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A Tribute for the Negro:
Being a Vindication of the Moral,
Intellectual, and Religious Capabilities
of the Coloured Portion of Mankind;
with Particular Reference to the African Race:

Electronic Edition.

Armistead, Wilson, 1819?-1868


Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities
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First edition, 1999
ca. 1.5MB
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1999

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Call number 326 A728t (Wilson Annex, UNC-CH)



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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

LC Subject Headings:



Frontispiece


Title Page


Verso


A
TRIBUTE FOR THE NEGRO:
BEING
A VINDICATION
OF THE
MORAL, INTELLECTUAL, AND RELIGIOUS CAPABILITIES
OF
The Coloured portion of Mankind;
WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE AFRICAN RACE.

ILLUSTRATED BY
NUMEROUS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES,
FACTS, ANECDOTES, ETC.
AND MANY
SUPERIOR PORTRAITS AND ENGRAVINGS.

BY

WILSON ARMISTEAD.

Manchester:
WILLIAM IRWIN, 39, OLDHAM STREET
LONDON:
CHARLES GILPIN, BISHOPSGATE STREET.
AMERICAN AGENT:
WM. HARNED, ANTI-SLAVERY OFFICE,
61, JOHN STREET, NEW YORK;
AND MAY BE HAD OF
H. LONGSTRETH AND G. W. TAYLOR,
PHILADELPHIA.
1848.


Page verso

MANCHESTER:
PRINTED BY WILLIAM IRWIN,
39, OLDHAM STREET.


Page vi

TO
JAMES W. C. PENNINGTON, FREDERICK DOUGLASS,
ALEXANDER CRUMMELL,
AND
MANY OTHER NOBLE EXAMPLES OF ELEVATED HUMANITY
IN THE NEGRO;
WHOM FULLER BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNATES
"THE IMAGE OF GOD CUT IN EBONY:"
THIS VOLUME,
DEMONSTRATING, FROM FACTS AND TESTIMONIES,
THAT THE
WHITE AND DARK COLOURED RACES OF MAN
ARE ALIKE THE CHILDREN OF ONE HEAVENLY FATHER,
AND
IN ALL RESPECTS EQUALLY ENDOWED BY HIM;
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.


Page vii

PREFACE.

        In reviewing the history of mankind, we may observe, that very soon after the creation of our first parents in innocence and happiness, sin and misery entered into the world. The evils of life commenced in the earliest ages, and subsequent history and experience testify, that in all their variety of form and character they have continued to exist in every successive generation to the present time.

        To combat these evils, by endeavouring to effect their removal or correction, is the most pleasing and useful occupation in which we can engage ourselves. Providence has wisely instituted, in every age and in every country, a counteracting energy to diminish the crimes and miseries of mankind, which the influences of Christianity have increased, by unfolding to it the widest possible domain. "At her command, wherever she has been fully acknowledged, many of the evils of life have already fled. The prisoner of war is no longer led into the amphitheatre to become a gladiator, and to imbrue his hands in the blood of his fellow-captive, for the sport of a thoughtless multitude. The stern priest, cruel through fanaticism and custom, no longer leads his fellow-creature to the altar, to sacrifice him to fictitious gods. The venerable martyr, courageous through faith and the sanctity of his life, is no longer hurried to the flames. The haggard witch, poring over her incantations by moonlight, no longer scatters her superstitious poison amongst her miserable neighbors, nor suffers for her crime."


Page viii

        So long as any of the evils of life shall remain, accompanied, as they must inevitably be, with misery and guilt, the Christian will find himself impelled by an impulse of duty to oppose them; and his energies will be roused into active resistance, in proportion to the magnitude of the evil to be overcome.

        The most extensive and extraordinary system of crime the world ever witnessed, which has now been in operation for several centuries, and which continues to exist in unabated activity, is NEGRO SLAVERY. This hateful system, involving a most incalculable amount of evil, and entailing a measure of misery on the one hand, and guilt on the other, beyond the powers of language to describe, entitles its victims to the strongest claims on our sympathy.

        "If, among the various races of mankind," says the pious Richard Watson, "one is to be found which has been treated with greater harshness by the rest--one whose history is drawn with a deeper pencilling of injury and wretchedness--that race, wherever found, is entitled to the largest share of compassion; especially of those, who, in a period of past darkness and crime, have had so great a share in inflicting this injustice. This, then, is the Negro race--the most unfortunate of the family of man. From age to age the existence of injuries may be traced upon the sunburnt continent; and Africa is still the common plunder of every invader who has hardihood enough to obdurate his heart against humanity, to drag his lengthened lines of enchained captives through the deserts, or to suffocate them in the holds of vessels destined to carry them away into interminable captivity. Africa is annually robbed "of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND" of her children. Multiply this number by the ages through which this injury has been protracted, and the amount appals and rends


Page ix

the heart. What an accumulation of misery and wrong! Which of the sands of her deserts has not been steeped in tears, wrung out by the pang of separation from kindred and country? And in what part of the world have not her children been wasted by labours, and degraded by oppressions?"

        The hapless victims of this revolting system are men of the same origin as ourselves--of similar form and delineation of feature, though with a darker skin--men endowed with minds equal in dignity, equal in capacity, and equal in duration of existence--men of the same social dispositions and affections, and destined to occupy the same rank in the great family of Man.

        The supporters and advocates of Negro Slavery, however, in order to justify their oppressive conduct, profess, either in ignorance or affected philosophy, to doubt the African's claim to humanity, alleging their incapacity, from inherent defects in their mental constitution, to enjoy the blessings of freedom, or to exercise those rights which are equally bestowed by a beneficent Creator upon all his rational creatures.

        White men, civilized savages, armed with the power which an improved society gives them, invade a distant country, and destroy or make captive its inhabitants; and then, pointing to their colour, find their justification in denying them to be men. A petty philosophy follows in the train, and confirms the assumption by a specious theory which would exclude the Negro from all title to humanity. Thus would they strike millions out of the family of God, the covenant of grace, and that brotherhood which the Scriptures extend to the whole race of Adam.

        The calumniators of the Negro race--those who have robbed them of their lands, and still worse, of themselves--


Page x

delight to descant upon the inferiority of their victims, withholding the fact, that they have been for ages exposed to influences calculated to develope neither the moral nor the intellectual faculties, but to destroy them. It may, perhaps, be fairly questioned, whether any other people could have endured the privations or the sufferings to which they have been subjected, without becoming still more degraded in the scale of humanity; for nothing has been left undone, to cripple their intellects, to darken their minds, to debase their moral nature, and to obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; yet, how wonderfully have they sustained the mighty load of oppression under which they have been groaning for centuries!

        Prejudice and misinformation have, for a long series of years, been fostered with unremitting assiduity by those interested in upholding the Slave system--a party, whose corrupt influence has enabled them to gain possession of the public ear, and to abuse public credulity to an extent not generally appreciated. In an age so distinguished for benevolence, we call only thus account for the indifference manifested towards this unfortunate race, and from the fact that they are supposed to be in reality destined only for a servile condition, entitled neither to liberty nor the legitimate pursuit of happiness.

        Has the Almighty, then, poured the tide of life through the Negro's breast, animated it with a portion of his own Spirit, and at the same time cursed him, that he is to be struck off the list of rational beings, and placed on a level with the brute? Is his flesh marble, and are his sinews iron, or his immortal spirit condemned, that he is doomed to incessant toil, and to be subjugated to a degradation, bodily and mental, such as none of the other of the children of Adam have ever endured? Away for ever with an idea so


Page xi

absurd! The subjugation of a large portion of mankind to the domination and arbitrary will of another, is as unnatural as it is contrary to the principles of justice, and repugnant to the precepts and to the spirit of Christianity; and in the advancing circumstances of the world, nothing can be more certain, than that Slavery must terminate. It is a blot which can never remain amidst the glories of Messiah's reign.

        My present purpose is not to enter into a recital of the horrors of the Slave system in any of its revolting details. The secrets of the dreadful traffic are veiled in those coffin-like spaces in the interior of Slave ships, in which the wretched victims are packed as logs of wood, their limbs loaded with manacles and chains, to be succeeded by the scourgings of the cruel driver! But I will forbear; the mind shudders at the idea of a serious discussion of deeds so hateful, which no prospect of private gain, no consideration of public advantage, no plea of expediency, can ever justify.

        The purport of the present volume, in contradistinction to the idea of the Negro being designed only for a servile condition, is to demonstrate that the Sable inhabitants of Africa are capable of occupying a position in society very superior to that which has been generally assigned to them, and which they now mostly occupy;--that they are possessed of intelligent and reflecting minds, and however barren these may have been rendered by hard usage, and have become indeed as "fountains sealed," that they are still neither unwatered by the rivers of intellect, nor the pure and gentle streams of natural affection. By a relation of facts, principally of a biographical nature, many of them now published for the first time, I hope to counteract that deeply-rooted prejudice, the growth of centuries, which


Page xii

attaches itself to this despised race--facts which render a practical negative to the imputation of inevitable inferiority; demonstrating, on the other hand, that, when participating in equal advantages, they are not inferior in natural capacity, or deficient of those intellectual and amiable qualities which adorn and dignify human nature.

        How far the attempt is successful must be left to the reader's decision, Whether it result in convincing the sceptical, or in confirming those already persuaded of the truth of the position maintained, may it engender a more lively feeling of brotherly sympathy towards this afflicted people, by demonstrating them to be capable of every generous and noble feeling, as well as of the higher attainments of the human understanding. Once convinced of this, we cannot contemplate with indifference their bodily and mental sufferings, but rather desire that every barrier may be removed which impedes their attaining to that station in society which an all-wise and beneficent Creator designed for them.

        Should the facts recorded be deemed of too insulated a nature to elucidate any general theory (most countries having produced some individuals of unusual powers, both of body and of mind), I may observe, that they are only a fractional part of what might have been adduced. I have still in reserve a mass of additional facts, teeming with evidence the most unequivocal, that the Almighty has not left the Negro destitute of those talents and capabilities which he has bestowed upon all his intelligent creatures, which, however modified by circumstances in various cases, leave no section of the human family a right to boast that it inherits, by birth, a superiority which might not, in the course of events, be manifested and claimed with equal justice by those whom they most despise.


Page xiii

        I should be wanting in gratitude, were I to omit to acknowledge the kindness of many friends who have aided me during the progress of the work. Amongst these, I may particularly mention Thomas Thompson, of Liverpool; Thomas Scales,* and Thomas Harvey, of Leeds; Jacob Post, of London; Edward Bickersteth,* Rector of Watton; Joseph Sturge, of Birmingham; James Backhouse, of York; Thomas Winterbottom, M.D., North Shields; Captain Wauchope, of the Royal Navy; with many others. To Robert Hurnard, of Colchester, I am indebted for a Narrative and several M.S. letters of Solomon Bayley, of which I regret being able to avail myself only to a limited extent. Nor should I omit a tribute of thanks to my friend Bernard Barton, for his appropriate Introductory Poem, which adds to the interest of the volume.

        I may also acknowledge having frequently availed myself of the researches of Dr. Lawrence, and the more recent ones of Dr. J. C. Prichard, whose work on the History of Man is the ablest extant in any language.

        I have also derived much information from the work of the Abbé Grégoire, entitled "De la Littérature des

        * The reader will observe, throughout the present volume, except in the first plate, engraved under other auspices, an omission of the title of "Reverend," usually applied to Ministers of the Gospel. It is far from my wish to appear uncourteous; but whilst esteeming the virtuous and the good of every class, I feel a decided objection to the use of this title, on the ground of its being one assigned to the Almighty himself, whose name is Holy and Reverend. (Psalm cxi. 9.) It is to be regretted that Christian ministers, servants of Him who "made himself of no reputation," should feel satisfied with this appellation being used, both in public and private addresses, from their fellow-mortals. Neither the prophets of old, nor the apostles, nor any of the immediate followers of Christ, however eminent, required such an adulatory title, the tendency of which is, to exalt the fallen creature rather than to honour the Divine Creator.



Page xiv

Nègres, ou Recherches sur leur Facultés Intellectuelles, leur Qualités Morales, et leur Littérature," &c. I am indebted to Thomas Thompson, of Liverpool, for this scarce volume, who kindly presented me with a copy of it, which is rendered additionally valuable from its being one presented by the Abbé in his own hand-writing to the late William Phillips, of London. To Gerrit Smith of Peterboro', U. S., I am also indebted for an English translation of the same, by D. B. Warden, Secretary of the American Legation at Paris. This admirable work includes a mass of information, the accuracy of which may be thoroughly relied upon, being the production of a man of great erudition and rare virtues, well known in the learned societies of his day. He was formerly Bishop of Blois, a member of the Conservative Senate, of the National Institute, the Royal Society of Gottingen, &c.

        It was partially announced that a list of Subscribers would be appended to the present volume, but as this would have occupied nearly thirty pages, it was thought preferable to extend the Biographical portion of the work, which now exceeds by about one hundred pages the number originally intended. The only object in publishing such a list, would have been to afford a demonstration of the feeling and interest existing on behalf of the oppressed race. Suffice it to say, that it embraces nearly a thousand of the most conspicuous characters in the walks of benevolence and philanthropy, both in Great Britain and America, including the Sovereign of the most enlightened country of the world.

        The proceeds arising from the sale of the "TRIBUTE for the NEGRO" will be appropriated for the benefit of the Negro race. On this ground, as well as in consideration of the primary design of publication, the friends of


Page xv

humanity will be interested in promoting its circulation. By so doing, they will advance the cause of freedom, by establishing the claims of depressed, degraded, suffering, and almost helpless millions.

        It may be observed, that in making the Biographical selection for this work, the author has been governed by no sectarian prejudice. With due regard to the primary object in view, he has embraced, in support of the proposition maintained, all classes, irrespective of their particular religious tenets. The Episcopalian, the Presbyterian, the Quaker, and the Moravian, are all alike included, not even excepting the half-civilized barbarian, on whom the light has but dimly shone. Whatever our own particular views may be, charity compels us to believe that the virtuous and the good are acceptable to the Universal Parent. A good life is the soundest orthodoxy, and the most benevolent man is the best Christian. Diversity of opinion is not a bar to the favour of Heaven, and it ought not to operate to the prejudice of our neighbor. We ought rather to bear and forbear with each other, remembering that the Sacred Mount of Divine Mercy is open alike to every humble traveller--"God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." 'Tis these that constitute the "countless myriads" that shall be gathered from "all nations, kindreds, and tongues," to ascribe, throughout the boundless ages of eternity, hallelujahs and songs of incessant praise before the throne of the King Supreme.

        Having now completed my undertaking, after soliciting the Divine blessing upon it, I bequeath it as a legacy to the injured and oppressed. Though the design of the publication will, I trust, be deemed a sufficient apology for its appearance, I am prepared for a diversity of sentiment


Page xvi

being expressed as to its propriety or necessity. I should count myself unworthy the name of a man or a Christian, if the calumnies of the bad, or even the disapprobation of the well-disposed, had deterred me from the performance of that which a feeling of duty prompted me to undertake. I court no man's applause, neither do I fear any man's frown. Conscious of many imperfections, I feel thankful in having completed this humble "Tribute" in aid of the cause of Freedom, Justice, and Humanity; and it will be a satisfaction to reflect, that a portion of my time has been employed on behalf of the most oppressed portion of our race, at least with a design to promote their welfare.

W. A.

Leeds, 10th Month, 1848


Page xvii

CONTENTS.


Page xxii


Page xxxi

List of Portraits and Engravings.


Page xxxiii

INTRODUCTORY POEM:
BY
BERNARD BARTON.


                         A TRIBUTE for the Negro Race!
                         With all whose minds and hearts
                         Have known the power of Gospel Grace,
                         The love which it imparts.


                         Who know and feel that God is Love!
                         And that His high behest,
                         Given from His throne in Heaven above
                         Says--"Succour the oppress'd!"


                         A TRIBUTE for our Brother Man!
                         Our Sister Woman too!
                         With all whose feeling hearts can own
                         What unto each is due:


                         Who cherish holy sympathy
                         With human flesh and blood,
                         And feel the inseparable tie
                         Of that vast Brotherhood!


Page xxxiv


                         That the same God hath fashion'd all,
                         Moulded in human frame;
                         And bade them on His mercy call,
                         Pleading--A Father's Name!


                         That the same Saviour died for each,
                         So each to Him might live!
                         That the same Spirit sent to teach,
                         To ALL can Wisdom give.


                         A TRIBUTE to the mental power
                         Of Blacks, as well as Whites;
                         For Nature, in her ample dower,
                         Owns all her Children's rights:


                         And scorns, by casual tint of skin,
                         Those sacred rights to adjust,
                         Which, to the immortal Soul within,
                         Her God hath given in trust!


                         A TRIBUTE to fair Freedom's spells,
                         The boon of God on high;
                         For--ever--where His Spirit dwells,
                         There must be Liberty!


                         That Spirit breaks each galling yoke--
                         Fetters of cruel thrall,
                         The brand's impress, the scourge's stroke,
                         It loathes, laments them all.


Page xxxv


                         Lastly,--A TRIBUTE unto HIM,
                         OUR FATHER! throned in Heaven!
                         For all who yet, in life or limb,
                         Succumb to Slavery's leaven.


                         That He for such His arm may bare,
                         Their Liberator be;
                         And in His Will and Power declare
                         "The Negro shall be free!"


                         That as His mighty, outstretch'd hand
                         Led Israel forth of yore,
                         So He to Afric's injured land
                         Would Freedom--Peace restore.


                         That Gospel Love, and Gospel Grace,
                         May there His Power proclaim;
                         Make glad each solitary place,
                         And glorify His Name!


Page 2

A Tribute for the Negro.
PART I.

An Inquiry into the claims of the Negro
Race to humanity, and a Vindication of
their original equality with the other
portions of Mankind; with a few
observations on the inalineable rights of
Man, the sin of Slavery, &c., &c.


Illustration


Page 3

CHAPTER I.

AN INQUIRY INTO THE CLAIMS OF THE NEGRO RACE TO HUMANITY, &c.

Sin of Slavery increasingly acknowledged--Delusion respecting the moral and intellectual capacity of the Negro--An important question--To despise a fellow-being on account of any external peculiarity, a sin-- Christianity the manifestation of universal love--Inquiry into the causes of the diversity characterising various nations and people--Analogous in animals--Remarks of Buffon and Lawrence on this subject--Connection between the physiological, moral, and intellectual characters in Man--The diversities trifling in comparison with those attributes in which they agree--Nothing to warrant us in referring to any particular race an insurmountable deficiency in moral and intellectual faculties-- Scripture testimony to unity of origin in the human race.

        In the present enlightened age, talent and piety have combined their energies, in endeavouring to promote the welfare and emancipation of the degraded and enslaved African. The grievous sin of man making merchandise of his fellow-creatures, and holding them in perpetual slavery, has long been a subject of eloquent declamation, and has for some time been denounced by the unanimous voice of the British public. England has given to the nations a noble example, in abolishing, at a great sacrifice, a system of injustice and cruelty, in which she had long taken a guilty part.


                         " 'Twas Britain's mightiest sons that struck the blow!"


                         "And monarchs trembled at the o'erpowering sound,
                         And nations heard, and senates shook around,
                         And widely struck, by the victorious spell,
                         From Negro limbs, the enslaving shackles fell!"


Page 4

        Yet notwithstanding the evils of Slavery are becoming increasingly felt and acknowledged, it is evident that there still exists, in the minds of many who deprecate the whole system as unjust, a strong delusion with regard to the moral and intellectual capacities of the Coloured portion of mankind, and as regards their proper station in the scale of intelligent existence.

        It is an important question, whether the Negro is constitutionally, and therefore irremediably, inferior to the White man, in the powers of the mind. Much of the future welfare of the human race depends on the answer which experience and facts will furnish to this question; for it concerns not only the vast population of Africa, but many millions of the Negro race who are located elsewhere, as well as the Whites who are becoming mixed with the Black race in countries where Slavery exists, or where it has existed till within a very recent period. Many persons have ventured upon peremptory decisions on both sides of the question; but the majority appear to be still unsatisfied as to the real capabilities of the Negro race. Their present actual inferiority in many respects, comparing them as a whole with the lighter coloured portion of mankind, is too evident to be disputed; but it must be borne in mind that they are not in a condition for a fair comparison to be drawn between the two. Their present degraded state, whether we consider them in a mental or moral point of view, may be easily accounted for by the circumstances amidst which Negroes have lived, both in their own countries, and when they have been transplanted into a foreign land. But if instances can be adduced of individuals of the African race exhibiting marks of genius, which would be considered eminent in civilized European society, we have proofs that there is no incompatibility between Negro organization and high intellectual power.

        It has been well observed by a late writer, that it is important to elucidate this question, if possible, on several


Page 5

accounts; and that if it be proved to be correct, the Negro qualified to occupy a different situation in society to that which has been declared to belong to him, by the almost unanimous acclaim of civilized nations. If the capabilities and aptitudes of the Negro are such as some writers argue, he is only fitted, by his natural constitution and endowments, for a servile state; and the zealous friends of his tribe, Wilberforce and Clarkson, Allen and Gurney, with many others, who were thought to have obtained an exalted station among the great benefactors of the human race, must be regarded as having been simply well-meaning enthusiasts, who, under an imagined principle of philanthropy, argued with too much success for the emancipation of domestic animals, of creatures destined by nature to remain in that condition, and to serve the lords of the creation in common with his oxen, his horses, and his dogs. If science has led to this conclusion, as the true and just inference from facts, the sooner it is admitted the better: the opinion which is opposed to it must be unreasonable and injurious.

        But the purport of the present volume is to prove from facts which speak loudly, that the Negro is indubitably, and fully, entitled to equal claims with the rest of mankind; --a task by no means difficult, no more so indeed, to the impartial judge, than to demonstrate the self-evident truths


                         "That smoke ascends, that snow is white."
The claims of the Negro are, however, called in question by so many, and their rights as men denied by those who point at the colour which God has given them, with the finger of scorn, that some counteracting influence seemed desirable.

        To despise a fellow-being, or attach a degree of inferiority to him, merely on account of his complexion, or any other external peculiarity which may have been conferred upon him, is to arraign the wisdom of the Allwise Creator, and, consequently, an offence in the Divine sight. "He


Page 6

who cannot recognise a brother," says Dr. Channing, "a man possessing all the rights of humanity, under a skin darker than his own, wants the vision of a Christian." It proves him a stranger to justice and love, in those universal forms by which our benign religion is characterised. Christianity is the manifestation and inculcation of universal love; its great teaching is, that we should recognise and respect human nature in all its forms, in the poorest, most ignorant, most fallen. We must look beneath "the flesh," to "the spirit;" for it is the spiritual principle in Man that entitles him to our brotherly regard. To be just to this is the great injunction of our religion: to overlook this, on account of condition or colour, is to violate the great Christian law. The greatest of all distinctions in Man, the only enduring ones, are moral goodness, virtue, and religion. A being capable of these, is invested by God with solemn claims on his fellow-creatures, and to despise millions of such beings, to stamp them with inevitable inferiority, and to exclude them from our sympathy, because of outward disadvantages, proves, that in whatever we may surpass them, we are not their superiors in Christian virtue.

        But when erroneous opinions become thoroughly imbibed, it is difficult speedily, or, perhaps, in some instances, ever, entirely to eradicate them from the mind, however unfounded they may be. Although it is a common, and very just observation, that two individuals are hardly to be met with, possessing precisely the same features, yet there is generally a certain distinctive cast of countenance common to the particular races of men, and often to the inhabitants of particular countries. The differences existing in various regions of the globe, both in the bodily formation of Man and in the development of the faculties of his mind, are so striking that they cannot have escaped the notice of the most superficial observer.

        There is scarcely any question relating to the history of organized beings, calculated to excite greater interest,


Page 7

than inquiries into the nature of those varieties in complexion, form, and habits, which distinguish from each other the several races of men. Our curiosity on this subject ceases to be awakened when we have become accustomed to satisfy ourselves respecting it with some hypothesis, whether adequate or insufficient to explain the phenomenon; but, if a person previously unaware of the existence of such diversities, could suddenly be made a spectator of the various appearances which the tribes of men display in different regions of the earth, it cannot be doubted that he would experience emotions of wonder and surprise. To enter into a full consideration of this interesting subject is not within the province of this work. It will, however, be necessary to make a few observations upon it, so far as to demonstrate that the whole family of Man is identically of the same species. Those who desire to enter more largely into this study, may refer to Prichard's "Researches into the Physical History of Mankind," or to Dr. Lawrence's well known "Lectures," in which the able authors have maintained, with the greatest extent of research, and fully proved, a unity of species in all the human races.

        Notwithstanding the great diversity which is found to exist the extent of mental acquirements, as well as of the physiological peculiarities, and physical qualities, characterizing, the inhabitants of various portions of the world, there can be little doubt that this diversity is more attributable to external or adventitious causes, to the circumstances in which they live, to their particular habits, their progress in the culture of arts and sciences, and their advancement in civilization and refinement, and to a variety of physical and moral agencies and local circumstances, rather than to any singularity or variation in their original natural organization and endowment. To the operation of all these causes, may be added, the surprising effects of education when almost universally applied, which are sufficiently obvious wherever its influence extends.


Page 8

        That climate should also exert a powerful influence on Man may be very reasonably supposed; it has an analogous influence on the other tribes of animated beings. The animal kingdom presents us with numerous striking instances of diversity in the texture and colour of their coverings, occurring, undoubtedly, in the same species. Sheep are particularly marked by the great difference of their fleece, in different latitudes. In Africa, and very warm countries, a coarse rough hair is substituted in the place of its wool, which, in other situations, is soft and delicate. The dog loses its coat entirely in Africa, and has a smooth soft skin. The wool of the sheep is thicker and longer in the winter and in hilly northern situations, than in the summer and on warm plains. Climate, coupled with food, appear to be the great modifying agents, in the production of these and many other varieties in the animal world; but no attempt has been made to assign a separate origin in their case. The white colour, in the northern regions, of many animals, which possess other colours in more temperate latitudes, as the bear, the fox, the hare, beasts of burden, the falcon, crow, jackdaw, chaffinch, &c., seems to arise entirely from climate. This opinion is strengthened by the analogy of those animals which change their colour, in the same country, in the winter season, to white or grey, as the ermine and weasel, hare, squirrel, reindeer, white game, snow bunting, &c. The common bear is differently coloured in different regions.

        With regard to the physiological distinctions of Man, there is no point of difference between the several races, which has not been found to arise, in at least an equal degree, among other animals as mere varieties, from the usual causes of degeneration, &c. What differences are there in the figure and proportion of parts in the various breeds of horses; in the Arabian, the Barb, and the German! How striking the contrast between the long-legged cattle of the Cape of Good Hope and the short-legged


Page 9

of England! The same difference is observed in swine. The cattle have no horns in some breeds of England and Ireland; in Sicily, on the contrary, they have very large ones. A breed of sheep, with an extraordinary number of horns, as three, four, or five, occurs in some northern countries--as, for instance, in Ireland--and is accounted a mere variety. The Cretan breed of the same animals has long, large, and twisted horns. We may also point out the broad-tailed sheep of the Cape, in which the tail grows so large that it is placed on a board, supported by wheels, for the convenience of the animal. "Let us compare," says Buffon, "our pitiful sheep with the mouflon, from which they derived their origin. The mouflon is a large animal; he is fleet as a stag, armed with horns and thick hoofs, covered with coarse hair, and dreads neither the inclemency of the sky nor the voracity of the wolf. He not only escapes from his enemies by the swiftness of his course, scaling with truly wonderful leaps, the most frightful precipices; but he resists them by the strength of his body and the solidity of the arms with which his head and feet are fortified. How different from our sheep, which subsist with difficulty in flocks, who are unable to defend themselves by their numbers, who cannot endure the cold of our winters without shelter, and who would all perish if man withdrew his protection! So completely are the frame and capabilities of this animal degraded by his association with us, that it is no longer able to subsist in a wild state, if turned loose, as the goat, pig, and cattle are. In the warm climates of Asia and Africa, the mouflon, who is the common parent of all the races of this species, appears to be less degenerated than in any other region. Though reduced to a domesticated state, he has preserved his stature and his hair; but the size of his horns is diminished. Of all the domesticated sheep, those of Senegal and India are the largest, and their nature has suffered least degradation. The sheep of Barbary, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Tartary, &c.,


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have undergone greater changes. In relation to Man, they are improved in some articles, and vitiated in others; but with regard to nature, improvement and degeneration are the same thing; for they both imply an alteration of original constitution. Their coarse hair is changed into fine wool; their tail, loaded with a mass of fat, and sometimes reaching the weight of forty pounds, has acquired a magnitude so incommodious, that the animals trail it with pain. While swollen with superfluous matter, and adorned with a beautiful fleece, their strength, agility, magnitude, and arms are diminished. These long-tailed sheep are half the size only of the mouflon. They can neither fly from danger, nor resist the enemy. To preserve and multiply the species they require the constant care and support of Man. The degeneration of the original species is still greater in our climates. Of all the qualities of the mouflon, our ewes and rams have retained nothing but a small portion of vivacity, which yields to the crook of the shepherd. Timidity, weakness, resignation, and stupidity, are the only melancholy remains of their degraded nature."*

        The pig-kind afford an instructive example, because their descent is more clearly made out than that of many other animals. The dog, indeed, degenerates before our eyes; but it will hardly ever, perhaps, be satisfactorily ascertained whether there is one or more species. The extent of degeneration can be observed in the domestic swine; because no naturalist has hitherto been sceptical enough to doubt whether they descended from the wild boar; and they were certainly first introduced by the Spaniards into the new world. The pigs conveyed in 1509, from Spain to the West Indian island Cubagua, then celebrated for the pearl fishery, degenerated into a monstrous race, with toes half a span long.** Those of Cuba became more than
* Buffon, by Wood, vol. 4, page 7.

** Clavigero, Storia Antica del Messico, vol. 4, page 145.


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twice as large as their European progenitors.* How remarkably, again, have the domestic swine degenerated from the wild ones in the whole world: in the loss of the soft downy hair from between the bristles, in the vast accumulation of fat under the skin, in the form of the cranium, in the figure and growth of the whole body. The varieties of the domestic animal, too, are very numerous: in Piedmont, they are almost invariably black; in Bavaria, reddish brown; in Normandy, white, &c. The breed in England, with straight back, is just the reverse of that in the north of France, with high convex spine and hanging head; and both are different from the German breed; to say nothing of the solidungular race, found in herds in Hungary and Sweden, known by Aristotle, with many other varieties.

        The ass, in its wild state, is remarkably swift and lively, and still continues so in his native Eastern abode.

        Common fowl, in different situations, run into almost every conceivable variety. Some are large, some small, some tall, some dwarfish. They may have a small and single, or a large and complicated comb; or great tufts of feathers on the head. Some have no tail. The legs of some are yellow and naked, of others, covered with feathers. There is a breed with their feathers reversed in their direction all over the body; and another in India with white downy feathers, and black skin. All these exhibit endless diversities of colour.**

        Most of the mammalia which have been tamed by Man betray their subjugated state, by having the ears and tail pendulous, a condition which does not belong to wild animals; and in many, says Lawrence, the very functions of the body are changed.

        The application of these facts to the human species is very obvious. If new characters are produced in the
* Herrera, Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas, &c., vol. 1, page 239.

** Lawrence.


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domesticated animals, because they have been taken from their primitive condition, and exposed to the operation of many, to them unnatural causes; if the pig is remarkable among these for the number and degree of its varieties, because it has been most exposed to the causes of degeneration; we shall be at no loss to account for the diversities in Man, who is, in the true, though not ordinary sense of the word, more a domesticated animal than any other.* He, like the inferior animals, is liable to run into varieties of form, size, stature, proportions, features, and colour, which being gradually increased, through a long course of ages, have become, to a certain extent, hereditary in families and nations.

        That the superficial observer, on beholding the great variation existing between the inhabitants of one portion of the world, and those of another, should be led to query, "Are all these brethren?" need not surprise us; yet, if we examine into the subject, we shall find that there is no one of the varieties to which Man is liable, which does not exist in a still greater degree in animals confessedly the same species, and the numerous examples of the widest deviation in the colour and physiological distinctions of these, fully authorize the conclusion, that, however striking may be the contrast between the fair European and the ebon African, and however unwilling the former may be to trace up his pedigree to the same Adam with the latter, the superficial distinctions by which they are characterized, are altogether insufficient to establish a diversity of species or any insurmountable disparity between the two.

        Having adverted to the diversities of external appearance exhibited in the various races of Man, and alluded to the physiological distinctions by which they are marked, let us inquire to what extent their moral and intellectual characters exhibit such peculiarities as the numerous modifications of physical structure might lead us to expect;
* Lawrence.


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whether the appetites and propensities, the moral feelings, and dispositions, and the capabilities of knowledge and reflection, are the same in all. There can be little doubt, that the races of Man are no less characterized by a diversity in the development of the mental and moral faculties, than by those differences of organization which have been already explained. There is an intimate connection between the mind and the body, and the various causes which exert their influence physically, have, to a certain degree, a corresponding effect upon the mental constitution of Man. That climate, again, and other elements of the external condition, are powerful agents in this respect, is very probable, if we may judge from their analogous influence on various animals. We are informed that the dog in Kamtschatka, instead of being faithful and attached to his master, is malignant, treacherous, and full of deceit. He does not bark in the hot parts of Africa, nor in Greenland; and in the latter country, loses his docility so as to be unfit for hunting.*

        There is a decided coincidence between the physical characteristics of the varieties of Man, and their moral and social condition, and it also appears that their condition in civilized society produces considerable modification in the intellectual qualities of the race. But this is a subject so extensive in its bearings, and in many particulars so intricate and complex, that I shall not attempt its further investigation here, but refer again to the works of Lawrence and Prichard, in which it is very ably elucidated.

        To whatever causes we may, ultimately, be able to attribute the numerous varieties existing amongst mankind, it is evident, if they have not been ordained to bind them together, they were never ordained to subdue the one to the other; but rather to give means and occasions of mutual aid. The good of all has been equally intended in the distribution of the various gifts of heaven; and certain
* Rees.


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it is, that the diversities among men are as nothing, in comparison with those attributes in which they agree: it is this which constitutes their essential equality. "All men have the same rational nature, and the same powers of conscience, and all are equally made for indefinite improvement of these divine faculties, and for the happiness to be found in their virtuous use. Who that comprehends these gifts, does not see that the diversities of the race vanish before them?"*

        It was long since declared, and it has been repeated thousands of times, that the Indian and the African, from their nature, are incapable of civilization, and only adapted to a state of servitude. Early in the sixteenth century, the question was regarded as one of such moment that Charles the Fifth ordered a discussion of the subject to be conducted before him. The advocate in favour of this idea was first heard, when a zealous champion, in answer, warmed by the noble cause he was to maintain, and nothing daunted by the august presence in which he stood, delivered himself with fervent eloquence that went directly to the hearts of his auditors. "The Christian religion," he concluded, "is equal in its operation, and is accommodated to every nation on the globe. It robs no one of his freedom, violates no one of his inherent rights, on the ground that he is of a slavely nature, as pretended; and it well becomes your majesty to banish so monstrous an oppression from your kingdoms, in the beginning of your reign, that the Almighty may make it long and glorious!"

        I am convinced, that the more we examine into the diversities characterizing the various families of Man, the more thoroughly shall we be able to prove, that the coincidence between them is greater than the diversity, and that we shall find nothing to warrant us in referring to any particular race, any further than we should between the rough-hewn and polished marble, a deficiency of those moral and
* Dr. Channing.


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intellectual faculties, which it has pleased the all-wise and beneficent Creator, who "hath made of one blood all the nations of men," to bestow alike on every portion of the human family. Thought, Reason, Conscience, the capacity of Virtue and of Love, an immortal destiny, an intimate moral connection with God,--these are the attributes of our common humanity, which reduce to insignificance all outward distinctions, and make every human being unspeakably dear to his Maker. No matter how ignorant he may be, the capacity of improvement allies him to the more instructed of his race, and places within his reach, the knowledge and happiness of higher worlds. "The Christian philosopher," says Dr. Chalmers, "sees in every man, a partaker of his own nature, and a brother of his own species. He contemplates the human mind in the generality of its great elements. He enters upon a wide field of benevolence, and disdains the geographical barriers by which little men would shut out one half of the species from the kind offices of the other. Let man's localities be what they may, it is enough for his large and noble heart, that he is bone of the same bone."

        A powerful argument may yet be adduced, which appears to me conclusive of the whole question relating to man's unity of origin, and that is, the testimony of the sacred Scriptures, which ascribe one origin to the whole human family. Our Scriptures have not left us to determine the title of any tribe to the full honours of humanity by accidental circumstances. One passage affirms, that "God hath made of one blood all the nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth;" that they are of one family, of one origin, of one common nature: the other, that our Saviour became incarnate, "that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." "Behold then," says the pious Richard Watson, "the foundation of the fraternity of our race, however coloured and however scattered. Essential distinctions of inferiority and superiority


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had been, in almost every part of the Gentile world, adopted as the palliation or the justification of the wrongs inflicted by man on man; but against this notion, Christianity, from its first promulgation, has lifted up its voice. God hath made the varied tribes of men 'of one blood.' Dost thou wrong a human being? He is thy brother. Art thou his murderer by war, private malice, or a wearing and exhausting oppression? 'The voice of thy brother's blood crieth to God from the ground.' Dost thou, because of some accidental circumstances of rank, opulence, and power on thy part, treat him with scorn and contempt? He is thy 'brother for whom Christ died;' the incarnate Redeemer assumed his nature as well as thine; He came into the world to seek and to save him as well as thee; and it was in reference to him also that He went through the scenes of the garden and the cross. There is not, then, a man on earth who has not a Father in heaven, and to whom Christ is not an Advocate and Patron; nay, more, because of our common humanity, to whom he is not a Brother."


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CHAPTER II.

The idea that moral and intellectual inferiority is inseparable from a coloured skin, a fallacious one--Refuted by facts--The apparent inferiority of the Negro principally arises from Slavery and the ravages of the Slave trade--Extent of these--Their pernicious consequences--Prevent the Negro from advancing in civilization or improvement--Justified on the ground of Christianizing them, &c.--This plea philosophically false--What can we expect from Negroes in their present condition--The reproach falls on their treatment, &c.--Similar effects observable on any people--Instanced in European Slaves--Loose his shackles, and the Negro will soon refute the calumnies raised against him.

        If, as I have already shown, the claims of all mankind to one universal brotherhood are so clearly and unequivocally defined, we can have no authority for impressing upon a large portion of the great family the stigma of inferiority, under the mere pretext of some external peculiarities which the Creator has been pleased to confer upon them. Nothing can be more fallacious, nothing has ever been more pernicious in its consequences, than the assumption, that moral and intellectual inferiority are inseparable from a coloured skin. Oh! when will prejudice give way, if not through the influence of Christian kindness, before the pressure of facts? How long shall the White Man answer "No!" to the appeal of the injured Negro, "Am I not a man and a brother?" How long shall we persist in turning a deaf ear to the united cry of the whole ebon race of Africa:


                         "Deem our nation brutes no longer,
                         'Till some reason ye shall find,
                         Worthier of regard and stronger,
                         Than the colour of our kind.


                         "Slaves of gold! whose sordid dealings
                         Tarnish all your boasted powers,
                         Prove that you have human feelings,
                         Ere you proudly question ours."


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        I would invite all who entertain the opinion that the dark coloured portion of mankind necessarily belong to a race of beings inferior to the fairer portion of our species, casting aside all previously imbibed prejudice, to peruse the facts narrated in the following pages. They will be found to exhibit many striking instances of good and commendable traits existing naturally in the African character, to which facts and testimonies innumerable might be added, amply sufficient, considering the limited advantages they have possessed, not only to refute the groundless imputation of mental and moral deficiency, and prove their title to the claim of being accounted intelligent and rational creatures, but that they are also endowed with every characteristic constituting their identity with the great family of MAN. Their physical, moral, and intellectual capabilities, have been so far put to the test, that they can no longer be charged with being deficient in intelligence, enterprise, or industry. The facts brought forward in this volume are sufficiently substantiated as to leave the question no longer a doubtful or theoretical one, but to excite us at once to regard them as brethren, in every sense of the word, entitled to equal privileges with ourselves, to the enjoyment of all those inalienable rights with which Man has been entrusted by his Creator. Surely it will be impossible for us to peruse these facts, without blushing for the enormities, which beings with a fairer skin, and professing a religion which inculcates "universal love and good will to men," are still exercising over another portion of the same family.

        Happy would it be for humanity's sake, if we could draw the curtain of night over the many dark transactions that disgrace the conduct of the White Man towards his more sable brother, which consist indeed of little else than a series of wrongs and outrages, inflicted on the innocent and the defenceless! It is a lamentable fact, that whatever checks the atrocious traffic in the flesh and sinews of the Negro may, from time to time, have experienced, it is still


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pursued with increased energy and success, so much so, that it is impossible to form any adequate idea of its extent and horrors.* Africa is annually robbed of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND of her population, to glut the cupidity, or to minister to the pride and luxury of nominal Christians, and the followers of the False Prophet. From 2 to 300,000 of this mighty host perish by fire and sword in their original capture; by privation and fatigue, in their transit to the coast; and by disease and death, in their most horrible forms, during the middle passage. The remainder are sold into perpetual Slavery, and subjected, with their offspring in perpetuity, to all the revolting incidents of that degraded state.

        To say nothing of the disgrace and the guilt which this nefarious system attaches to the civilized nations who are implicated in it, it is an utter impossibility, whilst the ravages consequent upon these violations of all the rights and feelings of man continue to be perpetrated against the natives of Africa, whilst the inhabitants of the whole continent, both on her defenceless coasts, and to her very centre, continue to be hunted like wild beasts of the forest; I say, it is an utter impossibility, whilst this state of things is permitted to exist, that Africa or her sons should experience any advances, either in civilization or improvement.

        The present apparent inferiority of the Negro race is undoubtedly attributable in a great measure to the existence of the Slave traffic in Africa, with all the baneful influences necessarily attendant upon it, and subsequently, to the degraded condition to which its unfortunate victims are
* When the contest against the Slave Trade first commenced, half a century ago, IT WAS CALCULATED THERE WERE FROM TWO TO THREE MILLIONS OF SLAVES IN THE WORLD! There were recently, according to documents quoted by Sir T. F. Burton, SIX TO SEVEN MILLIONS! When, fifty years ago, the Anti-Slavery operations began, it was estimated that ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND SLAVES WERE ANNUALLY RAVISHED FROM AFRICA! There are now calculated to be FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND ANNUALLY TORN FROM THEIR HOMES AND FRIENDS!!! These are the great facts regarding Slavery and the Slave Trade at this moment!


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reduced, and held by their oppressors. It is only when they are in possession of privileges and advantages equivalent to the rest of mankind, that a fair comparison can be drawn between the one and the other. The Negro, by nature our equal, made like ourselves after the image of the Creator, gifted by the same intelligence, impelled by the same passions and affections, and redeemed by the same Saviour, has now become reduced through cupidity and oppression, nearly to the level of the brute, spoiled of his humanity, plundered of his rights, and often hurried to a premature grave, the miserable victim of avarice and heedless tyranny! "Men have presumptuously dared to wrest from their fellows the most precious of their rights--to intercept, as far as they can, the bounty and grace of the Almighty--to close the door to their intellectual progress --to shut every avenue to their moral and religious improvement --to stand between them and their Maker. Oh! awful responsibility; how shall they answer for such a crime?" *

        But the Slave, we are told, is taught religion and Christianity. This is a cheering sound to be wafted from the land of bondage. It is cause of rejoicing to hear that any portion of the Negroes taken into Slavery are instructed in religion. But if ever this is the case, it forms the exception and not the rule. "In Georgia, any justice of the peace may, at his discretion, break up any religious assembly of Slaves, and may order each Slave present to be corrected without trial, by receiving, on the bare back, 25 stripes with a whip, switch, or cow-skin." In North Carolina, "to teach a Slave to read or write, or to sell, or give him any book (Bible not excepted), is punished with 39 lashes, or imprisonment." Such laws as these do not speak very strongly for the argument that the Slave is taught religion. "Woe to him that taketh away the key of knowledge!" To kill the body is a great crime; the Spirit we cannot kill, but we may bury it in a deathlike lethargy,
* Clarkson.


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and is this a light crime in the sight of Him who gave it?

        There can be no doubt that, generally speaking, not a ray of Christian truth is afforded to the Negro Slave, but, on the other hand, that it is often most cautiously withheld. The majority of persons connected with Slave property stand chargeable with criminal neglect, or the great proportion of Slaves would not now be degraded and immoral Pagans. Not a few are criminally hostile and persecuting. They have paled round the enclosures of darkness and vice, intent upon nothing so much as to scowl away the messengers of light and mercy, by whatever name they may be called, and to seal up the wretched people under their power, in ignorance and barbarism. Under such circumstances, the state of the Negro Slave is most deplorable. It may be emphatically said of a land of Slavery, that "darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people;" and if a single ray of light glimmers in the midst, it only serves to render the surrounding darkness still more visible--more clearly to exhibit the hideous abominations beneath which the Negro groans.

        But even if the opportunity is said to be afforded him, how can the Slave comprehend the principle of Love, the essential principle of Christianity, when he hears it from the lips of those whose relations to him express injustice and selfishness? And even suppose him to receive Christianity in its purity, and to feel all its power;--is this to reconcile us to Slavery? Is a being who can understand the sublimest truth that has ever entered the human mind, who can love and adore God, who can conform himself to the celestial virtue of the Saviour, for whom that Saviour died, to whom heaven is opened, whose repentance now gives joy in heaven,--is such a being to be held as property, driven by force as the brute, and denied the rights of man by a fellow-creature, by a professed disciple of the just and merciful Saviour? Has he a religious nature, and dares any one hold him as a Slave?


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        I am aware that much has been said on various occasions, respecting the compensations conquered and oppressed nations and people have received for the injuries inflicted upon them, when they have fallen under the sway of empires in a higher state of civilization than themselves. The atrocious outrages of the Slave trade, as we have heard, have been commended on this ground, as affording a means of imparting to the Negroes the blessings of civilization and Christianity, by transplanting them into a land of civilized men and of Christians. Could any plea be more philosophically false? Providence is sometimes pleased to bring good out of evil, but we are by no means justified on this ground in doing evil that good may ensue. On no occasion does God require the aid of our vices. He can overrule them for good, but they are not the chosen instruments of human happiness.

        Our war of extermination against the Kafirs has already cost us upwards of three millions, and will probably cost three millions more. How much better would it be to substitute religion and commerce for the sword. A dozen waggons laden with British goods would do more for the civilization and conciliation of that tormented country than all the bayonets of Europe. It is painful to reflect that the history of Africa, a country so long colonized by men professing that faith which teaches us that "God hath made of one blood all the nations of men," should furnish so few points of relief to the dark shades of a picture, which exhibits the inhabitants of that continent as the wretched victims of the White Man's avarice and cruelty. Yet, thanks be to God, there are some bright spots amidst this gloom of darkness, some fertile spots amidst this extensive waste and wilderness of iniquity and wo, and wherever they meet the eye they cheer the heart. These are principally the results of missionary enterprise, to which our attention will be drawn when we have to consider the advances of the Negro in a religious point of view.


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        To return again to the iniquities perpetrated so coolly against the unoffending African, we cannot but admire the subtle reasoning and humanity of those, whose hands are imbrued in the traffic in human flesh, asserting in defence of their nefarious deeds, that they may be the means of Christianizing their unhappy victims, and of advancing their moral condition; and who, after tearing the wretched Negroes from their native soil, transporting them in chains across the wide ocean, and dooming them to perpetual labour, complain that their understandings shew no signs of improvement, that their tempers and dispositions are incorrigibly perverse, faithless, and treacherous. What can be expected from them, when they are attended with everything that is unfavourable to their improvement, and are deprived of every means of bettering their condition, or cultivating their minds? "Destitute of all instruction, worked like brutes, and punished more severely; crushed by the iron hand of oppression into the very dust; having everything to fear, and nothing to hope for; without any impelling motive but that of terror; with scarcely any possibility of enjoyment but what arises from his mere animal nature, what virtue can we look for in the poor Slave? If his appetites and passions are checked, it is not by the operation of principle, but by the dread of corporeal punishment. Can anything manly or generous be expected from those who are debased to the condition of brutes, who are kept in a state of perpetual and abject servility? Can we suppose that a very nice sense of justice will be entertained by those who are constantly treated with injustice; who know it, and feel it; who see the White Man sin with impunity, and the Black Man often suffering without crime? Can we be so unreasonable as to look for undeviating honesty and integrity in those who are conscious that they are the objects of continued wrong, inflicted by those whom they regard as so much their superiors in knowledge? Are they not constantly


Page 24

taught by the conduct of White Men, that power is right; and that, therefore, whatever they are able to do with impunity they have a right to do? Must they not feel that fraud and cunning are the only weapons with which they can engage the White Man, and obtain any advantage? Shall we then wonder, when we are told by all who know the Negro character, that in the midst of all their ignorance, there is a shrewdness which seems natural to them; that the system of oppression under which they live, cherishes the habits of falsehood and petty theft? Can purity and chastity exist in such circumstances as theirs, where there is no protection of the marriage union; where all are allowed to herd together as the beasts of the field, and have, in the conduct of the White Man, so bad an example before their eyes? What means are used to enlighten their minds or form their morals? Can any plant of virtue, vegetate without the light of knowledge, and the culture of instruction? What are they suffered to know of Christianity, but its outward forms; and what impressions must they receive of it from their Christian (?) masters? Can they see anything in it which is attractive? What motives have they to embrace it? Ignorant alike of the doctrines and the duties, the divine consolation and the holy precepts of Christianity, they remain Pagans in a Christian land, without even an object of idolatrous worship; 'having no hope, and without God in the world.' Let not, then, the abettors of Slavery, who trample their fellow-creatures beneath their feet, tell us, in their own justification, of the degraded state, the abject minds, and the vices of the Slaves; it is upon the system which thus brutifies a human being that the reproach falls in all its bitterness."

        It is absurd to tell us of the vast inferiority of the Negro Race, whilst they are kept in a state of degradation, which renders mental and moral improvement an impossibility, which not only stints the growth of everything generous and manly, but destroys every spring of virtuous action, and


Page 25

reduces them nearly to the condition of brutes. Similar effects would be equally visible in those of any nation or complexion, were they subjected to a treatment as cruel as that which the Negro has long endured. "Treat men as wild beasts," says a philosophical writer, "and you will make them such." M. Dupuis, the British Consul at Mogadore, observes, that "even the generality of European Christians, after a long captivity and severe treatment among the Arabs, appeared at first exceedingly stupid and insensible. If they have been any considerable time in Slavery, they appear lost to reason and feeling; their spirits broken; and their faculties sunk in a species of stupor which I am unable adequately to describe. They appear degraded even below the Negro Slave. The succession of hardships, without any protecting law to which they can appeal for any alleviation or redress, seems to destroy every spring of exertion or hope in their minds. They appear indifferent to everything around them; abject, servile, and brutish." *

        There is ample proof that bondage and severity have a certain tendency to degrade the mind, and to debase and brutalize the feelings of mankind. It is impossible to mark the state of degradation to which the Negro is reduced, and not inquire,--how men can be elevated, while the burdens which oppress them are so great?--how they can be industrious, when the sinews of industry are so much crippled? --or, how they can be expected to discover anything like even a virtuous emulation, while precluded by their circumstances from rising above a condition of Slavery the most hopeless and wretched? But let the shackles be loosed from the Negro; let him feel the invigorating influence of freedom; let hope enter his bosom; and let him be cheered and animated with the prospect of reward for his exertions, and the foul calumny of his great and inevitable inferiority will soon be refuted in himself!


* Wilberforce's Appeal in behalf of the Negro Slaves of the West Indies.

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CHAPTER III.

Theory of Rousseau and Lord Kaimes--A false one--Injurious to the best interests of humanity, and contrary to Scripture--Injuries done to the Negro on the grounds of inferiority--Shocking effects resulting from this idea--Civilized nations before the Christian era--Romans, and their ancestors--Our own--Anecdote related by Dr. Philip--Cicero's remarks respecting them--Christian guilt towards Aborigines--Lamentable facts--Dr. Johnson on European conquest--Slavery justified by representing the Negro a distinct species--And even a brute--This supported by some writers--Arguments of Long--Strange book published at Charleston --Chamber's reply--Negroes said to admit their own inferiority--Remarks of Dr. Channing on this subject--Inferiority ascribed to other races--The Esquimaux--The whole refuted by Dr. Lawrence.

        Those who are acquainted with the writings of Rousseau, Lord Kaimes, and others belonging to the same school, are not ignorant of the attempt which has been made, in opposition to the Bible, to establish the theory, already alluded to, which represents the human race as derived from different stocks. Apart from the authority on which the Mosaic account of the creation of Man is built, the consideration of God's having "made of one blood all the nations of the earth," is much more simple and beautiful, and has a greater tendency to promote love and concord, than that which traces the different members of the human family to different origins, giving rise to invidious distinctions, flattering the pride of one class of men, and affording a pretext to justify the oppression of another. Had this opinion, which we are now combating, been perfectly innocuous in its operation, or had it been confined to philosophers, we might have left it to its fate; but its prevalence, and the use which has been made of it, show that it is as hostile to the best interests of humanity as it is contrary to the truth of Scripture.*

        It is a singular fact, that the injuries done to the Negroes
* Dr. Philip.


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on the East and West coasts of Africa, the murders formerly committed by the colonists on the Hottentots and Bushmen of South Africa, and the privations and sufferings endured by the Slaves in America and the Colonies, are justified on this principle, as involving in them a consequent inferiority. "Expostulate with many farmers in South Africa," says Dr. Philip, "for excluding their Slaves and Hottentots from their places of worship, and denying them the means of religious instruction, and they will tell you at once that they are an inferior race of beings. Asking a farmer in the district of Caledon, whether a Black Man standing by him could read, he looked perfectly astonished at the question, and supposed he had quite satisfied my query by saying, 'Sir, he is a Slave.' In the same manner, the cruelties exercised by the Spaniards upon the Americans were justified by their wretched theologians, by denying that the poor Americans were men, because they wanted beards, the sign of virility among other nations."

        The effects of this pretended idea of inferiority have been carried to an extent, towards the African, truly awful to contemplate. In their own country, they have become the most wretched of the human race; duped out of their possessions, their land, and their liberty, they have entailed on their offspring a state of existence, to which, even that of Slavery might bear the comparison of happiness, and to which death itself would be decidedly preferable. Such may not be the case universally, but it is the treatment by which the aborigines of Africa have been generally reduced to a state of degradation and wretchedness, surpassed in debasement only by the heartless barbarities of many Europeans, who, pretending to believe that the natives are destitute of the qualities, and excluded from the rights of human beings, find no difficulty in classing them with the beasts of the forest, and destroying them without compunction, that they may obtain undisturbed possession of their country. The only consideration from which their


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lives have often been either spared or preserved, seems to have been, that in a state scarcely above that of oxen or of dogs, they might perform every species of labour or drudgery in the dwellings or farms of those who now occupy the lands on which the herds of their ancestors formerly grazed in freedom.

        "A farmer," says Barrow, in 1797, "thinks he cannot proclaim a more meritorious action than the murder of one of these people. A farmer from Graaff-Reinet, being asked in the Secretary's office a few days before we left town, if the savages were numerous or troublesome on the road, replied, 'he had only shot four,' with as much composure and indifference, as if he had been speaking of four partridges. I myself have heard one of the humane colonists boast of having destroyed with his own hands nearly three hundred of these unfortunate wretches."

        A witness quoted by Pringle, says, "If the master took serious dislike to any of these unhappy creatures, it was no uncommon practice to send out the Hottentot on some pretended message, and then to follow and shoot him on the road."

        But the sad effects of this notion of inferiority are no where so conspicuously manifested as in the brutal treatment to which the poor African has been doomed in the New World, and in the degrading epithets by which he is designated by his lordly task-masters. The oppressors of the Negro have committed a serious moral mistake, in perverting what should constitute a claim to kindness and indulgence into a justification or palliation of their conduct in enslaving their fellow men, and of that revolting and anti-christian practice, the traffic in human flesh; a practice branded with the double curse of degradation to the oppressor and the oppressed. The very argument, which has been used for defending the wrongs committed against the African, appears to me to be a tenfold aggravation of the enormity. Superior endowments, higher intellect,


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greater capacity for knowledge, arts, and science, should be employed in extending the blessings of civilization, and in multiplying the enjoyments of social life; not as a means of oppressing the weak and ignorant, or of plunging those who are already represented as naturally low in the intellectual scale, still more deeply into the abyss of barbarism.

        When we see a strong and well armed person, attack one equally powerful and well prepared, we are indifferent as to the issue; or we may look on with that interest which the qualities called forth by the contest are calculated to inspire: but if the strong attack the weak, if the well armed assail the defenceless, if the ingenuity, knowledge, and skill, the superior arts and arms of civilized life are combined, to rob the poor savage of his only valuable property--personal liberty--we turn from the scene with indignation and abhorrence.

        "They who possess higher gifts should remember the condition under which they are enjoyed:--'From him to whom much is given, much will be required!' What a commentary on this head is furnished by Negro Slavery, as carried on, and permitted, by religious nations, by Christian Kings, Catholic Majesties, Defenders of the Faith, &c.!"*

        For the sake of argument, let us admit that there may exist an intellectual imbecility in the mind of the Negro, --instead of its justifying our inflicting upon him the miseries of Slavery, does it not rather give him an additional claim to our sympathy and Christian compassion? If the retreating forehead and depressed vertex do indicate an inferiority in the mental capacity of the Negro, does it prove that he is not a human being,--that he has not an immortal soul,--or that he is not an accountable creature? Does it prove that he is not capable of every rational act, and that he is unendowed with every social feeling which is
* Lawrence.


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essential to a man? Does it prove that the Negro race are less the children of "our Father who is in heaven," or authorize us to refuse a practical recognition of their being a part of the human family? Monstrous absurdity! If the dark-coloured race is admitted to be inferior in intellectual endowments, or physical proportions to the White, what, before the Christian era, were many of those nations which now stand amongst the most refined and intelligent?

        If we desire to ascertain how much the character of a people depends upon the influence of the circumstances under which they live, let us look at the contrast exhibited between many nations which at one period attained to the highest celebrity, and their present condition. If further evidence of this fact be wanting, we may vary our illustration, and show how nations which were once viewed as deficient in mental capacity, have reached the highest place in the scale of empire, while the very nations, which at one period contemned them, have sunk into a state of degeneracy.

        Take a number of children from the nursery, place them apart, and allow them to grow up without instruction and discipline; the first state of society into which they would naturally form themselves would be that of the hunter. While food could be obtained by the chase, they would never think of cultivating the ground: inured to hardships, they would despise many things, which, in a civilized state of society, are deemed indispensable. In seasons of common danger, they would unite their efforts in their own defence; their union, being nothing more than a voluntary association, would be liable to frequent interruptions; the affairs of their little community would be, to them, the whole world; and the range of their thoughts would be limited to the exercise which their fears and hopes might have, in relation to their own individual danger or safety.

        The Romans might have found an image of their own ancestors in the representation they have given of ours.


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And we may form not an imperfect idea what our ancestors were, at the time Julius Cæsar invaded Britain, by the present condition of some of the African tribes. In them we may perceive, as in a mirror, the features of our progenitors, and, by our own history, we may learn the extent to which such tribes may be elevated by means favourable to their improvement.*

        When the inhabitants of a free country are heard justifying the injuries inflicted upon the natives of Africa, or opposing the introduction of liberal institutions among any portion of them, on the vulgar ground that they are an inferior class of beings to themselves, it is but fair to remind them, that there was a period, when Cicero considered their own ancestors as unfit to be employed even as Slaves in the house of a Roman citizen. "Seated one day in the house of a friend in Cape Town," says Dr. Philip, "with a bust of Cicero in my right hand, and one of Sir Isaac Newton on the left, I accidentally opened a book on the table at that passage in Cicero's letter to Atticus, in which the philosopher speaks so contemptuously of the natives of Great Britain.** Struck with the curious coincidence arising from the circumstances in which I then found myself placed, pointing to the bust of Cicero, and then to that of Sir Isaac Newton, I could not help exclaiming, 'Hear what that man says of that man's country!' "

        Were it not so indubitably recorded on the page of history, we should hardly be willing to believe that there was a time when our ancestors, the ancient Britons, went nearly without clothing, painted their bodies in fantastic fashion, offered up human victims to uncouth idols, and
* Dr. Philip.

        ** Britannici belli exitus expectatur: constat enim aditus insulæ esse munitus mirificis molibus: etiam illud jam cognitum est, neque argenti scrupulum esse ullum in illa insula, neque ullam spem prædæ nisi ex mancipiis: ex quibus nullos puto, te literis aut musicis eruditos expectare." Epist. Ad. Atticum, 1. iv., Epist. 16.



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lived in hollow trees, or rude habitations, which we should now consider unfit for cattle. Making all due allowance for the different state of the world, it is much to be questioned whether they made more rapid advances than have been effected by many African nations, and that they were really sunk into the lowest degree of barbarism is unquestionable.

        Cicero relates that the ugliest and most stupid Slaves in Rome came from England! Moreover, he urges his friend Atticus "not to buy Slaves from Britain, on account of their stupidity, and their inaptitude to learn music and other accomplishments." With Cæsar's opinion of our ancestors, we are, perhaps, some of us not sufficiently acquainted. He describes the Britons generally, as a nation of very barbarous manners: "Most of the people of the interior," he says, "never sow corn, but live upon milk and flesh, and are clothed with skins." In another place, he remarks, "In their domestic and social habits, the Britons are as degraded as the most savage nations. They are clothed with skins; wear the hair of their heads unshaven and long, but shave the rest of their bodies, except their upper lip, and stain themselves a blue colour with woad, which gives them a horrible aspect in battle." *


                         "Let us not then the Negro Slave despise,
                         Just such our sires appeared in Cæsar's eyes."

        Should we not laugh at Tacitus or Pliny, if from the circumstances thus related, they had condemned the British Islands to an eternity of Boeotian darkness--to be the officina of hereditary bondage and transmitted helplessness?
* Quoted by Dr. Prichard, who also, after much research, imagines "the ancient Britons were nearly on a level with the New Zealanders or Tahitians of the present day, or perhaps not very superior to the Australians." Researches; III, 182. At page 187 of the same volume, Dr. Prichard also remarks, "Of all Pagan nations the Gauls and Britons appear to have had the most sanguinary rites. They may well be compared in this respect with the Ashanti, Dahomehs, and other nations of Western Africa."


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Yet this is the sort of reasoning employed by the perpetrators and apologists of Negro Slavery. Alas, for Christian guilt! can it be equalled by any Pagan crime? First we murder the aborigines of North America, to take possession of their hunting grounds, and then we rob the distant land of Africa of its inhabitants, to cultivate our stolen possessions. Thus do one set of "barbarians melt away before the sun of civilization," that we may fatten on their spoils, and another is pronounced "non compos mentis," that we may plunder them of the only property the God of nature has given to Man!


                         "We think unmoved of millions of our race,
                         Swept from thy soil by cruelties prolonged;
                         Another clime then ravaged to replace
                         The wretched Indians;--Africa now wronged
                         To fill the void where myriads lately thronged."

        It is a lamentable fact, that in our treatment generally, of what we term Savage nations, all respect for common honesty, justice, and humanity, appears to be utterly forgotten by men otherwise generous, kind, and apparently sensitively honourable. In an estimate formed by Dr. Johnson of what mankind have lost or gained by European conquest, having adverted to the cruelties which have been committed, and the manner in which the laws of religion have been outrageously violated, he adds, "Europeans have scarcely visited any coast, but to gratify avarice and extend corruption, to arrogate dominion without right, and practise cruelty without incentive," and he then gives it as his opinion, that "it would have been happy for the oppressed, and still more happy for the invaders, that their designs had slept in their own bosoms."

        The system of oppression under which the African race suffer so grievously, renders it imperative on their oppressors to allege some reasons, as plausible as they are able, in their own defence. That Slave merchants, who traffic


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in human flesh, and Negro drivers, who use their fellow-creatures worse than cattle, should attempt to justify their conduct by depressing the African to a level with the brute, is what might reasonably be expected. They lay great stress on the alleged fact, that Negroes resemble more nearly than Europeans, the monkey tribe; and they have even gone so far as to pronounce them, on the ground of this approximation, not only a distinct species, but "brute animals sent for the use of man." Thus do the oppressors of their fellow-men satisfy their consciences by pretending to believe that the unfortunate Negro is a brute, or at best, only a connecting link between the brute creation and Man. They desire to degrade him below the standard of humanity, attempting to deface all title to the Divine image from his mind; thus do they reconcile the cruel hardships under which the victims of their oppression are still doomed to groan, in the islands and on the continent of the New World.

        It has already been stated that some writers on natural history, and particularly on that of Man, have regarded the natives of Africa as inferior to Europeans in intellect, and in the organization contrived for the development or exercise of the mental faculties. By these writers it is maintained that Negroes make a decided approach towards the native inferiority of the monkey tribe--that they are endowed by the Creator with the noble gift of reason in a very inferior degree, when compared with the more favoured inhabitants of Europe. Two descriptions of men have come to this conclusion. The first are those who have had to contend with the passions and vices of the Negro in his purely Pagan state, and who have applied no other instrument to elicit the virtues they have demanded than the stimulus of the whip and the stem voice of authority. Who can wonder that they have failed? They have expected "to reap where they have not sown," and "to gather where nothing has been strown;" they have required


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moral ends, without the application of moral means; and their failure, therefore, leaves the question of the capacity of the Negro untouched. and proves nothing but their own folly. In the second class may be included our minute philosophers, who take the gauge of intellectual capacity row the formation of the bones of the head, and link morality with the contour of the countenance; men who measure mind by the rule and compasses, and estimate capacity for knowledge and salvation by a scale of inches and the acuteness of angles.

        Several of the writers alluded to, have spoken positively of the Negro, as being only one remove from the brute, and as forming the connecting link between the brute creation and the human race. Montesquieu at once pronounces them not human beings, but as occupying an intermediate rank below the Whites, and destined by their Creator to be the Slaves of their superiors. The historian Long goes through a lengthy course of argument, and occupies many quarto pages, to establish what he conceives a great probability, if not certainty, that some of the African tribes must have a close affinity with the ourang-outang. To these may be added the perverted judgment of a Jamaica historian, whose statements, made in 1774, may be accounted for when it is mentioned that he was a Slaveholder, while the Slave Trade was in all its vigour there. He says:--"Their brutality somewhat diminishes when imported young, after they become habituated to clothing and a regular discipline of life; but many are never reclaimed, and continue savages, in every sense of the word, to their latest period. We find them marked with the same bestial manners, stupidity, and vices, which debase their brethren in Africa, who seem to be distinguished from the rest of mankind, not in person only, but in possessing, in abstract, every species of inherent turpitude that is to be found dispersed at large among the rest of the human creation, with scarcely a single virtue to extenuate this


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shade of character, differing in this particular from all other men. When we reflect on the nature of these men, and their dissimilarity to the rest of mankind, must we not conclude that they are a different species of the same genus?"

        We might reasonably anticipate, that in the present enlightened age, opinions like these would have given way before the many proofs which have been adduced to show how grossly unfounded they are. But we have no occasion to refer to the past century for effusions of a proud and false philosophy, denying that the Negro has any claim to humanity, or, to say the very least of him, that he is so degenerate a variety of the human species, as to defy all cultivation of mind, and all correction of morals.

        It is but a few years since a strange book was published at Charleston, in South Carolina, entitled "The Natural History of the Negro Race," purporting to be a translation from the French of J. H. Guenebault. Its professed object is to prove, by investigation, that Negroes are not human beings, in the full sense of that expression, but are an inferior order of animals, forming a species between the ourang-outang or chimpanzee, and the White race of mankind. This audacious attempt is made with some show of ability. A very extensive physiological, metaphysical, and historical investigation is instituted, and no point is left unnoticed which is supposed to bear evidence against the unhappy black-skinned race.

        The volume commences with a long dedication to the members of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Charleston, setting forth, in the most affectedly pious manner imaginable, the beneficence of the Deity in giving such wonderful variety in all His works, which is of course intended to smooth the way for what is to follow. The first chapter refers to the general features, characteristics, figure, and colour of the Negro species; the second refers to the race in particular nations; the third is a comparison between the Negro, the White Man, and the ourang-outang;


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the fourth enters into the subject of the comparative anatomy of the Negro and the European; the fifth treats of Negro diseases and degenerations; the sixth and seventh of Mulattos and Creoles; and, lastly, there is a defence of Slavery. The author of this singular production asserts that "Every thing serves to prove that Negroes form not only a race, undoubtedly a distinct species, from the beginning of the world, as we see other species among other living beings." "Some Negroes," he says, "have been brought up with care and attention, have received in schools and colleges the same education given to White children, and yet they have been unable to reach the same degree of intellect." "Negroes," he continues, "are conscious that an affinity exists between them and monkeys, as, according to all travellers, they look upon monkeys as wild and lazy Negroes. In fact, when we consider the great analogy between monkeys, Hottentots, and Papous,--so great that Galen, in the anatomy of a Pitheque, mistook him for a man; when we remark how intelligent the ourang-outang is, how much his bearing, actions, and habits, are similar to those of Negroes, and how easily he is instructed, it seems that we must acknowledge the most imperfect Negroes to be next to the most perfect monkeys."

        Space admits not of our entering into the pleading of the author of South Carolina on this subject; suffice it to say, his argument in favour of the existence of Slavery is drawn from an alleged inferiority in the Negro races, as well as from the countenance which he asserts is given to a state of perpetual servitude in the Old and New Testaments. The inferiority of the Negro, in a mental, moral, and religious point of view, as well as the perversion of the Scriptures in support of Slavery, will be entered into more fully in the subsequent pages.

        The grand conclusion arrived at by the author, from all his specious arguments, is, that--"For such men, necessity is the only possible restraint--FORCE,


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the only law; so decreed by their constitution and climate."

        The talented editors of the "Edinburgh Journal," in reviewing this singular production, and quoting from it more at length, make the following very appropriate concluding observations:--"The answer to all these arguments is, we think, not difficult. Supposing that the Negroes differ in all the alleged respects from the Whites, the difference, we would say, is not such as to justify the Whites in making a property of them, and treating them with cruelty. But the Negroes are not, in reality, beyond the pale of humanity, either physically or mentally. Their external configuration is not greatly different from that of Whites. Their being the same mentally, is shewn by the fact, that many Negroes have displayed intellectual and moral features equal to those of Whites of high endowment. We might instance Carey, Jenkins, Cuffe, Gustavus Vassa, Toussaint, and many others. If any one Negro has shewn a character identical with that of the White race, the whole family must be the same, though in general inferior. The inferiority is shewn to be not in kind, but in degree; and it would be just as proper for the clever Whites to seize and enslave the stupid ones, as for the Whites in general to enslave the Blacks in general. The Blacks, moreover, have shewn a capability of improvement. They have shewn that, as in many districts of even our own island of Great Britain, many parts of mind appear absent only when not brought out or called into exercise, and that, by education, the dormant faculties can be awakened and called into strength, if not in one generation, at least in the course of several. The tendency of Slavery is to keep down, at nearly the level of brutes, beings who might be brightened into intellectual and moral beauty."

        With regard to the assertion of the author of the strange book alluded to, that "Negroes are conscious of their affinity with monkeys," and consequently acknowledge


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their own inferiority to the other races of mankind, I utterly deny the truth of such an assertion, unless, indeed, his allusion has reference only to those in a state of Slavery. If so, an answer may be given him in this particular, in the words of Dr. Channing:--

        "The moral influence of Slavery is to destroy the proper consciousness and spirit of a Man. The Slave, regarded and treated as property, bought and sold like a brute, denied the rights of humanity, unprotected against insult, made a tool, and systematically subdued, that he may be a manageable, useful tool, how can he help regarding himself as fallen below his race? How must his spirit be crushed? How can he respect himself? He becomes bowed to servility. This word, borrowed from his condition, expresses the ruin wrought by Slavery within him. The idea that he was made for his own virtue and happiness scarcely dawns on his mind. To be an instrument of the physical material good of another, whose will is his highest law, he is taught to regard as the great purpose of being. The whips and imprisonment of Slavery, and even the horrors of the middle passage from Africa to America, these are not to be named in comparison with this extinction of the proper consciousness of a human being, with the degradation of a man into a brute.

        "It may be said that the Slave is used to his yoke; that his sensibilities are blunted; that be receives, without a pang or a thought, the treatment which would sting other men to madness. And to what does this apology amount? It virtually declares, that Slavery has done its perfect work, has quenched the spirit of humanity, that the Man is dead within the Slave. It is not, however, true that this work of abasement is ever so effectually done as to extinguish all feeling. Man is too great a creature to be wholly ruined by Man. When he seems dead he only sleeps. There are occasionally some sullen murmurs in the calm of Slavery, showing that life still beats in the soul, that


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the idea of Rights cannot be wholly effaced from the human being.

        "It would be too painful, and it is not needed, to detail the processes by which the spirit is broken in Slavery. I refer to one only, the selling of Slaves. The practice of exposing fellow-creatures for sale, of having markets for men as for cattle, of examining the limbs and muscles of a man and woman as of a brute, of putting human beings under the hammer of an auctioneer, and delivering them, like any other article of merchandise, to the highest bidder, all this is such an insult to our common nature, and so infinitely degrading to the poor victim, that it is hard to conceive of its existence, except in a barbarous country.

        "The violation of his own rights, to which he is inured from birth, must throw confusion over his ideas of all human rights. He cannot comprehend them; or, if he does, how can he respect them, seeing them, as he does, perpetually trampled upon in his own person?"

        But, to return to our enlightened author of South Carolina,--I shall dismiss him by remarking, that it is a strange thing, in this nineteenth century, pre-eminent for the advancement of light and knowledge, to have occasion to assert, that the idea of the least identity between the Negro and any portion of the brute creation is as false and unfounded as it is shocking and detestable. Such an absurd theory, though always publishing its own falsehood, may serve its purpose, when civilized men themselves turn savages to advocate Slavery; "but let facts bring out the truth, as they do in the circumstance, that two native Africans have recently gone back from England, to the plains which gave them birth, as clergymen!"*

        That very little importance can be attached to the allegation of an external resemblance between the Negro and inferior animals, may be clearly inferred from the fact, that the same remark has been made, even by intelligent
* "Jamaica: Enslaved and Free."


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travellers, respecting particular people of other varieties of the human race. Regnard concludes his description of the Laplanders with these words: "voilà la description de ce petit animal qu'on appelle Lapon, et l'on peut dire qu'il n'y en a point, après le singe, qui approche plus l'homme." An Esquimaux, who was brought to London by Cartwright, when he first saw a monkey, asked "Is that an Esquimaux?" His companion adds, "I must confess, that both the colour and contour of the animal's countenance had considerable resemblance to the people of their nation." N. del Techo calls the Caaiguas of South America, "tam simiis similes, quam hominibus;" and J. R. Forster, in the observations of his journey round the world, asserts, "the inhabitants of the island of Mallicollo, of all the people whom I have seen, have the nearest relationship to the monkies."

