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of negro slavery. We cannot afford “ If any person shall hereafter wilfully, space for more than to shew, by a maliciously, wantonly, AND WITHOUT PROVO
kill and murder any slave, whether few instances, how substantially Mr.
such slave be the property of the person so Stephen has proved the truth of the killing and murdering, or of any other description he has given of the state. person, such person so killing and murderFor instance, he supports the
ing, being duly convicted thereof by the propo
evidence of one or more white person or sition that the master is the sole
persons, &c. shall suffer death,” &c. arbiter of the labour and the subsis
Take again a meliorating act of tence of the slave. In evidence of this
Dominica : he quotes the answers of the Councils
In Dominica, by its first meliorating of Barbadoes, Antigua, Nevis, and Act, to maim, deface, mutilate, or crueLLY Bahamas to the queries proposed by torture a slave, was made a crime that subthe Committee of Privy Council. They jected the offender to a fine not exceeding
1001. current money, and no imprisonment are as follow:
at all; but I find such offences are, by a Barbadoes. The quere is, “Are any subsequent Act of 1818, made punishable days or hours set apart
which the with imprisonment, not exceeding three slaves labour for themselves ?”
mouths; as the alternative to such fine, at
the discretion of the court. Ans. “ There is no law regulating this matter.” “ The allowance of
We will offer one more similar act corn to a negro must depend on the
in support of the author's position, circumstances of his master. If the but which he has not quoted. It is an planter fails in his own crop of corn,
act of the Assembly of Antigua.
38 Geo. III. sec. xxxvii.-Laws of Anhe must purchase; should the price be
tigua, vol. i. p. 36. greater than he is able to pay, his ne
And be it further enacted, by the authogroes must suffer."
rity aforesaid, that every owner or director Antigua.--"No laws have ever been of any female slave within the Leeward
Islands, who shall be five months gone passed in this island for enforcing due
with child,* shall keep and detain such care of the slaves."
female slave upon the estate to which she Nevis.--" There is no law that gives belongs at all times when the other slaves the slave any allowances of time but are at work, but not employ her otherwise Sunday. There is no law which obliges estate, or other light work, &c. ; nor shall
than in taking care of the children on the the master to grant provision grounds." any such female slave be punished in any
Bahamas.-" They are fed accord other manner than by confinement. And ing to the generosity and good-nature shall offend against this clause in any re
or director, as aforesaid, of the master. There is no law but
spect, he shall forfeit for the same the practice.”-P. 34, 35, 36.
sum of five pounds. Again—The author is asserting the
Among the most cruel of those power of the master to imprison, characteristics of negro slavery which wound or injure his slaves at discre- Mr. Stephen has given, is the liability tion. Here again he quotes the official of the slave to be removed at pleasure answer of the Assemblies at various from his wife, his family, his conislands to the inquiries made by the nexions and his home. This is well Privy Council. But, what is yet more illustrated in the following passages : satisfactory, he illustrates his position
The slave in our colonies, at every moby extracts from the meliorating laws ment of his life, however long, after any (meliorating, forsooth!) of several period of services, however faithful, is islands, which declare more explicitly liable to be torn at once, and for ever, from
his home, from his friends, bis family, his than any evidence the sense entertain- wise, his children; from all, in a word, ed by Colonial legislature of the de that is dear to him upon earth; and to be gree of criminality attached to cruelty sent to serve a new master, in a distant towards a slave. Take, for instance, an act of the Assembly of Barbadoes, indian literature, -"- every owner, &c. who shall
* A curious specimen by the way of Westpassed in 1805.
be five months gone with child!!”
island or territory, during the rest of his juries to cattle are in some cases capimiserable days. Such, indeed, is the per- tal felonies. The slave can neither be sunal restraint incident to this slavery, plaintiff or defendant, prosecutor or that distance of removal is not necessary to give to separation its full bitterness. informer, or even witness against any The wife and husband, the parent and persons of free condition. The extent child, if sold to different masters, in dif- of this evil may be conceived, though ferent counties of Jamaica, or even at the opposite extremities of smaller islands, are
not described, when it is remembered effectually divided for life.
that his oppressors universally belong Transfers of property, from which to that class; and this reflection will such cruel consequences may, and often do, result, may be effected in all the va
at once prove how utterly hopeless rious ways in which lands, or even house
redress is to the slave : for how is a hold goods, may change their owners in slave to prove the author of his inthis country. The slave passes to a new juries? Nor is the protection afforded master by will, by marriage settlement, by gift, sale, demise, -in short, by every by prosecutions at the suit of the species of conveyance.
