« AnteriorContinuar »
ing themselves in readiness. May God wife has been ill in bed; but, through prevent these ravages, by turning the the tender mercies of God, her sickness hearts of our enemies towards us ! is now checked, and she is on the sofa at
The “Medora,” not having been at my side. Cape-Coast for a month or two, hasM y dear fathers, we need your symbrought us nothing in the form of letters pathy. We feel assured that the prayor stores ; but some of the seamen who ers of the righteous have already availed have recently come from thence inform much on our behalf, or we could not us that the Governor has been made have been supported in the manner we acquainted with our situation, as also have during the days of providential Mr. Brooking, by the Commander of darkness which have been our portion of Her Majesty's cruizer “Cygnet,” who late. The Lord is our strength, and we wrote to them both. You will perceive are happy in our work, and in his love. from my journal that he visited us about I need not tell you how much we stand three months since, just after the attack in need of a few articles of clothes for made on our town, when I informed him the children of our school, as also other of our state. Nó vessel has visited us materials. Ready-made clothes, jackets, since but the unfortunate “ Wilber- trousers, shirts, pinafores, frocks, or force."
indeed anything in the way of clothing, During the last ten days my dear would be invaluable.
Extracts from the Journal of the Rev. Samuel Annear, dated Badagry. MARCH 7th, 1845.-Captain Hany text was, “For God sent not his Son embarked and set sail to-day, without into the world to condemn the world,” receiving any molestation from the Porto- &c. It was a time of great spiritual Novans, who are still close to the ship- refreshment. The scene was novel and ping place. He goes first to Akwa, romantic. The sable faces of the prothence to England direct. I have for- miscuous crowd, which literally formed warded a letter to the Secretaries, and a living wall around us, consisting of one or two also to my friends in Corn. all ages, sizes, and sexes, and all inclined wall, with a box of native curiosities. towards the speaker, had a most pleasing
8th.—Captain Warner, who from two appearance; and as the sun's rays occadays after his landing has been at our sionally darted between the shifting house sick, took his departure this after branches above, and gilded their bodies noon : so we are left again without a with their brightness, I could but hope visiter.
that the period was not far distant, Sunday, 9th. Our service this morn when, not a ray merely, but a blaze ing was peculiarly interesting. Having of light, from the “ Sun of Righteouscollected my ordinary congregation on ness," should burst upon their souls, the Mission premises, we proceeded in a and illumine their whole nature. Surely train to the other side of the town, quite the time to visit Zion, the set time, is a new place, where the Gospel was never come! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickbefore preached. It was situated close ly! to the market, which, on the Sabbath, is Our service in the afternoon was atgenerally much crowded. My dear wife tended by the Priest, who belongs to the and myself had no sooner fixed our seats, Fetish temple, in front of which I and the tent-table and benches were preached in the morning. I entered being arranged, than we were surrounded into a conversation with him before he by several hundreds of people. Our left, when he said he was pleased with numbers continuing to increase, I began all he heard in the chapel, and would atthe service. Perhaps not one in fifty of tend again. May God enlighten and the natives who were present, ever at save him ! tended a similar service; yet their atten 14th.-A messenger has arrived totion was great. Our singing delighted day from Abokuta, by way of Lagos. them much. They all stood when we He states that our Chiefs and all their stood, and in every other respect tried to troops arrived home with but very little imitate us, prostrating themselves on the loss; and, having greatly augmented ground when we knelt. The wide their numbers, they are about to proceed spreading branches of the tree under again to occupy the encampment. He which we were assembled afforded a de- also affirms that the King of Dahomi lightful screen from the burning rays was himself slain in one of the engageof the sun, which shot from a cloud- ments, besides eleven Captains of war less sky during the whole time. My belonging to his troops; and those who
escaped are fled to their own country. front of the town suddenly attracted our Respecting the King's being slain, I attention ; and in a moment the same am rather slow to believe it, although it thought rushed into every mind, that is universally received as a fact here. the enemy were storming the town. We They suppose the avgust personage all ran immediately to the creek, which whom they killed in his chariot, on the we had no sooner reached, than I heard first day of the attack, to have been the voice of our little house-boy calling him. I have no reason to contradict with all his strength from a canoe at its the report, although I think it probable entrance, begging us to make haste. that they may be mistaken. The Akus There was no time for speaking: the are in high spirits.