        Whether we investigate the physical or the moral nature of Man, we recognize at every step the limited extent of our knowledge. That the greatest ignorance has prevailed on this subject, even in modern times, and among men of reputed learning and acuteness, is evinced by the strange notion very strenuously asserted by Monboddo and Rousseau, and firmly believed by some, that Man and the monkey, or at least the ourang-outang, belong to the same species, and are not otherwise distinguished from each other, than by circumstances which can be accounted for, by the different physical and moral agencies to which they have been exposed. The former of these writers even supposes that the human race once possessed tails! and he says "the ourang-outangs are proved to be of our species, by marks of humanity that are incontestible;" a poor compliment to Man, indeed.

        "The completely unsupported assertions of Monboddo and Rousseau," says Dr. Lawrence, only show that they were equally unacquainted with the structure and functions of men and monkeys; not conversant with zoology and


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physiology, and therefore entirety destitute of the principles on which alone a sound judgment can be formed concerning the natural capabilities and destiny of animals, as well as the laws according to which certain changes of character, certain departures from the original stock, may take place."

        "The peculiar characteristics of Man," continues the above writer, "appear to one so very strong, that I not only deem him a distinct species, but also put him into a separate order by himself. His physical and moral attributes place him at a much greater distance from all other orders of mammalia, than those are from each other respectively."


Illustration


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CHAPTER IV

Deduction of an affinity between the Negro and the brute creation, a mere subterfuge--European physiognomy often similar to the Negro's--Handsome Africans described by many travellers--Some remarkably beautiful --Not difficult to lose the impression of their colour--Blumenbach's Negro craniæ--Imperceptible gradations of one race into another--Further analogies in animals--Effects of the civilizing process in improving the form of the head and features--Exemplifications--Illustrated in the case of Kaspar Hauser--Testimony of Dr. Philip on this subject--Dr. Knox on Negro craniæ--His important conclusion--Dr. Tiedeman's experiments--Conclusive observations of Blumenbach--And others--The civilization of many African nations superior to that of European Aborigines--No deviations in the races of Man sufficient to constitute distinct species--Departures from the general rule accounted for--Equal variations observable in our own country--Remarkably exemplified in Ireland.

        It is evident than that the deduction of an affinity with the brute creation, from the allegation of a resemblance between the Negro and the Monkey, is a mere subterfuge. The Negroes of Mozambique, whom Barrow describes as inferior to many other Africans, may be instanced as exhibiting those general characteristics which are mostly associated with our ideas of Negro physiognomy. There are many Europeans who have countenances exactly resembling these and other Negroes; and varieties and intermediate gradations, almost imperceptible, may be traced, connecting all the different races. We perceive, indeed, an astonishing difference, when we place an ugly Negro (for there are such, as well as ugly Europeans,) against a specimen of a Grecian ideal model; but when we examine the intermediate gradations, this striking diversity vanishes. "The physiological characters of the Negro," says Dr. Lawrence, "taken in a general sense, are as loosely defined as his geographical distribution; for among the Negroes, there are some, who, in smoothness of the hair, and general beauty of form, excel many Europeans.


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        Clapperton describes the sultan of Boussa, as having features more like a European than a Negro. Lander was struck with the regularity of features, elegance of form, and impressive dignity of manners and appearance in the sable monarch Khiama.

        "Of the Negroes of both sexes," says Blumenbach, "whom I have attentively examined, in very considerable numbers, as well as in the portraits and profiles of others, and in the numerous Negro crania, which I possess, or have seen, there are not two completely resembling each other in their formation: they pass, by insensible gradations, into the forms of the other races, and approach to the other varieties, even in their most pleasing modifications. A Creole, whom I saw at Yverdun, born of parents from Congo, and brought from St. Domingo by the Chevalier Treytorrens, had a countenance, of which no part, not even the nose, and rather strongly marked lips, were very striking, much less, displeasing: the same features, with an European complexion, would certainly have been generally agreeable."

        The testimony of Le Maire, in his journey to Senegal and Gambia, is to the same effect; that there are Negresses, except in colour, as handsome as European women.

        Vaillant says of the Kafir women, that, setting aside the prejudice which operates against their colour, many might be accounted handsome, even in a European country.

        The accurate Adanson confirms this statement in his description of the Senegambians:--"Les femmes sont a peu prés de la taille des hommes, également bien faites. Leur form est d'une finesse et d'une douceur extrême. Elles ont les yeux noirs, bien fendus, la bouche et les levres petites, et les traits du visage, bien proportionnés. Il s'en trouve plusieurs d'une beauté parfaite. Elles ont beaucoup de vivacité, et sur tout un air aisé de liberté qui fait plaisir."

        The Jaloffs, according to Mungo Park, although of a deep black, have not the protuberant lip or the flat nose of


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the African countenance. Moore testifies concerning this tribe to the same effect:--"The Jaloffs," says he, "have handsome features." "Although their colour is a deep black," says Golberry, "and their hair woolly, they are robust and well made, and have regular features. Their countenances," he adds, "are ingenuous, and inspire confidence; they are honest, hospitable, generous, and faithful. The women are mild, very pretty, well made, and of agreeable manners."*

        Pigasetta states, that the Congo Negroes are very like the Portuguese, except in colour; and Dampier, in his account of Natal, describes the natives as having an agreeable countenance.

        Dr. Philip, speaking of a family of Bechuanas whom he visited, says:--"We were very much struck with their fine figures, and the dignified, easy manner with which they received us. Their countenances and manners discovered marks of cultivation, accompanied with an air of superiority, which at once marked the class of people to which they belonged, and which, under other circumstances, would have been admired in an English drawing-room."**

        Isert, a Danish traveller, says:--"Almost all the Negroes are of good stature, and those of Acra have remarkably fine features. The contour of the face, indeed, among the generality of these people, is different from that of Europeans; but, at the same time, faces are found among them, which, excepting the black colour, would in Europe be considered beautiful."***

        Abdallah, a native of Guber, in West Africa, although having the true Negro features and colour, is described as having a very intelligent, preposessing countenance. ****

        "On my late tour, in August, 1825," says Dr. Philip, "I first came in contact with the Bechuanas. I have
* Golberry's Travels, vol. 1.

** Philip's Researches.

*** Philosoph. Mag. III. 144.

**** Annals of Oriental Literature, 537.


Page 46

seldom seen a finer race of people; the men were generally well made, and had an elegant carriage; and many of the females were slender, and extremely graceful. I could see at once, from their step and air, that they had never been in Slavery. They had an air of dignity and independence in their manners, which formed a striking contrast to the crouching and servile appearance of the Slave."*

        On visiting a family of this tribe, Dr. Philip observes, "I had in my train a young man who was a native of Lattakoo; and when they found out there was a person in our company who understood their language, they were quite in raptures. I think I never saw two finer figures than the father and the eldest son. They were both above six feet; and their limbs were admirably proportioned. The father had a most elegant carriage, and was tall and thin; the son, a lad about 18 years of age, was equally well proportioned, and had one of the finest open countenances that can possibly be imagined. The second son was inferior in stature, but he had a fine countenance also; and, while they indulged in all their native freedom, animated by the conversation of my Bechuana, or began to tell the story of their misfortunes, expressing the consternation with which they were seized when they saw their children and parents killed by an invisible weapon, and their cattle taken from them, they became eloquent in their address; their countenances, their eyes, their every gesture, spoke to the eyes and to the heart."**

        "Teysho, chief counsellor of Mateebé, King of the Wankeets of South Africa, is a handsome man," says the same writer; "and the ladies who were with him were fine looking women, and had an air of superiority about them."***

        We have the testimony of another recent traveller, and resident for some time in South Africa. Thomas Pringle, in speaking of the Bechuana, or great Kafir family, says: "Some of them were very handsome. One man of the
* Philip's African Researches.

** Idem.

*** Idem.


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Tamaha tribe, was, I think, the finest specimen of the human figure I ever beheld in any country--fully six feet in height, and graceful as an Apollo. A female of the same party, the wife of a chief, was also a beautiful creature, with features of the most handsome and delicate European mould."*

        It has often been asserted, that independently of the woolly hair and the dark complexion of the Negroes, there are sufficient differences between them and the rest of mankind, to mark them as a very peculiar tribe. This may be the case to some extent. Yet from the foregoing remarks of accredited travellers, it is evident that the principal differences are not so constant as may generally be imagined. Many Negroes, we have been informed, strike Europeans as being remarkably beautiful. This would not be the case if they deviated much from the European standard of beauty. Slaves in the Colonies, brought from the east coast of intertropical Africa, and from Congo, are often destitute of those peculiarities, which, in our eyes, constitute ugliness and deformity. "In looking over a congregation of Blacks," observe Sturge and Harvey, "it is not difficult to lose the impression of their colour. There is among them the same diversity of countenance and complexion, as among Europeans; and it is only doing violence to one's own feelings, to suppose for a moment that they are not made of the same blood as ourselves."**


                         "Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh thou art,
                         Coheritor of kindred being thou;
                         From the full tide that warm'd one mother's heart,
                         Thy veins and ours received the genial flow."

        The six Negro craniæ engraved in the two first decades of Blumenbach, exhibit very clearly the diversity of character in the African race; and prove, most unequivocally, that the variety existing in individuals amongst
* Pringle's "Sketches of South Aftica."

** Sturge and Harvey's West Indies.


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them, is certainly not less, but greater, than the difference between some of them and many Europeans.

        Amongst the numerous tribes or nations in each division, comprising the five great varieties which naturalists have assigned to Man, some come nearer to one, and some to the other of the two immediately adjoining varieties. If we had numerous specimens of each, we might arrange them in such a manner, that the interval between the most perfect Caucasian model, and the most exaggerated Negro or Mongolian specimens, should be filled with forms, conducting us from one to the other, by almost imperceptible gradations. We must, therefore, conclude that the diversities of features and skulls are not sufficient to authorize us in assigning the different races of mankind in which they occur, to species originally different. This conclusion will also be strengthened by the analogies of natural history, to which reference has already been made. The differences between human crania are not more considerable, nor even so remarkable, as some variations which occur in animals confessedly of the same species. "The head of the wild boar is widely different from that of the domestic pig. The different breeds of horses and dogs are distinguished by the most striking dissimilarities in the skull; in which view, the Neapolitan and Hungarian horses may be contrasted. The very singular form in the skull of the Paduan fowl is a more remarkable deviation from the natural structure, than any variation which occurs in the human head."*

        That the debasement of Slavery and oppression have a tendency to disfigure the "human form divine," is unquestionable; on the other hand it is equally well known, that civilization, education, and the influence of religion, have a powerful effect in improving both the form of the head and features, as well as the expression of the countenance. Many proofs might be adduced in corroboration of this statement, which is sufficiently obvious in comparing
* Lawrence's Lectures.


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persons of various degrees of education, mental culture, and refinement.

        Sturge and Harvey state, that a gentleman of great intelligence, long resident in Antigua, remarked to them, that the features of the Negroes had altered within his memory, which he attributed to their elevation by education and religious instruction. Their countenances expressed much more intelligence, and much less of the malignant passions.* "M. Durand observes, "that there is so great a difference between the Free Black people (in the Gambia country) and Slaves, in their features, that even an inexperienced eye distinguishes these classes of people immediately." John Candler, in his "Brief Notices of Hayti," in alluding to an alteration which he observed in the general physiognomy of the people, draws from it the following inference:--"Perhaps it is that the features become more agreeable, in proportion as people recede from the effects and influence of Slavery."

        As an illustration of the remarkable effects of education in altering the features of Man, and entirely changing the expression of his contenance, we have one circumstance on record which is very conclusive. I allude to the singular case of Kaspar Hauser, who was confined in a dungeon in a state of entire ignorance, till he was about eighteen years of age. His biographer, Anselm Von Fuerbach, President of the Bavarian Court of Appeal, whose authority may be strictly relied upon, relates, "that on Kasper's being thrown adrift in the world, when he was first discovered by the inhabitants of Nuremburg, his face was very vulgar: when in a state of tranquility, it was almost without any expression; and its lower features being somewhat prominent, gave him a brutish appearance. His weeping was only an ugly contortion of the mouth, and the staring look of his blue, but clear bright eyes, had also an expression of brutish obtuseness." Von Fuerbach expressed a wish at this period,
* "West Indies."


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that Kaspar's portrait might be taken by a skilful painter, because he felt assured that his features would soon alter. His wish was not gratified, but his prediction was soon fulfilled. The effect of education produced a wonderful alteration in his whole countenance; indeed, the formation of his face altered in a few months almost entirely; his countenance gained expression and animation, and the prominent lower features of his face receded more and more, so that his earlier physiognomy could scarcely any longer be recognized.*

        The alteration and improvement of the features, under the influence of the civilizing process, is elucidated by so many indubitable facts, that it is unnecessary to dwell longer upon this subject. If the operation of this influence could be applied more thoroughly and universally, it would cause a nearer approximation to each other, between the European and the African, and must tend, in a great measure, to obliterate those distinctions, on which the untenable theories of diversity of origin have been founded, and which have been adduced in favour of Negro Slavery. Dr. Philip, from the facts which have come under his observation, says, he has no hesitation in giving it as his opinion, that the complexion, the form of the countenance, and even the shape of the head, are much affected by the circumstances under which human beings are placed at an early age. In corroboration of the opinion here advanced, he says, "I have ad the satisfaction to remark at our Missionary stations, what appeared to me an improvement, not only in the countenance, but even in the shape of the head, for three successive generations."

        If, as travellers inform us, many Africans differ from Europeans in little else than colour, the peculiar construction of the head, on the faith of which, some would class them as a distinct species, appears to be by no means a constant character. Dr. Knox, who has entered minutely
* Life of Kaspar Hauser.


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into the study of Man, says, that in considering the lower specimens of humanity, too much importance has been attached to the cranium and the science of cranioscopy; for it is not in the skull, says he, but in the outer covering of the body or skeleton, that nature has placed the great marks of difference. "Strip off the integuments of Venus, and compare her with a Bush Woman, and the difference would be seen to be very slight." Dr. Knox, it may be observed, after considerable research, arrives at this important conclusion, "that there is an impassable gulf between higher order the of animals and the Negro."

        I am not very partial to phrenology, but if quantity of brain and mental superiority have a connection with each other, we have a high authority, that of Dr. Tiedeman, an eminent German, for believing that no inferiority exists in this respect, for he asserts that in quantity of brain they equal the fair races. Dr. Tiedeman communicated a paper to the British Royal Society, detailing the comparative examination of the brains of a number of Negroes--size, weight, conformation, &c., demonstrating that no material difference exists, between them and the brains of the White races.

        Professor Blumenbach, the great German physiologist, bestowed much labour and research on the question of Negro capacity. He collected a large number of skulls, and also a numerous library of the works of persons of African blood or descent. He is, perhaps, the greatest authority, in favour of the identity of species and equality of intellect of the Black and White races. It is to Blumenbach, that we are indebted for the most complete body of information on this subject, which he illustrated most successfully by his unrivalled collection of the craniæ of different nations, from all parts of the globe. His admirable work On the Varieties of the Human Species, contains a short sketch of the various formations of the skull in different nations; but he has treated the subject at greater length, and


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with more minute detail, in his Decades Craniorum, in which the craniæ themselves are represented of theirnatural size.

        From the results of the observations of Blumenbach and others, it appears then, that there is no characteristic whatever in the organization of the skull or brain of the Negro which affords a presumption of inferior endowment either of the intellectual or moral faculties. If it be asserted that the African nations are inferior to the rest of mankind, from historical facts, because they may be thought not to have contributed their share to the advancement of human arts and science, the Mandingoes may be instanced as a people evidently susceptible of high mental culture and civilization. They have not, indeed, contributed much towards the advancement of human arts and science, but they have evinced themselves willing and able to profit by these advantages when introduced among them. The civilization of many African nations is much superior to that of the aborigines of Europe, during the ages which preceded the conquests made by the Goths and Swedes in the north, and by the Romans in the southern part. The old Finnish inhabitants of Scandinavia had long, as it has been proved by the learned investigations of Rühs, the religion of fetishes, and a vocabulary as scanty as that of the most barbarous Africans. They had lived from ages immemorial without laws, or government, or social union; every individual in all things the supreme arbiter of his own actions; and they displayed as little capability of emerging from the squalid sloth of their rude and merely animal existence. When conquered by a people of Indo-German origin, who brought with them from the East the rudiments of mental culture, they emerged more slowly from their pristine barbarism than many of the native African nations have since done. Even at the present day, there are hordes in various parts of northern Asia, whose heads have the form belonging to the Tartars, to the Sclavonians, and other Europeans, but who are below many of the African tribes in civilization.


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        It is evident, from what has already been adduced, that there are no differences in the form or component parts of the human body, amongst the various races of men, in any degree similar to those which zoologists are accustomed to employ, as distinctive characters. The peculiarities by which they are distinguished from each other are not material ones, existing only so long as the circumstances in which they are placed, and which originally gave rise to them, remain unchanged, There is no variation in the number or form of the extremities, which being least acted upon by situation and habitude, are usually considered as the surest test of distinct species. All races of men have the same number of fingers, of toes, and of teeth; while a very slight variation in any of these in animals constitutes the mark of a distinct species.

        The departures from the general rule, in various nations, and frequently in individuals of the same country, are easily solved, by the abundance or scarcity of food, and by other causes favourable or otherwise to the development of the human growth. We may witness partial demonstrations of this in our own country; a difference is every where observable between the leisurely opulent classes and those who are of necessity subjected to considerable muscular exercise, and that in the open air. Take "the lady," who lives almost constantly within doors, employed at the utmost in netting or needlework, and contrast her slim and delicate frame with the coarse robust figure of the fish-woman or female field-labourer, who works hard in the open air all day, and it is impossible to doubt that circumstances influencing their physical conditions have made them respectively what they are. A similar contrast is observable between the powerful frames of a set of male rustics, such as we find in almost any of the provinces of Britain, and the diminutive forms of the inhabitants of London. The cause is obvious. Constant muscular exercise in the open air, accompanied by nutriment


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sufficient in quantity and healthful in kind, develope the bone and muscle of the one order of persons to a powerful degree, while the want of muscular exercise, and a life spent mostly within doors, act on the other with an opposite effect, notwithstanding the advantage of perhaps a superior diet. Even the natural difference as to softness and elegance between the sexes, may be reversed by the operation of these causes. The women of Normandy, who labour constantly in the fields, are become much more masculine in form than the petit maitres of Paris; and we could, in our own country, point out many men, who, from parlour life, are infinitely more feminine in stature and the texture of the flesh, than many rustic women. It generally requires a series of generations to bring out these results in their fullest extent; but even in the life of a single individual the effect may often be traced. Thus we often see, amongst the rustic population, females who are comparatively elegant in form and of delicate complexion in their early years, but who become coarse after a brief experience of out-door labour.

        When, in addition to hard labour and exposure to the elements, there is an absolute deficiency of food and comfort, human beings become, in the course of a few generations, much degraded in form and aspect. An interesting remark, which bears upon this subject, has been made respecting the natives of some parts of Ireland. "On the plantation of Ulster, and afterwards on the success of the British against the rebels of 1641 and 1689, great multitudes of the native Irish were driven from Armagh and the south of Down into the mountainous tract extending from the barony of Flews eastward to the sea; on the other side of the kingdom the same race were expelled into Leitrim, Sligo, and Mayo. Here they have been almost ever since, exposed to the worst effects of hunger and ignorance, the two great brutalizers of the human race." The descendants of these exiles, are now distinguished physically, from their


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kindred in Meath, and in other districts, where they are not in a state of personal debasement. They are remarkable for "open projecting mouths, prominent teeth and exposed gums: their advancing cheek-bones and depressed noses carry barbarism on their very front." In Sligo and northern Mayo, the consequences of two centuries of degradation and hardship exhibit themselves in the whole physical condition of the people, "affecting not only the features, but the frame, and giving such an example of human degradation from known causes, as almost compensates by its value to future ages, for the suffering and debasement which past generations have endured, in perfecting its appalling lesson. "Five feet two inches upon an average, bow-legged, abortively-featured; their clothing a wisp of rags, &c., these spectres of a people that once were well-grown, able-bodied, and comely, stalk abroad into the daylight of civilization, the annual apparitions of Irish ugliness and Irish want." In other parts of the island, where the people have never undergone the same influences of physical degradation, it is well known that the same race furnishes the most perfect specimens of human beauty and vigour, both mental and bodily."*


* Dublin University Magazine, vol. iv., p. 653.

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CHAPTER V.

Complexion the most obvious external distinction in Man--Supposed to subvert the theory of a Unity of Race--Analogous in animals--Chief cause of diversity of Colour--Gradation in different latitudes--And in the same latitudes, at various elevations--Peculiarities of Structure and Complexion become hereditary--Illustrations--In the House of Austria--The Gipsies--Jews--The most striking instance of peculiar National Countenance--Persons of the same blood--Amongst the great and noble--The colour of Man not always corresponding with Climate, explained--Persistency of Colour not so great as supposed--Instances of Negroes becoming light-coloured--Of Whites who have become black--True Whites not unfrequently born among the Black races--Several instances recorded--If Colour is a mark of inferiority in Man, it attaches a stigma to a great portion of the inhabitants of the world--The Hindoos--Their learning two thousand years ago --Natives of Terra del Fuego much lighter than the Negro, but inferior in the scale of intelligence--Conclusion from the facts already stated-- Black colour of the Negro a merciful provision--Dr. Copland's remarks on this subject--The inquiry into Unity of Species admirably summed up by Buffon.

        The most obvious external point of distinction among mankind is the colour of the skin, a peculiarity of little natural, but which has become one of great moral imporance. It is the dark colour of the African that has been especially urged, as subverting the theory of a unity of races. Although a general survey of organized bodies, in both the animal and vegetable kingdom, by no means leads us to regard Colour as one of their most important distinctions, but, on the contrary, will soon convince us that it may undergo very signal changes without essential alterations of their nature, (and the remark holds equally good of the human subject), yet the different tints and shades of the skin, offering themselves so immediately to observation, and forcing themselves in a manner, on the attention of the most incurious, have always been regarded


Page 57

by the generality of mankind as the most characteristic distinction of separate races.

        That this idea is entirely an erroneous one, is proved (as other cases of variation) by a reference to various parts of the animal creation, colour in them being in no instance a mark of species. If we take a collective survey of the diversities of colour, distinguishing particular breeds in animals, we shall discover that, with considerable allowance for the organization of new varieties in form and organic structure, the primitive type and hue is stamped upon each kind. Though the same animals vary in colour in the same country, each has more frequently its own distinctive peculiarity. Ælian informs us that Eubæa was famous for producing white oxen.* Blumenbach remarks, that "all the swine of Piedmont are black, those of Normandy white, and those of Bavaria are of a reddish brown." "The turkeys of Normandy," he states, "are all black; those of Hanover almost all white. In Guinea, the dogs and the gallinaceous fowls are as black as the human inhabitants of the same country."**

        To enter into a full discussion of this subject would lead us beyond our limits. A few more observations must suffice. That colour in Man is much influenced by climate is evident, and its variation appears to a considerable extent gradational throughout different parts of the globe. "The heat of the climate," says Buffon, "is the chief cause of blackness among the human species." Without assuring however, that solar heat is the alone agent affecting the colour of Man, the action of the sun in darkening the human tint is too obvious to be denied or unnoticed. How swarthy do Europeans become who seek their fortunes in the tropics or under the equator, who have their skins parched by the burning suns of "Afric or either Ind." The effects are soon visible in their complexion, in the most distinct manner. A child, however fair, if allowed to
* Ælian, lib. xii. cap. 36.

** Prichard.


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romp in the open air, without any shade over the head, will become what is called sunburt or dusky in a few months. If we observe the gradations of colour in different localities in the meridian under which we live, we shall perceive a very close relation to the heat of the sun in each respectively. Under the equator we have the deep black of the Negro; then the copper or olive of the Moors of Northern Africa; then the Spaniard and Italian, swarthy compared with other Europeans; the French still darker than the English; while the fair and florid complexion of England and Germany passes, more northerly, into the bleached Scandinavian white. At last, indeed, the gradation is broken, for a dusky tint reigns along the whole circuit of the Arctic border. The cause of this is not well explained; but the universal prevalence of a dusky hue under that latitude, seems clearly to indicate that there is something in the climate with which it is connected. During their short but brilliant summer, the sun, perpetually above the horizon, shines with an intensity unknown in temperate climates. May not the natives who spend this season almost perpetually in the open air, in hunting or fishing, receive from it that dark tint, which is not easily effaced? It may be partially smoke-brown, for the tenants of all this bleak circuit necessarily spend half the year in almost subterraneous abodes, heated by fires as ample as they have fuel to maintain; the smoke of which, deprived of any legitimate vent, constantly fills their apartments, and must have an effect in darkening the complexion, to which it very closely adheres.*

        It may be remarked, that in the central regions of America there are many shades of colour in different parts, amongst nations evidently one in origin, the variations bearing a general reference to the situations in which the people are respectively placed. For instance, the inhabitants of high grounds in Central America, are pale compared with
* Murray's North America.


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those of the low districts. Here we cannot doubt that the climate has operated, either in clearing the dusky or rendering dusky the white.

        In the case of the aborigines of Hindostan, who are dark in complexion, the action of climate is clearly observable; and is proved by the circumstances of the female inhabitants of the harem, derived from the same stock, being generally very fair. This is unquestionably the consequence of their secluded life, which prevents that exposure of person which their relations of the other sex necessarily undergo.

        Let us survey the gradations of colour on the continent of Africa itself. The inhabitants of the north are whitest; and as we advance southwards towards the line, and those countries in which the sun's rays fall more perpendicularly, the complexion gradually assumes a darker shade. And the same men, whose colour has been rendered black by the powerful influence of the sun, if they remove to the north, gradually become whiter (I mean their posterity), and eventually lose their dark colour.

        It is well known, that in whatever region travellers ascend mountains, they find the vegetation at every successive level altering its character, and gradually assuming the appearances presented in more northern countries; thus indicating, that state of the atmosphere, temperature, and physical agencies in general, assimilate, as we approach alpine regions, to the peculiarities locally connected with high latitudes. If, therefore, complexion, and other bodily qualities belonging to races of men, depend upon climate and external condition, we should expect to find them varying in reference to elevation of surface; and if they should be found actually to undergo such variations, this will be a strong argument that these external characters do, in fact, depend upon local conditions. Now, if we inquire respecting the physical character of the tribes inhabiting high tracts in warm countries, we shall find that they coincide


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with those which prevail in the level or low parts of more northern tracts. The Swiss, in the high mountains above the plain of Lombardy, have sandy, or brown hair. What a contrast presents itself to the traveller, who descends into the Milanese territory, where the peasants have black hair and eyes, with strongly marked Italian and almost Oriental features. In the higher part of the Biscayan country, instead of the swarthy complexion and black hair of the Castilians, the natives have a fair complexion, with light blue eyes, and flaxen, or auburn hair.*

        In the intertropical region, high elevations of surface, as they produce a cooler climate, occasion the appearance of light complexions. In the higher parts of Senegambia, which front the Atlantic, and are cooled by winds from the Western Ocean, where, in fact, the temperature is known to be moderate, and even cool at times, the light copper coloured Fúlahs are found surrounded on every side by black Negro nations inhabiting lower districts; and nearly in the same parallel, but on the opposite coast of Africa, are the high plains of Enarea and Kaffa, where the inhabitants are said to be fairer than the inhabitants of southern Europe.**

        It must be observed, that all varieties of structure and complexion which are congenital, that are a part of the original constitution impressed upon an individual from his birth, or that arise from the development of a natural tendency, are hereditary, or liable, with a greater or less degree of certainty, to be transmitted to offspring. Persistency in this respect is, however, far from invariable, and apparently, much more uncertain as regards colour than any peculiar formation of the body, as will be shown hereafter. In general, the peculiarities of the individual are transmitted to his immediate descendants; in other instances they have been observed to reappear in a subsequent generation, after having failed, through the operation of some circumstances
* Prichard.

** Idem.


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quite inexplicable, to show themselves in the immediate progeny. This fact has been noticed by Lucretius:--


                         "Fit quoque ut interdum similes existere avorum
                         Possint, et referant proavorum sæpe figuras;
                         Proptera quia multa modis primordia multis
                         Mist suo celant in corpore sæpe parentes,
                         Quæ patribus patres tradunt à stirpe profecta.
                         Inde Venus variâ producit sorte figuras,
                         Majorumque refert voltus vocesque, comasque."

        Many striking instances of singularities of structure, originating in the human kind, as well as among animals, have occasionally arisen and been propagated through many generations. The growth of supernumerary fingers or toes, and corresponding deficiencies, are circumstances of this description. Maupertius has mentioned this phenomenon; he assures us that there were two families in Germany, distinguished for several generations, by six fingers on each hand and the same number of toes on each foot.* Many similar peculiarities have been recorded as being transmitted through successive generations. **

        The thick lip introduced into the imperial house of Austria by the marriage of the Emperor Maximilian with Mary of Burgundy, is visible in their descendants to this day, after a lapse of three centuries.*** Haller observed, that his own family had been distinguished by tallness of stature for three generations, without excepting one out of numerous grandsons descended from one grandfather.****

        The gipsies afford an example of a people spread over all Europe for the last four centuries, and nearly confined by marriages, and their peculiar way of life, to their own tribe. In Transylvania, where there are great numbers of them, and the race remains pure, their features can be more accurately observed. In every country and climate, however, which they have inhabited, they preserve their
* Prichard.

** Idem, vol. i., chap. iv.

*** Coxe's Mem of the House of Austria.

**** Elem. Physiol. Lib. xxix.


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distinctive character so perfectly, that they are recognized at a glance, and cannot be confounded with the natives.

        But, above all, the Jews exhibit the most striking instance of a peculiar national countenance, so strongly marked in almost every individual, that persons the least accustomed to physiognomical observations, detect it instantly; though not easily understood or described. Religion has, in this case, most successfully exerted its power in preventing communion with other races; and this exclusion of intercourse has preserved the Jewish countenance so completely, in every soil and climate of the globe, that a miracle has been thought necessary to account for the continued transmission.

        It is owing to native or congenital peculiarity of form and complexion being transmitted by generation, that we perceive a general similitude in persons of the same blood. Hence we can frequently distinguish one brother, by his resemblance to another, or know a son by his likeness to the father or mother, or even to the grand-parents. All the individuals of some families are characterised by particular lines of countenance, and we frequently observe a peculiar feature continued in a family for many generations.

        The great and the noble, have generally had it more in their power to select the beauty of nations in marriage; and thus, while without system or design, they have merely gratified their own taste, they have distinguished their order, as much by elegant proportions of person, and beautiful features, as by its prerogatives in society. This remark is universally applicable. "The same superiority," says Cook, "which is observable in the erees, or nobles, in all the other islands, is found here, (Sandwich Islands.) Those whom we saw, were, without exception, perfectly well formed: whereas, the lower sort, besides their general inferiority, are subject to all the variety of make and figure that is seen in the populace of other countries."*
* Lawrence's Lectures.


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Dr. Philip was particularly struck with the difference between the appearance of the chiefs and their families, and the common people (in South Africa); the superior class were taller in their stature; "their countenances approached nearer to the European model than those of a lower rank; their complexions were lighter, and they had in air of nobility about them, which indicated that they were born to command."* "The men of Ashantee," says Bodwick, "are very well made; the women also are generally handsome; but it is only among the higher orders that beauty is to be found; and among them, free from all labour or hardship, I have not only seen the finest figures, but, in many instances, regular Grecian features, with brilliant eyes, set rather obliquely in the head."[ ** ]

        When any characters have become thoroughly worked into the system, it is only probable that they should for some time survive the causes which gave them birth, especially when no very active ones are in operation. This may serve for the solution of many cases, in which the colour of Man and the climate do not appear to correspond. The Chinese, descended from the Mongols, still retain a modified Mongol visage and shape. The natives of New South Wales spring from the Oriental Negro, and continuing, from their rude habits, exposed to the constant action of sun and air, they have remained black. In like manner may we account for Indostan being still peopled by races of various form and colour.

        These are cases especially urged by those who argue in favour of a diversity of species in Man, on the ground of features and colour. Instances are also adduced, in which individuals transplanted into another climate than that of their birth, are said to have retained their peculiarities of form and colour unaltered, and to have transmitted the same to their posterity for generations. But cases of this kind, though often substantiated to a certain extent, appear to
* Philip's Researches.

** Bodwick, p. 318


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have been much exaggerated, both as to the duration of time ascribed, and the absence of any change. It is highly probable, that the original characters will be found undergoing gradual modifications, which tend to assimilate them to those of the new country and situation.

        The Jews, however slightly their features may have assimilated to those of other nations amongst whom they are scattered, from the causes already stated, certainly form a very striking example as regards the uncertainty of perpetuity in colour. Descended from one stock, and prohibited by the most sacred institutions from intermarrying with the people of other nations, and yet dispersed, according to the divine prediction, into every country on the globe, this one people is marked with the colours of all: fair in Britain and Germany; brown in France and in Turkey; swarthy in Portugal and in Spain; olive in Syria and in Chaldea; tawny or copper-coloured in Arabia and in Egypt;* whilst they are "black at Congo in Africa."**

        The researches of Dr. Prichard have dispelled many of the ideas formerly entertained with respect to the general persistency of colour and features in the human race, especially of colour, on which the greatest stress has been laid. In some particular states of the constitution, the skin of Whites becomes, either wholly or in part, black. On the other hand, it is well known that the Black loses part of his original tint in a state of civilization. It is remarked, in the United States, that while Negroes kept at field-labour retain their pristine colour, those who are domesticated as servants become paler at the second and subsequent generations, and also lose their African features and other peculiarities. There are also instances of Negroes losing their original colour wholly or in part, under the influence of disease or some other constitutional affection. Dr. Strach records the case of a man who was converted by a fever into a perfect Negro in colour. Blumenbach
* Smith on the Complexion of the Human Species.

** Prichard.


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in the middle of his body, and also about the knees, without ill health having any concern, appparently, in producing these appearances. Other instances are recorded of Negroes, in different countries, without the action of any apparent disease, gradually losing their black colour and becoming as white as Europeans. An example of this kind is recorded in the "Transactions of the Philosophical Society." Klinkosch mentions the case of a Negro who lost his blackness and became yellow;* and Caldani declares that a Negro, at Venice, was black when brought during infancy to that city, but became gradually lighter coloured.** There are throughout Africa several nations, unquestionably Negro originally, who have acquired handsome forms and faces, as well as a lighter tint, in consequence of their living in mountainous regions, approaching to the temperate climate.

        Instances of white people who have become black, in consequence of migrating into tropical latitudes, are more rare, and not so distinctly made out; yet, according to several accurately informed and scientific writers, such as Waddington, Dr. Rüppell, and M. Rozet, there are black races in Africa, among the genuine descendants of emigrants from Arabia. Detachments of the Arabian family emigrated, eleven or twelve hundred years ago, into northern Africa, where they have founded states of some importance, and, in some instances, they have passed into a perfectly black complexion; although improved in form and stature, and notwithstanding that they reside to the north of the Negro countries. A remarkable fact in the history of Loango, in the empire of Congo, is, that the country, according to a statement which was fully credited by Oldendorp, himself a writer of most correct judgment and of unimpeachable veracity, contains many Jews settled in it,


* Klinkosch, de verà natura Cuticulæ; Prag. 1775.

** Caldani Institut. Physiol. 170.


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who retain their religious rites and the distinct habits which keep them isolated from other nations. Though thus separate from the African population, they are black, and resemble the other Negroes in every respect as to physical character.* It is probably in allusion to this case that Pennington, in his "Text Book," says, "the descendants of a colony of Jews, originally from Judea, settled on the coast of Africa, are black."** M. Rozet declares that there are many Negresses in the Algerine country, whither they have doubtless been brought from the interior of Soudan, and very probably from Haússa, who are of a jet black colour, but with truly Roman countenances.*** In one case, a degradation resembling that instanced among the Irish people, has been recorded to have taken place in the oasis of Fezzan. "The general appearance of the men in that locality is plain, and their complexion black; the women are of the same colour, and ugly in the extreme. Neither sex is remarkable for figure, height, strength, vigour, or activity. They have a very peculiar cast of countenance, which distinguishes them from other Blacks; their cheek-bones are higher and more prominent, their faces flatter, and their noses less depressed and more pointed at the top than those of other Negroes. Their eyes are generally small, and their mouths of an immense width, but their teeth are generally good; their hair is woolly, though not completely frizzled." They are a dull phlegmatic people. Here we have, with black skins, Negro faces, and woolly hair, a people descended from the white tribes of Arabia, and who still speak the language of that country.

        The Portuguese who planted themselves on the coast of Africa a few centuries ago, have been succeeded by descendants blacker than many Africans.****

        Langsdorf mentions an English sailor who had been for
* Oldendorp's Geschicte der Mission der Evangelischen Brüder, &c.

** Text Book, p. 26.

*** M. Rozet's Voyage, II. 140.

**** Pennington's Text Book, p. 96.


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some years in Nukahiwah, one of the Marquesas Islands, becoming so changed in colour that he was scarcely to be distinguished from the natives.*

        It is a remarkable circumstance attending the black people in Africa, in India, and in Central America, that amongst them Albinos are frequently born; that is, persons of a pure dead white, with white hair and red eyes. This is thought to be a diseased condition; but, besides these, there are instances by no means unfrequent, of true Whites being born amongst the Black races. This fact was long doubted; but it seems to be now set at rest. White children, or Dondoes, are frequently born from Black parents in all parts of Africa. Many of them are of what we should call a fair complexion. Among the Fungé, a race of Shilukh Negroes, who, some hundred years ago, conquered and settled in Sennaar, they are particularly numerous; insomuch as to have formed a separate caste, distinguished by the name of El Aknean (the red people.) Buffon has given a minute description of a white Negress, born in the island of Dominica, of black parents, who were natives of Africa.** A white Negro is described by Dr. Goldsmith, who saw him exhibited in London. He says, "upon examining this Negro, I found the colour to be exactly like that of a European; the visage white and ruddy, and the lips of the proper redness." "However," he adds, "there were sufficient marks to convince me of his descent."*** Burchell has given a description of a female of a light complexion, born from the race of the Black Kafirs in South Africa. "The colour of her skin was of the fairest European, or, more correctly described, it was more pink and white." Her features were those of her race, the parents being genuine Kafirs.**** Dr. Winterbottom mentions two white Negroes of the Mandingo country, from the testimony of an eye-witness. He describes from
* Langsdorf's Voyages, V. p. 90.

** Prichard.

*** Goldsmith's Hist. Earth and Anim. Nat., ii. 124.

**** Prichard.


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his own observation, a white Negro woman whom he saw in the Sooson country, whose relatives were all black. No doubt could be entertained of her being of genuine Negro origin. Pallas has minutely described a white Negress seen by him in London in 1761. She was born of Negro parents in Jamaica, and was sixteen years of age. She was of small stature, fair complexion, with ruddy lips and cheeks. Her hair was quite woolly, and of a light yellow colour. This girl had the Negro features strongly marked, and had every appearance of genuine Negro descent. There are many other well attested accounts of such persons, but it would be tedious to enumerate them. The foregoing are brought forward merely to show that the dark colour of the Negro is neither constant, nor always entailed on posterity, and therefore can form no criterion of a distinct species.

        Besides the numerous varieties in colour, which the different races of men present, there are other points of distinction equally obvious, and found to exist with similar regularity. Some of these are considered of minor importance, as the shade of the hair, eyes, beard, &c.

        If complexion be made to constitute the great mark of inferiority in Man, if it be accounted the distinguishing livery of degradation and servitude, the stigma is equally attached to a great part of the inhabitants of the world; the sentence of imbecility must necessarily be passed on a very large portion of mankind; for "the dark-coloured races," says Dr. Lawrence, "cover more than half of the earth's surface." The colour of many of the Hindoos is perfectly black, as black as any Negroes. The Brahmins of the highest order are black. Yet the dark colour of the Hindoos is often united with a delicacy of form and expression, arising from habits of mind and of life, which render them in this respect, the antipodes of what the Negro is supposed to be. This people, it is said, calculated eclipses 2000 years ago, and at a more recent period astonished Alexander the Great, and his savans, by their advancement


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in civilization. Here we have an incontrovertible evidence that neither inferiority, nor imbecility, are the necessary accompaniments of a coloured skin. It may be observed, that there are portions of mankind much lighter in complexion than Negroes, who are, nevertheless, their inferiors in an intellectual point of view. Whilst the dark races of Africa are often found to produce intellects of respectable capacity, sometimes above mediocrity, the natives of Terra del Fuego, who are much lower in the scale of human intelligence, are far from being tinged with so deep a dye, and have hair more nearly resembling that of the European races.

        Every one who will make himself acquainted with facts, must be satisfied that the whole of the pretexts alleged in support of the assumption of some of the races of Man being irremediably inferior to others, are as entirely fallacious, as the opinion of such being the case, has been pernicious in its consequences. The deviations from a common model in mankind, it has been proved, are less in degree than those which are found to exist in many other parts of the animal creation. Not one of the distinctive characters that can be adduced, in any of the varieties constituting the great family of Man, is sufficient to warrant the supposition of anything approaching to distinct species. It has been shown that there are differences equally great, and even greater, between individuals of the same family, and families of the same nation; and we may discover particular men, and even entire families, in this country, who are intellectually weaker, than any reasonable person could pretend the generality of the Africans to be.

        Whatever may be the immediate or remote causes of the dark complexion of the, Negro, or other races, philosophical enquiry, if unable fully to solve the problem, has at all events proved it to be a provision of mercy and benevolence. It can be shown that hot water, in vessels of different and equal capacities, cools faster in the dark or


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black ones. The black colour of the native of tropical regions may justly, then, be considered as a wise expedient provided by Omnipotence, for cooling or modulating the fever of the blood, under the influence of a scorching sun. To call in question the proper humanity of the Negro, to scorn him on account of his colour, is to insult that Great and Allwise Being, who, by the most beautiful and benevolent provision, thus protects him from the deleterious influences around him. Copland, in his "Dictionary of Practical Medicine," observes:--"The skin of the dark races is not only different in colour, but is also considerably modified in texture, so as to enable it to perform a greater extent of function than the more delicately formed skin of the white variety of the species. The thick and dark rete mucosum of the former, is evidently more suited to the warm, moist, and miasmal climates of the tropics, than that with which the latter variety is provided. The skin of the Negro is a much more active organ of depuration than that of the White. It does not merely exhale a larger proportion of aqueous fluid and carbonic acid from the blood, but it also elaborates a more unctuous secretion; which, by its abundance and sensible properties, evidently possesses a very considerable influence in counteracting the heating effects of the sun's rays upon the body, and in carrying off the superabundant caloric. Whilst the active functions, aided by the colour of the skin, thus tend to diminish the heat of the body, and to prevent its excessive increase by the temperature of the climate, those materials that require removal from the blood, are eliminated by this surface; which, in the Negro especially, perform excreting functions very evidently in aid of those of respiration, and of biliary secretion, &c."*

        The interesting branch of philosophical investigation we have been pursuing, is admirably summed up by Buffon: --"Upon the whole," says he, "every circumstance concurs
* Article--Climate.


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in proving, that mankind are not composed of species essentially different from each other; that, on the contrary, there was originally but one species, which, after multiplying and spreading over the whole surface of the earth, has undergone various changes from the influence of climate, food, mode of living, diseases, and mixture of dissimilar individuals; that, at first, these changes were not so conspicuous, and produced only individual varieties; that these varieties became afterwards more specific, because they were rendered more general, more strongly marked, and more permanent, by the continual action of the same causes; that they are transmitted from generation to generation, as deformities or diseases pass from parents to children; and that, lastly, as they were originally produced by a train of external or accidental causes, and have only been perpetuated by time and the constant operation of these causes, it is probable that they will gradually disappear, or at least that they will differ from what they are at present, if the causes which produced them should cease, or if their operation should be varied by other circumstances and combinations."

        In the consideration of the various points of distinction which the external appearance of Man presents, one circumstance ought, therefore, to be deeply impressed on the mind, viz.:--that neither peculiarity of conformation nor colour, have the slightest reference to original endowment, either in a mental or moral point of view, and consequently, that no race whatever has been doomed to perpetual degradation. In all human beings the same nature has been implanted, in however different degrees; and no man whatever be his colour, or form, or country, is so low in the intellectual and moral scale as to be entirely deficient of any one of the properties which constitute the most splendid talent and virtue.


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CHAPTER VI.

Not in External Characteristics alone that Man is pre-eminently distinguished-- In Articulate Language--Its universality--Total absence among brutes--Uniform traits in human nature--Superior Psychical endowments--Reason and Intellect--Universal belief in a Supreme Being--And ideas of his attributes, existence of the soul after death, and a state of retribution--Prevalence of similar inherent ideas amongst the various Negro tribes--They possess the same internal principles as the rest of mankind--And a portion of that Spirit which is implanted in the heart of "every man"--Further coincidence when converted to Christianity--Early attempt to convert the Slaves of the Caribbee Islands--Its singular success; as also in other Islands--Subsequently in Africa and the West Indies--After restoring to the Negro his rightful liberties, it is our duty to promote the cultivation of his moral and religious faculties-- Final blending of all the various tribes in harmony.

        Our observations have, thus far, been confined almost exclusively to the consideration of the physiological distinctions of Man. It is not, however, in external characteristics alone that we are able to discriminate our species from that portion of the inferior animal creation which most nearly resemble us. It is neither in these solely, nor even principally, that the great differences consist, by which Man is so pre-eminently distinguished, and which separate him, at so wide an interval, from the most anthropomorphous of animals.

        The use of articulate language may be regarded as one of the most peculiar and characteristic endowments of mankind. The universality of its existence among our species is a fact not less striking than its total absence among brutes, even those which make the nearest approach to perfection, and in whose organization nothing has been discovered that precludes its use. We may have heard of children being born dumb, but there is no tribe of men without speech. There are uniform traits in human nature and habitudes, both intellectual and moral, which


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may be regarded as fixed principles of action, as well as the more variable ones, exhibited in the use of artificial clothing, fire, the necessary arts of life, arms, and the practice of domesticating animals. These are all peculiar characteristics of Man, inasmuch as they do not exist in the brute creation, beyond what mere instinct may teach.

        Perhaps there are no traits existing in animated beings more characteristic of species, than the psychical qualities with which Providence has severally endowed them. Under this term may be included the whole of the sensitive and perceptive faculties, reason, intellect, feelings, sentiments, &c., or, what in the lower animals approaches nearest to them.

        Reason and intellect, with the feelings, sympathies, internal consciousness of mind, and the habitudes of life and resulting therefrom, are perhaps the most real and essential characteristics of humanity. These are common to all the races of Man; they stamp him with an infinite superiority over any of those animals which most nearly resemble him, and they will ever constitute an impassable gulf between the one and the other. A full and complete investigation of these attributes, would require a comprehensive survey of human nature in its various relations. Our limits will not permit us to traverse so wide a field. The reasoning powers of Man being everywhere self-evident, what I shall endeavour now more particularly to illustrate, is the universality of certain ideas or apprehensions, by nature inherent in every portion of our species.

        There are individuals, apparently amongst all the races of men, who, even in an uncivilized and barbarous state, entertain ideas, faint and imperfect though they may sometimes be, of the existence of a supernatural power, by which all things exist and are controlled; differing often materially in their conceptions of its nature and attributes, and having also various methods of worshipping and endeavouring to conciliate the favour of this Great Power, to


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which they hold themselves to be subject and responsible, &c. Availing myself largely of the admirable "Researches" of Dr. Prichard on this subject, I shall be enabled to demonstrate the general prevalence of such ideas amongst the Negro tribes, and, in addition to their conception of a Supreme being, a belief in their responsibility to that Being, their apprehension of the existence of the soul after death, and also of a state of retribution.

        It is commonly said that the religion of the African nations, those at least who have not embraced Mahomedanism, is the superstition of Fetisses; that is, of charms or spells. This expression conveys a notion which is not perfectly correct. The superstition of charms or spells holds a place in the minds of the idolatrous Negroes, but this does not preclude a very general prevalence in their belief of the first principles of natural religion. It may be observed that among nations enjoying a much higher degree of mental culture, the prevalence of superstitions and practices, more or less resembling the Fetissism of Africa, may be recognized.

        Barbot, in his description of Guinea, relates, that "Father Godfrey Loyer, apostolical prefect of the Jacobites, who made a voyage to the kingdom of Issini, and studied the temper, manners, and religion of the natives, declared they had a belief in one universally powerful Being, to whom the people of the countries visited by Father Loyer, address prayer." "Every morning," he says, "after they rise, they go to the river side to wash, and throwing a handful of water on their head, or pouring sand with it to express their humility, they join their hands and then open them, whispering softly the word 'Eksuvais.' Then lifting up their eyes to heaven, they make this prayer [translated],--'My God, give me this day rice and yams, give me gold, &c.' "

        The excellent missionary, Oldendorp, who appears to have had rare opportunities, and to have taken great pains


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to become accurately acquainted with the mental history of the Negroes, assures us that he recognised among them an universal belief in the "existence of a God," whom they resent us very powerful and beneficent. "He is the maker of the world and of men; he it is who thunders in the air, as he punishes the wicked with his bolts. He regards beneficent actions with complacency, and rewards them with long life. To him the Negroes ascribe their own personal gifts, the fruits of the earth, and all good things. From him the rain descends upon the earth. They believe that he is pleased when men offer prayers to him in all their wants, and that he succours them in dangers, in diseases, and in seasons of drought. This is the chief God, who lives far from them on high; he is supreme over all the other gods."

        "Among all the Black nations," continues Oldendorp, "with whom I have become acquainted, even among the utterly ignorant and rude, there is none which did not believe in a God, which had not learnt to give him a name, which did not regard him as the maker of the world, and ascribe to him more or less clearly all the attributes which I have here briefly summed up. Besides this supreme and beneficent divinity whom all the various nations worship in some way or other, they believe in many gods of inferior dignity, who are subject to the chief Deity, and are mediators between him and mankind."*

        "The Negroes," says Oldendorp, "profess their dependence upon the Deity in different ways, especially by prayers and offerings. They pray at different times, in different places, and, as the Amina Negroes told me, in every time of need. They pray at the rising and setting
* In this account of the religion of the Negroes, Oldendorp asserts that he relates nothing which he has not received immediately and exactly from the Negroes themselves.--See C. G. A. Oldendorp's Geshichte der Mission der Evangelischen Brüder auf den Caraibaischen Inseln St. Thomas, St. Croix, und St. Jan; 1777, s. 318.


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of the sun, on eating and drinking, and when they go to war. Even in the midst of the contest, the Amina sing songs to their God, whom they seek to move to their assistance by appealing to his paternal duty. The daily prayer of a Watje Negress was, 'O! God, I know thee not, but thou knowest me; thy assistance is necessary to me.' At meals they say, 'O! God, thou hast given us this, thou hast made it grow;' and when they work, 'O! God, thou hast caused that I should have strength to do this.' The Sember pray in the morning, 'O! God, help us; we do not know whether we shall live to-morrow; we are in thy hand.' The Mandingoes pray also for their deceased friends."

        The Kafirs are not, as some have thought, destitute of religious ideas. The Kosas believe in a Supreme Being, to whom they give the appellation of Uhlunga, supreme, and frequently the Hottentot name Utika, beautiful. They also believe in the immortality of the soul. They have some notion of Providence, and pray for success in war and in hunting expeditions, and during sickness for health and strength. They conceive thunder to proceed from the agency of the Deity, and if a person has been killed by lightning, they say that Uhlunga has been among them.*

        The Watje Negroes assemble at harvest upon a pleasant plain, when they thank God thrice upon their knees, under the direction of a priest, for the good harvest, and pray to him for further blessings. When they have risen, the whole assembly testify their gratitude to God by their rejoicing, and clapping of hands. **

        "Of the Bliakefa, the priests of Karabari and of Sokko, it is remarkable, that they give some instruction to the people concerning the Divinity and prayer. The Negroes come to them for this purpose, either singly, or in companies, when they pray with them, on their knees, that God, whom they call Tschukka, will protect them from war, captivity, and the like."


* Prichard's Researches.

** Oldendorp.

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        "There is scarcely any nation of Guinea which does not believe in the immortality of the soul, and that it continues to live after its separation from the body, has certain necessities, performs actions, and is especially capable of the enjoyment of happiness or misery."*

        "The Negroes believe almost universally that the souls of good men, after their separation from the body, go to God, and the wicked to the evil spirit, whence, at the death of their chiefs, they make use of the expression, 'God has taken their souls!' The Loango imagine the abode of the blessed to be where Sambeau Pungo, that is, God, dwells; but hell, to be above, in the air, while others on the contrary suppose it to be deep in the earth."

        "Those who will candidly consider these facts," says Dr. Prichard, "and give them their due weight, must allow that they prove the same principles of action, and the same internal nature in the African races as are recognized in other divisions of mankind; and this conviction will be increased by a careful perusal of all the details which the Missionaries have afforded, of the progress of their conversion, and of the moral changes which have accompanied it."

        It is evident, from the foregoing statements, that the Negroes of Africa exhibit, in their original and primitive state of mind, untaught by foreign instructors, at least within the reach of history, the same internal principles, in common with the rest of the human family. However latent, and even imperceptible it may sometimes be, they are undoubtedly endowed with a portion of that Spirit, which the Almighty has implanted in the heart of "every man that cometh into the world." Let us endeavour to ascertain how far the process of their conversion to Christianity, indicates a further coincidence of feeling and sentiment between them and the other divisions of mankind.

        The first attempt to convert the Slaves of the Caribbean islands to Christianity, originated in a meeting of some
* Oldendorp.


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followers of Count Zinzendorf, with one Anthony, a Negro from the island of St. Thomas, who had been baptized at Copenhagen. This man represented in so strong colours the wretchedness and ignorance of his countrymen and relatives, and urged so zealously his entreaties on the brethren to undertake their conversion, that the congregation at Herrnhut, before whom he had been induced to appear, were disposed to make the attempt under the most unfavourable circumstances. The work proceeded slowly at first, and amidst great opposition; yet a small number of bearers were soon collected, some of whom gave signs of sincere conversion, and of disgust at their former courses of life. When Bishop Spangenberg visited the mission in 1736, he found in it not less than 200 Blacks who attended the services of the brethren, who evinced a great desire to be instructed in the Christian religion. By the constant exhortations of the brethren, a perceptible change was soon produced in the minds and characters of the Negroes. In 1793 Count Zinzendorf visited the island, and was filled with astonishment at the greatness of the work which had been accomplished.

        The other Danish islands, St. Croix and St. Jan, were afterwards visited by the Moravian Missionaries, whose exertions were attended with like success. In 1768, the number of Negroes who had been baptized in the three islands by the missionaries during thirty-four years, amounted to 4711.

        It may be said that there is no evidence in this, that Negroes are capable of receiving all the impressions implied in conversion to Christianity. This evidence can only be fully appreciated by those who read the biographical notices, and other particulars detailed by the historians of the community to which Oldendorp belonged. But no part of the evidence is more conclusive, than the selection of short homilies composed by Negro preachers or assistants, and addressed by them to congregations of


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their countrymen. Some of these, though they do not rival in strength of diction the discourses of Watts or Doddridge, breathe the same spirit, and were evidently written under the influence of the same sentiments and impressions. A selection of these addresses has been appended by Oldendorp to his work, which I have so often cited. Translations of a few of them will be found in the subsequent pages of the present volume.

        On the majority of the Negro race, the light of the Gospel has never yet shone fully; the seeds of truth implanted in their hearts have made but little progress. Yet there are, both in Africa and the British West Indies, thousands and tens of thousands of them who have been brought to the "excellent knowledge of Christ," with all the spirit-stirring, controllIng, and cheering truths of religion, some of whom now, even from childhood, assisted by the pious instruction of the Missionary, catch with the first opening of their understandings, the rays which emanate from the Gospel sun. Numerous societies, too, and congregations of adults, listen to the truths of the Gospel, meditate on them at their labours, talk of them in the hut, sing them in hymns, and in admonitory advices commend them to their children. The light of religion has now penetrated, so to speak, the solid darkness of minds, hitherto left without instruction; it has struck the spark of feeling into hearts unaccustomed to salutary emotions: the darkness is not yet dissipated, but that day has dawned upon the ebon race of Africa, which never more shall close.

        The facts recorded in the present chapter are very conclusive; they need no comment, demonstrating as they do, so clearly, that the despised African is blessed with the same living principle, the same psychical endowments, by which Man is everywhere so pre-eminently distinguished. Let then, the rightful liberties of the injured Negro be restored to him, and, as a recompense for the long series of injuries inflicted on their unhappy race, let it be our concern


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to promote the cultivation of their intellectual and religious faculties, and endeavour to bring the animal propensities their uncivilized nature may possess, under the control of their moral sentiments. The intellectual faculties may at first be small, the moral sentiments weak, and the animal impulses powerful; but every exercise of those which are good will make them better; while the bad, by being controlled, will gradually become more controllable. It is evident that the Deity has designed Man to be to a great extent his own creator, furnishing only the elements from which by an active exercise of what he has, he may work out higher gifts. And though the progress he makes may be so slow, that, like some of the great astronomical movements, its full effects cannot be detected by any single generation, it is not the less sure. Human improvement becomes always more and more rapid in its course, for every new generation starts at the point at which the preceding one had attained. There is every reason to hope, then, that ultimately, civilization will become universal, and that all the various tribes of the earth will be willing to join harmoniously, in the exercise of those sentiments by which men on earth may furnish a species of heaven.


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CHAPTER VII.

Deep-rooted prejudice to eradicate respecting Colour in Man--Less in Europe than the New World--Evinced in the case of Douglass-- National expression of sympathy for him from the British public--The "Douglass Testimonial"--British Christians respect the Divine image alike in ebony and ivory--Effects of prejudice in South Africa--Americans deeply implicated in this feeling--Have an interest in keeping it up--strongest in the Free States--Several instances of its nature and extent--Circumstance exhibiting a striking contrast in favour of the Sable race--Further effects of prejudice--Public opinion so strong in the United States that it is dangerous to protest against the Unchristian conduct practised towards persons of Colour.

        Previous to the advent of that glorious era which the conclusion of our last chapter predicts, much deep-rooted prejudice, the growth of centuries, will require to be overcome. A thorough change in public opinion must be wrought, before an entire reconciliation can take place between the White and Black races. Although the prejudice against the latter does not exist in Europe to the extent to which it is carried in the New World, there are too many on this side the Atlantic who entertain the fallacious idea that a black skin necessarily confers an inferiority on its possessor; and some of the professed friends of the Coloured race, who deprecate Slavery as unjust, are still unwilling to extend towards them the full rights of social intercourse and Christian fellowship.

        In consequence of our coming so little in contact with the objects of this prejudice, opportunities do not often occur to elicit the real feeling amongst us towards them; and when they do occur, whatever private opinions individuals may hold, the popular feeling is so much on the side of the Negro, that ideas of prejudice, for the most part, remain quietly suppressed in the bosoms of those who entertain them But the gross indignity offered to Frederick Douglass, and, the unwarrantable injustice done to


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him about a year ago, in depriving him of his purchased right to a cabin passage in the ship "Cambria," is a circumstance which cannot be overlooked. That a British agent, upon British soil, should be found to yield to a despicable prejudice, and deliberately persevere in refusing, to an honourable and noble-minded man, the enjoyment of unquestionable rights, was an act as disgraceful to our country as it must have been painful to the feelings of a fellow creature. It affords but another feature of that hateful system which drives the Negro to the cotton field, which separates him from his family, and reduces him to the condition of a chattel. The facts of the case may be stated as follows:--

        Frederick Douglass, a highly-respectable and talented Coloured gentleman, from America, who had been for some time advocating the rights of his oppressed brethren in this country, being about to return to his native land, applied to the London agent of the Cunard steamers for a cabin passage to Boston from Liverpool, and engaged a berth in the "Cambria," paying the stipulated sum. He took the precaution of inquiring whether the fact of his being a Man of Colour would be any bar to his enjoyment of full social intercourse, and was told that he would be entitled to all the rights and privileges of other cabin passengers. On the morning of the day of sailing, accompanied by several kind friends, he presented himself on board the steamer at Liverpool, and having applied for the cabin for which he had paid, he was politely informed that it had been appropriated to another passenger, and that unless he consented to take his meals alone, he could not be admitted as a passenger. There was no time for legal redress; the "Cambria" was sailing the next morning, and an affectionate family were awaiting the arrival of a husband and father on the other side of the Atlantic.

        This conduct was in strong contrast with the fact, that during the nineteen previous months, his distinguished


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talents, his amiable manners, and his high moral worth, had given him a ready admission into the best English society. It was only when he came under commerical influences, that his colour was discovered to be a sufficient reason, not for denying to him, in advance, the right to acquire a conveyance in the ship on the advertised terms of passage, but for breaking a solemn contract already entered into, and ratified by the payment and acceptance of his money, and the delivery to him of his berth certificate. Whence this exclusion? Was he unfit for social intercourse with the other passengers? Was he supposed to be a suspicious character? No such thing. GOD "who has made of one blood all nations of men" had given him a darker complexion than any of the other passengers, and for this he was insulted, degraded, and socially excluded. The circumstance was said to be mainly attributable to the saloon company being partially composed of Americans. Be this as it may, it must be remembered, that the act took place in England, in Liverpool--and on board a steam-ship, a large proportion of whose proprietors are Englishmen!--yes, these free-born Englishmen consent, "for filthy lucre," to a regulation which excludes from social intercourse some of the finest specimens of humanity which ever came from the hand of GOD. Such treatment bowed Douglass's spirit to the uttermost, and he parted from his friends on board the steamer, the next morning, with absolute agony, yet throughout, he evinced much Christian bearing and unsubdued moral firmness under the infliction of this outrageous wrong. One of his friends, in allusion to this circumstance, wrote as follows:--"I never felt the real dignity of his character, as on this trying occasion. With the spirit of his Lord and Master, he calmly bore the outrage. 'When he was reviled, he reviled not again;' but he exhorted us to be temperate, and above all, not to let blame attach to parties who were guiltless." It is but justice to the Captain of the "Cambria" to add, that he kindly and promptly placed his


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own cabin at Douglass's disposal, and assured him of every attention. He consequently took his meals there, seeing that his society, however highly it had been prized in Great Britain, was not good enough for these representatives of the American republic.

        The unlooked for, and unwarranted treatment, of one so deservedly esteemed in this country, roused the sympathies of the British public. From the cottage to the lordly mansion--from the hamlet to the cities of our land, was felt the injustice he had experienced, and the cry was Shame! Shame! As a more full expression of the genuine feeling of national sympathy, it was determined that an appropriate Testimonial should be presented to the sufferer, whose only crime was the complexion given him by his Creator! A public subscription was commenced, which soon exhibited a sum total of £500. This sum was forwarded to Frederick Douglass by the Boston mail steamer, along with a valuable library of books collected by a lady in the south of England. It was intended that the amount should be applied in behalf of the millions, who still lie crushed under the rod of the oppressor; or in such a manner as shall tend to elevate the moral and intellectual condition of the Coloured people, and to assist in bursting those fetters which have so long held them in thraldom.

        In the Douglass Testimonial, the aristocracy of the skin will have a substantial proof that British Christians respect the Divine image, alike in ebony and ivory; and that true nobility of character, generous self-sacrifice for the good of others, and an honest, daring advocacy of human rights, are appreciated in this country without reference to complexion.

        The friends of Negro liberty will be glad to learn that Frederick Douglass has already provided himself with an excellent press and printing materials, out of the proceeds of the British subscription, and has established a weekly anti-Slavery paper, at Rochester, State of New York, entitled The North Star. The object of The North Star, is


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to attack Slavery in all its forms and aspects, to advocate universal emancipation, to exalt the standard of public morality, to promote the moral and intellectual improvement of the Coloured people, and to hasten the day of freedom to the three millions of our enslaved fellowmen. We wish it every encouragement and success, and cannot doubt it will be a formidable instrument in bringing down the walls of the modern Jericho. *

        Of the effects of prejudice, in another quarter of the world, we have strong proof in the following circumstance related by Thomas Pringle in his "Residence in South Africa." A clergyman, he states, refused to marry Christian Groepe, a Mulatto Hottentot, a most respectable and well-educated man, because the poor woman could not accurately repeat the Church Catechism! "The fact is," says Pringle, "there existed a strong prejudice among the White Colonists against the full admission of the Coloured class to ecclesiastical privileges, and the majority of the colonial clergy were so little alive to the apostolic duties of their sacred office, as to lend their sanction, directly or indirectly, to these unchristian prejudices, which were also countenanced by the Colonial laws."

        "As for religion," says Dr. Philip, "it was considered a serious crime to mention the subject to a native. They were not admitted within the walls of the churches. By a notice stuck above the doors of one of the churches, 'Hottentots and dogs' were forbidden to enter."

        Our trans-atlantic brethren are very deeply implicated in the ungenerous and anti-Christian prejudice against colour, and in America it may be said to pervade all classes of the community. Their churches being often composed of Slave-holders, or those connected in some way or other
* The price of the North Star is two dollars (8s. 6d.) per annum, if paid in advance, or two dollars and a half (10s. 6d.) if payment be delayed over six months. English subscribers will be liable to an additional charge of 2d. per week postage. The names of subscribers may be sent to T. P. Barkas, Grainger Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne.


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with the system, are nearly all more or less deeply imbued with the predominating feeling in regard to the African race. There is, indeed, an interest there, in keeping up this prejudicial feeling. Few, if any of the Christian communities, are exempt from a portion of that load of guilt, which pervades free and religious America like a feculent fog; and unless there be a thorough change in this respect, and the rights of mankind become fully recognised, and extended to every shade of colour, no other result can rationally be contemplated, than a prolongation for generations yet to come, of those manifold indignities, and similar revolting scenes of wrong and barbarity, which are now inflicted on millions of the down-trodden race of Africa. Happily this prejudice is steadily giving way, yet many instances might be mentioned, of frequent occurrence, which prove it to be still very strong; and in general, the striking language of De Beaumont, a recent French traveller in the United States, will be found too true. "The prejudice against colour," says he, "haunts its victim wherever he goes,--in the hospitals, where humanity suffers,--in the churches, where it kneels to God,--in the prisons, where it expiates its offences,--in the grave-yards, where it sleeps the last sleep."

        I do not now altogether allude to the prejudice against the Slave population, but to the general tone of feeling against the whole mass of the descendants of Africa; for the extent to which it is carried, appears to be greatest, according to every authority, in those States of America which hold no Slaves. It seems remarkable, that the strongest prejudice against Colour should exist in the Free States, and against Free Coloured persons! But such is the case, and the feeling is stronger towards them in proportion to their advancement in a moral or religious point of view, or their rise in the scale of society. There is never any objection expressed to mixing with Coloured people while they are Slaves; as such, the daintiest ladies


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and gentlemen do not hesitate to ride in the same carriage with them, to have them about their persons, and to nurse their children. "Their sufferings," says H. C. Howells, "are just in proportion to their exaltation in society, to their mental attainments, to the acuteness of their religious feeling, and to their standing in social life. It is not the class of Coloured people sunk in degradation, wretchedness, ignorance, and filth, that are despised supremely in the United States. Strange to tell, they are not the people against whom the prejudice of the United States seems to bear. No; those who are sunk in degradation are supposed to be in their proper position, and they are passed by as the swine that wallow in the mire, with indifference, it being scarcely thought worth while to point the finger of scorn at them. I was once in the family of Mr. Forten, a Coloured gentleman of Philadelphia, a man of the most refined and courteous character, with a wife full of amiability and Christianity, and elegance of deportment, with a fine lovely family of sons and daughters, and I saw the tears trickle down her cheeks when, speaking of the Coloured people, and the indignities they were called to endure, she said:--In proportion as Coloured persons are respectable, so are their sufferings; we cannot even go out of our own home without having a company of degraded creatures running after us in the streets and calling out, 'Nigger, nigger!' " *

        The prejudice against colour is stronger in Barbadoes than in any of the British colonies, although the Coloured class of its population are numerous, wealthy, and respectable, comprising some of the first merchants of the island. The public opinion of the colony is powerful, and exercises an unfavourable influence, the Blacks being considered an inferior race by nature, born to a servile condition; and a spirit of caste is cherished between the White, Black, and intermediate races.


* Speech of H. C. Howells, A. S. Conv. 1840.

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        "A Coloured gentleman," says Joseph Sturge, "informed me, that last winter, his wife being about to take a journey by rail to Philadelphia, she was compelled, though in delicate health, to travel in the comfortless exposed car, expressly provided for Negroes, though he offered to pay double fare for a place for her in the regular carriage."*

        "To give some idea of the extent to which the prejudice against persons of Colour operates," says George Thompson, "I will state one or two facts. I had occasion to go from the city of New York by means of a steam vessel. I was on the deck of the vessel when a four-wheeled carriage came up, from which two very well-dressed persons got out. They were persons of Colour, though not very dark. They occupied a space about mid-ship, and I took occasion to watch the conduct of the passengers and crew towards them. The bell rang for supper, and I went down into the cabin. Some time afterwards I returned to the deck. A thick mist, almost equal to rain, had fallen. I discovered this couple leaning upon a large heap of luggage, and perceived that they were excluded from the company. I went down into the cabin and fetched up a friend, Dr. Graham, with whom I had before conversed upon the subject, and who had denied that such prejudices existed. Come, Doctor, said I, and judge for yourself. He came upon the deck. The gentleman and lady had removed from the place where I had left them, and were standing at the door of the kitchen, a situation which the cooking and other things that were going on rendered very offensive. The gentleman was earnestly entreating the cooks to let his lady go in and sit down there during the night. The Doctor said, why do you not go and put your wife into a berth? The gentleman replied, I would willingly give twenty times the value for a berth, but I am not allowed. I saw that delicate female, who was in circumstances
* Sturge's United States.


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that required sympathy and attention, sit down upon a butter tub which was turned up for her, and there she remained during the night. There was another case, in which a gentleman took a Coloured man down into the cabin with him. The captain instantly said, 'Take that Coloured man away!' 'What,' said the gentleman, 'will you not allow him to stay with me?' 'No! nor you either if you take his part.' 'Then I do take his part,' said the gentleman. The captain then took the White gentleman by the throat, and considerably maltreated him. He then put him on shore, and left him midway."

        "I was once travelling in a carriage," says George Bradburn, (a member of the Massachusetts legislature), "into which twelve or thirteen persons, most of them my friends, were crowded. Accompanying us was another carriage, in which there were only two persons; but they were Coloured persons. For the purpose, as well of bearing testimony against this prejudice, as of getting a more comfortable seat, I got into the carriage with the two Coloured men. At this, my friends felt themselves so much scandalized, that one of. them said, it had sunk me fifty per cent. in his estimation; and others doubted, if they could ever more give me any of their votes."*

        "In the state in which I live," says Col. Miller, "one of the judges was once travelling in the night. A lady was in the carriage. The night was cold. 'Madam,' says he, 'I hope you do not feel the cold!' and again, 'madam, I hope you do not suffer from the inclemency of the season.' He paid her other compliments also. When they came to the inn, the waiter brought in a light, when he found that it was a Black lady to whom he had been so remarkably polite. He was filled with confusion, and ran out of the room with the waiter. People are shocked at the idea of regarding the Coloured people as their equals. 'What!' they cry, 'are we to live with the Niggers? What! all mixed up together,
* Speech in Anti Slavery Convention, 1840.


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as if we were all the same sort of flush and blood?' "* A thousand instances of this kind might easily be cited, but as they are not exactly within the scope of the present work, further than being illustrative of the effects of that prejudice which results from the idea of inferiority attaching to the Negro race, I shall conclude with a few extracts from John Candler's "Brief Notices of Hayti," the first exhibiting a striking contrast much in favour of the Sable race.

        "Our first visitor at Jacmel was a Mulatto gentlewoman, the widow of a Black man, who had filled the office of Collector of the Customs, and who occupied one of the best houses in the place. She had lived in the United States, spoke our language fluently, and came to pay us respect as strangers. This kind-hearted matron paid us several visits, entertained us at her table, and introduced us to some of the best families of the place. Her conduct was the more remarkable, as, in America, she had suffered grievous persecution from the cruel prejudice existing in that country against Colour. Her first husband was a sea captain: on one occasion, she left the shore with him in a boat, to take a final leave of him on board a vessel, and was carried by the winds to a greater distance from home than she expected. The boat re-conveyed her to the shore and landed her at a strange place. Seeing a tavern, she made her way to it to obtain lodging for the night: the landlady looked at her repulsively, and spurned her from the door. 'We take in no Niggers here,' was her coarse language; 'if you want to rest, go to the Nigger huts on the top of the hill!' The poor lady told us her heart was too full to bear this unchristian rebuke with meekness: she sat down and burst into tears. She did, however, toil tip to the Negroes' huts, and was there received kindly. The Americans, in their own estimation and boast, are the freest people on the face of the globe: according to the terms of their constitution, 'all men are free and equal;' yet they
* Speech in Anti Slavery Convention, 1840.


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treat the houseless stranger, if tinged with a coloured hue, as one of nature's outcasts! Whenever a White man from America or Europe falls sick in Jacmel, no one is so ready to offer to nurse, and show him kindness, as this poor despised woman, whose mother was an African. What a contrast; and what a striking lesson does such a fact as this teach to the proud republicans of 'Columbia's happy land.'

        The son and son-in-law of General Inginac, Secretary of State for Hayti, on their return home a few years since from Paris, where they had been received in a manner suited to their rank and station in life, landed at New York, with a view of visiting the United States; but no tavern or boarding-house keeper would receive them as guests, for fear of giving offence to the inhabitants of that city. One of the richest merchants at Port-au-Prince, whose father was one of Christophe's Barons, assured me that he went into a woollen draper's store in Philadelphia, and desiring to be measured for a black coat, the storekeeper retorted with an impudent falsehood, 'We have no cloth here, Sir:' a hatter also, whose store was attended, when he called, by some White customers, refused to sell him a hat!

        "Such," adds. John Candler, "is the tyranny of public opinion in this professedly free land, that a man dare not protest against conduct like this, and call it as it is, barbarous and unchristian, without the danger of being treated contemptuously."


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CHAPTER VIII.

Result of the idea of inferiority in the Negro race a prolongation of their oppression--Unequal rights and privileges--Their tendency--Human beings possess certain inalienable rights--All men created equal-- Acknowledgment of this great doctrine in the American Declaration of Independence--Slavery a stain on the glory of America--A lie to the declaration of the Federal Constitution--Columbia may yet redeem her character--No new laws required--Only that all should be placed on an equality--No exemption of the Negro from law, but should enjoy its protection--Slavery said to be only a nominal thing--A false statement --Observations on equitable laws--Justice always the truest policy-- America called to a great and noble deed--Address to Columbia.

