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Title: Inducements to the Colored People of the United States to Emigrate to British Guiana

Author: Richard Hildreth

Edward Carbery

Release date: January 21, 2019 [eBook #58749]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by hekula03, Martin Pettit and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)



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Compiled from Statements and Documents furnished by Mr. Edward Carbery,
Agent of the "Immigration Society of British Guiana," and
a Proprietor in that Colony.



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Guiana is a vast tract of territory situated on the north-east coast of South America, between the mouths of those celebrated rivers, the Oronoco and the Amazons.

British Guiana includes a portion of this coast, extending some two hundred miles from east to west, bounded on the east by the river Corentyn which separates it from Dutch Guiana, or Surinam, and on the west by the Morocco creek, or the tract of country adjacent to it, belonging to the republic of Venezuela. British Guiana extends inland from the coast some two hundred miles, in a southerly direction, to a chain of high mountains, by which it is bounded on the south, and which separates it from Brazil. It thus includes an area of upwards of forty thousand square miles, being about equal in extent to the State of New York.

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The whole country slopes gradually down from the mountains to the sea. The back country is hilly and much diversified in surface; the land along the sea-coast is flat, level, and extremely fertile. The colony is watered by three large rivers, the Essequebo, the Demarara, and the Berbice. These rivers descend from the mountains, and run parallel to each other at nearly equal distances. They are navigable for many miles, and together with numerous smaller rivers and creeks, they not only afford great facilities for internal navigation, but also for irrigating the land, a thing of great importance in that climate.

British Guiana never suffers from those violent storms and hurricanes with which other tropical regions are visited. Along the whole coast, vessels can ride at anchor in perfect safety, at all seasons of the year. The whole shore is a bed of deep soft mud, and can be approached by vessels without danger.

The latitude of the coast, along which the settlements are situated, is about seven degrees, north. The longitude of Georgetown, the capital, is about fifty-seven degrees west from Greenwich. Its direction from the city of New York is considerably east of south. The distance is about two thousand miles, or twenty days' sail, very nearly the same distance as New Orleans.

Situated under the tropic, Guiana enjoys a perpetual summer. The thermometer generally ranges from 78° to 84°. The trade winds, which blow constantly from the coast, render the climate comfortable and salubrious. The year is divided into four seasons, two rainy and two dry. The short rainy season usually commences about December, and lasts four weeks: the long rainy season begins in June, and lasts till the middle of[Pg 5] August. But as regards these seasons there is a good deal of variation. In the rainy season, the rain falls violently during the forenoon, but the afternoons are clear and pleasant. During the dry season occasional showers occur.

The only portion of this fertile country which has yet been settled and cultivated, is a narrow strip extending along the coast, and a little distance up the mouths of the principal rivers, together with some islands at the entrance of the Essequebo. The plantations are generally about half a mile wide, fronting on the sea, and extending back two, three, four or five miles. This series of adjoining plantations forms the only cultivated part of the country, which thus resembles a long string of villages half a mile apart.

The soil of the plantations, which is very deep and rich, is divided by canals into separate fields. The same fields are cultivated in constant succession, and no manure is ever used. The canals not only serve to drain and irrigate the land, but also to convey the canes, when cut, to the sugar-house. Sugar and coffee are principally cultivated. There are a few cotton plantations, and some devoted to the cultivation of the plantain, which, with a rich variety of other vegetables, such as the sweet potato, the banana, yams, the casava, &c., furnish a large part of the food of the inhabitants. There are also large cattle farms. Cattle are abundant, and beef is cheap.

The uncultivated tracts abound with a vast variety of useful plants and trees. Many of the trees furnish excellent timber. There are in the colony several steam mills employed in the manufacture of lumber.

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British Guiana is a colony, conquered some forty years since from the Dutch, belonging to Great Britain. It is what is called a crown colony, and all its laws are made, or revised in England.

The governor, whose authority is very extensive, is appointed by the British queen. He is assisted in his administration by a council of nine persons, called the Court of Policy, four of whom are high executive officers appointed by the Crown. The other five are chosen by the inhabitants. No law made by the Court of Policy can remain in force unless it be approved in England by the queen in council.

Justice is administered by a Supreme Court consisting of three Judges, who are always lawyers of high standing, sent out from Great Britain. In the criminal trials which come before this court, the judges are assisted by three assessors, who answer to our jurymen, being persons chosen by lot from among the inhabitants,—who have an equal vote with the judges. No prisoner can be found guilty, except by at least four votes out of the six.