firing increased, and each one seemed 15th. Early this morning Mawoo sent responsible for his own safety alone. me a messenger to encourage us not to The creek being very narrow, and full of be afraid ; stating that the Porto-No. soft mud, it was with the greatest diffivans were now within a mile of their culty that I could reach the canoe. We troops at Amawu, and to-morrow they had landed on boards brought for that were sure to commence fighting Other purpose, but had no time to prepare such messengers brought the same informa a path now. The men waded through up tion to different parties in the town; and to their waists, and I at length, through all were preparing for the worst, in case their assistance, reached the smaller our troops should be scattered, and the canoe which we had brought; and we enemy cross the marsh to this place. pushed off. And now it was, when we Thus a feeling of suspense pervaded the reached the open lake, that we saw our whole town, until an hour or two since, real position. when the distant sounds of guns in the The town, and that part of the lake in direction of Amawu broke the spell, front of it, were covered with dense and created universal excitement ; and, clouds of smoke, arising from the still. in a little while after, a swift messenger increasing discharge of fire-arms on both announced that a detachment of the sides ; and the water was studded with enemy's troops had entered the town, canoes, which seemed enveloped in when they were immediately attacked flame, as piece after piece sent forth its and pursued into the forest. Another deadly contents. We had just time to messenger has arrived within the last few glance at the scene, when a fleet of ca. minutes, bringing a human head, yet noes, about thirty in number, emerged crimsoned with warm blood. This has out of the growing cloud, and shot been sent by one of our Chiefs to encou. toward us; the remaining part seemed rage the people, and show that they were stationary just opposite the Missionconquering their enemies. This ghastly house, where they kept up a continual trophy is now insensibly bearing the fire. I thought of my dear wife, the blows and abuses of the people in the only inmate of my house, and I thought market-place, while the din which of God and heaven ; but other thoughts prevails throughout the town forbids also crowded my mind, The dolphindescription. Hundreds of women are like canoes of the enemy, shining under crowding the banks of the Lagoon be- the rays of a cloudless sun, (I shall nefore our door, fetching water in little ver forget their appearance,) were fast earthen pots, with which to sprinkle their approaching, and all the men with me Fetish and his premises, screaming most were terror-struck: they are generally hideously, and dancing, imploring his brave and courageous; but they were protection. This is our preparation for unprepared, and the match was too unethe Sabbath !
qual. Their faces, though sable, looked 18th.- I thank God that I am again pale, and their paddles, though hastily spared to enter another proof of his pro- plunged into the water, seemed to be tecting care and goodness in my journal. scarcely fit for ordinary use. Every eye Not expecting in the least any extraordi. was on the approaching foe. We had nary exertion on the part of the enemy, now three canoes with the one sent to and being anxious to accomplish some call us, and, thinking that the swiftest, I alterations and improvements in our cha- sprang into it; but I immediately found pel, yesterday, about mid-day, I pro- that I had committed myself ; for, on ceeded with all our men to a place on the looking at my companions, I discovered opposite side, about a mile and a half them to be only two boys and a carpendown the Lagoon, to obtain trees for the ter, who knew nothing about working a purpose. We were all busily engaged canoe: the others consequently went bein conveying a large one to the canoe, fore me; and it was not without some when the discharge of several guns in exertion that I induced them to come to
my assistance, such was their terror. interpreter, who, as it was seen from the Here Mr. Morgue left the small boat town that our retreat was cut off, and we which he before occupied, choosing rather were closely pressed by the enemy, had to be with the main body in the large been sent to learn our fate; and, followcanoe.
ing the bank of the Lagoon, he heard On leaving the creek, our course was our plunging through the jungle, and direct across the Lagoon, which is here stood on the nearest firm ground to reabout half a mile in width ; but two mi- ceive and congratulate us. His first nutes showed us that we could not make words were, “ Thank God !” We had good such a course. We then kept barely got behind the bush, when our bearing off by degrees as the enemy ap canoes were seized; but we had escaped. proached, until, when within about one My person and clothes were torn, and hundred yards of the marsh on the other covered with mud. I now again thought side, we were nearly parallel with its of God, of his protecting care, and of course. This was the moment of real my dear wife; and, hastily mounting excitement : I did not doubt the divine Fergusson's horse, I proceeded towards goodness, but felt that deliverance was home. The firing continued, in which at hand. “But how? In what way?" the thundering report of the large guns asked my frail nature. We were now was occasionally heard. I felt an indequite within musket-shot, and I expected scribable thrill at the sound, and thought, cvery moment to hear the whizzing of “Of what scene is the Mission-premises bullets around my ears, while nothing become the seat! But my conscience like a landing-place appeared. The side clears me; my garments are free from of the lake here, to the extent of twenty any blood which may be shed : this is or thirty yards, is covered with grass and Badagry still !” rushes, growing on the water's surface to When I entered the town, the people the height of eight or ten feet; and close took their watching eye from the invading at the back of it appeared a natural fence fleet for a moment, and ran to congratuof thorns and brambles rooted in the late me, receiving me as from the Lord ; mud, which, unpruned by the hand of and many a person exclaimed, “ Tank man, seemed to bid defiance to the most God !” who, I fear, had forgotten to do persevering efforts to break through it. so all their lives before. On entering