        In countries where one class of beings look down upon another as an inferior race, Slavery and intolerance pass unnoticed, they are seldom regarded as inconsistencies among those who have had the misfortune to be brought up in the midst of them. It has been justly remarked by an eminent writer, that, although by the institution of different societies, unequal privileges are bestowed on their members, and although justice itself requires a proper regard to such privileges, yet he who has forgotten that men were originally equal, easily degenerates into the Slave, or, in the capacity of a master, is not to be trusted with the rights of his fellow-creatures.

        While it is now universally admitted, that the natural tendency of the exercise of uncontrolled authority is to harden the heart, extinguish the moral sense, and give birth to every species of crime and calamity, it is evident that the wealthy part of the community are elevated in the scale of being by the effective legislative enactments by which the poor are protected from oppression. The barbarizing effects of uncontrolled authority on minds in the least danger of being corrupted by its influence, may be seen in every page of the history of human nature, and is well illustrated in the invaluable tract of Bishop Porteus on the


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Effects of Christianity on the temporal concerns of mankind. After having pourtrayed with glowing indignation, the horrid condition of those in a state of servitude among the polished and civilized Greeks and Romans, we find the following judicious remark:--"These are the effects which the possession of unlimited power over our species has actually produced, and which (unless counteracted and subdued by religious principle) it has always a natural tendency to produce, even in the most benevolent and best cultivated minds."

        When such is the general effect, what must it be where one class of people is considered as inferior beings? Where all the avenues to preferment are closed to them, where no prize is held forth to ambition, where their minds are without wholesome stimulants, there can be no energy in the national character. Different degrees of rank and office are necessary in all well-constituted societies; but laws which are made for favouring one part of the community, and depressing another, give rise to, and increase those moral obliquities, which destroy the proportion and mar the face of society. Invidious distinctions, by which one class of men is enabled to trample upon another, engender pride, arrogance, and an oppressive spirit in the privileged order, while they repress everything noble and praiseworthy in the oppressed. *

        It has been justly remarked, that the noblest, the most elevated distinction of a country, is a fair administration of justice. Nothing can be done to elevate and improve a people, if the administration of justice is corrupt; but to insure a pure administration of justice in a country, it must be accessible to all classes of the community. In a state of society where there is one law for the White Man and another for the Black, and the sanctions of the law are borrowed to render the latter the victims of oppression, moral distinctions are confounded, and the names of virtue
* Dr. Philip.


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and vice come to be regarded as exchangeable terms. Independent of printed statutes, there are certain rights which human beings possess, and of which they cannot be deprived but by manifest injustice. The wanderer in the desert has a right to his life, to his liberty, his wife, his children, and his property. The Negro has an undoubted right to these, and also to a fair remuneration for his labour; to an exemption from cruelty and oppression; to choose the place of his abode, and to enjoy the society of his children. No one can deprive him of these rights without violating the laws of nature and of nations.


                         " 'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
                         Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume;
                         And we are weeds without it. All constraint,
                         Except what wisdom lays on evil men,
                         Is evil; hurts the faculties, impedes
                         Their progress in the road of science; blinds
                         The eyesight of discovery; and begets,
                         In those that suffer it, a sordid mind,
                         Unfit to be the tenant of man's noble form."*

        The great doctrine, that God hath "created all men equal, and endowed them with certain inalienable rights," and that amongst these are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," is affirmed in the American Declaration of Independence, and justified in the theory of its constitutional laws. But there is a stain upon its glory; Slavery, in its most abject and revolting form, pollutes its soil; the wailings of Slaves mingle with its songs of liberty; and the clank of their chain is heard, in horrid discord, with the chorus of their triumphs. The records of the States are not less distinguished by their wise provisions for securing the order and maintaining the institutions of the country, than by their ingenious devices for riveting the chain, and perpetuating the degradation of, their Coloured brethren; --their education is branded as a crime,--their freedom is dreaded as a blasting pestilence,--the bare suggestion of
* Cowper.


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their emancipation is proscribed as a treason to the cause of American independence. These things are related with sorrow, and with feelings deeply deploring the flagrant inconsistency so glaringly displayed between the lofty principles embodied in the great charter of the liberties of the Union and the evil practices which have been permitted to grow up under it.

        The monstrous and wicked assumption of power by man over his fellow man, which Slavery implies, is alike abhorrent to the moral sense of mankind, to the immutable principles of justice, to the righteous laws of God, and to the benevolent principles of the Gospel. It ought, therefore, to be indignantly repudiated by all the fundamental laws of truly enlightened and civilized communities. But behold the debasing servitude in which millions of the Negro race are still held in the United States, by a people calling themselves Christian, and boasting of their country as the freest on the earth. What a mockery of religion was once the conduct of Great Britain towards the Slaves in her colonies--what a mockery of religion is the present conduct of America; and what a lie to the declaration of her federal constitution, that "all men by nature are free and equal."

        Columbia may yet redeem her character; but if the claims of the suffering Negro are not speedily heard, the treatment of that people will continue to be one of the foulest blots upon her national honour that ever stained the escutcheon of the most degenerate nation.


                         "Columbia! upon thy shore
                         The fetters clank: arise!
                         And let thy noble eagle soar
                         Unsullied to the skies."

        We ask for no new laws; we simply require that the different classes of inhabitants should have the same civil rights granted to them. The liberty required is not an exception from the law, but the advantage of its protection;


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the law grants no rights to the White man which it may not extend with perfect safety to all classes. All we ask for is, that the enslaved tribes should be placed on an equality with the long dominant race in civil and religious liberty; that the people who have been, for generations, deprived of the inalienable rights conferred upon them by their Creator, and oppressed by a system of Slavery, should have the enjoyment of those rights restored to them.

        It is argued by the abettors of Slavery, that it is only a nominal thing, that the power of extreme punishments, &c. are rarely resorted to, and are used reluctantly. In every Slave country there are undoubtedly masters who desire and purpose to practice lenity to the full extent which the nature of their relation to the Slaves will allow. Still, human rights are denied them. They lie wholly at another's mercy, and we must have studied history in vain if we need be told that they will be continually the prey of absolute power. If the leg is galled by an iron chain it is vain to prescribe ointment to cure the wound while the fetter remains. The first step towards the improvement of the Negroes must commence in removing the cause of their present degradation. They have been corrupted and debased by the uncontrollable power exercised over them by their lordly masters; legislative enactments bestowing on them equal rights, would prove a salutary check to the one, and afford a stimulus of hope to the other. The first movement on the part of the legislature in their favour should be, the introduction of measures to ameliorate their condition, and teach their oppressors to respect them. When it shall be seen that the laws of the country make no distinction between the proud master and those whom he considers as belonging to an inferior class of beings, the administration of an impartial justice will generate within the breast of the former ideas of common relationship, and secure for the oppressed a milder treatment.

        The establishment of law, forms an important era in the


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civilization of a people, and the statute which prevents the superior from oppressing or tyrannizing over his inferior, is as favourable to the humanity of the one, as it is to the happiness of the other. While equitable laws, and their impartial administration, elevate the standard of morals, raise the tone of thinking, exalt the character of a country, and increase the patriotism of a people, they generate the principles of love and justice in the hearts of a great and effective part of the population. Let the Coloured people be admitted to a full and fair participation of those privileges from which they have been excluded, and rest assured that justice being done to the one, will prove, ultimately, the happiness and prosperity of the other. Justice is in all cases the truest policy, it has proved itself so in the abolition of Slavery in the British Colonies; and what an example is there upheld to those nations, who, in spite of warning, and in defiance of Christian principle, persist in continuing Slavery.

        Columbia!--thou art called to a great and to a noble deed;--delay it not. There is, indeed, a grandeur in the idea of raising some millions of human beings to the enjoyment of human rights, to the blessings of Christian civilization, to the means of indefinite improvement. The Slaveholding States are called to a nobler work of benevolence than is committed to any other communities. Do you comprehend its dignity? This you cannot do, till the Slave is truly, sincerely, with the mind and heart, recognized as a Man, till he ceases to be regarded as Property.


                         "When old Europe blazons proudly,
                         Volumes of historic fame;
                         You, more loftily and loudly,
                         Echo young Columbia's name:
                         When we boast of Guadalquivirs,
                         Thames and Danubes, Elbes and Rhones;
                         You rejoice in statelier rivers--
                         Mississippis--Amazons!


                         Many a poet, many a pæan,
                         Shouts our mountain songs, and tells


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                         Alpine tales, or Pyrenean--
                         Snowdon, Lomond, Drachenfels!
                         But, across the Atlantic surges,
                         Andes higher claims prepares;
                         Snow-crowned Chimborazo urges
                         Mightier sovereignty than theirs!


                         "And if thus your works of nature
                         Our sublimest works outdo;
                         Should not Man--earth's noblest creature,
                         Should not Man be nobler too?
                         From our crouching, cowed example,
                         When your Pilgrim fathers fled,
                         Reared they not a prouder temple,
                         Freedom's temple, o'er your head?


                         "Tyrant-stories stain our pages;
                         Priests and kings have forged our chains;
                         Ye were called to brighter ages;
                         Ye were born where Freedom reigns;
                         Many a dreary, dark disaster,
                         Here has dug the free man's grave;--
                         Ye have never known a master--
                         How can ye endure--A SLAVE?"*
* Dr. Bowring


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CHAPTER IX.

Pernicious influence of Slavery--Those brought up in the midst of it, apparently unconscious of its evils--Their hearts become hardened, and their feelings blunted--Deceptiveness of the "Slavery Optic Glass"-- The products and gains of oppression tainted--Nothing can sanction violence and injustice--To prosper by crime, a great calamity--Melancholy situation of those implicated in Slavery--Our prayers should ascend both for the oppressor and the oppressed--Plea of the necessity of coercion--Negroes represented as most degenerate and ungovernable-- These accounted for--Demoralizing effects of Slavery--When its asperities have been mitigated, various latent virtues and good qualities have been brought into exercise.

        In countries where Slavery exercises its pernicious influence upon the inhabitants, its tendency is to lead them to regard those of a dark complexion as inferior beings, a species of property, or deserving only to become such. This has greatly aggravated, and its natural tendency is to keep up the prejudicial feeling against the Negro. When persons live, and are brought up in the very midst of cruelty and Slavery, and are inured from their infancy to behold the sufferings of the poor victims of oppression, to listen to their cries, and behold them treated with impunity, as creatures possessed of mere animal propensities, the vilest of the vile, it is no marvel that they should imbibe those feelings of prejudice which are thus early instilled into their minds. Perceiving the mental and moral degradation of the Slaves, and being taught to look down upon their unfortunate fellows, as a race of beings in all respects inferior to, and not entitled to the enjoyment of, or even fit to be intrusted with, equal privileges as themselves, their hearts become hardened, and their feelings blunted and deadened towards them.

        The practice which strikes one man with horror, may seem to another, who was born and brought up in the midst of it, to be not only innocent, but meritorious; and it


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is to be feared, there are many who grow up almost unconscious of the responsibility of their station, and insensible of the enormity of the evils they are committing. "A man born among Slaves," says Dr. Channing, "taught its necessity by venerated parents, associating it with all whom he reveres, and too familiar with its evils to see and feel their magnitude, can hardly be expected to look on Slavery as it appears to more impartial and distant observers."--"Men," he continues, "may lose the power of seeing an object fairly, by being too near as well as by being too remote. The Slaveholder is too familiar with Slavery to understand it. To be educated in injustice is almost necessarily to be blinded by it more or less. To exercise usurped power from birth, is the surest way to look upon it as a right and as a good." Alas! then, for the unfortunate Negro;--his oppressor, swallowing the gilded bait of commerce, advancing rapidly to fame and fortune, beholds his victim through a very imperfect and defective lens.

        The Slavery Optic Glass is not famed for developing all the wonders of creation; on the other hand, it disfigures and disparages the Almighty's most glorious work, Man, made after the image of his Maker. The atmosphere of Slavery freezes, as it were, the current of sympathy; like a deadly upas tree, it corrupts every thing within its influence; and so all those who acquire gain produced by the "thews and sinews" of the poor Negro, become, sooner or later, inclined to foster evil, and ere long embark with


                         "Those who travel far, and sail
                         To purchase human flesh; to wreathe the yoke
                         Of vassalage round beauteous liberty,
                         Or suck large fortune from the sweat of Slaves."

        Every morsel of food, thus forced from the injured, ought to be more bitter than gall, and the gold cankered. The sweat of the Slave taints the luxuries for which it streams. Better were it for the selfish wrong doer, to live as the Slave, to clothe himself in the Slave's raiment, to


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eat the Slave's coarse food, to till his fields with his own hands, than to pamper himself by day, and pillow his head on down at night, at the cost of a wantonly injured fellow-creature. What man, without a conscience seared, can earn, even his bread, "Not by the sweat, but by the blood of man?" Consider! ye who are sitting in ease and enjoyment; think how much cruelty is involved in the luxuries you enjoy.


                         "Think! ye masters, iron-hearted,
                         Lolling at your jovial boards,
                         Think, how many backs have smarted
                         For the sweets your cane affords.


                         "Is there, as you sometimes tell us,
                         Is there One, who reigns on high;
                         Has He bid you buy and sell us,
                         Speaking from His throne, the sky?


                         "Ask Him, if your knotted scourges,
                         Fetters, blood-extorting screws,
                         Are the means which duty urges,
                         Agents of His will to use?"

        No earthly interest should induce any one to sanction violence and injustice; neither can it authorize the systematic degradation of so large a portion of our fellow-creatures as are now held in cruel Slavery. "The first question to be proposed by a rational being is, not what is profitable, but what is right. Duty must be primary, prominent, most conspicuous among the objects of human thought and pursuit. If we cast this down from its supremacy, if we inquire for our interests, and then for our duties, we shall err. We can never see the right, clearly and fully, but by making it our first concern. No judgment can be just or wise, but that which is built on the conviction of the paramount worth and importance of duty. This is the fundamental truth, the supreme law of reason; and the mind which does not start from this, in its inquiries into human affairs, is doomed to great, perhaps, fatal error. Whoever places his faith in the everlasting law of rectitude, must, of course, regard the question of Slavery, first and chiefly as a moral


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question. All other considerations will weigh little with him compared with its moral character and moral influences."

        No greater calamity can befall a people than to prosper by crime; and there is, perhaps, no greater crime than that of man enslaving his fellow-men. The blight which falls on the soul of the wrong-doer, the desolation of his moral nature, is a more terrible calamity than he inflicts. In deadening his moral feelings, he dies to the proper happiness of a man: in hardening his heart against his fellow-creatures, he sears it to all true joy: in shutting his ear against the voice of justice, he turns the voice of God within him into rebuke. He may prosper, indeed, and hold faster the Slave by whom he prospers; but he rivets heavier and more ignominious chains on his own soul than he lays on others. No punishment is so terrible as prosperous guilt. No fiend, exhausting on us all his power of torture, is so fearful as an oppressed fellow-creature. The cry of the oppressed, unheard on earth, is heard in heaven. God is just, and if justice reign, the unjust must terribly suffer.

        Melancholy is the situation of those who grow up unconscious of their responsibility, and the enormity of the evil they are committing, in being implicated in this great crime. Whilst our tenderest sympathies are awakened for the victims of their tyrannical barbarity, we should mourn deeply over their oppressors; our aspirations ought daily to ascend before Him, who can unstop the deaf ear, and open the eyes of those "who are blind," that He would, in His mercy, show them the awful situation in which they stand.

        Under the plea of a necessity for Slavery, Negroes have been spoken of as the most degenerate creatures upon earth. They are represented, as we have already been informed, as the lowest class of human beings, if, indeed, they are allowed to be included within the pale of humanity; as void of memory, filthy, and disgusting to a degree exceeding credibility, and so ungovernable in their propensities, that nothing will subdue them but severe coercion.


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        That the various bad qualities which have been ascribed to Negroes, belong rather to their habits than to their nature, and are derived both from the low state of civilization in which nearly the whole race at present exists, as well as from their unnatural condition in Slavery, is a proposition not only consistent with the analogy of all the other races of mankind, but immediately deducible from well established facts. Moral evils are uniformly and necessarily inherent under a system of oppression. It is a state in which no class of society, the dominant or the subject, is not vitiated, --vitiated in temper, in principle, in conduct. All history is proof of this; and if history failed, the present state of things, where Slavery exists, would supply ample testimony to its truth. It may well be said, that "a debasement of all the mental and moral faculties, that destruction of every honourable principle, are the never-failing consequences of Slavery; so that even the most high-spirited and courageous Negroes become, after remaining a few years in Slavery, cunning, cowardly, and to a certain degree malevolent." "It is the fact of experience, that Slavery is essentially demoralizing, and that it compounds into the character all the faithlessness and feculence of moral turpitude. There is a class of mere human virtues, which may exist independently of the direct influence of religion; but even these cannot, except by very accidental circumstances, vegetate in this soil, nor flourish in the fog and impurities of this stifling atmosphere; they require a purer air, a brisk wafting of the nobler passions, the excitement of hope, the warmth of charity, and the mountain breeze of freedom."*

        Nevertheless, when a master's absolute will has been expressed in a kindly tone; when authority has been enforced with a look which told that though he had the power to command, he had not the heart to be a tyrant; when he has applied his attention to their comforts, not because they were his Slaves, but because they were children of feeling,
* Richard Watson's Sermons.


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and members of the one family of mankind; when he has borne before them the impression that he has a Master in heaven, while he is a master to them; when the asperities of Slavery have thus been mitigated by the manner in which its powers and obligations have been carried out, many have been the virtues called into operation; many the soft, the gentle, the devoted feelings brought into steady exercise; many the good, the trustworthy, and altogether praiseworthy habits which have been formed and confirmed on the part of Slaves; and, under these circumstances, the Slave has become so much alive to his master's interests, so identified in all his feelings with his master's property, and so attached to his person and his family, that he would have regarded his emancipation as a decree of banishment, if his freedom necessarily forced him from a master, to have been whose Slave, he felt, had been his happiness. There have been such cases; and though most common with domestic Slaves, they have been found among the other classes. That this state of things has not been more generally realized, is to be ascribed to no deficiency in the dispositions of the Negroes, but from their masters not exercising that kindly influence, which always so acts upon the human heart as to bring out something of its own echo.

        It is to the tyranny of managers and overseers, their demoralizing conduct, and the abuse of their authority, that we may mainly trace the cunning, the dissimulation, and immoral habits of the enslaved Negro, which have so long been attributed to his inherent character.


                         "The Negro, spoiled of all that nature gave
                         To free-born man, soon shrinks into a Slave;
                         His passive limbs, to measured tasks confined,
                         Obey the impulse of another's mind;
                         A silent, secret, terrible control,
                         That rules his sinews, presses too his soul.
                         Where'er their grasping arms the spoilers spread,
                         The Negro's joys, his virtues too are fled."


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CHAPTER X.

To form a just estimate of Negro character, we must observe him under more favourable circumstances than those of Slavery--Statements of travellers who have visited Africa, describing the natives as mild, amiable, virtuous, generous, hospitable, lively, intelligent, and industrious, &c.--Their ingenuity--Clarkson's interview with the Emperor of Russia--The Emperor's surprise at the proficiency of Negroes-- Wadstrom's testimony before the House of Commons--Further testimonies of Major Laing, Dr. Knox, Robin, Mungo Park, Dr. Channing, J. Candler, Benezet, Barrow, Le Vaillant, Dr. Philip, Pringle, Shaw, &c., &c.--Description of a Chief--Observatious of the Editor of the "Westminster Review"--Remarkable that Negroes should retain so many good qualities when labouring under great disadvantages-- Testimony of H. C. Howells--Dr. Channing says "we are holding in bondage one of the best races of the human family"--His delineation of the real character of the Negroes.

        In order to form a just estimate of the character and capabilities of the Negro, we must observe him in a somewhat more favourable situation than in those dreadful receptacles of human misery, the crowded deck of the Slave ship, or in the less openly shocking, but constrained and extorted, and consequently painful labours of the sugar plantation or of the cotton field. Amongst the civilized tribes of Africa, as well as amongst those who remain in a more savage state, we may often meet with lofty sentiments of independence, and instances of ardent courage and devoted friendship, which would sustain a comparison with the most splendid similar examples in the more highly advanced races. Honourable and punctual fulfilment of treaties and compacts, patient endurance of toil, hunger, cold, and all kinds of hardship and privation, inflexible fortitude, and unshaken perseverance in avenging insults or injuries, according to their own peculiar customs and feelings, show that they are not destitute of the more valuable moral qualities.

        Many travellers, and those who have had the most frequent intercourse with Africans, assure us that the


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natural dispositions of the Negro race, are mild, gentle, and amiable in an extraordinary degree. They bear ample testimony to their being possessed of intellectual capacities of no inferior order, assuring us also, how susceptible they are of every generous and noble feeling of the mind, abounding in benevolence, hospitality, generosity, and filial affection, thus demonstrating their capability of arriving at the highest attainments of the human understanding. Not unfrequently they are described as being conspicuous for the nobler attributes of our nature, and instead of the inhabitants of that vast continent being doomed to inevitable inferiority, many are the pleasing proofs, that they are highly capable of civilization, and that they would perhaps even excel in a moral and religious point of view.

        "Many of the dark races," says Dr. Lawrence in his Lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons, "although little civilized, display an openness of heart, a friendly and generous disposition, the greatest hospitality, and an observance of the point of honour according to their own notions, from which nations more advanced in knowledge might often take a lesson with advantage. They possess a natural goodness of heart, and warmth of affection." "I can see no reason," he adds, "to doubt that the Negro is equal to any in natural goodness of heart. It is consonant to our general experience of mankind, that the latter quality should be deadened or completely extinguished in the Slave ship."

        Major Denham and his followers describe the Negroes as a kind-hearted race, lively, and intelligent.

        That in his own country, the Negro is not that lazy, worthless, and brutified being he is frequently described to be, is clearly demonstrated by the testimony of many travellers. "The industry of the Foulahs," says Mungo Park, "in agriculture and pasturage, is everywhere remarkable." Speaking of the Negroes near one of the Sego ferries, he says,--"The view of this extensive city, the numerous


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houses on the river, the crowded population, and the cultivated state of the country, formed altogether a prospect of civilization and magnificence which I little expected to find in the bosom of Africa." The same traveller, after relating an affecting interview between a poor blind Negro widow and her son, adds, "From this interview I was fully convinced that whatever difference there is between the European and the Negro in the conformation of the nose and the colour of the skin, there is none in the genuine sympathies and characteristic feelings of our common nature." Of the truth of this observation he gives a striking example in the conduct of the Negro woman who found him, without food or shelter, sitting under a tree in the country of Bambarra. This pleasing circumstance will be found recorded in Park's own words in another part of the present volume.

        In reading Ledyard, Lucas, Mungo Park, and others, we find that the inhabitants of the interior are more virtuous and more civilized than those on the sea coast; surpass them also in the preparations of wool, leather, cotton, wood, and metals; in weaving, dyeing, and sewing.

        Adanson, who visited Senegal in 1754, when describing the country, says, "It recalled to me the idea of the primitive race of men. I thought I saw the world in its infancy. The Negroes are sociable, humane, obliging, and hospitable; and they have generally preserved an estimable simplicity of domestic manners. They are distinguished by their tenderness for their parents, and great respect for the aged; a patriarchal virtue, which in our day is too little known." Golberry says, that in Africa there are no beggars except the blind.

        Barrow gives a picture, by no means unpleasing, of the Hottentots. Their indolence he attributes to the state of subjection in which they live, as the wild Bushmen are particularly active and cheerful. "They are a mild, quiet, and timid people; perfectly harmless, honest, faithful; and,


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though extremely phlegmatic, they are kind and affectionate to each other, and not incapable of strong attachments. A Hottentot would share his last meal with his companions. They have little of that kind of art or cunning that savages generally possess. If accused of crimes of which they have been guilty, they generally divulge the truth. They seldom quarrel among themselves, or make use of provoking language. Though naturally fearful, they will run into the face of danger if led on by their superiors. They suffer pain with patience. They arc by no means deficient in talent."*

        "In his disposition," says Barrow, " the Bushman is lively and cheerful; in his person, active. His talents are far above mediocrity; and, averse to idleness, they are seldom without employment. They are very fond of dancing, exhibit great industry and acuteness in their contrivances for catching game, and considerable mechanical skill in forming their baskets, mats, nets, arrows," &c., &c. **

        That the Africans are very similar to the inhabitants of other parts of the globe, and regulate their conduct towards others according to the treatment they receive, may be easily gathered from the statements of many writers. "The feelings of the Negroes," says one, "are extremely acute. According to the manner in which they are treated, they are gay or melancholy, laborious or slothful, friends or enemies. When well fed, and not maltreated, they are contented, joyous, and ready for every enjoyment; and the satisfaction of their mind is painted in their countenance. Of benefits and abuse, they are extremely sensible, and against those who injure them they bear a mortal hatred. On the other hand, when they contract an affection to a master, there is no office, however hazardous, which they will not boldly execute, to demonstrate their zeal and attachment. They are naturally affectionate, and have an ardent love for their children, friends, and countrymen.
* Barrow's Travels in South Africa.

** Idem.


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The little they possess, they freely distribute among the necessitous, without any other motive than that of pure compassion for the indigent."*

        The acute and accurate Barbot, in his large work on Africa, says, "The Blacks have sufficient sense and understanding, their conceptions are quick and accurate, and their memory possesses extraordinary strength. For, although they can neither read nor write, they never fall into confusion or error, in the greatest hurry of business and traffic. Their experience of the knavery of Europeans has put them on their guard in transactions of exchange; they carefully examined all our goods, piece by piece, to ascertain if their quality and measure were correctly stated; and showed as much sagacity and clearness in all these transactions, as any European tradesman could do."

        Of those imitative arts, in which perfection can be attained only in an improved state of society, it is natural to suppose that the Negroes can have but little knowledge; but the fabric and colours of the Guinea cloths are proofs of their native ingenuity; and, that they are capable of learning all kinds of the more delicate manual labours, is proved by the fact, that nine-tenths of the artificers in the West Indies are Negroes: many are expert carpenters, and some watchmakers. The drawings and busts executed by the wild Bushman in the neighbourhood of the Cape are praised by Barrow for their accuracy of outline, and correctness of proportion.

        Of those who have speculatively visited and described the Slave coast, there are not wanting some who extol the natural abilities of the natives. D'Elbée, Moore, and Bosman, speak highly of their mechanical powers and indefatigable industry. Desmarchais does not scruple to affirm that their ingenuity rivals the Chinese.

        In 1818, when the sovereigns of Europe met in congress at Aix la Chapelle, Thomas Clarkson obtained an interview
* Hist. des Antilles, p. 483.


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with the Emperor of Russia, and was received with marked attention by that amiable monarch. Clarkson's object was to interest him on behalf of the oppressed Slave. The Emperor listened to his statements, and promised to use his influence with the assembled monarchs, to secure the suppression of the trade in human beings as speedily as possible.

        Describing this interview with the Emperor of Russia, in which the subject of Peace Societies, as well as the abolition of the Slave-trade was discussed, Thomas Clarkson observes:--"We then rose up from our seats, to inspect some articles of African manufacture, which I had brought with me as a present, and which had been laid on the table. We examined the articles in leather first, one by one, with which he was uncommonly gratified. He said they exhibited not only genius, but taste, and that he had never seen neater work either in Petersburgh or in London. There was one piece of cotton cloth which attracted his particular notice, and which was undoubtedly very beautiful. It called from him this observation,-- 'Manchester,' says he, 'I think, is your great place for manufactures of this sort,--do you think they can make a better piece of cotton there?' I told him I thought I had never seen a better piece of workmanship of the kind anywhere. Having gone over all the articles, the Emperor desired me to inform him, whether he was to understand that these articles were made by the Africans in their own country; that is, in their own native villages, or after they had arrived in America, where they would have an opportunity of seeing European manufactures, and experienced work-men in the arts? I replied, that such articles might be found in every African village, both on the coast and in the interior, and that they were samples of their own ingenuity, without any connection with Europeans.

        " 'Then,' said the Emperor, 'you astonish me--you have given me a new idea of the state of these poor people.


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I was not aware that they were so advanced in society. The works you have shown me, are not the works of brutes, but of men endued with rational and intellectual powers, and capable of being brought to as high a degree of proficiency as any other men. Africa ought to be allowed to have a fair chance of raising her character in the scale of the civilized world.' I replied, that it was the cruel traffic in Slaves alone, which had prevented Africa rising to a level with other nations; and that it was only astonishing to me that the natives there, had, under its impeding influence, arrived at the perfection which had displayed itself in the specimens of workmanship which he had just seen."

        Walstrom, in his admirable "Essay on Colonization," in speaking of the African race, makes the following remarks:--"Their understandings have not been nearly so much cultivated as those of Europeans; but their passions, both defensive and social, are much stronger. Their hospitality to unprotected strangers, is liberal, disinterested, and free from ostentation. Their kindness and respectful attention to White persons, with whose characters they are satisfied, arises to a degree of partiality, which, all things considered, is perfectly surprising. On those parts of the coast and country where the Slave-trade prevails, the inhabitants are shy and reserved, (as well they may,) and on all occasions go armed, lest they should be way-laid and carried off. In maternal, filial, and fraternal affection, I scruple not to pronounce them superior to any Europeans I ever was among. So very successful have the European Slave-dealers been, in exciting in them a thirst for spirits, that it is now become one of the principal pillars of their trade; for the chiefs, intoxicated by the liquor with which they are purposely bribed by the Whites, often make bargains, and give orders fatal to their subjects, which, when sober, they would gladly retract.

        "On a question put to me in a committee or the British House of Commons, I offered to produce specimens of


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their manufactures in iron, gold, filigree-work, leather, cotton, matting, and basket-work; some of which, equal any articles of the kind fabricated in Europe, and evince that, with proper encouragement, they would make excellent workmen. Even the least improved tribes make their own fishing tackle, canoes, and implements of agriculture. If even, while the Slave-trade disturbs their peace, and endangers their persons, they have made such a progress, what may we not expect if that grievous obstacle were removed, and their ingenuity directed into a proper channel? The Slave-trade disturbs their agriculture still more than their manufactures; for men will not be fond of planting, who have not a moral certainty of reaping. Yet, even without enjoying that certainty, they raise grain, fruits, and roots, not only sufficient for their own consumption, but even to supply the demands of the European shipping, often to a considerable extent; in some islands and part of the coast, where there is no Slave-trade, they have made great progress in agriculture. Though, on the whole, passion is more predominant in the African character than reason; yet their intellects are so far from being of an inferior order, that one finds it difficult to account for their acuteness, which so far transcends their apparent means of improvement."

        "The Blacks living in London," he adds, "are generally profligate, because uninstructed, and vitiated by Slavery, for many of them were once Slaves of the most worthless description; namely, the idle and superfluous domestic, and the gamblers and thieves who infest the towns in the West Indies. Some come to attend children and sick persons on board, and others are brought by their masters by way of parade. In London, being friendless, and despised on account of their complexion, and too many of them being really incapable of any useful occupation, they sink into abject poverty."

        Major Laing, in his "Travels in Western Africa," observes, "A destitute old man is unknown among the


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Mandingoes. A son considers it his first duty to look after and provide for his aged father's comfort; and if he is unfortunate enough to have lost his own, he perhaps looks for some aged sire, who, being without children, requires the care and attention of youth. There is no nation with which I am acquainted, where age is treated with so much respect and deference."

        Writers on the history of mankind seem to be nearly agreed in considering the Bushmen of South Africa as the most degraded and miserable of all nations, and the lowest in the scale of humanity; yet there are accurate observers, who cannot be suspected of undue prepossession towards opposite sentiments and representations, who have drawn a less unfavourable picture of the moral and intellectual character of the Bushmen. Burchell, who sought and obtained opportunities of conversing with them and observing their manner of existence, though he found them in the most destitute and miserable state, yet discovered among them traits of kind and social feelings, and all the essential attributes of humanity.* Among other interesting remarks of this intelligent traveller, tending to the same result, we find an observation, that the females among the Bushmen displayed as much the signs of modesty as Europeans. "The young women were as delicate in feelings of modesty, as if they had been educated in the most decorous manner." He adds, that they are pleasing by a sprightly and interesting expression of countenance, though far from beautiful, and although their features have the peculiar type of the Bushmen race. Mr. Thompson confirms this account, and even gives a still more favourable description of the females of the Bushmen. **

        Dr. Knox asserts, that the Negroes are capable of civilization, and mentions the Kaffirs as being a very superior race, "scorning to use poisoned weapons, or resort to subtlety; being strong, valiant, and chivalrous."


* Diet. Class d'Hist. Nat. Art. Homme.

** Travels in Africa, I. 431.

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        Robin speaks of a Slave in Martinico, who, having gained money sufficient for his own ransom, purchased with it his mother's freedom. The most horrible outrage that can be committed against a Negro, is to curse his father or his mother, or to speak of either with contempt.

        Mungo Park observes, that a Slave said to his master: "Strike me, but curse not my mother;" and that a Negress having lost her son, her only consolation was, that he had never told a lie. Casaux relates that a Negro, seeing a White Man abuse his father, said: "Carry away the child of this monster, that it may not learn to imitate his conduct."

        "Of all the races of men," says Dr. Channing, "the African is the mildest and most susceptible of attachment. He loves, where the European would hate. He watches the life of a master, whom the North American Indian, in like circumstances, would stab to the heart."

        "There is in the Negro race," says John Candler, "a spirit of kindness not common to barbarous or half-civilized nations; such is the testimony of Mungo Park and other African travellers. A few days before our arrival at the Cape, a ship from Bremen, with 170 German emigrants, bound for New Orleans, had been wrecked at Point Isabella, and driven on shore in a heavy gale of wind. No lives were lost; much damage was sustained; but the passengers and crew were brought in safety to the Cape. The news of their arrival--strangers in a land speaking an unknown tongue, dejected, care-worn, much of their little property lost in the wreck, some of them sick, and nearly all without food--aroused the feelings of these good people, and awakened the liveliest sympathy. The authorities, all Black or Coloured men, ordered houses to be opened for their reception, into which beds and moveables were conveyed; medical men proffered their assistance, and the inhabitants supplied them with food and clothing. We passed through some of the buildings where they were


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placed, and were cheered to witness the alacrity with which they were served.*

        Anthony Benezet, a highly philanthropic and benevolent individual, a member of the Society of Friends, established a school in Philadelphia for the instruction of Negroes, in which he himself taught gratuitously. No one had a better opportunity of ascertaining their capabilities than he had: and he says, "I can with truth and sincerity declare, that I have found amongst the Negroes as great variety of talents as among a like number of Whites; and I am bold to assert, that the notion entertained by some, that the Blacks are inferior in their capacities, is a vulgar prejudice founded on the pride or ignorance of their lordly masters, who have kept their Slaves at such a distance, as to be unable to form a right judgment of them."

        Surely testimonies so creditable to the character and capabilities of the Negro race, proceeding spontaneously from men in all respects intelligent and trustworthy, are sufficient to refute those calumnies which describe them as insensible to the blessings of freedom, and as incapable of appreciating those blessings, and even designed for no other than a servile and ignominious rank in the human family. Surely they are enough to convince us that they are able "to manage their own concerns;" that they need not the impulse of the whip, having, in a state of freedom, no disinclination to work, and that willingly, from the natural impulse only of their own reflections.

        Volumes might be filled with equally honourable testimonies in favour of the calumniated Negro. Travellers who have visited the interior of Africa, where the effects of the Slave Trade are much less felt than upon the coasts, assure us that the natural dispositions of the Negro are mild, gentle, and amiable in an extraordinary degree; and that far from wanting ingenuity, they have made no contemptible progress in the more refined arts; and have even
* Brief Notices of Hayti.


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united into political societies of great extent and complicated structure, notwith standing the grievous obstacles which are thrown in the way of their civilization, by their remote situation, and their want of water carriage; that their disposition to voluntary and continued exertions of body and mind, their capability for industry, the great promoter of all human improvement, is not inferior to the same principle in other tribes in similar situations: in a word, that they have the same propensity to improve their condition, their faculties, and their virtues, which forms so prominent a feature of the human character over all the rest of the world.

        The travels of Barrow, Le Vaillant, and Mungo Park, and the writings of Dr. Philip, Pringle, and Shaw, &c., abound with incidents, honourable to the moral character of the Africans, and prove that they betray no deficiency in the amiable qualities of the heart. One of these travellers gives us an interesting description of the Chief of a tribe:--"His countenance was strongly marked with the habit of reflection; vigorous in his mental, and amiable in his personal qualities, Gaika was at once the friend and ruler of a happy people, who universally pronounced his name with transport, and blessed his abode as the seat of felicity." Many highly polished European kings would appear to little advantage by the side of this sable Chief.

        There is no just ground for supposing that Negroes in general are inferior to any variety of the human race in natural goodness of heart; but it is consonant with our experience of mankind, that this quality should be deadened, or completely extinguished, in the Slave ship or the plantation: indeed it is as little creditable to the head as to the heart of their White tormentors, to expect a display of amiable or moral qualities from the Negro, after his treatment in oppression and Slavery.

        "The Africans," writes the editor of the Westminster Review, "are apt to imitate, quick to seize, ambitious to


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achieve civilization. Whenever brought into contact with Europeans, they copy their manners, imbibe their tastes, and endeavour to acquire their arts. The imitative disposition and the imitative faculty, are both in them particularly strong. They are neither unwilling nor unable to learn the lessons and endure the toils and shackles of civilized existence. In those qualities of acquiring and progressing, which distinguish Man from the brute, they resemble Man. They have now been for three centuries in contact with Europeans, exposed during that period to the most barbarous treatment and the most destroying and depressing influences; yet not only has nothing occurred to indicate for them the fate of other unhappy races whom European cruelty or European superiority has trodden out, but they have actually advanced under circumstances the most hostile to advancement." Even in their native Africa, where they have received gunpowder and rum from the very hands which ought to have imparted to them all the better influences of civilized life; cheated by knavish agents, cajoled by European governments, and hunted with bloodhounds,--still, under all these retrograding influences, they have afforded admirable proofs that they are as susceptible of civilization as any other people on the face of the earth.

        It is indeed remarkable, that under the peculiar disadvantages to which the Negro race are subjected, so many of their good qualities should often remain to a considerable extent unimpaired. The African is, as we have said, naturally so affectionate, imitative, and docile, that under the least favourable circumstances, he often imbibes much that is good. The influence of a wise and kind master, (the effects of which have been already alluded to,) are visible in the very countenance and bearing of his Slaves, and notwithstanding all their degradation, sufficiently deep to erase from them nearly every trace of the divine image, there are occasionally to be found, even among Slaves, examples of


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superior intelligence and virtue, strongly evincing the groundlessness of the opinion that they are incapable of filling a higher rank than that of Slavery, and demonstrating also, that human nature is too generous and hardy to be wholly destroyed in the most unpropitious state. We also frequently witness in this class "a superior physical development, a grace of form and motion, which almost extorts a feeling approaching respect."

        H. C. Howells, of Pittsburg, U. S., made the following statement in the Anti-Slavery Convention, in London, in 1843. "There are in Pittsburg 2500 people of Colour who stand as high in point of intellect, and of moral conduct, as the same number of the White population. With all their disadvantages pressing them down to the dust, there is a buoyancy raising them above everything. There are among them whom I love as my dearest kindred,--men who are imbued with the spirit of the gospel in no ordinary degree, and whose fidelity would make them ornaments to any station of life." *

        Is it not evident then, to use the words of the excellent Dr. Channing, whom I have so often quoted, that "we are holding in bondage one of the best races of the human family?" The Negro, "says he," is among the mildest and gentlest of men. He is singularly susceptible of improvement from abroad. His children, it is said, receive more rapidly than ours the elements of knowledge. How far he can originate improvements, time only can teach. His nature is affectionate, easily touched; and hence he is more open to religious impressions than the White Man. The European races have manifested more courage, enterprise, invention; but in the dispositions which Christianity particularly honours, how inferior are they to the African. When I cast my eyes over our southern region, the land of bowie knives, lynch law, and duels,--of chivalry, honour, and revenge,--and when I consider that Christianity is
* Report of Convention.


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declared to be a spirit of charity, which seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and endureth all things,--can I hesitate in deciding to which of the races in that land, Christianity is most adapted, and in which its noblest disciples are most likely to be reared? The African carries with him, much more than we, the germs of a meek, long-suffering virtue. A short residence among the Negroes in the West Indies impressed me with their capacity of improvement. On all sides I heard of their religious tendencies, the noblest in human nature."


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CHAPTER XI.

The African race examined in an Intellectual point of view--Their origin and noble ancestry--Ethiopians and Egyptians considered--Some Negroes have arrived at considerable intellectual attainments--Have distinguished themselves variously--Exemplified in Amo--State of learning at Timbuctoo in the sixteenth century--Abdallah--Hannibal-- Lislet--Fuller--Banneker--Derham--Capitein-- Ignatius Sancho-- Gustavus Vassa--Lott Carey--Phillis Wheatley---Placido--Jasmin Thoumazeau--Paul Cuffe--Toussaint L'Ouverture, and many others-- Further testimony of Blumenbach to their capacity for scientific cultivation--Corroborative evidence in the United States--West Indies-- Liberia--Gnadenthal--Further demonstration of Negro capabilities inliving witnesses--Jan Tzatzoe--Pennington--Douglass--Remond-- Crummell--Dr. M'Cune Smith--Edward Frazer, Wesleyan Minister in Antigua--Richard Hill, Esq.--Some of the highest offices of State in Brazil filled by Blacks--Blacks and Mulattoes are distinguished officers in the Brazilian army--Coloured Roman Catholic Clergy--Lawyers-- Physicians--Dr. Wright's testimony to the capabilities and intellect of the Negro.

        With regard to the intellectual capabilities of the African ace, it may be observed, that Africa was once the nursery of science and literature, and it was from thence that they were disseminated among the Greeks and Romans. Solon, Plato, Pythagoras, and others of the master spirits of ancient Greece, performed pilgrimages into Africa in search of knowledge; there they sat at the feet of ebon philosophers to drink in wisdom!* How many multitudes flocked from all parts of the world to listen to the instructions of the African Euclid, who, 300 years before Christ, was at the head of the most celebrated mathematical school in the world? Africa had once her churches, her colleges, and repositories of learning and of science; once, she was the emporium of commerce, and the seat of an empire which contended with Rome for the sovereignty of the world;
* It is said that the ancient Greeks represented Minerva, their favourite Goddess of Wisdom, as an African Princess.


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she has been termed the cradle of the ancient Church, and she was the asylum of the infant Saviour. Say not then, that Africa is without her heraldry of science and of fame!

        Antiochus the Great welcomed to his court, with the most signal honours, the African Hannibal; and the great conqueror of Hannibal made the African poet, Terence, one of his most intimate associates and confidants! Being emancipated by his master, who took him to Rome and gave him a good education, the young African soon acquired reputation for the talent he displayed in his comedies. His dramatic works were much admired by the Romans for their prudential maxims and moral sentences, and compared with his contemporaries he was much in advance of them in point of style.

        Some of the most eminent Fathers and writers in the primitive Church, Origen, Tertullian, Augustine, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Cyril, were Africans. Can the enlightened Negrophobists of America tell us why these tawny Bishops of Africa, of Apostolic renown, were not colonized into a Negro pew, when attending the ecclesiastical councils of their day? And how do they reconcile their actions with the example of the Evangelist Philip, who, in compliance with the intimation of the Spirit, went and joined the Ethiopian in his chariot, preached to him the gospel of Christ, and baptized him in his name?

        Most eminent writers and historians concur in the opinion that the ancient Ethiopians were Negroes, though perhaps exhibiting the peculiar features of the race in a less aggravated degree than the dwellers on the coast of Guinea: to the Ethiopians we are justified in ascribing the highest attainments They appear to have been the parents of Egyptian science and civilization, and attained, as existing monuments attest, a high eminence in many arts in the very earliest periods of history.

        Respecting the physical history of the ancient Egyptians, it has been a matter of discussion to what department of


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mankind they belonged. The fact has been strongly maintained by some that they were Negroes. If we form an opinion of them from the accounts left us by Herodotus and other writers, who say that they were "woolly-haired Blacks, with projecting lips," we cannot doubt that they were perfect Negroes. Volney assumes it as a settled point that this was really the case. But the authority of Herodotus is of most weight, as he travelled in Egypt, and was therefore well acquainted, from his own observation, with the appearance of the people; and it is well known that he is generally very faithful in relating the facts, and describing the objects, which fell under his personal observation. In his account of the people of Colchis, he says, that they were a colony of Egyptians, and supports his opinion by this argument, that they were "black in complexion and woolly-haired." These are the exact words (translated) used in his description of undoubted Negroes. But neither the Copts, their descendants, nor the mummies, of which so many thousands are yet extant as unquestionable witnesses, allow the supposition to be maintained that their general complexion was black.*

        That the ancient Ethiopians were black, I have stated, most eminent writers are agreed upon; hence the Scripture query, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin?" Now, it is a fact of history, that Egypt and Ethiopia were originally peopled, contemporaneously, by the brothers, Misraim and Cush, and were long confederated under one government, being a similar people in politics and literature, &c. As
* Dr. Prichard, in his History of Man, has brought together, with great learning and industry, most of the ancient testimonies illustrative of the question. By the most extensive researches, he has endeavoured to prove an affinity between the ancient Egyptians and Indians; and to show that both are marked by the characters of the Negro race. Those who desire to study this question in detail, will find ample materials in Dr. Prichard's work, Vol. II., p. 282, 289, 330; in "Volneys Ruins of Empires," App. 278; "Burkhardt's Travels;" "Denon Descrip. de l'Egypte;" &c.


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evidence of this, down to the time of Herodotus, eighteen out of three hundred Egyptian sovereigns were Ethiopians.*

        If it be not admitted that these nations were black, they were undoubtedly of very dark complexion, having much of the Negro physiognomy, as depicted in Egyptian sculpture and painting, and from them the Negro population, indeed the whole race of Africa, have sprung. Say not then, I repeat it, that Africa is without her heraldry of science and of fame! Its inhabitants are the"off-shoots,-- wild and untrained it is true, but still the off-shoots,--of a stem which was once proudly luxuriant in the fruits of learning and taste; whilst that from which the Goths, their calumniators, have sprung, remained hard, and knotted, and barren."**

        However, putting this noble ancestry entirely out of view, which all Africans are, nevertheless, fully entitled to claim as their own;--instances are not unfrequent of undoubted Negroes, who have distinguished themselves in an intellectual point of view; and some who have been more fortunately favoured with opportunities of education and improvement, have arrived at intellectual attainments of no mean order. They are not without their philosophers, linguists, poets, mathematicians, ministers of the Gospel, merchants, lawyers, generals, and physicians, eminent in their several attainments, energetic in enterprise, and honourable in character. That examples of distinguished intellect and ability are not more frequent among the Negro race, is doubtless owing, chiefly, to the want of opportunities of cultivation and means of improvement, added to the other disadvantages under which they have laboured through successive generations. Let us again revert to facts, for I desire not to make any assertion without having the support of undubitable evidence.

        Among the Turks, Negroes have sometimes arrived at the most eminent offices. Different writers have given the
* Herod, Lib. II., cap. 100.

** Richard Watson.


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same account of Kislar Aga, who, in 1730, was chief of the Black eunuchs of the Porte, and have described him as possessing great wisdom and profound knowledge.*

        In 1765, the English papers cited as a remarkable event, the ordination of a Negro, by Dr. Keppel, Bishop of Exeter.** Among the Spaniards and Portuguese, it is a common occurrence. The history of Congo gives an account of a Black Bishop who studied at Rome.***

        Correa de Serra, a learned secretary of the Academy of Portugal, informs us that several Negroes have been learned lawyers, preachers, and professors; and that many of them in the Portuguese possessions, have been signalized by their talents. In 1717, the Negro, Don Juan Latino, taught the Latin language at Seville. He lived to the age of 117. ****

        An African Prince, and many young Africans of quality sent into Portugal in the time of king Immanuel, were distinguished at the Universities, and some of them were promoted to the priesthood.*****

        Near the close of the 17th century, Admiral Du Quesne, saw at the Cape Verd Islands, a catholic Negro clergy, with the exception of the Bishop and Curate of St. Jago. ******

        In 1734, Anthony William Amo, an African from the coast of Guinea, took the degree of Doctor in Philosophy at the University of Wittemburg. Two of his dissertations, according to Blumenbach, exhibit much well digested knowledge of the best physiological works of the time. He was well versed in Astronomy, and spoke the Latin, Hebrew, Greek, French, Dutch, and German languages. In an account of his life, published by the academic council of the University, his integrity, talents, industry, and erudition are highly commended.*******


* Observations sur la religion, &c., des Turcs; p. 98.

*** Gentleman's Mag., 1765, p. 145.

*** Prevot, General History of Voyages, V. p. 53.

**** Gregoire.

***** Cledes's History of Portugal, I. p. 594. Paris, 1735.

****** Gregoire.

******* Gregoire.

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        According to the statements of Leo Africanus, who visited the city of Timbuctoo, on the Niger, in the 16th century, the progress of learning must have been considerable in its locality at that period. "In this city," observes Leo, "there are great numbers of judges, of teachers, of priests, and of very learned men, who are amply supported by the royal bounty. An infinite quantity of M.S. books are brought hither from Barbary; and much more money is derived from the traffic in these than from all the other articles of merchandize." As if to prevent us from referring these things to the Moors, Leo mentions Abubakir, surnamed Bargama, the kings brother, with whom he was well acquainted, as "a man very black in complexion, but most fair in mind and disposition."*

        Abdallah, a native of Guber, in West Africa, although having the true Negro features and colour, is described as having a very intelligent, prepossessing countenance. "In his mental faculties," says Dr. Steetzen, "he appeared to be by no means inferior to Europeans."**

        The capacity of the Negro for the mathematical and physical sciences, is proved by Hannibal, a Colonel in the Russian artillery, and Lislet of the Isle of France, who was named a corresponding member of the French academy of Sciences, on account of his excellent Meteorological Observations. Fuller, a Slave of Maryland, was an extraordinary example of quickness in mental calculation. Being asked in a company, for the purpose of trying his powers, how many seconds a person had lived who was seventy years and some months old, he gave the answer in a minute and a half. On reckoning it up after him in figures, a different result was obtained; "have you not forgot the leap years?" asked the Negro. This ommission was supplied, and the number then agreed precisely with his answer. Fuller was a native of Africa, and could neither read nor write.
* Travels of Leo Africanus.

** Annals of Oriental Literature, p, 537.


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This circumstance is related by Dr. Rush from his own knowledge, a most creditable authority, and is quoted by Dr. Lawrence, Gregoire, Rees, Chambers, &c.

        Another instance occurred in the United States during the last century, of a Coloured man showing a remarkable skill in Mathematical Science. His name was Richard Banneker, and he belonged also to Maryland. He was altogether self taught, and having directed his attention to the study of astronomy, his calculations were so thorough and exact, as to excite the approbation of Pitt, Fox, Wilberforce, and many other eminent persons. An almanac which he composed, was produced in the British House of Commons, as an argument in favour of the mental cultivation of the Coloured people, and of their liberation from their wretched thraldom.*

        Boerhaave and De Haen have given the strongest testimony that our Coloured fellow-men possess no mean insight into practical medicine; and several have been known as very dexterous surgeons. A Negress at Yverdun is mentioned by Blumenbach as being celebrated for real knowledge, and a "fine experienced hand."**

        James Derham, originally a Slave in Philadelphia, became one of the most distinguished physicians in New Orleans.***

        J. E. J. Capitein was brought from Africa when about seven years old, and purchased by a Slave-dealer. Of his early history but little is known, or by what means he became instructed in the elements of the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldaic languages. He was a painter from taste. He published at the Hague, an elegy in Latin verse, on the death of his instructor. From the Hague he went to the University of Leyden; on entering which, he published a Latin dissertation on the calling of the Gentiles. He also published several sermons and letters at Leyden, one
* Gregoire.

** Chambers' Tracts, v. vii.

*** Mott's Biogr. Sketches.


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of which, went through four editions very quickly. He took his degree at Leyden, and was ordained to the office of a Christian minister in Amsterdam. He went to Elmina on the Gold Coast, where it is probable he was either murdered or sold into Slavery.*

         The son of the King of Nimbana came to England to study, acquired a proficiency in the sciences, and learnt Hebrew, that he might read the Bible in the original. This young man, of whom great expectations were entertained, died soon after his return to Africa.**

        Stedman was acquainted with a Negro who knew the Koran by heart.

        Higiemondo was an able artist. If the painter's business is to impart life to nature, he was master of this, according to the testimony of Sandrart. He resided in India. In 1788, he or Cugoano, a native African, were in the service of Cosway, first painter of the Prince of Wales.***

        Ignatius Sancho and Gustavus Vassa, the former born in a Slave ship, on its passage to the West Indies, and the latter in Guinea, on the coast of Africa, distinguished themselves in England in modern times. Gustavus Vassa exhibited talents, without much literary cultivation, to which a good education would have been a great advantage. Fortune bringing Ignatius Sancho to England, the interest of the Duke of Montague became excited on his behalf, and he befriended him. Some letters of Sancho's were published in two volumes after his decease. These letters exhibit a considerable display of epistolary talent, of rapid and just conception, of wild patriotism, and of universal philanthropy; and when it is borne in mind that they were written by an untutored African, and never designed for publication, it must be admitted they evince the possession of abilities in the writer, equal to a European. Sancho supported a commerce with the Muses, amidst the
* Lawrence's Lectures.

** Gregoire.

*** Pennington's Text Book, p. 49.


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trivial and momentary interruptions of a shop; he studied the Poets, and even imitated them with some success; he constructed two pieces for the stage; the "Theory of Music" he discussed, published, and dedicated to the Princess Royal; and painting was so much within the circle of his judgment, that Mortimer came often to consult him; Garrick and Sterne were well acquainted with him; the latter corresponded with him.*

        In proof of the musical talents of the Negro, it may be mentioned that they have been known to earn so much in America, as to purchase their freedom with large sums. The younger Friedig, in Vienna, was an excellent performer both on the violin and violincello; he was also a capital draftsman, and made a very successful painting of himself.**

        Amongst others of the Negro race who have possessed no mean share of the intellectual qualities, I may mention Sadiki, a learned Slave in Jamaica, redeemed through the intercession of Dr. Madden, who speaks most highly also of his conduct, and of his great discernment and discretion.***

        Job Ben Solliman, Prince of Bunda on the Gambia, a learned Slave, translated M. S. S. for Sir Hans Sloane; was introduced to Court by the Duke of Montague, and graciously received by the Royal Family and nobility, &c. ****

        Lott Carey, was born a Slave in Virginia, but by repeated presents for his integrity, and subscriptions amongst merchants, by whom he was highly esteemed, he purchased his freedom. His intellectual ability, his firmness of purpose, unbending integrity, correct judgment, and disinterested benevolence, placed him in a conspicuous situation, and gave him wide and commanding influence. *****

        Phillis Wheatley, was stolen for a Slave when a little
* Life of Ignatius Sancho.

** Rees, Lawrence, &c.

*** Dr. Madden's West Indies.

**** Mott's Biog. Sketches.

***** Mott and Chambers.


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girl from her parents in Africa. In sixteen months she acquired the English language so perfectly, that she could read any of the most difficult parts of Scripture, to the great astonishment of those who heard her; and this she learned without any instruction, except what was given her in the family. She wrote poems between the age of 14 and 19, which were published in this country. The talented editors of the Edinbro' Journal in quoting a portion from one of her poems "On the Providence of God," observe, "it shows a very considerable reach of thought, and no mean powers of expression." Phillis visited England and was admired in the first circles of society.*

        Amongst learned Mulattoes, Castaing may be mentioned as exhibiting poetic genius. His compositions ornament various editions of poetry. Barbaud-Royer Boisrond, the author of the "Precis des Gemissements des Sang-mêlés," announces himself as belonging to this class; and Michael Mina (also called Miliscent) was a Mulatto of St. Domingo. Julien Raymond, likewise a Mulatto, associated himself with the class of moral and political sciences, for the section of legislation. Without being able to justify in every respect the conduct of Raymond, we may praise the energy with which he defended Men of Colour and Free Negroes. He published many works, the greater part of which relate to the history of St. Domingo, and may serve as an antidote to the impostures circulated by the colonists. The principal of these is entitled, "Origine des troubles do St. Domingo."**

        Cæsar, a Negro of North Carolina, was the author of several poems, which were published, and have become popular, like those of Bloomfield.***

        Durand and Demanet, who resided a long time in Guinea, found Negroes with a keen and penetrating mind, a sound judgment, taste, and delicacy.****


* Life of Phillis Wheatley.

** Gregoire, p. 167.

*** Idem, p. 168.

**** Durand, p. 58--Demanet, Hist. del 'Afrique, II., p.3.

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        On different parts of the coast of Africa there are Negroes who speak two or three languages, and are interpreters.* In general, they have a very retentive memory. This has been remarked by Vaillant, and other travellers.**

        Adanson, astonished to hear the Negroes of Senegal mention a great number of stars, and converse pertinently concerning them, believes that if they had good instruments, they would become good astronomers.***

        Henry Diaz, who is extolled in all the histories of Brazil, was a Negro. Once a Slave, he became Colonel of a regiment of foot soldiers of his own colour, to whom Brandano bestows the praise of talents and sagacity****

        Mentor, born at Martinico, in 1771, was a Negro. In fighting against the English he was made prisoner. In sight of the coast of Ushant, he took possession of the vessel which was conducting him to England, and carried her into Brest. To a noble physiognomy he united an amenity of character, and a mind improved by culture. He occupied the legislative seat at the side of the estimable Tomany. Such was Mentor, whose latter conduct has perhaps sullied these brilliant qualities. He was killed at St. Domingo.*****

        Cinque, the Chief of the Mendian Negroes, who planned and carried into effect their own rescue by overpowering the crew of the Slaver on which they were embarked, was a man of uncommon natural capacity, and his great mental superiority impressed all who came in contact with him. ******

        Placido was a gifted but unfortunate Negro, of whose history more may perhaps be learnt hereafter. He was a poet of no mean order.

        A collection of poems, written by a Slave recently liberated in the Island of Cuba, was presented to Dr. Madden, in 1838, by a gentleman in Havannah. Some of these pieces
* Clarkson, p. 125.

** Prevot, IV. l98.

*** Voyage au Senegal, p. 149.

**** Gregoire.

***** Idem, p. 102.

****** Sturge's United States.


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had fortunately found their way to that place, and attracted the attention of the literary people there, while the poor author was in Slavery in Cuba. Dr. Madden made a translation of a few of them into English. "I am sensible," says the Doctor, "I have not done justice to these poems, but I trust I have done enough to vindicate in some degree the character of Negro intellect, at least the attempt affords me an opportunity of recording my conviction, that the blessings of education and good government are alone wanting to make the natives of Africa, intellectually and morally, equal to the people of any nation on the surface of the globe." The author of the poems is now living at Havannah, and gains his livelihood by hiring himself out as an occasional servant. His father and mother lived and died in Slavery in Cuba. He has written his history in Spanish, in a manner alike creditable to his talents and his integrity. This, with a few of his compositions translated, will be found amongst the pages of the present volume. As to the merit of the poems, they are highly spoken of by a very talented Spanish scholar, distinguished not only in Cuba, but in Spain, for his literary attainments. The Cuban poet was introduced to Dr. Madden by this gentleman in the following terms:-- "Mi querido Amigo esta carta se la entregara a v, el poeta J. F. M. de quien hable à v, y cuyos versos y exelente ingenio han llamada la atencion, aun en esta pais de todas las personas despreocupadas y buenas."

        Without attempting to enumerate all the Negroes who have written poems, it may be mentioned that Blumenbach possessed English, Dutch, and Latin poetry, by different Coloured persons.

        In Thomas Jenkins, the son of an African King, we have an extraordinary specimen of Negro intellect. Through accidental circumstances, he became placed in a situation more favourable to improvement than falls to the lot of many of his race. He acquainted himself tolerably well


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with Latin and Greek, and initiated himself in the study of mathematics, &c.*

        Francis Williams studied at Cambridge, and made considerable progress in mathematics, and other branches of science.**

        Jasmin Thoumazeau was originally a Slave of St. Domingo; the Philadelphia Society, and the Agricultural Society of Paris, both decreed medals to him.***

        Paul Cuffe presents us with an example of great energy of mind in the more common affairs of life. Born under peculiar disadvantages, notwithstanding the pressure of many difficulties, he qualified himself for any station of life. A sound understanding, united with indomitable energy and perseverance, mingled with a fervent but unaffected piety and benevolence, were the prominent features of his character. Religion, influencing his mind by its secret guidance, and silent reflection, added, in advancing manhood, to the brightness of his character, and confirmed his disposition to practical good. His exertions to promote the happiness of his fellow-men, and to relieve their sufferings, confer more honours upon him, than ever marble statue or monumental trophy could do.****

        Who is there that is not acquainted with the history of the gallant, yet unfortunate Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Negro Chief of St. Domingo, so intimately connected with the history of Hayti, the remembrance of whose name will ever be cherished by the friends of suffering humanity? Among the individuals of the African race who have distinguished themselves by intellectual achievement, he is preeminent: and while society at large is waiting for evidence of what the Negro race can do and become, it is rational to build high hopes upon such a character as that of the man, who, as a Dictator and a General, was the model upon which Napoleon formed himself;***** who was as inclined to
* Chambers' Tracts.

** Mott's Biogr. Sketches.

*** Idem.

**** Memoir of Paul Cuffe.

***** See "Biographie Universelle," art. Toussaint.


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peace as he was renowned in war; and who will ever be regarded in history, as one of the most remarkable men of an age teeming with social wonders. The author of "Brief Notices of Hayti," describes Toussaint L'Ouverture as "one of the ablest generals of his age." Here, then, we have a man, in all respects worthy of the name of man. Here is a man of a jet black complexion, who exhibited a genius which would have been considered eminent in civilized European society, and who, in true goodness and wisdom, affords an incontrovertible demonstration that there is no incompatibility between Negro organization and high intellectual power. He was altogether African,--a perfect Negro in his conformation, yet a fully endowed and well accomplished man. In no respect does his nature appear to have been unequal; there was no feebleness in one direction, as a consequence of unusual vigour in another. He had strength of body, strength of understanding, strength of belief, and, consequently, of purpose; strength of affection, of imagination, and of will. He was, emphatically, a great man: and what one of his race has been, others may equally attain to.

        Blumenbach observes, "that entire and large provinces of Europe might be named, in which it would be difficult to meet with such good writers, poets, philosophers, and correspondents of the French Academy; and that, moreover, there is no savage people, who have distinguished themselves by such examples of perfectibility and capacity for scientific cultivation; and consequently, that none can approach more nearly to the polished nations of the globe than the Negro.* Both in their native country, and in places where they exist as Slaves, or as freed men, they exhibit intellectual and moral characteristics of considerable promise. They not only show a perfect capability of acquiring the more delicate manual arts, but in the United States of America, where many of them have existed for
* P. 118.


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some time as free citizens, in the midst of White people, they exhibit a high development of the intellectual character, several acting as ministers of religion, and doctors of medicine.

        I may also refer to what has been effected, within a few short years in the British West Indies, so recently numbered among "the dark places of the earth, full of the habitations of cruelty." The moral character of the Coloured people in those Islands, many of whom are intelligent, well educated, and possessed of property, has presented a visible and cheering improvement, in spite of the demoralizing effect naturally resulting from that most unchristian and impolitic prejudice indulged against them on account of their colour, by the Whites generally, and their being considered as a degraded class.

        At this moment, too, in the little colony of Liberia, upon the western coast of Africa, formed by free Blacks from the United States, we have, if recent accounts can be relied upon, a community as purely moral and as remarkable for prudent and skilful management as any perhaps in the world. The history of the missions among the Hottentots speaks to the same purpose. Those sent from Holland, in 1792, who founded the establishment at Gnadenthal, were told that they never would be able even to fix the attention of this primitive people. On the contrary, their instructions in school, and their discourses on Christianity, were eagerly taken advantage of. Multitudes flocked from a distance to live at the settlement, for the benefit of the ministrations of the missionaries. It consequently became a populous and thriving town. The Dutch boors at first opposed the mission, thinking that the Hottentots might become reluctant to serve them; but they soon came to see that the people who had become Christianized under the instruction of the missionaries, were far more useful and trustworthy servants than the sensual and degraded Pagans whom they had previously been


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obliged to employ. They were astonished to find the natives, under this system, become quite a different people. "Perhaps nothing in this account is more remarkable than the fact, that so strong a sensation was produced throughout the whole Hottentot nation, and even among the neighbouring tribes of different people, by the improved and happy condition of the Christian Hottentots, as to excite a general desire for similar advantages. Whole families of Hottentots, and even of Bushmen [a degraded and impoverished branch of the same people], set out for the borders of Caffraria, and performed journeys of many weeks in order to settle in Gnadenthal. It is a singular fact in the history of barbarous races of men, that the savage Bushmen, of their own accord, solicited from the colonial government, when negotiations were opened with them with the view of putting an end to a long and bloody contest, that teachers might be sent amongst them, such as those at Gnadenthal."*

        The circumstances already recorded afford abundant ground to hope that an improvement on a very extensive scale, might, with little difficulty be effected, both as regards the moral and intellectual condition of the Negro. Notwithstanding the baneful influences of Slavery, and its concomitant evil the Slave Trade, subjecting them to hardships the most cruel and degrading; and notwithstanding the manifold disadvantages against which this unfortunate race have still to contend;--thanks be to God, we have living witnesses not a few, who demonstrate in themselves that the question of Negro capability is no longer a theoretical one, but established by facts the most unequivocal. Come forth, then, ye living monuments, array yourselves before a guilty world, and demand, each one of you, "Am I not a man and a brother?"

        I have inserted in the present volume, some brief sketches of persons of Colour,--Africans, or of African descent,
* Prichard, I., 185.


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now living, which fully justify these remarks. Such are Jan Tzatzoe, the Christian chief of the Amakosæ tribe, in South Africa. This intelligent African, along with Andries Stoffles, a pious and enlightened Hottentot, came over to England some years ago with Dr. Philip, and moved in the first circles of society in Great Britain. They were examined before a committee of the House of Commons, and also addressed a large audience in Exeter Hall. Extracts from the report of the committee, &c., &c., will be found in the succeeding pages. The engraving placed opposite to the title page of the present volume represents these Africans giving evidence before the committee; Dr. Philip is seated in the foreground, and Jame Read, sen. and jun., Missionaries from South Africa, are standing, the latter acting as interpreter.

        Amongst other living witnesses, may be mentioned James W. C. Pennington, a minister of the Gospel in the United States, highly esteemed and respected by all who are acquainted with him, and who was born a Slave. He visited Great Britain a few years ago, when his company was much sought after, and be moved in the best circles of society. In 1841, he published "A Text Book of the Origin and History, &c., &c., of the Coloured People," a duodecimo of nearly 100 pages, including a mass of facts and arguments on the subject.

        Frederick Douglass, a fugitive Slave, so well-known, is one of this class; his eloquence and thrilling accents speak for themselves. "I am inclined," says Thomas Harvey, "to regard Douglass as raised up by Divine Providence to disprove the notion of the natural inferiority of the Coloured race. He was born and trained in Slavery; --made his escape in early manhood;--supported himself two or three years by hard labour, and then suddenly appeared on the stage of public affairs, as an accomplished public speaker, displaying not merely native talent, but such results of cultivation as could have been obtained only


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under such circumstances by very uncommon genius, and a quickness of perception approaching to intuition. His refinement of mind and manners, the great sensitiveness of his feelings, and his general high toned character, together with his genius and force of mind, constitute him (when viewed in relation to his origin, and the influences amidst which he was born and nurtured) a moral and intellectual phenomenon, well deserving the notice of the philosopher, as well as the philanthropist."

        C. A. Bissette, is an intelligent man of Colour; his labours in the Anti-Slavery cause have been great; and his zeal in that good cause untiring.

        Nor should I forget to mention Charles L. Remond, endowed as he assuredly is, with intellectual attainments of the highest order, and possessing powers of eloquence rarely surpassed but,--


                         "I would not praise thee, Remond--thou hast gifts
                         Bestowed upon thee for a noble end;
                         And, for the use of which, account must be
                         Returned to Him who lent them. May this thought
                         Preserve thee in his fear; and may the praise
                         Be given only to His Mighty name."

        Dr. Madden speaks highly of a Negro minister, at Kingston, Jamaica. He first went to hear him, he says, from motives of curiosity, not unmixed with feelings of contempt; yet, he adds, there was an influence in the ministry of this man, which induced the White Man, "who came to scoff," "to remain to pray."*

        "There is a Coloured female," says Lewis Tappan, living in New York, with whom I am well acquainted, who established the first Sunday school in it. She established that school, by her personal efforts, for the education of children, both White and Coloured; and it was the foundation of all the Sunday schools that exist in and adorn that city. She has also taken out of the almshouses forty
* Dr. Madden's West Indies.


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children, and educated them at her own expense, a large number of them being White children. This woman is now living, a highly respectable and worthy member of the Church of Christ,--an honour to human nature, and to the city of New York, demonstrating the capacity of the Coloured people, and the moral excellency to which they may attain." "I must bear my testimony," adds Lewis Tappan, "in the most decided manner, not only to the excellency of the free people of Colour, whom I have had an opportunity of knowing in New York and the United States, but to their general good conduct, their religious character, and the equality of their capacity, in every point of view, with that of other men."*

        Mr. Athill, a Coloured gentleman, is Postmaster General of Antigua, one of the first merchants in St. John's, and was a member of the Assembly until the close of 1836, when, on account of his continued absence, he voluntarily resigned his seat. A high-born White Man, the Attorney General, now occupies the same chair which this Coloured member vacated.**

        At the annual commencement of the Oberlin Institute, the graduating class was composed of sixteen young men and seven young ladies. Of the former, one was a Coloured man of fine talents, named Wm. H. Day, of Northampton, Mass. His oration is spoken of in the Cleveland Herald as of a high character, both in respect to thought, language, and manner.***

        In a speech made in the Anti-Slavery Convention in 1843, Professor Walker, of the Oberlin Institute, related, that on one occasion, at the desire of the Dean and faculty, the students and people of the place, amounting to 1500, assembled in the chapel to engage in religious exercises, and to hear addresses from Coloured students exclusively. "The day," says Professor Walker, "passed off most admirably.
* Speech in A. S. Conv. 1843.

** Thome and Kimball's West Indies.

*** Burritt's Christian Citizen.


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The speakers showed themselves to be men of talent-- nature's orators, and I was astonished--confounded."*

        Henry H. Garnett, formerly a Slave, is said to be nearly equal in ability and eloquence to that extraordinary man Frederick Douglass.** Henry Bibb, once a Slave, is also a very intelligent and eloquent man.

        Dr. James M'Cune Smith, a Coloured gentleman in New York, being shut out of the American colleges by the prejudice against his complexion, took his degree in medicine at the University of Glasgow, and obtained one of the first, if not the first prize, among 500 students. He is a man of superior education, of considerable eloquence, and is highly esteemed and respected in Now York.***

        Alexander Crummell, the minister of a Coloured Episcopal church in New York, is a highly intellectual Negro. He visited London in 1848, and spoke at the annual meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society. He addressed a Coloured Convention at Troy, U.S., in 1847, at some length, in a speech, which, for beauty and chasteness of language, classic research, and its logical expression, commanded the close attention of a refined and intelligent audience. Many legal gentlemen, and others from the highest society in Troy, were present, and must have received a favourable opinion of what can be attained by Coloured men, crushed to the earth even though they are, by the combined influence of Church and State.

        Theodore S. Wright, is a Coloured Presbyterian minister in New York,--an amiable man, much and deservedly respected.

        Stephen Gloucester, who recently visited England, is also an esteemed minister in New York.

        Samuel R. Ward, of Cortland, State of New York, affords an example of high intellectual attainments in the despised race. He is the pastor of a White Congregational Church, and also edits a newspaper.


* Report of Convention.

** Anti-Slavery Reporter.

*** L. Tappan in Anti-Slavery Conv. 1843, &c.

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        Thomas Van Rensallaer, editor of the Ram's Horn, may likewise be adduced as evidence of considerable intellect existing in the Negro race; as also M. R. Delany, joint editor of the North Star.

        In the Anti-Slavery Convention of 1843, Dr. Lushington stated that Lord John Russell had appointed a Black Man to the office of Chief Judge at Sierra Leone.*

        The Wesleyan minister of Parham, in Antigua, (Edward Frazer, who has visited England,) is a man of Colour; he was born a Slave in Bermuda. His history is remarkable. He is not inferior either in education, qualifications, or usefulness, to any of his brethren in the ministry. **

        "I know a Coloured man," says Hiram Wilson, "in the State of New York, who has been employed by the Anti-Slavery Society as a public lecturer; and from information I have received, it appears that he was one of the most popular lecturers they had in the field. He is jet black--of unmixed African blood. I mention this, because it is sometimes said, that, by virtue of a little European blood flowing in their veins, they are brighter, and more talented. But this man is so distinguished, so renowned for his virtues, his intelligence, and his talents, that he has been installed as the pastor of a White congregation--a Presbyterian church in New York, for nearly three years."***

        George B. Vashon, a talented young Coloured gentleman was recently admitted, after due examination, as Attorney, Solicitor, and Counsellor of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. On his examination. he evinced a perfect knowledge of the rudiments of law, and a familiar acquaintance with Coke, Littleton, Blackstone, and Kent. This is not the first instance of Coloured persons being admitted to legal practice in the United States, for in the Old Bay State, two Coloured lawyers have been pursuing the even tenor of their way as recipients of its honours and
* Report of Convention, 1843.

** Sturge and Harvey's West Indies.

*** Speech in A. S. Conv. 1843.


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emoluments for the last two years. One of these, Robert Morris, jun., in addition to the excellence of his character, has acquired correct business habits. The other, Macon B. Allen, who successfully passed the ordeal of a rigid examination, now holds the office of Justice of the Peace for Middlesex county, United States.

        James Forten was an opulent man of Colour, whose long career was marked by a display of capacity and energy of no common kind. The history of his life is interesting and instructive, affording a practical demonstration of the absurdity as well as injustice of that prejudice, which would stamp the mark of intellectual inferiority on his complexion and race.*

        A speech of the Hon. H. Teage, of the Colony of Liberia, on the Coast of Africa, who is either a Black or Coloured gentleman, is inserted in the present volume as an evidence of the capacity and attainments of his race, and of one whose education and life from early boyhood, are Liberian.

        Symphor L' Instant, an intelligent native of Hayti, who has resided some time in Paris, was present and spoke at the Anti-Slavery Convention in London, in 1840.

        William Lynch, Esq., one of the stipendiary Magistrates in Dominica, is a man of Colour. He is justly valued by those who have the pleasure of his friendship, both in England and the West Indies, for his intelligence and piety.**

        Richard Hill, Esq., Secretary to the Governor and stipendiary Magistrate of Jamaica, is a Coloured man of uncommon endowments of mind, and of noble personal bearing. He is probably the ablest person in Jamaica, and was the mainspring of the government during the best parts of the administrations of Lord Sligo and Sir Lionel Smith.***

        Two Coloured gentlemen are proprietors of one of the largest book stores in Jamaica; and one of them is the
* Sturge's United States.