crown of a more efficient character; Nor is it always possible for the new for in point of fact there are no Colonial lord of his temporal destiny to save the
laws in existence by which protection poor negro, in these cases, from such a sad shipwreek of his happiness. The suc
to the slave against a free man is afcessors to the property of the deceased forded, unless where the offender is his may be infants, or otherwise incapable of master; and in that case, says the altering the disposition of the law; or, it
author, may be necessary that the slaves should be sold to pay the debts of their deceased
They relate in general only to one spe. owner; or, a settlement may have indis
cies of injury, that of violence to the solubly bound them to some other and
person; and so far are the new acts from distant estate, though the late master,
making all injuries, even of this kind, inhaving a life-interest perhaps in both, had
dictable, that they plainly imply the concontinued them till his death upon that trary; since the greater part of them pro domain to which they were originally hibit it only by special and aggravatory attached.
descriptions, such as “ wanton and cruel We must be satisfied with this hasty the offender, in cases so described, to such
beating, wounding, &c.; and they subject description of the manner in which the punishment only as might by our law, and author treats the subject, and with a by their own, have been adjudged for the still more hurried sketch of the re
slightest assault on a free person. mainder of his book. We fear indeed, And as respects the common or statute that we have already exceeded those law of England, he well observes that limits which on such subjects we pre
The law of England, knowing no such
state of man as that to which negroes in scribe to ourselves.
the West Indies are confessedly reduced, Mr. Stephen proceeds to the con can have settled nothing criminally or cisideration of incidents of Colonial
villy, that directly applies to such a state ;
nor can any rules be derived from our law, slavery as it respects the civil charac- through the analogy that their condition ter of the slave. We need hardly re bears to any other which that law has remind our readers, ignorant as we be- cognized : because the state of villeinage, lieve most of them are on this interest- point, differs from it widely and radically
which is the nearest approach to it in one ing subject, that the slave is utterly in every other. destitute of all civil rights; in fact, he After specifying inany wrongs that is not regarded as a sentient being, or may be inflicted by a free man upon a in any other light than one of his mas slave, for which he can have no redress, ter's cattle. In the words of the au and pointing out the oppressive and thor," he has no civil character or cruel effects of rejecting the evidence personality ;” and although an injury of the latter, Mr. Stephen pointedly done to him by any other than his illustrates the hardship of depriving master may be redressed or punished, this unhappy being of the only remedy it is only on the same principle of pro- which would appear remaining. A perty as in this country malicious in slave, and a slave alone, of all the
living occupants of this wide world, is can it be expected that those who bereft of the natural right of self-de- deem them unworthy of temporal enfence from violence.
joyments, will be anxious to secure to To offer violence, to strike, attempt to
them spiritual blessings? Can it be strike, struggle with, resist, or oppose, any supposed that when wealth and prowhite person, is, by these acts, declared to perty, power and privilege, civil offibe a crime in a slave, which shall subject ces and trusts, distinctions and hohim, if the white person be wounded or hurt, and in some islands without that
nours, are sedulously placed beyond his condition, to death, dismemberment, or
reach, the honours and privileges of other severe penalties : and lest there Christianity will be extended to him ? should be a doubt, whether there be any If their value is indeed appreciated by implied exceptions in relation to lawless his owner, for consistency's sake he outrages, or in favour of self-defence, the allowable excuses are, in the more modern must believe his slave undeserving of acts, carefully and exactly specified. They every thing else, unworthy also of are only those of obedience to the master's them; and if the owner values them immediate command, and in the lawful defence of his (the master's) person or
not, why should he be at the useless goods; and negative words even are some trouble of bestowing them on his slave? times (as in the Grenada Act) superadded, However, we will admit that here viz. “ no other cause or pretence.” See Jamaica Act of 1788, Sec. 33. Antigua
too we have meliorating acts. Act of 1702, Sec. 6. St. Christopher's There was indeed an act of Jamaica of Act of 1711, Sec. 4. Act of the Virgin 1696, which enjoined masters to instruct Islands of 1783, Sec. 24. Grenada Act their slaves, and to have them baptized of 1766, &c.
when fit for it; but without even the pre
tence of any punishment or remedy for his Thus is the poor slave placed in this neglect of this idle injunction; and after monstrous, unparalleled state of degra near a century of acknowledged uselessdation. A dog may bite, an ass may
ness, the same clause was gravely rekick his master,
enacted in the meliorating act of 1788. a worm will turn
Dominica, eleven years after, ainused us when trampled on”— but a slave, a with a like enactment; and the late Cuwretched negro may have his person
rate's Act of Jamaica directs, that the assaulted, his wife outraged, his daugh- slaves shall be instructed in the doctrines ter violated before his eyes, and if he master's consent shall be first had and ob.
of Christianity, provided always, that the turns, may expiate his offence at the tained. gallows.
