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having neglected to bring them up; while twenty-five thousand Americans crowded behind their defences, and the artillery and Kentucky rifles with fatal aim brought down our troops, exposed in an open plain. Packenham being at length killed, and Generals Gibbs and Keane desperately wounded, the troops were withdrawn by General Lambert, and in retreating presented such a front that the enemy did not venture to leave their lines to pursue. General Thornton, having landed on the other side of the river with his band of one thousand, had driven the Americans, with great loss, from their batteries, and pursued them till he came almost opposite the city, where he fired some buildings. He was also wounded, and reluctantly withdrew on the signal to do so from the main body. Then followed the ten days' preparation for re-embarking the troops, exposed at an inclement season to drenching rains and nightly frosts, and finally, the departure of the ill-fated expedition to Havannah; but the affair was forgotten and absorbed in a few months by the glories of Waterloo.
The Kentucky hunter sings
"Jackson led to the cypress swamp:
And when so near we saw them wink,
VISIT A PLANTATION.
From the battle plain we continued our drive to visit some sugar-estates farther down the river. At one of these, the proprietor of a comfortable single-storied house came out to receive us, without either neckcloth or stockings on, and his trowsers covered with blood. He had just been inflicting a severe punishment on a poor negro, who was shoved out of sight on our approach. This man was not an American, but of foreign extraction; and a story was told of him, that whilst Louisiana was under Spanish rule, he wished to marry a neighbouring planter's daughter, but, his savage disposition being well known, the parents refused to give their consent. One day a message came for the old father to visit a friend at some distance, and in passing through a wood he was inhumanly murdered. Forty lawyers and their understrappers then sat down in the house of the afflicted widow, on pretence of investigating whether or not she had any hand in the crime; and after they had preyed upon her for six months they left her entirely ruined and heart-broken; the real murderer went unpunished, having amply revenged himself for his rejected addresses.
I remarked, that the negroes on the plantations of the Mississippi looked extremely melancholy and downcast. In the evening I heard neither the song nor the careless laugh and joke, which so frequently pleased me in the British slave colonies; neither did the Louisiana slaves look so
plump or healthy as ours; the climate may have been the cause of this. The cattle seemed in excellent condition, for forage is of course most abundant and rich.
In other parts of the country the negroes are said to be well fed and clothed, but in most of the Southern States it is penal to instruct a slave, or the child of a slave, in reading or writing, and in fact the American planters in general decline instructing their slaves in moral or religious duties at all, and of course at present do not contemplate eventual emancipation; but from the exertions of the Bosterians, and other abolitionists of slavery, they may gradually imbibe other and better views.
On the exhausted plantations in Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, slaves are bred for the southern market, and though on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico the mortality among the negroes is great, on the aggregate slaves increase rapidly in the United States: and why? Because their climate is better than that of the West Indies, though their treatment in the former is much worse than in the latter.
By means of the internal slave-trade, between four and five thousand slaves arrive in the Southern States annually. Kidnappers of negroes still travel about the country, and not unfrequently secure the manumitted negroes in the Northern States, and convey them for sale to the south. They likewise visit plantations, and purchase in
corrigible slaves for two hundred dollars, which at the slave depôts at New Orleans are put up to sale with forged characters for five or six hundred. But the most remarkable circumstance connected with slavery in America is the following. A planter in Louisiana, of forty years' standing, assured me that there are a set of miscreants in the city of New Orleans, who are connected with slave-traders of Cuba, and who at certain periods proceed up the Mississippi as far as the Fourche mouth, which they descend in large row-boats and meet off the coast slave-ships; these they relieve of their cargoes, and returning to the main stream of the Mississippi, they drop down it in covered flat-bottomed boats, or arks, and dispose of the negroes to those who want them. I believe that no Americans import negroes into the States, for the penalty is death, and, to their honour be it said, the Northern States are as inimical to slavery as the most humane in England.
Enough has already been written on American slavery to save a cursory observer, like myself, the trouble of enlarging on the question. I have little to say in praise of the American treatment of slaves; I will therefore draw a veil over what else I have heard to the dispraise of the slave proprietors. To conclude, I have a great contempt for those, whether in England or America, who wish to sow dissention between two countries which stand in so interesting a relation to each
ENGLAND AND AMERICA.
other, either by means of the slave question or any other. I sincerely trust that we may see friendly and liberal feelings mutually cherished, and therefore on entering on United States ground, I have no wish to throw down a gauntlet, but hold out the right hand of fellowship to Americans of all sections of the Union, and trust that I shall never confound patriotism with national antipathy, or endeavour to exalt my own country by malicious efforts to depreciate others.