The colony is divided into three counties, Demarara, Berbice and Essequebo. Each of these counties is again divided into parishes, and the parishes are subdivided into judicial districts, each under the superintendence of a Stipendiary Magistrate, appointed and paid by the Crown. These stipendiary magistrates are persons of education and character, sent out from Great Britain, and who, having no interest or connections in the colony, and being frequently removed from one district to another, may be expected to be[Pg 7] impartial, and not likely to be warped in their judgment by personal considerations. These magistrates are under the sole control of the Governor, by whom they can be suspended from office. They have exclusive jurisdiction, as will presently appear, of all controversies, as to contracts and labor, arising between employers and laborers. The whole population of the three counties may be estimated at one hundred thousand, of whom six or eight thousand are white, and all the remainder, colored. The English language is now spoken by all, and is the only language used in the colony.

Those distinctions which prevail to so great a degree in the United States, between the free colored and the white population, and which render the position of the colored man in the United States so mortifying and uncomfortable, are wholly unknown in British Guiana. In this respect all are equal: colonial offices and dignities are held without distinction by white and colored. Colored men are indiscriminately drawn to sit as assessors on the bench of the Supreme Court. The colored classes in British Guiana are wealthy, influential, and highly respectable. Many of them are magistrates, proprietors, merchants with large establishments, and managers of estates receiving liberal salaries. The collector of customs at one of the principal ports, is a person of color, and many others hold public stations. It is evident from these facts that color is no obstacle to advancement or distinction. It is difficult and almost impossible for a citizen of the United States, educated in the midst of distinctions and prejudices, to realize the state of things so entirely different which prevails in British Guiana.

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The greater part of the laboring population of British Guiana were formerly slaves. They have been lately set free by the justice and bounty of the British government, which is very jealous of their rights, and which has enacted many special laws for their protection.

A leading measure of this kind is, the appointment of the Stipendiary Magistrates above described. These stipendiary magistrates have exclusive jurisdiction over all controversies between employers and laborers touching wages and contracts. It is provided by the fourth chapter of the Orders in Council of Sept. 7th, 1838, which are the supreme law in British Guiana, that any laborer, on complaint preferred, and proof made before any stipendiary magistrate, that his employer has not paid his wages, or delivered him the articles agreed upon between them as a part of his wages, or that the articles delivered were not of the quality or quantity agreed upon, or that through the negligence of the master the contract has not been properly performed, or that the laborer has been ill used,—upon complaint preferred for any of these reasons, and proof made, the stipendiary magistrate may, by summary process, order the payment of the wages, the delivering of the stipulated articles, or compensation to be made for any negligence or ill usage on the part of the employer; and if the order be not complied with, the magistrate has power to issue his warrant for the seizure and sale of the goods of the employer, or so much as may be necessary; or if no goods are to be found, the magistrate may commit the employer to prison for any time not exceeding[Pg 9] one month, unless compensation be sooner made; and the magistrate may dissolve the contract if he see fit.

To prevent contracts being made with emigrants, disadvantageous to them or unfair in any respect, previous to their arrival in the colony, it is provided in the same Orders in Council, chapter third, that no contract of service made out of the colony shall be of any force or effect in it; that no contract of labor shall remain in force for more than four weeks, unless it be reduced to writing; and that no written contract of service shall be binding, unless signed by the name or mark of the persons contracting in the presence of a stipendiary magistrate; nor unless the magistrate shall certify that it was made voluntarily, and with a full understanding of its meaning and effect; nor can any written contract of service remain in force for more than one year.

It is evident from these statements with what careful safeguards against fraud and oppression the benevolence of British law has surrounded the laborer and the emigrant.

There is an Emigration Agent in British Guiana, who is a stipendiary magistrate, and whose duty it is to furnish emigrants, arriving in the colony, with every information, and to prevent any imposition from being practiced upon them. It will appear, from an examination of the above provisions, that all those colored persons from the United States who may emigrate to Guiana, will go out perfectly free and unshackled. On their arrival in the colony, they will be perfectly their own masters, at full liberty to choose any kind of employment which the colony offers; and should they be dissatisfied, or disappointed, no obstacle will exist to their return.

