Abbildungen der Seite

of you,

geograpbical knowledge facilitates the communication between distant nations, in the excbange of useful products and manufactures, and the extension of arts whereby the common enjoyments of human life are multiplied and augmented, and science of other kinds increased, to the benefit of mankind in general.- This is tberefore most earnestly to recommend to every one

that in case the said ship, which is now expected to be soon in the European seas on her return, should happen to fall into your hands, you would not consider her as an enemy, nor suffer any plunder to be made of the effects contained in her, nor obstruct her immediate return to England, by detaining her or sending her into any other part of Europe or America, but that

you would treat the said captain Cook and his people with all civility, and kindness, affording them, as common friends to mankind, all the assistance in your power, which they may happen to stand in need of. In so doing, you will not only gratify the generosity of your own dispositions, but there is no doubt of your obtaining the approbation of the congress*, and your own American owners. I have the honour to be, gentlemen,

Your most obedient, &c.

B. FRANKLIN, Minister plenipotentiary from the congress of the United States

the court of France.

At Passy, near Paris, this 10th day of March, 1779.


Dr. Kippis, in his Life of Captain Cook, had asserted, upon what he deemed unquestionable authority, that Dr. Franklin's orders were instantly


An Address to the Public, from the Pensylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of free Negroes, unlawfully held in Bondage*.

IT is with peculiar satisfaction, we assure the friends' of humanity, that, in prosecuting the design of our association, our endeavours have proved successful, far beyond our most sanguine expectations.

Encouraged by this success, and by the daily progress of that luminous and benign spirit of liberty, which is diffusing itself throughout the world, and humbiy hoping for the continuance of the divine blessing on our labours, we have ventured to make an important addition to our original plan, and do, therefore, ear

reversed, and that it was directed by congress, to seize captain Cook, if an opportunity of doing it occurred: but, finding that the information was false, he addressed a letter to the editor of the Gentleman's Magazine, in September, 1795, publicly acknowledging his mistake.

In the American Museum, from which we have taken Dr. Franklin's letter, the correspondent who communicated the letter says, that “the generous proceeding of Dr. Franklin in writing it was so well known in Eng. land, and the sentiments it manifested so much approved by the government there, that, when Cook's Voyage was printed, the admiralty sent to Dr. Franklin a copy of the sanae in three volumes quarto, accompanied with the elegant collection of plates, and a very polite letter from lord Howe, signifying, that the present was made with his majesty's express approbation; and the royal society having, in honour of that illustrious navigator, one of their members, struck some gold medals to be distributed among his friends and the friends of his voyage, one of those medals, was also sent to Dr. Franklin, by order of the society, together with a letter from their worthy president, sir Joseph Banks, expressing likewise, that it was sent with the approbation of his majesty." Editor.

* In an American periodical publication, this address and the plan that follows it are ascribed to the pen of Dr. Franklin, which induces us to give thein a place here. Editor.


2 L 3

nestly solicit the support and assistance of all, who can feel the tender emotions of syảpathy and compassion, or relish the exalted pleasure of beneficence.

Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.

The unhappy man, who has long been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind bis body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart. Accustomed to move like a mere machine, by the will of a master, reflection is suspended; he has not the power of choice; and reason and conscience have but little influence over his conduct, because he is chiefly governed by the passion of fear. He is poor and friendlessperhaps worn out by extreme labour, age, and disease.

Under such circumstances, freedom may often prove a misfortune to himself, and prejudicial to society.

Attention to emancipated black people, it is therefore to be hoped, will become a branch of our national police; but as far as we contribute to promote this emancipation, so far that attention is evidently a serious duty incumbent on us, and which we mean to discharge to the best of our judgment and abilities.

To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty, to promote in them habits of industry, to furnish them with employments suited to their age, sex, talents, and other circumstances, and to procure their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed 5

plan, plan, which we have adopted, and which we conceive will essentially promote the public good, and the happiness of these our hitherto too much neglected fellowcreatures.

A plan so extensive cannot be carried into execution without considerable pecuniary resources, beyond the present ordinary funds of the society. We hope much from the generosity of enlightened and benevolent freemen, and will gratefully receive any donations or subscriptions for this purpose, which may be made to our treasurer, James Starr, or to James Pemberton, chairman of our committee of correspondence. Signed by order of the society,

B. FRANKLIN, PRESIDENT. Philadelphia, 9th of November, 1789.

Plan for improving the Condition of the Free Blacks.

The business relative to free blacks shall be transacted by a committee of twenty-four persons, annually elected by ballot, at the meeting of this society, in the month called April; and in order to perform the different services with expedition, regularity, and energy, * this committee shall resolve itself into the following sub-committees, viz:


A committee of inspection, who shall superintend the morals, general conduct, and ordinary situation of the free negroes, and afford them advice and instruction, protection from wrongs, and other friendly offices. 2 L 4


A committee of guardians, who shall place out cbildren and young people with suitable persons, that they may (during a moderate time of apprenticeship, or servitude) learn some trade or other business of subsistence. The committee may effect this partly by a persuasive influence on parents and the persons concerned; and partly by co-operating with the laws, which are, or may be enacted for this, and similar purposes: in forming contracts on these occasions, the committee shall secure to the society, as far as may be practicable, the right of guardianship over the persons so bound.


A committee of education, who shall superintend the school-instruction of the children and youth of the free blacks; they may either influence them to attend regularly the schools, already established in this city, or form others with this yiew; they shall, in either case, provide, that the pupils may receive such learning, as is necessary for their future situation in life; and especially a deep impression of the most important, and generally acknowledged moral and religious principles. They shall also procure and preserve a regular' record of the marriages, births, and manumissions of all free blacks.


A committee of employ, who shall endeavour to procure constant employment for those free negroes who are able to work: as the want of this would occasion poverty, idleness, and many vicious habits. This committee will, by sedulous enquiry, be enabled to find


« ZurückWeiter »