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Title: The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 2 of 4
Author: American Anti-Slavery Society
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 2 of 4" ***


BY The American Anti-Slavery Society








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NO. 5


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STREET. 1838.

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This No. contains 3-1/2 sheets.--Postage, under 100 miles, 6 cts. over
100, 10 cts.


A civilized community presupposes a government of law. If that
government be a republic, its citizens are the sole _sources_, as well
as the _subjects_ of its power. Its constitution is their bill of
directions to their own agents--a grant authorizing the exercise of
certain powers, and prohibiting that of others. In the Constitution of
the United States, whatever else may be obscure, the clause granting
power to Congress over the Federal District may well defy
misconstruction. Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 18: "The Congress shall have
power to exercise exclusive legislation, _in all cases whatsoever_, over
such District." Congress may make laws for the District "in all
_cases_," not of all _kinds_. The grant respects the _subjects_ of
legislation, _not_ the moral nature of the laws. The law-making power
every where, is subject to _moral_ restrictions, whether limited by
constitutions or not. No legislature can authorize murder, nor make
honesty penal, nor virtue a crime, nor exact impossibilities. In these
and similar respects, the power of Congress is held in check by
principles existing in the nature of things, not imposed by the
Constitution, but presupposed and assumed by it. The power of Congress
over the District is restricted only by those principles that limit
ordinary legislation, and, in some respects, it has even wider scope.

In common with the legislatures of the States, Congress cannot
constitutionally pass ex post facto laws in criminal cases, nor suspend
the writ of habeas corpus, nor pass a bill of attainder, nor abridge the
freedom of speech and of the press, nor invade the right of the people
to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, nor enact
laws respecting an establishment of religion. These are general
limitations. Congress cannot do these things _any where_. The exact
import, therefore, of the clause "in all cases whatsoever," is, _on all
subjects within the appropriate sphere of legislation_. Some
legislatures are restrained by constitutions from the exercise of powers
strictly within the proper sphere of legislation. Congressional power
over the District has no such restraint. It traverses the whole field of
legitimate legislation. All the power which any legislature has within
its own jurisdiction, Congress holds over the District of Columbia.

It has been asserted that the clause in question respects merely police
regulations, and that its sole design was to enable Congress to protect
itself against popular tumults. But if the framers of the Constitution
aimed to provide for a _single_ case only, why did they provide for
"_all_ cases whatsoever?" Besides, this clause was opposed in many of
the state conventions, because the grant of power was not restricted to
police regulations _alone_. In the Virginia Convention, George Mason,
the father of the Virginia Constitution, said, "This clause gives an
unlimited authority in every possible case within the District. He would
willingly give them exclusive power as far as respected the police and
good government of the place, but he would give them no more." Mr.
Grayson said, that control over the _police_ was all-sufficient, and
that the "Continental Congress never had an idea of exclusive
legislation in all cases." Patrick Henry said. "Is it consistent with
any principle of prudence or good policy, to grant _unlimited, unbounded
authority?_" Mr. Madison said in reply: "I did conceive that the clause
under consideration was one of those parts which would speak its own
praise. When any power is given, its delegation necessarily involves
authority to make laws to execute it. * * * * The powers which are found
necessary to be given, are therefore delegated _generally_, and
particular and minute specification is left to the legislature. * * * It
is not within the limits of human capacity to delineate on paper all
those particular cases and circumstances, in which legislation by the
general legislature would be necessary." Governor Randolph said:
"Holland has no ten miles square, but she has the Hague where the
deputies of the States assemble. But the influence which it has given
the province of Holland, to have the seat of government within its
territory, subject in some respects to its control, has been injurious
to the other provinces. The wisdom of the Convention is therefore
manifest in granting to Congress exclusive jurisdiction over the place
of their session." [_Deb. Va. Con._, p. 320.] In the forty-third number
of the "Federalist," Mr. Madison says: "The indispensable necessity of
_complete_ authority at the seat of government, carries its own
evidence with it."

Finally, that the grant in question is to be interpreted according to
the obvious import of its _terms_, is proved by the fact, that Virginia
proposed an amendment to the United States' Constitution at the time of
its adoption, providing that this clause "should be so construed as to
give power only over the _police and good government_ of said District,"
_which amendment was rejected_.

The former part of the clause under consideration, "Congress shall have
power to exercise _exclusive_ legislation," gives _sole_ jurisdiction,
and the latter part, "in all cases whatsoever," defines the _extent_ of
it. Since, then, Congress is the _sole_ legislature within the District,
and since its power is limited only by the checks common to all
legislatures, it follows that what the law-making power is intrinsically
competent to do _any_ where, Congress is competent to do in the District
of Columbia. Having disposed of preliminaries, we proceed to state and
argue the _real_ question at issue.


1. In every government, absolute sovereignty exists _somewhere_. In the
United States it exists primarily with the _people_, and _ultimate_
sovereignty _always_ exists with them. In each of the States, the
legislature possesses a _representative_ sovereignty, delegated by the
people through the Constitution--the people thus committing to the
legislature a portion of their sovereignty, and specifying in their
constitutions the amount of the grant and its conditions. That the
_people_ in any state where slavery exists, have the power to abolish
it, none will deny. If the legislature have not the power, it is because
_the people_ have reserved it to themselves. Had they lodged with the
legislature "power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases
whatsoever," they would have parted with their sovereignty over the
legislation of the State, and so far forth, the legislature would have
become _the people_, clothed with all their functions, and as such
competent, _during the continuance of the grant_, to do whatever the
people might have done before the surrender of their power:
consequently, they would have the power to abolish slavery. The
sovereignty of the District of Columbia exists _somewhere_--where is it
lodged? The citizens of the District have no legislature of their own,
no representation in Congress, and no political power whatever. Maryland
and Virginia have surrendered to the United States their "full and
absolute right and entire sovereignty," and the people of the United
States have committed to Congress by the Constitution, the power to
"exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such

Thus, the sovereignty of the District of Columbia, is shown to reside
solely in the Congress of the United States; and since the power of the
people of a state to abolish slavery within their own limits, results
from their entire sovereignty within that state, so the power of
Congress to abolish slavery in the District, results from its entire
sovereignty within the District. If it be objected that Congress can
have no more power over the District, than was held by the legislatures
of Maryland and Virginia, we ask what clause of the constitution
graduates the power of Congress by the standard of those legislatures?
Was the United States' constitution worked into its present shape under
the measuring line and square of Virginia and Maryland? and is its power
to be bevelled down till it can run in the grooves of state legislation?
There is a deal of prating about constitutional power over the District,
as though Congress were indebted for it to Maryland and Virginia. The
powers of those states, whether prodigies or nullities, have nothing to
do with the question. As well thrust in the powers of the Grand Lama to
join issue upon, or twist papal bulls into constitutional tether, with
which to curb congressional action. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
STATES gives power to Congress, and takes it away, and _it alone_.
Maryland and Virginia adopted the Constitution _before_ they ceded to
the United States the territory of the District. By their acts of
cession, they abdicated their own sovereignty over the District, and
thus made room for that provided by the United States' constitution,
which sovereignty was to commence as soon as a cession of territory by
states, and its acceptance by Congress, furnished a sphere for its
exercise. That the abolition of slavery is within the sphere of
legislation, I argue.

LEGISLATION. The law, by _creating_ slavery, not only affirmed its
_existence_ to be within the sphere and under the control of
legislation, but also, the conditions and terms of its existence, and
the _question_ whether or not it should exist. Of course legislation
would not travel _out_ of its sphere, in abolishing what is _within_ it,
and what had been recognized to be within it, by its own act. Cannot
legislatures repeal their own laws? If law can take from a man his
rights, it can give them back again. If it can say, "your body belongs
to your neighbor," it can say, "it belongs to _yourself_." If it can
annul a man's right to himself, held by express grant from his Maker,
and can create for another an _artificial_ title to him, can it not
annul the artificial title, and leave the original owner to hold himself
by his original title?

APPROPRIATE SPHERE OF LEGISLATION. Almost every civilized nation has
abolished slavery by law. The history of legislation since the revival
of letters, is a record crowded with testimony to the universally
admitted competency of the law-making power to abolish slavery. It is so
manifestly an attribute not merely of absolute sovereignty, but even of
ordinary legislation, that the competency of a legislature to exercise
it, may well nigh be reckoned among the legal axioms of the civilized
world. Even the night of the dark ages was not dark enough to make this

The Abolition decree of the great council of England was passed in 1102.
The memorable Irish decree, "that all the English slaves in the whole of
Ireland, be immediately emancipated and restored to their former
liberty," was issued in 1171. Slavery in England was abolished by a
general charter of emancipation in 1381. Passing over many instances of
the abolition of slavery by law, both during the middle ages and since
the reformation, we find them multiplying as we approach our own times.
In 1776 slavery was abolished in Prussia by special edict. In St.
Domingo, Cayenne, Guadaloupe, and Martinique, in 1794, where more than
600,000 slaves were emancipated by the French government. In Java, 1811;
in Ceylon, 1815; in Buenos Ayres, 1816; in St. Helena, 1819; in
Colombia, 1821; by the Congress of Chili in 1821; in Cape Colony, 1823;
in Malacca, 1825; in the southern provinces of Birmah, 1826; in Bolivia,
1826; in Peru, Guatemala, and Monte Video, 1828; in Jamaica, Barbados,
the Bermudas, the Bahamas, Anguilla, Mauritius, St. Christopers, Nevis,
the Virgin Islands, (British), Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, St.
Vincents, Grenada, Berbice, Tobago, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Honduras,
Demerara, Essequibo and the Cape of Good Hope, on the 1st of August,
1834. But waving details, suffice it to say, that England, France,
Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Germany, have
all and often given their testimony to the competency of the legislative
power to abolish slavery. In our own country, the Legislature of
Pennsylvania passed an act of abolition in 1780, Connecticut in 1784;
Rhode Island, 1784; New-York, 1799; New-Jersey, in 1804; Vermont, by
Constitution, in 1777; Massachusetts, in 1780; and New-Hampshire,
in 1784.

When the competency of the law-making power to abolish slavery has thus
been recognized every where and for ages, when it has been embodied in
the highest precedents, and celebrated in the thousand jubilees of
regenerated liberty, is it an achievement of modern discovery, that such
a power is a nullity?--that all these acts of abolition are void, and
that the millions disenthralled by them, are, either themselves or their
posterity, still legally in bondage?

South Carolina prohibits the working of slaves more than fifteen hours
in the twenty-four. In other words, it takes from the slaveholder his
power over nine hours of the slave's time daily; and if it can take nine
hours it may take twenty-four. The laws of Georgia prohibit the working
of slaves on the first day of the week; and if they can do it for the
first, they can for the six following. The law of North Carolina
prohibits the "immoderate" correction of slaves. If it has power to
prohibit _immoderate_ correction, it can prohibit _moderate_
correction--_all_ correction, which would be virtual emancipation; for,
take from the master the power to inflict pain, and he is master no
longer. Cease to ply the slave with the stimulus of fear, and he
is free.

The Constitution of Mississippi gives the General Assembly power to make
laws "to oblige the owners of slaves to _treat them with humanity_." The
Constitution of Missouri has the same clause, and an additional one
making it the DUTY of the legislature to pass such laws as may be
necessary to secure the _humane_ treatment of the slaves. This grant to
those legislatures, empowers them to decide what _is_ and what is _not_
"humane treatment." Otherwise it gives no "power"--the clause is mere
waste paper, and flouts in the face of a befooled legislature. A clause
giving power to require "humane treatment" covers all the _particulars_
of such treatment--gives power to exact it in _all respects--requiring_
certain acts, and _prohibiting_ others--maiming, branding, chaining
together, separating families, floggings for learning the alphabet, for
reading the Bible, for worshiping God according to conscience--the
legislature has power to specify each of these acts--declare that it is
not "_humane_ treatment," and PROHIBIT it.--The legislature may also
believe that driving men and women into the field, and forcing them to
work without pay, is not "humane treatment," and being constitutionally
bound "to _oblige_" masters to practise "humane treatment"--they have
the _power_ to _prohibit such_ treatment, and are bound to do it.

The law of Louisiana makes slaves real estate, prohibiting the holder,
if he be also a _land_ holder, to separate them from the soil.[A] If it
has power to prohibit the sale _without_ the soil, it can prohibit the
sale _with_ it; and if it can prohibit the _sale_ as property, it can
prohibit the _holding_ as property. Similar laws exist in the French,
Spanish, and Portuguese colonies. The law of Louisiana requires the
master to give his slaves a certain amount of food and clothing. If it
can oblige the master to give the slave _one_ thing, it can oblige him
to give him another: if food and clothing, then wages, liberty, his own
body. By the laws of Connecticut, slaves may receive and hold property,
and prosecute suits in their own name as plaintiffs: [This last was also
the law of Virginia in 1795. See Tucker's "Dissertation on Slavery," p.
73.] There were also laws making marriage contracts legal, in certain
contingencies, and punishing infringements of them, ["_Reeve's Law of
Baron and Femme_," p. 340-1.]

[Footnote A: Virginia made slaves real estate by a law passed in 1705.
(_Beverly's Hist. of Va._, p. 98.) I do not find the precise time when
this law was repealed, probably when Virginia became the chief slave
breeder for the cotton-growing and sugar-planting country, and made
young men and women "from fifteen to twenty-five" the main staple
production of the State.]

Each of the laws enumerated above, does, _in principle_, abolish
slavery; and all of them together abolish it _in fact_. True, not as a
_whole_, and at a _stroke_, nor all in one place; but in its _parts_, by
piecemeal, at divers times and places; thus showing that the abolition
of slavery is within the boundary of legislation.

In the "Washington (D.C.) City Laws," page 138, is "AN ACT to prevent
horses from being cruelly beaten or abused." Similar laws have been
passed by corporations in many of the slave states, and throughout the
civilized world, such acts are punishable either as violations of common
law or of legislative enactments. If a legislature can pass laws "to
prevent _horses_ from being cruelly abused," it can pass laws to prevent
_men_ from being cruelly abused, and if it can _prevent_ cruel abuse, it
can define _what it is_. It can declare that to make men _work without
pay_ is cruel abuse, and can PROHIBIT it.

IMPLICATION. Some States recognize it in their _Constitutions_, by
giving the legislature power to emancipate such slaves as may "have
rendered the state some distinguished service," and others by express
prohibitory restrictions. The Constitution of Mississippi, Arkansas, and
other States, restrict the power of the legislature in this respect. Why
this express prohibition, if the law-making power _cannot_ abolish
slavery? A stately farce indeed, with appropriate rites to induct into
the Constitution a special clause, for the express purpose of
restricting a nonentity!--to take from the law-making power what it
_never had_, and what _cannot_ pertain to it! The legislatures of those
States have no power to abolish slavery, simply because their
Constitutions have expressly _taken away_ that power. The people of
Arkansas, Mississippi, &c. well knew the competency of the law-making
power to abolish slavery, and hence their zeal to _restrict_ it.

The slaveholding States have recognised this power in their _laws_.
Virginia passed a law in 1786 to prevent the importation of Slaves, of
which the following is an extract: "And be it further enacted that every
slave imported into this commonwealth contrary to the true intent and
meaning of this act, shall upon such importation become _free_." By a
law of Virginia, passed Dec. 17, 1792, a slave brought into the state
and kept _there a year_, was _free_. The Maryland Court of Appeals,
Dec., 1813 [case of Stewart vs. Oakes,] decided that a slave owned in
Maryland, and sent by his master into Virginia to work at different
periods, making one year in the whole, became _free_, being
_emancipated_ by the above law. North Carolina and Georgia in their acts
of cession, transferring to the United States the territory now
constituting the States of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, made it a
condition of the grant, that the provisions of the ordinance of '87
should be secured to the inhabitants, _with the exception of the sixth
article which prohibits slavery_; thus conceding, both the competency of
law to abolish slavery, and the power of Congress to do it, within its
jurisdiction. (These acts show the prevalent belief at that time, in the
slaveholding States, that the general government had adopted a line of
policy aiming at the exclusion of slavery from the entire territory of
the United States, not included within the original States, and that
this policy would be pursued unless prevented by specific and formal

Slaveholding States have asserted this power _in their judicial
decisions_. In numerous cases their highest courts have decided that if
the legal owner of slaves takes them into those States where slavery has
been abolished either by law or by the constitution, such removal
emancipates them, such law or constitution abolishing their slavery.
This principle is asserted in the decision of the Supreme Court of
Louisiana, Lunsford vs. Coquillon, 14 Martin's La. Reps. 401. Also by
the Supreme Court of Virginia, Hunter vs. Fulcher, 1 Leigh's Reps. 172.
The same doctrine was laid down by Judge Washington, of the U. S. Sup.
Court, Butler vs. Hopper, Washington's C. C. Reps. 508; also, by the
Court of Appeals in Kentucky, Rankin vs. Lydia, 2 Marshall's Reps. 407;
see also, Wilson vs. Isbell, 5 Call's Reps. 425, Spotts vs. Gillespie, 6
Randolph's Reps. 566. The State vs. Lasselle, 1 Blackford's Reps. 60,
Marie Louise vs. Mariot, 8 La. Reps. 475. In this case, which was tried
in 1836, the slave had been taken by her master to France and brought
back; Judge Matthews, of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, decided that
"residence for one moment" under the laws of France emancipated her.

Washington, in a letter to Robert Morris, April 12, 1786, says: "There
is not a man living, who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan
adopted for the abolition of slavery; but there is only one proper and
effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by
_legislative_ authority." In a letter to Lafayette, May 10, 1786, he
says: "It (the abolition of slavery) certainly might, and assuredly
ought to be effected, and that too by _legislative_ authority." In a
letter to John Fenton Mercer, Sept. 9, 1786, he says: "It is among my
first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country
may be abolished by _law_." In a letter to Sir John Sinclair, he says:
"There are in Pennsylvania, _laws_ for the gradual abolition of slavery,
which neither Maryland nor Virginia have at present, but which nothing
is more certain than that they _must have_, and at a period not remote."
Jefferson, speaking of movements in the Virginia Legislature in 1777,
for the passage of a law emancipating the slaves, says: "The principles
of the amendment were agreed on, that is to say, the freedom of all born
after a certain day; but it was found that the public mind would not
bear the proposition, yet the day is not far distant when _it must bear
and adopt it_."--Jefferson's Memoirs, v. i. p. 35. It is well known that
Jefferson, Pendleton, Mason, Wythe and Lee, while acting as a committee
of the Virginia House of Delegates to revise the State Laws, prepared a
plan for the gradual emancipation of the slaves by law. These men were
the great lights of Virginia. Mason, the author of the Virginia
Constitution; Pendleton, the President of the memorable Virginia
Convention in 1787, and President of the Virginia Court of Appeals;
Wythe was the Blackstone of the Virginia bench, for a quarter of a
century Chancellor of the State, the professor of law in the University
of William and Mary, and the preceptor of Jefferson, Madison, and Chief
Justice Marshall. He was the author of the celebrated remonstrance to
the English House of Commons on the subject of the stamp act. As to
Jefferson, his _name_ is his biography.

Every slaveholding member of Congress from the States of Maryland,
Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, voted for the
celebrated ordinance of 1787, which abolished the slavery then existing
in the Northwest Territory. Patrick Henry, in his well known letter to
Robert Pleasants, of Virginia, January 18, 1773, says: "I believe a time
will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable
evil." William Pinkney, of Maryland, advocated the abolition of slavery
by law, in the legislature of that State, in 1789. Luther Martin urged
the same measure both in the Federal Convention, and in his report to
the Legislature of Maryland. In 1796, St. George Tucker, of Virginia,
professor of law in the University of William and Mary, and Judge of the
General Court, published a dissertation on slavery, urging the abolition
of slavery by _law_.

John Jay, while New-York was yet a slave State, and himself in law a
slaveholder, said in a letter from Spain, in 1786, "An excellent law
might be made out of the Pennsylvania one, for the gradual abolition of
slavery. Were I in your legislature, I would present a bill for the
purpose, and I would never cease moving it till it became a law, or I
ceased to be a member."

Governor Tompkins, in a message to the Legislature of New-York, January
8, 1812, said: "To devise the means for the gradual and ultimate
_extermination_ from amongst us of slavery, is a work worthy the
_representatives_ of a polished and enlightened nation."

The Virginia Legislature asserted this power in 1832. At the close of a
month's debate, the following proceedings were had. I extract from an
editorial article in the Richmond Whig, Jan. 26, 1832.

"The report of the Select Committee, adverse to legislation on the
subject of Abolition, was in these words: _Resolved_, as the opinion of
this Committee, that it is INEXPEDIENT FOR THE PRESENT, to make any
_legislative enactments for the abolition of slavery_." This Report Mr.
Preston moved to reverse, and thus to declare that it _was_ expedient,
_now_ to make legislative enactments for the abolition of slavery. This
was meeting the question in its strongest form. It demanded action, and
immediate action. On this proposition the vote was 58 to 73. Many of the
most decided friends of abolition voted against the amendment, because
they thought public opinion not sufficiently prepared for it, and that
it might prejudice the cause to move too rapidly. The vote on Mr.
Witcher's motion to postpone the whole subject indefinitely, indicates
the true state of opinion in the House. That was the test question, and
was so intended and proclaimed by its mover. That motion was
_negatived_, 71 to 60; showing a majority of 11, who by that vote,
declared their belief that at the proper time, and in the proper mode,
Virginia ought to commence a system of gradual abolition.

ordinance of '87, declaring that there should be "neither slavery nor
involuntary servitude," in the North Western Territory, abolished the
slavery then existing there. The Sup. Court of Mississippi, [Harvey vs.
Decker, Walker's Mi. Reps. 36,] declared that the ordinance of '87
emancipated the slaves then held there. In this decision the question is
argued ably and at great length. The Supreme Court of La. made the same
decision in the case of Forsyth vs. Nash, 4 Martin's La. Reps. 385. The
same doctrine was laid down by Judge Porter, (late United States Senator
from La.,) in his decision at the March term of the La. Supreme Court,
1830, Merry vs. Chexnaider, 20 Martin's Reps. 699.

That the ordinance abolished the slavery then existing there is also
shown by the fact, that persons holding slaves in the territory
petitioned for the repeal of the article abolishing slavery, assigning
_that_ as a reason. "The petition of the citizens of Randolph and St.
Clair counties in the Illinois country, stating that they were in
possession of slaves, and praying the repeal of that act (the 6th
article of the ordinance of '87) and the passage of a law legalizing
slavery there." [Am. State papers, Public Lands, v. 1. p. 69.] Congress
passed this ordinance before the United States' Constitution was
adopted, when it derived all its authority from the articles of
Confederation, which conferred powers of legislation far more restricted
than those committed to Congress over the District and Territories by
the United States' Constitution. Now, we ask, how does the Constitution
_abridge_ the powers which Congress possessed under the articles of

The abolition of the slave trade by Congress, in 1808, is another
illustration of the competency of legislative power to abolish slavery.
The African slave trade has become such a mere _technic_, in common
parlance, that the fact of its being _proper slavery_ is overlooked. The
buying and selling, the transportation, and the horrors of the middle
passage, were mere _incidents_ of the slavery in which the victims were
held. Let things be called by their own names. When Congress abolished
the African slave trade, it abolished SLAVERY--supreme slavery--power
frantic with license, trampling a whole hemisphere scathed with its
fires, and running down with blood. True, Congress did not, in the
abolition of the slave trade, abolish all the slavery within its
jurisdiction, but it did abolish _all_ the slavery _in one_ part of its
jurisdiction. What has rifled it of power to abolish slavery in
_another_ part of its jurisdiction, especially in that part where it has
"exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever?"

MOST CONCLUSIVE IMPLICATION. In Art. 1, sec. 3, clause 1, it prohibits
the abolition of the slave trade previous to 1808: thus implying the
power of Congress to do it at once, but for the restriction; and its
power to do it _unconditionally_, when that restriction ceased. Again;
In Art. 4, sec. 2, "No person held to service or labor in one state
under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of
any law or regulation therein, be discharged from said service or
labor." This clause was inserted, as all admit, to prevent the runaway
slave from being emancipated by the _laws_ of the free states. If these
laws had _no power_ to emancipate, why this constitutional guard to
prevent it?

The insertion of the clause, was the testimony of the eminent jurists
that framed the Constitution, to the existence of the _power_, and their
public proclamation, that the abolition of slavery was within the
appropriate sphere of legislation. The right of the owner to that which
is rightfully property, is founded on a principle of _universal law_,
and is recognized and protected by all civilized nations; property in
slaves is, by general consent, an _exception_; hence slaveholders
insisted upon the insertion of this clause in the United States'
Constitution, that they might secure by an _express provision_, that
from which protection is withheld, by the acknowledged principles of
universal law.[A] By demanding this provision, slaveholders consented
that their slaves should not be recognized as property by the United
States' Constitution, and hence they found their claim, on the fact of
their being "_persons_, and _held_ to service."

[Footnote A: The fact, that under the articles of Confederation,
slaveholders, whose slaves had escaped into free states, had no legal
power to force them back,--that _now_ they have no power to recover, by
process of law, their slaves who escape to Canada, the South American
States, or to Europe--the case already cited, in which the Supreme Court
of Louisiana decided, that residence "_for one moment_," under the laws
of France emancipated an American slave--the case of Fulton, _vs._
Lewis, 3 Har. and John's Reps., 56, where the slave of a St. Domingo
slaveholder, who brought him to Maryland in '93, was pronounced free by
the Maryland Court of Appeals--are illustrations of the acknowledged
truth here asserted, that by the consent of the civilized world, and on
the principles of universal law, slaves are not "_property_," and that
whenever held as property under _law_, it is only by _positive
legislative acts_, forcibly setting aside the law of nature, the common
law, and the principles of universal justice and right between man and
man,--principles paramount to all law, and from which alone, law derives
its intrinsic authoritative sanction.]

with certain restrictions, in most of the States, either by legislative
acts or by constitutional implication. THE COMMON LAW KNOWS NO SLAVES.
Its principles annihilate slavery wherever they touch it. It is a
universal, unconditional, abolition act. Wherever slavery is a legal
system, it is so only by _statute_ law, and in violation of the common
law. The declaration of Lord Chief Justice Holt, that, "by the common
law, no man can have property in another," is an acknowledged axiom, and
based upon the well known common law definition of property. "The
subjects of dominion or property are _things_, as contra-distinguished
from _persons_." Let Congress adopt the common law in the District of
Columbia, and slavery there is abolished. Congress may well be at home
in common law legislation, for the common law is the grand element of
the United States' Constitution. All its _fundamental_ provisions are
instinct with its spirit; and its existence, principles, and paramount
authority, are presupposed and assumed throughout the whole. The
preamble of the Constitution plants the standard of the Common Law
immovably in its foreground. "We, the people of the United States, in
order to ESTABLISH JUSTICE, &c., do ordain and establish this
Constitution;" thus proclaiming _devotion_ to JUSTICE, as the
controlling motive in the organization of the Government, and its secure
establishment the chief object of its aims. By this most solemn
recognition, the common law, that grand legal embodyment of "justice"
and fundamental right--was made the groundwork of the Constitution, and
intrenched behind its strongest munitions. The second clause of Sec. 9,
Art. 1; Sec. 4, Art. 2, and the last clause of Sec. 2, Art. 3, with
Articles 7, 8, 9, and 13 of the Amendments, are also express
recognitions of the common law as the presiding Genius of the

By adopting the common law within its exclusive jurisdiction Congress
would carry out the principles of our glorious Declaration, and follow
the highest precedents in our national history and jurisprudence. It is
a political maxim as old as civil legislation, that laws should be
strictly homogeneous with the principles of the government whose will
they express, embodying and carrying them out--being indeed the
_principles themselves_, in preceptive form--representatives alike of
the nature and power of the Government--standing illustrations of its
genius and spirit, while they proclaim and enforce its authority. Who
needs be told that slavery makes war upon the principles of the
Declaration, and the spirit of the Constitution, and that these and the
principles of the common law gravitate towards each other with
irrepressible affinities, and mingle into one? The common law came
hither with our pilgrim fathers; it was their birthright, their panoply,
their glory, and their song of rejoicing in the house of their
pilgrimage. It covered them in the day of their calamity, and their
trust was under the shadow of its wings. From the first settlement of
the country, the genius of our institutions and our national spirit have
claimed it as a common possession, and exulted in it with a common
pride. A century ago, Governor Pownall, one of the most eminent
constitutional jurists of colonial times, said of the common law, "In
all the colonies the common law is received as the foundation and main
body of their law." In the Declaration of Rights, made by the
Continental Congress at its first session in '74, there was the
following resolution: "Resolved, That the respective colonies are
entitled to the common law of England, and especially to the great and
inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage
according to the course of that law." Soon after the organization of the
general government, Chief Justice Ellsworth, in one of his decisions on
the bench of the U. S. Sup. Court, said: "The common law of this country
remains the same as it was before the revolution." Chief Justice
Marshall, in his decision in the case of Livingston _vs._ Jefferson,
said: "When our ancestors migrated to America, they brought with them
the common law of their native country, so far as it was applicable to
their new situation, and I do not conceive that the revolution in any
degree changed the relations of man to man, or the law which regulates
them. In breaking our political connection with the parent state, we did
not break our connection with each other." [_Hall's Law Journal, new
series_.] Mr. Duponceau, in his "Dissertation on the Jurisdiction of
Courts in the United States," says, "I consider the common law of
England the _jus commune_ of the United States. I think I can lay it
down as a correct principle, that the common law of England, as it was
at the time of the Declaration of Independence, still continues to be
the national law of this country, so far as it is applicable to our
present state, and subject to the modifications it has received here in
the course of nearly half a century." Chief Justice Taylor of North
Carolina, in his decision in the case of the State _vs._ Reed, in 1823,
Hawkes' N.C. Reps. 454, says, "a law of _paramount, obligation to the
statute_, was violated by the offence--COMMON LAW, founded upon the law
of nature, and confirmed by revelation." The legislation of the United
States abounds in recognitions of the principles of the common law,
asserting their paramount binding power. Sparing details, of which our
national state papers are full, we illustrate by a single instance. It
was made a condition of the admission of Louisiana into the Union, that
the right of trial by jury should be secured to all her citizens,--the
United States government thus employing its power to enlarge the
jurisdiction of the common law in this its great representative.

Having shown that the abolition of slavery is within the competency of
the law-making power, when unrestricted by constitutional provisions,
and that the legislation of Congress over the District is thus
unrestricted, its power to abolish slavery there is established. We
argue it further, from the fact that,

of 16th July, 1790, Congress accepted portions of territory offered by
the states of Maryland and Virginia, and enacted that the laws, as they
then were, should continue in force, "until Congress shall otherwise by
law provide." Under these laws, adopted by Congress, and in effect
re-enacted and made laws of the District, the slaves there are now held.

Is Congress so impotent in its own "exclusive jurisdiction" that it
cannot "otherwise by law provide?" If it can say, what _shall_ be
considered property, it can say what shall _not_ be considered property.
Suppose a legislature should enact that marriage contracts should be
mere bills of sale, making a husband the proprietor of his wife, as his
_bona fide_ property; and suppose husbands should herd their wives in
droves for the market as beasts of burden, or for the brothel as victims
of lust, and then prate about their inviolable legal property, and deny
the power of the legislature, which stamped them "property," to undo its
own wrong, and secure to wives by law the rights of human beings. Would
such cant about "legal rights" be heeded where reason and justice held
sway, and where law, based upon fundamental morality, received homage?
If a frantic legislature pronounces woman a chattel, has it no power,
with returning reason, to take back the blasphemy? Is the impious edict
irrepealable? Be it, that with legal forms it has stamped wives "wares."
Can no legislation blot out the brand? Must the handwriting of Deity on
human nature be expunged for ever? Has LAW no power to stay the erasing
pen, and tear off the scrawled label that covers up the IMAGE OF GOD?


1. It has been assumed by Congress itself. The following record stands
on the journals of the House of Representatives for 1804, p. 225: "On
motion made and seconded that the House do come to the following
resolution: 'Resolved, That from and after the 4th day of July, 1805,
all blacks and people of color that shall be born within the District of
Columbia, or whose mothers shall be the property of any person residing
within the said District, shall be free, the males at the age of ----,
and the females at the age of ----. The main question being taken that
the House do agree to said motions as originally proposed, it was
negatived by a majority of 46.'" Though the motion was lost, it was on
the ground of its alleged _inexpediency_ alone. In the debate which
preceded the vote, the power of Congress was conceded. In March, 1816,
the House of Representatives passed the following resolution: "Resolved,
That a committee be appointed to inquire into the existence of an
inhuman and illegal traffic in slaves, carried on in and through the
District of Columbia, and to report whether any and what measures are
necessary for _putting a stop to the same_."

On the 9th of January, 1829, the House of Representatives passed the
following resolution by a vote of 114 to 66: "Resolved, That the
Committee on the District of Columbia, be instructed to inquire into the
_expediency_ of providing by _law_ for the gradual abolition of slavery
within the District, in such a manner that the interests of no
individual shall be injured thereby." Among those who voted in the
affirmative were Messrs. Barney of Md., Armstrong of Va., A.H. Shepperd
of N.C., Blair of Tenn., Chilton and Lyon of Ky., Johns of Del., and
others from slave states.

COLUMBIA.--In a report of the committee on the District, Jan. 11, 1837,
by their chairman, Mr. Powell of Va., there is the following
declaration: "The Congress of the United States, has by the constitution
exclusive jurisdiction over the District, and has power upon this
subject (_slavery_,) as upon all other subjects of legislation, to
exercise _unlimited discretion_." Reports of Comms. 2d Sess. 19th Cong.
v. iv. No. 43. In December, 1831, the committee on the District, Mr.
Doddridge of Va., Chairman, reported, "That until the adjoining states
act on the subject, (_slavery_) it would be (not _unconstitutional_ but)
unwise and impolitic, if not unjust, for Congress to interfere." In
April, 1836, a special committee on abolition memorials reported the
following resolutions by their Chairman, Mr. Pinckney of South Carolina:
"Resolved, That Congress possesses no constitutional authority to
interfere in any way with the institution of slavery in any of the
states of this confederacy."

"Resolved, That Congress _ought not to interfere_ in any way with
slavery in the District of Columbia." "Ought not to interfere,"
carefully avoiding the phraseology of the first resolution, and thus in
effect conceding the constitutional power. In a widely circulated
"Address to the electors of the Charleston District," Mr. Pinkney is
thus denounced by his own constituents: "He has proposed a resolution
which is received by the plain common sense of the whole country as a
concession that Congress has authority to abolish slavery in the
District of Columbia."

the gradual abolition of slavery in the District, signed by nearly
eleven hundred of its citizens, was presented to Congress, March 24,
1827. Among the signers to this petition, were Chief Justice Cranch,
Judge Van Ness, Judge Morsel, Prof. J.M. Staughton, and a large number
of the most influential inhabitants of the District. Mr. Dickson, of New
York, asserted on the floor of Congress in 1835, that the signers to
this petition owned more than half the property in the District. The
accuracy of this statement has never been questioned.

jury of the county of Alexandria, at the March term, 1802, presented the
domestic slaves trade as a grievance, and said, "We consider these
grievances demanding _legislative_ redress." Jan. 19, 1829, Mr.
Alexander, of Virginia, presented a representation of the grand jury in
the city of Washington, remonstrating against "any measure for the
abolition of slavery within said District, unless accompanied by
measures for the removal of the emancipated from the same;" thus, not
only conceding the power to emancipate slaves, but affirming an
additional power, that of _excluding them when free_. Journal H. R.
1828-9, p. 174.

Legislature of Pennsylvania instructed their Senators in Congress "to
procure, if practicable, the passage of a law to abolish slavery in the
District of Columbia." Jan. 28, 1829, the House of Assembly of New York
passed a resolution, that their "Senators in Congress be instructed to
make every possible exertion to effect the passage of a law for the
abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia." In February, 1837,
the Senate of Massachusetts "Resolved, That Congress having exclusive
legislation in the District of Columbia, possess the right to abolish
slavery and the slave trade therein." The House of Representatives
passed the following resolution at the same session: "Resolved, That
Congress having exclusive legislation in the District of Columbia,
possess the right to abolish slavery in said District." November 1,
1837, the Legislature of Vermont, "Resolved that Congress have the full
power by the constitution to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the
District of Columbia, and in the territories."

In May, 1838, the Legislature of Connecticut passed a resolution
asserting the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District
of Columbia.

In January, 1836, the Legislature of South Carolina "Resolved, That we
should consider the abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia as
a violation of the rights of the citizens of that District derived from
the _implied_ conditions on which that territory was ceded to the
General Government." Instead of denying the constitutional power, they
virtually admit its existence, by striving to smother it under an
_implication_. In February, 1836, the Legislature of North Carolina
"Resolved, That, although by the Constitution _all legislative power_
over the District of Columbia is vested in the Congress of the United
States, yet we would deprecate any legislative action on the part of
that body towards liberating the slaves of that District, as a breach of
faith towards those States by whom the territory was originally ceded.
Here is a full concession of the _power_. February 2, 1836, the Virginia
Legislature passed unanimously the following resolution: "Resolved, by
the General Assembly of Virginia, that the following article be proposed
to the several states of this Union, and to Congress, as an amendment of
the Constitution of the United States:" "The powers of Congress shall not
be so construed as to authorize the passage of any law for the
emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia, without the consent
of the individual proprietors thereof, unless by the sanction of the
Legislatures of Virginia and Maryland, and under such conditions as they
shall by law prescribe."

Fifty years after the formation of the United States' constitution the
states are solemnly called upon by the Virginia Legislature, to amend
that instrument by a clause asserting that, in the grant to Congress of
"exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the District, the
"case" of slavery is not included!! What could have dictated such a
resolution but the conviction that the power to abolish slavery is an
irresistible inference from the constitution _as it is?_ The fact that
the same legislature, passed afterward a resolution, though by no means
unanimously, that Congress does not possess the power, abates not a
title of the testimony in the first resolution. March 23d, 1824, "Mr.
Brown presented the resolutions of the General Assembly of Ohio,
recommending to Congress the consideration of a system for the gradual
emancipation of persons of color held in servitude in the United
States." On the same day, "Mr. Noble, of Indiana, communicated a
resolution from the legislature of that state, respecting the gradual
emancipation of slaves within the United States." Journal of the United
States' Senate, for 1824-5, p.231.

The Ohio and Indiana resolutions, by taking for granted the _general_
power of Congress over the subject of slavery, do virtually assert its
_special_ power within its _exclusive_ jurisdiction.

STATES. The petition of eleven hundred citizens of the District, has
been already mentioned. "March 5,1830, Mr. Washington presented a
memorial of inhabitants of the county of Frederick, in the state of
Maryland, praying that provision be made for the gradual abolition of
slavery in the District of Columbia." Journal H.R. 1829-30, p. 358.

March 30, 1828. Mr. A.H. Shepperd, of North Carolina, presented a
memorial of citizens of that state, "praying Congress to take measures
for the entire abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia."
Journal H.R. 1829-30, p. 379.

January 14, 1822. Mr. Rhea, of Tennessee, presented a memorial of
citizens of that state, praying that "provision may be made, whereby all
slaves that may hereafter be born in the District of Columbia, shall be
free at a certain period of their lives." Journal H.R. 1821-22, p.142.

December 13, 1824. Mr. Saunders of North Carolina, presented a memorial
of the citizens of that state, praying "that measures may be taken for
the gradual abolition of slavery in the United States." Journal H.R.
1824-25, p.27.

December 16, 1828. "Mr. Barnard presented the memorial of the American
Convention for promoting the abolition of slavery, held in Baltimore,
praying that slavery may be abolished in the District of Columbia."
Journal U.S. Senate, 1828-29, p.24.

CONCEDED THIS POWER. The testimony Of Messrs. Doddridge, and Powell, of
Virginia, Chief Justice Cranch, and Judges Morsel and Van Ness, of the
District, has already been given. In the debate in Congress on the
memorial of the Society of Friends, in 1790, Mr. Madison, in speaking of
the territories of the United States, explicitly declared, from his own
knowledge of the views of the members of the convention that framed the
constitution, as well as from the obvious import of its terms, that in
the territories, "Congress have certainly the power to regulate the
subject of slavery." Congress can have no more power over the
territories than that of "exclusive legislation in all cases
whatsoever," consequently, according to Mr. Madison, "it has certainly
the power to regulate the subject of slavery in the" _District_. In
March, 1816, Mr. Randolph of Virginia, introduced a resolution for
putting a stop to the domestic slave trade within the District. December
12, 1827, Mr. Barney, of Maryland, presented a memorial for abolition in
the District, and moved that it be printed. Mr. McDuffie, of S.C.,
objected to the printing, but "expressly admitted the right of Congress
to grant to the people of the District any measure which they might deem
necessary to free themselves from the deplorable evil."--[See letter of
Mr. Claiborne of Miss. to his constituents published in the Washington
Globe, May 9, 1836.] The sentiments of Mr. Clay of Kentucky, on the
subject are well known. In a speech before the U.S. Senate, in 1836, he
declared the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District
"unquestionable." Messrs. Blair, of Tennessee, and Chilton, Lyon, and
R.M. Johnson, of Kentucky, A.H. Shepperd, of N.C., Messrs. Armstrong and
Smyth of Va., Messrs. Dorsey, Archer, and Barney, of Md., and Johns, of
Del., with numerous others from slave states have asserted the power of
Congress to abolish slavery in the District. In the speech of Mr. Smyth,
of Virginia, on the Missouri question, January 28, 1820, he says on this
point: "If the future freedom of the blacks is your real object, and not
a mere pretence, why do you begin _here_? Within the ten miles square,
you have _undoubted power_ to exercise exclusive legislation. _Produce a
bill to emancipate the slaves in the District of Columbia_, or, if you
prefer it, to emancipate those born hereafter."

To this may be added the testimony of the present Vice President of the
United States, Hon. Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky. In a speech before
the U.S. Senate, February 1, 1820, (National Intelligencer, April 29,
1829,) he says: "In the District of Columbia, containing a population of
30,000 souls, and probably as many slaves as the whole territory of
CONGRESS ALONE. Why then, this heart-rending sympathy for the slaves of
Missouri, and this cold insensibility, this eternal apathy, towards the
slaves in the District of Columbia?"

It is quite unnecessary to add, that the most distinguished northern
statesmen of both political parties, have always affirmed the power of
Congress to abolish slavery in the District. President Van Buren in his
letter of March 6, 1836, to a committee of Gentlemen in North Carolina,
says, "I would not, from the light now before me, feel myself safe in
pronouncing that Congress does not possess the power of abolishing
slavery in the District of Columbia." This declaration of the President
is consistent with his avowed sentiments touching the Missouri question,
on which he coincided with such men as Daniel D. Thompkins, De Witt
Clinton, and others, whose names are a host.[A] It is consistent, also
with his recommendation in his last message, in which speaking of the
District, he strongly urges upon Congress "a thorough and careful
revision of its local government," speaks of the "entire independence"
of the people of the District "upon Congress," recommends that a
"uniform system of local government" be adopted, and adds, that
"although it was selected as the seat of the General Government, the
site of its public edifices, the depository of its archives, and the
residences of officers intrusted with large amounts of public property,
and the management of public business, yet it never has been subjected
to, or received, that _special_ and _comprehensive_ legislation which
these circumstances peculiarly demanded."

[Footnote A: Mr. Van Buren, when a member of the Senate of New-York,
voted for the following preamble and resolutions, which passed
unanimously:--Jan. 28th, 1820. "Whereas the inhibiting the further
extension of slavery in the United States, is a subject of deep concern
to the people of this state: and whereas, we consider slavery as an evil
much to be deplored, and that _every constitutional barrier should be
interposed to prevent its further extension_: and that the constitution
of the United States _clearly gives Congress the right_ to require new
states, not comprised within the original boundary of the United States,
to _make the prohibition of slavery_ a condition of their admission into
the Union: Therefore,

    Resolved, That our Senators be instructed, and our members of
    Congress be requested, to oppose the admission as a state into the
    Union, of any territory not comprised as aforesaid, without making
    _the prohibition of slavery_ therein an indispensible condition of

The tenor of Mr. Tallmadge's speech on the right of petition, and of Mr.
Webster's on the reception of abolition memorials, may be taken as
universal exponents of the sentiments of northern statesmen as to the
power of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.

An explicit declaration, that an "_overwhelming majority_" of the
_present_ Congress concede the power to abolish slavery in the District
has just been made by Robert Barnwell Rhett, a member of Congress from
South Carolina, in a letter published in the Charleston Mercury of Dec.
27, 1837. The following is an extract:

"The time has arrived when we must have new guaranties under the
constitution, or the Union must be dissolved. _Our views of the
constitution are not those of the majority_. AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY
_think that by the constitution, Congress may abolish slavery in the
District of Columbia--may abolish the slave trade between the States;
that is, it may prohibit their being carried out of the State in which
they are--and prohibit it in all the territories, Florida among them.
They think_, NOT WITHOUT STRONG REASONS, _that the power of Congress
extends to all of these subjects_."

_Direct testimony_ to show that the power of Congress to abolish slavery
in the District, has always till recently been _universally conceded_,
is perhaps quite superfluous. We subjoin, however, the following:

The Vice-President of the United States in his speech on the Missouri
question, quoted above, after contending that the restriction of slavery
in Missouri would be unconstitutional, declares, that the power of
Congress over slavery in the District "COULD NOT BE QUESTIONED." In the
speech of Mr. Smyth, of Va., also quoted above, he declares the power of
Congress to abolish slavery in the District to be "UNDOUBTED."

Mr. Sutherland, of Penn., in a speech in the House of Representatives,
on the motion to print Mr. Pinckney's Report, is thus reported in the
Washington Globe, of May 9th, '36. "He replied to the remark that the
report conceded that Congress had a right to legislate upon the subject
in the District of Columbia, and said that SUCH A RIGHT HAD NEVER BEEN,

The American Quarterly Review, published at Philadelphia, with a large
circulation and list of contributors in the slave states, holds the
following language in the September No. 1833, p. 55: "Under this
'exclusive jurisdiction,' granted by the constitution, Congress has
power to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the District of
Columbia. It would hardly be necessary to state this as a distinct
proposition, had it not been occasionally questioned. The truth of the
assertion, however, is too obvious to admit of argument--and we believe


We now proceed to notice briefly the main arguments that have been
employed in Congress and elsewhere against the power of Congress to
abolish slavery in the District. One of the most plausible is, that "the
conditions on which Maryland and Virginia ceded the District to the
United States, would be violated, if Congress should abolish slavery
there." The reply to this is, that Congress had no power to _accept_ a
cession coupled with conditions restricting that "power of exclusive
legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District," which was
given it by the constitution.

To show the futility of the objection, we insert here the acts of
cession. The cession of Maryland was made in November, 1788, and is as
follows: "An act to cede to Congress a district of ten miles square in
this state for the seat of the government of the United States."

"Be it enacted, by the General Assembly of Maryland, that the
representatives of this state in the House of Representatives of the
Congress of the United States, appointed to assemble at New-York, on the
first Wednesday of March next, be, and they are; hereby authorized and
required on the behalf of this state, to cede to the Congress of the
United States, any district in this state, not exceeding ten miles
square, which the Congress may fix upon, and accept for the seat of
government of the United States." Laws of Md., v. 2., c. 46.

The cession of Virginia was made on the 3d of December, 1788, in the
following words:

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That a tract of country, not
exceeding ten miles square, or any lesser quantity, to be located within
the limits of the State, and in any part thereof; as Congress may, by
law, direct, shall be, and the same is hereby forever ceded and
relinquished to the Congress and Government of the United States, in
full and absolute right, and exclusive jurisdiction, as well of soil, as
of persons residing or to reside thereon, pursuant to the tenor and
effect of the eighth section of the first article of the government of
the constitution of the United States."

But were there no provisos to these acts? The Maryland act had _none_.
The Virginia act had this proviso: "Sect. 2. Provided, that nothing
herein contained, shall be construed to vest in the United States any
right of property in the soil, or to affect the rights of individuals
_therein_, otherwise than the same shall or may be transferred by such
individuals to the United States."

This specification touching the soil was merely definitive and
explanatory of that clause in the act of cession, "_full and absolute
right_." Instead of restraining the power of Congress on _slavery_ and
other subjects, it even gives it freer course; for exceptions to _parts_
of a rule, give double confirmation to those parts not embraced in the
exceptions. If it was the _design_ of the proviso to restrict
congressional action on the subject of _slavery_, why is the _soil
alone_ specified? As legal instruments are not paragons of economy in
words, might not "John Doe," out of his abundance, and without spoiling
his style, have afforded an additional word--at least a hint--that
slavery was _meant_, though nothing was said about it?

But again, Maryland and Virginia, in their acts of cession, declare them
to be made "in pursuance of" that clause of the constitution which gives
to Congress "exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the ten
miles square--thus, instead of _restricting_ that clause, both States
_confirm_ it. Now, their acts of cession either accorded with that
clause of the constitution, or they conflicted with it. If they
conflicted with it, _accepting_ the cessions was a violation of the
constitution. The fact that Congress accepted the cessions, proves that
in its views their _terms_ did not conflict with its constitutional
grant of power. The inquiry whether these acts of cession were
consistent or inconsistent with the United Status' constitution, is
totally irrelevant to the question at issue. What with the CONSTITUTION?
That is the question. Not, what with Virginia, or Maryland, or--equally
to the point--John Bull! If Maryland and Virginia had been the
authorized interpreters of the constitution for the Union, these acts of
cession could hardly have been more magnified than they have been
recently by the southern delegation in Congress. A true understanding of
the constitution can be had, forsooth, only by holding it up in the
light of Maryland and Virginia legislation!

We are told, again, that those States would not have ceded the District
if they had supposed the constitution gave Congress power to abolish
slavery in it.

This comes with an ill grace from Maryland and Virginia. They _knew_ the
constitution. They were parties to it. They had sifted it, clause by
clause, in their State conventions. They had weighed its words in the
balance--they had tested them as by fire; and, finally, after long
pondering, they adopted the constitution. And _afterward_, self-moved,
they ceded the ten miles square, and declared the cession made "in
pursuance of" that oft-cited clause, "Congress shall have power to
exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such
District." And now verily "they would not have ceded if they had
_supposed_!" &c. Cede it they _did_, and in "full and absolute right
both of soil and persons." Congress accepted the cession--state power
over the District ceased, and congressional power over it
commenced,--and now, the sole question to be settled is, the _amount of
power over the District lodged in Congress by the constitution_. The
constitution--THE CONSTITUTION--that is the point. Maryland and Virginia
"suppositions" must be potent suppositions to abrogate a clause of the
United States' Constitution! That clause either gives Congress power to
abolish slavery in the District, or it does _not_--and that point is to
be settled, not by state "suppositions," nor state usages, nor state
legislation, but _by the terms of the clause themselves_.

Southern members of Congress, in the recent discussions, have conceded
the power of a contingent abolition in the District, by suspending it
upon the _consent_ of the people. Such a doctrine from _declaimers_ like
Messrs. Alford, of Georgia, and Walker, of Mississippi, would excite no
surprise; but that it should be honored with the endorsement of such men
as Mr. Rives and Mr. Calhoun, is quite unaccountable. Are attributes of
sovereignty mere creatures of contingency? Is delegated authority mere
conditional permission? Is a constitutional power to be exercised by
those who hold it, only by popular sufferance? Must it lie helpless at
the pool of public sentiment, waiting the gracious troubling of its
waters? Is it a lifeless corpse, save only when popular "consent" deigns
to puff breath into its nostrils? Besides, if the consent of the people
of the District be necessary, the consent of the _whole_ people must be
had--not that of a majority, however large. Majorities, to be
authoritative, must be _legal_--and a legal majority without legislative
power, or right of representation, or even the electoral franchise,
would be truly an anomaly! In the District of Columbia, such a thing as
a majority in a legal sense is unknown to law. To talk of the power of a
majority, or the will of a majority there, is mere mouthing. A majority?
Then it has an authoritative will, and an organ to make it known, and an
executive to carry it into effect--Where are they? We repeat it--if the
consent of the people of the District be necessary, the consent of
_every one_ is necessary--and _universal_ consent will come only with
the Greek Kalends and a "perpetual motion." A single individual might
thus perpetuate slavery in defiance of the expressed will of a whole
people. The most common form of this fallacy is given by Mr. Wise, of
Virginia, in his speech, February 16, 1835, in which he denied the power
of Congress to abolish slavery in the District, unless the inhabitants
owning slaves petitioned for it!! Southern members of Congress at the
present session (1837-8) ring changes almost daily upon the same
fallacy. What! pray Congress _to use_ a power which it _has not_? "It is
required of a man according to what he _hath_," saith the Scripture. I
commend Mr. Wise to Paul for his ethics. Would that he had got his
_logic_ of him! If Congress does not possess the power, why taunt it
with its weakness, by asking its exercise? Petitioning, according to Mr.
Wise, is, in matters of legislation, omnipotence itself; the very
_source_ of all constitutional power; for, _asking_ Congress to do what
it _cannot_ do, gives it the power!--to pray the exercise of a power
that is _not, creates_ it! A beautiful theory! Let us work it both ways.
If to petition for the exercise of a power that is _not_, creates it--to
petition against the exercise of a power that _is_, annihilates it. As
southern gentlemen are partial to summary processes, pray, sirs, try the
virtue of your own recipe on "exclusive legislation in all cases
whatsoever;" a better subject for experiment and test of the
prescription could not be had. But if the petitions of the citizens of
the District give Congress the _right_ to abolish slavery, they impose
the _duty_; if they confer constitutional _authority_, they create
constitutional _obligation_. If Congress _may_ abolish because of an
expression of their will, it _must_ abolish at the bidding of that will.
If the people of the District are a _source of power_ to Congress, their
_expressed will_ has the force of a constitutional provision, and has
the same binding power upon the National Legislature. To make Congress
dependent on the District for authority, is to make it a _subject_ of
its authority, restraining the exercise of its own discretion, and
sinking it into a mere organ of the District's will. We proceed to
another objection.

"_The southern states would not have ratified the constitution, if they
had supposed that it gave this power_." It is a sufficient answer to
this objection, that the northern states would not have ratified it, if
they had supposed that it _withheld_ the power. If "suppositions" are to
take the place of the constitution--coming from both sides, they
neutralize each other. To argue a constitutional question by _guessing_
at the "suppositions" that might have been made by the parties to it
would find small favor in a court of law. But even a desperate shift is
some easement when sorely pushed. If this question is to be settled by
"suppositions," suppositions shall be forthcoming, and that
without stint.

First, then, I affirm that the North ratified the constitution,
"supposing" that slavery had begun to wax old, and would speedily vanish
away, and especially that the abolition of the slave trade, which by the
constitution was to be surrendered to Congress after twenty years, would
plunge it headlong.

Would the North have adopted the constitution, giving three-fifths of
the "slave property" a representation, if it had "supposed" that the
slaves would have increased from half a million to two millions and a
half by 1838--and that the census of 1840 would give to the slave states
thirty representatives of "slave property?"

If they had "supposed" that this representation would have controlled
the legislation of the government, and carried against the North every
question vital to its interests, would Hamilton, Franklin, Sherman,
Gerry, Livingston, Langdon, and Rufus King have been such madmen, as to
sign the constitution, and the Northern States such suicides as to
ratify it? Every self-preserving instinct would have shrieked at such an
infatuate immolation. At the adoption of the United States constitution,
slavery was regarded as a fast waning system. This conviction was
universal. Washington, Jefferson, Henry, Grayson, Tucker, Madison,
Wythe, Pendleton, Lee, Blair, Mason, Page, Parker, Randolph, Iredell,
Spaight, Ramsey, Pinkney, Martin, McHenry, Chase, and nearly all the
illustrious names south of the Potomac, proclaimed it before the sun. A
reason urged in the convention that formed the United States'
constitution, why the word slave should not be used in it, was, _that
when slavery should cease_ there might remain upon the National Charter
no record that it had ever been. (See speech of Mr. Burrill, of R.I., on
the Missouri question.)

I now proceed to show by testimony, that at the date of the United
States' constitution, and for several years before and after that
period, slavery was rapidly on the wane; that the American Revolution
with the great events preceding, accompanying, and following it, had
wrought an immense and almost universal change in the public sentiment
of the nation on the subject, powerfully impelling it toward the entire
abolition of the system--and that it was the _general belief_ that
measures for its abolition throughout the Union, would be commenced by
the States generally before the lapse of many years. A great mass of
testimony establishing this position might be presented, but narrow
space, and the importance of speedy publication, counsel brevity. Let
the following proofs suffice. First, a few dates as points of

In 1757, Commissioners from seven colonies met at Albany, resolved upon
a Union and proposed a plan of general government. In 1765, delegates
from nine colonies met at New York and sent forth a bill of rights. The
first _general_ Congress met in 1774. The first Congress of the
_thirteen_ colonies met in 1775. The revolutionary war commenced in '75.
Independence was declared in '76. The articles of confederation were
adopted by the thirteen states in '77 and '78. Independence acknowledged
in '83. The convention for forming the U.S. constitution was held in
'87, the state conventions for considering it in '87 and '88. The first
Congress under the constitution in '89.

Dr. Rush, of Pennsylvania, one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence, in a letter to Granville Sharpe, May 1, 1773, says: "A
spirit of humanity and religion begins to awaken in several of the
colonies in favor of the poor negroes. Great events have been brought
about by small beginnings. _Anthony Bènèzet stood alone a few years_
_ago in opposing negro slavery in Philadelphia_, and NOW THREE-FOURTHS
Life of Granville Sharpe, p. 21.]

In the preamble to the act prohibiting the importation of slaves into
Rhode Island, June, 1774, is the following: "Whereas the inhabitants of
America are generally engaged in the preservation of their own rights
and liberties, among which that of personal freedom must be considered
the greatest, and as those who are desirous of enjoying all the
advantages of liberty themselves, _should be willing to extend personal
liberty to others_, therefore," &c.

October 20, 1774, the Continental Congress passed the following: "We,
for ourselves and the inhabitants of the several colonies whom we
represent, _firmly agree and associate under the sacred ties of virtue,
honor, and love of our country_, as follows:"

"2d Article. _We will neither import nor purchase any slaves imported_
after the first day of December next, after which time we will _wholly
discontinue_ the slave trade, and we will neither be concerned in it
ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels nor _sell our commodities or
manufactures_ to those who are concerned in it."

The Continental Congress, in 1775, setting forth the causes and the
necessity for taking up arms, say: "_If it were possible_ for men who
exercise their reason to believe that the divine Author of our existence
intended a part of the human race _to hold an absolute property in_, and
_unbounded power over others_," &c.

In 1776, Dr. Hopkins, then at the head of New England divines,
in "An Address to the owners of negro slaves in the American colonies,"
says: "The conviction of the unjustifiableness of this practice (slavery)
has been _increasing_, and _greatly spreading of late_, and _many_
who have had slaves, have found themselves so unable to justify their
own conduct in holding them in bondage, as to be induced to _set them
at liberty_.       *       *       *       *       *      Slavery is _in
every instance_, wrong, unrighteous, and oppressive--a very great and
crying sin--_there being nothing of the kind equal to it on the face of
the earth_."

The same year the American Congress issued a solemn MANIFESTO to the
world. These were its first words: "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; that among these are
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." _Once_, these were words
of power; _now_, "a rhetorical flourish."

The Virginia Gazette of March 19, 1767, in an essay on slavery says:
"_There cannot be in nature, there is not in all history, an instance in
which every right of man is more flagrantly violated_. Enough I hope has
been effected to prove that slavery is a violation of justice and

The celebrated Patrick Henry of Virginia, in a letter, Jan. 18, 1773, to
Robert Pleasants, afterwards president of the Virginia Abolition
Society, says: "Believe me, I shall honor the Quakers for their noble
efforts to abolish slavery. It is a debt we owe to the purity of our
religion to show that it is at variance with that law that warrants
slavery. I exhort you to persevere in so worthy a resolution."

The Pennsylvania Chronicle of Nov. 21, 1768, says: "Let every black that
shall henceforth be born amongst us be deemed free. One step farther
would be to emancipate the whole race, restoring that liberty we have so
long unjustly detained from them. Till some step of this kind be taken
we shall justly be the derision of the whole world."

In 1779, the Continental Congress ordered a pamphlet to be published,
entitled, "Observations on the American Revolution," from which the
following is an extract: "The great principle (of government) is and
ever will remain in force, _that men are by Nature free_; and so long as
we have any idea of divine _justice_, we must associate that of _human
freedom_. It is _conceded on all hands, that the right to be free_ CAN

Extract from the Pennsylvania act for the abolition of slavery, passed
March 1, 1780: * * * "We conceive that it is our duty, and we rejoice
that it is in our power, to extend a portion of that freedom to others
which has been extended to us. Weaned by a long course of experience
from those narrow prejudices and partialities we had imbibed, we find
our hearts enlarged with kindness and benevolence towards men of all
conditions and nations: * * * Therefore be it enacted, that no child
born hereafter be a slave," &c.

Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, written just before the close of
the Revolutionary War, says: "I think a change already perceptible since
the origin of the present revolution. The spirit of the master is
abating, that of the slave is rising from the dust, his condition
mollifying, _and the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of

In a letter to Dr. Price, of London, who had just published a pamphlet
in favor of the abolition of slavery, Mr. Jefferson, then minister at
Paris, (August 7, 1785,) says: "From the mouth to the head of the
Chesapeake, _the bulk of the people will approve of your pamphlet in
theory_, and it will find a respectable minority ready to _adopt it in
practice_--a minority which, for weight and worth of character,
_preponderates against the greater number_." Speaking of Virginia, he
says: "This is the next state to which we may turn our eyes for the
interesting spectacle of justice in conflict with avarice and
oppression,--a conflict in which the SACRED SIDE IS GAINING DAILY
RECRUITS. Be not, therefore, discouraged--what you have written will do
a _great deal of good_; and could you still trouble yourself with our
welfare, no man is more able to give aid to the laboring side. The
College of William and Mary, since the remodelling of its plan, is the
place where are collected together all the young men of Virginia, under
preparation for public life. They are there under the direction (most of
them) of a Mr. Wythe, one of the most virtuous of characters, and _whose
sentiments on the subject of slavery are unequivocal_. I am satisfied,
if you could resolve to address an exhortation to those young men with
all that eloquence of which you are master, that _its influence on the
future decision of this important question would be great, perhaps
decisive_. Thus. you see, that so far from thinking you have cause to
repent of what you have done, _I wish you to do more, and I wish it on
an assurance of its effect_."--Jefferson's Posthumous Works, vol. 1,
p. 268.

In 1786, John Jay drafted and signed a petition to the Legislature of
New York, on the subject of slavery, beginning with these words: "Your
memorialists being deeply affected by the situation of those, who,
although, FREE BY THE LAWS OF GOD, are held in slavery by the laws of
the State," &c. This memorial bore also the signatures of the celebrated
Alexander Hamilton; Robert R. Livingston, afterwards Secretary of
Foreign Affairs of the United States, and Chancellor of the State of New
York; James Duane, Mayor of the City of New York, and many others of the
most eminent individuals in the State.

In the preamble of an instrument, by which Mr. Jay emancipated a slave
in 1784, is the following passage:

"Whereas, the children of men are by nature equally free, and cannot,
without injustice, be either reduced to or HELD in slavery."

In his letter while Minister at Spain, in 1786, he says, speaking of the
abolition of slavery: "Till America comes into this measure, her prayers
to heaven will be IMPIOUS. I believe God governs the world; and I
believe it to be a maxim in his, as in our court, that those who ask for
equity _ought to do it_."

In 1785, the New York Manumission Society was formed. John Jay was
chosen its first President, and held the office five years. Alexander
Hamilton was its second President, and after holding the office one
year, resigned upon his removal to Philadelphia as Secretary of the
United States' Treasury. In 1787, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society was
formed. Benjamin Franklin, warm from the discussions of the convention
that formed the U.S. constitution, was chosen President, and Benjamin
Rush Secretary--both signers of the Declaration of Independence. In
1789, the Maryland Abolition Society was formed. Among its officers were
Samuel Chase, Judge of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Luther Martin, a
member of the convention that formed the U.S. constitution. In 1790, the
Connecticut Abolition Society was formed. The first President was Rev.
Dr. Stiles, President of Yale College, and the Secretary, Simeon
Baldwin, (late Judge Baldwin of New Haven.) In 1791, this Society sent a
memorial to Congress, from which the following is an extract:

"From a sober conviction of the unrighteousness of slavery, your
petitioners have long beheld, with grief, our fellow men doomed to
perpetual bondage, in a country which boasts of her freedom. Your
petitioners were led, by motives, we conceive, of general philanthropy,
to associate ourselves for the protection and assistance of this
unfortunate part of our fellow men; and, though this Society has been
_lately_ established, it has now become _generally extensive_ through
this state, and, we fully believe, _embraces, on this subject, the
sentiments of a large majority of its citizens_."

The same year the Virginia Abolition Society was formed. This Society,
and the Maryland Society, had auxiliaries in different parts of those
States. Both societies sent up memorials to Congress. The memorial of
the Virginia Society is headed--"The memorial of the _Virginia Society_,
for promoting the Abolition of Slavery," &c. The following is
an extract:

"Your memorialists, fully believing that slavery is not only an odious
degradation, but an _outrageous violation of one of the most essential
rights of human nature, and utterly repugnant to the precepts of the
gospel_," &c.

About the same time a Society was formed in New-Jersey. It had an acting
committee of five members in each county in the State. The following is
an extract from the preamble to its constitution:

"It is our boast, that we live under a government, wherein _life,
liberty_, and the _pursuit of happiness_, are recognized as the
universal rights of men. We _abhor that inconsistent, illiberal, and
interested policy, which withholds those rights from an unfortunate and
degraded class of our fellow creatures_."

Among other distinguished individuals who were efficient officers of
these Abolition Societies, and delegates from their respective state
societies, at the annual meetings of the American convention for
promoting the abolition of slavery, were Hon. Uriah Tracy, United
States' Senator, from Connecticut; Hon. Zephaniah Swift, Chief Justice
of the same State; Hon. Cesar A. Rodney, Attorney General of the United
States; Hon. James A. Bayard, United States' Senator, from Delaware;
Governor Bloomfield, of New-Jersey; Hon. Wm. Rawle, the late venerable
head of the Philadelphia bar; Dr. Caspar Wistar, of Philadelphia;
Messrs. Foster and Tillinghast, of Rhode Island; Messrs. Ridgely,
Buchanan, and Wilkinson, of Maryland; and Messrs. Pleasants, McLean, and
Anthony, of Virginia.

In July, 1787, the old Congress passed the celebrated ordinance
abolishing slavery in the northwestern territory, and declaring that it
should never thereafter exist there. This ordinance was passed while the
convention that formed the United States' constitution was in session.
At the first session of Congress under the constitution, this ordinance
was ratified by a special act. Washington, fresh from the discussions of
the convention, in which _more than forty days had been spent in
adjusting the question of slavery, gave it his approval_. The act passed
with only one dissenting voice, (that of Mr. Yates, of New York,) _the
South equally with the North avowing the fitness and expediency of the
measure on general considerations, and indicating thus early the line of
national policy, to be pursued by the United States' Government on the
subject of slavery_.

In the debates in the North Carolina Convention, Mr. Iredell, afterward
a Judge of the United States' Supreme Court, said, "_When the entire
abolition of slavery takes place_, it will be an event which must be
pleasing to every generous mind and every friend of human nature." Mr.
Galloway said, "I wish to see this abominable trade put an end to. I
apprehend the clause (touching the slave trade) means _to bring forward
manumission_." Luther Martin, of Maryland, a member of the convention
that formed the United States' Constitution, said, "We ought to
authorize the General Government to make such regulations as shall be
thought most advantageous for _the gradual abolition of slavery_, and
the _emancipation of the slaves_ which are already in the States." Judge
Wilson, of Pennsylvania, one of the framers of the constitution, said,
in the Pennsylvania convention of '87, [Deb. Pa. Con. p. 303, 156:] "I
consider this (the clause relative to the slave trade) as laying the
foundation for _banishing slavery out of this country_. It will produce
the same kind of gradual change which was produced in Pennsylvania; the
new States which are to be formed will be under the control of Congress
in this particular, and _slaves will never be introduced_ among them. It
presents us with the pleasing prospect that the rights of mankind will
be acknowledged and established _throughout the Union_. Yet the lapse of
a few years, and Congress will have power to _exterminate slavery_
within our borders." In the Virginia convention of '87, Mr. Mason,
author of the Virginia constitution, said, "The augmentation of slaves
weakens the States, and such a trade is _diabolical_ in itself, and
disgraceful to mankind. As much as I value a union of all the States, I
would not admit the Southern States, (i.e., South Carolina and Georgia,)
into the union, _unless they agree to a discontinuance of this
disgraceful trade_." Mr. Tyler opposed with great power the clause
prohibiting the abolition of the slave trade till 1808, and said, "My
earnest desire is, that it shall be handed down to posterity that I
oppose this wicked clause." Mr. Johnson said, "The principle of
emancipation _has begun since the revolution. Let us do what we will, it
will come round_."--[Deb. Va. Con. p. 463.] Patrick Henry, arguing the
power of Congress under the United States' constitution to abolish
slavery in the States, said, in the same convention, "Another thing will
contribute to bring this event (the abolition of slavery) about. Slavery
is _detested_. We feel its fatal effects; we deplore it with all the
pity of humanity." Governor Randolph said: "They insist that the
_abolition of slavery will result from this Constitution_. I hope that
there is no one here, who will advance _an objection so dishonorable_ to
Virginia--I hope that at the moment they are securing the rights of
their citizens, an objection will not be started, that those unfortunate
men now held in bondage, _by the operation of the general government_
may be made free!" [_Deb. Va. Con._ p. 421.] In the Mass. Con. of '88,
Judge Dawes said, "Although slavery is not smitten by an apoplexy, yet
_it has received a mortal wound_, and will die of consumption."--[_Deb.
Mass. Con._ p. 60.] General Heath said that, "Slavery was confined to
the States _now existing_, it _could not be extended_. By their
ordinance, Congress had declared that the new States should be
republican States, _and have no slavery_."--p. 147.

In the debate, in the first Congress, February 11th and 12th, 1789, on
the petitions of the Society of Friends, and the Pennsylvania Abolition
Society, Mr. Parker, of Virginia, said, "I cannot help expressing the
pleasure I feel in finding _so considerable a part_ of the community
attending to matters of such a momentous concern to the _future
prosperity_ and happiness of the people of America. I think it my duty,
as a citizen of the Union, to _espouse their cause_."

Mr. Page, of Virginia, (afterwards Governor)--"Was _in favor_ of the
commitment: he hoped that the designs of the respectable memorialists
would not be stopped at the threshold, in order to preclude a fair
discussion of the prayer of the memorial. He placed himself in the case
of a slave, and said, that on hearing that Congress had refused to
listen to the decent suggestions of the respectable part of the
community, he should infer, that the general government, _from which was
expected great good would result to_ EVERY CLASS _of citizens_, had shut
their ears against the voice of humanity, and he should despair of any
alleviation of the miseries he and his posterity had in prospect; if any
thing could induce him to rebel, it must be a stroke like this,
impressing on his mind all the horrors of despair. But if he was told,
that application was made in his behalf, and that Congress were willing
to hear what could be urged in favor of discouraging the practice of
importing his fellow-wretches, he would trust in their justice and
humanity, and _wait the decision patiently_."

Mr. Scott of Pennsylvania: "I cannot, for my part, conceive how any
person _can be said to acquire a property in another. I do not know how
far I might go, if I was one of the judges of the United States, and
those people were to come before me and claim their emancipation, but I
am sure I would go as far as I could_."

Mr. Burke, of South Carolina, said, "He _saw the disposition of the
House_, and he feared it would be referred to a committee, maugre all
their opposition."

Mr. Baldwin of Georgia said that the clause in the U.S. Constitution
relating to direct taxes "was intended to prevent Congress from laying
any special tax upon negro slaves, _as they might, in this way, so
burthen the possessors of them, as to induce a_ GENERAL EMANCIPATION."

Mr. Smith of South Carolina, said, "That on entering into this
government, they (South Carolina and Georgia) apprehended that the other
states, * * * _would, from motives of humanity and benevolence, be led
to vote for a general emancipation_."

In the debate, at the same session, May 13th, 1789, on the petition of
the society of Friends respecting the slave trade, Mr. Parker, of
Virginia, said, "He hoped Congress would do all that lay in their power
_to restore to human nature its inherent privileges_. The inconsistency
in our principles, with which we are justly charged _should be
done away_."

Mr. Jackson, of Georgia, said, "IT WAS THE FASHION OF THE DAY
set her negroes free? _When this practice comes to be tried, then
the sound of liberty will lose those charms which make it grateful to the
ravished ear_."

Mr. Madison of Virginia,--"The dictates of humanity, the principles
of the people, the national safety and happiness, and prudent policy,
require it of us. * * * * * * * I conceive the constitution
in this particular was formed in order that the Government, whilst it
was restrained from laying a total prohibition, might be able to _give
some testimony of the sense of America_, with respect to the African
trade. * * * * * * It is to be hoped, that by expressing a
national disapprobation of this trade, we may destroy it, and save

Mr. Gerry, of Massachusetts, said, "he highly commended the part the
Society of Friends had taken; it was the cause of humanity they had
interested themselves in."--Cong. Reg. v. 1, p. 308-12.

A writer in the "Gazette of the Unites States," Feb. 20th, 1790, (then
the government paper,) who opposes the abolition of slavery, and avows
himself a _slaveholder_, says, "I have seen in the papers accounts of
_large associations_, and applications to Government for _the abolition
of slavery_. Religion, humanity, and the generosity natural to a free
people, are the _noble principles which dictate those measures_. SUCH

In the convention that formed the constitution of Kentucky in 1790, the
effort to prohibit slavery was nearly successful. A decided majority of
that body would undoubtedly have voted for its exclusion, but for the
great efforts and influence of two large slaveholders--men of commanding
talents and sway--Messrs. Breckenridge and Nicholas. The following
extract from a speech made in that convention by a member of it, Mr.
Rice a native Virginian, is a specimen of the _free discussion_ that
prevailed on that "delicate subject." Said Mr. Rice: "I do a man greater
injury, when I deprive him of his liberty, than when I deprive him of
his property. It is vain for me to plead that I have the sanction of
law; for this makes the injury the greater--it arms the community
against him, and makes his case desperate. The owners of such slaves
then are _licensed robbers_, and not the just proprietors of what they
claim. Freeing them is not depriving them of property, but _restoring it
to the right owner_. The master is the enemy of the slave; he _has made
open war upon him_, AND IS DAILY CARRYING IT ON in unremitted efforts.
Can any one imagine, then, that the slave is indebted to his master, and
_bound to serve him?_ Whence can the obligation arise? What is it
founded upon? What is my duty to an enemy that is carrying on war
against me? I do not deny, but in some circumstances, it is the duty of
the slave to serve; but it is a duty he owes himself, and not
his master."

President Edwards, the younger, said, in a sermon preached before the
Connecticut Abolition Society, Sept. 15, 1791: "Thirty years ago,
scarcely a man in this country thought either the slave trade or the
slavery of negroes to be wrong; but now how many and able advocates in
private life, in our legislatures, in Congress, have appeared, and have
openly and irrefragably pleaded the rights of humanity in this as well
as other instances? And if we judge of the future by the past, _within
fifty years from this time, it will be as shameful for a man to hold a
negro slave, as to be guilty of common robbery or theft_."

In 1794, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church adopted its
"Scripture proofs," notes, and comments. Among these was the following:

"1 Tim. i. 10. The law is made for manstealers. This crime among the
Jews exposed the perpetrators of it to capital punishment. Exodus xxi.
16. And the apostle here classes them with _sinners of the first rank_.
The word he uses, in its original import comprehends all who are
concerned in bringing any of the human race into slavery, or in
_retaining_ them in it. _Stealers of men_ are all those who bring off
slaves or freemen, and _keep_, sell, or buy them."

In 1794, Dr. Rush declared: "Domestic slavery is repugnant to the
principles of Christianity. It prostrates every benevolent and just
principle of action in the human heart. It is rebellion against the
authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and
efficacy of the death of a common Saviour. It is an usurpation of the
prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe, who has solemnly
claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men."

In 1795, Mr. Fiske, then an officer of Dartmouth College, afterward a
Judge in Tennessee, said, in an oration published that year, speaking of
slaves: "I steadfastly maintain, that we must bring them to _an equal
standing, in point of privileges, with the whites!_ They must enjoy all
the rights belonging to human nature."

When the petition on the abolition of the slave trade was under
discussion in the Congress of '89, Mr. Brown, of North Carolina, said,
"The emancipation of the slaves _will be effected_ in time; it ought to
be a gradual business, but he hoped that Congress would not
_precipitate_ it to the great injury of the southern States." Mr.
Hartley, of Pennsylvania, said, in the same debate, "_He was not a
little surprised to hear the cause of slavery advocated in that house_."
WASHINGTON, in a letter to Sir John Sinclair, says, "There are, in
Pennsylvania, laws for the gradual abolition of slavery which neither
Maryland nor Virginia have at present, but which _nothing is more
certain_ than that they _must have_, and at a period NOT REMOTE." In
1782, Virginia passed her celebrated manumission act. Within nine years
from that time nearly eleven thousand slaves were voluntarily
emancipated by their masters. [Judge Tucker's "Dissertation on Slavery,"
p. 72.] In 1787, Maryland passed an act legalizing manumission. Mr.
Dorsey, of Maryland, in a speech in Congress, December 27th, 1826,
speaking of manumissions under that act, said, that "_The progress of
emancipation was astonishing_, the State became crowded with a free
black population."

The celebrated William Pinkney, in a speech before the Maryland House of
Delegates, in 1789, on the emancipation of slaves, said, "Sir, by the
eternal principles of natural justice, _no master in the state has a
right to hold his slave in bandage for a single hour_... Are we
apprehensive that these men will become more dangerous by becoming
freemen? Are we alarmed, lest by being admitted into the enjoyment of
civil rights, they will be inspired with a deadly enmity against the
rights of others? Strange, unaccountable paradox! How much more rational
would it be, to argue that the natural enemy of the privileges of a
freeman, is he who is robbed of them himself!"

Hon. James Campbell, in an address before the Pennsylvania Society of
Cincinnati, July 4, 1787, said, "Our separation from Great Britain has
extended the empire of _humanity_. The time _is not far distant_ when
our sister states, in imitation of our example, _shall turn their
vassals into freemen_." The Convention that formed the United States'
constitution being then in session, attended on the delivery of this
oration with General Washington at their head.

A Baltimore paper of September 8th, 1780, contains the following notice
of Major General Gates: "A few days ago passed through this town the
Hon. General Gates and lady. The General, previous to leaving Virginia,
summoned his numerous family of slaves about him, and amidst their tears
of affection and gratitude, gave them their FREEDOM."

In 1791, the university of William and Mary, in Virginia, conferred upon
Granville Sharpe the degree of Doctor of Laws. Sharpe was at that time
the acknowledged head of British abolitionists. His indefatigable
exertions, prosecuted for years in the case of Somerset, procured that
memorable decision in the Court of King's Bench, which settled the
principle that no slave could be held in England. He was most
uncompromising in his opposition to slavery, and for twenty years
previous he had spoken, written, and accomplished more against it than
any man living.

In the "Memoirs of the Revolutionary War in the Southern Department," by
Gen. Lee, of Va., Commandant of the Partizan Legion, is the following:
"The Constitution of the United States, adopted lately with so much
difficulty, has effectually provided against this evil (by importation)
after a few years. It is much to be lamented that having done so much in
this way, _a provision had not been made for the gradual abolition of
slavery_."--pp. 233, 4.

Mr. Tucker, of Virginia, Judge of the Supreme Court of that state, and
professor of law in the University of William and Mary, addressed a
letter to the General Assembly of that state, in 1796, urging the
abolition of slavery, from which the following is an extract. Speaking
of the slaves in Virginia, he says: "Should we not, at the time of the
revolution, have broken their fetters? Is it not our duty _to embrace
the first moment_ of constitutional health and vigor to effectuate so
desirable an object, and to remove from us a stigma with which our
enemies will never fail to upbraid us, nor our consciences to
reproach us?"

Mr. Faulkner, in a speech before the Virginia House of Delegates, Jan.
20, 1832, said: "The idea of a gradual emancipation and removal of the
slaves from this commonwealth, is coeval with the declaration of our
independence from the British yoke. When Virginia stood sustained in her
legislation by the pure and philosophic intellect of Pendleton, by the
patriotism of Mason and Lee, by the searching vigor and sagacity of
Wythe, and by the all-embracing, all-comprehensive genius of Thomas
Jefferson! Sir, it was a committee composed of those five illustrious
men, who, in 1777, submitted to the general assembly of this state, then
in session, _a plan for the gradual emancipation of the slaves of this

Hon. Benjamin Watkins Leigh, late United States' senator from Virginia,
in his letters to the people of Virginia, in 1832, signed Appomattox, p.
43, says: "I thought, till very lately, that it was known to every body
that during the revolution, _and for many years after, the abolition of
slavery was a favorite topic with many of our ablest statesmen_, who
entertained, with respect, all the schemes which wisdom or ingenuity
could suggest for accomplishing the object. Mr. Wythe, to the day of his
death, _was for a simple abolition, considering the objection to color
as founded in prejudice_. By degrees, all projects of the kind were
abandoned. Mr. Jefferson _retained_ his opinion, and now we have these
projects revived."

Governor Barbour, of Virginia, in his speech in the U.S. Senate, on the
Missouri question, Jan. 1820, said: "We are asked why has Virginia
changed her policy in reference to slavery? That the sentiments of our
most distinguished men, for thirty years _entirely corresponded_ with
the course which the friends of the restriction (of slavery in Missouri)
now advocated; and that the Virginia delegation, one of whom was the
late President of the United States, voted for the restriction (of
slavery) in the northwestern territory, and that Mr. Jefferson has
delineated a gloomy picture of the baneful effects of slavery. When it
is recollected that the Notes of Mr. Jefferson were written during the
progress of the revolution, it is no matter of surprise that the writer
should have imbibed a large portion of that enthusiasm which such an
occasion was so well calculated to produce. As to the consent of the
Virginia delegation to the restriction in question, whether the result
of a disposition to restrain the slave-trade indirectly, or the
influence of that enthusiasm to which I have just alluded, * * * * it is
not now important to decide. We have witnessed its effects. The
liberality of Virginia, or, as the result may prove, her folly, which
submitted to, or, if you will, PROPOSED _this measure_ (abolition of
slavery in the N.W. territory) has eventuated in effects which speak a
monitory lesson. _How is the representation from this quarter on the
present question_?"

Mr. Imlay, in his early history of Kentucky, p. 185, says: "We have
disgraced the fair face of humanity, and trampled upon the sacred
privileges of man, at the very moment that we were exclaiming against
the tyranny of your (the English) ministry. But in contending for the
birthright of freedom, we have learned to feel _for the bondage of
others_, and in the libations we offer to the goddess of liberty, we
contemplate an _emancipation of the slaves of this country_, as
honorable to themselves as it will be glorious to us."

In the debate in Congress, Jan. 20, 1806, on Mr. Sloan's motion to lay a
tax on the importation of slaves, Mr. Clark of Va. said: "He was no
advocate for a system of slavery." Mr. Marion, of S. Carolina, said: "He
never had purchased, nor should he ever purchase a slave." Mr. Southard
said: "Not revenue, but an expression of the _national sentiment_ is the
principal object." Mr. Smilie--"I rejoice that the word (slave) is not
in the constitution; its not being there does honor to the worthies who
would not suffer it to become a _part_ of it." Mr. Alston, of N.
Carolina--"In two years we shall have the power to prohibit the trade
altogether. Then this House will be unanimous. No one will object to our
exercising our full constitutional powers." National Intelligencer,
Jan. 24, 1806.

