Welcomed in Liberia: June 17, 1895

Welcomed in Liberia
Boston Globe: June 17, 1895, pg. 4

New York, June 16—Bishop H. M. Turner, one of the leading advocates of negro emigration to Africa, arrived in this city yesterday, after an absence of five months of which he spent in Liberia, where he watched the progress of the 227 negro colonists who went to Liberia on the steamer Horsa from Savannah, Ga, on March 12.

“The Horsa reached Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, on March 29, after a smooth passage. The colonists stood the voyage splendidly. Only one death occurred in transit and that was of a little child that died six hours before landing.

“I reached Liberia 11 days after the Horsa had sailed on her homeward trip, and I remained there about a month. On landing the colonists were divided into two settlements, one being sent to Johnsonville, about 10 miles from Monrovia, and the other sent about 15 miles from the coast. Each head of family received 25 acres of good farming land from the government.

“The natives welcomed the immigrants joyfully, and would welcome a million more. They have an abundance of territory and are anxious to build up a civilized country and spread intelligence and business thrift through their entire domain, which extends 370 miles along the sea coast and 250 miles to the interior.

“Those who have gone as colonists are much pleased with their situation because they are free, can aspire to any position, even the presidency, and there are no papers in the land that are eternally berating the negro and charging upon him a thousand crimes of which he is not guilty.

“Immigrants from any other part of the world save America are obliged to spend three years in the country before acquiring citizenship, but colored persons going from the United States have no naturalization process to go through. They are regarded as citizens the moment they land and say they have come to stay. They can vote or hold any position in the gift of the voters.

“I think that is to the best interest of the colored race to colonize Liberia where they can exercise all their civil and political privileges without being regarded as a menace to the country. The native Africans want civilization and our missions are most prosperous.”