In testimony of the Magistrates' and Council's admiration of the courage and undaunted perseverance displayed by him during his journey through South Africa, and their sense of the valuable and important services rendered by him in opening a way for the diffusion of the blessings of Christianity, Civilization and Commerce amongst the inhabitants of that hitherto comparatively unknown land.
"As it would not be much profit to have come home and made myself only a nine days' wonder, I wish to give you a little information, so that your sympathies may be drawn out more effectually to the land from which I have come. I am thankful to see so many assembled and to see the sympathy manifested to me as the representative of that land from which I have come.
In going back to that country my object is to try and get a permanent path into the central region, from which most of the slaves have always been drawn. The native slave-drivers go into the centre of the country and carry our manufactures there and with a few yards of cloth they purchase slaves and then they take them to the sea coast. The people are so anxious to get a little of our manufactures that, in return for them, they part, not with their own children, but with children kidnapped from other tribes. Now, I hope to be able. to make a path by the Zambesi into the central country, and then, if we can supply the people with our goods for lawful commerce, I think we have a fair prospect of putting a stop to the slave-trade in a very large tract of country.
From a number of other circumstances I see the probability of the people of the interior cultivating produce for our manufactures, and my great wish is to link the interests of the African with those of the English. I have a two-fold object in view. I believe that commerce is a most important aid in diffusing the blessings of civilisation. When one tribe begins to trade with another it feels a sense of dependence ; while they are heathens they have no sense of dependence ; they like to be independent ; they like to depress others ; but so soon as they begin to trade with each other they feel a mutual dependence. Now this is a most important aid in diffusing the blessings of Christianity, because one tribe never goes to another without telling the news, and, telling the news, the Gospel comes to be a part of the news.
Again we know that our own country is dependent in a great measure for its supply of cotton upon the United States-that we are dependent for our supplies of this material upon slave labour. Now, I wish to direct the attention of my countrymen to this new field as a means of relieving the slave-owners from feeling it a necessity to have slaves. If we get abundant supplies of raw material from Africa we shall soon find that the slave-holders in, America will become rather more enlightened than they are at present. And I have hopes in Africa from the fact that we have in eastern Africa and in western Africa a healthy highland. The form of the continent is a kind of basin. It is not a basin with regard to the level of the sea, but the central part is actually a basin ; the rivers run from the sides of it into the centre, showing that the central part is more depressed than the sides. And then, again, there is a slope on both sides down to the sea. Now, this healthy ridge may be regarded as a sanatorium, and both commercial enterprise and missionary enterprise may be carried on from this healthy part to the unhealthy regions beyond. This, I may say, is the great object that I have in view-to open up that part of Africa by means, of this path.
I go back to Africa, not expecting to meet with any of this excitement or any of this lionising, but for the purpose of engaging, in hard work ; and I hope that your sympathies will continue to go forth to that country, because I see clearly that every year England will become more dependent on that continent for its supply of the raw material for its commerce."
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