Thus were we situated, when the mo- the Mission-vard. an universal shout ment in which we could remain in our took place throughout the whole crowd canoes no longer, arrived. Out sprang which thronged it. I was powerfully the canoe-man who had come to my affected, and felt the deliverance of assistance, and, struggling for a moment, which we had been the subjects. But grasped the flags, and pulled himself my sympathies were still more powerthrough toward the thicket; another fully acted upon, when, on casting my moment had scarcely elapsed, before I eyes toward the piazza, I beheld my stripped off my coat, and plunged into beloved wife, standing with her bon. the water after him, then followed the net on, in the midst of a company of whole company. Here great confusion congratulating natives. Though the prevailed: none could swim, and each enemy swarmed in front of our door, one was entangling his fellow in the and continually discharged their instrufloating weed. I fell behind, following ments of death at our habitation, we in their track, keeping my body up, and had true joy. She had stood on the towing myself along as well as my cloth little balcony in front of our house, and ing and the broken weeds would allow seen our canoes leave the opposite bank, me. We now approached the thicket, and had watched the fleet that left the when our hopes of escape seemed to fail, main body to pursue us, following them and I was just beginning to look for and us with her eye, until to her we deliverance in some other way, finding seemed almost blended, when nothing we were shut in; when a little aperture could further reveal to her our fate. at the water's surface caught my eye; But there was no time yet to give another saw it at the same moment, and even a hasty detail : the foe still maindarted through before me, leaving be- tained his position, and the noise of war hind only his boot, which rose to my absorbed all other subjects. I quickly face on the surface as I followed him. changed my garments, and proceeded A few entanglements and struggles, and into the yard to encourage our people, We emerged from the water and thicket, and assist in preventing the enemy's under the shade of large trees, which I landing. In a few minutes the disaphad no sooner done than my ears were pointed warriors who had pursued me, saluted with the voice of Fergusson, my rejoined their companions, bringing only as trophies our boat and small canoe, our house, and the capture of my per. the large one, we suppose, being too son, to take to their town to live with cumbersome for them to take away. It them, is their principal object; and grieved me much to see ourselves thus they have expressed themselves as deterdeprived of those useful things, particu mined to do it at all hazards. This is larly as they were borrowed from the more out of revenge on the Badagris, Factory. But how can I grieve, after than from any ill-feeling towards me, on being so signally delivered myself? The account of their not allowing me to visit shades of the evening now closed in, and the Oshoe country, when I had engaged some of the shot from the large guns to do so about six months since, on the taking effect on their canoes, so that two occasion of their Chiefs' sending a com. were seen to sink, the whole fleet, about pany of Headmen to make an acquainteighty in number, moved upward, giving ance with me, and invite me thither to and receiving shot as they passed along teach them and their children my great in front of the town. They at length “ fetish” (religious) “palaver.” These glided off into the arm of the lake, in people are the most powerful allies of which they generally take refuge, leav the Porto-Novans, in this Lagoon war; ing us to conjecture the time of their and had I not been prevented by the next attack.
covetousness and deceit of the Chiefs The ensuing night found all parties here, from fulfilling my engagement busily engaged in devising increased to visit them, in all probability they means of self-defence; the proceedings would have remained our firm friends, of the day being so unexpected, that and would not have allowed themselves none were in a prepared state. My own to have been bought over by the Portostrength was too much exhausted to Novans; and in such a case this war admit of my remaining up. Suffering in its present form would not have from an attack .of illness, and having existed. It was observed that the remained in my wet clothes for a con- Oshoes fought badly, and with a heavy siderable time, I was obliged to retire to heart pointed their guns toward the rest; but sleeping was altogether out of house in which they had been enterthe question, as the clamorous noise and tained, and the persons who had mani. excitement which prevailed on all sides fested so much friendship to them ; but forbid description.
