The Portuguese Merchants Generally Look To Foreign Enterprise
And To Their Own Government For The Means By Which This Amelioration
Might be effected; but, as I always stated to them when conversing
on the subject, foreign capitalists would never run
unless they saw the Angolese doing something for themselves,
and the laws so altered that the subjects of other nations
should enjoy the same privileges in the country with themselves.
The government of Portugal has indeed shown a wise and liberal policy
by its permission for the alienation of the crown lands in Angola;
but the law giving it effect is so fenced round with limitations,
and so deluged with verbiage, that to plain people it seems
any thing but a straightforward license to foreigners to become
`bona fide' landholders and cultivators of the soil. At present
the tolls paid on the different lines of roads for ferries and bridges
are equal to the interest of large sums of money, though but a small amount
has been expended in making available roads.
There are two churches and a hospital in ruins at Massangano;
and the remains of two convents are pointed out, one of which
is said to have been an establishment of black Benedictines,
which, if successful, considering the materials the brethren had to work on,
must have been a laborious undertaking. There is neither
priest nor schoolmaster in the town, but I was pleased to observe
a number of children taught by one of the inhabitants.
The cultivated lands attached to all these conventual establishments in Angola
are now rented by the government of Loanda, and thither the bishop
lately removed all the gold and silver vessels belonging to them.
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