
flows nearly parallel with the assumed course of the main 
Cavalla, and receives a large number of affluents from the 
northern flanks of a more or less continuous mountain range 
(heavily forested) known as Satro on the west. Nidi, Nedi, or 
Niete in the centre, and Kelipo in the east, each prominent 
peak having its individual name. Mount Keta in KeiipK) is 
said to be 6,000 feet high. Below its confluence with the 
Duobe, the Cavalla receives the Neka on the east and the 
Bwe on the west ; and below that the Nokba and the Kiki, 
which is its last affluent before it reaches the sea. The Kiki 
has some length of course, as it rises on the southern slope of 
the Kelipo Mountains, and flows for about fifty miles south- 
east before it joins the Cavalla. 

The Cavalla is navigable for boats from its mouth for 
about eighty miles up-stream. Except near the coast, it flows 
through the most densely forested countries of Liberia, and, 
according to the Krcnch, past tribes of people who are 
ferocious cannibals of well-developed physique. Yet these 
races — which seem, from the very little we know of them and 
their languages, to be distantly related to the Kru stock — have 
developed a certain amount of civilisation. They are industrious 
and skilful agriculturists, and their houses are well built. The 
Cavalla is crossed in many places by wickerwork bridges of 
lianas and palm midribs. In some of these districts the natives 

480 




VOL. I 



31 



Liberia ^ 

have made quite broad roads for a considerable distance from 
village to village. 

This eastern half of Liberia is perhaps the most mountainous 
part of the country. The highest summit of Mount Druple, 
which lies a few miles outside the Liberian frontier on the extreme 
Upper Cavalla, has an altitude estimated by Woelffel to be 
3,000 metres (9,840 feet). Of course this is mere guesswork, 




195. \ ii.i..\<;k in ki 1 11 l:< 



)rM KY, AHOl T.A HUNUKKD MILK^ h KOM THE* CoAST : 
\I. or LIHKKIAN (OM.MIS^IONKR 



as is the similar estimate of 2,000 metres (6,560 feet) for the 
highest point in the Niniha mountain mass. Still, both altitudes 
are conceivable, as the bVench travellers who have passed in 
this direction seem to have been much impressed with the 
loftiness of these mountains. Captain d'Ollone even hints 
that there may be higher peaks than the two mentioned about 
the upper waters of the St. Paul's River and its numerous 
affluents. He caught fleeting glimpses of masses towering above 

482 



^ Geography of Liber ia 

the clouds. If all these estimates be correct, then Liberia, 
within its limits or a few miles outside its borders, presents us 
with the highest land in the whole of the western projection 
of Africa. In the Futa Jalon highlands and the hinterland 
of Sierra Leone there is, so far as we know, no mountain 
that reaches to 6,000 feet in altitude, nor has anything as high 




I<>6. KIKI RIVKR, AN AFFLUKNT OF IHK LOWKR CAN ALLA 

as this been reported along the course of the Niger. The 
nearest rival to these alleged high mountains of Liberia would 
be the volcanic peak- of the Cameroons, a thousand miles to 
the east. If the guess of Captain Woelffel as to the height 
of Druple be at all correct, it should possess a remarkable 
alpine flora, interesting alike from a negative and a positive 




Vhe. great .ounu.ns i-, ^"^ '"LT ^...^.^ 
sanatoria for .he northern par. "^ L'^^r- -^ 

of the Niger, and might ""'- >' *" ^'J^U S*. ' 

from the LilK-rian coast-line and '«"•."•'='■ ^^ ^ 
The southern range of —;» "" ;i«cW 
Cavalla basin on the south and west (»t 




Liberia ^ 

Very little is known even by hearsay of the upper course 
of the St. PauFs River within the forest area. Northwards of 
the forest, the French and English boundary commissioners 




lOi). IK \\ I 1. 1. I.N". rHRi)r(;iI I he KoRtST CLKARINGS 
IN A HAMMO( K 

from Sierra Lconc have explored to a certain extent. They 
have discovered the sources of the Niger affluents, streams 
flowing to form the Rivers Sankarani, Milo, and Niandan ; 

486 




200. A FOREST CLEARING 



Lil^eria ^ 



they have placed on the map the source of t 
River Lofa, the ultimate destination of which 
many unsolved problems of Liberian geography 
the upper waters of the Tuma or Toma River anc 
affluent of the St. Paul's ; or it may flow ir 
Little Cape Mount River or the Mano (Bewa] 
even be the easternmost affluent of the in^ 
or Makona. The ultimate source of the Mako! 
9^' 5' N. lat. It flows south-east, south-wc 
nearly due west, until after its junction with 
turns once more to the south-west and enten 
Sierra I^one territory under the name of Sulima.^ 
system drains the north-western part of Liber 
nearly all the affluents arc united in a single st 
into the colony of Sierra Leone. The northeri 
Makona basin may probably become French in reti 
from .France to Liberia in the Cavalla basin. 

To the west of the lower half of the St. 
south of the Tuma, is a diversified, hilly, or cvei 
stretch of country, with ranges that are called 
There is probably no altitude exceeding 3,00c 
direction. In this district is the important to\^ 
which has been known by name to Europeans 
like eighty years. Boporo would seem to ha^ 
importance through having become a Mandingo c 
are a good many trading stations of Mandingos 
west of the St. Paul's River, from the Man 
to the verge of the Americo-Liberian plantatio 
Anderson visited Boporo in 1868, and calculat 
at 564 feet above sea level. According to Ande 
he crossed the St. Paul's River (more probab 

• Oltcn railed in past times Solyma. 
488 




20I. A FOREST CLEARING : WASHING CLOTHES IN A BROOK 




202. A POOL IN THE FOREST 



Liberia ^ 

masses of granite, gleaming with the watercourses that slip 
down their precipitous sides. During the rainy season, the 
noise of all these cascades creates a perpetual roar like thunder. 
Although Anderson implies that the luxuriant forest region 
continued to the north and east of the Buzi country, he 
nevertheless leads one to infer that a good deal of clearing 
has gone on in Bu/iland, producing wide, grassy plains between 
the forested hills, plains in which rice, sorghum, and ground- 
nuts are cultivated, the last-named food-product being produced 
in enormous quantities. Beyond the Tuma River the open 
grass country l>ecomes more frequent, with marshy tracts which 
Anderson descrilxfs as cane-brakes, and fields of wild rice. The 
soil is hard red clay (disintegrated granite), strewn with pebbles 
and iron ore. v^till farther to the north-east, on the verge of 
the Mandingo country, the oil palm ceases, and vegetation 
becomes more scanty. The soil (he writes) is so ferruginous 
that it appears in many places to be a solid mass of iron ore, 
so that the beaten roadways traversed by men, horses, and 
donkeys shine like polished metal, and are almost impassable 
in the dry season, owing to the frightful heat which they 
radiate in the sunshine. There is a sparse vegetation of grass 
and scrubby bushes in this burning land, except of course in 
the vicinity of watercourses. 

