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REVIEW OF BOOKS. An Appeal to the Religion, Jus- done, to terminate the negro slavery of the tice, and Humanity of the Inha
British Colonies ; a system of the grossest bitants of the British Empire in injustice, of the most beathenish irreligion
and'immorality, of the most unprecedented behalf
of the Negro Slaves in the degradation, and unrelenting cruelty.West Indies. By William Wilberforce, Esq. M. P. Pp. 78. To explain this system, to illusHatchards, 1823.
trate its dangerous and ruinous Negro Slavery as it exists in Ame- tendency, to point out the hope
rica, the West Indies, and Ja- lessness of any remedy without maica. Pp. 118.— Hatchards, the interference of the British Le1823.
gislature, and the duty and necesWe rejoice to find that the aboli- sity of such an interference, contion of slavery in the British colo- stitute the subject of Mr. W's Apnies is now about to be seriously peal—an appeal which must be irattempted. Six and thirty years resistible to all who are not renhave elapsed since the African slave dered insensible by prejudice or trade was first attacked, and six- cupidity. The second pamphlet teen years have passed away since contains an illustration of negro the British Parliament abolished slavery in the United States, inthat detested traffic. But during serted originally in the Christian this long period, no progress what- Observer for February 1819, as a ever has been made towards the review of Hall's and Fearon's Tratermination of slavery. The wretch- vels, and a body of evidence coned victims of the guilty cupidity of cerning the West Indies, and espeour ancestors are still retained in cially Jamaica, from the statements cruel bondage; and we who, as of Dr. Williamson, Mr. J. M. the a nation, have publicly renounced Rev. Thomas Cooper, and the Jathe guilt of stealing men, are yet máica Royal Gazette. Both these content to retain the stolen proper- pamphlets deserve, and will doubtty, and to perpetuate upon the un- less obtain, a very extensive circuhappy negroes, even to the re- lation. motest generations, the dreadful
Mr. W. justly remarks, that it is miseries of that situation to which to the public ignorance of the acthey are reduced. But, thank tual evils of West Indian slavery, God, such are not the feelings of that we can alone ascribe its havall. The Liberator of Africa comes ing been suffered so long to remain forward once more to plead the unreformed and almost unnoticed; African cause; and in an Appeal, and we shall therefore endeavour to which must be read to be duly ap- communicate to our readers a brief preciated, calls upon his country- outline of the information which men to remove this evil from among these pamphlets contain, inserting them.
important extracts, as notes, by To all the inhabitants of the British em- way of illustration, and recompire, who value the favour of God, or are mending to all who have the opporalive to the interests or honour of their tunity of procuring them, a careful country-to all who have any respect for
and attentive perusal of the whole. justice, or any feelings of humanity, I would solemnly address myself. I call upon
The negro slaves in our colonies them, as they shall hereafter answer, in are the absolute property of those the great day of account, for the use they by whom they are purchased. shall have made of any power or influence Their owners are restrained by fine with which Providence may bave intrusted
or' capital punishment (according them, to employ their best endeavours, by all lawful and constitutional means, to mi to the island in which they live) tigate, and, as soon as it may be safely from murdering or mutilating them, but this is almost the only restraint ed to ten lashes at a time, and the under which they are placed. The overseer to thirty-nine ; but as the immediate superintendence of these time is not very exactly defined, the slaves is intrusted to managers, restriction is, in point of practice, overseers, drivers, &c. The slaves nearly useless I. Every stroke of go out to work under the care of this whip usually draws blood; and drivers, each of whom carries with when thirty or forty are applied, him a whip, whose lash as heavy the poor sufferers are in a dreadand stroke as severe as that used by fully lacerated state ş, and in very carters in this country *. This whip the driver applies to the poor ne
proper." From all this, the “ impression groes whenever he thinks proper, made upon the passenger, who is probably just as the carter to his horses in
a stranger, is horrible indeed." England +. He is, indeed, restrict- In one of his printed letters, in which
be is replying to an objection, Mr. Cooper
