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Their Life Is Liberia

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A seiisation has been created in colored Irclet by the return to Charleston of one )f tlie emigrants who left Charleston ome years ago on the memorable voyage of' the bark Azor. The returned migrant is Min. Cluracnt Iroue, who eacned here trom Sierra Leone via New fork by the colouization ghip Monrovia. Mis. Irons is naturally an object of ineuse interest to the colored people of Charleston, and since her coming to the ty has, as to speak, divided herself up imoiig her fiiends with whom she has een "boarding around" afler the manier of the old-time Georgia school teachr. She was found by a representative of thu News and Courier at the resilence of a relativo. She presented the nibodinientof the pleasant, good-natured, veil -bied colored matron of the olden ime. Mis. Irons at once consented to teil all he knew about her new home in Afriea. Ier tiusband, Clement Irons, is reinemjered in Charleston as an active, intellitent, and respectable colored man, the nventorof the "Irons' cotton gin," and a man who had the universal respect of vliile and colored people alike, and who ïad a prosporous future before him in 1 1 is latlve city. Ilis departan for Liberia in lie Azor was a surprise to all who knew f liis piosperous eucuinstances and prosiccls. "We are all alive," slie said, "my husmnd, niyseli' and our flve children, and 'iijoying the best of bealth. Our home s at .Mlllers-burg, on the St. Paul river, ibout 200 miles from Sierra Leone. Mileu-buig is a settlement of about half a lozen families. The rest of the Azor emigrauts are scatteied through tlie colouy, are dead, or have relurned to America. My hushand is engaged u the business of i machinist. No, he has not got a machine shop. He makes and mends maihinery of all kinds, principally coft'ee nills, rice milis, etc. Soine times when he tas H big job he li i res hands, but he generally dues it all hiinself." "Any sickness there?" asked the reorter. "Well, yes, when you flrst get there jou get an attack of the fever. It is just ike our broken bone fever here - it racka you in all your joints, and for about two fean vou have a tough time of it. After ;hat you get well and you are not troubied with auy more sickness. All of us liad the fevor, but we got over it, and we are fíettinfí along very well now. Our ehililreu are growing flnely, and my eldest daughter bas marrled." "Any nalives there?'' "Oh, yes, plenty of natives. They do not live there, but they come in at times to trade and to work. They are a goodnaturod kiiul of people, but don't take niuch to the church, especially the old folks. Well, no, I couldu't say that I know much about their religión. I don't understand their language, although the children have picked up right smart of it and eau talk wilh them. The natives are useful to cut the brush and work about the farm. There's the Mandingoes; I know in their religión they have beads just llke the Catholic people They don't woik- they just THAVEL AROUND. "No, we don't have any trouble with them. They seem good-natured and bar m leu enougli. I s'pose they are wilder i'urther in the country, but we have never met any of the real wild ones. Sotne of them come in to trade. They biing palm oil, and mits, and rice, and mat?, and different things, sometimes plaintains and fruit. We trade with them, giving them cloth or tobáceo. A good buiich of bananas is worth a yard oí common homespun. Oh, yes, we raise bananas and plaintains ourselves, but smnrtimes when our'n ain't ripe we buy trom the natives." What else do you raise ? " "Well, wc eau raise almost anything. We have cussada, soniething like a potato, rice, cqffeé, coin, all sorts of vegetables, piitatocs, cabbage, snap beans, cucumbers 8ibW beaus, okra'n tomatoes, watermel"Just the same as at home, eh ? "Ves, just the same as at home. Anything you put in the grouud will grow.' 'What is u liorse worth in your settlementf" ., ('fliis quesüon proluced a broad smile, devetoplnf as it did the dense ignorauce of the questioner). We ain't git no horses," replied Mrs Irone, after she had recovered her composure enougli to answer. "Oh, I ste," replied the reporter, anxlous to cloak his ignorauce. "Of couise you plow with bullocks, the style a all the eastern nuil southern countries." Woree and vrone. The remark evoked anoiher smile, as the old woman replied fiord blcss you, sir; we don't plow a! JU - and tlion swing the dull and stolid l,)ok that oveispread the one white counte anee In the circle, she hastened to ex 1 We don't have to plow In that country There'i notliing to do bnt to hoe The greatest trounle Is to get the bush off the land. We get the natives to do that They cut it and theu burn It, and when this is done we ]üt take n spade and chop a hole in the ground and plant our cassada s-ticks. After the plants get up out of the ground we sow rice in the field AU it needs ig a little hoeing now and then Tlie rice la like our Charleston ricc'enly 'Wln't as while. It is reddieh, and 1 don'l tliink It'l as large as our rice Our vegetables are very little trouble to Ilow much of a farm have you got? ' "Our farm is about 10 acrei, I suppose. Oh, yes; we ratee coffee. You know yon doii't have to plant coflee but once. IT G1I0WS ON TUEES. We've pot about 1,000 trees planted- they haven't borne jet. It takes about three years before thoy bear fruit. I ex pet-t to pick coflee berries by the time I get home." "Any cotton ? " ''Oh, yes; we raise colton, but not like we do in tliis country. I have plantel u dozen or more cotton bmhet aroiind tire lot in the fence corner?, aml we aret enourli cotton off tliern to make quilts and things we want about the boute. The cotton bush don't die. Itjustlives there year in and year out and beurs every year. We dou't spin it; we only use it for wadding quilts and about the house generally. Tliere is never nny frost there. It's about as hot as it is here to-day all the yenr round. At certain sea8ons it rains, and this is the rainy season now. I expect they are catohing the rain at home now. At Chrtetmas time it is generally the warmest in the year." "Much money out there? " "Money is very acaree, and we see very little of it. We mostly trade. Clotli of commonest kind is 83 cents a yard; cotumou shoes f rom f 3.75 to $4 a pair; meat 25 cent a pound. We get most of tlie .mieles we want in trade. Jlr. Irons has a job, say: he'll take part of hia pay in money and part In whatever bis employer has that we haye need for. We have salt pork and comed beef and salt lish." "Any fresh meat? " "Of course there's goats and sheep. I mise tlici mycelf. and chieken anii !'- ocks and deer, which the nutives sometimes bring in to sell or trade for tobáceo or cloth." "Are you pleased with your new ïome? " "Well, I never did like África, yon now that (thls to the old mauma who lad divided her attentioii between a watermelon and listeninf; to the interview), but I have uo fault to lind with it. [t's a good enough place to live in, and I mi going back na soon as I get tired ot staying liere."


Ann Arbor Courier
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