These witnesses need no vouchers to entitle them to credit; nor their
testimony comments to make it intelligible--their _names_ are their
_endorsers_, and their strong words their own interpreters. We waive all
comments. Our readers are of age. Whosoever hath ears to _hear_, let him
HEAR. And whosoever will not hear the fathers of the revolution, the
founders of the government, its chief magistrates, judges, legislators
and sages, who dared and perilled all under the burdens, and in the heat
of the day that tried men's souls--then "neither will he be persuaded
though THEY rose from the dead."

Some of the points established by this testimony are--The universal
expectation that Congress, state legislatures, seminaries of learning,
churches, ministers of religion, and public sentiment widely embodied in
abolition societies, would act against slavery, calling forth the moral
sense of the nation, and creating a power of opinion that would abolish
the system throughout the Union. In a word, that free speech and a free
press would be wielded against it without ceasing and without
restriction. Full well did the South know, not only that the national
government would probably legislate against slavery wherever the
constitution placed it within its reach, but she knew also that Congress
had already marked out the line of national policy to be pursued on the
subject--had committed itself before the world to a course of action
against slavery, wherever she could move upon it without encountering a
conflicting jurisdiction--that the nation had established by solemn
ordinance a memorable precedent for subsequent action, by abolishing
slavery in the northwest territory, and by declaring that it should
never thenceforward exist there; and this too, as soon as by cession of
Virginia and other states, the territory came under congressional
control. The South knew also that the sixth article in the ordinance
prohibiting slavery, was first proposed by the largest slaveholding
state in the confederacy--that in the Congress of '84, Mr. Jefferson, as
chairman of the committee on the N.W. territory, reported a resolution
abolishing slavery there--that the chairman of the committee that
reported the ordinance of '87 was also a slaveholder--that the ordinance
was enacted by Congress during the session of the convention that formed
the United States' Constitution--that the provisions of the ordinance
were, both while in prospect and when under discussion, matters of
universal notoriety and _approval_ with all parties, and when finally
passed, received the vote of _every member of Congress from each of the
slaveholding states_. The South also had every reason for believing that
the first Congress under the constitution would _ratify_ that
ordinance--as it did unanimously.

A crowd of reflections, suggested by the preceding testimony, presses
for utterance. The right of petition ravished and trampled by its
constitutional guardians, and insult and defiance hurled in the faces of
the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE while calmly remonstrating _with their_ SERVANTS
for violence committed on the nation's charter and their own dearest
rights! Added to this "the right of peaceably assembling" violently
wrested--the rights of minorities, _rights_ no longer--free speech
struck dumb--free _men_ outlawed and murdered--free presses cast into
the streets and their fragments strewed with shoutings, or flourished in
triumph before the gaze of approving crowds as proud mementos of
prostrate law! The spirit and power of our fathers, where are they?
Their deep homage always and every where rendered to FREE THOUGHT, with
its _inseparable signs--free speech and a free press_--their reverence
for justice, liberty, _rights_ and all-pervading law, where are they?

But we turn from these considerations--though the times on which we have
fallen, and those toward which we are borne with headlong haste, call
for their discussion as with the voices of departing life--and proceed
to topics relevant to the argument before us.

The seventh article of the amendments to the constitution is alleged to
withhold from Congress the power to abolish slavery in the District. "No
person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law." All the slaves in the District have been "deprived of
liberty" by legislative acts. Now, these legislative acts "depriving"
them "of liberty," were either "due process of law," or they were _not_.
If they _were_, then a legislative act, taking from the master that
"property" which is the identical "liberty" previously taken from the
slave, would be "due process of law" _also_, and of course a
_constitutional_ act; but if the legislative acts "depriving" them of
"liberty" were _not_ "due process of law," then the slaves were deprived
of liberty _unconstitutionally_, and these acts are _void_. In that case
the _constitution emancipates them_.

If the objector reply, by saying that the import of the phrase "due
process of law," is _judicial_ process solely, it is granted, and that
fact is our rejoinder; for no slave in the District _has_ been deprived
of his liberty by "a judicial process," or, in other words, by "due
process of law;" consequently, upon the objector's own admission, every
slave in the District has been deprived of liberty _unconstitutionally_,
and is therefore _free by the constitution_. This is asserted only of
the slaves under the "exclusive legislation" of Congress.

The last clause of the article under consideration is quoted for the
same purpose: "Nor shall private property he taken for public use
without just compensation." Each of the state constitutions has a clause
of similar purport. The abolition of slavery in the District by
Congress, would not, as we shall presently show; violate this clause
either directly or by implication. Granting for argument's sake, that
slaves are "private property," and that to emancipate them, would be to
"take private property" for "public use," the objector admits the power
of Congress to do _this_, provided it will do something _else_, that is,
_pay_ for them. Thus, instead of denying the _power_, the objector not
only admits, but _affirms_ it, as the ground of the inference that
compensation must accompany it. So far from disproving the existence of
_one_ power, he asserts the existence of _two_--one, the power to take
the slaves from their masters, the other, the power to take the property
of the United States to pay for them.

If Congress cannot constitutionally impair the right of private
property, or take it without compensation, it cannot constitutionally,
_legalize_ the perpetration of such acts, by _others_, nor _protect_
those who commit them. Does the power to rob a man of his earnings, rob
the earner of his _right_ to them? Who has a better right to the
_product_ than the producer?--to the _interest_, than the owner of the
_principal_?--to the hands and arms, than he from whose shoulders they
swing?--to the body and soul, than he whose they are? Congress not only
impairs but annihilates the right of private property, while it
withholds from the slaves of the District their title to _themselves_.
What! Congress powerless to protect a man's right to _himself_, when it
can make inviolable the right to a _dog_! But, waiving this, I deny that
the abolition of slavery in the District would violate this clause. What
does the clause prohibit? The "taking" of "private property" for "public
use." Suppose Congress should emancipate the slaves in the District,
what would it "_take_?" Nothing. What would it _hold_? Nothing. What
would it put to "public use?" Nothing. Instead of _taking_ "private
property," Congress, by abolishing slavery, would say "_private
property_ shall not be taken; and those who have been robbed of it
already, shall be kept out of it no longer; and every man's right to his
own body shall be protected." True, Congress may not arbitrarily take
property, _as_ property, from one man and give it to another--and in the
abolition of slavery no such thing is done. A legislative act changes
the _condition_ of the slave--makes him his own _proprietor_, instead of
the property of another. It determines a question of _original right_
between two classes of persons--doing an act of justice to one, and
restraining the other from acts of injustice; or, in other words,
preventing one from robbing the other, by granting to the injured party
the protection of just and equitable laws.

Congress, by an act of abolition, would change the condition of seven
thousand "persons" in the District, but would "take" nothing. To
construe this provision so as to enable the citizens of the District to
hold as property, and in perpetuity, whatever they please, or to hold it
as property in all circumstances--all necessity, public welfare, and the
will and power of the government to the contrary notwithstanding--is a
total perversion of its whole _intent_. The _design_ of the provision,
was to throw up a barrier against Governmental aggrandizement. The right
to "take property" for _State uses_ is one thing;--the right so to
adjust the _tenures_ by which property is held, that _each may have his
own secured to him_, is another thing, and clearly within the scope of
legislation. Besides, if Congress were to "take" the slaves in the
District, it would be _adopting_, not abolishing slavery--becoming a
slaveholder itself, instead of requiring others to be such no longer.
The clause in question, prohibits the "taking" of individual property
for public use, to be employed or disposed of _as_ property for
governmental purposes. Congress, by abolishing slavery in the District,
would do no such thing. It would merely change the _condition_ of that
which has been recognized as a qualified property by congressional acts,
though previously declared "persons" by the constitution. More than this
is done continually by Congress and every other Legislature. Property
the most absolute and unqualified, is annihilated by legislative acts.
The embargo and non-intercourse act, levelled at a stroke a forest of
shipping, and sunk millions of capital. To say nothing of the power of
Congress to take hundreds of millions from the people by direct
taxation, who doubts its power to abolish at once the whole tariff
system, change the seat of Government, arrest the progress of national
works, prohibit any branch of commerce with the Indian tribes or with
foreign nations, change the locality of forts, arsenals, magazines and
dock yards; abolish the Post Office system, and the privilege of patents
and copyrights? By such acts Congress might, in the exercise of its
acknowledged powers, annihilate property to an incalculable amount, and
that without becoming liable to claims for compensation.

Finally, this clause prohibits the taking for public use of
"_property_." The constitution of the United States does not recognize
slaves as "PROPERTY" any where, and it does not recognize them in _any
sense_ in the District of Columbia. All allusions to them in the
constitution recognize them as "persons." Every reference to them points
_solely_ to the element of _personality_; and thus, by the strongest
implication, declares that the constitution _knows_ them only as
"persons," and _will_ not recognize them in any other light. If they
escape into free States, the constitution authorizes their being taken
back. But how? Not as the property of an "owner," but as "persons;" and
the peculiarity of the expression is a marked recognition of their
_personality_--a refusal to recognize them as chattels--"persons _held_
to service." Are _oxen "held_ to service?" That can be affirmed only of
_persons_. Again, slaves give political power as "persons." The
constitution, in settling the principle of representation, requires
their enumeration in the census. How? As property? Then why not include
race horses and game cocks? Slaves, like other inhabitants, are
enumerated as "persons." So by the constitution, the government was
pledged to non-interference with "the migration or importation of such
_persons_" as the States might think proper to admit until 1808, and
authorized the laying of a tax on each "person" so admitted. Further,
slaves are recognized as _persons_ by the exaction of their _allegiance_
to the government. For offences against the government slaves are tried
as _persons_; as persons they are entitled to counsel for their defence,
to the rules of evidence, and to "due process of law," and as _persons_
they are punished. True, they are loaded with cruel disabilities in
courts of law, such as greatly obstruct and often inevitably defeat the
ends of justice, yet they are still recognized as _persons_. Even in the
legislation of Congress, and in the diplomacy of the general government,
notwithstanding the frequent and wide departures from the integrity of
the constitution on this subject, slaves are not recognized as
_property_ without qualification. Congress has always refused to grant
compensation for slaves killed or taken by the enemy, even when these
slaves had been impressed into the United States' service. In half a
score of cases since the last war, Congress has rejected such
applications for compensation. Besides, both in Congressional acts, and
in our national diplomacy, slaves and property are not used as
convertible terms. When mentioned in treaties and state papers it is in
such a way as to distinguish them from mere property, and generally by a
recognition of their _personality_. In the invariable recognition of
slaves as _persons_, the United States' constitution caught the mantle
of the glorious Declaration, and most worthily wears it. It recognizes
all human beings as "men," "persons," and thus as "equals." In the
original draft of the Declaration, as it came from the hand of
Jefferson, it is alleged that Great Britain had "waged a cruel war
against _human_ nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life
and liberty in the persons of a distant people, carrying them into
slavery, * * determined to keep up a market where MEN should be bought
and sold,"--thus disdaining to make the charter of freedom a warrant for
the arrest of _men_, that they might be shorn both of liberty
and humanity.

The celebrated Roger Sherman, one of the committee of five appointed to
draft the Declaration of Independence, and a member of the convention
that formed the United States' constitution, said, in the first Congress
after its adoption: "The constitution _does not consider these persons,
(slaves,) as a species of property_."--[Lloyd's Cong. Reg. v. 1, p.
313.] That the United States' Constitution does not make slaves
"property," is shown in the fact, that no person, either as a citizen of
the United States, or by having his domicile within the United States'
government, can hold slaves. He can hold them only by deriving his power
from _state_ laws, or from the laws of Congress, if he hold slaves
within the District. But no person resident within the United States'
jurisdiction, and _not_ within the District, nor within a state whose
laws support slavery, nor "held to service" under the laws of such a
state or district, having escaped therefrom, _can be held as a slave_.

Men can hold _property_ under the United States' government though
residing beyond the bounds of any state, district, or territory. An
inhabitant of the Iowa Territory can hold property there under the laws
of the United States, but he cannot hold _slaves_ there under the United
States' laws, nor by virtue of the United States' Constitution, nor upon
the ground of his United States' citizenship, nor by having his domicile
within the United States' jurisdiction. The constitution no where
recognizes the right to "slave property," _but merely the fact that the
states have jurisdiction each in its own limits, and that there are
certain "persons" within their jurisdictions "held to service" by their
own laws_.

Finally, in the clause under consideration "private property" is not to
be taken "without just compensation." "JUST!" If justice is to be
appealed to in determining the _amount_ of compensation, let her
determine the _grounds_ also. If it be her province to say _how much_
compensation is "just," it is hers to say whether _any_ is
"just,"--whether the slave is "just" property _at all_, rather than a
"_person_". Then, if justice adjudges the slave to be "private
property," it adjudges him to be _his own_ property, since the right to
one's self is the first right--the source of all others--the original
stock by which they are accumulated--the principal, of which they are
the interest. And since the slave's "private property" has been "taken,"
and since "compensation" is impossible--there being no _equivalent_ for
one's self--the least that can be done is to restore to him his original
private property.

Having shown that in abolishing slavery, "property" would not be "taken
for public use," it may be added that, in those states where slavery has
been abolished by law, no claim for compensation has been allowed.
Indeed the manifest absurdity of demanding it seems to have quite
forestalled the _setting up_ of such a claim.

The abolition of slavery in the District instead of being a legislative
anomaly, would proceed upon the principles of every day legislation. It
has been shown already, that the United States' Constitution does not
recognize slaves as "property." Yet ordinary legislation is full of
precedents, showing that even _absolute_ property is in many respects
wholly subject to legislation. The repeal of the law of entailments--all
those acts that control the alienation of property, its disposal by
will, its passing to heirs by descent, with the question, who shall be
heirs, and what shall be the rule of distribution among them, or whether
property shall be transmitted at all by descent, rather than escheat to
the estate--these, with statutes of limitation, and various other
classes of legislative acts, serve to illustrate the acknowledged scope
of the law-making power, even where property _is in every sense
absolute_. Persons whose property is thus affected by public laws,
receive from the government no compensation for their losses; unless the
state has been put in possession of the property taken from them.

The preamble of the United States' Constitution declares it to be a
fundamental object of the organization of the government "to ESTABLISH
JUSTICE." Has Congress _no power_ to do that for which it was made the
depository of power? CANNOT the United States' Government fulfil the
purpose for which it was brought into being?

To abolish slavery, is to take from no rightful owner his property; but
to "establish justice" between two parties. To emancipate the slave, is
to "establish justice" between him and his master--to throw around the
person, character, conscience; liberty, and domestic relations of the
one, _the same law_ that secures and blesses the other. In other words,
to prevent by legal restraints one class of men from seizing upon
another class, and robbing them at pleasure of their earnings, their
time, their liberty, their kindred, and the very use and ownership of
their own persons. Finally, to abolish slavery is to proclaim and
_enact_ that innocence and helplessness--now _free plunder_--are
entitled to _legal protection_; and that power, avarice, and lust, shall
no longer revel upon their spoils under the license, and by the
ministration of _law_! Congress, by possessing "exclusive legislation in
all cases whatsoever," has a _general protective power for_ ALL the
inhabitants of the District. If it has no power to protect _one_ man in
the District it has none to protect another--none to protect _any_--and
if it _can_ protect one man and is _bound_ to do it, it _can_ protect
_every_ man--and is _bound_ to do it. All admit the power of Congress to
protect the masters in the District against their slaves. What part of
the constitution gives the power? The clause so often quoted,--"power of
legislation in all cases whatsoever," equally in the "_case_" of
defending blacks against whites, as in that of defending whites against
blacks. The power is also conferred by Art. 1, Sec. 8, clause
15--"Congress shall have power to suppress insurrections"--a power to
protect, as well blacks against whites, as whites against blacks. If the
constitution gives power to protect _one_ class against the other, it
gives power to protect _either_ against the other. Suppose the blacks in
the District should seize the whites, drive them into the fields and
kitchens, force them to work without pay, flog them, imprison them, and
sell them at their pleasure, where would Congress find power to restrain
such acts? Answer; a _general_ power in the clause so often cited, and
an _express_ one in that cited above--"Congress shall have power to
suppress insurrections." So much for a supposed case. Here follows a
real one. The whites in the District are _perpetrating these identical
acts_ upon seven thousand blacks daily. That Congress has power to
restrain these acts in _one_ case, all assert, and in so doing they
assert the power "in _all_ cases whatsoever." For the grant of power to
suppress insurrections, is an _unconditional_ grant, not hampered by
provisos as to the color, shape, size, sex, language, creed, or
condition of the insurgents. Congress derives its power to suppress this
_actual_ insurrection, from the same source whence it derived its power
to suppress the _same_ acts in the case supposed. If one case is an
insurrection, the other is. The _acts_ in both are the same; the
_actors_ only are different. In the one case, ignorant and
degraded--goaded by the memory of the past, stung by the present, and
driven to desperation by the fearful looking for of wrongs for ever to
come. In the other, enlightened into the nature of _rights_, the
principles of justice, and the dictates of the law of love, unprovoked
by wrongs, with cool deliberation, and by system, they perpetrate these
acts upon those to whom they owe unnumbered obligations for _whole
lives_ of unrequited service. On which side may palliation be pleaded,
and which party may most reasonably claim an abatement of the rigors of
law? If Congress has power to suppress such acts _at all_, it has power
to suppress them _in_ all.

It has been shown already that _allegiance_ is exacted of the slave. Is
the government of the United States unable to grant _protection_ where
it exacts _allegiance_? It is an axiom of the civilized world, and a
maxim even with savages, that allegiance and protection are reciprocal
and correlative. Are principles powerless with us which exact homage of
barbarians? _Protection is the_ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT _of every human.
being under the exclusive legislation of Congress who has not forfeited
it by crime_.

In conclusion, I argue the power of Congress to abolish slavery in the
District, from Art. 1, sec. 8, clause 1, of the constitution; "Congress
shall have power to provide for the common defence and the general
welfare of the United States." Has the government of the United States
no power under this grant to legislate within its own exclusive
jurisdiction on subjects that vitally affect its interest? Suppose the
slaves in the district should rise upon their masters, and the United
States' government, in quelling the insurrection, should kill any number
of them. Could their masters claim compensation of the government?
Manifestly not; even though no proof existed that the particular slaves
killed were insurgents. This was precisely the point at issue between
those masters, whose slaves were killed by the State troops at the time
of the Southampton insurrection, and the Virginia Legislature: no
evidence was brought to show that the slaves killed by the troops were
insurgents; yet the Virginia Legislature decided that their masters were
_not entitled to compensation._ They proceeded on the sound principle,
that the government may in self-protection destroy the claim of its
subjects even to that which has been recognized as property by its own
acts. If in providing for the common defence, the United States'
government, in the case supposed, would have power to destroy slaves
both as _property_ and _persons_, it surely might stop _half-way_,
destroy them _as property_ while it legalized their existence as
_persons_, and thus provided for the common defence by giving them a
personal and powerful interest in the government, and securing their
strength for its defence.

Like other Legislatures, Congress has power to abate nuisances--to
remove or tear down unsafe buildings--to destroy infected cargoes--to
lay injunctions upon manufactories injurious to the public health--and
thus to "provide for the common defence and general welfare" by
destroying individual property, when such property puts in jeopardy the
public weal.

Granting, for argument's sake, that slaves are "property" in the
District of Columbia--if Congress has a right to annihilate property
there when the public safety requires it, it may annihilate its
existence _as_ property when the public safety requires it, especially
if it transform into a _protection_ and _defence_ that which as
_property_ perilled the public interests. In the District of Columbia
there are, besides the United States' Capitol, the President's house,
the national offices, and archives of the Departments of State,
Treasury, War, and Navy, the General Post-office, and Patent office. It
is also the residence of the President, of all the highest officers of
the government, of both houses of Congress, and of all the foreign
ambassadors. In this same District there are also seven thousand slaves.
Jefferson, in his Notes on Va. p. 241, says of slavery, that "the State
permitting one half of its citizens to trample on the rights of the
other, transforms them into _enemies_;" and Richard Henry Lee, in the
Va. House of Burgesses in 1758, declared that to those who held them,
"_slaves must be natural enemies_." Is Congress so impotent that it
_cannot_ exercise that right pronounced both by municipal and national
law, the most sacred and universal--the right of self-preservation and
defence? Is it shut up to the _necessity_ of keeping seven thousand
"enemies" in the heart of the nation's citadel? Does the iron fiat of
the constitution doom it to such imbecility that it _cannot_ arrest the
process that _made_ them "enemies," and still goads to deadlier hate by
fiery trials, and day by day adds others to their number? Is _this_
providing for the common defence and general welfare? If to rob men of
rights excites their hate, freely to restore them and make amends, will
win their love.

By emancipating the slaves in the District, the government of the United
States would disband an army of "enemies," and enlist "for the common
defence and general welfare," a body guard of _friends_ seven thousand
strong. In the last war, a handful of British soldiers sacked Washington
city, burned the capitol, the President's house, and the national
offices and archives; and no marvel, for thousands of the inhabitants of
the District had been "TRANSFORMED INTO ENEMIES." Would _they_ beat back
invasion? If the national government had exercised its constitutional
"power to provide for the common defence and to promote the general
welfare," by turning those "enemies" into friends, then, instead of a
hostile ambush lurking in every thicket inviting assault, and secret
foes in every house paralyzing defence, an army of allies would have
rallied in the hour of her calamity, and shouted defiance from their
munitions of rocks; whilst the banner of the republic, then trampled in
dust, would have floated securely over FREEMEN exulting amidst bulwarks
of strength.

To show that Congress can abolish slavery in the District, under the
grant of power "to provide for the common defence and to promote the
general welfare," I quote an extract from a speech of Mr. Madison, of
Va., in the first Congress under the constitution, May 13, 1789.
Speaking of the abolition of the slave trade, Mr. Madison says: "I
should venture to say it is as much for the interests of Georgia and
South Carolina, as of any state in the union. Every addition they
receive to their number of slaves tends to _weaken_ them, and renders
them less capable of self-defence. In case of hostilities with foreign
nations, they will be the means of _inviting_ attack instead of
repelling invasion. It is a necessary duty of the general government to
protect every part of the empire against danger, as well _internal_ as
external. _Every thing, therefore, which tends to increase this danger,
though it may be a local affair, yet if it involves national expense or
safety, it becomes of concern to every part of the union, and is a
proper subject for the consideration of those charged with the general
administration of the government._" Cong. Reg. vol. 1, p. 310, 11.



My apology for adding a _postscript_, to a discussion already perhaps
too protracted, is the fact that the preceding sheets were in the hands
of the printer, and all but the concluding pages had gone through the
press, before the passage of Mr. Calhoun's late resolutions in the
Senate of the United States. A proceeding so extraordinary,--if indeed
henceforward _any_ act of Congress in derogation of freedom and in
deference to slavery, can be deemed extraordinary,--should not be passed
in silence at such a crisis as the present; especially as the passage of
one of the resolutions by a vote of 36 to 9, exhibits a shift of
position on the part of the South, as sudden as it is unaccountable,
being nothing less than the surrender of a fortress which until then,
they had defended with the pertinacity of a blind and almost infuriated
fatuity. Upon the discussions during the pendency of the resolutions,
and upon the vote, by which they were carried, I make no comment, save
only to record my exultation in the fact there exhibited, that great
emergencies are _true touchstones_, and that henceforward, until this
question is settled, whoever holds a seat in Congress will find upon,
and around him, a pressure strong enough to test him--a focal blaze that
will find its way through the carefully adjusted cloak of fair
pretension, and the sevenfold brass of two faced political intrigue, and
_no_-faced _non-committalism_, piercing to the dividing asunder of
joints and marrow. Be it known to every northern man who aspires to a
seat in our national councils, that hereafter congressional action on
this subject will be a MIGHTY REVELATOR--making secret thoughts public
property, and proclaiming on the house-tops what is whispered in the
ear--smiting off masks, and bursting open sepulchres beautiful
outwardly, and up-heaving to the sun their dead men's bones. To such we
say,--_Remember the Missouri Question, and the fate of those who then
sold the free states and their own birthright!_

Passing by the resolutions generally without remark--the attention of
the reader is specially solicited to Mr. Clay's substitute for Mr.
Calhoun's fifth resolution.

"Resolved, That when the District of Columbia was ceded by the states of
Virginia and Maryland to the United States, domestic slavery existed in
both of these states, including the ceded territory, and that, as it
still continues in both of them, it could not be abolished within the
District without a violation of that good faith, which was implied in
the cession and in the acceptance of the territory; nor, unless
compensation were made to the proprietors of slaves, without a manifest
infringement of an amendment to the constitution of the United States;
nor without exciting a degree of just alarm and apprehension in the
states recognizing slavery, far transcending in mischievous tendency,
any possible benefit which could be accomplished by the abolition."

By advocating this resolution, the south shifted its mode of defence,
not by taking a position entirely new, but by attempting to refortify an
old one--abandoned mainly long ago, as being unable to hold out against
assault however unskillfully directed. In the debate on this resolution,
the southern members of Congress silently drew off from the ground
hitherto maintained by them, viz.--that Congress has no power by the
constitution to abolish slavery in the District.

The passage of this resolution--with the vote of every southern senator,
forms a new era in the discussion of this question. We cannot join in
the lamentations of those who bewail it. We hail it, and rejoice in it.
It was as we would have had it--offered by a southern senator, advocated
by southern senators, and on the ground that it "was no
compromise"--that it embodied the true southern principle--that "this
resolution stood on as high ground as Mr. Calhoun's."--(Mr.
Preston)--"that Mr. Clay's resolution was as strong as Mr.
Calhoun's"--(Mr. Rives)--that "the resolution he (Mr. Calhoun) now
refused to support, was as strong as his own, and that in supporting it,
there was no abandonment of principle by the south."--(Mr. Walker, of
Mi.)--further, that it was advocated by the southern senators generally
as an expression of their views, and as setting the question of slavery
in the District on its _true_ ground--that finally, when the question
was taken, every slaveholding senator, including Mr. Calhoun himself,
voted for the resolution.

By passing this resolution, and with such avowals, the south has
unwittingly but explicitly, conceded the main point argued in the
preceding pages, and surrendered the whole question at issue between
them and the petitioners for abolition in the District.

The _only_ ground taken against the right of Congress to abolish slavery
in the District is, that it existed in Maryland and Virginia when the
cession was made, and "_as it still continues in both of them_, it could
not be abolished without a violation of that good faith which was
implied in the cession," &c. The argument is not that exclusive
_sovereignty_ has no power to abolish slavery within its jurisdiction,
nor that the powers of even ordinary legislation cannot do it, nor that
the clause granting Congress "exclusive legislation in all cases what
soever over such District," gives no power to do it; but that the
_unexpressed expectation_ of one of the parties that the other would not
"in all cases" use the power which said party had consented might be
used "_in all cases," prohibits_ the use of it. The only cardinal point
in the discussion, is here not only yielded, but formally laid down by
the South as the leading article in their creed on the question of
Congressional jurisdiction over slavery in the District. The reason
given why Congress should not abolish, and the sole evidence that if it
did, such abolition would be a violation of "good faith," is that
"_slavery still continues in those states_,"--thus admitting, that if
slavery did _not_ "still continue" in those States, Congress could
abolish it in the District. The same admission is made also in the
_premises_, which state that slavery existed in those states _at the
time of the cession_, &c. Admitting that if it had not existed there
then, but had grown up in the District under United States' laws,
Congress might constitutionally abolish it. Or that if the ceded parts
of those states had been the _only_ parts in which slaves were held
under their laws, Congress might have abolished in such a contingency
also. The cession in that case leaving no slaves in those states,--no
"good faith" would be "implied" in it, nor any "violated" by an act of
abolition. The resolution makes virtually this further admission, that
if Maryland and Virginia should at once abolish their slavery, Congress
might at once abolish it in the District. The principle goes even
further than this, and _requires_ Congress in such case to abolish
slavery in the District "by the _good faith implied_ in the cession and
acceptance of the territory." Since, according to the spirit and scope
of the resolution, this "implied good faith" of Maryland and Virginia
in making the cession, was, that Congress would do nothing within the
District which should counteract the policy, or discredit the
"institutions," or call in question the usages, or even in any way
ruffle the prejudices of those states, or do what _they_ might think
would unfavorably bear upon their interests; _themselves_ of course
being the judges.

But let us dissect another limb of the resolution. What is to be
understood by "that good faith which was IMPLIED?" It is of course an
admission that such a condition was not _expressed_ in the acts of
cession--that in their terms there is nothing restricting the power of
Congress on the subject of slavery in the District. This "implied
faith," then, rests on no clause or word in the United States'
Constitution, or in the acts of cession, or in the acts of Congress
accepting the cession, nor on any declarations of the legislatures of
Maryland and Virginia, nor on any _act_ of theirs, nor on any
declaration of the _people_ of those states, nor on the testimony of the
Washingtons, Jeffersons, Madisons, Chases, Martins, and Jennifers, of
those states and times. The assertion rests _on itself alone!_ Mr. Clay
_guesses_ that Maryland and Virginia _supposed_ that Congress would by
no means _use_ the power given them by the Constitution, except in such
ways as would be well pleasing in the eyes of those states; especially
as one of them was the "Ancient Dominion!" And now after half a century,
this _assumed expectation_ of Maryland and Virginia, the existence of
which is mere matter of conjecture with the 36 senators, is conjured up
and duly installed upon the judgment-seat of final appeal, before whose
nod constitutions are to flee away, and with whom, solemn grants of
power and explicit guaranties are, when weighed in the balance,
altogether lighter than vanity!

But survey it in another light. Why did Maryland and Virginia leave so
much to be "_implied?_?" Why did they not in some way _express_ what lay
so near their hearts? Had their vocabulary run so low that a single word
could not be eked out for the occasion? Or were those states so bashful
of a sudden that they dare not speak out and tell what they wanted? Or
did they take it for granted that Congress would always know their
wishes by intuition, and always take them for law? If, as honorable
senators tell us, Maryland and Virginia did verily travail with such
abounding _faith_, why brought they forth no _works_?

It is as true in legislation as in religion, that the only evidence of
"faith" is works, and that "faith" _without_ works is _dead_, i.e. has
no _power_. But here, forsooth, a blind implication with nothing
_expressed_, an "implied" faith without works, is omnipotent! Mr. Clay
is lawyer enough to know that Maryland and Virginia notions of
constitutional power, _abrogate no grant_, and that to plead them in a
court of law, would be of small service, except to jostle "their
Honors'" gravity! He need not be told that the Constitution gives
Congress "power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases
whatsoever over such District;" nor that Maryland and Virginia
constructed their acts of cession with this clause _before their eyes_,
and declared those acts made "in _pursuance_" of it. Those states knew
that the U.S. Constitution had left nothing to be "_implied_" as to the
power of Congress over the District; an admonition quite sufficient, one
would think, to put them on their guard, and lead them to eschew vague
implications, and to resort to _stipulations_. They knew, moreover, that
those were times when, in matters of high import, _nothing_ was left to
be "implied." The colonies were then panting from a twenty years'
conflict with the mother country, about bills of rights, charters,
treaties, constitutions, grants, limitations, and _acts of cession_. The
severities of a long and terrible discipline had taught them to guard at
all points _legislative grants_, that their exact import and limit might
be self-evident--leaving no scope for a blind "faith" that _somehow_ in
the lottery of chances, every ticket would turn up a prize. Toil,
suffering, blood, and treasure outpoured like water over a whole
generation, counselled them to make all sure by the use of explicit
terms, and well chosen words, and just enough of them. The Constitution
of the United States, with its amendments, those of the individual
states, the national treaties, and the public documents of the general
and state governments at that period, show the universal conviction of
legislative bodies, that nothing should be left to be "implied," when
great public interests were at stake.

Further: suppose Maryland and Virginia had expressed their "implied
faith" in _words_, and embodied it in their acts of cession as a
proviso, declaring that Congress should not "exercise exclusive
legislation in _all_ cases whatsoever over the District," but that the
"case" of _slavery_ should be an exception: who does not know that
Congress, if it had accepted the cession on those terms, would have
violated the Constitution; and who that has studied the free mood of
those times in its bearings on slavery--proofs of which are given in
scores on the preceding pages--[See pp. 25-37.] can be made to believe
that the people of the United States would have re-modelled their
Constitution for the purpose of providing for slavery an inviolable
sanctuary; that when driven in from its outposts, and everywhere
retreating discomfited before the march of freedom, it might be received
into everlasting habitations on the common homestead and hearth-stone of
the republic? Who can believe that Virginia made such a condition, or
cherished such a purpose, when Washington, Jefferson, Wythe, Patrick
Henry, St. George Tucker, and all her most illustrious men, were at that
moment advocating the abolition of slavery by law; when Washington had
said, two years before, that Maryland and Virginia "must have laws for
the gradual abolition of slavery, and at a period _not remote_;" and when
Jefferson in his letter to Dr. Price, three years before the cession,
had said, speaking of Virginia, "This is the next state to which we may
turn our eyes for the interesting spectacle of justice in conflict with
avarice and oppression--a conflict in which THE SACRED SIDE IS GAINING
DAILY RECRUITS;" when voluntary emancipations on the soil were then
progressing at the rate of between one and two thousand annually, (See
Judge Tucker's "Dissertation on Slavery," p. 73;) when the public
sentiment of Virginia had undergone, so mighty a revolution that the
idea of the continuance of slavery as a permanent system could not be
tolerated, though she then contained about half the slaves in the Union.
Was this the time to stipulate for the _perpetuity_ of slavery under the
exclusive legislation of Congress? and that too when at the _same_
session _every one_ of her delegation voted for the abolition of slavery
in the North West Territory; a territory which she herself had ceded to
the Union, and surrendered along with it her jurisdiction over her
citizens, inhabitants of that territory, who held slaves there--and
whose slaves were emancipated by that act of Congress, in which all her
delegation with one accord participated?

Now in view of the universal belief then prevalent, that slavery in this
country was doomed to short life, and especially that in Maryland and
Virginia it would be _speedily_ abolished--must we adopt the monstrous
conclusion that those states _designed_ to bind Congress _never_ to
terminate it?--that it was the _intent_ of the Ancient Dominion thus to
_bind_ the United States by an "implied faith," and that when the
national government _accepted_ the cession, she did solemnly thus plight
her troth, and that Virginia did then so _understand_ it? Verily,
honorable senators must suppose themselves deputed to do our _thinking_
for us as well as our legislation, or rather, that they are themselves
absolved from such drudgery by virtue of their office!

Another absurdity of this "implied faith" dogma is, that where there was
no power to exact an _express_ pledge, there was none to demand an
_implied_ one, and where there was no power to give the one, there was
none to give the other. We have shown already that Congress could not
have accepted the cession with such a condition. To have signed away a
part of its constitutional grant of power would have been a _breach_ of
the Constitution. The Congress which accepted the cession was competent
to pass a resolution pledging itself not to _use all_ the power over the
District committed to it by the Constitution. But here its power ended.
Its resolution could only bind _itself_. It had no authority to bind a
subsequent Congress. Could the members of one Congress say to those of
another, because we do not choose to exercise all the authority vested
in us by the Constitution, therefore you _shall_ not? This would, have
been a prohibition to do what the Constitution gives power to do. Each
successive Congress would still have gone to THE CONSTITUTION for its
power, brushing away in its course the cobwebs stretched across its path
by the officiousness of an impertinent predecessor. Again, the
legislatures of Virginia and Maryland, had no power to bind Congress,
either by an express or an implied pledge, never to abolish slavery in
the District. Those legislatures had no power to bind _themselves_ never
to abolish slavery within their own territories--the ceded parts
included. Where then would they get power to bind _another_ not to do
what they had no power to bind _themselves_ not to do? If a legislature
could not in this respect control the successive legislatures of its own
State, could it control the successive Congresses of the United States?

But perhaps we shall be told, that the "implied faith" of Maryland and
Virginia was _not_ that Congress should _never_ abolish slavery in the
District, but that it should not do it until _they_ had done it within
their bounds! Verily this "faith" comes little short of the faith of
miracles! Maryland and Virginia have "good faith" that Congress will not
abolish until _they_ do; and then just as "good faith" that Congress
_will_ abolish _when_ they do! Excellently accommodated! Did those
states suppose that Congress would legislate over the national domain,
for Maryland and Virginia alone? And who, did they suppose, would be
judges in the matter?--themselves merely? or the whole Union?

This "good faith implied in the cession" is no longer of doubtful
interpretation. The principle at the bottom of it, when fairly stated,
is this:--That the Government of the United States are bound in "good
faith" to do in the District of Columbia, without demurring, just what
and when, Maryland and Virginia do within their own bounds. In short,
that the general government is eased of all the burdens of legislation
within its exclusive jurisdiction, save that of hiring a scrivener to
copy off the acts of the Maryland and Virginia legislatures as fast as
they are passed, and engross them, under the title of "Laws of the
United States for the District of Columbia!" A slight additional expense
would also be incurred in keeping up an express between the capitols of
those States and Washington city, bringing Congress from time to time
its "_instructions_" from head quarters!

What a "glorious Union" this doctrine of Mr. Clay bequeaths to the
people of the United States! We have been permitted to set up at our own
expense, and on our own territory, two great _sounding-boards_ called
"Senate Chamber" and "Representatives' Hall," for the purpose of sending
abroad "by authority" _national_ echoes of _state_ legislation!
--permitted also to keep in our pay a corps of pliant _national_
musicians, with peremptory instructions to sound on any line of the
staff according as Virginia and Maryland may give the sovereign
key note!

A careful analysis of Mr. Clay's resolution and of the discussions upon
it, will convince every fair mind that this is but the legitimate
carrying out of the _principle_ pervading both. They proceed virtually
upon the hypothesis that the will and pleasure of Virginia and Maryland
are paramount to those of the Union. If the original design of setting
apart a federal district had been for the sole accommodation of the
south, there could hardly have been higher assumption or louder
vaunting. The only object of _having_ such a District was in effect
totally perverted in the resolution of Mr. Clay, and in the discussions
of the entire southern delegation, upon its passage. Instead of taking
the ground, that the benefit of the whole Union was the sole _object_ of
a federal district, and that it was to be legislated over _for this
end_--the resolution proceeds upon an hypothesis totally the reverse. It
takes a single point of _state_ policy, and exalts it above NATIONAL
interests, utterly overshadowing them; abrogating national rights;
making void a clause of the Constitution; humbling the general
government into a subject crouching for favors to a superior, and that
too within its own exclusive jurisdiction. All the attributes of
sovereignty vested in Congress by the Constitution, it impales upon the
point of an alleged _implication_. And this is Mr. Clay's
peace-offering, to the lust of power and the ravenings of state
encroachment! A "compromise," forsooth! that sinks the general
government on _its own territory_, into a mere colony, with Virginia and
Maryland for its "mother country!" It is refreshing to turn from these
shallow, distorted constructions and servile cringings, to the high
bearing of other southern men in other times; men, who as legislators
and lawyers, scorned to accommodate their interpretations of
constitutions and charters to geographical lines, or to bend them to the
purposes of a political canvass. In the celebrated case of Cohens _vs._
the State of Virginia, Hon. William Pinkney, late of Baltimore, and Hon.
Walter Jones, of Washington city, with other eminent constitutional
lawyers, prepared an elaborate opinion, from which the following is an
extract: "Nor is there any danger to be apprehended from allowing to
Congressional legislation with regard to the District of Columbia, its
FULLEST EFFECT. Congress is responsible to the States, and to the people
for that legislation. It is in truth the legislation of the states over
a district placed under their control FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT, not for
that of the District, except as the prosperity of the District is
involved, and _necessary to the general advantage_."--[Life of
Pinkney, p. 612.]

This profound legal opinion asserts, 1st, that Congressional legislation
over the District, is "the legislation of the _states_ and the
_people_." (not of _two_ states, and a mere _fraction_ of the people;)
2d. "Over a District placed under _their_ control," i.e. under the
control of _all_ the States, not of _two twenty-sixths_ of them. 3d.
That it was thus put under their control "_for_ THEIR OWN _benefit_."
4th. It asserts that the design of this exclusive control of Congress
over the District was "not for the benefit of the _District_," except as
that is _connected_ with, and _a means of promoting_ the _general_
advantage. If this is the case with the _District_, which is _directly_
concerned, it is pre-eminently so with Maryland and Virginia, which are
but _indirectly_ interested. The argument of Mr. Madison in the Congress
of '89, an extract from which has been given on a preceding page, lays
down the same principle; that though any matter "_may be a local affair,
yet if it involves national_ EXPENSE or SAFETY, _it becomes of concern
to every part of the union, and is a proper subject for the
consideration of those charged with the general administration of the
government_."--Cong. Reg. vol. 1. p. 310.

But these are only the initiatory absurdities of this "good faith
_implied_." Mr. Clay's resolution aptly illustrates the principle, that
error not only conflicts with truth, but is generally at issue with
itself: For if it would be a violation of "good faith" to Maryland and
Virginia, for Congress to abolish slavery in the District, it would be
_equally_ a violation for Congress to do it _with the consent_, or even
at the unanimous petition of the people of the District: yet for years
it has been the southern doctrine, that if the people of the District
demand of Congress relief in this respect, it has power, as their local
legislature, to grant it, and by abolishing slavery there, carry out the
will of the citizens. But now new light has broken in! The optics of Mr.
Clay have pierced the millstone with a deeper insight, and discoveries
thicken faster than they can be telegraphed! Congress has no power, O
no, not a modicum! to help the slaveholders of the District, however
loudly they may clamor for it. The southern doctrine, that Congress is
to the District a mere local Legislature to do its pleasure, is tumbled
from the genitive into the vocative! Hard fate--and that too at the
hands of those who begat it! The reasonings of Messrs. Pinckney and
Wise, are now found to be wholly at fault, and the chanticleer rhetoric
of Messrs. Glascock and Garland stalks featherless and crest-fallen. For
the resolution sweeps by the board all those stereotyped common-places,
such as "Congress a local Legislature," "consent of the District,"
"bound to consult the wishes of the District," with other catch phrases,
which for the last two sessions of Congress have served to eke out
scanty supplies. It declares, that as slavery existed in _Maryland and
Virginia at the time of the cession, and as_ it still continues _in both
those states_, it could not be abolished in the District without a
violation of "that good faith," &c.

But let us see where this principle will lead us. If "implied faith" to
Maryland and Virginia _restrains_ Congress from the abolition of slavery
in the District, because those states have not abolished _their_
slavery, it _requires_ Congress to do in the District what those states
have done within their own limits, i.e., restrain _others_ from
abolishing it. Upon the same principle Congress is _bound_ to _prohibit
emancipation_ within the District. There is no _stopping place_ for this
plighted "faith." Congress must not only refrain from laying violent
hands on slavery, and see to it that the slaveholders themselves do not,
but it is bound to keep the system up to the Maryland and Virginia
standard of vigor!

Again, if the good faith of Congress to Virginia and Maryland requires
that slavery should exist in the District, while it exists in those
states, it requires that it should exist there as it exists in those
states. If to abolish _every_ form of slavery in the District would
violate good faith, to abolish _the_ form existing in those states, and
to substitute a different one, would also violate it. The Congressional
"good faith" is to be kept not only with _slavery_, but with the
_Maryland and Virginia systems_ of slavery. The faith of those states
being not that Congress would maintain a system, but _their_ system;
otherwise instead of _sustaining_, Congress would counteract their
policy--principles would be brought into action there conflicting with
their system, and thus the true sprit of the "implied" pledge would be
violated. On this principle, so long as slaves are "chattels personal"
in Virginia and Maryland, Congress could not make them _real estate_ in
the District, as they are in Louisiana; nor could it permit slaves to
read, nor to worship God according to conscience; nor could it grant
them trial by jury, nor legalize marriage; nor require the master to
give sufficient food and clothing; nor prohibit the violent sundering of
families--because such provisions would conflict with the existing
slave laws of Virginia and Maryland, and thus violate the "good faith
implied," &c. So the principle of the resolution binds Congress in all
these particulars: 1st. Not to abolish slavery in the District _until_
Virginia and Maryland abolish. 2d. Not to abolish any _part_ of it that
exists in those states. 3d. Not to abolish any _form_ or _appendage_ of
it still existing in those states. 4th. To _abolish_ when they do. 5th.
To increase or abate its rigors _when, how,_ and _as_ the same are
modified by those states. In a word, Congressional action in the
District is to float passively in the wake of legislative action on the
subject in those states.

But here comes a dilemma. Suppose the legislation of those states should
steer different courses--then there would be _two_ wakes! Can Congress
float in both? Yea, verily! Nothing is too hard for it! Its
obsequiousness equals its "power of legislation in _all_ cases
whatsoever." It can float _up_ on the Virginia tide, and ebb down on the
Maryland. What Maryland does, Congress will do in the Maryland part.
What Virginia does, Congress will do in the Virginia part. Though it
might not always be able to run at the bidding of both _at once_,
especially in different directions, yet if it obeyed orders cheerfully,
and "kept in its place," according to its "good faith implied,"
impossibilities might not be rigidly exacted. True, we have the highest
sanction for the maxim that no _man_ can serve two masters--but if
"corporations have no souls," analogy would absolve Congress on that
score, or at most give it only a _very small soul_--not large enough to
be at all in the way, as an exception to the universal rule laid down in
the maxim!

In following out the absurdities of this "implied good faith," it will
be seen at once that the doctrine of Mr. Clay's Resolution extends to
_all the subjects of legislation_ existing in Maryland and Virginia,
which exist also within the District. Every system, "institution," law,
and established usage there, is placed beyond Congressional control
equally with slavery, and by the same "implied faith." The abolition of
the lottery system in the District as an immorality, was a flagrant
breach of this "good faith" to Maryland and Virginia, as the system
"still continued in those states." So to abolish imprisonment for debt,
or capital punishment, to remodel the bank system, the power of
corporations, the militia law, laws of limitation, &c., in the District,
_unless Virginia and Maryland took the lead,_ would violate the "good
faith implied in the cession."

That in the acts of cession no such "good faith" was "implied" by
Virginia and Maryland as is claimed in the Resolution, we argue from the
fact, that in 1784 Virginia ceded to the United States all her
north-west territory, with the special proviso that her citizens
inhabiting that territory should "have their _possessions_ and _titles_
confirmed to them, and be _protected_ in the enjoyment of their _rights_
and liberties." (See Journals of Congress, vol. 9, p. 63.) The cession
was made in the form of a deed, and signed by Thomas Jefferson, Samuel
Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James Munroe. Many of these inhabitants _held
slaves._ Three years after the cession, the Virginia delegation in
Congress _proposed_ the passage of an ordinance which should abolish
slavery, in that territory, and declare that it should never thereafter
exist there. All the members of Congress from Virginia and Maryland
voted for this ordinance. Suppose some member of Congress had during the
passage of the ordinance introduced the following resolution: "Resolved,
that when the northwest territory was ceded by Virginia to the United
States, domestic slavery existed in that State, including the ceded
territory, and as it still continues in that State, it could not be
abolished within the territory without a violation of that good faith,
which was implied in the cession and in the acceptance of the
territory." What would have been the indignant response of Grayson,
Griffin, Madison, and the Lees, in the Congress of '87, to such a
resolution, and of Carrington, Chairman of the Committee, who reported
the ratification of the ordinance in the Congress of '89, and of Page
and Parker, who with every other member of the Virginia delegation
supported it?

But to enumerate all the absurdities into which those interested for
this resolution have plunged themselves, would be to make a quarto
inventory. We decline the task; and in conclusion merely add, that Mr.
Clay, in presenting it, and each of the thirty-six Senators who voted
for it, entered on the records of the Senate, and proclaimed to the
world, a most unworthy accusation against the millions of American
citizens who have during nearly half a century petitioned the national
legislature to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia,--charging
them either with the ignorance or the impiety of praying the nation to
violate its "Plighted Faith." The resolution virtually indicts at the
bar of public opinion, and brands with odium, all the early Manumission
Societies, the _first_ petitioners for the abolition of slavery in the
District, and for a long time the only ones, petitioning from year to
year through evil report and good report, still petitioning, by
individual societies and in their national conventions.

But as if it were not enough to table the charge against such men as
Benjamin Rush, William Rawle, John Sergeant, Roberts Vaux, Cadwallader
Colden, and Peter A. Jay,--to whom we may add Rufus King, James
Hillhouse, William Pinkney, Thomas Addis Emmett, Daniel D. Tompkins, De
Witt Clinton, James Kent, and Daniel Webster, besides eleven hundred
citizens of the District itself, headed by their Chief Justice and
Judges--even the sovereign States of Pennsylvania, New-York,
Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut, whose legislatures have either
memorialized Congress to abolish slavery in the District, or instructed
their Senators to move such a measure, must be gravely informed by
Messrs. Clay, Norvell, Niles, Smith, Pierce, Benton, Black, Tipton, and
other honorable Senators, either that their perception is so dull, they
know not whereof they affirm, or that their moral sense is so blunted
they can demand without compunction a violation of the nation's faith!

We have spoken already of the concessions unwittingly made in this
resolution to the true doctrine of Congressional power over the
District. For that concession, important as it is; we have small thanks
to render. That such a resolution, passed with such an _intent_, and
pressing at a thousand points on relations and interests vital to the
free states, should be hailed, as it has been, by a portion of the
northern press as a "compromise" originating in deference to northern
interests, and to be received by us as a free-will offering of
disinterested benevolence, demanding our gratitude to the mover,--may
well cover us with shame. We deserve the humiliation and have well
earned the mockery. Let it come!

If, after having been set up at auction in the public sales-room of the
nation, and for thirty years, and by each of a score of "compromises,"
treacherously knocked off to the lowest bidder, and that without money
and without price, the North, plundered and betrayed, _will not_, in
this her accepted time, consider the things that belong to her peace
before they are hidden from her eyes, then let her eat of the fruit of
her own way, and be filled with her own devices! Let the shorn and
blinded giant grind in the prison-house of the Philistines, till taught
by weariness and pain the folly of entrusting to Delilahs the secret and
the custody of his strength.

Have the free States bound themselves by an oath never to profit by the
lessons of experience? If lost to reason, are they dead to _instinct_
also? Can nothing rouse them to cast about for self preservation? And
shall a life of tame surrenders be terminated by suicidal sacrifice?

A "COMPROMISE!" Bitter irony! Is the plucked and hoodwinked North to be
wheedled by the sorcery of another Missouri compromise? A compromise in
which the South gained all, and the North lost all, and lost it forever.
A compromise which embargoed the free laborer of the North and West,
and, clutched at the staff he leaned upon, to turn it into a bludgeon
and fell him with its stroke. A compromise which wrested from liberty
her boundless birthright domain, stretching westward to the sunset,
while it gave to slavery loose reins and a free coarse, from the
Mississippi to the Pacific.

The resolution, as it finally passed, is here inserted.

"Resolved, That the interference by the citizens of any of the states,
with the view to the abolition of slavery in the District, is
endangering the rights and security of the people of the District; and
that any act or measure of Congress designed to abolish slavery in the
District, would be a violation of the faith implied in the cessions by
the states of Virginia and Maryland, a just cause of alarm to the people
of the slaveholding states, and have a direct and inevitable tendency to
disturb and endanger the Union."

The vote upon the resolution stood as follows:

_Yeas_.--Messrs. Allen, Bayard, Benton, Black, Buchanan, Brown, Calhoun,
Clay of Alabama, Clay of Kentucky, Clayton, Crittenden, Cuthbert,
Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, King, Lumpkin, Lyon, Nicholas. Niles, Norvell,
Pierce, Preston, Rives, Roane, Robinson, Sevier, Smith, of Connecticut,
Strange, Tallmadge, Tipton, Walker, White, Williams, Wright, Young--36.

SMITH, of Indiana, SWIFT, WEBSTER--9.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


"American Slavery," said the celebrated John Wesley, "is the _vilest_
beneath the sun!" Of the truth of this emphatic remark, no other proof
is required, than an examination of the statute books of the American
slave states. Tested by its own laws, in all that facilitates and
protects the hateful process of converting a man into a "_chattel
personal_;" in all that stamps the law-maker, and law-upholder with
meanness and hypocrisy, it certainly has no present rival of its "bad
eminence," and we may search in vain the history of a world's despotism
for a parallel. The civil code of Justinian never acknowledged, with
that of our democratic despotisms, the essential equality of man. The
dreamer in the gardens of Epicurus recognized neither in himself, nor in
the slave who ministered to his luxury, the immortality of the spiritual
nature. Neither Solon nor Lycurgus taught the inalienability of human
rights. The Barons of the Feudal System, whose maxim was emphatically
that of Wordsworth's robber,

   "That he should take who had the power,
   And he should keep who can."

while trampling on the necks of their vassals, and counting the life of
a man as of less value than that of a wild beast, never appealed to God
for the sincerity of their belief, that all men were created equal. It
was reserved for American slave-holders to present to the world the
hideous anomaly of a code of laws, beginning with the emphatic
declaration of the inalienable rights of all men to life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness, and closing with a deliberate and systematic
denial of those rights, in respect to a large portion of their
countrymen; engrossing on the same parchment the antagonist laws of
liberty and tyranny. The very nature of this unnatural combination has
rendered it necessary that American slavery, in law and in practice,
should exceed every other in severity and cool atrocity. The masters of
Greece and Rome permitted their slaves to read and write and worship the
gods of paganism in peace and security, for there was nothing in the
laws, literature, or religion of the age to awaken in the soul of the
bondman a just sense of his rights as a man. But the American
slaveholder cannot be thus lenient. In the excess of his benevolence, as
a political propagandist, he has kindled a fire for the oppressed of the
old world to gaze at with hope, and for crowned heads and dynasties to
tremble at; but a due regard to the safety of his "peculiar
institution," compels him to put out the eyes of his own people, lest
they too should see it. Calling on all the world to shake off the
fetters of oppression, and wade through the blood of tyrants to freedom,
he has been compelled to smother, in darkness and silence, the minds of
his own bondmen, lest they too should hear and obey the summons, by
putting the knife to his own throat.--Proclaiming the truths of Divine
Revelation, and sending the Scriptures to the four quarters of the
earth, he has found it necessary to maintain heathenism at home by
special enactments; and to make the second offence of teaching his
slaves the message of salvation punishable with _death_!

What marvel then that American slavery even on the _statute book_
assumes the right to transform moral beings into brutes:[A] that it
legalizes man's usurpation of Divine authority; the substitution of the
will of the master, for the moral government of God: that it annihilates
the rights of conscience; debars from the enjoyment of religious rights
and privileges by specific enactments; and enjoins disobedience to the
Divine lawgiver: that it discourages purity and chastity, encourages
crime, legalizes concubinage; and, while it places the slave entirely in
the hands of his master, provides no real protection for his life or
his person.

[Footnote A: The _cardinal principle_ of slavery, that a slave is not to
be ranked among sentient beings, but among things, as an article of
property, a chattel personal, obtains as undoubted law, in all the slave
states. (Judge Stroud's Sketch of Slave Laws, p. 22.)]

But it may be said, that these laws afford no certain evidence of the
actual condition of the slaves: that, in judging the system by its code,
no allowance is made for the humanity of individual masters. It was a
just remark of the celebrated Priestley, that "_no people ever were
found to be better than their laws, though many have been known to be
worse._" All history and common experience confirm this. Besides,
admitting that the legal severity of a system may be softened in the
practice of the humane, may it not also be aggravated by that of the
avaricious and cruel?

But what are the testimony and admissions of slaveholders themselves on
this point? In an Essay published in Charleston, S.C., in 1822, and
entitled "A Refutation of the Calumnies circulated against the Southern
and Western States," by the late Edwin C. Holland, Esq., it is stated,
that "all slaveholders have laid down non-resistance, and perfect and
uniform _obedience_ to their orders as fundamental principles in the
government of their slaves:" that this is "a _necessary_ result of the
relation," and "_unavoidable_." Robert J. Turnbull, Esq., of South
Carolina, in remarking upon the management of slaves, says, "The only
principle upon which may authority over them, (the slaves,) can be
maintained is _fear_, and he who denies this has little knowledge of
them." To this may be added the testimony of Judge Ruffin, of North
Carolina, as quoted in Wheeler's Law of Slavery, p. 217. "The slave, to
remain a slave, must feel that there is _no appeal from his master_. No
man can anticipate the provocations which the slave would give, nor the
consequent wrath of the master, prompting him to BLOODY VENGEANCE on the
turbulent traitor, a vengeance _generally_ practised with impunity by
reason of its _privacy_."

In an Essay on the "improvement of negroes on plantations," by Rev.
Thomas S. Clay, a slaveholder of Bryan county, Georgia, and Printed at
the request of the Georgia Presbytery, in 1833, we are told "that the
present economy of the slave system is _to get all you can_ from the
slave, and give him in return _as little as will barely support him in a
working condition_!" Here, in a few words, the whole enormity of slavery
is exposed to view: "to _get all you can_ from the slave"--by means of
whips and forks and irons--by every device for torturing the body,
without destroying its capability of labor; and in return give him as
little of his coarse fare as will keep him, like a mere beast of burden,
in a "_working condition_;" this is slavery, as explained by the
slaveholder himself. Mr. Clay further says: "_Offences against the
master_ are more severely punished than violations of the law of God, a
fault which affects the slave's personal character a good deal. As
examples we may notice, that _running away_ is more severely punished
than adultery." "He (the slave) only knows his master as lawgiver and
executioner, and the _sole object of punishment_ held up to his view, is
to make him _a more obedient and profitable slave_."

Hon. W.B. Seabrook, in an address before the Agricultural Society of St.
John's, Colleton, published by order of the Society, at Charleston, in
1834, after stating that "as Slavery exists in South Carolina, the
action of the citizens should rigidly conform to that state of things:"
and, that "no _abstract opinions of the rights of man_ should be allowed
in any instance to modify the _police system of a plantation_," proceeds
as follows. "_He_ (the slave) _should be practically treated as a
slave_; and thoroughly taught the true cardinal principle on which our
peculiar institutions are founded, viz.; that to his owner he is bound
by the law of God and man; and that no human authority can sever the
link which unites them. The great aim of the slaveholder, then, should
be to keep his people in strict _subordination_. In this, it may in
truth be said, lies his _entire duty_." Again, in speaking of the
punishments of slaves, he remarks: "If to our army the disuse of THE
LASH has been prejudicial, to the slaveholder it would operate to
deprive him of the MAIN SUPPORT of his authority. For the first class of
offences, I consider imprisonment in THE STOCKS[A] at night, with or
without hard labor by day, as a powerful auxiliary in the cause of
_good_ government." "_Experience_ has convinced me that there is no
punishment to which the slave looks with more horror, than that upon
which I am commenting, (the stocks,) and none which has been attended
with happier results."

[Footnote A: Of the nature of this punishment in the stocks, something
may be learned by the following extract of a letter from a gentleman in
Tallahassee, Florida, to the editor of the Ohio Atlas, dated June 9,
1835: "A planter, a professer of religion, in conversing upon the
universality of whipping, remarked, that a planter in G____, who had
whipped a great deal, at length got tired of it, and invented the
following _excellent_ method of punishment, which I saw practised while
I was paying him a visit. The negro was placed in a sitting position,
with his hands made fast above his head, and his feet in the stocks, so
that he could not move any part of the body. The master retired,
intending to leave him till morning, but we were awakened in the night
by the groans of the negro, which were so doleful that we feared he was
dying. We went to him, and found him covered with a cold sweat, and
almost gone. He could not have lived an hour longer. Mr. ---- found the
'stocks' such an effective punishment, that it almost superseded
the whip."]

There is yet another class of testimony quite as pertinent as the
foregoing, which may at any time be gleaned from the newspapers of the
slave states--the advertisements of masters for their runaway slaves,
and casual paragraphs coldly relating cruelties, which would disgrace a
land of Heathenism. Let the following suffice for a specimen:

       *       *       *       *       *

To the Editors of the Constitutionalist.

_Aiken, S.C., Dec._ 20, 1836.

I have just returned from an inquest I held over the dead body of a
negro man, a runaway, that was shot near the South Edisto, in this
district, (Barnwell,) on Saturday morning last. He came to his death by
his own recklessness. He refused to be taken alive; and said that other
attempts to take him had been made, and he was determined that he would
not be taken. When taken he was nearly naked--had a large dirk or knife
and a heavy club. He was at first, (when those who were in pursuit of
him found it absolutely necessary,) shot at with small shot, with the
intention of merely crippling him. He was shot at several times, and at
last he was so disabled as to be compelled to surrender. He kept in the
run of a creek in a very dense swamp all the time that the neighbors
were in pursuit of him. As soon as the negro was taken, the best medical
aid was procured, but he died on the same evening. One of the witnesses
at the inquisition stated that the negro boy said that he was from
Mississippi, and belonged to so many persons he did not know who his
master was; but again he said his master's name was _Brown_. He said his
own name was Sam; and when asked by another witness who his master was,
he muttered something like Augusta or Augustine. The boy was apparently
above 35 or 40 years of age--about six feet high--slightly yellow in the
face--very long beard or whiskers--and very stout built, and a stern
countenance; and appeared to have been run away a long time.


_Coroner, (ex officio,) Barnwell Dist., S.C._

The Mississippi and other papers will please copy the above.--_Georgia

       *       *       *       *       *

$100 REWARD.--Ran away from the subscriber, living on Herring Bay, Ann
Arundel county, Md., on Saturday, 28th January, negro man Elijah, who
calls himself Elijah Cook, is about 21 years of age, well made, of a
very dark complexion has an impediment in his speech, and _a scar on his
left cheek bone, apparently occasioned by a shot_.

J. SCRIVENER. Annapolis (Md.) Rep., Feb., 1837.

       *       *       *       *       *

$40 REWARD.--Ran away from my residence near Mobile, two negro men,
Isaac and Tim. Isaac is from 25 to 30 years old, dark complexion, scar
on the right side of the head, and also one on the right side of the
body, occasioned by BUCK SHOT. Tim is 22 years old, dark complexion,
scar on the right cheek, as also another on the back of the neck.
Captains and owners of steamboats, vessels, and water crafts of every
description, are cautioned against taking them on board under the
penalty of the law; and all other persons against harboring or in any
manner favoring the escape of said negroes under like penalty.

_Mobile, Sept_. 1. SARAH WALSH. Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Sept. 29,

       *       *       *       *       *

$200 REWARD.--Ran away from the subscriber, about three years ago, a
certain negro man named Ben, (commonly known by the name of Ben Fox.) He
is about five feet five or six inches high, chunky made, yellow
complexion, and has but one eye. Also, one other negro, by the name of
Rigdon, who ran away on the 8th of this month. He is stout made, tall,
and very black, with large lips.

I will give the reward of one hundred dollars for each of the above
negroes, to be delivered to me or confined in the jail of Lenoir or
Jones county, or _for the killing of them so that I can see them_.
Masters of vessels and all others are cautioned against harboring,
employing, or carrying them away, under the penalty of the law.

W.D. COBB. _Lenoir county, N.C., Nov_. 12, 1836.

       *       *       *       *       *

"A negro who had absconded from his master, and for who a reward was
offered of $100, has been apprehended and committed to prison in
Savannah, Georgia. The Editor who states the fact, adds, with as much
coolness as though there was no barbarity in the matter, that he did not
surrender until he was considerably _maimed by the dogs_[A] that had
been set on him,--desperately fighting them, one of which he cut badly
with a sword."

_New-York Commercial Advertiser, June_, 8, 1827.

[Footnote A: In regard to the use of bloodhounds, for the recapture of
runaway slaves, we insert the following from the New-York Evangelist,
being an extract of a letter from Natchez (Miss.) under date of January
31, 1835: "An instance was related to me in Claiborne County, in
Mississippi. A runaway was heard about the house in the night. The hound
was put upon his track, and in the morning was found watching the dead
body of the negro. The dogs are trained to this service when young. A
negro is directed to go into the woods and secure himself upon a tree.
When sufficient time has elapsed for doing this, the hound is put upon
his track. The blacks are compelled to worry them until they make them
their implacable enemies: and it is common to meet with dogs which will
take no notice of whites, though entire strangers, but will suffer no
blacks beside the house servants to enter the yard."]

       *       *       *       *       *

From the foregoing evidence on the part of slaveholders themselves, we
gather the following facts:

1. That perfect obedience is required of the slave--that he is made to
feel that there is no appeal from his master.

2. That the authority of the master is only maintained by fear--a
"_reign of terror_."

3. That "the economy of slavery is to _get all you can_ from the slave,
and give him in return as little as will barely support him in a working

4. That runaway slaves may be shot down with impunity by any white

5. That masters offer rewards for "_killing_" their slaves, "_so that
they may see them_!"

6. That slaves are branded with hot irons, and very much scarred with
the whip.

7. That _iron collars_, with projecting prongs, rendering it almost
impossible for the wearer to lie down, are fastened upon the _necks
of women_.

8. That the LASH is the MAIN SUPPORT of the slaveholder's authority:
but, that the _stocks_ are "a powerful auxiliary" to his government.

9. That runaway slaves are chased with dogs--men hunted like beasts of

Such is American Slavery in practice.

The testimony thus far adduced is only that of the slaveholder and
wrong-doer himself: the admission of men who have a direct interest in
keeping out of sight the horrors of their system. It is besides no
voluntary admission. Having "framed iniquity by law," it is out of their
power to hide it. For the recovery of their runaway property, they are
compelled to advertise in the public journals, and that it may be
identified, they are under the necessity of describing the marks of the
whip on the backs of women, the iron collars about the neck--the
gun-shot wounds, and the traces of the branding-iron. Such testimony
must, in the nature of things, be partial and incomplete. But for a full
revelation of the secrets of the prison-house, we must look to the slave
himself. The Inquisitors of Goa and Madrid never disclosed the peculiar
atrocities of their "hall of horrors." It was the escaping heretic, with
his swollen and disjointed limbs, and bearing about him the scars of
rack and fire, who exposed them to the gaze and abhorrence of

The following pages contain the simple and unvarnished story of an
AMERICAN SLAVE,--of one, whose situation, in the first place, as a
favorite servant in an aristocratic family in Virginia; and afterwards
as the sole and confidential driver on a large plantation in Alabama,
afforded him rare and peculiar advantages for accurate observation of
the practical workings of the system. His intelligence, evident candor,
and grateful remembrance of those kindnesses, which in a land of
Slavery, made his cup of suffering less bitter; the perfect accordance
of his statements, (made at different times, and to different
individuals),[B] one with another, as well as those statements
themselves, all afford strong confirmation of the truth and accuracy of
his story. There seems to have been no effort, on his part to make his
picture of Slavery one of entire darkness--he details every thing of a
mitigating character which fell under his observation; and even the
cruel deception of his master has not rendered him unmindful of his
early kindness.

[Footnote B: The reader is referred to JOHN G. WHITTIER, of
Philadelphia, or to the following gentlemen, who have heard the whole,
or a part of his story, from his own lips: Emmor Kimber, of Kimberton,
Pa., Lindley Coates, of Lancaster Co., do.; James Mott, of Philadelphia,
Lewis Tappan, Elizur Wright Jun., Rev. Dr. Follen, and James G. Birney,
of New York. The latter gentleman, who was a few years ago, a citizen of
Alabama, assures us that the statements made to him by James Williams,
were such as he had every reason to believe, from his own knowledge of
slavery in that State.]

The editor is fully aware that he has not been able to present this
affecting narrative in the simplicity and vivid freshness with which it
fell from the lips of the narrator. He has, however, as closely as
possible, copied his manner, and in many instances his precise language.
THE SLAVE HAS SPOKEN FOR HIMSELF. Acting merely as his amanuensis, he
has carefully abstained from comments of his own.[A]

[Footnote A: As the narrator was unable to read or write, it is quite
possible that the orthography of some of the names of individuals
mentioned in his story may not be entirely correct. For instance, the
name of his master may have been either Larrimer, or Larrrimore.]

The picture here presented to the people of the free states, is, in many
respects, a novel one. We all know something of Virginia and Kentucky
Slavery. We have heard of the internal slave trade--the pangs of
separation--the slave ship with its "cargo of despair" bound for the
New-Orleans market--the weary journey of the chained Coffle to the
cotton country. But here, in a great measure, we have lost sight of the
victims of avarice and lust. We have not studied the dreadful economy of
the cotton plantation, and know but little of the secrets of its
unlimited despotism.

But in this narrative the scenes of the plantation rise before us, with
a distinctness which approaches reality. We hear the sound of the horn
at daybreak, calling the sick and the weary to toil unrequited. Woman,
in her appealing delicacy and suffering, about to become a mother, is
fainting under the lash, or sinking exhausted beside her cotton row. We
hear the prayer for mercy answered with sneers and curses. We look on
the instruments of torture, and the corpses of murdered men. We see the
dogs, reeking hot from the chase, with their jaws foul with human blood.
We see the meek and aged Christian scarred with the lash, and bowed down
with toil, offering the supplication of a broken heart to his Father in
Heaven, for the forgiveness of his brutal enemy. We hear, and from our
inmost hearts repeat the affecting interrogatory of the aged slave,
_"How long, Oh Lord! how long!"_

The editor has written out the details of this painful narrative with
feelings of sorrow. If there be any who feel a morbid satisfaction in
dwelling upon the history of outrage and cruelty, he at least is not one
of them. His taste and habits incline him rather to look to the pure and
beautiful in our nature--the sunniest side of humanity--its kindly
sympathies--its holy affections--its charities and its love. But, it is
because he has seen that all which is thus beautiful and excellent in
mind and heart, perishes in the atmosphere of slavery: it is because
humanity in the slave sinks down to a level with the brute and in the
master gives place to the attributes of a fiend--that he has not felt at
liberty to decline the task. He cannot sympathize with that abstract and
delicate philanthropy, which hesitates to bring itself in contact with
the sufferer, and which shrinks from the effort of searching out the
extent of his afflictions. The emblem of Practical Philanthropy is the
Samaritan stooping over the wounded Jew. It must be no fastidious hand
which administers the oil and the wine, and binds up the
unsightly gashes.

Believing, as he does, that this narrative is one of truth; that it
presents an unexaggerated picture of Slavery as it exists on the cotton
plantations of the South and West, he would particularly invite to its
perusal, those individuals, and especially those professing Christians
at the North, who have ventured to claim for such a system, the sanction
and approval of the Religion of Jesus Christ. In view of the facts here
presented, let these men seriously inquire of themselves, whether in
advancing such a claim, they are not uttering a higher and more
audacious blasphemy than any which ever fell from the pens of Voltaire
and Paine. As if to cover them with confusion, and leave them utterly
without excuse for thus libelling the character of a just God, these
developments are making, and the veil rising, which for long years of
sinful apathy has rested upon the abominations of American Slavery.
Light is breaking into it's dungeons, disclosing the wreck of buried
intellect--of hearts broken--of human affections outraged--of souls
ruined. The world will see it as God has always seen it; and when He
shall at length make inquisition for blood, and His vengeance kindle
over the habitations of cruelty, with a destruction more terrible than
that of Sodom and Gomorrah, His righteous dealing will be justified of
man, and His name glorified among the nations, and there will be a voice
of rejoicing in Earth and in Heaven. ALLELUIA!--THE PROMISE IS

It is the earnest desire of the Editor, that this narrative may be the
means, under God, of awakening in the hearts of all who read it, a
sympathy for the oppressed which shall manifest itself in immediate,
active, self-sacrificing exertion for their deliverance; and, while it
excites abhorrence of his crimes, call forth pity for the oppressor. May
it have the effect to prevent the avowed and associated friends of the
slave, from giving such an undue importance to their own trials and
grievances, as to forget in a great measure the sorrows of the slave.
Let its cry of wo, coming up from the plantations of the South, suppress
every feeling of selfishness in our hearts. Let our regret and
indignation at the denial of the right of petition, be felt only because
we are thereby prevented from pleading in the Halls of Congress for the
"suffering and the dumb." And let the fact, that we are shut out from
half the territory of our country, be lamented only because it prevents
us from bearing personally to the land of Slavery, the messages of hope
for the slave, and of rebuke and warning for the oppressor.

_New-York, 24th 1st mo._, 1838.

       *       *       *       *       *


I was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, on the plantation of George
Larrimore. Sen., at a place called Mount Pleasant, on the 16th of May
1805. May father was the slave of an orphan family whose name I have
forgotten, and was under the care of a Mr. Brooks, guardian of the
family. He was a native of Africa, and was brought over when a mere
child, with his mother. My mother was the slave of George Larrimore,
Sen. She was nearly white, and is well known to have been the daughter
of Mr. Larrimore himself. She died when myself and my twin brother
Meshech were five years of age--I can scarcely remember her. She had in
all eight children, of whom only five are now living. One, a brother,
belongs to the heirs of the late Mr. Brockenbrough of Charlottesville;
of whom he hires his time, and pays annually $120 for it. He is a member
of the Baptist church, and used to preach occasionally. His wife is a
free woman from Philadelphia, and being able to read and write, taught
her husband. The whites do not know that he can write, and have often
wondered that he could preach so well without learning. It is the
practice when a church is crowded, to turn the blacks out of their
seats. My brother did not like this, and on one occasion preached a
sermon from a text, showing that all are of one blood. Some of the
whites who heard it, said that such preaching would raise an
insurrection among the negroes. Two of them told him that if he would
prove his doctrine by Scripture, they would let him go, but if he did
not, he should have nine and thirty lashes. He accordingly preached
another sermon and spoke with a great deal of boldness. The two men who
were in favor of having him whipped, left before the sermon was over;
those who remained, acknowledged that he had proved his doctrine, and
preached a good sermon, and many of them came up and shook hands with
him. The two opposers, Scott and Brockley, forbid my brother, after
this, to come upon their estates. They were both Baptists, and my
brother had before preached to their people. During the cholera at
Richmond, my brother preached a sermon, in which he compared the
pestilence to the plagues, which afflicted the Egyptian slaveholders,
because they would not let the people go. After the sermon some of the
whites threatened to whip him. Mr. Valentine, a merchant on Shocko Hill
prevented them; and a young lawyer named Brooks said it was wrong to
threaten a man for preaching the truth. Since the insurrection of Nat.
Turner he has not been allowed to preach much.

My twin brother was for some time the property of Mr. John Griggs, of
Richmond, who sold him about three years since, to an Alabama Cotton
Planter, with whom he staid one year, and then ran away and in all
probability escaped into the free states or Canada, as he was seen near
the Maryland line. My other brother lives in Fredericksburg, and belongs
to a Mr. Scott, a merchant formerly of Richmond. He was sold from Mr.
Larrimore's plantation because his wife was a slave of Mr. Scott. My
only sister is the slave of John Smith, of King William. Her husband was
the slave of Mr. Smith, when the latter lived in Powhatan county, and
when he removed to King William, she was taken with her husband.

My old master, George Larrimore, married Jane Roane, the sister of a
gentleman named John Roane, one of the most distinguished men in
Virginia, who in turn married a sister of my master. One of his sisters
married a Judge Scott, and another married Mr. Brockenbrough of
Charlottesville. Mr. Larrimore had three children; George, Jane, and
Elizabeth. The former was just ten days older than myself; and I was his
playmate and constant associate in childhood. I used to go with him to
his school, and carry his books for him as far as the door, and meet him
there when the school was dismissed. We were very fond of each other,
and frequently slept together. He taught me the letters of the alphabet,
and I should soon have acquired a knowledge of reading, had not George's
mother discovered her son in the act of teaching me. She took him aside
and severely reprimanded him. When I asked him, not long after, to tell
me more of what he had learned at school, he said that his mother had
forbidden him to do so any more, as her father had a slave, who was
instructed in reading and writing, and on that account proved very
troublesome. He could, they said, imitate the hand-writing of the
neighboring planters, and used to write passes and certificates of
freedom for the slaves, and finally wrote one for himself, and went off
to Philadelphia, from whence her father received from him a saucy
letter, thanking him for his education.

The early years of my life went by pleasantly. The bitterness of my lot
I had not yet realized. Comfortably clothed and fed, kindly treated by
my old master and mistress and the young ladies, and the playmate and
confidant of my young master, I did not dream of the dark reality of
evil before me.

When he was fourteen years of age, master George went to his uncle
Brockenbrough's at Charlottesville, as a student of the University.
After his return from College, he went to Paris and other parts of
Europe, and spent three or four years in study and travelling. In the
mean time I was a waiter in the house, dining-room servant, &c. My old
master visited and received visits from a great number of the principal
families in Virginia. Each summer, with his family, he visited the
Sulphur Springs and the mountains. While George was absent, I went with
him to New-Orleans, in the winter season, on account of his failing
health. We spent three days in Charleston, at Mr. McDuffie's, with whom
my master was on intimate terms. Mr. McDuffie spent several days on one
occasion at Mt. Pleasant. He took a fancy to me, and offered my master
the servant whom he brought with him and $500 beside, for me. My master
considered it almost an insult, and said after he was gone, that Mr.
McDuffie needed money to say the least, as much as he did.

He had a fine house in Richmond, and used to spend his winters there
with his family, taking me with him. He was not there much at other
times, except when the Convention of 1829 for amending the State
Constitution, was held in that city. He had a quarrel with Mr. Neal of
Richmond Co., in consequence of some remarks upon the subject of
Slavery. It came near terminating in a duel. I recollect that during the
sitting of the Convention, my master asked me before several other
gentlemen, if I wished to be free and go back to my own country. I
looked at him with surprise, and inquired what country?

"Africa, to be sure," said he, laughing.

I told him that was not my country--that I was born in Virginia.

"Oh yes," said he, "but your father was born in Africa." He then said
that there was a place on the African coast called Liberia where a great
many free blacks were going; and asked me to tell him honestly, whether
I would prefer to be set free on condition of going to Africa, or live
with him and remain a slave. I replied that I had rather be as I was.

I have frequently heard him speak against slavery to his visitors. I
heard him say on one occasion, when some gentlemen were arguing in favor
of sending the free colored people to Africa, that this was as really
the black man's country as the white's, and that it would be as humane
to knock the free negroes, at once, on the head, as to send them to
Liberia. He was a kind man to his slaves. He was proud of them, and of
the reputation he enjoyed of feeding and clothing them well. They were
as near as I can judge about 300 in number. He never to my knowledge
sold a slave, unless to go with a wife or husband, and at the slave's
own request. But all except the very wealthiest planters in his
neighborhood sold them frequently. John Smoot of Powhatan Co. has sold a
great number. Bacon Tait[A] used to be one of the principal purchasers.
He had a jail at Richmond where he kept them. There were many others who
made a business of buying and selling slaves. I saw on one occasion
while travelling with my master, a gang of nearly two hundred men
fastened with chains. The women followed unchained and the children in
wagons. It was a sorrowful sight. Some were praying, some crying, and
they all had a look of extreme wretchedness. It is an awful thing to a
Virginia slave to be sold for the Alabama and Mississippi country. I
have known some of them to die of grief, and others to commit suicide,
on account of it.

[Footnote A: Bacon Tait's advertisement of "new and commodious
buildings" for the keeping of negroes, situated at the corner of 15th
and Carey streets, appears in the Richmond Whig of Sept. 1896.--EDITOR.]

In my seventeenth year, I was married to a girl named Harriet, belonging
to John Gatewood, a planter living about four miles from Mr. Pleasant.
She was about a year younger than myself--was a tailoress, and used to
cut out clothes for the hands.

We were married by a white clergyman named Jones; and were allowed to or
three weeks to ourselves, which we spent in visiting and other

The field hands are seldom married by a clergyman. They simply invite
their friends together, and have a wedding party.

Our two eldest children died in their infancy: two are now living. The
youngest was only two months old when I saw him for the last time. I
used to visit my wife on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

My young master came back from Europe in delicate health. He was advised
by his physicians to spend the winter in New-Orleans, whither he
accordingly went, taking me with him. Here he became acquainted with a
French lady of one of the first families in the city. The next winter he
also spent in New-Orleans, and on his third visit, three years after his
return from Europe, he was married to the lady above mentioned. In May
he returned to Mt. Pleasant, and found the elder Larrimore on his sick
bed, from which he never rose again. He died on the 14th of July. There
was a great and splendid funeral, as his relatives and friends
were numerous.

His large property was left principally in the hands of his widow until
her decease, after which it was to be divided among the three children.
In February Mrs. Larrimore also died. The administrators upon the estate
were John Green, Esq., and Benjamin Temple. My young master came back
from Europe in delicate health. He way advised by his physicians to
spend the winter in New-Orleans, whither he accordingly went, taking me
with him. Here he became acquainted with a French lady of one of the
first families in the city. The next winter he also spent in
New-Orleans, and on his third visit, three years after his return from
Europe, he was married to the lady above mentioned. In May he returned
to Mt. Pleasant, and found the elder Larrimore on his sick bed, from
which he never rose again. He died on the 14th of July. There was a
great and splendid funeral, as his relatives and friends were numerous.

His large property was left principally in the hands of his widow until
her decease, after which it was to be divided among the three children.
In February Mrs. Larrimore also died. The administrators upon the estate
were John Green, Esq., and Benjamin Temple.

My young mistresses, Jane and Elizabeth, were very kind to the servants.
They seemed to feel under obligations to afford them every comfort and
gratification, consistent with the dreadful relation of ownership which
they sustained towards them. Whipping was scarcely known on the estate;
and, whenever it did take place, it was invariably against the wishes of
the young ladies.

But the wife of master George was of a disposition entirely the reverse.
Feeble, languid, and inert, sitting motionless for hours at her window,
or moving her small fingers over the strings of her guitar, to some soft
and languishing air, she would have seemed to a stranger incapable of
rousing herself from that indolent repose, in which mind as well as body
participated. But, the slightest disregard of her commands--and
sometimes even the neglect to anticipate her wishes, on the part of the
servants; was sufficient to awake her. The inanimate and delicate beauty
then changed into a stormy virago. Her black eyes flawed and sparkled
with a snaky fierceness, her full lips compressed, and her brows bent
and darkened. Her very voice, soft and sweet when speaking to her
husband, and exquisitely fine and melodious, when accompanying her
guitar, was at such times, shrill, keen, and loud. She would order the
servants of my young mistresses upon her errands, and if they pleaded
their prior duty to obey the calls of another, would demand that they
should be forthwith whipped for their insolence. If the young ladies
remonstrated with her, she met them with a perfect torrent of invective
and abuse. In these paroxysms of fury she always spoke in French, with a
vehemence and volubility, which strongly contrasted with the calmness
and firmness of the young ladies. She would boast of what she had done
in New-Orleans, and of the excellent discipline of her father's slaves.
She said she had gone down in the night to the cell under her father's
house, and whipped the slaves confined there with her own hands. I had
heard the same thing from her father's servants at New-Orleans, when I
was there with my master. She brought with her from New-Orleans a girl
named Frances. I have seen her take her by the ear, lead her up to the
side of the room, and beat her head against it. At other times she would
snatch off her slipper and strike the girl on her face and head with it.

She seldom manifested her evil temper before master George. When she
did, he was greatly troubled, and he used to speak to his sisters about
it. Her manner towards him was almost invariably that of extreme
fondness. She was dark complexioned, but very beautiful; and the smile
of welcome with which she used to meet him was peculiarly fascinating. I
did not marvel that _he_ loved her; while at the same time, in common
with all the house servants, I regarded her as a being possessed with an
evil spirit,--half woman, and half fiend.