** Sturge and Harvey's West Indies.

*** Thomas Harvey.


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editor of the Watchman. Other newspapers in the West Indies are edited by Coloured persons, and many amongst this class exhibit great intelligence and refinement.

        I could produce a continuous catalogue of names sufficient in themselves to fill a volume, equally conclusive of Negro ability and intelligence as the foregoing. A few more are mentioned in the concluding chapter of the present volume, entitled "Living Witnesses," which also contains additional information respecting some of those already enumerated.

        Although in Brazil there are more than two millions of Slaves, some of the highest offices of State are filled by Black men. There are also Blacks and Mulattoes amongst the most distinguished officers in the Brazilian army. Coloured lawyers and physicians are found in all parts of that country, and, moreover, hundreds of the Roman Catholic clergy are Black and Coloured men, who minister to congregations made up indiscriminately of Blacks and Whites.

        "One evening, during my stay at Philadelphia," says Joseph Sturge, "I took tea with twelve or fifteen Coloured gentlemen, at the house of a Coloured family. The refined manners and great intelligence of many of them, would have done credit to any society. The Whites have a monopoly of prejudice, but not a monopoly of intellect; nor of education and accomplishments; nor even of those more trivial, yet fascinating graces, which throw the charm of elegance and refinement over social life."*

        Dr. Wright, a clergyman of the Church of England, who has resided many years in Africa, made the following statements before the Anti-Slavery Convention in 1843, with which conclusive evidence I shall close the present chapter. "I went out to Africa," says Dr. Wright, "originally as a missionary, under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. One of the first objects
* Sturge's United States.


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to which my attention was directed, was the education of the Negro. At that time he was oppressed, kept down, crushed, and cruelly treated; above all, every obstacle was thrown in the way of his moral improvement. One of the principal things that struck me on visiting the native schools, or establishing them where they had not before existed, was the equality in point of mind between the African and ourselves. I had the pleasure of witnessing while there, a great improvement in the condition of the Negro. I saw many of the restrictions under which they had been placed gradually removed. I saw the chains struck off from the liberated African, and I beheld that same individual rising in intellect and morals, and practising all the social virtues of the father, the husband, and the citizen, and that to such a degree, that he might be safely held up as an example in a civilized country. I saw a passion for literature gradually increasing. They subscribed for the journals, and were anxious for information upon general, political, and religious subjects. They founded churches, supported ministers, and were desirous of classical attainments. I am perfectly satisfied, from what I have both seen and heard, that the Black Man only wants the same opportunities which the White Man enjoys, in order to raise himself to the highest degree to which intellect can conduct him."*


* Proceedings of the A. S. Conv. 1843, p.212.

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CHAPTER XII.

The foregoing facts afford unquestionable evidence of the capabilities of the Negro--Their desire for improvement--Obstacles to this--Invidious distinctions--Effects of Slavery--The improvidence, indolence, &c., ascribed to the Negro, considered--Testimony of Dr. Lloyd--Similar charges brought against the ancient Britons--Russians a century ago--Admitting everything in favour of distinct races, all are capable of great improvement--This applies equally to the Negro race--The superiority of those favourably circumstanced--Events in St. Domingo--Improvement in Negroes brought to Europe--Comparisons--Effects of Education, &c.--Fact related by Dr. Horn--White races liable to relapse into barbarism --Instances of retrogression in Whites--The Greeks and Romans --Case of Charlotte Stanley--Civilization a vague and indefinite term-- Remarkable instance of retrogression in America--Progression in the Negro defended on the same ground--Time required--Accelerated in proportion as impediments are removed.

        The facts recorded in the two preceding chapters, afford unquestionable evidence, that the Negro race is possessed of capabilities of improvement equal to those of any other people; that they are equally susceptible and desirous of rising in civilization, and also in the scale of intelligent existence. But, until those invidious and Anti-Christian distinctions of caste which now exist are removed, they cannot be otherwise than a degraded and inferior people. The want of principle, the absence of moral, and even of decent manners, and the practice of crime among the Negroes, have been the constant topics of complaint, especially amongst those connected with them as property. But the vices of the Slaves are the vices of their condition; and they are not only generated, but perpetuated, by the very system which is pleaded as necessary for their cure.

        "That Slavery should be most unpropitious to the Slave as a moral being," observes Dr. Channing, "will be further apparent if we consider that his condition is throughout, a wrong, and that consequently, it must lead to unsettle all his notions of duty. The injury to the character from


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living in an atmosphere of wrong we can all understand. To live in a state of society of which injustice is the chief and all-pervading element, is too severe a trial for human nature, especially when no means are used to counteract its influence. Coloured delinquency is mostly left to ripen into crime, with little interference from public or private philanthropy. As might have been expected, Coloured are more numerous than White criminals, in proportion to relative population; and this is appealed to as a proof of their naturally vicious and inferior character, when, in fact, society at large is chargeable with their degradation. The most common distinctions of morality are faintly apprehended by the Slave. Respect for property--that fundamental law of civil society--can hardly be instilled into him. His dishonesty is proverbial. Theft from his master passes with him for no crime. A system of force is generally found to drive to fraud. How necessarily will this be the result of a relation in which force is used to extort from a man his labour, his natural property, without any attempt to win his consent! Can we wonder that the uneducated conscience of the man who is daily wronged should allow him in reprisals to the extent of his power? Thus the primary social virtue, justice, is undermined in the Slave."

        "That the Slave should yield himself to intemperance, licentiousness, and in general, to sensual excess, we must also expect. Doomed to live for the physical indulgences of others, unused to any pleasures but those of sense, stripped of self-respect, and having nothing to gain in life, how can he be expected to govern himself? How naturally --I had almost said necessarily--does he become the creature of sensation, of passion, of the present moment! What aid does the future give him in withstanding desire? The better condition, for which other men postpone the cravings of appetite, never opens before him. The sense of character, the power of opinion, another restraint on the


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free, can do little or nothing to rescue so abject a class from excess and debasement. In truth, power over himself is the last virtue we should expect in the Slave, when we think of him as subjected to absolute power, and made to move passively from the impulse of a foreign will. He is trained to cowardice, and cowardice links itself naturally with low vices. Idleness, to his apprehension, is paradise, for he works without hope of reward. Thus Slavery robs him of moral force, and prepares him to fall a prey to appetite and passion.

        "That the Slave finds in his condition little nutriment for the social virtues we shall easily understand, if we consider that his chief relations are to in absolute master, and to the companions of his degrading bondage; that is, to a being who wrongs him, and to associates whom he cannot honour, whom he sees debased. His dependence on his owner loosens his ties to all other beings. He has no country to love, no family to call his own, no objects of public utility to espouse, no impulse to generous exertion. The relations, dependencies, and responsibilities, by which Providence forms the soul to a deep, disinterested love, are almost struck out of his lot. An arbitrary rule, a foreign, irresistible will, taking him out of his own hands, and placing him beyond the natural influence of society, extinguishes in a great degree the sense of what is due to himself, and to the human family around him.

        "The effects of Slavery on the character are so various that this part of the discussion might be greatly extended; but I will touch only on one other topic. Let us turn, for a moment, to the great motive by which the Slave is made to labour. Labour, in one form or another, is appointed by God for man's improvement and happiness, and absorbs the chief part of human life, so that the motive which excites to it has immense influence on character. It determines very much, whether life shall serve or fail of its end. The man who works from honourable motives, from


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domestic affections, from desire of a condition which will open to him greater happiness and usefulness, finds in labour an exercise and invigoration of virtue. The day labourer, who earns with horny hand and the sweat of his face, coarse food for a wife and children whom he loves, is raised, by this generous motive, to true dignity; and, though wanting the refinements of life, is a nobler being than those who think themselves absolved by wealth from serving others. Now the Slave's labour brings no dignity, is an exercise of no virtue, but throughout, a degradation; so that one of God's chief provisions for human improvement becomes a curse. The motive from which he acts debases him. It is the whip. It is corporal punishment. It is physical pain inflicted by a fellow-creature. Undoubtedly labour is mitigated to the Slave, as to all men, by habit. But this is not the motive. Take away the whip, and he would be idle. His labour brings no new comforts to wife or child. The motive which spurs him is one by which it is base to be swayed. Stripes are, indeed, resorted to by civil government, when no other consideration will deter from crime; but he who is deterred from wrong-doing by the whipping-post is among the most fallen of his race. To work in sight of the whip, under menace of blows, is to be exposed to perpetual insult and degrading influences. Every motion of the limbs, which such a menace urges, is a wound to the soul. How hard must it be for a man, who lives under the lash to respect himself! When this motive is substituted for all the nobler ones which God ordains, is it not almost necessarily death to the better and higher sentiments of our nature? It is the part of a man to despise pain in comparison with disgrace, to meet it fearlessly in well-doing, to perform the work of life from other impulses. It is the part of a brute to be governed by the whip. Even the brute is seen to act from more generous incitements. The horse of a noble breed will not endure the lash. Shall we sink man below the horse?"


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        It is often asserted that Negroes are by nature improvident and without ambition. To account for this, if it really be a fact that it is so, we are not to look to any physical peculiarity in their natural constitution, but to the circumstances under which they are usually placed. They are said to be a stupid, indolent, and filthy race, but this, as has already been stated, is not true. They may, under oppression, lose their stimulus to industry. When a people are oppressed and miserably poor, they are invariably a degraded people; and indolence and filth are the inseparable attendants of dejection. Negroes, generally speaking, have no motives to industry; the lawful fruits of their labour are not secured to them; they are robbed, cheated, and oppressed in every possible way; and the filthiness of their huts and persons, are no more than the natural consequences arising from the state of mental depression in which they are held. Cheerfulness and cleanliness are much more nearly allied than is generally imagined.

        Man is naturally indolent, and there are but two ways of overcoming his inherent aversion to labour,--fear, or hope; the first arises from the apprehension of punishment, and is the motive of the Slave; the second is the more powerful, being most agreeable to nature, and cannot exist, except the labourer has a fair compensation secured to him, as a remuneration for his exertion. Give the Negro a motive, and he is active and industrious enough. Dr. Lloyd, who visited the West Indies about ten years ago, in company with some other philanthropists, observes, "We had some opportunity of observing the Negro's character, and we saw nothing to warrant the assertion, that he is idle and lazy, and requires cruelty and compulsion to make him labour."* The same writer (or Dr. Madden) asserts, "The Negro is not the indolent, slothful being he is everywhere considered;" and adds, in another place, " I am well persuaded, in respect to industry, physical strength, and activity,--
* Letters from the West Indies.


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the Egyptian fellah, the Maltese labourer, and the Italian peasant, are far inferior to the Negro."

        Although vices the most notorious that can disgrace human nature have been ascribed to the African race, similar charges have been made against the ancient Britons, and many other nations of the civilized world, and, perhaps with equal justice. For the sake of demonstration, we need only compare the general circumstances of any European nation whatever, and the individual character of its inhabitants both for talents and virtues, at two distant epochs of its history, and we must at once acknowledge how remarkable is the contrast in each particular point. Need we be reminded again of Cicero's remark, that the "ugliest and most stupid Slaves in Rome came from England?" Here we have demonstrated in ourselves what stupid and degraded Slaves, such as Cicero writes of, are capable of advancing to. The same race, who, in the age of Tacitus, dwelt in solitary dens, amid morasses, have built St. Petersburgh and Moscow; and the posterity of cannibals now feed on wheaten bread. Little more than a century ago, Russia was covered with hordes of barbarians; cheating, drinking, brutal lust, and the most ferocious excesses of rage, were as well known, and as little blamed, among the better classes of the nobles who frequented the Czar's court, as the more polished and mitigated forms of the same vices, are, at this day in St. Petersburgh; literature had never once appeared among its inhabitants in a form to be recognized; and you might travel over tracts of several days' journey, without meeting a man, even among the higher classes, whose mind contained the materials of one moment's rational conversation. Although the various circumstances of external improvement will certainly not disguise, even at this day, and among the individuals of the first classes, the "vestigia ruris," still, no one can presume to dispute that the materials of which Russians are made have been greatly and fundamentally ameliorated; that


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their capacities are rapidly unfolding, and their virtues improving, as their habits have become changed, and their communication with the rest of mankind extended. A century ago, it would have been just as miraculous to read a tolerable Russian composition, as it would be, at this day, to find the same phenomenon at Houssa or Timbuctoo; and speculators who argue about races, and despise the effect of circumstances, would have had the same right to decide upon the fate of all the Russians, from an inspection of the Calmuc skulls, as they imagine they now have to condemn all Africa to everlasting barbarism, from the heads, the colour, and the wool of its inhabitants.

        If it still be maintained that there will always be a sensible difference between the Negro and the European, what reason is there to suppose, that this disparity will be greater than the difference between the Sclavonian and Gothic nations? Admitting every thing that can be urged in favour of the distinction of races, no one has yet denied, with any proof of the assertion, that all the families of mankind are capable of great improvement. And though, after all, some tribes might, as it is asserted, remain inferior to others, it would be ridiculous to deduce from thence either an argument against the possibility of greatly civilizing, even the most untoward generation, or an inference against the importance, even of the least considerable advances which it may be capable of making towards perfection.

        We need only cast our eyes upon a few unquestionable facts, and compare the achievements of Negroes in several situations, to be convinced that the general proposition applies to them as well as the rest of mankind. The superiority of those in the interior of Africa to those on the Slave Coast, is a matter of fact. The enemies of the Slave Trade reasonably impute the degeneracy of the maritime tribes to that baneful commerce. Its friends have on the other hand, deduced from thence an argument against the Negro character, which, they say, is not improved by


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intercourse with civilized nations. But the fact is admitted. To see it exemplified, we have only to consult the travels of Mungo Park; and the same observation has been made by Barrow, as applicable to the tribes south of the line, who increase in civilization as you leave the Slave Coast. Compare the accounts given by these travellers, as well as some of those previously cited, of the skill, the industry, the excellent moral qualities of the Africans in Houssa, Timbuctoo, &c., with the pictures that have been drawn of the same race, living in all the barbarity which the supply of our Slave ships requires, and we must be convinced that the Negro is as much improved by a change of circumstances as the White.*

        It has been remarked, that some of the most sandy and desert parts of Africa are covered with the greatest variety of flowers; and as civilization advances, may not the blossoms of literature, of science, and of religion, yet be spread as profusely over the whole of that vast continent?

        The state of Slavery, as has already been observed, is in none of its modifications favourable to improvement; yet even in that condition the Negro has sometimes made considerable advances in this respect. Compare the Creole Negro with the imported Slave, and you will find, that even amongst the most debasing, the most brutifying form of servitude, the pitiless drudgery of the field and whip, though it must necessarily eradicate most of the moral qualities of the African, has not prevented him from profiting in his intellectual faculties by intercourse with more civilized men.** The events of the war in St. Domingo read us a lesson on this point; of Negroes organizing large armies; laying plans of campaigns and sieges, which, if not scientific, have at least been to a certain degree successful
* Edinbro' Review.

** Facts are only recorded here, as such, without commending the practice of war, which I believe to be utterly repugnant to the spirit and precepts of our benign religion, inculcating "love and good-will to men."


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against the finest European troops; arranging forms of government, and even proceeding some length in executing the most difficult of human enterprises; entering into commercial relations with foreigners, and conceiving the idea of contracting alliances; acquiring something like a maritime force; and, at any rate, navigating vessels in the tropical seas, with as much skill and foresight as that complicated operation requires.

        This is certainly a spectacle which ought to teach us the effects of circumstances in developing the human faculties, and to prescribe bounds to that presumptuous arrogance, which would confine to one race the characteristic privilege of the species, and exclude the other as irremediably barbarous. We have torn these men from their country, under the vain and wicked pretence that their nature is radically inferior to our own. We have treated them so as to stunt the natural growth of their virtues and their reason. Yet their ingenuity has flourished apace, even under all disadvantages, and the Negro species is already much improved. All the arguments in the brains of a thousand metaphysicians will never explain away these facts. We maybe told that brute force and adaptation to a West Indian climate are the only faculties which the Negroes possess, but something more than this must concur to form and subsist armies, and to distribute civil powers in a state. The Negroes, who, in Africa it is said cannot count ten, and bequeath the same portion of arithmetic to their children, must have improved, both individually, and as a species, before they could use the mariner's compass, and rig square-sailed vessels, and cultivate whole districts of cotton for their own profit in the Caribbee Islands.

        The very ordinary circumstance of the improvement visible in the Negroes brought over to Europe as domestics, and their striking superiority to the generality of their countrymen, either in Africa or the New World, may perhaps illustrate the doctrine now maintained, even to those


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whom the more general views of the case have failed in convincing. It is certainly not assuming too much, to suppose that there is a wider difference between one of those Black servants and a native of the Slave Coast, than between a London waterman and a subject of the Irish kings who flourished a few centuries ago. Nor is there any doubt that the fidelity, courage, and other good qualities generally remarkable in Free Negroes, distinguish them as much from Slaves, of whose cowardice and treachery such pictures have been drawn, as the various feats of valour recorded in the history of the Welsh, place them above those wretched Britons who resisted their Saxon oppressors only with groans.*

        There are still regions in Europe, to which, if some of our philosophers were to furnish maps depicting the illumination of the human mind in different countries, they would have to give a colouring of dark grey. Man may be said to be, in a great measure, his own creator. We are all born savages, whether we are brought into the world in the populous city or the lonely desert. It is the discipline of education, and the circumstances under which we are placed, which create the difference between the rude barbarian and the polished citizen--the listless savage and the man of commercial enterprize--the man of the woods and the literary recluse. The mind of man, like a garden, requires culture; like the rough-hewn stone from the quarry, so it remains until the hand of the sculptor has formed it into its proper mould, or the polisher has exerted his magic influence in bringing to light all its latent beauties and intrinsic excellencies, which before lay concealed and lost in its rough mass!

        Dr. Horn, in his travels through Germany, mentions seeing at Salzburg but a few years ago, a girl twenty-two years of age, by no means ugly, who had been brought up in a hog-sty among the hogs, and who had sat there for many
* Westminster Review.


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years with her legs crossed. One of these had become quite crooked; she grunted like a hog; and her gestures were brutishly unseemly in a human dress. Many instances might be adduced of individuals of the White races existing in a state of wildness and barbarism, where the advantages of education and civilization have been withheld. Such are Kaspar Hauser; Peter the Wild Boy;* the girl described by Condamine;** a man found in the Pyrennees;*** and the young savage of Aveyron, met with near that place, and brought to Paris soon after the Revolution, &c.****

        There can be no doubt, that if the discipline of education and the influences of civilized society were withdrawn, the White races would be liable to relapse into a state of barbarism equal to that which is in any case instanced amongst nations of a more sable skin. We have examples of degeneration from physical and moral causes in the Greeks and Romans, and in the modern inhabitants of the Caucasus.

        A singular instance of the propensity to relapse into a wild and uncivilized state is presented in the history of Charlotte Stanley, the gipsy girl, which is, I believe, a well-attested circumstance. A lady of rank and fortune, who had no children, took so great a liking to a beautiful gipsy girl, that she took her home had her educated, and at length adopted her as her daughter. She was named Charlotte Stanley, received the education of a young English lady of rank, and grew up to be a beautiful, well-informed and accomplished girl. In the course of time a young man of good family became attached to her, and wished to marry her. The nearer, however, this plan approached the period of its execution, the more melancholy became the young bride; and one day, to the terror of
* Described by Blumenbach in his Beyträge zur Naturgeschicte.

** Histoire d' une jeune Fille Sauvage, Paris, 1761.

*** Leroy Exploitation de la Nature dans les Pyrennees, p. 8.

**** Historical Account of the young Savage of Aveyron.


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her foster-mother and her betrothed husband, she was found to have disappeared. It was known there had been gipsies in the neighbourhood; a search was set on foot, and Charlotte Stanley was discovered in the arms of a gipsy, the chief of the band. She declared she was his wife, that no one had a right to take her away from him, and the benefactress and the bridegroom returned inconsolable. Charlotte afterwards came to visit them, and related that as she grew up, she had felt more and more her confinement within the walls of the castle, and an irresistible longing had at length seized her to return to her wild gipsy life; nor could she, although suffering many cruelties from her gipsy husband, ever be induced to abandon the roving life to which she had returned. The portrait of Charlotte Stanley was preserved by the friend of her youth. Her story is a kind of inversion to that of Preciosa, and might make an interesting romance.*


                         "They wiled me from my green-wood home,
                         They won me from the tent,
                         And slightingly they spake of scenes,
                         Where my young days were spent.


                         They dazzled me with halls of light,
                         But tears would sometimes start,
                         They thought 'twas but to charm the eye
                         And they might win the heart.


                         They gave me gems to bind my hair,
                         I long'd the while for flowers
                         Fresh gather'd by my gipsy freres,
                         From Nature's wildest bowers.


                         They gave me books,--I lov'd alone
                         To read the starry skies;
                         They taught me songs,--the songs I lov'd
                         Were Nature's melodies.


                         I never heard a captive bird,
                         But, panting to be free,
                         I long'd to burst the prison door,
                         And share his liberty.
* Kohl's England.


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                         'Twas kindly meant, and kindly hearts
                         Were theirs who bade me roam,
                         From Nature and her forests free,
                         To share her city's home.


                         The woods are green, the hedges white,
                         With leaves and blossoms fair,
                         There's music in the forest now,
                         And I too must be there.


                         O do not chide the gipsy girl,
                         O call me not unkind;
                         I ne'er shall meet so dear a friend,
                         As her I leave behind.


                         Yet I must to the green-wood go,
                         My heart has long been there,
                         And nothing but the green-wood now,
                         Can save me from despair."

        The meaning attached by many to the term civilization is extremely vague and indefinite, and it is certainly an intangible thing, which vanishes when individuals become isolated in a new region, where it does not exist. The liability to retrogression into a state of barbarism, in individuals of the White races, when placed away from all the advantages and restraints of civilized life, is strikingly exemplified in a remarkable occurrence, related in a letter published in the "North American," in 1839.

        At Wilkesbarre, in Pennsylvania, lived a family named Slocum. During a time of warfare, in 1778, one day the house was surrounded by Indians. There were in it a mother, a daughter about nine years of age, a son aged thirteen, another daughter aged five, and a little boy aged two and a half. The eldest sister took up the little boy and ran out of the back door. The Indians then took young Slocum, aged thirteen, and little Frances, aged five, and prepared to depart. But finding young Slocum lame, at the earnest entreaties of the mother, they set him down and left him, but kept the little girl. The mother's heart swelled unutterably, and for years she could not describe the scene without tears. She saw an Indian throw her


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child over his shoulder, and immediately turn into the bushes. What were the conversations, the conjectures, the hopes, and the fears respecting the fate of the child, I will not attempt to describe, but this was the last she saw of her little Frances.

        As the boys grew up and became men, they were very anxious to know the fate of their fair-haired sister. They wrote letters, they sent inquiries, they made journeys through all the West and into the Canadas. Four of these journeys were made in vain. A silence, deep as the forest through which they wandered, hung over her fate during sixty years.

        The reader will now pass over fifty-eight years, and suppose himself far in the wilderness of Indiana. A very respectable agent of the United States, the Hon. George W. Ewing, travelled there, and weary and belated, with a tired horse, stopped in an Indian wigwam for the night. He could speak the Indian language. The family were rich for Indians, and had horses and skins in abundance. In the course of the evening, he noticed that the hair of the woman was light, and that her skin under her dress was white. This led to conversation. She told him she was a White child, but had been carried away when a very little girl. She could only remember that her name was Slocum, that she lived in a small house on the banks of the Susquehanna, and how many there were in her father's family, and the order of their ages! But the name of the town she could not remember. On reaching his home, the agent wrote out an account of what had been elicited, which he got printed. In a while, it fell into the hands of Mr. Slocum of Wilkesbarre, who was the little boy aged two years and a half when Frances was taken. In a few days he was off to seek his sister, taking with him his older sister, (the one who aided him to escape,) writing to a brother in Ohio, (born after the captivity,) to meet him to go with him.

        The two brothers and sister now travelled on their way


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to seek little Frances, just sixty years after her captivity. They reached the country of the Miami Indians and found the wigwam. "I shall know my sister," said the civilized sister, "because she lost the nail of her first finger. You, brother, hammered it off in the blacksmiths' shop, when she was four years old." They went into the cabin, and found an Indian woman having the appearance of seventy-five, painted and jewelled off, and dressed like the Indians in all respects. Nothing but her hair and covered skin indicated her origin. They got an interpreter, and began to converse. She told them where she was born, her name, &c., with the order of her father's family. "How came your nail gone?" said the oldest sister. "My brother pounded it off when I was a little child in the shop!" In a word, they were satisfied that this was Frances, their long lost sister. They asked her what her Christian name was. She could not remember. Was it Frances? she smiled, and said "Yes." It was the first time she had heard it pronounced for sixty years! Here, then, they were met--two brothers and two sisters! They were all satisfied that they were brothers and sisters. But what a contrast! The brothers were walking the cabin, unable to speak; the oldest sister was weeping, but the poor Indian sister sat motionless and passionless, as indifferent as a spectator. There was no throbbing, no fine chords in her bosom to be touched.

        When Mr. Slocum was relating this history, he was asked, "But could she not speak English?" "Not a word." "Did she know her age?" "No--had no idea of it." "But was she entirely ignorant?" "Sir, she did'nt know when Sunday comes!" This was indeed the consummation of all ignorance in a descendant of the Puritans!

        But what a picture for a painter would the inside of that cabin have afforded? Here, were the children of civilization, respectable, temperate, intelligent, and wealthy, able to overcome mountains to recover their sister. There, was


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the child of the forest, not able to tell the day of the week, whose views and feelings were all confined to that cabin. Her whole history might be told in a word. She lived with the Delawares who carried her off till grown up, and then married a Delaware. He either died or ran away, and she then married a Miami Indian, a chief, I believe. She had two daughters, both of whom were married, and who lived in all the glory of an Indian cabin, deerskin clothes, and cowskin head dresses. No one of the family could speak a word of English. They had horses in abundance, and when the Indian sister wanted to accompany her new relatives, she whipped out, bridled her horse, and then, a la Turc, mounted astride, and was off. At night she could throw a blanket around her, down upon the floor, and at once be asleep.

        The brothers and sister tried to persuade their lost sister to return with them, and, if she desired it, bring her children. They would transplant her again to the banks of the Susquehanna, and of their wealth make her home happy. But no: she had always lived with the Indians; they had always been kind to her, and she had promised her late husband on his death-bed, that she would never leave the Indians. And there they left her and hers, wild and darkened heathen, though sprung from a pious race.*

        The strong disinclination and determination against returning to civilized life, are strikingly evinced in the ease of this offspring of the Saxon race, captured in infancy. But no one will urge that such a circumstance proves that race less capable of civilization than another. No more so in the case of the Negro, who having known something of civilized life, may, like the gipsy girl, feel an irresistible longing to return again to a roving state of existence. Yet owing to a single circumstance of this kind on record, the South Africans have been represented by some travellers as incapable of being civilized. The case I allude to is
* Hist. Collect. of the State of Pennsylvania.


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that of Pegu, a Hottentot youth, whom Governor Van Der Stell educated. He learnt the Dutch, Portuguese, and other languages, which he could speak with fluency. In 1685, he went to India with Commissioner Van Rheedé, and continued with him till his death. He then returned to the Cape, but would no longer remain in civilized life; he went to his tribe, and returned no more, becoming a Chief amongst them.


                         " 'Ah! why,' he cried, 'did I forsake
                         My native fields for pent-up halls,
                         The roaring stream, the wild-bird's lake,
                         For silent books and prison walls?


                         A little will my wants supply,
                         And what can wealth itself do more?
                         The sylvan wilds will not deny
                         The humble fare they gave before.


                         Where Nature's wild resources grow,
                         And out-door pleasure never fades,
                         My heart is fixed;--and I will go
                         And die among my native shades.'


                         He spoke--and to the eastern springs
                         (His gown forthwith to pieces rent,
                         His blanket tied with leathern strings)
                         This hunter of the mountains went."

        It is worthy of remark, as the historian relates, that it is to be feared the young African was disgusted with many of the professing Christians with whom he came in contact; "and not being aware that some 'have a name to live who are dead,' he forsook them altogether, and united again with his own people."

        On the same grounds, under propitious circumstances, the progress of man in civilization and refinement, is equal in ratio to that in which he is liable to relapse, when more unfavourably circumstanced; and we may rest assured there is nothing in the physical or moral constitution of the Negro, which renders him an exception to the general character of species, or which prevents him from improving in all the


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estimable qualities of our nature, when placed in a situation conducive to his advancement.

        It would be absurd to expect that a statue or a painting should become perfect at once, or to find fault with the work of an artist before he has had time to complete it. The husbandman does not expect a crop immediately after he has sown his seed; he must wait for it. The father does not expect that his son will be a scholar when he first goes to school; nor does he, when he has finished the term of his education, allege that he has acquired nothing, because he has not attained the greatest heights in literature, or because he may not be able to solve the most difficult problems in science. Time has been required to make the White races what they now are, and the general improvement of the African will likewise probably be a work of some time; yet we have every reason to believe, that by cultivation, he may attain to an equal point of civilization and intelligence with that of any other people. Nay, under all possible disadvantages, we find evident proofs of the progress he is capable of making, whether insulated by the deserts of Africa from communication with other nations, or surrounded by the Slave factories of Europeans, or groaning under the cruelties of the driver's whip. This progress would be accelerated, in proportion as these grand impediments are removed. While, on the one hand, Africa is civilized by the establishment of a legitimate commerce between its fertile and populous regions and the more polished nations of the world, those Negroes who are already freed from their grievous thraldom in the New World, would rapidly improve in all the best faculties of the mind.


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CHAPTER XIII.

Slavery defended on the plea of coercion being necessary for the Negro-- Refutation of this charge--Palliated by representing him as deficient in the finer feelings--This also refuted--Testimony of Capt. Rainsford-- Remarks of Dr. Philip--All arguments failing, the supporters of Slavery assert the Negro to be under a Divine anathema--Observations of Richard Watson on this subject--Refuted on Christian grounds--All tribes stretching out their hands unto God--He is sending his messengers into the African field--The results of missionary labours very satisfactory and conclusive--Encouraging facts evincing the progress of the Negro in virtue and religion--Instances illustrative of the highest religious susceptibilities--Gustavus Vassa--Solomon Bayley--Belinda Lucas--Lucy Cardwell--Simeon Wilhelm--Paul Cuffe--Cornelius--J. W. C. Pennington--Jan Tzatzoe--Andries Stoffles, &c., &c.--Testimony of Barnabas Shaw, a Wesleyan Missionary in South Africa--Such evidences very conclusive--Beautiful remarks by Richard Watson.

        Among the numerous reasons assigned for the rigorous treatment to which the Negro race is subjected, it is asserted, as observed in a previous chapter, that nothing but a state of extreme coercion is sufficient to keep them in any kind of order or control. That they should quietly submit to the insults and cruelties which are so coolly dealt out to them, would be contrary to human nature. When human beings are forcibly torn from their homes, and separated from all that is near and dear to them, and deprived of every liberty they enjoy, can we be surprised if they should evince some indignance, or manifest some signs of unwillingness to submit to the cruel yoke imposed upon them, and an occasional inclination to revolt? Negroes have sometimes exhibited a spirit of despondency, which has led them to commit suicide; they have sometimes shown themselves irreconcileable to a state of Slavery, and have frequently been driven to self-destruction by a spirit of unyielding independence. In one of the small Danish islands, where they were in open rebellion, finding


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themselves closely pressed, but determined not to submit, they rushed in a body to the edge of a cliff overhanging the sea, and plunged at once into the waves.*

        But so far from the general character of the Negro being so savage and untractable as to require strong coercion, their patience and submissiveness, unless provoked by acts of wanton cruelty, has been illustrated in their general conduct in the degraded capacity to which they have been doomed. With spirits more resentful, the Negro tribes would not have been for ages an easy prey to every plunderer and hunter of men. "Their shores would have bristled with spears, and their arrows have darkened the heavens; nor would the experiment of man-stealing have been twice repeated. The same character distinguishes the Negroes in their state of bondage. It has not required a violent hand to keep them down; their story is not that of surly submission, interrupted by frequent and convulsive efforts to break their chains; and the history of Slavery nowhere, and in no age, presents an example of so much resignation and quietness, under similar circumstances, where the bondage has been so absolute, and the proportion of the dominant part of society so small."

        Another plea which has been urged as a palliation of the sin of Slavery, is the alleged fact of the deficiency in the victims of oppression of the finer feelings of our nature, their want of affection for their offspring and kindred ties. But this is as false in fact, as it is opposed to sound principles of philosophy. Captain Rainsford observes, "The most animated and attractive examples of pure and ardent love to the husbands of their hearts, and the fathers of their offspring, are as strikingly exhibited under the roofs of various Negro huts, as are anywhere displayed in the families of the White races. In the laudable duties of married life, and the maternal offices to the precious pledges of connubial intercourse, the transported and enslaved
* Jamaica: Enslaved and Free.


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matrons of Africa, are not to be surpassed by the enlightened and free females of the freest land."

        The passions and instincts necessary for the preservation of the human species are little dependent upon the reasonings and refinements of men, and are often more strongly evinced in the lowest than in the highest grades of society. Can we suppose, for a moment, that the Author of our nature, who has imparted to the most timid brutes, an attachment to their young, which makes them boldly risk their lives in their defence, should leave any portion of our race, in their more hopeless condition, without a provision for them affording an equal security? It is, on the contrary, natural to suppose that the oppressions of the parents should rather increase than lessen their attachment to their children; and, in point of fact, Negroes in general are remarkable for an excess of affection for their offspring. "The separations of parents and children," says Dr. Philip, "have, indeed, furnished the most heart-rending scenes that I have witnessed in South Africa; and in a letter now before me, from a respectable individual in the colony, on this very subject, the writer states, 'heart-rending, indeed, are the woeful lamentations I often hear from Hottentot mothers about the loss of their children.' "

        Let it not be said that the sable African has not the sensibilities of other men. Even the brute has the yearnings of parental love. If, then, the conjugal and parental ties of the Slave may be severed without a pang, what a curse must Slavery be, if it can thus blight the heart with worse than brutal insensibility, if it can sink the human mother below the polar she-bear, which "howls and dies for her sundered cub!" But it does not and cannot turn the Slave to stone; though it does much to quench the natural affections, it leaves sufficient of that feeling, which the Negro originally possesses in an equal extent to any other class of men, to make the domestic wrongs to which he is subjected, occasions of frequent and deep suffering.


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        All arguments failing those who coin dollars out of the sweat and tears of the African, they would fain have the world to believe, as a last resource, that these anomalous beings have had a mark put upon them by the Almighty, that they might be at once detested, avoided, and treated only as beasts of the field. To this unfortunate race has been applied the prophetic malediction of Noah, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren," the descendants of Shem and Japheth; and the dark garment of the former is pointed out as indicating the fulfilment of their earthly fate. It is not enough that they should be stultified in intellect, and brutalized beyond correction in morals; they must be represented as under a Divine anathema, as a part of an accursed race; thus are they not only denied the honours of humanity, but are even excluded from the compassions of God. And, because they have been represented as under the ban of the Almighty, it has been concluded, that every kind of injury, may with impunity, be inflicted upon them by his creatures.

        "Nothing," says Watson, "is more repulsive than to see men resorting to the inspired writings for an excuse or a palliative for the injuries which they are incited to inflict on others by their own pride and avarice; going up profanely to the very judgment-seat of an equal God, to plead his sanction for their injustice; establishing an alliance between their own passions and their imperfections; and attempting to convert the fountain of his mercy into waters of bitterness. But the case they adduce will not serve them. The malediction of Noah (if we allow it to be one, and not a simple prediction) fell not upon the Negro races; it fell chiefly on Asia, and only to a very limited extent upon Africa; it fell, as the terms of the prophecy explicitly declare, upon Canaan; that is, in Scripture style, upon his descendants, the Canaanites, who were destroyed, or made subjects by the Israelites; and perhaps upon the Carthaginians, who were subverted by the Romans. Here was


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its range and its limit; the curse never expanded so as to encompass a single Negro tribe; and, Africa, with all thy just complaints against the practices of Christian states, thou hast none against the doctrines of the Christian's Bible! That is not a book, as some have interpreted it, written, as to thee, 'within and without,' in 'lamentation, and mourning, and woe;' it registers against thee no curse; but, on the contrary, exhibits to thee its fulness of blessings; establishes thy right to its covenant of mercy, in common with all mankind; and crowds into the joyous prospect which it opens into the future, the spectacle of all the various tribes 'stretching out their hands unto God,' acknowledging him, and receiving his blessing!

        "But, if the prediction of Noah were an anathema, and if that malediction were directed against the Negro races; yet, let it be remarked, it belongs not to the gospel age. Here the anathemas of former dispensations are arrested and repealed; for no nation can remain accursed under the full establishment of the dominion of Christ, since 'all the families of the earth' are to be 'blessed in Him.' The deleterious stream which withers the verdure of its banks, and spreads sterility through the soils it touches in its course, is at length absorbed and purified in the ocean, ascends from thence in cooling vapours, and comes down upon the earth in fruitful showers. Thus Christianity turns all curses into benedictions. Its office is to bless, and to bless all nations; it is light after darkness, and quiet after agitation. The restoring and the healing character is that in which all the prophets array our Saviour; and if partiality is ascribed to Him at all, it is partiality in favour of the most despised, and friendless, and wretched of our kind. The scythe has gone before, and, in all ages, has swept down the fairest vegetation, and left it to wither, or to be trodden under foot; but 'He,' it is emphatically declared, 'shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth:' 'all nations shall be


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blessed in Him,' and 'all people,' in grateful return, 'shall call Him blessed.' "

        Blessed for ever, then, be His holy name, whose compassions fail not, whose mercies are now every morning, for he hath already arisen in His strength, and said "the oppressor shall no more oppress;" I will send forth my messengers into all the dark places of the earth; light shall spring forth; their mourning shall be turned into rejoicing, and I will yet lead them beside the still waters. Marvellous indeed is the loving-kindness of Him, whose prerogative alone it is, to send forth labourers into the harvest, in conducting the steps of so many into the African field; infusing into the hearts of good men from year to year, a special compassion for this race. The memory of those who have chosen danger and toil to ease and luxury at home, and who have now ceased from their labours, is blessed. Their "reward is on high," and their "work with God." Those who now endure the cross and glory in it, whether they labour under the suns of the West Indies, or breathe the pestilential air of Western Africa, or in the southern parts of that continent, toil over hills and through deserts, "to seek and to save that which is lost,"--they know that God is with them[.] What gold could purchase such instruments? What education could form them? What implanted principles of human action, where wealth, and honour, and ease, are all absent, could send them forth? Are they not the instruments of Heaven, indicating by the very nature of their preparation, the peculiar work to which they are called, the special use to which they are to apply themselves? "They are indeed the agents to carry forth our charities to the Heathen, to bear our light into the misery over which we sigh. Without them we should sigh in vain, and our sympathies would terminate in ourselves; by then, we reach and relieve the cases of destitute millions, and transmit the blessedness of which we are anxious that all should partake. Thus, man is made a saviour of his


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fellow, and the creature of a day the instrument of conveying blessings which have no bound but a limitless eternity itself!"

        Let us appeal to the results of the labours of these devoted men, and see how far they warrant us in concluding, that the Negro race is capable with ourselves of receiving, and fully appreciating the great truths of our religion. These results are altogether most satisfactory and conclusive.

        About the year 1824, a Jamaica missionary writes:-- "Not only has religion found its way into almost every town and village of importance in the island, but in a greater or less degree, into the majority of the estates, and other larger properties. As soon as its sacred influence begins to be felt on a property, or in a now township, the first work of the converts is, to add to their cluster of cottages a house for God. There they are heard, often before the dawn of day, and at the latest hour preceding their repose, pouring out their earnest and artless supplications at the throne of grace, for strength to enable them to maintain their Christian course."*

        "The numbers of our hearers," writes brother Lang, "is on the increase, and the preaching of the gospel evinces its power on the hearts of the Negroes, which also appears in their moral conduct. Some walk in true fellowship of spirit with our Saviour, and have received the assurance of the forgiveness of their sins: others are mourning on account of sin, and seeking salvation in Jesus. One Sabbath lately, a Negro, from an, estate about fifteen miles from Carmel (Jamaica), brought me a stick marked with seven notches, each denoting ten Negroes, informing me that there were so many Negroes on that estate engaged in praying to the Lord. The awakening spreads, and we entertain hopes that our Saviour will now gather a rich harvest in Jamaica."**


* Jamaica: Enslaved and Free.

** Idem.

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        Another Jamaica missionary writes, "It is also worthy of observation, that instead of singing their old Negro songs in the field, they now sing our hymns; and I was much pleased one night, when passing the Negro houses, to hear them engaged fervently in prayer."*

        Another missionary writes, "However debased by vice the Negro Slaves were in the days of their ignorance, they are now sober, chaste, industrious, and upright in all their dealings. Nor is this all; they are eager, punctual, and persevering in all the services of devotion. Their domestic circle is distinguished by the daily exercises of prayer and praise; and the Sabbath is called 'a delight, the holy of the Lord,' and spent in the solemnities of His sacred worship. This indeed is wonderful! In a country where the Sabbath is devoted to public traffic; where, comparatively speaking, marriage is not so much as thought of; and, where it is common to indulge in the most debauched inclinations, without the least restraint,--to see them keeping the Sabbath-day holy, renouncing all their criminal connections, and standing forth as examples of purity and religion, is manifestly the Lord's doing; for nothing short of the power of God could obtain a victory like this over habit, example, and such corruption of the human heart."**

        The missionaries have elucidated how far the African race are susceptible of religious impressions; "they have dived," says Watson, "into that mine from which we were often told no valuable ore or precious stone could be extracted; and they have brought up the gems of an immortal spirit, flashing with the light of intellect, and glowing with the hues of Christian graces. The true God has now been revealed to the minds of the African races, in the splendour of his own revelations; the heavens have been taught to declare to them his glory, and the firmament to show forth his handywork; they know him now as their 'Father in Heaven,' and have learned that his watchful providence
* Jamaica: Enslaved and Free.

** Quoted in Watson's Sermons.


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extends to them. Rising suns, and smiling fields, and rolling thunders, and sweeping hurricanes, all speak of Him to Negro hearts; and Negro voices mingle with our own in giving to Him the praises 'due unto His name.' The history of the incarnate God, and the scenes of Calvary have been unfolded to their gaze; they hear 'the word of reconciliation,' are invited to a 'throne of grace,' and there 'find mercy, and grace to help in time of need.' They have the Sabbath with its sanctities; and houses of prayer, raised by the liberality of their friends, receive their willing, pressing crowds. One to another they now say, 'Come and let us go up to the house of the Lord;' and tens of thousands of them now, in every religious service, join us in those everlasting anthems of the universal church, 'We praise thee, O God! we acknowledge thee to be the Lord!' "

        Instances might be multiplied, almost without end, illustrative of the races of Africa being universally endowed with religious susceptibilities equal to those of any other people on the face of the earth; and many are the examples of purity, and of advancement in religious experience and attainments, which might be brought forward as witnesses to its truth. I will only mention the names of Gustavus Vassa, Solomon Bayley, Belinda Lucas, Lucy Cardwell, Simeon Wilhelm, Paul Cuffe, L. C. Michells, Richard Cooper, Africaner, Cornelius, Jan Tzatzoe, Andries Stoffles, J. W. C. Pennington, John Williams, Eva Bartells, respecting each of whom information is given in the sequel of this work. In Stoffles, we have exhibited a noble example of the Christian character. At an early period, the truths of religion exerted a decisive and salutary influence over his mind, leading him to profess himself a disciple of the Saviour, and enabling him, under many disadvantages and temptations, to maintain his Christian profession unsullied till the close of life.

        I cannot forbear relating another interesting fact, from Shaw's Memorials of South Africa, which he beautifully


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records in the following words:--"The pious natives of Khamies Berg, in South Africa, continued to improve both in temporal and spiritual matters, and were as a city set on a hill which cannot be hid: their light shone in worshipping God in their families. Often have I heard them engaged in prayer before the sun had gilded the tops of the mountains; nor were their evening devotions neglected. As I have stood by the mission-house, with the curtains of night drawn around us, I could hear them uniting in singing their beautiful evening hymn. Then falling around their family altar, though in a smoky hut, they felt the presence of the Most High, and the fulfilment of his promise, 'The habitation of the just shall be blessed.' "

        On another occasion, writes the Missionary Shaw;-- "It was nearly midnight, when, on awaking, I heard the sound of singing at a distance. I repaired to the window to listen, when all nature seemed to favour the song. The moon shone resplendently, and the stars glittered in their spheres. There was no bleating of sheep, or lowing of oxen; no howling of wolves; the night birds were still: nor did a dog move his tongue. The midnight music was so sweet, that, at the time, I supposed I had never heard anything to equal it. The singers were going from hut to hut, uniting in the praises of God, who had brought them 'out of darkness into marvellous light;' and as they approached the mission-house, I could distinguish the subject of their song. It was a hymn of praise to the Saviour of men, one verse of which, according to their custom, was often repeated. The nightly fires brightened up as the singers went onward, and they called on the head of each family to engage in prayer. In their state of ignorance they had often danced to the sound of the rommel-pot, while the moon was walking in brightness; but by means of the Gospel, they had learnt a new song, which reminded me of the words of Isaiah, 'Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.' Several children who had


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been attentive to the Gospel began to show an extraordinary attachment to the house of God, they bowed before the Lord their Maker, and sung joyful Hosannas to the Son of David."

        With such evidences as these, we need no laborious and critical investigation to determine whether "Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God;" no prying into the mystic counsels of heaven, to ascertain whether the "time to favour her, yea, the set time be come." Go to the free colonies, ye that doubt; scarcely is there one of them in which there have not been reared for the Negro, sacred buildings for worship and instruction devoted to their own use, and which they regard as peculiarly their own. "In crowded congregations, in those spacious edifices, Ethiopia already stretches out her hands unto God, and, led by the light which creates our Sabbath, meets us at the same throne of grace, and receives, with us, the benedictions of the common Father and the common Saviour. And the prophetic promise is dawning upon parent Africa also. Hottentots, Kafirs, Bechuanahs, Foulahs, and Mandingoes in the west, some of all the tribes, are already in the fold, and hear and love the voice of the great Shepherd. We hail you as brethren!--the front ranks of all those swarthy tribes which are deeply buried in the vast interior of an unexplored continent, you, stretch out your hands unto God, as a signal for the tribes beyond you; and the signal shall be followed, and every hand of thy millions, Africa! shall raise itself in devotion to thy pitying Saviour, and every lip shall ere long modulate accents of plateful praise to thy long concealed, but faithful God!"*


* Richard Watson.

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CHAPTER XIV.

Slavery considered--A violation of the rights of Man--Remarks of Milton--Condemned by Pope Leo X.--Remarks of Bishop Warburton--How can Christians continue to be its upholders?--Guilt of Britons and Americans--Expiation of our sin by a noble sacrifice--We can never repay the debt we owe to Africa--White Man instilling into those he calls"savages" a despicable opinion of human nature--We practise what we should exclaim against--No tangible plea for Slavery--Criminal to remain silent spectators of its crimes--We cannot plead ignorance as an excuse for silence or inactivity--Seven millions of human beings now in Slavery--Four hundred thousand annually torn from Africa--Slavery a monstrous crime--A robbery perpetrated on the very sanctuary of man's rational nature--A sin against God--America's foul blot--Slaves represented as happy!--Remarks on this.

        Although the consideration of the subject of Slavery is not altogether within the province of this work, I shall not feel satisfied without making some allusion to it in a few words; seriously putting the question to all those who are concerned in the system, directly or indirectly, whether, in the face of what has already been cited, they can still, with an easy conscience, look down with an eye of scorn upon their fellow-creatures of a darker hue, or continue to hold them in unwilling bondage, or depress them as they do, with the iron hand of Slavery.

        Claims to personal liberty are the birthright of every human being, irrespective of clime or of colour;--claims which God has conferred, and which man cannot destroy without sacrilege, nor infringe without sin. They have claims which are anterior to all human laws, and which are superior to all political institutions,--immutable in their nature. Thus writes our great poet Milton:--


                         "O execrable man, so to aspire
                         Above his brethren, to himself assuming
                         Authority usurpt, from God not given;
                         He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
                         Dominion absolute, that right we hold


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                         By his donation; but man over men
                         He made not lord, such title to himself
                         Reserving, human left from human free."

        Many condemnations against the system of one class of men oppressing another might be adduced. Pope Leo X., when the question was referred to him, declared "That not only the Christian religion, but nature herself cried out against Slavery." The continuance of the unmerited and brutish servitude of the Negro, is undoubtedly nothing short of a criminal and outrageous violation of the natural rights of man.--"Gracious God!" exclaims Bishop Warburton, "to talk of men as of herds of cattle, of property in rational creatures, creatures endowed with all our faculties, possessing all our qualities but that of colour, our brethren both by nature and by grace, shocks all the feelings of humanity, and the dictates of common sense! Nothing is more certain in itself and apparent to all, the infamous traffic in Slaves directly infringes both divine and human law. Nature created man free, and grace invites him to assert his freedom."

        How can Christian professors,--professors of a religion breathing love and good will to man, continue to be the undisguised and guilty supporters and advocates of the atrocious system of Slavery? themselves the owners, and the dealers in these "human chattels;" who, as if in mockery of the sacred name of liberty, are exposed for sale within the very precincts of those


                         "Council Halls,
                         Where freedom's praise is loud and long,
                         While close beneath the outward walls
                         The driver plies his reeking thong--
                         The hammer of the man-thief falls!"

        It makes one's very blood to boil, it makes one tremble to think, that we Britons and our American descendants, with all their boastful cry of "Liberty," are so guilty; but it is some consolation to reflect that we at least, have made


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a greater sacrifice than was ever made by any nation to expiate our sin. "On the page of history," it has been said, "one deed shall stand out in whole relief--one consenting voice pronounce--that the greatest honour England ever attained, was when, with her Sovereign at her head, she proclaimed,--the Slave is Free!"--Yes, "in the pages of history," says the estimable Hugh Stowell, "this act will stand out the gem in our diadem."

        Yet all the efforts we can make for the civil and religious welfare of the Negro family will never repay the debt we owe to the whole race of Africa for having robbed her of her children, under every aggravated form of cruelty, to increase our own comforts, to augment our private wealth, and add to our public revenues, by toils which imposed a daily stretch upon their sinews; a task which had no termination, but with their lives.

        The White Man may boast of his superior intellect, and the peculiar advantages he enjoys, of a written revelation of his duty from heaven, of which he has deprived the victims of his oppression; yet with all his vaunted superiority, he is instilling into the minds of those whom he chooses to call savages and barbarians, the very reverse of that which the Divine law inculcates, the most despicable opinion of human nature. To the utmost of our power do we weaken and dissolve the universal tie that should bind and unite mankind. We practise what we should exclaim against as the greatest excess of cruelty and tyranny, if nations of the world, differing in colour from ourselves, were able to reduce us to a state of similar unmerited and brutish servitude. We sacrifice our reason, our humanity, our Christianity, to an unnatural sordid gain. We teach other nations to despise and trample under foot all the obligations of social virtue. We take the most effectual method to prevent the propagation of the Gospel, by representing it as a scheme of power and barbarous oppression, and an enemy to the natural privileges and rights of man.


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        I assert, that there does not exist in nature, in religion, or in civil polity, a reason for robbing any man of his liberty; that there is neither truth, nor justice, nor humanity in the declaration, that Slavery is consonant with the condition of Negro-men. To devote one-fourth of the habitable globe to perpetual blood-shed and warfare--to give up the vast continent of Africa to the ravages of the man-robbers who deal in flesh and blood--the marauders who sack the towns and villages--the merchant-murderers who ply the odious trade, who separate the child from the mother, the husband from the wife, the father from the son, is a monstrous system of cruelty, which, in any of its forms is intolerable and unjust. "Cry aloud and spare not," was the language of one formerly; a language especially applicable at the present day on the question before us, in relation to which Benezet justly queries, "Can we be innocent, and yet silent spectators of this mighty infringement of every human and sacred right?"

        There are questions affecting the highest interests of society, on which it is criminal to be silent. There are crimes and conspiracies against Man, in his collective and individual capacity, which strip the guilty of all the respect due to the adventitious circumstances connected with rank and station; and to know that such combinations exist, and not to denounce them, is treason against the throne of Heaven, and the immutable principles of Truth and Justice.

        We cannot plead ignorance as an excuse either for silence or inactivity:--


                         "Behold the Negro!
                         --The curse of man his branded forehead bears,
                         His bosom with the scorching iron sear'd,
                         His fettered limbs defiled with streams of gore!"


                         "Hark! from the West a voice of woe;
                         Ah! yes; it echoes o'er the wide Atlantic's wave;
                         We hear the knotted scourge, the dying cry;
                         Yonder the torturer's hands, the clanking chain;
                         Fly to the rescue! lingering loiterer fly!"


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        Behold them! men, women, and children, with tearful eyes, and with uplifted hands, with branded and bleeding bodies, with lacerated feet and clanking chains, supplicating, on bended knees, for the restoration of their rights!


                         "It is the voice of blood;--O think! O think!
                         Act--for the injured, dying Slave:
                         Nor let him linger longer--deeper sink--
                         But haste to help--to save.


                         Let not his injuries plead in vain,
                         Lest haply in thy dying day,
                         Thy soul should bear a guilty stain,
                         Which nought can wash away.


                         O help him, lest in hall and bower,
                         His crying blood thy joys molest;
                         Or, speaking through the midnight hour,
                         Chase like a ghost thy rest.


                         O help him--bless him--for ye can:
                         Hear Reason's--hear Religion's plea,
                         Declare to all--HE IS A MAN--
                         Therefore--HE SHALL BE FREE!"

        When we reflect that there are now in the world, upwards of SEVEN MILLIONS of human beings detained in Slavery; who are held as goods and chattels, the property of other human beings having similar passions with themselves; that they are liable to be sold and transferred from hand to hand, like the beasts that perish; that more than 400,000 are annually sold and removed from the land of their birth, to distant regions; and this not in families, the nearest connexions of life being frequently torn asunder; and when we further reflect, that in several, if not in most of the Slaveholding States, the Slaves are systematically excluded from the means of improving their minds--that in some, even teaching them to read is treated as a crime; and that all these things exist amongst a people loudly proclaiming the freedom and equality of their laws--a people professing subjection to the requirements of Christianity, whose lawgiver has taught us that he regards the injuries done to the least of


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his children as done to Himself; and has commanded us above all things to love one another, to do unto all men as we would that they should do unto us--well may we inquire, "Shall not the Lord visit for these things? Will not he be avenged for this grievous sin?"

        The monstrous crime of human Slavery does not merely affect the external property of man, but the inmost essence of his spiritual being; it is the iniquity of a murderous robbery perpetrated on the very sanctuary of man's rational nature. It is a deprivation of all the rights and privileges of the individual enslaved, which consist in the free exercise and expansion of his powers, "especially of his higher faculties; in the energy of his intellect, conscience, and good affections in sound judgment; in the acquisition of truth; in labouring honestly for himself and his family; in loving his Creator, and subjecting his own will to the Divine; in loving his fellow-creatures, and making cheerful sacrifices for their happiness; in friendship; in sensibility to the beautiful, whether in nature or art; in loyalty to his principles; in moral courage; in self-respect; in understanding and asserting his rights; and in the christian hope of immortality. Such is the good of the individual; a more sacred, exalted, enduring interest than any accessions of wealth or power to a State."*

        The deprivation of the inestimable benefits of external liberty, though in itself an irreparable injury, bears no comparison with the loss of his rational powers, a crime inflicted on the unhappy victim of Slavery, which entirely changes the course of his destiny. God has endowed us with intellectual powers that they should be cultivated; and a system which degrades them, and can only be upheld by their depression, opposes one of his most benevolent designs. Reason is God's image in man, and the capacity of acquiring truth is among his best inspirations. To call forth the intellect is a principal purpose of the circumstances in which
* Channing.


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we are placed, of the child's connection with the parent, and of the necessity laid on him in mature life to provide for himself and others. The education of the intellect is not confined to youth; but the various experience of later years does vastly more than books and schools to ripen and invigorate the faculties.

        Now the whole lot of the Slave is fitted to keep his mind in childhood and bondage. Though living in a land of light, few beams find their way to his benighted understanding. No parent feels the duty of instructing him. No teacher is provided for him but the driver, who breaks him almost in childhood, to the servile tasks which are to fill up his life. No book is opened to his youthful curiosity; as he advances in years, no now excitements supply the place of teachers. He is not cast on himself, made to depend on his own energies; nor do any stirring prizes awaken his dormant faculties. Fed and clothed by others like a child, directed in every step, doomed for life to a monotonous round of labour, he lives and dies without a spring to his powers, often brutally unconscious of his spiritual nature. Nor is this all. When benevolence would approach him with instruction it is repelled. He is not allowed to be taught. The light is jealously barred out. The voice which would speak to him as a man, is put to silence. He must not even be enabled to read the Holy Scriptures. His immortal spirit is systematically crushed.

        Slavery, then, is undoubtedly the most tremendous invasion of the natural, inalienable rights of man, and some of the noblest gifts of God, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." What a spectacle do the United States present to the people of the earth? A land of professing Christian republicans, uniting their energies for the oppression and degradation of Three Millions of innocent human beings, the children of one common Father, who suffer the most grievous wrongs, and the utmost degradation, for no crime of their ancestors or their own! Slavery is a sin against God


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as well as against Man;--a daring usurpation of the prerogative and authority of the Most High! and until this foul blot be removed from America, she will never be the glorious country her free constitution designed her to be --never! so long as her soil is polluted by a single Slave!

        But how so?--We are told the Slave is happy; that he is gay; that he is not that wretched and miserable being he is mostly represented to be. After his toil, he sings, he dances, he gives no signs of an exhausted frame or gloomy spirits. "The Slave happy! Why, then, contend for rights? Why follow with beating hearts the struggles of the patriot for freedom? Why canonize the martyr to freedom? The Slave happy! Then happiness is to be found in giving up the distinctive attributes of a man; in darkening intellect and conscience; in quenching generous sentiments; in servility of spirit; in living under a whip; in having neither property nor rights; in holding wife and child at another's pleasure; in toiling without hope; in living without an end! The Slave, indeed, has his pleasures. His animal nature survives the injury to his rational and moral powers; and every animal has its enjoyments. The kindness of Providence allows no human being to be wholly divorced from good. The lamb frolics; the dog leaps for joy; the bird fills the air with cheerful harmony; and the Slave spends his holidays in laughter and the dance. Thanks to Him who never leaves himself without a witness; who cheers even the desert with spots of verdure; and opens a fountain of joy in the most withered heart! It is not possible, however, to contemplate the occasional gaiety of the Slave without some mixture of painful thought. He is gay, because he is too fallen to feel his wrongs--because he wants proper self-respect. We are grieved by the gaiety of the insane. There is a sadness in the gaiety of him whose lightness of heart would be turned into bitterness and indignation, were one ray of light to awaken in him the spirit of a man."


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CHAPTER XV.

Sources whence the calumnious charges against the Negro emanate --Their character only partially represented--Applicable remarks of Plutarch--Perverted accounts of travellers to be guarded against-- Opportunities of actual observation limited--Importance of authentic facts --They prove that mankind are all equally endowed, irrespective of Colour or of clime--Compassion for a sufferer heightened by youth, beauty, and rank--As in Mary, Queen of Scots--The facts presented in this volume prove there is no incompatibility between Negro organization and intellectual powers--To demonstrate this the design of the work-- In selecting instances for this purpose, the author has been more thoroughly impressed with the truth of his proposition--Negroes only require freedom, education, and good government to equal any people-- Expression of sympathy for the oppressed race of Africa.

        I must now be more concise, being desirous of presenting my readers with the numerous biographical and historical facts to which allusion has been made, in further demonstration of the assertions I have already brought forward in favour of the Negro family. A few observations will now suffice.

        It must be observed, that the calumnious charges preferred against the unfortunate race of Africa, have chiefly emanated from those who have been interested in pourtraying their vicious, rather than their virtuous qualities. Writers of this description are not likely to search for such collateral facts as might lead to conclusions opposed to their interests or prejudices; on the contrary, where circumstances of a favourable nature are known to exist, there is great danger of their being left in concealment. Plutarch remarks, "When a painter has to draw a fine and elegant form, which happens to have a blemish, we do not want him entirely to omit it, nor yet to define it with exactness. The one would destroy the beauty of the picture; the other would spoil the likeness." On a casual perusal of the works of many writers on the Negro race, it is obvious that most who have travelled amongst them, have not only


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marked distinctly, but aggravated their blemishes, and have so far disparaged their more pleasing features, as to create disgust towards a people, who, if they cannot boast of forms to call forth admiration, exhibit, nevertheless, but few of those physical and moral deformities so largely ascribed to them. There is a propensity, too, in some travellers, to aim at novelty and effect, which so overbalances all other considerations, as frequently to give rise to very erroneous statements. For instance, a French writer on South Africa, describes whole tribes of natives which never existed, except in his own romantic imagination. Another traveller informs his readers that the Hottentots "shoot their arrows with great force, sending them sometimes through the body of an ox;" a third states that, "sometimes persons may be seen at Greenpoint riding on Zebras, which are brought from the interior, and generally kept at livery;" while a fourth informs his readers, that "the roads in the vicinity of Cape Town are repaired with the tails of cows and oxen."*

        I merely mention these circumstances to put the reader on his guard, and to exercise cautiousness in receiving all reports he may read respecting the African, as gospel. Superficial travellers are themselves liable to be imposed upon by erroneous statements they may sometimes have made to them by interested parties, or through an interested channel, to serve some sinister motives of the narrators; ignorant of which, they often relate circumstances far from the real truth, as facts, under the false impression that they have seen everything with their own eyes, and heard everything with their own ears.

        In order to form a correct estimate of the character of a people, we must not look into the journals of hasty travellers for information they may have gathered from hearsay during their short visits; but to such as have resided among them, and have made themselves intimately
* These incorrect statements are quoted by way of caution, in Shaw's Memorials of South Africa.


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acquainted with their language, their customs, and their manners.

        When we observe men judging of any portion of the human race through the medium of their prejudices and passions, and from insulated facts seizing on general principles, we may rest assured they are unsafe guides. They draw a comparison between the present state of the semi-barbarous races and a higher standard of civilization; and without bestowing one grain of praise, they find fault only on account of what has not yet been effected for them. In detailing the degraded state of the Negro, they are silent as to the great causes of that which they disclaim against, which has already been satisfactorily explained, as resulting from the treatment he has so long experienced at the hands of Europeans, with the almost entire absence of all counteracting and meliorating circumstances.

        The opportunities of actual observation that fall to the lot of impartial individuals, are so limited, and the remarks of travellers and historians writing on this subject, either from ignorance or misrepresentation, are so much perverted, that it appeared to the author of the present work, desirable to correct them by a narration of facts from sources indubitably authentic, illustrative of the moral, intellectual, and religious attainments of our sable brethren. These, with various testimonies on their behalf, are valuable and important, in conveying unequivocal proofs of the real character and capabilities of the African race. They are sufficient, I trust, fully to demonstrate that the same mental and moral endowments are equally dispensed to all the various races of mankind, irrespective of colour or of clime; and I do sincerely hope, that they may be the means of engendering a more friendly feeling, on the part of the White man, towards those whom he has so long held in oppression and treated with scorn and disgrace.

        But before a thorough reconciliation can ever be effected, all those grossly exaggerated reports of the physical and


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moral deformities of the Negro must be counteracted. Though their race may not generally reach the standard of perfection according to our ideas of beauty and symmetry, we must cease to represent them in the most odious point of view. It is well known how much the adventitious circumstances of youth and beauty heighten our compassion for a sufferer. Add rank to these advantages, and say, too, that the individual is a highly accomplished female, and sympathy for her case will be raised to its utmost height. Had Mary, Queen of Scots, been as defective in personal charms as she was in prudence, less sympathy would have been excited by her unfortunate end. Knox might have made an ugly and deformed woman weep without creating much indignation; but the fascinations of Mary's beauty, added to her rank, has sunk her crimes, and the benefits of the Reformation, in the same grave; and that which entitled our reformer to the highest praise, the triumph of his principles, has loaded him with the reproaches of a partial and frivolous world. On the same principle, when the liberties of a people are to be extinguished, or when greater severities are to be inflicted, if, besides assigning to them certain disqualifications for freedom, and the necessity of restraining their vices, ugliness and deformity can be thrown into the picture, few will interest themselves in the fate of the oppressed. Misrepresentation and calumny having prepared the way, the work of Slavery and extermination may proceed with impunity.*

        Many of the African race, as we have already been informed, particularly the youth, have interesting countenances, and under more auspicious circumstances, would speedily lose those displeasing peculiarities of appearance, which in all countries are, in a greater or less degree, the inseparable concomitants of penury and suffering. The plant, which in the desert, is stunted in its growth and presents but a scanty foliage, becomes the pride
* Philip's African Researches.


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of the surrounding scenery when nourished by a more generous soil.

        "Facts," it is said, "are stubborn things," and such is indeed the case; they cannot be controverted. The false philosophy which imputes to the Negro a constitutional inferiority, must henceforth be refuted, more by facts and experience, than by reasoning. If, as I before observed, instances can be adduced, of individuals of the African race who have exhibited marks of genius that would be considered eminent in civilized European society, we have proof that there is no incompatibility betwen Negro organization and intellectual power. The design of the succeeding part of this volume is to bring into view many remarkable cases of this description. How far it is successful in demonstrating, by a relation of facts and testimonies, that our Coloured fellow-creatures are not necessarily inferior in their moral, intellectual, or religious capabilities, to other branches of the human family, and that superior abilities attach no more to a white than to a sable skin, I must leave my readers to draw their own conclusion. For my own part, I am fully convinced that the blessings of freedom, education, and good government, are alone wanting to make the natives of Africa, either in an intellectual or moral point of view, equal to the people of any country on the surface of the globe. Were these blessings more abundantly conferred upon them, there can be no doubt that they would produce more Phillis Wheatleys, Paul Cuffes, and Gustavus Vassas, to refute the unfounded calumnies which have been heaped upon their unfortunate race, to demonstrate before all the world, that the Creator has not left them destitute of his noblest gifts to Man, nor of the power of improving those he has bestowed upon them.

        I repeat it again,--"Let not the abettors of Slavery, who trample their fellow-creatures beneath their feet, tell us any more in their own justification, of the degraded state, the abject minds, and the vices of the Negro Slave;


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it is upon the system which thus brutifies a human being that the reproach falls in all its bitterness."


                         "Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resigned,
                         He feels his body's bondage in his mind,
                         Puts off his generous nature, and to suit
                         His manner to his fate, puts on the brute.
                         Oh! most degrading of all ills that wait
                         On man, a mourner in his best estate;
                         All other sorrow virtue may endure,
                         And find submission more than half a cure,
                         But Slavery! virtue dreads it as her grave,
                         Virtue itself is meanness in the Slave."

        Helpless, injured, and oppressed Africans! many tears have been shed over your unhappy fate and your accumulated wrongs; many sleepless nights have been occupied in devising means to meliorate your condition, but every attempt in your behalf must centre in fervent aspiration to Him who alone can change, even the hard and stony hearts of your taskmasters; whose eye is over all His works; and who will yet arise for your deliverance.

        It is not for finite mortals to ask, why, in the inscrutable wisdom of Him who overrules all events, he has thus far permitted one portion of His creatures so cruelly to oppress another; or through what instrumentality He will at length redress the wrongs of the sufferer, bind up his broken heart and heal his wounds.


                         "Time yet will come, 'tis His decree,
                         When tyrant force shall fail;
                         When Justice, all who trample thee,
                         For evermore must wail."

        Unfortunate fellow-creatures, innocent sufferers, however you may still continue to be despised and afflicted, have comfort in believing that this is not the place of your rest; endless joys are laid up for you in that blessed country where the oppressor can no more oppress; for, doubtless, you are, equally with all mankind, the objects of redeeming love!


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                         "Ethiopia from afar,
                         Shall adore the sacred name;
                         Mercy break the cruel bar
                         That obstructs religion's flame.


                         Charity responsive glows,
                         Ardour fills the throbbing breast;
                         Mourns the wretched captives woes,
                         Pants to see those woes redress'd.


                         Pensive thought awakes to languish,
                         O'er the mass of human ill;
                         Weeps the abject Negro's anguish,
                         Crush'd beneath a tyrant's will.


                         Ocean's deep resistless tide,
                         Covers many a lovely gem;
                         Nor can complexion virtue hide--
                         Noble actions shine in them.


                         Who could count the hollow groans,
                         Wafted o'er the Atlantic wave,
                         With the deep and bitter moans,
                         Ceasing only in the grave!


                         Unobserv'd his sighs may heave,
                         Silent may his tears descend;
                         Will none such agony relieve?
                         No one prove the Negro's friend?


                         If by age and sorrow hoary,
                         His food may yet be angels' bread;
                         For him a Saviour left His glory,--
                         For him a dear Redeemer bled.


                         Oh! may the Gospel's joyful sound,
                         Hours of grief and labour cheer;
                         Religion's holy flame be found,
                         To smooth the chain he still must wear:


                         Bereft of every earthly joy,
                         Hope, sweetly rise to things above,
                         Where no distracting cares annoy,
                         Where all is harmony and love."


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End of
Part First


Page 189

A TRIBUTE FOR THE NEGRO.
PART II.

Biographical Sketches of Africans or their Descendents, with Testimonies of Travelers, Missionaries, &c., respecting them.


                         "To injured Afric', liberal reader turn,
                         There from her sable sons this maxim learn;
                         To no complexion is the charm confined,
                         In every climate grows the virtuous mind."

        "Ab Æthiope virtutem disce, et ne crede colori." --From the Ethiopian learn virtue, and trust not to colour.


Illustration


Page 191

A TRIBUTE FOR THE NEGRO.

Part Second.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF AFRICANS OR THEIR DESCENDANTS, &c.


                         "Truth, by Its own sinews shall prevail;
                         And in the course of Heaven's evolving plan,
                         BY TRUTH MADE FREE the long scorned African,--
                         His Maker's image radiant in his face,--
                         Among earth's noblest sons shall find his place."

        The false philosophy which has imparted to the Negro a constitutional inferiority, must, as I have observed, henceforth, be refuted, more by facts and experience, than by reasoning. The remaining portion of the present volume is occupied with a variety of such facts; consisting of a series of Biographical Sketches of Africans or their Descendants, with Testimonies of Travellers, Missionaries, &c., as to their real character and capabilities. These exhibit an undoubted refutation of those unfounded calumnies, which have been heaped upon the unfortunate race of Africa.

        In making a selection of a few out of the numberless instances that might have been produced, equally forcible, the Author may observe, that he has been more thoroughly impressed with the truth of an equality in the various races of mankind the further he has proceeded in the investigation of the subject. Renewed evidence has been afforded him in carefully surveying a great variety of cases, that the African character is susceptible of all the finest feelings of our nature, and that the intellectual capacity of the Negro, under circumstances more favourable than have generally


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fallen to his lot, would bear a comparison with that of any other portion of our species.

OLAUDAH EQUIANO; OR GUSTAVUS VASSA.

        The following brief sketch of the life of Gustavus Vassa, or Olaudah Equiano, the name by which he was known in his native country on the coast of Africa, is condensed from various editions of his "Narrative," a small octavo volume of 350 pages, written by himself about the year 1787, exhibiting in its composition considerable talent. "The individual is to be pitied," says the Abbé Gregoire, " who, after having read the memoir of Vassa, does not feel for the author, sentiments of affection and esteem."

        This intelligent Negro dedicated his "Narrative" to the British Houses of Parliament in the following terms:--

"To the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain.

"MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN,

        "PERMIT me, with the greatest deference and respect, to lay at your feet the following genuine narrative; the chief design of which is to excite in your august assemblies a sense of compassion for the miseries which the Slave Trade has entailed on my unfortunate countrymen. By the horrors of that trade, was I first torn away from all the tender connexions that were naturally dear to my heart; but these, through the mysterious ways of Providence, I ought to regard as infinitely more than compensated by the introduction I have thence obtained to the knowledge of the Christian religion, and of a nation which, by its liberal sentiments, its humanity, the glorious freedom of its government, and its proficiency in arts and sciences, has exalted the dignity of human nature.


Illustration


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        "I am sensible I ought to entreat your pardon for addressing to you a work so wholly devoid of literary merit; but, as the production of an unlettered African, who is actuated by the hope of becoming an instrument towards the relief of his suffering countrymen, I trust that such a man, pleading in such a cause will be acquitted of boldness and presumption.

        "May the God of Heaven inspire your hearts with peculiar benevolence on that important day when the question of Abolition is to be discussed, when thousands, in consequence of your decision, are to look for Happiness or Misery!

"I am,
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"Your most Obedient,
"And devoted humble Servant,

"OLAUDAH EQUIANO, OR GUSTAVUS VASSA."

"No. 4, Taylor's Buildings,
"St. Martin's Lane,
"October 30, 1790."

        "I believe it is difficult," writes this intelligent Negro, "for those who publish their own memoirs, to escape the imputation of vanity; nor is this the only disadvantage under which they labour: it is also their misfortune, that whatever is uncommon, is rarely, if ever, believed, and what is obvious, the reader is apt to turn from with disgust, and to charge the writer with impertinence. Those memoirs only are thought worthy to be read or remembered which abound in great or striking events; those in short, which in a high degree excite either admiration or pity: nearly all others are consigned to contempt and oblivion. It is, therefore, I confess, not a little hazardous in a private and obscure individual, and a stranger too, thus to solicit the indulgent attention of the public, especially when I


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own that I offer here, the history of neither a saint, a hero, nor a tyrant. I believe there are few events in my life which have not happened to many, but when I compare my lot with that of most of my countrymen, I acknowledge the mercies of Providence in every occurrence of my life.

        If then, the following Narrative does not prove sufficiently interesting to engage general attention, let my motive be some excuse for its publication. I am not so foolishly vain, as to expect from it either immortality or literary reputation. If it affords any satisfaction to my numerous friends, at whose request it has been written, or in the smallest degree promotes the interests of humanity, the end for which it was undertaken will be fully attained, and every wish of my heart gratified. Let it therefore be remembered, that in wishing to avoid censure, I do not aspire to praise.

        That part of Africa known by the name of Guinea, in which the trade for Slaves is carried on, extends along the coast above 3400 miles, from Senegal to Angola, and includes a variety of kingdoms. Of these, the most considerable is the kingdom of Benin, both as to extent and wealth, the richness and cultivation of the soil, the power of its king, and the number and warlike disposition of the inhabitants. It is situated nearly under the line, and extends along the coast about 170 miles, but runs back into the interior part of Africa to a distance hitherto, I believe, unexplored by any traveller; and seems only terminated by the empire of Abyssinia, nearly 1500 miles from its first boundaries. In a charming and fruitful vale, called Essaka, in one of the most remote and fertile provinces of this kingdom, I was born in the year 1745.

