Sunday, May 25, 2014



It is run this way:
The 12,000 survivors of the 22,000 emigrants are virtually slave owners, and are settled along the coast. The tribes in contact with them have adopted the vices of the new-comers, without their virtues, and are really slaves to the 12,000. But nine-tenths of the natives are practically independent of the Liberian government."

"What does the country look like?"

"Liberia is a low, swampy country. The soil is wonderfully fertile, and the country is rich in ores — gold, silver, iron and copper. The choicest woods in the world, mahogany, ebony, lignum vitae and scores of others are found in wonderful abundance."

"Are any of the resources being developed?"

"Not one. There are no mines, no roads even that extend over half a mile from any town. Even agriculture is in its most primitive form. They have only five plows in Liberia. They have a bill-hook with a flat point, and they tickle the earth with that, and the harvests are wonderful. Why, a fellow digs with the same bill-hook that his great-grandfather used. There are no mules, no cows, no horses. The transporting is done on the heads and shoulders of the men and women."

"How large is the country?"

"It lies between 7 4' and 3 id north latitude, Bounded on the north by the British province, Sierra Leone, and on the south by the French province of Lagos. The stretch of sea coast is about two hundred and sixty miles, and from the ocean it extends indefinitely into the center — say from two hundred to three hundred miles."

"I suppose the country is modeled, as far as practicable, after the United States?"

"Yes, the country is divided into four provinces, corresponding to States. They are called 'counties,' and in the order of importance are: Montserrado, Bassah, Sinoe and Maryland. There is a senate of eight members, a house of representatives of thirteen members, and the rest of the national officers, of which there are in all 1,333, from the cabinet to the bailiffs, are appointed by the president. The president, the senate, the representatives and the mayors of the towns are elected by the 2,375 voters.

Just think, 1,333 officers out of 2,375 voters.
It is a fact that every voter in the country is holding, or has held, one or more offices. They have a Secretary of War, but only one regiment. The flower of the army is the Johnson Guards, named in honor of the present president. There are in that company seventeen officers and two' privates, and the privates insist on walking by themselves.

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