Soon after the settlement of the estate, I heard my master speak of
going out to Alabama. His wife had 1500 acres of wild land in Greene
County in that State: and he had been negociating for 500 more. Early in
the summer of 1833, he commenced making preparations for removing to
that place a sufficient number of hands to cultivate it. He took great
pains to buy up the wives and husbands of those of his own slaves who
had married out of the estate, in order, as he said, that his hands
might be contented in Alabama, and not need chaining together while on
their journey. It is always found necessary by the regular
slave-traders, in travelling with their slaves to the far South, to
handcuff and chain their wretched victims, who have been bought up as
the interest of the trader, and the luxury or necessities of the planter
may chance to require, without regard to the ties sundered or the
affections made desolate, by these infernal bargains. About the 1st of
September, after the slaves destined for Alabama had taken a final
farewell of their old home, and of the friends they were leaving behind,
our party started on their long journey. There were in all 214 slaves,
men, women and children. The men and women travelled on foot--the small
children in the wagons, containing the baggage, &c. Previous to my
departure, I visited my wife and children at Mr. Gatewood's. I took
leave of them with the belief that I should return with my master, as
soon as he had seen his hands established on his new plantation. I took
my children in my arms and embraced them; my wife, who was a member of
the Methodist church, implored the blessing of God upon me, during my
absence, and I turned away to follow my master.

Our journey was a long and tedious one, especially to those who were
compelled to walk the whole distance. My master rode in a sulky, and I,
as his body servant, on horseback: When we crossed over the Roanoke, and
were entering upon North Carolina, I remember with what sorrowful
countenances and language the poor slaves looked back for the last time
upon the land of their nativity. It was their last farewell to Old
Virginia. We passed through Georgia, and crossing the Chattahoochee,
entered Alabama. Our way for many days was through a sandy tract of
country, covered with pine woods, with here and there the plantation of
an Indian or a half-breed. After crossing what is called Line Creek, we
found large plantations along the road, at intervals of four or five
miles. The aspect of the whole country was wild and forbidding, save to
the eye of a cotton-planter. The clearings were all new, and the houses
rudely constructed of logs. The cotton fields, were skirted with an
enormous growth of oak, pine, and other wood. Charred stumps stood
thickly in the clearings, with here and there a large tree girdled by
the axe and left to decay. We reached at last the place of our
destination. It was a fine tract of land with a deep rich soil. We
halted on a small knoll, where the tents were pitched, and the wagons
unladen. I spent the night with my master at a neighboring plantation,
which was under the care of an overseer named Flincher.

The next morning my master received a visit from a man named Huckstep,
who had undertaken the management of his plantation as an overseer. He
had been an overseer on cotton plantations many years in Georgia and
North Carolina. He was apparently about forty years of age, with a
sunburnt and sallow countenance. His thick shock of black hair was
marked in several places with streaks of white, occasioned as he
afterwards told me by blows received from slaves whom he was chastising.

After remaining in the vicinity for about a week, my master took me
aside one morning--told me he was going to Selma in Dallas County, and
wished me to be in readiness on his return the next day, to start for
Virginia. This was to me cheering news. I spent that day and the next
among my old fellow servants who had lived with me in Virginia. Some of
them had messages to send by me to their friends and acquaintances. In
the afternoon of the second day after my master's departure, I
distributed, among them all the money which I had about me, viz.,
fifteen dollars. I noticed that the overseer Huckstep laughed at this
and called me a fool: and that whenever I spoke of going home with my
master, his countenance indicated something between a smile and a sneer.

Night came; but contrary to his promise, my master did not come. I still
however expected him the next day. But another night came, and he had
not returned. I grew uneasy, and inquired of Huckstep where be thought
my master was.

"On his way to Old Virginia," said he, with a malicious laugh.

"But," said I. "Master George told me that he should come back and take
me with him to Virginia."

"Well, boy," said the overseer, "I'll now tell ye what master George, as
you call him, told me. You are to stay here and act as driver of the
field hands. That was the order. So you may as well submit to it
at once."

I stood silent and horror-struck. Could it be that the man whom I had
served faithfully from our mutual boyhood, whose slightest wish had been
my law, to serve whom I would have laid down my life, while I had
confidence in his integrity--could it be that he had so cruelly and
wickedly deceived me? I looked at the overseer. He stood laughing at me
in my agony.

"Master George gave you no such orders," I exclaimed, maddened by the
overseer's look and manner.

The overseer looked at me with a fiendish grin. "None of your
insolence," said he, with a dreadful oath. "I never saw a Virginia
nigger that I couldn't manage, proud as they are. Your master has left
you in my hands, and you must obey my orders. If you don't, why I shall
have to make you '_hug the widow there_,'" pointing to a tree, to which I
afterwards found the slaves were tied when they were whipped.

That night was one of sleepless agony. Virginia--the hills and the
streams of my birth-place; the kind and hospitable home; the
gentle-hearted sisters, sweetening with their sympathy the sorrows of
the slave--my wife--my children--all that had thus far made up my
happiness, rose in contrast with my present condition. Deeply as he has
wronged me, may my master himself never endure such a night of misery!

At daybreak, Huckstep told me to dress myself, and attend to his
directions. I rose, subdued and wretched, and at his orders handed the
horn to the headmen of the gang, who summoned the hands to the field.
They were employed in clearing land for cultivation, cutting trees and
burning. I was with them through the day, and at night returned once
more to my lodgings to be laughed at by the overseer. He told me that I
should do well, he did not doubt, by and by, but that a Virginia driver
generally had to be whipped a few times himself before he could be
taught to do justice to the slaves under his charge. They were not equal
to those raised in North Carolina, for keeping the lazy hell-hounds, as
he called the slaves, at work.

And this was my condition!--a driver set over more than one hundred and
sixty of my kindred and friends, wish orders to apply the whip
unsparingly to every one, whether man or woman, who faltered in the
task, or was careless in the execution of it, myself subject at any
moment to feel the accursed lash upon my own back, if feelings of
humanity should perchance overcome the selfishness of misery, and induce
me to spare and pity.

I lived in the same house with Huckstep,--a large log house, roughly
finished; where we were waited upon by an old woman, whom we used to
call aunt Polly. Huckstep was, I soon found, inordinately fond of peach
brandy; and once or twice in the course of a month he had a drunken
debauch, which usually lasted from two to four days. He was then full of
talk, laughed immoderately at his own nonsense and would keep me up
until late at night listening to him. He was at these periods terribly
severe to his hands, and would order me to use up the cracker of my whip
every day upon the poor creatures, who were toiling in the field, and in
order to satisfy him, I used to tear it off when returning home at
night. He would then praise me for a good fellow, and invite me to
drink with him.

He used to tell me at such times, that if I would only drink as he did,
I should be worth a thousand dollars more for it. He would sit hours
with his peach brandy, cursing and swearing, laughing and telling
stories full of obscenity and blasphemy. He would sometimes start up,
take my whip, and rush out to the slave quarters, flourish it about and
frighten the inmates and often cruelly beat them. He would order the
women to pull up their clothes, in Alabama style, as he called it, and
then whip them for not complying. He would then come back roaring and
shouting to the house, and tell me what he had done; if I did not laugh
with him, he would get angry and demand what the matter was. Oh! how
often I have laughed, at such times, when my heart ached within me; and
how often, when permitted to retire to my bed, have I found relief
in tears!

He had no wife, but kept a colored mistress in a house situated on a
gore of land between the plantation and that of Mr. Goldsby. He brought
her with him from North Carolina, and had three children by her.

Sometimes in his fits of intoxication, he would come riding into the
field, swinging his whip, and crying out to the hands to strip off their
shirts, and be ready to take a whipping: and this too when they were all
busily at work. At another time, he would gather the hands around him
and fall to cursing and swearing about the neighboring overseers. They
were, he said, cruel to their hands, whipped them unmercifully, and in
addition starved them. As for himself, he was the kindest and best
fellow within forty miles; and the hands ought to be thankful that they
had such a good man for their overseer.

He would frequently be very familiar with me, and call me his child; he
would tell me that our people were going to get Texas, a fine cotton
country, and that he meant to go out there and have a plantation of his
own, and I should go with him and be his overseer.

The houses in the "_negro quarters_" were constructed of logs, and from
twelve to fifteen feet square; they had no glass, but there were holes
to let in the light and air. The furniture consisted of a table, a few
stools, and dishes made of wood, and an iron pot, and some other cooking
utensils. The houses were placed about three or four rods apart, with a
piece of ground attached to each of them for a garden, where the
occupant could raise a few vegetables. The "quarters" were about three
hundred yards from the dwelling of the overseer.

The hands were occupied in clearing land and burning brush, and in
constructing their houses, through the winter. In March we commenced
ploughing: and on the first of April began planting seed for cotton. The
hoeing season commenced about the last of May. At the earliest dawn of
day, and frequently before that time, the laborers were roused from
their sleep by the blowing of the horn. It was blown by the headman of
the gang who led the rest in the work and acted under my direction, as
my assistant.

Previous to the blowing of the horn the hands generally rose and eat
what was called the "morning's bit," consisting of ham and bread. If
exhaustion and fatigue prevented their rising before the dreaded sound
of the horn broke upon their slumbers, they had no time to snatch a
mouthful, but were harried out at once.

It was my business to give over to each of the hands his or her
appropriate implement of labor, from the toolhouse where they were
deposited at night. After all had been supplied, they were taken to the
field, and set at work as soon as it was sufficiently light to
distinguish the plants from the grass and weeds. I was employed in
passing from row to row, in order to see that the work was well done,
and to urge forward the laborers. At 12 o'clock, the horn was blown from
the overseer's house, calling the hands to dinner, each to his own
cabin. The intermission of labor was one hour and a half to hoers and
pickers, and two hours to the ploughmen. At the expiration of this
interval, the horn again summoned them to thus labor. They were kept in
the field until dark, when they were called home to supper.

There was little leisure for any of the hands on the plantation. In the
evenings, after it was too dark for work in the field, the men were
frequently employed in burning brush and in other labors until late at
night. The women after toiling in the field by day, were compelled to
card, spin, and weave cotton for their clothing, in the evening. Even on
Sundays there was little or no respite from toil. Those who had not been
able to work out all their tasks during the week were allowed by the
overseer to finish it on the Sabbath, and thus save themselves from a
whipping on Monday morning. Those whose tasks were finished frequently
employed most of that day in cultivating their gardens.

Many of the female hands were delicate young women, who in Virginia had
never been accustomed to field labor. They suffered greatly from the
extreme heat and the severity of the toil. Oh! how often have I seen
them dragging their weary limbs from the cotton field at nightfall,
faint and exhausted. The overseer used to laugh at their sufferings.
They were, he said, Virginia ladies, and altogether too delicate for
Alabama use: but they must be made to do their tasks notwithstanding.
The recollection of these things even now is dreadful. I used to tell
the poor creatures, when compelled by the overseer to urge them forward
with the whip, that I would much rather take their places, and endure
the stripes than inflict them.

When but three months old, the children born on the estate were given up
to the care of the old women who were not able to work out of doors.
Their mothers were kept at work in the field.

It was the object of the overseer to separate me in feeling and interest
as widely as possible from my suffering brethren and sisters. I had
relations among the field hands, and used to call them my cousins. He
forbid my doing so; and told me if I acknowledged relationship with any
of the hands I should be flogged for it. He used to speak of them as
devils and hell-hounds, and ridicule them in every possible way; and
endeavoured to make me speak of them and regard them in the same manner.
He would tell long stories about hunting and shooting "runaway niggers,"
and detail with great apparent satisfaction the cruel and horrid
punishments which he had inflicted. One thing he said troubled him. He
had once whipped a slave so severely that he died in consequence of it,
and it was soon after ascertained that he was wholly innocent of the
offence charged against him. That slave, he said, had haunted him
ever since.

Soon after we commenced weeding our cotton, some of the hands who were
threatened with a whipping for not finishing their tasks, ran away. The
overseer and myself went out after them, taking with us five
bloodhounds, which were kept on the Estate for the sole purpose of
catching runaways. There were no other hounds in the vicinity, and the
overseers of the neighboring plantations used to borrow them to hunt
their runaways. A Mr. Crop, who lived about ten miles distant, had two
packs, and made it his sole business to catch slaves with them. We used
to set the dogs upon the track of the fugitives, and they would follow
them until, to save themselves from being torn in pieces, they would
climb into a tree, where the dogs kept them until we came up and
secured them.

These hounds, when young, are taught to run after the negro boys; and
being always kept confined except when let out in pursuit of runaways,
they seldom fail of overtaking the fugitive, and seem to enjoy the sport
of hunting men as much as other dogs do that of chasing a fox or a deer.
My master gave a large sum for his five dogs,--a slut and her
four puppies.

While going over our cotton picking for the last time, one of our hands
named Little John, ran away. The next evening the dogs were started on
his track. We followed them awhile, until we knew by their ceasing to
bark that they had found him. We soon met the dogs returning. Their
jaws, heads, and feet, were bloody. The overseer looked at them and
said, "he was afraid the dogs had killed the nigger." It being dark, we
could not find him that night. Early the next morning, we started off
with our neighbors, Sturtivant and Flincher; and after searching about
for some time, we found the body of Little John lying in the midst of a
thicket of cane. It was nearly naked, and dreadfully mangled and gashed
by the teeth of the dogs. They had evidently dragged it some yards
through the thicket: blood, tatters of clothes, and even the entrails of
the unfortunate man, were clinging to the stubs of the old and broken
cane. Huckstep stooped over his saddle, looked at the body, and muttered
an oath. Sturtivant swore it was no more than the fellow deserved. We
dug a hole in the cane-brake, where he lay, buried him, and
returned home.

The murdered young man had a mother and two sisters on the plantation,
by whom he was dearly loved. When I told the old woman of what had
befallen her son, she only said that it was better for poor John than to
live in slavery.

Late in the fall of this year, a young man, who had already run away
several times, was missing from his task. It was four days before we
found him. The dogs drove him at last up a tree, where he was caught,
and brought home. He was then fastened down to the ground by means of
forked sticks of wood selected for the purpose, the longest fork being
driven into the ground until the other closed down upon the neck,
ancles, and wrists. The overseer then sent for two large cats belonging
to the house. These he placed upon the naked shoulders of his victim,
and dragged them suddenly by their tails downward. At first they did not
scratch deeply. He then ordered me to strike them with a small stick
after he had placed them once more upon the back of the sufferer. I did
so; and the enraged animals extended their claws, and tore his back
deeply and cruelly as they were dragged along it. He was then whipped
and placed in the stocks, where he was kept for three days. On the third
morning as I passed the stocks, I stopped to look at him. His head hung
down over the chain which supported his neck. I spoke, but he did not
answer. _He was dead in the stocks_! The overseer on seeing him seemed
surprised, and, I thought, manifested some remorse. Four of the field
hands took him out of the stocks and buried him: and every thing went
on as usual.

It is not in my power to give a narrative of the daily occurrences on
the plantation. The history of one day was that of all. The gloomy
monotony of our slavery, was only broken by the overseer's periodical
fits of drunkenness, at which times neither life nor limb on the estate
were secure from his caprice or violence.

In the spring of 1835, the overseer brought me a letter from my wife,
written for her by her young mistress, Mr. Gateweed's daughter. He read
it to me: it stated that herself and children were well--spoke of her
sad and heavy disappointment in consequence of my not returning with my
master; and of her having been told by him that I should come back the
next fall.

Hope for a moment lightened my heart; and I indulged the idea of once
more returning to the bosom of my family. But I recollected that my
master had already cruelly deceived me; and despair again took hold
on me.

Among our hands was one whom we used to call Big Harry. He was a stout,
athletic man--very intelligent, and an excellent workman; but he was of
a high and proud spirit, which the weary and crushing weight of a life
of slavery had not been able to subdue. On almost every plantation at
the South you may find one or more individuals, whose look and air show
that they have preserved their self-respect as _men_;--that with them
the power of the tyrant ends with the coercion of the body--that the
soul is free, and the inner man retaining the original uprightness of
the image of God. You may know them by the stern sobriety of their
countenances, and the contempt with which they regard the jests and
pastimes of their miserable and degraded companions, who, like Samson,
make sport for the keepers of their prison-house. These men are always
feared as well as hated by their task-masters. Harry had never been
whipped, and had always said that he would die rather than submit to it.
He made no secret of his detestation of the overseer. While most of the
slaves took off their hats, with cowering submission, in his presence,
Harry always refused to do so. He never spoke to him except in a brief
answer to his questions. Master George, who knew, and dreaded the
indomitable spirit of the man, told the overseer, before he left the
plantation, to beware how he attempted to punish him. But, the habits of
tyranny in which Huckstep had so long indulged, had accustomed him to
abject submission, on the part of his subjects; and he could not endure
this upright and unbroken manliness. He used frequently to curse and
swear about him, and devise plans for punishing him on account of his
impudence as he called it.

A pretext was at last afforded him. Sometime in August of this year,
there was a large quantity of yellow unpicked cotton lying in the gin
house. Harry was employed at night in removing the cotton see, which has
been thrown out by the gin. The rest of the male hands were engaged
during the day in weeding the cotton for the last time, and in the nigh,
in burning brush on the new lands clearing for the next year's crop.
Harry was told one evening to go with the others and assist in burning
the brush. He accordingly went and the next night a double quantity of
seed had accumulated in the gin house: and although he worked until
nearly 2 o'clock in the morning, he could not remove it all.

The next morning the overseer came into the field, and demanded of me
why I had not whipped Harry for not removing all the cotton seed. He
then called aloud to Harry to come forward and be whipped. Harry
answered somewhat sternly that he would neither be struck by overseer
nor driver; that he had worked nearly all night, and had scarcely fallen
asleep when the horn blew to summon him to his toil in the field. The
overseer raved and threatened, but Harry paid no farther attention to
him. He then turned to me and asked me for my pistols, with a pair of
which he had furnished me. I told him they were not with me. He growled
an oath, threw himself on his horse and left us. In the evening I found
him half drunk and raving like a madman. He said he would no longer bear
with that nigger's insolence; but would whip him if it cost him his
life. He at length fixed upon a plan for seizing him; and told me that
he would go out in the morning, ride along by the side of Harry and talk
pleasantly to him, and then, while Harry was attending to him, I was to
steal upon him and knock him down, by a blow on the head, from the
loaded and heavy handle of my whip. I was compelled to promise to obey
his directions.

The next morning when we got to the field I told Harry of the overseer's
plan, and advised him by all means to be on his guard and watch my
motions. His eye glistened with gratitude. "Thank you James", said he,
"I'll take care that you don't touch me."

Huckstep came into the field about 10 o'clock. He rode along by the side
of Harry talking and laughing. I was walking on the other side. When I
saw that Harry's eye was upon me I aimed a blow at him intending however
to miss him. He evaded the blow and turned fiercely round with his hoe
uplifted, threatening to cut down any one who again attempted to strike
him. Huckstep cursed my awkwardness, and told Harry to put down his hoe
and came to him. He refused to do so and swore he would kill the first
man who tried to lay hands on him. The cowardly tyrant shrank away from
his enraged bondman, and for two weeks Harry was not again molested.

About the first of September, the overseer had one of his drunken fits.
He made the house literally an earthly hell. He urged me to drink,
quarrelled and swore at me for declining, and chased the old woman round
the house, with his bottle of peach brandy. He then told me that Harry
had forgotten the attempt to seize him, and that is the morning we must
try our old game over again.

On the following morning, as I was handing to each of the hands their
hoes from the tool house, I caught Harry's eye. "Look out," said I to
him. "Huckstep will be after you again to day." He uttered a deep curse
against the overseer and passed on to his work. After breakfast Huckstep
came riding out to the cotton field. He tied his horse to a tree, and
came towards us. His sallow and haggard countenance was flushed, and his
step unsteady. He came up by the side of Harry and began talking about
the crops and the weather; I came at the same time on the other side,
and in striking at him, beat off his hat. He sprang aside and stepped
backwards. Huckstep with a dreadful oath commanded him to stop, saying
that he had determined to whip him, and neither earth nor hell should
prevent him. Harry defied him: and said he had always done the work
allotted to him and that was enough: he would sooner die than have the
accursed lash touch him. The overseer staggered to his horse, mounted
him and rode furiously to the house, and soon made his appearance,
returning, with his gun in his hand.

"Yonder comes the devil!" said one of the women whose row was near

"Yes," said another, "He's trying to scare Harry with his gun."

"Let him try as he pleases," said Harry, in his low, deep, determined
tones, "He may shoot me, but he can't whip me."

Huckstep came swearing on: when within a few yards of Harry he stopped,
looked at him with a stare of mingled rage and drunken imbecility; and
bid him throw down his hoe and come forward. The undaunted slave refused
to comply, and continuing his work told the drunken demon to shoot if he
pleased. Huckstep advanced within a few steps of him when Harry raised
his hoe and told him to stand back. He stepped back a few paces, leveled
his gun and fired. Harry received the charge in his breast, and fell
instantly across a cotton row. He threw up his hands wildly, and
groaned, "Oh, Lord!"

The hands instantly dropped their hoes. The women shrieked aloud. For my
own part I stood silent with horror. The cries of the women enraged the
overseer, he dropped his gun, and snatching the whip from my hand, with
horrid oaths, and imprecations fell to whipping them, laying about him
like a maniac. Upon Harry's sister he bestowed his blows without mercy,
commanding her to quit her screaming and go to work. The poor girl,
whose brother had thus been murdered before her eyes, could not wrestle
down the awful agony of her feelings, and the brutal tormentor left her
without effecting his object. He then, without going to look of his
victim, told four of the hands to carry him to the house, and taking up
his gun left the field. When we got to the poor fellow, he was alive,
and groaning faintly. The hands took him up, but before they reached the
house he was dead. Huckstep came out, and looked at him, and finding him
dead, ordered the hands to bury him. The burial of a slave in Alabama is
that of a brute. No coffin--no decent shroud--no prayer. A hole is dug,
and the body (sometimes enclosed in a rude box,) is thrown in without
further ceremony.

From this time the overseer was regarded by the whole gang with
detestation and fear--as a being to whose rage and cruelty there were no
limits. Yet he was constantly telling us that he was the kindest of
overseers--that he was formerly somewhat severe in managing his hands,
but that now he was, if any thing, too indulgent. Indeed he had the
reputation of being a good overseer, and an excellent manager, when
sober. The slaves on some of the neighboring plantations were certainly
worse clothed and fed, and more frequently and cruelly whipped than
ours. Whenever the saw them they complained of over working and short
feeding. One of Flincher's, and one of Sturtivant's hands ran away,
while I was in Alabama: and after remaining in the woods awhile, and
despairing of being able to effect their escape, resolved to put an end
to their existence and their slavery together. Each twisted himself a
vine of the muscadine grape, and fastened one end around the limb of an
oak, and made a noose in the other. Jacob, Flincher's man, swung himself
off first, and expired after a long struggle. The other, horrified by
the contortions and agony of his comrade, dropped his noose, and was
retaken. When discovered, two or three days afterwards, the body of
Jacob was dreadfully torn and mangled, by the buzzards, those winged
hyenas and goules of the Southwest.

Among the slaves who were brought from Virginia, were two young and
bright mulatto women, who were always understood throughout the
plantation to have been the daughters of the elder Larrimore, by one of
his slaves. One was named Sarah and the other Hannah. Sarah, being in a
state of pregnancy, failed of executing her daily allotted task of
hoeing cotton. I was ordered to whip her, and on my remonstrating with
the overseer, and representing the condition of the woman, I was told
that my business was to obey orders, and that if I was told "to whip a
dead nigger I must do it." I accordingly gave her fifty lashes. This was
on Thursday evening. On Friday she also failed through weakness, and was
compelled to lie down in the field. That night the overseer himself
whipped her. On Saturday the wretched woman dragged herself once more to
the cotton field. In the burning sun, and in a situation which would
have called forth pity in the bosom of any one save a cotton-growing
overseer, she struggled to finish her task. She failed--nature could do
no more--and sick and despairing, she sought her cabin. There the
overseer met her and inflicted fifty more lashes upon her already
lacerated back.

The next morning was the Sabbath. It brought no joy to that suffering
woman. Instead of the tones of the church bell summoning to the house of
prayer, she heard the dreadful sound of the lash falling upon the backs
of her brethren and sisters in bondage. For the voice of prayer she
heard curses. For the songs of Zion obscene and hateful blasphemies. No
bible was there with its consolations for the sick of heart. Faint and
fevered, scarred and smarting from the effects of her cruel punishment,
she lay upon her pallet of moss--dreading the coming of her relentless
persecutor,--who, in the madness of one of his periodical fits of
drunkenness, was now swearing and cursing through the quarters.

Some of the poor woman's friends on the evening before, had attempted to
relieve her of the task which had been assigned her, but exhausted
nature, and the selfishness induced by their own miserable situation,
did not permit them to finish it and the overseer, on examination, found
that the week's work of the woman, was still deficient. After breakfast,
he ordered her to be tied up to the limb of a tree, by means of a rope
fastened round her wrists, so as to leave her feet about six inches from
the ground. She begged him to let her down for she was very sick.

"Very well!" he exclaimed with a sneer and a laugh,--"I shall bleed you
then, and take out some of your Virginia blood. You are too proud a miss
for Alabama."

He struck her a few blows. Swinging thus by her arms, she succeeded in
placing one of her feet against the body of the tree, and thus partly
supported herself, and relieved in some degree the painful weight upon
her wrists. He threw down his whip--took a rail from the garden fence,
ordered her feet to be tied together, and thrust the rail between them.
He then ordered one of the hands to sit upon it. Her back at this time
was bare, but the strings of the only garment which she wore passed over
her shoulders and prevented the full force of the whip from acting on
her flesh. These he cut off with his pen-knife, and thus left her
entirely naked. He struck her only two blows, for the second one cut
open her side and abdomen with a frightful gash. Unable to look on any
longer in silence, I entreated him to stop, as I feared he had killed
her. The overseer looked at the wound--dropped his whip, and ordered her
to be untied. She was carried into the house in a state of
insensibility, and died in three days after.

During the whole season of picking cotton, the whip was frequently and
severely plied. In his seasons of intoxication, the overseer made no
distinction between the stout man and the feeble and delicate woman--the
sick and the well. Women in a far advanced state of pregnancy were
driven out to the cotton field. At other times he seemed to have some
consideration; and to manifest something like humanity. Our hands did
not suffer for food--they had a good supply of ham and corn-meal, while
on Flincher's plantation the slaves had meat but once a year, at

Near the commencement of the weeding season of 1835, I was ordered to
whip a young woman, a light mustee, for not performing her task. I told
the overseer that she was sick. He said he did not care for that, she
should be made to work. A day or two afterwards, I found him in the
house half intoxicated. He demanded of me why I had not whipped the
girl; and I gave the same reason as before. He flew into a dreadful
rage, but his miserable situation made him an object of contempt rather
than fear. He sat shaking his fist at me, and swearing for nearly half
an hour. He said he would teach the Virginia lady to sham sickness; and
that the only reason I did not whip her was, that she was a white woman,
and I did not like to cut up her delicate skin. Some time after I was
ordered to give two of our women, named Hannah and big Sarah, 150 lashes
each, for not performing their tasks. The overseer stood by until he saw
Hannah whipped, and until Sarah had been tied up to the tree. As soon as
his back was turned I struck the tree instead of the woman, who
understanding my object, shrieked as if the whip at every blow was
cutting into her flesh. The overseer heard the blows and the woman's
cries, and supposing that all was going on according to his mind, left
the field. Unfortunately the husband of Hannah stood looking on; and
indignant that his wife should be whipped and Sarah spared, determined
to revenge himself by informing against me.

Next morning Huckstep demanded of me whether I had whipped Sarah the day
before; I replied in the affirmative. Upon this he called Sarah forward
and made her show her back, which bore no traces of recent whipping. He
then turned upon me and told me that the blows intended for Sarah should
be laid on my back. That night the overseer, with the help of three of
the hands, tied me up to a large tree--my arms and legs being clasped
round it, and my body drawn up hard against it by two men pulling at my
arms and one pushing against my back. The agony occasioned by this alone
was almost intolerable. I felt a sense of painful suffocation, and could
scarcely catch my breath.

A moment after I felt the first blow of the overseer's whip across my
shoulders. It seemed to cut into my very heart. I felt the blood gush,
and run down my back. I fainted at length under the torture, and on
being taken down, my shoes contained blood which ran from the gashes in
my back. The skin was worn off from by breast, arms, and thighs, against
the rough bark of the tree. I was sick and feverish, and in great pain
for three weeks afterwards; most of which time I was obliged to lie with
my face downwards, in consequence of the extreme soreness of my sides
and back, Huckstep himself seemed concerned about me, and would come
frequently to see me, and tell me that he should not have touched me had
it not been for "the cursed peach brandy."

Almost the first person that I was compelled to whip after I recovered,
was the man who pushed at my back when I was tied up to the tree. The
hands who were looking on at that time, all thought he pushed me much
harder than was necessary: and they expected that I would retaliate upon
him the injury I had received. After he was tied up, the overseer told
me to give him a severe flogging, and left me. I struck the tree instead
of the man. His wife, who was looking on, almost overwhelmed me with her

At length one morning, late in the fall of 1835, I saw Huckstep, and a
gentleman ride out to the field. As they approached, I saw the latter
was my master. The hands all ceased their labor, and crowded around him,
inquiring about old Virginia. For my own part, I could not hasten to
greet him. He had too cruelly deceived me. He at length came towards me,
and seemed somewhat embarrassed. "Well James," said he, "how do you
stand it here?" "Badly enough," I replied. "I had no thought that you
could be so cruel as to go away and leave me as you did." "Well, well,
it was too bad, but it could not be helped--you must blame Huckstep for
it." "But," said I, "I was not his servant; I belonged to you, and you
could do as you pleased." "Well," said he, "we will talk about that by
and by." He then inquired of Huckstep where big Sarah was. "She was sick
and died," was the answer. He looked round amoung the slaves again, and
inquired for Harry. The overseer told him that Harry undertook to kill
him, and that, to save his life, he was obliged to fire upon him, and
that he died of the wound. After some further inquiries, he requested me
to go into the house with him. He then asked me to tell him how things
had been managed during his absence. I gave him a full account of the
overseer's cruelty. When he heard of the manner of Harry's death, he
seemed much affected and shed tears. He was a favorite servant of his
father's. I showed him the deep scars on my back occasioned by the
whipping I had received. He was, or professed to be, highly indignant
with Huckstep; and said he would see to it that he did not lay hands on
me again. He told me he should be glad to take me with him to Virginia,
but he did not know where he should find a driver who would be so kind
to the hands as I was. If I would stay ten years, he would give me a
thousand dollars, and a piece of land to plant on my own account. "But,"
said I, "my wife and children." "Well," said he, "I will do my best to
purchase them, and send them on to you." I now saw that my destiny was
fixed: and that I was to spend my days in Alabama, and I retired to my
bed that evening with a heavy heart.

My master staid only three or four days on the plantation. Before he
left, he cautioned Huckstep to be careful and not strike me again, as he
would on no account permit it. He told him to give the hands food
enough, and not over-work them, and, having thus satisfied his
conscience, left us to our fate.

Out of the two hundred and fourteen slaves who were brought out from
Virginia, at least one-third of them were members of the Methodist and
Baptist churches in that State. Of this number five or six could read.
Then had been torn away from the care and discipline of their respective
churches, and from the means of instruction, but they retained their
love for the exercises of religion; and felt a mournful pleasure in
speaking of the privileges and spiritual blessings which they enjoyed in
Old Virginia. Three of them had been preachers, or exhorters, viz.
Solomon, usually called Uncle Solomon, Richard and David. Uncle Solomon
was a grave, elderly man, mild and forgiving in his temper, and greatly
esteemed among the more serious portion of our hands. He used to snatch
every occasion to talk to the lewd and vicious about the concerns of
their souls, and to advise them to fix their minds upon the Savior, as
their only helper. Some I have heard curse and swear in answer, and
others would say that they could not keep their minds upon God and the
devil (meaning Huckstep) at the same time: that it was of no use to try
to be religious--they had no time--that the overseer wouldn't let them
meet to pray--and that even Uncle Solomon, when he prayed, had to keep
one eye open all the time, to see if Huckstep was coming. Uncle Solomon
could both read and write, and had brought out with him from Virginia a
Bible, a hymn-book, and some other religious books, which he carefully
concealed from the overseer, Huckstep was himself an open infidel as
well as blasphemer. He used to tell the hands that there was no hell
hereafter for white people, but that they had their punishment on earth
in being obliged to take care of the negroes. As for the blacks, he was
sure there was a hell for them. He used frequently to sit with his
bottle by his side, and a Bible in his hand; and read passages and
comment on them, and pronounce them lies. Any thing like religious
feeling among the slaves irritated him. He said that so much praying and
singing prevented the people from doing their tasks, as it kept them up
nights, when they should be asleep. He used to mock, and in every
possible way interrupt the poor slaves, who after the toil of the day,
knelt in their lowly cabins to offer their prayers and supplications to
Him whose ear is open to the sorrowful sighing of the prisoner, and who
hath promised in His own time to come down and deliver. In his drunken
seasons he would make excursions at night through the slave-quarters,
enter the cabins, and frighten the inmates, especially if engaged in
prayer or singing. On one of these occasions he came back rubbing his
hands and laughing. He said he had found Uncle Solomon in his garden,
down on his knees, praying like an old owl, and had tipped him over, and
frightened him half out of his wits. At another time he found Uncle
David sitting on his stool with his face thrust up the chimney, in order
that his voice might not be heard by his brutal persecutor. He was
praying, giving utterance to these words, probably in reference to his
bondage:--"_How long, oh, Lord, how long_?" "As long as my whip!" cried
the overseer, who had stolen behind him, giving him a blow. It was the
sport of a demon.

Not long after my master had left us, the overseer ascertained for the
first time that some of the hands could read, and that they had brought
books with them from Virginia. He compelled them to give up the keys of
their chests, and on searching found several Bibles and hymn-books.
Uncle Solomon's chest contained quite a library, which he could read at
night by the light of knots of the pitchpine. These books he collected
together, and in the evening called Uncle Solomon into the house. After
jeering him for some time, he gave him one of the Bibles and told him to
name his text and preach him a sermon. The old man was silent. He then
made him get up on the table, and ordered him to pray. Uncle Solomon
meekly replied, that "forced prayer was not good for soul or body." The
overseer then knelt down himself, and in a blasphemous manner, prayed
that the Lord would send his spirit into Uncle Solomon; or else let the
old man fall from the table and break his neck, and so have an end of
"nigger preaching." On getting up from his knees he went to the
cupboard, poured out a glass of brandy for himself, and brought another
to the table. "James," said he, addressing me, "Uncle Solomon stands
there, for all the world, like a Hickory Quaker. His spirit don't move.
I'll see if another spirit wont move it." He compelled the old preacher
to swallow the brandy; and then told him to preach and exhort, for the
spirit was in him. He set one of the Bibles on fire, and after it was
consumed, mixed up the ashes of it in a glass of water, and compelled
the old man to drink it, telling him that as the spirit and the word
were now both in him, there was no longer any excuse for not preaching.
After tormenting the wearied old man in this way until nearly midnight
he permitted him to go to his quarters.

The next day I saw Uncle Solomon, and talked with him about his
treatment. He said it would not always be so--that slavery was to come
to an end, for the Bible said so--that there would then be no more
whippings and fightings, but the lion the lamb would lie down together,
and all would be love. He said he prayed for Huckstep--that it was not
he but the devil in him who behaved so. At his request, I found means to
get him a Bible and a hymn-book from the overseer's room; and the old
man ever afterwards kept them concealed in the hen-house.

The weeding season of 1836, was marked by repeated acts of cruelty on
the part of Huckstep. One of the hands, Priscilla, was, owing to her
delicate situation, unable to perform her daily task. He ordered her to
be tied up against a tree, in the same manner that I had been. In this
situation she was whipped until _she was delivered of a dead infant, at
the foot of the tree_! Our men took her upon a sheet, and carried her to
the house, where she lay sick for several months, but finally recovered.
I have heard him repeatedly laugh at the circumstance.

Not long after this, we were surprised, one morning about ten o'clock,
by hearing the horn blown at the house. Presently Aunt Polly came
screaming into the field. "What is the matter, Aunty?" I inquired. "Oh
Lor!" said she, "Old Huckstep's pitched off his horse and broke his
head, and is e'en about dead."

"Thank God!" said little Simon, "The devil will have him at last."

"God-a-mighty be praised!" exclaimed half a dozen others.

The hands, with one accord dropped their hoes; and crowded round the old
woman, asking questions. "Is he dead?"--"Will he die?" "Did you feel of
him--was he cold?"

Aunt Polly explained as well as she could, that Huckstep, in a state of
partial intoxication, had attempted to leap his horse over a fence, had
fallen and cut a deep gash in his head, and that he was now lying

It is impossible to describe the effect produced by this news among the
hands. Men, women and children shouted, clapped their hands, and laughed
aloud. Some cursed the overseer, and others thanked the Lord for taking
him away. Little Simon got down on his knees, and called loudly upon God
to finish his work, and never let the overseer again enter a cotton
field. "Let him die, Lord," said he, "let him. He's killed enough of us:
Oh, good Lord, let him die and not live."

"Peace, peace! it is a bad spirit," said Uncle Solomon, "God himself
willeth not the death of a sinner."

I followed the old woman to the house; and found Huckstep at the foot of
one of those trees, so common at the South, called the Pride of China.
His face was black, and there was a frightful contusion on the side of
his head. He was carried into the house, where, on my bleeding him, he
revived. He lay in great pain for several days, and it was nearly three
weeks before he was able to come out to the cotton fields.

On returning to the field after Huckstep had revived, I found the hands
sadly disappointed to hear that he was still living. Some of them fell
to cursing and swearing, and were enraged with me for trying to save his
life. Little Simon said I was a fool; if he had bled him he would have
done it to some purpose. He would at least, have so disable his arm that
he would never again try to swing a whip. Uncle Solomon remonstrated
with Simon, and told that I had done right.

The neighbouring overseers used frequently to visit Huckstep, and he, in
turn, visited them. I was sometimes present during their interviews, and
heard them tell each other stories of horse-racing, negro-huntings, &c.
Some time during this season, Ludlow, who was overseer of a plantation
about eight miles from ours, told of a slave of his named Thornton, who
had twice attempted to escape with his wife and one child. The first
time he was caught without much difficulty, chained to the overseer's
horse, and in that way brought back. The poor man, to save his wife from
a beating, laid all the blame upon himself; and said that his wife had
no wish to escape, and tried to prevent him from attempting it. He was
severely whipped; but soon ran away again, and was again arrested. The
overseer, Ludlow, said he was determined to put a stop to the runaway,
and accordingly had resort to a somewhat unusual method of punishment.

There is a great scarcity of good water in that section of Alabama; and
you will generally see a large cistern attached to the corners of the
houses to catch water for washing &c. Underneath this cistern is
frequently a tank from eight to ten feet deep, into which, when the
former is full the water is permitted to run. From this tank the water
is pumped out for use. Into one of these tanks the unfortunate slave was
placed, and confined by one of his ancles to the bottom of it; and the
water was suffered to flow in from above. He was compelled to pump out
the water as fast as it came in, by means of a long rod or handle
connected with the pump above ground. He was not allowed to begin until
the water had risen to his middle. Any pause or delay after this, from
weakness and exhaustion, would have been fatal, as the water would have
risen above his head. In this horrible dungeon, toiling for his life, he
was kept for twenty-four hours without any sustenance. Even Huckstep
said that this was too bad--that he had himself formerly punished
runaways in that way--but should not do it again.

I rejoice to be able to say that this sufferer has at last escaped with
his wife and child, into a free state. He was assisted by some white
men, but I do not know all the particulars of his escape.

Our overseer had not been long able to ride about the plantation after
his accident, before his life was again endangered. He found two of the
hands, Little Jarret and Simon, fighting with each other, and attempted
to chastise both of them. Jarret bore it patiently, but Simon turned
upon him, seized a stake or pin from a cart near by, and felled him to
the ground. The overseer got up--went to the house, and told aunt Polly
that he had nearly been killed by the 'niggers,' and requested her to
tie up his head, from which the blood was streaming. As soon as this was
done, he took down his gun, and went out in pursuit of Simon, who had
fled to his cabin, to get some things which he supposed necessary
previous to attempting his escape from the plantation. He was just
stepping out of the door when he met the enraged overseer with his gun
in his hand. Not a word was spoken by either. Huckstep raised his gun
and fired. The man fell without a groan across the door-sill. He rose up
twice on his hands and knees, but died in a few minutes. He was dragged
off and buried. The overseer told me that there was no other way to deal
with such a fellow. It was Alabama law, if a slave resisted to shoot him
at once. He told me of a case which occurred in 1834, on a plantation
about ten miles distant, and adjoining that where Crop, the negro
hunter, boarded with his hounds. The overseer had bought some slaves at
Selma, from a drove or coffle passing through the place. They proved
very refractory. He whipped three of them, and undertook to whip a
fourth who was from Maryland. The man raised his hoe in a threatening
manner, and the overseer fired upon him. The slave fell, but instantly
rose up on his hands and knees, and was beaten down again by the stock
of the overseer's gun. The wounded wretch raised himself once more, drew
a knife from the waistband of his pantaloons, and catching hold of the
overseer's coat, raised himself high enough to inflict a fatal wound
upon the latter. Both fell together, and died immediately after.

Nothing more of special importance occurred until July, of last year,
when one of our men named John, was whipped three times for not
performing his task. On the last day of the month, after his third
whipping, he ran away. On the following morning, I found that he was
missing at his row. The overseer said we must hunt him up; and he blew
the "nigger horn," as it is called, for the dogs. This horn was only
used when we went out in pursuit of fugitives. It is a cow's horn, and
makes a short, loud sound. We crossed Flincher's and Goldsby's
plantations, as the dogs had got upon John's track, and went of barking
in that direction, and the two overseers joined us in the chase. The
dogs soon caught sight of the runaway, and compelled him to climb a
tree. We came up; Huckstep ordered him down, and secured him upon my
horse by tying him to my back. On reaching home he was stripped entirely
naked and lashed up to a tree. Flincher then volunteered to whip him on
one side of his legs, and Goldsby on the other. I had, in the meantime,
been ordered to prepare a wash of salt and pepper, and wash his wounds
with it. The poor fellow groaned, and his flesh shrunk and quivered as
the burning solution was applied to it. This wash, while it adds to the
immediate torment of the sufferer, facilitates the cure of the wounded
parts. Huckstep then whipped him from his neck down to his thighs,
making the cuts lengthwise of his back. He was very expert with the
whip, and could strike, at any time, within an inch of his mark. He then
gave the whip to me and told me to strike directly across his back. When
I had finished, the miserable sufferer, from his neck to his heel, was
covered with blood and bruises. Goldsby and Flincher now turned to
Huckstep, and told him, that I deserved a whipping as much as John did:
that they had known me frequently disobey his orders, and that I was
partial to the "Virginia ladies," and didn't whip them as I did the men.
They said if I was a driver of theirs they would know what to do with
me. Huckstep agreed with them; and after directing me to go to the house
and prepare more of the wash for John's back, he called after me with an
oath, to see to it that I had some for myself, for he meant to give me,
at least, two hundred and fifty lashes. I returned to the house, and
scarcely conscious of what I was doing, filled an iron vessel with
water, put in the salt and pepper; and placed it over the embers.

As I stood by the fire watching the boiling of the mixture, and
reflecting upon the dreadful torture to which I was about to he
subjected, the thought of _escape_ flashed upon my mind. The chance was
a desperate one; but I resolved to attempt it. I ran up stairs, tied my
shirt in a handkerchief, and stepped out of the back door of the house,
telling Aunt Polly to take care of the wash at the fire until I
returned. The sun was about one hour high, but luckily for me the hands
as well as the three overseers, were on the other side of the house. I
kept the house between them and myself, and ran as fast as I could for
the woods. On reaching them I found myself obliged to proceed slowly as
there was a thick undergrowth of cane and reeds. Night came on. I
straggled forward by a dim star-light, amidst vines and reed beds. About
midnight the horizon began to be overcast; and the darkness increased
until in the thick forest, I could scarcely see a yard before me.
Fearing that I might lose my way and wander towards the plantation,
instead of from it, I resolved to wait until day. I laid down upon a
little hillock, and fell asleep.

When I awoke it was broad day. The clouds had vanished, and the hot
sunshine fell through the trees upon my face. I started up, realizing my
situation, and darted onward. My object was to reach the great road by
which we had travelled when we came out from Virginia. I had, however,
very little hope of escape. I knew that a hot pursuit would be made
after me, and what I most dreaded was, that the overseer would procure
Crop's bloodhounds to follow my track. If only the hounds of our
plantation were sent after me, I had hopes of being able to make friends
of them, as they were always good-natured and obedient to me. I
travelled until, as near as I could judge, about ten o'clock, when a
distant sound startled me. I stopped and listened. It was the deep bay
of the bloodhound, apparently at a great distance. I hurried on until I
came to a creek about fifteen yards wide, skirted by an almost
impenetrable growth of reeds and cane. Plunging into it, I swam across
and ran down by the side of it a short distance, and, in order to baffle
the dogs, swam back to the other side again. I stopped in the reed-bed
and listened. The dogs seemed close at hand, and by the loud barking I
felt persuaded that Crop's hounds were with them. I thought of the fate
of Little John, who had been torn in pieces by the hounds, and of the
scarcely less dreadful condition of those who had escaped the dogs only
to fall into the hands of the overseer. The yell of the dogs grew
louder. Escape seemed impossible. I ran down to the creek with a
determination to drown myself. I plunged into the water and went down to
the bottom; but the dreadful strangling sensation compelled me to
struggle up to the surface. Again I heard the yell of the bloodhounds;
and again desperately plunged down into the water. As I went down I
opened my mouth, and, choked and gasping, I found myself once more
struggling upward. As I rose to the top of the water and caught a
glimpse of the sunshine and the trees, the love of life revived in me. I
swam to the other side of the creek, and forced my way through the reeds
to a large tree, and stood under one of its lowest limbs, ready in case
of necessity, to spring up into it. Here panting and exhausted, I stood
waiting for the dogs. The woods seemed full of them. I heard a bell
tinkle, and, a moment after, our old hound Venus came bounding through
the cane, dripping wet from the creek. As the old hound came towards me,
I called to her as I used to do when out hunting with her. She stopped
suddenly, looked up at me, and then came wagging her tail and fawning
around me. A moment after the other dog came up hot in the chase, and
with their noses to the ground. I called to them, but they did not look
up, but came yelling on. I was just about to spring into the tree to
avoid them when Venus the old hound met them, and stopped them. They
then all came fawning and playing and jumping about me. The very
creatures whom a moment before I had feared would tear me limb from
limb, were now leaping and licking my hands, and rolling on the leaves
around me. I listened awhile in the fear of hearing the voices of men
following the dogs, but there was no sound in the forest save the
gurgling of the sluggish waters of the creek, and the chirp of black
squirrels in the trees. I took courage and started onward once more,
taking the dogs with me. The bell on the neck of the old dog, I feared
might betray me, and, unable to get it off her neck, I twisted some of
the long moss of the trees around it, so as to prevent its ringing. At
night I halted once more with the dogs by my side. Harassed with fear,
and tormented with hunger, I laid down and tried to sleep. But the dogs
were uneasy, and would start up and bark at the cries or the footsteps
of wild animals, and I was obliged, to use my utmost exertions to keep
them quiet, fearing that their barking would draw my pursuers upon me. I
slept but little; and as soon as daylight, started forward again. The
next day towards evening, I reached a great road which, I rejoiced to
find, was the same which my master and myself had travelled on our way
to Greene county. I now thought it best to get rid of the dogs, and
accordingly started them in pursuit of a deer. They went off, yelling on
the track, and I never saw them again. I remembered that my master told
me, near this place, that we were in the Creek country, and that there
were some Indian settlements not far distant. In the course of the
evening I crossed the road, and striking into a path through the woods,
soon came to a number of Indian cabins. I went into one of them and
begged for some food. The Indian women received me with a great deal of
kindness, and gave me a good supper of venison, corn bread, and stewed
pumpkin. I remained with them till the evening of the next day, when I
started afresh on my journey. I kept on the road leading to Georgia. In
the latter part of the night I entered into a long low bottom, heavily
timbered--sometimes called Wolf Valley. It was a dreary and frightful
place. As I walked on, I heard on all sides the howling of the wolves,
and the quick patter of their feet on the leaves and sticks, as they ran
through the woods. At daylight I laid down, but had scarcely closed my
eyes when I was roused up by the wolves snarling and howling around me.
I started on my feet, and saw several of them running by me. I did not
again close my eyes during the whole day. In the afternoon, a bear with
her two cubs came to a large chestnut tree near where I lay. She crept
up the tree, went out on one of the limbs, and broke off several twigs
in trying to shake down the nuts. They were not ripe enough to fall,
and, after several vain attempts to procure some of them, she crawled
down the tree again and went off with her young.

The day was long and tedious. As soon as it was dark, I once more
resumed my journey. But fatigue and the want of food and sleep rendered
me almost incapable of further effort. It was not long before I fell
asleep, while walking, and wandered out of the road. I was awakened by a
bunch of moss which hung down from the limb of a tree and met my face. I
looked up and saw, as I thought, a large man standing just before me. My
first idea was that some one had struck me over the face, and that I had
been at last overtaken by Huckstep. Rubbing my eyes once more, I saw the
figure before me sink down upon its hands and knees. Another glance
assured me that it was a bear and not a man. He passed across the road
and disappeared. This adventure kept me awake for the remainder of the
night. Towards morning I passed by a plantation, on which was a fine
growth of peach trees, full of ripe fruit. I took as many of them as I
could conveniently carry in my hands and pockets, and retiring a little
distance into the woods, laid down and slept till evening, when I again
went forward.

Sleeping thus by day and travelling by night, in a direction towards the
North Star, I entered Georgia. As I only travelled in the night time, I
was unable to recognize rivers and places which I had seen before until
I reached Columbus, where I recollected I had been with my master. From
this place I took the road leading to Washington, and passed directly
through that village. On leaving the village, I found myself contrary to
my expectation, in an open country with no woods in view. I walked on
until day broke in the east. At a considerable distance ahead, I saw a
group of trees, and hurried on towards it. Large and beautiful
plantations were on each side of me, from which I could hear dogs bark,
and the driver's horn sounding. On reaching the trees, I found that they
afforded but a poor place of concealment. On either hand, through its
openings, I could see the men turning out to the cotton fields. I found
a place to lie down between two oak stumps, around which the new shoots
had sprung up thickly, forming a comparatively close shelter. After
eating some peaches, which since leaving the Indian settlement had
constituted my sole food, I fell asleep. I was waked by the barking of a
dog. Raising my head and looking through the bushes, I found that the
dog was barking at a black squirrel who was chattering on a limb almost
directly above me. A moment after, I heard a voice speaking to the dog,
and soon saw a man with a gun in his hand, stealing through the wood. He
passed close to the stumps, where I lay trembling with terror lest he
should discover me. He kept his eye however upon the tree, and raising
his gun, fired. The squirrel dropped dead close by my side. I saw that
any further attempt at concealment would be in vain, and sprang upon my
feet. The man started forward on seeing me, struck at me with his gun
and beat my hat off. I leaped into the road; and he followed after,
swearing he would shoot me if I didn't stop. Knowing that his gun was
not loaded, I paid no attention to him, but ran across the road into a
cotton field where there was a great gang of slaves working. The man
with the gun followed, and called to the two colored drivers who were on
horseback, to ride after me and stop me. I saw a large piece of woodland
at some distance ahead, and directed my course towards it. Just as I
reached it, I looked back, and saw my pursuer far behind me; and found,
to my great joy, that the two drivers had not followed me. I got behind
a tree, and soon heard the man enter the woods and pass me. After all
had been still for more than an hour, I crept into a low place in the
depth of the woods and laid down amidst a bed of reeds, where I again
fell asleep. Towards evening, on awaking, I found the sky beginning to
be cloudy, and before night set in it was completely overcast. Having
lost my hat, I tied an old handkerchief over my head, and prepared to
resume my journey. It was foggy and very dark, and involved as I was in
the mazes of the forest, I did not know in what direction I was going. I
wandered on until I reached a road, which I supposed to be the same one
which I had left. The next day the weather was still dark and rainy, and
continued so for several days. During this time I slept only by leaning
against the body of a tree, as the ground was soaked with rain. On the
fifth night after my adventure near Washington, the clouds broke away,
and the clear moonlight and the stars shone down upon me.

I looked up to see the North Star, which I supposed still before me. But
I sought it in vain in all that quarter of the heavens. A dreadful
thought came over me that I had been travelling out of my way. I turned
round and saw the North Star, which had been shining directly upon my
back. I then knew that I had been travelling away from freedom, and
towards the place of my captivity ever since I left the woods into which
I had been pursued on the 21st, five days before. Oh, the keen and
bitter agony of that moment! I sat down on the decaying trunk of a
fallen tree, and wept like a child. Exhausted in mind and body, nature
came at last to my relief, and I fell asleep upon the log. When I awoke
it was still dark. I rose and nerved myself for another effort for
freedom. Taking the North Star for my guide, I turned upon my track, and
left once more the dreaded frontiers of Alabama behind me. The next
night, after crossing the one on which I travelled, and which seemed to
lead more directly towards the North. I took this road, and the next
night after, I came to a large village. Passing through the main street,
I saw a large hotel which I at once recollected. I was in Augusta, and
this was the hotel at which my master had spent several days when I was
with him, on one of his southern visits. I heard the guards patrolling
the town cry the hour of twelve; and fearful of being taken up, I turned
out of the main street, and got upon the road leading to Petersburg. On
reaching the latter place, I swam over the Savannah river into South
Carolina, and from thence passed into North Carolina.

Hitherto I had lived mainly upon peaches, which were plenty on almost
all the plantations in Alabama and Georgia; but the season was now too
far advanced for them, and I was obliged to resort to apples. These I
obtained without much difficulty until within two or three days journey
of the Virginia line. At this time I had had nothing to eat but two or
three small and sour apples for twenty-four hours, and I waited
impatiently for night, in the hope of obtaining fruit from the orchards
along the road. I passed by several plantations, but found no apples.
After midnight, I passed near a large house, with fruit trees around it.
I searched under, and climbed up and shook several of them to no
purpose. At last I found a tree on which there were a few apples. On
shaking it, half a dozen fell. I got down, and went groping and feeling
about for them in the grass, but could find only two, the rest were
devoured by several hogs who were there on the same errand with myself.
I pursued my way until day was about breaking, when I passed another
house. The feeling of extreme hunger was here so intense, that it
required all the resolution I was master of to keep myself from going,
up to the house and breaking into it in search of food. But the thought
of being again made a slave, and of suffering the horrible punishment of
a runaway restrained me. I lay in the worlds all that day without food.
The next evening, I soon found a large pile of excellent apples, from
which I supplied myself.

The next evening I reached Halifax Court House, and I then knew that I
was near Virginia. On the 7th of October, I came to the Roanoke, and
crossed it in the midst of a violent storm of rain and thunder. The
current ran so furiously that I was carried down with it, and with great
difficulty, and in a state of complete exhaustion, reached the
opposite shore.

At about 2 o'clock, on the night of the 15th, I approached Richmond, but
not daring to go into the city at that hour, on account of the patrols,
I lay in the woods near Manchester, until the next evening, when I
started in the twilight, in order to enter before the setting of the
watch. I passed over the bridge unmolested, although in great fear, as
my tattered clothes and naked head were well calculated to excite
suspicion; and being well acquainted with the localities of the city,
made my way to the house of a friend. I was received with the utmost
kindness, and welcomed as one risen from the dead. Oh, how inexpressibly
sweet were the tones of human sympathy, after the dreadful trials to
which I had been subjected--the wrongs and outrages which I witnessed
and suffered! For between two and three months I had not spoken with a
human being, and the sound even of my own voice now seemed strange to my
ears. During this time, save in two or three instances I had tasted of
no food except peaches and apples. I was supplied with some dried meat
and coffee, but the first mouthful occasioned nausea and faintness. I
was compelled to take my bed, and lay sick for several days. By the
assiduous attention and kindness of my friends, I was supplied with
every thing which was necessary during my sickness. I was detained in
Richmond nearly a month. As soon as I had sufficiently recovered to be
able to proceed on my journey, I bade my kind host and his wife an
affectionate farewell, and set forward once more towards a land of
freedom. I longed to visit my wife and children in Powhatan county, but
the dread of being discovered prevented me from attempting it. I had
learned from my friends in Richmond that they were living and in good
health, but greatly distressed on my account.

My friends had provided me with a fur cap, and with as much lean ham,
cake and biscuit, as I could conveniently carry. I proceeded in the same
way as before, travelling by night and lying close and sleeping by day.
About the last of November I reached the Shenandoah river. It was very
cold; ice had already formed along the margin, and in swimming the river
I was chilled through; and my clothes froze about me soon after I had
reached the opposite side. I passed into Maryland, and on the 5th of
December, stepped across the line which divided the free state of
Pennsylvania from the land of slavery.

I had a few shillings in money which were given me at Richmond, and
after travelling nearly twenty-four hours from the time I crossed the
line, I ventured to call at a tavern, and buy a dinner. On reaching
Carlisle, I enquired of the ostler in a stable if he knew of any one who
wished to hire a house servant or coachman. He said he did not. Some
more colored people came in, and taking me aside told me that they knew
that I was from Virginia, by my pronunciation of certain words--that I
was probably a runaway slave--but that I need not be alarmed, as they
were friends, and would do all in their power to protect me. I was taken
home by one of them, and treated with the utmost kindness; and at night
he took me in a wagon, and carried me some distance on my way to
Harrisburg, where he said I should meet with friends.

He told me that I had better go directly to Philadelphia, as there would
be less danger of my being discovered and retaken there than in the
country, and there were a great many persons there who would exert
themselves to secure me from the slaveholders. In parting he cautioned
me against conversing or stopping with any man on the road, unless he
wore a plain, straight collar on a round coat, and said, "thee," and
"thou." By following his directions I arrived safely in Philadelphia,
having been kindly entertained and assisted on my journey, by several
benevolent gentlemen and ladies, whose compassion for the wayworn and
hunted stranger I shall never forget, and whose names will always be
dear to me. On reaching Philadelphia, I was visited by a large number of
the Abolitionists, and friends of the colored people, who, after hearing
my story, thought it would not be safe for me to remain in any part of
the United States. I remained in Philadelphia a few days; and then a
gentleman came on to New-York with me, I being considered on board the
steam-boat, and in the cars, as his servant. I arrived at New-York, on
the 1st of January. The sympathy and kindness which I have every where
met with since leaving the slave states, has been the more grateful to
me because it was in a great measure unexpected. The slaves are always
told that if they escape into a free state, they will be seized and put
in prison, until their masters send for them. I had heard Huckstep and
the other overseers occasionally speak of the Abolitionists, but I did
not know or dream that they were the friends of the slave. Oh, if the
miserable men and women, now toiling on the plantations of Alabama,
could know that thousands in the free states are praying and striving
for their deliverance, how would the glad tidings be whispered from
cabin to cabin, and how would the slave-mother as she watches over her
infant, bless God, on her knees, for the hope that this child of her day
of sorrow, might never realize in stripes, and toil, and grief
unspeakable, what it is to be a slave?

       *       *       *       *       *

This Narrative can he had at the Depository of the American Anti-Slavery
Society, No 143 Nassau Street, New York, in a neat volume, 108 pp.
12mo., embellished with an elegant and accurate steel engraved likeness
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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *


    Geography and Statistics of the Island,--Reflections on
    arrival,--Interview with Clergymen,--with the Governor,--with a
    member of Assembly,--Sabbath,--Service at the Moravian
    Chapel,--Sabbath School,--Service at the Episcopal Church,--Service
    at the Wesleyan Chapel,--Millar's Estate,--Cane-holing,--Colored
    planter,--Fitch's Creek Estate,--Free Villages,--Dinner at the
    Governor's,--Donovan's Estate,--Breakfast at Mr. Watkins,--Dr.
    Ferguson,--Market,--Lockup house,--Christmas Holidays,--Colored
    Population,--Thibou Jarvis's Estate,--Testimony of the
    Manager,--Anniversary of the Friendly Society,--A negro
    patriarch,--Green Castle Estate,--Testimony of the
    Manager,--Anniversary of the Juvenile Association,--Wetherill
    Estate,--Testimony of the Manager,--Conversation with a
    boatman,--Moravian station at Newfield,--Testimony of the
    Missionaries,--School for Adults,--Interview with the Speaker of the
    Assembly,--Moravian "Speaking,"--Conversation with Emancipated
    Slaves,--The Rector of St. Philip's,--Frey's Estate,--Interview with
    the American Consul,--Sabbath at Millar's,--Breakfast at the Villa
    Estate,--A Fair,--Breakfast at Mr. Cranstoun's,--His
    Testimony,--Moravian Station at Cedar Hall,--Conversation with
    Emancipated Slaves,--Moravian Station at Grace Bay,--Testimony of
    the Missionaries,--Grandfather Jacob,--Mr. Scotland's Estate.--A day
    at Fitch's Creek,--Views of the Manager,--A call from the
    Archdeacon,--from Rev. Edward Fraser,--Wesleyan District
    Meeting,--Social interviews with the Missionaries,--Their Views and
    Testimony,--Religious Anniversaries,--Temperance Society,--Bible
    Society,--Wesleyan Missionary Society.--Resolution of the
    Meeting,--Laying the Corner Stone of a Wesleyan Chapel,--Resolutions
    of the Missionaries.



    Religion,--Statistics of Denominations,--Morality,--Reverence for
    the Lord's Day,--Marriage,--Conjugal faithfulness,--Concubinage
    decreasing,--Temperance,--Profane Language rare,--Statistics of the
    Bible Society,--Missionary Associations,--Temperance
    Societies,--Friendly Societies,--Daily Meal Society,--Distressed
    Females' Friend Society,--Education,--Annual Examination of the
    Parochial School,--Infant Schools in the Country,--Examination at
    Parham,--at Willoughby Bay,--Mr. Thwaite's Replies to Queries on
    Education,--Great Ignorance before Emancipation,--Aptness of the
    Negroes to learn,--Civil and Political Condition of the Emancipated.



    IMMEDIATE ABOLITION--an immense change to the condition of the
    Slave,--Adopted from Political and Pecuniary Considerations,--Went
    into operation peaceably,--gave additional security to Persons and
    Property,--Is regarded by all as a great blessing to the
    Island,--Free, cheaper than Slave labor,--More work done, and better
    done, since Emancipation,--Freemen more easily managed than
    Slaves,--The Emancipated more Trustworthy than when Slaves,--They
    appreciate and reverence Law,--They stay at home and mind their own
    business,--Are less "insolent" than when Slaves,--Gratitude a strong
    trait of their character,--Emancipation has elevated them,--It has
    raised the price of Real Estate, given new life to Trade, and to all
    kinds of business,--Wrought a total change in the views of the
    Planters,--Weakened Prejudice against Color,--The Discussions
    preceding Emancipation restrained Masters from
    Cruelties,--Concluding Remarks.


    Passage to Barbadoes,--Bridgetown,--Visit to the Governor,--To the
    Archdeacon,--Lear's Estate,--Testimony of the Manager,--Dinner Party
    at Lear's,--Ride to Scotland,--The Red Shanks,--Sabbath at Lear's;
    Religious Service,--Tour to the Windward,--Breakfast Party at the
    Colliton Estate,--Testimony to the Working of the
    Apprenticeship,--The Working of it in Demerara,--The Codrington
    Estate,--Codrington College,--The "Horse,"--An Estate on Fire,--The
    Ridge Estate; Dinner with a Company of Planters,--A Day at Colonel
    Ashby's; his Testimony to the Working of the
    Apprenticeship,--Interviews with Planters; their Testimony,--The
    Belle Estate,--Edgecombe Estate; Colonel Barrow,--Horton
    Estate,--Drax Hall Estate,--Dinner Party at the
    Governor's,--Testimony concerning the Apprenticeship,--Market
    People,--Interview with Special Justice Hamilton; his
    Testimony,--Station House, District A; Trials of Apprentices before
    Special Magistrate Colthurst,--Testimony of the Superintendent of
    the Rural Police,--Communication from Special Justice
    Colthurst,--Communication from Special Justice Hamilton,--Testimony
    of Clergymen and Missionaries,--Curate of St. Paul's,--A FREE
    Church,--A Sabbath School Annual Examination,--Interview with
    Episcopal Clergymen; their Testimony,--Visit to Schools,--Interview
    with the Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission,--Persecution of the
    Methodists by Slaveholders,--The Moravian Mission,--Colored
    Population,--Dinner Party at Mr. Harris's,--Testimony concerning the
    objects of our Mission,--A New Englander,--History of an Emancipated
    Slave,--Breakfast Party at Mr. Thorne's,--Facts and Testimony
    concerning Slavery and the Apprenticeship,--History of an
    Emancipated Slave,--Breakfast Party at Mr. Prescod's,--Character and
    History of the late Editor of the New Times,--Breakfast Party at Mr.
    Bourne's,--Prejudice,--History and Character of an Emancipated
    Slave,--Prejudice, vincible,--Concubinage,--Barbadoes as it was;
    "Reign of Terror;"--Testimony; Cruelties,--Insurrection of
    1816,--Licentiousness,--Prejudice--Indolence and Inefficiency of the
    Whites,--Hostility to Emancipation,--Barbadoes as it is,--The
    Apprenticeship System; Provisions respecting the Special
    Magistrates,--Provisions respecting the Master,--Provisions
    respecting the Apprentice,--The Design of the
    Apprenticeship,--Practical Operation of the
    Apprenticeship,--Sympathy of the Special Magistrates with the
    Masters,--Apprenticeship, modified Slavery,--Vexatious to the
    Master,--No Preparation for Freedom,--Begets hostility between
    Master and Apprentice,--Has illustrated the Forbearance of the
    Negroes,--Its tendency to exasperate them,--Testimony to the Working
    of the Apprenticeship in the Windward Islands generally.


    Sketch of its Scenery,--Interview with the Attorney General,--The
    Solicitor General; his Testimony,--The American Consul; his
    Testimony,--The Superintendent of the Wesleyan Missions,--The
    Baptist Missionaries; Sabbath; Service in a Baptist
    Chapel,--Moravians; Episcopalians; Scotch Presbyterians,--Schools in
    Kingston,--Communication from the Teacher of the Wolmer Free School;
    Education; Statistics,--The Union School,--"Prejudice
    Vincible,"--Disabilities and Persecutions of Colored People,--Edward
    Jordan, Esq.,--Colored Members of Assembly,--Richard Hill,
    Esq.,--Colored Artisans and Merchants in Kingston,--Police Court of
    Kingston,--American Prejudice in the "limbos,"--"Amalgamation!"--St.
    Andrew's House of Correction; Tread-mill,--Tour through "St. Thomas
    in the East,"--Morant Bay; Local Magistrate; his lachrymal
    forebodings,--Proprietor of Green Wall Estate; his
    Testimony,--Testimony of a Wesleyan Missionary,--Belvidere Estate;
    Testimony of the Manager,--Chapel built by Apprentices,--House of
    Correction,--Chain-Gang,--A call from Special Justice Baines; his
    Testimony,--Bath,--Special Justice's Office; his
    Testimony,--"Alarming Rebellion,"--Testimony of a Wesleyan
    Missionary,--Principal of the Mico Charity School; his
    Testimony,--Noble instance of Filial Affection in a Negro
    Girl,--Plantain Garden River Valley; Alexander Barclay,
    Esq.,--Golden Grove Estate; Testimony of the Manager,--The Custos of
    the Parish; his Testimony,--Amity Hall Estate; Testimony of the
    Manager,--Lord Belmore's Prophecy,--Manchioneal; Special Magistrate
    Chamberlain; his Testimony,--his Weekly Court,--Pro slavery
    gnashings,--Visit with the Special Magistrate to the Williamsfield
    Estate; Testimony of the Manager,--Oppression of
    Book-keepers,--Sabbath; Service at a Baptist Chapel,--Interview with
    Apprentices; their Testimony,--Tour through St. Andrew's and Port
    Royal,--Visit to Estates in company with Special Justice
    Bourne,--White Emigrants to Jamaica,--Dublin Castle Estate; Special
    Justice Court,--A Despot in convulsions; arbitrary power dies
    hard,--Encounter with Mules in a mountain pass,--Silver Hill Estate;
    cases tried; Appraisement of an Apprentice,--Peter's Rock
    Estate,--Hall's Prospect Estate,--Female Traveling Merchant,--Negro
    Provision Grounds,--Apprentices eager to work for Money,--Jury of
    Inquest,--Character of Overseers,--Conversation with Special Justice
    Hamilton,--With a Proprietor of Estates and Local Magistrate;
    Testimony,--Spanishtown,--Richard Hill, Esq., Secretary of the
    Special Magistracy,--Testimony of Lord Sligo concerning him,--Lord
    Sligo's Administration; its independence and
    impartiality,--Statements of Mr. Hill,--Statements of Special
    Justice Ramsey,--Special Justice's Court,--Baptist Missionary at
    Spanishtown; his Testimony,--Actual Working of the Apprenticeship;
    no Insurrection; no fear of it; no Increase of Crime; Negroes
    improving; Marriage increased; Sabbath better kept; Religious
    Worship better attended; Law obeyed,--Apprenticeship vexatious to
    both parties,--Atrocities perpetrated by Masters and
    Magistrates,--Causes of the ill-working of the
    Apprenticeship--Provisions of the Emancipation Act defeated by
    Planters and Magistrates,--The present Governor a favorite with the
    Planters,--Special Justice Palmer suspended by him,--Persecution of
    Special Justice Bourne,--Character of the Special
    Magistrates,--Official Cruelty; Correspondence between a Missionary
    and Special Magistrate,--Sir Lionel Smith's Message to the House of
    Assembly,--Causes of the Diminished Crops since
    Emancipation,--Anticipated Consequences of full Emancipation in
    1840,--Examination of the grounds of such anticipations,--Views of
    Missionaries and Colored People, Magistrates and
    Planters;--Concluding Remarks.


    Official Communication from Special Justice Lyon,--Communication
    from the Solicitor General of Jamaica,--Communication from Special
    Justice Colthurst,--Official Returns of the Imports and Exports of
    Barbadoes,--Valuations of Apprentices in Jamaica,--Tabular View of
    the Crops in Jamaica for fifty-three years preceding 1836; Comments
    of the Jamaica Watchman on the foregoing Table,--Comments of the
    Spanishtown Telegraph,--Brougham's Speech in Parliament.


It is hardly possible that the success of British West India
Emancipation should be more conclusively proved, than it has been by the
absence among us of the exultation which awaited its failure. So many
thousands of the citizens of the United States, without counting
slaveholders, would not have suffered their prophesyings to be
falsified, if they could have found whereof to manufacture fulfilment.
But it is remarkable that, even since the first of August, 1834, the
evils of West India emancipation on the lips of the advocates of
slavery, or, as the most of them nicely prefer to be termed, the
opponents of abolition, have remained in the future tense. The bad
reports of the newspapers, spiritless as they have been compared with
the predictions, have been traceable, on the slightest inspection, not
to emancipation, but to the illegal continuance of slavery, under the
cover of its legal substitute. Not the slightest reference to the rash
act, whereby the thirty thousand slaves of Antigua were immediately
"turned loose," now mingles with the croaking which strives to defend
our republican slavery against argument and common sense.

The Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, deemed it
important that the silence which the pro-slavery press of the United
States has seemed so desirous to maintain in regard to what is strangely
enough termed the "great experiment of freedom," should be thoroughly
broken up by a publication of facts and testimony collected on the spot.
To this end, REV. JAMES A. THOME, and JOSEPH H. KIMBALL, ESQ., were
deputed to the West Indies to make the proper investigations. Of their
qualifications for the task, the subsequent pages will furnish the best
evidence: it is proper, however, to remark, that Mr. Thome is thoroughly
acquainted with our own system of slavery, being a native and still a
resident of Kentucky, and the son of a slaveholder, (happily no longer
so,) and that Mr. Kimball is well known as the able editor of the Herald
of Freedom, published at Concord, New Hampshire.

They sailed from New York, the last of November, 1836, and returned
early in June, 1837. They improved a short stay at the Danish island of
St. Thomas, to give a description of slavery as it exists there, which,
as it appeared for the most part in the anti-slavery papers, and as it
is not directly connected with the great question at issue, has not been
inserted in the present volume. Hastily touching at some of the other
British islands, they made Antigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica, successively
the objects of their deliberate and laborious study--as fairly
presenting the three grand phases of the "experiment"--Antigua,
exemplifying immediate unrestricted abolition; Barbadoes, the best
working of the apprenticeship, and Jamaica the worst. Nine weeks were
spent in Antigua, and the remainder of their time was divided between
the other two islands.

The reception of the delegates was in the highest degree favorable to
the promotion of their object, and their work will show how well they
have used the extraordinary facilities afforded them. The committee
have, in some instances, restored testimonials which their modesty led
them to suppress, showing in what estimation they themselves, as well as
the object of their mission, were held by some of the most distinguished
persons in the islands which they visited.

So wide was the field before them, and so rich and various the fruit to
be gathered, that they were tempted to go far beyond the strength
supplied by the failing health they carried with them. Most nobly did
they postpone every personal consideration to the interests of the
cause, and the reader will, we think, agree with us, that they have
achieved a result which undiminished energies could not have been
expected to exceed--a result sufficient, if any thing could be, to
justify the sacrifice it cost them. We regret to add that the labors and
exposures of Mr. Kimball, so far prevented his recovery from the
disease[A] which obliged him to resort to a milder climate, or perhaps
we should say aggravated it, that he has been compelled to leave to his
colleague, aided by a friend, nearly the whole burden of preparing for
the press--which, together with the great labor of condensing from the
immense amount of collected materials, accounts for the delay of the
publication. As neither Mr. Thome nor Mr. Kimball were here while the
work was in the press, it is not improbable that trivial errors have
occurred, especially in the names of individuals.

[Footnote A: We learn that Mr. Kimball closed his mortal career at
Pembroke, N.H. April 12th, in the 25th year of his age. Very few men in
the Anti-Slavery cause have been more distinguished, than this lamented
brother, for the zeal, discretion and ability with which he has
advocated the cause of the oppressed. "Peace to the memory of a man
of worth!"]

It will be perceived that the delegates rest nothing of importance on
their own unattested observation. At every point they are fortified by
the statements of a multitude of responsible persons in the islands,
whose names, when not forbidden, they leave taken the liberty to use in
behalf of humanity. Many of these statements were given in the
handwriting of the parties, and are in the possession of the Executive
Committee. Most of these island authorities are as unchallengeable on
the score of previous leaning towards abolitionism, as Mr. McDuffie of
Mr. Calhoun would be two years hence, if slavery were to be abolished
throughout the United States tomorrow.

Among the points established in this work, beyond the power of dispute
or cavil, are the following:

1. That the act of IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION in Antigua, was not attended
with any disorder whatever.

2. That the emancipated slaves have readily, faithfully, and efficiently
worked for wages from the first.

3. That wherever there has been any disturbance in the working of the
apprenticeship, it has been invariably by the fault of the masters, or
of the officers charged with the execution of the "Abolition Act."

4. That the prejudice of caste is fast disappearing in the emancipated

5. That the apprenticeship was not sought for by the planters as a
_preparation for freedom_.

6. That no such preparation was needed.

7. That the planters who have fairly made the "experiment," now greatly
prefer the new system to the old.

8. That the emancipated people are perceptibly rising in the scale of
civilization, morals, and religion.

From these established facts, reason cannot fail to make its inferences
in favor of the two and a half millions of slaves in our republic. We
present the work to our countrymen who yet hold slaves, with the utmost
confidence that its perusal will not leave in their minds a doubt,
either of the duty or perfect safety of _immediate emancipation_,
however it may fail to persuade their hearts--which God grant it
may not!

By order of the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery

New York, April 28th, 1838.

       *       *       *       *       *


1. The words 'Clergy' and 'Missionary' are used to distinguish between
the ministers of the English or Scotch church, and those of all other

2. The terms 'church' and 'chapel' denote a corresponding distinction in
the places of worship, though the English Church have what are
technically called 'chapels of ease!'

3. 'Manager' and 'overseer' are terms designating in different islands
the same station. In Antigua and Barbadoes, _manager_ is the word in
general use, in Jamaica it is _overseer_--both meaning the practical
conductor or immediate superintendent of an estate. In our own country,
a peculiar odium is attached to the latter term. In the West Indies, the
station of manager or overseer is an honorable one; proprietors of
estates, and even men of rank, do not hesitate to occupy it.

4. The terms 'colored' and 'black' or 'negro' indicate a distinction
long kept up in the West Indies between the mixed blood and the pure
negro. The former as a body were few previous to the abolition act; and
for this reason chiefly we presume the term of distinction was
originally applied to them. To have used these terms interchangeably in
accordance with the usage in the United States, would have occasioned
endless confusion in the narrative.

5. 'Praedial' and 'non-praedial' are terms used in the apprenticeship
colonies to mark the difference between the agricultural class and the
domestic; the former are called _praedials_, the latter _non-praedials_.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Compiled from recent authentic documents._)

British Colonies.          White.   Slave.   F. Col'd.   Total.
Anguilla                     365    2,388       357      3,110
Antigua[A]                 1,980   29,839     3,895     35,714
Bahamas                    4,240    9,268     2,991     16,499
Barbadoes                 15,000   82,000     5,100    102,100
Berbicel                     550   21,300     1,150     23,000
Bermuda[A]                 3,900    4,600       740      9,240
Cape of Good Hope[B]      43,000   35,500    29,000    107,500
Demerara[B]                3,000   70,000     6,400     79,400
Dominica                     850   15,400     3,600     19,850
Grenada                      800   24,000     2,800     27,600
Honduras[B]                  250    2,100     2,300      4,650
Jamaica                   37,000  323,000    55,000    415,000
Mauritius[B]               8,000   76,000    15,000     99,000
Montserrat                   330    6,200       800      7,330
Nevis                        700    6,600     2,000      9,300
St. Christophers,St. Kitts 1,612   19,310     3,000     23,922
St. Lucia[B]                 980   13,600     3,700     18,280
St. Vincent                1,300   23,500     2,800     27,600
Tobago                       320   12,500     1,200     14,020
Tortola                      480    5,400     1,300      7,180
Trinidad[B]                4,200   24,000    16,000     44,200
Virgin Isles                 800    5,400       600      6,800

Total                    131,257  831,105   162,733  1,125,095

[Footnote A: These islands adopted immediate emancipation, Aug 1, 1834.]

[Footnote B: These are crown colonies, and have no local legislature.]



Antigua is about eighteen miles long and fifteen broad; the interior is
low and undulating, the coast mountainous. From the heights on the coast
the whole island may be taken in at one view, and in a clear day the
ocean can be seen entirely around the land, with the exception of a few
miles of cliff in one quarter. The population of Antigua is about
37,000, of whom 30,000 are negroes--lately slaves--4500 are free people
of color, and 2500 are whites.

The cultivation of the island is principally in sugar, of which the
average annual crop is 15,000 hogsheads. Antigua is one of the oldest of
the British West India colonies, and ranks high in importance and
influence. Owing to the proportion of proprietors resident in the
Island, there is an accumulation of talent, intelligence and refinement,
greater, perhaps, than in any English colony, excepting Jamaica.

Our solicitude on entering the Island of Antigua was intense. Charged
with a mission so nearly concerning the political and domestic
institutions of the colony, we might well be doubtful as to the manner
of our reception. We knew indeed that slavery was abolished, that
Antigua had rejected the apprenticeship, and adopted entire
emancipation. We knew also, that the free system had surpassed the hopes
of its advocates. But we were in the midst of those whose habits and
sentiments had been formed under the influences of slavery, whose
prejudices still clinging to it might lead them to regard our visit with
indifference at least, if not with jealousy. We dared not hope for aid
from men who, not three years before, were slaveholders, and who, as a
body, strenuously resisted the abolition measure, finally yielding to it
only because they found resistance vain.

Mingled with the depressing anxieties already referred to, were emotions
of pleasure and exultation, when we stepped upon the shores of an
unfettered isle. We trod a soil from which the last vestige of slavery
had been swept away! To us, accustomed as we were to infer the existence
of slavery from the presence of a particular hue, the numbers of negroes
passing to and fro, engaged in their several employments, denoted a land
of oppression; but the erect forms, the active movements, and the
sprightly countenances, bespoke that spirit of disinthrallment which had
gone abroad through Antigua.

On the day of our arrival we had an interview with the Rev. James Cox,
the superintendent of the Wesleyan mission in the island. He assured us
that we need apprehend no difficulty in procuring information, adding,
"We are all free here now; every man can speak his sentiments unawed. We
have nothing to conceal in our present system; had you come here as the
_advocates of slavery_ you might have met with a very different

At the same time we met the Rev. N. Gilbert, a clergyman of the English
Church, and proprietor of an estate. Mr. G. expressed the hope that we
might gather such facts during our stay in the island, as would tend
effectually to remove the curse of slavery from the United States. He
said that the failure of the crops, from the extraordinary drought which
was still prevailing, would, he feared, be charged by persons abroad to
the new system. "The enemies of freedom," said he, "will not ascribe the
failure to the proper cause. It will be in vain that we solemnly
declare, that for more than thirty years the island has not experienced
such a drought. Our enemies will persist in laying all to the charge of
our free system; men will look only at the amount of sugar exported,
which will be less than half the average. They will run away with this
fact, and triumph over it as the disastrous consequence of abolition."

On the same day we were introduced to the Rev. Bennet Harvey, the
principal of the Moravian mission, to a merchant, an agent for several
estates, and to an intelligent manager. Each of these gentlemen gave us
the most cordial welcome, and expressed a warm sympathy in the objects
of our visit. On the following day we dined, by invitation, with the
superintendent of the Wesleyan mission, in company with several
missionaries. _Freedom in Antigua_ was the engrossing and delightful
topic. They rejoiced in the change, not merely from sympathy with the
disinthralled negroes, but because it had emancipated them from a
disheartening surveillance, and opened new fields of usefulness. They
hailed the star of freedom "with exceeding great joy," because it
heralded the speedy dawning of the Sun of Righteousness.

We took an early opportunity to call on the Governor, whom we found
affable and courteous. On learning that we were from the United States,
he remarked, that he entertained a high respect for our country, but its
slavery was a stain upon the whole nation. He expressed his conviction
that the instigators of northern mobs must be implicated in some way,
pecuniary or otherwise, with slavery. The Governor stated various
particulars in which Antigua had been greatly improved by the abolition
of slavery. He said, the planters all conceded that emancipation had
been a great blessing to the island, and he did not know of a single
individual who wished to return to the old system.

His excellency proffered us every assistance in his power, and requested
his secretary--_a colored gentleman_--to furnish us with certain
documents which he thought would be of service to us. When we rose to
leave, the Governor followed us to the door, repeating the advice that
we should "see with our own eyes, and hear with our own ears." The
interest which his Excellency manifested in our enterprise, satisfied us
that the prevalent feeling in the island was opposed to slavery, since
it was a matter well understood that the Governor's partialities, if he
had any, were on the side of the planters rather than the people.

On the same day we were introduced to a barrister, a member of the
assembly and proprietor of an estate. He was in the assembly at the time
the abolition act was under discussion. He said that it was violently
opposed, until it was seen to be inevitable. Many were the predictions
made respecting the ruin which would be brought upon the colony; but
these predictions had failed, and abolition was now regarded as the
salvation of the island.


