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cestors under which our commercial pro-| During the period which had elapsed sperity had attained its present extent, and since the enquiry on this subject was closeck: our naval strength its power. He was the be would ask, had no new occurrences more anxious to make this attempt, from taken place, which ought to influence opiobserving that no one possessing personal nion and govern the judgement ? Did the knowledge, or local experience of the rebellion in Grenada, the Charib insurrecreal condition.of slavery in the West In- tion in St. Viucents, the Maroon war in dies, had yet offered any information to Jamaica, and, above all, the revolution in the house, and having spent a considerable St. Domingo, afford 10 lessan, .no expepart of his life in the most important of rience by which our decision might be our colonies, and having therefore some guided ? It could be clearly shewn, that knowledge of the subject, he would en- the latter most disastrous event had its deavour to convey juster ideas of the pre- origin in, and was accelerated by, doctrines sent state of negroes in these settlements similar to those which were now espoused than seemed now to prevail. Indeed, the in this country, first promulgated in France, representations which had been made, and afterwards most industriously dissemiand descriptions given, were of that na- nated, until, in their natural course, they. ture, that they had excited no small degree buried that devoted and ill-fated colony of astonishment in his mind; so much so, in devastation and ruin. In a case of so that doubts might have arisen (if these re- much moment to the parties, he also conlations were deserving of credit) whether tended, that they had a right, an undoubled all that he had heard or witnessed during right, to be patiently heard in their own a residence of 10 years in the West Indies, defence; and he must, therefore, regret, unust not have passed in a dream; and he that those highly respectable characters would tell the hon. members, from bis.own who were offered as witnesses at the bar, personal observation, that there did not had not been received. The mode in exist a more happy race than the slaves in which the question had been treated, he our colonies, if any trust was to be placed (Mr. H.) strongly deprecated. Out-of iu outward appearances, which universally doors, the grossest exaggeration and misindicated cheerfulness and contentment. representation had been resorted to, and If the statements which had been given in that house, declamation was substituted were correct, if the enormities which had for argument, and.pathetic addresses to the been related were practised, he had no dif- feelings for sound reasoning. The noble ficulty in saying, ihat man must be desti- lord who introduced the bill, bad set the tule of the common attributes of huma- example, which had been universally.fol. nity, who, believing such accounts, did lowed, and an hon. and learned gent. (the not cordially join the advocates of the solicitor-general) bad been carried so far present measure in voting for the abo- by the spirit of disingenuous animadverlition of the trade; nay, for the abo- sions, that he did not scruple to ascribe all lition of slavery itself. But he must the laws of the colonial legislatures which totally deny the truth of these gene had been passed for the security and proral accusations, and demand proof: nei- tection of the vegroes, to an insidious dether could he admit, that one or two in- sign merely to impose on the public of stances of severity or oppression, if esta- this country, with the view of stifing farther blished even, (such circunstances must and enguiry or discussions as to slavery, and, as do happen in every country,)-could be he alledged, none of them were put in force. admitted as evidence of the delinquency of To a man acquainted with the facts, such the system at large; and it was singular, an assertion appeared monstrous; and that the most exalted characters, those when that learned gent. quoted the words heroes, the ornament and pride of their of an obsolete law of Barbadoes to shew country, and who had been employed in the estimation in which, in legal language the colonies almost to a man, bore testi- and proceedings, negroes were held, it mony to the mild and lenient treatment of would bave been more candid had he at the slaves in the West Indies.- Here the hon. same time stated the date of that law; and gent. lamented, that the legislature had mentioned that it was passed upwards of a thought fit to deny itself the benefit of all century ago. Even the hon. member for additional information, by evidence, on Yorkshire (Mr. Wilberforce); in a recent this important question, on the alledged publication, had been compelled to admit ground that nothing new could be adduced. that the consolidated slave Jamaic

Vol. VIII.