having been deceived by the Chiefs of The day was beginning to break this this place, they allowed themselves to morning, and I was hoping to obtain a be bribed by the Porto-Novans, with moment's repose, when the cry, “ They whom they would most likely have been are coming!” passed from one to ano. engaged in war themselves, had they ther along the bank of the Lagoon, refused to render their aid. until it reached our yard. There had N ative smiths were the only persons been a tornado during the night, and the within doors to-day : they were busily morning light revealed a cloudy, wet, engaged in making iron balls and other and cheerless day ; such a morning as instruments of destruction. At four on ordinary occasions throws a gloom on o'clock the war-cry was again raised every object. With an aching head, I throughout the town, and the coarseput on a suit of thick clothing, and took sounding tom-tom announced the apa hasty cup of tea at the bedside of my proach of the foe. The Fantee people beloved wife, while the people crowded in the town, as well as the emigrants, our yard, and prepared for war. My now seemed anxious for war, and deterown messenger, whom I sent to the mined on not waiting for their arrival in other end of the town to ascertain the front of our house ; but ran to the last truth of the report, now entered, and wharf at the extreme end of the town, informed me that they were again draw. there to meet them and drive them back. ing near. On their first appearing, I soon followed them on horseback, to several canoes from the town took par recall my own people, in case they should ties to the other side, where they con- be defeated in their object, as our precealed themselves in the jungle, with the mises were now deserted. intent of suddenly firing on the enemy The Lagoon at the point where the as they passed; but this device was people were now assembled is about half observed by them, and, having ap- a mile in width. On my arrival, ! proached to within about a quarter of a found the whole fleet, consisting of mile of the town, they retreated. We eighty-seven canoes, stretched nearly have indirectly received information from side to side in an oblique direction, from them to-day, by means of a spy The line begun at about a hundred from this place, that the destruction of yards from the other bank, just opposite
the wharf, and extended nearly over amongst the Dahomans is said to be to the side on which we stood, about very great. A detachment of the half a mile above us. No more than troops has been sent through the country about twelve canoes went out to keep toward the encampment, which yesterthem at bay, while hundreds of guns day arrived at Mojiba, a village but a pointed from the bank across the nar few miles distant from it. On their way rowest part to prevent their passing. down, they fell in with a few scattered The plan was well laid, and proved parties of Addos. The information of effectual; for, seeing the whole strength their near approach struck terror of the town collected at that point, their through the Addos and Porto-Novans hearts failed, and they feared to force engaged with our troops at Amawu ; the passage. The parties continued and, leaving guns, cutlasses, ammuniharmlessly firing at one another (the tion, and various other things behind, distance being too great) about two they fled, and their camp is now entirely hours, when the shades of night again deserted : consequently triumphing and drove them to their retreat.
rejoicing prevail amongst our Chiefs in I am just returned to my still-spared that part, and they rank themselves habitation, though it seems doomed to amongst the bravest of men, destruction ; for some of the respectable We have received a message from emigrants have just informed me, that them to-day, requesting us, if the caparties in the town have been bribed to noes should come down again, not to set fire to it during the night.
follow them, that they were all disIt is a source of great fear and suspi- heartened and broken. The principal cion to us, that at least one eighth of the cause assigned for this, is the convulsed people here are in heart friendly to the state of their own country. Great numPorto-Novans, and, if they could escape bers of the Dahomans have proceeded it, would do nothing to prevent their thither, being driven back by the Akus; taking the town. It has just come to and, their expedition having proved an light, that an individual here has been entire failure, they have raised a great for some weeks past forwarding supplies disturbance, demanding something for of provisions to them.
the losses they had sustained, stating There is another circumstance which that efficient aid had not been rendered has also increased our trouble to-day. them in the war, and they were deDuring the excitement of yesterday ceived. The consequence is, the Porto. afternoon, while I was absent, or else in Novans are all anxious to hasten home, the night, a person entered our bed- lest their town should be destroyed, and room, and took from a chest of drawers, their country pillaged by their disapwhich was visible from the outside, my pointed allies. All the Aku troops inwatch, chain, and key, amounting in tend shortly to return to their old posivalue to £20. I have made inquiry tion at the encampment. We cannot to-day respecting it, and have appre- but feel thankful that the slave-dealing hended, on very suspicious grounds, one Dahomans have been so successfully of 's sons, the same that formerly met and defeated, as their coming was poisoned himself through stealing on for slave-dealing, tyrannical purposes our premises, when he barely escaped exclusively, than which nothing would with his life. But the subject is still more effectually obstruct the spread of involved in darkness, and I am afraid Christianity and civilization. Though (though I scarcely doubt that he is the war in every case is attended with many guilty party) that, in addition to all the horrors, and is degrading to man, the trials of the past few days, I shall have Akus in the present instance must be to sustain this loss, which to me is very excused, they having acted purely on heavy. But, thank God, I have a bet the defensive, and only fought for the ter home above, where war is not known, rights of common humanity against the and “where thieves do not break unwarrantable innovations of a tyrannithrough nor steal.” O Lord, be thou cal usurper. I fear this carinot be said my strength, and I shall yet triumph. of the people of this place. Their own
19th.-Nothing of the enemy has perfidy and covetousness have been the been seen to-day. The people are rather cause of all their broils, the Chiefs being perplexed at the suspense in which they adepts in deceit and slavery; and, while are kept News have reached us re- they profess to be the friends of the specting the interior : our troops are English and the Akus, are secretly, by now settled at Abokuta, where they have their man-stealing practices, kindling the about three hundred prisoners taken vengeance of the neighbouring towns from the enemy. The amount of slain and countries, which continually threat