10 AFRO-AMERICAN ENCYCLOPEDIA.
not for them, though they had, by providential direction, been
brought into contact with it. It was not suited for the peculiar work
for which they were destined. So the children of Africa in the
United States have the possibilities of a great work in the father¬
land. Remove them from the pressure in your country to the free¬
dom and congeniality of their ancestral home, and so open a wider
sphere, for the play and development of their social, moral and
spiritual nature. It is not the best plan to rely upon college training
to fit them for work in Africa.
The fugitive Hebrew slaves, without the learning of the schools,
received the law for their guidance—found the truth for their race—
in the solitudes of the desert. In Africa, the merest rudiments of
Western learning will have more power upon the negro than the
highest culture in America. There is something in the atmosphere,
in the sunshine, the clouds, the rain, the flowers, the music of
the birds, that makes the a b c of your culture more valuable to
him than all the metaphysics and philosophy you can possibly give
him in America.
The Republic of Liberia now stands before the world. The
nations of the earth are looking to her as one of the hopeful spots on
the continent of Africa. Travelers in Syria tell us that Damascus
owes its fertility and beauty to one single stream—the River Abana.
Without that little river, the charm and glory of Damascus would
disappear It would be a city in a desert. So the influence of Li¬
beria, insignificant as it may seem, is the increasing* source of beauty
and fertility, of civilization and progress to West and Central Africa.
We do not ask that all the colored people should leave the United
States and go to Africa. If such a result were possible it is not, for
the present, at least desirable; certainly it is not indispensable.
For the work to be accomplished much less than one-tenth of the
eight millions will be necessary- The question is not whether cer¬
tain rich men will choose to remain behind, but whether there will
be found worthy men who will choose to lead the return. Plenty of
prosperous Jews remained in Babylon when Ezra marshalled his
band of 40.000, and began a new, glorious epoch in the history of his
race, making the preparation for that epoch in the history of the
the world which has been held glorious enough to be dated from for
There are negroes enough in the United States to join in the re¬
turn—descendants of Africa enough, who are faithful to their in-