But how far such instruction has Merchants of England, again we say, been afforded, judge from the following consider this ! and palliate the state of
evidence. slavery !
“Q. What has been, and is now, the We dare not trust ourselves to trace
" situation of the slaves in Jamaica as to its further evils. It would indeed be “ religious instruction ? matter of surprise if this wretched “ Ă. There are a very few properties on
" which there are Moravian parsons; but being, called a slave, used merely as
“ in general there is no attention paid to the tool of wealth, appropriated to his
religious instruction." (John Wedowner's pleasures, debarred of rights, derburn, Esq. Evidence of 1790, Ho. of property, of protection; exposed to Com. p. 381.)
“ Q. Are negro slaves, or their children insult, hunger, and outrage; excluded
“ in general, baptized, and what religious from the pale of civilization, and from
“ institutions are there for their benefit, the privileges, not only of humanity, « in each of the islands of the Westbut even of the animal creation ; cut
(i Indies ?
“ A. It is not uncommon for negro off from hope and the possibility of
“ slaves to be baptized by the Romish change; it would indeed be matter of “ priests: but this depends entirely on astonishment, if such a being could be « their own inclinations, as there are no the subject of religious anxiety; or if
“ religious institutions established by law for
“ the benefit of slaves in the island." (Gov. to him the advantages of cducation or
Seton, P. c. Rep. on Slave Trade, p. 3, moral improvement were extended ; St. Vincent, A. N. 18 and 19.) Asiatic Journ.-No. 99.
Vol. XVII. 2 N
“ Q. What religious institutions are “to massa house, in massa yard, and in " there for the benefit of negro slaves in my hut, and me no see 'em." And then “ each of the islands in the West-Indies ?. her cry went up to God. A. By Mr. Roberton. “ None ES
Could the pangs of separation be * tablished in the Windward or Lecward Islands."
more forcibly depicted ? A. By Mr. Laing. “ None." (Same And for what purpose is this odious Rep, and Pt. title Dominica, A. N. 19.)
system supported, in defiance alike of "Q. Same as the preceding. 4. By Mr. Fuller, Agent for Jamaica, law, humanity, and of religion? Merely Mr. Chisholme, and Mr. Long. "We for the sake of protecting, as it is call“ know of none such in Jamaica.” (Sameed, the property of a body who collecRep. and Pt. title Jamaica, A. N. 19.)
tively have neither by their conduct “ In the old English islands, and even " the ceded islands of St. Vincent and
nor their loyalty deserved such pro“ Dominique, the Negroes, in respect lo
tection. This is no calumnious asser“ religion, are very shamefully neglected.” tion; the treasonable character of the (James Baillie, Esq. Evidence of 1790, late declarations, petitions, and so Ho. Com. 201.)
forth, of the Colonial Assemblies fully We really, however, must conclude, bear us out in making it; nor is the without venturing to touch upon the empty argument, that colonial prolatter part of the volume relative to the perty has been purchased under a parstate of slavery in respect of its com- liamentary pledge for its security, a mencement and dissolution, and, what make-weight in the balance. No we regret still more, without allusion legislature can sanction an outrage to a valuable Appendix relative to the upon morality and decency, nor has removal of slaves from one island to the legislature of Great Britain ever another. We cannot, however, an done so. Its casual and indirect reswer it to ourselves to omit extracting cognition of slavery has been made in the following anecdote, given on the ignorance of its character; and even authority of a missionary of the name were it otherwise, the legislature that of Gilgras.