incidentally, but very significantly remarks, * The slaves on the estate were con- that “ to a Jamaica man it would be stantly attended by drivers with cart or " truly astonishing” to learn that the whip cattle whips, which they were in the babit was not needed, or that its sound was of using as here carnien use their whips on rarely hcard. horses; and occasionally one or more slaves These minor punishments, Mr. Coowere ordered out of the line of work, laid per says, are very frequent. He believes, prostrate on the ground, and received a that seldom a day passes without some ocfew lashes (from two or three to ten) on curring; and he has heard of as many as their posteriors, for no other offence that the sixty negroes being flogged in one morning witness could perceive or hear of but that for being late. of being indolent, or lagging at their work, I One overseer told him, that a woman or being late. He saw a few working with had disobeyed bis orders, and he put her in iron collars round their necks, connected the stocks by way of punishment. She with cach other by a chain ; a punishment complained to the attorney of this proceedwhich, he understood, was usually inflicted ing. He ordered her to be thrown down for running away, and continued sometimes on the ground, in the customary manner, for several weeks. The huts of the slaves and thirty-nine lashes were inflicted on her were very indifferent, and almost destitute naked posteriors; after which she was raised of furniture. On Sunday they either attend- up, and immediately thrown down again, ed market, or worked in their own grounds; and received thirty-nine lashes more, apbut none went, or were expected to go, to plied in the same manner. any church or place of worship; nor did he When punishment is inflicted by flogever see or hear of any instruction, religious ging, the limit should not be extended or otherwise, being bestowed upon them. above thirty-nine lashes, which the overMany of the slaves had women living with seer is only empowered to inflict by law. them as their wives; but as for marriage It cannot, however, be denied that this being used, either as a means of civilization limit is often outdone, and by repeatedly or for any other purpose, he never even punishing offenders, the parts become inbeard the word mentioned as it respected sensible to the lacerations which tear up them. He understood, that the white ser- the skin. When that barbarous vants were not allowed to take those women quence is arrived at, the infliction of the who so lived with particular men: but as lash becomes a matter of indifference to the for any others, they not only chose and unfortunate negro, and new sources of tortook such as pleased them, but they were ture must be found out by which the comexpected to do it as a watter of course. Ac- mission of crime may be checked. cordingly, he was invited by the overseer to $ Another negro belonging to the follow the general practice, the very first
estate was a notorious runaway. Being day be arrived on the estate. Io a spare taken, he was flogged in the usual manner, house, kept for the occasional purpose of as severely as he well could bear, and then persons coming thither for a few days, were made to work in the field. During the inwomen whom he understood to be at the terval of dinner-time he was regularly service of whoever came to occupy the placed in the stocks, and in them also be apartments, and two of them were spoken was confined the whole night. When the of as the children of a former proprietor. lacerations, produced by the flogging he
+ When a negro seems to be tardy at had received, were sufficiently healed, he his work, the driver sounds the lash near was flogged a second time. While the bim, or < lets him feel it, as he thinks sores were still unhealed, one of the book
many cases the punishment has a divided on different estates, but this fatal termination. The infliction of is the usual quantity. The other it is not confined to age or sex, and seven months of the year they are is accompanied with the most in- allowed one day in the week, or decent exposure, men and boys, one day in a fortnight, to raise proyoung girls and pregnant women, visions for themselves. Every Sunbeing treated exactly in the same day is market-day. On these days way
the negroes must cultivate their proDuring crop-time, that is, five vision-grounds, on which they demonths in the year, the negroes la- pend for support, their owners only bour for the benefit of their
masters allowing a herring a day for an six days and three nights in the adult. They must go to market perweekt. The night work is variously haps five, ten, or more miles, often
carrying heavy loads. If they in keepers told Mr. Cooper that maggots had any way neglect, they may be rebred in the lacerated flesh. Mr. Cooper duced to absolute want; and almentioned the circumstance to the attorney, though this want might be supplied, who did not manifest any surprise on bear- yet the neglect would assuredly be
Just beforo Mr. Cooper quitted the punished. They have thus, in fact, island, as he was walking in the streets of
no Sabbath; and accordingly the Lucea, the port town of Hanorer parish, in Rev. Mr. Cooper, who was sent company with the captain of the vessel in
out by Mr. Hibbert for the instrucwhich he had taken bis passage, they saw tion of his slaves, and authorized an old man wbo appeared to have been recently flogged. He was standing in the
to adopt his own plans of tuition, public street with his posteriors exposed and provided they should in no respect bleeding, and yet be scemed to excite no be found incompatible with the attention whatever from any one but Mr. order and management of the plantCooper and the captain.