The morning of our first Sabbath in Antigua came with that hushed
stillness which marks the Sabbath dawn in the retired villages of New
England. The arrangements of the family were conducted with a studied
silence that indicated habitual respect for the Lord's day. At 10
o'clock the streets were filled with the church-going throng. The rich
rolled along in their splendid vehicles with liveried outriders and
postillions. The poor moved in lowlier procession, yet in neat attire,
and with the serious air of Christian worshippers. We attended the
Moravian service. In going to the chapel, which is situated on the
border of the town, we passed through and across the most frequented
streets. No persons were to be seen, excepting those whose course was
toward some place of worship. The shops were all shut, and the voices of
business and amusement were hushed. The market place, which yesterday
was full of swarming life, and sent forth a confused uproar, was
deserted and dumb--not a straggler was to be seen of all the multitude.

On approaching the Moravian chapel we observed the negroes, wending
their way churchward, from the surrounding estates, along the roads
leading into town.

When we entered the chapel the service had begun, and the people were
standing, and repeating their liturgy. The house, which was capable of
holding about a thousand persons, was filled. The audience were all
black and colored, mostly of the deepest Ethiopian hue, and had come up
thither from the estates, where once they toiled as slaves, but now as
freemen, to present their thank-offerings unto Him whose truth and
Spirit had made them free. In the simplicity and tidiness of their
attire, in its uniformity and freedom from ornament, it resembled the
dress of the Friends. The females were clad in plain white gowns, with
neat turbans of cambric or muslin on their heads. The males were dressed
in spencers, vests, and pantaloons, all of white. All were serious in
their demeanor, and although the services continued more than two hours,
they gave a wakeful attention to the end. Their responses in the litany
were solemn and regular.

Great respect was paid to the aged and infirm. A poor blind man came
groping his way, and was kindly conducted to a seat in an airy place. A
lame man came wearily up to the door, when one within the house rose and
led him to the seat he himself had just occupied. As we sat facing the
congregation, we looked around upon the multitude to find the marks of
those demoniac passions which are to strew carnage through our own
country when its bondmen shall be made free. The countenances gathered
there, bore the traces of benevolence, of humility, of meekness, of
docility, and reverence; and we felt, while looking on them, that the
doers of justice to a wronged people "shall surely dwell in safety and
be quiet from fear of evil."

After the service, we visited the Sabbath school. The superintendent was
an interesting young colored man. We attended the recitation of a
Testament class of children of both sexes from eight to twelve. They
read, and answered numerous questions with great sprightliness.

In the afternoon we attended the Episcopal church, of which the Rev.
Robert Holberton is rector. We here saw a specimen of the aristocracy of
the island. A considerable number present were whites,--rich proprietors
with their families, managers of estates, officers of government, and
merchants. The greater proportion of the auditory, however, were colored
people and blacks. It might be expected that distinctions of color would
be found here, if any where;--however, the actual distinction, even in
this the most fashionable church in Antigua, amounted only to this, that
the body pews on each side of the broad aisle were occupied by the
whites, the side pews by the colored people, and the broad aisle in the
middle by the negroes. The gallery, on one side, was also appropriated
to the colored people, and on the other to the blacks. The finery of the
negroes was in sad contrast with the simplicity we had just seen at the
Moravian chapel. Their dresses were of every color and style; their hats
were of all shapes and sizes, and fillagreed with the most tawdry
superfluity of ribbons. Beneath these gaudy bonnets were glossy
ringlets, false and real, clustering in tropical luxuriance. This
fantastic display was evidently a rude attempt to follow the example set
them by the white aristocracy.

The choir was composed chiefly of colored boys, who were placed on the
right side of the organ, and about an equal number of colored girls on
the left. In front of the organ were eight or ten white children. The
music of this colored, or rather "amalgamated" choir, directed by a
colored chorister, and accompanied by a colored organist, was in
good taste.

In the evening, we accompanied a friend to the Wesleyan chapel, of which
the Rev. James Cox is pastor. The minister invited us to a seat within
the altar, where we could have a full view of the congregation. The
chapel was crowded. Nearly twelve hundred persons were present. All sat
promiscuously in respect of color. In one pew was a family of whites,
next a family of colored persons, and behind that perhaps might be seen,
side by side, the ebon hue of the negro, the mixed tint of the mulatto,
and the unblended whiteness of the European. Thus they sat in crowded
contact, seemingly unconscious that they were outraging good taste,
violating natural laws, and "confounding distinctions of divine
appointment!" In whatever direction we turned, there was the same
commixture of colors. What to one of our own countrymen whose contempt
for the oppressed has defended itself with the plea of _prejudice
against color_, would have been a combination absolutely shocking, was
to us a scene as gratifying as it was new.

On both sides, the gallery presented the same unconscious blending of
colors. The choir was composed of a large number, mostly colored, of all
ages. The front seats were filled by children of various ages--the rear,
of adults, rising above these tiny choristers, and softening the
shrillness of their notes by the deeper tones of mature age.

The style of the preaching which we heard on the different occasions
above described, so far as it is any index to the intelligence of the
several congregations, is certainly a high commendation. The language
used, would not offend the taste of any congregation, however refined.

On the other hand, the fixed attention of the people showed that the
truths delivered were understood and appreciated.

We observed, that in the last two services the subject of the present
drought was particularly noticed in prayer.

The account here given is but a fair specimen of the solemnity and
decorum of an Antigua sabbath.


Early in the week after our arrival, by the special invitation of the
manager, we visited this estate. It is situated about four miles from
the town of St. John's.

The smooth MacAdamized road extending across the rolling plains and
gently sloping hill sides, covered with waving cane, and interspersed
with provision grounds, contributed with the fresh bracing air of the
morning to make the drive pleasant and animating.

At short intervals were seen the buildings of the different estates
thrown together in small groups, consisting of the manager's mansion and
out-houses, negro huts, boiling house, cooling houses, distillery, and
windmill. The mansion is generally on an elevated spot, commanding a
view of the estate and surrounding country. The cane fields presented a
novel appearance--being without fences of any description. Even those
fields which lie bordering on the highways, are wholly unprotected by
hedge, ditch, or rails. This is from necessity. Wooden fences they
cannot have, for lack of timber. Hedges are not used, because they are
found to withdraw the moisture from the canes. To prevent depredations,
there are watchmen on every estate employed both day and night. There
are also stock keepers employed by day in keeping the cattle within
proper grazing limits. As each estate guards its own stock by day and
folds them by night, the fields are in little danger.

We passed great numbers of negroes on the road, loaded with every kind
of commodity for the town market. _The head is the beast of burthen_
among the negroes throughout the West Indies. Whatever the load, whether
it be trifling or valuable, strong or frail, it is consigned to the
head, both for safe keeping and for transportation. While the head is
thus taxed, the hands hang useless by the side, or are busied in
gesticulating, as the people chat together along the way. The negroes we
passed were all decently clad. They uniformly stopped as they came
opposite to us, to pay the usual civilities. This the men did by
touching their hats and bowing, and the women, by making a low courtesy,
and adding, sometimes, "howdy, massa," or "mornin', massa." We passed
several loaded wagons, drawn by three, four, or five yoke of oxen, and
in every instance the driver, so far from manifesting any disposition
"insolently" to crowd us off the road, or to contend for his part of it,
turned his team aside, leaving us double room to go by, and sometimes
stopping until we had passed.

We were kindly received at Millar's by Mr. Bourne, the manager. Millar's
is one of the first estates in Antigua. The last year it made the
largest sugar crop on the island. Mr. B. took us before breakfast to
view the estate. On the way, he remarked that we had visited the island
at a very unfavorable time for seeing the cultivation of it, as every
thing was suffering greatly from the drought. There had not been a
single copious rain, such as would "make the water run," since the first
of March previous. As we approached the laborers, the manager pointed
out one company of ten, who were at work with their hoes by the side of
the road, while a larger one of thirty were in the middle of the field.
They greeted us in the most friendly manner. The manager spoke kindly to
them, encouraging them to be industrious He stopped a moment to explain
to us the process of cane-holing. The field is first ploughed[A] in one
direction, and the ground thrown up in ridges of about a foot high. Then
similar ridges are formed crosswise, with the hoe, making regular
squares of two-feet-sides over the field. By raising the soil, a clear
space of six inches square is left at the bottom. In this space the
_plant_ is placed horizontally, and slightly covered with earth. The
ridges are left about it, for the purpose of conducting the rain to the
roots, and also to retain the moisture. When we came up to the large
company, they paused a moment, and with a hearty salutation, which ran
all along the line, bade us "good mornin'," and immediately resumed
their labor. The men and women were intermingled; the latter kept pace
with the former, wielding their hoes with energy and effect. The manager
addressed them for a few moments, telling them who we were, and the
object of our visit. He told them of the great number of slaves in
America, and appealed to them to know whether they would not be sober,
industrious, and diligent, so as to prove to American slaveholders the
benefit of freeing all their slaves. At the close of each sentence, they
all responded, "Yes, massa," or "God bless de massas," and at the
conclusion, they answered the appeal, with much feeling, "Yes, massa;
please God massa, we will all do so." When we turned to leave, they
wished to know what we thought of their industry. We assured them that
we were much pleased, for which they returned their "thankee, massa."
They were working at a _job_. The manager had given them a piece of
ground "to hole," engaging to pay them sixteen dollars when they had
finished it. He remarked that he had found it a good plan to give
_jobs_. He obtained more work in this way than he did by giving the
ordinary wages, which is about eleven cents per day. It looked very much
like slavery to see the females working in the field; but the manager
said they chose it generally "_for the sake of the wages_." Mr. B.
returned with us to the house, leaving the gangs in the field, with only
an aged negro in charge of the work, as _superintendent._ Such now is
the name of the overseer. The very _terms_, _driver_ and _overseer_, are
banished from Antigua; and the _whip_ is buried beneath the soil
of freedom.

[Footnote A: In those cases where the plough is used at all. It is not
yet generally introduced throughout the West Indies. Where the plough is
not used, the whole process of holing is done with the hoe, and is
extremely laborious]

When we reached the house we were introduced to Mr. Watkins, a _colored_
planter, whom Mr. B. had invited to breakfast with us. Mr. Watkins was
very communicative, and from him and Mr. B., who was equally free, we
obtained information on a great variety of points, which we reserve for
the different heads to which they appropriately belong.


From Millar's we proceeded to Fitch's Creek Estate, where we had been
invited to dine by the intelligent manager, Mr. H. Armstrong. We three
met several Wesleyan missionaries. Mr. A. is himself a local preacher in
the Wesleyan connection. When a stranger visits an estate in the West
Indies, almost the first thing is an offer from the manager to accompany
him through the sugar works. Mr. A. conducted us first to a new boiling
house, which he was building after a plan of his own devising. The house
is of brick, on a very extensive scale. It has been built entirely by
negroes--chiefly those belonging to the estate who were emancipated in
1834. Fitch's Creek Estate is one of the largest on the Island,
consisting of 500 acres, of which 300 are under cultivation. The number
of people employed and living on the property is 260. This estate
indicates any thing else than an apprehension of approaching ruin. It
presents the appearance, far more, of a _resurrection_, from the grave.
In addition to his improved sugar and boiling establishment, he has
projected a plan for a new village, (as the collection of negro houses
is called,) and has already selected the ground and begun to build. The
houses are to be larger than those at present in use, they are to be
built of stone instead of mud and sticks, and to be neatly roofed.
Instead of being huddled together in a bye place, as has mostly been the
case, they are to be built on an elevated site, and ranged at regular
intervals around three sides of a large square, in the centre of which a
building for a chapel and school house is to be erected. Each house is
to have a garden. This and similar improvements are now in progress,
with the view of adding to the comforts of the laborers, and attaching
them to the estate. It has become the interest of the planter to make it
for the _interest of the people_ to remain on his estate. This _mutual
interest_ is the only sure basis of prosperity on the one hand and of
industry on the other.

The whole company heartily joined in assuring us that a knowledge of the
actual working of abolition in Antigua, would be altogether favorable to
the cause of freedom, _and that the more thorough our knowledge of the
facts in the case, the more perfect would be our confidence in the
safety of_ IMMEDIATE _emancipation_.

Mr. A. said that the spirit of enterprise, before dormant, had been
roused since emancipation, and planters were now beginning to inquire as
to the best modes of cultivation, and to propose measures of general
improvement. One of these measures was the establishing of _free
villages_, in which the laborers might dwell by paying a small rent.
When the adjacent planters needed help they could here find a supply for
the occasion. This plan would relieve the laborers from some of that
dependence which they must feel so long as they live on the estate and
in the houses of the planters. Many advantages of such a system were
specified. We allude to it here only as an illustration of that spirit
of inquiry, which freedom has kindled in the minds of the planters.

No little desire was manifested by the company to know the state of the
slavery question in this country. They all, planters and missionaries,
spoke in terms of abhorrence of our slavery, our snobs, our prejudice,
and our Christianity. One of the missionaries said it would never do for
him to go to America, for he should certainly be excommunicated by his
Methodist brethren, and Lynched by the advocates of slaver. He insisted
that slaveholding professors and ministers should be cut off from the
communion of the Church.

As we were about to take leave, the _proprietor_ of the estate rode up,
accompanied by the governor, who he had brought to see the new
boiling-house, and the other improvements which were in progress. The
proprietor reside in St. John's, is a gentleman of large fortune, and a
member of the assembly. He said he would be happy to aid us in any
way--but added, that in all details of a practical kind, and in all
matters of fact, the planters were the best witnesses, for they were the
conductors of the present system. We were glad to obtain the endorsement
of an influential proprietor to the testimony of practical planters.


On the following day having received a very courteous invitation[A] from
the governor, to dine at the government house, we made our arrangements
to do so. The Hon. Paul Horsford, a member of the council, called during
the day, to say, that he expected to dine with us at the government
house and that he would be happy to call for us at the appointed hour,
and conduct us thither. At six o'clock Mr. H.'s carriage drove up to our
door, and we accompanied him to the governor's, where we were introduced
to Col. Jarvis, a member of the privy council, and proprietor of several
estates in the island, Col. Edwards, a member of the assembly and a
barrister, Dr. Musgrave, a member of the assembly, and Mr. Shiel,
attorney general. A dinner of state, at a Governor's house, attended by
a company of high-toned politicians, professional gentlemen, and
proprietors, could hardly be expected to furnish large accessions to our
stock of information, relating to the object of our visit. Dinner being
announced, we were hardly seated at the table when his excellency
politely offered to drink a glass of Madeira with us. We begged leave to
decline the honor. In a short time he proposed a glass of
Champaign--again we declined. "Why, surely, gentlemen," exclaimed the
Governor, "you must belong to the temperance society." "Yes, sir, we
do." "Is it possible? but you will surely take a glass of liqueur?"
"Your excellency must pardon us if we again decline the honor; we drink
no wines." This announcement of ultra temperance principles excited no
little surprise. Finding that our allegiance to cold water was not to be
shaken, the governor condescended at last to meet us on middle ground,
and drink his wine to our water.

[Footnote A: We venture to publish the note in which the governor
conveyed his invitation, simply because, though a trifle in itself, it
will serve to show the estimation in which our mission was held.

    "If Messrs. Kimball and Thome are not engaged Tuesday next, the
    Lieut. Governor will be happy to see them at dinner, at six o'clock,
    when he will endeavor to facilitate their philanthropic inquiries,
    by inviting two or three proprietors to met them."

    "_Government House, St. John's, Dec. 18th_, 1836."

The conversation on the subject of emancipation served to show that the
prevailing sentiment was decidedly favorable to the free system. Col.
Jarvis, who is the proprietor of three estates, said that he was in
England at the time the bill for immediate emancipation passed the
legislature. Had he been in the island he should have opposed it; but
_now_ he was glad it had prevailed. The evil consequences which he
apprehended had not been realized, and he was now confident that they
never would be.

As to prejudice against the black and colored people, all thought it was
rapidly decreasing--indeed, they could scarcely say there was now any
such thing. To be sure, there was an aversion among the higher classes
of the whites, and especially among _females_, to associating in parties
with colored people; but it was not on account of their _color_, but
chiefly because of their _illegitimacy_. This was to us a new _source_
of prejudice: but subsequent information fully explained its bearings.
The whites of the West Indies are themselves the authors of that
_illegitimacy_, out of which their aversion springs. It is not to be
wondered at that they should be unwilling to invite the colored people
to their social parties, seeing they might not unfrequently be subjected
to the embarrassment of introducing to their white wives a colored
mistress or an _illegitimate_ daughter. This also explains the special
prejudice which the _ladies_ of the higher classes feel toward those
among whom are their guilty rivals in a husband's affections, and those
whose every feature tells the story of a husband's unfaithfulness!

A few days after our dinner with the governor and his friends, we took
breakfast, by invitation, with Mr. Watkins, the _colored_ planter whom
we had the pleasure of meeting at Millar's, on a previous occasion. Mr.
W. politely sent in his chaise for us, a distance of five miles, At an
early hour we reached Donovan's, the estate of which he is manager. We
found the sugar works in active operation: the broad wings of the
windmill were wheeling their stately revolutions, and the smoke was
issuing in dense volumes from the chimney of the boiling house. Some of
the negroes were employed in carrying cane to the mill, others in
carrying away the _trash_ or _megass_, as the cane is called after the
juice is expressed from it. Others, chiefly the old men and women, were
tearing the megass apart, and strewing it on the ground to dry. It is
the only fuel used for boiling the sugar.

On entering the house we found three planters whom Mr. W. had invited to
breakfast with us. The meeting of a number of intelligent practical
planters afforded a good opportunity for comparing their views. On all
the main points, touching the working of freedom, there was a strong

When breakfast was ready, Mrs. W. entered the room, and after our
introduction to her, took her place at the head of the table. Her
conversation was intelligent, her manners highly polished, and she
presided at the table with admirable grace and dignity.

On the following day, Dr. Ferguson, of St. John's, called on us. Dr.
Ferguson is a member of the assembly, and one of the first physicians in
the island. The Doctor said that freedom had wrought like a magician,
and had it not been for the unprecedented drought, the island would now
be in a state of prosperity unequalled in any period of its history. Dr.
F. remarked that a general spirit of improvement was pervading the
island. The moral condition of the whites was rapidly brightening;
formerly concubinage was _respectable_; it had been customary for
married men--those of the highest standing--to keep one or two colored
mistresses. This practice was now becoming disreputable. There had been
a great alteration as to the observance of the Sabbath; formerly more
business was done in St. John's on Sunday, by the merchants, than on all
the other days of the week together. The mercantile business of the town
had increased astonishingly; he thought that the stores and shops had
multiplied in a _ratio of ten to one_. Mechanical pursuits were likewise
in a flourishing condition. Dr. F. said that a greater number of
buildings had been erected since emancipation, than had been put up for
twenty years before. Great improvements had also been made in the
streets and roads in town and country.


SATURDAY.--This is the regular market-day here. The negroes come from all
parts of the island; walking sometimes ten or fifteen miles to attend
the St. John's market. We pressed our way through the dense mass of all
hues, which crowded the market. The ground was covered with wooden trays
filled with all kinds of fruits, grain, vegetables, fowls, fish, and
flesh. Each one, as we passed, called attention to his or her little
stock. We passed up to the head of the avenue, where men and women were
employed in cutting up the light fire-wood which they had brought from
the country on their heads, and in binding it into small bundles for
sale. Here we paused a moment and looked down upon the busy multitude
below. The whole street was a moving mass. There were broad Panama hats,
and gaudy turbans, and uncovered heads, and heads laden with water pots,
and boxes, and baskets, and trays--all moving and mingling in seemingly
inextricable confusion. There could not have been less than fifteen
hundred people congregated in that street--all, or nearly all,
emancipated slaves. Yet, amidst all the excitements and competitions of
trade, their conduct toward each other was polite and kind. Not a word,
or look, or gesture of insolence or indecency did we observe. Smiling
countenances and friendly voices greeted us on every side, and we felt
no fears either of having our pockets picked or our throats cut!

At the other end of the market-place stood the _Lock-up House_, the
_Cage_, and the _Whipping Post_, with stocks for feet and wrists. These
are almost the sole relics of slavery which still linger in the town.
The Lock-up House is a sort of jail, built of stone--about fifteen feet
square, and originally designed as a place of confinement for slaves
taken up by the patrol. The Cage is a smaller building, adjoining the
former, the sides of which are composed of strong iron bars--fitly
called a _cage!_ The prisoner was exposed to the gaze and insult of
every passer by, without the possibility of concealment. The Whipping
Post is hard by, but its occupation is gone. Indeed, all these
appendages of slavery have gone into entire disuse, and Time is doing
his work of dilapidation upon them. We fancied we could see in the
marketers, as they walked in and out at the doorless entrance of the
Lock-up House, or leaned against the Whipping Post, in careless chat,
that harmless defiance which would prompt one to beard the dead lion.

Returning from the market we observed a negro woman passing through the
street, with several large hat boxes strung on her arm. She accidentally
let one of them fall. The box had hardly reached the ground, when a
little boy sprang from the back of a carriage rolling by, handed the
woman the box, and hastened to remount the carriage.


During the reign of slavery, the Christmas holidays brought with them
general alarm. To prevent insurrections, the militia was uniformly
called out, and an array made of all that was formidable in military
enginery. This custom was dispensed with at once, after emancipation. As
Christmas came on the Sabbath, it tested the respect for that day. The
morning was similar, in all respects, to the morning of the Sabbath
described above; the same serenity reigning everywhere--the same quiet
in the household movements, and the same tranquillity prevailing through
the streets. We attended morning service at the Moravian chapel.
Notwithstanding the descriptions we had heard of the great change which
emancipation had wrought in the observance of Christmas, we were quite
unprepared for the delightful reality around us. Though thirty thousand
slaves had but lately been "turned loose" upon a white population of
less than three thousand! instead of meeting with scenes of disorder,
what were the sights which greeted our eyes? The neat attire, the
serious demeanor, and the thronged procession to the place of worship.
In every direction the roads leading into town were lined with happy
beings--attired for the house of God. When groups coming from different
quarters met at the corners, they stopped a moment to exchange
salutations and shake hands, and then proceeded on together.

The Moravian chapel was slightly decorated with green branches. They
were the only adorning which marked the plain sanctuary of a plain
people. It was crowded with black and colored people, and very many
stood without, who could not get in. After the close of the service in
the chapel, the minister proceeded to the adjacent school room, and
preached to another crowded audience. In the evening the Wesleyan chapel
was crowded to overflowing. The aisles and communion place were full. On
all festivals and holidays, which occur on the Sabbath, the churches and
chapels are more thronged than on any other Lord's day.

It is hardly necessary to state that there was no instance of a dance or
drunken riot, nor wild shouts of mirth during the day. The Christmas,
instead of breaking in upon the repose of the Sabbath, seemed only to
enhance the usual solemnity of the day.

The holidays continued until the next Wednesday morning, and the same
order prevailed to the close of them. On Monday there were religious
services in most of the churches and chapels, where sabbath-school
addresses, discourses on the relative duties of husband and wife, and on
kindred subjects, were delivered.

An intelligent gentleman informed us that the negroes, while slaves,
used to spend during the Christmas holidays, the extra money which they
got during the year. Now they save it--_to buy small tracts of land for
their own cultivation_.

The Governor informed us that the police returns did not report a single
case of arrest during the holidays. He said he had been well acquainted
with the country districts of England, he had also travelled extensively
in Europe, yet he had never found such a _peaceable, orderly, and
law-abiding people as those of Antigua_.

An acquaintance of nine weeks with the colored population of St. John's,
meeting them by the wayside, in their shops, in their parlors, and
elsewhere, enables us to pronounce them a people of general
intelligence, refinement of manners, personal accomplishments, and true
politeness. As to their style of dress and mode of living, were we
disposed to make any criticism, we should say that they were
extravagant. In refined and elevated conversation, they would certainly
bear a comparison with the white families of the island.


After the Christmas holidays were over, we resumed our visits to the
country. Being provided with a letter to the manager of Thibou Jarvis's
estate, Mr. James Howell, we embraced the earliest opportunity to call
on him. Mr. H. has been in Antigua for thirty-six years, and has been a
practical planter during the whole of that time. He has the management
of two estates, on which there are more than five hundred people. The
principal items of Mr. Howell's testimony will be found in another
place. In this connection we shall record only miscellaneous statements
of a local nature.

1. The severity of the drought. He had been in Antigua since the year
1800, and he had never known so long a continuance of dry weather,
although the island is subject to severe droughts. He stated that a
field of yams, which in ordinary seasons yielded ten cart-loads to the
acre, would not produce this year more than _three_. The failure in the
crops was not in the least degree chargeable upon the laborers, for in
the first place, the cane plants for the present crop were put in
earlier and in greater quantities than usual, and _until_ the drought
commenced, the fields promised a large return.

2. _The religious condition_ of the negroes, during slavery, was
extremely low. It seemed almost impossible to teach them any higher
_religion_ than _obedience to their masters_. Their highest notion of
God was that he was a _little above_ their owner. He mentioned, by way
of illustration, that the slaves of a certain large proprietor used to
have this saying, "Massa only want he little finger to touch God!" that
is, _their master was lower than God only by the length of his little
finger_. But now the religious and moral condition of the people was
fast improving.

3. A great change in the use of _rum_ had been effected on the estates
under his management since emancipation. He formerly, in accordance with
the prevalent custom, gave his people a weekly allowance of rum, and
this was regarded as essential to their health and effectiveness. But he
has lately discontinued this altogether, and his people had not suffered
any inconvenience from it. He gave them in lieu of the rum, an allowance
of molasses, with which they appeared to be entirely satisfied. When Mr.
H. informed the people of his intention to discontinue the spirits, he
told them that he should _set them the example_ of total abstinence, by
abandoning wine and malt liquor also, which he accordingly did.

4. There had been much less _pretended sickness_ among the negroes since
freedom. They had now a strong aversion to going to the sick house[A],
so much so that on many estates it had been put to some other use.

[Footnote A: The _estate hospital_, in which, during slavery, all sick
persons were placed for medical attendance and nursing. There was one on
every estate.]

We were taken through the negro village, and shown the interior of
several houses. One of the finest looking huts was decorated with
pictures, printed cards, and booksellers' advertisements in large
letters. Amongst many ornaments of this kind, was an advertisement not
unfamiliar to our eyes--"THE GIRL'S OWN BOOK. BY MRS. CHILD."

We generally found the women at home. Some of them had been informed of
our intention to visit them, and took pains to have every thing in the
best order for our reception. The negro village on this estate contains
one hundred houses, each of which is occupied by a separate family. Mr.
H. next conducted us to a neighboring field, where the _great gang_[B]
were at work. There were about fifty persons in the gang--the majority
females--under two inspectors or superintendents, men who take the place
of the _quondam drivers_, though their province is totally different.
They merely direct the laborers in their work, employing with the
loiterers the stimulus of persuasion, or at farthest, no more than the
violence of the tongue.

[Footnote B: The people on most estates are divided into three gangs;
first, the great gang, composed of the principal effective men and
women; second, the weeding gang, consisting of younger and weekly
persons; and third, the grass gang, which embraces all the children
able to work.]

Mr. H. requested them to stop their work, and told them who we were, and
as we bowed, the men took off their hats and the women made a low
courtesy. Mr. Howell then informed them that we had come from America,
where there were a great many slaves: that we had visited Antigua to see
how freedom was working, and whether the people who were made free on
the first of August were doing well--and added, that he "hoped these
gentlemen might be able to carry back such a report as would induce the
masters in America to set their slaves free." They unanimously replied,
"Yes, massa, we hope dem will gib um free." We spoke a few words: told
them of the condition of the slaves in America, urged them to pray for
them that they might be patient under their sufferings, and that they
might soon be made free. They repeatedly promised to pray for the poor
slaves in America. We then received their hearty "Good bye, massa," and
returned to the house, while they resumed their work.

We took leave of Mr. Howell, grateful for his kind offices in
furtherance of the objects of our mission.

We had not been long in Antigua before we perceived the distress of the
poor from the scarcity of water. As there are but few springs in the
island, the sole reliance is upon rain water. Wealthy families have
cisterns or tanks in their yards, to receive the rain from the roofs.
There are also a few public cisterns in St. John's. These ordinarily
supply the whole population. During the present season many of these
cisterns have been dry, and the supply of water has been entirely
inadequate to the wants of the people. There are several large open
ponds in the vicinity of St. John's, which are commonly used to water
"stock." There are one or more on every estate, for the same purpose.
The poor people were obliged to use the water from these ponds both for
drinking and cooking while we were in Antigua. In taking our morning
walks, we uniformly met the negroes either going to, or returning from
the ponds, with their large pails balanced on their heads, happy
apparently in being able to get even such foul water.

Attended the anniversary of the "Friendly Society," connected with the
church in St. John's. Many of the most respectable citizens, including
the Governor, were present. After the services in the church, the
society moved in procession to the Rectory school-room. We counted one
hundred males and two hundred and sixty females in the procession.
Having been kindly invited by the Rector to attend at the school-room,
we followed the procession. We found the house crowded with women, many
others, besides those in the procession, having convened. The men were
seated without under a canvass, extended along one side of the house.
The whole number present was supposed to be nine hundred. Short
addresses were made by the Rector, the Archdeacon, and the Governor.

The Seventh Annual Report of the Society, drawn up by the secretary, a
colored man, was read. It was creditable to the author. The Rector in
his address affectionally warned the society, especially the female
members, against extravagance in dress.

The Archdeacon exhorted them to domestic and conjugal faithfulness. He
alluded to the prevalence of inconstancy during past years, and to the
great improvement in this particular lately; and concluded by wishing
them all "a happy new-year and _many_ of them, and a blessed immortality
in the end." For this kind wish they returned a loud and general
"thankee, massa."

The Governor then said, that he rose merely to remark, that this society
might aid in the emancipation of millions of slaves, now in bondage in
other countries. A people who are capable of forming such societies as
this among themselves, deserve to be free, and ought no longer to be
held in bondage. You, said he, are showing to the world what the negro
race are capable of doing. The Governor's remarks were received with
applause. After the addresses the audience were served with
refreshments, previous to which the Rector read the following lines,
which were sung to the tune of Old Hundred, the whole congregation

   "Lord at our table now appear
     And bless us here, as every where;
   Let manna to our souls be given,
     The bread of life sent down from heaven."

The simple refreshment was then handed round. It consisted merely of
buns and lemonade. The Governor and the Rector, each drank to the health
and happiness of the members. The loud response came up from all within
and all around the house--"thankee--thankee--thankee--massa--thankee
_good_ massa." A scene of animation ensued. The whole concourse of
black, colored and white, from the humblest to the highest, from the
unlettered apprentice to the Archdeacon and the Governor of the island,
joined in a common festivity.

After the repast was concluded, thanks were returned in the following
verse, also sung to Old Hundred.

   "We thank thee, Lord, for this our food,
     But bless thee more for Jesus' blood;
   Let manna to our souls be given,
     The bread of life sent down from heaven."

The benediction was pronounced, and the assembly retired.

There was an aged negro man present, who was noticed with marked
attention by the Archdeacon, the Rector and other clergymen. He is
sometimes called the African Bishop. He was evidently used to
familiarity with the clergy, and laid his hand on their shoulders as he
spoke to them. The old patriarch was highly delighted with the scene. He
said, when he was young he "never saw nothing, but sin and Satan. _Now I
just begin to live_."

On the same occasion the Governor remarked to us that the first thing to
be done in our country, toward the removal of slavery, was to discard
the absurd notion that _color_ made any difference, intellectually or
morally, among men. "All distinctions," said he, "founded in color, must
be abolished everywhere. We should learn to talk of men not as _colored_
men, but as MEN _as fellow citizens and fellow subjects_." His
Excellency certainly showed on this occasion a disposition to put in
practice his doctrine. He spoke affectionately to the children, and
conversed freely with the adults.


According to a previous engagement, a member of the assembly called and
took us in his carriage to Green Castle estate.

Green Castle lies about three miles south-east from St. John's, and
contains 940 acres. The mansion stands on a rocky cliff; overlooking the
estate, and commanding a wide view of the island. In one direction
spreads a valley, interspersed with fields of sugar-cane and provisions.
In another stretches a range of hills, with their sides clad in culture,
and their tops covered with clouds. At the base of the rock are the
sugar Houses. On a neighboring upland lies the negro village, in the
rear of which are the provision grounds. Samuel Bernard, Esq., the
manager, received us kindly. He said, he had been on the island
forty-four years, most of the time engaged in the management of estates.
He is now the manager of two estates, and the attorney for six, and has
lately purchased an estate himself. Mr. B. is now an aged man, grown old
in the practice of slave holding. He has survived the wreck of slavery,
and now stripped of a tyrant's power, he still lives among the people,
who were lately his slaves, and manages an estate which was once his
empire. The testimony of such a man is invaluable. Hear him.

1. Mr. B. said, that the negroes throughout the island were very
peaceable when they received their freedom.

2. He said he had found no difficulty in getting his people to work
after they had received their freedom. Some estates had suffered for a
short time; there was a pretty general fluctuation for a month or two,
the people leaving one estate and going to another. But this, said Mr.
B., was chargeable to the _folly_ of the planters, who _overbid_ each
other in order to secure the best hands and enough of them. The negroes
had a _strong attachment to their homes_, and they would rarely abandon
them unless harshly treated.

3. He thought that the assembly acted very wisely in rejecting the
apprenticeship. He considered it absurd. It took the chains partly from
off the slave, and fastened them on the master, _and enslaved them
both_. It withdrew from the latter the power of compelling labor, and it
supplied to the former no incentive to industry.

He was opposed to the measures which many had adopted for further
securing the benefits of emancipation.--He referred particularly to the
system of education which now prevailed. He thought that the education
of the emancipated negroes should combine industry with study even in
childhood, so as not to disqualify the taught for cultivating the
ground. It will be readily seen that this prejudice against education,
evidently the remains of his attachment to slavery, gives additional
weight to his testimony.

The Mansion on the Rock (which from its elevated and almost inaccessible
position, and from the rich shrubbery in perpetual foliage surrounding
it, very fitly takes the name of Green Castle) is memorable as the scene
of the murder of the present proprietor's grandfather. He refused to
give his slaves holiday on a particular occasion. They came several
times in a body and asked for the holiday, but he obstinately refused to
grant it. They rushed into his bedroom, fell upon him with their hoes,
and killed him.

On our return to St. John's, we received a polite note from a colored
lady, inviting us to attend the anniversary of the "Juvenile
Association," at eleven o'clock. We found about forty children
assembled, the greater part of them colored girls, but some were white.
The ages of these juvenile philanthropists varied from four to fourteen.
After singing and prayer, the object of the association was stated,
which was to raise money by sewing, soliciting contributions, and
otherwise, for charitable purposes.

From the annual report it appeared that this was the _twenty-first
anniversary_ of the society. The treasurer reported nearly £60 currency
(or about $150) received and disbursed during the year. More than one
hundred dollars had been given towards the erection of the new Wesleyan
chapel in St. John's. Several resolutions were presented by little
misses, expressive of gratitude to God for continued blessings, which
were adopted unanimously--every child holding up its right hand in token
of assent.

After the resolutions and other business were despatched, the children
listened to several addresses from the gentlemen present. The last
speaker was a member of the assembly. He said that his presence there
was quite accidental; but that he had been amply repaid for coming by
witnessing the goodly work to which this juvenile society was engaged.
As there was a male branch association about to be organized, he begged
the privilege of enrolling his name as an honorary member, and promised
to be a constant contributor to its funds. He concluded by saying, that
though he had not before enjoyed the happiness of attending their
anniversaries, he should never again fail to be present (with the
permission of their worthy patroness) at the future meetings of this
most interesting society. We give the substance of this address, as one
of the signs of the times. The speaker was a wealthy merchant of
St. John's.

This society was organized in 1815. The _first proposal_ came from a few
_little colored girls_, who, after hearing a sermon on the blessedness
of doing good, wanted to know whether they might not have a society for
raising money to give to the poor.

This Juvenile Association has, since its organization, raised the sum of
_fourteen hundred dollars_! Even this little association has experienced
a great impulse from the free system. From a table of the annual
receipts since 1815, we found that the amount raised the two last years,
is nearly equal to that received during any three years before.


On our return from Thibou Jarvis's estate, we called at Weatherill's;
but the manager, Dr. Daniell, not being at home, we left our names, with
an intimation of the object of our visit. Dr. D. called soon after at
our lodgings. As authority, he is unquestionable. Before retiring from
the practice of medicine, he stood at the head of his profession in the
island. He is now a member of the council, is proprietor of an estate,
manager of another, and attorney for six.

The fact that such men as Dr. D., but yesterday large slaveholders, and
still holding high civil and political stations, should most cheerfully
facilitate our anti-slavery investigations, manifesting a solicitude to
furnish us with all the information in their power, is of itself the
highest eulogy of the new system. The testimony of Dr. D. will be found
mainly in a subsequent part of the work. We state, in passing, a few
incidentals. He was satisfied that immediate emancipation was better
policy than a temporary apprenticeship. The apprenticeship was a middle
state--kept the negroes in suspense--vexed and harrassed them--_fed them
on a starved hope_; and therefore they would not be so likely, when they
ultimately obtained freedom, to feel grateful, and conduct themselves
properly. The reflection that they had been cheated out of their liberty
for six years would _sour their minds_. The planters in Antigua, by
giving immediate freedom, had secured the attachment of their people.

The Doctor said he did not expect to make more than two thirds of his
average crop; but he assured us that this was owing solely to the want
of rain. There had been no deficiency of labor. The crops were _in_, in
season, throughout the island, and the estates were never under better
cultivation than at the present time. Nothing was wanting but

He said that the West India planters were very anxious to _retain_ the
services of the negro population.

Dr. D. made some inquiries as to the extent of slavery in the United
States, and what was doing for its abolition. He thought that
emancipation in our country would not be the result of a slow process.
The anti-slavery feeling of the civilized world had become too strong to
wait for a long course of "preparations" and "ameliorations." And
besides, continued he, "the arbitrary control of a master can never be a
preparation for freedom;--_sound and wholesome legal restraints are the
only preparative_."

The Doctor also spoke of the absurdity and wickedness of the caste of
color which prevailed in the United States. It was the offspring of
slavery, and it must disappear when slavery is abolished.


We had a conversation one morning with a boatman, while he was rowing us
across the harbor of St. John's. He was a young negro man. Said he was a
slave until emancipation. We inquired whether he heard any thing about
emancipation before it took place. He said, yes--the slaves heard of it,
but it was talked about so long that many of them lost all _believement_
in it, got tired waiting, and bought their freedom; but he had more
patience, and got his for nothing. We inquired of him, what the negroes
did on the first of August, 1834. He said they all went to church and
chapel. "Dare was more _religious_ on dat day dan you could tire of."
Speaking of the _law_, he said it was his _friend_. If there was no law
to take his part, a man, who was stronger than he, might step up and
knock him down. But now no one dare do so; all were afraid of the
_law_,--the law would never hurt any body who behaved well; but a master
would _slash a fellow, let him do his best_.


Drove out to Newfield, a Moravian station, about eight miles from St.
John's. The Rev. Mr. Morrish, the missionary at that station, has under
his charge two thousand people. Connected with the station is a day
school for children, and a night school for adults twice in each week.

We looked in upon the day school, and found one hundred and fifteen
children. The teacher and assistant were colored persons. Mr. M.
superintends. He was just dismissing the school, by singing and prayer,
and the children marched out to the music of one of their little songs.
During the afternoon, Mr. Favey, manager of a neighboring estate,
(Lavicount's,) called on us.

He spoke of the tranquillity of the late Christmas holidays. They ended
Tuesday evening, and his people were all in the field at work on
Wednesday morning--there were no stragglers. Being asked to specify the
chief advantages of the new system over slavery, he stated at once the
following things: 1st. It (free labor) is less _expensive_. 2d. It costs
a planter far less _trouble_ to manage free laborers, than it did to
manage slaves. 3d. It had _removed all danger of insurrection,
conflagration, and conspiracies_.


In the evening, Mr. Morrish's adult school for women was held. About
thirty women assembled from different estates--some walking several
miles. Most of them were just beginning to read. They had just begun to
learn something about figures, and it was no small effort to add 4 and 2
together. They were incredibly ignorant about the simplest matters. When
they first came to the school, they could not tell which was their right
arm or their right side, and they had scarcely mastered that secret,
after repeated showing. We were astonished to observe that when Mr. M.
asked them to point to their cheeks, they laid their finger upon their
chins. They were much pleased with the evolutions of a dumb clock, which
Mr. M. exhibited, but none of them could tell the time of day by it.
Such is a specimen of the intelligence of the Antigua negroes. Mr. M.
told us that they were a pretty fair sample of the country negroes
generally. It surely cannot be said that they were uncommonly well
prepared for freedom; yet with all their ignorance, and with the merest
infantile state of intellect, they prove the peaceable subjects of law.
That they have a great desire to learn, is manifest from their coming
such distances, after working in the field all day. The school which
they attend has been established since the abolition of slavery.

The next morning, we visited the day school. It was opened with singing
and prayer. The children knelt and repeated the Lord's Prayer after Mr.
M. They then formed into a line and marched around the room, singing and
keeping the step. A tiny little one, just beginning to walk,
occasionally straggled out of the line. The next child, not a little
displeased with such disorderly movements, repeatedly seized the
straggler by the frock, and pulled her into the ranks; but finally
despaired of reducing her to subordination. When the children had taken
their seats, Mr. M., at our request, asked all those who were free
before August, 1834, to rise. Only one girl arose, and she was in no way
distinguishable from a white child. The first exercise, was an
examination of a passage of scripture. The children were then questioned
on the simple rules of addition and subtraction, and their answers were
prompt and accurate.


The hour having arrived when we were to visit a neighboring estate, Mr.
M. kindly accompanied us to Lyon's, the estate upon which Dr. Nugent
resides. In respect to general intelligence, scientific acquirements,
and agricultural knowledge, no man in Antigua stands higher than Dr.
Nugent. He has long been speaker of the house of assembly, and is
favorably known in Europe as a geologist and man of science. He is
manager of the estate on which he resides, and proprietor of another.

The Doctor informed us that the crop on his estate had almost totally
failed, on account of the drought--being reduced from one hundred and
fifty hogsheads, the average crop, to _fifteen_! His provision grounds
had yielded almost nothing. The same soil which ordinarily produced ten
cart-loads of yams to the acre--the present season barely averaged _one
load to ten acres_! Yams were reduced from the dimensions of a man's
head, to the size of a radish. The _cattle were dying_ from want of
water and grass. He had himself lost _five oxen_ within the past week.

Previous to emancipation, said the Doctor, no man in the island dared to
avow anti-slavery sentiments, if he wished to maintain a respectable
standing. Planters might have their hopes and aspirations; but they
could not make them public without incurring general odium, and being
denounced as the enemies of their country.

In allusion to the motives which prompted the legislature to reject the
apprenticeship and adopt immediate emancipation, Dr. N. said, "When we
saw that abolition was _inevitable_, we began, to inquire what would be
the safest course for getting rid of slavery. _We wished to let
ourselves down in the easiest manner possible_--THEREFORE WE CHOSE
IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION!" These were his words.

On returning to the hospitable mansion of Mr. Morrish, we had an
opportunity of witnessing a custom peculiar to the Moravians. It is
called 'speaking.' All the members of the church are required to call on
the missionary once a month, and particular days are appropriated to it.
They come singly or in small companies, and the minister converses with
each individual.

Mr. M. manifested great faithfulness in this duty. He was affectionate
in manner--entered into all the minutiae of individual and family
affairs, and advised with them as a father with his children. We had an
opportunity of conversing with some of those who came. We asked one old
man what he did on the "First of August?"[A] His reply was, "Massa, we
went to church, and tank de Lord for make a we all free."

[Footnote A: By this phrase the freed people always understand the 1st
of August, 1834, when slavery was abolished.]

An aged infirm woman said to us, among other things, "Since de _free_
come de massa give me no--no, nothing to eat--gets all from my
cousins." We next conversed with two men, who were masons on an estate.
Being asked how they liked liberty, they replied, "O, it very
comfortable, Sir--very comfortable indeed." They said, "that on the day
when freedom came, they were as happy, as though they had just been
going to heaven." They said, now they had got free, they never would be
slaves again. They were asked if they would not be willing to sell
themselves to a man who would treat them well. They replied immediately
that they would be very willing to _serve_ such a man, but they would
not _sell themselves_ to the best person in the world! What fine
logicians a slave's experience had made these men! Without any effort
they struck out a distinction, which has puzzled learned men in church
and state, the difference between _serving_ a man and _being his

Being asked how they conducted themselves on the 1st of August they said
they had no frolicking, but they all went to church to "_tank God for
make a we free_." They said, they were very desirous to have their
children learn all they could while they were young. We asked them if
they did not fear that their children would become lazy if they went to
school all the time. One said, shrewdly, "Eh! nebber mind--dey _come to_
by'm by--_belly 'blige 'em_ to work."

In the evening Mr. M. held a religious meeting in the chapel; the weekly
meeting for exhortation. He stated to the people the object of our
visit, and requested one of us to say a few words. Accordingly, a short
time was occupied in stating the number of slaves in America, and in
explaining their condition, physical, moral, and spiritual; and the
congregation were urged to pray for the deliverance of the millions of
our bondmen. They manifested much sympathy, and promised repeatedly to
pray that they might be "free like we." At the close of the meeting they
pressed around us to say "howdy, massa;" and when we left the chapel,
they showered a thousand blessings upon us. Several of them, men and
women, gathered about Mr. M.'s door after we went in, and wished to talk
with us. The men were mechanics, foremen, and watchmen; the women were
nurses. During our interview, which lasted nearly an hour, these persons
remained standing.

When we asked them how they liked freedom, and whether it was better
than slavery, they answered with a significant _umph_ and a shrug of the
shoulders, as though they would say, "Why you ask dat question, massa?"

They said, "all the people went to chapel on the first of August, to
tank God for make such poor undeserving sinners as we free; we no nebber
expect to hab it. But it please de Lord to gib we free, and we tank him
good Lord for it."

We asked them if they thought the wages they got (a shilling per day, or
about eleven cents,) was enough for them. They said it seemed to be very
small, and it was as much as they could do to get along with it; but
they could not get any more, and they had to be "satify and conten."

As it grew late and the good people had far to walk, we shook hands with
them, and bade them good bye, telling them we hoped to meet them again
in a world where all would be free. The next morning Mr. M. accompanied
us to the residence of the Rev. Mr. Jones, the rector of St. Phillip's.

Mr. J. informed us that the planters in that part of the island were
gratified with the working of the new system. He alluded to the
prejudices of some against having the children educated, lest it should
foster indolence. But, said Mr. J., the planters have always been
opposed to improvements, until they were effected, and their good
results began to be manifest. They first insisted that the abolition of
the slave-trade would ruin the colonies--next the _abolition of slavery_
was to be the certain destruction of the islands--and now the education
of children is deprecated as fraught with disastrous consequences.


Mr. Morrish accompanied us to a neighboring estate called Frey's, which
lies on the road from Newfield to English Harbor. Mr. Hatley, the
manager, showed an enthusiastic admiration of the new system. Most of
his testimony will be found in Chapter III. He said, that owing to the
dry weather he should not make one third of his average crop. Yet his
people had acted their part well. He had been encouraged by their
improved industry and efficiency, to bring into cultivation lands that
had never before been tilled.

It was delightful to witness the change which had been wrought in this
planter by the abolition of slavery. Although accustomed for years to
command a hundred human beings with absolute authority, he could rejoice
in the fact that his power was wrested from him, and when asked to
specify the advantages of freedom over slavery, he named emphatically
and above all others _the abolition of flogging_. Formerly, he said, it
was "_whip--whip--whip--incessantly_, but now we are relieved from this
disagreeable task."


We called on the American Consul, Mr. Higginbotham, at his country
residence, about four miles from St. John's. Shortly after we reached
his elevated and picturesque seat, we were joined by Mr. Cranstoun, a
planter, who had been invited to dine with us. Mr. C. is a _colored
gentleman_. The Consul received him in such a manner as plainly showed
that they were on terms of intimacy. Mr. C. is a gentleman of
intelligence and respectability, and occupies a station of trust and
honor in the island. On taking leave of us, he politely requested our
company at breakfast on a following morning, saying, he would send his
gig for us.

At the urgent request of Mr. Bourne, of Miller's, we consented to
address the people of his estate, on Sabbath evening. He sent in his gig
for us in the afternoon, and we drove out.

At the appointed hour we went to the place of meeting. The chapel was
crowded with attentive listeners. Whenever allusions were made to the
grout blessings which God had conferred upon them in delivering them
from bondage, the audience heartily responded in their rough but earnest
way to the sentiments expressed. At the conclusion of the meeting, they
gradually withdrew, bowing or courtesying as they passed us, and
dropping upon our ear their gentle "good bye, massa." During slavery
every estate had its _dungeon_ for refractory slaves. Just as we were
leaving Miller's, me asked Mr. B. what had become of these dungeons. He
instantly replied, "I'll show you one," In a few moments we stood at the
door of the old prison, a small stone building, strongly built, with two
cells. It was a dismal looking den, surrounded by stables, pig-styes,
and cattlepens. The door was off its hinges, and the entrance partly
filled up with mason work. The sheep and goats went in and out
at pleasure.

We breakfasted one morning at the Villa estate, which lies within half a
mile of St. John's. The manager was less sanguine in his views of
emancipation than the planters generally. We were disposed to think
that, were it not for the force of public sentiment, he might declare
himself against it. His feelings are easily accounted for. The estate is
situated so near the town; that his people are assailed by a variety of
temptations to leave their work; from which those on other estates are
exempt. The manager admitted that the danger of insurrection was
removed--crime was lessened--and the moral condition of society was
rapidly improving.

A few days after, we went by invitation to a bazaar, or fair, which was
held in the court-house in St. John's. The avails were to be
appropriated to the building of a new Wesleyan chapel in the town. The
council chamber and the assembly's call were given for the purpose. The
former spacious room was crowded with people of every class and
complexion. The fair was got up by the _colored_ members of the Wesleyan
church; nevertheless, some of the first ladies and gentlemen in town
attended it, and mingled promiscuously in the throng. Wealthy
proprietors, lawyers legislators, military officers in their uniform,
merchants, etc. swelled the crowd. We recognised a number of ladies whom
we had previously met at a fashionable dinner in St. John's. Colored
ladies presided at the tables, and before them was spread a profusion of
rich fancy articles. Among a small number of books exhibited for sale
were several copies of a work entitled "COMMEMORATIVE WREATH," being a
collection of poetical pieces relating to the abolition of slavery in
the West Indies.


On the following morning Mr. C.'s gig came for us, and we drove out to
his residence. We were met at the door by the American Consul, who
breakfasted with us. When he had taken leave, Mr. C. proposed that we
should go over his grounds. To reach the estate, which lies in a
beautiful valley far below Mr. C.'s mountainous residence, we were
obliged to go on foot by a narrow path that wound along the sides of the
precipitous hills. This estate is the property of Mr. Athill, a colored
gentleman now residing in England. Mr. A. is post-master 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 resigned his seat. A high-born white man, the Attorney
General, now occupies the same chair which this colored member vacated.
Mr. C. was formerly attorney for several estates, is now agent for a
number of them, and also a magistrate.

He remarked, that since emancipation the nocturnal disorders and
quarrels in the negro villages, which were incessant during slavery, had
nearly ceased. The people were ready and willing to work. He had
frequently given his gang jobs, instead of paying them by the day. This
had proved a gear stimulant to industry, and the work of the estate was
performed so much quicker by this plan that it was less expensive than
daily wages. When they had jobs given them, they would sometimes go to
work by three o'clock in the morning, and work by moonlight. When the
moon was not shining, he had known them to kindle fires among the trash
or dry cane leaves to work by. They would then continue working all day
until four o clock, stopping only for breakfast, and dispensing with the
usual intermission from twelve to two.

We requested him to state briefly what were in his estimation the
advantages of the free system over slavery. He replied thus: 1st. The
diminished expense of free labor. 2d. _The absence of coercion_. 3d. The
greater facility in managing an estate. Managers had not half the
perplexity and trouble in watching, driving, &c. They could leave the
affairs of the estate in the hands of the people with safety. 4th. _The
freedom from danger_. They had now put away all fears of insurrections,
robbery, and incendiarism.

There are two reflections which the perusal of these items will probably
suggest to most minds: 1st. The coincidence in the replies of different
planters to the question--What are the advantages of freedom over
slavery? These replies are almost identically the same in every case,
though given by men who reside in different parts of the island, and
have little communication with each other. 2d. They all speak
exclusively of the advantages to the _master_, and say nothing of the
benefit accruing to the emancipated. We are at some loss to decide
whether this arose from indifference to the interests of the
emancipated, or from a conviction that the blessings of freedom to them
were self-evident and needed no specification.

While we were in the boiling-house we witnessed a scene which
illustrated one of the benefits of freedom to the slave; it came quite
opportunely, and supplied the deficiency in the manager's enumeration of
advantages. The head boiler was performing the work of 'striking off;'
i.e. of removing the liquor, after it had been sufficiently boiled, from
the copper to the coolers. The liquor had been taken out of the boiler
by the skipper, and thence was being conducted to the coolers by a long
open spout. By some means the spout became choaked, and the liquor began
to run over. Mr. C. ordered the man to let down the valve, but he became
confused, and instead of letting go the string which lifted the valve,
he pulled on it the more. The consequence was that the liquor poured
over the sides of the spout in a torrent. The manager screamed at the
top of his voice--"_let down the valve, let it down_!" But the poor man,
more and more frightened, hoisted it still higher,--and the precious
liquid--pure sugar--spread in a thick sheet over the earthen floor. The
manager at last sprang forward, thrust aside the man, and stopped the
mischief, but not until many gallons of sugar were lost. Such an
accident as this, occurring during slavery, would have cost the negro a
severe flogging. As it was, however, in the present case, although Mr.
C. 'looked daggers,' and exclaimed by the workings of his countenance,
'a kingdom for a _cat_,'[A] yet the severest thing which he could say
was, "You bungling fellow--if you can't manage better than this, I shall
put some other person in your place--that's all." '_That_'s ALL' indeed,
but it would not have been all, three years ago. The negro replied to
his chidings in a humble way, saying 'I couldn't help it, sir, I
couldn't help it' Mr. C. finally turned to us, and said in a calmer
tone, "The poor fellow got confused, and was frightened half to death."

[Footnote A: A species of whip, well know in the West Indies.]


We made a visit to the Moravian settlement at Grace Bay, which is on the
opposite side of the island. We called, in passing, at Cedar Hall, a
Moravian establishment four miles from town. Mr. Newby, one of the
missionaries stationed at this place, is the oldest preacher of the
Gospel in the island. He has been in Antigua for twenty-seven years. He
is quite of the _old way of thinking_ on all subjects, especially the
divine right of kings, and the scriptural sanction of slavery.
Nevertheless, he was persuaded that emancipation had been a great
blessing to the island and to all parties concerned. When he first came
to Antigua in 1809, he was not suffered to teach the slaves. After some
time he ventured to keep an evening school _in a secret way_. Now there
is a day school of one hundred and twenty children connected with the
station. It has been formed since emancipation.

From Cedar Hail we proceeded to Grace Bay. On the way we met some negro
men at work on the road, and stopped our chaise to chat with them. They
told us that they lived on Harvey's estate, which they pointed out to
us. Before emancipation that estate had four hundred slaves on it, but a
great number had since left because of ill usage during slavery. They
would not live on the estate, because the same manager remained, and
they could not trust him.

They told us they were Moravians, and that on the first of August they
all went to the Moravian chapel at Grace Bay, 'to tank and praise de
good Savior for make a we free.' We asked them if they still liked
liberty; they said, "Yes, massa, we all quite _proud_ to be free." The
negroes use the word _proud_ to express a strong feeling of delight. One
man said, "One morning as I was walking along the road all alone, I
prayed that the Savior would make me free, for then I could be so happy.
I don't know what made me pray so, for I wasn't looking for de free; but
please massa, _in one month de free come_."

They declared that they worked a great deal better since emancipation,
because they were _paid for it_. To be sure, said they, we get very
little wages, but it is better than none. They repeated it again and
again, that men could not be made to work well by _flogging_ them, "_it
was no use to try it_."

We asked one of the men, whether he would not be willing to be a slave
again provided he was _sure_ of having a kind master. "Heigh! me massa,"
said he, "me neber slave no more. A good massa a very good ting, _but
freedom till better_." They said that it was a great blessing to them to
have their children go to school. After getting them to show us the way
to Grace Bay, we bade them good bye.

We were welcomed at Grace Bay by the missionary, and his wife, Mr. and
Mrs. Möhne.[B] The place where these missionaries reside is a beautiful
spot. Their dwelling-house and the chapel are situated on a high
promontory, almost surrounded by the sea. A range of tall hills in the
rear cuts off the view of the island, giving to the missionary station
an air of loneliness and seclusion truly impressive. In this sequestered
spot, the found Mr. and Mrs. M. living alone. They informed us that they
rarely have white visiters, but their house is the constant resort of
the negroes, who gather there after the toil of the day to 'speak' about
their souls. Mr. and Mrs. M. are wholly engrossed in their labors of
love. They find their happiness in leading their numerous flock "by the
still waters and the green pastures" of salvation. Occupied in this
delightful work, they covet not other employments, nor other company,
and desire no other earthly abode than their own little hill-embosomed,
sea-girt missionary home.

[Footnote B: Pronounced Maynuh.]

There are a thousand people belonging to the church at this station,
each of whom, the missionaries see once every month. A day school has
been lately established, and one hundred children are already in
attendance. After dinner we walked out accompanied by the missionaries
to enjoy the beautiful sunset. It is one of the few _harmless_ luxuries
of a West India climate, to go forth after the heat of the day is spent
and the sun is sinking in the sea, and enjoy the refreshing coolness of
the air. The ocean stretched before us, motionless after the turmoil of
the day, like a child which has rocked itself asleep, yet indicating by
its mighty breathings as it heaved along the beach, that it only
slumbered. As the sun went down, the full moon arose, only less
luminous, and gradually the stars began to light up their beaming fires.
The work of the day now being over, the weary laborers were seen coming
from different directions to have a 'speak' with the missionaries. Mr.
M. stated a fact illustrative of the influence of the missionaries over
the negroes. Some time ago, the laborers on a certain estate became
dissatisfied with the wages they were receiving, and refused to work
unless they were increased. The manager tried in vain to reconcile his
people to the grievance of which they complained, and then sent to Mr.
M., requesting him to visit the estate, and use his influence to
persuade the negroes, most of whom belonged to his church, to work at
the usual terms. Mr. M. sent word to the manager that it was not his
province, as minister, to interfere with the affairs of any estate; but
he would talk with the people about it individually, when they came to
'speak.' Accordingly he spoke to each one, as he came, in a kind manner,
advising him to return to his work, and live as formerly. In a short
time peace and confidence were restored, and the whole gang to a man
were in the field.

Mr. and Mrs. M. stated that notwithstanding the very low rate of wages,
which was scarcely sufficient to support life, they had never seen a
single individual who desired to return to the condition of a slave.
Even the old and infirm, who were sometimes really in a suffering state
from neglect of the planters and from inability of their relatives
adequately to provide for them, expressed the liveliest gratitude for
the great blessing which the Savior had given them. They would often say
to Mrs. M. "Why, Missus, old sinner just sinkin in de grave, but God let
me old eyes see dis blessed sun."

The missionaries affirmed that the negroes were an affectionate
people--remarkably so. Any kindness shown them by a white person, was
treasured up and never forgotten. On the other hand, the slightest
neglect or contempt from a white person, was keenly felt. They are very
fond of saying '_howdy_' to white people; but if the salutation is not
returned, or noticed kindly, they are not likely to repeat it to the
same individual. To shake hands with a white person is a gratification
which they highly prize. Mrs. M. pleasantly remarked, that after service
on Sabbath, she was usually wearied out with saying _howdy_, and
_shaking hands_.

During the evening we had some conversation with two men who came to
'speak.' They spoke about the blessings of liberty, and their gratitude
to God for making them free. They spoke also, with deep feeling, of the
still greater importance of being free from _sin_. That, they said, was
better. _Heaven was the first best, and freedom was the next best_.

They gave us some account, in the course of the evening, of an aged
saint called Grandfather Jacob, who lived on a neighboring estate. He
had been a _helper_[A] in the Moravian church, until he became too
infirm to discharge the duties connected with that station. Being for
the same reason discharged from labor on the estate, he now occupied
himself in giving religious instruction to the other superannuated
people on the estate.

[Footnote A: An office somewhat similar to that of deacon]

Mrs. M. said it would constitute an era in the life of the old man, if
he could have an interview with two strangers from a distant land;
accordingly, she sent a servant to ask him to come to the mission-house
early the next morning. The old man was prompt to obey the call. He left
home, as he said, 'before the gun fire'--about five o'clock--and came
nearly three miles on foot. He was of a slender form, and had been tall,
but age and slavery had bowed him down. He shook us by the hand very
warmly, exclaiming, "God bless you, God bless you--me bery glad to see
you." He immediately commenced giving us an account of his conversion.
Said he, putting his hand on his breast, "You see old Jacob? de old
_sinner_ use to go on _drinkin', swearin', dancin', fightin'!_ No God--
no Savior--no soul! _When old England and de Merica fall out de first
time_, old Jacob was a man--a wicked sinner!--drink rum, fight--love to
fight! Carry coffin to de grabe on me head; put dead body under
ground--dance over it--den fight and knock man down--go 'way, drink rum,
den take de fiddle. And so me went on, just so, till me get sick and
going to die--thought when me die, dat be de end of me;--_den de Savior
come to me!_ Jacob love de Savior, and been followin' de good Savior
ever since." He continued his story, describing the opposition he had to
contend with, and the sacrifices he made to go to church. After working
on the estate till six o'clock at night, he and several others would
each take a large stone on his head and start for St. John's; nine miles
over the hills. They carried the stones to aid is building the Moravian
chapel at Spring Garden, St. John's. After he had finished this account,
he read to us, in a highly animated style, some of the hymns which he
taught to the old people, and then sung one of them. These exercises
caused the old man's heart to burn within him, and again he ran over his
past life, his early wickedness, and the grace that snatched him from
ruin, while the mingled tides of gratitude burst forth from heart, and
eyes, and tongue.

When we turned his attention to the temporal freedom he had received, he
instantly caught the word FREE, and exclaimed vehemently, "O yes, me
Massa--dat is anoder kind blessin from de Savior! Him make we all
_free_. Can never praise him too much for dat." We inquired whether he
was now provided for by the manager. He said he was not--never received
any thing from him--his _children_ supported him. We then asked him
whether it was not better to be a slave if he could get food and
clothing, than to be free and not have enough. He darted his quick eye
at us and said 'rader be free _still_.' He had been severely flogged
twice since his conversion, for leaving his post as watchman to bury the
dead. The minister was sick, and he was applied to, in his capacity of
_helper_, to perform funeral rites, and he left his watch to do it. He
said, his heavenly Master called him, and he _would_ go though he
expected a flogging. He must serve his Savior whatever come. "Can't put
we in dungeon _now_," said Grandfather Jacob with a triumphant look.

When told that there were slaves in America, and that they were not yet
emancipated, he exclaimed, "Ah, de Savior make we free, and he will make
dem free too. He come to Antigo first--he'll be in Merica soon."

When the time had come for him to leave, he came and pressed our hands,
and fervently gave us his patriarchal blessing. Our interview with
Grandfather Jacob can never be forgotten. Our hearts, we trust, will
long cherish his heavenly savor--well assured that if allowed a part in
the resurrection of the just, we shall behold his tall form, erect in
the vigor of immortal youth, amidst the patriarchs of past generations.

After breakfast we took leave of the kind-hearted missionaries, whose
singular devotedness and delightful spirit won greatly upon our
affections, and bent our way homeward by another route.


We called at the estate of Mr. J. Scotland, Jr., barrister, and member
of the assembly. We expected to meet with the proprietor, but the
manager informed us that pressing business at court had called him to
St. John's on the preceding day. The testimony of the manager concerning
the dry weather, the consequent failure in the crop, the industry of the
laborers, and so forth, was similar to that which we had heard before.
He remarked that he had not been able to introduce job-work among his
people. It was a new thing with them, and they did not understand it. He
had lately made a proposal to give the gang four dollars per acre for
holding a certain field. They asked a little time to consider upon so
novel a proposition. He gave them half a day, and at the end of that
time asked them what their conclusion was. One, acting as spokesman for
the rest, said, "We rada hab de shilling wages." That was _certain_; the
job might yield them more, and it might fall short--quite a common sense

At the pressing request of Mr. Armstrong we spent a day with him at
Fitch's Creek. Mr. A. received us with the most cordial hospitality,
remarking that he was glad to have another opportunity to state some
things which he regarded as obstacles to the complete success of the
experiment in Antigua. One was the entire want of concert among the
planters. There was no disposition to meet and compare views respecting
different modes of agriculture, treatment of laborers, and employment of
machinery. Another evil was, allowing people to live on the estates who
took no part in the regular labor of cultivation. Some planters had
adapted the foolish policy of encouraging such persons to remain on the
estates, in order that they might have help at hand in cases of
emergency. Mr. A. strongly condemned this policy. It withheld laborers
from the estates which needed them; it was calculated to make the
regular field hands discontented, and it offered a direct encouragement
to the negroes to follow irregular modes of living. A third obstacle to
the successful operation of free labor, was the absence of the most
influential proprietors. The consequences of absenteeism were very
serious. The proprietors were of all men the most deeply interested in
the soil; and no attorneys, agents, or managers, whom they could employ,
would feel an equal interest in it, nor make the same efforts to secure
the prosperous workings of the new system.

In the year 1833, when the abolition excitement was at its height in
England, and the people were thundering at the doors of parliament for
emancipation, Mr. A. visited that country for his health. To use his own
expressive words, he "got a terrible scraping wherever he went." He said
he could not travel in a stage-coach, or go into a party, or attend a
religious meeting, without being attacked. No one the most remotely
connected with the system could have peace there. He said it was
astonishing to see what a feeling was abroad, how mightily the mind of
the whole country, peer and priest and peasant, was wrought up. The
national heart seemed on fire.

Mr. A. said, he became a religious man whilst the manager of a slave
estate, and when he became a Christian, he became an abolitionist. Yet
this man, while his conscience was accusing him--while he was longing
and praying for abolition--did not dare open his mouth in public to
urge it on! How many such men are there in our southern states--men who
are inwardly cheering on the abolitionist in his devoted work, and yet
send up no voice to encourage him, but perhaps are traducing and
denouncing him!

We received a call at our lodgings in St. John's from the Archdeacon. He
made interesting statements respecting the improvement of the negroes in
dress, morals, education and religion, since emancipation. He had
resided in the island some years previous to the abolition of slavery,
and spoke from personal observation.

Among many other gentlemen who honored us with a call about the same
time, was the Rev. Edward Fraser, Wesleyan missionary, and a colored
gentleman. He is a native of Bermuda, and ten years ago was a _slave_.
He received a mercantile education, and was for several years the
confidential clerk of his master. He was treated with much regard and
general kindness. He said he was another Joseph--every thing which his
master had was in his hands. The account books and money were all
committed to him. He had servants under him, and did almost as he
pleased--except becoming free. Yet he must say, as respected himself,
kindly as he was treated, that slavery was a _grievous wrong, most
unjust and sinful_. The very thought--and it often came over him--that
he was a slave, brought with it a terrible sense of degradation. It came
over the soul like a frost. His sense of degradation grew more intense
in proportion as his mind became more cultivated. He said, _education
was a disagreeable companion for a slave_. But while he said this, Mr.
F. spoke very respectfully and tenderly of his master. He would not
willingly utter a word which would savor of unkindness towards him. Such
was the spirit of one whose best days had been spent under the exactions
of slavery. He was a local preacher in the Wesleyan connection while he
was a slave, and was liberated by his master, without remuneration, at
the request of the British Conference, who wished to employ him as an
itinerant. He is highly esteemed both for his natural talents and
general literary acquisitions and moral worth. The Conference have
recently called him to England to act as an agent in that country, to
procure funds for educational and religious purposes in these islands.


As we were present at the annual meeting of the Wesleyan missionaries
for this district, we gained much information concerning the object of
our mission, as there were about twenty missionaries, mostly from
Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Christophers, Anguilla, and Tortola.

Not a few of them were men of superior acquirements, who had sacrificed
ease and popular applause at home, to minister to the outcast and
oppressed. They are the devoted friends of the black man. It was
soul-cheering to hear them rejoice over the abolition of slavery. It was
as though their own limbs had been of a sudden unshackled, and a high
wall had fallen from around them. Liberty had broken upon them like the
bursting forth of the sun to the watchman on his midnight tower.

During the session, the mission-house was thrown open to us, and we
frequently dined with the numerous company of missionaries, who there
ate at a common table. Mrs. F., wife of the colored clergyman mentioned
above, presided at the social board. The missionaries and their wives
associated with Mr. and Mrs. F. as unreservedly as though they wore the
most delicate European tint. The first time we took supper with them, at
one side of a large table, around which were about twenty missionaries
with their wives, sat Mrs. F., with the furniture of a tea table before
her. On the other side, with the coffee urn and its accompaniments, sat
the wife of a missionary, with a skin as lily-hued as the fairest
Caucasian. Nearly opposite to her, between two white preachers, sat a
colored missionary. Farther down, with the chairman of the district on
his right, sat another colored gentleman, a merchant and local preacher
in Antigua. Such was the uniform appearance of the table, excepting that
the numbers were occasionally swelled by the addition of several other
colored gentlemen and ladies. On another occasion, at dinner, we had an
interesting conversation, in which the whole company of missionaries
participated. The Rev. M. Banks, of St. Bartholomews, remarked, that one
of the grossest of all absurdities was that of _preparing men for
freedom_. Some, said he, pretend that immediate emancipation is unsafe,
but it was evident to him that if men _are peaceable while they are
slaves_, they might be trusted in any other condition, for they could
not possibly be placed in one more aggravating. If _slavery_ is a safe
system, _freedom_ surely will be. There can be no better evidence that a
people are prepared for liberty, _than their patient endurance of
slavery_. He expressed the greatest regret at the conduct of the
American churches, particularly that of the Methodist church. "Tell
them," said he, "on your return, that the missionaries in these islands
are cast down and grieved when they think of their brethren in America.
We feel persuaded that they are holding back the car of freedom; they
are holding up the gospel." Rev. Mr. Cheesbrough, of St. Christopher's,
said, "Tell them that much as we desire to visit the United States, we
cannot go so long as we are prohibited from speaking against slavery, or
while that _abominable prejudice_ is encouraged in the churches. _We
could not administer the sacrament to a church in which the distinction
of colors was maintained._" "Tell our brethren of the Wesleyan
connection," said Mr. B. again, "that slavery must be abolished by
_Christians_, and the church ought to take her stand at once against
it." We told him that a large number of Methodists and other Christians
had engaged already in the work, and that the number was daily
increasing. "That's right," he exclaimed, "agitate, _agitate_, AGITATE!
_You must succeed_: the Lord is with you." He dwelt particularly on the
obligations resting upon Christians in the free states. He said, "Men
must be at a distance from slavery to judge of its real character.
Persons living in the midst of it, gradually become familiarized with
its horrors and woes, so that they can view calmly, exhibitions from
which they would once have shrunk in dismay."

We had some conversation with Rev. Mr. Walton, of Montserrat. After
making a number of statements in reference to the apprenticeship there,
Mr. W. stated that there had been repeated instances of planters
_emancipating all their apprentices_. He thought there had been a case
of this kind every month for a year past. The planters were becoming
tired of the apprenticeship, and from mere considerations of interest
and comfort, were adopting free labor.

A new impulse had been given to education in Montserrat, and schools
were springing up in all parts of the island. Mr. W. thought there was
no island in which education was so extensive. Religious influences were
spreading among the people of all classes. Marriages were occurring
every week.

We had an interview with the Rev. Mr. H., an aged colored minister. He
has a high standing among his brethren, for talents, piety, and
usefulness. There are few ministers in the West Indies who have
accomplished more _for the cause of Christ_ than has Mr. H.[A]

[Footnote A: It is a fact well known in Antigua and Barbadoes, that this
colored missionary has been instrumental in the conversion of several
clergymen of the Episcopal Church in those islands, who are now
currently devoted men.]

He said he had at different periods been stationed in Antigua, Anguilla,
Tortola, and some other islands. He said that the negroes in the other
islands in which he had preached, were as intelligent as those in
Antigua, and in every respect as well prepared for freedom. He was in
Anguilla when emancipation took place. The negroes there were kept at
work on the very _day that freedom came!_ They worked as orderly as on
any other day. The Sabbath following, he preached to them on their new
state, explaining the apprenticeship to them. He said the whole
congregation were in a state of high excitement, weeping and shouting.
One man sprang to his feet, and exclaimed, 'Me never forget God and King
William.' This same man was so full that he went out of the chapel, and
burst into loud weeping.

The preaching of the missionaries, during their stay in Antigua, was
full of allusions to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies, and
especially to the entire emancipation in Antigua. Indeed, we rarely
attended a meeting in Antigua, of any kind, in which the late
emancipation was not in some way alluded to with feelings of gratitude
and exultation. In the ordinary services of the Sabbath, this subject
was almost uniformly introduced, either in the prayer or sermon.
Whenever thanksgiving was rendered to God for favors, _freedom_ was
among the number.

The meeting of the district afforded an opportunity for holding a number
of anniversary meetings. We notice them here, believing that they will
present the most accurate view that can be given of the religious and
moral condition of Antigua.

On the evening of the 1st of February, the first anniversary of the
Antigua Temperance Society was held in the Wesleyan chapel. We had been
invited to attend and take a part in the exercises. The chapel was
crowded with a congregation of all grades and complexions. Colored and
white gentlemen appeared together on the platform. We intimated to a
member of the committee, that we could not conscientiously speak without
advocating _total abstinence_, which doctrine, we concluded from the
nature of the pledge, (which only included ardent spirits,) would not be
well received. We were assured that we might use the most perfect
freedom in avowing our sentiments.

The speakers on this occasion were two planters, a Wesleyan missionary,
and ourselves. All advocated the doctrine of total abstinence. The first
speaker, a planter, concluded by saying, that it was commonly believed
that wine and malt were rendered absolutely indispensable in the West
Indies, by the exhausting nature of the climate. But facts disprove the
truth of this notion. "I am happy to say that I can now present this
large assembly with ocular demonstration of the fallacy of the popular
opinion. I need only point you to the worthy occupants of this platform.
Who are the healthiest among them? _The cold water drinkers--the
teetotallers_! We can assure you that we have not lost a pound of flesh,
by abandoning our cups. We have tried the cold water experiment
faithfully, and we can testify that since we became cold water men, _we
work better, we eat better, we sleep better, and we do every thing
better than before_." The next speaker, a planter also, dwelt on the
inconsistency of using wine and malt, and at the same time calling upon
the poor to give up ardent spirits. He said this inconsistency had been
cast in his teeth by his negroes. He never could prevail upon them to
stop drinking rum, until he threw away his wine and porter. Now he and
all his people were teetotallists. There were two other planters who had
taken the same course. He stated, as the result of a careful calculation
which he had made, that he and the two planters referred to, had been in
the habit of giving to their people not less than _one thousand gallons
of rum annually_. The whole of this was now withheld, and molasses and
sugar were given instead. The missionary who followed them was not a
whit behind in boldness and zeal, and between them, they left us little
to say in our turn on the subject of total abstinence.

On the following evening the anniversary of the Bible Society was held
in the Moravian school-room. During the day we received a note from the
Secretary of the Society, politely requesting us to be present. The
spacious school-room was filled, and the broad platform crowded with
church clergymen, Moravian ministers, and Wesleyan missionaries, colored
and white. The Secretary, a Moravian minister, read the twenty-first
annual report. It spoke emphatically of 'the joyful event of
emancipation', and in allusion to an individual in England, of whom it
spoke in terms of high commendation, it designated him, as one "who was
distinguished for his efforts in the abolition of slavery." The adoption
of the report was moved by one of the Wesleyan missionaries, who spoke
at some length. He commenced by speaking of "the peculiar emotions with
which he always arose to address an assembly of the free people of
Antigua." It had been his lot for a year past to labor in a colony[A]
where slavery still reigned, and he could not but thank God for the
happiness of setting his foot once more on the free soil of an
emancipated island.

[Footnote A: St. Martin's]

Perhaps the most interesting meeting in the series, was the anniversary
of the Wesleyan Missionary Society of Antigua. Both parts of the day
were devoted to this anniversary. The meetings were held in the Wesleyan
chapel, which was filled above and below, with the usual commixture of
white, colored, and black. We saw, as on former occasions, several
colored gentlemen seated among the ministers. After the usual
introductory exercises of singing and prayer, the annual report was read
by the Secretary, Rev. E. Fraser, the colored minister already
mentioned. It was terse, direct, and business like. The meeting was then
addressed by a Moravian missionary. He dwelt upon the decrease of the
sectarian spirit, and hailed the coming of Christian charity and
brotherly communion. He opened his Bible, and read about the middle wall
of partition being broken down. "Yes, brother," said Mr. Horne, "and
every other wall." "The rest are but paper walls," responded the
speaker, "and when once the middle wall is removed, these will soon be
burned up by the fire of Christian love."

The next speaker was a Wesleyan missionary of Nevis. He spoke of the
various instrumentalities which were now employed for the conversion of
the world. "We welcome," said he, "the co-operation of America, and with
all our hearts do we rejoice that she is now beginning to put away from
her that vile system of oppression which has hitherto crippled her moral
energy and her religious enterprise." Then turning and addressing
himself to us, he said, "We hail you, dear brethren, as co-workers with
us. Go forward in your blessed undertaking. Be not dismayed with the
huge dimensions of that vice which you are laboring to overthrow! Be not
disheartened by the violence and menaces of your enemies! Go forward.
Proclaim to the church and to your countrymen the sinfulness of slavery,
and be assured that soon the fire of truth will melt down the massy
chains of oppression." He then urged upon the people of Antigua _their_
peculiar obligations to extend the gospel to other lands. It was the
_Bible_ that made them free, and he begged them to bear in mind that
there were millions of their countrymen _still in the chains of
slavery_. This appeal was received with great enthusiasm.

We then spoke on a resolution which had been handed us by the Secretary,
and which affirmed "that the increasing and acknowledged usefulness of
Christian missions was a subject of congratulation." We spoke of the
increase of missionary operations in our own country, and of the spirit
of self-denial which was widely spreading, particularly among young
Christians. We spoke of that accursed thing in our midst, which not only
tended greatly to kill the spirit of missions in the church, but which
directly withheld _many_ young men from foreign missionary fields. It
had made more than two millions of heathen in our country; and so long
as the cries of these _heathen at home_ entered the ears of our young
men and young women, they could not, dare not, go abroad. How could they
go to Ceylon, to Burmah, or to Hindostan, with the cry of their
_country's heathen_ ringing their ears! How could they tear themselves
away from famished millions kneeling at their feet in chains and begging
for the bread of life, and roam afar to China or the South Sea Islands!
Increasing numbers filed with a missionary spirit felt that their
obligations were at home, and they were resolved that if they could not
carry the gospel _forthwith_ to the slaves, they would labor for the
overthrow of that system which made it a crime punishable with death to
preach salvation to the poor. In conclusion, the hope was expressed that
the people of Antigua--so highly favored with freedom, education, and
religion, would never forget that in the nation whence we came, there
were _two millions and a half of heathen_, who, instead of bread,
received stones and scorpions; instead of the Bible, bolts and bars;
instead of the gospel, chains and scourgings; instead of the hope of
salvation thick darkness and despair. They were entreated to remember
that in the gloomy dungeon, from which they had lately escaped there
were deeper and more dismal cells, _yet filled_ with millions of their
countrymen. The state of feeling produced by this reference to slavery,
was such as might be anticipated in an audience, a portion of which were
once slaves, and still remembered freshly the horrors of their late

The meeting was concluded after a sitting of more than four hours. The
attendance in the evening was larger than on any former occasion. Many
were unable to get within the chapel. We were again favored with an
opportunity of urging a variety of considerations touching the general
cause, as well as those drawn from the condition of our own country, and
the special objects of our mission.

The Rev. Mr. Horne spoke very pointedly on the subject of slavery. He
began by saying that he had been _so long accustomed_ to speak
cautiously about slavery that he was even now almost afraid of his own
voice when he alluded to it. [General laughter.] But he would remember
that he was in a _free island_, and that he spoke to _freemen_, and
therefore he had nothing to fear.

He said the peace and prosperity of these colonies is a matter of great
moment in itself considered, but it was only when viewed as an example
to the rest of the slaveholding world that its real magnitude and
importance was perceived. The influence of abolition, and especially of
entire emancipation in Antigua, must be very great. The eyes of the
world were fixed upon her. The great nation of America must now soon
_toll the knell_ of slavery, and this event will be hastened by the
happy operation of freedom here.

Mr. H. proceeded to say, that during the agitation of the slavery
question at home, he had been suspected of not being a friend to
emancipation; and it would probably be remembered by some present that
his name appeared in the report of the committee of the House of
Commons, where it stood in _no enviable society_. But whatever might be
thought of his course at that time, he felt assumed that the day was not
far distant when he should be able to clear up every thing connected
with it. It was not a little gratifying to us to see that the time had
come in the West Indies, when the suspicion of having been opposed to
emancipation is a stain upon the memory from which a public man is glad
to vindicate himself.


After a few other addresses were delivered, and just previous to the
dismission of the assembly, Rev. Mr. Cox, Chairman of the District,
arose and said, that as this was the last of the anniversary meetings,
he begged to move a resolution which he had no doubt would meet with the
hearty and unanimous approval of that large assembly. He then read the
following resolution, which we insert here as an illustration of the
universal sympathy in the objects of our mission. As the resolution is
not easily divisible, we insert the whole of it, making no ado on the
score of modesty.

"Resolved, that this meeting is deeply impressed with the importance of
the services rendered this day to the cause of missions by the
acceptable addresses of Mr. ----, from America, and begs especially to
express to him and his friend Mr. ----, the assurance of their sincere
sympathy in the object of their visit to Antigua."

Mr. C. said he would make no remarks in support of the resolution he had
just read for he did not deem them necessary. He would therefore propose
at once that the vote be taken by rising. The Chairman read the
resolution accordingly, and requested those who were in favor of
adopting it, to rise. Not an individual in the crowded congregation kept
his seat. The masters and the slaves of yesterday--all rose together--a
phalanx of freemen, to testify "their sincere sympathy" in the efforts
and objects of American abolitionists.

After the congregation had resumed their seats, the worthy Chairman
addressed us briefly in behalf of the congregation, saying, that it was
incumbent on him to convey to us the unanimous expression of sympathy on
the part of this numerous assembly in the object of our visit to the
island. We might regard it as an unfeigned assurance that we were
welcomed among them, and that the cause which we were laboring to
promote was dear to the hearts of the people of Antigua.

This was the testimonial of an assembly, many of whom, only three years
before, were themselves slaveholders. It was not given at a meeting
specially concerted and called for the purpose, but grew up unexpectedly
and spontaneously out of the feelings of the occasion, a free-will
offering, the cheerful impulsive gush of _free_ sympathies. We returned
our acknowledgments in the best manner that our excited emotions


The corner stone of a new Wesleyan Chapel was laid in St. John's, during
the district meeting. The concourse of spectators was immense. At eleven
o'clock religious exercises were held in the old chapel. At the close of
the service a procession was formed, composed of Wesleyan missionaries,
Moravian ministers, clergymen of the church, members of the council and
of the assembly, planters, merchants, and other gentlemen, and the
children of the Sunday and infant schools, connected with the
Wesleyan Chapel.

