The duration of the passage and the dangers associated with it had prepared us for the worst, but the first few days of azure skies and blazing sun dispelled our fears. We sat on deck at sunset to while away the time, hardly ever sleeping for our excitement, and sometimes we sang and evoked life on the plantations until dawn. I would lean against the rail to relish the pleasant sea breeze and to gaze at the gleaming waters stretching endlessly around us. Occasionally, the sound of the waves lashing against the ship would reach me like a song from far across the ocean, soothing my nerves.

Meanwhile the ship edged on, tearing through the churning waters, moving further away from America and heading steadily toward our destination. There were days when I would chose to keep to myself, refusing to join Reverend Barclay and others for prayer.

I have heard men express preferences. They have made mention of whom they desire to rule over us if the worst should come upon us nationally. Some are rampant after American associations; some are enamoured of the English; some would have the Germans, others the French. Personally I indulge no such predilections. They argue an abandonment of hope . . . an absolute admission of incapacity and failure. For my part I am a Liberian first and last and my desire is that Liberia should endure till the heavens fall, and that this country be controlled by Liberians for Liberians.

  Edwin James Barclay (1910)