        As our country is one in which nature is prodigal of her favours, our wants, which are few, are easily supplied. All our industry is turned to the improvement of those blesssings, and we are habituated to labour from our early


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years; and by this means we have no beggars. Our houses never exceed one story, and are built of wood, thatched with reeds; and the floors are generally covered with mats. The dress of both races consists of a long piece of calico or muslin, wrapped loosely round the body; our beds are also covered with the same cloth.

        The land is uncommonly rich and fruitful, and produces vegetables in abundance, and a variety of delicious fruits; also Indian corn, cotton, and tobacco. Our meat consists of cattle, goats, and poultry. The ceremony of washing before eating is strictly enjoined, and cleanliness is considered a part of the religion. The people believe there is one Creator of all things, and that He governs all events.

        My father being a man of rank, had a numerous family: his children consisted of one daughter, and several sons, of whom I was the youngest, my name being Olaudah Equiano. I generally attended my mother, who took great pains in forming my mind, and training me to exercise. In this way I grew up to about the eleventh year of my age, when an end was put to my happiness in the following manner:

        One clay, when our people were gone to their work, and only my dear sister and myself were left to watch the house, two men and a woman came, and seizing us both, stopped our mouths that we should not make a noise, ran off with us into the woods, where they tied our hands, and took us some distance to a small house, where the robbers halted for refreshment and spent the night. We were then unbound, but were unable to take any food, and being quite overpowered by fatigue and grief, our only relief was some sleep, which allayed our misfortune for a short time. The next morning, after keeping the woods some distance, we came to an opening, where we saw some people at work. I began to cry out for their assistance, but my cries had no other effect than to make them tie us faster, and again stop our mouths, and they put us into a sack until we got out of sight of these people.


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When they offered us food, we could not eat, often bathing each other in tears. Our only respite was sleep--but alas! even the privilege of weeping together was soon denied us. The next day proved a day of greater sorrow than I had yet experienced, for my sister and I were torn asunder while clasped in each other's arms: it was in vain that we besought them not to part us; she was torn from me, and immediately carried away, while I was left in a state of distraction not to be described. I wept and grieved continually, and for several days did not eat anything but what they forced into my mouth.

        After travelling a great distance, suffering many hardships, and being sold several times,--one evening, to my surprise, my dear sister was brought to the same house. As soon as she saw me, she gave a loud shriek and ran into my arms: I was quite overpowered;--neither of us could speak, but for a considerable time clung to each other in mutual embraces, unable to do anything but weep. When the people were told that we were brother and sister, they indulged us with being together, and one of the men at night lay between us, and allowed us to hold each other's hand across him. Thus, for a while we forgot our misfortunes in the joy of being together; but even this small comfort was soon to have an end, for scarcely had the fatal morning appeared, when she was torn from me for ever! for I never saw her more!

        I was now more miserable, if possible, than before. The small relief which her presence gave me from pain was gone, and the wretchedness of my situation was redoubled by my anxiety after her fate, and my apprehension lest her sufferings should be greater than mine, when I could not be with her to alleviate them. Yes; thou dear partner of all my childish sports! thou sharer of my joys and sorrows! happy should I have ever esteemed myself, to encounter every misery for you, and to procure your freedom by the sacrifice of my own! Though you were early forced


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from my arms, your image has been always rivetted in my heart, from which neither time nor fortune have been able to remove it: so that, while the thoughts of your sufferings have damped my prosperity, they have mingled with adversity, and increased its bitterness. To that Heaven which protects the weak from the strong, I commit the care of your innocence and virtues, if they have not already received their full reward, and if your youth and delicacy have not long since fallen victims to the violence of the African trader, the pestilential stench of a Guinea ship, the seasoning in the European colonies, or the lash and lust of a brutal and unrelenting overseer.

        At length, after many days' travelling, during which I had often changed masters, although I was many days' journey from my father's house, I attempted to escape. The whole neighbourhood was raised in the pursuit of me. In that part of the country, the houses and villages were skirted with woods, or shrubberies, and the bushes were so thick that a man could readily conceal himself in them, so as to elude the strictest search. The neighbours continued the whole day looking for me, and several times many of them came within a few yards of the place where I lay hid. I expected every moment, when I heard a rustling among the trees, to be found out and punished; but they never discovered me, though they were often so near that I even heard their conjectures as they were looking about for me; and I now learned from them, that any attempt to return home would be hopeless. Most of them supposed I had fled towards home; but the distance was so great, and the way so intricate, that they thought I could never reach it, and that I should be lost in the woods. When I heard this, I was seized with a violent panic, and abandoned myself to despair. Night, too, began to approach, and aggravated all my fears, for I became alarmed with the idea of being devoured by wild beasts. I had before entertained hopes of getting home, and had


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determined when it should be dark to make the attempt; but I was now convinced it was fruitless, and began to consider, that, if possibly I could escape all other animals, I could not those of the human kind, and that, not knowing the way, I must perish in the woods. Thus was I like the hunted deer:


                         --"Every leaf, and every whispering breath
                         Convey'd a foe, and every foe a death."
The horror of my situation became quite insupportable. I at length quitted the thicket, and with trembling steps, and a sad heart, returned to my master's house, and crept into his kitchen, which was an open shed, laying myself down with an anxious wish for death to relieve me from all my pains. I was scarcely awake in the morning before I was discovered, and being closely reprimanded by my master, I was soon sold again.

        I was now carried to the left of the sun's rising, through many dreary wastes and dismal woods, amidst the hideous roarings of wild beasts. The people I was sold to used to carry me very often either on their shoulders or their backs. All the people I had hitherto seen resembled my own nation, and having learned a little of several languages, I could understand them pretty well: but now after six or seven months had passed away from the time I was kidnapped, I arrived at the sea coast, and I beheld that element, which before I had no idea of. It also made me acquainted with such cruelties as I can never reflect upon but with horror. The first object that met my sight was a Slave-ship riding at anchor, waiting for her cargo! I was filled with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror which I am quite at a loss to describe.

        When I was taken on board, being roughly handled and closely examined by these men, whose complexion and language differed so much from any I had seen or heard before, I apprehended I had got into a world of bad


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spirits. When I looked round the ship, too, and saw a multitude of Black people of all descriptions chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted my fate, and being quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. When I revived a little, the horrible faces of the White men frightened me again exceedingly. But I had not time to think much about it before I was, with many of my poor country people, put under deck in a loathsome and horrible place. In this situation we wished for death, and sometimes refused to eat; and for this we were beaten. Such were now my horrors and fears, that if ten thousand worlds had been my own, I would have freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest Slave in my own country.

        After enduring more hardships than I can relate, we arrived at Barbadoes. When taken on shore, we were put into a pen like so many beasts, and from thence sold and separated,-- husbands and wives, parents, and children, brothers and sisters, without any distinction. Their cries excited some compassion in the hearts of those who were capable of feeling; but others seemed to feel no remorse, though the scene was so affecting.

        On a signal given, (the beat of a drum), the buyers rush at once into the yard where the Slaves are confined, and make choice of those they like best. The noise and clamour with which this is attended, and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers, serve not a little to increase the apprehension of the terrified African, who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. In this manner, without scruple, are relations and friends separated, most of them never to see each other again. I remember in the vessel in which I was brought over, in the men's apartment there were several brothers, who, in


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the sale were sold in different lots; and it was very moving on this occasion to see and hear their cries at parting.

        O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you, learned you this from your God, who says unto you, "Do unto all men as you would they should do unto you?" Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice? Are the dearest friends and relations, now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred, still to be parted from each other, and thus be prevented from cheering the gloom of Slavery, with the small comfort of being together and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives? Surely this is a new refinement in cruelty, which, while it has no advantage to atone for it, thus aggravates distress, and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of Slavery?

        I was, with some others, sent to America. When we arrived at Virginia we were also sold and separated. I now totally lost the small remains of comfort I had enjoyed in conversing with my countrymen; the women too, who used to wash and take care of me, were all gone different ways, and I never saw one of them afterwards.

        Not long after this, Captain Pascal, coming to my master's, purchased me, and sent me on board his ship called the Industrious Bee. I had not yet learned much of the English language, so that I could not understand their conversation. I wanted to know as well as I could where we were going. Some of the people of the ship used to tell me they were going to carry me back to my own country, and this made me very happy. I was quite rejoiced at the idea of going back; but I was reserved for another fate, and was soon undeceived when we came within sight of the English coast. It was on board this ship that I received the name of Gustavus Vassa.


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        There was on board this ship a young lad, Richard Baker, an American, who had received an excellent education, and was of a most amiable temper. Soon after I went on board he shewed me a great deal of partiality and attention, and in return, I grew extremely fond of him. We at length became inseparable, and for the space of two years he was of very great use to me, being my constant companion and instructor. Such friendship was cemented between us as we cherished till his death, which, to my very great sorrow, happened in 1759, in the Archipelago, on board his Majesty's ship Preston; an event which I have never ceased to regret, as I lost at once a kind interpreter, an agreeable companion, and a faithful friend, who, at the age of fifteen, discovered a mind superior to prejudice, and who was not ashamed to notice, to associate with, and to be the friend and instructor, of one who was ignorant, a stranger, of a different complexion, and a Slave!

        In the summer of 1757, I was taken by a press-gang, and carried on board a man-of-war. After passing about a year in this service, on the coast of France and in America, on my return to England I received much kindness, and was sent to school, where I learned to read and write. I could now speak English tolerably well, and I perfectly understood everything that was said. I not only felt myself quite easy with these new countrymen, but relished their society and manners. I looked upon them as men superior to us, and I had a strong desire to resemble them, to imbibe their spirit, and imitate their manners; I therefore embraced every occasion of improvement, and every new thing I observed I treasured up in my mind. Shortly after my arrival in England, my master sent me to wait upon the Miss Guerins, who had treated me with much kindness before. They often used to teach me to read, and took great pains to instruct me in the principles of religion, and at the same time gave me a book called "A Guide to the Indians," written by the Bishop of Sodor and Man.


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        My master receiving the office of lieutenant on board the Namur, he took me with him up the Mediterranean. I parted from my kind patronesses, the Miss Guerins, with reluctance, and after receiving from them many friendly cautions how to conduct myself, and some valuable presents, I took leave of them with uneasiness and regret. My desire for learning induced some of my shipmates to instruct me, so that I could read the Bible; and one of them, a sober man, explained many passages to me.

        [I am already making more full extracts from the Narrative of Gustavus Vassa than I at first intended, but must now pass over much that is interesting. A few remarks made by this enlightened and intelligent Negro, in recording some providential deliverances, I cannot omit.]

        In these, and in many more instances, says Vassa, I thought I could plainly trace the hand of God, without whose permission a sparrow cannot fall. I began to raise my fear from man to Him alone, and to call daily on his holy name with fear and reverence, and I trust He heard my supplications, and graciously condescended to answer me according to His Holy Word, and to implant the seeds of piety in me, even one of the meanest of His creatures.

        As I had now served my master faithfully several years, and his kindness had given me hopes that he would grant my freedom, when we arrived in England I ventured to tell him so; but he was offended, for he had determined on sending me to the West Indies. Accordingly, at the close of the year 1762, finding a vessel bound thither, he took me on board, and gave me in charge to the captain. I endeavoured to expostulate with him by telling him he had received my wages, and all my prize money; but it was to no purpose. Taking my only coat from my back, he went off in his boat. I followed them with aching eyes, and a heart ready to burst with grief, till they were out of sight.


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        Thus, at the moment that I expected all my toils to end, I was plunged, as I supposed, into a new Slavery; in comparison of which, all my service had hitherto been perfect freedom; whose horrors, always present in my mind, now rushed on it with tenfold aggravation. I wept very bitterly for some time, and began to think that I must have done something to displease the Lord, that He thus punished me so severely. This filled me with painful reflections on my past conduct; I recollected that on the morning of our arrival at Deptford, I had rashly sworn that as soon as we reached London I would spend the day in rambling and sport. My conscience smote me for this unguarded expression: I felt that the Lord was able to disappoint me in all things, and immediately considered my present situation as a judgment of Heaven, on account of my presumption in swearing. I therefore acknowledged, with contrition of heart, my transgression to God, and poured out my soul before Him with unfeigned repentance; and with earnest supplications I besought Him not to abandon me in my distress, nor cast me from His mercy for ever. In a little time, my grief, spent with its own violence, began to subside; and after the first confusion of my thoughts was over, I reflected with more calmness on my present condition. I considered that trials and disappointments are sometimes for our good, and I thought God might perhaps have permitted this, in order to teach me wisdom and resignation; for he had hitherto shadowed me with the wings of His mercy, and by His invisible, but powerful hand, brought me by a way I knew not. These reflections gave me a little comfort, and I rose at last from the deck with dejection and sorrow in my countenance, yet mixed with some faint hope that the Lord would appear for my deliverance.

        [Before the vessel sailed, it waited some days off Portsmouth for the West India convoy; and whilst there, Gustavus Vassa tried every means of escaping to land he could


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devise, but all in vain. On the last day but one of 1762, the Eolus frigate, which was to escort the convoy, made a signal for sailing.]

        What tumultuous emotions agitated my soul, continues Vassa, when the convoy got under sail, and I a prisoner on board, now without a hope! I kept my eyes upon the land in a state of unutterable grief, not knowing what to do, and despairing how to help myself. While my mind was in this situation, the fleet sailed on, and I lost sight of land. In the first expression of my grief I reproached my fate, and wished I had never been born. I was ready to curse the tide that bore us, the gale that wafted my prison, and even the ship that conducted us; and I called on death to relieve me from the horrors I felt, and desired that I might be in that place--


                         "Where Slaves are free and men oppress no more.
                         --Fool that I was, inured so long to pain,
                         To trust to hope, or dream of joy again.
                         Now dragg'd once more beyond the western main,
                         To groan beneath some dastard planter's chain;
                         Where my poor countrymen in bondage wait
                         The long enfranchisement of lingering fate:
                         Hard lingering fate! while, ere the dawn of day,
                         Roused by the lash, they go their cheerless way;
                         And as their souls with shame and anguish burn,
                         Salute with groans unwelcome morn's return,
                         And, chiding every hour the slow-paced sun,
                         Pursue their toils till all his race is run.
                         No eye to mark their sufferings with a tear:
                         No friend to comfort, and no hope to cheer:
                         Then, like the dull unpitied brutes, repair
                         To stalls as wretched, and as coarse a fare;
                         Thank Heav'n, one day of misery was o'er,
                         Then sink to sleep, and wish to wake no more."

        The turbulence of my emotions, however, naturally gave way to calmer thoughts, and I soon perceived that what fate had decreed, no mortal on earth could prevent. The captain, whose name was Doran, treated me very kindly, but we had a tempestuous voyage. On the 13th of February, 1763, from


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the mast head, we descried our destined island, Montserrat: and soon after I beheld those


                         "Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
                         And rest can rarely dwell. Hope never comes
                         That comes to all, but torture without end."

        At the sight of this land of bondage, a fresh horror ran through all my frame, and chilled me to the heart. My former Slavery now rose in dreadful review before my mind, and displayed nothing but misery, stripes, and chains; and, in the first paroxysm of my grief, I called upon God's thunder, and His avenging power, to direct the stroke of death to me, rather than permit me to become a Slave again, and be sold from lord to lord.

        When the ship had discharged her cargo, and was ready for sailing again, Captain Doran sent for me ashore, and I was told by the messenger that my fate was determined. With trembling steps and faltering heart I came to the captain, and found him with one Mr. Robert King, a Quaker, the first merchant of the place. After telling me the charge he had to get me a good master, he said he had got me one of the best on the island. Mr. King also said he had bought me on account of my good character, (to maintain which I found to be of great importance,) and that his home was in Philadelpbia, where he expected soon to go; and he did not intend to treat me hard. He asked me what I could do, and said, as I understood something of the rules of arithmetic, he would put me to school, and fit me for a clerk.*

        I soon found that my master fully deserved the good character which Captain Doran had given me of him. He possessed a most amiable disposition, and was very charitable and humane. He treated his Slaves better than any other man on the island, so he was better and more faithfully
* The Society of Friends have long renounced the holding of Slaves, which is entirely prohibited by their rules.


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served by them in return. In passing about the different estates on the island, I had an opportunity of seeing the dreadful usage and wretched situation of the poor Slaves, and it reconciled me to my condition, and made me thankful and bless God for being placed with so kind a master. He was several times offered one hundred guineas for me, but to my great joy, he would not sell me.

        Having obtained three pence, I began a little trade, and soon gained a dollar, then more; with this I bought a Bible. Going in a vessel of my master's to Georgia and Charleston, a small venture I took, answered on my return a very good purpose. In 1765, my master prepared for going to Philadelphia. With his crediting me for some articles, and the little stock of my own, I laid in considerable, which elated me much; and I told him I hoped I should soon obtain enough to purchase my freedom, which he promised me I should have when I could pay him what he gave for me.

        With my kind master and captain's indulgence, and my own indefatigable industry and economy, I obtained the sum required for my liberty. So, one morning while they were at breakfast, I ventured to remind my master of what he promised, and to tell him I had got the money, at which he seemed surprised. The captain told him I had come honestly by it, and he must now fulfil his promise. My master then told me to go to the Secretary at the Register Office and get my manumission drawn, and he would sign it. These words of my master were like heaven to me: in an instant all my trepidation was turned into unutterable bliss; and I most reverently bowed myself with gratitude, unable to express my feelings, but by the overflowing of tears, and a heart replete with thanks to God. As soon as the first transports of my joy were over, and I had expressed my thanks in the best manner I was able, I rose with a heart full of affection and reverence, and left the room, in order to obey my master's joyful mandate of going


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to the Register Office. As I was leaving the house I called to mind the words of the Psalmist, in the 126th Psalm, and like him, "I glorified God in my heart, in whom I trusted." These words had been impressed on my mind from the very day I was forced from Deptford to the present hour, and I now saw them, as I thought, fulfilled and verified. My imagination was all rapture as I flew to the Register Office; and in this respect, like the apostle Peter, (whose deliverance from prison was so sudden and extraordinary, that he thought he was in a vision) I could scarcely believe I was awake. Heavens! who could do justice to my feelings at this moment? Not conquering heroes themselves, in the midst of a triumph--not the tender mother who has just regained her long-lost infant, and presses it to her heart! All within my breast was tumult, wildness, and delirium! My feet scarcely touched the ground, for they were winged with joy, and, like Elijah, as he rose to Heaven, they " were with lightning sped as I went on!" Every one I met I told of my happiness, and blazed about the virtues of my amiable master and captain.

        The Registrar signed the manumission that day; so that, before night, I who had been a Slave in the morning, trembling at the will of another, was become my own master, and completely free. I thought this was the happiest day I had ever experienced; and my joy was still heightened by the blessings and prayers of many of the Sable race, particularly the aged, to whom my heart had ever been attached with reverence.

        Having obtained my freedom, my heart was now fixed on London, where I hoped to be ere long; but my master and Captain Doran entreated me not to leave them. Here, gratitude bowed me down and induced me to remain. None but the generous mind can judge of my feelings, struggling between inclination and duty. I entered as a sailor on one of Mr. King's vessels, with the intention of making a voyage or two, entirely to please my honoured


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patrons; but I determined that the year following, if it pleased God, I would see Old England once more.

        Our first voyage was to Montserrat. When we were preparing to return, and were taking some cattle on board, one of them ran at the captain, and butted him so furiously in the breast that he never recovered the blow. He was so affected that he was unable to do duty, and he died before we reached our port. This was a heavy stroke to me, for he had been my true friend; and I loved him as a father. The whole care of the vessel now rested upon me. In the course of nine or ten days, we made the island of Antigua, and the day after, we came safe to Montserrat. Many were surprised when they heard of my conducting the sloop into the port, and I now obtained a new Appellation, and was called Captain. This elated me not a little, and it was quite flattering to my vanity, to be thus styled by as high a title as any free man in this place possessed.

        As I had now, by the death of my captain, lost my great benefactor and friend, I had little inducement to remain longer in the West Indies, except from gratitude to Mr. King, which I thought I had pretty well discharged in bringing back his vessel safe, and delivering his cargo to his satisfaction. I began to think of leaving this part of the world, of which I had been long tired, and returning to England, where my heart had always been; but Mr. King still pressed me very much to stay with his vessel, and he had done so much for me, that I found myself unable to refuse his requests, and consented to go another voyage to Georgia, as the mate from his ill state of health, was quite useless in the vessel.

        Accordingly a new captain was appointed, and having refitted our vessel, we sailed for Georgia; but steering a more westerly course than usual, we soon got on the Bahama banks, where our vessel was wrecked, but no lives lost. Getting on one of the islands, with some salt provision we had saved, we remained there many days, and


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suffered much for want of fresh water. When we were almost famished with hunger and thirst, we were found, and carried to New Providence, where we were kindly treated. From thence we were taken to Savannah, so to Martinico, and to Montserrat, having been absent about six months, during which I had more than once experienced the delivering hand of Providence, when all human means of escaping destruction seemed hopeless. I saw my friends with a gladness of heart which was increased by my absence and the dangers I had escaped, and I was received with great friendship by them all, but particularly by Mr. King, to whom I related the various hardships we had encountered, and the loss of his sloop, with the cause of her being wrecked. When I told him I intended to go to London that season, and that I had come to visit him before my departure, the good man expressed a great deal of affection for me, and sorrow that I should leave him. I thanked him for his friendship, but as I wished very much to be in London, I declined remaining any longer there, and begged he would excuse me. I then requested he would be kind enough to give me a certificate of my behaviour while in his service, which he very readily complied with, and gave me the following:

"To all to whom this may concern.

        "The bearer hereof, Gustavus Vassa, was my Slave upwards of three years; during which time he has always behaved himself well, and discharged his duty with honesty and assiduity."

R. KING."


        Having obtained this, I parted from my kind master, after many sincere professions of gratitude and regard, and prepared for my departure to London. Having agreed for my passage, I took leave of all my friends, and embarked, exceedingly glad to see myself once more on board a ship, steering the course I had long wished for.


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With a light heart I bade Montserrat farewell; and with it, I bade adieu to the sound of the cruel whip, and all other dreadful instruments of torture; and adieu to oppressions, although to me, less severe than to most of my countrymen. I wished for a grateful and thankful heart to praise the Lord God on high for all his mercies! In this ecstacy I steered the ship all night.

        We had a most prosperous voyage, and at the end of seven weeks my longing eyes were once more gratified with a sight of London, after having been absent from it above four years. I immediately received my wages, and I had never earned seven guineas so quickly in my life before. I had thirty-seven guineas in all when I got clear of the ship. I now entered upon a scene quite new to me, but full of hope. I set my mind on getting more learning, and attended school diligently. My money not being sufficient, I hired myself to service awhile; but having a desire to go into the Mediterranean, I engaged on board a ship, where the mate taught me navigation.

        In the spring of 1773, an expedition was fitted out to explore a north-west passage to India, conducted by the Honourable Constantine John Phipps, since Lord Mulgrave, in his Majesty's sloop of war the Race Horse. Dr. Irving being anxious for the reputation of this adventure, concluded to go, and I accompanied him. I attended him on board the Race Horse, the 24th of May, 1773, and we proceeded to Sheerness, where we were joined by his Majesty's sloop the Carcass, commanded by Captain Lutwidge, and on the 25th of the same month we were off Shetland. On the 20th of June, we began to use Dr. Irving's apparatus for making salt water fresh; I used to attend the distillery, and frequently purified from 20 to 40 gallons a day. The water thus distilled was perfectly pure, well tasted, and free from salt, and was used on various occasions on board the ship. On the 28th we reached Greenland, where I was surprised to find the sun did not set. The weather


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now became extremely cold, and we saw many very high and curious mountains of ice; and also a great number of very large whales, which used to come close to our ship and spout the water up to a very great height in the air. On the 29th and 30th of July, we saw one continued plain of smooth unbroken ice, bounded only by the horizon; and we fastened to a piece of ice that was eight yards eleven inches thick. We had generally sunshine, and constant daylight, which gave cheerfulness and novelty to the whole of this striking, grand, and uncommon scene; and, to heighten it still more, the reflection of the sun from the ice gave the clouds a most beautiful appearance. We remained here till the 1st of August, when the two ships got completely fastened by the loose ice that set in from the sea. This made our situation very dreadful and alarming; so that on the seventh day we were in great apprehension of having the ships squeezed to pieces. The officers now held a council to know what was best to be done in order to save our lives. Our deplorable condition, which kept up the constant apprehension of our perishing in the ice, brought me gradually to think of eternity in such a manner as I had never done before, having the fear of death hourly upon me. Our appearance became truly lamentable; pale dejection seized every countenance; many, who had been blasphemers before, in this our distress began to call on the good God of Heaven for his help; and in the time of our utter need he heard us, and against hope or human probability, delivered us! In this perilous situation we remained eleven days, when the weather becoming more mild, and the wind changing, the ice gave way; and in about thirty hours, with hard labour, we got into open water, to our infinite joy and gladness of heart.

        On the 19th of August, we sailed from this uninhabited extremity of the world, where the inhospitable climate affords neither food nor shelter, and not a tree or shrub of any kind grows among its barren rocks; but all is one


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desolate and expanded field of ice, which even the constant beams of the sun for six months in the year cannot penetrate or dissolve.

        We arrived at Deptford on the 30th, and thus ended our Arctic voyage, to the no small joy of all on board, after having been absent four months; in which time, at the imminent hazard of our lives, we explored nearly as far towards the Pole as 81 north, and 20 east longitude; being much further than any navigator had ever ventured before; in which we fully proved the impracticability of finding a passage that way to India.

        Our voyage to the North Pole being ended, I returned to London with Dr. Irving, with whom I continued for some time, during which I began seriously to reflect on the many dangers I had escaped, particularly those of my last voyage, which made a lasting impression on my mind; and which, by the grace of God, proved afterwards a mercy to me: causing me to reflect deeply on my eternal state, and to seek the Lord with full purpose of heart, ere it was too late. I rejoiced greatly; and heartily thanked the Lord for directing me to London, where I was determined to work out my own salvation, and in so doing, procure a title to heaven. I used every means for this purpose, but not being able to find any person that would show me any good, I was much dejected, and knew not where to seek relief. The only comfort I experienced was in reading the Holy Scriptures, where I saw that what was appointed for me I must submit to.

        Still, I continued to travel in much heaviness, and frequently murmured against the Almighty; and, awful to think, I began to blaspheme! In these severe conflicts, the Lord was pleased, in much mercy, to give me to see, and in some measure to understand, the great and awful scene of the judgment day, that no unclean person, no unholy thing, can enter into the kingdom of God. I would then, if it had been possible, have changed my nature with


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the meanest worm on the earth; and was ready to say to the mountains and rocks, fall on me, but in vain. In the greatest agony, I prayed to the Divine Creator, that he would grant me time to repent of my follies and vile iniquities, which I felt were grievous; and in His manifold mercies, He was pleased to grant my request, and the sense of His mercies was great on my mind. This was the first spiritual mercy I ever was sensible of; I invoked Heaven from my inmost soul, and fervently begged that God would never again permit me to blaspheme His most holy name. The Lord, who is long-suffering, and full of compassion to such poor rebels as we are, condescended to hear and answer. I felt that I was altogether unholy, and saw clearly what a wicked use I had made of the faculties with which I was endowed, and which were given me to glorify God. I prayed to be directed, if there were any holier persons than those with whom I was acquainted, that the Lord would point them out to me. I appealed to the searcher of hearts, whether I did not wish to love him more, and serve him better. Notwithstanding all this, the reader may easily discern, that if a believer, I was still in nature's darkness. At length I hated the house in which I lodged, because God's most holy name was blasphemed in it; then I saw the word of God verified, "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."

        I had a great desire to read the Bible the whole day at home; but not having a convenient place for retirement, I left the house in the day, rather than stay amongst the wicked ones; and as I was walking, it pleased God to direct me to a house, where there was an old-sea-faring man, who had experienced much of the love of God shed abroad in his heart. He began to discourse with me, and, as I desired to love the Lord, his conversation rejoiced me greatly; and indeed I had never before heard the love of Christ to believers set forth in such a manner, and in so


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clear a point of view. Here I had more questions to put to the man than his time would permit him to answer: and in that memorable hour there came in a dissenting minister; he joined in our discourse, and asked me some few questions, inviting me to a love-feast that evening, which offer I accepted, and thanked him. After he went away, I had some further discourse with the old Christian, added to some profitable reading, which made me exceedingly happy. When I left him he reminded me of coming to the feast; I assured him I would be there. Thus we parted, and I weighed over the heavenly conversation that had passed between these two men, which cheered my then heavy and drooping spirit more than anything I had met with for many months. However, I thought the time long in going to my supposed banquet. It lasted about four hours, and ended in singing and prayer. This kind of Christian fellowship I had never seen, nor ever thought of seeing on earth; it fully reminded me of what I had read in the Holy Scriptures of the primitive Christians, who loved each other and broke bread, partaking of it, even from house to house. I could not but admire the goodness of God, in directing the blind, blasphemous sinner, into the path that I knew not of, even among the just; and that instead of judgment he shewed mercy, hearing and answering the prayers and supplications of every returning prodigal:


                         "O! to grace how great a debtor
                         Daily I'm constrain'd to be!"

        After this, I was resolved to win Heaven if possible; and if I perished, I thought it should be at the feet of Jesus, in praying to him for salvation. After having been an eyewitness to the happiness which attended those who feared God, I knew not how with any propriety, to return to my lodgings, where the name of God was continually profaned. I paused in my mind for some time, not knowing what to do; whether to hire a bed elsewhere, or go home again.


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At last, fearing an evil report might arise, I went home with a farewell to card-playing and vain jesting, &c. I saw that time was very short, eternity long, and very near; and I viewed those persons alone blessed who were found ready at midnight call, or when the judge of all cometh.

        The next day I took courage, and went to see my new and worthy acquaintance, the old man, Mr. C--; who, with his wife, a gracious woman, were at work weaving silk. Their discourse was delightful and edifying. I knew not at last how to leave them, till time summoned me away. As I was going, they lent me a little book, entitled, "The Conversion of an Indian," which was of great use to me, and at that time a means of strengthening my faith; in parting, they both invited me to call on them when I pleased. This delighted me, and I took care to derive all the improvement from it I could; and so far I thanked God for such company and desires. I prayed that the many evils I felt within might be done away, and that I might be weaned from my former carnal acquaintances. This was quickly heard and answered, and I was soon connected with those whom the Scriptures call the excellent of the earth. I heard the gospel preached, and the thoughts of my heart and actions were laid open by the preachers, and the way of salvation by Christ alone, was evidently set forth. Thus I went on happily for nearly two months.

        A short time after this, I went to Westminster chapel; the Rev. Mr. P--preached from Lam. iii. 39. It was a wonderful sermon; he clearly shewed, that a living man had no cause to complain for the punishment of his sins; he evidently justified the Lord in all his dealings with the sons of men; he also shewed the justice of God in the eternal punishment of the wicked and impenitent. The discourse afforded me much joy, intermingled with many fears about my soul. When it was ended, I addressed the reverend gentleman, who freely commended me to read the Scriptures, and hear the word preached; not to neglect


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fervent prayer to God, who has promised to hear the supplications of those who seek Him in godly sincerity; so I took my leave of him with many thanks, and resolved to follow his advice, so far as the Lord would condescend to enable me.

        During this time I was out of employment, nor was I likely to get a situation suitable for me, which obliged me to go once more to sea. I engaged as steward of a ship bound from London to Cadiz. In a short time after I was on board, I heard the name of God much blasphemed. I concluded to beg my bread on shore, rather than go again to sea amongst a people who feared not God, and I entreated the captain three different times to discharge me; he would not, but each time gave me greater and greater encouragement to continue with him, and all on board shewed me very great civility; notwithstanding all this, I was unwilling to embark again. At last some of my friends advised me, saying it was my lawful calling, particularly Mr. G. S. the governor of Tothill-fields Bridewell, who pitied my case, and read the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews to me, with exhortations. He prayed for me, and I believed that he prevailed on my behalf, as my burden was then greatly removed. The good man gave me a pocket Bible and "Alleine's Alarm to the Unconverted" before we parted. Next day I went on board again. We sailed for Spain, and I found favour with the captain. It was the fourth of September when we sailed from London; we had a delightful voyage to Cadiz, where we arrived on the twenty-third.

        I had many opportunities of reading the Scriptures, and wrestled hard with God in fervent prayer, who has declared in his blessed book that he will hear the groanings and deep sighs of the poor in spirit, which I found verified to my utter astonishment and comfort. In the evening, as I was reading and meditating on the fourth chapter of the Acts, twelfth verse, under the solemn apprehensions of eternity, and reflecting on my past actions, I began to think I had


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lived a moral life, and that I had proper grounds for believing I had an interest in the divine favour; but still meditating on the subject, not knowing whether salvation was to be had partly for our own good deeds, or solely as the sovereign gift of God;-- in this deep consternation, the Lord was pleased to break in upon my soul with his bright beams of heavenly light; and in an instant as it were, removing the veil, and letting light into a dark place, I saw clearly with the eye of faith the crucified Saviour bleeding on the cross on Mount Calvary: the Scriptures became an unsealed book, I saw myself a condemned criminal under the law, which came with its full force to my conscience. I saw the Lord Jesus Christ in his humiliation, loaded and bearing my reproach, sin, and shame. I then clearly perceived that by the deeds of the law no flesh living could be justified. I was then convinced that by the first Adam sin came, and by the second Adam (the Lord Jesus Christ) all that are saved must be made alive. It was given me at that time to know what it was to be born again.* I saw the eighth chapter to the Romans, and the doctrines of God's decrees, verified agreeable to his eternal, everlasting, and unchangeable purposes. The Word of God was sweet to my taste, yea, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Christ was revealed to my soul as the chiefest among ten thousand. These heavenly moments were really as life to the dead, and what John calls an earnest of the Spirit.** This was indeed unspeakable, and I firmly believe undeniable to many. Now, every leading providential circumstance that happened to me, from the day I was taken from my parents to that hour, was before my view, as if it had but just then occurred. I was sensible of the invisible hand of God, which guided and protected me, when in truth I knew it not: still the Lord pursued me although I slighted and disregarded it; his mercy melted me down. When I considered my poor
* John iii. 5.

** John xvi. 13, 14, &c.


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wretched state I wept, seeing what a great debtor I was to sovereign free grace. Now, the Ethiopian was willing to be saved by Jesus Christ, the sinner's only surety, and also to rely on none other person or thing for salvation. Self was obnoxious, and good works he had none, for it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do. Oh! the amazing things of that hour can never be told--it was joy in the Holy Ghost! I felt an astonishing change; the burden of sin, the gaping jaws of hell, and the fears of death, that weighed me down before, now lost their horror; indeed I thought death would now be the best earthly friend I ever had. Such were my grief and joy as I believe are seldom experienced. I was bathed in tears, and said, "What am I that God should thus look on me the vilest of sinners?" I felt a deep concern for my mother and friends, which occasioned me to pray with fresh ardour; and in the abyss of thought, I viewed the unconverted people of the world in a very awful state, being without God and without hope.

        It pleased God to pour out upon me the spirit of prayer and the grace of supplication, so that in loud acclamations I was enabled to praise and glorify his most holy name. When I got out of the cabin, and told some of the people what the Lord had done for me, alas, who could understand me or believe my report!--None but those to whom the arm of the Lord was revealed. I became a barbarian to them in talking of the love of Christ: his name was to me as ointment poured forth; indeed it was sweet to my soul, but to them a rock of offence. I thought my case singular. Every hour in the day until I came to London, I much longed to be with some to whom I could tell of the wonders of God's love towards me, and join in prayer to Him whom my soul loved and thirsted after. I had uncommon commotions within, such as few can understand. Now, the Bible was my only companion and comfort; I prized it much, with many thanks to God that I could read it for


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myself, and was not left to be tossed about or led by man's devices and notions. The worth of a soul cannot be told.--May the Lord give the reader an understanding in this. Whenever I looked into the Bible I saw things new, and many texts were immediately applied to me with great comfort, for I knew that to me the word of salvation was sent. Sure I was that the Spirit which indited the word opened my heart to receive the truth of it as it is in Jesus--that the same Spirit enabled me to have faith in the promises that were precious to me, and enabled me to believe to the salvation of my soul. By free grace I was persuaded that I had a part in the first resurrection, and was enlightened with the "light of the living."* I wished for a man of God with whom I might converse: my soul was like the chariots of Aminadab.** These, among others, were the precious promises that were so powerfully applied to me: "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." I saw the blessed Redeemer to be the fountain of life, and the well of salvation. I experienced him to be all in all; he had brought me by a way that I knew not, and he had made crooked paths straight. Then in his name I set up my Ebenezer, saying, "Hitherto he hath helped me:" and could say to the sinners about me, behold what a Saviour I have! Thus I was, by the teaching of that all-glorious Deity, the great One in Three, and Three in One, confirmed in the truths of the Bible, those oracles of everlasting truth, on which every soul living must stand or fall eternally, agreeably to the passage in Acts, "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, but only Jesus Christ." May God give the reader a right understanding in these facts! "To him that believeth, all things are possible, but to them that are unbelieving nothing is pure.***


* Job xxxiii. 30.

** Canticles vi. 12.

*** Titus i. 15.

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        We remained at Cadiz until our ship got laden. We sailed about the fourth of November; and, having a good passage, arrived in London the month following, to my comfort, with heartfelt gratitude to God for his rich and unspeakable mercies.

        On my return, I had but one text which puzzled me, or that the devil endeavoured to buffet me with, viz., Rom. xi. 6, and as I had heard of the minister, Mr. Romaine, and his great knowledge in the Scriptures, I wished much to hear him preach. One day I went to Blackfriars church, and, to my great satisfaction and surprise, he preached from that very text. He very clearly shewed the difference between human works and free election, which is according to God's sovereign will and pleasure. These glad tidings set me entirely at liberty, and I went out of the church rejoicing. I went to Westminster chapel, and saw some of my old friends, who were glad when they perceived the wonderful change that the Lord had wrought in me, particularly Mr. G--S--, my worthy acquaintance, who was a man of a choice spirit, and had great zeal for the Lord's service. I enjoyed his correspondence till he died in the year 1784. I was examined at that chapel, and received into church fellowship amongst them: I rejoiced in spirit, making melody in my heart to the God of all mercies. Now, my whole wish was to be dissolved, and to be with Christ--but, alas! I must wait mine appointed time.

        When our ship was ready for sea again, I was entreated by the captain to go in her once more, so I again embarked for Cadiz, in March, 1775. We had a very good passage until we arrived off the Bay of Cadiz; when, as we were going into the harbour, the ship struck against a rock, and knocked off a garboard plank, which is the next to the keel: in an instant all hands were in the greatest confusion, and began with loud cries to call upon God to have mercy on them. Although I saw no way of escaping death, I felt no dread in my then situation, having no desire to live. I


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even rejoiced in spirit, thinking this death would be sudden glory. But the fulness of time was not yet come. The people near to me, were much astonished at seeing me thus calm and resigned, but I told them of the peace of God, which through sovereign grace I enjoyed, and these words were that instant in my mind:


                         "Christ is my pilot wise,
                         My compass is His word;
                         My soul each storm defies,
                         While I have such a Lord.
                         I trust His faithfulness and power
                         To save me in the trying hour.
                         Though rocks and quicksands deep,
                         Through all my passage lie,
                         Yet Christ shall safely keep,
                         And guide me with his eye."

        We ran the ship ashore at the nearest place, to keep her from sinking, and after many tides, with a great deal of care and industry, we got her repaired again. When we had despatched our business at Cadiz, we went to Gibraltar, and thence to Malaga. I was very much shocked at the bull-baiting and other diversions which prevailed here on Sunday evenings, to the great scandal of Christianity and morals.

        We sailed for England in June. When we were about north latitude 42°, we had contrary wind for several days, which made the captain exceedingly fretful and peevish: and God's holy name was often blasphemed by him. One day, as he was in this impious mood, a young gentleman who was a passenger on board, reproached him, and said he acted wrong; for we ought to be thankful to God for all things, as we were not in want of anything on board; and though the wind was contrary for us, yet it was fair for some others, who, perhaps, stood in more need of it than we. I immediately seconded this young gentleman with some boldness, and said we had not the least cause to murmur, for that the Lord was better to us than we


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deserved, and that he had done all things well. Before that time on the following day, much to our great joy and astonishment, we saw the providential hand of our benign Creator, whose ways with His blind creatures are past finding out. At noon, the man at the helm cried out,--"A boat!" I was the first on deck, and descried a little boat at some distance, but, as the waves were high, it was as much as we could do sometimes to discern her; however we stopped the ship's way, and the boat, which was extremely small, came alongside with eleven miserable men, whom we took on board immediately. To all human appearance, these people must have perished in the course of one hour or less; the boat being small, it barely contained them. When we took them up they were half drowned, and had no victuals, compass, water, or any other necessary whatsoever, and had only one bit of an oar to steer with, and that right before the wind; so that they were obliged to trust entirely to the mercy of the waves. As soon as we got them all on board, they bowed themselves on their knees, and, with hands and voices lifted up to Heaven, thanked God for their deliverance; and I trust that my prayers were not wanting amongst them at the same time. The mercy of the Lord quite melted me, and I recollected the words in the 107th Psalm, which I thus saw verified:--"They cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses." "O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men." The poor distressed captain said, "that the Lord is good; for, seeing that I am not fit to die, He therefore gave me a space of time to repent." I was very glad to hear this expression, and took an opportunity when convenient of talking to him on the providence of God. They told us they were Portuguese, and were in a brig loaded with corn, which shifted that morning at five o'clock, owing to which the vessel sunk that instant with two of the crew;


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and how these eleven got into the boat (which was lashed to the deck) not one of them could tell. We provided them with every necessary, and brought them all safe to London, and I hope the Lord gave them repentance unto eternal life.

        I was happy once more amongst my friends and brethren till November, when my old friend Dr. Irving bought a remarkably fine sloop, about 150 tons. Having a mind for a new adventure in cultivating a plantation in Jamaica, and the Musquito Shore, he asked me to go with him, saying, that he would trust me with his estate in preference to any one. I accepted the offer, knowing that the harvest was fully ripe in those parts, and hoped to be an instrument under God, of bringing some poor sinner to my well-beloved Master, Jesus Christ. We embarked in November. On our passage, I took all the pains that I could to instruct an Indian prince we had on board the doctrines of Christianity, of which he was entirely ignorant; and to my great joy, he was quite attentive, and received with gladness the truths that the Lord enabled me to set forth to him.

        On the 5th of January we made Antigua and Montserrat, and on the 14th arrived at Jamaica. On the 18th of February we arrived at the Musquito Shore, and then sailed to the southward, to Cape Gracias a Dios, where there was a large lake, which received the emptying of two or three very fine large rivers, and abounded much in fish and land tortoise. Some of the native Indians came on board, and we used them well, and told them we were come to dwell amongst them, at which they seemed pleased. So the Doctor and I, with some others, went with them ashore; and they took us to different places to view the land, in order to choose a place to make a plantation of. We fixed on a spot near a river's bank, in a rich soil; and, having got our necessaries out of the sloop, we began to clear away the woods, and plant different kinds of vegetables, which had a quick growth.


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        I often wished to leave this place and sail for Europe; for our heathenish mode of procedure and living was very irksome to me. The word of God saith, "What does it avail a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" This was much and heavily impressed on my mind; and though I did not know how to speak to the Doctor for my discharge, it was disagreeable for me to stay any longer, but about the middle of June I took courage enough to ask him for it. He was very unwilling at first to grant me my request; but I gave him so many reasons for it, that at last he consented to my going, and gave me the following certificate of my behaviour:--

        "The bearer, Gustavus Vassa, has served me several years with strict honesty, sobriety, and fidelity. I can, therefore, with justice recommend him for these qualifications; and indeed, in every respect I consider him an excellent servant. I do hereby certify that he always behaved well, and that he is perfectly trust-worthy."

"CHARLES IRVING."

"Musquito Shore, June 15, 1776."

        Though I was much attached to the Doctor, I was happy when he consented. I got every thing ready for my departure, and hired some Indians, with a large canoe, to carry me off. All my poor countrymen, the Slaves, when they heard of my leaving them, were very sorry, as I had always treated them with care and affection, and did every thing I could to comfort the poor creatures, and render their condition easy. Having taken leave of my old friends and companions, on the 18th of June, accompanied by the Doctor, I left that part of the world, and went southward above twenty miles along the river. There I found a sloop, the captain of which told me he was going to Jamaica, and having agreed for my passage with him, the Doctor and I parted, not without shedding tears on both


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sides. The vessel then sailed till night, when she stopped in a lake within the same river. A schooner belonging to the same owners came in, and, as she was in want of hands, Hughes, the owner of the sloop, asked me to go as a sailor, and said he would give me wages. I thanked him; but I said I wanted to go to Jamaica. He then immediately changed his tone, and swore, and abused me very much, and asked how I came to be freed. I told him, and said that I came into that vicinity with Dr. Irving, whom he had seen that day. Then he desired me to go in the schooner, or else I should not go out of the sloop as a fee man. I said this was very hard, and begged to be put on shore again; but he swore that I should not. Without another word, he made some of his people tie ropes round each of my ancles, and also to each wrist, and another rope round my body, and hoisted me up without letting my feet touch or rest upon any thing. Thus I hung, without any crime committed, and without judge or jury, merely because I was a free man, and could not by the law get any redress from a White person in those parts of the world. I was in great pain from my situation, and cried and begged very hard for some mercy, but all in vain. My tyrant, in a rage, brought a musket out of the cabin, and loaded it before me and the crew, and swore that he would shoo me if I cried any more. I had now no alternative; I therefore remained silent, seeing not one White man on board who said a word in my behalf. I hung in that manner from between ten and eleven o'clock at night till about one in the morning; when, finding my cruel abuser fast asleep, begged some of his Slaves to slacken the rope that was round my body, that my feet might rest upon something This they did at the risk of being cruelly used by their master, who beat some of them severely at first for not tying me when he commanded them. Whilst I remained in this condition, till between five and six o'clock next morning, I trust I prayed to God to forgive this blasphemer,


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who cared not what he did, but when he got up out of his sleep in the morning was of the very same temper and disposition as when he left me at night. When they got up the anchor, and the vessel was getting under way, I once more cried and begged to be released; being fortunately in the way of hoisting the sails, they released me.

        When I was let down, I spoke to Mr. Cox, a carpenter, whom I knew on board, on the impropriety of this conduct. He also knew Dr. Irving, and the good opinion he ever had of me. This man then went to the captain, and told him not to carry me away in that manner; that I was the Doctor's steward, who regarded me very highly, and would resent this usage when he should come to know it; on which he desired a young man to put me ashore in a small canoe he brought with him. I got hastily into the canoe and set off, whilst my tyrant was down in the cabin; but he soon spied me out, when I was not above thirty or forty yards from the vessel, and running upon the deck with a loaded musket in his hand, he presented it at me, and swore heavily and dreadfully, that he would shoot me that instant, if I did not come back on board. As I knew the wretch would have done as he said without hesitation, I put back to the vessel again; but, as the good. Lord would have it, just as I was alongside, he was abusing the captain for letting me go from the vessel, which the captain returned, and both of them soon got into a very great heat. The young man that was with me now got out of the canoe; the vessel was sailing on fast, with a smooth sea, and I then thought it was neck or nothing, so at that instant I set off again, for my life, in the canoe, towards the shore; and fortunately the confusion was so great amongst them on board, that I got out of the reach of the musket shot unnoticed, while the vessel sailed on with a fair wind a different way, so that they could not overtake me without tacking; but even before that could be done I should have been on shore, which I


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soon reached, with many thanks to God for this unexpected deliverance.

        After a tiresome and perilous journey, I got on board a sloop, expecting daily to sail for Jamaica, having agreed to work my passage. I was not many days on board before we sailed; but, to my sorrow and disappointment, though used to such tricks, we went to the southward along the Musquito shore, instead of steering for Jamaica. I was compelled to assist in cutting a great deal of mahogany wood on the shore as we coasted along it, and load the vessel with it before she sailed. I was on board sixteen days, during which, in our coasting, we fell in with a smaller sloop, the Indian Queen, commanded by John Baker, how told me if he could get one or two free hands, he would sail immediately for Jamaica. He also pretended to show me some marks of attention and respect, and promised to give me forty-five shillings sterling a month if I would go with him. I thought this much better than cutting wood for nothing, and therefore told the other captain that I wanted to go to Jamaica in this vessel, but he would not listen to me; and, seeing me resolved to go in a day or two, he got the vessel under sail, intending to carry me away against my will, which mortified me extremely. But with the assistance of a shipmate, I went on board the Indian Queen on July the 10th.

        A few days after, we sailed; but again, to my great mortification, this vessel went to the south, nearly as far as Carthagena, trading along the coast, instead of going to Jamaica, as the captain had promised me, and worst of all, he was a very cruel man, and a horrid blasphemer. It was the 14th of October before we arrived at Kingston in Jamaica. When we were unloaded, I demanded my wages as agreed for, amounting to £8 5s., but the captain refused to give me one farthing, although it was the hardest earned money I ever worked for in my life. Dr. Irving did all he could to help me to get my money; and


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we went to every magistrate in Kingston (and there were nine), but they all refused to do anything for me, and said my oath could not be admitted against a White man. Nor was this all, for the captain threatened that he would beat me severely if he could catch me, for attempting to demand my money; and this he would have done, but that I got, by means of Dr. Irving, under the protection of captain Douglas, of the Squirrel man-of-war. I thought this exceeding hard usage; though I found it to be too much the practice there, to pay Free Negroes for their labour in this manner.

        In November, I found a ship bound for England, when I embarked with a convoy, having taken a last farewell of Dr. Irving. In January we arrived at Plymouth: I was happy once more to tread on English ground; and, after passing some little time at Plymouth and Exeter, among some pious friends, whom I was happy to see, I went to London with a heart replete with thanks to God for past mercies.

        Such were the various scenes which I was a witness to, and the fortune I experienced until the year 1777. Since that period my life has been more uniform, and the incidents of it fewer than in any other equal number of years preceding; I therefore hasten to the conclusion of a Narrative, which I fear the reader may think already sufficiently tedious. I had suffered so many impositions in my commercial transactions in different parts of the world, that I became heartily disgusted with a seafaring life, and was determined not to return to it, at least for some time.

        In 1779, I served Governor Macnamara, who had been a considerable time on the coast of Africa. Understanding I was of a religious turn of mind, he thought I might be of service in converting my countrymen to the faith of the gospel. I at first refused, telling him how I had been served on a like occasion by some White people, the last voyage I went to Jamaica, when I attempted the conversion of the Indian Prince. But he told me not to fear,


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for he would apply to the Bishop of London to get me ordained. On these terms I consented to the Governor's proposal to go to Africa, in hope of doing good amongst my countrymen. In order to have me sent out properly, we wrote the following letter to the Bishop of London:--

"THE MEMORIAL OF GUSTAVUS VASSA,

        "SHEWETH,

        "THAT your memorialist is a native of Africa, and has a knowledge of the manners and customs of the inhabitants of that country.

        "That your memorialist has resided in different parts of Europe for twenty-two years last past, and embraced the Christian faith in the year 1759.

        "That your memorialist is desirous of returning to Africa as a missionary, if encouraged by your Lordship, in hopes of being able to prevail upon his countrymen to become Christians; and your memorialist is the more induced to undertake the same, from the success that has attended the like undertakings when encouraged by the Portuguese through their different settlements on the coast of Africa, and also by the Dutch: both governments encourage the Blacks, who, by their education are qualified to undertake the same, and are found more proper than European clergymen, unacquainted with the language and customs of the country.

        "Your memorialist's only motive for soliciting the office of a missionary is, that he may be a means, under God, of reforming his countrymen and persuading them to embrace the Christian religion. Therefore your memorialist humbly prays your Lordship's encouragement and support in the undertaking.

"GUSTAVUS VASSA."


        This letter was also accompanied by one from Governor Macnamara, and also one from Dr. Wallace, who had resided


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in Africa for many years. With these letters I waited on the Bishop, by the Governor's desire, and presented them to his Lordship. He received me with much condescension and politeness; but, from some scruples of delicacy, and saying the Bishops were not of one opinion in sending a new missionary to Africa, he declined to ordain me.

        Shortly after this, I left the Governor, and served a nobleman in the Dorsetshire militia, with whom I was encamped at Coxheath for some time. In 1783, I visited eight counties in Wales, from motives of curiosity.

        In the spring of 1784, I thought of traversing old ocean again, and sailed for New York. Our ship having got laden, we returned to London in January 1785. When she was ready again for another voyage, the captain being an agreeable man, I sailed with him again for Philadelphia in March in the same year. I was very glad to see this favourite old town once more; and my pleasure was much increased in seeing the worthy Quakers freeing and easing the burthens of many of my oppressed African brethren. It rejoiced my heart when one of these friendly people took me to see a free school they had erected for every denomination of Black people, whose minds are cultivated there, and forwarded to virtue; and thus they are made useful members of the community. Does not the success of this practice say loudly to the planters, in the language of Scripture-- "Go ye, and do likewise!"

        In October 1785, I was accompanied by some Africans, and presented the following address of thanks to the Friends or Quakers, in Whitehart-court, London:

"GENTLEMEN,

        "By reading your book, entitled A Caution to Great Britain and her Colonies,* concerning the calamitous state of the enslaved Negroes, we, part of the poor, oppressed, needy, and much degraded Negroes, desire to approach
* Written by Anthony Benezet?


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you with this address of thanks, with our inmost love and warmest acknowledgment; and with the deepest sense of your benevolence, unwearied labour, and kind interposition, towards breaking the yoke of Slavery, and to administer a little comfort and ease to thousands and tens of thousands of very grievously afflicted and heavy burthened Negroes.

        "Gentlemen, could you, by perseverance, at last be enabled, under God, to lighten in any degree the heavy burthen of the afflicted, no doubt it would, in some measure, be the possible means of saving the souls of many of the oppressors; and if so, sure we are, that the God whose eyes are ever upon all his creatures, and always rewards every true act of virtue, and regards the prayers of the oppressed, will give to you and yours those blessings which it is not in our power to express or conceive, but which we, as a part of those captivated, oppressed, and afflicted people, most earnestly wish and pray for."


        These gentlemen received us very kindly, with a promise to exert themselves on behalf of the oppressed.

        On my return to London, I was very agreeably surprised to find, that the benevolence of Government had adopted the plan of some philanthropic individuals to send the Africans from hence to their native quarter, and that some vessels were then engaged to carry them to Sierra Leone; an act which redounded to the honour of all concerned in its promotion, and filled me with much rejoicing. There was then in the city, a select Committee for the Black poor, to some of whom I had the honour of being known. As soon as they heard of my arrival, they informed me of the intention of Government; and, as they seemed to think me qualified to superintend part of the undertaking, they asked me to go with the Black poor to Africa. I pointed out many objections to my going; and particularly expressed some difficulties on the account of the Slave dealers, as I should certainly, oppose their traffic in the human species by every means in my power. However, these objections


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were over-ruled by the Committee, who prevailed on me to consent to go, and recommended me to the honourable Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy, as a proper person to act as Commissary for Government in the intended expedition; and they accordingly appointed me in November 1786, to that office, and gave me sufficient power to act, having received my warrant and the following order from the Officers and Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy:--

"To Mr. Gustavus Vassa, Commissary of Provisions and Stores for the Black Poor going to Sierra Leone."

        "WHEREAS, you are directed, by our warrant, to receive into your charge, from Mr. Joseph Irwin, the surplus provisions remaining of what was provided for the voyage, as well as the provisions for the support of the Black poor, after the landing at Sierra Leone, with the clothing, tools, and all other articles provided at Government's expence; and as the provisions were laid in at the rate of two months for the voyage, and for four months after the landing, but the number embarked being so much less than we expected, whereby there may be a considerable surplus of provisions, clothing, &c.;--these are, in addition to former orders, to direct and require you to appropriate or dispose of such surplus to the best advantage you can for the benefit of Government, keeping and rendering to us a faithful account of what you do herein. And for your guidance in preventing any White persons going, who are not intended to have the indulgence of being carried thither, we send you herewith a list of those recommended by the Committee for the Black poor, as proper persons to be permitted to embark, and acquaint you that you are not to suffer any others to go who do not produce a certificate from the Committee, of their having their permission for it. For which this shall be your warrant. Dated at the Navy-Office, January 16, 1787.

" J. HINSLOW, GEO. MARSH, W. PALMER."



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        I proceeded immediately to the execution of my duty on board the vessels destined for the voyage, where I continued till the March following.

        During my continuance in the employment of Government I was struck with the flagrant abuses committed by the agent, and endeavoured to remedy them, but without effect. Government were not the only objects of peculation; but the poor people suffered infinitely more; their accommodations were most wretched; many of them wanted beds, and many more, clothing and other necessaries.

        I could not silently suffer Government to be cheated, and my countrymen plundered and oppressed, and even left destitute of almost the necessaries for their existence. I therefore informed the Commissioners of the Navy of the agent's proceeding; but my dismission was soon after procured by means of a gentleman in this city, whom the agent, conscious of peculation, had deceived by letters, and who, moreover, empowered the same agent to receive on board, at the Government expense, a number of persons as passengers, contrary to the orders I received. By this I suffered a considerable loss in my property; however, the Commissioners were satisfied with my conduct, and wrote to Capt. Thompson, expressing their approbation of it.

        Thus provided, they proceeded on their voyage; and at last, worn out by treatment, perhaps not the most mild, and wasted by sickness, brought on by want of medicine, clothes, bedding, &c. they reached Sierra Leone just at the commencement of the rains. At that season of the year it is impossible to cultivate the lands; their provisions were therefore exhausted before they could derive any benefit from agriculture; and it is not surprising that many, especially the Lascars, whose constitutions are very tender, and who had been cooped up in ships from October to June, and accommodated in the manner described, should be so wasted by their confinement as not long to survive it.

        Thus ended my part of the expedition to Sierra Leone;


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which, however unfortunate in the event, was humane and politic in its design, nor was its failure owing to Government; every thing was done on their part; but there was evidently sufficient mismanagement attending the conduct and execution of it to defeat its success.

        I should not have been so ample in my account of this transaction, had not the share I bore in it been made the subject of partial animadversion; even my dismission from employment was thought worthy of being made by some a matter of public triumph. The motives which might influence any person to descend to a petty contest with an obscure African, and to seek gratification by his depression, perhaps it is not proper here to inquire into or relate, even if its detection were necessary to my vindication; but I thank Heaven it is not. I wish to stand by my own integrity, and not to shelter myself under the impropriety of another; and I trust the behaviour of the Commissioners of the Navy to me, entitle me to make this assertion. After I had been dismissed, March 24, I drew up a memorial thus:

"To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury.

"The Memorial and Petition Of GUSTAVUS VASSA, a Black Man, late Commissary to the Black Poor going to AFRICA.

"HUMBLY SHEWETH,

        "That your Lordships' memorialist was, by the Honourable the Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy, on the 4th of December last, appointed to the above employment by warrant from that Board;

        "That he accordingly proceeded to the execution of his duty on board of the Vernon, being one of the ships appointed to proceed to Africa with the above poor;


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        "That your memorialist, to his great grief and astonishment, received a letter of dismission from the Honourable Commissioners of the Navy, by your Lordships' orders;

        "That, conscious of having acted with the most perfect fidelity and the greatest assiduity in discharging the trust reposed in him, he is altogether at a loss to conceive the reasons of your Lordships having altered the favourable opinion you were pleased to conceive of him, sensible that your Lordships would not proceed to so severe a measure without some apparent good cause; he therefore has every reason to believe that his conduct has been grossly misrepresented to your Lordships, and he is the more confirmed in his opinion, because, by opposing measures of others concerned in the same expedition, which tended to defeat your Lordships' humane intentions, and to put the government to a very considerable additional expense, he created a number of enemies, whose misrepresentations, he has too much reason to believe, laid the foundation of his dismission. Unsupported by friends, and unaided by the advantages of a liberal education, he can only hope for redress, from the justice of his cause. In addition to the mortification of having been removed from his employment, and the advantage which he reasonably might have expected to have derived therefrom, he has had the misfortune to have sunk a considerable part of his little property in fitting himself out, and in other expenses arising out of his situation, an account of which he here annexes. Your memorialist will not trouble your Lordships with a vindication of any part of his conduct, because he knows not of what crimes he is accused; he, however, earnestly entreats that you will be pleased to direct an inquiry into his behaviour during the time he acted in the public service; and, if it be found that his dismission arose from false representations, he is confident that in your Lordships' justice he shall find redress.

        "Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that your


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Lordships will take his case into consideration, and that you will be pleased to order payment of the account above referred to, amounting to £32 4s, and also the wages intended, which is most humbly submitted.

        "London, May 12, 1787."

        The above petition was delivered into the hands of their Lordships, who were kind enough, in the space of some few months afterwards, without hearing, to order me £50.

        My life has since passed in an even tenor, and great part of my study and attention has been to assist my much injured countrymen.

        On March 21st, 1788, I had the honour of presenting the Queen with a petition on behalf of my African brethren, which was received most graciously by Her Majesty.

"To the QUEEN'S most Excellent Majesty.

        Your Majesty's well known benevolence and humanity embolden me to approach your royal presence, trusting that the obscurity of my situation will not prevent your Majesty from attending to the sufferings for which I plead.

        "Yet I do not solicit your royal pity for my own distress; my sufferings, although numerous, are in a measure forgotten. I supplicate your Majesty's compassion for millions of my African countrymen, who groan under the lash of tyranny in the West Indies.

        "The oppression and cruelty exercised to the unhappy Negroes there, have at length reached the British legislature, and they are now deliberating on its redress; even several persons of property in Slaves in the West Indies, have petitioned parliament against its continuance, sensible that it is as impolitic as it is unjust--and what is inhuman must ever be unwise.

        "Your Majesty's reign has hitherto been distinguished by private acts of benevolence and bounty; surely the more extended the misery is, the greater claim it has to


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your Majesty's compassion, and the greater must be your Majesty's pleasure in administering to its relief.

        "I presume, therefore, gracious Queen, to implore your interposition, with that of your royal consort, in favour of the wretched Africans; that, by your Majesty's benevolent influence, a period may now be put to their misery; and that they may be raised from the condition of brutes, to which they are at present degraded, to the rights and situation of free men, and admitted to partake of the blessings of your Majesty's happy Government; so shall your Majesty enjoy the heartfelt pleasure of procuring happiness to millions, and be rewarded in the grateful prayers of themselves, and of their posterity.

        "And may the all-bountiful Creator shower on your Majesty, and the royal family, every blessing that this world can afford, and every fulness of joy which divine revelation has promised us in the next.

"I am your Majesty's most dutiful and devoted

"Servant to command,

"GUSTAVUS VASSA,

"The Oppressed Ethiopian."


        I hope, continues our intelligent African, in his Narrative, to have the satisfaction of seeing the renovation of liberty and justice, resting on the British Government, to vindicate the honour of our common nature. These are concerns which do not perhaps belong to any particular office: but, to speak more seriously, to every man of sentiment, actions like these are the just and sure foundation of future fame; a reversion, though remote, is coveted by some noble minds as a substantial good. It is upon these grounds that I hope and expect the attention of gentlemen in power. These are designs consonant to the elevation of their rank, and the dignity of their stations; they are ends suitable to the nature of a free and generous Government; and, connected with views of empire and dominion,


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suited to the benevolence and solid merit of the legislature. It is a pursuit of substantial greatness. May the time come, when the Sable people shall gratefully commemorate the auspicious era of extensive freeedom. Then shall those persons particularly be named with praise and honour, who generously proposed and stood forth in the cause of humanity, liberty, and good policy, and brought to the ear of the legislature designs worthy of royal patronage and adoption.* May Heaven make British senators the dispersers of light, liberty, and science, to the uttermost parts of the earth: then will be 'glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, and good-will to men.' 'It is righteousness that exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people; destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity, and the wicked shall fall by their own wickedness.' May the blessings of the Lord be upon the heads of all those who commiserate the case of the oppressed Negroes, and the fear of God prolong their days; and may their expectations be filled with gladness! 'The liberal devise liberal things, and by liberal things shall they stand.' They can say with pious Job, 'Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?'

        I have now only to request the reader's indulgence, and conclude. I am far from the vanity of thinking there is any merit in this Narrative: I hope censure will be suspended, when it is considered, that it was written by one who was as unwilling, as unable, to adorn the plainness of truth by the colouring of imagination. My life and fortune have been extremely chequered, and my adventures various. Even those I have related are considerably abridged. If any incident should appear uninteresting or trifling, I can only say, as my excuse for mentioning it, that almost every event of my life made an impression on
* Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, James Ramsay, men of virtue, an honour to their country, ornamental to human nature, happy in themselves, and benefactors to mankind!


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my mind, and influenced my conduct. I early accustomed myself to observe the hand of God in the minutest occurrence, and to learn from it a lesson of morality and religion; and in this light every circumstance I have related was to me of importance. After all, what makes any event important, unless by its observation we become better and wiser, and learn 'to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God?' To those who are possessed of this spirit, there is scarcely any book or incident so trifling that does not afford some profit, while to others the experience of ages seems of no use; and even to pour out to them the treasures of wisdom is throwing the jewels of instruction away.

        N.B. In putting together the foregoing sketch of Gustavus Vassa, from his "Narrative," the author has not been able to avail himself of the last edition, which was published in 1794, and would probably detail the events of his life to a later period. The Abbé Gregoire, in his Inquiry into the Intellectual and Moral Faculties of the Negroes, says, "that Vassa married in London, and had a son, Sancho, to whom he gave a good education, and who became assistant librarian to Sir Joseph Banks, and secretary to the Committee for Vaccination.

JOB BEN SOLLIMAN.

        JOB BEN SOLLIMAN, was an African of great distinction in his own country, being the son of the Mahomedan King of Bunda, on the Gambia. In 1730, whilst travelling across the countries of Jagra, with a servant and some cattle, he was seized, and carried to Joar, where he was sold to captain Pyke, commander of the ship Arabella, who carried him off to America, and sold him to a planter in Maryland. Here he lived about a year, being treated with unusual kindness by his master.


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        Being well versed in the Arabic tongue, he wrote a letter in that language, which he had the good fortune to get conveyed to England. This letter falling into the hands of a gentleman named Oglethorpe, he sent it to Oxford to be translated, and became inspired with so good an opinion of the author, that he immediately sent orders to have him bought of his master. But Oglethorpe, setting out for Georgia himself soon after, before he returned from thence, Solliman, by a train of extraordinary adventures, had already been brought to England. Waiting on the learned Sir Hans Sloane, he was found to be a perfect master of the Arabic tongue, by translating several manuscripts and inscriptions upon medals into English, of which he had acquired a competent knowledge during his servitude, and on his passage to England. Sir Hans Sloane recommended him to the Duke of Montague, who, being pleased with his sweetness of disposition and mildness of temper, his dignified and pleasing manners, as well as with his genius and capacity, introduced him to court, where he was graciously received by the royal family, and most of the nobility, from whom he received distinguished marks of favour and esteem.

        After remaining in England about fourteen months, he was very desirous of returning to his native country, and to see his father, the King of Bunda, once more, to whom he sent letters from England. He received many valuable presents from Queen Caroline, the Duke of Cumberland, the Duke of Montague, the Earl of Pembroke, several ladies of quality, and also from the African Company, who ordered their agents to shew him great respect, and re-conducted him to Bunda. He arrived there safely. One of his uncles residing there, embraced him, and said, "During sixty years, thou art the first Slave I have seen return from America!"

        Solliman wrote many letters to his friends in Europe and America, which were translated and perused with interest. At his father's decease he became his successor,


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and was much beloved by his subjects. Moore, in his travels, met with him and gives some further account of him. He possessed an uncommonly retentive memory While in England, he wrote a copy of the Koran in Arabic, entirely from remembrance. It was probably to this circumstance that the Abbé Gregoire alluded, when he states that "he knew the Koran by heart." In vol. xx. of the Gentleman's Magazine, 1750, is a portrait of Job Ben Solliman, with one of the Prince of Anamaboe.

SADIKI; A LEARNED SLAVE.

        Dr. Madden, in a letter to J. S. Buckingham, Esq., M.P., dated Kingston (Jamaica), Sept. 15, 1834, gives the following particulars respecting a Slave who had been of exalted rank in his own country:--

        "A Negro was recently brought before me, belonging to a Mr. Anderson, of this town, to be sworn in as constable on his master's property. I discovered by the mere accident of seeing the man sign his name in very well-written Arabic that he was a man of education, and on subsequent inquiry, a person of exalted rank in his own country, who had been kidnapped in a province bordering on Timbuctoo. He had been sold into Slavery in Jamaica nearly 30 years ago, and had preserved the knowledge of the learning of his country, and obtained the character of one a little more enlightened than the majority of his savage brethren, and that was all. The interest I took in all Oriental matters (if no other motive influenced me), induced me to enter minutely into this man's history. I had him to my house: he gave me a written statement of the leading events of his life. I found the geographical part of his story correct: he became a frequent visitor of mine in his leisure time; and I soon discovered that his attainments, as an Arabic scholar, were the least of his merits. I found him a person of excellent conduct, of great discernment and discretion.


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I think if I wanted advice on any important matter, in which it required extra prudence and a high sense of moral rectitude to qualify the possessor to give counsel, I would as soon have recourse to the advice of this poor Negro as any person I know.

        "By what name under Heaven, that is compatible with moderation, that is musical to ears polite, must that system be called by, which sanctioned the stealing away of a person like this, as much a nobleman in his own country, as any titled chief is in ours, and in his way, (without any disparagement to the English noble), as suitably educated for his rank? Fancy one of the scions of our nobility, a son of one of our war chiefs--Lord Londonderry's, for example--educated at Oxford, and, in the course of his subsequent travels, unfortunately falling into the hands of African robbers, and being carried into bondage. Fancy the poor youth marched in the common Slave coffle to the first market place on the coast. He is exposed for sale: nobody inquires whether he is a patrician or a plebeian: nobody cares whether he is ignorant or enlightened: it is enough that he has thews and sinews for a life of labour without reward. Will you follow him to the Slave ship that is to convey him to a distant land?--a vessel, perhaps similar to that visited by Dr. Walsh on his passage to Brazil, 'where 562 human beings were huddled together, so closely stowed that there was no possibility of lying down or changing their position night or day.'--Well, like Sterne, let us take the single captive: he survives the passage, and has seen the fifth part of his comrades perish in the voyage: he is landed on some distant island, where he is doomed to hopeless Slavery. The brutal scramble for the Slaves has ceased: he is dragged away by his new master, but not before he is branded with a heated iron, which may only sear his flesh, while the iron brand of Slavery, the burning thought of endless bondage, 'enters into his soul.' "


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        Dr. Madden, having made up his mind to redeem the interesting Negro he has introduced to our notice, (who was known in Jamaica by the name of Edward Doulan,) made application to his master, and requested he would nominate a local magistrate, to act with the special justice of some parish, for the purpose of valuing his Slave.

        "I was given to understand by Mr. Anderson," says Dr. Madden, "that the man was invaluable to him--that he kept his books, (in Arabic characters)--and that the accounts of the whole of his vast business were kept by him--in short, that no sum of money which could be awarded to him could compensate him for the loss of the man's services. I also heard, indirectly, that the attempt to procure his liberty had already been made, unsuccessfully, some years ago, by the Duke de Montebello, when he visited Jamaica, on his return from his South American travels, who had ineffectually applied at the Colonial Office, to be assisted in devising means for procuring his freedom. But, though a Duke had failed, I had the modesty to think it was no reason why I should.

        I waited on Mr. Anderson, his master, who was a perfect stranger to me, and frankly stated to him what my wishes and intentions were. I know not with what earnestness I pressed the matter, but I found myself talking to a man whose disposition, if nature ever writes a legible hand on human features, was as benevolent as any I ever met with. I expressed the wish I felt to obtain the man's release: he said, I need say no more on the subject. The man was invaluable to him; his services were worth more to him than those of Negroes for whom he had paid £300;. but the man had been a good servant to him--a faithful and a good Negro--and he would take no money for him--he would give him his liberty!!! I pressed him to name any reasonable sum for his release, but he positively refused to receive one farthing in the way of indemnity for the loss of the man's services.


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        "The following day was appointed to execute the act of manumission, at the public office of the special magistrate. The time appointed for carrying the release into effect having become known, a great number of the respectable inhabitants of Kingston attended: the office was indeed crowded at an early hour with persons of all complexions, who had come to witness the ceremony. Mr. Anderson and his Negro, Edward Doulan, being in attendance, the manumission papers were prepared; but before they were signed, the nature of the circumstances which had led to the effort that had been made to obtain the man's freedom, and the manner in which that boon had been granted by his master, were dwelt on at some length; and the merits of the fidelity of the one, and the generosity of the other, were feebly perhaps described, however forcibly they might be felt. The scene was one of no ordinary interest. Beside the bench stood a Negro of exalted rank in his own country, in the act of obtaining his liberty, after many a long year of Slavery, and near him his venerable master, 'prepared to give unto his servant that which was just and equal, knowing that he also had a master in heaven.' There were tears of joy on some of the black features before me, and there were smiles of satisfaction even on white faces in that assemblage. It is said the gods are pleased to behold the successful exertions of a good man struggling with adversity; but if we are justified in estimating what is pleasing to that intelligence by the extent of the advantages conferred on man by human beneficence, perhaps the sight of a good master, voluntarily making a faithful bondsman free, and laying down authority which it may not be in his nature to abuse, but yet which he knows it is not safe for mortal man to be entrusted with, is one of the exhibitions of humanity, in which its affinity with a higher nature, appears at a distance less remote than in almost any other situation in which we can conceive it."

        After the Negro's liberation, Dr. Madden solicited


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subscriptions for him, and had the satisfaction of presenting him with twenty pounds. This sum was principally procured by the presentation of an address to the inhabitants of Kingston, accompanied by a history of his life, written in Arabic, and couched in terms at once creditable to his acquirements as a scholar, and his character as a man of discretion and integrity. How he could have attained so competent a knowledge of his native language, at so early an age as that at which he had been taken from his country, and have kept up his knowledge of it in the unfavourable circumstances in which he was placed in a foreign land, it is difficult to conceive. We have only space for a few extracts from the history of this interesting Slave, which may be seen more at length in Dr. Madden's "Twelve months in the West Indies," ii. p. 183:--

        My name is Abon Becr Sadiki, born in Timbuctoo, and brought up in Geneh. I acquired the knowledge of the Alcoran in the country of Gounah, in which there are many teachers for young people, who come from different parts for their instruction. My father's name is Kara-Mousa, Scheriff; (the interpretation of which is, "of a noble family.") The names of my father's brothers are Aderiza, Abdriman, Mahomet, and Abon Beer. Their father, my grandfather, lived in the country of Timbuctoo and Geneh; some say he was the son of Ibrahim, the founder of my race in the country of Geneh. After the death of my grandfather, jealousy arose among the sons and the rest of the family, which scattered them into the different parts of Soudan.

