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386 DOUGLASS' MONTHLY. January, 1861. [[line across page]] [[three-column page]] [[column 1]] EMIGRATION TO HAYTI. [[short line]] During a period of more than thirty years, there has been shown at different times a disposition, more or less strong, on the part of the free colored people of the United States, to migrate and blend their destinies with those of the people of the free and independent Republic of Hayti. We have often regretted this disposition, believing that the place for the free colored people is the land where their brothers and sisters are held in slavery, and where circumstances might some day enable them to contribute an important part to their liberation. We have also used our pen and voice against all emigration, because we have seen that the habit of looking away from America for a home, induces neglect to improve such advantages as are afforded by our condition here, and raised hopes in our oppressors that they should yet be rid of us when they would the more securely hold those of our color in merciless bondage. But the feeling of emigration still remains especially in these cold and gloomy latitudes. Disappearing at intervals upon the occurrence of political changes and troubles in Hayti, the tendency to emigrate thither has shown itself promptly with the return of peace and prosperity to the sable Republic. But never, we think, has the feeling in favor of emigration been so strong as now. The colored advocates of Yoruba, Mosambique, Liberia, and other parts of Africa, have now nearly all given in their adhesion to the Republic of Hayti. The present condition of both countries, Hayti and the United States, is favorable to the revival of the feeling for emigration.-- Hayti, under the Presidency of a wise and patriotic statesman, is entering upon a new career of improvement and prosperity. She is at peace at home,and within a year or two past, has rapidly risen to respect in the world. A glorious era has evidently dawned upon Hayti. The cry from that country is for light, labor, enterprize, order, and all the arts of an advanced civilization. She is in the first condition essential to progress, conscious of her necessities, and determined to use the means necessary to meet them. She offers the strongest inducements to emigration to her shores. Her mountain sides, her valleys, and her plains have been, by a wise and hospitable government, flung open to us, as will be seen by an official document elsewhere, on the most generous terms. The doors are open, a warm welcome and a secure home are proffered to the industrious and upright colored man and his family, if he will but go forward and accept them. On the other hand, the United States is in great trouble. Slavery, vengeance and [[missing text]]ed hate, frown and threaten the free colored people in the slave States with bondage or expulsion, while evidences are abundant of a settled purpose to hold them as a servile and degraded caste in the freest of the free States. Every negro is looked upon as a hindrance to the peace and harmony of the free and slave States, and as long as that harmony is thought desirable by the free States, they will hate and persecute the colored people. The sentiment shows itself in the disposition to repeal the Personal Liberty Laws by the Republican party. It was shown in this State, at the late election, by the overwhelming vote given against allowing a colored man to vote on equal terms with other men. It was shown in the fiendish rage of the late Boston mob, [[/column 1]] [[column 2]] by pouncing upon unoffending colored people, and it is manifest in all the passing public demonstrations of the country. The means of obtaining a living are becoming more and more limited. White men are pressing into all those occupations of which we formerly had a monopoly, and as they press in, we are pressed out--so that the general aspects of the times are far from cheering as to immediate results. Whatever the future may have in store for us, it seems plain that the inducements offered to the colored man to remain here are few, feeble and very uncertain. We do not wonder, therefore, at the readiness with which colored men are now preparing to leave the United States for Hayti.--We should not be surprised to find thousands of them flocking to that country. While we have never favored any plan of emigration, and have never been willing to concede that this is a doomed country, and that we are a doomed race in it, we can raise no objection to the present movement towards Hayti. For years we have looked to such emigration as a possible necessity to our people; and though we do not think that the necessity has yet fully come, we can no longer throw our little influence against a measure which may prove highly advantageous to many families, and of much service to the Haytian Republic. The old objections to African Colonization--such as appealing to our enemies for the means of getting out of the way of their hatred--such as accepting as benevolence the offerings of prejudice and malice--such as cooperating with men as Christian philanthropists who are destitute of the commonest sentiments of humanity--such as forever placing ourselves out of sight and hearing of our brothers and sisters in the house of bondage--such as conceding that Africa is only our home, and that we have no right to remain in America--are not to be found here. When speaking of our people and their prospects in the United States, more then seven years ago, we held this language: 'The expatriation of the free colored people of the United States is a very desirable object to our enemies; and we read, in the vigorous efforts made to accomplish it, an acknowledgment of our manhood, and the danger to slavery arising out of our presence. Despite the tremendous pressure brought to bear against us, the colored people are gradually increasing in wealth, in intelligence, and in respectability.