Imágenes de página
PDF
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Vol. XXVII. No. 7..] . . LONDON, SATURDAY, FEB. 18, 1815.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

of a LETTER, addresses himself to Mr.

WILBER FORCE; and from this Letter I shall make two extracts, which I dare say, will be sufficient to convince the reader, that this specious project has wholly failed in its pretended object, and that it was very foolish, to say the least of it, to squander the public money oil such an undertaking. First Ertract. “The unbounded benevolence and un“ paralleled philanthrophy attributed to “you, I am confident will induce you to ex“cuse this hasty and unornamented epis“tle; but my continuance in England “being very uncertain, I am impelled “precipitately to commit myself to you “and to the public.—You have been for “above twenty years considered the pa“tron of Sierra Leone, and you are de“signated the “Father of the Abolition.’ “The effect of my exertions for that co“lony, and the spirit of my decisions in “support of the abolition, I hope will “ prove, that I have been as sincere a “friend to the one, and practically as “beneficial a promoter of the other, as “any unassuming individual. Thus “ embarked, I should consider it a dere“liction of principle, and a proof of in“sensibility, to neglect exerting myself “at all times in this great cause; but “the calamitous accounts I have recent“By received from Sierra Leone, and the

[ocr errors]

i | 194 “awefully pending state of the abolition, “imperiously demand from me some ef. “fort at this moment. Private exertion “I have exhausted; from high authority “I am personally excluded; therefore to “public appeal I am driven. It is the “only means by which I can fulfil my “duty to the King, my attention to the “colony, over which I judicially preside, “ and manifest my zeal for the civiliza“tion of Africa, and the abolition of the “slave trade.—I shall commence with a “review of what has been done from the “establishment of the Sierra Leone Com“pany;” whose avowed objects were to “‘encourage trade with the west coast “‘of Africa; to promote cultivation, ad“‘vance civilization, diffuse morality, “‘ and induce some attention to a pure “‘system of religion in Africa;’ as also, “‘ not to suffer their servants to have the “‘slightest connection with the slave “‘trade; neither to buy, sell, or employ “‘any one in a state of slavery ; and to “‘repress the traffic as far as their influ‘‘ ‘ence would extend.’ This was a wise “ and truly beneficent plan, promising “wealth to England, and happiness to . “Africa; but I have enquired, and found “ that no part of it was ever carried into “effect.—The Company obtained, in a “very short time, a superabundance of “land, finely situated, and well circum“stanced, on the Sierra Leone river, f in “exchange for a few insignificant articles “of merchandise; they collected together “from London, Halifax, and Jamaica, “near two thousand settlers at very little “expense; they had zealous and affluent “supporters in England; they had un“prejudiced and tractable (though un“enlightened) natives to negociate with: “ and they had near two hundred and “fifty thousand pounds capital; yet

*Wide their Report for 1794, printed by Philips George-yard, Lombard-street.

t Falconbridge's Account, 1792; also the Agreement with King Naimbana and the Cwmpany.

“ they very quickly made the natives “ suspicious, the settlers discontented,” “ their best servants were obliged to seek * establishments under the native chiefs,t “ and although they had a monopoly of “ the trade, and their will was the regu“lation of profit, they sunk almost to “bankruptcy, from causes enveloped in “mystery, and applied to Government “for support and protection. To the “Nova Scotia settlers they promised “land for cultivation; twenty acres for “each man;$ ten for his wife; and five * for each child; but this promise they “ never fulfilled: || no man was allowed “ above a fifth of the land to which he “ was entitled; and implements to culti“vate even such a portion, were disfieult “ to find, and too expensive to procure. “The settlers could not raise in the co“lony even rice and yams for subsistence; “their very existence depended on a sup“ply from the neighbouring rivers. Had

“land been granted at the commence:

“ment to the settlers as promised; had “they been enabled to cultivate and

“raise provisions for consumption and

“barter, they would soon have render“ed themselves independent of, and less “profitable to the Company; whose “ storekeeper purchased provisions from “the natives, paid for them in merchan“dise," and sold them to the settlers; “this might have produced little profit, “but it secured great control. Even the “plants indigenous to the soil remained “uncultiyated. Cotton, coffee, indigo, “tobacco, &c, &c. were conspicuous; “but it was in all the wildness of nature. “Such were their efforts to promote cul“tivation.—In civilization they proceed“ed so far as to send two persons to “Teembo,” (a few days walk from Sier“ra Leone) and educated half a dozen “African boys in England sufficiently for

“ common clerkships in the colony.—

“As to religion and morality, they had a “Church of England clergyman for a

[merged small][ocr errors]

insurrection. * Falconbridge's Account, p. 189. ** Vide Company's Report.