According to Anderson, elephants swarm in great herds 
in these territories, which are a kind of no-manVland 
between the true ManJin(ro country and the more forested 
tracts inhabited by the Buzi and Gbalin peoples. In this 
no-man's-land he mentions the \'ukka Hills (known as ^* Foma " 
by the Mandingo), in which the town of Vukka, belonging 
to the Buzi people, is situated. Muhammadu (also called 
Musomadu) is (or was) a large town, surrounded by a 
quadnlateral clay wall diverMtied with bastions, these walls 

492 




203. EVENING IN THE FOREST 




205. THE MANO RIVKR FROM MINA (WESTERN BOUNDARY OF LIBERIA) 



Lil)eria ^ 

descriptions of Anderson, at any rate in the north-eastern p 
of Liberia. It was not until the Hostains-d'OUone mission f 
passed entirely outside the basin of the Cavalla that they quiti 
the dense forest for a park-like region, which in its turn sc 
gave way to the more arid condition characteristic of the wh 
Central Sudan, from the Upper Niger right across to Lake Gl- 
and Wadai. A small portion of this relatively healthy, si 







200. A DUG-OLT C ANOE 



smitten country, so well suited to a pastoral existence and & 
raising of vast numbers of cattle, horses, sheep, and goats, com< 
within the political limits of Liberia, if France gives the forme 
country her due under the treaty of 1892. But five-sixths ( 
Liberia will remain a forest region, only modified by the clearing 
of the Americo-Liberians on the coast and of the more industrioi 
agricultural tribes in the interior. 

496 



1 



1 



>F^:"a»^"*' 




CHAPTER XX 

CLIMATE AND RAINFALL 

THE climate of Liberia is essentially equatorial ; yet small 
-though this country is in geographical extent, it has by 
no means a uniform climate over its surface of 43,oc>D 

> square miles. Beyond the forest region, on the Mandingo 
Plateau^ the annual rainfall does not exceed 60 or 70 inches ; 
there is a perceptible dry season between November and May 
during which vegetation becomes very parched, and at this time 
of the year the nights are cool — cold indeed where the ground 
rises above 3,000 feet in altitude. In this northern part of 
Liberia, judging from the experiences of Benjamin Anderson 
and of various French explorers, the summer time, or at any 
rate the beginning and end of the rainy season, would seem 

. to be the hottest period of the year, with a temperature 
rising well above 100" Fahr. in the middle of the day. On 
the other hand, the winter or dry season is not only cool at 
night, but the mid-day temperature is not fierce at that season 
of the year. In fact, though no part of Liberia reaches much 
farther north than the 9th degree of latitude, the interior regions 
beyond the forest can show something like a winter. 

In the forest region, however, and along the coast the dry 
season is very attenuated, and, except no doubt on such high 
mountains as have not yet been explored, the thermometer 
probably never descends much below 55°. Throughout this 
forest and coast belt of Liberia the few dry months arc 
VOL. I 497 32 



Liberia ^ 

at once the coldest and the hottest. These are December, 
January, and February. February is the coolest and the driest 
month in the year. At this time in the interior or twenty to 
fifty miles from the coast, the thermometer may descend at 
night and early morning as low as 54^ Fahr. But in the 
middle of the day, on the other hand, it may easily reach 100^ 
in the shade. From these extremes the temperature during the 
other months of the year gradually diminishes, till about 75^ may 
very well be the scarcely varying temperature of night and day. 

In the height of the rainy season — August — there may 
be a distinct lull in the rainfall, though the sky is constantly 
covered with clouds. At this time the temperature, even at 
such an equatorial place as Cape Palmas (little more than four 
degrees north of the Equator), may scarcely exceed 69" in the 
daytime, and perhaps fall to 65^ at night, so that the middle 
of the rainy season is usually regarded by the Liberians as 
the coolest time of year, though actually the lowest temperatures 
(as well as the highest) are recorded in the three dry months 
between December and March. 

The accompanying tables will illustrate the fluctuations of 
temperature in the various months of the year. The highest 
shade temperatures as yet actually recorded in Liberia were 
105 ' on December ist, 1904, on January 31st and on February 
20th, 1905, at Sikombe Station, in the Sikon country to the 
north of Si no. This seems to be an exceptionally hot place 
for the'coast-lands of Liberia. During the months of December, 
January, and February temperatures of lOO' and loi ' F'ahr. 
were trequently registered at noon, while the night temperature 
was generally 80 to 83'. At Putu station, about the same 
distance from the coast, and some thirty miles to the east (both 
stations being only a few hundred feet above sea level), the 
temperatures during the dry season were much milder. The 

498 



Climate and Rainfall 



tioon heat seldom went higher than 87^, and only once in 
December and twice in February reached as high as 90^. In 
March there was a slight increase of temperature, which 
occasionally went up as high as 93° at noon, 
I At Mount Barclay, twenty miles from Monrovia, the shade 

I temperature at noon was only once recorded as reaching 100° 
(at 2.30 p-ni,), on February 3rd5 1905, in the height of the 
dry season.' The shade temperatures at Monrovia itself are 
somewhat lower than at Mount Barclayj which is farther inland. 
At both places the extremes of heat and coolness are much 
I less during the rainy season, when the highest day temperature 
seldom goes above 85^ or at night-time below 75"^, February 
I 2nd, 3rd, and 4th showed, curiously enough, the lowest tempera- 
ture of 1905 at Mount Barclay (near Monrovia), Sikombe, and 
IPutu, At Sikombe, evidently a place of extremes, on February 
2nd the thermometer at 6 a.m. registered 56"^, on the 3rd 57^, 
and on the 4th 57^ At Putu, thirty miles to the eastwards^ 
58° was registered on the same three days at 6 a.m. On 
the other hand, at Mount Barclay on February 2nd, 3rd, and 
4th the thermometer did not fiill lower than 64"^ at 6 ajn. 