--Here is the secret of the Colonization scheme. It is easily seen that just in proportion to the intelligence and respectability of the colored race at the North, is their power to endanger the stability of slavery. Hence the desire to get rid of us. But, sir, the desire is not merely to get us out of this country, but to get us at a convenient and harmless distance from slavery. And here, sir, I think I can speak as if by authority for the free colored people of the U.S. The people of this Republic may commit the audacious and high-handed atrocity of driving us out of the limits of their borders.--They may virtually confiscate our property; they may invade our civil and personal liberty, and render our lives intolerable burdens, so that we may be induced to leave the United States; but to compel us to go to Africa is quite another thing. Thank God! the alternative is not quite so desperate as that we must be slaves here, or go to the pestilential shores of Africa. Other and more desirable lands are open to us. We can plant ourselves at the very portals of slavery. We can hover about the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly all the isles of the [[/column 2]] [[column 3]] Caribbean Sea bid us welcome; while the broad and fertile valleys of British Guiana, under the sway of the emancipating Queen, invite us to their treasures, and to nationality.--With the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and Canada on the north, we may still keep within hearing of the wails of our enslaved people in the United States. From the isles of the sea, and from the mountain tops of South America, we can watch the meandering destiny of those we have left behind. Americans should remember that there are already on this continent, and in the adjacent islands, all of 12,370,000 negroes, who only wait for the life-giving and organizing power of intelligence to mould them into one body, and into a powerful nation. The following estimate of our numbers and localities is taken from one of the able reports of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, carefully drawn up by its former Secretary, John Scoble, Esq.: United States.................. 3,650,000 Brazil......................... 4,050,000 Spanish Colonies............... 1,470,000 South American Republics....... 1,130,000 British Colonies................. 750,000 Hayti............................ 850,000 French Colonies.................. 270,000 Dutch "[[ditto for Colonies]].... 50,000 Danish "[[ditto for Colonies]]... 45,000 Mexico............................ 70,000 Canada............................ 35,000 [[line under figures]] Total..........................12,370,000 Now, sir, it seems to me that the slavery parity will gain little by driving us out of this country, unless it drives us off this continent and the adjacent islands. It seems to me that it would be, after all, little advantage to slavery to have the intelligence and energy of the free colored people all concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico. Sir, I am not for going anywhere; I am for staying precisely where I am, in the land of my birth. But, sir, if I must go from this country; if it is impossible to stay here, I am then for doing the next best, and that will be to go wherever I can hope to be of most service to the colored people of the United States.--Americans, there is a meaning in those figures I have read. God does not permit twelve millions of his creatures to live without the notice of his eye. That this vast people are tending to one point on this continent, is not without significance. All things are possible with God. Let not the colored man despair, then. Let him remember that a home, a country, a nationality, are all attainable this side of Liberia.' As then we viewed the matter of emigration, so we view it now. If we go any where, let us go to Hayti. Let us go where we are still within hearing distance of the wails of our brothers and sisters in bonds. Let us not go to Africa, where those who hate and enslave us want us to go; but let us go to Hayti, where our oppressors do not want us to go, and where our influence and example can still be of service to those whose tears will find their way to us by the waters of the Gulf washing all our shores. Let us be there to help beat back the fillibustering invaders from the cotton States, who only await an opportunity to extinguish that island asylum of the deeply-wronged colored race. Since the above table of the numbers of the colored race in America and the adjacent isles was made up, that population has greatly increased, and it must continue to increase, and increase most of all in southern latitudes, whither the race is now tending. Fugitive Slave Laws may continue to force small bodies of us into Canada; but these will be insignificant when compared to the darkening trains which will move from Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, as those States shall increase [[/column 3]]
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