[ocr errors]

§ Lieutenant Clarkson,who signed the agreement. # Settlers remonstrated in vain, then ensued an ||

“few months,” and a missionary for a “few years; but they had Methodist “teachers and preachers in abundance; “the benefits derived from their precepts “may be imagined, from the missionary “assuring me on his leaving the colony “ in 1812, relinquishing his house and “350l. per annum, ‘ that he could do no “‘good there, as the inhabitants were “‘too far sunk in sin and immorality; ‘that he would remove to the Boollam “shore, try new ground, and endeavour “to instruct the natives, improve their ‘condition in this life, and prepare ‘them with a knowledge of, and con“‘duct for, the world to come.” Lastly, “their servants constantly purchased the “natives,tworked them themselves with“out pay, and hired them to others for “pay; suffered slaves to be brought in “and taken out of the colony; allowed “them to be seized and delivered to their “masters when, they sought protection; “permitted their storekeeper to supply “the slave factories, slave ships, and to “feed the trade in every possible way. “Even in Mr. Ludlam's last administra“tion of the government, two cargoes “of slaves, taken from the Americans, “were publicly sold at twenty dollars a “head. So much for their efforts te “repress the slave trade, of which they “had professed such an abhorrence, “and which the act of parliament for

[ocr errors]

“incorporating the company forbade

“them to pursue. Is it possible the di“rectors did not know, hear, or believe, “this, or any part of it? H disappro“bation had attached to such conduct, “is it probable they would continue in. “ their confidence, after they had heard “ of it, the persons who managed their “concerns? Or did they imagine by “trumpeting their abhorrence of this. “ diabolical traffic, fulminating against “every person implieated in it, and bla“zoning the virtues of those who seemed “anxious to exterminate it, that they “would prevent those transactions from

* Falconbridge's Account. t Given in evidence, on oath, before Governor Thompson and Chief Justice Thorpe. # Abundance of proof of this in the colony. $ Documents to prove this may be found in the

High Court of Admiralty, as transmitted by Gover

uor Thompson, in 1808-9.

“being divulged; or if revealed, that “they could induce this nation to dis“credit any authority that might dore “to give them utterance? The Omni“scient will know and judge; impotent “humanity may conjecture! After six“teen years experiment, trade having “failed; cultivation being retarded; ci“vilization unattempted; religion and “morality debased; and the slave trade

[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

“nourished; every plan defeated, every |

“artifice exposed; the Company, desir“ous of relieving themselves from the

“enormous expense, prevailed on Go

“vernment to accept a surrender of the “colony,” and formed (to uphold their “old influence) a society called the Afri“can Institution: having taken leave of “the expense, they demanded to be paid “for their buildings, and did accordingly “receive a large sum from the treasury,t “although they had before obtained (by “pleading poverty) one hundred thou“sand pounds from Government for the “improvement of the colony: their books “and agents were removed; while many “of the poor settlers who had toiled for “them for years were left unpaid. The “case oč some of these old, impoverish“ed, and destitute people, I represented “ before the chairman of the Sierra Le“one Company, in a committee of the “African Institution; but no redress was . “offered: I simply requested that all “ their demands might be referred to “arbitration in the colony; and even this “was not complied with.” #

Second Ettract.

“I have now, Sir, arrived at the time for “addressing you as the Father of the Abolition. I presume, by accepting the appellation, you hold yourself thereto entitled; yet, “’tis passing strange; for Mr. Clarkson, (whose active humanity, * indefatigable industry, in the cause of “ abolition, can never be sufficiently ap“ preciated or applauded,) was certainly “engaged in this great cause near twen“ty years before he enlisted you under “ his banners. The invaluable and ever “ to be regretted Mr. Granville Sharpe, “ was nearly fifteen years in the cause of “ injured Africa, before you joined his “amiable band of philanthropists. Many * other worthy personages, whom Mr. * Clarkson's History records, were enga

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

“ged with him near ten years before “ your accession; yet you are now held “up to this enlightened age, and would “ be handed down to posterity, as the “ parent that generated the abolition of slavery, emancipated, enlightened, cul“tivated, and civilized Africa : Be it as it may : I have examined already the “ means adopted to effect some of those praise-worthy objects, and how far they have succeeded; now I shall proceed to shew, how little your theory extended to pure abolition, and that, “ practically, you have not been in the slightest degree successful. That you “ most laudably assisted Sir William Dobbin, and others, in procuring Bills to be passed for meliorating the condition of slaves in their Transatlantic passage, I delight in acknowledging: but when I behold you for near twenty years professedly struggling with the “great and all-commanding minister of “ this country; whose administration of “ this government you admired, and to whose private friendship yop were de“ voted; it is wonderful this benevolent “ measure was not carried. You knew “Mr. Pitt was all powerful with his par“ ty, and the sole director of his admi“nistration : you had a commanding. “connected phalanx of friends in Par“liament; and on this oceasion, you had