Ordinarily, on cloudy days during the three dry mojiths and 
through the remainder of the year when the rains are on, the 
range of temperature in all parts of the coast of Liberia is not 
extreme, generally averaging from 74'^ at 6 a.m. to 88° at noon, 

The strong sea breeze which for something like eight 
months of the year blows from the south over the cool Antarctic 
current materially relieves the heat all along the coast-line of 
Liberia, but its effects do not reach very far inland. During 
the months of December, January, and February the north 
I wind or Harmattan takes its place. This blows from the 



' Ju March and April, 1905, at Mount Barclay sun lemperatyres of \2v' and 
1 1 5"* were Fegistercd conciirrently with shade temperatures of 95 " artd 63''* 

499 



Liberia ^ 

Sahara Desert, and although its intensely dry character Is 
materially diminished by passing over the well-watered valley of 
the Upper Niger and the dense Liberian forests, it is neverthe- 
less a dry wind, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, which parches 
everything to an inconvenient extent. For something like nine 
months of the year the tendency in the coast-lands of Liberia is 
towards excessive humidity, with all its consequences of rust and 
mould. During January and February the drying influence of 
the Harmattan is so extreme that it is scarcely a remedy. 

The worst months of the year for storms are March 
and April. Thunder-storms also occur in November, De- 
cember, February, and May, but very seldom in the height 
of the rainy season. In March and April they can be very 
violent and dangerous. No one who has visited Equatorial 
Africa needs to be reminded of the appalling storms which occur 
there in certain months of the year — how following on stifling 
heat and a fearful stillness comes the devastating tornado, 
succeeded by thunder and lightning and a deluge of rain, during 
which the lightning continues for an hour or so. In such 
countries as Liberia all buildings which rise to any height 
should be furnished with licrhtning conductors. 

It is doubtful whether Liberia is the rainiest country on 
the West Coast of Africa ; the palm may have to be awarded 
to Sierra Leone, where 1 believe in one year (1901) a downfall 
of 175*4 Inches was registered. It is only since 1904 that any 
attempt has been made (by the employes of the Monrovian 
Rubber Company) to register the rainfall continuously month after 
month. Records even for the first twelve months of observa- 
tion are unfortunately not quite complete at any one station ; 
but taking ten> months' observations of rainfall at Mount 
Barclay coupled with a record of the missing two months 
(September and October) at the not far distant station of 

500 



^-m Climate and Rainfall 



KakatowHj we arrive at a total of /jj ipfc/ies as the rainfall 
registered in the southern part of the county of Mesurado, 
behind Monrovia, for the twelve months from September, 1904, 
to the end of August, 1905. From other observations which 
have been taken, I have reason to think that this record of 
153 inches 'is not an extreme one, but represents something 
like the average annual rainfall in the roasi regions of Western 
Liberia, between Cape Mount and Grand Basa. 

Judging by the rain records at Sikombe and Putu in 
the county of Sino, the year's rainfall from September, 190+, 
to the end of August, 1905, stands approximately at 100 inches ; 
but this is not a complete or reliable record. I have been in- 
formed by an American missionary that the annual rainfall at 
Cape Palmas was computed to be about loo inches. Mr. 
Alexander Whyte stares that the southern half of Liberia has 
a distinctly less rainfdl than what may be attributed to the 
northern halt'^ and this opinion is shared by a good many 
Liberians. I believe that the approximate average annual rain- 
fall on the British Gold Coast is something like 90 inches per 
annum/ It may be, therefore, that along the West African 
coast-lands the rainfallj which is only about 35 inches at St. 
Louis at the mouth of the Senegal, increases gradually in volume 
eastwards and southwards till it reaches its culmination in the 
colony of Sierra Leone and the western parts of Liberia, gradually 
to diminish in volume as far as the Gold Coast, and then to 
increase again to the heavy rainfall of the Niger Delta,^ Old 
Calabar, and the northern Cameroons, where it is "approximately 
120 inches per annum- The southern part of Sierra Leone 
is in all probability the wettest part of tropical Africa, with 
the exception possibly of one or two isolated mountains. 



> Western Gold Coast, 92*5 ioche 
' Lagos rainfall, 1901, 112*5 inch< 



FOI 



Liberia ^ 

The driest month of the year in Liberia is February. In 
the vicinity of Monrovia in 1905 only 2 millimeters (about 
one-sixteenth of an inch) fell during that month * on three days, 
as against nearly 2^ inches (54*7 mm.) of rain in January 
on 4 days, over 5 inches (127*3 ^^') of rain in December 
on 8 days, and i-j^ inches (28*2 mm.) of rain in March on 
5 days. In April at the same station (Mount Barclay) the 
rainfall increased to 5;^ inches (133*3 mm.), and occurred on 
19 days out of the 30. In May the rainfall rose (occurring on 
nearly every day of the month) to over 19 inches (500*7 mm.), 
in June to 33 inches (840*2 mm.). In July it fell to a little 
over 22 inches (574*1 mm.), and occurred on about 25 days 
in that month. In August the proportion of fine days was 
more considerable — about 1 1 in the month ; but the total rain- 
fall was heavy, rising to over 29 inches (744*2 mm.). In 
September " the rainfall at Kaka Station sank to about i 7 inches, 
and in October (also at Kaka) to about 8 inches ; in November 
it fell to 6 inches. During the same twelve months the greatest 
amount of rainfall which occurred in twenty-four hours at Mount 
Barclay was nearly 8^ inches (214 mm.). 

The most unhealthy months of the year seem to be 
September and October, partly no doubt on account of the 
soaked condition of the land. December is not a very healthy 
month after the Harmattan wind sets in with its alternate 
dry cold and fierce heat. The most agreeable month of the 
year perhaps is February. I found August in 1904, however, 
not much to complain of, although it was in the height and 
middle of the rainy season, because at that time there is usually 

' At Sikombe, or Sikon, on the other hand, over 3^ inches fell in February, and 
at Putii not quite i inch. 

' On the other hand September in most other parts of the Forest region of 
Liberia and even the coast belt is usually the wettest month. Captain d'Ollone 
in Kastern Liberia recorded rainfall on 27 out of September's 30 days. 




- 2 



t§ 






Climate and Rainfall 



■■ 




F 


June, 


1905 








D^ie 


Minimetm, Date. MittLnivtePi* 


1 


* * * * • 


121-1 


16. 




2^0 


2. 


t * * 


2^3 


17. 




«'7 


.1- 


. . 


46" I 


18. 




■ 5-6 


4. 


« , 


64 


19* 




2-8 


5- 


< . 


24-8 


20. 




97 


6. 


, . 


J 1-9 


21. 




2-0 


7^ 


HI . 


9 


22, 




19'^ 


8. 


. . 


4-6 


33^ 




. 1 8-4 


9' 


, » 


44-8 


24. 




. 25-0 


lO. 


. . 


yo 


25. 




18'2 


11, 


. . 


20^8 


26. 




4-8 


12. 


. . 


108^0 


27. 




6o'0 


U- 


* . 


6o-6 


28, 




. 30-2 


14- 


, ♦ 


. J54'3 


29- 




8-8 


vs- 


. . 


4-5 


30. 