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was enacted previous to the agitation of the pean state, depended on it. Indeed, their question of Abolition, and could not there own experience was more ample than fore have been framed with the intent im- that of any other country. Franice, preputed to the West-Indians by the solicitor- vious to the revolution, as she possessed general. To that law he (Mr. H.) would the most extensive colonies, had the refer for a refutation of such charges : let greatest share of this trade. From Nantz its provisions be examined, and it would alone, 320 ships were employed in it, and be seen, whetber the interests and protec-150 from Bourdeaux; and the French ministion of the slaves were so completely over- ter bad lately told our negociator what looked as had been asserted. So much co-operation we had to expect from that for the means which had been employed nation; fairly acknowledging, that France for the accomplisbnient of this measure.- would be guided by a sense of her own inWith regard to its general tendency and. terest, and not by any fanciful and spe. result, he would not hesitate to affirn, that culative notions of what is termed beit must prove as little beneficial to the nevolence and philanthropy. The fact Africans themselver, as it would be inju- therefore was, ibat this measure could rious to the colonial interests and naval |out produce any reduction in the number superiority of the empire. Throughout of slaves in Africa, and that not one less the whole discussion, cause and effect had would be exported from that continent; a been studiously blended; slavery with the temporary interruption of the trade might slave trade. The slave trade in Africa was perhaps take place, and involve the objects the result of slavery, and slavery was of it in horrors on the coast, to which they produced by the barbarism of the inhabi- were not during its continuance exposed tants. History, ancient and nodern, -With respect to the carrying trade, it proved the universal existence of slavery was under the controul of humane regnin all the countries of Africa, inbabited lations; if the acts already passed were by negroes, and that this system prevailed not sufficient, the legislature might and ages before the commencement of the Eu ought to adopt other measures; but it was Jopean slave-trade. Mr. Parke, the favou. worthy of remark, that all the enormities rite author of the abolitionists, informed which had been cited and dwelt on, referred us, that three-fourths of the negroes were not to the present state of the trade, but in a state of slavery; and from one fact to the period antecedent to passing sir W. which he men ioned, it might be presumed Dolben's regulation act, and if any instanthat in this calculation the numbers of ces of atrocity had recently occurred, it slaves were underrated; for he tells us, was fair to presume, that the abolitionists that of goo prisoners taken in one battle, who had access to the journals of each only 70 were frce persons. Such, then, voyage, which were by law lodged at the being the state of the population of Africa, ditterent custom-houses, would not have where the inhabitants were totally igno- failed to make use of them. Indeed, it rant of any other distinction than that of could easily be shewn, that, so far from inaster and slave, how would the condition these descriptions being consistent with of these slaves be ameliorated by the ex- truth, it was so unconmon thing for a tinction of one branch only of the trade ? slave ship to perform a voyage without lo"I'lse European trade in slaves was derived sing a negro during its continuance.-In from that description of individuals who the West Indies, this act would be received were slaves in ibeir own country, and it with dissatisfaction and disgust. It would put an end to, not one less would exist in endanger the existence of the colonies, and Africa. But this was not all; for the pro- must produce their ultimate decay, if not posed act only abolished the British slave- their immediate destruction. The negroes, trade. Would the French, the Dutch, the wbo had always been accustomed to look Spaniards, the Portuguese, or the Ameri- to a reinforcement of strength by the percans abandon it? It was not even pre. chase of Africans, as a toon to themselves tended that any of the former nations bad and an alleviation of their labours in colti shewn the smallest disposition to relinquish vating the plantations, would becoure dis the traffic, and the latter understand their contented; and as they could not distinown interest too well to give it up. The guish between the nice refinements of jusFrench knew the value of this trade, and tice, that discontent was likely to ripen that their colonial commerce, the chief into resistance to their masters, when they support of the naval power of every Euro- found that they alone were to be the objects of slavery. The white population of Mlect that a separation of interests must the islands must be diminished, and the cause an alienation of the minds of the security against external and internal dan- colonists. If their lives and property ger thereby destroyed; no adventurers were hazarded, these mer, although actuwould hereafter be found to hazard their ated by the most loyal principles, could lives in an unwholesome climate, because not but view this measure as an infringethe stimulus was taken away. The road nent of their rights. While they were to competence and independence amongst sacrificed, the prosperity of their neighthe white persons, employed in the planta- bours and rivals must necessarily be adtions, who composed the militia and vanced; for the obvious effect of this strength of the islands, was the application measure would be to afford greater facili, of their first earnings to the purchase of a ties to the improvement of the colonies of few Arican negroes, whose numbers were our enemies, by reducing the cost of slaves progressively increased by additional pur- to cultivate them.- A detail of but a small chases, until of sufficient importance to part of the advantages which resulted to establish a new plantation or invigorate an. Great Britain from her colonial commerce, old. All the plantations which had been would occupy too much of the time of the recently opened, and on which great sums house, and was the less necessary as these adbad been expended in the construction of vantages were generally admitted: all these buildings, the clearing of lands, &c., and were to be bazarded, nay to be sacrificed, which were approaching towards maturity, for the attainment of a phantain. He therewould be imunediately checked, and for fore entered his solemn protest against the want of the assistance of fresh labourers, adoption of a measure fraught with ruin to calculated on, and absolutely necessary, the colonies and to the empire. for their cultivation, must eventually be Mr. Anthony Browne, not having sucabandoned.-That the negro population of ceeded in procuring the speaker's notice, the West Indies could not be supported with on the second reading of the bill, was deout importation, was demonstrated by expe- sirous of explaining briefly the grounds on rience, admitting a few exceptions from which his opposition was founded. rare and peculiarly favourable circumstan- did not defend the slave trade, with re.ces; and this part of the question never bad ference to Holy Writ, or to any existing been fairly stated or niet by the abolitionists. inoral or political evil of our own governThe inequality of the sexes, and many other ment; on the contrary, he admitted that causes, contribued to produce this effect; the trade was a great political evil of icand it must be enquired, whether what self; but yet it was an evil interwoven was termed a waste of human life, al with the most important interests of the though improperly so denominated, was country, and with a complication of private a sufficient reason for abandoning any great interests on which thousands and thouresource of the revenue or bulwark to the sands of our fellow subjects depended ! -safety of the state. If so, many of the the redress of which should be relatively manufactories carried on in England, and considered, and taking into view, on the the whole system.of national defence, ought one hand, the radical barbarous internal sito be abolished; for it could not be pre- tuation of Africe, the inadequate and intended that some of the most lucrative complete object of that abolition which branches of manufacture, or the great es- was proposed by the bill, and on the other, tablishments of our army and navy cou. the magnitude of the danger to the coloa tribute to keep up the population of the nies, he was of opinion, that the remedy empire. The whole system of the colonies was worse than the disease, and tbat we depending on long-sanctioned usages and were incurring a inost fearful risk, without established laws, would be abrogated, and the power or the nieans of extending to all this was to be effected to gratify false Africa, the practical benefits of those prinphilantbropy and mistaken philosophy. ciples of justice and humanity on which Let the house consider the importance of the bill was speciously founded. - these colonies to the general interest of tered into a minule description of the si.