“ the people's support,and the finest feel

“ings of the nation to gratify; yet for “ twenty years you did not carry, this

| “Bill; though you apparently acted with

“ such a commanding associate. It is “evident you never did make it a "sine “qua non” of the continuance of your “ support of Mr. Pitt's Administration: “ the speaking on it, for it, and about it, “was “ad captandum vulgus:"it served “ to uphold the pendulum in its vacil“lancy between the minister and the pee“ ple. But what is still more wonderful. “ a new Administration was formed, to “ the members of which you were not “ the devoted friend; of whose measures “you were not an unshaken admirer: “ who were not in themselves all com-, “manding in Parliament; yet by those “very men, without hesitation, or delay. “ this Bill was carried in both Lords “ and Commons. Did you ever tell Mr. “ Fox, or Lords Grey and Grenville.

| “...that the justice, policy, and humanity

“of the abolition were so impressed on “your conviction, that you could not \ £3. 3

[ocr errors]

conscientiously support any ministers, * that would not assist you in carrying ‘ it into effect The whole tenour of your language on the subject would have prompted and justified this demand; but you did no such thing; the integov, the humanity, and the consistency of these distinguished statesmen, in“duced them to give their whole un“bribed, and voluntary assistance, in “accomplishing this great work. The “Bill was evidently carried by their ex“ertions; and cannot be attributed either “to your perseverance or benevolence. “ — Allow me to look at the Abolition “Act minutely, which I hope will not “appear to be an offspring of your's, “ though the features rather proclaim “ the parent; for you avow it is not sla“very, but the Slave Trade, you dislike. “In your Letter to Prince Talleyrand, “ you say, ‘The abolitionists took all opportunitiesof proclaiming that it was “‘the Slave Trade, not slavery, against “ which they were directing their efforts.” “The Abolition Act upholds the same

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ principle; but it did not express the

“true uncontaminated principle, nor the “fine feeling of this magnanimous coun“ try.— By the seventh section of the “Act, “slaves taken as prizes or forteit“‘ures, may be enlisted for the land or “‘ sea service; or may be bound as ap“‘prentices, whether of full age or not, “‘for a term of fourteen years;’ and by “sections 16th and 17th, it is laid down, “‘ that when the term of apprenticeship -“‘has expired, they may be apprenticed “‘ anew; and the service of a negro sol

“dier is directed to be for life; so that |

“here is involuntary servitude for ife es“ tablished by an Act of Parliament pur“ porting to abolish slavery. The sol“dier may endure some sea sickness in “crossing the Atlantic, I suppose, be“cause he receives some compensation; “but here is a permanent, sedentary sla“very for life, under the name of ap“prenticeship, without any compensa“tion, established by this liberating Act “ of our Legislature: and the seat of this “new slavery is in Free-town, in the co“ lony founded by the most benevolent “ men, on the most liberal plan: exalted “as the freest spot on earth, to enlighten' “benighted Africa; and displayed to the world as the finest example of Bri“tish liberty, and British philanthrophy “But with sorrow I must declare, this

“substitute for the slave trade, appears “evidently to have been a premeditated “ plan, well laid before the Act passed, “from the interesting letter which your “worthy Secretary, Mr. Macaulay, wrote “ to Governor Ludlam, dated London, “7th of May, 1807*.- You somewhat “‘misconceive (says he) our ideas in this “‘country on the subject of African sla“‘very.While the slave trade lasted, I cer“‘tainly was averse to giving any direct “‘encouragement to the purchasing of “‘ slaves, with a view to the benefit of “. . their labor for a certain given period; “‘ but I always looked forward to the “‘ event of the abolition, as removing “‘many objections to that system.'-“Thus the Abolition act is to give us “slaves without purchase, by seizing, “ them from our allies; and then the “framers of this magical act (which is to “free and enslave at the same moment), “acknowledge, that they lock forward to “its removing many objections to otur “ purchasing Africans, for the same “avowed and specific purpose ourselves! “As I view and consider this whole “ plan, the act, the promotets, and the “ manner in which it has been en“ forced, I am scarcely able to suppress “ the language that would express my “sensations; however, I must repeat “what he says : ‘You somewhat mis“‘ conceive our ideas in this country, on “‘the subject of African slavery.' This “is, we are the most abominable hypo “crites on earth; proclaiming to the “world, that from the finest, feelings of “justice and humanity, we are abo“lishing the slave trade; yet, in the ‘‘ most surreptitious Tuanner, we are de“ termined to pursue it vigorously, and “raise all tropical producet by slaves, “not in the West Indies, but in Africa.-“The West Indian planters and mer“chants suffered, and complained long “since; but when they perceive the au“thors of their calamity planning to ob“tain plantations without purchase, la“bourers without expense, territory from “the Gambia to Angola, and a monopoly “of the exports and imports, I fear they “will consider this an attempt at their “inevitable ruin. The army having

