Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Colonization.
THE following Report was adopted by the above body at their meeting in Chicago in August last. It speaks for itself, and will speak to others.
There is no other race of human beings on the face of the earth, whose condition appeals so strongly to our sympathies as men, to our sense of justice as Americans, and to our charity as Christians, as does the African race.
No matter where we find this unfortunate people, they are either the children of physical bondage, the subjects of political oppression, the victims of caste in society, or, they are enshrouded in intellectual darkness and suffering all the moral evils consequent upon such a political and social position as they occupy.
Whether we consider, then, the condition of the negro in his native country, or as we find him in other countries, he is an object of pity and commisseration. Especially is he so to us, as we find him in our country; and much as we feel for the negro slave of the South, we feel or ought to feel, still more for the negro who has only a nominal freedom in the North.
Not only does the condition of the colored man excite our sympathies, but it appeals as strongly as the groans of the oppressed, and the squallidness of misery can, to our sense of justice. For, it is for us, as American citizens, that the negro has toiled as a slave; and it is in consequence of our prejudice against his color that his freedom is only nominal. — Millions of dollars are now in the pockets of the citizens of the United States, as the product of the colored man. Justice calls loudly upon us to obviate these difficulties, and to pay this debt.
But, perhaps the strongest plea that the condition of the colored man makes to us, is addressed to our charity as Christians. This plea falls like thunder upon our ears, as it rolls across the Atlantic from where Africa is calling with her one hundred and fifty millions of tongues for deliverance from the slaver and for salvation from the most bloody superstition and the most savage barbarism in the world. By the blood of her murdered thousands — by the broken
345hearts of her millions of captive children — by the flames and the ashes of her ruined villages — by the terrible darkness that has covered her moral sky for ages — by all these, does she call upon us as Christians, to deliver her from the slaver and from the awful pangs of the second death.
How shall we be able to give a proper expression to our sympathy for the colored man? Where shall we find a platform upon which to assert and maintain his rights as a man? Through what channel can we send Africa the bread and water of life? The Colonization Society, and that alone, furnishes us with satisfactory answers to these questions. Its plans and its colonies have done, are doing and are destined to do more, we firmly believe, to make Africa and the African what God intended them to be, than any other agency whatever, having that object in view.
The plans of the Colonization Society contemplate —
1st. The instruction in literature and religion, of the colored people of this country, with the view of colonizing them.
2d. They propose to procure a domain for them where they may have a proper field for the performance of all the duties, and the enjoyment of all the privileges of freemen.
3d. They propose to furnish them, when it is necessary or desired, the means of transportation to and settlement upon that domain.
4th. They propose thus to furnish an asylum for such slaves as their masters wish to emancipate, where the object of their emancipation can be secured.
5lh. And they propose, in the last place, by means of the Colonies of Liberia, to spread the blessing of Christianity and of Civilization throughout the continent of Africa.
So far as the colonies of the American colonization, societies are concerned, it is sufficient to say, that they have already erected what promises to be an imperishable monument to the wisdom of the founders of the enterprise, and are constantly furnishing new demonstrations of the practicability and the complete success of its plans.
Your committee would further report the following resolutions:
1. Resolved, That from the increasing interest which exists in the public mind in regard to the enterprise of African Colonization, the future is full of promise to the colored population of this country and of Africa; and we have new encouragement to labor for the promotion of the interests of the Colonization Society.
2. Resolved, That the members and preachers of this conference be, and hereby are, respectfully requested to co-operate with the agents of the American, and the Illinois Colonization Societies, that may from time to time visit their respective charges, in the prosecution of the work of their agency.
3. Resolved, That the members and preachers of this body be, and hereby are, requested to aid in the enterprise by preaching sermons upon the missionary bearings of African Colonization, and, when it is practicable to do so, by lifting collections in aid of the funds of the society, on or about the 4th of July.
4. Resolved, That we recommend to the congregations under our pastoral charge, the "Liberia Advocate," published at St. Louis, by Rev. R. S. Finley, and the "Colonizationist," published at Indianoplis, by B. T. Kavanaugh, as sources of information upon all subjects connected with the enterprise which they advocate.
5. Resolved, That we request the Bishop to re-appoint Brother B. T. Kavanaugh agent of the American Colonization Society.