"'I shall consider it no small favor if you will state that there is no law requiring me to serve two years, that I never authorized any such statement as here made, that I have no sympathy whatever for the "Liberian Exodus" movement, that I give it neither countenance nor support, but will oppose it whenever I feel that the occasion requires it. I am not at all disposed to flee from one shadow to grasp at another--from the supposed error of Hayes's Southern policy to the prospective glory of commanding Liberia's army.
"'Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"'HENRY O. FLIPPER, "'Second Lieutenant Tenth U. S. Cavalry. "'CHARLESTON, S.C., October 19, 1877.'"
ROOMS OF THE LIBERIAN AFRICAN ASSOCIATION, 10 MARY STREET, CHARLESTON, S.C., June 22, 1877.
To HENRY O. FLIPPER, Esq., U. S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.:
DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER: Your future, as foreshadowed by the press of this country, looks dismal enough. We have conned its remarks with mingled feelings of sympathy and exultation. Exultation! because we believe fate has something higher and better in store for you than they or you ever dreamed. Inclosed please find copy of a letter to the Honorable the Secretary of State. We have not yet received a reply. Also, inclosed, a number of the Missionary Record containing the call referred to. We have mentioned you in our note to His Excellency Anthony Gardner, President of Liberia. Please communicate with us and say if this letter and inclosures do not open up a bright vista in the future to your imagination and reasonable aspirations? We picture to ourselves our efforts to obtain a line of steamers crowned with success; and behold you as commander-in-chief organizing and marshalling Liberia's military forces in the interests of humanity at large, and the especial development of a grand African nationality that shall command the respect of the nations:
So Afric shall resume her seat in the Hall of Nations vast; And strike upon her restrung lyre The requiem of the past: And sing a song of thanks to God, For his great mercy shown, In leading, with an outstretched arm, The benighted wanderer home. Selah!
Provide yourself at once with maps, etc., master the chorography of Africa in general, and the topography of Liberia in particular, that is to say, the whole range of the Kong mountains, including its eastern slope on to the Niger, our natural boundary! for the next thirty years! after that, onward! Cultivate especially the artillery branch of the service; this is the arm with which we can most surely overawe all thought of opposition among the native tribes; whilst military engineering will dot out settlements with forts, against which, they will see, 'twould be madness to hurl themselves. We desire to absorb and cultivate them. The great obstacle to this is their refusal to have their girls educated. This results from their institution of polygamy. Slavery is the same the world over--it demands the utter ignorance of its victims. We must compel their enlightenment. Have we not said enough? Does not your intelligence grasp, and your ambition spring to the great work? Let us hear from you. You can be a great power in assisting to carry out our Exodus. If you desire we will elect you a member of our council and keep you advised of our proceedings. We forward you by this mail some of our numbers and the Charleston News of the 20th. See the article on yourself, and let it nerve you to thoughts and deeds of greatness. Let us know something about Baker and McClennan. Are they at Annapolis? Cadets? (We will require a navy as well as an army.) Also something about yourself. What part of the State are you from? Hon. R. H. Cain is not here, or probably he could inform us.