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“taken near three thousand of the fines; “slaves, may have retarded the benef." “of this plan : but though slow, it wis, “ be sure. A peace will leave the cap “tured negroes without diminution, or “competition. The Brazil and Havan“nah produce will throw the West In‘‘dia planters out of the foreign market; “ and here will be an effort to undersell “them in the home market. But this i. too large a field for me; I shall only re. “mark, that Prince Talleyrand, many “ years past, explained the advantages “that would arise to France, by culti. “vating colonial produce in Africa; “ though he did not recommend the “confiscation of property, that by a fic“tion might be turned to the very use “which caused it to be confiscated.--Sir, “I lament being obliged to speak of my“self; but our relative situations with “respect to the slave trade and Sierra “Leone, being the cause of this public “address to you, it is necessary to shew “what we have done, what benefit has “arisen, and then to point out the best “mode my humble efforts can devise, “for insuring a secure, perfect, and uni“versal abolition, by which Africa may

“be raised from its degraded and be

“sotted state, to its natural elevation “in the civilized world.--It is evident “that the objects you had in founding “the colony of Sierra Leone, have coin“pletely failed. “funds proved the injudiciousness of “your trade; cultivation and civilization “were not attempted. The native chiefs” “considered your servants as faithless “ and perfidious, your colony was a wil“derness, your settlers poor and dissa“tisfied, and the slave trade nurtured, “until Mr Thompson arrived as gover“nor.t. The abolition act has transferred

* Four most extraordinary letters in Arabic from those chiefs to our universally beloved Sovereign, establishing this, and denominating the persons, are now in London, and translated.

f The true state of Sierra Leone, in 1808, will be clearly seen from documents sent to the High Court of Aduiralty by Governor Thompson; from his correspondence with Lord Castlereagh (then Secre. tary of State for the Colonies); from the Protest of the Governor and Council against the Abolition Act; and the system of apprenticesuip, transmited for the Privy Council; and lastly, from Governor Thompson's incluorial to the Treasury in 1813,

[ocr errors]

The dissipation of your

‘the slave trade from Fugland to Portugal “ and Spain; it has thrown our colonies back, and advanced the Brazils and Ha“vannah more in six years, than thirty “had done before. Do not let it be “supposed, that I would have had the “sin and degradation of the slave trade “continue to be attached to England: “when justice immolates wealth on the “altar of humanity, it is an offering “grateful to her benevolent spirit; but “this Act has scarcely diminished the “ number of slaves carried from the coast; “the Portugal and Spanish trade has so “wonderfully increased, that the dif“ference is insignificant since ours was “ abolished, and what is worse, it has “augmented the negroes' sufferings in “the trans-atlantic passage: the Brazil “ships are not only filled most unmer“cifully, but the Spaniards (in general) “from the Havannah, fearful of our “cruisers, come without irons, and there“fore, for security,stow those unoffending “beings into the hold, like iumps of Cam “wood; never opening the hatchways “more than once a day, to convey food “in, and drag the dead out. It is thus ‘literally a fact, that securing them with irons, was mercy compared to committing them to suffocation, by confinement in the hold of their vessels; from whence they cannot emerge to fresh air, until they arrive at their final desti‘nation. I do not conceive we are even * redecmed from the sin of this trade. Africa, and the A boiition cause, cannot derive any advantage by our not carrying the slaves to the West Indies, to make soldiers of them there, if we make soldiers of them in Africa, and “ then transport them to the West indies; nor can our buying slaves in Africa, and selling them in the West Indies; or seizing them in Africa, and employing them there, under the name of apprentices, on the same labour for life without pay or reward, benefit Africa, or promote abolition. Certainly fewer negroes may be enslaved by us in this way than formerly ; but I think if a person purchases a slave, and does not expect a constant supply, he will be more likely to treat his siave leniently, than the person who obtained him ior :uothing, and may expect a supply on the same terms. The num“ber might be diminished, but the cru“ eity will be increased,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »