[The Message of the President of the Republic of Liberia]The Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1187, p. 135.
February 7, 1863
The message of the President of the Republic of Liberia (Mr. S. A. Benson), received by the last African mail, gives a satisfactory account of the progress and prospects of that country. The President details the circumstances of his recent visit to England, and speaks in grateful terms of the reception accorded to him, and of the disposition officially manifested to promote a satisfactory adjustment of boundary and all other questions in which England, from her position on the African coast, is relatively interested with Liberia. Great vigilance continues to be exercised by the Liberian Government to frustrate the slave trade in the neighbouring territories, and often with considerable success. The people are paying increased attention to the profitable cultivation of the soil, and the production of cotton, sugar, and other articles is likely to increase. Within the last twelve months six sugar-mills have been imported. Iron and coal deposits exist, which it is hoped may soon be turned to account. A conviction is expressed that the war in the United States will cause an immense voluntary efflux of the coloured population of that country to Liberia, and this view is urged as a stimulus to all Liberians; to set such an example of industry as shall render the Republic increasingly beneficial as a place of refuge. The notice obtained by the contribution of Liberia to the International Exhibition is likewise alluded to with gratification.