        My father gathered a large quantity of gold and silver in the country of Gounah, some of which he sent to his father-in-law: he also sent horses, mules, and rich silks, from Egypt, as presents for Ali Aga Mahommed Tassere, my grandfather, in the country of Bournoo, and Cassina. He afterwards took the fever, which was the cause of his death in Gounah, where he was buried. At this time I


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was a child, but some of my old relations told me afterwards, all about the life of my departed father. About five years after his death, I got the consent of my teacher to go to the country of Gounah to see the grave of my father. He said, with the blessing of God, he would accompany me. He then prepared proper provision for our journey, and we took along with us many of his eldest scholars to bear us company. We departed, and, after long fatigue, we arrived at Cong; from there we went to Gounah, and stopped there for about two years, as we considered the place a home, having much property therein.

        Abdengara, king of Buntuco, having slain Iffoa, the king of Bandara, in battle, also wanted to kill Cudjoe, the captain of an adjoining district. When the king of Gounah heard that Abdengara had come in with his army to fight him, he called all his men to meet the enemy in the country of Bolo, where they commenced fighting from the middle of the day until night. After that they went to their different camps: seven days after that, they gathered up again, and commenced the war in the town of Anacco, where they fought exceedingly, and there were many lives lost on both sides; but Abdengara's army, being stronger than the king of Gounah's, took possession of the town. Some of Gounah's people were obliged to fly to Cong, and on that very day they made me a captive. As soon as I was made prisoner, they stripped me, and tied me with cord, and gave me a heavy load to carry, and led me into the country of Buntocoo,-- from thence to Cumsay, where the king of Shantee reigned, whose name is Ashai,--and from thence to Agimaca, which is the country of the Fantees; from thence to the town of Dago, by the sea-side (all the way on foot and well loaded); there they sold me to the Christians in that town. One of the ship's captains purchased me, and delivered me over to one of his sailors: the boat immediately pushed off, and I was carried on board of the ship. We were three months at sea before we


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arrived in Jamaica, which was the beginning of bondage. But, praise be to God, who has everything in his power to do as he thinks good, and no man can remove whatever burden he chooses to put on us, as He has said, "Nothing shall fall on us except what He shall ordain; He is our Lord, and let all that believe in Him put their trust in Him."

        My parents are of the Mussulman religion: they are particularly careful in the education of their children, and in their behaviour, but I am lost to all those advantages: since my bondage, I am become corrupt; and I now conclude, by begging the Almighty God to lead me into the path that is proper for me, for He Alone knows the secrets of my heart, and what I am in need of.

ABON BECR SADIKI.

Kingston, Jamaica, Sept. 20,1834.

        "The above," says Dr. Madden, "was written in Arabic. The man speaks English well and correctly for a Negro, but does not read or write it. I caused him to read the original, and translated it word by word: and, from the little knowledge I have of the spoken language, I can safely present this version of it as a literal translation."

        Some further information respecting Sadiki would have been interesting; all I can find in Dr. Madden's West Indies, is an extract from a letter he addressed to two highly respectable clergymen:--

"REVEREND GENTLEMEN,

        "I beg leave to inform you that I am rejoiced and well pleased in my heart for the great boon I have received in the Testament, both of the old and new law of our Lord and Saviour, in the Arabic language."


        Also a letter he wrote to one of his fellow-countrymen, a Slave in Jamaica, in reply to one received from him:--

"Kingston, Jamaica, Oct. 18th, 1834.

"DEAR COUNTRYMAN,

        I now answer your letter. My name in Arabic is Abon


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Becr Sadiki, and in Christian language, Edward Doulan; born in Timbuctoo, and brought up in Geneh. I finished reading the Koran in the county of Gounah, at which place I was taken captive in war. My master's name in this country is Alexander Anderson. Now, my countryman, God hath given me a faithful man, a just and a good master; he made me free; and I know truly that he has shown mercy to every poor soul under him. I know he has done that justice which our King William the Fourth commanded him to do (God save the King), and may he be a conqueror over all his enemies from east to west, from north to south, and the blessing of God extend over all his kingdom, and all his ministers and subjects. I beseech you, Mahomed Caba, and all my friends, continue in praying for my friend, my life, and my bread fruit, which friend is my worthy Dr. Madden, and I hope that God may give him honour, greatness, and gladness, and likewise his generation to come, as long as Heaven and earth continue. Now, my countryman, these prayers that I request of you are greater to me than anything else I can wish of you; and you must pray that God may give him strength and power to overcome all his enemies, and that the King's orders to him be held in his right hand firmly.

        The honour I have in my heart for him is great; but God knows the secrets of all hearts. Dear countryman, I also beseech you to remember in your prayers my master, Alexander Anderson, who gave me my liberty free and willingly; and may the Almighty prosper him, and protect him from all dangers.

        "Whenever you wish to send me a letter, write it in Arabic; then I shall understand it properly.

"I am, &c.

"EDWARD DOULAN."

(Abon Becr Sadiki, in Arabic.)

        "These letters," writes Dr. Madden, "are selected from


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a great many addressed to me by the Negroes, both in English and Arabic; and, if these limits allowed me to send you all of them, I think you would come to the conclusion, that the natives of some parts of Africa are not so entirely ignorant as they are represented to be, and that the Negroes generally, are as capable of mental improvement as their White brethren, at least, that is my firm conviction; but it is not from letters, but from oral communication with them, from close observation of their mental qualities, both in the east and in the west, that I have formed that opinion."

        The learned Doctor gives a letter from a number of free African Negroes of Kingston, signed by four of them. "Some of the ideas contained in it," he remarks, "are highly poetical, and the language in which they are expressed, simple and not inelegant."

TESTIMONY OF CAPTAIN PILKINGTON RESPECTING THE NEGRO.

        Captain Pilkington, being appointed Chief Civil Engineer on the Western Coast of Africa, proceeded with his wife to Sierra Leone, in 1847.

        "I remained," he writes, "about two years and a half in this settlement, during which period I was engaged in the erection of many public buildings in its various towns, which afforded me frequent opportunities of observing the character and conduct of the Free Blacks, whom I found to be both intelligent and docile. I witnessed their deportment on the bench, as magistrates--as pleaders at the bar--and as grand and petty jurors; and I may safely affirm that I had every reason to admire the upright, the faithful, and the conscientious mode in which they discharged the duties of these offices. In a Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry to that Colony, it is stated, that 'Neither of the two individuals practising as solicitors or attornies, have been professionally educated. One is an European, who


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acts also as King's Advocate and Registrar of the Vice-admiralty court; the other, a person of Colour, born and educated in England, and engaged in mercantile pursuits.' Surely nothing can more indisputably prove the tranquility of this settlement, containing a population of 22,000 inhabitants, than the fact, that there were only two lawyers there, and even these (the smallest number that can be engaged in a court of law, viz., one for plaintiff, one for defendant) could not gain a subsistence by the professional emoluments alone!"

        Owing to the insalubrity of the climate, captain Pilkington resolved to purchase a prize vessel then in the harbour, and undertake a trading voyage on the coast. "Having effected the purchase," says he, "I proceeded up the Rio Pongas, visiting the Timini and Susoo nations. I sailed also up the Kissy river as far as it was navigable for a large vessel, and pursued my voyage to its source in my boat. In the course of this expedition, I also visited several provinces of the Mandingo nation, the inhabitants of which paid uniform respect to my person and property. Conscious that a stranger must be unacquainted with their usages and laws, they require of him nothing more than that he should mention to his host or landlord the whole business which he desires to undertake amongst them. If he does this, he is safe from the infliction of penal enactment, should he violate the native laws; but if not, he is considered as taking the entire responsibility of his conduct upon himself, and is treated accordingly. This I regard as a great privilege granted to the foreigner, and as exhibiting a considerate rectitude of principle, highly honourable to the head and heart of this simple-minded people. Nor was this practice restricted to the Mandingoes only; as wherever I touched, I found it the prevalent custom on that part of the African coast. These people are chiefly Mahomedans, and have attained to a remarkable degree of civilization, under the influence of a law that no 'bookman'


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shall be sold as a Slave, the natural tendency of which may be easily imagined. Yet the only book they read is the Koran, which the 'book-men' constantly carry about their person, as a triumphant token of their learning, dignity, and privileges.

        "Leaving these nations, I sailed to the southward, and touched at the Kroo country, where I found a very hardy, active, and intelligent race of men, devoted to labour and to agricultural pursuits, which may in a great degree be owing to a difficulty of access to the interior, which cuts them off from all temptation of engaging in the odious Slave trade--the easiest, but most infamous, of all the modes of procuring a livelihood. That they are inherently industrious, is evinced by their habit of navigating in small canoes to Sierra Leone, a distance of 120 leagues, for the sole purpose of obtaining employment. The Krooman's canoe is cut out of a solid piece of soft wood, pointed at both ends, in length scarcely exceeding that of the navigator, and is so light that he carries it customarily from the sea to his hut, in the roof of which he places it for protection from the sun. Instead of oars, he uses a paddle about two feet long, very broad at the bottom, which he plies with both hands, on either side of the barque, as occasion may require, he himself sitting at the bottom, with his legs across, in the Turkish fashion. It is really surprising to witness the activity with which he brings down this canoe to the sea side; with what dexterity he launches it; the nicety with which, whether in a sitting or standing posture, he balances its action; and with what velocity he impels it over the surface of the water.

        "This people likewise employ themselves in the cultivation of rice, which, when in season, may be purchased of them in great quantities. Here, again, their industry is obvious; for, being obliged to deliver it on board the vessel of the purchaser, they have to transport it in their canoes in very small portions. Their enterprise readily


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induces them, without apprehension, to trust themselves with those who trade along the coast as I did, to render such services as their active habits and local knowledge enable them to do. They are, in consequence, acquainted not only with the different African dialects, but the languages of commercial Europe. I have known instances of the same Krooman speaking English, French, and Dutch. They justly estimate the value of a good character, and invariably desire a written statement of their conduct from their respective White employers."

PLACIDO.

        In the summer of 1844, eleven persons were executed together at Havannah, in Cuba, for having been concerned in an alleged conspiracy, to obtain liberty for the Black population-- the Slaves of the Spanish inhabitants. One of these, the leader of the revolt, was Gabriel de la Concepcion Valdes, more commonly known by the name of Placido, the Cuban poet.

        Little is known of this Negro beyond a few particulars contained in one or two brief newspaper notices, which appeared shortly after his execution, announcing the fact in this country. The Heraldo, a Spanish newspaper, in giving an account of the execution, speaks of him as "the celebrated poet, Placido;" and says, "this man was born with great natural genius, and was beloved and appreciated by the most respectable young men of Havannah, who united to purchase his release from Slavery." Placido appears to have burned with a desire to do something for his race; and hence he employed his talents not only in poetry, but also in schemes for altering the political condition of Cuba. The Spanish papers, as might be expected, accuse him of wild and ambitious projects, and of desiring to excite an insurrection in Cuba, similar to the memorable Negro insurrection in St. Domingo fifty years ago. Be that as it may, Placido was at the head of a conspiracy formed in


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Cuba in the beginning of 1844. The conspiracy failed, and Placido, with a number of his companions, was seized by the Spanish authorities.

        The following is the account given of the execution in a letter from Havannah, which appeared in the Morning Herald newspaper:

        --"What dreadful scenes have we not witnessed here these last few months! what frightful developments! what condemnations and horrid deaths! But the bloody drama seems approaching its close; the curtain has just fallen on the execution of the chief conspirator, Placido, who met his fate with a heroic calmness that produced a universal impression of regret. Nothing was positively known of the decision of the council respecting him, till it was rumoured a few days since that he would proceed, along with others, to the 'Chapel' for the condemned. On the appointed day, amidst a great crowd, he was seen walking along with singular composure under circumstances so gloomy, saluting with graceful ease his numerous acquaintances. Are you aware what the punishment of the 'Chapel' means? It is worse a thousand times than the death of which it is the precursor. The unfortunate criminals are conducted into a chapel hung with black, and dimly lighted. Priests are there to chant in a sepulchral voice the service of the dead; and the coffins of the trembling victims are arrayed in cruel relief before their eyes. Here they are kept for twenty-four hours, and are then led out to execution. Can anything be more awful? And what a disgusting aggravation of the horror of the coming death! Placido emerged from the chapel cool and undismayed, whilst the others were nearly or entirely overcome with the agonies they had already undergone. He held a crucifix in his hand, and recited in a loud voice a beautiful prayer in verse, which thrilled upon the hearts of the attentive masses which lined the road he passed. On arriving at the fatal spot, he sat down on a bench with his back turned, as ordered, to the military, and rapid preparations


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were made for his death. And now the dread hour had arrived. At last he arose, and said, 'Adios, mundo; no hay piedad para mi. Soldados, fuego.'--[Adieu, O world; here there is no pity for me. Soldiers, fire.] Five balls entered his body. Amid the murmurs of the horror-struck spectators, he got up, and turned his head upon the shrinking soldiers, his face wearing an expressiou of super-human courage. 'Will no one have pity on me?' he said. 'Here (pointing to his heart)--fire here.' At that instant two balls pierced his breast, and he fell dead whilst his words still echoed in our ears. Thus has perished the great leader of the attempted revolt."


        The following is the poem alluded to in the Heraldo, composed in Spanish by Placido.

A DIOS PLEGARIA.


                         "Ser de immensa bondad, Dios Poderoso,
                         à vos acudo en mi dolor vehemente;
                         estendea vuestro brazo omnipotente,
                         rasgad de calumnia el velo odioso,
                         y arrancad esto sello ignominioxo,
                         con que el mundo mauchar quiere mi frente.


                         Rey do los reyes, Dios de mis abuelos,
                         vos solo sois mi defensor, Dios mio;
                         todo lo puede quien al mar sombrÍo,
                         olas y peces dió, luz à los cielos
                         fuego al sol, giro al aire, al Norte luelos,
                         vida à las plantas, movimiento al rio.


                         Todo lo podeis vas, lodo fenece,
                         ó se reanima à vuestra voz sagrada;
                         fuera de vos, Senor, el todo es nada,
                         que en la insondabil eternidad perece.
                         y aun es a misnia nada as obedece,
                         pues de ella fue la humanidad creada.


                         Yo no os puedo eno anar, Dios de clemencia;
                         y pues vuestra; eternal sabiduria
                         ve el través de mi cuerpo el alma mia,
                         cual del aire à la clara transparencia,
                         estorbad que humillada la innocencia,
                         bata sus palmas la calumnia impia.


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                         Mas si quadra à tu sums omnipotencia
                         que yo pereyca, cual malvado impÍo,
                         y que las hombres mi cadaver frio
                         ultragen con maligns complacencia
                         suene tu voz, y acabe mi existencia,
                         cúmplose en mi tu. voluntad, Dios mio."

        The following is a translation of these beautiful lines. They were written in prison the night before his execution, and were solemnly recited by him as he proceeded to the place of death, so that the concluding stanza was uttered only a few moments before he expired.


                         "Being of infinite goodness! God Almighty!
                         I hasten in mine agony to thee!
                         Rending the hateful veil of calumny,
                         Stretch forth thine arm omnipotent in pity;
                         Efface this ignominy from my brow,
                         Wherewith the world is fain to brand it now.


                         Oh King of kings! thou God of my forefathers!
                         My God! thou only my defence shalt be,
                         Who gav'st her riches to the shadowed sea;
                         From whom the North her frosty treasures gathers--
                         Of heavenly light and solar flame the giver,
                         Life to the leaves, and motion to the river.


                         Thou canst do all things. What thy will doth cherish,
                         Revives to being at thy sacred voice,
                         Without thee all is naught, and at thy choice,
                         In fathomless eternity must perish.
                         Yet e'en that nothingness thy will obeyed,
                         When of its void humanity was made.


                         Merciful God; I can deceive thee never;
                         Since, as through ether's bright transparency,
                         Eternal wisdom still my soul can see
                         Through every earthly lineament for ever.
                         Forbid it, then, that Innocence should stand
                         Humbled, while Slander claps her impious hand.


                         But if the lot thy sovereign power shall measure,
                         Must be to perish as a wretch accurs'd,
                         And men shall trample over my cold dust--
                         The corse outraging with malignant pleasure--
                         Speak, and recall my being at thy nod!
                         Accomplish in me all thy will, my God!

MARIA W. CHAPMAN.


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        The execution of Placido took place at six o'clock in the morning, a victim to Slavery. It is to be hoped that more may yet be learnt of the history of this unfortunate, but gifted Negro.

THE HAPPY NEGRO.

        Some years ago, Andrew Searle, an English gentleman had occasion to visit North America, where the following circumstance occurred, as related in his own words:--

        "Every day's observation convinces me that the children of God are made so by his own special grace; and that all means are equally effectual with Him, whenever He is pleased to employ them for conversion.

        "In one of my excursions, while I was in the State of New York, I was walking by myself over a considerable plantation, amused with its husbandry, and comparing it with that of my own country, till I came within a little distance of a middle aged Negro, who was tilling the ground. I felt a strong inclination, unusual with me, to converse with him. After asking him some little questions about his work, which he answered in a sensible manner, I asked him to tell me whether his state of Slavery was not disagreeable to him, and whether he would not gladly be at liberty. 'Massah,' said he, looking seriously upon me, 'I have a wife and children; my Massah take care of them, and I have no care to provide any thing; I have a good Massah, who teaches me to read; and I read good book that makes me happy.'--'I am glad,' replied I, 'to hear you say so; and pray what is the good book you read?' 'The Bible, Massah, God's own book.'--'Do you understand, friend, as well as read, this book? For many can read the words well, who cannot get hold of the true and good sense.'

        " 'O Massah,' said he, 'I read the book much, before I understand; but, at last, I felt pain in my heart; I found


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things in the book that cut me to pieces.'--'Ah!' said I, 'and what things were they?' 'Why, Massah, I found that I had a bad heart, a very bad heart indeed; I felt pain that God would destroy me, because I was wicked, and done nothing as I should do. God was holy, and I was very vile and wicked; I could have nothing from Him but fire and brimstone in hell.'

        "In short, he entered into a full account of his convictions of sin, which were indeed as deep and piercing as almost any I had ever heard of; and stated what Scriptures came to his mind, which he had read, that both probed to the bottom of his sinful heart, and were made the means of light and comfort to his soul. I then inquired of him what ministry or means he made use of, and found that his master had taught his Slaves to read, but had not conversed with this Negro upon the state of his soul.

        "I asked him likewise, how he got comfort under all this trial? 'O Massah!' said he, 'it was Christ gave me comfort by his dear word. He bade me come unto Him, and He would give me rest; for I was very weary and heavy laden.' And here he repeated a number of the most precious texts in the Bible, showing, by his artless comment upon them, as he went along, what great things God had done in the course of some years for his soul. Being rather more acquainted with doctrinal truths, and the Bible, than he had been, or in his situation could easily be, I had a mind to ascertain how far a simple experience, graciously given without the usual means, could preserve a man from error; and I therefore asked him several questions about the merit of works, the justification of a sinner, the power of grace, and the like, and I own I was as much astonished at, as I admired, the sweet spirit and simplicity of his answers, with the heavenly wisdom that God had put into the mind of this Negro.

        "His discourse, flowing merely from the richness of grace, with a tenderness and expression far 'beyond the


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reach of art,' perfectly charmed me, On the other hand, my entering into all his feelings, together with an account to him, which he had never heard before, that thus and thus the Lord, in his mercy, dealt with all his children, and had dealt with me, drew streams of joyful tears down his black face; and we looked upon each other, and talked with that inexpressible glow of Christian affection, that made me more than ever believe, in what I have often too thoughtlessly professed to believe--the communion of saints.

        "I shall never forget how the poor creature seemed to hang upon my lips, and to eat my very words, when I enlarged upon the love of Christ to poor sinners--the free bounty and tender mercy of God--the frequent and delightful sense He gives of his presence--the faith He bestows in his promises--the victories this faith is enabled to get over trials and temptations-- the joy and peace in believing--the hope in life and death, and the glorious expectation of immortality. To have seen his eager, delighted, animated air and manner, would have cheered and warmed any Christian's heart, and have been a master-piece for any painter. He had never heard such discourse, nor found the opportunity of hearing it, before. He seemed like a man who had been thrown into a new world, and at length had found company.

        "Though my conversation lasted at least two or three hours, I scarcely ever enjoyed the happy swiftness of time so sweetly in all my life. We knew not how to part. He would accompany me as far as he might; and I felt, on my side, such a delight in the artless, solid, unaffected experience of this pious soul, that I could have been glad to have seen him oftener then, or to see his like at any time now; but my situation rendered it impossible. I therefore took an affectionate leave, with feelings equal to those of the warmest and most ancient friendship; telling him that neither the colour of his body, nor the condition of his present life, could prevent him from being my dear brother


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in our dear Saviour; and that, though we must part now, never to see each other again in this world, I had no doubt of our having another joyful meeting in our Father's home, where we should live together, and love one another, throughout a long and happy eternity. 'Amen, Amen, my dear Massah' said he,-- 'God bless you, and poor me, too for ever and ever.'

        "If I had been an angel from Heaven, he could not have received me with more ardent delight than he did; nor could I have considered him with a more sympathetic regard, if he had been a long known Christian of the good old sort, grown up into my affections in the course of many years."

RICHARD COOPER.

        The following testimony was issued by the Society of Friends, at Little Creek, North America, respecting Richard Cooper, a descendant of Africa, who died in 1820.

        "Our esteemed friend, RICHARD COOPER, departed this life about the age of 100. He was a descendant of the greatly oppressed Africans, a native of the island of Barbadoes, and, by birth, a Slave. At the age of 12 or 14 h was brought to this country and sold. Having frequently changed owners, he at length became the property of member of the Society of Friends; and at the time of the total emancipation, by the Society, of its Slaves, he was liberated from an unmerited and unjust bondage.

        "About this time, he became convinced of the religious principles of Friends, which he ascribed to the tender care and frequent admonition of his mistress, in directing his mind to the principle of divine grace and truth in the heart. He was a frequent attendant of Friends' meetings, and, in advanced life, he requested to be admitted a member of the society, and was received.


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        "His conduct and conversation, corresponding in a good degree with his profession, he became generally respected and beloved. By the people of Colour in his neighbourhood, he was consulted in most matters of controversy in which they were interested; and his good counsel always tended to, and often effected, an amicable adjustment of differences. He appeared generally concerned to promote friendship and brotherly love; and, in his friendly visits, he mostly had a word of religious exhortation. Having no school learning, and being desirous for advancement in the knowledge of the best things, he would, when opportunities offered, request the Scriptures and other good books to be read to him, esteeming them valuable in directing the mind to that source from whence all true wisdom comes. In his last sickness he expressed thankfulness that Friends had received him into membership, and that he had been so favoured as not to have been burdensome, and hoped that his conduct had brought no reproach on the society. It was truly comfortable to visit him. No murmuring, no complaining; he appeared thankful and resigned--numbering the many mercies and blessings which had been bestowed upon him--having a word of encouragement or consolation for all. He expressed a desire for the prosperity of the society, and particularly for the rising generation, that they might be willing to take the yoke of Christ upon them, and so become strengthening to their elder brethren, and fitted to stand firm in the cause of truth; of which, he said, they never would have cause to repent.

        "Upon taking leave of those who visited him, he generally expressed something to them by way of blessing. His last advice to his children was, that they should not fall out about the little he had to leave behind him.

        "Through the gradual decay of nature, his long and useful life was brought to a close; and the belief is entertained, that he has entered into the rest prepared for the righteous.


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        "To record the Christian virtues of the deceased, that we may imitate their example, is sanctioned by that voice which spoke from Heaven, saying, 'Write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.' "

TESTIMONIES RESPECTING THE BUSHMEN OF SOUTH AFRICA, WITH INTERESTING EXAMPLES.

(FROM PHILIP'S "AFRICAN RESEARCHES.")

        The Bushmen are doubtless in a very ignorant and degraded state; but what has been adduced in proof of their incapability of being improved, affords a better criterion of their depressed condition, than of the absence of mental capacity. Many of the accounts which have been published respecting the savage, ferocious, and untameable character of the Bushmen, can scarcely be read in Africa without a smile. The civilization of that degraded people is not only practicable, but might be easily attained: while they are by no means deficient in intellect, they are susceptible of kindness; grateful for favours; faithful in the execution of a trust committed to them; disposed to receive instruction; and, by the use of proper means, could be easily brought to exchange their barbarous manner of life for one that would afford more comfort.

        In a journey undertaken into the interior of a colony in 1819, we had two Bushmen in our train. One of them had only been a few months in the service of our missionary when he joined us; and we had not in our party any one that was more teachable, faithful, and obliging. During the last four months of our journey, he served at table; and after a month's apprenticeship, conducted himself with as much propriety as any English servant might have been expected to do with as little training.

        The following extract of a letter, dated 24th Nov., 1825,


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from Sir J. Brenton, Bart., giving an account of a Bushman boy brought by him from the Cape of Good Hope, may be adduced as strongly confirmatory of the opinions which have been advanced of the talents and disposition of the Bushmen people:--

        "HERMES is an honour to his race, and a distinguished proof of what these amiable people are capable of. He possesses the sweetest disposition, and the strongest attachments possible. With all the fun and merriment you remember in him, there is a depth of thought and solidity of understanding that is really astonishing. He has been living for the last year with my sisters at Bath, to whom he is invaluable as a servant, and even as a friend. He heard some time since, of an approaching confirmation, and expressed a wish to be confirmed. My sister mentioned it to the Archdeacon, who requested to see him, and, after a long conversation, pronounced him to have attained a most extraordinary degree of knowledge in religion. He was accordingly confirmed, and became the subject of universal conversation. A clergyman, who had heard of the circumstance, begged to see him, and cross-questioned him in every way. He asked him which of all the characters in the Old Testament he should have wished to have been, had it been possible. Hermes reflected for some time, and then said firmly, 'David, sir.' 'What? sooner than Solomon, whose prosperity was so great?' 'Yes, sir; both were sinners; but David, we know, repented of his sins; while there is no passage of Scripture which gives us the same opinion of Solomon.' This is the substance of his answer, which greatly surprised his auditors. His memory is wonderful: he brings home every sermon, and comments upon it with extraordinary exactness."


        Col. Collins, in his report to government in 1809, speaks of the Bushmen as being most liberally gifted by nature with talents. To the same effect, the following passage, related to me as a part of an address delivered by a


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Bushman to his countrymen, at a missionary station, when some colonists were present, may be adduced as displaying a very considerable knowledge of Scripture, and no mean share of ability. "Why is it," said he, "that we are persecuted and oppressed by the Christians? Is it because we live in desert lands, clothe ourselves with skins, and feed on locusts and wild honey? Is there anything morally better in one kind of raiment, or in one kind of food, than another? Was not John the Baptist a Bushman? Did he not dwell in a wilderness? Was he not clothed with a leathern girdle, such as we wear? And did he not feed on locusts and wild honey? Was he not a Bushman? Yet Christians acknowledge John the Baptist to have been a good man. Jesus Christ (whose forerunner he was) has said that there has not arisen among men a greater than John the Baptist. He preached the doctrine of repentance to the Jews, and multitudes attended his ministry; he was respected even by the Jews, and preached before a great king. It is true John the Baptist was beheaded, but he was not beheaded because he was a Bushman, but because he was a faithful preacher; and where, then, do the Christian men find anything in the precepts or example of their religion to justify them in robbing and shooting us, because we are Bushmen?"

        Sparrmann gives the following description of the manner in which these people were treated when he travelled in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope. "The Slave business, that violent outrage against the natural rights of mankind, which is always in itself a crime, and leads to all manner of misdemeanours and wickedness, is exercised by the colonists with a cruelty towards the Bushmen, which merits the abhorrence of every one, though I have been told that they pique themselves upon it: and not only is the capture of the Hottentots considered by them merely as a party of pleasure, but, in cold blood, they destroy the bands which nature has knit between husband and wife,


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and between parents and their children. Not content, for instance, with having torn an unhappy woman from the embraces of her husband, her only protection and comfort, they endeavour all they can, and that chiefly at night, to deprive her likewise of her infants; for it has been observed, that the mothers can seldom persuade themselves to flee from their tender offspring."

        In the instructions given to Col. Collins by the Colonial Government, on his visit into the interior, among other subjects on which he was called to collect information, his attention was particularly directed to the Bushmen. Having studied their character, as far as his opportunities allowed him, he asserts, without the slightest qualification,--that there is not upon the face of the globe a people possessed of better natural abilities or more susceptible of mental or moral improvement.

        A Bushman, says Dr. Philip, on one occasion remarked, that before they heard the Gospel, they had several times stolen cattle, but declared they would do so no more; that they now detested stealing, particularly as means were put into their hands whereby they might support themselves; and the missionary adds, in a letter in my possession, that had the institution been continued, as far as civilization is concerned, a better race of men could not, perhaps, have been found.

        A. Faure, a respectable colonial clergyman, writes as follows, respecting the Bushmen:--"I visited," says he, "the spot lately occupied by Mr. Smith, (at Toverberg, South Africa). Here I found a beautiful garden, an excellent vineyard, fine wheat, &c., &c. Some of the Bushmen, whom Mr. Smith baptized, had acquired very rational ideas of the principles of the Christian religion; and appeared to feel its constraining influence in their habitual conduct. They were zealous in trying to convey the same inestimable blessings to their unhappy countrymen, who lived without God, and without hope in the world. It


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was delightful to hear the children sing the praises of Jehovah, and to witness the progress they have made in spelling and reading. These facts, which have come under my own observation, prove that the conversion of this race of immortal beings is not impossible."

        Uithaalder, the Bushman Chief of Toverberg, and a few of his people, were baptized by the missionary Smith, and their good sense and piety, and the improvement which had taken place in their condition, excited the admiration of others as well as the clergyman above quoted.

        Some singular stories had been told us, says Dr. Philip, while travelling in the colony, respecting the chief Uithaalder and his family. On their being driven from Toverberg, we were told that he and a few who adhered to him had been cruelly treated; that they were then hiding in the most retired parts of the district; that they were reduced to live upon roots only, and what game they could catch in the night; that they were afraid to appear abroad in daylight, for fear of being shot; that, in this situation, they kept up the worship of God among themselves, and that the chief constantly exhorted them to remain steadfast in their profession, and to continue instant in prayer to God that he would again send them a missionary in the room of those that had been taken from them.

ANTHONY WILLIAM AMO,

        Born in Guinea, was brought to Europe when very young; and the Princess of Brunswick took charge of his education. He pursued his studies at Halle, in Saxony, and at Wittemberg; and so distinguished himself by his talents and good conduct, that the Rector and Council of the University of the last mentioned town, gave a public testimony to them in a letter of congratulation.

        Amo, skilled in the knowledge of the Latin and Greek


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languages, delivered with success, private lectures on philosophy, which are highly praised in the same letter. In an abstract, published by the Dean of the Philosophical Faculty, it is said of this learned Negro, that having examined the systems of the ancients and moderns, he selected and taught all that was best of them. Besides his knowledge of Latin and Greek, he spoke Hebrew, French, Dutch, and German, and was well versed in astronomy.

        In 1774, Amo published dissertations on some subjects which obtained the approbation of the University of Wittemberg, and the degree of Doctor was conferred upon him. The title of one of these was "Dissertio inauguralis philosophica de humanæ mentis : seu sensionis ac facultates sentiendi in mente humana absentia, et earum in corpore nostro organico ac vivo præsentia, quam præside, etc., publice defendit autor Ant. Guil. Amo Guinea--afer philosophiæ, ect. L. C. magister, etc., 1734, in 4°, Wittenbergæ."

        Another was entitled "Disputatio philosophica continens ideam distinctam earum quæ competunt vel menti vel corpori nostro vivo et organico, quam consentiente amplissimorum philosophorum ordine præside M. Ant. Guil. Amo, Guinea-- afer, defendit Joa. Theod. Mainer, philos., et J. V. Cultor, in 4°, 1734, Wittenbergæ." At the conclusion of these works are letters of approbation from the Rector of the University of Wittemberg, who, in speaking of one of them, says:--"it underwent no change, because it was well executed; and indicates a mind exercised in reflection." In a letter addressed to him by the president, he styles Amo, "vir nobilissime et clarissime.["] Thus the University of Wittemberg has not evinced a belief in the absurd prejudice which exists against the Coloured portion of mankind.

        The Court of Berlin conferred upon Amo the title of Counsellor of State, but after the death of his benefactress the Princess of Brunswick, Amo fell into a profound


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melancholy, and resolved to leave Europe, in which he had resided for 30 years, and to return to the place of his birth at Axim, on the Gold Coast. There he received, in 1753, a visit from the intelligent traveller, David Henry Gallandat, who mentions him in the Memoirs of the Academy of Flessingue, of which he was a member. Amo, at that time about fifty years of age, led there the life of a recluse. His father and a sister were living with him, and he had a brother who was a Slave in Surinam. Some time after, it appears, he left Axim, and settled at Chama.

        The Abbé Gregoire, from whose work the foregoing particulars are translated, says, that he made unavailing researches to ascertain whether Amo published any other works, or at what period he died.

TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.

        TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE has been justly designated "one of the most extraordinary men of a period in which extraordinary men were numerous." He is a remarkable instance of genius exhibiting itself in the Negro race, although, as in most other cases, having to contend with circumstances very inconducive to the free growth either of the moral qualities, or the intellectual faculties of the mind. Among the individuals of the African race who have distinguished themselves by intellectual achievement, Toussaint L'Ouverture is pre-eminent; and while society is waiting for evidence of what the Negro race at large can do and become, it seems only rational to build high hopes upon such a character as that of the man, who was, as a Dictator and a General, the model upon which Napoleon formed himself;* who was as inclined to peace as renowned in war; and who will ever be regarded in history, as one of the most remarkable men of an age teeming with social wonders.


* See "Biographie Universelle;" art." Toussaint."

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        Toussaint was born on the plantation of the Count de Noé, situated a few miles from Cape François, in the Island of St. Domingo, in 1743 or 1745. His parents were African Slaves on the Count's estate. His father, it is said, was the second son of Gaou Guinou, the King of a powerful African tribe, who, being taken prisoner by a hostile people, was sold to some White merchants, who carried him to St. Domingo, where he was purchased by the Count de Noé. Being more kindly treated by his master than is usually the lot of his race, the son of Gaou Guinou was comparatively happy in a state of Slavery. He married a fellow-slave, a girl of his own country, and by her he had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Of the sons Toussaint was the eldest.

        The Negro boy grew up on the plantation, performing such little services as he could, and altogether his life was as cheerful, and his work as easy, as that of any Slave boy in St. Domingo. The first employment of the little Negro was to tend the cattle; and the earliest recollections of his character, were of his gentleness, thoughtfulness, and strong religious tendencies. He had some of the advantages for thought that the herdsmen of the East enjoy,--long days of solitude, spent under a bright sky, with all the luxuriance of nature shed around, and an occupation which required little of either the head or the hands. But all this would be nothing to a mind which had never been roused. Toussaint would have vegetated like the grass he stretched himself upon, if some superior mind had not given him thoughts, or excited him to think for himself: whose mind this was, whether that of parent, master, companion, or priest, is not known.

        One thing is certain, that Toussaint's good qualities soon attracted the attention of Bayou de Libertas, the agent of the estate, who treated him kindly, and by some means he learned to read and write, and acquired some knowledge of arithmetic. But whether the agent caused


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him to be taught, or whether he owed his knowledge to a Negro named Pierre Baptiste, or whether he learned by noticing others, is disputed. Pierre Baptiste was a Black on the same plantation, a shrewd and intelligent man, who had acquired considerable information, having been educated by some benevolent missionaries. An intimacy sprung up between Pierre and young Toussaint, and it is probable that all that Pierre had learned from the missionaries, Toussaint learned from him. However this may have been, certain it is, that the acquisitions of Toussaint, which also included a little knowledge of Latin, and some idea of geometry, were considerably more than were possessed by one in ten thousand of his fellow Slaves; and it would seem a fortunate circumstance, that so great a natural genius should thus be singled out to receive the unusual gift of a little instruction. Yet, what Toussaint became, others of his race might have been also, had similar advantages been administered to them as fell to his lot.

        Toussaint's qualifications, in conjunction with his regular and amiable deportment, gained him the increased love and esteem of his master, and led to his promotion. He was taken from the labours of the field, and made the coachman of M. Bayou, the overseer--a post of considerable dignity,--a situation, indeed, as high as a Negro could at that time hope to fill.

        The increased leisure his situation afforded was employed in cultivating his talents, and collecting those stores of information which enriched his mind, and prepared him for a more extensive and important sphere of action. In this, and in higher situations to which he was subsequently advanced, his conduct was irreproachable, and while he gained the confidence of his master, every Negro in the plantation held him in respect. Though there is but little recorded of his early life, it appears that he was noted for his benevolence, and for a stability of temper that scarcely anything could discompose. He was also remarkable for


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sedateness, and an invincible patience. His religion taught him to endure patiently, and to refrain from inflicting upon others anything which he would not have inflicted on himself. Through life, in the lowest humiliation of his servitude, and in the majesty of his virtual sovereignty, he was temperate in all kinds of enjoyments, and remarkable for preferring the pleasures of the mind to those of the body, manifesting singular strength of religious sentiment.

        In person, Toussaint was about the middle size, with a striking countenance, and a robust constitution, capable of enduring great fatigue. At the age of twenty-five he married a Negress, to whom he always manifested the most unswerving attachment, uniting with her in all the cares of domestic life. They had several children, who became objects of his tender, affectionate, and parental solicitude, and they were brought up with great judgment and tenderness.

        The subsequent remarkable career of Toussaint, which led to his great renown, by constituting him the ruler of the country in which he had been brought up a Slave, is so intimately connected with the history of St. Domingo that we must glance at the state of affairs which rendered the island for several years a theatre of war and contention between the White population and the Blacks.

        At the period when the French Revolution broke out, St. Domingo belonged partly to the Spaniards and partly to the French. This beautiful island, which lies near to Jamaica, is 390 miles long, and 140 broad, at its widest part. About two-thirds of it belonged to the Spaniards, and the remainder, the western end, to the French. The north and east coasts are barren; but the interior spreads into fertile plains, where the Spaniards were rich in wild horses and cattle. The part belonging to the French was divided into three provinces, in which were a few flourishing towns, and many rich plantations cultivated by Slaves. It contains some high mountains, and many beautiful


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valleys, shaded with cacao groves and coffee plantations; while in the plains were fields of cotton, sugar, and tobacco, separated from each other by hedges of limes, citrons, and beautiful flowering shrubs.

        The inhabitants of the French provinces of the island were of three kinds--Planters, who were Whites, (French men, or their descendants,) Free People of Colour, and Slaves. The numbers of these three classes were supposed to be nearly as follows in 1790:--

  • Whites . . . . . 30,800
  • Free People of Colour . . . . . 24,000
  • Slaves . . . . . 480,400

        So that there were nearly sixteen times as many Slaves as Whites; while, at the same time, the Free People of Colour might, by themselves, have been almost a match for the Whites in case of a war of the races.

        When the French Revolution broke out, news arrived in the colony of St. Domingo, of what was doing in France. It might have been supposed that the Planters, a small body of gentlemen, holding a large number of Slaves, and living in the midst of Mulattoes, to whom, though free, they would not allow the rights of citizenship, would have been anxious to prevent anything being said about the Rights of Men, and upon Social Equality. It strangely happened, however, that when they were speaking of Man and his Rights, they were thinking only of White men; and it seems never to have occurred to them, that dark-complexioned men would desire or endeavour to obtain their share of social freedom. The Mulattoes, however, considered that they were as much entitled to social liberty of every kind as any other men; and while the White planters were drinking popular toasts, and displaying the banners sent over to them from France, and hailing a new age of the world, (forgetting that they were all the time oppressing the Mulattoes, and holding fellow-men as property,) their dusky neighbours were planning how they


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might best claim from the French government the rights of citizenship, from which they were shut out by the proud Whites. A dreadful war followed, in consequence of the absolute refusal of the Whites to admit them to an equality. The French government first favoured one party and then the other, and thus exasperated the deadly hatred which the two parties mutually bore.

        The Slaves, for some time, kept very quiet, supposing that they had no concern in the affair. Their masters were so much in the habit of despising Negroes that they do not appear to have dreaded their Slaves hearing anything about the principles of liberty. It is not known whether the Mulattoes stirred up the Slaves to attempt their freedom, or whether they did it of their own accord. The Mulattoes had been put down, for a time, by the Whites, and it is probable they set the Slaves to rebel for them; but all that is known is, that a fire broke out on a plantation on the northern part of the island, in August, 1791, and it soon appeared that all the Slaves in the province were acting in concert, and rising against their masters. The north-western part of the island blazed with fires; the household Slaves were locked up by their owners; and the Whites began fortifying the towns.

        When the insurrection of the Negroes commenced, Toussaint was about forty-eight years of age, and still a Slave on the plantation on which he was born, in the midst of the district in which hostilities first begun. Great exertions were made by the insurgents to induce a Negro of his respectability and reputation to join them; but he steadily refused taking any part in the early revolutionary movements, being one of the last to stir in the insurrection; indeed, he was often heard to lament his brethren rising at all. He feared and believed that their objects were revenge and plunder; he mourned over their excesses, and kept quiet himself, in the conviction that it was better to endure personal injuries than to avenge them. The moment,


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however, he perceived that the struggle was of a political nature, and that the rights of a class were in question, he joined his brethren, and stepped in a moment out of Slavery into freedom. He had nothing to do with the fires and massacres of August, 1791; but joined the insurgents as soon he was convinced that they had a principle of union, and an end in view.

        Many of the Planters had made their escape from the island, and fled with their families to foreign countries; but the master of Toussaint was one, who, not having made an early retreat, was on the point of falling into the hands of the infuriated Blacks; but his humane and beneficent treatment of this worthy Slave was not forgotten. When the plantation on which Toussaint had served was endangered by the approach of the Negro forces, with considerable care and ingenuity, and at the risk of his own life, he secured the safety of his master and family, by secreting them in the woods for several days, and finally provided for their escape from the island, by putting them on board an American vessel, with a considerable quantity of produce, on which the fugitives might be enabled to support themselves in exile. Nor did his gratitude end here: after their settlement at Baltimore, he availed himself of every opportunity of making them such remittances, as he could snatch from the wreck of their property, frequently sending them some additional proof of his gratitude and friendship. Conduct so noble, in the midst of such barbarities as were then enacting, indicated great originality and moral independence of character.

        Having performed what he considered to be an act of duty, in providing for the safety of his master, Toussaint, who had now no tie to retain him longer in servitude, perceiving both reason and justice in the struggle which his oppressed race were making to regain their liberty, attached himself to the body of Negroes. Presenting himself to the Black General, Jean François, he was received into the


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army, in which he at once assumed a leading rank. A certain amount of medical knowledge, derived in the course of his reading, enabled him to unite the functions of physician with those of military officer, and he was called physician to the forces. He soon rose from the rank of aide-de-camp to that of colonel.

        The army he had joined was under royalist commanders in the Spanish part of the island, and was opposed to the French republican planters. He knew and cared little for the state of parties in France: he was fighting for his Black brethren against their White oppressors, and for a long time he was not aware that he was affording his favour in testimony of the same despotic principles in France, which he was contending against in St. Domingo.

        Toussaint was posted at Marmalade, with his Negro troops, under the command of a Spanish general, when he heard of the Decree of the French Convention, of February 4th, 1794, which confirmed and proclaimed the liberty of all Slaves, and declared St. Domingo to be an integral part of France. This news opened his eyes to the truth, that in opposing the republicans he was fighting against the freedom of the Blacks. He lost no time in opening a communication with Laveaux, the republican commander; and in a few days joined him with a considerable Negro force, delivering up several Spanish posts of great importance. The Spanish general, Hermona, had exclaimed, a few days before, on seeing Toussaint receive the sacrament, that God never visited a purer spirit; but now, confusion and terror reigned among the Spaniards, and the name of the Negro commander was reviled as it had before been honoured. It is hinted by historians that ambition was one cause of the defection of Toussaint; that he had little hope of rising to the rank held by Jean François in the Spanish forces, while he hoped for a great addition to his honours from the French general. Laveaux made him brigadier-general, but watched all his movements, fearing


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that a man who had once changed sides might be liable to change again.

        The power which Toussaint speedily obtained over the ignorant and barbarous soldiery, (the released Slaves, whom he commanded,) was indeed wonderful enough to fix the attention of all who were around him,--the wisest and most experienced of whom were as much under the spell of his influence as the most degraded. It was by his observation of men's minds, and by his own decision of character, that he obtained this influence. He had not yet had the opportunity of showing valour: he was so far from eloquent that his words were few, and the utterance of them awkward and difficult; he had but just emerged from Slavery. But he knew that the Blacks wanted a leader, and he felt that he was the leader they wanted; and this conviction gave him a confidence in arrangement and action, which made him the master of all the minds about him. To assist him in his military operations, we are told in some curious notes written by his son, "that, imitating the example of the captains of antiquity,--Lucullus, Pompey, Cæsar, and others, he constructed a topographical chart of that part of the island, marking accurately the position of the hills, the course of the streams,"&c. So much did he harrass the commissioners, that when the Spanish posts fell, one after another, into the hands of the French, one of them exclaimed, "Cet homme fait ouverture partout!" "This man makes an opening everywhere." This expression getting abroad, was the cause of Toussaint being ever afterwards called by the name of Toussaint L'Ouverture; which may be translated, Toussaint the Opener, or the Opening. Toussaint, knowing the value of a good name too well to disclaim the flattering addition, willingly adopted it, building upon it an assurance to his dark brethren, that, through him they were to obtain a bright and peaceful future.

        But the distrust with which Laveaux regarded Toussaint,


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seemed to doom him to inaction, and to fix the term of his political career. For some time, the French commander showed little disposition to place confidence in him. We may easily conceive, that it must have been by slow degrees that a man in the position of Laveaux came to appreciate the character of his Negro officer. Laveaux had a difficult task to fulfil; nothing less, in fact, than the task of being the first European to do justice in practice to the Negro character, and to treat a Negro chief exactly as he would treat a European gentleman. Philosophers, such as the Abbé Gregoire and the Abbé Raynal, had indeed written books to prove that ability and worth were to be found among the Negroes, and had laid it down as a maxim that a Negro was to be treated like any other man whose circumstances were the same; but probably Laveaux was the first European who felt himself called upon to put the maxim in practice, at least in affairs of any importance. It is highly creditable, therefore, to this French officer, that when he came to have more experience of Toussaint L'Ouverture, and discerned his extraordinary abilities, he esteemed him as much as if he had been a French gentleman educated in the schools of Paris.

        The immediate occasion of the change in the sentiments of Laveaux towards Toussaint, was as follows. In March, 1795, an insurrection of Mulattoes occurred at the town of the Cape, and Laveaux was seized and placed in confinement. On hearing this, Toussaint marched at the head of 10,000 Blacks to the town, obliged the inhabitants to open the gates by the threat of a siege, entered in triumph, released the French commander from prison, and reinstated him in office. In gratitude for this act of loyalty, Laveaux appointed Toussaint lieutenant-governor of the island, declaring his resolution at the same time to act according to his advice in all matters, whether military or civil. A saying of Laveaux's is recorded, which shows the decided opinion he had formed of Toussaint's abilities. "It is this


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Black," said he, "this Spartacus, spoken of by Raynal, who is destined to avenge the wrongs done to his race."

        A wonderful improvement soon followed the appointment of L'Ouverture as lieutenant-governor of the island. The first use he made of his power, was to establish order and discipline among the Black population. Obedient to their champion, they were speedily reduced under strict military discipline, and submitted to all the regulations of orderly civil government. The success of Toussaint's endeavours is equally honourable to the people he governed and to himself. France owed him an immense debt of gratitude. Lacroix, a historian unfriendly to the Blacks, wrote, that "if St. Domingo still carried the colours of France, it was solely owing to an old Negro, who seemed to be appointed by heaven to unite its severed members." The war with the Spanish part of the island was soon brought to a close, and Toussaint was left alone to support the pride and the hopes of his Colour.

        General Laveaux being nominated a member of the French legislature, was obliged to return to Europe. Gen. Rochambeau now arrived in the island from France, to assume the dignity of Commander-in-chief, but he found himself a mere cipher. Toussaint ordered him on board a vessel, and sent him home again. Soon after, he got rid of Santhonax, another French official, by sending him with dispatches to the French government. All this appears excessively arbitrary; but it remains doubtful how much Toussaint's proceedings were owing to his personal ambition, or to his conviction that men fresh from France were not qualified to govern Negroes. He was aware that the peace and prosperity of the island depended on his keeping all the power in his own hands; and it is certain that he did restore St. Domingo to a state of high prosperity; that the people were devoted to him; and that no act of guilt is known ever to have been perpetrated by him for the gratification of his own ambition.


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        In April, 1796, Toussaint L'Ouverture was appointed Commander-in-chief of the French forces in St. Domingo. Thus, by a remarkable succession of circumstances, was this Negro, at the age of fifty-three years, nearly fifty of which had been passed in a state of Slavery, placed in the most important position in the island.

        Toussaint made order take the place of licentiousness, and diligence give way to recklessness. The waste country began to teem with fertility wherever he turned his steps; and all the sad symptoms of devastation disappeared where he stretched out his arm in command. The proprietors naturally came in under his protection, and were eager to sanction his authority; and never, perhaps, was a monarch more powerful, or more conscious of his power, than Touissaint in his beautiful island at this time. With what a full heart, with what strange emotions, must he have looked upon the Breda estate, where fifty years had passed over him as a Slave! How his eye must have dwelt on the cattle in the field where he had formerly been herdsman! on the bananas under whose shade he had rested at noon! and on the hut where he had slept, in preparation for the toils of the morrow! But no unnecessary word is known to have escaped him respecting his astonishing change of condition. He seems to have considered himself born to a great lot; for he was as little dazzled by his elevation as he had been patient under oppression.

        Toussaint now began to see his way more clearly, and to become conscious of the duty which Providence had assigned him. Taking all things into consideration, he resovled on being no longer a tool of foreign governments, but to strike a grand blow for the permanent independence of his race. Perceiving how his arbitrary measures towards the two French officials, would tell against him in the mother-country,--being sensible also of the value of a good education, he sent his two eldest sons, Placide and Isaac, to be educated in Paris, escorted by an officer, who was


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commissioned to intimate to the French government the uneasiness and trouble which would have been caused in the island by the continued residence of Commissioner Santhonax. In his letter to the Directory on this occasion, he declared how great must be his confidence in the Directory, when he delivered his children into their power, at a time when the complaints which were alleged against him might well cause a doubt of his good faith. "At present," he added, "there is no inducement to interior agitation. I guarantee, under my personal responsibility, the submission of my Black brethren to order, and their felicity to France. Citizen Directors, you may rely upon speedy good results; and you shall soon see whether I involve in vain my own responsibility and your hopes."

        The people of Paris received with a generous astonishment the intelligence of the doings of the Negro prodigy, and the interest they took in the novelty of the case, prevented them from being angry. Indeed his conduct was publicly praised at Paris. He was once more entitled the deliverer of St. Domingo, and the Directory presented him with a richly embroidered dress, and a suit of superb armour.

        The French government, however, could not but be jealous of him; and General Hédouville was sent out to be Commander-in-chief, and to attempt to restrain the Negro Dictator. But Hédouville could compete with him no better than his predecessors. When he arrived, Toussaint went on board the ship to bid him welcome. The captain of the ship, hearing Toussaint speak of the fatigues of government, said, he should be proud, after having brought out Hédouville, to carry back Toussaint. Toussaint replied hastily, "Your ship, sir, is not large enough for a man like me." Hédouville found himself a mere shadow, and soon turned his face home again. Toussaint, though strictly polite to him, paid no attention to his wishes or representations, except when they agreed with his own intentions.

        The English still retained a footing in the island, but


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when it became clear that they could not long retain possession of their posts, General Maitland, seeing the hopelessness of continuing an enterprise which had already cost so many British lives, opened a negotiation with Toussaint, which ended in a treaty for the evacuation of the island. It is said that in the archives of the capital of Hayti, there is a copy of a proposition that Toussaint should be acknowledged by England, on condition of his agreeing to a treaty of exclusive commerce with Great Britain. Toussaint was too wary to agree prematurely to these proposals; but he accepted the evacuation of the British posts, and the rich presents of plate, and two brass cannons offered by the English general. He took possession of the principal posts amidst great pomp. The British troops lined the road: a Catholic priest met him in procession with the host; and he was received and entertained in a magnificent tent, with all the pomp of military ceremonial. After the feast, he reviewed the British troops. He seems to have borne in mind the intention of being made king of Hayti; for he proclaimed a general amnesty, secured the old proprietors in their estates, decreed and superintended the intelligent prosecution of rural labour, and attached all the Creoles by using his power to reinstate them in their rights. He decreed that the former Negro cultivators, though now free, should work for five years for their former masters, provided they were well used, and allowed a fourth part of the produce: and upon his thus pronouncing, the Blacks flocked to the fields, with arms by their sides, and the hoe in their hands; so that all traces of the devastation of war soon disappeared.

        A characteristic anecdote is related of Toussaint's conduct about this time. While General Maitland was making preparations for quitting the island, believing that another personal interview between himself and Toussaint was desirable, he returned the visit at the Negro camp. With perfect confidence in Toussaint's integrity, the General


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did not hesitate to travel to him with only two or three attendants, though his camp was at a considerable distance from his own army, and he had to pass through a country full of Negroes, who had lately been his mortal enemies. The French Commissioner, Roume, thinking this afforded a most favourable opportunity for serving the cause of the French Government, wrote to Toussaint, urging him to detain the British General as a prisoner. While General Maitland was on the road towards the camp, he received a letter, informing him of Roume's plot, and warning him not to trust himself in the power of the Negro chief; but, consulting the good of the service in which he was engaged, and still relying on Toussaint's honour, he determined to proceed. When he arrived at the head quarters, Toussaint was not to be seen, and the general was kept in waiting a considerable time. At length Toussaint entered the room, with two letters in his hand. "There, general," said he, "before we talk together, read these: one is a letter just received from Roume, the French Commissioner; and the other is the answer I am just going to despatch:--I would not come to you until I had written my answer to him, that you might be satisfied how safe you are with me, and how incapable I am of baseness." General Maitland, on reading the letters, found one of them to be from the French commissioner, Roume, being an artful attempt to persuade Toussaint to seize his guest, as an act of duty to the republic; the other was a noble and indignant refusal. "What!" said Toussaint, in his letter to the perfidious Frenchman, "have I not passed my word to the British general? How then can you suppose that I will cover myself with dishonour by breaking it? His reliance on my good faith leads him to put himself in my power; and I should be for ever infamous, if I were to act as you advise. I am faithfully devoted to the republic; but will not serve it at the expense of my conscience, and my honour."


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        The Mulattoes began to raise a cry that the island was sold to Great Britain, and that Slavery was to be reestablished; and a cruel war ensued between them and the Negroes; the Whites taking part with the one or the other, according to the position of their estates. On receiving tidings of the success and massacre on the part of Rigaud, a Mulatto chief, Toussaint collected his forces at Port-au-Prince, the south-western capital, and commanded the attendance at church of all the Mulattoes of the place. He mounted the pulpit, and addressed them, predicting his own success, and the ruin of their Colour, if they opposed him.

        For a time, however, the Mulattoes were successful, and by means of treachery were enabled to defy him, and lift up their heads in the north. But while they supposed Toussaint to be shut up in Port-au-Prince, he was upon them, having escaped a hundred dangers, and acted and marched with incredible speed. He delivered the Whites who were imprisoned, and sacrificed the traitors to whom he owed his temporary defeat. The Mulattoes, in utter despair, crowded into Cape François. Toussaint was instantly upon them again. He convoked the authorities of the place in the church, mounted the pulpit, and declared, "The Men of Colour have been punished enough. Let them be forgiven by all, as they are by me. They may return to their dwellings, where they shall be protected and treated like brethren."

        The enthusiasm excited by this unexpected clemency, however great among those who had been trembling before the conqueror, did not extend to their companions who were in arms. The war was not over; but Toussaint was finally victorious. Towards the end of 1799, Napoleon, then First Consul, sent out commissioners to St. Domingo, to confirm Toussaint in his office of Commander-in-chief. Rigaud, the Mulatto general, saw that his party was abandoning him, and set sail for France, and again it appeared


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as if all promised peace and prosperity. Toussaint perceived that there could be no permanent peace in the Island, while any portion of it remained under Spanish control; and his first great error of policy seems to have been in regarding exclusively the state of affairs at home, and overlooking or despising the force which might be brought against him from Europe. He found little difficulty in uniting the Spanish to the French portion of the island under his sway. The city of St. Domingo delivered its keys to him upon summons; and the clergy, who were very influential among the Spanish population, were in favour of a devout ruler, who flattered their ambition with the homage he rendered to themselves and their office. They prepared the people to receive him in his progress through the Island, with acclamations, and the uproar of cannon and bells.

        As the Islanders had now thrown off the shackles of Slavery, it was necessary for the well ordering of government, that a new Constitution should be formed. Toussaint, assisted by a council of his adherents, prepared a Colonial Constitution, uniting the different inhabitants of the Island under an impartial and uniform government; and the whole, after being submitted to a general assembly convened from every district, was approved and adopted, and a proclamation thereof made in due form, in July, 1801. By this constitution, all executive power was put into his hands, under the title of President for life, with power to choose his successor, and to nominate to all offices. Every part of St. Domingo, was now in quiet submission to the Negro chief. In all that regarded commerce and finance, the constitution worked admirably, during the short period of its continuance. The commerce of all nations visited the shores of the Island under the American flag; the treasury filled; the estates flourished; and Toussaint was adored. St. Domingo was rapidly improving in wealth and happiness, under a wise administration; which, for its


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ability, mildness, and integrity, was acknowledged to be beyond all praise. Considering the interests of France alone, the colony had never been in a more prosperous condition. The Negroes gave every proof of industry, subordination, and content. They diligently cultivated the plantations, and received the wages of their labour. They submitted cheerfully to all those regulations which it was thought necessary to establish; and living in possession of their freedom, were satisfied and happy. Those whose merits had raised them to stations of honour and responsibility, were as solicitous for the French interests as for the preservation of their own freedom. In short, the colony had seldom been more productive, the revenue which it afforded to the mother country more abundant, the persons and property of the Planter more secure, nor the Negroes themselves more industrious and peaceful. In this manner things would no doubt have proceeded--the natives improving in the arts of peace and civilization--the produce of the island yielding increased wealth both to the proprietors and to the cultivators--till the distinctions of Colour and the prejudices founded on them would have been forgotten--and the whole state of things have presented a proof that Whites and Blacks may, in all respects, become equals, and regard each other as brethren--had not the restless ambition of the usurper of France, disturbed the tranquility of the island, and suddenly renewed those contests, which, it was hoped, had for ever ceased.

        Toussaint having now become placed in a conspicuous station, the excellencies of his character unfolded themselves more and more, as opportunities offered for their devolopment; and the same amiable disposition which adorned his humble life, continued to distinguish him in his elevated position. He caused the duties of religion and morality to be strictly enforced, and gave the whole weight of his example and influence in favour of decency and sobriety of life. He frowned upon every indication


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of licentiousness of manners, and avoided all favourable notice of persons, however otherwise graced, who were not modest, quiet, and diligent in their vocation. His public levees were conducted with the strictest decorum, and the best private societies of Europe were not superior in manners to his evening parties. Every thing was magnificent around him, and his retinue as splendid as that of an Oriental monarch; but he was plain in his food, his dress, and all his habits. He would make a meal of cakes and fruit, with a glass of water. His bodily strength was prodigious, and he maintained it by constant and vigorous exercise. It was his custom to make sudden excursions to various parts of the island, always choosing the points where he was least expected. He sometimes rode 150 miles without rest, perpetually outstripping all his attendants, except two trumpeters, who were as well mounted as himself. After such fatigue, he would sleep for two hours, and start up again, refreshed for new toils.

        The following description of Toussaint was given by one of his enemies:--"He has a fine eye; and his glances are rapid and penetrating. Extremely sober by habit, his activity in the prosecution of his enterprises is incessant. He is an excellent horseman, and travels, on occasions, with inconceivable rapidity, arriving frequently at the end of his journeys alone, or almost unattended; his aides-de-camp and domestics being unable to follow him, in journeys often extending to fifty or sixty leagues. He allows very little time for his repose or his meals."

        Toussaint was accessible to all who wished to see him; and it is said that no one ever left his presence dissatisfied: if he could not grant a request, he contrived to please the applicant. His generals were obedient as children before him; his soldiers regarded him as a superior being, and the people at large worshipped him as their deliverer. It is no wonder that the conviction existing in his mind, escaped his lips, that he was the Bonaparte of St. Domingo,


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and that the colony could not exist without him. This was no more than a moderate expression of the truth.

        That Toussaint was a great man is unquestionable. Captain Rainsford, an officer in the British army, who visited St. Domingo during the time of the revolutionary movements, speaks in the following terms of the Negro General. "Toussaint L'Ouverture, the present Commandant of St. Domingo," says he, "is one of those characters, which contentions for power and the extension of territory, as well as the jars of individual interest, have not unfrequently introduced to astonish the world. He is worthy of imitation as a man--he excites admiration as a governor--and as a general, he is yet unsubdued, without the probability of subjection! His regard for the unfortunate appears the love of human kind; and, dreaded by different nations, he is the foe of none. To the English he is by no means inimical, and, in possession of many of the blessings of humanity, he courts the acceptance of the world. He is a perfect Black (born a Slave), at present about 45 years of age, of a venerable appearance, and possessed of uncommon perseverance. Of great suavity of manners, he was not at all concerned in the perpetration of the massacre, or in the conflagration. He is styled the General-en-chef, and is always attended by four aides-de-camp. He receives a voluntary respect from every description of his countrymen, which is more than returned by the affability of his behaviour, and the goodness of his heart. Of his civilities to myself, I have sufficient reason to be proud. I met him frequently during my stay in his dominions, and had no occasion of complaint, even from his errors."

        If there was one trait in Toussaint's character more conspicuous than the rest, it was his unsullied integrity. That he never broke his word, was a proverbial expression common in the mouths of the White inhabitants of the island, and of the English officers who were employed in hostilities against


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him. His spirit of forgiveness was remarkable. Though for a considerable time he possessed unlimited power, he never abused it: and in cases of injury, he displayed a generosity of forgiveness, which would do honour to the heart of the most enlightened potentate of Europe. Of this, the following incident affords a memorable specimen. Four Frenchmen, who had deserted from him with aggravated treachery, were retaken; and every one expected they would be put to a cruel death. Leaving them, however, in suspense as to their fate, Toussaint ordered them to be brought into the church the following Sunday; and while that part of the service was pronouncing which relates to mutual forgiveness, he went with them to the front of the altar, where, after endeavouring to impress upon their minds the heinousness of their conduct, he ordered them to be discharged without further punishment.

        Toussaint had now reached the highest point of his prosperity. Fifty years of his life had been spent in an insensible preparation for the prodigious work which the last ten had achieved. His meditations in the groves, his speculations under the starry heavens of the tropics, his study of human powers and human destinies during the nights of nearly half a century of Slavery, had now come into the use for which he had little dreamed that they were designed. He had been the means of forming a nation of Free Men out of a herd of Negro Slaves, and had taught them that personal self-restraint is the only guarantee of social liberty: he had fairly established the first civilized Negro community; and now it remained to show how the other species of education which he had undergone had prepared him for another fate; how far his principles of religion and his habits of patience could support him through the third, the dreariest portion of his course. Two years of his life remained to be passed in decline, in humiliation, struggle, grief, and sickness, and it was in these two last years that his greatest moral triumphs were achieved.


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        Successful in all his schemes of improvement, Toussaint had now only one serious cause for dread. While he admired Bonaparte, he entertained a secret fear of the projects of that great general. Although Bonaparte had confirmed him in his command, several circumstances had occurred to excite alarm. He had sent two letters to Bonaparte, both headed, "The First of the Blacks to the First of the Whites," one of which announced the complete pacification of the island, and requested the ratification of certain appointments which he had made, and the other explained his reasons for cashiering a French official; but to these letters Bonaparte had not deigned to return an answer. Not disheartened by this taciturnity, Toussaint again addressed him in respectful terms, and intreated his ratification of the new constitution. Bonaparte, however, had already formed the resolution of extinguishing Toussaint, and taking possession of St. Domingo; and the conclusion of a treaty of peace with England in 1801 increased his haste to effect the execution of his deceitful purpose. In vain did persons acquainted with the state of the island endeavour to dissuade him from this movement, by representing the evils which would arise. "I want," he said to the minister Forfait, who was one of those who reasoned with him on the subject--"I want, I tell you," said Bonaparte, "to get rid of 60,000 men." This was probably the secret of his determination to invade St. Domingo. Now that the treaty with England was concluded, Bonaparte felt the presence of so many of his old companions in arms to be an incumbrance. There were men among them very likely to criticise his government and thwart his designs, and these it would be very convenient to send on a distant expedition. Nay more, it would not be misrepresenting Napoleon's character, if we were to suppose that some jealousy of his Negro admirer mingled with his other views. Be this as it may, the expedition was equipped. It consisted of 26 ships of war and a number of transports,


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carrying an army of 25,000 men, the flower of the French troops, whose valour had been previously tried in Europe, who embarked reluctantly. The command of the army was given to General Le Clerc, Bonaparte's brother-in-law.

        The French squadron reached St. Domingo early in 1802. In all quarters the French were successful in effecting a landing. Rochambeau, in landing with his division, came to an engagement with the Blacks who had gathered on the beach, and slaughtered a great number of them. At Cape François, Le Clerc sent an intimidating message to Christophe, the Negro whom Toussaint had stationed there as commander; but the Negro replied that he was responsible only to Toussaint, his commander-in-chief. Perceiving, however, that his post was untenable, owing to the inclination of the White inhabitants of the town to admit Le Clerc, Christophe set fire to the houses at night, and retreated to the hills by the light of the conflagration, carrying 2000 Whites with him as hostages, not one of whom was injured during the warfare which followed.

        Toussaint was not idle all this while. He knew he might trust to Christophe to deal with the city; and he was busy in the interior making preparations for a protracted war. Le Clerc seems to have entertained a due dread of the mighty Negro; for he tried all devices to ensnare him before he drove him to bay. Among other seductions to yield; he employed the two sons of Toussaint, who had been educated at Paris, and who had been brought over in the squadron. On their arrival at Cape François, they were sent with Coisnon their tutor, to Ennery, one of Toussaint's country residences. The interview was a most affecting one. Toussaint was absent at the time, but his faithful wife received her sons as an affectionate mother might be expected to welcome her children, after an absence of several years. Improved both in stature and accomplishments, they now appeared in the vigour and loveliness of youth.

        The crafty Frenchman accepting an invitation to stay


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until Toussaint should arrive, made use of this interval to persuade his hostess, as he had done many others, that the French government had no design against their freedom, but only wished that by submitting they might be again united. This tale was so artfully told, that the unsuspecting wife, having a desire for tranquillity and its attendant enjoyments, sent a messenger immediately for her husband, who was at such a distance, that although he travelled with all possible speed, he did not reach home until after the middle of the second night.

        The two sons ran to meet their father; and he, with emotions too great for utterance, clasped them silently in his arms. Few who have any feelings of humanity could have beheld such a scene without emotion. But the cold-blooded emissary Coisnon beheld it with a barbarous apathy. When the first burst of parental feeling had a little subsided, Toussaint stretched out his arms to enclose him whom he regarded with respect as the tutor of his children, and their conductor to the embraces of their parents. "The father and two sons," says Coisnon, " threw themselves into each others arms. I saw them shed tears; and wishing to take advantage of a period I conceived to be favourable, I stopped him at the moment when he stretched out his arms to me." Retiring from the embrace of Toussaint, Coisnon endeavoured to persuade him to accede to the proposals of Bonaparte: describing, in glowing colours, the advantage to be gained by joining the French government; declaring that no design was entertained of infringing on the liberties of the Blacks; and desiring him to reflect on the situation of his children, who, unless he would submit, were to be immediately taken back, never more, perhaps, to gladden the hearts of their parents. He concluded his perfidious speech, by putting into Toussaint's hand a letter from the French general at the Cape, accompanied by one from Bonaparte.

        These letters were couched in all the arts of intrigue,


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combined with that of persuasive eloquence. In the letter from Bonaparte were the following expressions:--"We have made known to your children, and their preceptor, the sentiments by which we are animated--we send them back to you--what can you desire? the freedom of the Blacks? You know that in all the countries we have been in, we have given it to the people who had it not." Tell the people of St. Domingo, that "if liberty be to them the first of wants, they cannot enjoy it but with the title of French citizens."--"Rely without reserve on our esteem; and conduct yourself as one of the principal citizens of the greatest nation in the world ought to do."

        Isaac, the eldest son, next addressed his father, representing the great kindness his brother and himself had received from Bonaparte, and the high esteem he had professed for Toussaint and his family. The youngest son added something that he had been taught to the same effect; and both, with artless eloquence, endeavoured to win their father to a purpose, of the true nature of which they had no suspicion. To their persuasions, were also added the tears and entreaties of their distressed mother.

        Toussaint appeared to hesitate amidst these tender solicitations. Coisnon, the tutor, observing these appearances with savage pleasure, got a little off his guard, and discovered his base design. Toussaint now plainly perceived, as he had suspected, that the subjugation of his race was the aim of this invasion; and he was neither to be threatened nor tempted into any concession whatever. He withdrew from the estate, where the youths remained for some days, at the end of which Toussaint sent orders to them to return to the fleet, with a letter to Le Clerc, which contained the following:--"You have come to supplant me by force of arms. You have detained the letter of the First Consul to me till three months after its date; and have meanwhile put in jeopardy the order and liberties of the Blacks by acts of hostility. The rights of my Colour


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impose upon me duties above those of nature; to them I am ready to sacrifice my children, whom I send back to you, that I may not be enfeebled and shackled by their presence. I am more distrustful of France than ever, and must have time to decide on the course I am to pursue.

        Finding all his endeavours fruitless, Le Clerc, hastened to send back the sons, with a declaration that he agreed to a truce of four days; at the end of which time he would outlaw the Negro Generals, if they did not come into the service of France.

        Toussaint had no idea of yielding. His first thought was for the liberty of conscience of his sons. He left them free to choose between him and France. "My children," said he, "choose your duty. Whatever it be, I shall always love and bless you." Placide declared that he had done with France; and he fought by his father's side. Isaac returned to the fleet.

        A declaration of outlawry was issued, as threatened, against Toussaint and Christophe. Le Clerc used every means to secure the defection of the Negro troops, in which he succeeded but too well; a matter more of sorrow than surprise, under the circumstances. The greatest marvel of all Toussaint's achievements is that he was able to do what he did with such social materials as he had at command. When it is considered that the elements of the society be ruled were Whites, first made arbitrary and selfish by being Slave-owners, and then vindictive by being deprived of their human property--Mulattoes made jealous by social oppression--and Negroes debased by Slavery, it is truly astonishing that, while left unmolested from without, Toussaint was able to establish anything like order, diligence, peace, and prosperity in the island. The presence of a foreign foe, who appealed to the jealousy, avarice, and fears of the different parties in society, was sure to disorganize his work for the time, and leave him a sacrifice to the defection of his people. After much fighting and


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some vicissitude, Toussaint, with his generals, and a small body of troops, fortified themselves in a mountainous retreat. There Le Clerc pursued him, and lost 1500 men in repeated vain attempts to dislodge him.

        The Blacks issued forth at intervals, cut off the communication between different bodies of the invaders, and assaulted the French when they were least expected. But all was in vain. The discipline of the French troops (amounting, with reinforcements, to 25,000 men) was too much for him. He was sustained occasionally by bands of labourers from the estates; but the French were reinforced to much better purpose by the arrival of 4000 fresh and hardy soldiers from France. Christophe and Dessalines, his two chief supporters, were compelled to submission: and the time was come for Toussaint to make terms.

        Toussaint called before him two of his prisoners, one a military, the other a naval officer, and sent them as bearers of a letter from him to Le Clerc, in which he intimated that there might yet be room for negotiation. He exhibited the war as having now become aimless and merely cruel; but declared, finally, that he should always be strong enough to burn, ravage, and destroy, and to sell dearly a life which had been somewhat useful to the mother-country as well as to his own race., Le Clerc was only too happy to negotiate. 5000 of his men were slain; 5000 more were in the hospitals; and only 12,000 remained in fighting condition.

        The declaration of Toussaint's outlawry was rescinded, and, a few days after, the fallen hero came boldly to greet the French general. His appearance excited a strong sensation, and the mountains reverberated with the salutes fired in his honour from the forts and the squadron. All heads were bowed as he passed, and the French were awed by the homage paid to the Deliverer in his adversity.

        Toussaint was followed by between 300 and 400 horse-men, who remained in a defensive position, their sabres


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drawn, during the conference between the two commanders.

        Negotiations were now entered into, and a treaty was at length concluded between Le Clerc and Toussaint L'Ouverture, the conditions of which were, that Toussaint should continue to govern St. Domingo as hitherto, Le Clerc acting only in the capacity of French deputy, and that all the officers in Toussaint's army should be allowed to sustain their respective ranks, himself and his brother Christophe being honoured with a dignified retirement from public life. A letter to Toussaint from the French general, about this time, contained the following passage: "With regard to yourself, you desire repose, and you deserve it. I leave you at liberty to retire to which of your estates you please."

        The war now appeared to have reached a happy close; the Whites and Blacks mingled with each other once more as friends; and Toussaint retired to one of his estates, called by his own name, situated on the south-west part of the island, to lead a life of quiet and domestic enjoyment. There, in the bosom of his remaining family, (for his two sons who had been under the care of Coisnon, were lost sight of after their return to the Cape with their perfidious tutor,) he entered on that repose, of which he had long been deprived, laying plans for the comfortable enjoyment of the domestic circle, in his declining age, confidently relying upon the solemn assurances that his person and property should be held sacred.

        But the instructions of Bonaparte had been precise, that the Negro chief should be sent as a prisoner to France. Many reasons recommended such a step as more likely than any other to break the spirit of independence among the Blacks, and rivet the French power in the Island. Although Le Clerc had been put into nominal possession of the colony and of the colonial army, Toussaint was the virtual monarch of the island. His moral influence was incalculable; and while he lived and moved in sight, the French


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held but a deceptive sovereignty. A glance of the great man's eye, the lifting up of his finger, his lightest whisper, were more than a match for all the drilled troops, all the ships and in France, and for all the wealth of her treasury. Napoleon knew this: and accordingly Le Clerc was now furnished with secret orders which empowered him to remove that influence by treachery which he had been unable to overthrow by force.