7 


1 


Millimeters 




. 840-2" 


f 


ytiry, lyos 


Date 




Ulllimeters. 


1- 


Slight Showers 






I'O 


3. 


tt »t 








8 


3« 


til it 








«^$ 


4- 


ff i» 








1-7 


S- 


11 IT ■ ■ 








87 


6. 


M It 








8*1 


7' 


II t* 








67 


8, 


It 11 








5 "4 


9' 


ft f • ■ 








15/0 


lO. 


t* It « ■ 








rCy 


II. 


tt It 








■V' — 


13. 


Storms 








l6-4 


S3* 


Stormy 








ITS 


14. 


Nil. 9 haurs' Sun 










n^ 


Vl ft It 








— 


1 6. 
17* 


Heavy Storms 
ft ft 








: 'i^.6^'-*.-. 


r8. 


Nil .. 








— 


19* 


VI > < * » " 








■ — 


, 30* 


ShowerB 








107 


isu 


Nil .. 










^5- 


Storms 
ft 








■ ^'^' \ JO'3 
19*2 J ^"^ ^ 


, 24. 


Nil .. 








— 


25. 


It - ■ • » ♦ 








■ — 


26. 


Heavy Storms 








61-2 J 


27. 


Showers . . , , 








9'0 > 102-5 


38. 


M 








* i^iS 


29, 


,, 








30-0 


30* 


11 , « 








29-2 


3i^ 


Rain ail day 








46-2 




Millimeters 


S/4'i' 


' EquiiU 5^ lBclfc« J aifiiimeteps. ' Equal* 31 indies 51 miffimeteis. p t WhiCKER, 


L 








S«5 









Liberia 



TEMPERATURE 
Mount Barclay Station 
February t 1905 



IMte. 


•.m. 


Fktar. 








Fahr. 


p.111. 


Fahr. 


1. 


6.15 


64 


12.0 noon 




90 


Q.O 


73 


2. 


6.44 


64 


1.30 p 


.m 




98 .. 


9.0 


74 


3- 


6.45 


64 


2.30 p. 


m. 




100 


9.0 


75 


4. 


6.30 


64 . 


2.0 p.m. 




93 


9.0 


76 


5. 


6.0 


64 


12.0 noon 




92 


8.15 


76 


6. 


6.30 


69 


12.0 


f 




94 


9.0 


77 


7- 


6.0 


71 


12.0 , 


» 




91 


9.0 


78 


8. 


6.30 


74 


12.0 


9 




88 


9.0 


77 


9. 


6.0 


73 


Absent, 
( Engine 


House 


.. 


9.0 


77 


10. 


6.0 


70 


1 2.0 noon 




86 


9.0 


78 


11. 


6.0 


73 


12.0 


►» 




QO 


9.0 


76 


12. 


6.0 


67 


12.0 


M 




85 


9.0 


77 


13- 


6.0 


65 


12.0 


l» 




90 


9.0 


76 


14. 


6.0 


67 


12.0 


>t 




Q2 


9.0 


75 


15. 


6.0 


7^> 


12.0 


»» 




89 


9.0 


77 


16. 


6.0 


68 


12.0 


,, 




QO 


9.0 


76 


17. 


6.0 


72 


6.0 p.i 


m. 




80 


9.0 


76 


18. 


6.0 


73 


12.0 noon 




QO 


9.0 


79 


IQ. 


7.0 


74 


1 .0 p. 


m. 




86 


9.0 


80 


20. 


6.45 


75 


12.0 noon 




90 


9.0 


80 


21. 


6.0 


75 


Engine Room 
1 12.0 noon 


88 1 •• 


9.0 


79 


22. 


6.15 


75 


i Engine 
( 12.0 no 


Room 


• \ .. 


9.0 


80 








on 




91 ) 






23- 


6.0 


7^> 


12.0 


)« 




91 


9.0 


85 












( Office 90 \ 






24. 


5.3<^ 


7^> 


12.0 


»» 


\ ] 


Engine } 


8.0 


80 












1 House 93 ) 






25- 


q.o 


77 


12.0 


,, 




88 


9.0 


80 


26. 


6.15 


77 


12.0 


f) 




86 


9.0 


78 


27. 


|.() 


7^> 


12.0 


»» 




86 


9.0 


80 


28. 


5.0 


74 


12.0 


»» 




90 


9.0 


80 








Afyril, 


1905 








Date. 


a.m. 


Fahr. 






Fahr. 




p.m. 


Fahr. 


I. 


6.0 


73 


i.o p.m. 

Noon. 




86 


.. 


9.0 


76 


2. 


6.30 


;i 


12. C) 




85 




9.0 


76 


3- 


6.^0 


73 Mist 


12.0 




87 




9.0 


77 


4. 


6.0 


74 .. 


12.0 




86 


. . . 


9.0 


78 


5. 


6.0 


76 


12.0 




95 


Sun 103 


9.0 


74 


6. 


6.0 


r>9 


12.0 




89 


„ 103 . 


9.0 


77 


7. 


6.0 


74 


12.0 




90 


„ 105 . 


9.0 


78 


8. 


5.30 


72 


I2.f) 




90 


„ 108 


9.0 


77 


9. 


6.0 


70 


12.0 




88 


., 105 . 


9.0 


77 


10. 


6.0 


71 


12.0 




91 


„ 100 


9.0 


76 


11. 


6.0 


74 


12.0 




98 


„ no 


90 


80 



506 



Aprii, 1905 (canlinued) 



Dflt* 


SoQI 




NKn 




Nuon. 




ruhr. 




fkRi. Falir. 


12, 


<-30 


72 


12,0 Breeze 


87 Sun log 




9.0 78 


^3^ 


6.C 


1 


74 


U*o 




93 " HS 




9. 


79 


14. 


6-c 


) 


72 


12.0 




92 




9, 


72 


IS^ 


6,c 


) 


7a 


12.0 




89 ^^ 




9' 


Q 7^ 


16. 


6x 


I 


70 


12,0 




89 Sun 106 




9' 


78 


17^ 


5-30 


69 


12.0 




88 ,. 107 




9- 


78 


iS, 


6.C 




71 


J 2*0 




79 ■ 




Q.O 76 


19- 


6.C 




73 


t2.0 




89 Sun 108 




9- 


78 


20. 


6.Q 




6g 


12.0 




95 ». I ' I 




9* 


77 


ai* 


6.C 




74 


1 2,0 




86 .. 




9- 


78 


22. 


6,0 




74 


12.0 




tK> Sun 1 10 




9< 


79 


23- 


aa 




73 


12.30 




87 ,. 




9^ 


74 


24' 


5-45 


74 


12.0 




87 Sun 107 




9' 


78 


^5^ 


6.G 




76 . 


