Letter from James Forten, Philad[elphi]a, [Pennsylvania], to William Lloyd Garrison, 1831 February 23d
@ Boston Public Library
DescriptionHolograph, signed.Title devised by cataloger.Most of this letter is printed in the Liberator of March 12, 1831 (Vol. 1, no. 11) under the title, "The Colonization Crusade" and is signed "Cato."On verso, the letter is addressed to "Mr. William Lloyd Garrison Editor No. 11 Merchant Hall Boston."James Forten writes to William Lloyd Garrison regretting that "Mrs. Stansbury of Trenton, N[ew] Jersey has presented 1,000 dollars to the Colonization Society" when the funds could be better used to encourage "Master Mechanics to ... take coloured children as Apprentices". He then says he is "greatly astonished" that Christian ministers are encouraging efforts "to convey Freemen of Colour to Africa; even in Boston and New York" and thinks instead "they should endeavor to remove prejudice, [and] to ameliorate and improve the condition of the Colored People by Education." Forten argues that African-Americans are against colonization in Africa and cites the coast of Africa "as one of the most unhealthy countries." He adds that "we are contented in the land that gave us birth, and which many of us have fought for" and recalls that during the American Revolutionary War, "there was several companies of Coloured People" in the "New England Regiment". Forten reflects that "all this appears to be forgotten now and the descendants of these Men ... are intended to be removed to a distant and inhospitable country, while the Emigrants from every other country are permitted to seek an asylum here from oppression". He shares his hope that American clergy will...
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