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The revenue of British Guiana is chiefly derived from a tax on the produce raised in the colony, and duties levied on the imposts. Parish taxes are unknown, and the laborer is exempt from every species of taxation, unless his income amount to five hundred dollars. The militia laws were abrogated, and the colonial militia disbanded soon after the emancipation took place, so that the poor man is not compelled to contribute any portion of his time to the public service.

There are Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Catholic church establishments supported at an expense to the colony of upwards of $113,000 per annum, as will appear by reference to the Royal Gazette of May 7th, 1839, published in Georgetown, containing an official estimate of the taxes to be raised for that year. There are beside numerous Methodist and other dissenting religious teachers, supported in part by charitable societies in England, and in part by voluntary contributions in the colony. The laboring population of Georgetown and its vicinity have erected several handsome chapels at their own expense.

There are numerous Sunday, infant and day schools, for the gratuitous diffusion of knowledge and moral education among the people. On most of the principal estates a school-house is erected, and a teacher provided, where the children of the laborers are entitled to receive instruction free of expense. Great attention is paid throughout the colony to the education of the rising generation.

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British Guiana possesses a superabundance of the most fertile land. The planters are wealthy, and well provided with the most complete machinery for the manufacture of sugar. The only deficiency is a lack of labor. The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. For example,—on a coffee plantation, called Dankbaarheid, in the county of Berbice, belonging to Mr. Carbery, it was estimated by the owner and other competent persons in September last, that the crop of coffee on the trees exceeded one hundred thousand pounds weight. Of this crop, through deficiency of labor, only forty thousand pounds weight were gathered. Sixty thousand pounds of coffee on that single plantation, worth, in the British market, sixty thousand sterling shillings, or about fifteen thousand dollars, perished for lack of hands to gather it. It is the same to a greater or less extent, on every other plantation. Indeed this deficiency of labor is more peculiarly felt on the sugar estates, upon many of which it is not uncommon for ripe canes, which if manufactured would have produced the value of several thousand pounds sterling, to perish in the field for want of hands to gather it.

There is indeed a great opening for industry of every kind. All sorts of mechanics are sure of steady employment at wages from one to two dollars per day, according to their skill. Seamstresses and domestics are much needed and will find full employment. Any emigrant who can command a small capital, can open a shop, or set up various kinds of business to good advantage. Georgetown, the capital, situated at the mouth of the river Demarara, is a place of about twelve[Pg 12] thousand inhabitants, and furnishes abundant employment in all those branches of business usually carried on in a commercial town. New Amsterdam, at the mouth of the Berbice, has about four thousand inhabitants, and there are besides several villages, containing each some hundreds of inhabitants.

The greatest demand however for labor is, on the plantations. Agricultural laborers are always sure of abundant employment and high wages. The labor of agriculture is of various kinds, and may be performed by any man accustomed to work, with little or no previous instruction. It consists principally in cutting up weeds with the hoe, cutting down sugar-cane, and throwing it into boats on the canals, to be transported to the sugar-house; tending the sugar boiling; packing away the sugar; boating it to market; picking and curing coffee, which is very light work; tending cattle; cutting timber; and a great variety of other labor, almost all of the simplest kind.

Every laborer on a plantation has a comfortable house, with a plot of ground annexed, capable of raising a much greater quantity of provisions and poultry than the laborer can consume. For this he pays nothing. He is also provided with medical attendance, medicine, and a support at the expense of the estate, gratis, whenever he is sick. Fuel is abundant, and close at hand. It is needed only for cooking, and the laborer has but to help himself. Clothing, which in that climate is very light, may be amply provided, at one-third the expense incurred for that article in the United States. So many of the wants of the laborer are thus supplied, free of expense to him, or at a very trifling rate, that if he choose to do so, he can lay by a great part of his wages.

[Pg 13]

The labor on a plantation is divided into tasks which a laborer of any activity can easily perform in four hours. The lowest rate of wages ever paid, is thirty-three and a third cents a task, and very frequently, much more is given. For cutting cane, attending in the boiling house, boating sugar, and several other kinds of labor, higher wages are always paid. The people employed in making sugar, in addition to their wages, are supplied with food at the expense of the estate. This is in addition to the laborer's house, provision ground, fuel, medical attendance, gratuitous schooling for his children, and a variety of other perquisites. The wages are paid weekly in cash.

