The island, however, for a century and longer, was practically little more than "a great ship moored near the banks during the fishing season, for the convenience of English fishermen," while English colonizing enterprise found a deeper interest in Virginia with its more favourable climate and southern products.
In 1816 the American Colonization Society was founded. It was considered the ideal solution to the American racial dilemma. Claiming to be interested in the welfare of the African in its midst, the Society advocated colonizing in Africa or wherever else it was expedient. It comforted slave owners by announcing that it was not concerned with either emancipation or amelioration.
Even in the very method of punishment which they adopted the Indians were outdone in Europe, and that, strangely enough, by the two great colonizing and conquering nations, heirs of all modern enlightenment, who came to displace them, the English and the Spaniards. The Iroquois never burnt women at the stake. To put either men or women to death for a difference of creed had not occurred to them.
This question having been seemingly settled, Anthony Benezet, who for years advocated the abolition of slavery and devoted his time and means to the preparation of the Negroes for living as freedmen, was practical enough to recommend to the Congress of the Confederation a plan of colonizing the emancipated blacks on the western lands.
The great engineering projects that await us, the work of exploring, colonizing and the like in which universal interest and coöperation are necessary fascinate the mind. These things satisfy the dramatic instinct, and they may prove to be in the future an actual substitute for war, as James hoped. The educational opportunities of this theme, at least, are great.
In like manner with the delusive picturings given in that memorable scheme of the sources of rich trade to be opened in the South Sea countries, Law held forth magnificent prospects of the fortunes to be made in colonizing Louisiana, which was represented as a veritable land of promise, capable of yielding every variety of the most precious produce.
About this time began the dominion of Athens over the islands of the Ægean and the system of colonizing conquered States, This was the period which immediately preceded the Persian wars, when Athens reached the climax of political glory. They were governed by magistrates, called bœtarchs, elected annually. In these cities aristocratic institutions prevailed.
Though by royal decree it was chartered as the Company of New France, it became more commonly known as the Company of One Hundred Associates; for it was a co-operative organization with one hundred members, some of them traders and merchants, but more of them courtiers. Colonizing companies were the fashion of Richelieu's day.
With deportation, even to a limited extent, enhanced wages to white labor is mathematically certain. Labor is like any other commodity in the market increase the demand for it and you increase the price of it. Reduce the supply of black labor by colonizing the black laborer out of the country, and by precisely so much you increase the demand for and wages of white labor.
"They, and they only," says the African Repository, the society's organ, "are qualified for colonizing Africa." What are their qualifications? "A horde of miserable people the objects of universal suspicion subsisting by plunder." I might go on to quote still further from the "credentials" which the free people of color are to carry with them to Liberia. But I forbear.