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AGAINST THE LATE
Rev. J. SMITH, Of DEMERARA,
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, ^<Cx.
HE ART X AX. LAW,
AND CONDEMNED TO DEATH,
Transmitted to England by Mr. Smith"s Counsel,
The Documentary Evidence omitted in the Parliamentary Copy;
The Letters and Statements of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Elliot, Mr. Arrindbll,
The Whole Published
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF
THE DIRECTORS OF THE SAID SOCIETY. ,
PUBLISHED BY F. WESTLEY, AVE-MARIA-LANE;
SOLD BY HATCHARD AND SON, PICCADILLY; AND L. B. SEELEY, FLE ET-STRKET.j
The Directors of the London Missionary Society, considering it a duty which they owe to themselves, to the Society, and to the whole Christian world, to publish the fullest and most accurate account, which they have been able to obtain, of the proceedings against the late Rev. John Smith of Demerara, proceed to redeem the pledge to that effect, given in the Missionary Chronicle for May, 1824.
A copy of the Minutes of the Evidence on the Trial of Mr. Smith, with the Warrant, Charges, and Sentence, was laid before the House of Commons on the 22d of March last, and was subsequently printed by order of the House. Another Copy of the Proceedings was sent over from Demerara, for the information of the Directors, by Mr. Arrindell, the counsel employed on behalf of Mr. Smith. On comparing these two documents, it appeared, that the former was deficient in many particulars essential to a just comprehension of the nature of the proceedings; and the Directors have therefore adopted, as the text of the following narrative, the copy transmitted by Mr. Arrindell, with the exception of the first day's proceedings, which are taken from the parliamentary Copy; and also, with the exception of the Assistant Judge-advocate's reply, which is taken from a copy obligingly furnished to the Directors by order of the Secretary of State for the colonial department. The Directors have to observe, that, on receiving the Copy of the
Proceedings transmitted to them from Demerara, they immediately offered it for perusal to the colonial department; but that offer was politely declined.
In comparing the present publication with the Parliamentary Copy, attention will naturally be drawn to the Evidence, documentary and parole; to the Defence of Mr. Smith, and to the Notes which are appended to various parts of the proceedings.
1. Of the documentary evidence produced on the trial, nothing is given in the Parliamentary Copy, except the extracts from Mr. Smith's private Journal, which the prosecutor thought fit to read; and the letter from Mr. Smith to the slave, Jackey Reed.
With regard to the Journal, as the whole of it was before the Court, the Directors apprehend that, at least, a complete copy of it ought to have been transmitted to. His Majesty's Government, laid before the Honorable House of Commons, and communicated to the parties aggrieved by these proceedings; but they understand it to be still detained by the colonial authorities; and, although the Directors would earnestly desire that the whole (though never intended for communication to any person) should now be submitted to public inspection, convinced, as they are, that it would greatly redound to Mr. Smith's credit; yet, they are only able to'give the same passages which are to be found in the Parliamentary Copy.
The letter to Jackey Reed is numbered seven, in the parliamentary copy, and occurs at page 51 of this compilation. The other. documents, with their corresponding numbers, will be found at length in the ensuing pages, as follow:—
1 32 Fiscaal's Order to. Dr. M'Turk, 1319.
2., — ' Do. Do. to Mr. Smith,
a 33 Mr. Smith's Letter to Dr. M^Turk.
4, 34i The Lieutenant-Governor's Order, 16th May, 1823.
5 3*» Lord Liverpool's Order, 1811.
8. 62, PEQGlaJpatio^ of Martial Law, 19th August, 1823.
9 94, Letter, Mr, Hamilton to Dr. M'Turk, 1819.
1Q — Reply of Dr. M'Turk.
11 98 Letter of Mr. Stewart to Mr. Smith, requesting his.interference with the Slaves, 1822.
12 99 Letter of Mr. Stewart to Mr. Smith.
13 Letter, Do. to Do.
14 104 Certificate by Messrs. Donald and Hamilton, 1820.
15 107 Offer of Land for a Chapel, by Mr. Reed, 1822.
29 133 Petition by Mr. Smith, to the Lieutenant-Governor, for leave to build a Chapel, and Order thereof, 1822.
30 134 Letter from J. G. Abbott to Mr. Smith, respecting the conduct of a Slave, 1822. , ,
Of the documents more briefly referred to in the ensuing sheets, it may be sufficient to observe, that No. 28, mentioned in p. 131, contained the instructions from the London Missionary Society; the material part of which, is to be found in the Appendix, p. 198. No. 6, mentioned in p. 39, was an order by Dr. M'Turk, relative to the Small-pox. No. 16, (p. 113) the Society's letter, respecting the price of Bibl»6, &c. Nos. 17 and 18, the two Catechisms. Nos. 19 to 27, and No. 31, certificates of good eonckrct, given by various managers of estates to slaves, for the purpose of their being baptized by Mr. Smitht These documents it is not necessary to notice more particularly.
One species of evidence!, if such it may be called, is not noticed in the copy forwarded to the Directors. It appears", fcy the Parliamentary Copy, p, 31, that, at the close of the prosecution of Mr. Smith, five documents " were laid over to the Court, by the Assistant Judge-advocate," containing certified copie^of the charges and sentence* against five slaves. What those charges and sentences were, is« not stated; and.what bearing they could have on the case of Mr. Smith, it is hard to conceive.
2. The report of the parole evidence, as. here given, varies; fn several respects, from that contained in the Parliamentary'Copy. The latter, by omitting all the questions on the examination in chief, givesan impression, very far from correct, ofthe general effect. Several questions were rejected by the Court; these do not appear in the Parliamentary Copy; bat will be found in the following pages, 4, 38, 40, 95, 102, 109; M8J 1*4, 116, TIT, 129, 1*P. Of these, the most important seem to be the questions in pages' 110, 117, addressed to Mr. Elliott., respecting the declarations which Mr.