        Time pressed: it was difficult to take Toussaint, on account of his wariness, and of the love borne to him by the whole people. A deep stratagem served the purpose at last, for the French general no sooner perceived the confidence Toussaint had placed in him, than he committed one of the basest and most infamous acts of treachery. The district in which Toussaint resided was purposely overcharged with French troops. The residents were discontented, and made Toussaint the medium of their complaints. General Brunet, to whom he applied, answered that he was but imperfectly informed about the localities, and needed the assistance of the former ruler of St. Domingo to determine the situation of the troops. "See these Whites!" exclaimed Toussaint, as he read General Brunet's letter. ["]They know everything, and yet they are obliged to come to the old Negro Chief for advice." He now fell into the trap artfully laid for him. He sent word to General Brunet that he would come, attended by twenty men, and confer with him, on the Georges estate, on the 10th of June. General Brunet appeared at the appointed place and time, escorted also by 20 men. He asked Toussaint in, and they shut themselves up for business. Meanwhile the French soldiers mixed in with the escort of Toussaint, engaged each his man in light conversation, and, at an appointed signal, sprang each upon his Negro neighbour, and disarmed him. At the same moment, the French admiral, Ferrari, appeared before Toussaint, and said, "I have orders from General Le Clerc to arrest you. Your guards are captured:


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our troops are everywhere: you are a dead man if you resist. Deliver up your sword." Toussaint yielded his sword in silence.

        He was now conducted to his estate again--not, as his adorers had trusted, to spend a vigorous and peaceful old age in repose, surrounded by his family, and cherished by the love of the people he had redeemed, but merely in preparation for further insult and injury, and it now becomes our melancholy duty to record one of the blackest acts committed by Napoleon. Agreeably to his orders, the person of Toussaint was treacherously arrested, while in his own house near Gonaives. Under cover of the night, and while himself, and the faithful companion of all his cares, were, with their family wrapped in silent sleep, unconscious of their danger, a band of soldiers surrounded the house; and some of them entering his chamber, commanded him, with all his family, to go immediately on board a vessel then in the harbour. Two Black chiefs, who attempted the great man's rescue were killed on the spot; and about a hundred of Toussaint's most devoted companions were arrested at the same time, and made prisoners, being sent on board different ships. Not one of them was ever heard of more; their fate is not known; it is supposed that they were thrown overboard.

        Resistance being useless, he quietly submitted to his own fate; but for his feeble wife and innocent children, he asked the privilege of their remaining at home. This request, however just, was not granted; and before their friends and neighbours had any knowledge of it, the family, including the daughter of a deceased brother, were on board the "Hero" man-of-war, which immediately set sail for France. To justify this base act, the French General circulated a report, that Toussaint had engaged in a conspiracy; but the time was so short, there could be no grounds for even a suspicion of such a crime.

        On meeting the commander of the "Hero," Toussaint


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observed to him, "In overthrowing me, you have overthrown only the trunk of the tree of Negro liberty in St. Domingo. It will arise again from the roots, because they are many, and have struck deep." He spoke truly. Slavery has never been re-established in Hayti. The outrage upon Toussaint roused the whole Island. Christophe and Dessalines rose with their forces: the French were pressed on every side; and all the reinforcements which were sent from France seemed to do them no good. Even while Toussaint yet lived, 40,000 Frenchmen are supposed to have perished in the Island. Although tortures were established and inflicted on the Blacks; although blood-hounds from Cuba were introduced to hunt them down; for every Black whom they destroyed, two seemed to rise up; and before the invaders relinquished the struggle, they were reduced to feed on the carcases of the very dogs they had brought in to destroy their Negro foes. On the first of January, 1804, the independence of Hayti was formally declared, and its inhabitants took their place among the nations.

        On their passage to France, Toussaint was kept a close prisoner, and refused all intercourse with his family. He was constantly confined to his cabin, and the door was guarded by soldiers. When they arrived at Brest, no time was lost in hurrying him on shore;--on the deck only, was he permitted to have an interview with his wife and children, whom he was to meet no more in this life. The separation of this faithful pair, and their beloved offspring, was such as might be expected; and excited in those who beheld it, compassion for their fate.

        The unfortunate Negro General was now escorted by a detachment of dragoons to Paris, and committed to the prison of the Temple. Napoleon frequently sent his aide-de-camp, Caffirelli, to him there, to question him about a large amount of treasure he was said to have buried. The only answer that could ever be obtained from him was, "I


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have lost something very different from such treasures as you seek." When this disgraceful importunity was found to be in vain, he was conveyed, by the orders of Bonaparte, to the castle of Joux, in the east of France, among the Jura mountains, For the first few months of his captivity, Toussaint was allowed to be attended by a faithful Negro servant, Mars Plaisir, but at length he was deprived of the service of this single attendant, and winter approaching, he was plunged into a cold, damp, and gloomy subterraneous dungeon like one of the worst of criminals. It has been confidently asserted by respectable authority, that the floor of this dungeon was covered with water. Let the reader imagine the dreadful situation of such a prison, to one who had lived near three score years, enjoying the necessaries, and, the latter part of his time, even the luxuries of life, in a West Indian climate--and he must feel a tender compassion for the poor--the afflicted--the suffering Toussaint!

        It was while he, who had spent a long life under the warm skies, and in the sunshine of the tropics, and in unceasing activity of body and mind, was striving for patience under the long torture of such an imprisonment as this, that our poet Wordsworth wrote--


                         "Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men!
                         Whether the whistling rustic tend his plough
                         Within thy hearing, or thou liest now
                         Buried in some deep dungeon's earless den;--
                         O miserable chieftain! where and when
                         Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou
                         Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
                         Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
                         Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left, behind
                         Powers that will work for thee--air, earth, and skies;
                         There's not a breathing of the common wind
                         That will forget thee--thou hast great allies;
                         Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
                         And love, and man's unconquerable mind."

        In the deplorable situation in which Toussaint was placed without any alleviation, he lingered through the winter:


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After an imprisonment of ten months, during which nothing is known either of his thoughts or sayings, the Negro Chief was found dead in his dungeon. The severities of confinement in this inhospitable prison had killed him, as his foes doubtless intended it should, although no formal or reasonable charge had ever been brought against him. This melancholy termination to his sufferings took place on the 27th of April, 1803, when he was about 60 years of age. His death, which was announced in the French papers, raised a cry against the government which had chosen this dastardly method of destroying one of the best and bravest men of the Negro race.

        We have now completed a brief history of this remarkable Negro. Reader, was not this a man in all respects worthy of the name? He was altogether African,--a perfect Negro in his organization, of a jet complexion, yet a fully endowed and well accomplished man. In no respect does his nature appear to have been unequal; there was no feebleness in one direction, as a consequence of unusual vigour in another. He had strength of body, strength of understanding, strength of belief, and, consequently, of purpose;--strength of affection, of imagination, and of will. He was, emphatically, a Great Man; and what he was, others of his race may equally attain to.

A GLANCE AT THE SUBSEQUENT HISTORY OF ST. DOMINGO, OR HAYTI.

        That Toussaint L'Ouverture, whose life we have just sketched, "was not a mere exceptional Negro, cast up as it were once for all, but that he was only the first of a series of able Negroes, and that his greatness may be fairly taken as a proof of certain capabilities in the Negro character, will appear from the history of St. Domingo subsequent to his imprisonment and death."

        The forcible suppression of Toussaint's government, and


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his treacherous removal from the island, did not prove a happy stroke of policy. Le Clerc, with all the force committed to his care by Bonaparte, signally failed in his designs. The contemptuous and cruel manner in which he treated the Blacks, and the attempts made to restore them to Slavery, provoked a wide spread insurrection. Independent of the natural right of the Negroes to liberty, their freedom had been declared by the French government, who now attempted to enslave them again. Could it be for a moment expected that they would allow this without making any resistance? They had felt the rigours of Slavery, and endured them too long to be forgotten. They were now in possession of their freedom, and were not to be suddenly deprived of it without making one effort in its defence.

        Toussaint's old friends and generals, Dessalines, Christophe, Clervaux, and others, rose in arms, and all the resources of European military skill opposed to them were in vain. The French were soon driven out of several important positions. In 1802 Le Clerc died, and was succeeded in the command by Rochambeau, a determined enemy of the Blacks. Cruelties such as Le Clerc shrunk from, were now employed to assist the French arms. The Whites, regarding the Blacks as a species of brutes, had recourse to such methods of cruelty and death, as would be selected only for the purpose of exterminating a dangerous and destructive race of animals; to barbarities worse than had ever before stained the annals of any people pretending to the character of civilization. All the male Negroes and Mulattoes they could lay their hands on were murdered in the most shocking manner. Five hundred of these unfortunate beings were at one time shot near Cape François; and an equal number were, on another occasion, coolly massacred in view of the Negro army. Thousands were carried on board the vessels in the harbour, and were either suffocated in the holds, or thrown overboard in chains


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and drowned. Even these methods failed to accomplish the horrid purposes of blood-thirsty tyrants--till at length they had recourse to the dreadful expedient of hunting and destroying the unhappy victims of their rage by bloodhounds. These animals, pursuing the Negroes to the parts of the mountains inaccessible to their no less bloody employers, easily gained their retreats, and devoured all who were so unfortunate as to be discovered. Such of the Black prisoners as had evinced the greatest zeal and activity in defence of liberty, were selected from the rest, and on the Sabbath were dragged to a spot chosen for the purpose, and in sight of thousands of spectators, were thrown to these terrible animals and torn to pieces. In short, the attempt was founded in injustice, commenced by treachery, and conducted in a manner the most inhuman and barbarous.

        To the arms, the treachery, and the cruelty of the French, what had the Negroes to oppose? By what means were a body of men, in a great measure ignorant of all that was necessary to a successful enterprise, trained in the school of Slavery, and knowing little except its rigors, frequently destitute of a sufficient number of leaders, and but ill-furnished with arms, to contend successfully with troops trained to every mode of warfare, and stimulated by a resolution to subdue, or to exterminate. However hopeless their case for some time appeared, they determined on resistance as long as there should be any left capable of opposing their enemies. They first united in one body and entered into a common vow, either to expel their oppressors, or to die in the attempt. "La Liberté oû la mort!" was their rallying cry; and though there appeared little or no prospect of success, they ever felt animated by the conviction, that they fought in the best of causes--the cause of freedom and independence. Right and justice were on their side; they felt it so, and it rendered them unconquerable. In the early part of the contest, they were deprived by treachery of their ablest leader; but his loss


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served only to increase their rage, and consequently to render them more formidable. During this severe struggle, they displayed a degree of courage and firmness, with a patient endurance of privations and sufferings, far above their condition and character. At the same time they sought and found opportunities of revenge; and the cruelties which they perpetrated were perhaps equal in number and atrocity to those committed by their oppressors. But it will be remembered that they were, in the first instance, compelled to take up arms in their defence, by the unjust designs of the French; and were then urged by their subsequent barbarities, to avail themselves of every occasion and mode of retaliation. They fought for liberty; and if they found that the only way to secure it was through blood, it was an alternative to which their enemies had reduced them. Nor will those who have paid attention to the circumstances of the war, hesitate to consider the French as chiefly chargeable with the horrors, cruelties, and massacres of this sanguinary contest.

        After a doubtful and desperate struggle, success crowned the exertions of the Negroes. They expelled their foes, secured their rights, and took possession of the island, which their toils and sufferings had purchased; and in 1804, at an assembly of generals and chiefs, its independence was declared, and all present bound themselves by an oath to defend it. At the same time, to mark their formal renunciation of all connection with France, it was resolved that the name of the island should be changed from St. Domingo to Hayti, the name given to it by its original Indian inhabitants.

        Dessalines was appointed Governor-General of the Island for life, but subsequently changed his title to that of Emperor. He was solemnly inaugurated under the name of James I., Emperor of Hayti; and the ceremony of his coronation was accompanied by the proclamation of a new constitution, the main provisions of which were exceedingly


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judicious. Entire religious toleration was decreed, schools were established, public worship encouraged, and measures adopted, similar to those which Toussaint had employed for creating and fostering an industrial spirit among the Negroes. As a preparation for any future war, the interior of the Island was extensively planted with yams, bananas, and other articles of food, and many forts were built in advantageous situations. Under these regulations the Island again began to show symptoms of prosperity. Dessalines was a man in many respects fitted to be the first sovereign of a people rising out of barbarism. Born a Slave, he was quite illiterate, but had great natural abilities, united to a very ferocious temper. His wife was one of the most beautiful and best educated Negro women in Hayti. For two years Dessalines continued to govern the Island; but at length his ferocity provoked his Mulatto subjects to form a conspiracy against him, and in 1806 he was assassinated by the soldiers of Petion.

        A schism now took place in the Island. Christophe, who had been second in command, assumed the governnent of the northern division, and Petion, the Mulatto general, assumed the government of the southern division. For several years a war was carried on between the two rivals, but at length, by a tacit agreement, Petion came to be regarded as a legitimate governor in the south and west, and Christophe in the north. Christophe, trained like Dessalines in the school of Toussaint L'Ouverture, was born a Slave, but was an able as well as a benevolent man; though, like most of the Negroes who had arrived at his period of life, he had not had the benefit of any systematic education. Petion, on the other hand, had been educated in the Military Academy of Paris, and was accordingly as accomplished and well-instructed as any European officer. The title with which Petion was invested, was that of President of the Republic of Hayti, in other words, President of the republican part of Hayti; the southern and western districts preferring


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the republican form of government. For some time Christophe bore the simple title of chief magistrate, but was, in all respects the president of a republic like Petion. In 1811, by the desire of his subjects, he assumed the title of Henry I., king of Hayti. The coronation was celebrated in the most gorgeous manner; and the creation of an aristocracy took place, the first act of the new sovereign being to name four princes, seven dukes, twenty-two counts, thirty barons, and ten knights.

        Both parts of the Island were well governed, and rapidly advanced in prosperity and civilization. On the restoration of the Bourbons to the French throne, some hope seems to have been entertained in France, that it might be possible yet to obtain a footing in the Island, and commissioners were sent out to collect information respecting its condition; but the conduct both of Christophe and Petion was so firm, that the impossibility of subverting the independence of Hayti became manifest. It was therefore left in the undisturbed possession of the Blacks and Mulattoes.

        In 1818 Petion died, and was succeeded by General Boyer, a Mulatto who had been in France, and had accompanied Le Clerc in his expedition. In 1820, Christophe having become involved in differences with his subjects, shot himself; and the two parts of the Island were then reunited under the general name of the Republic of Hayti, General Boyer being President. In 1825, a treaty was concluded between him and Charles X. of France, by which the latter acknowledged the independence of Hayti, in consideration of a payment of 150 millions of francs (six millions sterling), which was afterwards reduced to 60 million francs (£2,400,000). In the political constitution of the island, no change of any importance has taken place till the present time; and the republic of Hayti continues to be governed by a president elected for life, and two legislative houses; one, a senate, the other, a chamber of representatives.


Illustration


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        According to recent accounts of this interesting island, the annual exports amounted to upwards of thirty millions of pounds of coffee, six millions of pounds of logwood, one million of pounds of cotton, five millions of feet of mahogany, besides considerable quantities of tobacco, cigars, sugar, hides, wax, and ginger.

        The Roman Catholic religion predominates, but all other sects are tolerated. In the principal towns there are government schools, some of them on the Lancasterian plan. In the capital there is a military school; and there are a number of private academies in the Island. In 1837 the revenue of Hayti was 3,852,576 dollars, and its public expenditure 2,713,102 dollars. The social condition of the island is one of advancement, and though many traces of barbarism remain, it contains a population of Blacks, who in the short space of fifty years, have raised themselves from the depths and the degradation of Slavery to the condition of a flourishing and respectable state.

        Not many years ago, the master of an American vessel, who had visited different ports in Europe and America, stated to the writer, that the customhouse at Cape Haytian was under as good regulation, if not better, than the custom houses of London and New York. "The officers of the custom were all Black men," said he, "and yet the order, correctness, and despatch of business, were remarkable, equalling any thing of the kind I ever saw."

        "This interesting people have shown to the world," says a foreign writer, "for 50 years, that Black men can govern themselves, creditably maintain all the relations of civil society among themselves and with other states, and besides paying a large indemnity to France for their independence--which they never should have submitted to--place themselves in the enviable situation of having 'a happy peasantry, a country's pride,' and having an exchequer clear of debt, which many older states cannot boast."

        The state papers of the Republic of Hayti, have ever


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been distinguished for the ability with which they are written; and the gentlemen from that Island who have visited the United States on business, or for other purposes, have well supported the character which the people of Hayti have established among civilized nations, many of whom are men of refinement, education, and wealth.

NOTICE OF A SON OF TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.

        The following notice of a son of Toussaint L'Ouverture is from a letter written by a member of the Society of Friends at Exeter, about the commencement of the present century.

        A Bible Meeting being convened in that city, the audience were unexpectedly impressed by the powerful speech of "a young Black from St. Domingo, son of the late General Toussaint, a most interesting youth, who, having escaped from Napoleon, the murderer of his father, had, by a variety of providences, been brought to England, and to the knowledge of God. This knowledge he obtained through reading the Scriptures, and fervent prayer that they might be opened to his understanding. He seemed to be swallowed up in love to his Divine Protector, and to his creature man; desirous that all the inhabitants of the world might be brought to the same source of never failing consolation he himself experiences.

        "The amiable Toussaint left Exeter next morning. As he returned from Honiton, after the meeting, when he had passed the door, we felt as we formerly did when we had parted with some of our dearest friends in the ministry; nor do I ever remember the presence of the Most High more evidently felt than when he was in our house for a short time, when he addressed the language of consolation to our aged parent, and afterwards poured forth his fervent supplications on her behalf. I was almost lost in amazement at this unexpected occurrence, for although we had been


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given to understand that he was a serious youth, we had no idea that he was so eminently favoured. Our joy at thus meeting with one whom we can call a brother beloved, was, and is, mixed with a fear for him, lest by any means his mind should be diverted from its religious exercise. May he be preserved in the hollow of the Almighty's hand, that nothing may separate him from the love of his Creator. His manners are graceful and elegant; his disposition affectionate, and his person handsome for a Black; before religion exerted its influence, he was proud and obstinate."

GEOFFREY L'ISLET.

        Geoffrey L'Islet, a Mulatto, was an officer of artillery, and guardian of the dêpot of maps and plans of the Isle of France. In 1786, he was named a correspondent of the French Academy of Sciences, and is acknowledged as such in the "Connoisance des temps" for 1797, to which learned society L'Islet regularly transmitted meteorological observations, and sometimes hydrographical journals. His maps of the Isles of France, delineated according to astronomical observations, were published with other plans, in 1791, by order of the minister of marine. A new edition appeared in 1802, corrected from drawings transmitted by the author. Gregoire speaks of them as the best maps of those isles that had appeared.

        In the almanac of the Isle of France, several contributions of L'Islet's were inserted, among others a description of Pitrebot, one of the highest mountains of the Islands.

        A collection of his manuscript memoirs are deposited in the archives of the Academy of Sciences. Amongst these is the account of a voyage of L'Islet to the Bay of St. Luce, an island of Madagascar; it is accompanied with a map of the Bay, and of the coast. He points out the exchangeable commodities, the resources which it presents, and which would increase, says he, if instead of exciting


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the natives to war, in order to obtain Slaves, industry were encouraged by the prospects of advantageous commerce. The description he gives of the manners and customs of the natives of Madagascar is very curious.

        L'Islet was well versed in botany, natural philosophy, geology, and astronomy. He struggled more succesfully than many against the prejudices attached to his race. He never visited Europe to improve his taste or acquire knowledge; had he been able to do this in his youth, to breathe the atmosphere of the learned, it would have probably tended to the expansion of his genius and talents.

        L'Islet established a scientific society in the Isle of France, of which some Whites refused to become members, merely because its founder was a Black. "Did they not prove, by their conduct," asks the Abbé Gregoire, "that they were unworthy of such an honour?"

KAFIR GENEROSITY.

        Captain Stockenstrom, at the time of the commando of the expedition against Makanna, had once the misfortune, while walking in the rear, to be taken suddenly ill. He was thus, unobserved by his men, left behind, unable to move and ignorant of the way. He expected that as soon as he was discovered by the enemy he would be instantly put to death. While in this anxious predicament, he observed a solitary Kafir approaching him, armed with a bundle of arrows. As soon as the Kafir, who was one of the enemy's warriors, ascertained his case, without saying a word, he laid down his mantle and arms at his feet, and darted off at full speed. Captain Stockenstrom could form no idea what was his intention, until in about an hour, to his agreeable surprise, he saw him return, accompanied by a Boor on horseback, leading another horse. The Kafir having resumed his mantle and arrows, suddenly disappeared in the jangle, and captain S. rode to rejoin his party.


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        After peace was concluded, captain S. made every exertion in his power to ascertain the name of his deliverer, but without effect, nor did he ever come forward to claim the reward that captain S. publicly announced his desire to bestow for such noble conduct in an enemy.

CAPITEIN.

        James E. J. Capitein was born in Africa. He was purchased when seven or eight years of age, on the borders of the river St. Andre, by a Negro trader, who made a present of him to one of his friends.

        By his new master, who proved to be his friend, he was first named Capitein; and he instructed him, baptized him, and brought him to Holland, where he acquired the language of the country. He devoted his time to painting, for which he had a great inclination. He commenced his studies at the Hague, where a pious and learned lady, who was much occupied in the study of languages, is said first to have taught him Latin, and the elements of the Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldean tongues. From the Hague he went to the University of Leyden, meeting everywhere with zealous protectors. He devoted himself to theology, under able professors, with the intention of returning to Africa, to preach the Gospel to his countrymen.

        Having studied four years, Capitein took his degrees, and in 1742, was sent as a Christian minister to Elmina, on the Gold Coast. In 1802, a vague report was spread, that he had abjured Christianity, and embraced idolatry again. Blumenbach, however, who inserted a portrait of Capitein in his work on the varieties of the human race, could detect no authentic information against him.

        The first work of Capitein is an elegy in Latin, on the death of Manger, minister at the Hague, his preceptor and his friend. It is as follows:


                         Hac autem in Batavorum gratissima sede
                         Non primum tantum elementa linguæ Belgicoe


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                         Addidici, sed arti etiam pictorica, in quam
                         Eram pro pensissimus, dedi operam Virum
                         Interea tempore labente, institutioni sua
                         Domestica catechcasios mihi interesse permisit
                         Vir humanissimus, Joannes Phillipus Manger,
                         Cujus in obitum (cum tanti viri, tum
                         Solidor eruditionis, tum erga deum singularis
                         Pictatis, admirator semper extitissim) flebilibus Fatis.
                         Cum Ecclesior Hagienis protento anno
                         Esset ademptus, lugubrem hanc compersui
                         Elegiam!


                         ELEGIA.


                         Invida mors totum vibrat sua tela per orbem:
                         Et gestit quemvis succubuisse sibi.
                         Illa, metùs expers, penetrat conclavia regum:
                         Imperiique manu ponere sceptra jubet.
                         Non sinit illa diù partos spectare triumphos:
                         Linquere sed cogit, clara tropoea duces.
                         Divitis et gazas, aliis ut dividat, onmes,
                         Mendicique casam vindicat illa sibi.
                         Falce senes, juvenes, nullo discrimine, dura,
                         Instar aristarum, demittit illa simul.
                         Hic fuit illa audax, nigro velamine tecta.
                         Limina Mangeri sollicitare domûs.
                         Hujus ut ante domum steterat funesta cypressus,
                         Luctisonos gemitus nobilis Haga dedit.
                         Hune lacrymis tinxit gravibus carissima conjux,
                         Dum sua tundebat pectora sæpe manu
                         Non aliter Naomi, cum te vinduata marito,
                         Profudit lacrymas, Elimeleche, tua.
                         Sæpe sui manes civit gemebunda mariti,
                         Edidit et tales ore tremente sonos;
                         Condit ut obscure vultum velamine Phoebus,
                         Tractibus ut terræ lumina, grata neget;
                         O decus immortale meum, mea sola voluptas!
                         Sic fugis ex coulees in mea damna mess.
                         Non equidem invideo, consors, quod te ocyor aura
                         Transtulit ad loetas æthereas que domos.
                         Sed quoties mando placidæ mea membra quieti,
                         Sive dies veniat, sum memor usque tui.
                         Te thalamus noster raptum mihi funere poscit,
                         Quis renovet nobis foedera rupta dies?
                         En tua sacra deo Bedes studiisque dicata,


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                         Te propter, mæsti signa doloris habet.
                         Quod magis, effusas, veluti de flumine pleno,
                         Dant lacrymas nostri pignora cara tori.
                         Dentibus ut misere fide pastore lupinis
                         Conscisso teneræ disjiciunter oves,
                         Aeraque horrendis, feriunt balatibus altum,
                         Dum scissum adspiciunt voce cientque ducem:
                         Sic querulis nostras implent ululatibus ædes
                         Dum jacet in lecto corpus inane tuum.
                         Succinit huic vatum viduæ pia turba querenti,
                         Funera quæ celebrat conveniente modo
                         Grande sacerdotum decus, et mea gloria cessat,
                         Delicium domini, gentis amorque piæ!
                         Clauditor os blandum sacro de fonte rigatum;
                         Fonte meam possum quo relevare sitim!
                         Hei mihi? quam subito fugit facundia linguæ,
                         Cælesti dederat quæ mihi melle frui.
                         Nestoris eloqium veteres jactate poetoe,
                         Ipso Mangerius Nestore major erat, &c.

        On his admission to the University of Leyden, Capitein published a Latin dissertation on the calling of the Gentiles, "De Vocatione Ethnicorum," which he divided into three parts. From the authority of the sacred writings he establishes the certainty of the promise of the gospel, which embraces all nations, although its manifestation is only gradual. For the purpose of co-operating in this respect with the design of the Almighty, he proposes that the languages of those nations should be cultivated to whom the blessings of Christianity are yet unknown; and also that Missionaries be sent among them, who, by the mild voice of persuasion might gain their affections, and dispose them to receive the truths of the gospel.

        The Spaniards and the Portuguese, he observes, exercise a mild and gentle treatment of their Slaves, establishing no superiority of colour, &c. In other countries, Planters have prevented their Negroes from being instructed in a religion which proclaims the equality of men, all proceeding from a common stock, and equally entitled to the benefits of a kind Providence, who is no respecter of persons.


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        The Dutch Planters, persuaded that Slavery is inconsistent with Christianity, but stifling the voice of conscience, probably instigated Capitein to become the apologist of a bad cause, for he subsequently composed a politico-theological dissertation in Latin, to prove that Slavery is not opposed to Christian freedom. His conclusions are forced. Though poor in argument, it is rich in erudition, and translated into Dutch, by Wilheur, and published with a portrait of the author in preacher's attire. This work went through four editions.

        Capitein also published a small quarto volume of Sermons, in Dutch, preached in different towns, and printed at Amsterdam in 1742.

CHRISTIAN KINDNESS IN AN AFRICAN.

        "In one of my early journeys," says Moffat, "with some of my companions, we came to a heathen village on the banks of the Orange River. We had travelled far, and were hungry, thirsty, and fatigued. From the fear of being exposed to lions, we preferred remaining at the village to proceeding during the night. The people at the village, rather roughly, directed us to halt at a distance. We asked water, but they would not supply it. I offered the three or four buttons which still remained on my jacket for a little milk; this also was refused. We had the prospect of another hungry night at a distance from water, though within sight of the river. We found it difficult to reconcile ourselves to our lot; for, in addition to repeated rebuffs, the manner of the villagers excited suspicion.

        "When twilight drew on, a woman approached from the height, beyond which the village lay. She bore on her head a bundle of wood, and had a vessel of milk in her hand. The latter, without opening her lips, she handed to us, laid down the wood, and returned to the village. A


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second time she approached with a cooking vessel on her head, and a leg of mutton in one hand, and water in the other. She sat down without saying a word, prepared the fire, and put on the meat. We asked her again and again who she was. She remained silent, till affectionately entreated to give us a reason for such unlooked for kindness to strangers. The solitary tear stole down her sable cheek when she replied, 'I love Him whose servant you are; and surely it is my duty to give you a cup of cold water in his name. My heart is full; therefore I cannot speak the joy I feel to see you in this out-of-the-world place.' On learning a little of her history, and that she was a solitary light, burning in a dark place, I asked her how she kept up the life of God in her soul, in the entire absence of the communion of saints. She drew from her bosom a copy of the Dutch New Testament, which she had received from Mr. Helme, when in his school some years previous, before she had been compelled by her connexions to retire to her present seclusion. 'This,' she said, 'is the fountain whence I drink; this is the oil which makes my lamp burn.'*

        I looked on the precious relic, printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society; and the reader may conceive how I felt, and my believing companions with me, when we met with this disciple, and mingled our sympathies and prayers together at the throne of our Heavenly Father."

OTHELLO.

        All the information I can glean respecting the Negro Othello, is, that he published at Baltimore, in 1788, an essay against the Slavery of his race.

        "The European powers," says he, " ought to unite in
* Christ alone is the well of living water, and from Him flows alone the oil whereby the lamp is fed. The inspired words of Scripture, applied to her soul by the Holy Spirit, continually brought comfort and peace to this solitary Christian.


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abolishing the infernal commerce in Slaves: it is they who have covered Africa with desolation. They declaim against the people of Algiers, and they vilify, as barbarians, those who inhabit a corner of that portion of the globe, where ferocious Europeans travel to purchase men, and carry them away for the purpose of torture. These are the people who pretend they are Christians, whilst they degrade themselves by acting the part of an executioner." "Is not your conduct," adds Othello, "when compared with your principles, a sacrilegious irony? When you dare to talk of civilization and the Gospel, you pronounce your anathema. In you, the superiority of power produces nothing but a superiority of brutality and barbarism. Weakness, which calls for protection, appears to provoke your inhumanity. Your fine political systems are sullied by the outrages committed against human nature and the Divine Majesty. When America opposed the pretensions of England, she declared that all men have the same rights of freedom and equality. After having manifested her hatred against tyrants, ought she to have abandoned her principles? Whilst we should bless the measures pursued in Pennsylvania in favour of the Negroes, we must execrate those of South Carolina, which even prevent the Slaves from learning to read. To whom can these unfortunates then address themselves? The law either neglects or chastises them."

        Othello paints in strong colours the griefs and sighs of families suddenly torn asunder and forcibly dragged from the country which gave them birth,--a country always dear to their heart, from the remembrance of kindred ties and local impressions. So dear to them, indeed, does it remain, that one of the articles of their superstitious credulity, is to imagine, that after death they will return to Africa." With the happiness which they enjoyed in their native soil, Othello contrasts their horrible state in America; where, naked, hungry, and without instruction, they see all the


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evils of life accumulate on their heads. He desires that their cries may reach to heaven, and that heaven may answer their prayers. Few works can be compared to this of Othello's, for force of reasoning, and fire of eloquence; but, alas! how little can reason and eloquence perform, when opposed by avarice and crime?

JAMES DERHAM.

        This intelligent descendant of Africa, originally a Slave in Philadelphia, was sold to a medical man, who employed him as an assistant in the preparation of drugs. During the American war he was sold to a surgeon, and by him to Dr. Dove, of New Orleans. He learned the English, French, and Spanish languages, so as to speak them with ease.

        He was received a member of the English church; and in 1788, when about 21 years of age, he became one of the most distinguished physicians at New Orleans. "I conversed with him on medicine," says Dr. Rush, "and found him very learned. I thought I could give him information concerning the treatment of diseases; but I learned more from him than he could expect from me."

        The Pennsylvania Society, established in favour of the people of Colour, thought it their duty, in 1789, to publish these facts; which are also related by Dickson. In the Domestic Medicine of Buchan, and in a work of Duplaint, we find an account of a cure for the bite of a rattlesnake. It is not clear whether Derham was the discoverer; but it is a well known fact, that, for this important discovery, we are indebted to one of his Colour, who received his freedom from the general assembly of Carolina, and also an annuity of £100.

ANECDOTE OF TWO NEGROES IN FRANCE.

        In the most flourishing period of the reign of Louis XIV., two Negro youths, the sons of a prince, being


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brought to the court of France, the king appointed a Jesuit to instruct them in letters, and in the Christian religion; and gave to each of them a commission in his guards.--The elder, who was remarkable for candour and ingenuity, made great advances, more especially in the doctrines of religion; and gave to each of them a commission in his guards.--The elder, who was remarkable for candour and ingenuity, made great advances, more especially in the doctrines of religion.

        A brutal officer, in a dispute, insulted him with a blow. The gallant youth did not so much as offer to resent it. One of his friends spoke to him that evening alone upon his behaviour, which he told him was too tame, especially in a soldier. "Is there then," said the young African, "one revelation for soldiers, and another for merchants and gownsmen? The good father to whom I owe all my knowledge, has earnestly inculcated in me the forgiveness of injuries; assuring we that a Christian was by no means to retaliate abuses of any kind." "The good father," replied his friend, "may fit you for a monastery by his lessons, but never for the army, and the rules of a court. In a word," continued he, "if you do not call the officer to an account, you will be branded with the infamy of cowardice, and have your commission taken from you." "I would fain," said the young man, " act consistently in everything: but since you press me with that regard to my honour which you have always shown, I will wipe off so foul a stain; though I must own I gloried in it before."

        He desired his friend to appoint the aggressor to meet him early in the morning. They met and fought; and the brave African youth disarmed his adversary, and forced him to ask his pardon publicly. This done, he threw up his commission, and desired the king's leave to return to his father. At parting, he embraced his brother and his friends, with tears in his eyes, saying, "he did not imagine the Christians had been such an unaccountable people; and that he could not apprehend their faith was of any use to them, if it did not influence their practice. In my country, we think it no dishonour to act according to the principles of our religion."


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KINDNESS OF A COLOURED FEMALE TO CAPTAIN RAINSFORD.

        When Captain Rainsford, a British officer, was in St. Domingo in 1799, he was arrested from suspicions as to his being a spy. During fourteen days' imprisonment, he was touched with the sympathy of a Coloured female, who brought him refreshment to the window of his cell. He records this circumstance in the following words: "I cannot omit to pay the tribute of gratitude to an unknown female of Colour, whose pity, more than her power, would have alleviated the horrors of my situation. She came occasionally in the night to the window of my cell, which looked into a court, to which she found access by an avenue that was unguarded. She brought me food, wine, and spirits, the remains of which, to prevent enquiry, she was anxious should be destroyed. The humane sympathy expressed by her in these nocturnal offerings to misery, have repeatedly brought to my remembrance the eulogium of Ledyard, on a sex ever prone to tender offices."

THOMAS JENKINS.

        THOMAS JENKINS was the son of an African king, and bore externally all the features of the Negro. His father reigned over a country on the coast of Guinea, resorted to by British vessels for the purchase of Slaves. The Negro sovereign having observed the superiority civilization and learning gave to the Europeans, resolved to send his eldest son to Britain, that he might acquire the advantages of knowledge. He bargained with Captain Swanstone, a native of Hawick, who traded to the coast for ivory, gold dust, &c., that the boy should be taken by him to his own country, and returned in a few years fully educated, for which he was to receive a certain consideration in the productions of Africa. The boy recollected a little of the scene which took place on his being handed over to Swanstone.


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His father came with his mother, and a number of Sable courtiers, to a green eminence near the coast, where, amidst tears, he was formally consigned to the care of the British trader, who pledged himself to return his tender charge, some years afterwards, endowed with as much learning as he might be found capable of receiving. He was then conveyed on ship-board, where the fancy of the master conferred upon him the name of Thomas Jenkins.

        Swanstone brought his protegé to Hawick, and was about to take the proper means for fulfilling his bargain, when he died. No provision having been made for such a contingency, the young Negro was thrown upon the wide world, not only without the means of obtaining an education, but destitute of everything necessary to supply more pressing wants. Swanstone died at the Tower Inn at Hawick, where Tom very faithfully attended him, though almost starved by the cold of a Scottish winter. After his guardian had expired, he was in a state of the greatest distress from cold, till the landlady brought him to her kitchen fire, where he found a climate agreeable to his nerves, and he was ever after very grateful for her kindness. After remaining some time at the inn, a farmer in Teviot-head, the nearest surviving relation of his guardian, took charge of him, and he was removed to his house, where he soon made himself useful in humble duties. When he left the inn, he understood hardly a word of English; but here he speedily acquired the dialect of the district, with all its peculiarities of accent and intonation. He lived in this family several years, in the course of which he was successively advanced to the offices of cow-herd and driver of peats to Hawick for sale on his master's account, which he discharged very satisfactorily. After he had become a stout boy, Mr. Laidlaw of Falnash, a gentleman of great respectability and intelligence, took a fancy for him, and prevailed upon his former protector to yield him into his charge. Black Tom, as he was called, became at Falnash


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a sort of Jack-of-all-trades. He acted as cow-herd at one time, and stable-boy at another: in short, he could turn his hand to anything. It was his especial duty to go errands to Hawick, for which a retentive memory well qualified him. He afterwards became a regular farm-servant to Mr. Laidlaw, and while in this capacity, he first discovered a taste for learning. How he acquired his first instructions is not known. The boy probably cherished a notion of duty on this subject, and was anxious to fulfil, as far as his unfortunate circumstances would permit, the designs of his parent. He picked up a few crumbs of elementary literature at the table of Mr. Laidlaw's children, or interested the servants to give him what knowledge they could.

        In a short time, Mrs. Laidlaw was surprised to find that Tom began to have a strange liking for candle-ends. Not one about the farm-house could escape him. Every scrap of wick and tallow he fell in with was secreted and taken to his loft above the stable, and suspicions were entertained respecting the use he made of them. Curiosity incited the people about the farm to watch his proceedings after he had retired to his den; and it was then discovered, to the astonishment of all, that the poor lad was engaged, with a book and a slate, in drawing rude imitations of the letters of the alphabet. On the discovery of his literary taste, Mr. Laidlaw put him to an evening school, kept by a neighbouring rustic, at which he made such rapid progress as to excite astonishment all over the country, for no one had ever dreamt of his becoming a scholar.

        Though daily occupied with his drudgery as a farm-servant, he began to instruct himself in Latin and Greek. A boy friend lent him several books necessary in these studies; and Mr. and Mrs. Laidlaw did all in their power to favour his wishes, though the distance of a classical academy was a sufficient bar, had there been no other, to prevent their giving him the opportunity of regular instruction. In


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speaking of the kind treatment he received from these worthy individuals, his heart was often observed to swell, and the tear to start into his honest dark eye. Besides acquainting himself with Latin and Greek, he initiated himself in the study of mathematics.

        A great era in Tom's life was his possessing himself of a Greek dictionary. Having learned that there was to be a sale of books at Hawick, he proceeded thither, in company with his boy friend. Tom possessed twelve shillings, saved out of his wages, and his companion vowed that if more should be required for the purchase of any particular book, he should not fail to back him in the competition--so far as eighteen-pence would warrant, that being the amount of his own little stock. Tom at once pitched upon a lexicon as the grand necessary of his education, and began to bid for it. All present stared with wonder when they saw a Negro competing for a book which could only be useful to a student at a considerably advanced stage. A gentleman named Moncrieff, who knew Tom's companion, inquired with great curiosity into the seeming mystery. When it was explained, and Mr. Moncrieff learned that thirteen shillings and sixpence was the utmost extent of their joint stocks, he told his young friend to bid as far beyond that sum as he chose, and he would be answerable for the deficiency. Tom had now bidden as far as he could go, and he was turning away in despair, when his young friend threw himself into the competition, and soon had the satisfaction of placing the precious volume in the hands which were so eager to possess it. Tom carried off his prize in triumph, and, it is needless to say, made the best use of it.

        It may now be asked--what was the personal character of this interesting African? We answer at once--the best possible. He was mild and unassuming, free from every kind of vice, and possessing a kindliness of manner which made him the favourite of all who knew him. In fact, he was one of the most popular characters in the whole district


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of Upper Teviotdale. His employers respected him for the faithful and zealous manner in which he discharged his duties, and all were interested in his efforts to obtain knowledge. Having retained no trace of his native language, he resembled, in every respect except his colour, a Scotch peasant: only he was much more learned than most of them, and spent his time more abstractedly. He was deeply impressed with the truths of Christianity, and was a regular attender on religious ordinances. Altogether, he was a person of the most worthy and respectable properties, and, even without considering his meritorious struggles for knowledge, would have been beloved and esteemed wherever he was known.

        When he was about twenty years of age, a vacancy occurred in the school of Teviot-head. A committee was appointed to examine the candidates: among three or four competitors appeared the Black farm-servant of Falnash, with a heap of books under his arm. The committee was surprised; but they read his testimonials of character, and put him through the usual forms of examination. His exhibition was so decidedly superior to the rest, that they reported him as the best fitted for the situation.

        For a time this prospect was dashed. On the report coming before the presbytery, a majority of the members were alarmed at the idea of placing a Negro in such a situation, and poor Tom was voted out of all the benefits of the competition. He suffered dreadfully from this sentence, which made him feel keenly the misfortune of his colour, and the awkwardness of his situation in the world. But the people most interested in the matter felt as indignant at the treatment which he had received, as he could possibly feel depressed. The heritors, among whom the late Duke of Buccleuch was the chief, took up the case so warmly, that it was resolved to set up Tom in opposition to the teacher appointed by the presbytery, and to give him an exact duplicate of the salary which they already


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paid to that person. A place was hastily fitted up for his reception, and he was immediately installed in office, with the universal approbation of both parents and children. The other school was completely deserted; and the Negro, who had come to this country to learn, soon found himself fully engaged in teaching, and in the receipt of an income more than adequate to his wants.

        To the gratification of his friends, and confusion of face to the presbytery, he proved an excellent teacher. He had a way of communicating knowledge eminently successful, and was as much beloved by his pupils as he was respected by those who employed him. On the Saturdays, he walked to Hawick (eight miles distant), to make an exhibition of what he had himself acquired during the week, to the master of an academy there; thus keeping up his own gradual advance in knowledge. His untiring zeal for religious instruction shewed itself in his always returning to Hawick next day--(of course an equal extent of travel)--to attend the church.

        After he had conducted the school a year or two, finding himself in possession of about £20., he determined to spend a winter at college. He waited upon Mr. Moncrieff (the gentleman who had enabled him to get the lexicon, and who had since done him many other good offices), to consult him concerning the step he was about to take. Mr. Moncrieff, though accustomed to regard him as a wonder, was surprised at this new project. He asked the amount of his cash. On being told that £20. was all, and that he contemplated attending the Latin, Greek, and mathematical classes, he informed him this would never do: the money would hardly pay his fees. Tom was much disconcerted at this; but his generous friend soon relieved him, by placing in his hands an order upon a merchant in Edinburgh for what ever might be required to support. him for a winter at college.

        He pursued his way to Edinburgh with his £20. On


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applying to the Professor of Latin for a ticket to his class, he looked upon him with wonder, and asked if he had acquired any rudimental knowledge of the language. Mr. Jenkins, as he may now be called, said modestly that he had studied Latin for a considerable time, and was anxious to complete his acquaintance with it. Mr. P--him with a ticket, for which he generously refused to take the usual fee. Of the other two professors to whom he applied, both stared as much as the former, and only one took the fee. He was thus enabled to spend the winter in a most valuable course of instruction; and next spring returned to Teviot-head, and resumed his professional duties.

        A gentleman, animated by the best intentions, subsequently recommended Thomas Jenkins to the Christian Knowledge Society, for a missionary among the colonial Slaves; and he was induced to go out to the Mauritius, where he attained eminence as a teacher, and is probably still living there.

NOTICE OF AN INTELLIGENT NEGRO.

COMMUNICATED BY CAPTAIN WAUCHOPE, R.N., IN A LETTER TO THE AUTHOR, DATED FEB. 27, 1848.

DEAR SIR,

        I think the following statement may be worthy of a place in the volume you are now publishing.

        In 1837, I commanded her Majesty's frigate "Thalia," on the west coast of Africa; and when in Clarence Cove, in the island of Fernando Po, I spent the day on shore with that very worthy and excellent man, Mr. Becroft, who at that time was in charge of the establishment there. My purser had occasion that forenoon to draw a bill on government for £250., which was cashed by Mr. Scott, a Negro. I dined with Mr. Becroft the same day, and Mr. Scott, who was chief clerk of the establishment, was one of the guests. I was struck with his intelligence and


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gentlemanly behaviour, and when alone with Mr. Becroft afterwards, I mentioned how much surprised I had been with the whole of Mr. Scott's conduct and conversation: his reply was--"You will be more surprised when I tell you that ten years ago Mr, Scott was in the hold of a Slaver."

        He had been educated at Sierra Leone, and found his way afterwards to Fernando Po. I believe that few European intellects would have made such a stride in so short a space of time.

I have the honour to remain, sir,

Your obedient servant,

R. WAUCHOPE,

CAPTAIN R.N.


FURTHER OBSERVATIONS RESPECTING NEGRO CHARACTER AND ABILITY; COMMUNICATED BY CAPT. WAUCHOPE, R.N.

Dacre, near Penrith, April 8, 1848.

        DEAR SIR,--Although I am not able to give you any further account of the history of Mr. Scott, whom I mentioned to you in my last letter, yet I cannot refrain from giving you my notes of the state of the liberated Africans at Sierra Leone during the years 1834-5-6-7, when cruizing upon the west coast of Africa in command of H.M. Ship Thalia, being then flag-captain to Sir Patrick Campbell.

        We were invited to an official dinner at the Chief Justice's, at which were present most of the official people of rank, and many of the principal merchants of Free Town. After dinner, the conversation turned upon the state of the liberated Africans, of whom all spoke very highly. The Chief Justice appealed to the gentlemen of authority present, as well as to the merchants, whether, upon a trial where life or property were concerned, a liberated African jury was not as much to be trusted as any jury in Great


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Britain, and all agreed that they would as soon trust to the verdict of a jury of liberated African householders as to any jury of the same description in England. This, I think, requires no comment, as I consider it a decided proof of the equality of intellect between the White and Coloured man when cultivated.

        There have been many opinions respecting the character of the Coloured people brought over to Sierra Leone and other places. We hear one opinion given--that they are generally a hard working, intelligent, and honest people; another asserts that they are dishonest and treacherous; and a third, that such is the indolence of their character, that nothing will induce them to work beyond what is absolutely necessary to supply the wants of nature, in fact, that their indolence appears to be incurable; but, however difficult it may be to reconcile these different opinions, there is truth in them all. When at Sierra Leone, I took much pains to inquire about the different descriptions of Africans who were brought there from the coast, and I found that in every cargo of Slaves there probably were three descriptions of people. First, the man who had been a Slave from infancy in his own country, when brought to Sierra Leone would be found to be incurably idle and inferior in intellect: his beau ideal of happiness, and after which he ardently longed, was repose from labour and freedom from Slavery, both of which were connected together in his mind; and, when restored to freedom, indolence and sleep appeared his greatest enjoyments. Secondly, criminals who had been sold into Slavery in their own land as malefactors; such as are constantly found pilfering, and prowling about the native villages, picking up chickens or whatever they can lay their hands upon. The third class, are those who, in their own country, were free men and independent characters; these are noted for being both honest, industrious, and of superior intellect.

        I quote these remarks from my notes made at the time,


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from information obtained from those who were well acquainted with the Negro character; that these last were a hard working, money making people, and that it not unfrequently happens that a man, who had only been landed a month or six weeks from a Slave vessel, will return to the barracks, where the new people are placed on first landing, and deposit ten shillings, which entitles him to a boy for an apprentice, having obtained this money by cutting wood, &c., and selling it at Free Town. With this help he cultivates his little plantation, and makes the most he can of all its produce: his great ambition is to build a stone house at Free Town, and I have seen houses in all states of forwardness, from the first purchase of the ground for a site in one place; in another, a site railed off and a hole dug for a foundation, waiting for more money to get stone and commence building: again, houses may be found half built and in a state of forwardness, and last of all, finished and completely furnished, and most comfortably so. I have visited these houses, and can remember the inventory I took of one of the dining rooms; there was a handsome mahogany table, a mahogany black hair sofa, mahogany chairs, a mahogany sideboard containing cut glass and decanters, a German mirror on one side of the room and a map of Palestine on the other. I was informed that there were many liberated Africans at Sierra Leone possessed of very considerable wealth.

        It is not fair to draw the Coloured man's character from the Negro found in a state of Slavery, (or even from the next generation to this), a state which reduces both the Black and the White to the same level.

        When Lord Exmouth bombarded Algiers, he sent a person who understood the language of the Coast to negotiate for the liberation of European Slaves, and that person informed a friend of mine that he found the White Slaves in a more degraded condition, both as to intellect and appearance, than he had ever found the Negro when in the


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same state of Slavery. I may also here mention, that in 1835, the lawyer generally employed by the captains of Slavers as their counsel was a Black man; I cannot at present recollect his name, but I have spoken to him: he was esteemed a good lawyer, and a very clever man.

I remain, dear Sir,

Your very obedient servant,

R. WAUCHOPE, (R.N.)

To Wilson Armistead, Esq., Leeds.


THE HOSPITABLE NEGRO WOMAN.

        The enterprising traveller, Mungo Park, was employed by the African Association, to explore the interior regions of Africa, in which he encountered many dangers and difficulties. His wants were often supplied, and his distresses alleviated, by the kindness and compassion of the Negroes. He gives the following interesting account of the hospitable treatment he received from a poor Negro woman.

        "Being arrived at Sego, the capital of the kingdom of Bambarra, on the Niger, I wished to pass over to that part of the town in which the king resides. The people who crossed the river, carried information to Mansong the king, that a White man was coming to see him. He immediately sent one of his chief men, who informed me that the king could not possibly see me, until he knew what had brought me into his country. He advised me to lodge for the night in a village to which he pointed. As there was no remedy, I set off for the village; where I found, to my great mortification, no person would admit me into his house. From prejudices infused into their minds, I was regarded with astonishment and fear; and was obliged to sit the whole day without victuals, in the shade of a tree.

         "The night threatened to be very uncomfortable; the Wind rose, and there was great appearance of a heavy rain.


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The wild beasts, too, were so numerous in the neighbourhood, that I should have been under the necessity of climbing up the tree, and resting among the branches. About sun-set, however, as I was preparing to pass the night in this manner, and had turned my horse loose, that he might graze at liberty, a Negro woman, returning from the labours of the field, stopped to observe me; and perceiving that I was weary and dejected, inquired into my situation. I briefly explained it to her; after which, with looks of great compassion, she took up my saddle and bridle and told me to follow her. Having conducted me into her hut, she lighted a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and told me I might remain there for the night. Finding I was very hungry, she went out to procure me something to eat; and returned in a short time with a very fine fish, which, having caused to be half broiled upon some embers, she gave me for supper. The rights of hospitality being thus performed towards a stranger in distress, my worthy benefactress (pointing to the mat, and telling me I might sleep there without apprehension) called to the female part of her family, who had stood gazing on me all the while in astonishment, to resume their task of spinning cotton; in which they continued to employ themselves great part of the night.

        "They lightened their labour by songs, one of which was composed extempore: for I was myself the subject of it. It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in a chorus. The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words literally translated, were these:--'The winds roared and the rain fell. The poor White Man, faint and weary came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring him milk--no wife to grind his corn.' Chorus. 'Let us pity the White man; no mother has he to bring him milk--no wife to grind his corn.' "

        These simple and affecting sentiments have been very beautifully versified in the following lines:--


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                         The loud wind roared, the rain fell fast;
                         The White man yielded to the blast.
                         He sat him down beneath the tree,
                         For weary, sad, and faint was he:
                         And ah! no wife or mother's care,
                         For him the milk or corn prepare.


                         CHORUS.
                         The White man shall our pity share;
                         Alas! no wife or mother's care,
                         For him the milk or corn prepare.


                         The storm is o'er, the tempest past,
                         And mercy's voice has hush'd the blast
                         The wind is heard in whispers low,
                         The White man far away must go;
                         But ever in his heart will bear,
                         Remembrance of the Negro's care.


                         CHORUS.
                         Go, White man, go; but with thee bear
                         The Negro's wish, the Negro's prayer,
                         Remembrance of the Negro's care.

        "I could never read these lines," says Dr. Madden, "without feeling the lump in the throat that troubles a man's deglutition when he stumbles unexpectedly on a generous act that is the genuine impulse of nature."

        "Trifling as these events may appear to the reader," concludes Mungo Park, "they were to me affecting in the highest degree. I was oppressed by such unexpected kindness; and sleep fled from my eyes. In the morning, I presented to my compassionate landlady two of the four brass buttons which remained on my waistcoat; the only recompence it was in my power to make her."

ATTOBAH CUGOANO

        Was born in the town of Agimaque, on the coast of Fantin, in Africa; and was dragged from his country, with twenty other children of both sexes, by European robbers, who, brandishing their pistols and sabres, threatened to kill them if they attempted to escape. "They confined


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us," he says, "and soon I heard nothing but the clanging of chains, the sound of the whip, and the cries of my fellow prisoners." In this dreadful situation he was carried to Grenada, and sold into Slavery.

        Cuogoano was indebted to the generosity of Lord Hoth, who liberated him and carried him to England, where, in 1788, he was in the service of Cosway, the first painter to the Prince of Wales. Piatoli, an Italian author, who, during a long residence in London, was particularly acquainted with Cugoano, then about forty years of age, and whose wife was an English woman, praises this African highly; he speaks in strong terms of his piety, his mildness of character, modesty, integrity, and talents.

        Like Othello, Cugoano has described in an affecting manner, the heart-rending spectacle of those unfortunate Africans, who are forced to bid an eternal adieu to their native country--to fathers and mothers, husbands, brothers and children, invoking heaven and earth, throwing themselves, bathed in tears, into each other's arms asunder! "This spectacle," says he, "calculated to move the hearts of monsters, does not that of the Slave dealer." At Grenada, he saw Negroes lacerated by the whip, because, instead of working, they went to church on the Sabbath. He saw others have their teeth broken, because they dared to suck the sugar cane.

        Cugoano published his reflections on the Slave Trade, and the Slavery of Negroes, in English; and it was also translated into French. He raised his voice to spread abroad the spirit of religion, and prove from the Scriptures, that the stealing, sale, and purchase of men, and their detention in a state of Slavery, are crimes of the deepest die. His writings are not very methodical, but they speak the language of a feeling heart. There are repetitions, because grief is verbose. An individual deeply affected, is always afraid of not having said enough--of not being sufficiently understood.


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        After some observations on the cause of difference of colour in the human species, as climate, soil, regimen, &c., he asks, whether colour or bodily form give a right to enslave men. "The Negroes," he observes, "have never crossed the seas to steal White Men." "Europeans," he says, "complain of the barbarism of the Negroes, while their conduct towards Negroes is horribly barbarous. To steal men, to rob them of their liberty, is worse than to plunder them of their goods. On national crimes," he adds, "heaven sometimes inflicts national punishments. Besides, injustice is sooner or later fatal to its author." This idea is conformable to the great plan of religion; and ought to be indelibly impressed on every human heart.

        Cugoano makes a striking comparison between ancient and modern Slavery; and proves that the last, which prevails among professing Christians, is worse than that among Pagans, and also worse than that among the Hebrews, who did not steal men to enslave them, nor sell them without their consent; and who put no fine on the head of a fugitive. In Deuteronomy, it is formally said: "Thou shalt not deliver up to his master a fugitive Slave, who in thy house has sought an asylum." He passes from the Old to the New Testament, and states the inconsistency of Slavery with Christ's command, to "do to others as we would they should do to us."

        In Cugoano, we may behold talents without much literary cultivation, to which a good education would have given great advantage.

WILLIAM HAMILTON

        Was originally a Slave on the Bog Estate, near Hopeton, Jamaica. His sufferings during the last years of Slavery in that Island, were given in evidence before the Apprenticeship Committee of the House of Commons.

        Hamilton was the only Slave on the estate who dared


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to attend a place of worship; the only one of upwards of 400 Negroes who dared to live with his partner in marriage. For these offences he was degraded from being a first-rate mechanic and copper-smith, to the rank of a common field labourer, and sent to a swampy estate, 30 miles distant from his wife and family, where he narrowly escaped with his life. He had learned to read and write when a boy, by stealth, and during his banishment he kept a journal, which, though it is chiefly the record of his spiritual conflicts and his religious labours among the neglected heathen Negroes with whom his lot was cast, yet contains many incidental allusions to the sufferings of himself and his fellow Slaves. It affords an interior picture of Slavery, which exceeds perhaps, any that the world has yet seen; it lifts a veil that conceals the true lineaments of Slavery, which forcibly impress the mind with the conviction, that the worst features of that horrible state of society, neither have been, nor can be, laid open to public view.

        William Hamilton, soon after the introduction of the Apprenticeship system, purchased his freedom by valuation, for £209; and has since been employed as the overseer of the Lenox estate. He has also purchased 70 acres of land for himself. "Though self educated," say Sturge and Harvey, "he is evidently a person of an intelligent and reflecting mind, which has been improved by reading and disciplined by a life of adversity, such as rarely falls to the lot of a Slave."

PHILLIS WHEATLEY.

        Although the state of Massachusetts was never so deeply involved in the African Slave Trade as most of the other states of America, previous to their separation from Great Britain, many Negroes were brought into its ports, and sold for Slaves.

        In 1761, Mrs. John Wheatley, of Boston, went to the


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Slave-market, to select, from the crowd of unfortunates there offered for sale, a Negro girl, whom she might train, by gentle usage, to serve as an attendant during her old age. Amongst a group of more robust and healthy children just imported from Africa, the lady observed one, slenderly formed, and suffering apparently from change of climate and the miseries of the voyage. The interesting countenance and humble modesty of the poor little stranger, induced Mrs. Wheatley to overlook the disadvantage of a weak state of health, and Phillis, as the young Slave was subsequently named, was purchased in preference to her healthier companions, and taken home to the abode of her mistress. The child was almost in a state of perfect nakedness, her only covering being a strip of dirty carpet. These things were soon remedied by the attention of the lady into whose hands the young African had been thrown, and in a short time the effects of comfortable clothing and food were visible in her returning health.

        Phillis, at the time of her purchase, was between seven and eight years old, and the intention of Mrs. Wheatley was to train her up to the common occupations of a menial servant. But the marks of extraordinary intelligence which the young Negress soon evinced, induced her mistress's daughter to teach her to read; and such was the rapidity with which this was effected, that in sixteen months from the time of her arrival in the family, the African child had so mastered the English language, to which she was an utter stranger before, as to read with ease the most difficult parts of Scripture. This uncommon docility altered the intentions of the family regarding Phillis, and in future she was kept constantly about the person of her mistress, whose affections she entirely won by her amiable disposition and propriety of demeanour. All her knowledge was obtained without any instruction, except what was given her in the family; and the art of writing she acquired entirely from her own exertion and industry. In the short period


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of four years from the time of her being stolen from Africa, and when only 12 years of age, she was capable of writing letters to her friends on various subjects. In 1765, she wrote to Samson Occum, the Indian minister, while he was in London.

        The young Negress soon became an object of very general attention and astonishment, and in a few years she corresponded with several persons in high stations. At this period neither in the mother country nor in the colonies was much attention bestowed on the education of the labouring classes of the Whites themselves, and much less, it may be supposed, was expended on the mental cultivation of the Slave population. It is scarcely possible to suppose that any care should have been expended on the mind of the young Negress before her abduction from her native land; and indeed her tender years almost precluded the possibility even of such culture as Africa could afford. Of her infancy, spent in that unhappy land, Phillis had but one solitary recollection, but that is an interesting one. She remembered that every morning her mother poured out water before the rising sun--a religious rite, doubtless, of the district from which the child was carried away. Thus, every morning, when the day broke over the land and the home which fate had bestowed on her, was Phillis reminded of the tender mother who had watched over her infancy, but had been unable to protect her from the hand of the merciless breakers-up of all domestic and social ties. The young Negro girl, however, regarded her abduction with no feelings of regret, but with thankfulness, as having been the means of bringing her to a land where a light, unknown in her far-off home, shone as a guide to the feet and a lamp to the path.

        As Phillis grew up to womanhood, her progress and attainments kept pace with the promise of her earlier years. She attracted the notice of the literary characters of the place, who supplied her with books, and encouraged the


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ripening of her intellectual powers. This was greatly assisted by her mistress, who treated her like a child of the family--admitted her to her own table--and introduced her, as an equal, into the best society of Boston. Notwithstanding these honours, Phillis never departed from the humble and unassuming deportment which distinguished her when she stood, a little trembling alien, to be sold, like a beast of the field, in the Slave-market. Never did she presume upon the indulgence of those benevolent friends who regarded only her worth and her genius, and overlooked in her favour all the disadvantages of caste and of colour. So far was Phillis from repining at, or resenting the prejudices which the long usages of society had implanted, too deeply to be easily eradicated, in the minds even of the most humane of a more favoured race, that she uniformly respected them, and, on being invited to the tables of the great and the wealthy, chose always a place apart for herself, that none might be offended at a thing so unusual as sitting at the same board with a Woman of Colour--a child of a long-degraded race.

        Such was the modest and amiable disposition of Phillis Wheatley: her literary talents and acquirements accorded with the intrinsic worth of her character. She studied the Latin tongue, and if we may judge from a translation of one of Ovid's tales, appears to have made no inconsiderable progress in it. In her leisure moments she often indulged herself in writing poetry. At the early age of fourteen, she appears first to have attempted literary composition; between this period and the age of nineteen, the whole of her poems which were given to the world seem to have been written. They were published in London in 1773, in a small octavo volume of above 120 pages, containing 39 pieces, which she dedicated to the Countess of Huntingdon. This work has gone through several editions in England and the United States, the genuineness of which was established in the first page of the volume, by a declaration


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of the Governor of Massachusetts, the Lieutenant-Governor, her master, and fifteen of the most respectable inhabitants of Boston, who were acquainted with her talents, and the circumstances of her life.

        Most of her productions have a religious or moral bearing; all breathe a soft and sentimental feeling. Many of them were written to commemorate the decease of friends. The following lines she composed on the death of a young gentleman of great promise:--


                         Who taught thee conflict with the powers of night,
                         To vanquish Satan in the fields of fight?
                         Who strung thy feeble arms with might unknown?
                         How great thy conquest, and how bright thy crown!
                         War with each princedom, throne, and power is o'er;
                         The scene is ended, to return no more.
                         Oh, could my muse thy seat on high behold,
                         How decked with laurel, and enriched with gold!
                         Oh, could she hear what praise thy harp employs,
                         How sweet thine anthems, how divine thy joys,
                         What heavenly grandeur should exalt her strain!
                         What holy raptures in her numbers reign!
                         To soothe the troubles of the mind to peace,
                         To still the tumult of life's tossing seas,
                         To case the anguish of the parent's heart,
                         What shall my sympathising verse impart?
                         Where is the balm to heal so deep a wound?
                         Where shall a sovereign remedy be found?
                         Look, gracious spirit! from thy heavenly bower,
                         And thy full joys into their bosoms pour:
                         The raging tempest of their griefs control,
                         And spread the dawn of glory through the soul,
                         To eye the path the saint departed trod,
                         And trace him to the bosom of his God.

ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT.


                         No more the flowery scenes of pleasure rise,
                         Nor charming prospects greet the mental eyes;
                         No more with joy we view that lovely face,
                         Smiling, disportive, flush'd with every grace.


                         The tear of sorrow flows from every eye,
                         Groans answer groans, and sighs to sighs reply;


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                         What sudden pangs shot through each aching heart,
                         When Death, thy messenger, despatched his dart,
                         Thy dread attendants, all-destroying power,
                         Hurried the infant to his mortal hour.
                         Couldst thou unpitying close those radiant eyes?
                         Or failed his artless beauties to surprise?
                         Could not his innocence thy stroke control,
                         Thy purpose shake, and soften all thy soul?


                         The blooming babe, with shade of Death o'erspread,
                         No more shall smile, no more shall raise his head,
                         But, like a branch that from the tree is torn,
                         Falls prostrate, wither'd, languid, and forlorn.
                         "Where flies my child?" 'tis thus I seem to hear
                         The parent ask:--"Some angel tell me where
                         He wings his passage through the yielding air?"
                         Methinks a cherub bending from the skies
                         Observes the question; and serene replies,
                         "In heaven's high palaces your babe appears;
                         Prepare to meet him, and dismiss your tears."


                         Shall not the intelligence your grief restrain,
                         And turn the mournful to the cheerful strain?
                         Cease your complaints, suspend each rising sigh,
                         Cease to accuse the Ruler of the sky.
                         Parents, no more indulge the falling tear;
                         Let Faith to heaven's refulgent domes repair;
                         There see your infant, like a seraph glow,
                         What charms celestial in his numbers flow,
                         Melodious, while the soul enchanting strain
                         Dwells on his tongue, and fills the ethereal plain!
                         Enough! for ever cease your murmuring breath,
                         Not as a foe, but friend, converse with Death,
                         Since to the port of happiness unknown
                         He brought that treasure which you call your own;
                         The gift of heaven entrusted to your hand,
                         Cheerful resign at the divine command:
                         Not at your bar must sovereign Wisdom stand.

ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT.


                         Through airy fields he wings his instant flight
                         To purer regions of celestial light;
                         Enlarged he sees unnumbered systems roll,
                         Beneath him sees the universal whole,
                         Planets on planets run their destined round,
                         And circling wonders fill the vast profound.


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                         Th' ethereal now, now the empyreal skies
                         With glowing splendours strike his wondering eyes:
                         The angels view him with delight unknown,
                         Press his soft hand, and seat him on his throne;
                         Then smiling thus:--"To this divine abode,
                         The seat of saints, of seraphs, and of God,
                         Thrice welcome thou." The raptured babe replies,
                         "Thanks to my God, who snatched me to the skies,
                         Ere vice triumphant had possessed my heart,
                         Ere yet the tempter had beguiled my heart,
                         Ere yet on sin's base actions I was bent,
                         Ere yet I knew temptation's dire intent;
                         Ere yet the lash for wicked actions felt,
                         Ere vanity had led my way to guilt,
                         Early arrived at my celestial goal,
                         Full glories rush on my expanding soul."
                         Joyful he spoke: exulting cherubs round,
                         Clapped their glad wings, the heavenly vaults resound.


                         Say parents, why this unavailing moan?
                         Why heave your pensive bosoms with the groan?
                         To Charles, the happy subject of my song,
                         A brighter world, a nobler strain belongs.
                         Say would you tear him from the realms above,
                         By thoughtless wishes, and mistaken love?
                         Doth his felicity increase your pain?
                         Or could you welcome to this world again
                         The heir of bliss? with a superior air
                         Methinks he answers with a smile severe,
                         "Thrones and dominions cannot tempt me there."


                         But still you cry, "Can we the sigh forbear,
                         And still, and still, must we not pour the tear?
                         Our only hope, more dear than vital breath,
                         Twelve moons revolved, becomes the prey of death
                         Delightful infant, nightly visions give
                         Thee to our arms, and we with joy receive,
                         We fain would clasp the phantom to our breast
                         The phantom flies, and leaves the soul unblest."


                         To yon bright regions let your faith ascend,
                         Prepare to join your dearest infant friend
                         In pleasures without measure, without end.


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ON THE DEATH OF A LOVELY GIRL, FIVE YEARS OF AGE.


                         From dark abodes to fair ethereal light,
                         The enraptured innocent has winged her fight;
                         On the kind bosom of eternal love
                         She finds unknown beatitude above.
                         This know, ye parents, nor her loss deplore,
                         She feels the iron hand of pain no more;
                         The dispensations of unerring grace,
                         Should turn your sorrows into grateful praise;
                         Let then no tears for her henceforward flow,
                         Nor suffer distress in this dark vale below.


                         Her morning sun, which rose divinely bright,
                         Was quickly mantled with the gloom of night;
                         But hear in heaven's blest bowers your child so fair,
                         And learn to imitate her language there.
                         "Thou, Lord, whom I behold with glory crowned,
                         By what sweet name, and in what tuneful sound
                         Wilt thou be praised? Seraphic powers are faint
                         Infinite love and majesty to paint.
                         To thee let all their graceful voices raise,
                         And saints and angels join their songs of praise."


                         Perfect in bliss, now from her heavenly home
                         She looks, and smiling beckons you to come;
                         Why then, fond parents, why these fruitless groans?
                         Restrain your tears, and cease your plaintive moans.
                         Freed from a world of sin, and snares, and pain,
                         Why would ye wish your fair one back again?
                         Nay--bow resigned: let hope your grief control,
                         And check the rising tumult of the soul.
                         Calm in the prosperous and the adverse day,
                         Adore the God who gives and takes away;
                         Behold him in all, his holy name revere,
                         Upright your actions, and your hearts sincere,
                         Till having sailed through life's tempestuous sea,
                         And from its rocks, and boisterous billows free,
                         Yourselves, safe landed on the blissful shore,
                         Shall join your happy child to part no more.

        In a poem addressed by Phillis Wheatley to a clergyman on the death of his wife some beautiful lines occur. After describing the deceased as in a state of perfect bliss, "with


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peerless glory crowned," she conveys encouragement bereaved one by representing him as addressed by her thus from the empyreal sky"--


                         "O come away," her longing spirit cries,
                         "And share with me the raptures of the skies.
                         Our bliss divine to mortals is unknown,
                         Immortal life and glory are our own.
                         Here too may the dear pledges of our love
                         Arrive, and taste with us the joys above;
                         Attune the harp to more than mortal lays,
                         And join with us the tribute of their praise,
                         To him who died stern justice to atone,
                         And make eternal glory an our own."

        The following is a portion of an epitaph Phillis composed for a Minister of the Gospel, who died much esteemed:--


                         Lo, here a man, redeemed by Jesus' blood,
                         A sinner once, but now a saint with God;
                         Behold ye rich, ye poor, ye fools, ye wise,
                         Nor let his monument your heart surprise.
                         He sought the paths of piety and truth,
                         By these made happy from his early youth!
                         In blooming years that grace divine he felt,
                         Which rescues sinners from the chains of guilt.
                         Mourn him, ye indigent, whom he has fed,
                         And henceforth seek, like him, for living bread;
                         E'en Christ, the bread descending from above,
                         And ask an interest in his saving love.
                         Mourn him, ye youth, to whom he oft has told
                         God's gracious wonders from the times of old.
                         I too, have cause this mighty loss to mourn,
                         For he my monitor will not return.
                         O when shall we to his blest state arrive?
                         When the same graces in our bosoms thrive.

        Many passages in the following poem "On the Providence of God," evince a very considerable reach of thought, and no mean power of expression:--


                         Arise, my soul, on wings enraptured rise,
                         To praise the monarch of the earth and skies.
                         Whose goodness and beneficence appear
                         As round its centre moves the rolling year,


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                         Or when the morning glows with rosy charms,
                         Or the sun slumbers in the ocean's arms:
                         Of light divine be a rich portion lent
                         To guide my soul, and favour my intent.
                         Celestial muse, my arduous fight sustain,
                         And raise my mind to a seraphic strain!


                         Adored for ever be the God unseen,
                         Which round the sun revolves this vast machine,
                         Though to his eye its mass a point appears:
                         Adored the God that whirls surrounding spheres,
                         Who first ordained that mighty Sol should reign
                         The peerless monarch of the ethereal train:
                         * * *From him the extended earth
                         Vigour derives and every flowery birth;
                         Vast through her orb she moves with easy grace,
                         Around her Phoebus in unbounded space;
                         True to her course the impetuous storm derides,
                         Triumphant o'er the winds, and surging tides.


                         Almighty, in these wondrous works of thine,
                         What Power, what Wisdom, and what Goodness shine!
                         And are thy wonders, Lord, by men explored,
                         And yet creating glory unadored?
                         Creation smiles in various beauty gay,
                         While day to night, and night succeeds to day:
                         The wisdom which attends Jehovah's ways,
                         Shines most conspicuous in the solar rays;
                         Without them, destitute of heat and light,
                         This world would be the reign of endless night. * * * * * *


                         Hail! smiling morn, that from the orient main
                         Ascending dost adorn the heavenly plain.
                         So rich, so various are thy beauteous dyes,
                         That spread through all the circuit of the skies,
                         That full of thee, my soul in rapture soars,
                         And thy great God, the cause of all adores.
                         O'er beings infinite his love extends'
                         His wisdom rules them, and his power defends:
                         When tasks diurnal tire the human frame,
                         The spirits faint, and dim the vital flame,
                         Then too that ever active bounty shines
                         Which not infinity of space confines.
                         The sable veil, that Night in silence draws,
                         Conceals effects, but shows the Almighty Cause,


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                         Night seals in sleep the wide creation fair,
                         And all is peaceful but the brow of care.
                         Again, gay Phoebus, as the day before,
                         Wakes every eye, save what shall wake no more;
                         Again the face of nature is renewed,
                         Which still appears harmonious, fair, and good.
                         May grateful strains salute the smiling morn
                         Before its beams the eastern hills adorn!
                         Shall day to day and night to night conspire
                         To show the goodness of the Almighty Sire?
                         This mental voice shall man regardless hear,
                         And never, never raise the filial prayer?


                         But see the sons of vegetation rise,
                         And spread their leafy banners to the skies;
                         All-wise, Almighty Providence we trace
                         In trees, and plants, and all the flowery race,
                         As clear as in the nobler frame of man,
                         All lovely ensigns of the Maker's plan.
                         The power the same that forms a ray of light,
                         That called creation from eternal night.
                         "Let there be light!" he said; from his profound
                         Old Chaos heard, and trembled at the sound:
                         Swift as the word, inspired by power divine,
                         Behold the light around its Maker shine,
                         The first fair product of the omnific God,
                         And now through all his works diffused abroad.
                         As reason's powers by day our God disclose,
                         So may we trace him in the night's repose.
                         Say, what is sleep? and dreams, how passing strange!
                         When action ceases and ideas range
                         Licentious and unbounded o'er the plains,
                         Where fancy's queen in giddy triumph reigns.
                         Hear in soft strains the dreaming lover sigh
                         To a kind fair, and rave in jealousy;
                         On pleasure now, and now on vengeance bent,
                         The labouring passions struggle for a vent.
                         What power, oh man! thy reason then restores,
                         So long suspended in nocturnal hours?
                         What secret hand restores the mental train,
                         And gives improved thine active powers again?
                         From thee, oh man! What gratitude should rise!
                         And when from balmy sleep thou op'st thine eyes,
                         Let thy first thoughts be praises to the skies.


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                         How merciful our God, who thus imparts
                         O'erflowing tides of joy to human hearts,
                         When wants and woes might be our righteous lot,
                         Our God forgetting, by our God forgot! * * * * * *
                         Among the mental powers a question rose,
                         "What most the image of the Eternal shows?
                         When thus to Reason (so let fancy rove)
                         Her great companion spoke, immortal Love:--


                         "Say, mighty power, how long shall strife prevail,
                         And with its murmurs load the whispering gale?
                         Refer the cause to Recollection's shrine,
                         Who loud proclaims my origin divine,
                         The cause whence heaven and earth began to be
                         And is not man immortalized by me?
                         Reason let this most causeless strife subside,"
                         Thus Love pronounced, and Reason thus replied,
                         "Thy birth, celestial queen! 'tis mine to own,
                         In thee resplendent is the Godhead shown;
                         Thy words persuade, my soul enraptured feels,
                         Resistless beauty which thy smile reveals."
                         Ardent she spoke, and kindling at her charms,
                         She clasped the blooming goddess in her arms.