12.0 




90 „ no 




9* 


76 


26. 


6.0 




74 


1 2.0 




94 i. 105 




9' 


79 


27, 


6,0 




7S 


1 2,D 




73 




9- 


71 


28. 


6.0 




69 


12.0 




89 Sun 101 




9. 


77 


ag. 


6.0 




74 


12.0 




9t P. 1*11 




9. 


78 


30. 


7.0 




7a 


12.0 




r/Q „ 108 




9. 


79 








Junet iiyOS 








Dale. 


l.m. 


Faht 


Noon, 


Fabf 




p- 


m. Fahi 




I. 


6.0 


74 


Ram _ 12.0 


81 


Rain 


Q'O 77 


Rain 


2. 


6.0 


74 


Fine 


12.0 


gj 


Cloudy ^ . 


^\ 


77 


Fine 


3' 


6.d 


75 


Cloudy . 


12,0 


81 


Rain 


8 


J 5 71 


Rain 


4- 


6.0 


74 


Rain 


12.0 


S7 


Fair 


9 


" 74 


Fair 


1- 


5.30 


74 


Cloudy . 


12.0 


75 


Rain 


9 


75 


Fine 


6. 


6.0 


73 


Rain 


12, Q 


85 


Fine 


9.0 76 


ti 


7- 


5^30 


74 


Fair 


I 2.0 


S3 


Cloudy . . 


y.jo 74 


Fair 


a. 


5.J0 


73 


Fine 


12.0 


80 


Rain 


9 


7$ 


Rain 


9' 


6,0 


74 


»» 


. 12.0 


81 


IT * . 


7- 


3" 7?1 


„ 


10* 


6,30 


73 


11 


. 12.0 


85 


Cloudy , . 


8. 


3t> 77 


Fine 


T 1 . 


7*3*3 


74 


Rain 


12.0 


Ss 


Rain 


Q.o 71 


Rain 


12. 


6.30 


74 


ft 


12, a 


81 


Stormy . . 


y.2o 76 


Fine 


M- 


6.30 


74 


*» 


. 12.30 


80 


Rain 


<h 


74 


Rain 


14 


6.0 


73 


*« 


. 12.0 


77 


n ■ • 


9-0 74 


ft 


J 5' 


6.0 


73 


Dull 


12,0 


Kt 


Dull 


8.0 74 


Fair 


16. 


6,jo 


74 


Kain 


12.0 


81 


Rain 


8. 


30 74 
73 


Fine 
Dull and 


»7^ 


6,30 


74 


»t 


. 12.0 


77 


»i • " 


8. 


Damp 


18. 


7.0 


74 


Cloudy . 


. 12>0 


So 


If « * 


8, 


15 72 


Rain 


i9' 


6.15 


73 


«i > 


12.0 


80 


ii« ' * 


9>o 74 


Fine 


20. 


6.0 


73 


Hain 


12,0 


So 


tf . . 


8. 


74 


tt 


G.o 


73 


ti 


12.0 


79 


Dull 


9^ 


75 


pi 


22. 


6.0 


74 


Cloudy 


12*0 


84 


Showers . . 


9- 


D 75 


Cloudy 


23. 


6.0 


74 


Showcr^i . , 


12*0 


$1 


Cloudy . . 


9. 


74 


tv 


24. 


6.0 


73 


Clouds . 


12.0 


77 


if * * 


9. 


75 


Cloud.^ 


25. 


7.0 


74 


Stormy . . 


12.0 


80 


Showers . , 


9^ 


74 


It 


36. 


6.0 


73 


Fine 


12.0 


84 


*» ■ " 


9- 


71 


IV 


^7* 


6.0 


74 


VI * , 


I2.Q 


80 


VI . * 


9' 


75 


„ 


p8. 


6.6 


7$ 


Ram 


12*0 


«3 


Fair 


9* 


75 


Fine 


6.0 


73 


Storm}^^ . . 


12,0 


74 


Ram 


9- 


D 74 


Rain 


'50. 


6,0 


73 


Clear 


., 


12.0 


85 


Qear 


8* 


D 74 


Fine 




507 




Liberia ^ 











J^9 


1905. 












Otte. 


«.«. 


Mv. 




NOM 


Flow. 








p.m. 


FBhr. 




I. 


6.0 


70 


Fine 


12.0 


80 


Fine * 


Sun nil 


9.0 


7S 


Fair 


3. 


7.0 


75 


ft 


12.0 


«5 


fff 


ft >f 


9.0 


74 


Fine 


3- 


6.0 


74 


99 


12.0 


80 


Showery 


ft »f 


8.30 


73 


Rain 


4- 


6.0 


73 


Damp 


12.0 


82 


»f 


fff tf 


9.0 


74 


Damp 


5. 


6.0 


7S 


Clouds 


12.0 


75 


Stonny 


»» »f 


8.0 


74 


Rain 


6. 


6.0 


73 


Rain 


12.0 


76 


Showery 


tff 1 




9.0 


74 


Fair 


7- 


6.0 


73 


Fair 


12.0 


80 


Clouds 


tt 1 




8.0 


72 


f f 


8. 


6.30 


72 


Rain 


12.0 


74 


Rain 


»f 1 




8.30 


73 


** 


9- 


8.0 


73 


Fair 


12.0 


73 


>• 


»» 1 




8.30 


72 


Rain 


lO. 


6.0 


73 


»f 


12.0 


76 


Showery 


»» 1 




8.0 


73 


»f 


II. 


6.0 


73 


Clouds 


12.0 


80 


Fine 


» 8s F 


.8.30 


73- 


Wind, 
Fine 


12. 


6.0 


71 


Fair 


12.0 


75 


»» 


„ nil 


8.30 


74 


f f 


13- 


6.30 


73 


Rain 


12.0 


77 


Fair 


»» 


» 


9.0 


73 


f « 


X4- 


6.0 


72 


Sun 


12.0 


82 


Fine 


„ 98 


9.0 


72 


f> 


!$.*• 


5-3Q,' 


70 


Fine 


12.0 


88 


»» 


ff 99 


9.0 


74 


ff 


i6. 


•74 


Rain 


12.0 


7^ 


Fair 


„ nil 


9.0 


72 


Fair, 


17- 


6.30 


71 


Rain 


12.0 


75 


>f 


tf 


f 


9.0' 


71 


Rain 


la. 


6.0 • 


73 


f» 


12.0 


80 


f» 


ff 1 


t 


9.0 


74 


Fair 


19. 


6.30 


7S 


Fair 


12.0 


85 


Fine 


ft 


f 


9.0 


75 • 


Fine 


20. 


