Annual Report of the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the United States
FIRST EDITION, 132 pages, last blank, printed on heavy paper, 8vo, contemporary tree calf, sides and spine tooled in gilt,
This text contains an appendix abstracted from a journal of the late Rev. Samuel John Mills written while in Africa. Rev.Mills was hired to find a suitable place for freed people of colour to live, account of the activity of a number of slaves ships visiting West Africa, and the treatment of the slaves procured, etc. The American Society for Colonising the Free People of Colour of the United States was organised on December 21, 1816, in the Davis Hotel in Washington, D.C. The stated purposes of the organisation, which was commonly known as the American Colonisation Society (ACS), were threefold: (1) to create an unfettered haven for free people of colour whose continued presence in the United States was seen as posing insoluble problems of civic and social integration; (2) to promote civilisation and Christianity in Africa through their presence there; and (3) to develop receiving stations for enslaved Africans taken from vessels illegally transporting them on the high seas. England had already established Sierra Leone in 1787 as a catchall colonisation destination of people of colour from Britain. Talk of removing free persons of colour from American soil antedated the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and rested on the following premises: (1) their presence was a social nuisance; (2) their presence was inimical to the institution of slavery; and (3) the new social system had no place for them. Thus they should be colonised in distant locales such as the Pacific Coast, South America, the Far West, or Africa itself.
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