As the procession moved to the new site, a hymn was sung, in which the
whole procession united. Our position in the procession, to which we
were assigned by the marshal, and much to our satisfaction, was at
either side of two colored gentlemen, with whom we walked, four abreast.

On one side of the foundation a gallery had been raised, which was
covered with an awning, and was occupied by a dense mass of white and
colored ladies. On another side the gentlemen of the procession stood.
The other sides were thronged with a promiscuous multitude of all
colors. After singing and prayer, the Hon. Nicholas Nugent, speaker of
the house of assembly, descended from the platform by a flight of stairs
into the cellar, escorted by two missionaries. The sealed phial was then
placed in his hand, and Mr. P., a Wesleyan missionary, read from a paper
the inscription written on the parchment within the phial. The closing
words of the inscription alluded to the present condition of the island,
thus: "The demand for a new and larger place of worship was pressing,
and the progress of public liberality advancing on a scale highly
creditable to this FREE, enlightened, and evangelized colony." The
Speaker then placed the phial in the cavity of the rock. When it was
properly secured, and the corner stone lowered down by pullies to its
place, he struck three blows upon it with a mallet, and then returned to
the platform. The most eager curiosity was exhibited on every side to
witness the ceremony.

At the conclusion of it, several addresses were delivered. The speakers
were, Rev. Messrs. Horne and Harvey, and D.B. Garling, Esq. Mr. Horne,
after enumerating several things which were deserving of praise, and
worthy of imitation, exclaimed, "The grand crowning glory of all--that
which places Antigua above all her sister colonies--was the magnanimous
measure of the legislature in entirely abolishing slavery." It was
estimated that there were more than two thousand persons assembled on
this occasion. The _order_ which prevailed among such a concourse was
highly creditable to the island. It was pleasing to see the perfect
intermixture of colors and conditions; not less so to observe the kindly
bearing of the high toward the low.[A] After the exercises were
finished, the numerous assembly dispersed quietly. Not an instance of
drunkenness, quarrelling, or anger, fell under our notice during
the day.

[Footnote A: During Mr. Home's address, we observed Mr. A., a planter,
send his umbrella to a negro man who stood at the corner-stone, exposed
to the sun.]


Toward the close of the district meeting, we received a kind note from
the chairman, inviting us to attend the meeting, and receive in person,
a set of resolutions which had been drawn up at our request, and signed
by all the missionaries. At the hour appointed, we repaired to the
chapel. The missionaries all arose as we entered, and gave us a
brotherly salutation. We were invited to take our seats at the right
hand of the chairman. He then, in the presence of the meeting, read to
us the subjoined resolutions; we briefly expressed, in behalf of
ourselves and our cause, the high sense we had of the value of the
testimony, which the meeting had been pleased to give us. The venerable
father Horne then prayed with us, commending our cause to the blessing
of the Head of the church, and ourselves to the protection and guidance
of our heavenly Father. After which we shook hands with the brethren,
severally, receiving their warmest assurances of affectionate regard,
and withdrew.

_"Resolutions passed at the meeting of the Wesleyan Missionaries of the
Antigua District, assembled at St. John's, Antigua, February 7th, 1837._

    1. That the emancipation of the slaves of the West Indies, while it
    was an act of undoubted justice to that oppressed people, has
    operated most favorably in furthering the triumphs of the gospel, by
    removing one prolific source of unmerited suspicion of religious
    teachers, and thus opening a door to their more extensive labors and
    usefulness--by furnishing a greater portion of time for the service
    of the negro, and thus preventing the continuance of unavoidable
    Sabbath desecrations, in labor and neglect of the means of
    grace--and in its operation as a stimulus to proprietors and other
    influential gentlemen, to encourage religious education, and the
    wide dissemination of the Scriptures, as an incentive to industry
    and good order.

    2. That while the above statements are true with reference to all
    the islands, even where the system of apprenticeship prevails, they
    are especially applicable to Antigua, where the results of the great
    measure, of entire freedom, so humanely and judiciously granted by
    the legislature, cannot be contemplated without the most devout
    thanks givings to Almighty God.

    3. That we regard with much gratification, the great diminution
    among all classes in these islands, of the most unchristian
    prejudice of color the total absence of it in the government and
    ordinances of the churches of God, with which we are connected, and
    the prospect of its complete removal, by the abolition of slavery,
    by the increased diffusion of general knowledge, and of that
    religion which teaches to "honor _all_ men," and to love our
    neighbor as ourselves.

    4. That we cannot but contemplate with much humiliation and
    distress, the existence, among professing Christians in America, of
    this partial, unseemly, and unchristian system of _caste_, so
    distinctly prohibited in the word of God, and so utterly
    irreconcileable with Christian charity.

    5. That regarding slavery as a most unjustifiable infringement of
    the rational and inalienable rights of men, and in its moral
    consequences, (from our own personal observation as well as other
    sources,) as one of the greatest curses with which the great
    Governor of the nations ever suffered this world to be blighted: we
    cannot but deeply regret the connection which so intimately exists
    between the various churches of Christ in the United States of
    America, and this unchristian system. With much sorrow do we learn
    that the _principle_ of the lawfulness of slavery has been defended
    by some who are ministers of Christ, that so large a proportion of
    that body in America, are exerting their influence in favor of the
    continuance of so indefensible and monstrous a system--and that
    these emotions of sorrow are especially occasioned with reference to
    our own denomination.

    6. That while we should deprecate and condemn any recourse on the
    part of the slaves, to measures of rebellion, as an unjustifiable
    mode of obtaining their freedom, we would most solemnly, and
    affectionately, and imploringly, adjure our respected fathers and
    brethren in America, to endeavor, in every legitimate way, to wipe
    away this reproach from their body, and thus act in perfect
    accordance with the deliberate and recorded sentiments of our
    venerated founder on this subject, and in harmony with the feelings
    and proceedings of their brethren in the United Kingdom, who have
    had the honor to take a distinguished part in awakening such a
    determined and resistless public feeling in that country, as issued
    in the abolition of slavery among 800,000 of our fellow subjects.

    7. That we hail with the most lively satisfaction the progress in
    America of anti-slavery principles, the multiplication of
    anti-slavery societies, and the diffusion of correct views on this
    subject. We offer to the noble band of truly patriotic, and
    enlightened, and philanthropic men, who are combating in that
    country with such a fearful evil, the assurance of our most cordial
    and fraternal sympathy, and our earnest prayers for their complete
    success. We view with pity and sorrow the vile calumnies with which
    they have been assailed. We welcome with Christian joyfulness, in
    the success which has already attended their efforts, the dawn of a
    cloudless day of light and glory, which shall presently shine upon
    that vast continent, when the song of universal freedom shall sound
    in its length and breadth.

    8. That these sentiments have been increased and confirmed by the
    intercourse, which some of our body Have enjoyed with our beloved
    brethren, the Rev. James A. Thome, and Joseph Horace Kimball, Esq.,
    the deputation to these islands, front the Anti-Slavery Society in
    America. We regard this appointment, and the nomination of such men
    to fulfil it, as most judicious. We trust we can appreciate the
    spirit of entire devotedness to this cause, which animates our
    respected brethren, and breathes throughout their whole deportment,
    and rejoice in such a manifestation of the fruits of that divine
    charity, which flow from the constraining love of Christ, and which
    many waters cannot quench.

    9. That the assurance of the affectionate sympathy of the
    twenty-five brethren who compose this district meeting, and our
    devout wishes for their success in the objects of their mission, are
    hereby presented, in our collective and individual capacity, to our
    endeared and Christian friends from America.

    (Signed) JAMES COX, chairman of the district, and resident in

    Jonathan Cadman, St. Martin's. James Horne, St. Kitts. Matthew
    Banks, St. Bartholomew's. E. Frazer, Antigua. Charles Bates, do.
    John Keightley, do. Jesse Pilcher, do. Benjamin Tregaskiss, do.
    Thomas Edwards, St. Kitts. Robert Hawkins, Tortola. Thomas Pearson,
    Nevis. George Craft, do. W.S. Wamouth, St. Kitts. John Hodge,
    Tortola. William Satchel, Dominica. John Cullingford, Dominica. J.
    Cameron, Nevis. B. Gartside, St. Kitts. John Parker, do. Hilton
    Cheeseborough, do. Thomas Jeffery, do. William Rigglesworth,
    Tortola. Daniel Stepney, Nevis. James Walton, Montserrat."

      *       *       *       *       *



Having given a general outline of our sojourn in Antigua, we proceed to
a mere minute account of the results of our investigations. We arrange
the testimony in two general divisions, placing that which relates to
the past and present condition of the colony in one, and that which
bears directly upon the question of slavery in America in another.


There are three denominations of Christians in Antigua: the Established
Church; the Moravians, and Wesleyans. The Moravians number fifteen
thousand--almost exclusively negroes. The Wesleyans embrace three
thousand members, and about as many more attendants. Of the three
thousand members, says a Wesleyan missionary, "not fifty are whites--a
larger number are colored; but the greater part black." "The attendance
of the negro population at the churches and chapels," (of the
established order,) says the Rector of St. John's, "amounts to four
thousand six hundred and thirty-six." The whole number of blacks
receiving religious instruction from these Christian bodies, making
allowance for the proportion of white and colored included in the three
thousand Wesleyans, is about twenty-two thousand--leaving a population
of eight thousand negroes in Antigua who are unsupplied with religious

The Established Church has six parish churches, as many "chapels of
ease," and nine clergymen. The Moravians have five settlements and
thirteen missionaries. The Wesleyans have seven chapels, with as many
more small preaching places on estates, and twelve ministers; half of
whom are itinerant missionaries, and the other half, local preachers,
employed as planters, or in mercantile, and other pursuits, and
preaching only occasionally. From the limited number of chapels and
missionaries, it may be inferred that only a portion of the twenty-two
thousand can enjoy stated weekly instruction. The superintendent of the
Moravian mission stated that their chapels could not accommodate more
than _one third_ of their members.

Each of the denominations complains of the lack of men and houses. The
Wesleyans are now building a large chapel in St. John's. It will
accommodate two thousand persons. "Besides free sittings, there will be
nearly two hundred pews, every one of which is now in demand."

However much disposed the churches of different denominations might have
been during slavery to maintain a strict discipline, they found it
exceedingly difficult to do so. It seems impossible to elevate a body of
slaves, _remaining such,_ to honesty and purity. The reekings of slavery
will almost inevitably taint the institutions of religion, and degrade
the standard of piety. Accordingly the ministers of every denomination
in Antigua, feel that in the abolition of slavery their greatest enemy
has been vanquished, and they now evince a determination to assume
higher ground than they ever aspired to during the reign of slavery. The
motto of all creeds is, "_We expect great things of freemen_." A report
which we obtained from the Wesleyan brethren, states, "Our own brethren
preach almost daily." "We think the negroes are uncommonly punctual and
regular in their attendance upon divine worship, particularly on the
Sabbath." "They always show a readiness to contribute to the support of
the gospel. With the present low wages, and the entire charge of
self-maintenance, they have little to spare." Parham and Sion Hill (taken
as specimens) have societies almost entirely composed of rural
blacks--about thirteen hundred and fifty in number. These have
contributed this year above £330 sterling, or sixteen hundred and fifty
dollars, in little weekly subscriptions; besides giving to special
objects occasionally, and contributing for the support of schools.[A]

[Footnote A: The superintendent of the Wesleyan mission informed us that
the collection in the several Wesleyan chapels last year, independent of
occasional contributions to Sunday schools, Missionary objects, &c.,
amounted to £850 sterling, or more than $4000!]

In a letter dated December 2d, 1834, but four months after emancipation,
and addressed to the missionary board in England, the Rev. B. Harvey
thus speaks of the Moravian missions: "With respect to our people, I
believe; I may say that in all our places here, they attend the meetings
of the church more numerously than ever, and that many are now in
frequent attendance who _could very seldom appear amongst us during
slavery_." The same statements substantially were made to us by Mr. H.,
showing that instead of any falling off the attendance was still on
the increase.

In a statement drawn up at our request by the Rector of St. John's, is
the following: "Cases of discipline are more frequent than is usual in
English congregations, but at the same time it should be observed, that
a _closer oversight_ is maintained by the ministers, and a _greater
readiness to submit themselves_ (to discipline) is manifested by the
late slaves here than by those who have always been a free people." "I
am able to speak very favorably of the attendance at church--it is
regular and crowded." "The negroes on some estates have been known to
contribute willingly to the Bible Society, since 1832. They are now
beginning to pay a penny and a half currency per week for their
children's instruction."


The condition of Antigua, but a very few years previous to emancipation,
is represented to have been truly revolting. It has already been stated
that the Sabbath was the market day up to 1832, and this is evidence
enough that the Lord's day was utterly desecrated by the mass of the
population. Now there are few parts of our own country, equal in
population, which can vie with Antigua in the solemn and respectful
observance of the Sabbath. Christians in St. John's spoke with joy and
gratitude of the tranquillity of the Sabbath. They had long been shocked
with its open and abounding profanation--until they had well-nigh forgot
the aspect of a Christian Sabbath. At length the full-orbed blessing
beamed upon them, and they rejoiced in its brightness, and thanked God
for its holy repose.

All persons of all professions testify to the fact that _marriages_ are
rapidly increasing. In truth, there was scarcely such a thing as
marriage before the abolition of slavery. Promiscuous intercourse of the
sexes was almost universal. In a report of the Antigua Branch
Association of the Society for advancing the Christian Faith in the
British West Indies, (for 1836,) the following statements are made:

"The number of marriages in the six parishes of the island, in the year
1835, the first entire year of freedom, was 476; all of which, excepting
about 50, were between persons formerly slaves. The total number of
marriages between slaves solemnized in the Church during the nine years
ending December 31, 1832, was 157; in 1833, the last entire year of
slavery, it was 61."

Thus it appears that the whole number of marriages during _ten years_
previous to emancipation (by far the most favorable ten years that could
have been selected) was but _half_ as great as the number for a single
year following emancipation!

The Governor, in one of our earliest interviews with him, said, "the
great crime of this island, as indeed of all the West India Colonies,
has been licentiousness, but we are certainly fast improving in this
particular." An aged Christian, who has spent many years in the island,
and is now actively engaged in superintending several day schools for
the negro children, informed us that there was not _one third_ as much
concubinage as formerly. This he said was owing mainly to the greater
frequency of marriages, and the cessation of late night work on the
estates, and in the boiling houses, by which the females were constantly
exposed during slavery. Now they may all be in their houses by dark.
Formerly the mothers were the betrayers of their daughters, encouraging
them to form unhallowed connections, and even _selling_ them to
licentious white and colored men, for their own gain. Now they were
using great strictness to preserve the chastity of their daughters.

A worthy planter, who has been in the island since 1800, stated, that it
used to be a common practice for mothers to _sell their daughters_ to
the highest bidder!--generally a manager or overseer. "But now;" said he,
"the mothers _hold their daughters up for marriage_, and take pains to
let every body know that their virtue is not to be bought and sold any
longer." He also stated that those who live unmarried now are uniformly
neglected and suffer great deprivations. Faithfulness after marriage,
exists also to a greater extent than could have been expected from the
utter looseness to which they had been previously accustomed, and with
their ignorance of the nature and obligations of the marriage relation.
We were informed both by the missionaries and the planters, that every
year and month they are becoming more constant, as husband and wife,
more faithful as parents, and more dutiful as children. One planter said
that out of a number who left his employ after 1834, nearly all had
companions on other estates, and left for the purpose of being with
them. He was also of the opinion that the greater proportion of changes
of residence among the emancipated which took place at that time, were
owing to the same cause.[A] In an address before the Friendly Society in
St. John's, the Archdeacon stated that during the previous year (1835)
several individuals had been expelled from that society for domestic
unfaithfulness; but he was happy to say that he had not heard of a
single instance of expulsion for this cause during the year then ended.
Much inconvenience is felt on account of the Moravian and Wesleyan
missionaries being prohibited from performing the marriage service, even
for their own people. Efforts are now making to obtain the repeal of the
law which makes marriages performed by sectarians (as all save the
established church are called) void.

[Footnote A: What a resurrection to domestic life was that, when long
severed families flocked from the four corners of the island to meet
their kindred members! And what a glorious resurrection will that be in
our own country, when the millions of emancipated beings scattered over
the west and south, shall seek the embraces of parental and fraternal
and conjugal love.]

That form of licentiousness which appears among the higher classes in
every slaveholding country, abounded in Antigua during the reign of
slavery. It has yielded its redundant fruits in a population of four
thousand colored people; double the number of whites. The planters, with
but few exceptions, were unmarried and licentious. Nor was this vice
confined to the unmarried. Men with large families, kept one or more
mistresses without any effort at concealment. We were told of an
"Honorable" gentleman, who had his English wife and two concubines, a
colored and a black one. The governor himself stated as an apology for
the prevalence of licentiousness among the slaves, that the example was
set them constantly by their masters, and it was not to be wondered at
if they copied after their superiors. But it is now plain that
concubinage among the whites is nearly at an end. An unguarded statement
of a public man revealed the conviction which exists among his class
that concubinage must soon cease. He said that the present race of
colored people could not be received into the society of the whites,
_because of illegitimacy_; but the next generation would be fit
associates for the whites, _because they would be chiefly born
in wedlock_.

The uniform testimony respecting _intemperance_ was, that it _never had
been one of the vices of the negroes_. Several planters declared that
they had rarely seen a black person intoxicated. The report of the
Wesleyan missionaries already referred to, says, "Intemperance is most
uncommon among the rural negroes. Many have joined the Temperance
Society, and many act on tee-total principles." The only _colored_
person (either black or brown) whom we saw drunk during a residence of
nine weeks in Antigua, was a carpenter in St. John's, who as he reeled
by, stared in our faces and mumbled out his sentence of condemnation
against wine bibbers, "--Gemmen--you sees I'se a little bit drunk, but
'pon honor I only took th--th-ree bottles of wine--that's all." It was
"Christmas times," and doubtless the poor man thought he would venture
for once in the year to copy the example of the whites.

In conclusion, on the subject of morals in Antigua, we are warranted in
stating, 1st., That during the continuance of slavery, immoralities
were rife.

2d. That the repeated efforts of the home Government and the local
Legislature, for several successive years previous to 1834, to
_ameliorate_ the system of slavery, seconded by the labors of clergymen
and missionaries, teachers and catechists, to improve the character of
the slaves, failed to arrest the current of vice and profligacy. What
few reformations were effected were very partial, leaving the more
enormous immoralities as shameless and defiant as ever, up to the very
day of abolition; demonstrating the utter impotence of all attempts to
purify the _streams_ while the _fountain_ is poison.

3d. That the abolition of slavery gave the death blow to open vice,
overgrown and emboldened as it had become. Immediate emancipation,
instead of lifting the flood-gates, was the only power strong enough to
shut them down! It restored the proper restraints upon vice, and
supplied the incentives to virtue. Those great controllers of moral
action, _self-respect, attachment to law, and veneration for God_, which
slavery annihilated, _freedom has resuscitated_, and now they stand
round about the emancipated with flaming swords deterring from evil, and
with cheering voices exhorting to good. It is explicitly affirmed that
the grosser forms of immorality, which in every country attend upon
slavery, have in Antigua either shrunk into concealment or
become extinct.


We insert here a brief account of the benevolent institutions of
Antigua. Our design in giving it, is to show the effect of freedom in
bringing into play those charities of social life, which slavery
uniformly stifles. Antigua abounds in benevolent societies, all of which
have been _materially revived_ since emancipation, and some of them have
been formed since that event.


This is the oldest society in the island. It was organized in 1815. All
denominations in the island cordially unite in this cause. The principal
design of this society is to promote the Circulation of the Scriptures
among the laboring population of the island. To secure this object
numerous branch associations--amounting to nearly fifty--have been
organized throughout the island _among the negroes themselves._ The
society has been enabled not only to circulate the Scriptures among the
people of Antigua, but to send them extensively to the neighboring

The following table, drawn up at our request by the Secretary of the
Society, will show the extent of foreign operations:

Years.     Colonies Supplied. Bibles. Test's.
1822       Anguilla             94      156
  23       Demerara             18       18
  24       Dominica             89      204
  25       Montserrat           57      149
  27       Nevis                79      117
  32       Saba                  6       12
  33       St. Bart's          111       65
  34       St. Eustatius        97      148
  35       St. Kitts           227      487
           St. Martins          48       37
  36       Tortola              69      136
1837       Trinidad             25       67
                              ____     ____
                   Total       920     1596

From the last annual report we quote the following cheering account,
touching the events of 1834:

"The next event of importance in or annals is the magnificent grant of
the parent society, on occasion of the emancipation of the slaves, and
the perpetual banishment of slavery from the shores of Antigua, on the
first of August, 1834; by which a choice portion of the Holy Scriptures
was gratuitously circulated to about one third of the inhabitants of
this colony. Nine thousand seven hundred copies of the New Testament,
bound together with the book of Psalms, were thus placed at the disposal
of your committee."

* * * "Following hard upon this joyful event another gratifying
circumstance occurred among us. The attention of the people was roused,
and their gratitude excited towards the Bible Society, and they who had
freely received, now freely gave, and thus a considerable sum of money
was presented to the parent society in acknowledgment of its
beneficent grant."

We here add an extract from the annual report for 1826. Its sentiments
contrast strongly with the congratulations of the last report upon 'the
joyful event' of emancipation.

"Another question of considerable delicacy and importance still remains
to be discussed. Is it advisable, under all the circumstances of the
case, to circulate the Holy Scriptures, without note of comment, among
the slave population of these islands? Your Committee can feel no
hesitation in affirming that such a measure is not merely expedient, but
one of almost indispensable necessity. The Sacred Volume is in many
respects peculiarly adapted to the slave. It enjoins upon him precepts
so plain, that the most ignorant cannot fail to understand them:
'Slaves, obey in all things your masters, not with eye service, as men
pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.' It furnishes him
with motives the most impressive and consoling: 'Ye serve,' says the
Apostle, 'the Lord Christ.' It promises him rewards sufficient to
stimulate the most indolent to exertion: 'Whatsoever good thing any man
doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or
free.' And it holds forth to him an example so glorious, that it would
ennoble even angels to imitate it: 'Let this mind be in you which was
also in Christ Jesus, who made himself of no reputation, and took upon
him the form of a _slave_!'"

"It may here be proper to observe, that the precise import of the word,
which in general throughout the English Bible is translated _servant_,
is strictly that which has been assigned it in the foregoing quotations;
(!) and so understood, the Sacred Volume will be found to hold out to
our slaves, both by precept and example the most persuasive and the most
compelling motives to industry, obedience, and submission."

Nothing could more plainly show the corrupting influences of slavery,
upon all within its reach, than this spectacle of a noble, religious
institution, prostituted to the vile work of defending oppression, and,
in the zeal of its advocacy, blasphemously degrading the Savior into a
self-made slave!

The receipts of the Antigua Branch Society have greatly increased since
emancipation. From receipts for the year 1836, in each of the British
islands, it appears that the contributions from Antigua and Bermuda, the
only two islands which adopted entire emancipation, are about _double_
those from any other two islands.


These associations are connected with the Wesleyan mission, and have
been in existence since 1820. Their object is to raise funds for the
parent society in England. Although it has been in existence for several
years, yet it was mostly confined to the whites and free people of
color, during slavery. The calling together assemblies of rural negroes,
and addressing them on the subject of missions, and soliciting
contributions in aid of the cause, is a new feature in the missionary
operations to which nothing but freedom could give birth.


The first temperance society in Antigua was formed at the beginning of
1836. We give an extract from the first annual report: "Temperance
societies have been formed in each town, and on many of the estates. A
large number of persons who once used spirituous liquors moderately,
have entirely relinquished the use. Some who were once intemperate have
been reclaimed, and in some instances an adoption of the principles of
the temperance society, has been followed by the pursuit and enjoyment
of vital religion. Domestic peace and quietness have superseded discord
and strife, and a very general sense of astonishment at the gross
delusion which these drinks have long produced on the human species
is manifest."

"The numbers on the various books of the society amount to about 1700.
One pleasing feature in their history, is the very small number of those
who have violated their pledge."

"On several estates, the usual allowance of spirits has been
discontinued, and sugar or molasses substituted."

The temperance society in Antigua may be specially regarded as a result
of emancipation. It is one of the guardian angels which hastened to the
island as soon as the demon of slavery was cast out.


The friendly societies are designed exclusively for the benefit of the
negro population. The general object is thus stated in the constitution
of one of these societies: "The object of this society is to assist in
the purchase of articles of mourning for the dead; to give relief in
cases of unlooked for distress; to help those who through age or
infirmities are incapable of helping themselves by marketing, or working
their grounds; _to encourage sobriety and industry, and to check
disorderly and immoral conduct."_

These societies obtain their funds by laying a tax of one shilling per
month on every member above eighteen years of age, and of six pence per
month on all members under that age and above twelve, which is the
minimum of membership. The aged members are required to pay no more than
the sum last mentioned.

The first society of this kind was established in St. John's by the
present rector, in 1829. Subsequently the Moravians and Wesleyans formed
similar societies among their own people. Independent of the pecuniary
assistance which these societies bestow, they encourage in a variety of
ways the good order of the community. For example, no one is allowed to
receive assistance who is "disabled by drunkenness, debauchery, or
disorderly living;" also, "if any member of the society, male or female,
is guilty of adultery or fornication, the offending member shall be
suspended for so long a time as the members shall see fit, and shall
lose all claim on the society for any benefit during the suspension, and
shall not be readmitted until clear and satisfactory evidence is given
of penitence." Furthermore, "If any member of the society shall be
expelled from the church to which he or she belongs, or shall commit any
offence punishable by a magistrate, that member forfeits his membership
in the society." Again, the society directly encourages marriage, by
"making a present of a young pig to every child born in wedlock, and
according as their funds will admit of it, giving rewards to those
married persons living faithfully, or single persons living virtuously,
who take a pride in keeping their houses neat and tidy, and their
gardens flourishing."

These societies have been more than doubled, both in the number of
members and in the annual receipts, since emancipation.

Of the societies connected with the established church, the rector of
St. John's thus speaks: "At the beginning of 1834 there were eleven
societies, embracing 1602 members. At the beginning of 1835 they
numbered 4197; and in 1836 there were 4560 members," _almost quadrupled
in two years!_

The societies connected with the Moravian church, have more than
doubled, both in members and funds, since emancipation. The funds now
amount to $10,000 per year.

The Wesleyans have four Friendly societies. The largest society, which
contained six hundred and fifty members, was organized in the _month of
August_, 1834. The last year it had expended £700 currency, and had then
in its treasury £600 currency.

Now, be it remembered that the Friendly societies exist solely among the
freed negroes, _and that the moneys are raised exclusively among them._
Among whom? A people who are said to be so proverbially improvident,
that to emancipate them, would be to abandon them to beggary, nakedness,
and starvation;--a people who "cannot take care of themselves;" who
"will not work when freed from the fear of the lash;" who "would
squander the earnings of the day in debaucheries at night;" who "would
never provide for to-morrow for the wants of a family, or for the
infirmities of old age." Yea, among _negroes_ these things are done; and
that, too, where the wages are but one shilling per day--less than
sufficient, one would reasonably suppose, to provide daily food.


The main object of this society is denoted by its name. It supplies a
daily meal to those who are otherwise unprovided for. A commodious house
had just been completed in the suburbs of the town, capable of lodging a
considerable number of beneficiaries. It is designed to shelter those
who are diseased, and cannot walk to and fro for their meals. The number
now fed at this house is from eighty to a hundred. The diseased, who
live at the dispensary, are mostly those who are afflicted with the
elephantiasis, by which they are rendered entirely helpless. Medical aid
is supplied free of expense. It is worthy of remark, that there is no
_public poor-house_ in Antigua,--a proof of the industry and prosperity
of the emancipated people.


This is a society in St. John's: there is also a similar one, called the
Female Refuge Society, at English Harbor. Both these societies were
established and are conducted by colored ladies. They are designed to
promote two objects: the support of destitute aged females of color, and
the rescue of poor young colored females from vice. The necessity for
special efforts for the first object, arose out of the fact, that the
colored people were allowed no parochial aid whatever, though they were
required to pay their parochial taxes; hence, the support of their own
poor devolved upon themselves. The demand for vigorous action in behalf
of the young, grew out of the prevailing licentiousness of slave-holding
times. The society in St. John's has been in existence since 1815. It
has a large and commodious asylum, and an annual income, by
subscriptions, of £350, currency. This society, and the Female Refuge
Society established at English Harbor, have been instrumental in
effecting a great reform in the morals of females, and particularly in
exciting reprobation against that horrid traffic--the sale of girls by
their mothers for purposes of lust. We were told of a number of cases in
which the society in St. John's had rescued young females from impending
ruin. Many members of the society itself, look to it as the guardian of
their orphanage. Among other cases related to us, was that of a lovely
girl of fifteen, who was bartered away to a planter by her mother, a
dissolute woman. The planter was to give her a quantity of cloth to the
value of £80 currency, and two young slaves; he was also to give the
grandmother, for her interest in the girl, _one gallon of rum_! The
night was appointed, and a gig in waiting to take away the victim, when
a female friend was made acquainted with the plot, just in time to save
the girl by removing her to her own house. The mother was infuriated,
and endeavored to get her back, but the girl had occasionally attended a
Sabbath school, where she imbibed principles which forbade her to yield
even to her mother for such an unhallowed purpose. She was taken before
a magistrate, and indentured herself to a milliner for two years. The
mother made an attempt to regain her, and was assisted by some whites
with money to commence a suit for that purpose. The lady who defended
her was accordingly prosecuted, and the whole case became notorious. The
prosecutors were foiled. At the close of her apprenticeship, the young
woman was married to a highly respectable colored gentleman, now
resident in St. John's. The notoriety which was given to the above case
had a happy effect. It brought the society and its object more fully
before the public, and the contributions for its support greatly
increased. Those for whose benefit the asylum was opened, heard of it,
and came begging to be received.

This society is a signal evidence that the colored people neither lack
the ability to devise, nor the hearts to cherish, nor the zeal to
execute plans of enlarged benevolence and mercy.

The Juvenile Association, too, of which we gave some account in
describing its anniversary, originated with the colored people, and
furnishes additional evidence of the talents and charities of that class
of the community. Besides the societies already enumerated, there are
two associations connected with the Established Church, called the
"Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge," and the "Branch
Association of the Society for Advancing the Christian Faith in the
British West Indies, &c." These societies are also designed chiefly for
the benefit of the negro population.


Our inquiries under this head were directed to three principal
points--first, The extent to which education prevailed previous to
emancipation; second, The improvements introduced since; and third, The
comparative capacity of negroes for receiving instruction.

Being providentially in the island at the season of the year when all
the schools have their annual examinations, we enjoyed the most
favorable opportunities for procuring intelligence on the subject of
education. From various quarters we received invitations to attend
school examinations. We visited the schools at Parham, Willoughby Bay,
Newfield; Cedar Hall, Grace Bay, Fitch's Creek, and others: besides
visiting the parochial school, the rectory school, the Moravian and
Wesleyan schools, in St. John's. All the schools, save those in St.
John's, were almost exclusively composed of emancipated children from
the estates.


At the invitation of the Governor, we accompanied him to the annual
examination of the parochial school, in St. John's, under the
superintendance of the Episcopal church. It has increased greatly, both
in scholars and efficiency, since emancipation, and contributions are
made to its support by the parents whose children receive its benefits.
We found one hundred and fifty children, of both sexes, assembled in the
society's rooms. There was every color present, from the deepest hue of
the Ethiopian, to the faintest shadowing of brown.

The boys constituting the first class, to the number of fifty, were
called up. They read with much fluency and distinctness, equalling white
boys of the same age anywhere. After reading, various questions were put
to them by the Archdeacon, which they answered with promptness and
accuracy. Words were promiscuously selected from the chapter they had
read, and every one was promptly spelled. The catechism was the next
exercise, and they manifested a thorough acquaintance with its contents.

Our attention was particularly called to the examination in arithmetic.
Many of the children solved questions readily in the compound rules, and
several of them in Practice, giving the different parts of the pound,
shilling, and penny, used in that rule, and all the whys and wherefores
of the thing, with great promptness. One lad, only ten years of age,
whose attendance had been very irregular on account of being employed in
learning a trade, performed intricate examples in Practice, with a
facility worthy the counting-house desk. We put several inquiries on
different parts of the process, in order to test their real knowledge,
to which we always received clear answers.

The girls were then examined in the same studies and exercises, except
arithmetic, and displayed the same gratifying proficiency. They also
presented specimens of needlework and strawbraiding, which the ladies,
on whose better judgment we depend, pronounced very creditable. We
noticed several girls much older than the others, who had made much less
advance in their studies, and on inquiry learned, that they had been
members of the school but a short time, having formerly been employed to
wield the heavy hoe in the cane field. The parents are very desirous to
give their children education, and make many sacrifices for that
purpose. Many who are field-laborers in the country, receiving their
shilling a day, have sent their children to reside with some relations
or friends in town, for the purpose of giving them the benefits of this
school. Several such children were pointed out to us. The increase of
female scholars during the first year of emancipation, was in this
school alone, about eighty.

For our gratification, the Governor requested that all the children
emancipated on the _first of August_, might be called up and placed on
our side of the room. Nearly one hundred children, of both sexes, who
two years ago were _slaves_, now stood up before us FREE. We noticed one
little girl among the rest, about ten years old, who bore not the least
tinge of color. Her hair was straight and light, and her face had that
mingling of vermilion and white, which Americans seem to consider, not
only the nonpareil standard of beauty, but the immaculate test of human
rights. At her side was another with the deepest hue of the native
African. There were high emotions on the countenances of those redeemed
ones, when we spoke to them of emancipation. The undying principle of
freedom living and burning in the soul of the most degraded slave, like
lamps amid the darkness of eastern sepulchres, was kindling up
brilliantly within them, young as they were, and flashing in smiles upon
their ebon faces.

The Governor made a few remarks, in which he gave some good advice, and
expressed himself highly pleased with the appearance and proficiency of
the school.

His excellency remarked to us in a tone of pleasantry, "You see,
gentlemen, these children have _souls_."

During the progress of the examination; he said to us, "You perceive
that it is our policy to give these children every chance to make _men_
of themselves. We look upon them as our _future citizens_." He had no
doubt that the rising generation would assume a position in society
above the contempt or opposition of the whites.


We had the pleasure of attending one of the infant schools in the
vicinity of Parham, on the east side of the island. Having been invited
by a planter, who kindly sent his horse and carriage for our conveyance,
to call and take breakfast with him on our way, we drove out early in
the morning.

While we were walking about the estate, our attention was arrested by
distant singing. As we cast our eyes up a road crossing the estate, we
discovered a party of children! They were about twenty in number, and
were marching hand in hand to the music of their infant voices. They
were children from a neighboring estate, on their way to the examination
at Parham, and were singing the hymns which they had learned at school.
All had their Testaments in their hands, and seemed right merry-hearted.

We were received at the gate of the chapel by the Wesleyan missionary
located in this distinct, a highly respectable and intelligent colored
man, who was ten years since a _slave_. He gave us a cordial welcome,
and conducted us to the chapel, where we found the children, to the
number of _four hundred_, assembled, and the examination already
commenced. There were six schools present, representing about twenty
estates, and arranged under their respective teachers. The ages of the
pupils were from three to ten or twelve. They were all, with the
exception of two or three, the children of emancipated slaves.

They came up by classes to the superintendent's desk, where they read
and were examined. They read correctly; some of them too, who had been
in school only a few mouths, in any portion of the New Testament
selected for them. By request of the superintendent, we put several
inquiries to them, which they answered in a way which showed that they
_thought_. They manifested an acquaintance with the Bible and the use of
language which was truly surprising. It was delightful to see so many
tiny beings stand around you, dressed in their tidy gowns and frocks,
with their bright morning faces, and read with the self-composure of
manhood, any passage chosen for them. They all, large and small, bore in
their hands the charter of their freedom, the book by the influence of
which they received all the privileges they were enjoying. On the cover
of each was stamped in large capitals--"PRESENTED BY THE BRITISH AND

At the close of the examination, the rewards, consisting of books,
work-bags, &c. &c., chiefly sent by a society of females in England,
were distributed. It was impossible to repress the effervescence of the
little expectants. As a little one four years old came up for her
reward, the superintendent said to her--"Well, little Becky, what do you
want?" "Me wants a bag," said Becky, "and me wants a pin-cushion, and me
wants a little book." Becky's desires were large, but being a good girl,
she was gratified. Occasionally the girls were left to choose between a
book and a work-bag, and although the bag might be gaudy and tempting,
they invariably took the book.

The teachers were all but one blacks, and were formerly slaves. They are
very devoted and faithful, but are ill-qualified for their duties,
having obtained all the learning they possess in the Sabbath school.
They are all pious, and exert a harpy influence on the morals of
their pupils.

The number of scholars has very greatly increased since emancipation,
and their morals have essentially improved. Instances of falsehood and
theft, which at first were fearfully frequent and bold, have much
lessened. They begin to have a regard for _character_. Their sense of
right and wrong is enlightened, and their power of resisting temptation,
and adhering to right, manifestly increased.

On the whole, we know not where we have looked on a more delightful
scene. To stand in front of the pulpit and look around on a multitude of
negro children, gathered from the sordid huts into which slavery had
carried ignorance and misery--to see them coming up, with their teachers
of the same proscribed hue, to hear them read the Bible, answer with
readiness the questions of their superintendent, and lift up together
their songs of infant praise, and then to remember that two years ago
these four hundred children were _slaves_, and still more to remember
that in our own country, boasting its republicanism and Christian
institutions, there are thousands of just such children under the yoke
and scourge, in utter heathenism, the victims of tyrannic _law_ or of
more tyrannic public opinion--caused the heart to swell with emotions
unutterable. There were as many intelligent countenances, and as much
activity and sprightliness, as we ever saw among an equal number of
children anywhere. The correctness of their reading, the pertinence of
their replies, the general proofs of talent which they showed through
all the exercises, evinced that they are none inferior to the children
of their white oppressors.

After singing a hymn they all kneeled down, and the school closed with a
prayer and benediction. They continued singing as they retired from the
house, and long after they had parted on their different ways home,
their voices swelled on the breeze at a distance as the little parties
from the estates chanted on their way the songs of the school room.


When we entered the school house at Willoughby Bay, which is capable of
containing a thousand persons, a low murmur, like the notes of
preparation, ran over the multitude. One school came in after we
arrived, marching in regular file, with their teacher, a negro man, at
their head, and their _standard bearer_ following; next, a sable girl
with a box of Testaments on her head. The whole number of children was
three hundred and fifty. The male division was first called out, and
marched several times around the room, singing and keeping a regular
step. After several rounds, they came to a halt, filing off and forming
into ranks four rows deep--in quarter-circle shape. The music still
continuing, the girls sallied forth, went through the same evolutions,
and finally formed in rows corresponding with those of the boys, so as
to compose with the latter a semicircle.

The schools were successively examined in spelling, reading, writing,
cyphering, &c., after the manner already detailed. In most respects they
showed equal proficiency with the children of Parham; and in reading the
Testament, their accuracy was even greater. In looking over the writing,
several "incendiary" copies caught our eyes. One was, "_Masters, give
unto your servants that which is just and equal_." Another, "_If I
neglect the cause of my servant, what shall I do when I appear before my
Master_!" A few years ago, _had children been permitted to write at
all_, one such copy as the above would have exploded the school, and
perchance sent the teacher to jail for sedition. But now, thanks to God!
the Negro children of Antigua are taught liberty from their Bibles, from
their song books, and from their _copy books_ too; they read of liberty,
they sing of it, and they write of it; they chant to liberty in their
school rooms, and they resume the strains on their homeward way, till
every rustling lime-grove, and waving cane-field, is alive with their
notes, and every hillock and dell rings with "free" echoes.

The girls, in their turn, pressed around us with the liveliest eagerness
to display their little pieces of needle-work. Some had samplers marked
with letters and devices in vari-colored silk. Others showed specimens
of stitching; while the little ones held up their rude attempts at
hemming handkerchiefs, aprons, and so on.

During the exercises we spoke to several elderly women, who were present
to witness the scene. They were laborers on the estates, but having
children in the school, they had put on their Sunday dresses, and "come
to see." We spoke to one, of the privileges which the children were
enjoying, since freedom. Her eyes filled, and she exclaimed, "Yes,
massa, we do tank de good Lord for bring de free--never can be too
tankful." She said she had seven children present, and it made her feel
happy to know that they were learning to read. Another woman said, when
she heard the children reading so finely, she wanted to "take de word's
out of da mouts and put em in her own." In the morning, when she first
entered the school house, she felt quite sick, but all the pleasant
things she saw and heard, had made her well, and she added, "I tell you,
me massa, it do my old heart good to come here." Another aged woman, who
had grand-children in the school, said, when she saw what advantages the
children enjoyed, she almost cried to think she was not a child too.
Besides these there were a number of adult men and women, whom curiosity
or parental solicitude had brought together, and they were thronging
about the windows and doors witnessing the various exercises with the
deepest interest. Among the rest was one old patriarch, who, anxious to
bear some part however humble in the exercises of the occasion, walked
to and fro among the children, with a six feet pole in his hand, to
keep order.

These schools, and those examined at Parham, are under the general
supervision of Mr. Charles Thwaites, an indefatigable and long tried
friend of the negroes.

We here insert a valuable communication which we received from Mr. T. in
reply to several queries addressed to him. It will give further
information relative to the schools.

_Mr. Charles Thwaites' Replies to Queries on Education in Antigua._

1. What has been your business for some years past in Antigua?

A superintendent of schools, and catechist to the negroes.

2. How long have you been engaged in this business?

Twenty-four years. The first four years engaged gratuitously, ten years
employed by the Church Missionary Society, and since, by the Wesleyan
Missionary Society.

3. How many schools have you under your charge?

Sunday schools, (including all belonging to the Wesleyan Missionary
Society,) eight, with 1850 scholars; day schools, seventeen with 1250
scholars; night schools on twenty-six estates, 336 scholars. The total
number of scholars under instruction is about 3500.

4. Are the scholars principally the children who were emancipated in
August, 1834?

Yes, except the children in St. John's, most of whom were free before.

5. Are the teachers negroes, colored, or white?

One white, four colored, and sixteen black.[A]

[Footnote A: This number includes only salaried teachers, and not the

6. How many of the teachers were slaves prior to the first of August,


7. What were their opportunities for learning?

The Sunday and night schools; and they have much improved themselves
since they have been in their present employment.

8. What are their qualifications for teaching, as to education,
religion, zeal, perseverance, &c.?

The white and two of the colored teachers, I presume, are well
calculated, in all respects, to carry on a school in the ablest manner.
The others are deficient in education, but are zealous, and very

9. What are the wages of these teachers?

The teachers' pay is, some four, and some three dollars per month. This
sum is far too small, and would be greater if the funds were sufficient.

10. How and by whom are the expenses of superintendent, teachers, and
schools defrayed?

The superintendent's salary, &c., is paid by the Wesleyan Missionary
Society. The expenses of teachers and schools are defrayed by charitable
societies and friends in England, particularly the Negro Education
Society, which grants 50l. sterling per annum towards this object, and
pays the rent of the Church Missionary Society's premises in Willoughby
Bay for use of the schools. About 46l. sterling per annum is also raised
from the children; each child taught writing and needle-work, pays
1-1/2d. sterling per week.

11. Is it your opinion that the negro children are as ready to receive
instruction as white children?

Yes, perfectly so.

12. Do parents manifest interest in the education of their children?

They do. Some of the parents are, however, still very ignorant, and are
not aware how much their children lose by irregular attendance at
the schools.

13. Have there been many instances of _theft_ among the scholars?

Not more than among any other class of children.


Besides an attendance upon the various schools, we procured specific
information from teachers, missionaries, planters, and others, with
regard to the past and present state of education, and the weight of
testimony was to the following effect:

First, That education was by no means extensive previous to
emancipation. The testimony of one planter was, that not a _tenth part_
of the present adult population knew the letters of the alphabet. Other
planters, and some missionaries, thought the proportion might be
somewhat larger; but all agreed that it was very small. The testimony of
the venerable Mr. Newby, the oldest Moravian missionary in the island,
was, that such was the opposition among the planters, it was impossible
to teach the slaves, excepting by night, secretly. Mr. Thwaites informed
us that the children were not allowed to attend day school after they
were six years old. All the instruction they obtained after that age,
was got at night--a very unsuitable time to study, for those who worked
all day under an exhausting sun. It is manifest that the instruction
received under six years of age, would soon be effaced by the incessant
toil of subsequent life. The account given in a former connection of the
adult school under the charge of Mr. Morrish, at Newfield, shows most
clearly the past inattention to education. And yet Mr. M. stated that
his school was a _fair specimen of the intelligence of the negroes
generally_. One more evidence in point is the acknowledged ignorance of
Mr. Thwaites' teachers. After searching through the whole freed
population for a dozen suitable teachers of children. Mr. T. could not
find even that number who could _read well_. Many children in the
schools of six years old read better than their teachers.

We must not be understood to intimate that up to the period of the
Emancipation, the planters utterly prohibited the education of their
slaves. Public sentiment had undergone some change previous to that
event. When the public opinion of England began to be awakened against
slavery, the planters were indured, for peace sake, to _tolerate_
education to some extent; though they cannot be said to have
_encouraged_ it until after Emancipation. This is the substance of the
statements made to us. Hence it appears that when the active opposition
of the planters to education ceased, it was succeeded by a general
indifference, but little less discouraging. We of course speak of the
planters as a body; there were some honorable exceptions.

Second, Education has become very extensive _since_ emancipation. There
are probably not less than _six thousand_ children who now enjoy daily
instruction. These are of all ages under twelve. All classes feel an
interest in _knowledge_. While the schools previously established are
flourishing in newness of life, additional ones are springing up in
every quarter. Sabbath schools, adult and infant schools, day and
evening schools, are all crowded. A teacher in a Sabbath school in St.
John's informed us, that the increase in that school immediately after
emancipation was so sudden and great, that he could compare it to
nothing but the rising of the mercury when the thermometer is removed
_out of the shade into the sun_.

We learned that the Bible was the principal book taught in all the
schools throughout the island. As soon as the children have learned to
read, the Bible is put into their hands. They not only read it, but
commit to memory portions of it every day:--the first lesson in the
morning is an examination on some passage of scripture. We have never
seen, even among Sabbath school children, a better acquaintance with the
characters and events recorded in the Old and New Testaments, than among
the negro children in Antigua. Those passages which inculcate _obedience
to law_ are strongly enforced; and the prohibitions against stealing,
lying, cheating, idleness, &c., are reiterated day and night.

Great attention is paid to _singing_ in all the schools.

The songs which they usually sung, embraced such topics as Love to
God--the presence of God--obedience to parents--friendship for brothers
and sisters and schoolmates--love of school--the sinfulness of sloth, of
lying, and of stealing. We quote the following hymn as a specimen of the
subjects which are introduced into their songs: often were we greeted
with this sweet hymn, while visiting the different schools throughout
the island.



   We're all brothers, sisters, brothers,
   We're sisters and brothers,

   And heaven is our home.
   We're all brothers, sisters, brothers,
   We're sisters and brothers,
   And heaven is our home.

   The God of heaven is pleased to see
   That little children all agree;
   And will not slight the praise they bring,
   When loving children join to sing:
   We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

   For love and kindness please him more
   Than if we gave him all our store;
   And children here, who dwell in love,
   Are like his happy ones above.
   We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

   The gentle child that tries to please,
   That hates to quarrel, fret, and teaze,
   And would not say an angry word--
   That child is pleasing to the Lord.
   We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

   O God! forgive, whenever we
   Forget thy will, and disagree;
   And grant that each of us, may find
   The sweet delight of being kind.
   We're all brothers, sisters, brothers, &c.

We were convinced that the negroes were as capable of receiving
instruction as any people in the world. The testimony of teachers,
missionaries, clergymen, and planters, was uniform on this point.

Said one planter of age and long experience on the island, "The negroes
are as capable of culture as any people on earth. _Color makes no
difference in minds_. It is slavery alone that has degraded the negro."

Another planter, by way of replying to our inquiry on this subject, sent
for a negro child of five years, who read with great fluency in any part
of the Testament to which we turned her. "Now," said the gentleman, "I
should be ashamed to let you hear my own son, of the same age with that
little girl, read after her." We put the following questions to the
Wesleyan missionaries: "Are the negroes as _apt to learn_, as other
people in similar circumstances?" Their written reply was this: "We
think they are; the same diversified qualities of intellect appear among
them, as among other people." We put the same question to the Moravian
missionaries, to the clergymen, and to the teachers of each
denomination, some of whom, having taught schools in England, were well
qualified to judge between the European children and the negro children;
and we uniformly received substantially the same answer. Such, however,
was the air of surprise with which our question was often received, that
it required some courage to repeat it. Sometimes it excited a smile, as
though we could not be serious in the inquiry. And indeed we seldom got
a direct and explicit answer, without previously stating by way of
explanation that we had no doubts of our own, but wished to remove those
extensively entertained among our countrymen. After all, we were
scarcely credited in Antigua. Such cases as the following were common in
every school: children of four and five years old reading the Bible;
children beginning in their A, B, C's, and learning to read in four
months; children of five and six, answering a variety of questions on
the historical parts of the Old Testament; children but a little older,
displaying fine specimens of penmanship, performing sums in the compound
rules, and running over the multiplication table, and the pound,
shilling, and pence table, without mistake.

We were grieved to find that most of the teachers employed in the
instruction of the children, were exceedingly unfit for the work. They
are very ignorant themselves, and have but little skill in the
management of children. This however is a necessary evil. The
emancipated negroes feel a great anxiety for the education of their
children. They encourage them to go to school, and they labor to support
them, while they have strong temptation to detain them at home to work.
They also pay a small sum every week for the maintenance of the schools.

In conclusion, we would observe, that one of the prominent features of
_regenerated_ Antigua, is its _education_. An intelligent religion, and
a religious education, are the twin glories of this emancipated colony.
It is comment enough upon the difference between slavery and freedom,
that the same agents which are deprecated as the destroyers of the one,
are cherished as the defenders of the other.

Before entering upon a detail of the testimony which bears more directly
upon slavery in America, we deem it proper to consider the inquiry.

"What is the amount of freedom in Antigua, as regulated by law?"

1st. The people are entirely free from the whip, and from all compulsory
control of the master.

2d. They can change employers whenever they become dissatisfied with
their situation, by previously giving a month's notice.

3d. They have the right of trial by jury in all cases of a serious
nature, while for small offences, the magistrate's court is open. They
may have legal redress for any wrong or violence inflicted by their

4th. Parents have the entire control of their children. The planter
cannot in any way interfere with them. The parents have the whole charge
of their support.

5th. By an express provision of the legislature, it was made obligatory
upon every planter to support all the superannuated, infirm, or diseased
on the estate, _who were such at this time of emancipation_. Those who
have become so since 1834, fall upon the hands of their relatives for

6th. The amount of wages is not determined by law. By a general
understanding among the planters, the rate is at present fixed at a
shilling per day, or a little more than fifty cents per week, counting
five working days. This matter is wisely left to be regulated by the
character of the seasons, and the mutual agreement of the parties
concerned. As the island is suffering rather from a paucity of laborers,
than otherwise, labor must in good seasons command good wages. The
present rate of wages is extremely low, though it is made barely
tolerable by the additional perquisites which the people enjoy. They
have them houses rent free, and in connection with them small premises
forty feet square, suitable for gardens, and for raising poultry, and
pigs, &c.; for which they always find a ready market. Moreover, they are
burthened with no taxes whatever; and added to this, they are supplied
with medical attendance at the expense of the estates.

7th. The master is authorized in case of neglect of work, or turning out
late in the morning, or entire absence from labor, to reduce the wages,
or withhold them for a time, not exceeding a week.

8th. The agricultural laborers may leave the field whenever they choose,
(provided they give a month's previous notice,) and engage in any other
business; or they may purchase land and become cultivators themselves,
though in either case they are of course liable to forfeit their houses
on the estates.

9th. They may leave the island, if they choose, and seek their fortunes
in any other part of the world, by making provision for their near
relatives left behind. This privilege has been lately tested by the
emigration of some of the negroes to Demerara. The authorities of the
island became alarmed lest they should lose too many of the laboring
population, and the question was under discussion, at the time we were
in Antigua, whether it would not be lawful to prohibit the emigration.
It was settled, however, that such a measure would be illegal, and the
planters were left to the alternative of either being abandoned by their
negroes, or of securing their continuance by adding to their comforts
and treating them kindly.

10. The right of suffrage, and eligibility to office are subject to no
restrictions, save the single one of property, which is the same with
all colors. The property qualification, however, is so great, as
effectually to exclude the whole agricultural negro population for
many years.

11th. _The main constabulary force is composed of emancipated negroes,
living on the estates_. One or two trust-worthy men on each estate are
empowered with the authority of constables in relation to the people on
the same estate, and much reliance is placed upon these men, to preserve
order and to bring offenders to trial.

12th. A body of police has been established, whose duty it is to arrest
all disorderly or riotous persons, to repair to the estates in case of
trouble, and co-operate with the constables, in arraigning all persons
charged with the violation of law.

13th. The punishment for slight offences, such as stealing sugar-canes
from the field, is confinement in the house of correction, or being
sentenced to the tread-mill, for any period from three days to three
months. The punishment for burglary, and other high offences, is
solitary confinement in chains, or transportation for life to
Botany Bay.

Such are the main features in the statutes, regulating the freedom of
the emancipated population of Antigua. It will be seen that there is no
enactment which materially modifies, or unduly restrains, the liberty of
the subject. There are no secret reservations or postscript provisoes,
which nullify the boon of freedom. Not only is slavery utterly
abolished, but all its appendages are scattered to the winds; and a
system of impartial laws secures justice to all, of every color and

The measure of success which has crowned the experiment of emancipation
in Antigua--an experiment tried under so many adverse circumstances, and
with comparatively few local advantages--is highly encouraging to
slaveholders in our country. It must be evident that the balance of
advantages between the situation of Antigua and that of the South, _is
decidedly in favor of the latter_. The South has her resident
proprietors, her resources of wealth, talent, and enterprise, and her
preponderance of white population; she also enjoys a regularity of
seasons, but rarely disturbed by desolating droughts, a bracing climate,
which imparts energy and activity to her laboring population, and
comparatively numerous wants to stimulate and press the laborer up to
the _working mark_; she has close by her side the example of a free
country, whose superior progress in internal improvements, wealth, the
arts and sciences, morals and religion, all ocular demonstration to her
of her own wretched policy, and a moving appeal in favor of abolition;
and above all, site has the opportunity of choosing her own mode, and of
ensuring all the blessings of a _voluntary and peaceable manumission_,
while the energies, the resources, the sympathies, and the prayers of
the North, stand pledged to her assistance.

       *       *       *       *       *



We have reserved the mass of facts and testimony, bearing immediately
upon slavery in America, in order that we might present them together in
a condensed furor, under distinct heads. These heads, it will be
perceived, consist chiefly of propositions which are warmly contested in
our country. Will the reader examine these principles in the light of
facts? Will the candid of our countrymen--whatever opinions they may
hitherto hate entertained on this subject--hear the concurrent testimony
of numerous planters, legislators, lawyers, physicians, and merchants,
who have until three years past been wedded to slavery by birth,
education, prejudice, associations, and supposed interest, but who have
since been divorced from all connection with the system?

In most cases we shall give the names, the stations, and business of our
witnesses; in a few instances, in which we were requested to withhold
the name, we shall state such circumstances as will serve to show the
standing and competency of the individuals. If the reader should find in
what follows, very little testimony unfavorable to emancipation, he may
know the reason to be, that little was to be gleaned from any part of
Antigua. Indeed, we may say that, with very few exceptions, the
sentiments here recorded as coming from individuals, are really the
sentiments of the whole community. There is no such thing known in
Antigua as an _opposing, disaffected party_. So complete and thorough
has been the change in public opinion, that it would be now
_disreputable_ to speak against emancipation.

FIRST PROPOSITION.--The transition from slavery to freedom is
represented as a greet revolution, by which a prodigious change was
effected in _the condition of the negroes_.

In conversation with us, the planters often spoke of the greatness and
suddenness of the change. Said Mr. Barnard, of Green Castle estate, "The
transition from slavery to freedom, was like passing suddenly out of a
dark dungeon into the light of the sun."

R.B. Eldridge, Esq., a member of the assembly, remarked, that, "There
never had been in the history of the world so great and instantaneous a
change in the condition of so large a body of people."

The Honorable Nicholas Nugent, speaker of the house of assembly, and
proprietor, said, "There never was so sudden a transition from one state
to another, by so large a body of people. When the clock began to strike
the hour of twelve on the last night of July, 1834, the negroes of
Antigua were _slaves_--when it ceased they were all _freemen!_ It was a
stupendous change," he said, "and it was one of the sublimest spectacles
ever witnessed, to see the subjects of the change engaged at the very
moment it occurred, in worshipping God."

These, and very many similar ones, were the spontaneous expressions of
men _who had long contended against the change_ of which they spoke.

It is exceedingly difficult to make slaveholders see that there is any
material difference between slavery and freedom; but when they have once
renounced slavery, they _will magnify this distinction_ more than any
other class of men.

SECOND PROPOSITION.--Emancipation in Antigua was the result of political
and pecuniary considerations merely.

Abolition was seen to be inevitable, and there were but two courses left
to the colonists--to adopt the apprenticeship system, or immediate
emancipation. Motives of convenience led them to choose the latter.
Considerations of general philanthropy, of human rights, and of the
sinfulness of slavery, were scarcely so much as thought of.

Some time previous to the abolition of slavery, a meeting of the
influential men of the island was called in St. John's, to memorialize
parliament against the measure of abolition. When the meeting convened,
the Hon. Samuel O. Baijer, who had been the champion of the opposition,
was called upon to propose a plan of procedure. To the consternation of
the pro-slavery meeting, their leader arose and spoke to the following
effect:--"Gentlemen, my previous sentiments on this subject are well
known to you all; be not surprised to learn that they have undergone an
entire change, I have not altered my views without mature deliberation.
I have been making calculations with regard to the probable results of
emancipation, and _I have ascertained beyond a doubt, that I can
cultivate my estate at least one third cheaper by free labor than by
slave labor_." After Mr. B. had finished his remarks, Mr. S. Shands,
member of assembly, and a wealthy proprietor, observed that he
entertained precisely the same views with those just expressed; but he
thought that the honorable gentleman had been unwise in uttering them in
so public a manner; "for," said he, "should these sentiments reach the
ear of parliament, as coming from us, _it might induce them to withhold
the compensation_."

Col. Edwards, member of the assembly, then arose and said, that he had
long been opposed to slavery, but he had not _dared to avow his

As might be supposed, the meeting adjourned without effecting the object
for which it was convened.

When the question came before the colonial assembly, similar discussions
ensued, and finally the bill for immediate emancipation passed both
bodies _unanimously_. It was an evidence of the spirit of selfish
expediency, which prompted the whole procedure, that they clogged the
emancipation bill with the proviso that a certain governmental tax on
exports, called the four and a half per cent tax[A], should be repealed.
Thus clogged, the bill was sent home for sanction, but it was rejected
by parliament, and sent back with instructions, that before it could
receive his majesty's seal, it must appear wholly unencumbered with
extraneous provisoes. This was a great disappointment to the
legislature, and it so chagrined them that very many actually withdrew
their support from the bill for emancipation, which passed finally in
the assembly only by the casting vote of the speaker.

[Footnote A: We subjoin the following brief history of the four and a
half per cent. tax, which we procured from the speaker of the assembly.
In the rein of Charles II., Antigua was conquered by the French, and the
inhabitants were forced to swear allegiance to the French government. In
a very short time the French were driven off the island and the English
again took possession of it. It was then declared, by order of the king,
that as the people had, by swearing allegiance to another government,
forfeited the protection of the British government, and all title to
their lands, they should not again receive either, except on condition
of paying to the king a duty of four and a half per cent on every
article exported from the island--and that they were to do in
_perpetuity_. To this hard condition they were obliged to submit, and
they have groaned under the onerous duty ever since. On every occasion,
which offered any hope, they have sought the repeal of the tax, but have
uniformly been defeated. When they saw that the abolition question was
coming to a crisis, they resolved to make a last effort for the repeal
of the four and a half percent duty. They therefore adopted immediate
emancipation, and then, covered as they were, with the laurels of so
magnanimous an act, they presented to parliament their cherished object.
The defeat was a humiliating one, and it produced such a reaction in the
island, as well nigh led to the rescinding of the abolition bill.]

The verbal and written statements of numerous planters also confirm the
declaration that emancipation was a measure solely of selfish policy.

Said Mr. Bernard, of Green Castle estate "Emancipation was preferred to
apprenticeship, because it was attended with less trouble, and left the
planters independent, instead of being saddled with a legion of
stipendiary magistrates."

Said Dr. Daniell, member of the council, and proprietor--"The
apprenticeship was rejected by us solely from motives of policy. We did
not wish to be annoyed with stipendiary magistrates."

Said Hon. N. Nugent--"We wished to let ourselves down in the easiest
manner possible; _therefore_ we chose immediate freedom in preference to
the apprenticeship."

"Emancipation was preferred to apprenticeship, because of the inevitable
and endless perplexities connected with the latter system."--_David
Cranstoun, Esq., colonial magistrate and planter_.

"It is not pretended that emancipation was produced by the influence of
religious considerations. It was a measure of mere convenience and
interest."--_A Moravian Missionary_.

The following testimony is extracted from a letter addressed to us by a
highly respectable merchant of St. John's--a gentleman of long
experience on the island, and now agent for several estates.
"Emancipation was an act of mere policy, adopted as _the safest and most
economic_ measure."

Our last item of testimony under this head is from a written statement
by the Hon. N. Nugent, speaker of the assembly, at the time of
emancipation. His remarks on this subject, although long, we are sure
will be read with interest. Alluding to the adoption of immediate
emancipation in preference to the apprenticeship, he observes:--

"The reasons and considerations which led to this step were various, of
course impressing the minds of different individuals in different
degrees. As slave emancipation could not be averted, and must inevitably
take place very shortly, it was better to meet the crisis at once, than
to have it hanging over our heads for six years, with all its harassing
doubts and anxieties; better to give an air of grace to that which would
be ultimately unavoidable; the slaves should rather have a motive of
gratitude and kind reciprocation, than to feel, on being declared free,
that their emancipation could neither be withheld nor retarded by their
owners. The projected apprenticeship, while it destroyed the means of an
instant coercion in a state of involuntary labor, equally withdrew or
neutralized all those urgent motives which constrain to industrious
exertion in the case of freemen. It abstracted from the master, in a
state of things then barely remunerative, one fourth of the time and
labor required in cultivation, and gave it to the servant, while it
compelled the master to supply the same allowances as before. With many
irksome restraints, conditions, and responsibilities imposed on the
master, it had no equivalent advantages. There appeared no reason, in
short, why general emancipation would not do as well in 1834 as in 1840.
Finally, a strong conviction existed that from peculiarity of climate
and soil, the physical wants and necessities of the peasantry would
compel them to labor for their subsistence, to seek employment and wages
from the proprietors of the soil; and if the _transformation_ could be
safely and quietly brought about, that the _free_ system might be
cheaper and more profitable than the other."

The general testimony of planters, missionaries, clergymen, merchants,
and others, was in confirmation of the same truth.

There is little reason to believe that the views of the colonists on
this subject have subsequently undergone much change. We did not hear,
excepting occasionally among the missionaries and clergy, the slightest
insinuation thrown out that _slavery was sinful_; that the slaves had a
right to freedom, or that it would have been wrong to have continued
them in bondage. The _politics_ of anti-slavery the Antiguans are
exceedingly well versed in, but of its _religion_, they seem to feel but
little. They seem never to have examined slavery in its moral relations;
never to have perceived its monstrous violations of right and its
impious tramplings upon God and man. The Antigua planters, it would
appear, have _yet_ to repent of the sin of slaveholding.

If the results of an emancipation so destitute of _principle_, so purely
selfish, could produce such general satisfaction, and be followed by
such happy results, it warrants us in anticipating still more decided
and unmingled blessings in the train of a voluntary, conscientious, and
religious abolition.

THIRD PROPOSITION.--The _event_ of emancipation passed PEACEFULLY. The
first of August, 1834, is universally regarded in Antigua, as having
presented a most imposing and sublime moral spectacle. It is almost
impossible to be in the company of a missionary, a planter, or an
emancipated negro, for ten minutes, without hearing some allusion to
that occasion. Even at the time of our visit to Antigua, after the lapse
of nearly three years, they spoke of the event with an admiration
apparently unabated.

For some time previous to the first of August, forebodings of disaster
lowered over the island. The day was fixed! Thirty thousand degraded
human beings were to be brought forth from the dungeon of slavery and
"turned loose on the community!" and this was to be done "in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye."

Gloomy apprehensions were entertained by many of the planters. Some
timorous families did not go to bed on the night of the 31st of July;
fear drove sleep from their eyes, and they awaited with fluttering pulse
the hour of midnight, fearing lest the same bell which sounded the
jubilee of the slaves might toll the death knell of the masters.[A]

[Footnote A: We were informed by a merchant of St. John's, that several
American vessels which had lain for weeks in the harbor, weighed anchor
on the 31st of July, and made their escape, through actual fear, that
the island would be destroyed on the following day. Ere they set sail
they earnestly besought our informant to escape from the island, as he
valued his life.]

The more intelligent, who understood the disposition of the negroes, and
contemplated the natural tendencies of emancipation, through
philosophical principles, and to the light of human nature and history,
were free from alarm.

To convey to the reader some idea of the manner in which the great
crisis passed, we give the substance of several accounts which were
related to us in different parts of the island, by those who
witnessed them.

The Wesleyans kept "watch-night" in all their chapels on the night of
the 31st July. One of the Wesleyan missionaries gave us an account of
the watch meeting at the chapel in St. John's. The spacious house was
filled with the candidates for liberty. All was animation and eagerness.
A mighty chorus of voices swelled the song of expectation and joy, and
as they united in prayer, the voice of the leader was drowned in the
universal acclamations of thanksgiving and praise, and blessing, and
honor, and glory, to God, who had come down for their deliverance. In
such exercises the evening was spent until the hour of twelve
approached. The missionary then proposed that when the clock on the
cathedral should begin to strike, the whole congregation should fall
upon their knees and receive the boon of freedom in silence.
Accordingly, as the loud bell tolled its first note, the immense
assembly fell prostrate on their knees. All was silence, save the
quivering half-stifled breath of the struggling spirit. The slow notes
of the clock fell upon the multitude; peal on peal, peal on peal, rolled
over the prostrate throng, in tones of angels' voices, thrilling among
the desolate chords and weary heart strings. Scarce had the clock
sounded its last note, when the lightning flashed vividly around, and a
loud peal of thunder roared along the sky--God's pillar of fire, and
trump of jubilee! A moment of profoundest silence passed--then came the
_burst_--they broke forth in prayer; they shouted, they sung, "Glory,"
"alleluia;" they clapped their hands, leaped up, fell down, clasped each
other in their free arms, cried, laughed, and went to and fro, tossing
upward their unfettered hands; but high above the whole there was a
mighty sound which ever and anon swelled up; it was the utterings in
broken negro dialect of gratitude to God.

After this gush of excitement had spent itself; and the congregation
became calm, the religious exercises were resumed, and the remainder of
the night was occupied in singing and prayer, in reading the Bible, and
in addresses from the missionaries explaining the nature of the freedom
just received, and exhorting the freed people to be industrious, steady,
obedient to the laws, and to show themselves in all things worthy of the
high boon which God had conferred upon them.

The first of August came on Friday, and a release was proclaimed from
all work until the next Monday. The day was chiefly spent by the great
mass of the negroes in the churches and chapels. Thither they flocked
"as clouds, and as doves to their windows." The clergy and missionaries
throughout the island were actively engaged, seizing the opportunity in
order to enlighten the people on all the duties and responsibilities of
their new relation, and above all, urging them to the attainment of that
higher liberty with which Christ maketh his children free. In every
quarter we were assured that the day was like a Sabbath. Work had
ceased; the hum of business was still, and noise and tumult were unheard
on the streets. Tranquillity pervaded the towns and country. A Sabbath
indeed! when the wicked ceased from troubling, and the weary were at
rest, and the slave was free from his master! The planters informed us
that they went to the chapels where their own people were assembled,
greeted them, shook hands with them, and exchanged the most hearty
good wishes.

The churches and chapels were thronged all over the island. At Cedar
Hall, a Moravian station, the crowd was so great that the minister was
obliged to remove the meeting from the chapel to a neighboring grove.

At Grace Hill, another Moravian station, the negroes went to the
Missionary on the day before the first of August, and begged that they
might be allowed to have a meeting in the chapel at sunrise. It is the
usual practice among the Moravians to hold but one sunrise meeting
during the year, and that is on the morning of Easter: but as the people
besought very earnestly for this special favor on the Easter morning of
their freedom, it was granted to them.

Early in the morning they assembled at the chapel. For some time they
sat in perfect silence. The missionary then proposed that they should
kneel down and sing. The whole audience fell upon their knees, and sung
a hymn commencing with the following verse:

   "Now let us praise the Lord,
   With body, soul and spirit,
   Who doth such wondrous things,
   Beyond our sense and merit."

The singing was frequently interrupted with the tears and sobbings of
the melted people, until finally it was wholly arrested, and a tumult of
emotion overwhelmed the congregation.

During the day, repeated meetings were held. At eleven o'clock, the
people assembled in vast numbers. There were at least a _thousand_
persons around the chapel, who could not get in. For once the house of
God suffered violence, and the violent took it by force. After all the
services of the day, the people went again to the missionaries in a
body, and petitioned to have a meeting in the evening.

At Grace Bay, the people, all dressed in white, assembled in a spacious
court in front of the Moravian chapel. They formed a procession and
walked arm in arm into the chapel. Similar scenes occurred at all the
chapels and at the churches also. We were told by the missionaries that
the dress of the negroes on that occasion was uncommonly simple and
modest. There was not the least disposition of gaiety.

We were also informed by planters and missionaries in every part of the
island, that there was not a single dance known of, either day or night,
nor so much as a fiddle played. There were no riotous assemblies, no
drunken carousals. It was not in such channels that the excitement of
the emancipated flowed. They were as far from dissipation and
debauchery, as they were from violence and carnage. GRATITUDE was the
absorbing emotion. From the hill-tops, and the valleys, the cry of a
disenthralled people went upward like the sound of many waters, "Glory
to God, glory to God."

The testimony of the planters corresponds fully with that of the

Said R.B. Eldridge, Esq., after speaking of the number emancipated, "Yet
this vast body, (30,000,) _glided_ out of slavery into freedom with the
utmost tranquillity."

Dr. Daniell observed, that after so prodigious a revolution in the
condition of the negroes, he expected that some irregularities would
ensue; but he had been entirely disappointed. He also said that he
anticipated some relaxation from labour during the week following
emancipation. But he found his hands in the field early on Monday
morning, and not one missing. The same day he received word from another
estate, of which he was proprietor,[A] that the negroes had to a man
refused to go to the field. He immediately rode to the estate and found
the people standing with their hoes in their hands doing nothing. He
accosted them in a friendly manner: "What does this mean, my fellows,
that you are not at work this morning?" They immediately replied, "It's
not because we don't want to work, massa, but we wanted to see you first
and foremost to _know what the bargain would be_." As soon as that
matter was settled, the whole body of negroes turned out cheerfully,
without a moment's cavil.

[Footnote A: It is not unusual in the West Indies for proprietors to
commit their own estates into the hands of managers; and be themselves,
the managers of other men's estates.]

Mr. Bourne, of Millar's, informed us that the largest gang he had ever
seen in the field on his property, turned out the _week after

Said Hon. N. Nugent, "Nothing could surpass the universal propriety of
the negroes' conduct on the first of August, 1834! Never was there a
more beautiful and interesting spectacle exhibited, than on that

FOURTH PROPOSITION.--There has been _since_ emancipation, not only _no
rebellion in fact_, but NO FEAR OF IT in Antigua.

Proof 1st. The militia were not called out during Christmas holidays.
_Before_ emancipation, martial law invariably prevailed on the holidays,
but the very first Christmas after emancipation, the Governor made a
proclamation stating that _in consequence of the abolition of slavery_
it was no longer necessary to resort to such a precaution. There has not
been a parade of soldiery on any subsequent Christmas.[B]

[Footnote B: This has been followed by a measure on the part of the
Legislature, which is further proof of the same thing. It is "an Act for
amending and further continuing the several Acts at present in force for
better organizing and ordering the militia."

The preamble reads thus:

    "WHEREAS the abolition of slavery in this island renders it
    expedient to provide against an unnecessary augmentation of the
    militia, and the existing laws for better organizing and ordering
    that local force require amendment."

The following military advertisement also shows the increasing
confidence which is felt in the freed men:

    "RECRUITS WANTED.--The free men of Antigua are now called on to show
    their gratitude and loyalty to King WILLIAM, for the benefits he has
    conferred on them and their families, by volunteering their services
    as soldiers in his First West India Regiment; in doing which they
    will acquire a still higher rank in society, by being placed on a
    footing of perfect equality with the other troops in his Majesty's
    service, and receive the same bounty, pay, clothing, rations and

    None but young men of good character can be received, and all such
    will meet with every encouragement by applying at St. John's
    Barracks, to

    H. DOWNIE, _Capt. 1st W.I. Regt_. _September 15th_, 1836."

2d. The uniform declaration of planters and others:

"Previous to emancipation, many persons apprehended violence and
bloodshed as the consequence of turning the slaves all loose. But when
emancipation took place, all these apprehensions vanished. The sense of
personal security is universal. We know not of a single instance in
which the negroes have exhibited a _revengeful spirit_."

_S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's.--Watkins, Esq., of Donovan's._

"It has always appeared to me self-evident, that if a man is peaceable
while a _slave_, he will be so when a _free man_."

_Dr. Ferguson._

"There is no possible danger of personal violence from the slaves;
should a foreign power invade our island, I have no doubt that the
negroes would, to a man, fight for the planters. I have the utmost
confidence in all the people who are under my management; they are my
friends, and they consider me their friend."

_H. Armstrong, Esq., of Fitch's Creek._

The same gentleman informed us that during slavery, he used frequently
to lie sleepless on his bed, thinking about his dangerous situation--a
lone white person far away from help, and surrounded by hundreds of
savage slaves; and he had spent hours thus, in devising plans of
self-defence in case the house should be attacked by the negroes. "If
they come," he would say to himself, "and break down the door, and fill
my bedroom, what shall I do? It will be useless to fire at them; my only
hope is to frighten the superstitious fellows by covering myself with a
white sheet, and rushing into the midst of them, crying,
'ghost, ghost.'"

Now Mr. A. sleeps in peace and safety, without conjuring up a ghost to
keep guard at his bedside. His bodyguard is a battalion of substantial
flesh and blood, made up of those who were once the objects of his
nightly terror!

"There has been no instance of personal violence since freedom. Some
persons pretended, prior to emancipation, to apprehend disastrous
results; but for my part I cannot say that I ever entertained such
fears. I could not see any thing which was to instigate negroes to
rebellion, _after_ they had obtained their liberty. I have not heard of
a single case of even _meditated_ revenge."

_Dr. Daniell, Proprietor, Member of Council, Attorney of six estates,
and Manager of Weatherill's._

"One of the blessings of emancipation has been, that it has banished the
_fear_ of insurrections, incendiarism, &c."

_Mr. Favey, Manager of Lavicount's._

"In my extensive intercourse with the people, as missionary, I have
never heard of an instance of violence or revenge on the part of the
negroes, even where they had been ill-treated during slavery."

_Rev. Mr. Morrish, Moravian Missionary._

"Insurrection or revenge is in no case dreaded, not even by those
planters who were most cruel in the time of slavery. My family go to
sleep every night with the doors unlocked, and we fear neither violence
nor robbery."

_Hon. N. Nugent._

Again, in a written communication, the same gentleman remarks:--"There
is not the slightest feeling of insecurity--quite the contrary. Property
is more secure, _for all idea of insurrection is abolished forever_."

"We have no cause now to fear insurrections; emancipation has freed us
from all danger on this score."

_David Cranstoun, Esq._

Extract of a letter from a merchant of St. John's who has resided in
Antigua more than thirty years:

"There is no sense of personal danger arising from insurrections or
conspiracies among the blacks. Serious apprehensions of this nature were
formerly entertained; but they gradually died away _during the first
year of freedom_."

We quote the following from a communication addressed to us by a
gentleman of long experience in Antigua--now a merchant in St.
John's--_James Scotland, Sen., Esq._

"Disturbances, insubordinations, and revelry, have greatly decreased
since emancipation; and it is a remarkable fact, that on the day of
abolition, which was observed with the solemnity and services of the
Sabbath, not an instance of common insolence was experienced from any
freed man."

"There is no feeling of insecurity. A stronger proof of this cannot be
given than the dispensing, within five months after emancipation, with
the Christmas guards, which had been regularly and uninterruptedly kept,
for nearly one hundred years--during the whole time of slavery."

"The military has never been called out, but on one occasion, since the
abolition, and that was when a certain planter, the most violent enemy
of freedom, reported to the Governor that there were strong symptoms of
insurrection among his negroes. The story was generally laughed at, and
the reporter of it was quite ashamed of his weakness and fears."

"My former occupation, as editor of a newspaper, rendered it necessary
for me to make incessant inquiries into the conduct as well as the
treatment of the emancipated, and I have _never heard any instance of
revenge_ for former injuries. The negroes have _quitted_ managers who
were _harsh or cruel_ to them in their bondage, but they removed in a
peaceable and orderly manner."

"Our negroes, and I presume other negroes too, are very little less
sensible to the force of those motives which lead to the peace, order,
and welfare of society, than any other set of people."

"The general conduct of the negroes has been worthy of much praise,
especially considering the sudden transition from slavery to
unrestricted freedom. Their demeanor is peaceable and orderly."

_Ralph Higinbothom, U. S. Consul._

As we mingled with the missionaries, both in town and country, they all
bore witness to the security of their persons and families. They,
equally with the planters, were surprised that we should make any
inquiries about insurrections. A question on this subject generally
excited a smile, a look of astonishment, or some exclamation, such as
"_Insurrection_! my dear sirs, we do not think of such a thing;" or,
"Rebellion indeed! why, what should they rebel for _now_, since they
have got their liberty!"

Physicians informed us that they were in the habit of riding into the
country at all hours of the night, and though they were constantly
passing negroes, both singly and in companies, they never had
experienced any rudeness, nor even so much as an insolent word. They
could go by night or day, into any part of the island where their
professional duties called them, without the slightest sense of danger.

A residence of nine weeks in the island gave us no small opportunity of
testing the reality of its boasted security. The hospitality of planters
and missionaries, of which we have recorded so many instances in a
previous part of this work, gave us free access to their houses in every
part of the island. In many cases we were constrained to spend the night
with them, and thus enjoyed, in the intimacies of the domestic circle,
and in the unguarded moments of social intercourse, every opportunity of
detecting any lurking fears of violence, if such there had been; but we
saw no evidence of it, either in the arrangements of the houses or in
the conduct of the inmates[A].

[Footnote A: In addition to the evidence derived from Antigua, we
would mention the following fact:

A planter, who is also an attorney, informed us that on the neighboring
little island of Barbuda, (which is leased from the English government
by Sir Christopher Coddrington,) there are five hundred negroes and only
_three white men_. The negroes are entirely free, yet the whites
continue to live among them without any fear of having their throats
cut. The island is cultivated in sugar.--Barbuda is under the
government of Antigua, and accordingly the act of entire emancipation
extended to that island.]

FIFTH PROPOSITION.--There has been no fear of house breaking, highway
robberies, and like misdemeanors, since emancipation. Statements,
similar to those adduced under the last head, from planters, and other
gentlemen, might be introduced here; but as this proposition is so
intimately involved in the foregoing, separate proof is not necessary.
The same causes which excite apprehensions of insurrection, produce
fears of robberies and other acts of violence; so also the same state of
society which establishes security of person, insures the safety of
property. Both in town and country we heard gentlemen repeatedly speak
of the slight fastenings to their houses. A mere lock, or bolt, was all
that secured the outside doors, and they might be burst open with ease,
by a single man. In some cases, as has already been intimated, the
planters habitually neglect to fasten their doors--so strong is their
confidence of safety. We were not a little struck with the remark of a
gentleman in St. John's. He said he had long been desirous to remove to
England, his native country, and had slavery continued much longer in
Antigua, he certainly should have gone; but _now_ the _security of
property was so much greater in Antigua than it was in England_, that he
thought it doubtful whether he should ever _venture_ to take his
family thither.

SIXTH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation is regarded by all classes as a great
blessing to the island.

There is not a class, or party, or sect, who do not esteem the abolition
of slavery as a _special blessing to them_. The rich, because it
relieved them of "property" which was fast becoming a disgrace, as it
had always been a vexation and a tax, and because it has emancipated
them from the terrors of insurrection, which kept them all their life
time subject to bondage. The poor whites--because it lifted from off
them the yoke of civil oppression. The free colored population--because
it gave the death blow to the prejudice that crushed them, and opened
the prospect of social, civil, and political equality with the whites.
The _slaves_--because it broke open their dungeon, led them out to
liberty, and gave them, in one munificent donation, their wives, their
children, their bodies, their souls--every thing!

The following extracts from the journals of the legislature, show the
state of feeling existing shortly after emancipation. The first is dated
October 30, 1834:

"The Speaker said, that he looked with exultation at the prospect before
us. The hand of the Most High was evidently working for us. Could we
regard the universal tranquillity, the respectful demeanor of the lower
classes, as less than an interposition of Providence? The agricultural
and commercial prosperity of the island were absolutely on the advance;
and for his part he would not hesitate to purchase estates to-morrow."

The following remark was made in the course of a speech by a member of
the council, November 12, 1834:

"Colonel Brown stated, that since emancipation he had never been without
a sufficient number of laborers, and he was certain he could obtain as
many more to-morrow as he should wish."

The general confidence in the beneficial results of emancipation, has
grown stronger with every succeeding year and month. It has been seen
that freedom will bear trial; that it will endure, and continue to bring
forth fruits of increasing value.

The Governor informed us that "it was _universally admitted_, that
emancipation had been a great blessing to the island."

In a company of proprietors and planters, who met us on a certain
occasion, among whom were lawyers, magistrates, and members of the
council, and of the assembly, the sentiment was distinctly avowed, that
emancipation was highly beneficial to the island, and there was not a
dissenting opinion.

"Emancipation is working most admirably, especially for the planters. It
is infinitely better policy than slavery or the apprenticeship either."
--_Dr. Ferguson_.

"Our planters find that freedom answers a far better purpose than
slavery ever did. A gentleman, who is attorney for eight estates,
assured me that there was no comparison between the benefits and
advantages of the two systems."--_Archdeacon Parry_.

"All the planters in my neighborhood (St. Philip's parish) are highly
pleased with the operation of the new system."--_Rev. Mr. Jones, Rector
of St. Philip's_.

"I do not know of more than one or two planters in the whole island, who
do not consider emancipation as a decided advantage to all parties."
--_Dr. Daniell_.