6.0 


73 


»» 


12.0 


82 


t> 


f» 


t 


9.0 


74 


ff 


21. 


530 


72 


Mist 


12.0 


79 


Fair 


ft 


t 


9.0 


72 


Lightning 


22. 


6.0 


71 


Rain 


12.0 


79 


Rain 


t» 


,, 


8.30 


74 


Rain 


23- 


8.0 


73 


»» 


12.0 


84 


Fine 


>f 


f 


9.0 


73 


Fair 


24. 


6.0 


73 


Fair 


12.0 


81 


Fine with 
breeze 
Fine 


'}•■ 


> 


9.0 


73 


ff 


25- 


6.36 


73 


Fine 


12.0 


83 


„ 102 


9.0 


75 


Fine 


26., 


6.30 


73 


>» 


12.0 


79 


Showers 


„ nil 


9.0 


74 


Showers 


27. 


6.0 


72 


Rain 


12.0 


80 


,, 


»» 




9.0 


'73 


Rain 


28. 


5.15 


73 


Cloudy 


12.0 


72 


Rain 


»» 




8.15 


72 


Fair 


29. 


6.30 


72 


Rain 


12.0 


71 


f> 


f» 




8.0 


72 


Rain 


30- 


5.30 


72 


Mist 


12.0 


73 


»» 


»> 




8.30 


72 


Fair 


3^. 


6.30 


72 


Rain 


12.0 


73 


»» 


ff 




8.30 


72 


f f 




















F. 


J. Whicker. 



TEMPERATURE 
Monrovia, Liberia 

September, 1905 ^ 

Records of Temperature taken at 6 a.m., verandah of dwelling-house, 
Monrovia, for preceding twenty-four hours. 28° Centigrade = 82*4° Fahf. 
197- = 65°. ^ 





Centigrade. 




Centigrade. 




CenUgrade. 




Centigrade. ^ 


Date. 


Mio. 


Max. 


Date. 


Min. 


Max. 


Date. 


Min. 


Max. 


Dfcte. 


Min. 


Max. 


I. 


2000 


26-50 


9. 


23-00 


26-00 


17- 


21-90 


26-00 


24. 


21-90 


26-75 


2. 


20-00 


26-00 


10. 


21-75 


24-90 


18. 


22-50 


25-50 


25. 


22-50 


26<9o 


3- 


1975 


25-75 


I I. 


21-90 


23-80 


19. 


22-50 


26-00 


26. 


22-50 


27-50 


4- 


22-25 


25-75 


12. 


21-75 


25-00 


20. 


23-00 


27-00 


27. 


22-00 


25-00 


5. 


22-50 


25-50 


13- 


22-25 


25-50 


21. 


23-20 


28-00 


28. 


22-25 


26-50 


6. 


22-50 


26-00 


14. 


23-00 


2650 


22. 


22-00 


25-50 


29. 


22-00 


27-00 


7- 


23-00 


27-25 


15. 


23-00 


27-00 


23- 


23-10 


27-00 


30. 


22-00 


26-90 


8. 


22-50 


25-50 


16. 


22-50 


26-50 















H. Reynolds. 



508 



^ Climate and Rainfall 



RAINFALL AND TEMPERATURE 

SiKOiN Station, Eastern Liberia 

October r 1904 



Date. 


Ritm&ll. 


Temp 




rem p. 


Temp. 




1 




6 a.m. 




Nixii], 


fip.tB. 


RcRtirks. 


k 


Inclin, 


Fahr. 


J 


rihr. 


Fahr, 




1 I- 


0.0 1 


72 




S9 


77 


. , Heavy thunder ail day 


^ 2 


^^ 


71 




87 


7-3 


. - Bright day with showers 


3- 


oaH 


71 




83 


71 


. , Bright day, chilly evening 


4- 


0.24 


71 




85 


71 


* ' F* •> It f« 


S- 


0.04 


72 




87 


76 


* , Bright day, dull towards evening 


6, 


I 47 


70 




85 


73 


Alternate sun and cloud 


7- 


0,22 


72 




83 


74 


, . Doll day with thunder 


8, 


0.16 


72 




80 


70 


.. Dull all day 


9. 


0,07 


71 




86 


7^ 


, . Cloudy all day 


IOp 


0.16 


69 




86 


IS 


. . Bright day, slight breeze 


II. 


— 


70 




91 


76 


Ver>' close and sultry 


J la. 


— 


71 




90 


73 


. . Close and sultry with heavy showers 
to ward i> evening 


'3' 


1-33 


71 




S7 


73 


. . Alternate sun and cloud 


14> 


0, 16 


7^ 




82 


73 


. . \'cry cool and 'showery 


IS- 


aji 


71 




81 


7S 


S h w e ry f re noo n . b ri^ h t a f t e r wardi 


16. 


0.23 


71 




on 


76 


Dulh with occasional sun 


17. 


o»40 


7^ 




%2 


74 


Showery ah day 


18. 


0.14 


71 




8m 


7S 


. . Bright day 


19. 


— 


7:2 




02 


75 


. . Sunny, with occasional showers 


20. 


0.03 


7^ 


* 


^J4 


75 


. . Briglit day 


2 1. 


o,ii 


7i 




S2 


74 


Showery with occasional sun 


23. 


0.20 


71 




MS 


7S 


Bright day 


33. ^ 


0.04 


7"' 




04 


7^ 


, . Bright forenoon, hea\^ showers 
afterwards 


2^. 


0.29 


7^ 




90 


74 


Sultry with heavy thunder showers 


«. 


0.21 


7^ 




91 


1^ 


Bright forenoon, heavy thunder 
and lightning in afternoon 


r 26, 


0.07 


7^ 




g6 


74 


. . Cloudy all day 


* 27- 


* 9*05 


71 


* 


101 


77 


Bright day 


2g, 


— " 


6q 




i<^3 


7S 


.". Bright day, occasionally cloudy 


29. 


' , — - 


6g 


\ 


97 


76 


»* *♦ VT »« 


30- 


-^ 


70 




80 


73 


" . , Dull\day with heavy showers 


3I' 


aSs 


7* 




87 


75 


. . Bright day, slight breeze 


Total 


> .^ 












inchest '''''^ 
Average 0,26 












71. 


06 


»8*S 


74.< 


36 


1 










February ^ 1905 


■ Dil«, RainfkJL Tcoip. Temp. Tfciop, 






1 


6 2.tn. Nooo 


, 6p,in. 




Rem*rki. 


f 


tnchcL Fahr. J 


Fahr, 


F«br. 






