Letter of Greeting and Commendation
The Hon. E. W. BLYDEN, LL.D.
Liberian Minister to the Court of St. James
28 Nov., 1895, 3 Coleman Street, London, E. C.
Dear Dr. Thirkield:
You will regret to learn that I have been very ill since I left America, having
taken a severe cold on the steamer coming over, where there was no heating
apparatus in operation, and I could only keep warm in my berth by wearing
The " Congress on Africa" at this time is most opportune, when all the
world is looking to that continent as a field for political, commercial and phil¬
anthropic effort. I hope that the results of the congress upon the Negro pop¬
ulation of your country will be such as to lead them to take greater practical
interest in the land of their fathers.
There will be, within the next few years, mighty developments on that
continent. The British government are taking most active interest in the
exploitation and building up of regions which have been for generations scenes
of warfare and carnage. Such is the enthusiasm here for opening Africa, that
when it was learned, only a few days ago, that the so-called King of Ashantee
was placing obstacles in the way of England's efforts to bring that country
within the pale of civilization, a magnificent expedition was organized at once,
consisting of the flower of the British army, and dispatched to the scene. Two
of the British princes have joined the expedition, which is intended not so
much to fight as to convince the refractory chief of Coomassie, and all others
like him, how utterly useless it is to attempt to cling to the hoary and perni¬
cious superstitions of the past, and oppose efforts for the amelioration of the
condition of their people.
Nothing is clearer to my mind than that it is the duty of a superior civiliza¬
tion to assist—not to exterminate—in the elevation of the inferior or backward
populations of the earth, and your congress, I trust, will be one of the Provi¬
dential agencies in the promotion of the magnificent work of Africa's regener¬
Believe me, dear Dr. Thirkield, yours faithfully,
Edwaed Wilmot Blyden