after three * More serious punishments are only in
years, comAlicted by the authority of the orerseer; and
pelled to return to England, finding the mode of their infliction is usually the
he could not consistently with the same as has been already described. Whe- order and management of the estate ther the offender be male or female, pre- preach to the slaves above twelve cisely the same course is pursued. The times a year 1. posteriors are made bare, and the offender is extended prone on the ground, the bands and feet being firmly beld and extended But here it will be said, that Sunday by other slares; when the drirer, with his was the very day on which that instruction long and beavy whip, inflicts, under the might most conveniently and appropriately eye of the orerseer, the number of lashes bave been given. In the first place, the which he may order; each lash, when the persons who bad been toiling for six days skin is tender and not rendered callous by and three nights in the preceding week, repeated punishments, making an incision many of whom had continued that toil till on the buttocks, and thirty or forty such past midnight on Saturday, could not be lashes leaving them in a dreadfully lacerated expected voluntarily to assemble, at a very and bleeding state. Even those that have early hour, to listen to lessons which they become the most callous cannot long resist had not learned to appreciate. In the next the force of this terrible instrument, when place, Sunday was the only day which was applied by a skilful hand, but become also allowed them, during the five months of raw and bloody; indeed, no strength of crop, for cultivating their provisiop-grounds, skin can withstand its reiterated applica- for bringing thence the food requisite for tion.
their sustenance during the week, and for + During that period, the general plan going to market. is, and that plan was followed on Georgia
“ Within the last few years, it is true, estate, to begin the manufacture of sugar curates bave been sent out for the avowed on Sunday evening, and to continue it ge- purpose of instructing them in religion ; nerally, without intermission, either day or but they meet with no adequate success. night, till about midnight of the following The negroes cannot attend on their service Saturday, wben the work stops for about on a Sunday; and when I left Jamaica, no eighteen or twenty hours, to commence regulations bad been made, or, I beliere, again on the Sunday ereniog.
thought of, for allowing them time in the
The negroes cannot marry.-If-Their testimony cannot be reunder any favourable circumstan- ceived against any white person; ces an union should take place, laws, therefore, against murder, and a family be the result, and maiming, excessive punishment, &c. something like domestic comfort are perfectly nugatory. The hardshould dawn upon the poor negro, hearted tyrant has only to take all his little prospects may at once care that no other white person is be terminated. He, or his wife, present, and he may do what he or his children, may be seized and pleases. This one circumstance sold, and for ever separated at the is admitted, by a late Governor of caprice of his master, or by his Tobago, to “ cover the most guilty master's creditors, who may enter European with impunity.” upon the estate, and dispose of the The negroes can have no prolive and dead stock exactly in the perty.- They, their children, every same way as is the case in this thing they have, is their master's. country when a farmer's property is They can have no liberty. The distrained for rent. It is scarcely
It is scarcely black is presumed to be a slave. necessary to add, that the result of He may be taken up and imprisuch circumstances is the grossest soned at any time as a runaway. licentiousness, in which the un- - Though born free-though libehappy negroes only copy their de- rated by the kindness of his master graded masters.
—though honourably discharged The negroes can find no redress *. from His Majesty's service, yet if
he cannot prove his freedom-if he
has not a legal document with him week. These missionaries are expected to ---if any scoundrel seizes or devisit several estates every week, for the
stroys that document, he must go to purpose of preaching to the slaves, if they can obtain leave of the proprietor, or person and at last be sold by auction as a
prison-must work so many weeks, acting in his place, to do so. But this they very seldom get; on some estates not at slave, and the money, after deall, on others once or twice in the year ; so ducting expenses, is paid into His that their presence in the island can be of
Majesty's Exchequer!!! little importance. I have heard it, indeed,
Will our readers believe this? repeatedly declared, that the Curates' Act was intended for England, not for Jamai- Will they believe, that 800,000 ca; and this really appears to me to be fellow-subjects are in this enslaved, viewing the subject in its true light; for it oppressed, degraded state, driven must have been known before it was passed, out every morning with less care than that the planters would not allow the slaves any opportnnity for attending on
an English farmer sends out his their new instructors, and that, conse- cattle, flogged at their labour withquently, such a law could have no tend- out the least hesitation-with no ency to improve their condition. In a sympathy or remorse; driven home thousand instances, the clergy are rather at night to a wretched hovel which to be pitied than blamed ; and I have not the least doubt that many a curate most
no Englishman would think fit for deeply laments that ever be crossed the his horse-with no other bed to Atlantic."
