Sivut kuvina

Koolfie, the emporium of Nyffee ', situated on a stream called by Clapperton the Mayarrow; (the furthest point reached by the Bornou caravans ;) whence the Houssa merchants pursue their route to the Quorra, which they cross at Wonjerque (the king's ferry), at the village of Comie, where it is all in one stream * about a quarter of a mile in width, and ten or twelve feet deep'; and continue their journey to Youriba and Borgoo. This is, however, the southern road, leading towards the coast. The direct route from the northern frontier of Soudan to the Niger, would strike the river considerably above Boussa ; probably near the Kawkaw (or Kaugha) of Ibn Batuta and Edrisi, which is described as a large and beautiful city, between Timbuctoo and Cubbee.

At all events, the relation given by Herodotus is too consistent with geographical fact, to be set aside as a mere fable; nor can we regard it as at all doubtful, that the river which the Nasamones are described as reaching, was the Timbuctoo Nile. That this was the Nile of Egypt, or connected with it, the Father of history mentions only as a conjecture. Strictly speaking, this cannot be true, and his hypothesis must be considered as founded upon imperfect information, but that the waters of Soudan and those of Sennaar communicate, is attested by so remarkable a concurrence of tradition aņd native report, that it will require much better evidence than we at present possess, to satisfy us that the belief has no foundation.

We have wandered from Carthage too far to return; and must not enter upon the remaining subjects of these volumes,-Ethiopia and Egypt. We need scarcely add a word in recommendation of a work so replete with historic interest, and characterized alike by enlightened views and profound learning.

Art. IV. The Anti-Slavery Reporter. Jan. and Feb. 1832. "TN the (Jamaica) House of Assembly, in the month of No

+ 'vember last, Mr Lynch, one of the members of it, speak‘ing of the intentions of Government with respect to Slavery, as 'indicated by Lord Howick's speech in the House of Commons ' on the 15th of April, 1831, said: “ Our watchword at present

ought not to be conciliation, but resistance". While this insolent tone has been held by the mock parliament of Jamaica towards the Government and Legislature of this country, an insurrection has broken out in the western district of that island, which, though it will not teach them wisdom, may serve to rebuke their madness, if, indeed, it shall not prove to have been fo

mented by their own agents. In the absence of all satisfactory explanation, we beg to call the attention of the public to the following facts, which appear on the face of the official documents.

1. The Governor, Earl Belmore, states in his official despatch *, that this “ extensive and destructive insurrection? has followed a ' season of unusual sickness and distress’: whether poverty and distress among the slaves, or among the planters, is not very clear. But it is added : "The planters complained of poverty and dis* tress; and the delegates sent forth an ambiguous declaration,

deprecating (as they expressed themselves) the insidious at"tempts to undermine and render valueless what little remains of ' their property ; but,' adds his Lordship, the brink of danger 'on which they stood, formed no part of their deliberations.' Thus, then, the planters were at once turbulent and desperate ; complaining of distress, and blind to their danger; indisposed alike to conciliate their slaves, or to comply with the requisitions of the Mother Country. And the slaves probably knew that their masters were assuming this attitude of resistance, which left them nothing to hope for.

2. The negroes of several estates, had expressed their determination not to work after New Year's Day', -in consequence of their having been impressed 'with a general and firm ' belief, that after Christmas they were to be free'. The ringleaders who suffered death, all declared, that they had been told

by white people, that they were to be free at Christmas, and 'that by these people the plan of insurrection had been ar'ranged. They will have much to answer for', remarks Lord Belmore, 'who have deluded these unfortunate people into ex'pectations which have led to such scenes of devastation and 'ruin, and which now recoiling upon themselves, numbers must

expiate by their deaths.' Sir Willoughby Cotton's statement is in these words: “The whole of the men shot yesterday, stated, ' that they had been told by white people for a long time past, 'they were to be free at Christmas, and that their freedom-order ' had actually come out from England, but was withheld; that

they had only to strike work en masse, and they should gain 'their object; that the whole of the estates in Trelawny and St.

James's had agreed to do so; that, if they were attempted to be 'forced to turn out to work, they were then to fire the properties, ' but not the canes, or the provision-grounds, or their own huts; ' that this would make the proprietors come to their terms. The

above is corroborated by the testimony of several others now un• der trial and in prison.'t.

* London Gazette Extraordinary, Feb. 22.

+ Despatches, No. 25. VOL. VII.-N.S.



3. Our readers will note, that the negroes had for a long time past laboured under this delusion; and the fact, that such was their impression, Sir Willoughby expressly states, was known to their taskmasters. “That the overseers, or attorneys, or magistrates should not have acquainted the Executive Government with the extent to which the determination of the negroes had • gone all round this district, not to work after New Year's ' Day, without being made free, is MOST ASTONISHING; as it

would appear to have been made known on almost all the es* tates, that these were the sentiments of the negroes.'* Alluding to this passage in Sir Willoughby's letter, Lord Belmore writes: • Sir Willoughby Cotton expresses his astonishment I had not been made acquainted with the determination of the negroes not to work after New Year's Day. I have now the honour to enclose copies of two letters, dated the 29th and 30th of July, * addressed to custodes of parishes, from none of whom I received ' unsatisfactory accounts ; nor has any complaint reached me of

insubordination among the slaves, or any disposition to insurrection, although the members of Assembly from all parts of the