I have now before me an original journal, for the month of October, 1839, of the plantation Thomas, adjoining Georgetown, owned by Mr. Carbery. This journal is a printed form, with blanks filled up in writing, containing an account for each day of the month, of the number of laborers on the estate; the number actively employed, and in what way; the number, sick, absent, or otherwise prevented from working; the work done each day; with all the articles bought, sold or shipped, and all the money paid on account of the plantation during each day in the month,—in fact a complete history of all the business of the estate for that time. Similar journals are kept on every estate by the head manager, and are transmitted monthly to the proprietor. This excellent custom was derived from the early Dutch settlers.

On the plantation, Thomas, there are three hundred and twenty-five acres of canes in cultivation. It appears by the journal above referred to, that during the month of October, the number of persons employed on the[Pg 14] estate, varied from 163 to 176, of which latter number 89 were men, 68 women, 14 boys, and 5 girls. Of these, however, only 106, on an average, were daily at work on the estate. To these laborers there was paid during the month of October, in weekly payments, $1229 16, or an average of $11 60, to each laborer, exclusive of house rent, provision grounds, fuel, medical attendance, and many gratuities beside. It is to be considered that this average amount of wages was earned by men, women, boys and girls, including many old people and invalids, who did but very little, and whose pay was therefore small. It therefore must be obvious that the more active and industrious of the laborers, earned from fifteen to twenty dollars, a month.

This single case, which is taken at random, will serve to show how abundantly the laborer is rewarded. The laborers in this case did not probably work on an average more than five hours per day. They were employed in weeding and cutting cane, and making sugar, and a portion of them as boatmen, watchmen, and mechanics. Though they are all included under the class of agricultural laborers, only about sixty out of the hundred and six were actually at work in the fields. Many more are classed in the journal, "as jobbing and at work about the buildings," that is, engaged in making sugar, and in a great variety of other work necessary on such an estate.

To show with what rapidity the laborers grow rich and rise in the world, I give the following extract from the Berbice Advertiser of Nov. 1839. "Astonishing fact. Some negroes on the east coast, not a dozen in all, have bought Northbroke (a plantation) for $10,000,[Pg 15] of which they paid down $8,000 last week, the remaining $2,000, is to be paid this week." "What happiness," the editor justly observes, "could our colony disseminate through the human species, did but fresh importations of labor render the cultivation of the great staples compatible with the formation of black villages and towns." It ought to be mentioned that the people who clubbed together to buy this estate had only been free since August, 1838. It may be well to observe here that land in the colony is abundant and cheap; and every laborer who is industrious, and will lay by his wages, has it in his power to become a proprietor within a short period.

That there is no danger of overstocking British Guiana with emigrants will appear by the following extract from an address of Mr. John Scoble, delivered at Albany Tuesday evening, Aug. 1st, 1839. He spoke of "British Guiana, a colony on the coast of South America, and one which some think will ere long rival in its wealth and population the State of New York. It is capable of sustaining a population of forty millions, though the actual number of the inhabitants is now only one hundred thousand."


Mr. Carbery arrived at Baltimore in September last. He came to the United States partly for pleasure, and partly for the benefits of a change of climate. He had been but a few days at Baltimore, when his attention was attracted by the large number of free colored persons in that city; the difficulty they seemed to have in[Pg 16] gaining a livelihood; and the discomforts of various kinds to which they are subjected.

Knowing the great want of laborers in British Guiana, and the strong disposition, existing there, to encourage immigration, it immediately occurred to him, that by the transfer of a certain portion of the free colored people of the United States to Guiana, not only might a great benefit be done to that colony, but what all must regard as of still greater importance, a boon of vast value might be conferred upon the free colored people themselves.

Much impressed by these considerations, Mr. Carbery procured a meeting of several of the free colored people of Baltimore, at which he proposed to them to select two of their own number, in whom they had confidence, whom he would send to British Guiana, free of expense, in order to give them an opportunity to examine the country, to judge for themselves, and to report to their brethren, what the prospects for immigrants really are.

The free colored people of Baltimore, upon this suggestion and offer, organized a Committee of Emigration, of which Mr. Green was appointed chairman, and selected Messrs Peck and Price, two of their number, as delegates to visit Guiana. These delegates sailed, free of expense, in the barque Don Juan, from Boston, on the 21st of December last. The result of their mission is not yet known, the agents not having returned,—nor indeed has Mr. Carbery yet heard of their arrival in the colony. The news however of their arrival and reception is daily expected.

