“The Liberian War. To the Editor of the Times”

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The Liberian War.


To the Editor of the Times

Sir,—I am greatly astonished and regret to hear that there is a report in circulation on charging me with the brutal murder of Mr. Selim Aga, a British subject, then resided at Cape Palmas. I therefore feel myself called upon to apologize in the following statement:—

The whole of the Liberian army attacked my big town on the morning of the 10th of October last, at 5 o'clock a.m. My people and myself were awakened by the tremendous noise of their rifles and cannons; and after having seriously engaged with them in battle they were routed by my soldiers. Mr. Selim Aga, while retreating with and in the midst of the Liberian army, was accidentally shot and killed. His dead body was not found and recognized until a few hours aftetwards, being armed with a sword. This is a genuine, true, and only circumstantial account of the event. Any statement or statements beyond or below this is a result of mere prejudice intentionally fabricated for my serious injury.

A word or two in conclusion.

Although I am a heathen, yet I am neither such a savage nor cannibal at all. I have never heard that any of my predecessors or myself have ever killed, massacred, or brutally murdered any black or white foreigner or foreigners. We have here some foreigners in the midst of the Liberian settlement within our reach representing different civilized nations by their respective flags—viz., of the German nation, Messrs. Lehman and Woerman; of French, M. Verdire; of English, Messrs. Allen, Burton, and Hazeley, of Sierra Leone; of America or U.S., Revs. Mr. Davis and Fair. Those persons we have never troubled in the present war. How could we single out aud brutally murder Mr. Selim Aga, and leave thin others as above mentioned unmolested? How could I venture to raise my puny arm against the British Government as to perpetrate, for the first time, such a black deed in murdering a British subject in defiance of the British power, especially when I am at war with the American-Liberians? I deeply regret that my people have thus accidentally killed Mr. Selim Aga in the midst and issue of the battle which could not possibly be avoided.

I therefore do earnestly deprecate and crave the pardon and mercy of the British Government for the commission of the commission of the casualty in question.

I still do humbly implore the sympathy of the Christian world in the present war with the Liberians, which they have unjustly declared against me.

I have the honour to be your most humble servant.

      King Weah, of the Grebo Re-United Kingdom.

Cape Palmas, Liberia, Jan. 24.

Item Details

Author(s) & contributor(s): Bye Weah

Date(s): 24 January 1876; 7 March 1876

Form & transmission history: Original letter, as edited and published in a British periodical.

Original publication details: The Times (7 March 1876): 12

Digital edition & date: One More Voice, 2021

Critical editing & encoding: Anne Martin, Mary Borgo Ton, Adrian S. Wisnicki

Cite this digital edition (MLA): Weah, Bye. “‘The Liberian War. To the Editor of the Times’” (24 January 1876; 7 March 1876). Anne Martin, Mary Borgo Ton, Adrian S. Wisnicki, eds. One More Voice, new dawn edition, 2021, https://onemorevoice.org/html/transcriptions/liv_020054_TEI.html.

Rights: Critically-edited text copyright One More Voice. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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