That emancipation should be universally regarded as a blessing, is
remarkable, when we consider that combination of untoward circumstances
which it has been called to encounter--a combination wholly
unprecedented in the history of the island. In 1835, the first year of
the new system, the colony was visited by one of the most desolating
hurricanes which has occurred for many years. In the same year,
cultivation was arrested, and the crops greatly reduced, by drought.
About the same time, the yellow fever prevailed with fearful mortality.
The next year the drought returned, and brooded in terror from March
until January, and from January until June: not only blasting the
harvest of '36, but extending its blight over the crops of '37.

Nothing could be better calculated to try the confidence in the new
system. Yet we find all classes zealously exonerating emancipation, and
in despite of tornado, plague, and wasting, still affirming the
blessings and advantages of freedom!

SEVENTH PROPOSITION.--_Free labor_ is decidedly LESS EXPENSIVE than
_slave labor_. It costs the planter actually less to pay his free
laborers daily wages, than it did to maintain his slaves. It will be
observed in the testimony which follows, that there is some difference
of opinion as to the _precise amount_ of reduction in the expenses,
which is owing to the various modes of management on different estates,
and more particularly, to the fact that some estates raise all their
provisions, while others raise none. But as to the fact itself, there
can scarcely be said to be any dispute among the planters. There was one
class of planters whose expenses seemed to be somewhat increased, viz.
those who raised all their provisions before emancipation, and ceased to
raise any _after_ that event. But in the opinion of the most intelligent
planters, even these did not really sustain any loss, for originally it
was bad policy to raise provisions, since it engrossed that labor which
would have been more profitably directed to the cultivation of sugar;
and hence they would ultimately be gainers by the change.

S. Bourne, Esq. stated that the expenses on Millar's estate, of which he
is manager, had diminished about _one third_.

Mr. Barnard, of Green Castle, thought his expenses were about the same
that they were formerly.

Mr. Favey, of Lavicount's estate, enumerated, among the advantages of
freedom over slavery, "the diminished expense."

Dr. Nugent also stated, that "the expenses of cultivation were greatly

Mr. Hatley, manager of Fry's estate, said that the expenses on his
estate had been greatly reduced since emancipation. He showed us the
account of his expenditures for the last year of slavery, and the first
full year of freedom, 1835. The expenses during the last year of slavery
were 1371_l._ 2_s._ 4-1/2_d._; the expenses for 1835 were 821_l._ 16_s._
7-1/2_d._: showing a reduction of more than one third.

D. Cranstoun, Esq., informed us that his weekly expenses during slavery,
on the estate which he managed, were, on an average, 45_l._; the average
expenses now do not exceed 20_l._

Extract of a letter from Hon. N. Nugent:

"The expenses of cultivating sugar estates have in no instance, I
believe, been found _greater_ than before. As far as my experience goes,
they are certainly less, particularly as regards those properties which
were overhanded before, when proprietors were compelled to support more
dependents than they required. In some cases, the present cost is less
by _one third_. I have not time to furnish you with any detailed
statements, but the elements of the calculation are simple enough."

It is not difficult to account for the diminution in the cost of
cultivation. In the first place, for those estates that bought their
provision previous to emancipation, it cost more money to purchase their
stores than they now pay out in wages. This was especially true in dry
seasons, when home provisions failed, and the island was mainly
dependent upon foreign supplies.

But the chief source of the diminution lies in the reduced number of
people to be supported by the planter. During slavery, the planter was
required by law to maintain _all_ the slaves belonging to the estate;
the superannuated, the infirm, the pregnant, the nurses, the young
children, and the infants, as well as the working slaves. Now it is only
the latter class, the effective laborers, (with the addition of such as
were superannuated or infirm at the period of emancipation,) who are
dependent upon the planter. These are generally not more than one half,
frequently less than a third, of the whole number of negroes resident on
the estate; consequently a very considerable burthen has been removed
from the planter.

The reader may form some estimate of the reduced expense to the planter,
resulting from these causes combined, by considering the statement made
to us by Hon. N. Nugent, and repeatedly by proprietors and managers,
that had slavery been in existence during the present drought, many of
the smaller estates _must have been inevitably ruined_; on account of
the high price of imported provisions, (home provisions having fallen
short) and the number of slaves to be fed.

EIGHTH PROPOSITION.--The negroes work _more cheerfully_, and _do their
work better_ than they did during slavery. Wages are found to be an
ample substitute for the lash--they never fail to secure the amount of
labor desired. This is particularly true where task work is tried, which
is done occasionally in cases of a pressing nature, when considerable
effort is required. We heard of no complaints on the score of idleness,
but on the contrary, the negroes were highly commended for the
punctuality and cheerfulness with which they performed the work
assigned them.

The Governor stated, that "he was assured by planters, from every part
of the island, that the negroes were very industriously disposed."

"My people have become much more industrious since they were
emancipated. I have been induced to extend the sugar cultivation over a
number of acres more than have ever been cultivated before."--_Mr.
Watkins, of Donovan's_.

"Fearing the consequences of emancipation, I reduced my cultivation in
the year '34; but soon finding that my people would work as well as
ever, I brought up the cultivation the next year to the customary
extent, and this year ('36) I have added fifteen acres of new
land."--_S. Bourne, of Millar's_.

"Throughout the island the estates were never in a more advanced state
than they now are. The failure in the crops is not in the slightest
degree chargeable to a deficiency of labor. I have frequently adopted
the job system for short periods; the results have always been
gratifying--the negroes accomplished twice as much as when they worked
for daily wages, because they made more money. On some days they would
make three shillings--three times the ordinary wages."--_Dr. Daniell_.

"They are as a body _more_ industrious than when slaves, for the obvious
reason that they are _working for themselves_."--_Ralph Higinbothom,
U.S. Consul_.

"I have no hesitation in saying that on my estate cultivation is more
forward than ever it has been at the same season. The failure of the
crops is not in the least degree the fault of the laborers. They have
done well."--_Mr. Favey, of Lavicount's estate_.

"The most general apprehension prior to emancipation was, that the
negroes would not work after they were made free--that they would be
indolent, buy small parcels of land, and '_squat_' on them to the
neglect of sugar cultivation. Time, however, has proved that there was
no foundation for this apprehension. The estates were never in better
order than they are at present. If you are interrogated on your return
home concerning the cultivation of Antigua, you can say that every thing
depends upon the _weather_. If we have _sufficient rain_, you may be
certain that we shall realize abundant crops. If we have no rain, the
crops _must inevitably_ fail. _But we always depend upon the laborers_.
On account of the stimulus to industry which wages afford, there is far
less feigned sickness than there was during slavery. When slaves, the
negroes were glad to find any excuse for deserting their labor, and they
were incessantly feigning sickness. The sick-house was thronged with
real and pretended invalids. After '34, it was wholly deserted. The
negroes would not go near it; and, in truth, I have lately used it for a
stable."--_Hon. N. Nugent_.

"Though the laborers on both the estates under my management have been
considerably reduced since freedom, yet the grounds have never been in a
finer state of cultivation, than they are at present. When my work is
backward, I give it out in jobs, and it is always done in half the
usual time."

"Emancipation has almost wholly put an end to the practice of
_skulking_, or pretending to be sick. That was a thing which caused the
planter a vast deal of trouble during slavery. Every Monday morning
regularly, when I awoke, I found ten or a dozen, or perhaps twenty men
and women, standing around my door, waiting for me to make my first
appearance, and begging that I would let them off from work that day on
account of sickness. It was seldom the case that one fourth of the
applicants were really unwell; but every one would maintain that he was
very sick, and as it was hard to contend with them about it, they were
all sent off to the sick-house. Now this is entirely done away, and my
sick-house is converted into a chapel for religious worship."--_James
Howell, Esq._

"I find my people much more disposed to work than they formerly were.
The habit of feigning sickness to get rid of going to the field, is
completely broken up. This practice was very common during slavery. It
was often amusing to hear their complaints. One would come carrying an
arm in one hand, and declaring that it had a mighty pain in it, and he
could not use the hoe no way; another would make his appearance with
both hands on his breast, and with a rueful look complain of a great
pain in the stomach; a third came limping along, with a _dreadful
rheumatiz_ in his knees; and so on for a dozen or more. It was vain to
dispute with them, although it was often manifest that nothing earthly
was ailing them. They would say, 'Ah! me massa, you no tink how bad me
feel--it's _deep in_, massa.' But all this trouble is passed. We have no
sick-house now; no feigned sickness, and really much less actual illness
than formerly. My people say, '_they have not time to be sick now_.' My
cultivation has never been so far advanced at the same season, or in
finer order than it is at the present time. I have been encouraged by
the increasing industry of my people to bring several additional acres
under cultivation."--_Mr. Hatley, Fry's estate_.

"I get my work done better than formerly, and with incomparably more
cheerfulness. My estate was never in a finer state of cultivation than
it is now, though I employ _fewer_ laborers than during slavery. I have
occasionally used job, or task work, and with great success. When I give
out a job, it is accomplished in about half the time that it would have
required by giving the customary wages. The people will do as much in
one week at job work, as they will in two, working for a shilling a day.
I have known them, when they had a job to do, turn out before three
o'clock in the morning, and work by moonlight."--_D. Cranstoun, Esq._

"My people work very well for the ordinary wages; I have no fault to
find with them in this respect."--_Manager of Scotland's estate_.

_Extract from the Superintendent's Report to the Commander in Chief_.


    "During the last month I have visited the country in almost every
    direction, with the express object of paying a strict attention to
    all branches of agricultural operations at that period progressing.

    The result of my observations is decidedly favorable, as regards
    proprietors and laborers. The manufacture of sugar has advanced as
    far as the long and continued want of rain will admit; the lands,
    generally, appear to be in a forward state of preparation for the
    ensuing crop, and the laborers seem to work with more steadiness and
    satisfaction to themselves and their employers, than they have
    manifested for some length of time past, and their work is much more
    correctly performed.

    Complaints are, for the most part, adduced by the employers against
    the laborers, and principally consist, (as hitherto,) of breaches of
    contract; but I am happy to observe, that a diminution of
    dissatisfaction on this head even, has taken place, as will be seen
    by the accompanying general return of offences reported.

    Your honor's most obedient, humble servant,

    _Richard S. Wickham, Superintendent of police_."

NINTH PROPOSITION.--The negroes are _more easily managed_ as freemen
than they were when slaves.

On this point as well as on every other connected with the system of
slavery, public opinion in Antigua has undergone an entire revolution,
since 1834. It was then a common maxim that the peculiar characteristics
of the negro absolutely required a government of terror and brute force.

The Governor said, "The negroes are as a race remarkable for _docility_;
they are very easily controlled by kind influence. It is only necessary
to gain their confidence, and you can sway them as you please."

"Before emancipation took place, I dreaded the consequence of abolishing
the power of compelling labor, but I have since found by experience that
forbearance and kindness are sufficient for all purposes of authority. I
have seldom had any trouble in managing my people. They consider me
their friend, and the expression of my wish is enough for them. Those
planters who have retained their _harsh manner_ do not succeed under the
new system. The people will not bear it."--_Mr. J. Howell_.

"I find it remarkably easy to manage my people. I govern them entirely
by mildness. In every instance in which managers have persisted in their
habits of arbitrary command, they have failed. I have lately been
obliged to discharge a manager from one of the estates under my
direction, on account of his overbearing disposition. If I had not
dismissed him, the people would have abandoned the estate _en
masse_."--_Dr. Daniell_.

"The management of an estate under the free system is a much lighter
business than it used to be. We do not have the trouble to get the
people to work, or to keep them in order."--_Mr. Favey_.

"Before the abolition of slavery, I thought it would be utterly
impossible to manage my people without tyrannizing over them as usual,
and that it would be giving up the reins of government entirely, to
abandon the whip; but I am now satisfied that I was mistaken. I have
lost all desire to exercise arbitrary power. I have known of several
instances in which unpleasant disturbances have been occasioned by
managers giving way to their anger, and domineering over the laborers.
The people became disobedient and disorderly, and remained so until the
estates went into other hands, and a good management immediately
restored confidence and peace."--_Mr. Watkins_.

"Among the advantages belonging to the free system, may he enumerated
the greater facility in managing estates. We are freed from a world of
trouble and perplexity."--_David Cranstoun, Esq._

"I have no hesitation in saying, that if I have a supply of cash, I can
take off any crop it may please God to send. Having already, since
emancipation, taken off one fully sixty hogsheads above the average of
the last twenty years. I can speak with confidence."--_Letter from S.
Bourne, Esq._

Mr. Bourne stated a fact which illustrates the ease with which the
negroes are governed by gentle means. He said that it was a prevailing
practice during slavery for the slaves to have a dance soon after they
had finished gathering in the crop. At the completion of his crop in
'35, the people made arrangements for having the customary dance. They
were particularly elated because the crop which they had first taken off
was the largest one that had ever been produced by the estate, and it
was also the largest crop on the island for that year. With these
extraordinary stimulants and excitements, operating in connection with
the influence of habit, the people were strongly inclined to have a
dance. Mr. B. told them that dancing was a bad practice--and a very
childish, barbarous amusement, and he thought it was wholly unbecoming
_freemen_. He hoped therefore that they would dispense with it. The
negroes could not exactly agree with their manager--and said they did
not like to be disappointed in their expected sport. Mr. B. finally
proposed to them that he would get the Moravian minister, Rev. Mr.
Harvey, to ride out and preach to them on the appointed evening. The
people all agreed to this. Accordingly, Mr. Harvey preached, and they
said no more about the dance--nor have they ever attempted to get up a
dance since.

We had repeated opportunities of witnessing the management of the
laborers on the estates, and were always struck with the absence of
every thing like coercion.

By the kind invitation of Mr. Bourne, we accompanied him once on a
morning circuit around his estate. After riding some distance, we came
to the 'great gang' cutting canes. Mr. B. saluted the people in a
friendly manner, and they all responded with a hearty 'good mornin,
massa.' There were more than fifty persons, male and female, on the
spot. The most of them were employed in cutting canes[A], which they did
with a heavy knife called a _bill_. Mr. B. beckoned to the
superintendent, a black man, to come to him, and gave him some
directions for the forenoon's work, and then, after saying a few
encouraging words to the people, took us to another part of the estate,
remarking as we rode off, "I have entire confidence that those laborers
will do their work just as I want to have it done." We next came upon
some men, who were hoeing in a field of corn. We found that there had
been a slight altercation between two of the men. Peter, who was a
foreman, came to Mr. B., and complained that George would not leave the
cornfield and go to another kind of work as he had bid him. Mr. B.
called George, and asked for an explanation. George had a long story to
tell, and he made an earnest defence, accompanied with impassioned
gesticulation; but his dialect was of such outlandish description, that
we could not understand him. Mr. B. told us that the main ground of his
defence was that Peter's direction was _altogether unreasonable_. Peter
was then called upon to sustain his complaint; he spoke with equal
earnestness and equal unintelligibility. Mr. B. then gave his decision,
with great kindness of manner, which quite pacified both parties.

[Footnote A: The process of cutting canes is this:--The leafy part, at
top is first cut off down as low as the saccharine matter A few of the
lowest joints of the part thus cut off, are then stripped of the leaves,
and cut off for _plants_, for the next crop. The stalk is then cut off
close to the ground--and it is that which furnishes the juice for
sugar. It is from three to twelve feet long, and from one to two inches
in diameter, according to the quality of the soil, the seasonableness of
the weather, &c. The cutters are followed by _gatherers_, who bind up
the plants and stalks, as the cutters cast them behind them, in
different bundles. The carts follow in the train, and take up the
bundles--carrying the stalks to the mill to be ground, and the plants in
another direction.]

As we rode on, Mr. B. informed us that George was himself the foreman of
a small weeding gang, and felt it derogatory to his dignity to be
ordered by Peter.

We observed on all the estates which we visited, that the planters, when
they wish to influence their people, are in the habit of appealing to
them as _freemen_, and that now better things are expected of them. This
appeal to their self-respect seldom fails of carrying the point.

It is evident from the foregoing testimony, that if the negroes do not
work well on any estate, it is generally speaking the _fault of the
manager_. We were informed of many instances in which arbitrary men were
discharged from the management of estates, and the result has been the
restoration of order and industry among the people.

On this point we quote the testimony of James Scotland, Sen., Esq., an
intelligent and aged merchant of St. John's:

"In this colony, the evils and troubles attending emancipation have
resulted almost entirely from the perseverance of the planters in their
old habits of domination. The planters very frequently, indeed, _in the
early stage of freedom_, used their power as employers to the annoyance
and injury of their laborers. For the slightest misconduct, and
sometimes without any reason whatever, the poor negroes were dragged
before the magistrates, (planters or their friends,) and mulcted in
their wages, fined otherwise, and committed to jail or the house of
correction. And yet those harassed people remained patient, orderly and
submissive. _Their treatment now is much improved. The planters have
happily discovered, that as long as they kept the cultivators of their
lands in agitations and sufferings, their own interests were

TENTH PROPOSITION.--The negroes are _more trust-worthy, and take a
deeper interest in their employers' affairs_, since emancipation.

"My laborers manifest an increasing attachment to the estate. In all
their habits they are becoming more settled, and they begin to feel that
they have a personal interest in the success of the property on which
they live."--_Mr. Favey_.

"As long as the negroes felt uncertain whether they would remain in one
place, or be dismissed and compelled to seek a home elsewhere, they
manifested very little concern for the advancement of their employers'
interest; but in proportion as they become permanently established on an
estate, they seem to identify themselves with its prosperity. The
confidence between master and servant is mutually increasing."--_Mr.
James Howell_.

The Hon. Mr. Nugent, Dr. Daniell, D. Cranstoun, Esq., and other
planters, enumerated among the advantages of freedom, the planters being
released from the perplexities growing out of want of confidence in the
sympathy and honesty of the slaves.

S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's, remarked as we were going towards his mill
and boiling-house, which had been in operation about a week, "I have not
been near my works for several days; yet I have no fears but that I
shall find every thing going on properly."

The planters have been too deeply experienced in the nature of slavery,
not to know that mutual jealousy, distrust, and alienation of feeling
and interest, are its legitimate offspring; and they have already seen
enough of the operation of freedom, to entertain the confident
expectation, that fair wages, kind treatment, and comfortable homes,
will attach the laborers to the estates, and identify the interests of
the employer and the employed.

ELEVENTH PROPOSITION.--The experiment in Antigua proves that emancipated
slaves can _appreciate law_. It is a prevailing opinion that those who
have long been slaves, cannot at once be safely subjected to the
control of law.

It will now be seen how far this theory is supported by facts. Let it be
remembered that the negroes of Antigua passed, "by a single _jump_, from
absolute slavery to unqualified freedom."[A] In proof of _their
subordination to law_, we give the testimony of planters, and quote also
from the police reports sent in monthly to the Governor, with copies of
which we were kindly furnished by order of His Excellency.

[Footnote A: Dr. Daniell.]

"I have found that the negroes are readily controlled by law; more so
perhaps than the laboring classes in other countries."--_David
Cranstoun, Esq._

"The conduct of the negro population generally, has surpassed all
expectation. They are as pliant to the hand of legislation, as any
people; perhaps more so than some." _Wesleyan Missionary_.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the Governor, the Hon. N. Nugent,
R.B. Eldridge, Esq., Dr. Ferguson, Dr. Daniell, and James Scotland, Jr.,
Esq., and numerous other planters, managers, &c. This testimony is
corroborated by the police reports, exhibiting, as they do,
comparatively few crimes, and those for the most part minor ones. We
have in our possession the police reports for every month from
September, 1835, to January, 1837. We give such specimens as will serve
to show the general tenor of the reports.

    _Police-Office, St. John's, Sept_. 3, 1835.

    "From the information which I have been able to collect by my own
    personal exertions, and from the reports of the assistant
    inspectors, at the out stations, I am induced to believe that, in
    general, a far better feeling and good understanding at present
    prevails between the laborers and their employers, than hitherto.

    Capital offences have much decreased in number, as well as all minor
    ones, and the principal crimes lately submitted for the
    investigation of the magistrates, seem to consist chiefly in
    trifling offences and breaches of contract.

    _Signed, Richard S. Wickham,

    Superintendent of Police_."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "To his excellency,

    _Sir C.I. Murray McGregor, Governor, &c_.

    _St. John's, Antigua, Oct_. 2, 1835.

    Sir--The general state of regularity and tranquillity which prevails
    throughout the island, admits of my making but a concise report to
    your Excellency, for the last month.

    The autumnal agricultural labors continue to progress favorably, and
    I have every reason to believe, that the agriculturalists,
    generally, are far more satisfied with the internal state of the
    island affairs, than could possibly have been anticipated a short
    period since.

    From conversations which I have had with several gentlemen of
    extensive interest and practical experience, united with my own
    observations, I do not hesitate in making a favorable report of the
    general easy and quietly progressing state of contentedness,
    evidently showing itself among the laboring class; and I may add,
    that with few exceptions, a reciprocity of kind and friendly feeling
    at present is maintained between the planters and their laborers.

    Although instances do occur of breach of contract, they are not very
    frequent, and in many cases I have been induced to believe, that the
    crime has originated more from the want of a proper understanding of
    the time, intent, and meaning of the contract into which the
    laborers have entered, than from the actual existence of any
    dissatisfaction on their part."

    _Signed, &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

    _St. John's, Antigua, Dec. 2d_, 1835.

    "Sir--I have the honor to report that a continued uninterrupted
    state of peace and good order has happily prevailed throughout the
    island, during the last month.

    The calendar of offences for trial at the ensuing sessions, bears
    little comparison with those of former periods, and I am happy to
    state, that the crimes generally, are of a trifling nature, and
    principally petty thefts.

    By a comparison of the two last lists of offences submitted for
    investigation, it will be found that a decrease has taken place in
    that for November."

    _Signed, &c_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    St. John's, January 2d, 1836.

    "Sir--I have great satisfaction in reporting to your Honor the
    peaceable termination of the last year, and of the
    Christmas vacation.

    At this period of the year, which has for ages been celebrated for
    scenes of gaiety and amusement among the laboring, as well as all
    other classes of society, and when several successive days of
    idleness occur, I cannot but congratulate your Honor, on the quiet
    demeanor and general good order, which has happily been maintained
    throughout the island.

    It may not be improper here to remark, that during the holidays, I
    had only one prisoner committed to my charge, and that even his
    offence was of a minor nature."

    _Signed, &c_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract of Report for February, 1836._

    "The operation of the late Contract Acts, caused some trifling
    inconvenience at the commencement, but now that they are clearly
    understood, even by the young and ignorant, I am of opinion, that
    the most beneficial effects have resulted from these salutary Acts,
    equally to master and servant, and that a permanent understanding is
    fully established.

    A return of crimes reported during the month of January, I beg leave
    to enclose, and at the same time, to congratulate your Honor on the
    vast diminution of all minor misdemeanors, and of the continued
    total absence of capital offences."

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Superintendent's office_, _Antigua, April 4th_, 1836.

    "SIR--I am happy to remark, for the information of your Honor, that
    the Easter holidays have passed off, without the occurrence of any
    violation of the existing laws sufficiently serious to merit
    particular observation."[A]

    _Signed, &c_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Footnote A: This and the other reports concern, not St. John's merely,
but the entire population of the island.]

_Extract from the Report for May, 1836._

    "It affords me great satisfaction in being able to report that the
    continued tranquillity prevailing throughout the island, prevents
    the necessity of my calling the particular attention of your Honor
    to the existence of any serious or flagrant offence.

    The crop season having far advanced, I have much pleasure in
    remarking the continued steady and settled disposition, which on
    most properties appear to be reciprocally established between the
    proprietors and their agricultural laborers; and I do also venture
    to offer as my opinion, that a considerable improvement has taken
    place, in the behavior of domestic, as well as other laborers, not
    immediately employed in husbandry."

We quote the following table of offences as a specimen of the monthly

_Police Office, St. John's, 1836._


NATURE OF   St.      E.     Par-  John-    Total.  More    Less
OFFENSES.  John's.  Har-    ham.  ston's           than    than
                    bour.         Point.           last    last
                                                  month.  month.

Assaults.    2       2                       4               5
  Do. and
  Batteries. 2       3       5              10               8

Breach of
Contract.    4      11      59              74              16

Burglaries.  2               3               5       2

  Act.       4       1                       5              10
  Do. for
  Fines.     5                               5       2
  Do under
  Act.                                                       7

Felonies.    2                               2       2

Injury to
property.    4       9       7              20               5

Larcenies.   4                               4       4

Misdemeanors.3      12                      15      15


Thefts.              1                       1              10

Trespasses.  1       2       2               5

thro' the

Total       33      41      76             150      25      61

_Signed_,     Richard S. Wickham,
_Superintendent of Police_.

       *       *       *       *       *

     _Superintendent's office_,
     _Antigua, July 6th_, 1836.

    "SIR,--I have the honor to submit for your information, a general
    return of all offences reported during the last month, by which your
    Honor will perceive, that no increase of 'breach of contract' has
    been recorded.

    While I congratulate your Honor on the successful maintenance of
    general peace, and a reciprocal good feeling among all classes of
    society, I beg to assure you, that the opinion which I have been
    able to form in relation to the behavior of the laboring population,
    differs but little from my late observations.

    At a crisis like this, when all hopes of the ultimate success of so
    grand and bold an experiment, depends, almost entirely, on a cordial
    co-operation of the community, I sincerely hope, that no obstacles
    or interruptions will now present themselves, to disturb that
    general good understanding so happily established, since the
    adoption of unrestricted freedom."

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Superintendent's office_,
    _St. John's, Sept. 4th_, 1836.

    "SIR--I have the honor to enclose, for the information of your
    Excellency, the usual monthly return of offences reported for

    It affords me very great satisfaction to report, that the internal
    peace and tranquillity of the island has remained uninterrupted
    during the last month; the conduct of all classes of the community
    has been orderly and peaceable, and strictly obedient to the laws of
    their country.

    The agricultural laborers continue a steady and uniform line of
    conduct, and with some few exceptions, afford a general satisfaction
    to their several employers.

    Every friend to this country, and to the liberties of the world,
    must view with satisfaction the gradual improvement in the character
    and behavior of this class of the community, under the constant
    operation of the local enactments.

    The change must naturally be slow, but I feel sure that, in due
    time, a general amelioration in the habits and industry of the
    laborers will be sensibly experienced by all grades of society in
    this island, and will prove the benign effects and propitious
    results of the co-operated exertions of all, for their general
    benefit and future advancement.

    Complaints have been made in the public prints of the robberies
    committed in this town, as well as the neglect of duty of the police
    force, and as these statements must eventually come under the
    observation of your Excellency, I deem it my duty to make a few
    observations on this point.

    The town of St. John's occupies a space of one hundred and sixty
    acres of land, divided into fourteen main, and nine cross streets,
    exclusive of lanes and alleys--with a population of about three
    thousand four hundred persons.

    The numerical strength of the police force in this district, is
    eleven sergeants and two officers; five of these sergeants are on
    duty every twenty-four hours. One remains in charge of the premises,
    arms, and stores; the other four patrole by day and night, and have
    also to attend to the daily duties of the magistrates, and the
    eleventh is employed by me (being an old one) in general patrole
    duties, pointing out nuisances and irregularities.

    One burglary and one felony alone were reported throughout the
    island population of 37,000 souls in the month of July; and no
    burglary, and three felonies, were last month reported.

    The cases of robbery complained of, have been effected without any
    violence or noise, and have principally been by concealment in
    stores, which, added to the great want of a single lamp, or other
    light, in any one street at night, must reasonably facilitate the
    design of the robber, and defy the detection of the most active and
    vigilant body of police."

    _Signed, &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Superintendent's office,_
    _Antigua, January 4th, 1837._

    "SIR--It is with feelings of the most lively gratification that I
    report, for your notice the quiet and peaceable termination of
    Christmas vacation, and the last year, which were concluded without
    a single serious violation of the governing laws.

    I cannot refrain from cordially congratulating your Excellency on
    the regular and steady behavior, maintained by all ranks of society,
    at this particular period of the year.

    Not one species of crime which can be considered of an heinous
    nature, has yet been discovered; and I proudly venture to declare my
    opinion, that in no part of his Majesty's dominions, has a
    population of thirty thousand conducted themselves with more strict
    propriety, at this annual festivity, or been more peaceably obedient
    to the laws of their country."

    _Signed, &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

In connection with the above quotation from the monthly reports, we
present an extract of a letter from the superintendent of the police,
addressed to us.

    _St. John's, 9th February, 1837._

    "MY DEAR SIRS--In compliance with your request, I have not any
    hesitation in affording you any information on the subject of the
    free system adopted in this island, which my public situation has
    naturally provided me with.

    The opinion which I have formed has been, and yet remains, in favor
    of the emancipation; and I feel very confident that the system has
    and continues to work well, in almost all instances. The laborers
    have conducted themselves generally in a highly satisfactory manner
    to all the authorities, and strikingly so when we reflect that the
    greater portion of the population of the island were at once removed
    from a state of long existing slavery, to one of unrestricted
    freedom. Unacquainted as they are with the laws newly enacted for
    their future government and guidance, and having been led in their
    ignorance to expect incalculable wonders and benefits arising from
    freedom, I cannot but reflect with amazement on the peace and good
    order which have been so fortunately maintained throughout the
    island population of thirty thousand subjects.

    Some trifling difficulties sprang up on the commencement of the new
    system among the laborers, but even these, on strict investigation,
    proved to originate more from _an ignorance of their actual
    position_, than from any bad feeling, or improper motives, and
    consequently _were of short duration_. In general the laborers are
    peaceable orderly, and civil, not only to those who move in higher
    spheres of life than themselves, but also to each other.

    The crimes they are generally guilty of, are petty thefts, and other
    minor offences against the local acts; but crimes of an heinous
    nature are very rare among them; and I may venture to say, that
    petty thefts, _breaking sugar-canes to eat_, and offences of the
    like description, _principally_ swell the calendars of our quarterly
    courts of sessions. _Murder_ has been a stranger to this island for
    many years; no execution has occurred among the island population
    for a very long period; the only two instances were two
    _Irish_ soldiers.

    The lower class having become more acquainted with their governing
    laws, have also become infinitely more obedient to them, and I have
    observed _that particular care is taken among most of them to
    explain to each other the nature of the laws_, and to point out in
    their usual style the ill consequences attending any violation of
    them. ==> _A due fear of, and a prompt obedience to, the
    authority of the magistrates, is a prominent feature of the lower
    orders_, and to this I mainly attribute the successful maintenance
    of rural tranquillity.

    Since emancipation, the agricultural laborer has had to contend with
    two of the most obstinate droughts experienced for many years in the
    island, which has decreased the supply of his accustomed vegetables
    and ground provisions, and consequently subjected him and family to
    very great privations; but this even, I think, has been submitted to
    with becoming resignation.

    To judge of the past and present state of society throughout the
    island, I presume that _the lives and properties of all classes are
    as secure in this, as in any other portion of his Majesty's
    dominions_; and I sincerely hope that the future behavior of all,
    will more clearly manifest the correctness of my views of this
    highly important subject.

    I remain, dear sirs, yours faithfully, RICHARD S. WICKHAM,
    _Superintendent of police_."

       *       *       *       *       *

This testimony is pointed and emphatic; and it comes from one whose
_official business it is to know_ the things whereof he here affirms. We
have presented not merely the opinions of Mr. W., relative to the
subordination of the emancipated negroes in Antigua, but likewise the
_facts_ upon which be founded his opinion.

On a point of such paramount importance we cannot be too explicit. We
therefore add the testimony of planters as to the actual state of crime
compared with that previous to emancipation.

Said J. Howell, Esq., of T. Jarvis's estate, "I do not think that
aggressions on property, and crime in general, have increased since
emancipation, but rather decreased. They _appear_ to be more frequent,
because they are made _more public_. During slavery, all petty thefts,
insubordination, insolence, neglect of work, and so forth, were punished
summarily on the estate, by order of the manager, and not even so much
as the rumor of them ever reached beyond the confines of the property.
Now all offences, whether great or trifling, are to be taken cognizance
of by the magistrate or jury, and hence they become notorious. Formerly
each planter knew only of those crimes which occurred on his own
property; now every one knows something about the crimes committed on
every other estate, as well as his own."

It will be remembered that Mr. H. is a man of thorough and long
experience in the condition of the island, having lived in it since the
year 1800, and being most of that time engaged directly is the
management of estates.

"Aggression on private property, such as breaking into houses, cutting
canes, &c., are decidedly fewer than formerly. It is true that crime is
made more _public_ now, than during slavery, when the master was his own
magistrate."--_Dr. Daniell_.

"I am of the opinion that crime in the island has diminished rather than
increased since the abolition of slavery. There is an _apparent_
increase of crime, because every misdemeanor, however petty, floats to
the surface."--_Hon. N. Nugent_.

We might multiply testimony on this point; but suffice it to say that
with very few exceptions, the planters, many of whom are also civil
magistrates, concur in these two statements; that the amount of crime is
actually less than it was during slavery; and that it _appears_ to _be
greater_ because of the publicity which is necessarily given by legal
processes to offences which were formerly punished and forgotten on the
spot where they occurred.

Some of the prominent points established by the foregoing evidence are,

1st. That most of the crimes committed are petty misdemeanors such as
turning out to work late in the morning, cutting canes to eat, &c. _High
penal offences_ are exceedingly rare.

2d. That where offences of a serious nature do occur, or any open
insubordination takes place, they are founded in ignorance or
misapprehension of the law, and are seldom repeated a second time, if
the law be properly explained and fully understood.

3d. That the above statements apply to no particular part of the island,
where the negroes are peculiarly favored with intelligence and religion,
but are made with reference to tire island generally. Now it happens
that in one quarter of the island the negro population are remarkably
ignorant and degraded. We were credibly informed by various
missionaries, who had labored in Antigua and in a number of the other
English islands, that they had not found in any colony so much
debasement among the people, as prevailed in the part of Antigua just
alluded to. Yet they testified that the negroes in that quarter were as
peaceable, orderly, and obedient to law, as in any other part of the
colony. We make this statement here particularly for the purpose of
remarking that in the testimony of the planters, and in the police
reports; there is not a single allusion to this portion of the island as
forming an exception to the prevailing state of order and subordination.

After the foregoing facts and evidences, we ask, what becomes of the
dogma, that slaves cannot be immediately placed under the government of
_equitable laws_ with safety to themselves and the community?

Twelfth proposition.--The emancipated negroes have shown _no disposition
to roam from place to place._ A tendency to rove about, is thought by
many to be a characteristic of the negro; he is not allowed even an
ordinary share of local attachment, but must leave the chain and staple
of slavery to hold him amidst the graves of his fathers and the society
of his children. The experiment in Antigua shows that such sentiments
are groundless prejudices. There a large body of slaves were "_turned
loose_;" they had full liberty to leave their old homes and settle on
other properties--or if they preferred a continuous course of roving,
they might change employers every six weeks, and pass from one estate to
another until they had accomplished the circuit of the island. But, what
are the facts? "The negroes are not disposed to leave the estates on
which they have formerly lived, unless they are forced away by bad
treatment. I have witnessed many facts which illustrate this remark. Not
unfrequently one of the laborers will get dissatisfied about something,
and in the excitement of the moment will notify me that he intends to
leave my employ at the end of a month. But in nine cases out of ten such
persons, before the month has expired, beg to be allowed to remain on
the estate. The strength of their _local attachment_ soon overcomes
their resentment and even drives them to make the most humiliating
confessions in order to be restored to the favor of their employer, and
thus be permitted to remain in their old homes."--_H. Armstrong, Esq._

"Nothing but bad treatment on the part of the planters has ever caused
the negroes to leave the estates on which they were accustomed to live,
and in such cases a _change of management_ has almost uniformly been
sufficient to induce them to return. We have known several instances of
this kind."--_S. Bourne, Esq., of Millar's, and Mr. Watkins, of

"The negroes are remarkably attached to their homes. In the year 1828,
forty-three slaves were sold from the estate under my management, and
removed to another estate ten miles distant. After emancipation, the
whole of these came back, and plead with me to employ them, that they
might live in their former houses."--_James Howell, Esq._

"Very few of my people have left me. The negroes are peculiar for their
attachment to their homes."--_Samuel Barnard, Esq., of Green Castle_.

"Love of home is very remarkable in the negroes. It is a passion with
them. On one of the estates of which I am attorney, a part of the
laborers were hired from other proprietors. They had been for a great
many years living on the estate, and they became so strongly attached to
it, that they all continued to work on it after emancipation, and they
still remain on the same property. The negroes are loth to leave their
homes, and they very seldom do so unless forced away by ill
treatment."--_Dr. Daniell_.

On a certain occasion we were in the company of four planters, and among
other topics this subject was much spoken of. They all accorded
perfectly in the sentiment that the negroes were peculiarly sensible to
the influence of local attachments. One of the gentlemen observed that
it was a very common saying with them--"_Me nebber leave my bornin'
ground_,"--i.e., birth-place.

An aged gentleman in St. John's, who was formerly a planter, remarked,
"The negroes have very strong local attachments. They love their little
hut, where the calabash tree, planted at the birth of a son, waves over
the bones of their parents. They will endure almost any hardship and
suffer repeated wrongs before they will desert that spot."

Such are the sentiments of West India planters; expressed, in the
majority of cases, spontaneously, and mostly in illustration of other
statements. We did not hear a word that implied an opposite sentiment.
It is true, much was said about the emigration to Demerara, but the
facts in this case only serve to confirm the testimony already quoted.
In the first place, nothing but the inducement of very high wages[A]
could influence any to go, and in the next place, after they got there
they sighed to return, (but were not permitted,) and sent back word to
their relatives and friends not to leave Antigua.

[Footnote A: From fifty cents to a dollar per day.]

Facts clearly prove, that the negroes, instead of being indifferent to
local attachments, are peculiarly alive to them. That nothing short of
cruelty can drive them from their homes--that they will endure even
that, as long as it can be borne, rather than leave; and that as soon as
the instrument of cruelty is removed, they will hasten back to their
"_bornin' ground._"

THIRTEENTH PROPOSITION.--"The gift of unrestricted freedom, though so
suddenly bestowed, has not made the negroes more insolent than they were
while slaves, but has rendered them _less so_."--_Dr. Daniell_.

Said James Howell, Esq.--"A short time after emancipation, the negroes
showed some disposition to assume airs and affect a degree of
independence; but this soon disappeared, and they are now respectful and
civil. There has been a mutual improvement in this particular. The
planters treat the laborers more like fellow men, and this leads the
latter to be respectful in their turn."

R.B. Eldridge, Esq., asked us if we had not observed the civility of the
lower classes as we passed them on the streets, both in town and in the
country. He said it was their uniform custom to bow or touch their hat
when they passed a white person. They did so during slavery, and he had
not discovered any change in this respect since emancipation.

Said Mr. Bourne--"The negroes are decidedly less insolent now than they
were during slavery."

Said Mr. Watkins, of Donovan's--"The negroes are now all _cap in hand_;
as they know that it is for their interest to be respectful to their

Said Dr. Nugent--"Emancipation has not produced insolence among the

During our stay in Antigua, we saw no indications whatsoever of
insolence. We spoke in a former part of this work of the uncommon
civility manifested in a variety of ways on the road-sides.

A trifling incident occurred one day in St. John's, which at first
seemed to be no small rudeness. As one of us was standing in the
verandah of our lodging house, in the dusk of the evening, a brawny
negro man who was walking down the middle of the street, stopped
opposite us, and squaring himself, called out. "Heigh! What for you
stand dare wid your arms so?" placing his arms akimbo, in imitation of
ours. Seeing we made no answer, he repeated the question, still standing
in the same posture. We took no notice of him, seeing that his supposed
insolence was at most good-humored and innocent. Our hostess, a colored
lady, happened to step out at the moment, and told us that the man had
mistaken us for her son, with whom he was well acquainted, at the same
time calling to the man, and telling him of his mistake. The negro
instantly dropped his arms, took off his hat, begged pardon, and walked
away apparently quite ashamed.

FOURTEENTH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation in Antigua has demonstrated that
GRATITUDE _is a prominent trait of the negro character_. The conduct of
the negroes on the first of August, 1834, is ample proof of this; and
their uniform conduct since that event manifests an _habitual_ feeling
of gratitude. Said one, "The liberty we received from the king, we can
never sufficiently thank God for; whenever we think of it, our hearts go
out in gratitude to God." Similar expressions we heard repeatedly from
the negroes.--We observed that the slightest allusion to the first of
August in a company of freed persons, would awaken powerful emotions,
accompanied with exclamations of "tank de good Lord," "bless de Savior,"
"praise de blessed Savior," and such like.

It was the remark of Mr. James Howell, manager of Thibou Jarvis's--"That
the negroes evinced very little gratitude to their _masters_ for
freedom. Their gratitude all flowed toward God and the king, whom they
regarded as the sole authors of their liberty."

Mr. Watkins observed that "the negroes' motto was God and the king. This
feeling existed particularly at the time of emancipation, and shortly
after it. They have since become more attached to their former masters."

It is by no means strange that the negroes should feel little gratitude
toward their late masters, since they knew their opposition to the
benevolent intentions of the English government. We were informed by Dr.
Daniell and many others, that for several months before emancipation
took place, the negroes had an idea that the king had sent them 'their
free papers,' and that _their masters were keeping them back._ Besides,
it was but two years before that period, that they had come into fierce
and open hostility with the planters for abolishing the Sunday market,
and giving them no market-day instead thereof. In this thing their
masters had shown themselves to be their enemies.

That any good thing could come from such persons the slaves were
doubtless slow to believe. However, it is an undeniable fact, that since
emancipation, kind treatment on the part of the masters, has never
failed to excite gratitude in the negroes. The planters understand fully
how they may secure the attachment and confidence of their people. A
_grateful_ and _contented_ spirit certainly characterizes the negroes of
Antigua. They do not lightly esteem what they have got, and murmur
because they have no more. They do not complain of small wages, and
strike for higher. They do not grumble about their simple food and their
coarse clothes, and flaunt about, saying '_freemen ought to live
better_.' They do not become dissatisfied with their lowly,
cane-thatched huts, and say we ought to have as good houses as massa.
They do not look with an evil eye upon the political privileges of the
whites, and say we have the majority, and we'll rule. It is the common
saying with them, when speaking of the inconveniences which they
sometimes suffer, "Well, we must be satify and conten."

FIFTEENTH PROPOSITION.--The freed negroes of Antigua have proved that
_they are able to take care of themselves_. It is affirmed by the
opponents of emancipation in the United States, that if the slaves were
liberated, they could not take care of themselves. Some of the reasons
assigned for entertaining this view are--1st, "The negro is naturally
improvident." 2d, "He is constitutionally indolent." 3d, "Being of an
inferior race, he is deficient in that shrewdness and management
necessary to prevent his being imposed upon, and which are indispensable
to enable him to conduct any business with success." 4th, "All these
natural defects have been aggravated by slavery. The slave never
provides for himself, but looks to his master for everything he needs.
So likewise he becomes increasingly averse to labor, by being driven to
it daily, and flogged for neglecting it. Furthermore, whatever of mind
he had originally has been extinguished by slavery." Thus by nature and
by habit the negro is utterly unqualified to take care of himself. So
much for theory; now for testimony. First, what is the evidence with
regard to the _improvidence_ of the negroes?

"During slavery, the negroes squandered every cent of money they got,
because they were sure of food and clothing. Since their freedom, they
have begun to cultivate habits of carefulness and economy".--_Mr.
James Howell_.

Facts--1st. The low wages of the laborers is proof of their providence.
Did they not observe the strictest economy, they could not live on fifty
cents per week.

2d. That they buy small parcels of land to cultivate, is proof of
economy and foresight. The planters have to resort to every means in
their power to induce their laborers not to purchase land.

3d. The Friendly Societies are an evidence of the same thing. How can we
account for the number of these societies, and for the large sums of
money annually contributed in them? And how is it that these societies
have trebled, both in members and means since emancipation, if it be
true that the negroes are thus improvident, and that freedom brings

4th. The weekly and monthly contributions to the churches, to benevolent
societies, and to the schools, demonstrate the economy of the negroes;
and the _great increase_ of these contributions since August, 1834,
proves that emancipation has not made them less economical.

5th. The increasing attention paid to the cultivation of their private
provision grounds is further proof of their foresight. For some time
subsequent to emancipation, as long as the people were in an unsettled
state, they partially neglected their grounds. The reason was, they did
not know whether they should remain on the same estate long enough to
reap their provisions, should they plant any. This state of uncertainty
very naturally paralyzed all industry and enterprise; and their
neglecting the cultivation of their provision grounds, _under such
circumstances_, evinced foresight rather than improvidence. Since they
have become more permanently established on the estates, they are
resuming the cultivation of their grounds with renewed vigor.

Said Dr. Daniell--"There is an increasing attention paid by the negroes
to cultivating their private lands, since they have become more
permanently settled."

6th. The fact that the parents take care of the wages which their
children earn, shows their provident disposition. We were informed that
the mothers usually take charge of the money paid to their children,
especially their daughters, and this, in order to teach them proper
subordination, and to provide against casualties, sickness, and the
infirmities of age.

7th. The fact that the negroes are able to support their aged parents,
is further proof.

As it regards the second specification, viz., _constitutional
indolence_, we may refer generally to the evidence on this subject under
a former proposition. We will merely state here two facts.

1st. Although the negroes are not obliged to work on Saturday, yet they
are in the habit of going to estates that are weak-handed, and hiring
themselves out on that day.

2d. It is customary throughout the island to give two hours (from 12 to
2) recess from labor. We were told that in many cases this time is spent
in working on their private provision grounds, or in some active
employment by which a pittance may be added to their scanty earnings.

What are the facts respecting the natural _inferiority_ of the negro
race, and their incompetency to manage their own affairs?

Said Mr. Armstrong--"The negroes are exceedingly quick _to turn a
thought_. They show a great deal of shrewdness in every thing which
concerns their own interests. To a stranger it must be utterly
incredible how they can manage to live on such small wages. They are
very exact in keeping their accounts with the manager."

"The negroes are very acute in making bargains. A difficulty once arose
on an estate under my charge, between the manager and the people, in
settling for a job which the laborers had done. The latter complained
that the manager did not give them as much as was stipulated in the
original agreement. The manager contended that he had paid the whole
amount. The people brought their complaint before me, as attorney, and
maintained that there was one shilling and six-pence (about nineteen
cents) due each of them. I examined the accounts and found that they
were right, and that the manager had really made a mistake to the very
amount specified."--_Dr. Daniell_.

"The emancipated people manifest as much cunning and address in
business, as any class of persons."--_Mr. J. Howell_.

"The capabilities of the blacks for education are conspicuous; so also
as to mental acquirements and trades."--_Hon. N. Nugent_.

It is a little remarkable that while Americans fear that the negroes, if
emancipated, could not take care of themselves, the West Indians fear
lest they _should_ take care of themselves; hence they discourage them
from buying lands, from learning trades, and from all employments which
might render them independent of sugar cultivation.

SIXTEENTH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation has operated at once to elevate and
improve the negroes. It introduced them into the midst of all relations,
human and divine. It was the first formal acknowledgment that they were
MEN--personally interested in the operations of law, and the
requirements of God. It laid the corner-stone in the fabric of their
moral and intellectual improvement.

"The negroes have a growing self-respect and regard for character. This
was a feeling which was scarcely known by them during slavery."--_Mr.
J. Howell_.

"The negroes pay a great deal more attention to their personal
appearance, than they were accustomed to while slaves. The _women_ in
particular have improved astonishingly in their dress and
manners."--_Dr. Daniell_.

Abundant proof of this proposition may be found in the statements
already made respecting the decrease of licentiousness, the increased
attention paid to marriage, the abandonment by the mothers of the
horrible practice of selling their daughters to vile white men, the
reverence for the Sabbath, the attendance upon divine worship, the
exemplary subordination to law, the avoidance of riotous conduct,
insolence, and intemperance.

SEVENTEENTH PROPOSITION--Emancipation promises a vast improvement in the
condition of woman. What could more effectually force woman from her
sphere, than slavery has done by dragging her to the field, subjecting
her to the obscene remarks, and to the vile abominations of licentious
drivers and overseers; by compelling her to wield the heavy hoe, until
advancing pregnancy rendered her useless then at the earliest possible
period driving her back to the field with her infant swung at her back,
or torn from her and committed to a stranger. Some of these evils still
exist in Antigua, but there has already been a great abatement of them,
and the humane planters look forward to their complete removal, and to
the ultimate restoration of woman to the quiet and purity of
domestic life.

Samuel Bourne, Esq., stated, that there had been a great improvement in
the treatment of mothers on his estate. "Under the old system, mothers
were required to work half the time after their children were six weeks
old; but now we do not call them out for _nine months_ after their
confinement, until their children are entirely weaned."

"In those cases where women have husbands in the field, they do not turn
out while they are nursing their children. In many instances the
husbands prefer to have their wives engaged in other work, and I do not
require them to go to the field."--_Mr. J Howell_.

Much is already beginning to be said of the probability that the women
will withdraw from agricultural labor. A conviction of the impropriety
of females engaging in such employments is gradually forming in the
minds of enlightened and influential planters.

A short time previous to emancipation, the Hon. N. Nugent, speaker of
the assembly, made the following remarks before the house:--"At the
close of the debate, he uttered his fervent hope, that the day would
come when the principal part of the agriculture of the island would be
performed by males, and that the women would be occupied in keeping
their cottages in order, and in increasing their domestic comforts. The
desire of improvement is strong among them; they are looking anxiously
forward to the instruction and advancement of their children, and even
of themselves."--_Antigua Herald, of March_, 1834.

In a written communication to us, dated January 17, 1837, the Speaker
says: "Emancipation will, I doubt not, improve the condition of the
females. There can be no doubt that they will ultimately leave the
field, (except in times of emergency,) and confine themselves to their
appropriate domestic employments."

EIGHTEENTH PROPOSITION.--Real estate has risen in value since
emancipation; mercantile and mechanical occupations have received a
fresh impulse; and the general condition of the colony is decidedly more
flourishing than at any former period.

"The credit of the island has decidedly improved. The internal
prosperity of the island is advancing in an increased ratio. More
buildings have been erected since emancipation, than for twenty years
before. Stores and shops have multiplied astonishingly; I can safely say
that their number has more than quintupled since the abolition of
slavery."--_Dr. Ferguson_.

"Emancipation has very greatly increased the value of, and consequently
the demand for, real estate. That which three years ago was a drug
altogether unsaleable by private bargain; has now many inquirers after
it, and ready purchasers at good prices. The importation of British
manufactured goods has been considerably augmented, probably one fourth."

"The credit of the planters who have been chiefly affected by the
change, has been much improved. And _the great reduction of expense in
managing the estates_, has made them men of more real wealth, and
consequently raised their credit both with the English merchants and our
own."--_James Scotland, Sen., Esq._

"The effect of emancipation upon the commerce of the island _must needs_
have been beneficial, as the laborers indulge in more wheaten flour,
rice, mackerel, dry fish, and salt-pork, than formerly. More lumber is
used in the superior cottages now built for their habitations. More dry
goods--manufactures of wool, cotton, linen, silk, leather, &c., are also
used, now that the laborers can better afford to indulge their
propensity for gay clothing."--_Statement of a merchant and agent
for estates_.

"Real estate has risen in value, and mercantile business has greatly
improved."--_H. Armstrong, Esq._

A merchant of St. John's informed us, that real estate had increased in
value at least fifty per cent. He mentioned the fact, that an estate
which previous to emancipation could not be sold for £600 current,
lately brought £2000 current.

NINETEENTH PROPOSITION--Emancipation has been followed by the
introduction of labor-saving machinery.

"Various expedients for saving manual labor have already been
introduced, and we anticipate still greater improvements. Very little
was thought of this subject previous to emancipation."--_S.
Bourne, Esq._

"Planters are beginning to cast about for improvements in labor. My own
mind has been greatly turned to this subject since emancipation."--_H.
Armstrong, Esq._

"The plough is beginning to be very extensively used."--_Mr. Hatley_.

"There has been considerable simplification in agricultural labor
already, which would have been more conspicuous, had it not been for
the excessive drought which has prevailed since 1834. The plough is
more used, and the expedients for manuring land are less
laborious."--_Extract of a letter from Hon. N. Nugent_.

TWENTIETH PROPOSITION.--Emancipation has produced the most decided
change in the views of the _planters_.

"Before emancipation took place, there was the bitterest opposition to
it among the planters. But after freedom came, they were delighted with
the change. I felt strong opposition myself, being exceedingly unwilling
to give up my power of command. But I shall never forget how differently
I felt when freedom took place I arose from my bed on the first of
August, exclaiming with joy, 'I am free, I am free; I _was the greatest
slave on the estate_, but now I am free.'"--_Mr. J. Howell_.

"We all resisted violently the measure of abolition, when it first began
to be agitated in England. We regarded it as an outrageous interference
with our rights, with our property. But we are now rejoiced that slavery
is abolished."--_Dr. Daniell_.

"I have already seen such decided benefits growing out of the free labor
system, that for my part I wish never to see the face of slavery again."
--_Mr. Hatley_.

"I do not know of a single planter who would be willing to return to
slavery. We all feel that it was a great curse."--_D. Cranstoun, Esq._

The speaker of the assembly was requested to state especially the
advantages of freedom both to the master and the slave; and he kindly
communicated the following reply:

    "The benefits to the master are conspicuous--he has got rid of the
    cark and care, the anxiety and incessant worry of managing slaves;
    all the trouble and responsibility of rearing them from infancy, of
    their proper maintenance in health, and sickness, and decrepitude,
    of coercing them to labor, restraining, correcting, and punishing
    their faults and crimes--settling all their grievances and disputes.
    He is now entirely free from all apprehension of injury, revenge, or
    insurrection, however transient and momentary such impression may
    have formerly been. He has no longer the reproach of being a
    _slaveholder_; his property has lost all the _taint_ of slavery, and
    is placed on as secure a footing, in a moral and political point of
    view, as that in any other part of the British dominions.

    As regards the _other_ party, it seems almost unnecessary to point
    out the advantages of being a free man rather than a slave. He is no
    longer liable to personal trespass of any sort; he has a right of
    self-control, and all the immunities enjoyed by other classes of his
    fellow subjects--he is enabled to better his condition as he thinks
    proper--he can make what arrangements he likes best, as regards his
    kindred, and all his domestic relations--he takes to his _own_ use
    and behoof, all the wages and profits of his own labor; he receives
    money wages instead of weekly allowances, and can purchase such
    particular food and necessaries as he prefers--_and so on_! IT WOULD

The writer says, at the close of his invaluable letter, "I was born in
Antigua, and have resided here with little interruption since 1809.
Since 1814, I have taken an active concern in plantation affairs." He
was born heir to a large slave property, and retained it up to the hour
of emancipation. He is now the proprietor of an estate.

We have, another witness to introduce to the reader, Ralph Higinbothom,
Esq., the UNITED STATES CONSUL!--_Hear him_!--

"Whatever may have been the dissatisfaction as regards emancipation
among the planters at its commencement, there are few, indeed, if any,
who are not _now_ well satisfied that under the present system, their
properties are better worked, and their laborers more contented and
cheerful, than in the time of slavery."

In order that the reader may see the _revolution_ that has taken place
since emancipation in the views of the highest class of society in
Antigua, we make a few extracts.

"There was the most violent opposition in the legislature, and
throughout the island, to the anti-slavery proceedings in Parliament.
The anti-slavery party in England were detested here for their
_fanatical and reckless course_. Such was the state of feeling previous
to emancipation, that it would have been certain disgrace for any
planter to have avowed the least sympathy with anti-slavery sentiments.
The humane might have their hopes and aspirations, and they might
secretly long to see slavery ultimately terminated; but they did not
dare to make such feelings public. _They would at once have been branded
as the enemies of their country!"--Hon. N. Nugent_.

"There cannot be said to have been any _anti-slavery party_ in the
island before emancipation. There were some individuals in St. John's,
and a very few planters, who favored the anti-slavery views, but they
dared not open their mouths, because of the bitter hostility which
prevailed."--_S. Bourne, Esq._

"The opinions of the clergymen and missionaries, with the exception of,
I believe, a few clergymen, were favorable to emancipation; but neither
in their conduct, preaching, or prayers, did they declare themselves
openly, until the measure of abolition was determined on. The
missionaries felt restrained by their instructions from home, and the
clergymen thought that it did not comport with their order 'to take part
in politics!' I never heard of a single _planter_ who was favorable,
until about three months before the emancipation took place; when some
few of them began to perceive that it would be advantageous to their
_interests_. Whoever was known or suspected of being an advocate for
freedom, became the object of vengeance, and was sure to suffer, if in
no other way, by a loss of part of his business. My son-in-law[A], my
son[B], and myself, were perhaps the chief marks for calumny and
resentment. The first was twice elected a member of the Assembly, and as
often put out by scrutinies conducted by the House, in the most
flagrantly dishonest manner. Every attempt was made to deprive the
second of his business, as a lawyer. With regard to myself, I was thrown
into prison, without any semblance of justice, without any form of
trial, but in the most summary manner, simply upon the complaint of one
of the justices, and without any opportunity being allowed me of saying
one word in my defence. I remained in jail until discharged by a
peremptory order from the Colonial Secretary, to whom I
appealed."--_James Scotland, Sen., Esq._

[Footnote A: Dr. Ferguson, physician in St. John's.]

[Footnote B: James Scotland, Jun., Esq., barrister, proprietor, and
member of Assembly.]

Another gentleman, a white man, was arrested on the charge of being in
the interest of the English Anti-Slavery party, and in a manner equally
summary and illegal, was cast into prison, and confined there for
one year.

From the foregoing statements we obtain the following comparative view
of the past and present state of sentiment in Antigua.

Views and conduct of the planters previous to emancipation:

1st. They regarded the negroes as an inferior race, fit only for slaves.

2d. They regarded them as their rightful property.

3d. They took it for granted that negroes could never be made to work
without the use of the whip; hence,

4th. They supposed that emancipation would annihilate sugar cultivation;

5th. That it would lead to bloodshed and general rebellion.

6th. Those therefore who favored it, were considered the "_enemies of
their country_"--"TRAITORS"--and were accordingly persecuted in various
ways, not excepting imprisonment in the common jail.

7th. So popular was slavery among the higher classes, that its morality
or justice could not be questioned by a missionary--an editor--or a
_planter_ even, without endangering the safety of the individual.

8th. The anti-slavery people in England were considered detestable men,
intermeddling with matters which they did not understand, and which at
any rate did not concern them. They were accused of being influenced by
selfish motives, and of designing to further their own interests by the
ruin of the planters. They were denounced as _fanatics, incendiaries,
knaves, religious enthusiasts_.

9th The abolition measures of the English Government were considered a
gross outrage on the rights of private property, a violation their
multiplied pledges of countenance and support, and a flagrant usurpation
of power over the weak.

Views and conduct of the planters subsequent to emancipation:

1st. The negroes are retarded as _men_--equals standing on the same
footing as fellow-citizens.

2d. Slavery is considered a foolish, impolitic, and wicked system.

3d. Slaves are regarded as an _unsafe_ species of property, and to hold
them disgraceful.

4th. The planters have become the _decided enemies_ of slavery. The
worst thing they could say against the apprenticeship, was, that "it was
only another name for _slavery_."

5th. The abolition of slavery is applauded by the planters as one of the
most noble and magnanimous triumphs ever achieved by the British

6th. Distinguished abolitionists are spoken of in terms of respect and
admiration. The English Anti-slavery Delegation[A] spent a fortnight in
the island, and left it the same day we arrived. Wherever we went we
heard of them as "the respectable gentlemen from England," "the worthy
and intelligent members of the Society of Friends," &c. A distinguished
agent of the English anti-slavery society now resides in St. John's, and
keeps a bookstore, well stocked with anti-slavery books and pamphlets.
The bust of GEORGE THOMPSON stands conspicuously upon the counter of the
bookstore, looking forth upon the public street.

[Footnote A: Messrs. Sturge and Harvey.]

7th. The planters affirm that the abolition of slavery put an end to all
danger from insurrection, rebellion, privy conspiracy, and sedition, on
the part of the slaves.

8th. Emancipation is deemed an incalculable blessing, because it
released the planters from an endless complication of responsibilities,
perplexities, temptations and anxieties, and because it _emancipated
them from the bondage of the whip_.

9th. _Slavery--emancipation--freedom_--are the universal topics of
conversation in Antigua. Anti-slavery is the popular doctrine among all
classes. He is considered an enemy to his country who opposes the
principles of liberty. The planters look with astonishment on the
continuance of slavery in the United States, and express their strong
belief that it must soon terminate here and throughout the world. They
hailed the arrival of French and American visitors on tours of inquiry
as a bright omen. In publishing our arrival, one of the St. John's
papers remarks, "We regard this as a pleasing indication that the
American public have their eyes turned upon our experiment, with a view,
we may hope, of ultimately following our excellent example." (!) All
classes showed the same readiness to aid us in what the Governor was
pleased to call "the objects of our philanthropic mission."

Such are the views now entertained among the planters of Antigua. What a
complete change[B]--and all in less than three years, and effected by
the abolition of slavery and a trial of freedom! Most certainly, if the
former views of the Antigua planters resemble those held by pro-slavery
men in this country, their present sentiments are a _fac simile_ of
those entertained by the immediate abolitionists.

[Footnote B: The following little story will further illustrate the
wonderful revolution which has taken place in the public sentiment of
this colony. The facts here stated all occurred while we were in
Antigua, and we procured them from a variety of authentic sources. They
were indeed publicly known and talked of, and produced no little
excitement throughout the island. Mr. Corbett was a respectable and
intelligent planter residing on an estate near Johnson's Point. Several
months previous to the time of which we now speak, a few colored
families (emancipated negroes) bought of a white man some small parcels
of land lying adjacent to Mr. C.'s estate. They planted their lands in
provisions, and also built them houses thereon, and moved into them.
After they had become actively engaged in cultivating their provisions,
Mr. Corbett laid claim to the lands, and ordered the negroes to leave
them forthwith.

They of course refused to do so. Mr. C. then flew into a violent rage,
and stormed and swore, and threatened to burn their houses down over
their heads. The terrified negroes forsook their property and fled. Mr.
C. then ordered his negroes to tear down their huts and burn up the
materials--which was accordingly done. He also turned in his cattle upon
the provision grounds, and destroyed them. The negroes made a complaint
against Mr. C., and he was arrested and committed to jail in St. John's
for trial on the charge of _arson_.

We heard of this circumstance on the day of Mr. C.'s commitment, and we
were told that it would probably go very hard with him on his trial, and
that he would be very fortunate if he escaped the _gallows_ or
_transportation_. A few days after this we were surprised to hear that
Mr. C. had died in prison. Upon inquiry, we learned that he died
literally from _rage and mortification_. His case defied the, skill and
power of the physicians. They could detect the presence of no disease
whatever, even on a minute post-mortem examination. They pronounced it
as their opinion that he had died from the violence of his
passions--excited by being imprisoned, together with his apprehensions
of the fatal issue of the trial.

Not long before emancipation, Mr. Scotland was imprisoned for
_befriending_ the negroes. After emancipation, Mr. Corbett was
imprisoned for wronging them.

Mr. Corbett was a respectable planter, of good family and moved in the
first circles in the island]

TWENTY-FIRST PROPOSITION.--Emancipation has been followed by a manifest
diminution of "_prejudice against color_," and has opened the prospect
off its speedy extirpation.

Some thirty years ago, the president of the island, Sir Edward Byam,
issued an order forbidding the great bell in the cathedral of St. John's
being tolled at the funeral of a colored person; and directing a
_smaller_ bell to be hung up in the same belfry, and used on such
occasions. For twenty years this distinction was strictly maintained.
When a white person, however _vile_, was buried, the great bell was
tolled; when a colored person, whatever his moral worth, intelligence,
or station, was carried to his grave, the little bell was tinkled. It
was not until the arrival of the present excellent Rector, that this
"prejudice bell" was silenced. The Rev. Mr. Cox informed us that
prejudice had greatly decreased since emancipation. It was very common
for white and colored gentlemen to be seen walking arm in arm an the
streets of St. John's.

"Prejudice against color is fast disappearing. The colored people have
themselves contributed to prolong this feeling, _by keeping aloof from
the society of the whites_."--_James Howell, of T. Jarvis's_.

How utterly at variance is this with the commonly received opinion, that
the colored people are disposed to _thrust_ themselves into the society
of the whites!

"_Prejudice against color_ exists in this community only to a limited
extent, and that chiefly among those who could never bring themselves to
believe that emancipation would really take place. Policy dictates to
them the propriety of confining any expression of their feelings to
those of the same opinions. Nothing is shown of this prejudice in their
intercourse with the colored class--it is '_kept behind the
scenes_.'"--_Ralph Higginbotham, U. S. Consul._

Mr. H. was not the only individual standing in "high places" who
insinuated that the whites that still entertained prejudice were ashamed
of it. His excellency the Governor intimated as much, by his repeated
assurances for himself and his compeers of the first circles, that there
was no such feeling in the island as prejudice against _color_. The
reasons for excluding the colored people from their society, he said,
were wholly different from that. It was chiefly because of their
_illegitimacy_, and also because they were not sufficiently refined, and
because their _occupations_ were of an inferior kind, such as mechanical
trades, small shop keeping, &c. Said he, "You would not wish to ask your
tailor, or your shoemaker, to dine with you?" However, we were too
unsophisticated to coincide in his Excellency's notions of social

TWENTY-SECOND PROPOSITION.--The progress of the anti-slavery discussions
in England did not cause the masters to treat their slaves worse, but on
the contrary restrained them from outrage.

"The treatment of the slaves during the discussions in England, was
manifestly milder than before."--_Dr. Daniell._

"The effect of the proceedings in parliament was to make the planters
treat their slaves better. Milder laws were passed by the assembly, and
the general condition of the slave was greatly ameliorated."--_H.
Armstrong, Esq._

"The planters did not increase the rigor of their discipline because of
the anti-slavery discussions; but as a general thing, were more lenient
than formerly."--_S. Bourne. Esq._

"We pursued a much milder policy toward our slaves after the agitation
began in England."--_Mr. Jas. Hawoil_.

"The planters did not treat their slaves worse on account of the
discussions; but were more lenient and circumspect."--_Letter of Hon.
N. Nugent._

"There was far less cruelty exercised by the planters during the
anti-slavery excitement in gland. They were always on their guard to
escape the notice of the abolitionists. _They did not wish to have their
names published abroad, and to be exposed as monsters of
cruelty!_"--_David Cranstoun, Esq._

We have now completed our observations upon Antigua. It has been our
single object in the foregoing account to give an accurate statement of
the results of IMMEDIATE EMANCIPATION. We have not taken a single step
beyond the limits of testimony, and we are persuaded that testimony
materially conflicting with this, cannot be procured from respectable
sources in Antigua. We now leave it to our readers to decide, whether
emancipation in Antigua has been to all classes in that island a
_blessing_ or a _curse_.

We cannot pass from this part of our report without recording the
kindness and hospitality which we everywhere experienced during our
sojourn in Antigua. Whatever may have been our apprehensions of a cool
reception from a community of ex-slaveholders, none of our forebodings
were realized. It rarely Falls to the lot of strangers visiting a
distant land, with none of the contingencies of birth, fortune, or fame,
to herald their arrival, and without the imposing circumstance of a
popular mission to recommend them, to meet with a warmer reception, or
to enjoy a more hearty confidence, than that with which we were honored
in the interesting island of Antigua. The very _object_ of our visit,
humble, and even odious as it may appear in the eyes of many of our own
countrymen, was our passport to the consideration and attention of the
higher classes in that free colony. We hold in grateful remembrance the
interest which all--not excepting those most deeply implicated in the
late system of slavery--manifested in our investigations. To his
excellency the Governor, to officers both civil and military, to
legislators and judges, to proprietors and planters, to physicians,
barristers, and merchants, to clergymen, missionaries, and teachers, we
are indebted for their uniform readiness in furthering our objects, and
for the mass of information with which they were pleased to furnish us.
To the free colored population, also, we are lasting debtors for their
hearty co-operation and assistance. To the emancipated, we recognise our
obligations as the friends of the slave, for their simple-hearted and
reiterated assurances that they should remember the oppressed of our
land in their prayers to God. In the name of the multiplying hosts of
freedom's friends, and in behalf of the millions of speechless but
grateful-hearted slaves, we render to our acquaintances of every class
in Antigua our warmest thanks for their cordial sympathy with the cause
of emancipation in America. We left Antigua with regret. The natural
advantages of that lovely island; its climate, situation, and scenery;
the intelligence and hospitality of the higher orders, and the
simplicity and sobriety of the poor; the prevalence of education,
morality, and religion; its solemn Sabbaths and thronged sanctuaries;
and above _all_, its rising institutions of liberty--flourishing so
vigorously,--conspire to make Antigua one of the fairest portions of the
earth. Formerly it was in our eyes but a speck on the world's map, and
little had we checked if an earthquake had sunk, or the ocean had
overwhelmed it; but now, the minute circumstances in its condition, or
little incidents in its history, are to our minds invested with
grave interest.

None, who are alive to the cause of religious freedom in the world, can
be indifferent to the movements and destiny of this little colony.
Henceforth, Antigua is the morning star of our nation, and though it
glimmers faintly through a lurid sky, yet we hail it, and catch at every
ray as the token of a bright sun which may yet burst gloriously upon us.




Barbadoes was the next island which we visited. Having failed of a
passage in the steamer,[A] (on account of her leaving Antigua on the
Sabbath,) we were reduced to the necessity of sailing in a small
schooner, a vessel of only seventeen tons burthen, with no cabin but a
mere _hole_, scarcely large enough to receive our baggage. The berths,
for there were two, had but one mattress between them; however, a
foresail folded made up the complement.

[Footnote A: There are several English steamers which ply between
Barbadoes and Jamaica, touching at several of the intermediate and
surrounding islands, and carrying the mails.]

The being for the most part directly against us, we were seven days in
reaching Barbadoes. Our aversion to the sepulchre-like cabin obliged us
to spend, not the days only, but the nights mostly on the open deck.
Wrapping our cloaks about us, and drawing our fur caps over our faces,
we slept securely in the soft air of a tropical clime, undisturbed save
by the hoarse voice of the black captain crying "ready, bout" and the
flapping of the sails, and the creaking of the cordage, in the frequent
tackings of our staunch little sea-boat. On our way we passed under the
lee of Guadaloupe and to the windward of Dominica, Martinique and St.
Lucia. In passing Guadaloupe, we were obliged to keep at a league's
distance from the land, in obedience to an express regulation of that
colony prohibiting small English vessels from approaching any nearer.
This is a precautionary measure against the escape of slaves to the
English islands. Numerous small vessels, called _guarda costas_, are
stationed around the coast to warn off vessels and seize upon all slaves
attempting to make their escape. We were informed that the eagerness of
the French negroes to taste the sweets of liberty, which they hear to
exist in the surrounding English islands, is so great, that
notwithstanding all the vigilance by land and sea, they are escaping in
vast numbers. They steal to the shores by night, and seizing upon any
sort of vessel within their reach, launch forth and make for Dominica,
Montserrat, or Antigua. They have been known to venture out in skiffs,
canoes, and such like hazardous conveyances, and make a voyage of fifty
or sixty miles; and it is not without reason supposed, that very many
have been lost in these eager darings for freedom.

Such is their defiance of dangers when liberty is to be won, that old
ocean, with its wild storms, and fierce monsters, and its yawning deep,
and even the superadded terrors of armed vessels ever hovering around
the island, are barriers altogether ineffectual to prevent escape. The
western side of Guadaloupe, along which we passed, is hilly and little
cultivated. It is mostly occupied in pasturage. The sugar estates are on
the opposite side of the island, which stretches out eastward in a low
sloping country, beautifully situated for sugar cultivation. The hills
were covered with trees, with here and there small patches of cultivated
grounds where the negroes raise provisions. A deep rich verdure covered
all that portion of the island which we saw. We were a day and night in
passing the long island of Guadaloupe. Another day and night were spent
in beating through the channel between Gaudaloupe and Dominica: another
day in passing the latter island, and then we stood or Martinique. This
is the queen island of the French West Indies. It is fertile and
healthful, and though not so large as Guadaloupe, produces a larger
revenue. It has large streams of water, and many of the sugar mills are
worked by them. Martinique and Dominica are both very mountainous. Their
highest peaks are constantly covered with clouds, which in their varied
siftings, now wheeling around, then rising or falling, give the hills
the appearance of smoking volcanoes. It was not until the eighth day of
the voyage, that we landed at Barbadoes. The passage from Barbadoes to
Antigua seldom occupies more than three days, the wind being mostly in
that direction.

In approaching Barbadoes, it presented an entirely difference appearance
from that of the islands we had passed on the way. It is low and level,
almost wholly destitute of trees. As we drew nearer we discovered in
every direction the marks of its extraordinary cultivation. The cane
fields and provision grounds in alternate patches cover the island with
one continuous mantle of green. The mansions of the planters, and the
clusters of negro houses, appear at shore intervals dotting the face of
the island, and giving to it the appearance of a vast village
interspersed with verdant gardens.

We "rounded up" in the bay, off Bridgetown, the principal place in
Barbadoes, where we underwent a searching examination by the health
officer; who, after some demurring, concluded that we might pass muster.
We took lodgings in Bridgetown with Mrs. M., a colored lady.

The houses are mostly built of brick or stone, or wood plastered. They
are seldom more than two stories high, with flat roofs, and huge window
shutters and doors--the structures of a hurricane country. The streets
are narrow and crooked, and formed of white marle, which reflects the
sun with a brilliancy half blinding to the eyes. Most of the buildings
are occupied as stores below and dwelling houses above, with piazzas to
the upper story, which jut over the narrow streets, and afford a shade
for the side walks. The population of Bridgetown is about 30,000. The
population of the island is about 140,000, of whom nearly 90,000 are
apprentices, the remainder are free colored and white in the proportion
of 30,000 free colored and 20,000 whites. The large population exists on
an island not more than twenty miles long, by fifteen broad. The whole
island is under the most vigorous and systematic culture. There is
scarcely a foot of productive land that is not brought into requisition.
There is no such thing as a forest of any extent in the island. It is
thus that, notwithstanding the insignificance of its size, Barbadoes
ranks among the British islands next to Jamaica in value and importance.
It was on account of its conspicuous standing among the English
colonies, that we were induced to visit it, and there investigate the
operations of the apprenticeship system.

Our principal object in the following tales is to give an account of the
working of the apprenticeship system, and to present it in contrast with
that of entire freedom, which has been described minutely in our account
of Antigua. The apprenticeship was designed as a sort of preparation for
freedom. A statement of its results will, therefore, afford no small
data for deciding upon the general principle of _gradualism_!

We shall pursue a plan less labored and prolix than that which it seemed
necessary to adopt in treating of Antigua. As that part of the testimony
which respects the abolition of slavery, and the sentiments of the
planters is substantially the same with what is recorded in the
foregoing pages, we shall be content with presenting it in the sketch of
our travels throughout the island, and our interviews with various
classes of men. The testimony respecting the nature and operations of
the apprenticeship system, will be embodied in a more regular form.


At an early day after our arrival we called on the Governor, in
pursuance of the etiquette of the island, and in order to obtain the
assistance of his Excellency in our inquiries. The present Governor is
Sir Evan John Murray McGregor, a Scotchman of Irish reputation. He is
the present chieftain of the McGregor clan, which figures so
illustriously in the history of Scotland. Sir Evan has been
distinguished for his victory in war, and he now bears the title of
Knight, for his achievements in the British service. He is
Governor-General of the windward islands, which include Barbadoes,
Grenada, St. Vincent's, and Tobago. The government house, at which he
resides, is about two miles from town. The road leading to it is a
delightful one, lined with cane fields, and pasture grounds, all verdant
with the luxuriance of midsummer. It passes by the cathedral, the king's
house, the noble residence of the Archdeacon, and many other fine
mansions. The government house is situated in a pleasant eminence, and
surrounded with a large garden, park, and entrance yard. At the large
outer gate, which gives admittance to the avenue leading to the house,
stood a _black_ sentinel in his military dress, and with a gun on his
shoulder, pacing to and fro. At the door of the house we found another
black soldier on guard. We were ushered into the dining hall, which
seems to serve as ante-chamber when not otherwise used. It is a spacious
airy room, overhung with chandeliers and lamps in profusion, and bears
the marks of many scenes of mirth and wassail. The eastern windows,
which extend from the ceiling to the floor, look out upon a garden
filled with shrubs and flowers, among which we recognised a rare variety
of the floral family in full bloom. Every thing around--the extent of
the buildings, the garden, the park, with deer browsing amid the tangled
shrubbery--all bespoke the old English style and dignity.

After waiting a few minutes, we were introduced to his Excellency, who
received us very kindly. He conversed freely on the subject of
emancipation, and gave his opinion decidedly in favor of unconditional
freedom. He has been in the West Indies five years, and resided at
Antigua and Dominica before he received his present appointment; he has
visited several other islands besides. In no island that he has visited
have affairs gone on so quietly and satisfactorily to all parties as in
Antigua. He remarked that he was ignorant of the character of the black
population of the United States, but from what he knew of their
character in the West Indies, he could not avoid the conclusion that
immediate emancipation was entirely safe. He expressed his views of the
apprenticeship system with great freedom. He said it was vexatious to
all parties.

He remarked that he was so well satisfied that emancipation was safe and
proper, and that unconditional freedom was better than apprenticeship,
that had he the power, he would emancipate every apprentice to-morrow.
It would be better both for the planter and the laborer.

_He thought the negroes in Barbadoes, and in the windward islands
generally, now as well prepared for freedom as the slaves of Antigua._

The Governor is a dignified but plain man, of sound sense and judgement,
and of remarkable liberality. He promised to give us every assistance,
and said, as we arose to leave him, that he would mention the object of
our visit to a number of influential gentlemen, and that we should
shortly hear from him again.

A few days after our visit to the Governor's, we called on the Rev.
Edward Elliott, the Archdeacon at Barbadoes, to whom we had been
previously introduced at the house of a friend in Bridgetown. He is a
liberal-minded man. In 1812, he delivered a series of lectures in the
cathedral on the subject of slavery. The planters became
alarmed--declared that such discourses would lead to insurrection, and
demanded that they should lie abandoned. He received anonymous letters
threatening him with violence unless he discontinued them. Nothing
daunted, however, he went through the course, and afterwards published
the lectures in a volume.

The Archdeacon informed us that the number of churches and clergymen had
increased since emancipation; religious meetings were more fully
attended, and the instructions given had manifestly a greater influence.
Increased attention was paid to _education_ also. Before emancipation
the planters opposed education, and as far as possible, prevented the
teachers from coming to the estates. Now they encouraged it in many
instances, and where they do not directly encourage, they make no
opposition. He said that the number of marriages had very much increased
since the abolition of slavery. He had resided in Barbados for twelve
years, during which time he had repeatedly visited many of the
neighboring islands. He thought the negroes of Barbadoes _were as well
prepared for freedom in 1834, as those of Antigua_, and that there would
have been no bad results had entire emancipation been granted at that
time. He did not think there was the least danger of insurrection. On
this subject he spoke the sentiments of the inhabitants generally. He
did not suppose there were five planters on the island, who entertained
any fears on this score _now_.

On one other point the Archdeacon expressed himself substantially thus:
The planters undoubtedly treated their slaves better during the
anti-slavery discussions in England.

The condition of the slaves was very much mitigated by the efforts which
were made for their entire freedom. The planters softened down, the
system of slavery as much as possible. _They were exceedingly anxious to
put a stop to discussion and investigation._

Having obtained a letter of introduction from an American merchant here
to a planter residing about four miles from town, we drove out to his
estate. His mansion is pleasantly situated on a small eminence, in one
of the coolest and most inviting retreats which is to be seen in this
clime, and we were received by its master with all the cordiality and
frankness for which Barbados is famed. He introduced us to his family,
consisting of three daughters and two sons, and invited us to stop to
dinner. One of his daughters, now here on a visit, is married to an
American, a native of New York, but now a merchant in one of the
southern states, and our connection as fellow countrymen with one dear
to them, was an additional claim to their kindness and hospitality.

He conducted us through all the works and out-buildings, the mill,
boiling-house, caring-house, hospital, store-houses, &c. The people were
at work in the mill and boiling-house, and as we passed, bowed and bade
us "good mornin', massa," with the utmost respect and cheerfulness. A
white overseer was regulating the work, but wanted the insignia of
slaveholding authority, which he had borne for many years, the _whip_.
As we came out, we saw in a neighboring field a gang of seventy
apprentices, of both sexes, engaged in cutting up the cane, while others
were throwing it into carts to be carried to the mill. They were all as
quietly and industriously at work as any body of our own farmers or
mechanics. As we were looking at them, Mr. C., the planter, remarked,
"those people give me more work than when slaves. This estate was never
under so good cultivation as at the present time."

He took us to the building used as the mechanics' shop. Several of the
apprentices were at work in it, some setting up the casks for sugar,
others repairing utensils. Mr. C. says all the work of the estate is
done by the apprentices. His carts are made, his mill kept in order, his
coopering and blacksmithing are all done by them. "All these buildings,"
said he, "even to the dwelling-house, were built after the great storm
of 1831, by the slaves."

As we were passing through the hospital, or sick-house, as it is called
by the blacks, Mr. C. told us he had very little use for it now. There
is no skulking to it as there was under the old system.

Just as we were entering the door of the house, on our return, there was
an outcry among a small party of the apprentices who were working near
by. Mr. C. went to them and inquired the cause. It appeared that the
overseer had struck one of the lads with a stick. Mr. C. reproved him
severely for the act, and assured him if he did such a thing again he
would take him before a magistrate.

During the day we gathered the following information:--

Mr. C. had been a planter for thirty-six years. He has had charge of the
estate on which he now resides ten years. He is the attorney for two
other large estates a few miles from this, and has under his
superintendence, in all, more than a thousand apprenticed laborers. This
estate consists of six hundred and sixty-six acres of land, most of
which is under cultivation either in cane or provisions, and has on it
three hundred apprentices and ninety-two free children. The average
amount of sugar raised on it is two hundred hogsheads of a ton each, but
this year it will amount to at least two hundred and fifty
hogsheads--the largest crop ever taken off since he has been connected
with it. He has planted thirty acres additional this year. The island
has never been under so good cultivation, and is becoming better
every year.

During our walk round the works, and during the day, he spoke several
times in general terms of the great blessings of emancipation.

Emancipation is as great a blessing to the master as to the slave.
"Why," exclaimed Mr. C., "it was emancipation to me. I assure you the
first of August brought a great, _great_ relief to me. I felt myself,
for the first time, a freeman on that day. You cannot imagine the
responsibilities and anxieties which were swept away with the extinction
of slavery."

There were many unpleasant and annoying circumstances attending slavery,
which had a most pernicious effect on the master. There was continual
jealousy and suspicion between him and those under him. They looked on
each other as sworn enemies, and there was kept up a continual system of
plotting and counterplotting. Then there was the flogging, which was a
matter of course through the island. To strike a slave was as common as
to strike a horse--then the punishments were inflicted so unjustly, in
innumerable instances, that the poor victims knew no more why they were
punished than the dead in their graves. The master would be a little
ill--he had taken a cold, perhaps, and felt irritable--something were
wrong--his passion was up, and away went some poor fellow to the
whipping post. The slightest offence at such a moment, though it might
have passed unnoticed at another time, would meet with the severest
punishment. He said he himself had more than once ordered his slaves to
be flogged in a passion, and after he became cool he would have given
guineas not to have done it. Many a night had he been kept awake in
thinking of some poor fellow whom he had shut up in the dungeon, and had
rejoiced when daylight came. He feared lest the slave might die before
morning; either cut his throat or dash his head against the wall in his
desperation. He has known such cases to occur.