In the mean time certain letters which Mr. Carbery had previously written to his friends in Guiana, giving[Pg 17] an account of the numbers and the condition of the free colored people in the United States, had excited great attention and sympathy there. A public meeting was held in Georgetown the capital; an "Immigration Society" was established, and a very large sum of money was at once subscribed to form a fund for paying the expenses of all such immigrants as may choose to go to that colony. Of this sum, a considerable amount has been already remitted to Mr. Carbery, who is appointed Agent of the Society for the United States, to be applied towards the outfit of emigrants,—the Society undertaking to pay the charter or passage money on the arrival of the vessels, and to make all necessary arrangements for the entertainment and comfort of the immigrants, until such time, as they may select some regular employment. Mr. Carbery is assured that should the colored people of the United States or any part of them, be induced to accept the offer he now makes, any amount necessary to carry his proposals into effect, will be furnished as it may be needed.

As the agent of the above society Mr. Carbery offers to transport, from the United States to British Guiana, free of any expense to themselves, together with their baggage, all such sober and industrious free colored people as shall see fit to embrace this opportunity, so rare and extraordinary, of at once relieving themselves from the great disabilities and disadvantages under which they now labor, and of securing not only a comfortable subsistence, and perhaps wealth, but what is of far greater importance, both for themselves and their children,—a full participation in all the rights, privileges and immunities of freemen, and a[Pg 18] standing and consideration in society, which at present is wholly beyond their reach.

Mr. Carbery is also authorized by the society to guarantee to all emigrants, who may accept his offers, maintenance at the colonial expense, and comfortable and commodious lodgings, until they shall succeed in obtaining such employment as they may prefer.

Transferred to a country which opens a vast field to labor, and to all sorts of enterprise, relieved from a weight of prejudice which now rests so heavily upon them, the free colored people of the United States would have an opportunity which they do not now enjoy, of proving, that when allowed to share the same moral and social advantages, they are able successfully to compete with the white man. It is indeed difficult to realize the effect often produced upon a man's conduct and character, when he is removed from the withering effect of the distinction of caste, and raised to an equality of political and social privileges. Persons, who if they remain in the United States, will be confined all their lives to menial and obscure stations, by emigrating to British Guiana, which they may do in twenty days, and without spending a cent, will alter the whole course and prospect of their lives. With industry, application, and sobriety, they will have a moral certainty of rising to a comfortable competency if not to wealth, and of filling with pleasure to themselves and benefit to the community, a respectable station in society. Surely these considerations ought to have great weight with all,—but more especially with the young, who are just coming forward, and with those fathers and mothers who have families of children growing up about them.

There is now opened to the free colored people of the United States, a city of refuge in Guiana, of which it is to be hoped they will not fail to avail themselves; and Mr. Carbery has reason to anticipate, should the free colored people of the United States, and those persons upon whose advice and opinions they most confidently rely, be led to take the same view of the matter which[Pg 19] he does, that his visit to the United States may result in great good to a large body of his fellow men, who at present are cut off from many of the chief benefits of society, and by the unfortunate operation of circumstances over which they have no control, are subjected to influences which crush their energies, break their spirits, and prevent them from rising to affluence or consideration. Relieved from these impediments, transferred to a country where they will be secured in the enjoyment of equal social and political rights, they will become new creatures, and many of them will display talents and capacity of which they are not now suspected.

Mr. Carbery, however, has no desire to induce any colored person, to emigrate to Guiana, who is not well satisfied, and whose friends are not also satisfied, that it will be for his benefit to go. Deeply impressed as he is with the manifold advantages which the free colored people of the United States may derive from closing with his proposals, he submits them to the candid consideration of those concerned, expressly desiring that before being adopted by any body, they may be subjected to the closest scrutiny, and most rigorous investigation.


Mr. Carbery is now in Boston, but intends to proceed immediately to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, for the purpose of establishing Committees of Emigration in each of those cities, whence persons desirous of emigrating may obtain all necessary information. The address of those Committees will be published in the principal newspapers, and due notice will be given of the intended sailing of vessels with emigrants. Persons with families desiring to emigrate will meet with particular encouragement, but no person of good character will be refused a free passage.

Boston, Feb. 1st, 1840.