island, had only separated, on adjournment, from the seat of go"vernment, on the eve of the insurrection. In the two letters referred to, which are Circular, and dated five months prior to the insurrection, the Custodes are informed of Lord Goderich's disclaimer of any intention on the part of His Majesty's Government to adopt measures at variance with the spirit of the resolution of the House of Commons in 1823; the extract from the despatch from Lord Goderich being enclosed; to which document His Excellency requests them to give the greatest publicity, with a view to remove any alarm or apprehension which some of the

parochial resolutions may have excited in the minds of the community at large. In the confidential letter accompanying the one designed to be made public, His Excellency's request is communicated, that the Custodes would endeavour to make themselves acquainted with the general conduct of the slaves in their respective parishes. “And should any circumstance arise', (it is added,) 'to require the adoption of further measures, in order to “ remove any erroneous impression they may have received of

the designs of His Majesty's Government, you will be pleased " to give His Excellency the earliest intimation of it. In mak. ing this communication to you, His Excellency desires you will

understand, that he places the most implicit confidence in the good conduct of the slaves; and he only suggests a vigilance, which is at all times more or less necessary, but more particu. 'larly so when discussions have taken place, which are liable to misconstruction and misrepresentation.' +

* Despatches, No. 30.

+ Nos. 31 and 32.

Well then might Sir Willoughby Cotton represent it as astonishing, and the astonishment of Lord Belmore might well exceed that of the Commander-in-chief, that the overseers, attorneys, and magistrates, who were well aware of the erroneous impressions that prevailed among the negroes, should have unanimously disregarded His Excellency's request, and have withheld all information from the Executive Government, as to any discontent or disposition to insurrection, although the members of Assembly from all parts of the island had separated from the seat of Government only on the eve of the expected insurrection. This, we agree with Sir Willoughby, and the public will, we think, agree with us, is * most astonishing. But there is something else to be told, that will excite a similar feeling.

4. How long the slaves had been suffered to remain under erroneous impressions of the design of His Majesty's Government, we are not informed; but we have the proof before us, that it must have been at least as far back as the early part of the year; for, on the 3d of June, 1831, a proclamation was issued from the King in Council, which we must transcribe.

WILLIAM IV. Whereas it has been represented to us, that the slaves in some of our West India Colonies, and of our possessions on the Continent of South America, have been erroneously led to believe, that orders have been sent out by us for their emancipation; and whereas such belief has produced acts of insubordination, which have excited our highest displeasure ; we have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue this our Royal Proclamation; and we do hereby declare and make known, that the slave population in our said colonies and possessions will forfeit all claim on our protection, if they shall fail to render entire submission to the laws, as well as dutiful obedience to their masters : and we hereby charge and command all our governors of our said West India Colonies and possessions, to give the fullest publicity to this our proclamation, and to enforce, by all the legal means in their power, the punishment of those who may disturb the tranquillity and peace of our said colonies and possessions.'

This royal proclamation, designed expressly to undeceive the slaves, and to counteract a spirit of insubordination, which would reach Jamaica some time in August, was first communicated to the slaves after the insurrection had broken out, having been kept back by his Excellency, notwithstanding the royal command to give it the fullest publicity, for no other reason than because he did not deem it necessary!! So at least His Excellency is made to say in the Circular dated Dec. 22, 183). We do not believe that this was his rcason. Governors have their advisers; and in such a matter doubtless Earl Belmore acted with advice. Here, however, is the language ascribed to him:

King's House, Dec. 22, 1831. His Excellency the Governor, having received intelligence that a disposition to insubordination has manifested itself amongst certain slaves on a plantation in St. James's, His Excellency no longer hesitates to give every possible publicity to His Majesty's proclamation, which the uninterrupted tranquillity that has hitherto prevailed throughout the island, has not seemed to render necessary.

I am directed, therefore, to transmit to you printed copies of this proclamation, and His Excellency requests that you will cause it to be read to the slaves by the persons in charge of the several plantations in your parish.

I have the honour to be, &c.

•W. BULLOCK. Now when Lord Belmore penned the remark, that they will have much to answer for, who have deluded these unfortunate • people into expectations which have led to such scenes of de'vastation and ruin,'— did it never occur to His Excellency, that they must have at least something to answer for, who wittingly suffered them to remain under those delusions ? Lord Belmore knew, (for the terms of the Proclamation prove this,) that such erroneous expectations had long prevailed ;-that such belief had produced acts of insubordination; he was aware that discussions had taken place, which were liable to misconstruction; he required no report from the custodes or any other persons to make him acquainted with circumstances that rendered - vigilance? more particularly 'necessary.' And yet, he deems it unnecessary to take the most direct step for obviating the danger and removing the erroneous impression. He hesitates, month after month, to give publicity to the Royal Proclamation, obviously designed for immediate publicity. Instead of this, he begs the Custodes to give him the earliest information of any circumstance that might require the adoption of 'further measures.' The Custodes, aware of the discontent, of its cause, and of the impending danger, suffer New Year's Day to approach, without giving any information to the Governor. The slaves are suffered to believe, that 'their free* dom-order had actually come out from England '; learning, no doubt, that a royal proclamation had arrived, and ignorant of its contents; but naturally inferring, as well they might, from its being withheld, that it was favourable to their interests. Or if the fact, that a Royal Proclamation had been received, was not known to the slaves, still, they had been led and permitted to cherish expectations, which the angry and seditious declarations issued by their masters, and directed against the Government of this country, might seem to render reasonable. Notwithstanding all this, these truly “unfortunate people' are permitted to remain under the mistake the Proclamation was intended to remove, till it had actually excited them to revolt ;--and then, a few days

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