the nation, and then weigh the consequen-tuation and circumstances of Africa, to ces. The West-India trade composed one shew that a state of slavery was the radia third of the whole amount of the trade, cal and incurable inheritance of her soil, both import and export, of Great Britain. not induced by the slave trade, but arising Put-aqt this great stake to hazard, Re- from the petty divisions of her states,


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the jealousies inseparable from those op- fellow subjects, which it is not in my por posing authorities, and that state of incivi- er to estimate. I view those consequences lization and barbarisnr in which Africa re- with fearful anxiety, as leading, necessarily mained, andst the improvements of other leading, to a fatal paroxysm of disaffection nations. Besides this objection, he said, and insurrection, and to a renewal of that the bill was incompetent to effect the those revolutionary horrors, from the efabolition of the slave trade. Great Britain fects of which Europe is not now free, and possessed not more than one-fifel of that which will live in the recollection of mantrade; she could do no more than aban- kind, an awetul lesson of the dangerous don that part of the trade which she pos- effects of innovating schemes of great nasessed, she could not compel Africa to tional import, and a just and powerful moabolish the trade : such an object could tive for a reverential deference to those only be accomplished by the concurring long-established habits and institutions opinion of the other nations of Europe which may be reckoned the foundation of that maintain the trade for the same poli- national prosperity and happiness. When tical reasons that we do. We must esta- the negroes in the islands learn that the Blish a sincerity of feeling on the other parliament has pronounced their condition nations, of the injustice of this trade; lea- to be unjust and ithunian, and that they ding to an active honourable pursuit of the are not to be benefited by the bill, it will same object, and by one commour voice to be sufficient to animate them to a spirit of that complete and entire abolition of the discontent and a desire of redress, from trade, from which alone the consumma- which a scene of misery and horror may 'tion of that great object could be accom- be contemplated, equal in enormity to that plisher. This view was sufficient to raise which has lately disgraced the character of a doubt of the practical advantages of the France. And can it be the poliey of Great bill to Africa, and when contrasted with Britain to encounter all these fearsul hazards, the danger which threatens our colonies, from a doubifal chance of benefit to the was decisive of the necessity of rejecting native African, who is in a situation not to it. The danger to the property of the co-be benefited by your exertions, a situation lonies, arose from the necessity of a conti- of hopeless and bereditary slavery? nued supply of negroes for the cultivation Mr. Barham eirered into an exculpa of property, without which experience had tion of the planters in the West Indies, proved, that the supply could not be main- from the charge of cruelty to the slaves, tained even in the old islands, uurder every and quoted several instances of kindness system of meliorated treatment which and humanity on the part of the overseers