I, 


— 


63 


97 


73 


1 * 


C4jld morningt bright dav 


2» 


— 


56 


96 


69 




IV It It »f 


3^ 


— 


57 


100 


70 




l« iv *i •« 


4- 


~ 


57 


96 


7<5 




4* *• fl *•* 




^ Climate and Rainfal 



Ociobtf 1904 {continued) 



Dttc. 


EainfalL 


Temp. 


Temp, 


Temp. 






Sunrise. 


Noon. 


SUD^tt 




ln£hc0, 


Fohr. 


Fahr. 


Falir. 


rg. 


-^ 


74 


83 


76 


20t 


oa:»7 


71 


84 


76 


21. 


o-o8 


7^ 


80 


78 


22. 


0-04 


74 


85 


74 


23. 


■ — 


74 


82 


78 


24. 


o\17 


74 


82 


78 


^5- 


0*0! 


74 


80 


77 


26, 


■ 


74 


82 


76 


27. 


■ 


73 


86 


76 


28, 





74 


88 


77 


2Q. 


— 


74 


88 


82 


30, 


0*17 


71 


86 


85 






73 


82 


78 



Total inches 3-95 







February 1005 






Dfltc?. 


RahifuH. 


Temp. 


TeittE}. 


Temp. 






Sutirisf^. 


Haaa. 


Suntet. 




Iricht-a. 


Fihr. 


Kihc. 


Filir. 


K 


— 


63 


m 


84 


2- 


— 


58 


86 


75 


3- 


— 


58 


m 


76 


4. 


— 


58 


86 


76 


5' 


— 


64 


86 


70 


6. 


— 


08 


86 


78 


7- 


— • 


68 


^^4 


80 


8. 


— 


68 


S4 


80 


9. 


— 


74 


8fi 


7^ 


10. 


— 


jii 


86 


80 


IT. 


— 


7t> 


86 


80 


li. 


— 


7S 


86 


82 


U' 


0*25 


74 


84 


80 


14* 


0-23 


74 


85 


76 


15. 


. 


74 


80 


75 


16, 


— 


74 


CJ<> 


82 


]7^ 


— 


74 


88 


So 


18. 


— 


76 


82 


80 


i9« 


— 


74 


i}iy 


80 


20* 


— 


74 


86 


80 


21. 


— 


74 


86 


78 


22. 


0^03 


75 


84 


80 


23- 


— 


74 


88 


80 


24- 


— 


74 


m 


8a 


2S- 


0-40 


74 


86 


80 


26. 


— 


74 


88 


80 


27. 


. 


75 


84 


80 


28. 


— 


75 


86 


80 


'r„i-i i_ 


^ 


■t-% t* 



Total inches ao I 



D. Sm. 



SJ' 




Liberia ^ 



July t6ik to August 15IA, ISK>$ 







T««p. 


Tea 




Rate . 




Noo 


Jiy 


G»gc 


Fahr. 


Fal 


16. 


0*85 


70 


8: 


17- 


0-79 


70 


7J 


18. 


0-93 


71 


7^ 


19. 


— 


71 


8< 


20. 


0-09 


7" 


8< 


21. 


— 


72 


8( 


22. 


— 


72 


7fi 


23- 


— 


72 


7^ 


24. 


0-07 


73 


7| 


25. 


' — 


72 


7i 


26. Travelling : no obscr\' 


ations. 




27. 


»» »• •» 






28. 


— 


72 


7^ 


29. 


— 


7i 


8( 


30- 


0*65 


72 


7^ 


31- 


0-27 


73 


7< 


AuKu«t 








1. 


— 


73 


. 7> 


2. 


— 


71 


7< 


3. 


0-(K; 


72 


7^ 


4- 





71 


7; 


5. 





72 


8c 


6. 





71 


7( 


7- 





70 


7; 


«. 





70 


7i 


9. 





67 


7^ 


10. 





70 


7^ 


II. 





60 


7; 


12. 





r><; 


7^ 


13- 





68 


7^ 


14. 


0-65 


rx> 


7^ 


15. 


073 


68 


7A 



Perc 



;i2 



J 



CHAPTER XXI 

GEOLOGY AND MINERALS 

HE petrology of Liberia is still very little kriowji'^-almost 
^^j^^ unknown would be the correct phrase. It is a land 
^f which rises gradually from the sea coast, with a very 

diversified surface of hill and valley till the open coLintry of 
the Mandingo Plateau is reached on the extreme north^ where 
I the average altitude is about 2,500 feet above sea level. Nowhere, 
so far as we know, is there any large extent of marsh in Liberiai 
or any sheet of open water big enough to be styled a lake, 
though during the rainy season — from May to October^ — a good 
deal of the coast country is under waten The rivers have 
tumultuous courses, strewn w^ith rocks and cataracts, and, with the 
exception of the St, Paul's and Cavalla Rivers, tidal influence does 
not reach more than a few mile*^ inland from their mouths. 

The petrology of the coast is to some extent hidden under 
recent alluvium covered with mud, mangroves and pandanus, 
or with a growth of dense forest or plantations. Much of the 
surface of Liberia is Archsean, references to the " Miocene " 
characteristics of its fauna and flora ^ not being intended to 
convey for an instant the idea that there are any deposits of 
so recent an age as the Miocene in its geology. The rocks 
arc mostly metamorphic, and include gneisses of various k!nds> 

* Meaning, o( course, that there ia mwth in the existing fauna and flora of 
Liberia which suggests affinities wilh the fnuna characteristic of France and 
Gennany in the Miocene age. 

VOL, I 513 33 




Liberia ^ 

granuUies^ amphibdiie {hornblende)^ groHiies^pegmaiiies^ znd quartz 
veins, together with the various products of the decomposition 
of the above-named rocks. There is laterite overlying much 
of the coast r^ons. Mr. Benjamin Anderson, who explored 
the north-western parts of Liberia at the end of the 'sixties, 
records that the rocks on the verge of the Mandingo Plateau 
were mosdy quartz and granite, while the decomposed granite 
produced that red ferruginous clay so familiar to all who have 
seen the parklands of tropical Africa. This clay of decomposed 
granite is strewn with round quartz pebbles. 

