Letter from A.F. Williams to Lewis Tappan
A letter from A.F. Williams expressing his joy regarding the "deliverance of the Amistad prisoners" stating that he has a strong desire that all the Africans not wishing to return home "be put in a course of education" to "qualify them as missionaries & teachers" so they can go to Africa and render "essential service to their countrymen." Williams believed that this would open a door "for the instruction of civilization & Christianity" into Africa. In his letter he outlines his plan for "an institution for their education & the instruction of such other colored men who might wish to avail themselves of an education free of expense." He discusses the place and setting of such an establishment, as well as its teachers. To fund this plan, Williams suggests a man of piety, influence, and perseverance take "Cinque & about 6 of the most intelligent" to visit the principle places in free states and sell tickets for public meetings. He writes that $100,000 could be raised in one year, and if his plan is not feasible, then it is suggested that the Africans be placed at Oneida Institute or Oberlin College. If this not possible then, some of the Africans should travel the country to raise funds for their return and to support emancipation. Williams states that, "an exhibition of these men would do more to remove prejudice than all other efforts" and that he is "glad these men are free by law and not by stratagem or force."