sleep on but a board, or perhaps * Two women, who were pregnant, de- a blanket-supplied with a hersired to quit the field during rain, on ac- ring or two a day, and compelled count of their pregnancy. The overseer
to violate the sabbath in culrefused them permission. They went to complain of this refusal to a magistrate, tivating the provision-grounds, or but were stopped in their way by a neighbouring overseer, and by him thrown into was of opinion, that the overseer had acted the stocks until he sent them back to their with undue severity; but he considered own overseer, who put them again into the the women to have been highly to blame stocks on their own estate, and had them for attempting to complain to the magisflogged. Of this proceeding they com- trate; whereas, he said, they ought in the plained to the attorney. The attornej first instance to bave complained to bim.
to starve, and be punished for people of England, and paralyze negligence, at the mercy of an their benevolent exertions ? ignorant and hard-hearted overseer? Such being the case, nothing is Yet all this is positively stated in to be expected from
to be expected from any other quarthe pamphlets before us; and we ter than the British Legislature. do not find, that any man so much We call, therefore, upon as attempts to deny that such is Christian readers to join their inthe general system, although he fluence in support of the exertions may endeavour to point out par- of the anti-slavery societies; to be ticular exceptions on some few fa- prepared to petition Parliament voured estates.
when the subject shall be brought That such a state of things ought forwards, which we are inclined not, cannot long continue, is most to hope will be in the course of the obvious; but whence is the remedy present session; but, above all, to to proceed? The West Indian pro- lift up their prayers to Almighty prietors say, from the colonial as- God, that this national sin may not semblies; from those merciful men, rise up in judgment against us, but we suppose, who in Barbadoes re- that measures may be speedily jected the message
which their then taken to terminate the existing evil, governor, Lord Seaforth, sent to the ever remembering the awful warnHouse of Assembly, recommend- ing which Mr. Wilberforce has so ing them to make the murder of a appropriately prefixed to his Apslave a capital felony, and who peal, and which is so forcibly ilthus perpetuated the old - law by lustrated by the present distress which the murder of a man's own of the West Indians in general : slave is fined 15l. the murder of an- “ Woe unto him that buildeth his other man's 25l. (provided, of house by unrighteousness, and his course, some white person is a chambers by wrong; that useth witness); or to those merciful per- his neighbour's service without sons who have increased the fine wages, and giveth him not for his on liberating slaves from 501. to, in work. some cases, 1000l. currency ? thus practically effecting, that no slave A candid Appeal to the religious should be emancipated *; or to Public, in a Letter addressed to those merciful and sagacious per- the Inhabitants of the Forest of sons who have been in the habit Dean, occasioned by the Disof passing certain laws for the be- missal of the Rev. Isaac Bridgnefit of the slaves, which were man from the Curacy of Trinity never intended to be acted upon, Church in the said Forest: with have never since been regarded ; an Appendix, &c.
Pp. 52. and the only object of which was, Westley, 1823. if we may credit the statements of A Reply to a candid Appeal. By various governors t, to gull the good Henry Berkin, A. M.--8vo. Se
cond Edition. Pp. 54, Seeley, * This was actually enacted in the Ber- 1823. mudas.
It cannot be denied, that in va+ As for the act of the Legislature, “ An rious instances dismissals have sct for the Encouragement, Protection, taken place from. curacies in the pears to have been considered, from the Establishment, which have very day it was passed, until this hour, as a po- much partaken of the nature of litical measure to avert the interference of persecution. That such dismissals the mother-country in the management of have not occurred more frequently, slaves. Haring said this, Your Lordship
considering the absolute will not be surprised to learn, that the seventh clause of that bill has been wholly trusted to the episcopacy, is to us neglected.
a very striking proof of the temper