Elliott Cresson; [Liberia; anti-slavery ] Very substantial Autograph Letter Signed "Elliott Cresson" to "My dear friend" [unnamed], Liberia, and attacks on the American Colonization Society by Garrison and Cropper, and the foundation of Liberia

Elliott Cresson (1796 – 1854), American philanthropist.
Publication details: 
19 Adam St, Adelphi [London], 4 [June?Jan?] 1833.
SKU: 22214

Four closely-written pages, 12mo, bifolium, good+ condition. He is about to leave England after a long and arduous stay, and reviews the current situation as he finds it - antagonism of the Anti-Slavery Society, support of Thomas Clarkson, favourable statistics, his principles and credo, new colony, etc etc. He says he's about to leave London "finally" but wants to give a few minutes to someone with a "high place in [his] esteem" as well as sending "a couple of papers" he feels would be of interest "to thyself; and if thy neighbour Editor Young will kindly (at this dull period among the printers) give them a place in his columns, may also go far to disabuse the public mind of those monstrous stories set afloat by Garrison, Cropper & Co. [abolitionists but against sending to Africa]. Indeed from the very kind & frank letter recd from C. Thompson of your town, I cannot but believe that when mens [sic] minds are no longer overheated by the fulminations of Aldermanbury [offices of the Anti-Slavery Society] Kits [?] lectures, the gentle doctrines promulgated by the Am Col: Soc: [American Colonization Society] may receive that warm approval they so richly deserve from any friend of religion & philanthropy. Certain it is that many of our stoutest opponents are beginning to alter their toe- and even Josiah himself [presumably Wedgwood] shows an altered estimate - alledging [sic] a very strong letter [phrase underlined] from a distinguished ministering friend in N Carolina as the reason for the new views imbibed. In the U.S. where the Soc. Of Friends see& feel the actual practical operation of the Soc. & have no favourite System of abstract propositions to support, they give us a generous & zealous support." He names distinguished friends (Cope and a former "President"). "[…] At the head of our Ladies Soc. We also find Beulah Sansom our much loved minister, & whose mind […]. Has our good friend A. Clapham yet recd our Seig's letter […]Please say to A.C. that as we are anxious to do all the good in our power to the numerous applicants we have for the benefits of colonization, that we shall if forwarded be glad to apply to their [word excised] the few subscriptions made on my first visit to N.Castle [presumably Newcastle]. It may not be uninteresting to know that in addition to a very kind letter lately from the Venerable T Clarkson I had the pleasure of seeing him at Playford [Clarkson lived at Playford Hall] last mo[nth] & finding that all the assaults of Cropper, Aldermanbury & Garrison had not shaken his love for Liberia & the Soc. , although the latter had performed a pilgrimage to Playford, when he failed to produce any effect on the mind of the venerable philanthropist beyond 'a deep rooted conviction that this man's course would do incalculable evil to the cause of emancipation." - | Thou wilt, I am sure, rejoice with me in knowing that our accounts from Africa are of the most cheering aspect - during the past year we comfortably settled 800 emigrants. 3 schools & 3 Churches were added - several vessels & many houses were built in our little Capital - agriculture - agriculture extended - commerce nearly doubled - One new Colony planted [..] & so many native tribes seeking a participation in these blessings, that another is in contemplation. Nor ought it be forgotten that as we advance, the slave trade ceases from [?] - having taught the natives to feel that honesty if the best policy - poor people! It is well that a contrast is presented to that guilty traffic which yet robs Africa annually of 100,000 of her Children" He gives figures for Cuba and Rio de Janeiro as well, continuing, "Let but Britain & the U.S. [?] heartily in these labours of love & that odious traffic must [underlined] cease. Even the W. Indians are now crying out for the destruction of the Trade as making slaves so cheap in the rival Islands that neither slave nor propr[ietor] in yours [?] can compete with them under the new system and as the merch[an]ts and manufac[urer]s begin to feel the benefit of our labours by opening a new outlet at Liberia, one hopes all classes will feel the necessity of supporting the new Soc. [underlined] formed here under the title of the Brit:Af: Col:Soc; & on which I have been busily engaged for the last 3 mo[nth]s. […] It is yet in its infancy, but I hope in another 6 mo]nth]s there will be a rival of Liberia founded on Cape Mount River […]" Note: "In 1832–1833, Cresson traveled to England and Liberia to promote the cause. He joined in an effort by the Philadelphia and the New York City auxiliaries to act more independently. The Philadelphia group founded Port Cresson (today Buchanan, Liberia) with the intent that the newly established black settlers would control the Saint John River and thereby stop the flow of some 1200 slaves per month.[5] Cresson traveled to Liberia in early 1833 to help establish the colony." See also The African Repository and Colonial Journal, "Agency of Elliott Cresson in England", pp.77-80.