The apprenticeship will not have so beneficial an effect as he hoped it
would, on account of an indisposition on the part of many of the
planters to abide by its regulations. The planters generally are doing
very little to prepare the apprentices for freedom; but some are doing
very much to unprepare them. They are driving the people from them by
their conduct.

Mr. C. said he often wished for emancipation. There were several other
planters among his acquaintance who had the same feelings, but did not
dare express them. Most of the planters, however, were violently
opposed. Many of them declared that emancipation could not and should
not take place. So obstinate were they, that they would have sworn on
the 31st of July, 1831, that emancipation could not happen. _These very
men now see and acknowledge the benefits which have resulted from the
new system_.

The first of August passed off very quietly. The people labored on that
day as usual, and had a stranger gone over the island, he would not have
suspected any change had taken place. Mr. C. did not expect his people
would go to work that day. He told them what the conditions of the new
system were, and that after the first of August, they would be required
to turn out to work at six o'clock instead of five o'clock as before. At
the appointed hour every man was at his post in the field. Not one
individual was missing.

The apprentices do more work in the nine hours required by law, than in
twelve hours during slavery.

His apprentices are perfectly willing to work for him during their own
time. He pays them at the rate of twenty-five cents a day. The people
are less quarrelsome than when they were slaves.

About eight o'clock in the evening, Mr. C. invited us to step out into
the piazza. Pointing to the houses of the laborers, which were crowded
thickly together, and almost concealed by the cocoa-nut and calabash
trees around them, he said, "there are probably more than four hundred
people in that village. All my own laborers, with their free children,
are retired for the night, and with them are many from the neighboring
estates." We listened, but all was still, save here and there a low
whistle from some of the watchmen. He said that night was a specimen of
every night now. But it had not always been so. During slavery these
villages were oftentimes a scene of bickering, revelry, and contention.
One might hear the inmates reveling and shouting till midnight.
Sometimes it would be kept up till morning. Such scenes have much
decreased, and instead of the obscene and heathen songs which they used
to sing, they are learning hymns from the lips of their children.

The apprentices are more trusty. They are more faithful in work which is
given them to do. They take more interest in the prosperity of the
estate generally, in seeing that things are kept in order, and that the
property is not destroyed.

They are more open-hearted. Formerly they used to shrink before the eyes
of the master, and appear afraid to meet him. They would go out of their
way to avoid him, and never were willing to talk with him. They never
liked to have him visit their houses; they looked on him as a spy, and
always expected a reprimand, or perhaps a flogging. Now they look up
cheerfully when they meet him, and a visit to their homes is esteemed a
favor. Mr. C. has more confidence in his people than he ever had before.

There is less theft than during slavery. This is caused by greater
respect for character, and the protection afforded to property by law.
For a slave to steal from his master was never considered wrong, but
rather a meritorious act. He who could rob the most without being
detected was the best fellow. The blacks in several of the islands have
a proverb, that for a thief to steal from a thief makes God laugh.

The blacks have a great respect for, and even fear of law. Mr. C.
believes no people on earth are more influenced by it. They regard the
same punishment, inflicted by a magistrate, much more than when
inflicted by their master. Law is a kind of deity to them, and they
regard it with great reverence and awe.

There is no insecurity now. Before emancipation there was a continual
fear of insurrection. Mr. C. said he had lain down in bed many a night
fearing that his throat would be cut before morning. He has started up
often from a dream in which he thought his room was filled with armed
slaves. But when the abolition bill passed, his fears all passed away.
He felt assured there would be no trouble then. The motive to
insurrection was taken away. As for the cutting of throats, or insult
and violence in any way, he never suspects it. He never thinks of
fastening his door at night now. As we were retiring to bed he looked
round the room in which we had been sitting, where every thing spoke of
serenity and confidence--doors and windows open, and books and plate
scattered about on the tables and sideboards. "You see things now," he
said, "just as we leave them every night, but you would have seen quite
a different scene had you come here a few years ago."

_Mr. C. thinks the slaves of Barbadoes might have been entirely and
immediately emancipated as well as those of Antigua._ The results, he
doubts not, would have been the same.

He has no fear of disturbance or insubordination in 1840. He has no
doubt that the people will work. That there may be a little unsettled,
excited, _experimenting_ feeling for a short time, he thinks
probable--but feels confident that things generally will move on
peaceably and prosperously. He looks with much more anxiety to the
emancipation of the non-praedials in 1838.

There is no disposition among the apprentices to revenge their wrongs.
Mr. C. feels the utmost security both of person and property.

The slaves were very much excited by the discussions in England. They
were well acquainted, with them, and looked and longed for the result.
They watched every arrival of the packet with great anxiety. The people
on his estate often knew its arrival before he did. One of his daughters
remarked, that she could see their hopes flashing from their eyes. They
manifested, however, no disposition to rebel, waiting in anxious but
quiet hope for their release. Yet Mr. C. had no doubt, that if
parliament had thrown out the emancipation bill, and all measures had
ceased for their relief, there would have been a general
insurrection.--While there was hope they remained peaceable, but had
hope been destroyed it would have been buried in blood.

There was some dissatisfaction among the blacks with the apprenticeship.
They thought they ought to be entirely free, and that their masters were
deceiving them. They could not at first understand the conditions of the
new system--there was some murmuring among them, but they thought it
better, however, to wait six years for the boon, than to run the risk of
losing it altogether by revolt.

The expenses of the apprenticeship are about the same as during slavery.
But under the free system, Mr. C. has no doubt they will be much less.
He has made a calculation of the expenses of cultivating the estate on
which he resides for one year during slavery, and what they will
probably be for one year under the free system. He finds the latter are
less by about $3,000.

Real estate has increased in value more than thirty per rent. There is
greater confidence in the security of property. Instances were related
to us of estates that could not be sold at any price before
emancipation, that within the last two years have been disposed of at
great prices.

The complaints to the magistrates, on the part of the planters, were
very numerous at first, but have greatly diminished. They are of the
most trivial and even ludicrous character. One of the magistrates says
the greater part of the cases that come before him are from old women
who cannot get their coffee early enough in the morning! and for
offences of equal importance.

Prejudice has much diminished since emancipation. The discussions in
England prior to that period had done much to soften it down, but the
abolition of slavery has given it its death blow.

Such is a rapid sketch of the various topics touched upon during our
interview with Mr. C. and his family.

Before we left the hospitable mansion of Lear's, we had the pleasure of
meeting a company of gentlemen at dinner. With the exception of one, who
was provost-marshal, they were merchants of Bridgetown. These gentlemen
expressed their full concurrence in the statements of Mr. C., and gave
additional testimony equally valuable.

Mr. W., the provost-marshal, stated that he had the supervision of the
public jail, and enjoyed the best opportunity of knowing the state of
crime, and he was confident that there was a less amount of crime since
emancipation than before. He also spoke of the increasing attention
which the negroes paid to neatness of dress and personal appearance.

The company broke up about nine o'clock, but not until we had seen ample
evidence of the friendly feelings of all the gentlemen toward our
object. There was not a single dissenting voice to any of the statements
made, or any of the sentiments expressed. This fact shows that the
prevailing feeling is in favor of freedom, and that too on the score of
policy and self-interest.

Dinner parties are in one sense a very safe pulse in all matters of
general interest. They rarely beat faster than the heart of the
community. No subject is likely to be introduced amid the festivities of
a fashionable circle, until it is fully endorsed by public sentiment.

Through the urgency of Mr. C., we were induced to remain all night.
Early the next morning, he proposed a ride before breakfast to Scotland.
Scotland is the name given to an abrupt, hilly section, in the north of
the island. It is about five miles from Mr. C.'s, and nine from
Bridgetown. In approaching, the prospect bursts suddenly upon the eye,
extorting an involuntary exclamation of surprise. After riding for
miles, through a country which gradually swells into slight elevations,
or sweeps away in rolling plains, covered with cane, yams, potatoes,
eddoes, corn, and grass, alternately, and laid out with the regularity
of a garden; after admiring the cultivation, beauty, and skill exhibited
on every hand, until almost wearied with viewing the creations of art;
the eye at once falls upon a scene in which is crowded all the wildness
and abruptness of nature in one of her most freakish moods--a scene
which seems to defy the hand of cultivation and the graces of art. We
ascended a hill on the border of this section, which afforded us a
complete view. To describe it in one sentence, it is an immense basin,
from two to three miles in diameter at the top, the edges of which are
composed of ragged hills, and the sides and bottom of which are
diversified with myriads of little hillocks and corresponding
indentations. Here and there is a small sugar estate in the bottom, and
cultivation extends some distance up the sides, though this is at
considerable risk, for not infrequently, large tracts of soil, covered
with cane or provisions, slide down, over-spreading the crops below, and
destroying those which they carry with them.

Mr. C. pointed to the opposite side of the basin to a small group of
stunted trees, which he said were the last remains of the Barbadoes
forests. In the midst of them there is a boiling spring of considerable

In another direction, amid the rugged precipices, Mr. C. pointed out the
residences of a number of poor white families, whom he described as the
most degraded, vicious, and abandoned people in the island--"very far
below the negroes." They live promiscuously, are drunken, licentious,
and poverty-stricken,--a body of most squalid and miserable
human beings.

From the height on which we stood, we could see the ocean nearly around
the island, and on our right and left, overlooking the basin below us,
rose the two highest points of land of which Barbadoes can boast. The
white marl about their naked tops gives them a bleak and desolate
appearance, which contrasts gloomily with the verdure of the surrounding

After we had fully gratified ourselves with viewing the miniature
representation of old Scotia, we descended again into the road, and
returned to Lear's. We passed numbers of men and women going towards
town with loads of various kinds of provisions on their heads. Some were
black, and others were white--of the same class whose huts had just been
shown us amid the hills and ravines of Scotland. We observed that the
latter were barefoot, and carried their loads on their heads precisely
like the former. As we passed these busy pedestrians, the blacks almost
uniformly courtesied or spoke; but the whites did not appear to notice
us. Mr. C inquired whether we were not struck with this difference in
the conduct of the two people, remarking that he had always observed it.
It is very seldom, said he, that I meet a negro who does not speak to me
politely; but this class of whites either pass along without looking up,
or cast a half-vacant, rude stare into one's face, without opening their
mouths. Yet this people, he added, veriest raggamuffins that they are,
despise the negroes, and consider it quite degrading to put themselves
on term of equity with them. They will beg of blacks more provident and
industrious than themselves, or they will steal their poultry and rob
their provision grounds at night; but they would disdain to associate
with them. Doubtless these _sans culottes_ swell in their dangling rags
with the haughty consciousness that they possess _white skins_. What
proud reflections they must have, as they pursue their barefoot way,
thinking on their high lineage, and running back through the long list
of their illustrious ancestry whose notable badge was a _white skin_! No
wonder they cannot stop to bow to the passing stranger. These sprouts of
the Caucasian race are known among the Barbadians by the rather
ungracious name of _Red Shanks_. They are considered the pest of the
island, and are far more troublesome to the police, in proportion to
their members, than the apprentices. They are estimated at about
eight thousand.

The origin of this population we learned was the following: It has long
been a law in Barbadoes, that each proprietor should provide a white man
for every sixty slaves in his possession, and give him an acre of land,
a house, and arms requisite for defence of the island in case of
insurrection. This caused an importation of poor whites from Ireland and
England, and their number has been gradually increasing until the
present time.

During our stay of nearly two days with Mr. C., there was nothing to
which he so often alluded as to the security from danger which was now
enjoyed by the planters. As he sat in his parlor, surrounded by his
affectionate family, the sense of personal and domestic security
appeared to be a luxury to him. He repeatedly expressed himself
substantially thus: "During the existence of slavery, how often have I
retired to bed _fearing_ _that I should have my throat cut before
morning_, but _now_ the danger is all over."

We took leave of Lear's, after a protracted visit, not without a
pressing invitation from Mr. C. to call again.


The following week, on Saturday afternoon, we received a note from Mr.
C., inviting us to spend the Sabbath at Lear's, where we might attend
service at a neighboring chapel, and see a congregation composed chiefly
of apprentices. On our arrival, we received a welcome from the
residents, which reassured us of their sympathy in our object. We joined
the family circle around the centre table, and spent the evening in free
conversation on the subject of slavery.

During the evening Mr. C. stated, that he had lately met with a planter
who, for some years previous to emancipation, and indeed up to the very
event, maintained that it was utterly impossible for such a thing ever
to take place. The mother country, he said, could not be so mad as to
take a step which must inevitably ruin the colonies. _Now_, said Mr. C.,
this planter would be one of the last in the island to vote for a
restoration of slavery; nay, he even wishes to have the apprenticeship
terminated at once, and entire freedom given to the people. Such changes
as this were very common.

Mr. C. remarked that during slavery, if the negro ventured to express an
opinion about any point of management, he was met at once with a
reprimand. If one should say, "I think such a course would he best," or,
"Such a field of cane is fit for cutting," the reply would be, "_Think_!
you have no right to think any thing about it. _Do as I bid you_." Mr.
C. confessed frankly, that he had often used such language himself. Yet
at the same time that he affected such contempt for the opinions of the
slaves, he used to go around secretly among the negro houses at night to
overhear their conversation, and ascertain their views. Sometimes he
received very valuable suggestions from them, which he was glad to avail
himself of, though he was careful not to acknowledge their origin.

Soon after supper, Miss E., one of Mr. C.'s daughters, retired for the
purpose of teaching a class of colored children which came to her on
Wednesday and Saturday nights. A sister of Miss E. has a class on the
same days at noon.

During the evening we requested the favor of seeing Miss E.'s school. We
were conducted by a flight of stairs into the basement story, where we
found her sitting in a small recess, and surrounded by a dozen negro
girls; from the ages of eight to fifteen. She was instructing them from
the Testament, which most of them could read fluently. She afterwards
heard them recite some passages which they had committed to memory, and
interspersed the recitations with appropriate remarks of advice and

It is to be remarked that Miss E. commenced instructing after the
abolition; before that event the idea of such an employment would have
been rejected as degrading.

At ten o'clock on Sabbath morning, we drove to the chapel of the parish,
which is a mile and a half from Lear's. It contains seats for five
hundred persons. The body of the house is appropriated to the
apprentices. There were upwards of four hundred persons, mostly
apprentices, present, and a more quiet and attentive congregation we
have seldom seen. The people were neatly dressed. A great number of the
men wore black or blue cloth. The females were generally dressed in
white. The choir was composed entirely of blacks, and sung with
characteristic excellence.

There was so much intelligence in the countenances of the people, that
we could scarcely believe we were looking on a congregation of lately
emancipated slaves.

We returned to Lear's. Mr. C. noticed the change which has taken place
in the observance of the Sabbath since emancipation. Formerly the smoke
would be often seen at this time of day pouring from the chimneys of the
boiling-houses; but such a sight has not been seen since slavery

Sunday used to be the day for the negroes to work on their grounds; now
it is a rare thing for them to do so. Sunday markets also prevailed
throughout the island, until the abolition of slavery.

Mr. C. continued to speak of slavery. "I sometimes wonder," said he, "at
myself, when I think how long I was connected with slavery; but
self-interest and custom blinded me to its enormities." Taking a short
walk towards sunset, we found ourselves on the margin of a beautiful
pond, in which myriads of small gold fishes were disporting--now
circling about in rapid evolutions, and anon leaping above the surface,
and displaying their brilliant sides in the rays of the setting sun.
When we had watched for some moments their happy gambols, Mr. C. turned
around and broke a twig from a bush that stood behind us; "_there is a
bush_," said he, "_which has committed many a murder_." On requesting
him to explain, he said, that the root of it was a most deadly poison,
and that the slave women used to make a decoction of it and give to
their infants to destroy them; many a child had been murdered in this
way. Mothers would kill their children, rather than see them _grow up to
be slaves_. "Ah," he continued, in a solemn tone, pausing a moment and
looking at us in a most earnest manner, "I could write a book about the
evils of slavery. I could write a book about these things."

What a volume of blackness and blood![A]

[Footnote A: We are here reminded of a fact stated by Mr. C. on another
occasion. He said, that he once attended at the death of a planter who
had been noted for his severity to his slaves. It was the most horrid
scene he ever witnessed. For hours before his death he was in the
extremest agony, and the only words which he uttered were, "Africa. O
Africa!" These words he repeated every few minutes, till he died. And
such a ghastly countenance, such distortions of the muscles, such a
hellish glare of the eye, and such convulsions of the body--it made him
shudder to think of them.]

When we arose on Monday morning, the daylight has scarcely broken. On
looking out of the window, we saw the mill slowly moving in the wind,
and the field gang were going out to their daily work. Surely, we
thought, this does not look much like the laziness and insubordination
of freed negroes. After dressing, we walked down to the mill, to have
some conversation with the people. They all bade us a cordial "good
mornin'." The _tender_ of the mill was an old man, whose despised locks
were gray and thin, and on whose brow the hands of time and sorrow had
written many effaceless lines. He appeared hale and cheerful, and
answered our questions in distinct intelligible language. We asked him
how they were all getting along under the new system. "Very well,
massa," said he, "very well, thank God. All peaceable and good." "Do you
like the apprenticeship better then slavery?" "Great deal better, massa;
we is doing well now." "You like the apprenticeship as well as freedom,
don't you?" "O _no_ me massa, freedom _till better_."

"What will you do when you are entirely free?"

"We must work; all have to work when de free come, white and black."
"You are old, and will not enjoy freedom long; why do you wish for
freedom, then?" "Me want to _die_ free, massa--good ting to die free,
and me want to see _children_ free too."

We continued at Lear's during Monday, to be in readiness for a tour to
the windward of the island, which Mr. C. had projected for us, and on
which we were to set out early the next morning. In the course of the
day we had opportunities of seeing the apprentices in almost every
situation--in the field, at the mill, in the boiling-house, moving to
and from work, and at rest. In every aspect in which we viewed them,
they appeared cheerful, amiable, and easy of control. It was admirable
to see with what ease and regularity every thing moved. An estate of
nearly seven hundred acres, with extensive agriculture, and a large
manufactory and distillery, employing three hundred apprentices, and
supporting twenty-five horses, one hundred and thirty head of horned
cattle, and hogs, sheep; and poultry in proportion, is manifestly a most
complicated machinery. No wonder it should have been difficult to manage
during slavery, when the main spring was absent, and every wheel out
of gear.

We saw the apprentices assemble after twelve o'clock, to receive their
allowances of yams. These provisions are distributed to them twice every
week--on Monday and Thursday. They were strewed along the yard in heaps
of fifteen pounds each. The apprentices came with baskets to get their
allowances. It resembled a market scene, much chattering and talking,
but no anger. Each man, woman, and child, as they got their baskets
filled, placed them of their heads, and marched off to their
several huts.

On Tuesday morning, at an early hour, Mr. C. took us in his phaeton on
our projected excursion. It was a beautiful morning. There was a full
breeze from the east, which had already started the ponderous wings of
the wind-mills, in every direction. The sun was shaded by light clouds,
which rendered the air quite cool. Crossing the rich valley in which the
Bell estate and other noble properties are situated, we ascended the
cliffs of St. John's--a ridge extending through the parish of that name
and as we rode along its top, eastward, we had a delightful view of sea
and land. Below us on either hand lay vast estates glowing in the,
verdure of summer, and on three sides in the distance stretched the
ocean. Rich swells of land, cultivated and blooming like a vast garden,
extended to the north as far as the eye could reach, and on every other
side down to the water's edge. One who has been accustomed to the
wildness of American scenery, and to the imperfect cultivation,
intercepted with woodland, which yet characterizes the even the oldest
portions of the United States, might revel for a time amid the sunny
meadows. The waving cane fields, the verdant provision grounds, the
acres of rich black soil without a blade of grass, and divided into beds
two feet square for the cane plants with the precision almost of the
cells of a honey comb; and withal he might be charmed with the luxurious
mansions--more luxurious than superb--surrounded with the white cedar,
the cocoa-nut tree, and the tall, rich mountain cabbage--the most
beautiful of all tropical trees; but perchance it would not require a
very long excursion to weary him with the artificiality of the scenery,
and cause him to sigh for the "woods and wilds," the "banks and braes,"
of his own majestic country.

After an hour and a half's drive, we reached Colliton estate, where we
were engaged to breakfast. We met a hearty welcome from the manager,
Samuel Hinkston, Esq. we were soon joined by several gentlemen whom Mr.
H. had invited to take breakfast with us; these were the Rev. Mr.
Gittens, rector of St. Philip's parish, (in which Colliton estate is
situated,) and member of the colonial council; Mr. Thomas, an extensive
attorney of Barbadoes; and Dr. Bell, a planter of Demerara--then on a
visit to the island. We conversed with each of the gentlemen separately,
and obtained their individual views respecting emancipation.

Mr. Hinkston has been a planter for thirty-six years, and is highly
esteemed throughout the island. The estate which he manages, ranks among
the first in the island. It comprises six hundred acres of superior
land, has a population of two hundred apprentices, and yields an average
crop of one hundred and eighty hogsheads. Together with his long
experience and standing as a planter, Mr. H. has been for many years
local magistrate for the parish in which he resides. From these
circumstances combined, we are induced to give his opinions on a variety
of points.

1. He remarked that the planters were getting along _infinitely_ better
under the new system than they ever did under the old. Instead of
regretting that the change had taken place, he is looking forward with
pleasure to a better change in 1840, and he only regrets that it is not
to come sooner.

2. Mr. H. said it was generally conceded that the island was never under
better cultivation than at the present time. The crops for this year
will exceed the average by several thousand hogsheads. The canes were
planted in good season, and well attended to afterwards.

3. Real estate has risen very much since emancipation. Mr. H. stated
that he had lately purchased a small sugar estate, for which he was
obliged to give several hundred pounds more than it would have cost him
before 1834.

4. There is not the least sense of insecurity now. Before emancipation
there was much fear of insurrection, but that fear passed away
with slavery.

5. The prospect for 1840 is good. That people have no fear of ruin after
emancipation, is proved by the building of sugar works on estates which
never had any before, and which were obliged to cart their canes to
neighbouring estates to have them ground and manufactured. There are
also numerous improvements making on the larger estates. Mr. H. is
preparing to make a new mill and boiling-house on Colliton, and other
planters are doing the same. Arrangements are making too in various
directions to build new negro villages on a more commodious plan.

6. Mr. H. says he finds his apprentices perfectly ready to work for
wages during their own time. Whenever he needs their labor on Saturday,
he has only to ask them, and they are ready to go to the mill, or field
at once. There has not been an instance on Colliton estate in which the
apprentices have refused to work, either during the hours required by
law, or during their own time. When he does not need their services on
Saturday, they either hire themselves to other estates or work on their
own grounds.

7. Mr. H. was ready to say, both as a planter and a magistrate, that
vice and crime generally had decreased, and were still on the decrease.
Petty thefts are the principal offences. He has not had occasion to send
a single apprentice to the court of sessions for the last six months.

8. He has no difficulty in managing his people--far less than he did
when they were slaves. It is very seldom that he finds it necessary to
call in the aid of the special magistrate. Conciliatory treatment is
generally sufficient to maintain order and industry among the

9. He affirms that the negroes have no disposition to be revengeful. He
has never seen any thing like revenge.

10. His people are as far removed from insolence as from vindictiveness.
They have been uniformly civil.

11. His apprentices have more interest in the affairs of the estate, and
he puts more confidence in them than he ever did before.

12. He declares that the working of the apprenticeship, as also that of
entire freedom, depends entirely on the _planters_. If they act with
common humanity and reason, there is no fear but that the apprentices
will be peaceable.

Mr. Thomas is attorney for fifteen estates, on which there are upwards
of two thousand five hundred apprentices. We were informed that he had
been distinguished as a _severe disciplinarian_ under the old reign, or
in plain terms, had been a _cruel man and a hard driver_; but he was one
of those who, since emancipation, have turned about and conformed their
mode of treatment to the new system. In reply to our inquiry how the
present system was working, he said, "infinitely better (such was his
language) than slavery. I succeed better on all the estates under my
charge than I did formerly. I have far less difficulty with the people.
I have no reason to complain of their conduct. However, I think they
will do still better after 1840."

We made some inquiries of Dr. Bell concerning the results of abolition
in Demerara. He gave a decidedly flattering account of the working of
the apprenticeship system. No fears are entertained that Demerara will
be ruined after 1840. On the contrary it will be greatly benefited by
emancipation. It is now suffering from a want of laborers, and after
1840 there will be an increased emigration to that colony from the older
and less productive colonies. The planters of Demerara are making
arrangements for cultivating sugar on a larger scale than ever before.
Estates are selling at very high prices. Every thing indicates the
fullest confidence on the part of the planters that the prosperity of
the colony will not only be permanent, but progressive.

After breakfast we proceeded to the Society's estate. We were glad to
see this estate, as its history is peculiar. In 1726 it was bequeathed
by General Coddington to a society in England, called "The Society for
the promotion of Christian Knowledge." The proceeds of the estate were
to be applied to the support of an institution in Barbadoes, for
educating missionaries of the established order. Some of the provisions
of the will were that the estate should always have three hundred slaves
upon it; that it should support a school for the education of the negro
children who were to be taught a portion of every day until they were
twelve years old, when they were to go into the field; and that there
should be a chapel built upon it. The negroes belonging to the estate
have for upwards of a hundred years been under this kind of instruction.
They have all been taught to read, though in many instances they have
forgotten all they learned, having no opportunity to improve after they
left school. They enjoy some other comforts peculiar to the Society's
estate. They have neat cottages built apart--each on a half-acre lot,
which belongs to the apprentice and for the cultivation of which he is a
allowed one day out of the five working days. Another peculiarity is,
that the men and women work in separate gangs.

At this estate we procured horses to ride to the College. We rode by the
chapel and school-house belonging to the Society's estate which are
situated on the row of a high hill. From the same hill we caught a view
of Coddrington college, which is situated on a low bottom extending from
the foot of the rocky cliff on which we stood to the sea shore, a space
of quarter of a mile. It is a long, narrow, ill-constructed edifice.

We called on the principal, Rev. Mr. Jones, who received us very
cordially, and conducted us over the buildings and the grounds connected
with them. The college is large enough to accommodate a hundred
students. It is fitted out with lodging rooms, various professors'
departments, dining hall, chapel, library, and all the appurtenances of
a university. The number of student at the close of the last term was

The professors, two in number, are supported by a fund, consisting of
£40,000 sterling, which has in part accumulated from the revenue of
the estate.

The principal spoke favorably of the operation of the apprenticeship in
Barbadoes, and gave the negroes a decided superiority over the lower
class of whites. He had seen only one colored beggar since he came to
the island, but he was infested with multitudes of white ones.

It is intended to improve the college buildings as soon as the toil of
apprentices on the Society's estate furnishes the requisite means. This
robbing of God's image to promote education is horrible enough, taking
the wages of slavery to spread the kingdom of Christ!

On re-ascending the hill, we called at the Society's school. There are
usually in attendance about one hundred children, since the abolition of
slavery. Near the school-house is the chapel of the estate, a neat
building, capable of holding three or four hundred people. Adjacent to
the chapel is the burial ground for the negroes belonging to the
Society's estate. We noticed several neat tombs, which appeared to have
been erected only a short time previous. They were built of brick, and
covered over with lime, so as to resemble white marble slabs. On being
told that these were erected by the negroes themselves over the bodies
of their friends, we could not fail to note so beautiful an evidence of
their civilization and humanity. We returned to the Society's estate,
where we exchanged our saddles for the phaeton, and proceeded on our
eastward tour.

Mr. C. took us out of the way a few miles to show us one of the few
curiosities of which Barbadoes can boast. It is called the "Horse." The
shore for some distance is a high and precipitous ledge of rocks, which
overhangs the sea in broken cliffs. In one place a huge mass has been
riven from the main body of rock and fallen into the sea. Other huge
fragments have been broken off in the same manner. In the midst of
these, a number of steps have been cut in the rock for the purpose of
descending to the sea. At the bottom of these steps, there is a broad
platform of solid rock, where one may stand securely, and hear the waves
breaking around him like heavy thunders. Through the fissures we could
see the foam and spray mingling with the blue of the ocean, and flashing
in the sunshine. To the right, between the largest rock and the main
land, there is a chamber of about ten feet wide, and twenty feet long.
The fragment, which forms one of its sides, leans towards the main rock,
and touches it at top, forming a roof, with here and there a fissure,
through which the light enters. At the bottom of the room there is a
clear bed of water, which communicates with the sea by a small aperture
under the rock. It is as placid as a summer pond, and is fitted with
steps for a bathing place. Bathe, truly! with the sea ever dashing
against the side, and roaring and reverberating with deafening echo.

On a granite slab, fixed in the side of the rock at the bottom of the
first descent is an inscription. Time has very much effaced the letters,
but by the aid of Mr. C.'s memory, we succeeded in deciphering them.
They will serve as the hundred and first exemplification of the
Bonapartean maxim--"There is but one step from the sublime to the

  "In this remote, and hoarse resounding place,
   Which billows clash, and craggy cliffs embrace,
   These babbling springs amid such horrors rise,
   But armed with virtue, horrors we despise.
   Bathe undismayed, nor dread the impending rock,
   'Tis virtue shields us from each adverse shock.


From the "Crane," which is the name given to that section of the country
in which the "Horse" is situated, we bent our way in a southerly
direction to the Ridge estate, which was about eight miles distant,
where we had engaged to dine. On the way we passed an estate which had
just been on fire. The apprentices, fearing lest their houses should be
burnt, had carried away all the moveables from them, and deposited them
in separate heaps, on a newly ploughed field. The very doors and window
shutters had been torn off and carried into the field, several acres of
which were strewed over with piles of such furniture. Mr. C. was
scarcely less struck with this scene than we were, and he assured us
that he had never known such providence manifested on a similar occasion
during slavery.

At the Ridge estate we met Mr. Clarke, manager at Staple Grove estate,
Mr. Applewhitte of Carton, and a brother of Mr. C. The manager, Mr.
Cecil, received us with the customary cordiality.

Mr. Clarke is the manager of an estate on which there are two hundred
apprentices. His testimony was, that the estate was better cultivated
since abolition than before, and that it is far easier to control the
laborers, and secure uniformity of labor under the present system. He
qualified this remark, by saying, that if harsh or violent measures were
used, there would be more difficulty now than during slavery; but kind
treatment and a conciliatory spirit never failed to secure peace and
industry. At the time of abolition, Mr. C. owned ten slaves, whom he
entirely emancipated. Some of these still remain with him as domestics;
others are hired on an adjoining estate. One of those who left him to
work on another estate, said to him, "Massa, whenever you want anybody
to help you, send to me, and I'll come. It makes no odds when it
is--I'll be ready at any time--day or night." Mr. C. declared himself
thoroughly convinced of the propriety of immediate emancipation; though
he was once a violent opposer of abolition. He said, that if he had the
power, be would emancipate every apprentice on his estate to-morrow. As
we were in the sugar-house examining the quality of the sugar, Mr. C.
turned to one of us, and putting his hand on a hogshead, said, "You do
not raise this article in your state, (Kentucky,) I believe." On being
answered in the negative, he continued, "Well, we will excuse you, then,
somewhat in your state--you can't treat your slaves so cruelly there.
_This, this_ is the dreadful thing! Wherever sugar is cultivated by
slaves, there is extreme suffering."

Mr. Applewhitte said emphatically, that there was no danger in entire
emancipation. He was the proprietor of more than a hundred apprentices
and he would like to see them all free at once.

During a long sitting at the dinner table, emancipation was the topic,
and we were gratified with the perfect unanimity of sentiment among
these planters. After the cloth was removed, and we were about leaving
the table, Mr. Clarke begged leave to propose a toast. Accordingly, the
glasses of the planters were once more filled, and Mr. C., bowing to us,
gave our health, and "success to our laudable undertaking,"--"_most_
laudable undertaking," added Mr. Applewhitte, and the glasses were
emptied. Had the glasses contained water instead of wine, our
gratification would have been complete. It was a thing altogether beyond
our most sanguine expectations, that a company of planters, all of whom
were but three years previous the actual oppressors of the slave, should
be found wishing success to the cause of emancipation.

At half past eight o'clock, we resumed our seats in Mr. C.'s phaeton,
and by the nearest route across the country, returned to Lear's. Mr. C.
entertained us by the way with eulogies upon the industry and
faithfulness of his apprentices. It was, he said, one of the greatest
pleasures he experienced, to visit the different estates under his
charge, and witness the respect and affection which the apprentices
entertained towards him. Their joyful welcome, their kind attentions
during his stay with them, and their hearty 'good-bye, massa,' when he
left, delighted him.


We were kindly invited to spend a day at the mansion of Colonel Ashby,
an aged and experienced planter, who is the proprietor of the estate on
which he resides. Colonel A.'s estate is situated in the parish of
Christ Church, and is almost on the extreme point of a promontory, which
forms the southernmost part of the island. An early and pleasant drive
of nine miles from Bridgetown, along the southeastern coast of the
island, brought us to his residence. Colonel A. is a native of
Barbadoes, has been a practical planter since 1795, and for a long time
a colonial magistrate, and commander of the parish troops. His present
estate contains three hundred and fifty acres, and has upon it two
hundred and thirty apprentices, with a large number of free children.
His average crop is eighty large hogsheads. Colonel A. remarked to us,
that he had witnessed many cruelties and enormities under "the reign of
terror." He said, that the abolition of slavery had been an incalculable
blessing, but added, that he had not always entertained the same views
respecting emancipation. Before it took place, he was a violent opposer
of any measure tending to abolition. He regarded the English
abolitionists, and the anti-slavery members in parliament, with
unmingled hatred. He had often cursed Wilberforce most bitterly, and
thought that no doom either in this life, or in the life to come, was
too bad for him. "But," he exclaimed, "how mistaken I was about that
man--I am convinced of it now--O he was a good man--_a noble
philanthropist_!--_if there is a chair in heaven, Wilberforce is in
it_!" Colonel A. is somewhat sceptical, which will account for his
hypothetical manner of speaking about heaven.

He said that he found no trouble in managing his apprentices. As local
or colonial magistrate, in which capacity he still continued to act he
had no cases of serious crime to adjudicate, and very few cases of petty
misdemeanor. Colonel A. stated emphatically, that the negroes were not
disposed to leave their employment, unless the master was intolerably
passionate and hard with them; as for himself, he did not fear losing a
single laborer after 1840.

He dwelt much on the trustiness and strong attachment of the negroes,
where they are well treated. There were no people in the world that he
would trust his property or life with sooner than negroes, provided he
had the previous management of them long enough to secure their
confidence. He stated the following fact in confirmation of this
sentiment. During the memorable insurrection of 1816, by which the
neighboring parishes were dreadfully ravaged, he was suddenly called
from home on military duty. After he had proceeded some distance, he
recollected that he had left five thousand dollars in an open desk at
home. He immediately told the fact to his slave who was with him, and
sent him back to take care of it. He knew nothing more of his money
until the rebellion was quelled, and peace restored. On returning home,
the slave led him to a cocoa-nut tree near by the house, and dug up the
money, which he had buried under its roots. He found the whole sum
secure. The negro, he said, might have taken the money, and he would
never have suspected him, but would have concluded that it had been, in
common with other larger sums, seized upon by the insurgents. Colonel A.
said that it was impossible for him to mistrust the negroes as a body.
He spoke in terms of praise also of the _conjugal attachment_ of the
negroes. His son, a merchant, stated a fact on this subject. The wife of
a negro man whom he knew, became afflicted with that loathsome disease,
the leprosy. The man continued to live with her, notwithstanding the
disease was universally considered contagious and was peculiarly dreaded
by the negroes. The man on being asked why he lived with his wife under
such circumstances, said, that he had lived with her when she was well,
and he could not bear to forsake her when she was in distress.

Colonel A. made numerous inquiries respecting slavery in America. He
said there certainly be insurrections in the slaveholding states, unless
slavery was abolished. Nothing but abolition could put an end to

Mr. Thomas, a neighboring planter, dined with us. He had not carried a
complaint to the special magistrate against his apprentices for six
months. He remarked particularly that emancipation had been a great
blessing to the master; it brought freedom to him as well as to
the slave.

A few days subsequent to our visit to Colonel A.'s, the Reverend Mr.
Packer, of the Established Church, called at our lodgings, and
introduced a planter from the parish of St. Thomas. The planter is
proprietor of an estate, and has eighty apprentices. His apprentices
conduct themselves very satisfactorily, and he had not carried a half
dozen complaints to the special magistrate since 1831. He said that
cases of crime were very rare, as he had opportunity of knowing, being
local magistrate. There were almost no penal offences brought before
him. Many of the apprentices of St. Thomas parish were buying their
freedom, and there were several cases of appraisement[A] every week. The
Monday previous, six cases came before him, in four of which the
apprentices paid the money on the spot.

[Footnote A: When an apprentice signifies his wish to purchase his
freedom, he applies to the magistrate for an appraisement. The
appraisement is made by one special and two local magistrates.]

Before this gentleman left, the Rev. Mr. C. called in with Mr. Pigeot,
another planter, with whom we had a long conversation. Mr. P. has been a
manager for many years. We had heard of him previously as the only
planter in the island who had made an experiment in task work prior to
abolition. He tried it for twenty months before that period on an estate
of four hundred acres and two hundred people. His plan was simply to
give each slave an ordinary day's work for a task; and after that was
performed, the remainder of the time, if any, belonged to the slave. _No
wages were allowed_. The gang were expected to accomplish just as much
as they did before, and to do it as well, however long a time it might
require; and if they could finish in half a day, the other half was
their own, and they might employ it as they saw fit. Mr. P. said, he was
very soon convinced of the good policy of the system; though he had one
of the most unruly gangs of negroes to manage in the whole island. The
results of the experiment he stated to be these:

1. The usual day's work was done generally before the middle of the
afternoon. Sometimes it was completed in five hours.

2. The work was done as well as it was ever done under the old system.
Indeed, the estate continued to improve in cultivation, and presented a
far better appearance at the close of the twenty months than when he
took the charge of it.

3. The trouble of management was greatly diminished. Mr. P. was almost
entirely released from the care of overseeing the work: he could trust
it to the slaves.

4. The whip was entirely laid aside. The idea of having a part of the
day which they could call their own and employ for their own interests,
was stimulus enough for the slaves without resorting to the whip.

5. The time gained was not spent (as many feared and prophecied it would
be) either in mischief or indolence. It was diligently improved in
cultivating their provision grounds, or working for wages on neighboring
estates. Frequently a man and his wife would commence early and work
together until they got the work of both so far advanced that the man
could finish it alone before night; and then the woman would gather on a
load of yams and start for the market.

6. The condition of the people improved astonishingly. They became one
of the most industrious and orderly gangs in the parish. Under the
former system they were considered inadequate to do the work of the
estate, and the manager was obliged to hire additional hands every year,
to take off the crop; but Mr. P. never hired any, though he made as
large crops as were made formerly.

7. After the abolition of slavery, his people chose to continue on the
same system of task work.

Mr. P. stated that the planters were universally opposed to his
experiment. They laughed at the idea of making negroes work without
using the whip; and they all prophesied that it would prove an utter
failure. After some months' successful trial, he asked some of his
neighbor planters what they thought of it then, and he appealed to than
to say whether he did not get his work done as thoroughly and seasonably
as they did theirs. They were compelled to admit it; but still they were
opposed to his system, even more than ever. They called it an
_innovation_--it was setting a bad example; and they honestly declared
that they did not wish the slaves to _have any time of their own_. Mr.
P. said, he was first induced to try the system of task work from a
consideration that the negroes were men as well as himself, and deserved
to he dealt with as liberally as their relation would allow. He soon
found that what was intended as a favor to the slaves was really a
benefit to the master. Mr. P. was persuaded that entire freedom would be
better for all parties than apprenticeship. He had heard some fears
expressed concerning the fate of the island after 1840; but he
considered them very absurd.

Although this planter looked forward with sanguine hopes to 1840, yet he
would freely say that he did not think the apprenticeship would be any
preparation for entire freedom. The single object with the great
majority of the planters seemed to be to _get as much out_ of the
apprentices as they possibly could during the term. No attention had
been paid to preparing the apprentices for freedom.

We were introduced to a planter who was notorious during the reign of
slavery for the _strictness of his discipline_, to use the Barbadian
phrase, or, in plain English, for his rigorous treatment and
his cruelty.

He is the proprietor of three sugar estates and one cotton plantation in
Barbadoes, on all of which there are seven hundred apprentices. He was a
luxurious looking personage, bottle-cheeked and huge i' the midst, and
had grown fat on slaveholding indulgences. He mingled with every
sentence he uttered some profane expression, or solemn appeal to his
"honor," and seemed to be greatly delighted with hearing himself talk.
He displayed all those prejudices which might naturally be looked for in
a mind educated and trained as his had been. As to the conduct of the
apprentices, he said they were peaceable and industrious, and mostly
well disposed. But after all, the negroes were a perverse race of
people. It was a singular fact, he said, that the severer the master,
the better the apprentices. When the master was mild and indulgent, they
were sure to be lazy, insolent, and unfaithful. _He knew this by
experience; this was the case with_ his _apprentices_. His house-servants
especially were very bad. But there was one complaint he had against
them all, domestics and praedials--they always hold him to the letter of
the law, and are ready to arraign him before the special magistrate for
every infraction of it on his part, however trifling. How ungrateful,
truly! After being provided for with parental care from earliest
infancy, and supplied yearly with two suits of clothes, and as many yams
is they could eat and only having to work thirteen or fifteen hours per
day in return; and now when they are no longer slaves, and new
privileges are conferred to exact them to the full extent of the law
which secures them--what ingratitude! How soon are the kindnesses of the
past, and the hand that bestowed them, forgotten! Had these people
possessed the sentiments of human beings, they would have been willing
to take the boon of freedom and lay it at their master's feet,
dedicating the remainder of their days to his discretionary service!

But with all his violent prejudices, this planter stated some facts
which are highly favorable to the apprentices.

1. He frankly acknowledged that his estates were never under better
cultivation than at the present time: and he could say the same of the
estates throughout the island. The largest crops that have ever been
made, will he realized this year.

2. The apprentices are generally willing to work on the estates on
Saturday whenever their labor is needed.

3. The females are very much disposed to abandon field labor. He has
great difficulty sometimes in inducing them to take their hoes and go
out to the field along with the men; it was the case particularly _with
the mothers!_ This he regarded as a sore evil!

4. The free children he represented as being in a wretched condition.
Their parents have the entire management of them, an they are utterly
opposed to having them employed on the estates. He condemned severely
the course taken in a particular instance by the late Governor, Sir
Lionel Smith. He took it upon himself to go around the island and advise
the parents never to bind their children in any kind of apprenticeship
to the planters. He told them that sooner than involve their free
children in any way, they ought to "work their own fingers to the
stubs." The consequence of this imprudent measure, said our informant,
is that the planters have no control over the children born on their
estates; and in many instances their parents have sent them away lest
their _residence_ on the property should, by some chance, give the
planter a claim upon their services. Under the good old system the young
children were placed together under the charge of some superannuated
women, who were fit for nothing else, and the mothers went into the
field to work; now the nursery is broken up, and the mothers spend half
of their time "_in taking care of their brats_."

5. As to the management of the working people, there need not he any
more difficulty now then during slavery. If the magistrates, instead of
encouraging the apprentices to complain and be insolent, would join
their influence to support the authority of the planters, things might
go on nearly as smoothly as before.

In company with Rev. Mr. Packer, late Rector of St. Thomas, we rode out
to the Belle estate, which is considered one of the finest in the
island. Mr. Marshall, the manager, received us cordially. He was
selected, with two others, by Sir Lionel Smith, to draw up a scale of
labor for general use in the island. There are five hundred acres in the
estate, and two hundred and thirty-five apprenticed laborers. The
manager stated that every thing was working well on his property. He
corroborated the statements made by other planters with retard to the
conduct of the apprentices. On one point he said the planters had found
themselves greatly disappointed. It was feared that after emancipation
the negroes would be very much verse to cultivating cane, as it was
supposed that nothing but the whip could induce them to perform that
species of labor. But the truth is, they now not only cultivate the
estate lands better than they did when under the lash, but also
cultivate a third of their half-acre allotments in cane on their own
accounts. They would plant the whole in cane if they were not
discouraged by the planter, whose principal objection to their doing so
is that it would lead to the entire neglect of _provision cultivation_.
The apprentices on Belle estate will make little short of one thousand
dollars the present season by their sugar.

Mr. M. stated that he was extensively acquainted with the cultivation of
the island, and he knew that it was in a better condition than it had
been for many years. There were twenty-four estates under the same
attorneyship with the Belle, and they were all in the same prosperous

A short time before we left Barbadoes we received an invitation from
Col. Barrow, to breakfast with him at his residence on Edgecome
estate--about eight miles from town. Mr. Cummins, a colored gentleman, a
merchant of Bridgetown, and agent of Col. B., accompanied us.

The proprietor of Edgecome is a native of Barbadoes, of polished manners
and very liberal views. He has travelled extensively, has held many
important offices, and is generally considered the _cleverest_ man in
the island. He is now a member of the council, and acting attorney for
about twenty estates. He remarked that he had always desired
emancipation, and had prepared himself for it; but that it had proved a
greater blessing than he had expected. His apprentices did as much work
as before, and it was done without the application of the whip. He had
not had any cases of insubordination, and it was very seldom that he
had any complaints to make to the special magistrate. "The apprentices."
said he, "understand the meaning of law, and they regard its authority."
He thought there was no such thing in the island as a _sense of
insecurity_, either as respected person or property. Real estate had
risen in value.

Col. B. alluded to the expensiveness of slavery, remarking that after
all that was expended in purchasing the slaves, it cost the proprietor
as much to maintain them, as it would to hire free men. He spoke of the
habit of exercising arbitrary power, which being in continual play up to
the time of abolition, had become so strong that managers even yet gave
way to it, and frequently punished their apprentices, in spite of all
penalties. The fines inflicted throughout the island in 1836, upon
planters, overseers, and others, for punishing apprentices, amounted to
one thousand two hundred dollars. Col. B. said that he found the legal
penalty so inadequate, that in his own practice he was obliged to resort
to other means to deter his book-keepers and overseers from violence;
hence he discharged every man under his control who was known to strike
an apprentice. He does not think that the apprenticeship will be a means
of preparing the negroes for freedom, nor does he believe that they
_need_ any preparation. He should have apprehended no danger, had
emancipation taken place in 1834.

At nine o'clock we sat down to breakfast. Our places were assigned at
opposite sides of the table, between Col. B. and Mr. C. To an American
eye, we presented a singular spectacle. A wealthy planter, a member of
the legislative council, sitting at the breakfast table with a colored
man, whose mother was a negress of the most unmitigated hue, and who
himself showed a head of hair as curly as his mother's! But this colored
guest was treated with all that courtesy and attention to which his
intelligence, worth and accomplished manners so justly entitle him.

About noon, we left Edgecome, and drove two miles farther, to Horton--an
estate owned by Foster Clarke, Esq., an attorney for twenty-two estates,
who is now temporarily residing in England. The intelligent manager of
Horton received us and our colored companion, with characteristic
hospitality. Like every one else, he told us that the apprenticeship was
far better than slavery, though he was looking forward to the still
better system, entire freedom.

After we had taken a lunch, Mr. Cummins invited our host to take a seat,
with us in his carriage, and we drove across the country to Drax Hall.
Drax Hall is the largest estate in the island--consisting of eight
hundred acres. The manager of this estate confirmed the testimony of the
Barbadian planters in every important particular.

From Drax Hall we returned to Bridgetown, accompanied by our friend



Next in weight to the testimony of the planters is that of the special
magistrates. Being officially connected with the administration of the
apprenticeship system, and tire adjudicators in all difficulties between
master and servant, their views of the system and of the conduct of the
different parties are entitled to special consideration. Our interviews
with this class of men were frequent during our stay in the island. We
found them uniformly ready to communicate information, and free to
express their sentiments.

In Barbadoes there are seven special magistrates, presiding over as many
districts, marked A, B, C, &c., which include the whole of the
apprentice population, praedial and non-praedial. These districts
embrace an average of twelve thousand apprentices--some more and some
less. All the complaints and difficulties which arise among that number
of apprentices and their masters, overseers and book-keepers, are
brought before the single magistrate presiding in the district in which
they occur. From the statement of this fact it will appear in the outset
either that the special magistrates have an incalculable amount of
business to transact, or that the conduct of the apprentices is
wonderfully peaceable. But more of this again.

About a week following our first interview with his excellency, Sir Evan
McCregor, we received an invitation to dine at Government House with a
company of gentlemen. On our arrival at six o'clock, we were conducted
into a large antechamber above the dining hall, where we were soon
joined by the Solicitor-General, Hon. R.B. Clarke. Dr. Clarke, a
physician, Maj. Colthurst, Capt. Hamilton, and Mr. Galloway, special
magistrates. The appearance of the Governor about an hour afterwards,
was the signal for an adjournment to dinner.

Slavery and emancipation were the engrossing topics during the evening.
As our conversation was for the most part general, we were enabled to
gather at the same time the opinions of all the persons present. There
was, for aught we heard or could see to the contrary, an entire
unanimity of sentiment. In the course of the evening we gathered the
following facts and testimony:

1. All the company testified to the benefits of abolition. It was
affirmed that the island was never in so prosperous a condition as
at present.

2. The estates generally are better cultivated than they were during
slavery. Said one of the magistrates:

"If, gentlemen, you would see for yourselves the evidences of our
successful cultivation, you need but to travel in any part of the
country, and view the superabundant crops which are now being taken off;
and if you would satisfy yourselves that emancipation has not been
ruinous to Barbadoes, only cast your eyes over the land in any
direction, and see the flourishing condition both of houses and fields:
every thing is starting into new life."

It as also stated that more work was done during the nine hours required
by law, than was done during slavery in twelve or fifteen hours, with
all the driving and goading which were then practised.

3. Offences have not increased, but rather lessened. The
Solicitor-General remarked, that the comparative state of crime could
not be ascertained by a mere reference to statistical records, since
previous to emancipation all offences were summarily punished by the
planter. Each estate was a little despotism, and the manager took
cognizance of all the misdemeanors committed among his slaves
--inflicting such punishment as he thought proper. The public knew
nothing about the offences of the slaves, unless something very
atrocious was committed. But since emancipation has taken place, all
offences, however trivial, come to the light and are recorded. He could
only give a judgment founded on observation. It was his opinion, that
there were fewer petty offences, such as thefts, larcenies, &c., than
during slavery. As for serious crime, it was hardly known in the island.
The whites enjoy far greater safety of person and property than they
did formerly.

Maj. Colthurst, who is an Irishman, remarked, that he had long been a
magistrate or justice of the peace in Ireland, and he was certain that
at the present ratio of crime in Barbadoes, there would not be as much
perpetrated in six years to come, as there is in Ireland among an equal
population in six months. For his part, he had never found in any part
of the world so peaceable and inoffensive a community.

4. It was the unanimous testimony that there was no disposition among
the apprentices to revenge injuries committed against them. _They are
not a revengeful people_, but on the contrary are remarkable for
forgetting wrongs, particularly when the are succeeded by kindness.

5. The apprentices were described as being generally civil and
respectful toward their employers. They were said to manifest more
independence of feeling and action than they did when slaves; but were
seldom known to be insolent unless grossly insulted or very
harshly used.

6. Ample testimony was given to the law-abiding character of the
negroes. When the apprenticeship system was first introduced, they did
not fully comprehend its provisions, and as they had anticipated entire
freedom, they were disappointed and dissatisfied. But in a little while
they became reconciled to the operations of the new system, and have
since manifested a due subordination to the laws and authorities.

7. There is great desire manifested among them to purchase their
freedom. Not a week passes without a number of appraisements. Those who
have purchased their freedom have generally conducted well, and in many
instances are laboring on the same estates on which they were slaves.

8. There is no difficulty in inducing the apprentices to work on
Saturday. They are usually willing to work if proper wages are given
them. If they are not needed on the estates, they either work on their
own grounds, or on some neighboring estate.

9. The special magistrates were all of the opinion that it would have
been entirely safe to have emancipated the slaves of Barbadoes in 1834.
They did not believe that any preparation was needed; but that entire
emancipation would have been decidedly better than the apprenticeship.

10. The magistrates also stated that the number of complaints brought
before them was comparatively small, and it was gradually diminishing.
The offences were of a very trivial nature, mostly cases of slight
insubordination, such as impertinent replies and disobedience of orders.

11. They stated that they had more trouble with petty overseers and
managers and small proprietors than with the entire black population.

12. The special magistrates further testified that wherever the planters
have exercised common kindness and humanity, the apprentices have
generally conducted peaceably. Whenever there are many complaints from
one estate, it is presumable that the manager is a bad man.

13. Real estate is much higher throughout the island than it has been
for many years. A magistrate said that he had heard of an estate which
had been in market for ten years before abolition and could not find a
purchaser. In 1835, the year following abolition, it was sold for one
third more than was asked for it two years before.

14. It was stated that there was not a proprietor in the island, whose
opinion was of any worth, who would wish to have slavery restored. Those
who were mostly bitterly opposed to abolition, have become reconciled,
and are satisfied that the change has been beneficial. The
Solicitor-General was candid enough to own that he himself was openly
opposed to emancipation. He had declared publicly and repeatedly while
the measure was pending in Parliament, that abolition would ruin the
colonies. But the results had proved so different that he was ashamed of
his former forebodings. He had no desire ever to see slavery

15. The first of August, 1834, was described as a day of remarkable
quiet and tranquillity. The Solicitor-General remarked, that there were
many fears for the results of that first day of abolition. He said he
arose early that morning, and before eight o'clock rode through the most
populous part of the island, over an extent of twelve miles. The negroes
were all engaged in their work as on other days. A stranger riding
through the island, and ignorant of the event which had taken place that
morning, would have observed no indications of so extraordinary a
change. He returned home satisfied that all would work well.

16. The change in 1840 was spoken of as being associated with the most
sanguine expectations. It was thought that there was more danger to be
apprehended from the change in 1834. It was stated that there were about
fifteen thousand non-praedials, who would then be emancipated in
Barbadoes. This will most likely prove the occasion of much excitement
and uneasiness, though it is not supposed that any thing serious will
arise. The hope was expressed that the legislature would effect the
emancipation of the whole population at that time. One of the
magistrates informed us that he knew quite a number of planters in his
district who were willing to liberate their apprentices immediately, but
they were waiting for a general movement. It was thought that this state
of feeling was somewhat extensive.

17. The magistrates represented the negroes as naturally confiding and
docile, yielding readily to the authority of those who are placed over
them. Maj. Colthurst presides over a district of 9,000 apprentices;
Capt. Hamilton over a district of 13,000, and Mr. Galloway over the same
number. There are but three days in the week devoted to hearing and
settling complaints. It is very evident that in so short a time it would
be utterly impossible for one man to control and keep in order such a
number, unless the subjects were of themselves disposed to be peaceable
and submissive. The magistrates informed us that, notwithstanding the
extent of their districts, they often did not have more than from a
dozen to fifteen complaints in a week.

We were highly gratified with the liberal spirit and the intelligence of
the special magistrates. Major Colthurst is a gentleman of far more than
ordinary pretensions to refinement and general information. He was in
early life a justice of the peace in Ireland, he was afterwards a juror
in his Majesty's service, and withal, has been an extensive traveller.
Fifteen years ago he travelled in the United States, and passed through
several of the slaveholding states, where he was shocked with the
abominations of slavery. He was persuaded that slavery was worse in our
country, than it has been for many years in the West Indies. Captain
Hamilton was formerly an officer in the British navy. He seems quite
devoted to his business, and attached to the interests of the
apprentices. Mr. Galloway is a _colored_ gentleman, highly respected for
his talents. Mr. G. informed us that _prejudice_ against color was
rapidly diminishing--and that the present Governor was doing all in his
power to discountenance it.

The company spoke repeatedly of the _noble act of abolition, by which
Great Britain had immortalized her name more than by all the
achievements of her armies and navies._

The warmest wishes were expressed for the abolition of slavery in the
United States. All said they should rejoice when the descendants of
Great Britain should adopt the noble example of their mother country.
They hailed the present anti-slavery movements. Said the
Solicitor-General, "We were once strangely opposed to the English
anti-slavery party, but now we sympathize with you. Since slavery is
abolished to our own colonies, and we see the good which results from
the measure, we go for abolition throughout the world. Go on, gentlemen,
we are with you; _we are all sailing in the same vessel._"

Being kindly invited by Captain Hamilton, during our interview with him
at the government house, to call on him and attend his court, we availed
ourselves of his invitation a few days afterwards. We left Bridgetown
after breakfast, and as it chanced to be Saturday, we had a fine
opportunity of seeing the people coming into market. They were strung
all along the road for six miles, so closely, that there was scarcely a
minute at any time in which we did not pass them. As far as the eye
could reach there were files of men and women, moving peaceably forward.
From the cross paths leading through the estates, the busy marketers
were pouring into the highway. To their heads as usual was committed the
safe conveyance of the various commodities. It was amusing to observe
the almost infinite diversity of products which loaded them. There were
sweet potatoes, yams, eddoes, Guinea and Indian corn, various fruits and
berries, vegetables, nuts, cakes, bottled beer and empty bottles,
bundles of sugar cane, bundles of fire wood, &c. &c. Here was one woman
(the majority were females, as usual with the marketers in these
islands) with a small black pig doubled up under her arm. Another girl
had a brood of young chickens, with nest, coop, and all, on her head.
Further along the road we were specially attracted by a woman who was
trudging with an immense turkey elevated on her head. He quite filled
the tray; head and tail projecting beyond its bounds. He advanced, as
was very proper, head foremost, and it was irresistibly laughable to see
him ever and anon stretch out his neck and peep under the tray, as
though he would discover by what manner of locomotive it was that he got
along so fast while his own legs were tied together.

Of the hundreds whom we past, there were very few who were not well
dressed, healthy, and apparently in good spirits. We saw nothing
indecorous, heard no vile language, and witnessed no violence.

About four miles from town, we observed on the side of the road a small
grove of shade trees. Numbers of the marketers were seated there, or
lying in the cool shade with their trays beside them. It seemed to be a
sort of rendezvous place, where those going to, and those returning from
town, occasionally halt for a time for the purpose of resting, and to
tell and hear news concerning the state of the market. And why should
not these travelling merchants have an exchange as well as the
stationary ones of Bridgetown?

On reaching the station-house, which is about six miles from town, we
learned that Saturday was not one of the court days. We accordingly
drove to Captain Hamilton's residence. _He stated that during the week
he had only six cases of complaint among the thirteen thousand
apprentices embraced in his district._ Saturday is the day set apart for
the apprentices to visit him at his house for advice on any points
connected with their duties. He had several calls while we were with
him. One was from the mother of an apprentice girl who had been
committed for injuring the master's son. She came to inform Captain H.
that the girl had been whipped twice contrary to law, before her
commitment. Captain H. stated that the girl had said nothing about this
at the time of her trial; if she had, she would in all probability have
been _set free_, instead of being _committed to prison_. He remarked
that he had no question but there were numerous cases of flogging on the
estates which never came to light. The sufferers were afraid to inform
against their masters, lest they should be treated still worse. The
opportunity which he gave them of coming, to him one day in the week for
private advice, was the means of exposing many outrages which would
otherwise he unheard of: He observed that there were not a few whom he
had liberated on account of the cruelty of their masters.

Captain H. stated that the apprentices were much disposed to purchase
their freedom. To obtain money to pay for themselves they practice the
most severe economy and self-denial in the very few indulgences which
the law grants them. They sometimes resort to deception to depreciate
their value with the appraisers. He mentioned an instance of a man who
lead for many years been an overseer on a large estate. Wishing to
purchase himself, and knowing that his master valued him very highly, he
permitted his beard to grow; gave his face a wrinkled and haggard
appearance, and bound a handkerchief about his head. His clothes were
suffered to become ragged and dirty, and he began to feign great
weakness in his limbs, and to complain of a "misery all down his back."
He soon appeared marked with all the signs of old age and decrepitude.
In this plight, and leaning on a stick, he hobbled up to the
station-house one day, and requested to be appraised. He was appraised
at £10, which he immediately paid. A short time afterwards, he engaged
himself to a proprietor to manage a small estate for £30 per year in
cash and his own maintenance, all at once grew vigorous again; and is
prospering finely. Many of the masters in turn practice deception to
prevent the apprentices from buying themselves, or to make them pay the
very highest sum for their freedom. They extol their virtues--they are
every thing that is excellent and valuable--their services on the estate
are indispensable no one can fill their places. By such
misrepresentations they often get an exorbitant price for the remainder
of the term--more, sometimes, than they could have obtained for them for
life while they were slaves.

From Captain H.'s we returned to the station-house, the keeper of which
conducted us over the buildings, and showed us the cells of the prison.
The house contains the office and private room of the magistrate, and
the guard-room, below, and chambers for the police men above. There are
sixteen solitary cells, and two large rooms for those condemned to hard
labour--one for females and the other for males. There were at that time
seven in the solitary cells, and twenty-four employed in labor on the
roads. This is more than usual. The average number is twenty in all.
When it is considered that most of the commitments are for trivial
offences, and that the district contains thirteen thousand apprentices,
certainly we have grounds to conclude that the state of morals in
Barbadoes is decidedly superior to that in our own country.

The whole police force for this district is composed of seventeen
horsemen, four footmen, a sergeant, and the keeper. It was formerly
greater but has been reduced within the past year.

The keeper informed us that he found the apprentices, placed under his
care, very easily controlled. They sometimes attempt to escape; but
there has been no instance of revolt or insubordination. The island, he
said, was peaceable, and were it not for the petty complaints of the
overseers, nearly the whole police force might be disbanded. As for
insurrection, he laughed at the idea of it. It was feared before
abolition, but now no one thought of it. All but two or three of the
policemen at this station are black and colored men.


Being disappointed in our expectations of witnessing some trials at the
station-house in Captain Hamilton's district (B,) we visited the court
in district A, where Major Colthurst presides. Major C. was in the midst
of a trial when we entered, and we did not learn fully the nature of the
case then pending. We were immediately invited within the bar, whence we
had a fair view of all that passed.

There were several complaints made and tried, during our stay. We give a
brief account of them, as they will serve as specimens of the cases
usually brought before the special magistrates.

I. The first was a complaint made by a colored lady, apparently not more
than twenty, against a colored girl--her domestic apprentice. The charge
was insolence, and disobedience of orders. The complainant said that the
girl was exceedingly insolent--no one could imagine how insolent she had
been--it was beyond endurance. She seemed wholly unable to find words
enough to express the superlative insolence of her servant. The justice
requested her to particularize. Upon this, she brought out several
specific charges such as, first, That the girl brought a candle to her
one evening, and wiped her greasy fingers on her (the girl's) gown:
second, That one morning she refused to bring some warm water, as
commanded, to pour on a piece of flannel, until she had finished some
other work that she was doing at the time; third, That the same morning
she delayed coming into her chamber as usual to dress her, and when she
did come, she sung, and on being told to shut her mouth, she replied
that her mouth was her own, and that she would sing when she pleased;
and fourth, That she had said in her mistress's hearing that she would
be glad when she was freed. These several charges being sworn to, the
girl was sentenced to four days' solitary confinement, but at the
request of her mistress, she was discharged on promise of amendment.

II. The second complaint was against an apprentice-man by his master,
for absence from work. He had leave to go to the funeral of his mother,
and he did not return until after the time allowed him by his master.
The man was sentence to imprisonment.

III. The third complaint was against a woman for singing and making a
disturbance in the field. Sentenced to six days' solitary confinement.

IV. An apprentice was brought up for not doing his work well. He was a
mason, and was employed in erecting an arch on one of the public roads.
This case excited considerable interest. The apprentice was represented
by his master to be a praedial--the master testified on oath that he was
registered as a praedial; but in the course of the examination it was
proved that he had always been a mason; that he had labored at that
trade from his boyhood, and that he knew 'nothing about the hoe,' having
never worked an hour in the field. This was sufficient to prove that he
was a non-praedial, and of course entitled to liberty two years sooner
than he would have been as a praedial. As this matter came up
incidentally, it enraged the master exceedingly. He fiercely reiterated
his charge against the apprentice, who, on his part, averred that he did
his work as well as he could. The master manifested the greatest
excitement and fury during the trial. At one time, because the
apprentice disputed one of his assertions, he raised his clenched fist
over him, and threatened, with an oath, to knock him down. The
magistrate was obliged to threaten him severely before he would
keep quiet.

The defendant was ordered to prison to be tried the next day, time being
given to make further inquiries about his being a praedial.

V. The next case was a complaint against an apprentice, for leaving his
place in the boiling house without asking permission. It appeared that
he had been unwell during the evening, _and at half past ten o'clock at
night_, being attacked more severely, he left for a few moments,
expecting to return. He, however, was soon taken so ill that the could
not go back, but was obliged to lie down on the ground, where he
remained until twelve o'clock, when he recovered sufficiently to creep
home. His sickness was proved by a fellow apprentice, and indeed his
appearance at the bar clearly evinced it. He was punished by several
days imprisonment. With no little astonishment in view of such a
decision, we inquired of Maj. C. whether the planters had the power to
require their people to work as late as half past ten at night. He
replied, "Certainly, _the crops must be secured at any rate, and if they
are suffering, the people must be pressed the harder_."[A]

[Footnote A: We learned subsequently from various authentic sources,
that the master has _not_ the power to compel his apprentices to labor
more than nine hours per day on any condition, except in case of a fire,
or some similar emergency. If the call for labor in crop-time was to be
set down as an emergency similar to a "fire," and if in official
decisions he took equal latitude, alas for the poor apprentices!]

VI. The last case was a complaint against a man for not keeping up good
fires under the boilers. He stoutly denied the charge; said he built as
good fires as he could. He kept stuffing in the trash, and if it would
not burn he could not help it. He was sentenced to imprisonment.

Maj. C. said that these complaints were a fair specimen of the cases
that came up daily, save that there were many more frivolous and
ridiculous. By the trials which we witnessed we were painfully impressed
with two things:

1st. That the magistrate, with all his regard for the rights and welfare
of the apprentices, showed a great and inexcusable partiality for the
masters. The patience and consideration with which he heard the
complaints of the latter, the levity with which he regarded the defence
of the former, the summary manner in which he despatched the cases, and
the character of some of his decisions, manifested no small degree of

2d That the whole proceedings of the special magistrates' courts are
eminently calculated to perpetuate bad feeling between the masters and
apprentices. The court-room is a constant scene of angry dispute between
these parties. The master exhausts his store of abuse and violence upon
the apprentice, and the apprentice, emboldened by the place, and
provoked by the abuse, retorts in language which he would never think of
using on the estate, and thus, whatever may be the decision of the
magistrate, the parties return home with feelings more embittered
than ever.

There were twenty-six persons imprisoned at the station-house,
twenty-four were at hard labor, and two were in solitary confinement.
The keeper of the prison said, he had no difficulty in managing the
prisoners. The keeper is a colored man, and so also is the sergeant and
most of the policemen.

We visited one other station-house, in a distant part of the island,
situated in the district over which Captain Cuppage presides. We
witnessed several trials there which were similar in frivolity and
meanness to those detailed above. We were shocked with the mockery of
justice, and the indifference to the interests of the negro apparent in
the course of the magistrate. It seemed that little more was necessary
than for the manager or overseer to make his complaint and swear to it,
and the apprentice was forthwith condemned to punishment.

We never saw a set of men in whose countenances fierce passions of every
name were so strongly marked as in the overseers and managers who were
assembled at the station-houses. Trained up to use the whip and to
tyrannize over the slaves, their grim and evil expression accorded with
their hateful occupation.

Through the kindness of a friend in Bridgetown we were favored with an
interview with Mr. Jones, the superintendent of the rural police--the
whole body of police excepting those stationed in the town. Mr. J. has
been connected with the police since its first establishment in 1834. He
assured us that there was nothing in the local peculiarities of the
island, nor in the character of its population, which forbade immediate
emancipation in August, 1834. He had no doubt it would be perfectly safe
and decidedly profitable to the colony.

2. The good or bad working of the apprenticeship depends mainly on the
conduct of the masters. He was well acquainted with the character and
disposition of the negroes throughout the island, and he was ready to
say, that if disturbances should arise either before or after 1840, it
would be because the people were goaded on to desperation by the
planters, and not because they sought disturbance themselves.

3. Mr. J. declared unhesitatingly that crime had not increased since
abolition, but rather the contrary.

4. He represented the special magistrates as the friends of the
planters. They loved the _dinners_ which they got at the planters'
houses. The apprentices had no sumptuous dinners to give them. The
magistrates felt under very little obligation of any kind to assert the
cause of the apprentice and secure him justice, while they were under
very strong temptations to favor the master.

5. Real estate had increased in value nearly fifty per cent since
abolition. There is such entire security of property, and the crops
since 1834 have been so flattering, that capitalists from abroad are
desirous of investing their funds in estates or merchandise. All are
making high calculations for the future.

6. Mr. J. testified that marriages had greatly increased since
abolition. He had seen a dozen couples standing at one time on the
church floor. There had, he believed, been more marriages within the
last three years among the negro population, than have occurred before
since the settlement of the island.

We conclude this chapter by subjoining two highly interesting documents
from special magistrates. They were kindly furnished us by the authors
in pursuance of an order from his excellency the Governor, authorizing
the special magistrates to give us any official statements which we
might desire. Being made acquainted with these instructions from the
Governor, we addressed written queries to Major Colthurst and Captain
Hamilton. We insert their replies at length.


The following fourteen questions on the working of the apprenticeship
system in this colony were submitted to me on the 30th of March, 1837,
requesting answers thereto.

1. What is the number of apprenticed laborers in your district, and what
is their character compared with other districts?

The number of apprenticed laborers, of all ages, in my district, in nine
thousand four hundred and eighty, spread over two hundred and
ninety-seven estates of various descriptions--some very large, and
others again very small--much the greater number consisting of small
lots in the near neighborhood of Bridgetown. Perhaps my district, in
consequence of this minute subdivision of property, and its contact with
the town, is the most troublesome district in the island; and the
character of the apprentices differs consequently from that in the more
rural districts, where not above half the complaints are made. I
attribute this to their almost daily intercourse with Bridgetown.

2. What is the state of agriculture in the island?

When the _planters themselves_ admit that general cultivation was
_never_ in a better state, and the plantations extremely clean, _it is
more than presumptive_ proof that agriculture generally is in a most
prosperous condition. The vast crop of canes grown this year proves this
fact. Other crops are also luxuriant.

3. Is there any difficulty occasioned by the apprentices refusing to

No difficulty whatever has been experienced by the refusal of the
apprentices to work. This is done manfully and cheerfully, when they are
treated with humanity and consideration by the masters or managers. I
have never known an instance to the contrary.

4. Are the apprentices willing to work in their own time?

The apprentices are most willing to work in their own time.

5. What is the number and character of the complaints brought before
you--are they increasing or otherwise?

The number of complaints brought before me, during the last quarter, are
much fewer than during the corresponding quarter of the last year. Their
character is also greatly improved. Nine complaints out of ten made
lately to me are for small impertinences or saucy answers, which,
considering the former and present position of the parties, is naturally
to be expected. The number of such complaints is much diminished.

6. What is the state of crime among the apprentices?

What is usually denominated crime in the old countries, is by no means
frequent among the blacks or colored persons. It is amazing how few
material breaches of the law occur in so extraordinary a community. Some
few cases of crime do occasionally arise;--but when it is considered
that the population of this island is nearly as dense as that of any
part of China, and wholly uneducated, either by precept or example, this
absence of frequent crime excites our wonder, and is highly creditable
to the negroes. I sincerely believe there is no such person, of that
class called at home an accomplished villain, to be found in the whole
island.--Having discharged the duties of a general justice of the peace
in Ireland, for above twenty-four years, where crimes of a very
aggravated nature were perpetrated almost daily. I cannot help
contrasting the situation of that country with this colony, where I do
not hesitate to say perfect tranquillity exists.

7. Have the apprentices much respect for law?

It is perhaps, difficult to answer this question satisfactorily, as it
has been so short a time since they enjoyed the blessing of equal laws.
To appreciate just laws, time, and the experience of the benefit arising
from them must be felt. That the apprentices do not, to any material
extent, _outrage_ the law, is certain; and hence it may be inferred that
they respect it.

8. Do you find a spirit of revenge among the negroes?

From my general knowledge of the negro character in other countries, as
well as the study of it here, I do not consider them by any means a
revengeful people. Petty dislikes are frequent, but any thing like a
deep spirit of revenge for former injuries does not exist, nor is it for
one moment to be dreaded.

9. Is there any sense of insecurity arising from emancipation?

Not the most remote feeling of insecurity exists arising from
emancipation; far the contrary. All sensible and reasonable men think
the prospects before them most cheering, and would not go back to the
old system on any account whatever. There are some, however, who croak
and forebode evil; but they are few in number, and of no
intelligence,--such as are to be found in every community.

10. What is the prospect for 1840?--for 1838?

This question is answered I hope satisfactorily above. On the
termination of the two periods no evil is to be reasonably anticipated,
with the exception of a few days' idleness.

11. Are the planters generally satisfied with the apprenticeship, or
would they return back to the old system?

The whole body of respectable planters are fully satisfied with the
apprenticeship, and would not go back to the old system on any account
whatever. A few young managers, whose opinions are utterly worthless,
would perhaps have no objection to be put again into their puny

12. Do you think it would have been dangerous for the slaves in this
island to have been entirely emancipated in 1834?

I do not think it would have been productive of danger, had the slaves
of this island been fully emancipated in 1834; which is proved by what
has taken place in another colony.

13. Has emancipation been a decided blessing to this island, or has it
been otherwise?

Emancipation has been, under God, the greatest blessing ever conferred
upon this island. All good and respectable men fully admit it. This is
manifest throughout the whole progress of this mighty change. Whatever
may be said of the vast benefit conferred upon the slaves, in right
judgment the slave owner was the greatest gainer after all.

14. Are the apprentices disposed to purchase their freedom? How have
those conducted themselves who have purchased it?

The apprentices are inclined to purchase their discharge, particularly
when misunderstandings occur with their masters. When they obtain their
discharge they generally labor in the trades and occupations they were
previously accustomed to, and conduct themselves well. The discharged
apprentices seldom take to drinking. Indeed the negro and colored
population are the most temperate persons I ever knew of their class.
The experience of nearly forty years in various public situations,
confirms me in this very important fact.

The answers I have had the honor to give to the questions submitted to
me, have been given most conscientiously, and to the best of my judgment
are a faithful picture of the working of the apprenticeship in this
island, as far as relates to the inquiries made.--_John B. Colthurst,
Special Justice of the Peace, District A. Rural Division_.


Barbadoes, April 4th, 1837.


Presuming that you have kept a copy of the questions[A] you sent me, I
shall therefore only send the answers.

[Footnote A: The same interrogatories were propounded to Capt. Hamilton
which have been already inserted in Major Colthurst's communication.]

1. There are at present five thousand nine hundred and thirty male, and
six thousand six hundred and eighty-nine female apprentices in my
district, (B,) which comprises a part of the parishes of Christ Church
and St. George. Their conduct, compared with the neighboring
districts, is good.

2. The state of agriculture is very flourishing. Experienced planters
acknowledge that it is generally far superior to what it was
during slavery.

3. Where the managers are kind and temperate, they have not any trouble
with the laborers.

4. The apprentices are generally willing to work for wages in their own

5. The average number of complaints tried by me, last year, ending
December, was one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two. The average
number of apprentices in the district during that time was twelve
thousand seven hundred. Offences, generally speaking, are not of any
magnitude. They do not increase, but fluctuate according to the season
of the year.

6. The state of crime is not so bad by any means as we might have
expected among the negroes--just released from such a degrading bondage.
Considering the state of ignorance in which they have been kept, and the
immoral examples set them by the lower class of whites, it is matter of
astonishment that they should behave so well.

7. The apprentices would have a great respect for law, were it not for
the erroneous proceedings of the managers, overseers, &c., in taking
them before the magistrates for every petty offence, and often abusing
the magistrate in the presence of the apprentices, when his decision
does not please them. The consequence is, that the apprentices too often
get indifferent to law, and have been known to say that they cared not
about going to prison, and that they would do just as they did before as
soon as they were released.

8. The apprentices in this colony are generally considered a peaceable
race. All acts of revenge committed by them originate in jealousy, as,
for instance, between husband and wife.

9. Not the slightest sense of insecurity. As a proof of this, property
has, since the commencement of the apprenticeship, increased in value
considerably--at least one third.

10. The change which will take place in 1838, in my opinion, will
occasion a great deal of discontent among those called praedials--which
will not subside for some months. They ought to have been all
emancipated at the same period. I cannot foresee any bad effects that
will ensue from the change in 1840, except those mentioned hereafter.

11. The most prejudiced planters would not return to the old system if
they possibly could. They admit that they get more work from the
laborers than they formerly did, and they are relieved from a great

12. It is my opinion that if entire emancipation had taken place in
1834, no more difficulty would have followed beyond what we may
naturally expect in 1810. It will then take two or three months before
the emancipated people finally settle themselves. I do not consider the
apprentice more fit or better prepared for entire freedom now than he
was in 1834.

13. I consider, most undoubtedly, that emancipation has been a decided
blessing to the colony.

14. They are much disposed to purchase the remainder of the
apprenticeship term. Their conduct after they become free is good.

I hope the foregoing answers and information may be of service to you in
your laudable pursuits, for which I wish you every success.

I am, gentlemen, your ob't serv't,

_Jos. Hamilton, Special Justice_.


There are three religious denominations at the present time in
Barbadoes--Episcopalians, Wesleyans, and Moravians. The former have
about twenty clergymen, including the bishop and archdeacon. The bishop
was absent during our visit, and we did not see him; but as far as we
could learn, while in some of his political measures, as a member of the
council, he has benefited the colored population, his general influence
has been unfavorable to their moral and spiritual welfare. He has
discountenanced and defeated several attempts made by his rectors and
curates to abolish the odious distinctions of color in their churches.

We were led to form an unfavorable opinion of the Bishop's course, from
observing among the intelligent and well-disposed classes of colored
people, the current use of the phrase, "bishop's man," and "no bishop's
man," applied to different rectors and curates. Those that they were
averse to, either as pro-slavery or pro-prejudice characters, they
usually branded as "bishop's men," while those whom they esteemed their
friends, they designated as "no bishop's men."

The archdeacon has already been introduced to the reader. We enjoyed
several interviews with him, and were constrained to admire him for his
integrity, independence and piety. He spoke in terms of strong
condemnation of slavery, and of the apprenticeship system. He was a
determined advocate of entire and immediate emancipation, both from
principle and policy. He also discountenanced prejudice, both in the
church and in the social circle. The first time we had the pleasure of
meeting him was at the house of a colored gentleman in Bridgetown where
we were breakfasting. He called in incidentally, while we were sitting
at table, and exhibited all the familiarity of a frequent visitant.

One of the most worthy and devoted men whom we met in Barbadoes was the
Rev. Mr. Cummins, curate of St. Paul's church, in Bridgetown. The first
Sabbath after our arrival at the island we attended his church. It is
emphatically a free church. Distinctions of color are nowhere
recognized. There is the most complete intermingling of colors
throughout the house. In one pew were seen a family of whites, in the
next a family of colored people, and in the next perhaps a family of
blacks. In the same pews white and colored persons sat side by side. The
floor and gallery presented the same promiscuous blending of hues and
shades. We sat in a pew with white and colored people. In the pew before
and in that behind us the sitting was equally indiscriminate. The
audience was kneeling in their morning devotions when we entered, and we
were struck with the different colors bowing side by side as we passed
down the aisles. There is probably no clergyman in the island who has
secured so perfectly the affections of his people as Mr. C. He is of
course "no bishop's man." He is constantly employed in promoting the
spiritual and moral good of his people, of whatever complexion. The
annual examination of the Sabbath school connected with St. Paul's
occurred while we were in the island, and we were favored with the
privilege of attending it. There were about three hundred pupils
present, of all ages, from fifty down to three years. There were all
colors--white, tawny, and ebon black. The white children were classed
with the colored and black, in utter violation of those principles of
classification in vogue throughout the Sabbath schools of our own
country. The examination was chiefly conducted by Mr. Cummins. At the
close of the examination about fifty of the girls, and among them the
daughter of Mr. Cummins, were arranged in front of the altar, with the
female teachers in the rear of them, and all united in singing a hymn
written for the occasion. Part of the teachers were colored and part
white, as were also the scholars, and they stood side by side, mingled
promiscuously together. This is altogether the best Sabbath school in
the island.

After the exercises were closed, we were introduced, by a colored
gentleman who accompanied us to the examination, to Mr. Cummins, the
Rev. Mr. Packer, and the Rev. Mr. Rowe, master of the public school in
Bridgetown. By request of Mr. C., we accompanied him to his house, where
we enjoyed an interview with him and the other gentlemen, just
mentioned. Mr. C. informed us that his Sabbath school was commenced in
1833; but was quite small and inefficient until after 1834. It now
numbers more than four hundred scholars. Mr. C. spoke of prejudice. It
had wonderfully decreased within the last three years. He said he could
scarcely credit the testimony of his own senses, when he looked around
on the change which had taken place. Many now associate with colored
persons, and sit with them in the church, who once would have scorned to
be found near them. Mr. C. and the other clergymen stated, that there
had been an increase of places of worship and of clergymen since
abolition. All the churches are now crowded, and there is a growing
demand for more. The negroes manifest an increasing desire for religious
instruction. In respect to morals, they represent the people as being
greatly improved. They spoke of the general respect which was now paid
to the institution of marriage among the negroes, Mr. C. said, he was
convinced that the blacks had as much natural talent and capacity for
learning as the whites. He does not know any difference. Mr. Pocker, who
was formerly rector of St. Thomas' parish, and has been a public teacher
of children of all colors, expressed the same opinion. Mr. Rowe said,
that before he took charge of the white school, he was the teacher of
one of the free schools for blacks, and he testified that the latter has
just as much capacity for acquiring any kind of knowledge, as much
inquisitiveness, and ingenuity, as the former.

Accompanied by an intelligent gentleman of Bridgetown, we visited two
flourishing schools for colored children, connected with the Episcopal
church, and under the care of the Bishop. In the male school, there were
one hundred and ninety-five scholars, under the superintendence of one
master, who is himself a black man, and was educated and trained up in
the same school. He is assisted by several of his scholars, as monitors
and teachers. It was, altogether, the best specimen of a well-regulated
school which we saw in the West Indies.

The present instructor has had charge of the school two years. It has
increased considerably since abolition. Before the first of August,
1834, the whole number of names on the catalogue was a little above one
hundred, and the average attendance was seventy-five. The number
immediately increased, and new the average attendance is above two
hundred. Of this number at least sixty are the children of apprentices.

We visited also the infant school, established but two weeks previous.
Mr. S. the teacher, who has been for many years an instructor, says he
finds them as apt to learn as any children he ever taught. He said he
was surprised to see how soon the instructions of the school-room were
carried to the homes of the children, and caught up by their parents.

The very first night after the school closed, in passing through the
streets, he heard the children repeating what they had been taught, and
the parents learning the songs from their children's lips Mr. S. has a
hundred children already in his school, and additions were making daily.
He found among the negro parents much interest in the school.