                         Infinite love, where'er we turn our eyes,
                         Appears: this every creature's wants supplies,
                         This most is heard in Nature's constant voice,
                         This makes the morn, and this the eve rejoice
                         This bids the fostering rains and dews descend
                         To nourish all, to serve one general end,
                         The good of man; yet man ungrateful pays
                         But little homage, and but little praise.
                         To him whose works arrayed with mercy shine,
                         What songs should rise, how constant, how divine!

        These lines, written by an African Slave girl, at the age of sixteen or eighteen, are equal to many that appear in standard collections of English poetry. They are, if anything, superior in harmony, and are not inferior in depth of thought.

        Phillis Wheatley felt a deep interest in everything affecting the liberty of her fellow-creatures, of whatever condition, race, or colour. She expressed herself with much


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feeling in an address to the Earl of Dartmouth, secretary of state for North America, on the occasion of some relaxation of the system of haughty severity which the home government then pursued towards the colonies, and which ultimately caused their separation and independence.


                         Hail, happy day, when smiling like the morn,
                         Fair freedom rose New England to adorn: * * * * *
                         Long lost to realms beneath the northern skies,
                         She shines supreme, while hated faction dies:
                         Soon as appeared the goddess long desired,
                         Sick at the view, she languished and expired;
                         Thus from the splendours of the morning light
                         The owl in sadness seeks the eaves of night.


                         No more, America, in mournful strain
                         Of wrongs and grievance unredressed complain,
                         No longer shalt thou dread the iron chain,
                         Which wanton tyranny with lawless hand
                         Made, and with it meant to enslave the land.


                         Should you, my lord, while you peruse my song,
                         Wonder from whence my love of freedom sprung;
                         Whence flow those wishes for the common good,
                         By feeling hearts alone best understood--
                         I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate,
                         Was snatched from Afric's fancied happy seat.
                         What pangs excruciating must molest,
                         What sorrows labour in my parents' breast!
                         Steeled was that soul, and by no misery moved,
                         That from a father seized his babe beloved:
                         Such, such my case. And can I then but pray
                         Others may never feel tyrannic sway!

        The other compositions of this African poetess are on Virtue, Humanity, Freedom, Imagination, &c. The following lines contain a beautiful address and prayer to the Deity.


                         Great God, incomprehensible, unknown
                         To sense, we bow at thine exalted throne.
                         O, while we crave thine excellence to feel,
                         Thy sacred spirit to our hearts reveal,
                         And give us of that mercy to partake,
                         Which thou hast promised for the Saviour's sake!


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        One of her pieces is an address to a young painter of her own colour. On seeing his works, she vented her grief for the sorrows of her countrymen, in a pathetic strain.

        After the publication of her volume, and about the twenty-first year of her age, Phillis was liberated; but she continued in her master's family, where she was much respected for her good conduct. Many of the most respectable inhabitants of Boston and its vicinity, visiting at the house, were pleased with an opportunity of conversing with her, and of observing her modest deportment, and the cultivation of her mind.

        The constitution of Phillis being naturally delicate, her health became such as to alarm her friends. A sea voyage was recommended by her physicians, and it was arranged that she should take a voyage to England in company with a son of Mrs. Wheatley, who was proceeding thither on commercial business. The amiable Negro girl had hitherto never been parted from the side of her benefactress since the hour of her adoption into the family; and though the necessity of the separation was acknowledged, it was equally painful to both. She recorded her feelings upon this occasion in the following lines:--

A FAREWELL TO AMERICA;

ADDRESSED TO MRS. WHEATLEY.


                         Adieu, New England's smiling meads,
                         Adieu, the flowery plain:
                         I leave thine opening charms, O spring,
                         And tempt the roaring main.


                         In vain for me the flowerets rise,
                         And boast their gaudy pride,
                         While here beneath the northern skies
                         I mourn for health denied.


                         Celestial maid of rosy hue,
                         O let me feel thy reign;
                         I languish till thy face I view,
                         Thy vanished joys regain.


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                         Susannah mourns, nor can I bear
                         To see the chrystal shower,
                         Or mark the tender falling tear
                         At sad departure's hour;


                         Not unregarding can I see
                         Her soul with grief opprest,
                         But let no sighs, no groans for me
                         Steal from her pensive breast.


                         In vain the feathered warblers sing,
                         In vain the garden blooms,
                         And on the bosom of the spring
                         Breathes out her soft perfumes.


                         While for Britannia's distant shore
                         We sweep the liquid plain,
                         And with astonished eyes explore
                         The wide extended main.


                         Lo! Health appears, celestial dame,
                         Complacent and serene,
                         With Hebe's mantle o'er her frame,
                         With soul-delighting mien.


                         For thee, Britannia, I resign
                         New England's smiling fields;
                         To view again her charms divine,
                         What joy the prospect yields.

        Phillis was received and admired in the first circles of English society; and it was here that her poems were first given to the world, with a portrait of the authoress attached to them. From this portrait, her countenance appears to have been pleasing, and the form of her head highly intellectual. On the engraving being transmitted to Mrs. Wheatley in America, that lady placed it in a conspicuous part of her room, and called the attention of her visitors to it. But the health of this good and humane lady declined rapidly, and she soon found that the beloved original of the portrait was necessary to her comfort and happiness. On the first notice of her benefactress's desire to see her once more, Phillis, whose modest humility was unshaken by the severe trial of flattery and attention from the great, re-embarked immediately for the land of her true home.


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Within a short time after her arrival, she discharged the melancholy duty of closing the eyes of her mistress, mother, and friend, whose husband and daughter soon sunk also into the grave. The son had married and settled in England, and Phillis Wheatley found herself alone in the world.

        The happiness of the African poetess now became clouded. Little is known of the latter years of her life, except what is of a melancholy character. Shortly after the death of her friends, she received an offer of marriage from a respectable Coloured man of the name of Peters. In her desolate condition, it would have been hard to have blamed Phillis for accepting any offer of protection of an honourable kind. At the time it took place, Peters not only bore a good character, but was every way a remarkable specimen of his race; being a fluent writer, a ready speaker, and altogether an intelligent and well-educated man. He was a grocer by trade, but having obtained considerable learning, also officiated as a lawyer, under the title of Doctor Peters; pleading the cause of his brethren the Africans, before the tribunals of the state. Phillis was, at the time of her marriage with Peters, about twenty-three years of age.

        The reputation he enjoyed, with his industry, procured him a fortune, though it appears he was subsequently unsuccessful in business. The connexion did not prove a happy one, and Phillis, being possessed of a susceptible mind and delicate constitution, fell into a decline, and died in 1780, about the twenty-sixth year of her age, much lamented by those who knew her worth.

        Thus perished a woman who, by a fortunate accident, was rescued from the degraded condition to which those of her race who are brought to the Slave-market are too often condemned, as if for the purpose of showing to the world what care and education could effect in elevating the character of the benighted African. Such an example ought to impress us with the conviction, that, out of the


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countless millions to whom no similar opportunities have ever been presented, many might be found fitted by the endowments of nature, and wanting only the blessings of education, to be made ornaments, like Phillis Wheatley, not only to their race, but to humanity.

JOHN KIZELL

        Was a native of a country some leagues inland from the Sherbro river. His father was a Chief of some consequence, and so was his uncle. They resided at different towns, and when Kizell was a boy, he was sent by his father on a visit to his uncle. On the very night of his arrival the town was attacked: a bloody battle ensued, in which his uncle and many of his people were killed. Some escaped: the rest were taken prisoners, amongst whom was Kizell. His father, as soon as he heard of his son's disaster, made every effort to release him, but in vain. He was taken to the Gallinas, put on board a ship, and carried, as one of a cargo of Slaves, to Charlestown.

        On the passage, one of the women pining away with grief on account of her situation, was tied up to the mast and flogged to death, as a warning to others not to indulge their melancholy to the detriment of their health, and thereby injure their value to their Christian owners.

        John Kizell arrived in Charlestown a few years before it was taken by Sir H. Clinton; and in consequence of that general's proclamation, with many others, he joined the royal standard. After the war he was removed to Nova Scotia, and from thence to Sierra Leone. He was an intelligent man, always preserved an excellent character, and had the welfare of his native country sincerely at heart. The government of Sierra Leone often employed him in their negociations with the native chiefs; and he always discharged his duty with integrity and address.

        In 1810, John Kizell was sent by governor Columbine, with a letter to some of the chiefs on the Sherbro river,


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recommending them to discontinue the Slave Trade, and to turn their attention to the cultivation of the earth. While on this mission, he wrote many letters to the governor, from which the following are extracts:--

        "I went to Sumarro with the head-man, and gave him the things you sent for him: he was glad, and all his people. I then showed them your letter. The young people were thankful for the word they heard, but there were some that did not like it. I then asked them: 'From the time that your fathers began to sell Slaves, to this day, what have you got by it? Can any of you show me how much money you have--how much gold--how many Slaves, and vessels, and cattle--how many people you have?' They said, 'None!'

        "I went to take a walk with one of my boys, and was surprised to see so many coffee-trees: some places being entirely covered with them. I was concerned to think that there was no man to be found who had the welfare of this country and people at heart, to observe what is in it, and what it will produce, instead of taking the natives, and carrying them to European islands to raise coffee, which is the natural plant of Africa. But I thank Almighty God for his over-ruling power: He does all things in their season; and this is the time he has appointed, in which to rouse the great men of England, and to put it in their hearts to consider the human race. May Almighty God incline them to persevere! for these men of sin desire to keep the Black people in Slavery, and their minds in darkness; so that they may enjoy neither the good of this world, nor the happiness of the world to come.

        "This country wants nothing but people to bring them to order; to let them see that by working they will get money, and not by the Slave Trade; for that destroys their happiness. Of all people I have ever seen, they are the kindest. They will let none want food; they will lend and not look for it again. If strangers come to them, they will


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give them water to wash, and food for nothing. If they had the same learning as Europeans, the best lawyer could not excel them in words and speeches. They are a sensible people to talk to in their palavers. The land is rich and good; and if it was not for the cursed Slave Trade, I think they would be the happiest people in the world."

BENJAMIN BANNEKER

        Was born in Baltimore County, his father being an African, and his mother of pure African descent. His parents having obtained their freedom, were enabled to send him to an obscure school, where he learned, when a boy, reading, writing, and arithmetic; and they left him at their decease, a few acres of land, upon which he subsequently supported himself with economy and exertion, so as always to preserve reputation.

        To struggle incessantly against want, is by no means favourable to improvement. What he had learned he did not forget, and as some hours of leisure will occur in the most toilsome life, he availed himself of these, not to read and acquire knowledge from writings of genius and discovery, (for of such he had none), but to digest and apply, as occasions presented, the few principles of the few rules of arithmetic he had been taught at school. This kind of mental exercise formed his chief amusement, and soon gave him a facility in calculation that was often serviceable to his neighbours, and at length attracted the attention of the Messrs. Ellicott, a family remarkable for their ingenuity. It was about the year 1788, that George Ellicott lent him three astronomical works, and some instruments, accompanying them with neither hint or instruction that might further his studies, or lead him to apply them to any useful result. These books and instruments, the first of the kind Banneker had ever seen, opened a new world to him, and began to employ his leisure in astronomical researches.


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        Having taken up the idea of making calculations for an Almanac, he completed a set for a whole year. Encouraged by this first attempt, he entered upon calculations for subsequent years, which, as well as the former, he began and finished without the least assistance from any person or books than the three volumes mentioned; so that whatever merit is attached to his performance, is exclusively and peculiarly his own. He published almanacs in Philadelphia for 1792-3-4 and 5, which contain his calculations, exhibiting the different aspects of the planets, a table of the motions of the sun and moon, their risings and settings, and the courses of the bodies of the planetary system. These calculations were so thorough and exact, as to excite the approbation of Pitt, Fox, Wilberforce, and other eminent men; and one of his almanacs was produced in the British House of Commons, as an argument in favour of the mental cultivation of the Coloured people, and of their liberation from their wretched thraldom.

        Imlay says, that in New England, he knew a Negro, who kept an astronomical journal, and who had composed ephemerides. He does not mention his name: if it was Banneker, it is a testimony to his talents; if some other Negro, it affords further evidence of the ability of the race.

        When Banneker had prepared his first almanac for publication, he sent a copy of the M.S. to Jefferson, then President of the United States, with the following letter, the composition of which bespeaks considerable ability.

Maryland, Baltimore County, August 19, 1791.

SIR,

        I am fully sensible of the greatness of the freedom I take with you on the present occasion; a liberty which seemed scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished and dignified station in which you stand, and the


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almost general prejudice which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion.

        It is a truth too well attested, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long laboured under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments.

        I hope I may safely admit, in consequence of the report which has reached me, that you are a man far less inflexible in sentiments of this nature, than many others; that you are measurably friendly, and well disposed towards us; and that you are willing to lend your aid and assistance for our relief from those many distresses, and numerous calamities, to which we are reduced.

        If this is founded in truth, I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevail with respect to us: and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; that He hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that He hath also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations, and endowed us all with the same faculties; and that however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in situation or in colour, we are all of the same family, and stand in the same relation to Him.

        If these are sentiments of which you are fully persuaded, you cannot but acknowledge, that it is the indispensable duty of those, who maintain for themselves the rights of human nature, and who profess the obligations of Christianity, to extend their power and influence to the relief of every part of the human race, from whatever burden or oppression they may unjustly labour under; and this, I apprehend, a full conviction of the truth and obligation of these principles should lead all to.


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        I have long been convinced, that if your love for yourselves, and for those inestimable laws which preserved to you the rights of human nature, was founded on sincerity you could not but be solicitous, that every individual, of whatever rank or distinction, might with you equally enjoy the blessings thereof; neither could you rest satisfied short of the most active effusion of your exertions, in order to their promotion from any state of degradation, to which the unjustifiable cruelty and barbarism of men may have reduced them.

        I freely and cheerfully acknowledge, that I am of the African race, and in that colour which is natural to them, of the deepest dye; and it is under a sense of the most profound gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, that I now confess to you, that I am not under that state of tyrannical thraldom, and inhuman captivity, to which too many of my brethren are doomed, but that I have abundantly tasted of the fruition of those blessings, which proceed from that free and unequalled liberty with which you are favoured; and which I hope you will willingly allow you have mercifully received, from the immediate hand of that being from whom proceedeth every goed and perfect gift.

        Suffer me to recall to your mind that time, in which the arms of the British crown were exerted, with every powerful effort, in order to reduce you to a state of servitude: look back, I entreat you, on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that period in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict, and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and providential preservation; you cannot but acknowledge, that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy, you have mercifully received, and that it is the peculiar blessing of heaven.

        This, Sir, was a time when you clearly saw into the


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injustice of a state of Slavery, and in which you had just apprehensions of the horrors of its condition. It was then that your abhorrence thereof was so excited, that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine, which is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'

        Here, was a time in which your tender feelings for yourselves had engaged you thus to declare; you were then impressed with proper ideas of the great violation of liberty, and the free possession of those blessings, to which you were entitled by nature; but, sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges which he hath conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence, so numerous a part of my brethren under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves.

        Your knowledge of the situation of my brethren is too extensive to need a recital here; neither shall I presume to prescribe methods by which they may be relieved, otherwise than by recommending to you and all others, to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed with respect to them, and as Job proposed to his friends, 'put your soul in their souls' stead;' thus shall your hearts be enlarged with kindness and benevolence towards them; and thus shall you need neither the direction of myself or others, in what manner to proceed herein.

        And now, sir, although my sympathy and affection for my brethren hath caused my enlargement thus far, I ardently


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hope, that your candour and generosity will plead with you in my behalf, when I state that it was not originally my design; but having taken up my pen in order to present a copy of an almanac which I have calculated for the succeeding year, I was unexpectedly led thereto.

        This calculation is the production of my arduous study, in my advanced stage of life; for having long had unbounded desires to become acquainted with the secrets of nature, I have had to gratify my curiosity herein through my own assiduous application to astronomical study, in which I need not recount to you the many difficulties and disadvantages which I have had to encounter.

        And although I had almost declined to make my calculation for the ensuing year, in consequence of the time which I had allotted for it being taken up at the federal territory, by the request of Mr. Andrew Ellicott, yet I industriously applied myself thereto, and hope I have accomplished it with correctness and accuracy. I have taken the liberty to direct a copy to you, which I humbly request you will favourably receive; and although you may have the opportunity of perusing it after its publication, yet I desire to send it to you in manuscript previous thereto, that thereby you might not only have an earlier inspection, but that you might also view it in my own handwriting.

And now, sir, I shall conclude, and subscribe myself, with the most profound respect,

Your most obedient humble servant,

BENJAMIN BANNEKER.


        To the foregoing letter the President returned the following answer:--

Philadelphia, August 30, 1791.

SIR,

        I thank you, sincerely, for your letter, and the almanac it contained. No body wishes more than I do, to see such


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proofs as you exhibit, that nature has given to our Black brethren talents equal to those of the other colours of men; and that the appearance of the want of them, is owing merely to the degraded condition of their existence, both in Africa and America. I can add with truth, that no body wishes more ardently to see a good system commenced for raising their condition, both of their body and mind, to what it ought to be, as far as the imbecility of their present existence, and other circumstances, which cannot be neglected, will admit.

        I have taken the liberty of sending your almanac to Monsieur de Condozett, Secretary of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, and member of the Philanthropic Society, because I considered it as a document to which your whole colour had a right for their justification, against the doubts which have been entertained of them.

I am with great esteem, sir,

Your most obedient, &c.,

THOMAS JEFFERSON.


FAITH OF A POOR BLIND NEGRO.

        A person going to see a very aged woman of Colour, found a respectable looking White girl sitting by her, reading the Bible for her. On inquiring of the old woman whether she could ever read, she answered "O yes! and I used to read a great deal in that book," (pointing to a Bible very much worn, that lay on the table,) but now I am almost blind, and the good girls read for me; but by and by, when I get on Zion's hill, I shall see as well as any body."

A PIOUS AND ENLIGHTENED KAFIR.

        Mrs. Williams in relating some particulars respecting the death of her husband, says, on the day before his decease, I was at length enabled to resign and give him up


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to the Lord to do his pleasure concerning him. I asked one of the Kafirs if he had no wish to see his teacher before the Lord took him to himself. "Yes, but I do not like to ask you, because I think it will make your heart sore." He then came and sat clown by the bedside. I asked him if he prayed. "Yes." "What do you pray for?" "I pray the Lord as he hath brought us a teacher over the great sea and hath thus long spared him to tell us His word, that he would be pleased to raise him up again to tell us more of that Great Word." I asked, "Do you pray for me?" "Yes." "What do you ask, when you pray for me?" "I pray that if the Lord should take away your husband from you, he would support and protect you and your little ones in the midst of this wild and barbarous people."

        "This was to me a precious sermon," adds Mrs. Williams, "at such a season, from the mouth of a Kafir."

INTELLIGENT AND ELOQUENT KAFIR CAPTIVE FEMALE.

        During the residence of Thos. Pringle in South Africa, he made an excursion to Bethelsdorp, where he was welcomed by the resident Missionary.

        "While tea was preparing," he writes, "and before the twilight had yet closed in, my host was called to speak to a stranger. This was a Kafir woman, accompanied by a little girl of 8 or 10 years of age, and having an infant strapped to her back. She was one of a number of Kafir females, who had been made prisoners by order of the Commandant on the frontier, for crossing the line of proscribed demarcation without permission, and who were now to be given out in servitude among the White inhabitants of this district. The woman before us was to be forwarded by the missionary, to a colonist, about 20 miles to the westward.

        "While the constable who brought her was delivering his message to this effect, the Kafir woman looked at him and at


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us with keen and intelligent glances; and though she very imperfectly understood his language, she appeared fully to comprehend its import. When he had finished, she stepped forward, drew up her figure to its full height, extended her right arm, and commenced a speech in her native tongue. Though I did not understand a single word she uttered, I have seldom been more struck with surprise and admiration. The language, to which she appeared to give full and forcible intonation, was highly musical and sonorous; her gestures were natural, graceful, and impressive, and her dark eyes and handsome bronze countenance, were full of eloquent expression. Sometimes she pointed back towards her own country, and then to her children. Sometimes she raised her tones aloud, and shook her clenched hand, as if she denounced our injustice, and threatened us with the vengeance of her tribe. Then again she would melt into tears, as if imploring clemency, and mourning for her helpless little ones. Some of the villagers who had gathered round, being whole or half Kafirs, understood her speech, and interpreted it in Dutch to the Missionary; but he could do nothing to alter her destination, and could only return kind words to console her. For my own part, I was not a little struck by the scene, and could not help beginning to suspect that my European countrymen, who thus made captives of harmless women and children, were in reality greater barbarians than the savage natives of Caffraria."

        "After our interview with the Kafir female," continues Thos. Pringle, "I attended the evening service in the rustic chapel of Bethelsdorf. The place was occupied by a very considerable number of the inhabitants of the village, a large proportion being females. The demeanour of the audience was attentive and devout, and their singing of the missionary hymns was singularly pleasing and harmonious. The effect of the music was no doubt greatly heightened by the reflections which the sight of this African congregation


Illustration


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naturally suggested. I saw before me the remnant of an aboriginal race, to whom this remote region, now occupied by White Colonists, had at no distant period belonged. As I sat and listened to the soft and touching melody of the female voices, or gazed on the earnest, upturned, swarthy countenances of the aged men, who had probably spent their early days in the wild freedom of nomadic life, and worn out their middle life in the service of the Colonists, it was pleasing to think that here, and in a few other institutions such as this, the Christian humanity of Europe, had done something to alleviate European oppression, by opening asylums, where, at least, a few of the race were enabled to escape from personal thraldom, and to emerge from heathen darkness into the glorious light and liberty of the Gospel."

JAN TZATZOE; A CHRISTIAN KAFIR CHIEF.

        JAN TZATZOE is an hereditary Chief of the Amakosa Kafirs, a tribe whose country borders on that formerly belonging to the Hottentots. His father, who was always held in high estimation by the other Chiefs, for his integrity and peaceable disposition, as well as for the good order so uniformly maintained among his people, was living a few years ago, supposed to be nearly one hundred years of age, though he had long been too feeble to take any share in the government of his people. This old Chief was related to Habaki, the grandfather of Gaika, and consequently belongs to the ancient reigning families of the country.

        His son, Jan Tzatzoe, was born about the year 1791, and while yet a child, his father removed, with his tribe, into the Zuirveld, where the old Chief and his people were residing, when the London Missionary Society's Institution at Bethelsdorp was established. According to the custom of the country, the old Chief had several wives. The mother of Tzatzoe being a woman of the highest rank among them,


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and a great favourite, the father determined that her son should succeed him in the chieftainship of the tribe; and in order to secure for him every possible advantage, he requested Dr. Vanderkemp and James Read, to receive him into the Missionary Institution at Bethelsdorp, which he entered in 1804. He was then about thirteen years of age, and, though an unclothed, untutored African boy, he evinced a mildness and docility of disposition, a patient endurance of the restraints which his altered circumstances imposed, and a persevering application to his lessons, which greatly endeared him to his teachers. The venerable Dr. Vanderkemp, who had long mourned over the injustice and cruelty practised towards the African race, received his young pupil with the most grateful joy,--loved him, and treated him as his own child, and spared no pains, while engaged in teaching him the use of letters, and a knowledge of the Dutch language, to instil into his mind the principles of truth and justice, while he sought to impress upon his heart the sublime doctrines of the Bible. On two occasions the Doctor took his industrious and observant scholar with him to Cape Town, and endeavoured by every means in his power to prepare him to discharge, with the greatest benefit to his race, the duties to which in future years he would be called.

        In 1815, a remarkable attention to personal religion prevailed among all classes at Bethelsdorp; and during this period there is reason to believe that Tzatzoe, then about twenty-four years of age, experienced, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, that entire change which rendered him a sincere and decided Christian. In him, as in most instances among the heathen, one immediate effect of the Divine mercy, was a desire to make the salvation of Christ known to his countrymen. He sought to improve the period of his continuance at Bethelsdorp, with greater diligence than ever, and from higher motives; and in order to promote, by every possible means, the


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improvement of his countrymen, he applied himself to the most useful mechanical arts, and learned to work in wood as a carpenter and wheelwright, and also to work in iron and stone. About this time he married a pious female of the Hottentot nation, who had long been connected with the Institution at Bethelsdorp. In the following year, Tzatzoe accompanied that eminently devoted man of God, John Williams, to the neighbourhood of Gaika's residence, and continued with him till the lamented death of Williams interrupted the Kafir mission.

        In 1817, when Lord Charles Somerset, then Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, visited the frontier, and entered into a treaty with Gaika, the chief of the tribes inhabiting the country adjacent to the Kat river, Tzatzoe was present, and acted as interpreter. He afterwards returned to Bethelsdorp, and was chosen by the people one of the local authorities for hearing complaints and adjusting differences among the inhabitants of the place. His conduct, in discharging the duties of this office, which has ever been found of great importance to the harmony and order of the settlement, was distinguished by great shrewdness, and the most scrupulous adherence to integrity and justice.

        Tzatzoe continued at Bethelsdorp until 1817, when he accompanied John Brownlee to his own country, and rendered important services in the commencement of the missions among the people in that neighbourhood. He also, shortly afterwards, rendered very valuable aid to W. Shaw, Wesleyan missionary, in the establishment of the mission at Wesleyville, and W. Shaw has frequently expressed his deep sense of obligation to Tzatzoe for the advantages derived from his assistance and advice, especially in the early stages of his labours among the Kafirs.

        Tzatzoe's aged father, who had long been anxious for the establishment of a mission in his own territory, now repeated his solicitations to his son, and to the Missionaries, requesting that they might be instructed in religion, and the


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arts of civilized life. In compliance with his request, the mission at the Buffalo river was commenced in 1826 by John Brownlee, aided by Tzatzoe, who has ever since resided at the station, acting as an assistant missionary. In this capacity his exertions have been peculiarly acceptable and valuable. His knowledge of the opinions, habits, and superstitions of his countrymen have afforded important facilities in exposing their errors, and instructing them in a more excellent way: and he has been employed with great advantage in preaching the gospel, and assisting in the translation of the Scriptures into his native language.

        John Williams and John Brownlee have borne the warmest testimony to his zeal and talents, and he was always regarded by Dr. Vanderkemp with peculiar affection and solicitude.

        While Tzatzoe was occupied in assisting the missionaries, the duties connected with the civil affairs of his tribe were discharged by an elder brother; but Tzatzoe was held in such high estimation that he was frequently consulted in matters of importance; such, in fact, was the influence of his acknowledged integrity and justice, that the subjects of other chiefs often mutually requested him to decide matters in dispute between them. On one occasion two Kafirs appeared before the young chief, each claiming as their own a colt which they led to the place. In support of their claims, each stated that he was in possession of the dam of the colt. Having listened to their respective statements, Tzatzoe directed them to bring both the animals, and then ordered the colt to be let loose before all the people. This was no sooner done, than it repaired to one of the animals, by which it was immediately recognized, and treated with expressions of evident pleasure, while it was unnoticed by the other animal, which it also seemed to avoid. The dispute was now at an end, and all parties appeared pleased at the manner in which the proprietorship in the animal was so satisfactorily determined.


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        When a disastrous war broke out between the Kafirs and the colonists, Tzatzoe successfully exerted his influence to restrain his tribe from joining their countrymen in entering the colony; and afterwards, when called to assist the colonial government, he led 400 men to the field, where he continued with the British forces till hostilities ceased and peace was made with the Kafirs. On his return, he found the land of his tribes in the occupancy of his friends, the colonial forces, who had taken possession of his house, and the grounds which he had stocked with fruit trees, and brought under cultivation; thus depriving him of the fruits of the labours of many years, obliging him again to begin the formation of a settlement in the uncultivated wilderness, and to fix his dwelling in another part of his own hereditary land. These flagrant injuries made a deep impression on his mind, but his clear judgment told him that England is calumniated in the government of her colonies, and that a direct appeal to herself would procure immediate reparation. To obtain the restoration of his rightful property, or some compensation, and to solicit further assistance in promoting the moral and spiritual improvement of his countrymen, he resolved on visiting Great Britain.

        Soon after the passing of the act for the abolition of Slavery in the British colonies, the attention of many of the benevolent friends of the African and other native tribes was directed to the effects which had followed the intercourse of civilized with uncivilized men in different parts of the world, more especially in countries bordering on our own colonies; to the principles on which such intercourse had generally been conducted, and the means by which it might be rendered in future honourable to the British, and beneficial to the most distant nations. In 1834, the subject was considered by parliament, and an address to the King, in relation to the same, was unanimously agreed to. This led to the appointment of a select committee, for the purpose of prosecuting an inquiry, highly honourable to


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the nation, and replete with promise to the tribes with whom we may be brought into contact--namely, "to consider what measures ought to be adopted with regard to the native inhabitants of countries where British settlements are made, and to the neighbouring tribes, in order to secure to them the due observance of justice, and the protection of their rights--to promote the spread of civilization--and to lead them to the peaceful, voluntary reception of the Christian religion."

        The imperative necessity for such an inquiry becomes at once established by the statement of a few notorious facts The first lands acquired by the Dutch at the Cape of Good Hope, were paid for by "a few trinkets and flasks of brandy." In consideration of this payment they subsequently possessed themselves of 48,000 square miles, and finally of the entire productive part of the Hottentot territory. The next aggression consisted in seizing the cattle of the aborigines, and appropriating them to their own uses; an injustice which the European governor declined to punish, because so many settlers were implicated in this system of plunder. In addition to the spoliation of their cattle and lands, "when a Hottentot offended a settler, he was tied to a waggon-wheel, and severely flogged, or dispatched on an errand, and then waylaid and destroyed." In short, the spirit of extermination seemed to be the influencing power in the government of the Cape, and the survivors were only sure of life, so long as they could contribute by the labour of their hands to enrich the stranger.

        Dr. Philip, superintendent of the London Missionary Society in South Africa, the intrepid advocates of the natives, who had exerted himself successfully in securing their civil liberty, as well as in imparting many religious advantages, having been required to attend the committee of the House of Commons, returned to England in the spring of 1836. It was on this occasion that Jan Tzatzoe, and Andries Stoffles, a Christian Hottentot,


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with a patriotism that reflects honour on their race, availed themselves of the opportunity of crossing the Atlantic with Dr. Philip, in hopes of creating amongst the English people, a kindlier feeling, and a warmer interest in behalf of their country.

        Early in the summer of 1836, Dr. Philip and his African companions were repeatedly called to appear before the Committee of the House of Commons, instituted for the purpose of enquiring into the inhuman treatment of the injured Aborigines. The evidence given on these occasions was published by order of parliament, and is of great importance. Andries Stoffles delivered his testimony with great animation and feeling, but evident sincerity; and the Chief gave his evidence with that simple dignity and frankness which a consciousness of the truth of his own statements, and a confidence in the integrity and justice of his auditors, could not fail to inspire. Evidence, demonstrating beyond doubt or contradiction, the absence of all foundation for some of the statements that had been made against him, was produced: he was listened to with the most respectful attention, and there was a general impression, that the nation to which he belonged, notwithstanding the ignorance and superstition under which they still laboured, would, so far as intellectual faculties are concerned, bear a comparison with more highly civilized and powerful communities.*


        * The engraving facing the title-page of the present volume represents the appearance of the African witnesses before the committee. It is from a painting by Room, procured by subscription among the friends of Dr. Philip, and presented to the Directors of the London Missionary Society. The scene is in one of the rooms where the committee, of which Sir T. F. Buxton, Bart., was chairman, held its sittings. Tzatzoe is in the act of giving his evidence. At the opposite end of the table is James Read, jun., acting as interpreter for the chief, who spoke and wrote before the committee in the Dutch language. Dr. Philip is seated in the foreground, on the right, and Stoffles occupies a chair behind the table at the end of which Tzatzoe is standing. James Read, sen. is standing behind the chair on which Stoffles is seated. The likenesses are said to be exceedingly good, especially those of the Hottentot and the Kafir chief.



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        The following extracts, taken from different parts of the printed evidence of the Chief, will shew the kind of questions proposed by the committee, and the manner in which they were answered. The evidence of Stoffles was painfully instructive and affecting, though comparatively brief. A large portion of Tzatzoe's examination related to the late war with his nation; but on this subject, one answer--his reason for not taking any part on either side at first--must suffice.

        Will you mention the reasons which induced you to refrain from taking any part with your countrymen against the colony? --In the first place I am a Christian, and the Scriptures tell us not to fight, or to shed blood; and that is the first reason why I remained quiet.

        Again, after being questioned on the extent and effects of missionary labours in Kaffraria, and more particularly among his own tribe, and whether any places of worship had been erected; he was asked, and answered as follows:

        How many?--One church among my own tribe, and Ross had a station in the neighbourhood.

        What was the capacity of that place of worship?--It was great; much longer than this room.

        How many persons would it accommodate?--300, and some of the people would sit under the trees outside.

        Did that number of persons usually attend divine service on the Sabbath?--Yes.

        Did the Missionaries establish an infant school?--Yes, my daughter was the teacher of an infant school.

        How many children were there in that school?--About 100.

        Was there any school for older children?--Yes.

        How many scholars were in that school?--Between 30 and 50.

        When you were summoned to attend this committee, was that summons unexpected?--I expected it.

        Did you not come to England understanding that this


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committee was sitting, with the view of being examined before it?--Yes.

        You were told at the Cape of Good Hope that a committee of this sort was sitting?--Yes.

        Who told you?--I saw it in the newspapers.

        Did you ask any advice as to the mode of examination in these committees, and how you should give your answers?--I did not inquire.

        Is your father also a Kafir chief?--Yes.

        How many years have you taken the reins of government? --I have governed since I came back to Kafir land.

        How many years is that ago?--Ten or twelve years.

        Have you taken the oath of allegiance to the king?--Yes.

        Are you a field cornet at this moment?--Yes.

        Under such circumstances, did you get permission of the colonial government to come to this country?--Yes, I got permission from Colonel Smith to go to Cape Town; and when I came to the Cape, I got permission from the governor to come to England.

        Do you appear before the committee here as a Missionary, to advocate the cause of the Kafirs?--I stand here as an assistant Missionary, and a Kafir chief.

        Who desired you to preach?--When I felt the power of the word of God, I went, to the Hottentots, and preached what God had done unto me; and so the Missionaries engaged me.

        Has any portion of your land been seized by the government?--Yes.

        What reasons did they give to you, who was an ally of the British government, for taking away your land?--No reason that I know of, they did not tell me why they took the country.

        Why did not you complain to the Governor at the Cape before you came here?--I thought it was enough that the governor knew that I had no part in the war, that I was not guilty, and he should have known that.


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        Did not you think that the Governor would have done you justice, if you had made your complaint known to him?--No, he would not have done it, as he took the ground without having any right to it.

        How came you to think that the government in England would be more ready to do you justice than the government at the Cape?--Because from the time of Dr. Vanderkemp to this time, the Missionaries used to tell us that the good people and right people were here, and that justice was here.

        Had not you heard that the Governor of the Cape was very anxious to do justice to all the native people?--Yes, I had so; but he did me no justice.

        Are you quite certain that the governor knew that your country was taken from you?--The governor was there when the houses were building--the fort.

        Was he aware that it was building upon land that belonged to you?--Certainly; he must have known it.

        Did the governor give you any compensation for the loss of your buildings?--No.

        Did you ever make any application to the Governor for redress?--Why should I go to the governor, if he takes my things from me?

        Were the lands from which the Governor removed you, cultivated lands; or lands in a state of nature?--He took my own piece of ground that I had cultivated, and my garden and my trees.

        What did he give you in exchange?--Nothing.

        In what condition was the new place which the governor appointed to you; was it cultivated, or uncultivated?--The place where I am at present is uncultivated.

        Were there any fruit trees in the new place where the Governor had appointed you to go?--No; it is a wilderness.

        In whose territory was that wilderness?--It belongs to me.


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        So that, in fact, the Governor removed you from one spot in your own territory which was cultivated, to another spot in your own territory which was uncultivated?--Yes.

        Did the Governor know at the time that he was committing this robbery upon you?--Yes; I am sure that he must have known it, and therefore I did not speak to him about it.

        Did not the land that was taken away by the Governor, in reality belong to the Missionary Society, and not to you?--It belongs to me.

        The evidence of Taztzoe and Stoffles on other points was equally explicit and conclusive--but their testimony before a section of the British senate was not the only important object that was accomplished: besides the incalculable advantage to the native tribes of Africa, of their appearing before a committee of the British parliament as witnesses for their countrymen of the wrongs they had endured, their visit to England and Scotland afforded to multitudes a satisfaction of the highest order, and must have benefitted the cause of Christian missions throughout the world. They entered our domestic circles, and attended our religious assemblies, and were affectionately and cordially welcomed as brethren by Christians of every denomination; their intelligent and pious conversation gladdened the hearts of all who had intercourse with them, and their truly exemplary deportment exemplified the influence of the gospel on their hearts. New demonstrations were given of the power of the gospel, new motives to engage in its propagation supplied, and firmer hopes inspired of its speedy and universal extension. The eloquence of the Hottentot produced impressions that will never be forgotten. At a public meeting in Exeter Hall, London, for receiving statements from Dr. Philip and his friends in reference to the missions in South Africa, Andries Stoffles, addressing the crowded assembly on the effects of the gospel, spoke thus:--


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        "I wish to tell you what the Bible has done for Africa. When the Bible came amongst us, we were naked; we lived in caves and on the tops of the mountains; we had no clothes, but painted our bodies. At first we were surprised to hear the truths of the Bible, which charmed us out of the caves, and from the tops of the mountains; made us throw away all our old customs and practices, and live among civilized men. We are civilized now; we know there is a God. I have travelled with the Missionaries in taking the Bible to the Bushmen, and other nations. When the word of God has been preached, the Bushman has thrown away his bow and arrows. I have accompanied the Bible to the Kafir nation; and when the Bible spoke, the Kafir nation threw away his shield and all his vain customs. I went to Latakoo, and they forsook all their evil works; they threw away their assagais; and became the children of God. The only way to reconcile man to man, is to instruct him in the truths of the Bible. I say again, where the Bible comes, the minds of men are enlightened; where it is not, there is nothing but darkness; it is dangerous, in fact, to travel through such a nation. Where the Bible is not, man does not hesitate to kill his fellow; he never even repents afterwards of having committed murder. Are there any of the old Englishmen here who sent out the word of God? I give them my thanks: if there are not, I give it to their children. Your Missionaries, when they came to us, suffered with us, and wept with us, and struggled for us, till they obtained for us the charter of our liberties--the Fiftieth Ordinance. [The animation with which the last clause of this sentence was uttered by Andries Stoffles, produced a deep sensation throughout the whole auditory. The Fiftieth Colonial Ordinance was issued by General Bourke in 1828, placing the Hottentots on the same footing as other free subjects in the Colony. Since the passing of this Ordinance, though not exempt from oppression, their circumstances have been greatly improved.]


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When the Fiftieth Ordinance was published, we were then brought to the light. Then did the young men begin to learn to write and read. Through that Ordinance we got infant schools, and our children have been instructed, and are making progress in learning. You, the posterity of the old Englishmen, I address you on this occasion; I am standing on the bones of your ancestors, and I call upon you, their children, to-day, to come over and help us. Do you know what we want? We want schools and schoolmasters--we want to be like yourselves."

        At the same meeting, the late Edward Baines, Esq., M.P. for Leeds, a member of the Committee by which the Africans were examined, delivered the following honourable testimony in their favour;--

        "The Kafir chief," he said, "had given his evidence with an artlessness and dignity which proved that he was indeed a Chief. There was about his evidence that which showed that he had the interest of his nation at heart--that he came here imbued with a truly noble spirit, and with the desire of communicating that spirit to others, and of teaching us how we might make the Aborigines of Africa happy, instead of rendering their country desolate. He had taught us a great lesson in political economy. He had told us that, by doing justice to the people of Africa, we should induce them to become our customers and friends. In this way the African chief had imparted knowledge to the British senate.

        "These witnesses," he added, "did not assume to be the instructors of the Aborigines Committee, but they did in reality impart to them much valuable instruction; and he would venture to predict, that from this day forward there never would be heard complaints of the driving of the native inhabitants from one river to another, of usurping and seizing their cattle, and of appropriating their territory. He could not sufficiently impress upon the meeting the beneficial consequences of the visit of the persons, now


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before them, to Europe. They had given information as to the state of their country, and imparted a tone to the public feeling as to the wrongs of the native inhabitants in our colonies that would never be obliterated."

        The Kafir nation received, so far as the seizure of territory was concerned, all the justice and restitution that the British government could award; the country so unjustly taken from them was restored, and the most friendly relations entered into with the rulers and people. Anxious to benefit his countrymen, Tzatzoe took back to Africa, not, as has been too often the case, arms and ammunition for annihilating the human race, but implements of husbandry,--the axe and the spade, the pruning-hook and the plough, emblems of peace! with a large supply of books, and all the apparatus for schools. He was welcomed with the most cordial affection by the chiefs and people of his nation, who were in a state of most intense anxiety about his return; and he was followed by the prayers and benedictions of all good men, who must feel a deep interest in all that tends to the civilization of Africa, and the accomplishment of the promise which declares, that "Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God."

        James Backhouse, a Minister of the Society of Friends, in his Narrative of a visit to the Mauritius and South Africa, mentions Tzatzoe as having interpreted for him to his comfort. He also visited him at his own house in 1839. "I was comforted," says J. B., "while sitting a short time with him, in a very perceptible feeling of the love of our Heavenly Father, uniting our hearts in gospel fellowship."

        One of the Missionaries in Kafirland, by whom Tzatzoe is well known, writes thus:--"Tzatzoe possesses considerable talent; his addresses are pointed and powerful, and always command the attention of his hearers. As a preacher, his perfect knowledge of the Kafir character, and his acquaintance with their customs, give him an advantage which few Europeans can attain in preaching to Kafirs. But the


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tact which he displays in combating Kafir prejudices and superstition, is really surprising. I have often listened with delight and astonishment to his discourses, which are so full, so simple, and yet so powerful. The ease, too, with which he can effectually arrest the attention of his countrymen, is matter of admiration. Here is a specimen of the great power of God, in reclaiming a savage, and making him an instrument in reclaiming others."

        The late lamented Thomas Pringle, during his residence in South Africa, visited the Missionary station at the Buffalo river, commenced in compliance with the request of Tzatzoe's aged father, and has left the following record of his visit:--


                         "A rugged mountain, round whose summit proud,
                         The eagle sailed, or heaved the thunder-cloud,
                         Poured, from its cloven breast, a gurgling brook;
                         Which down the grassy glades its journey took;
                         Oft bending round, to lave, with rambling tide,
                         The groves of evergreen on either side.
                         Fast by this stream, where yet its course was young,
                         And stooping from the heights, the forest flung
                         A grateful shadow o'er the narrow dell,
                         Appeared the Missionary's hermit cell.
                         Woven of wattled boughs, and thatched with leaves,
                         The sweet wild jasmine clustering to its eaves,
                         It stood, with its small casement gleaming through,
                         Between two ancient cedars; round it grew
                         Clumps of acacias and young orange bowers,
                         Pomegranate hedges, gay with scarlet flowers;
                         And pale-stemmed fig-trees, with their fruit yet green,
                         And apple blossoms waving light between.
                         All musical it seemed with humming bees,
                         And bright-plumed sugar-birds among the trees
                         Fluttered, like living blossoms.


                         "In the shade
                         Of a grey rock, that midst the leafy glade
                         stood like a giant sentinel, we found
                         The habitant of this fair spot of ground--
                         A plain, tall Scottish man, of thoughtful mien;
                         Grave, but not gloomy. By his side was seen


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                         An Ancient Chief of Amakosa's race,
                         With javelin armed, for conflict or for chase;
                         And seated at their feet, upon the sod,
                         A youth was reading from the word of God,
                         Of Him who came for sinful men to die,
                         Of every race and tongue beneath the sky.


                         "Unnoticed, towards them we softly stept,
                         Our friend was rapt in prayer--the warrior wept,
                         Leaning upon his hand: the youth read on;
                         And then we hailed the group--the Chieftain's son,
                         Training to be his country's Christian guide--
                         And Brownlee, and old Tzatzoe by his side."

ANDRIES STOFFLES.

        The Hottentot churches which have been gathered by the missionaries in South Africa, contain many eminent examples of Christian character and worth. With these fellow members of the same spiritual body, the Christians of Europe and other parts of the world would find it delightful occasionally to hold personal intercourse; but such meetings have been hitherto exceedingly rare, nor is it probable that circumstances will arise to make them of more frequent occurrence for the future. Andries Stoffles was one of the very few of the Hottentot converts whom we have had the happiness of welcoming amongst us in Great Britain. By multitudes of the friends of Africa in this country, he is affectionately remembered, as one who was renewed after the image of Christ.

        Stoffles, as has already been stated, came to plead the cause of his wronged and suffering countrymen; and to ask, another behalf, the sympathy and aid of British Christians. He was a powerful advocate, for he possessed, in union with the influences of religion, the eloquence of nature and the strength of truth, and left no heart unmoved, no mind unconvinced by his statements and his appeals. Having sickened in our ungenial climate, he returned to Africa, but only survived a few days after reaching the


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Cape. To his latest hour he had peace and joy in believing, and the light of the Saviour's love fell fully on his soul as it departed to the world of glory.

        The following brief account of the life of Andries Stoffles, detailing his conversion to Christianity, his progress in the Christian life, and imprisonment for preaching the gospel, his attachment to the Missionary cause, his patriotic visit to England, with some particulars of his death, will be found interesting.

        Andries Stoffles was born in South Africa, about the year 1776. He was a Hottentot of the Gonah tribe, inhabiting a country called the Zuirveld, lying between the Gamtoos and the Great Fish River. From his boyhood, Stoffles was a close observer, and was gifted with an excellent memory. With a naturally sound judgment, he possessed an active mind and a sanguine temperament; and consequently, at an early age he was found mingling in the fierce feuds and conflicts which arose at that period between the Dutch settlers and the Hottentots. In one of these engagements, he was severely wounded, and narrowly escaped the loss of life. On another occasion, a waggon went over his body and nearly killed him. After his conversion, the remembrance of occurrences which had so nearly proved fatal, always deeply affected him, and he was frequently heard to remark, that had he died then, he should have been lost for ever.

        An event which greatly determined his future course in life, was the circumstance of his being taken prisoner by the Kafirs, and carried from his own country into Kafirland. There he resided for some time, learnt the Kafir language, and was employed as an interpreter, in which capacity he was taken by a Kafir chief to Bethelsdorp, about the year 1810. Stoffles was then in a savage state, and arrayed in the manner of the Kafirs, his only clothing a dressed cow skin thrown loosely over his shoulders, and his body smeared with grease and red ochre. When he


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first attended divine worship at Bethelsdorp, he was so ignorant of its purpose and meaning, as to suppose that the people had assembled to receive rations of provisions, of presents of beads and buttons. But he was soon undeceived-- divine grace speedily reached his heart, though it was some time before his mind was fully enlightened as to the way of salvation. His second attendance in the house of God, which has been characteristically described by himself, made a deep impression upon him. The conviction of sin smote immediately upon his conscience, and he was no longer the same man. He returned to the Kafirs, and tried to be happy in his former ways; in dancing, and merriment, and idle mirth; but conscience pursued him, and he could find no rest.

        Labouring under a deep sense of sin, and having in vain sought relief to his mind in heathen companionship, Stoffles returned to Bethelsdorp, and again listened to the preaching of the gospel; but his convictions were only strengthened, and the agitation of his mind increased in proportion. Overcome by his internal conflicts he frequently hastened from the chapel to the bush, weeping aloud. Here, it is said, he would spend hours, and even days, apart from human intercourse, praying to God for mercy, and seeking for rest to his heavy laden spirit. In this state he continued for two or three years, bowed down under the consciousness of guilt, beset with the terrors of self-condemnation, and unable to apply to himself the rich remedies of the gospel of peace. But He who hath promised not to break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, at length shod abroad a clearer light in his soul--the way of salvation through a crucified Saviour was fully revealed to him--his penitential sorrow did not cease, but its bitterness was gone--he saw by faith the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"--the burden of sin passed away-his eye glistened, and his heart was filled with joy, for the blood of Christ had imparted peace to his soul.


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        Turned from darkness to light, Stoffles believed himself called upon to testify of the grace of God to those around him, manifesting the utmost anxiety for the salvation of his fellow men. His conversations, addresses, and prayers, deeply impressed all who heard him. Often were whole assemblies of natives and Europeans melted into tears when he spoke to them of the dying love of the Saviour. This was the subject ever uppermost in his mind, and in dwelling upon it, his flow of language was peculiar to himself. His wife and many of his relations also became converted.

        Some time after his conversion, a magistrate, residing at a distance from Bethelsdorp, applied to the station for a few men to assist in some public works. Stoffles volunteered to go, but no sooner arrived in the locality than he began to preach to the Hottentots and Slaves, with great effect There was much weeping, and it was said that he would drive all the people mad. He was forbidden to preach; but he continued to do so, believing it right to obey God, and he was consequently imprisoned. He now began preaching to the prisoners, who were numerous, with similar effects; so that the only alternative was to release him and send him back to Bethelsdorp. He ever considered it an honour to have been in bonds for Christ's sake.

        When the Missionaries for Lattakoo arrived in Africa, Stoffles accompanied them to their station through the country of the wild Bushmen, to many of whom he was the first to convey the glad tidings of salvation. He assisted in the opening of the Lattakoo Mission, and remained there four years. To the Missionaries, who placed the fullest confidence in him, he rendered essential service. He possessed such a knowledge of the native character, that the brethren could always beneficially consult him. He travelled with them to all the towns and villages of the Bechuanas, accompanied the minister Campbell, on hi second journey to Kurachana; and minister Miles, through Kaffraria to the Tambookie country; he likewise travelled


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much with Dr. Philip. In all these journeys, though often wearied with the work of the day, he never retired to rest without singing a hymn and prayer.

        Stoffles was a true patriot; his concern for the welfare of his country increased with his years, and he entered with earnestness and intelligence into every subject connected with it. He felt keenly the degraded condition of his people, who had lost their hereditary lands, their property, and their freedom; and his mind was constantly engaged in considering the means by which it could be improved. When the Hottentots gained their civil liberties, his joy was extreme, and when government offered them land at Kat River, though it involved at first great hardship and privation, yet as he thought it was for his country's good, he was the first to go and take possession of what he termed the Hottentots' Land of Canaan. He subsequently devoted himself entirely to the welfare of the settlement, and the people at the several locations all regarded him as their friend, their guide, and their defender.

        His services, in reference to the spiritual concerns of the people at Kat River, were also highly important. Until a Missionary came to that part of Africa, Stoffles, with the assistance of other pious natives, conducted the services on the Sabbath, and every evening in the week. He afterwards acted as deacon of the community of Hottentot Christians at Philiptown, where 400 were united in fellowship; and with great benefit to the people, he watched over the flock with great zeal, faithfulness, and activity. He conducted the prayer meetings with marked propriety, and his addresses on those occasions produced the happiest effects among his countrymen.

        Stoffles and his family were the first settlers at the Kat River; and for the prosperity of the settlement, his experience, abilities, influence, and efforts, were constantly employed, especially in promoting education, and extending to every location the advantages of religious instruction.


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In common with all the inhabitants of this important settlement, he mourned over the disastrous effects of the unjust, capricious, and arbitrary detention of the Missionaries from their station, after the termination of a war with the Kafirs, which prevented them resuming their labours of love and usefulness. To ask from the equity and honourable feeling of the government at home, a remission of this decree, and the privilege of their return, which had been denied by the Governor in the colony, was one of his principal objects in visiting Great Britain.

        Early in 1836, Stoffles embarked for England, in company with Dr. Philip, James Read, jun., and Jan Tzatzoe, the Kafir chief; and arrived in London in the fifth month. Besides being desirous of exerting himself in England on behalf of his country; he wished to see, he said, and become acquainted with, the people by whom the Gospel had been sent to their Heathen land; and to express his gratitude to them for the inestimable blessing. These objects he effected, but not to the extent which he desired. Before the Aborigines Committee of the House of Commons, he stated the grievances of his afflicted countrymen, and produced a strong impression in favour of their claims and his own. To the friends of missions, in various parts of the kingdom, his animated and eloquent addresses, joined with his fervent, unaffected piety, afforded the highest interest, and the most hallowed delight.

        But his health soon began to decline, principally owing to the hostile influence of the climate. It was recommended that he should leave England immediately, and towards the conclusion of the year he embarked for Africa, accompanied by J. Read, jun., and E. Williams. At the commencement of the voyage, his health apparently rallied; but after crossing the line, a relapse followed, and on his arrival at the Cape, he sunk rapidly, and died in the early part of 1837, aged about 60 years.

        In his dying hours, his mind was calm and resigned. He


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had never, he said, enjoyed more of the presence of God, his Saviour, than during the voyage. When he ceased to anticipate recovery, he expressed regret at not being spared "to go and tell his people what he had seen and heard in England. He would go and tell his story in Heaven, but he thought they knew more there than he could tell them."

        The death of Stoffles was lamented by multitudes of the natives, both within and beyond the colony; the people of Kat river were scarcely to be comforted, and it was feared by some that his wife and daughter, who were exceedingly attached to him, would fall sacrifices to their grief. But many prayers were offered on their behalf, that their deep affliction might bring forth abundantly the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

        In personal appearance, Andries Stoffles was of middle stature, stout, and robust, but active, with a countenance remarkably intelligent and expressive. The portrait of him in the engraving facing the title page of this volume, in which he is represented seated at the table, is said to be an exceedingly good one.

EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM JOHN CANDLER.

Jamaica, 1840.

        In the afternoon we reached Spanish Town. An Anti-Slavery Convention of delegates from the whole island, met the next morning, and a public meeting was held in the evening in the Baptist Chapel, attended by about 2000 persons, the main body of it consisting of lately emancipated Slaves. It was a meeting of amazing interest. Imagine a platform in the capital of Jamaica, the chair occupied by a great planter, a member of the Legislative Council, surrounded by Missionaries of several denominations, members of the Established Church, some of the Society of Friends, and planters of large property, who lately possessed numerous Slaves, and who now rejoice in the change


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from Slavery to Freedom. Before us, in the body of the chapel and the spacious galleries, a dense crowd of men and women of all colours, admirably attired, and behind the platform, tier upon tier of intelligent Black men, from the neighbouring properties, who had come in troops to enjoy the pleasures of the evening, and respond to the observations that pleased them. Some of the speeches were excellent, particularly those of Capt. Stuart, Wm. Knibb, John Clarke; and J. J. Gurney's pointed address to the Black people fixed their attention deeply. They are a very shrewd people.


GRATEFUL SLAVES.

        The more I have seen of the Negroes in Jamaica, writes Dr. Madden, and observed their conduct, the more reason I have to think that they are naturally a good-humoured, easily-contented, kind-hearted race, amply disposed to appreciate kind treatment and to be grateful for it. Of their disposition to appreciate benefits, even in the trifling way I have endeavoured to be serviceable to them, by protecting them from injustice to the best of my poor ability, I have had proofs enough of their grateful feelings towards me. One poor fellow of the name of Cochrane came to me the other day to take leave of me: I had never rendered him the slightest service, but I had been civil to him, and he had been in the habit of coming to my house. He took leave of me with tears in his eyes: Dr. Chamberlaine was present: he took me aside and put a paper into my hand, which he said was a small present, which he hoped I would accept, to think of him when I was gone. I opened the paper, and to my surprise, I found it contained three Spanish doubloons, (equal to £10. sterling). I cannot describe what I felt in assuring this poor Negro I did not need his gold to remember him and his race with kindly feelings. It was with difficulty I could prevail on him to


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take it back. He turned away abruptly from me, and that night I had a kid sent to me, which he sent me word he hoped might be of use to me on my voyage home.

        Two days ago, an old man, whom I had never seen before, entered the gate as I was going out, and addressed me in Arabic, he was a native of Africa, and he presented a pair of ducks, which he said he brought for me a long way, to make part of my sea stock. He seemed to think I was a friend to his countrymen, and he wished to prove to me that he was grateful for it. I accepted the old man's ducks, with more gratification than, perhaps, a European minister ever felt at receiving a diamond snuff-box from the Sultan. In short, for the last week, I have been receiving more presents of fruit and poultry than I know what to do with. In every instance in which I have been able to render any service to a Negro, I have found him mindful of it, and far more grateful for it than I could have expected.

SIMEON WILHELM

        Was born on the west coast of Africa, about the year 1800, and was received when nine years old into the Missionary School at Bashia. He manifested a teachable, gentle, affectionate disposition, had a pleasing countenance, and was much gratified with the pains taken to instruct himself and other African children in knowledge and religion. About the year 1815, he was baptized, and had the name of Simeon Wilhelm given to him, after the missionary Wilhelm, who was much attached to him.

        In 1816, Edward Bickersteth visited the Settlements of the Church Missionary Society in Africa, and staid some time at Bashia. "The more I saw of Simeon," says he, "the more I was pleased with him, and as he desired to visit England, that he might qualify himself to be useful to his countrymen, it appeared that I might be really serving the cause of religion by taking him to England. His


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heart bounded within him, and his eyes beamed with joy and thankfulness, when I told him he might go with me. He promised to do everything that I wished, and he never broke this promise."

        The African youth set sail with his kind preceptor in 1816. "During our passage," writes the latter, "we often sang hymns together, in a retired part of the deck; and I had frequently interesting conversation with him. The weather was, in general, very favourable; but towards the end of the voyage it became stormy. On the 13th of August, in particular, we had a very stormy night; but Simeon did not seem in any way alarmed or agitated. He slept in my cabin, and I talked with him on our danger; but he seemed wholly to rely on God, committed himself to his protection at bed-time, and soon fell asleep.

        After arriving in England, Edward Bickersteth being himself too much occupied to superintend his education, the offer of F. Cunningham, Vicar of Pakefield, to instruct him in useful knowledge, and prepare him to become a blessing to his countrymen, was gladly accepted. He sojourned under the hospitable roof of that gentleman for some time, where his conduct gave great satisfaction, but his health soon required his being removed, and he was admitted into the National School in Shoe-lane, where he soon rose to the first class. Here he was attacked with a pulmonary complaint, and as it was feared the climate of this country would not suit his constitution, it was proposed that he should return to Africa, and his physician informed him of it. He expressed a very strong desire to remain in England, and as he cheerfully resigned his life to God, it was thought best to indulge him with staying. He gradually recovered from this sickness: and his gratitude, exemplary conduct, meek and affectionate spirit, increased the love of those about him.

        "His general behaviour," says E. Bickersteth, " was truly exemplary. Those who had the happiness of seeing


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it, will never forget his meek, gentle, and affectionate spirit. He was grateful for the least kindness. His ardent attachment to myself, the way in which his eye followed me when I at any time left home, and the manner in which he welcomed me on my return, showed how sensible he was of the least kindness. He was always very attentive when the Scriptures were explained, and heartily joined when a psalm or hymn was sung. We found it sometimes useful to refer, when reading the Scriptures, to parallel passages. Those who first found these passages, read them aloud. Simeon was frequently, if not generally, the first, on these occasions, being well acquainted with his Bible."

        Arabic being understood by the Mandingoes, on the western coast of Africa, and the knowledge of it giving an ascendancy in their opinion, Simeon began to learn Arabic; and had made, before his death, considerable progress in reading and writing that language. He had also begun to learn Latin.

        His worthy preceptor requested him to endeavour occasionally, to write on any texts which he might choose, such sermons as he would wish to address to his countrymen when he should return to Africa. I regret that space will not allow the insertion of some of these, indicating as they do a clear discernment of the gospel, and of its powerful influence on the mind of this African youth! Several letters he wrote show where his treasure and his heart were. "Oh, may I fear the Lord," he writes, "that he may teach me, above all, to love Him and keep his commandments. May the Lord deliver me from the vanity of my own heart, and entirely keep me from the world, and not let me be a mere professor of religion, but a doer of it! &c. When he became, from increasing weakness, confined to his bed, the servants of the family waited on him with unwearied affection. He was attended by medical men, who strove to recover him to health and usefulness, but in vain. The Missionary, Henry C. Decker, watched over him with


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the most constant and kind attention, and his copious notes made during his last illness, furnish an interestingly affecting view of the gradually closing scene.

        "Simeon," he says, "delighted in prayer, and in hearing the Bible read to him; and reminded me of a tender lamb, which the faithful Shepherd bears in his arms, and nurses in his bosom I asked him sometimes if he was comforted in his mind. 'Can you think on the Saviour?' 'Yes.' 'Have you hope that your sins are forgiven you?' 'O yes!--He has shed his blood for me.' "

        "He was very grateful for every thing that was done for him. He desired me one day to read some chapters in the Bible. I read the 3rd and 17th chapters of John, and made some remarks on them. After being silent about half an hour, he said: 'True repentance! pardoning grace! sanctification!'--and frequently repeated these words. I asked him if he wanted anything. He answered: 'No! I must be silent and pray. I have very much to think respecting true repentance.' He was, through the night, very silent, and much occupied in prayer."

        One morning H. D. having prayed with him, he prayed beautifully himself at some length. " I was very glad to hear this prayer," says H. D., "and was obliged to retire for some minutes, in order to give free course to my tears of gratitude to the Lord, for the grace given to this dear youth. He was all the day very quiet and patient, notwithstanding the increase of his fever. He expressed himself as being happy, and able to think on the Saviour and his love but added, 'I have much to think respecting conversion; therefore I want to be silent, and to pray in my thoughts.'

        "Simeon's illness continued to increase. When I sometimes spoke to him, he would say, 'I must be silent: I have much to think on, and to pray for. I must be really converted.' The Holy Spirit seemed to be more and more preparing him for his heavenly mansion. After I had


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communicated something comfortable to him, he remarked, with a smiling countenance, 'That is a joyful message,'--meaning it was adapted to his state--'I am comfortable, I feel no pain, all is over, I pray only that I may love the Saviour more, who is so kind to me.' It was delightful to see him so happy. He found it a great comfort, that he had physicians, who not only provided him with medicines for the body, but spoke to him concerning his soul.

        "He one day asked for some paper, and tried to write; but being too weak to hold the pen, he said: 'Mr. Decker, tell the boys at Bashia,' naming four of them, 'that Simeon is going to the Saviour in heaven; but he prays with his dying lips to the Lord, that they may turn with all their hearts to Jesus, and may be really converted by the power of the Holy Spirit. He begs them to give over all their hearts to him, that none of them, by remaining in unbelief and sin, may be lost; but that all, as true believers, may meet with him in heaven.' " 'On his friend's saying, "Simeon, you are very happy; you will in a short time see the Saviour in whom you have believed, and be a partaker of his glory:" raising his voice, he exclaimed "O Saviour, come! O Lord Jesus! take me home to Thee; I want to be with Jesus!--You go to Africa, and I to heaven; but we are united in Christ." He afterwards said: "O Lord! look with thy compassion on a poor Negro lying here! O Lord! hear the prayer of a dying Negro, and convert my countrymen! send true preachers to them. Take me to heaven, Lord Jesus!" All present were moved to tears.

        About two o'clock, on the morning of his death, he asked for some refreshment; when he had ate and drank, he said cheerfully: " This is the last time--I want no more--I shall go to my Saviour in heaven." He then poured out, with a loud and distinct voice, a fervent prayer for himself, for his relatives, for his countrymen, and for all his friends and benefactors. He spoke continually of the joy of being for ever with the Lord. About nine, he said to a


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companion, "pray for Simeon, that the Lord may give him patience. He then fell into a slumber; and about ten o'clock, after an illness of six weeks, he calmly fell asleep in Jesus. One of the kind friends who had been a good deal with him during his last illness, and witnessed his final close, observed, in a letter written soon after:--"This young African died, under the most clear, decided, and powerful influence of divine grace. His Christian intelligence and tenderness charmed every one around him. His love to his poor country was ardent, and his prayers unceasing. His death has deeply impressed all of us who witnessed it. We have had many anxious hours in this house respecting Africa; but God has placed before our eyes a scene, which is a full reward for all that we have felt and feared. These first-fruits gathered home to God assure us that an abundant harvest will follow."

        John Cooper, a brother-in-law of E. Bickersteth's, says:--"I visited Simeon occasionally during his illness; but within the last week of his life, I saw him daily, and sat up with him part of the two nights preceding the last. He was usually in a serene and heavenly state of mind. At every interview, I was constrained to admire the grace of God in him. I cannot repeat all that he said on these occasions; but it was expressive of that humble and believing state of mind, and that lively hope and longing to be with Christ, which the Christian, who has borne the burden and heat of the day for half a century, might rejoice to experience when he comes to die."

LOUIS DESROULEAUX.

        Pinsum, a captain in the Slave Trade, and a Planter of St. Domingo, had a confidential Slave, whom he was perpetually flattering with the hope of speedy freedom; but the more pains he took to render himself useful, the more


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firmly were his fetters rivetted. Louis Desrouleaux, whose schemes for obtaining his liberty rendered him very economical and laborious, soon amassed funds more than sufficient to purchase his freedom. He offered them with transport for the purchase of his independence, which had been so often promised him. "I have too long traded with the blood of my fellow-creatures," said his master, in a tone of humiliation; "be free; you restore me to myself."

        Pinsum, whose heart had been rather led astray than corrupted, now sold all his effects, and embarked for France with great riches; but in a few years lost all and returned to St. Domingo. Those who, when he was rich, called themselves his friends, now took very little notice of him; but his emancipated Slave, who had acquired a fortune by his industry, now supplied the place of his former friends. Hearing of the situation of his old master, he hastened to find him, and gave him lodging and food. Perceiving him, however, unhappy, he proposed that he should return again to France, and reside where his feelings would not be mortified by the sight of ungrateful men. " My gratitude will follow you," said the Negro, embracing his old master, "here is a contract for an annual income of 1500 livres."

        Pinsum wept for joy; the annuity was always paid beforehand; and some presents, as tokens of friendship, often accompanied it, until the death of Louis Desrouleaux, in 1774.

PRINCE GAGANGHA ACQUA.

A BRIEF NOTICE OF PRINCE GAGANGHA EMANUEL ACQUA, SON OF ACQUA, KING OF THE CAMARONES, COMMUNICATED IN A LETTER TO THE AUTHOR BY JOHN BURTT.

London, 5th of 2nd Mo., 1848.

My DEAR FRIEND,

        Amidst the attempts which have been made to depress the African character, by exhibiting it as incapable of improvement, it becomes not only an agreeable, but an


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imperative duty, to adduce evidence of an opposite nature; and to show that circumstances, whether their influences be good or evil, operate no less powerfully on the sable inhabitants of a tropical climate, than on the natives of more northern latitudes, where opportunities have been employed to remove the ignorance of uncivilized man, and to invest him with the glorious light of religion and science. How has it raised the brutal to the rational--the degraded to the noble--the idolatrous to the Christian character! What was once the condition of Druidical Britain, when in the most barbarous manner, parents sacrificed their off spring to senseless deities? And to what can her present position amongst the nations be attributed, but to that expansion of knowledge, human and divine, with which she has been pre-eminently favoured by the providence of Him who hath made of one blood all the inhabitants of the earth?

        These observations are naturally suggested by an outline of the history and character of Prince Gagangha Emanuel Acqua, who, in 1832, having obtained permission of his father, the King of the Camarones, to visit Cuba, embarked on board a Spanish schooner, as he himself expressed it, "to see the White man's country." The vessel was freighted with a cargo of Slaves, probably in part supplied by Acqua's father, who, like himself, had been brought up in the odious traffic in human beings. She was pursued and taken by an English man-of-war, on board of which the Prince was detained about five months, and was deprived of 300 dollars, the whole of what he had brought for his travelling expenses.

        Such a privation excited an unfavourable feeling on the part of the sufferer, who could not clearly understand that the fact of his having been met with on board a Slave-ship, was, to say the least, a circumstance of strong suspicion of wrong doing. While on board this vessel, he assisted in capturing two other ships engaged in the same iniquitous


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traffic, one of which was freighted with 646 of his miserable countrymen. Acqua was taken to Jamaica, from whence he proceeded to England, hoping to obtain a free passage to Sierra Leone or Fernando Po. He was probably encouraged in this hope not only by reflecting on his rank as an African Prince, but as being the son of a chief whose liberality to our countrymen was well known in his gratuitous supplies of provisions to the English captains on the coast of Fernando Po.

        On reaching Portsmouth, destitute of money, the Board of Admiralty furnished him with the means of proceeding to London, where, having letters of introduction from several naval officers, he became a recipient of those kindly attentions which well-recommended foreigners meet with in the British metropolis. Here, amongst others, he found a warm benefactor in Joseph Phillips, formerly of Antigua, now a magistrate in the West Indies. Under his roof Prince Acqua was entertained in the kindest manner while waiting for an opportunity to return to his own country. During his stay of some months in London, he was under constant anxiety to be restored to his family connexions; which was rendered more intense by his perpetual fear, that they would be distressed with a belief that he had met with an untimely end. Thus, the feelings of filial affection wrought powerfully on his yet untutored mind, and evidenced the possession of moral qualities, which his Christian friends felt it incumbent on them to cultivate for the augmentation of his own happiness, as well as for the benefit of those who might hereafter fall within the sphere of his influence.

        It is probable that until his arrival in England he had seldom associated with such as recognize any feeling of justice towards his oppressed countrymen, or any desire to promote the cause of humanity where it might interfere with their own sordid interest. Trained in early life to supply the Slave Captains with the victims of their avarice,


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his mind had necessarily been brutalized by a system which comprises every description of cruelty and fraud; nevertheless, amidst the gloom of ignorance, of guilt, and superstition, the rudiments of future usefulness were discernible; and, from the judicious care he now experienced, it may be hoped that his visit to our shores has already proved an event of substantial benefit.

        At the period referred to, I frequently saw him at my own house, or at the residence of Joseph Phillips. We perambulated many parts of the metropolis together, when every faculty would at times appear to be absorbed in admiration and astonishment; and it required some care not to overcharge his mind with those sudden transitions, which, from the intensity of excitement, might prove almost overwhelming. Under the dome of the cathedral, while surveying its magnificent roof, he was far from being insensible of that sublimity of feeling which has generally been considered incompatible with the African intellect. There, I observed the hand which had probably set fire to many a Negro hut, and seized and bound the terrified inhabitant, itself bound as by the spell of some power hitherto unknown; and which, placed on his temples, seemed for a time perfectly disabled by the sudden rush of new and multitudinous ideas that evidently oppressed him. The same effect was observable when from the summit of the monument he was shown the habitations of two millions of human beings. On such occasions he would for some moments appear incapable of articulation, only manifesting his feelings by a peculiar expression of the countenance, presently followed by some such expressions as these--"Ah! White men know everything; I cannot speak what I think."

        Prince Acqua more and more highly appreciated European knowledge; and I well recollect, while upon the lofty column already named, he was not only greatly affected with the stupendous scene, but at that juncture in particular,


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he was earnest in soliciting me to go home with him to instruct the Camarone people in useful learning, assuring me that I should be liberally rewarded in the best products of the soil; and judging from an observation which I once heard him make in connection with the superior attainments of Europeans over his own countrymen, the schoolmaster is indeed wanted in his father's dominions. Their mode of accounting for our superiority is, by supposing that at the creation, "White men" were made of the best material, while the refuse only had been used in the formation of our sable brethren. In his own country, when anything of peculiar excellence was exhibited, he said it was common to view it as the immediate workmanship of a divine hand; "but now," he exclaimed with evident delight, "I have myself seen such things made by men." Such expressions were interesting as throwing a light on our species when in an uncivilized state; but the following account which he gave of the manner of supplying the White traders with their victims is truly affecting. It naturally leads to the sad reflection, how deplorable it is that professing Christians should occasion the horrible outrages on humanity which are daily perpetrated.

        "We take many men," said he, "who can shoot: my father has forty hundred men who can use guns which he has bought. We walk many days until we come near, and then only walk at night, and enter the village. A few men fire their guns; the people awake and run out; we fire and kill a few, and surprise them all during their fright. We take as many as we can away, and drive them before us tied together, and sell them to the factors. We give them a man for a gun; sometimes for hatchets and clothes. It is wrong to sell a man, but they (the White Christians) will have nothing else for their guns and clothes. It is your fault that we sell him: you do more wrong than we do, because you know better. You have the Book; you know God, &c."


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        It was interesting to witness the gradations by which the cheering beams of intelligence occupied the former abodes of ignorance and superstition. After being shown many mechanical operations, he was conducted through various exhibitions of natural history, antiquities, &c.; and while enjoying the rich gratification afforded by the British Museum, I found ample opportunity for observing the gifts, which, although long uncultivated, had been liberally bestowed on this our sable brother by the common parent of mankind. At the same time I rejoiced in the assurance that in England at least, he had a circle of friends, who, during his continuance amongst them, were anxious so to exercise his various faculties, that they might be as perfectly developed as circumstances would allow. In the British Museum, Acqua, with much interest, drew my attention to specimens of ingenuity brought from his own country, which he quickly discovered; and the readiness with which he comprehended my explanations of things hitherto unknown, afforded abundant evidence that his stock of general knowledge was not only increasing, but that correct views on the most important subjects were also taking possession of his mind. Pointing out some of the idols of Fernando Po, he showed his sense of the absurdity of holding them in reverence by emphatically remarking that if they were Gods they would not suffer themselves to be taken captive, and be there confined within the narrow precincts of a house.

        An excitement arising from anxiety to return home operated against any systematic mode of instruction which Prince Acqua might otherwise have received, yet his acquirements of a religious nature were satisfactorily progressing. The following anecdote was related to me by my friend Jeremiah Wiffin, the elegant translator of Tasso:--

        The prince having been taken to two places of public worship, described what he saw and felt in a manner which proved his attention and discrimination. Having taken his


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seat in the place to which he was first introduced, he observed the air of indifference with which several came in an walked to their seats: to him, he said, some appeared proud and haughty, and others light and inattentive; but little seriousness being discernible. The music, he said, produced no effect on his mind but an inclination to dance. At the second place to which he was taken, he said he saw a number of persons sitting in a serious frame of mind, amongst whom he soon became serious himself. Presently one of them arose, and spoke in a manner which he said appeared "wonderful"; his spiritual condition being so clearly addressed as forcibly to remind him of his former sins and to convince him "how wicked he was." His conscience was so powerfully awakened, that in a humble state of mind, yet with an originality of expression which was common to him, he declared to his friends that he had been wholly subdued. "The preacher," said he, "gave me a great blow, and knocked me down."

        During his stay in London, Prince Acqua was introduced to Lord John Russell, and to that indefatigable friend of the African, Thos. Fowell Buxton. The latter, amongst other marks of attention, presented him with a case furnished with the necessary apparatus for writing, and having the following inscription engraved on a plate:--


                         GAGANGHA EMANUEL ACQUA,
                         PRINCE ROYAL OF THE CAMARONES IN AFRICA.
                         THIS CASE WAS PRESENTED TO HIM WHEN IN ENGLAND,
                         NOV. 10, 1832,
                         BY THOMAS FOWELL BUXTON, ESQ.,
                         MEMBER OF THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT,
                         THE FAITHFUL ADVOCATE FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE
                         AND SLAVERY THROUGHOUT