The promontory of Gipe Mount is mainly of gabbro ^ 
formation, sprinkled with the same quartz pebbles. Gabbro is 
also seen in parts of the headland of Mesiirado; tor a considerable 
distance inland behind Cape Mount the formation is granite 
capped with rotten ironstone. Heavy black sand is very common 
here, according to Captain Scarvell Cape. The same explorer, 
who visited Western Liberia in 1903, describes the formation 
near the Lofa River about fifty miles inland as being clay-slates^ 
diorite, and ironstone. He thought in the country between the 
Lofa and the Mano Rivers tin might be discovered. The rock 
about the lower rapids of the St. Paul's River is amphiboUte (a 
form of hornblende)^ and here, as in many of the stream valleys 
of Liberia, are beautiful translucent quartz crystals which over 
and over again are mistaken by the Americo-Liberians for 
diamonds. Some of these quartz crystals are so hard that they 
will scratch, if not cut, glass, and their appearance, with their 
regular facets, often of hexagonal shape, is certainly very like 
that of a rough diamond. The present writer has obtained 
these same quartz crystals on the top of Mount Mlanje in 

* Gabbro is a compound Archaean rock composed of triclinic felspar and 
diallage, sometimes mixed with olivine or hornblende (both of these last being 
silicates of magnesium), quartz, magnetic iron and apatite (phosphate of lime). 



^ Geology and Minerals 

South-east Africa, and believed at that time he had picked 
up a handful of diamonds. Greenstone or diorite and olivine- 
diabase (an old eruptive crystalline rock) are found in the 
Mesurado peninsula, also in the region of the Cestos River. 

Laterite (disintegrated gneiss), as already mentioned, over- 




20J. QUARTzriK orrrRoi* nkar tiik'st. paul'srivekj 

spreads the rocks of much of the coast formations. It is 

spongy and pitted with shallow holes, but hardens under 

exposure to the sun and weather. It is often intensely red in 



Liberia ^ 

colour, and makes admirable road material. Grey gneiss is the 
rock formation of much of the interior of Central Liberia, of 
the regions through which flow the Dukwia, Farmington, St. 
John's, Cestos, and Sino Rivers, with here and there an outcrop 
of red granite and hornblende. Quarrzite and conglomerate ' are 
found in parts of the Dukwia region. Saddle Hill is chiefly 
quartz-rock (quartzite) on its surface. 

All these central regions of Liberia are rich in mica-schists^ 
which are found in such large slabs that the laminae of mica 
might almost be valuable enough for exportation. In the eastern 
part of Liberia (county of Maryland near the west bank of the 
Lower Cavalla) there is a good deal of corundum'' {alumina). 
This formation has been inspected pretty closely by two 
expeditions sent out by the Chartered Company, in the hop)e 
that it might contain sapphires^ rubies^ and perhaps topazes ; but 
nothing of this kind has yet been found, though the two 
former stones are merely variants of corundum and the topaz 
is also an aluminoid compound. 

In 1903 a Liberian official came to England to exhibit a 
small ^//V7W(^W of about 10 carats which it was alleged had been 
found in the county of Grand Basa, about twenty miles from 
the coast. I'he land from which the diamond was said to have 
been obtained was leased to a (ierman syndicate, but so far as 
present information goes, no trace of any geological formarion 
likely to contain diamonds has yet been met with in that region. 
It is much more probable that the eastern parts of Liberia may 
be found to contain sapphires, rubies, and such other precious 
stones as arc mere variants of corundum. 

^ Specimens of sand from the St. Paul's River consist mainly 

shingle. ■ l""I.lin«-.to.i.- •■ : formed of consolidated gravel or 

ofmetal'Zt'no"„LT-,nn'" "',''''""•'"''"" '^^""talaing as mu.h as 50 percent. 
'"' "■"••■ l^-cause <.f its great hardness. 

5'6 



Liberia ^ 

of ilmeniie (tttantferous iron ore), with some magneiiiCj zicron^ 
garnet^ hornblende^ and iourmaline^ and in the rocks from the 
same region there is magnetite and limoniie. In sand from 
Mount Barclay, twenty-two miles from Monrovia ^nd within 
six miles of the creeks leading to the Mesurado Lagoon, monazUe 
was present. (It is from this mineral that mantles are made 
for incandescent gas-burners.) In this same district zinc ore 
was present.* Nearer the east bank of the St. Paul's River, a 
sample of sand contained games and ochreous iron ore. Other 
specimens were varieties of schist. From the Lower St. Paul's 
River, however, come numerous specimens of specular magnetic 
iron ore. From the same country, to the east of the Lower 
St. Paul's, come copper pyrites and iron pyrites^ and some of 
the mineral specimens suggest the presence of cobalt. Magnetic 
iron ore seems to be present throughout the greater part of 
the coast regions of Liberia. Benjamin Anderson asserts that 
the soil of the northern parts of Liberia is so full of iron that 
traffic on the paths causes them to shine like steel ; but how far 
this information is to be depended on the present writer cannot 
decide. Specimens of nearly pure copper have once or twice 
been brought by natives from some region of Western Liberia 
to the Sierra Leone territory and also to Monrovia ; but the 
place of origin of these samples has not yet been identified. 

Numerous quartz veins and outcroppings suggest that this 
might be an auriferous country. Certainly the Mandingos of 
the far interior seem to obtain gold from some local source, 
but whether this is within the political limits of Liberia has not 
yet been ascertained. The Liberian Development Company has 
sent several expeditions into the interior to look for gold since 
1900, with no very encouraging results. In 1903 Captain 
Scarvell Cape tested the sands of two small streams emptying 

* As zinc-blende with quartz veins, or zinc-bleiide with calcite veins. 

5'8 



\ 



into the Lofa (Little Cape Mount) River, and each pan returned 

from six to twelve colours of ^' moderately heavy gold/' In 
this region he found the river sands distinctly auriferous, but 
could find no trace of gold in the quartz reefs, 

h is thought that gold might be obtained by dredging the 
bottom of the riven. It has been suggested that it would be 
wiser for prospectois to select those quartz veins with a likely 
"gossan'' and to crush several pounds of this quartz on the 
spot, and search for gold either by panning or dry vanning. 
What discourages all work of this kind at present is the 
difficulties of locomotion^ and especially transport of any heavy 
machinery. 

It was at one time rumoured that there were indications 
of coal in Liberia. Apparently the only support to this theory 
was the digging up of large fragments of charcoal — charred wood 
—which after some forest fire or clearing of a plantation had 
been buried and had in the course of time assumed a rather 
coal-like appearance. Fhere is nothing as yet discovered in the 
rocks of the country to lend any strength to the supposition 
that Liberia contains coal ; but in several places there are in- 
dications of the possible existence of mineral oil, and as some 
form of petroleum has been discovered in the very similar region 
of the Canieroons it is not impossible that it may be brought 
to light in the rock formations of Liberia. 

There are indications of slow subsidence taking place along 
the Liberian coast. No traces have yet been found of any 
volcanic activity of a later date than the Primary epoch* It is 
possible that the whole of this coast between Cape Verde and 
Cape Palmas is the African end of the bridge which inienniitently 
connected West Africa with Northern South America down to 
^"^ 'ate a period as the end of the Eocene (early Tertiary) ; 

idge by which the ancestors of the American monkeys,