can enact can repeal its enactments, A master of slaves, who lived near us
Those who bought West Indian plantain Kingston, Jamaica, exereised his bar- tions bought them at this risk, and barities on a Sabbath morning, while we consequently obtained them on terms
What right the cries of the female sufferers have fre- proportionably cheap. quently interrupted us in our devotions. have they now to complain if they are But there was no redress for them, or for exposed to that danger, the anticipa
This man wanted money, and, one tion of which diminished the purchaseof the female slaves having two fine children, he sold one of them, and the child money? As well might a man comwas torn from her maternal affection. In plain at losing an estate which he purthe agony of her feelings, she made a chased at a fourth of its value, because hideous howling, and for that crime was
he could obtain no marketable title. flogged. Soon after he sold the other child. This turned her heart within her,
Parliament has at length discovered, and impelled her into a kind of madness. what indeed it required no great peneShe howled night and day in the yard; tration to discover, that sugars the tore her hair ; ran up and down the streets and the parade, rending the heavens with produce of free labour are cheaper her cries, and literally watering the earth than those produced by the labour of with her tears. Her constant cry was, slaves. An article is consumed in “ Da wicked massa Jew, he sell my proportion as it is cheap, and the pro« children. Will no Buckra massa pity duce of taxation is in proportion to “ negar? What me do? Me no have one “ child!” As she stood before the window, the quantity consumed of the article she said, lifting up her hands towards taxed. It might have been supposed Heaven," My massa, do, my massa mia
that this arithmetical truism would “ nister, pity me! My heart do so," (shaking herself violently,) my heart da much sooner have become apparent
so, because me have no child. Me go to a British Legislature. East-Indian
sugars, in defiance of the prohibitory The book of Mr. Stephen at the preduty of ten shillings per cwt., do come sent moment is indeed a most valuable into the English market, and even at gift to the public. Though it only carthis time command a sale there, though ries the plan of the author to the conthey are imported from a country clusion of his delineation of slavery in three times as distant as the West. its legal state, and though we are, thereIndian colonies, and are subject to fore, deprived of much of the valuagreat waste because stowed away as ble practical advice that we might have ballast, and though the manufacturers expected, had the author possessed do not possess the advantage of West more time for the completion of his Indian machinery in the manufacture work: still it is a point of vast imof them. May it not then most rea portance to lay before the public at sonably be inferred that, if the pro- the present moment, and especially tecting duty were removed, East-In- before the Legislature, an accurate and dian sugar would expel the West-In- well attested exposition of the system dian colonial produce from the mar
of colonial slavery. Hitherto the ket, and that the consumption would public have not understood the subbe so much extended as to do more ject; Parliament has legislated in igthan realize the present revenue de norance; and even abolitionists, we rived from the article? So conscious fear, have argued, and planned, and indeed are the West-Indians of this petitioned, with a very partial knowinevitable result, that their outcry has ledge of their case. But this is bebeen directed against some of the ginning at the beginning; and though principal abolitionists and interested it ought to have been done at least parties for this very reason.
twenty years ago, and truly sorry are we The average quantity of East-Indian that the author was then diverted from sugar imported into the English mar
his intention, it is not yet too late to ket, notwithstanding all the disadvan- produce a powerful and lasting imtages under which the importation is pression. With all the artifice, the made, was, during the five years ending
mancuvring, the shuffling and evaJanuary 5, 1821, to the sugars import- sive tactics of the West-India party, ed from the West-Indian colonies, in
we resolutely defy them any longer to the proportion of one to sixty.*
conceal from the British public what Surely then, on the ground of politi- slavery is. From their own mouths cal economy, setting aside all the ad- they are condemned. Indeed, it is vantage gained by humanity and reli- the grand merit of the work, that gion, it ought to become a most seri- while it is at once temperate and firm, ous question with our Parliament, clear and judicious, and scarcely open whether, for the sake of protecting the
to a single censure on the score of interests of those who are neither en. intemperate expression (if we except, titled to protection nor deserving it, perhaps, a single note, that we shall such a national sacrifice should be
not more pointedly describe); it is made. We have not time at present
elaborate in its research, cautious in to pursue these reflections further. its allegations, and most scrupulously
conscientious in its reception of evidence, and in its references to authorities. As contrasted with other works of this eminent writer, it is, perhaps, remarkable for its clearness of expres
sion; and, considering the haste with
267,637 which it has been prepared for the Average Cwis. 3,597,770
press, of which the numerous clerical errors give too frequent proof, it is
West-lodia, East India. • Jan. 5. 1817 Corts. 3,220,595 39,131 1818
4,151,239 27,059 1819
2,672,926 24.775 1820
3,283,059 99,440 1821
3,66 1,73! 83,232