could be devised, and under the advantages towards the slaves, and the gratitude of of religious establishments. The happy the latter in return. He considered that, in effects of which on the minds, habits, and order to pronote any thing of civilization regularity of the vegroes, in the island of and religion among the negroes, it would Antigua; he could unequivocally assert from be necessary to educate them, and to achis own knowledge. The danger arose complish that, it would be necessary to give also from the probability of a diminished them more hberty : this, however, would white population ; on that part of it espe- be a dangerous experiment, and be was at cially which constitutes the yeomanry of a loss to say, what would be the best mode to the colonies, and its permanent military remedy the evil. From his own experience, strength, by withholding the only means he was not warranted in supposing that the of advancement which the limited circum- negro population could be kept up in the stances of the colonies atford. From the pro- colonies. ' Ile had not, on his plantation, bability also of a dimination in the value of neglected any means that bumanity or West-India property, and the serious con- prudence could suggest to keep up his stock, 'sequences to those who stood in situations of to wbich he had deternsined, for years back, 'pecuniary embarrassments. All those were not to add a single newly purchased slave, exposed to 'utter ruin; for it could not be and yet he had not been able to succeed. expected that a creditor will rest satisfied II any means could be devised for so desiwith security of deteriorated value and se- rable an end, he should be very happy to curity, if it inight be so called, exposed make the experiment; but he much feared to dilly annihilation. But, said he, there that none sach was likely to offer. Still be is another danger still more alarming, a was determined, upon the principles of dangos 19 the lives and existence of our humanity, to support the Abolition, regret

ting merely that it had so long continued, Sir Ralph Milbanke could not do justice but deprecating any reproach on the mer- to the sentiments of his constituents, nor chants and planters concerned in it. For, to his own, if he were to give a silent vote of any guilt that attached to this trade they in favour of the bill. He therefore offered were at most but partners with the parlia- a few observations in support of it. 'ment which tolerated it, and the country Mr. Montague spoke in favour of the which profited so much from it. These abolitiou, to which he had, from his earliest planters, therefore, ought not now, in his years, devoted himself with a zeal and atopinion, to be dismissed with censure, or tention inferior only to those of his hon. without that fair and honourable compen- friend (Mr. Wilberforce). He would ask sation to which they were entitled. one of the opposers of the bill, who was a - Mr. Courtenay, as the great majority on member of the board of aldermen of Lonthe second reading of the bill had been as-don, whether he would think it a happy cribed by some of the members to a pathe change, to be spatched away from one of tic and persuasive appeal to the passions the city banquets, and crammed into a which bad hurried the house into a precipi- slave ship as the blacks were ? He blamed tate vote, remarked, that the abolition the planters for not making preparation in bill would have passed many years ago, if compliance with the notices they had reoratory alone governed and directed the ceived. decisions of the house ; for many mem- Mr. Hibbert, in reply to his hon. friend, bers of the house, he said, still must re- observed, that he was now in the very situmember the strenuous and noble exertions ation he had described. He was now no of two eminent statesmen of the most dis- longer an alderman of the city of London; tinguished and splendid talents, who had he no longer banqueted upon the luxuries displayed the superior power of their ca- of the civic board, but bore the burthen of pacious minds on this most interesting a slave; for he had embarked all his proquestion. The vigour, the logical precision, perty in our West-India colonies; he felt the commanding and luminous eloquence the shackles of the slave about him, and of the one, blended and associated with he no longer enjoyed that freedom he was the copious, brilliant, and impressive elo- before possessed of. After some general quence of the other, penetrated the most observations, he concluded by expressing callous and obdurate hearer, and carried his decided opposition to the measure in its conviction to the most prejudiced and in- present shape, terested understanding. No more rivals Mr. Baihurst objected to the principle for power, or divided on some great poli- of the bill, as well as to the consequences itical principle, but cordially united like which would unaroidably result from pasbrothers in the sacred cause of justice and sing it into a law. He recommended a humanity, we have only to lament that gradual decrease. they no longer exist, the pride and orna- Mr. Jacob contended, that the abolition ment of the country, to enjoy the glorious itself would furnish ample compensation to triumph of their genius and virtue. I shall the planters, as it must naturally tend to now presume to add a word on the merits enhance the value of their present negroes of another gentleman, the original mover and plantations, while he argued that a conof the question. The great and brilliant tinuance of this traffic would, by operating eloquence we so lately heard, still vibrates to increase the means of cultivation, serve on the ears of the house ; but he has his to extend the produce, which was already reward

superabundant, and thus lead to the ruin “ What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, of the planters more immediately and effec“ The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy" Lively than could, by any calculation, be of having rescued thousands of the unhap- apprehended from an immediate abolitionpy, oppressed natives of Africa from the Amidst a loud cry of question ! question !, 'scourge, avarice, and tyranny of Europe, he Mr. Secretary Windham rose, and said, has at last the conscious pleasure of seeing from the lateness of the hour and the eagerhis laudable exertions, his unwearied zeal, ness which the honse very naturally felt to his indefatigable perseverance, crowned go into the committee, he should reserve with success, and he has been singularly the sentiments which he entertained upon happy in throwing a sacred lustre over his this important subject for another stage of inoral and pathetic reasoning, by the af- this bill. Differing, as he didd upon this fecting fervour of his religious sentiments. question, from many of those whom he

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