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Divine injunction, the means given to man be fairly, honestly, and properly used by man. Above all things, let it be noted in this progression, that all gain, and no one loses.
This has been shewn in the same proceedings to which reference has been made, that is, the volumes of the Labourers' Friend Society; and, having been shewn so clearly as to dispel all doubt, the system has gone on from hundreds to thousands, and from thousands to not less than a hundred thousand tenants on the allotment system, all doing well. It cannot be reasonably doubted, that in the new location, in New Brunswick, for instance, there can be any failure, all the means for giving the system a fair trial being in the greatest abundance. They are in superabundance; they are untried ; they are ripe for the harvest of benefit and blessing, ready to be thus opened out and enjoyed. May they be indeed verified to the letter, and the barren wil. derness be made to smile with double lustre, and the now aching heart made to sing for joy!
PROPOSAL FOR A NEW SETTLEMENT
TO BE MADR
ON THE COAST OF AFRICA;
Recommending to the Author of that Proposal several Altera
tions in his Plan, and more especially the adoption of the ancient mode of Government by Tithings (or Decenaries) and Hundreds, as being the most useful and effectual mode of Government for all Nations and Countries.
The proposal for a settlement on the coast of Africa will deserve all encouragement, if the settlers are absolutely prohibited from holding any kind of property in the persons of men, as slaves, and from selling either man, woman, or child. Even to claim any human person as a slave ought to be considered as an affront to the whole community, and be punished accordingly.
With respect to the proposal for leave to purchase slaves, the permission, if granted at all, must be very carefully guarded; and the price given must be considered and declared, at the time of purchase, to be a mere pecuniary debt for redemption, due from the person purchased to the society or state of the settlement; and by no means to be transferred to any single individual, (which would introduce domestic tyranny and traffic in the bodies of men,) but the debt to be discharged at leisure, without increase or interest, whenever the redeemed, or his friends, shall tender the amount of the first price ; in default of which, the price should be worked out by a limited proportional service to the state ; and the state should hold forth, at the same time, ample encouragement to engage compliance and submission : but it should be an established principle, that the state or society ought rather to lose the value of the purchase than, by compulsion, to inforce involuntary servitude, whereby honest labour, that should always be deemed honourable, is rendered odious and slavish.
Rules must also be laid down to prevent the monopoly of land within the bounds of the settlement: and a sufficient reserve of land must be made for public services (schools and religious instruction) in each township; and for cottage land, to be distributed in small parcels to new settlers and redeemed captives; which parcels must revert to the state or community, for the same benevolent investiture to others of the like condition, as soon as the temporary possessors are enabled to purchase larger lots ; for it will prevent, in some degree, the monopoly of land, if the cottage-lots are untenable with other land. Common land should also be reserved for a competent distance round each town and village, wherein all inhabitants, rich and poor, should have an equal personal right: because the claims of rich landholders, when made in proportion to the size of their bordering estates, are unreasonable and unjust; and have occasioned a cruel perversion of the utility of common lands in England: for the live stocks of rich farmers, occasionally turned loose upon the commons, generally deprived the cattle of the poor inhabitants of their necessary sustenance ; and the late divisions for enclosures, by act of parliament, having been, for the most part, inconsiderately granted in the same unjust proportions, have at length nearly annihilated the common lands of England : whereas on the contrary, the large possessions of the neighbouring landholders ought, in reason and natural justice, rather to have excluded them from the least share in the inheritance of the poor inhabitants; or, at most, their share should have been merely personal, as men, and individuals, equal to, but not exceeding, the claims of their neighbours, that the common lands might be truly in common.
The managers, entrusted with the Society's property to form the settlement, should have no settled dominion or authority over the people as
governors or judges, but should be contented with that superiority and influence, which their pecuniary trust, as agents and overseers for the society, will naturally afford them; and their services may be amply rewarded and encouraged after the first year's salary, by an admission to a due proportion or share with the members of the society in the general profits of the settlement, and in the profits of the common or public trade of the society; but no private trade whatsoever should be permitted to any of the society's managers and agents.
The officers for internal government, as the governor or mayor, the sheriffs, and other magistrates, constables, &c., &c., should be freely elected every year by all the inhabitants ; due qualifications being premised to render men eligible to offices of dignity and trust.
The purposes of the defence, legislation, public justice, government, and subordination of the settlers, and their union as a community, (however large and extensive the settlements may hereafter become,) are points more easily to be accomplished than is generally conceived ; provided the ancient Anglo-Saxon government by mutual Frankpledge in tithings (or decenaries) and hundreds be duly adopted; and this being already consistent with the common law and ancient constitution of this kingdom, (still deemed