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No. I.


Tremont House, Boston, Dec. 11, 1839.

Dear Sir, Being fully aware that you take a great interest in any subject connected with the welfare of the class to which you belong, I venture to trouble you with this communication the object of which is to bring to your notice the proceedings at a public meeting of the Inhabitants of British Guiana, which took place in Georgetown, on the tenth of October last, and a full report of which is contained in the Guiana Chronicle of the following day. I regret it is not in my power to forward you the paper containing the report, as I only borrowed it from a gentleman in this city who received it a few days ago. The Extracts in question, go far to corroborate the statements I made to you and your friends relative to the advantages which the free-colored people of this country would derive from emigration to British Guiana, and they will at least prove that these statements were not exaggerated. The respectability of the parties in question, no less than the publicity of the whole proceedings entitle their statements to the fullest confidence.

The High Sheriff having taken the Chair, said,—"I cannot better open the proceedings on this occasion at which you have done me the honor to call me to the chair, than by referring to the requisition on which I judged it proper and necessary to convene this public meeting, and thus directing your attention to the object for which we are assembled,—to wit: In the words of the requisition 'for the purpose of giving expression to the general feeling in favor of immediate measures being taken for the promotion of Immigration to this Colony, and for taking into consideration by what means this[Pg 21] important object can most speedily be carried into effect.'"

The Hon. Peter Rose, a member of the Colonial Legislature, and Proprietor of a Sugar Plantation called Lima, moved the first resolution, which was as follows.

"That a consideration of the present state of the colony, with its limited number of agricultural laborers, leads this meeting to the irresistible conclusion that unless immediate immigration on a large scale takes place, the exportable produce of the Colony already diminished to an alarming extent, will yet further decrease."

Mr. Rose then proceeded to address the meeting, and in the course of his speech, when alluding to the causes of the decreased production of British Guiana and the rate of wages, he observed—

"Eight or nine dollars per month, is the common rate, but it is the custom to estimate the day's labor by the old tariff, 7 1-2 hours, and it is well known that an industrious man can in that time perform considerably more than double the quantity of labor laid down by that tariff. I have myself paid to a man cutting canes, 1 1-2 dollars for work that did not occupy him more than eight hours. When we take it into consideration that the laborer is provided with a house and medical attendance, it is clear that he can support himself for a week by one day's labor, and with this in our knowledge, can we wonder that his labor and industry are unsteady?" Mr. Rose, in another part of his speech, speaking of the decrease that had taken place in the number of laborers on most estates since the Emancipation, observed, "of those who have left estates, some have purchased land, paying for it sometimes as much as £200 sterling."

The Hon. D. C. Cameron, also a member of the Colonial Legislature and proprietor of several estates, moved the second resolution which was of similar import to the first, and the following is an extract from the able and temperate address he delivered. "But I have pleasure in bearing my humble testimony that the cause of decrease in our crops has not proceeded from that which was most dreaded, the insubordination of the freemen of 1838, but from causes which operate in every country where the soil is rich and the laborers few. Many of our peasantry have already amassed funds which have enabled them to purchase land of their own, and are industriously improving it for their own benefit. They are no longer hired servants; they are owners of houses and lands which yield them sufficient to supply their wants, and as yet their ambition extends no further. But the misfortune is, that although they maintain themselves and families by their industry in this way, they[Pg 22] are unprofitable to the colony. They produce no taxable articles either for this or the home market. I for one do not complain of this system;—but on the contrary, believe it will be beneficial to society in the end, and wait its progress. Hence the necessity for immigration to fill up the blank occasioned by the independence and comfort of our former servants. In this colony, sir, every laboring man of ordinary capacity may, in a few years, become proprietor of land sufficient to supply all his wants, by laboring upon it for thirty hours in the week. I am persuaded that it is only necessary to make the capabilities of our magnificent colony known, to insure us a large influx of emigrants."

Many other speeches were also made declaratory of the anxiety of the proprietory body to encourage Immigration. But as this communication has already exceeded the ordinary limits of a letter, I will not trespass longer on your patience, nor will I detain you by making any observations on the foregoing extracts. I offer them to you and your friends as evidence in support of the declaration I publicly made at Baltimore, that the free colored people of America will derive great and substantial advantages by emigrating to British Guiana. I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,


Mr. Greene, Chairman, &c. Baltimore.

No. II.

On the fourteenth page of the preceding pamphlet is an extract from the Birbice Advertiser, giving an account of the purchase of Northbroke by a number of emancipated laborers. The Guiana Chronicle of Monday, Dec. 9th, just received, contains additional particulars of that purchase, which appears to have been made not by a dozen persons as stated in the Birbice paper, but by about seventy.

The following are extracts from an address presented by the purchasers to the Governor of the Colony.

To His Excellency Henry Light, Esquire, Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Colony of British Guiana.


Sir,— * * * * * *

On the 7th day of this month we jointly purchased,[Pg 23] from the Executors of the late Hugh Rogers, Esquire, for the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars, his Plantation called "Northbroke," containing about 500 acres of land; and as we have been enabled to pay the purchase money principally from out of our savings since we obtained our freedom, we cannot refrain from expressing how thankful, how grateful we are, how indebted we ever shall be, to all those noble-minded individuals who were mainly instrumental in procuring and giving us that freedom.

*         *         *         *         *         *         *

We know that to the individual act of her Majesty, we owe the happiness of having you here, as our Ruler and Governor, in her name. Your Excellency is too exalted in station to listen to praise and commendation, and we too humble to offer them; but we may be allowed to state, with thankfulness, that every act of your Excellency's administration, with reference to us, and to the body to which we belong, has been marked with kindness, benevolence, liberality and justice. And we humbly pray The Almighty Ruler of all Men, that your Excellency may be long spared to us, to afford us your protection.

*         *         *         *         *         *         *

We know the blessings of Freedom, and we endeavor to deserve them. We are peaceable in disposition—industrious by habit—loyal and faithful by nature—gratitude to our Sovereign, and to your Excellency, will make us doubly vigilant and circumspect.

We further respectfully represent to your Excellency, that it is not our intention to settle down upon our Plantation, and lead a life of Idleness. Our views and wishes are to have the Land divided into equal portions among us. Individually rent our cottages upon our respective plots of ground, and thereon, in our leisure hours, cultivate our Vegetables and Provisions; but our firm determination, as a body, is to continue to labor daily, as now, upon the several Plantations where we are employed.

*         *         *         *         *         *         *

We further respectfully represent to your Excellency, that it is our intention to establish upon our Plantation, a School-House and Church, (and there is a new, large Building on the Estate, well adapted to these purposes); in the former, our Children will be taught to read their Bible, and learn their several duties to Society at large, whilst in the latter, as each revolving Sabbath appears, we shall assemble together, and there offer up to the Almighty, our humble thanks for the great and wonderful benefits which, under Divine Providence, have been conferred upon us.

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Praying your Excellency's favorable consideration and Patronage,

We have the honor to be, sir,

Your Excellency's most obedient humble servants.

(Signed) John Sertima, William Lewis, Thomas Badlie, James M'Crae, Frank Baillie, Samuel Burton, Romeo Isaac, Daniell Isaac, Thomas Colin, Martin, Martin Menarmy, Simon Hanover, Simon Scott, Thomas Hercules, John Lewis, Wm. Gamell Reaves, Jas. Handy, John Wheeler, Vollove Robert, John Mileel, Michael James, Simson Tate, Sampson Cooper, Isaac Chapman, Primus Samuel, Cupidore Hopkinson, Quashie Porter, Cornwall Porter, Cæsar Solomon, Hall Porter, Quammie Adam, Hamlet Cato, Simon Spencer, Melville Porter, Quashie Bard, Quacco Hamilton, Medlin Hamilton, John Lion, Cross Sumner, Marlborough Sam, Pollodore Bentick, Ceciro Hercules, Jillis Cumming, Gambry James, Moses Hopkinson, Bill Williams, Blackwell Lancaster, Scipio Samuel, Pat Murphy, Ned Mackay, William Negaeley, Alexand Porter, William Smart, Catherine Loud, Kenneth Jarrich, Hannah Porter, Sammy Knight, Hannah Porter, Adam Grant, Maria Grant, Collin M'Crea, John Tiddell, Simon King, Bellender Hopkinson.

Signed in my presence, this 30th day of November, 1839.

(Signed) C. H. STRUTT, Stip. Magistrate.

Witness to the several signatures,

(Signed) Mary Strutt.

True Copy,

C. R. WHINFIELD, Act. Gov. Secretary.