We called on the Rev. Mr. Fidler, the superintendent of the Wesleyan
missions in Barbadoes. Mr. F. resides in Bridgetown, and preaches mostly
in the chapel in town. He has been in the West Indies twelve years, and
in Barbadoes about two years. Mr. F. informed us that there were three
Wesleyan missionaries in the island, besides four or five local
preachers, one of whom is a black man. There are about one thousand
members belonging to their body, the greater part of whom live in town.
Two hundred and thirty-five were added during the year 1836, being by
far the largest number added in any one year since they began their
operations in the island.

A brief review of the history of the Wesleyan Methodists in Barbadoes,
will serve to show the great change which has been taking place in
public sentiment respecting the labors of missionaries. In the year
1823, not long after the establishment of the Wesleyan church in the
island, the chapel in Bridgetown was destroyed by a mob. Not one stone
was left upon another. They carried the fragments for miles away from
the site, and scattered them about in every direction, so that the
chapel might never be rebuilt. Some of the instigators and chief actors
in this outrage, were "gentlemen of property and standing," residents of
Bridgetown. The first morning after the outrage began, the mob sought
for the Rev. Mr. Shrewsbury, the missionary, threatening his life, and
he was obliged to flee precipitately from the island, with his wife. He
was hunted like a wild beast, and it is thought that he would have been
torn in pieces if he had been found. Not an effort or a movement was
made to quell the mob, during their assault upon the chapel. The first
men of the island connived at the violence--secretly rejoicing in what
they supposed would be the extermination of Methodism from the country.
The governor, Sir Henry Ward, utterly refused to interfere, and would
not suffer the militia to repair to the spot, though a mere handful of
soldiers could have instantaneously routed the whole assemblage.

The occasion of this riot was partly the efforts made by the Wesleyans
to instruct the negroes, and still more the circumstance of a letter
being written by Mr. Shrewsbury, and published in an English paper,
which contained some severe strictures on the morals of the Barbadians.
A planter informed us that the riot grew out of a suspicion that Mr. S.
was "leagued with the Wilberforce party in England."

Since the re-establishment of Wesleyanism in this island, it has
continued to struggle against the opposition of the Bishop, and most of
the clergy, and against the inveterate prejudices of nearly the whole of
the white community. The missionaries have been discouraged, and in many
instances absolutely prohibited from preaching on the estates. These
circumstances have greatly retarded the progress of religious
instruction through their means. But this state of things had been very
much altered since the abolition of slavery. There are several estates
now open to the missionaries. Mr. F. mentioned several places in the
country, where he was then purchasing land, and erecting chapels. He
also stated, that one man, who aided in pulling down the chapel in 1823,
had offered ground for a new chapel, and proffered the free use of a
building near by, for religious meetings and a school, till it could
be erected.

The Wesleyan chapel in Bridgetown is a spacious building, well filled
with worshippers every Sabbath. We attended service there frequently,
and observed the same indiscriminate sitting of the various colors,
which is described in the account of St. Paul's church.

The Wesleyan missionaries have stimulated the clergy to greater
diligence and faithfulness, and have especially induced them to turn
their attention to the negro population more than they did formerly.

There are several local preachers connected with the Wesleyan mission in
Barbadoes, who have been actively laboring to promote religion among the
apprentices. Two of these are converted soldiers in his Majesty's
service--acting sergeants of the troops stationed in the island. While
we were in Barbadoes, these pious men applied for a discharge from the
army, intending to devote themselves exclusively to the work of teaching
and preaching. Another of the local preachers is a negro man, of
considerable talent and exalted piety, highly esteemed among his
missionary brethren for his labors of love.


Of the Moravians, we learned but little. Circumstances unavoidably
prevented us from visiting any of the stations, and also from calling on
any of the missionaries. We were informed that there were three stations
in the island, one in Bridgetown, and two in the country, and we learned
in general terms, that the few missionaries there were laboring with
their characteristic devotedness, assiduity, and self-denial, for the
spiritual welfare of the negro population.



The colored, or as they were termed previous to abolition, by way of
distinction, the free colored population, amount in Barbadoes to nearly
thirty thousand. They are composed chiefly of the mixed race, whose
paternal connection, though illegitimate, secured to them freedom at
their birth, and subsequently the advantages of an education more or
less extensive. There are some blacks among them, however, who were free
born, or obtained their freedom at an early period, and have since, by
great assiduity, attained an honorable standing.

During our stay in Barbadoes, we had many invitations to the houses of
colored gentlemen, of which we were glad to avail ourselves whenever it
was possible. At an early period after our arrival, we were invited to
dine with Thomas Harris, Esq. He politely sent his chaise for us, as he
resided about a mile from our residence. At his table, we met two other
colored gentlemen, Mr. Thorne of Bridgetown, and Mr. Prescod, a young
gentleman of much intelligence and ability. There was also at the table
a niece of Mr. Harris, a modest and highly interesting young lady. All
the luxuries and delicacies of a tropical clime loaded the board--an
epicurean variety of meats, flesh, fowl, and fish--of vegetables,
pastries, fruits, and nuts, and that invariable accompaniment of a West
India dinner, wine.

The dinner was enlivened by an interesting and well sustained
conversation respecting the abolition of slavery, the present state of
the colony, and its prospects for the future. Lively discussions were
maintained on points where there chanced to be a difference of opinion,
and we admired the liberality of the views which were thus elicited. We
are certainly prepared to say, and that too without feeling that we draw
any invidious distinctions, that in style of conversation, in ingenuity
and ability of argument, this company would compare with any company of
white gentlemen that we met in the island. In that circle of colored
gentlemen, were the keen sallies of wit, the admirable repartee, the
satire now severe, now playful, upon the measures of the colonial
government, the able exposure of aristocratic intolerance, of
plantership chicanery, of plottings and counterplottings in high
places--the strictures on the intrigues of the special magistrates and
managers, and withal, the just and indignant reprobation of the uniform
oppressions which have disabled and crushed the colored people.

The views of these gentlemen with regard to the present state of the
island, we found to differ in some respects from those of the planters
and special magistrates. They seemed to regard both those classes of men
with suspicion. The planters they represented as being still, at least
the mass of them, under the influence of the strong habits of
tyrannizing and cruelty which they formed during slavery. The
prohibitions and penalties of the law are not sufficient to prevent
occasional and even frequent outbreakings of violence, so that the
negroes even yet suffer much of the rigor of slavery. In regard to the
special magistrates, they allege that they are greatly controlled by the
planters. They associate with the planters, dine with the planters,
lounge on the planters' sofas, and marry the planters daughters. Such
intimacies as these, the gentlemen very plausibly argued, could not
exist without strongly biasing the magistrate towards the planters, and
rendering it almost impossible for them to administer equal justice to
the poor apprentice, who, unfortunately, had no sumptuous dinners to
give them, no luxurious sofas to offer them, nor dowered daughters to
present in marriage.

The gentlemen testified to the industry and subordination of the
apprentices. They had improved the general cultivation of the island,
and they were reaping for their masters greater crops than they did
while slaves. The whole company united in saying that many blessings had
already resulted from the abolition of slavery--imperfect as that
abolition was. Real estate had advanced in value at least one third. The
fear of insurrection had been removed; invasions of property, such as
occurred during slavery, the firing of cane-fields, the demolition of
houses, &c., were no longer apprehended. Marriage was spreading among
the apprentices, and the general morals of the whole community, high and
low, white, colored, and black, were rapidly improving.

At ten o'clock we took leave of Mr. Harris and his interesting friends.
We retired with feelings of pride and gratification that we had been
privileged to join a company which, though wearing the badge of a
proscribed race, displayed in happy combination, the treasures of
genuine intelligence, and the graces of accomplished manners. We were
happy to meet in that social circle a son of New England, and a graduate
of one of her universities. Mr. H. went to the West Indies a few months
after the abolition of slavery. He took with him all the prejudices
common to our country, as well as a determined hostility to abolition
principles and measures. A brief observation of the astonishing results
of abolition in those islands, effectually disarmed him of the latter,
and made him the decided and zealous advocate of immediate emancipation.
He established himself in business in Barbados, where he has been living
the greater part of the time since he left his native country. His
_prejudices_ did not long survive his abandonment of anti-abolition
sentiments. We rejoiced to find him on the occasion above referred to,
moving in the circle of colored society, with all the freedom of a
familiar guest, and prepared most cordially to unite with us in the wish
that all our prejudiced countrymen could witness similar exhibitions.
The gentleman at whose table we had the pleasure to dine, was _born a
slave_, and remained such until he was seventeen years of age. After
obtaining his freedom, he engaged as a clerk in a mercantile
establishment, and soon attracted attention by his business talents.
About the same period he warmly espoused the cause of the free colored
people, who were doubly crushed under a load of civil and political
impositions, and a still heavier one of prejudice. He soon made himself
conspicuous by his manly defence of the rights of his brethren against
the encroachments of the public authorities, and incurred the marked
displeasure of several influential characters. After a protracted
struggle for the civil immunities of the colored people, during which he
repeatedly came into collision with public men, and was often arraigned
before the public tribunals; finding his labors ineffectual, he left the
island and went to England. He spent some time there and in France,
moving on a footing of honorable equality among the distinguished
abolitionists of those countries. There, amid the free influences and
the generous sympathies which welcomed and surrounded him,--his whole
character ripened in those manly graces and accomplishments which now so
eminently distinguish him.

Since his return to Barbadoes, Mr. H. has not taken so public a part in
political controversies as he did formerly, but is by no means
indifferent to passing events. There is not, we venture to say, within
the colony, a keener or more sagacious observer of its institutions, its
public men and their measures.

When witnessing the exhibitions of his manly spirit, and listening to
his eloquent and glowing narratives of his struggles against the
political oppressions which ground to the dust himself and his brethren,
we could scarcely credit the fact that he was himself born and reared to
manhood--A SLAVE.


By invitation we took breakfast with Mr. Joseph Thorne, whom we met at
Mr. Harris's. Mr. T. resides in Bridgetown. In the parlor, we met two
colored gentlemen--the Rev. Mr. Hamilton, a local Wesleyan preacher, and
Mr. Cummins, a merchant of Bridgetown, mentioned in a previous chapter.
We were struck with the scientific appearance of Mr. Thorne's parlor. On
one side was a large library of religious, historical and literary
works, the selection of which displayed no small taste and judgment. On
the opposite side of the room was a fine cabinet of minerals and shells.
In one corner stood a number of curious relics of the aboriginal Caribs,
such as bows and arrows, etc., together with interesting fossil remains.
On the tops of the book-cases and mineral stand, were birds of rare
species, procured from the South American Continent. The centre table
was ornamented with shells, specimens of petrifactions, and elegantly
bound books. The remainder of the furniture of the room was costly and
elegant. Before breakfast two of Mr. Thorne's children, little boys of
six and four, stepped in to salute the company. They were of a bright
yellow, with slightly curled hair. When they had shaken hands with each
of the company, they withdrew from the parlor and were seen no more.
Their manners and demeanor indicated the teachings of an admirable
mother, and we were not a little curious to see the lady of whose taste
and delicate sense of propriety we had witnessed so attractive a
specimen in her children. At the breakfast table we were introduced to
Mrs. Thorne, and we soon discovered from her dignified air, from the
chaste and elevated style of her conversation, from her intelligence,
modesty and refinement, that we were in the presence of a highly
accomplished lady. The conversation was chiefly on subjects connected
with our mission. All spoke with great gratitude of the downfall of
slavery. It was not the slaves alone that were interested in that event.
Political oppression, prejudice, and licentiousness had combined greatly
to degrade the colored community, but these evils were now gradually
lessening, and would soon wholly disappear after the final extinction of
slavery--the parent of them all.

Several facts were stated to show the great rise in the value of real
estate since 1834. In one instance a gentleman bought a sugar estate for
nineteen thousand pounds sterling, and the very next year, after taking
off a crop from which he realized a profit of three thousand pounds
sterling, he sold the estate for thirty thousand pounds sterling. It has
frequently happened within two years that persons wishing to purchase
estates would inquire the price of particular properties, and would
hesitate to give what was demanded. Probably soon after they would
return to close the bargain, and find that the price was increased by
several hundreds of pounds; they would go away again, reluctant to
purchase, and return a third time, when they would find the price again
raised, and would finally be glad to buy at almost any price. It was
very difficult to purchase sugar estates now, whereas previous to the
abolition of slavery, they were, like the slaves, a drug in the market.

Mr. Joseph Thorne is a gentleman of forty-five, of a dark mulatto
complexion, with the negro features and hair. _He was born a slave_, and
remained so until about twenty years of age. This fact we learned from
the manager of the Belle estate, on which Mr. T. was born and raised a
slave. It was an interesting coincidence, that on the occasion of our
visit to the Belle estate we were indebted to Mr. Thorne, the former
_property_ of that estate, for his horse and chaise, which he politely
proffered to us. Mr. T. employs much of his time in laboring among the
colored people in town, and among the apprentices on the estates, in the
capacity of _lay-preacher_. In this way he renders himself very useful.
Being very competent, both by piety and talents, for the work, and
possessing more perhaps than any missionary, the confidence of the
planters, he is admitted to many estates, to lecture the apprentices on
religious and moral duties. Mr. T. is a member of the Episcopal church.


We next had the pleasure of breakfasting with Mr. Prescod. Our esteemed
friend, Mr. Harris, was of the company. Mr. P. is a young man, but
lately married. His wife and himself were both liberally educated in
England. He was the late editor of the New Times, a weekly paper
established since the abolition of slavery and devoted chiefly to the
interests of the colored community. It was the first periodical and the
only one which advocated the rights of the colored people, and this it
did with the utmost fearlessness and independence. It boldly exposed
oppression, whether emanating from the government house or originating
in the colonial assembly. The measures of all parties, and the conduct
of every public man, were subject to its scrutiny, and when occasion
required, to its stern rebuke. Mr. P. exhibits a thorough acquaintance
with the politics of the country, and with the position of the various
parties. He is familiar with the spirit and operations of the white
gentry--far more so, it would seem; than many of his brethren who have
been repeatedly deceived by their professions of increasing liberality,
and their show of extending civil immunities, which after all proved to
be practical nullities, and as such were denounced by Mr. P. at the
outset. A few years ago the colored people mildly petitioned the
legislature for a removal of their disabilities. Their remonstrance was
too reasonable to be wholly disregarded. Something must he done which
would at least bear the semblance of favoring the object of the
petitioners. Accordingly the obnoxious clauses were repealed, and the
colored people were admitted to the polls. But the qualification was
made three times greater than that required of white citizens. This
virtually nullified the extension of privilege, and actually confirmed
the disabilities of which it was a pretended abrogation. The colored
people, in their credulity, hailed the apparent enfranchisement, and had
a public rejoicing in the occasion. But the delusion could not escape
the discrimination of Mr. P. He detected it at once, and exposed it, and
incurred the displeasure of the credulous people of color by refusing to
participate in their premature rejoicings. He soon succeeded however in
convincing his brethren that the new provision was a mockery of their
wrongs, and that the assembly had only added insult to past injuries.
Mr. P. now urged the colored people to be patient, as the great changes
which were working in the colony must bring to them all the rights of
which they had been so cruelly deprived. On the subject of prejudice he
spoke just as a man of keen sensibilities and manly spirit might be
expected to speak, who had himself been its victim. He was accustomed to
being flouted, scorned and condemned by those whom he could not but
regard as his interiors both in native talents and education. He had
submitted to be forever debarred from offices which were filled by men
far less worthy except in the single qualification of a _white skin_,
which however was paramount to all other virtues and acquirements! He
had seen himself and his accomplished wife excluded from the society of
whites, though keenly conscious of their capacity to move and shine in
the most elevated social circles. After all this, it may readily be
conceived how Mr. P. would speak of prejudice. But while he spoke
bitterly of the past, he was inspired with buoyancy of hope as he cast
his eye to the future. He was confident that prejudice would disappear.
It had already diminished very much, and it would ere long be wholly

Mr. P. gave a sprightly picture of the industry of the negroes. It was
common, he said, to hear them called lazy, but this was not true. That
they often appeared to be indolent, especially those about the town, was
true; but it was either because they had no work to do, or were asked to
work without reasonable wages. He had often been amused at their
conduct, when solicited to do small jobs--such as carrying baggage,
loading of unloading a vessel, or the like. If offered a very small
compensation, as was generally the case at first, they would stretch
themselves on the ground, and with a sleepy look, and lazy tone, would
say, "O, I can't do it, sir." Sometimes the applicants would turn away
at once, thinking that they were unwilling to work, and cursing "the
lazy devils;" but occasionally they would try the efficacy of offering a
larger compensation, when instantly the negroes would spring to their
feet, and the lounging inert mass would appear all activity.

We are very willing to hold up Mr. P as a specimen of what colored
people generally may become with proper cultivation, or to use the
language of one of their own number,[A] "with free minds and space
to rise."

[Footnote A: Thomas C. Brown, who renounced colonization, returned from
a disastrous and almost fatal expedition to Liberia, and afterwards went
to the West Indies, in quest of a free country.]

We have purposely refrained from speaking of Mrs. P., lest any thing we
should be willing to say respecting her, might seem to be adulation.
However, having alluded to her, we will say that it has seldom fallen to
our lot to meet with her superior.


After what has been said in this chapter to try the patience and
irritate the nerves of the prejudiced, if there should be such among our
readers, they will doubtless deem it quite intolerable to be introduced,
not as hitherto to a family in whose faces the lineaments and the
complexion of the white man are discernible, relieving the ebon hue, but
to a household of genuine unadulterated negroes. We cordially accepted
an invitation to breakfast with Mr. London Bourne. If the reader's
horror of amalgamation does not allow him to join us at the table,
perhaps he will consent to retire to the parlor, whence, without fear of
contamination, he may safely view us through the folding doors, and note
down our several positions around the board. At the head of the table
presides, with much dignity, Mrs. Bourne; at the end opposite, sits Mr.
Bourne--both of the glossiest jet; the thick matted hair of Mr. B.
slightly frosted with age. He has an affable, open countenance, in which
the radiance of an amiable spirit, and the lustre of a sprightly
intellect, happily commingle, and illuminate the sable covering. On
either hand of Mr. B. _we_ sit, occupying the posts of honor. On the
right and left of Mrs. B., and at the opposite corners from us, sit two
other guests, one a colored merchant, and the other a young son-in-law
of Mr. B., whose face is the very double extract of blackness; for which
his intelligence, the splendor of his dress, and the elegance of his
manners, can make to be sure but slight atonement! The middle seats are
filled on the one side by an unmarried daughter of Mr. B., and on the
other side by a promising son of eleven, who is to start on the morrow
for Edinburgh, where he is to remain until he has received the honors of
Scotland's far famed university.

We shall doubtless be thought by some of our readers to glory in our
shame. Be it so. We _did_ glory in joining the company which we have
just described. On the present occasion we had a fair opportunity of
testing the merits of an unmixed negro party, and of determining how far
the various excellences of the gentlemen and ladies previously noticed
were attributable to the admixture of English blood. We are compelled in
candor to say; that the company of blacks did not fall a whit below
those of the colored race in any respect. We conversed on the same
general topics, which, of course, were introduced where-ever we went. The
gentlemen showed an intimate acquaintance with the state of the colony,
with the merits of the apprenticeship system, and with the movements of
the colonial government. As for Mrs. B., she presided at the table with
great ease, dignity, self-possession, and grace. Her occasional remarks,
made with genuine modesty, indicated good sense and discrimination.
Among other topics of conversation, prejudice was not forgotten. The
company were inquisitive as to the extent of it in the United States. We
informed them that it appeared to be strongest in those states which
held no slaves, that it prevailed among professing Christians, and that
it was most manifestly seen in the house of God. We also intimated, in
as delicate a manner as possible, that in almost any part of the United
States such a table-scene as we then presented would be reprobated and
denounced, if indeed it escaped the summary vengeance of the mob. We
were highly gratified with their views of the proper way for the colored
people to act in respect to prejudice. They said they were persuaded
that their policy was to wait patiently for the operation of those
influences which were now at work for the removal of prejudice. "_Social
intercourse_," they said, "was not a thing to be gained by _pushing_."
"They could not go to it, but it would come to them." It was for them
however, to maintain an upright, dignified course, to be uniformly
courteous, to seek the cultivation of their minds, and strive zealously
for substantial worth, and by such means, and such alone, they could aid
in overcoming prejudice.

Mr. Bourne was a slave until he was twenty-three years old. He was
purchased by his father, a free negro, who gave five hundred dollars for
him. His mother and four brothers were bought at the same time for the
sum of two thousand five hundred dollars. He spoke very kindly of his
former master. By industry, honesty, and close attention to business,
Mr. B. has now become a wealthy merchant. He owns three stores in
Bridgetown, lives in very genteel style in his own house, and is worth
from twenty to thirty thousand dollars. He is highly respected by the
merchants of Bridgetown for his integrity and business talents. By what
means Mr. B. has acquired so much general information, we are at a loss
to conjecture. Although we did not ourselves need the evidence of his
possessing extraordinary talents, industry, and perseverance, yet we are
happy to present our readers with such tangible proofs--proofs which are
read in every language, and which pass current in every nation.

The foregoing sketches are sufficient to give a general idea of the
colored people of Barbadoes. Perchance we may have taken too great
liberties with those whose hospitalities we enjoyed; should this ever
fall under their notice, we doubt not they will fully appreciate the
motives which have actuated us in making them public. We are only sorry,
for their sakes, and especially for that of our cause, that the
delineations are so imperfect. That the above specimens are an exact
likeness of the mass of colored people we do not pretend; but we do
affirm, that they are as true an index to the whole community, as the
merchants, physicians, and mechanics of any of our villages are to the
entire population. We must say, also, that families of equal merit are
by no means rare among the same people. We might mention many names
which deservedly rank as high as those we have specified. One of the
wealthiest merchants in Bridgetown is a colored gentleman. He has his
mercantile agents in England, English clerks in his employ, a branch
establishment in the city, and superintends the concerns of an extensive
and complicated business with distinguished ability and success. A large
portion, of not a majority of the merchants of Bridgetown are colored.
Some of the most popular instructors are colored men and ladies, and one
of these ranks high as a teacher of the ancient and modern languages.
The most efficient and enterprising mechanics of the city, are colored
and black men. There is scarcely any line of business which is not
either shared or engrossed by colored persons, if we except that of
_barber_. _The only barber in Bridgetown is a white man._

That so many of the colored people should have obtained wealth and
education is matter of astonishment, when we consider the numerous
discouragements with which they have ever been doomed to struggle. The
paths of political distinction have been barred against them by an
arbitrary denial of the right of suffrage, and consequent ineligibility
to office. Thus a large and powerful class of incitements to mental
effort, which have been operating continually upon the whites, have
never once stirred the sensibilities nor waked the ambition of the
colored community. Parents, however wealthy, had no inducement to
educate their sons for the learned professions, since no force of talent
nor extent of acquirement could hope to break down the granite walls and
iron bars which prejudice had erected round the pulpit, the bar, and the
bench. From the same cause there was very little encouragement to
acquire property, to seek education, to labor for the graces of
cultivated manners, or even to aspire to ordinary respectability, since
not even the poor favor of social intercourse with the whites, of
participating in the civilities and courtesies of every day life, was
granted them.

The crushing power of a prevailing licentiousness, has also been added
to the other discouragements of the colored people. Why should parents
labor to amass wealth enough, and much of course it required, to send
their daughters to Europe to receive their educations, if they were to
return only to become the victims of an all-whelming concubinism! It is
a fact, that in many cases young ladies, who have been sent to England
to receive education, have, after accomplishing themselves in all the
graces of womanhood, returned to the island to become the concubines of
white men. Hitherto this vice has swept over the colored community,
gathering its repeated conscriptions of beauty and innocence from the
highest as well as the lowest families. Colored ladies have been taught
to believe that it was more honorable, and quite as virtuous, to be the
kept mistresses of _white gentlemen_, than the lawfully wedded wives of
_colored men_. We repeat the remark, that the actual progress which the
colored people of Barbadoes have made, while laboring under so many
depressing influences, should excite our astonishment, and, we add, our
admiration too. Our acquaintance with this people was at a very
interesting period--just when they were beginning to be relieved from
these discouragements, and to feel the regenerating spirit of a new era.
It was to us like walking through a garden in the early spring. We could
see the young buds of hope, the first bursts of ambition, the early
up-shoots of confident aspiration, and occasionally the opening bloom of
assurance. The star of hope had risen upon the colored people, and they
were beginning to realize that _their_ day had come. The long winter of
their woes was melting into "glorious summer." Civil immunities and
political privileges were just before them, the learned professions were
opening to them, social equality and honorable domestic connections
would soon be theirs. Parents were making fresh efforts to establish
schools for the children, and to send the choicest of their sons and
daughters to England. They rejoiced in the privileges they were
securing, and they anticipated with virtuous pride the free access of
their children to all the fields of enterprise, all the paths of honest
emulation, and all the eminences of distinction.

We remark in conclusion, that the forbearance of the colored people of
Barbadoes under their complicated wrongs is worthy of all admiration.
Allied, as many of them are, to the first families of the island, and
gifted as they are with every susceptibility to feel disgrace, it is a
marvel that they have not indignantly cast off the yoke and demanded
their political rights. Their wrongs have been unprovoked on their part,
and unnatural on the part of those who have inflicted them--in many
cases the guilty authors of their being. The patience and endurance of
the sufferers under such circumstances are unexampled, except by the
conduct of the slaves, who, though still more wronged, were, if
possible, still more patient.

We regret to add, that until lately, the colored people of Barbadoes
hate been far in the background in the cause of abolition, and even now,
the majority of them are either indifferent, or actually hostile to
emancipation. They have no fellow feeling with the slave. In fact; they
have had prejudices against the negroes no less bitter than those which
the whites have exercised toward them. There are many honorable
exceptions to this, as has already been shown; but such, we are assured,
is the general fact.[A]

[Footnote A: We are here reminded, by the force of contrast, of the
noble spirit manifested by the free colored people of our own country.
As early as 1817, a numerous body of them in Philadelphia, with the
venerable James Forten at their head, pledged themselves to the cause of
the slave in the following sublime sentiment, which deserves to be
engraver to their glory on the granite of our "everlasting
hills"--"Resolved, That we never will separate ourselves voluntarily
from the slave population in this country; they are our brethren by the
ties of consanguinity, of suffering, and of wrong; and we feel that
there is more virtue in suffering privations with them, than enjoying
_fancied_ advantages for a season."

We believe that this resolution embodies the feelings and determinations
of the free colored people generally in the free states.]



According to the declaration of one of the special magistrates,
"Barbadoes has long been distinguished for its devotion to slavery."
There is probably no portion of the globe where slave-holding, slave
driving, and slave labor, have been reduced to a more perfect system.

The records of slavery in Barbadoes are stained with bloody atrocities.
The planters uniformly spoke of slavery as a system of cruelties; but
they expressed themselves in general terms. From colored gentlemen we
learned some particulars, a few of which we give. To most of the
following facts the narrators were themselves eye witnesses, and all of
them happened in their day and were fresh in their memories.

The slaves were not unfrequently worked in the streets of Bridgetown
with chains on their wrists and ankles. Flogging on the estates and in
the town, were no less public than frequent, and there was an utter
shamelessness often in the manner of its infliction. Even women were
stripped naked on the sides of the streets, and their backs lacerated
with the whip. It was a common practice, when a slave offended a white
man, for the master to send for a public whipper, and order him to take
the slave before the door of the person offended, and flog him till the
latter was satisfied. White females would order their male slaves to be
stripped naked in their presence and flogged, while they would look on
to see that their orders were faithfully executed. Mr. Prescod mentioned
an instance which he himself witnessed near Bridgetown. He had seen an
aged female slave, stripped and whipped by her own son, a child of
twelve, at the command of the mistress. As the boy was small, the mother
was obliged to get down upon her hands and knees, so that the child
could inflict the blows on her naked person with a rod. This was done on
the public highway, before the mistress's door. Mr. T. well remembered
when it was lawful for any man to shoot down his slave, under no greater
penalty than twenty-five pounds currency; and he knew of cases in which
this had been done. Just after the insurrection in 1816, white men made
a regular sport of shooting negroes. Mr. T. mentioned one case. A young
man had sworn that he would kill ten negroes before a certain time. When
he had shot nine he went to take breakfast with a neighbor, and carried
his gun along. The first slave he met on the estate, he accused of being
concerned in the rebellion. The negro protested that he was innocent,
and begged for mercy. The man told him to be gone, and as he turned to
go away, he shot him dead. Having fulfilled his bloody pledge, the young
knight ate his breakfast with a relish. Mr. H. said that a planter once,
in a time of perfect peace, went to his door and called one of his
slaves. The negro made some reply which the master construed into
insolence, and in a great rage he swore if he did not come to him
immediately he would shoot him. The man replied he hoped massa wan't in
earnest. 'I'll show you whether I am in earnest,' said the master, and
with that he levelled his rifle, took deliberate aim, and shot the negro
on the spot. He died immediately. Though great efforts were made by a
few colored men to bring the murderer to punishment, they were all
ineffectual. The evidence against him was clear enough, but the
influence in his favor was so strong that he finally escaped.

Dungeons were built on all the estates, and they were often abominably
filthy, and infested with loathsome and venomous vermin. For slight
offences the slaves were thrust into these prisons for several
successive nights--being dragged out every morning to work during the
day. Various modes of torture were employed upon those who were
consigned to the dungeon. There were stocks for their feet, and there
were staples in the floor for the ankles and wrists, placed in such a
position as to keep the victim stretched out and lying on his face. Mr.
H. described one mode which was called the _cabin_. A narrow board, only
wide enough for a man to lie upon, was fixed in an inclined position,
and elevated considerably above the ground. The offending slave was made
to lay upon this board, and a strong rope or chain, was tied about his
neck and fastened to the ceiling. It was so arranged, that if he should
fall from the plank, he would inevitably hang by his neck. Lying in this
position all night, he was more likely than not to fall asleep, and then
there were ninety-nine chances to one that he would roll off his narrow
bed and be killed before he could awake, or have time to extricate
himself. Peradventure this is the explanation of the anxiety Mr. ---- of
----, used to feel, when he had confined one of his slaves in the
dungeon. He stated that he would frequently wake up in the night, was
restless, and couldn't sleep, from fear that the prisoner would _kill
himself_ before morning.

It was common for the planters of Barbadoes, like those of Antigua, to
declare that the greatest blessing of abolition to them, was that it
relieved them from the disagreeable work of flogging the negroes. We had
the unsolicited testimony of a planter, that slave mothers frequently
poisoned, and otherwise murdered, their young infants, to rid them of a
life of slavery. What a horrible comment this upon the cruelties of
slavery! Scarce has the mother given birth to her child, when she
becomes its murderer. The slave-mother's joy begins, not like that of
other mothers, when "a man is born into the world," but when her infant
is hurried out of existence, and its first faint cry is hushed in the
silence of death! Why this perversion of nature? Ah, that mother knows
the agonies, the torments, the wasting woes, of a life of slavery, and
by the bowels of a mother's love, and the yearnings of a mother's pity,
she resolves that her babe shall never know the same. O, estimate who
can, how many groans have gone up from the cane field, from the
boiling-house, from around the wind mill, from the bye paths, from the
shade of every tree, from the recesses of every dungeon!

Colonel Barrow, of Edgecome estate, declared, that the habit of flogging
was so strong among the overseers and book-keepers, that even now they
frequently indulge it in the face of penalties and at the risk of
forfeiting their place.

The descriptions which the special magistrates give of the lower class
of overseers and the managers of the petty estates, furnish data enough
for judging of the manner in which they would be likely to act when
clothed with arbitrary power. They are "a low order of men," "without
education," "trained up to use the whip," "knowing nothing else save the
art of flogging," "ready at any time to perjure themselves in any matter
where a negro is concerned," &c. Now, may we not ask what but cruelty,
the most monstrous, could be expected under a system where _such men_
were constituted law makers, judges, and executioners?

From the foregoing facts, and the still stronger circumstantial
evidence, we leave the reader to judge for himself as to the amount of
cruelty attendant upon "the reign of terror," in Barbadoes. We must,
however, mention one qualification, without which a wrong impression may
be made. It has already been remarked that Barbadoes has, more than any
other island, reduced slave labor and sugar cultivation to a regular
system. This the planters have been compelled to do from the denseness
of their population, the smallness of their territory, the fact that the
land was all occupied, and still more, because the island, from long
continued cultivation, was partly worn out. A prominent feature in their
system was, theoretically at least, good bodily treatment of the slaves,
good feeding, attention to mothers, to pregnant women, and to children,
in order that the estates might always be kept _well stocked with
good-conditioned negroes_. They were considered the best managers, who
increased the population of the estates most rapidly, and often premiums
were given by the attorneys to such managers. Another feature in the
Barbadoes system was to raise sufficient provisions in the island to
maintain the slaves, or, in planter's phrase, to _feed the stock_,
without being dependent upon foreign countries. This made the supplies
of the slaves more certain and more abundant. From several circumstances
in the condition of Barbadoes, it is manifest, that there were fewer
motives to cruelty there than existed in other islands. First, the slave
population was abundant, then the whole of the island was under
cultivation, and again the lands were old and becoming exhausted. Now,
if either one of these things had not been true, if the number of slaves
had been inadequate to the cultivation, or if vast tracts of land, as in
Jamaica, Trinidad, and Demerara, had been uncultivated, or were being
brought into cultivation; or, again, if the lands under cultivation had
been fresh and fertile, so as to bear _pushing_, then it is plain that
there would have been inducements to hard driving, which, as the case
was, did not exist.

Such is a partial view of Barbadoes as it _was_, touching the matter of
cruelty. We say partial, for we have omitted to mention the selling of
slaves from one estate to another, whereby families were separated,
almost as effectually as though an ocean intervened. We have omitted to
notice the transportation of slaves to Trinidad, Berbice, and Demerara,
which was made an open traffic until prohibited in 1827, and was
afterwards continued with but little abatement by evasions of the law.

From the painful contemplation of all this outrage and wrong, the mind
is relieved by turning to the present state of the colony. It cannot be
denied that much oppression grows out of the apprenticeship system, both
from its essential nature, and from the want of virtuous principle and
independence in the men who administer it. Yet it is certainly true that
there has been a very great diminution in the amount of actual cruelty.
The total abolition of flogging on the estates, the prohibition to use
the dungeons, and depriving the masters, managers, overseers and
drivers, of the right to punish in any case, or in any way whatever,
leave no room for doubt on this subject. It is true, that the laws are
often violated, but this can only take place in cases of excessive
passion, and it is not likely to be a very frequent occurrence. The
penalty of the law is so heavy,[A] and the chances of detection[B] are
so great, that in all ordinary circumstances they will be a sufficient
security against the violence of the master. On the other hand, the
special magistrates themselves seldom use the whip, but resort to other
modes of punishment less cruel and degrading. Besides, it is manifest
that if they did use the whip and were ever so cruelly disposed, it
would be physically impossible for them to inflict as much suffering as
the drivers could during slavery; on account of the vast numbers over
whom they preside. We learned from the apprentices themselves, by
conversing with them, that their condition, in respect to treatment, is
incomparably better than it was during slavery. We were satisfied from
our observations and inquiries, that the planters, at least the more
extensive and enlightened ones, conduct their estates on different
principles from those formerly followed. Before the abolition of
slavery, they regarded the _whip_ as absolutely necessary to the
cultivation of sugar, and hence they uniformly used it, and loudly
deprecated its abolition as being _their_ certain ruin. But since the
whip has been abolished, and the planters have found that the negroes
continue, nevertheless, industrious and subordinate, they have changed
their measures, partly from necessity, and partly from policy, have
adopted a conciliatory course.

[Footnote A: A fine of sixteen dollars for the first assault, and the
liberation of the apprentice after a second.]

[Footnote B: Through the complaint of the apprentice to the special

Barbadoes was not without its insurrections during slavery. Although not
very frequent, they left upon the minds of the white colonists this
conviction, (repeatedly expressed to us by planters and others,) that
_slavery and rebellions are inseparable_. The last widely extended
insurrection occurred in 1816, in the eastern part of the island. Some
of the particulars were given us by a planter who resided to that
region, and suffered by it great loss of property. The plot was so
cautiously laid, and kept so secret, that no one suspected it. The
planter observed that if any one had told him that such a thing was
brewing _ten minutes_ before it burst forth, he would not have credited
the statement. It began with firing the cane-fields. A signal was given
by a man setting fire to a pile of trash on an elevated spot, when
instantly the fires broke out in every direction, and in less than a
half hour, more than one hundred estates were in flames. The planters
and their families, in the utmost alarm, either fled into other parts of
the island, or seized their arms and hurriedly mustered in self-defence.
Meanwhile the negroes, who had banded themselves in numerous companies,
took advantage of the general consternation, proceeded to the deserted
mansions of the planters, broke down the doors, battered in the windows,
destroyed all the furniture, and carried away the provision stores to
their own houses.

These ravages continued for three days, during which, the slaves flocked
together in increasing numbers; in one place there were several
thousands assembled. Above five hundred of the insurgents were shot down
by the militia, before they could be arrested. The destruction of
property during the rebellion was loosely estimated at many hundred
thousand pounds. The canes on many estates were almost wholly burned; so
that extensive properties, which ordinarily yielded from two to three
hundred hogsheads, did not make more than fifteen or twenty.

Our informant mentioned two circumstances which he considered
remarkable. One was, that the insurgents never touched the property of
the estates to which they severally belonged; but went to the
neighboring or more distant estates. The other was, that during the
whole insurrection the negroes did not make a single attempt to destroy
life. On the other hand, the sacrifice of negroes during the rebellion,
and subsequent to it, was appalling. It was a long time before the white
man's thirst for blood could be satiated.

No general insurrection occurred after this one. However, as late as
1823, the proprietor of Mount Wilton--the noblest estate in the
island--was murdered by his slaves in a most horrid manner. A number of
men entered his bed-chamber at night. He awoke ere they reached him, and
grasped his sword, which always hung by his bed, but it was wrested from
his hand, and he was mangled and killed. His death was caused by his
_cruelties_, and especially by his _extreme licentiousness_. All the
females on this estate were made successively the victims of his lust.
This, together with his cruelties, so incensed the men, that they
determined to murder the wretch. Several of them were publicly executed.

Next to the actual occurrence of rebellions, _the fear of them_ deserves
to be enumerated among the evils which slavery entailed upon Barbadoes.
The dread of hurricanes to the people of Barbadoes is tolerable in
comparison with the irrepressible apprehensions of bloody rebellions. A
planter told us that he seldom went to bed without thinking he might be
murdered before morning.

But now the whites are satisfied that slavery was the sole instigator of
rebellions, and since its removal they have no fear on this score.

_Licentiousness_ was another of the fruits of slavery. It will be
difficult to give to the reader a proper conception of the prevalence of
this vice in Barbadoes, and of the consequent demoralization. A numerous
colored population were both the offspring and the victims of it. On a
very moderate calculation, nineteen-twentieths of the present adult
colored race are illegitimate. Concubinage was practised among the
highest classes. Young merchants and others who were unmarried, on first
going to the island, regularly engaged colored females to live with them
as housekeepers and mistresses, and it was not unusual for a man to have
more than one. The children of these connections usually sat with the
mothers at the father's table, though when the gentlemen had company,
neither mothers nor children made their appearance. To such conduct no
disgrace was attached, nor was any shame felt by either party. We were
assured that there are in Bridgetown, colored ladies of
"respectability," who, though never married, have large families of
children whose different surnames indicate their difference of
parentage, but who probably do not know their fathers by any other
token. These remarks apply to the towns. The morals of the estates were
still more deplorable. The managers and overseers, commonly unmarried,
left no female virtue unattempted. Rewards sometimes, but oftener the
whip, or the dungeon, gave them the mastery in point of fact, which the
laws allowed in theory. To the slaves marriage was scarcely known. They
followed the example of the master, and were ready to minister to his
lust. The mass of mulatto population grew paler as it multiplied, and
catching the refinement along with the tint of civilization, waged a war
upon marriage which had well nigh expelled it from the island. Such was
Barbadoes under the auspices of slavery.

Although these evils still exist, yet, since the abolition of slavery,
there is one symptom of returning purity, the _sense of shame_.
Concubinage is becoming disreputable. The colored females are growing in
self-respect, and are beginning to seek regular connections with colored
men. They begin to feel (to use the language of one of them) that the
_light is come_, and that they can no longer have the apology of
ignorance to plead for their sin. It is the prevailing impression among
whites, colored, and blacks, that open licentiousness cannot long
survive slavery.

_Prejudice_ was another of the concomitants of slavery. Barbadoes was
proverbial for it. As far as was practicable, the colored people were
excluded from all business connections; though merchants were compelled
to make clerks of them for want of better, that is, _whiter_, ones.
Colored merchants of wealth were shut out of the merchants' exchange,
though possessed of untarnished integrity, while white men were admitted
as subscribers without regard to character. It was not a little
remarkable that the rooms occupied as the merchants' exchange were
rented from a colored gentleman, or more properly, a _negro_;[A] who,
though himself a merchant of extensive business at home and abroad, and
occupying the floor below with a store, was not suffered to set his foot
within them. This merchant, it will be remembered, is educating a son
for a learned profession at the university of Edinburgh. Colored
gentlemen were not allowed to become members of literary associations,
nor subscribers to the town libraries. Social intercourse was utterly
interdicted. To visit the houses of such men as we have already
mentioned in a previous chapter, and especially to sit down at their
tables, would have been a loss of caste; although the gentry were at the
same time living with colored concubines. But most of all did this
wicked prejudice delight to display itself in the churches. Originally,
we believe, the despised color was confined to the galleries, afterwards
it was admitted to the seats under the galleries, and ultimately it was
allowed to extend to the body pews below the cross aisle. If perchance
one of the proscribed class should ignorantly stray beyond these
precincts, and take a seat above the cross aisle, he was instantly, if
not forcibly, removed. Every opportunity was maliciously seized to taunt
the colored people with their complexion. A gentleman of the highest
worth stated that several years ago he applied to the proper officer for
a license to be married. The license was accordingly made out and handed
to him. It was expressed in the following insulting style: "T---- H----,
F.M., is licensed to marry H---- L----, F.C.W." The initials F.M. stood
for _free mulatto_, and F.C.W. for _free colored woman_! The gentleman
took his knife and cut out the initials; and was then threatened with a
prosecution for forging his license.

[Footnote A: Mr. London Bourne, the merchant mentioned in the previous

It must be admitted that this cruel feeling still exists in Barbadoes.
Prejudice is the last viper of the slavery-gendered brood that dies. But
it is evidently growing weaker. This the reader will infer from several
facts already stated. The colored people themselves are indulging
sanguine hopes that prejudice will shortly die away. They could discover
a bending on the part of the whites, and an apparent readiness to
concede much of the ground hitherto withheld. They informed us that they
had received intimations that they might be admitted as subscribers to
the merchants' exchange if they would apply; but they were in no hurry
to make the advances themselves. They felt assured that not only
business equality, but social equality, would soon be theirs, and were
waiting patiently for the course of events to bring them. They have too
much self-respect to sue for the consideration of their white neighbors,
or to accept it as a condescension and favor, when by a little patience
they might obtain it on more honorable terms. It will doubtless be found
in Barbadoes, as it has been in other countries--and perchance to the
mortification of some lordlings--that freedom is a mighty leveller of
human distinctions. The pyramid of pride and prejudice which slavery had
upreared there, must soon crumble in the dust.

_Indolence and inefficiency among the whites_, was another prominent
feature in slaveholding Barbadoes. Enterprise, public and personal, has
long been a stranger to the island. Internal improvements, such as the
laying and repairing of roads, the erection of bridges, building
wharves, piers, &c., were either wholly neglected, or conducted in such
a listless manner as to be a burlesque on the name of business. It was a
standing task, requiring the combined energy of the island, to repair
the damages of one hurricane before another came. The following
circumstance was told us, by one of the shrewdest observers of men and
things with whom we met in Barbadoes. On the southeastern coast of the
island there is a low point running far out into the sea, endangering
all vessels navigated by persons not well acquainted with the island.
Many vessels have been wrecked upon it in the attempt to make Bridgetown
from the windward. From time immemorial, it has been in contemplation to
erect a light-house on that point. Every time a vessel has been wrecked,
the whole island has been agog for a light-house. Public meetings were
called, and eloquent speeches made, and resolutions passed, to proceed
to the work forthwith. Bills were introduced into the assembly, long
speeches made, and appropriations voted commensurate with the stupendous
undertaking. There the matter ended, and the excitement died away, only
to be revived by another wreck, when a similar scene would ensue. The
light-house is not built to this day. In personal activity, the
Barbadians are as sadly deficient as in public spirit. London is said to
have scores of wealthy merchants who have never been beyond its limits,
nor once snuffed the country air. Bridgetown, we should think, is in
this respect as deserving of the name _Little London_ as Barbadoes is of
the title "Little England," which it proudly assumes. We were credibly
informed that there were merchants in Bridgetown who had never been off
the island in their lives, nor more than five or six miles into the
country. The sum total of their locomotion might be said to be, turning
softly to one side of their chairs, and then softly to the other. Having
no personal cares to harass them, and no political questions to agitate
them--having no extended speculations to push, and no public enterprises
to prosecute, (save occasionally when a wreck on the southern point
throws them into a ferment,) the lives of the higher classes seem a
perfect blank, as it regards every thing manly. Their thoughts are
chiefly occupied with sensual pleasure, anticipated or enjoyed. The
centre of existence to them is the _dinner-table_.

  "They eat and drink and sleep, and then--
   Eat and drink and sleep again."

That the abolition of slavery has laid the foundation for a reform in
this respect, there can be no doubt. The indolence and inefficiency of
the white community has grown out of slavery. It is the legitimate
offspring of oppression everywhere--one of the burning curses which it
never fails to visit upon its supporters. It may be seriously doubted,
however, whether in Barbadoes this evil will terminate with its cause.
There is there such a superabundance of the laboring population, that
for a long time to come, labor must be very cheap, and the habitually
indolent will doubtless prefer employing others to work for them, than
to work themselves. If, therefore, we should not see an active spirit of
enterprise at once kindling among the Barbadians, _if the light-house
should not be build for a quarter of a century to come_, it need not
excite our astonishment.

We heard not a little concerning the expected distress of those white
families whose property consisted chiefly of slaves. There were many
such families, who have hitherto lived respectably and independently by
hiring out their slaves. After 1840, these will be deprived of all their
property, and will have no means of support whatever. As they will
consider it degrading to work, and still more so to beg, they will be
thrown into extremely embarrassing circumstances. It is thought that
many of this class will leave the country, and seek a home where they
will not be ashamed to work for their subsistence. We were forcibly
reminded of the oft alleged objection to emancipation in the United
States, that it would impoverish many excellent families in the South,
and drive delicate females to the distaff and the wash-tub, whose hands
have never been used to any thing--_rougher than the cowhide_. Much
sympathy has been awakened in the North by such appeals, and vast
numbers have been led by them to conclude that it is better for millions
of slaves to famish in eternal bondage, than that a few white families,
here and there scattered over the South, should be reduced to the
humiliation of _working_.

_Hostility to emancipation_ prevailed in Barbadoes. That island has
always been peculiarly attached to slavery. From the beginning of the
anti-slavery agitations in England, the Barbadians distinguished
themselves by their inveterate opposition. As the grand result
approximated they increased their resistance. They appealed,
remonstrated, begged, threatened, deprecated, and imprecated. They
continually protested that abolition would ruin the colony--that the
negroes could never be brought to work--especially to raise
sugar--without the whip. They both besought and demanded of the English
that they should cease their interference with their private affairs and
personal property.

Again and again they informed them that they were wholly disqualified,
by their distance from the colonies, and their ignorance of the subject,
to do any thing respecting it, and they were entreated to leave the
whole matter with the colonies, who alone could judge as to the best
time and manner of moving, or whether it was proper to move at all.

We were assured that there was not a single planter in Barbadoes who was
known to be in favor of abolition, before it took place; if, however,
there had been one such, he would not have dared to avow his sentiments.
The anti-slavery party in England were detested; no epithets were too
vile for them--no curses too bitter. It was a Barbadian lady who once
exclaimed in a public company in England, "O, I wish we had Wilberforce
in the West Indies, I would be one of the very first to tear his heart
out!" If such a felon wish could escape the lips of a female, and that
too amid the awing influence of English society, what may we conclude
were the feelings of planters and drivers on the island!

The opposition was maintained even after the abolition of slavery; and
there was no colony, save Jamaica, with which the English government had
so much trouble in arranging the provisions and conditions under which
abolition was to take place.

From statements already made, the reader will see how great a change has
come over the feelings of the planters.

He has followed us through this and the preceding chapters, he has seen
tranquillity taking the place of insurrections, a sense of security
succeeding to gloomy forbodings, and public order supplanting mob law;
he has seen subordination to authority, peacefulness, industry, and
increasing morality, characterizing the negro population; he has seen
property rising in value, crime lessening, expenses of labor
diminishing, the whole island blooming with unexampled cultivation, and
waving with crops unprecedented in the memory of its inhabitants; above
all, he has seen licentiousness decreasing, prejudice fading away,
marriage extending, education spreading, and religion preparing to
multiply her churches and missionaries over the land.

_These_ are the blessing of abolition--_begun_ only, and but partially
realized as yet, but promising a rich maturity in time to come, after
the work of freedom shall have been completed.



The nature of the apprenticeship system may be learned form the
following abstract of its provisions, relative to the three parties
chiefly concerned in its operation--the special magistrate, the master,
and the apprentice.


1. They must be disconnected with planters and plantership, that they
may be independent of all colonial parties and interests whatever.

2. The special magistrates adjudicate only in cases where the master and
apprentice are parties. Offences committed by apprentices against any
person not connected with the estates on which they live, come under the
cognizance of the local magistrates or of higher courts.

3. The special justices sit three days in the week at their offices,
where all complaints are carried, both by the master and apprentice. The
magistrates do not go the estate, either to try or to punish offenders.
Besides, the three days the magistrates are required to be at home every
Saturday, (that being the day on which the apprentices are disengaged,)
to give friendly advice and instruction on points of law and personal
rights to all apprentices who may call.


1. The master is allowed the gratuitous labor of the apprentice for
forty-five hours each week. The several islands were permitted by the
English government to make such a division of this time as local
circumstances might seem to require. In some islands, as for instance in
St. Christopher's and Tortola, it is spread over six days of the week in
proportions of seven and a half hours per day, thus leaving the
apprentice mere shreds of time in which he can accomplish nothing for
himself. In Barbadoes, the forty-five hours is confined within five
days, in portions of nine hours per day.

2. The allowances of food continue the same as during slavery, excepting
that now the master may give, instead of the allowance, a third of an
acre to each apprentice, but then he must also grant an additional day
every week for the cultivation of this land.

3. The master has no power whatever to punish. A planter observed, "if I
command my butler to stand for half an hour on the parlor floor, and it
can be proved that I designed it as a punishment, I may be fined for
it." The penalty for the first offence (punishing an apprentice) is a
fine of five pounds currency, or sixteen dollars, and imprisonment if
the punishment was cruel. For a second offence the apprentice is
set free.

Masters frequently do punish their apprentices _in despite of all
penalties_. A case in point occurred not long since, in Bridgetown. A
lady owned a handsome young mulatto woman, who had a beautiful head of
hair of which she was very proud. The servant did something displeasing
to her mistress, and the latter in a rage shaved off her hair close to
her head. The girl complained to the special magistrate, and procured an
immediate release from her mistress's service.

4. It is the duty of the master to make complaint to the special
magistrate. When the master chooses to take the punishment into his own
hand, the apprentice has a right to complain.

5. The master is obliged to sell the remainder of the apprentice's term,
whenever the apprentice signifies a wish to buy it. If the parties
cannot agree about the price, the special magistrate, in connection with
two local magistrates, appraises the latter, and the master is bound to
take the amount of the appraisement, whatever that is. Instances of
apprentices purchasing themselves are quite frequent, not withstanding
the term of service is now so short, extending only to August, 1840. The
value of an apprentice varies from thirty to one hundred dollars.


1. He has the whole of Saturday, and the remnants of the other five
days, after giving nine hours to the master.

2. The labor does not begin so early, nor continue so late as during
slavery. Instead of half past four or five o'clock the apprentices are
called out at six o'clock in the morning. They then work till seven,
have an hour for breakfast, again work from eight to twelve, have a
respite of two hours, and then work till six o'clock.

3. If an apprentice hires his time from his master as is not
unfrequently the case, especially among the non-praedials, he pays a
dollar a week, which is two thirds, or at least one half of
his earnings.

4. If the apprentice has a complaint to make against his master, he must
either make it during his own time, or if he prefers to go to the
magistrate during work hours, he must ask his master for a pass. If his
master refuse to give him one, he can then go without it.

5. There is an _unjustifiable inequality_ in the apprentice laws, which
was pointed out by one of the special magistrates. The master is
punishable only for cruelty or corporeal inflictions, whereas the
apprentice is punishable for a variety of offences, such as idleness,
stealing, insubordination, insolence, &c. The master may be as insolent
and abusive as he chooses to be, and the slave can have no redress.

6. Hard labor, solitary confinement, and the treadmill, are the
principal modes of punishment. Shaving the head is sometimes resorted
to. A very sever punishment frequently adopted, is requiring the
apprentice to make up for the time during which he is confined. If he is
committed for ten working days, he must give the master ten successive

This last regulation is particularly oppressive and palpably unjust. It
matters not how slight the offence may have been, it is discretionary
with the special magistrate to mulct the apprentice of his Saturdays.
This provision really would appear to have been made expressly for the
purpose of depriving the apprentices of their own time. It is a direct
inducement to the master to complain. If the apprentice has been absent
from his work but an hour, the magistrate may sentence him to give a
whole day in return; consequently the master is encouraged to mark the
slightest omission, and to complain of it whether it was unavoidable
or not.

THE DESIGN OF THE APPRENTICESHIP.--It is a serious question with a
portion of the colonists, whether or not the apprenticeship was
originally designed as a preparation for freedom. This however was the
professed object with its advocates, and it was on the strength of this
plausible pretension, doubtless, that the measure was carried through.
We believe it is pretty well understood, both in England and the
colonies; that it was mainly intended _as an additional compensation to
the planters_. The latter complained that the twenty millions of pounds
was but a pittance of the value of their slaves, and to drown their
cries about robbery and oppression this system of modified slavery was
granted to them, that they might, for a term of years, enjoy the toil of
the negro without compensation. As a mockery to the hopes of the slaves
this system was called an apprenticeship, and it was held out to them as
a needful preparatory stage for them to pass through, ere they could
rightly appreciate the blessings of entire freedom. It was not wonderful
that they should be slow to apprehend the necessity of serving a six
years' apprenticeship, at a business which they had been all their lives
employed in. It is not too much to say that it was a grand cheat--a
national imposture at the expense of the poor victims of oppression,
whom, with benevolent pretences, it offered up a sacrifice to cupidity
and power.

this system is in some respects far better than slavery. Many restraints
are imposed upon the master, and many important privileges are secured
to the apprentice. Being released from the arbitrary power of the
master, is regarded by the latter as a vast stride towards entire
liberty. We once asked an apprentice; if he thought apprenticeship was
better than slavery. "O yes," said he, "great deal better, sir; when we
was slaves, our masters git mad wid us, and give us _plenty of licks_;
but now, thank God, they can't touch us." But the actual enjoyment of
these advantages by the apprentices depends upon so many contingencies,
such as the disposition of the master, and the faithfulness of the
special magistrate, that it is left after all exceedingly precarious. A
very few observations respecting the special magistrates, will serve to
show how liable the apprentice is to suffer wrong without the
possibility of obtaining redress. It is evident that this will be the
case unless the special magistrates are _entirely independent_. This was
foreseen by the English government, and they pretended to provide for it
by paying the magistrates' salaries at home. But how inadequate was
their provision! The salaries scarcely answer for pocket money in the
West Indies. Thus situated, the magistrates are continually exposed to
those temptations, which the planters can so artfully present in the
shape of sumptuous dinners. They doubtless find it very convenient, when
their stinted purses run low, and mutton and wines run high, to do as
the New England school master does, "_board round_;" and consequently
the dependence of the magistrate upon the planter is of all things the
most deprecated by the apprentice.[A]

[Footnote A: The feelings of apprentices on this point are well
illustrated by the following anecdote, which was related to us while in
the West Indies. The governor of one of the islands, shortly after his
arrival, dined with one of the wealthiest proprietors. The next day one
of the negroes of the estate said to another, "De new gubner been
_poison'd_." "What dat you say?" inquired the other in astonishment, "De
gubner been _poison'd_." "Dah, now!--How him poisoned!" "_Him eat massa
turtle soup last night_," said the shrewd negro. The other took his
meaning at once; and his sympathy for the governor was turned into
concern for himself, when he perceived that the poison was one from
which _he_ was likely to suffer more than his excellency.]

Congeniality of feeling, habits, views, style and rank--identity of
country and color--these powerful influences bias the magistrate toward
the master, at the same time that the absence of them all, estrange and
even repel him from the apprentice. There is still an additional
consideration which operates against the unfortunate apprentice. The men
selected for magistrates, are mostly officers of the army and navy. To
those who are acquainted with the arbitrary habits of military and naval
officers, and with the iron despotism which they exercise among the
soldiers and sailors,[B] the bare mention of this fact is sufficient to
convince them of the unenviable situation of the apprentice. It is at
best but a gloomy transfer from the mercies of a slave driver, to the
justice of a military magistrate.

[Footnote B: We had a specimen of the stuff special magistrates are made
of in sailing from Barbadoes to Jamaica. The vessel was originally an
English man-of-war brig, which had been converted into a steamer, and
was employed by the English government, in conveying the island mails
from Barbadoes to Jamaica--to and fro. She was still under the strict
discipline of a man-of-war. The senior officer on board was a
lieutenant. This man was one of the veriest savages on earth. His
passions were in a perpetual storm, at some times higher than at others,
occasionally they blew a hurricane. He quarrelled with his officers, and
his orders to his men were always uttered in oaths. Scarcely a day
passed that he did not have some one of his sailors flogged. One night,
the cabin boy left the water-can sitting on the cabin floor, instead of
putting it on the sideboard, where it usually stood. For this offence
the commander ordered him up on deck after midnight, and made the
quarter-master flog him. The instrument used in this case, (the regular
flogging stick having been _used up_ by previous service,) was the
commander's cane--_a heavy knotted club_. The boy held out one hand and
received the blows. He howled most piteously, and it was some seconds
before he recovered sufficiently from the pain to extend the other.
"_Lay on_," stormed the commander. Down went the cane a second time. We
thought it must have broken every bone in the boy's hand. This was
repeated several times, the boy extending each hand alternately, and
recoiling at every blow. "Now lay on to his back," sternly vociferated
the commander--"give it to him--_hard_--_lay on harder_." The old
seaman, who had some mercy in his heart, seemed very loth to lay out his
strength on the boy with such a club. The commander became
furious--cursed and swore--and again yelled, "_Give it to him harder,
more_--MORE--MORE--there, stop." "you infernal villain"--speaking to the
quarter-master and using the most horrid oaths--"You infernal villain,
if you do not _lay on harder_ the next time I command you, I'll have you
put in irons." The boy limped away, writhing in every joint, and crying
piteously, when the commander called at him, "Silence there, you imp--or
I'll give you a second edition." One of the first things the commander
did after we left Barbadoes, was to have a man flogged, and the last
order we heard him give as we left the steamer at Kingston, was to put
two of the men _in irons_.]

It is not a little remarkable that the apprenticeship should be regarded
by the planters themselves, as well as by other persons generally
throughout the colony, as merely a modified form of slavery. It is
common to hear it called 'slavery under a different form,' 'another name
for slavery,'--'modified slavery,' 'but little better than slavery.'

Nor is the practical operation of the system upon the _master_ much less
exceptionable. It takes out of his hand the power of coercing labor, and
provides no other stimulus. Thus it subjects him to the necessity either
of resorting to empty threats, which must result only in incessant
disputes, or of condescending to persuade and entreat, against which his
habits at once rebel, or of complaining to a third party--an alternative
more revolting if possible, than the former, since it involves the
acknowledgment of a higher power than his own. It sets up over his
actions a foreign judge, at whose bar he is alike amenable (in theory)
with his apprentice, before whose tribunal he may be dragged at any
moment by his apprentice, and from whose lips he may receive the
humiliating sentence of punishment in the presence of his apprentice. It
introduces between him and his laborers, mutual repellancies and
estrangement; it encourages the former to exercise an authority which he
would not venture to assume under a system of perfect freedom; it
emboldens the latter to display an insolence which he would not have
dreamed of in a state of slavery, and thus begetting in the one, the
imperiousness of the slaveholder _without his power_, and in the other,
the independence of the freeman _without his immunities_, it perpetuates
a scene of angry collision, jealousy and hatred.

It does not even serve for the master the unworthy purpose for which it
was mainly devised, viz., that of an additional compensation. The
apprenticeship is estimated to be more expensive than a system of free
labor would be. It is but little less expensive than slavery, and
freedom it is confidently expected will be considerably less. So it
would seem that this system burthens the master with much of the
perplexity, the ignominy and the expensiveness of slavery, while it
denies him its power. Such is the apprenticeship system. A splendid
imposition!--which cheats the planter of his gains, cheats the British
nation of its money, and robs the world of what else might have been a
glorious example of immediate and entire emancipation.

can be, it is an actual _disqualification_. The testimony on this
subject is ample. We rarely met a planter, who was disposed to maintain
that the apprenticeship was preparing the negroes for freedom. They
generally admitted that the people were no better prepared for freedom
now, than they were in 1834; and some of them did not hesitate to say
that the sole use to which they and their brother planters turned the
system, was to get _as much work out of the apprentices while it lasted,
as possible_. Clergymen and missionaries, declared that the
apprenticeship was no preparation for freedom. If it were a preparation
at all, it would most probably be so in a religious and educational
point of view. We should expect to find the masters, if laboring at all
to prepare their apprentices for freedom, doing so chiefly by
encouraging missionaries and teachers to come to their estates, and by
aiding in the erection of chapels and school-houses. But the
missionaries declare that they meet with little more direct
encouragement now, than they did during slavery.

The special magistrates also testify that the apprenticeship is no
preparation for freedom. On this subject they are very explicit.

The colored people bear the same testimony. Not a few, too, affirm, that
the tendency of the apprenticeship is to unfit the negroes for freedom,
and avow it as their firm persuasion, that the people will be less
prepared for liberty at the end of the apprenticeship, than they were at
its commencement. And it is not without reason that they thus speak.
They say, first, that the bickerings and disputes to which the system
gives rise between the master and the apprentice, and the arraigning of
each other before the special magistrate, are directly calculated to
alienate the parties. The effect of these contentions, kept up for six
years, will be to implant _deep mutual hostility_; and the parties will
be a hundred fold more irreconcilable than they were on the abolition of
slavery. Again, they argue that the apprenticeship system is calculated
to make the negroes regard _law as their foe_, and thus it unfits them
for freedom. They reason thus--the apprentice looks to the magistrate as
his judge, his avenger, his protector; he knows nothing of either law or
justice except as he sees them exemplified in the decisions of the
magistrate. When, therefore, the magistrate sentences him to punishment,
when he knows he was the injured party, he will become disgusted with
the very name of justice, and esteem law his greatest enemy.

The neglect of the planters to use the apprenticeship as a preparation
for freedom, warrants us in the conclusion, that they do not think any
preparation necessary. But we are not confined to doubtful inferences on
this point. They testify positively--and not only planters, but all
other classes of men likewise--that the slaves of Barbadoes were fit for
entire freedom in 1834, and that they might have been emancipated then
with perfect safety. Whatever may have been the sentiment of the
Barbadians relative to the necessity of preparation before the
experiment was made, it is clear that now they have no confidence either
in the necessity or the practicability of preparatory schemes.

But we cannot close our remarks upon the apprenticeship system without
noticing one good end which it has undesignedly accomplished, i.e., _the
illustration of the good disposition of the colored people_. We firmly
believe that if the friends of emancipation had wished to disprove all
that has ever been said about the ferocity and revengefulness of the
negroes, and at the same time to demonstrate that they possess, in a
pre-eminent degree, those other qualities which render them the fit
subjects of liberty and law, they could not have done it more
triumphantly than it has been done by the apprenticeship. _How_ this has
been done may be shown by pointing out several respects in which the
apprenticeship has been calculated to try the negro character most
severely, and to develop all that was fiery and rebellious in it.

1. The apprenticeship removed that strong arm of slavery and substituted
no adequate force. The arbitrary power of the master, which awed the
slave into submission, was annihilated. The whip which was held over the
slave, and compelled a kind of subordination--brutal, indeed, but
effectual--was abolished. Here in the outset the reins were given to the
long-oppressed, but now aspiring mass. No adequate force was
substituted, because it was the intent of the new system to govern by
milder means. This was well, but what were the milder means which were
to take the place of brute force?

2. Was the stimulus of wages substituted? No! That was expressly denied.
Was the liberty of locomotion granted? No. Was the privilege of gaining
a personal interest in the soil extended to them? No. Were the
immunities and rights of citizenship secured to them? No. Was the poor
favor allowed them of selecting their own business, or of choosing their
employer? Not even this? Thus far, then, we see nothing of the milder
measures of the apprenticeship. It has indeed opened the prison doors
and knocked off the prisoners' chains--but it still keeps them grinding
there, as before, and refuses to let them come forth, except
occasionally, and then only to be thrust back again. Is it not thus
directly calculated to encourage indolence and insubordination?

3. In the next place, this system introduces a third party, to whom the
apprentice is encouraged to look for justice, redress, and counsel. Thus
he is led to regard his master as his enemy, and all confidence in him
is for ever destroyed. But this is not the end of the difficulty. The
apprentice carries up complaints against his master. If they gain a
favorable hearing he triumphs over him--if they are disregarded, he
concludes that the magistrate also is his enemy, and he goes away with a
rankling grudge against his master. Thus he is gradually led to assert
his own cause, and he learns to contend with his master, to reply
insolently, to dispute, quarrel, and--it is well that we cannot add, to
_fight_. At least one thing is the result--a permanent state of
alienation, contempt of authority, and hatred. _All these are the fruits
of the apprenticeship system_. They are caused by transferring the power
of the master, while the _relation_ continues the same. Nor is this
contempt for the master, this alienation and hatred, all the mischief.
The unjust decisions of the magistrate, of which the apprentices have
such abundant reasons to complain, excite their abhorrence of him, and
thus their confidence in the protection of law is weakened or destroyed.
Here, then, is contempt for the master, abhorrence of the magistrate,
and mistrust of the law--the apprentice regarding all three as leagued
together to rob him of his rights. What a combination of circumstances
to drive the apprentices to desperation and madness! What a marvel that
the outraged negroes have been restrained from bloody rebellions!

Another insurrectionary feature peculiar to the apprenticeship is its
making the apprentices _free a portion of the time_. One fourth of the
time is given them every week--just enough to afford them a taste of the
sweets of liberty, and render them dissatisfied with their condition.
Then the manner in which this time is divided is calculated to irritate.
After being a slave nine hours, the apprentice is made a freeman for the
remainder of the day; early the next morning the halter is again put on,
and he treads the wheel another day. Thus the week wears away until
Saturday; which is an entire day of freedom. The negro goes out and
works for his master, or any one else, as he pleases, and at night he
receives his quarter of a dollar. This is something like freedom, and he
begins to have the feelings of a freeman--a lighter heart and more
active limbs. He puts his money carefully away at night, and lays
himself down to rest his toil-worn body. He awakes on Sabbath morning,
and _is still free_. He puts on his best clothes, goes to church,
worships a free God, contemplates a free heaven, sees his free children
about him, and his wedded wife; and ere the night again returns, the
consciousness that he is a slave is quite lost in the thoughts of
liberty which fill his breast, and the associations of freedom which
cluster around him. He sleeps again. _Monday morning he is startled from
his dreams by the old "shell-blow" of slavery_, and he arises to endure
another week of toil, alternated by the same tantalizing mockeries of
freedom. Is not this applying the _hot iron to the nerve_?

5. But, lastly, the apprenticeship system, as if it would apply the
match to this magazine of combustibles, holds out the reward of liberty
to every apprentice who shall by any means provoke his master to punish
him a second time.

[NOTE.--In a former part of this work--the report of Antigua--we
mentioned having received information respecting a number of the
apprenticeship islands, viz., Dominica, St. Christopher's, Nevis,
Montserrat, Anguilla, and Tortola, from the Wesleyan Missionaries whom
we providentially met with at the annual district meeting in Antigua. We
designed to give the statements of these men at some length in this
connection, but we find that it would swell our report to too great a
size. It only remains to say, therefore, in a word, that the same things
are generally true of those colonies which have been detailed in the
account of Barbadoes. There is the same peaceableness, subordination,
industry, and patient suffering on the part of the apprentices, the same
inefficiency of the apprenticeship as a preparation for freedom, and the
same conviction in the community that the people will, if at all
affected by it, be _less_ fit for emancipation in 1840 than they were in
1834. A short call at St. Christopher's confirmed these views in our
minds, so far as that island is concerned.

While in Barbadoes, we had repeated interviews with gentlemen who were
well acquainted with the adjacent islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent's,
Grenada, &c.; one of whom was a proprietor of a sugar estate in St.
Vincent's; and they assured us that there was the same tranquillity
reigning in those islands which we saw in Barbadoes. Sir Evan McGregor,
who is the governor-general of the windward colonies, and of course
thoroughly informed respecting their internal state, gave us the same
assurances. From Mr. H., an American gentleman, a merchant of Barbadoes,
and formerly of Trinidad, we gathered similar information touching that
large and (compared with Barbadoes or Antigua) semi-barbarous island.

We learned enough from these authentic sources to satisfy ourselves that
the various degrees of intelligence in the several islands makes very
little difference in the actual results of abolition; but that in all
the colonies, conciliatory and equitable management has never failed to
secure industry and tranquillity.]




Having drawn out in detail the results of abolition, and the working of
the apprenticeship system in Barbadoes, we shall spare the reader a
protracted account of Jamaica; but the importance of that colony, and
the fact that greater dissatisfaction on account of the abolition of
slavery has prevailed there than in all the other colonies together,
demand a careful statement of facts.

On landing in Jamaica, we pushed onward in our appropriate inquiries,
scarcely stopping to cast a glance at the towering mountains, with their
cloud-wreathed tops, and the valleys where sunshine and shade sleep side
by side--at the frowning precipices, made more awful by the impenetrable
forest-foliage which shrouds the abysses below, leaving the impression
of an ocean depth--at the broad lawns and magnificent savannahs glowing
in verdure and sunlight--at the princely estates and palace mansions--at
the luxuriant cultivation, and the sublime solitude of primeval forests,
where trees of every name, the mahogany, the boxwood, the rosewood, the
cedar, the palm, the fern, the bamboo, the cocoa, the breadfruit, the
mango, the almond, all grow in wild confusion, interwoven with a dense
tangled undergrowth.[A]

[Footnote A: It is less necessary for us to dwell long on Jamaica, than
it would otherwise be, since the English gentlemen, Messrs. Sturge and
Harvey, spent most of their time in that island, and will, doubtless,
publish their investigations, which will, ere long, be accessible to our
readers. We had the pleasure of meeting these intelligent philanthropic
and pious men in the West Indies, and from the great length of time, and
the superior facilities which they enjoyed over us, of gathering a mass
of facts in Jamaica, we feel assured that their report will be highly
interesting and useful, as well among us as on the other side of
the water.]

We were one month in Jamaica. For about a week we remained in
Kingston,[B] and called on some of the principal gentlemen, both white
and colored. We visited the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General,
some of the editors, the Baptist and Wesleyan missionaries, and several
merchants. We likewise visited the public schools, the house of
correction, penitentiary, hospital, and other public institutions. We
shall speak briefly of several individuals whom we saw in Kingston, and
give some of their statements.

[Footnote B: The chief town of the island, with about forty thousand

The Hon. Dowel O'Reily; the Attorney-General; is an Irishman, and of one
of the influential families. In his own country he was a prominent
politician, and a bold advocate of Catholic Emancipation. He is
decidedly one of the ablest men in the island, distinguished for that
simplicity of manners, and flow of natural benevolence, which are the
characteristics of the Irishman. He received his present appointment
from the English government about six years ago, and is, by virtue of
his office, a member of the council. He declared that the apprenticeship
was in no manner preparing the negroes for freedom, but was operating in
a contrary way, especially in Jamaica, where it had been made the
instrument of greater cruelties in some cases, than slavery itself. Mr.
O'Reily is entirely free from prejudice; with all his family rank and
official standing, he identifies himself with the colored people as far
as his extensive professional engagements will allow. Having early
learned this, we were surprised to find him so highly respected by the
whites. In our subsequent excursions to the country, the letters of
introduction with which he kindly furnished us, to planters and others,
were uniformly received with avowals of the profoundest respect for him.
It should be observed, that Mr. O'Reily's attachment to the cause of
freedom in the colonies, is not a mere partizan feeling assumed in order
to be in keeping with the government under which he holds his office.
The fact of his being a Roman Catholic must, of itself, acquit him of
the suspicion of any strong partiality for the English government. On
the other hand, his decided hostility to the apprenticeship--the
favorite offspring of British legislation--demonstrates equally his
sincerity and independence.

We were introduced to the Solicitor-General, William Henry Anderson,
Esq., of Kingston. Mr. A. is a Scotchman, and has resided to Jamaica for
more than six years. We found him the fearless advocate of negro
emancipation. He exposed the corruptions and abominations of the
apprenticeship without reserve. Mr. A. furnished us with a written
statement of his views, respecting the state of the island, the
condition of the apprentices, &c., from which we here make a
few extracts.

"1. A very material change for the better has taken place in the
sentiments of the community since slavery was abolished. Religion and
education were formerly opposed as subversive of the security of
property; now they are in the most direct manner encouraged as its best
support. The value of all kinds of property has risen considerably, and
a general sense of security appears to be rapidly pervading the public
mind. I have not heard one man assert that it would be an advantage to
return to slavery, even were it practicable; and I believe that the
public is beginning to see that slave labor is not the cheapest."

"2. The prejudices against color are _rapidly vanishing_. I do not think
there is a respectable man, I mean one who would be regarded as
respectable on account of his good sense and weight of character, who
would impugn another's conduct for associating with persons of color. So
far as my observation goes, those who would formerly have acted on these
prejudices, will be ashamed to own that they had entertained them. The
distinction of superior acquirements still belongs to the whites, as a
body; but that, and character, will shortly be the only distinguishing
mark recognized among us."

"3. The apprentices are improving, _not, however, in consequence of the
apprenticeship, but in spite of it, and in consequence of the great act
of abolition_!"

"4. I think the negroes might have been emancipated as safely in 1834,
as in 1840; and had the emancipation then taken place, they would be
found much further in advance in 1840, than they can be after the
expiration of the present period of apprenticeship, _through which all,
both apprentices and masters, are_ LABORING HEAVILY."

"5. That the negroes will work if moderately compensated, no candid man
can doubt. Their _endurance_ for the sake of a very little gain is quite
amazing, and they are most desirous to procure for themselves and
families as large a share as possible of the comforts and decencies of
life. They appear peculiarly to reverence and desire intellectual
attainments. They employ, occasionally, children who have been taught in
the schools to teach them in their leisure time to read."

"6. I think the partial modifications of slavery have been attended by
so much improvement in all that constitutes the welfare and
respectability of society, that I cannot doubt the increase of the
benefit were a total abolition accomplished of every restriction that
has arisen out of the former state of things."

During our stay in Kingston, we called on the American consul, to whom
we had a letter from the consul at Antigua. We found him an elderly
gentleman, and a true hearted Virginian, both in his generosity and his
prejudices in favor of slavery. The consul, Colonel Harrison, is a near
relation of General W.H. Harrison, of Ohio. Things, he said, were going
ruinously in Jamaica. The English government were mad for abolishing
slavery. The negroes of Jamaica were the most degraded and ignorant of
all negroes he had ever seen. He had travelled in all our Southern
States, and the American negroes, even those of South Carolina and
Georgia, were as much superior to the negroes of Jamaica, as Henry Clay
was superior to him. He said they were the most ungrateful, faithless
set he ever saw; no confidence could be placed in them, and kindness was
always requited by insult. He proceeded to relate a fact from which it
appeared that the ground on which his grave charges against the negro
character rested, was the ill-conduct of one negro woman whom he had
hired some time ago to assist his family. The town negroes, he said,
were too lazy to work; they loitered and lounged about on the sidewalks
all day, jabbering with one another, and keeping up an incessant noise;
and they would not suffer a white man to order them in the least. They
were rearing their children in perfect idleness and for his part he
could not tell what would become of the rising population of blacks.
Their parents were too proud to let them work, and they sent them to
school all the time. Every afternoon, he said, the streets are thronged
with the half-naked little black devils, just broke from the schools,
and all singing some noisy tune learned in the infant schools; the
_burthen of_ their songs seems to be, "_O that will be joyful_." These
words, said he, are ringing in your ears wherever you go. How
aggravating truly such words must be, bursting cheerily from the lips of
the little free songsters! "O that will be joyful, _joyful_,
JOYFUL"--and so they ring the changes day after day, ceaseless and
untiring. A new song this, well befitting the times and the prospects,
but provoking enough to oppressors. The consul denounced he special
magistrates; they were an insolent set of fellows, they would fine a
white man as quick as they would flog a _nigger_.[A] If a master called
his apprentice "you scoundrel," or, "you huzzy," the magistrate would
either fine him for it or reprove him sharply in the presence of the
apprentice. This, in the eyes of the veteran Virginian, was intolerable.
Outrageous, not to allow a _gentleman_ to call his servant what names he
chooses! We were very much edified by the Colonel's _exposé_ of Jamaica
manners. We must say, however, that his opinions had much less weight
with us after we learned (as we did from the best authority) that he had
never been a half dozen miles into the country during a ten year's
residence in Kingston.

[Footnote A: We fear there is too little truth in this representation.]

We called on the Rev. Jonathan Edmonson, the superintendent of the
Wesleyan missions in Jamaica. Mr. E. has been for many years laboring as
a missionary in the West Indies, first in Barbadoes, then in St.
Vincent's, Grenada, Trinidad, and Demerara, and lastly in Jamaica. He
stated that the planters were doing comparatively nothing to prepare the
negroes for freedom. "_Their whole object was to get as much sugar out
of them as they possibly could_."

We received a call from the Rev. Mr. Wooldridge, one of the Independent
missionaries. He thinks the conduct of the planters is tending to make
the apprentices their bitter enemies. He mentioned one effect of the
apprenticeship which had not been pointed out to us before. The system
of appraisement, he said, was a _premium upon all the bad qualities of
the negroes and a tax upon all the good ones_. When a person is to be
appraised, his virtues and his vices are always inquired into, and they
materially influence the estimate of his value. For example, the usual
rate of appraisement is a dollar per week for the remainder of the term;
but if the apprentice is particularly sober, honest, and industrious,
more particularly if he be a _pious man_, he is valued at the rate of
two or three dollars per week. It was consequently for the interest of
the master, when an apprentice applied for an appraisement, to portray
his virtues, while on the other hand there was an inducement for the
apprentice to conceal or actually to renounce his good qualities, and
foster the worst vices. Some instances of this kind had fallen under his
personal observation.

We called on the Rev. Mr. Gardiner, and on the Rev. Mr. Tinson, two
Baptist missionaries in Kingston. On Sabbath we attended service at the
church of which Mr. G. is the pastor. It is a very large building,
capable of seating two thousand persons. The great mass of the
congregation were apprentices. At the time we were present, the chapel
was well filled, and the broad surface of black faces was scarcely at
all diversified with lighter colors. It was gratifying to witness the
neatness of dress, the sobriety of demeanor, the devotional aspect of
countenance, the quiet and wakeful attention to the preacher which
prevailed. They were mostly rural negroes from the estates adjacent
to Kingston.

The Baptists are the most numerous body of Christians in the island. The
number of their missionaries now in Jamaica is sixteen, the number of
Chapels is thirty-one, and the number of members thirty-two thousand
nine hundred and sixty. The increase of members during the year 1836 was
three thousand three hundred and forty-four.

At present the missionary field is mostly engrossed by the Baptists and
Wesleyans. The Moravians are the next most numerous body. Besides these,
there are the clergy of the English Church, with a Bishop, and a few
Scotch clergymen. The Baptist missionaries, as a body, have been most
distinguished for their opposition to slavery. Their boldness in the
midst of suffering and persecutions, their denunciations of oppression,
though they did for a time arouse the wrath of oppressors, and cause
their chapels to be torn down and themselves to be hunted, imprisoned,
and banished, did more probably than any other cause, to hasten the
abolition of slavery.

_Schools in Kingston_.--We visited the Wolmer free school--the largest
and oldest school in the island. The whole number of scholars is five
hundred. It is under the charge of Mr. Reid, a venerable Scotchman, of
scholarship and piety. All colors are mingled in it promiscuously. We
saw the infant school department examined by Mr. R. There were nearly
one hundred and fifty children, of every hue, from the jettiest black to
the fairest white; they were thoroughly intermingled, and the ready
answers ran along the ranks from black to white, from white to brown,
from brown to pale, with undistinguished vivacity and accuracy. We were
afterwards conducted into the higher department, where lads and misses
from nine to fifteen, were instructed in the various branches of
academic education. A class of lads, mostly colored, were examined in
arithmetic. They wrought several sums in pounds, shillings and pence
currency, with wonderful celerity.

Among other things which we witnessed in that school, we shall not soon
forget having seen a curly headed negro lad of twelve, examining a class
of white young ladies in scientific history.

Some written statements and statistical tables were furnished us by Mr.
Reid, which we subjoin..

_Kingston, May 13th, 1837_

DEAR SIR,--I delayed answering your queries in hopes of being able to
give you an accurate list of the number of schools in Kingston, and
pupils under tuition, but have not been able completely to accomplish my
intention. I shall now answer your queries in the order you propose
them. 1st Quest. How long have you been teaching in Jamaica? Ans.
Thirty-eight years in Kingston. 2d Q. How long have you been master of
Wolmer's free school? A. Twenty-three years. 3d Q. What is the number of
colored children now in the school? A. Four hundred and thirty. 4th Q.
Was there any opposition to their admission at first? A. Considerable
opposition the first year, but none afterwards. 5th Q. Do they learn as
readily us the white children? A. As they are more regular in their
attendance, they learn better. 6th Q. Are they as easily governed? A.
Much easier. 7th Q. What proportion of the school are the children of
apprentices? A. Fifty. 8th Q. Do their parents manifest a desire to have
them educated? A. In general they do. 9th Q. At what age do the children
leave your school? A. Generally between twelve and fourteen. 10th Q What
employments do they chiefly engage in upon leaving you? A. The boys go
to various mechanic trades, to counting-houses, attorney's offices,
clerks to planting attorneys, and others become planters. The, girls
seamstresses, mantuamakers, and a considerable proportion tailoresses,
in Kingston and throughout Jamaica, as situations offer.

I am, dear sirs, yours respectfully,


The following table will show the average numbers of the respective
classes, white and colored, who have attended Wolmer's free school in
each year, from 1814 to the present time.

                                   White    | Colored | Total.
Average number in 1814                87                  87
   "      "       1815               111         3       114
   "      "       1816               129        25       154
   "      "       1817               146        36       182
   "      "       1818               155        38       193
   "      "       1819               136        57       193
   "      "       1820               116        78       194
   "      "       1821               118       122       240
   "      "       1822                93       167       260
   "      "       1823                97       187       280
   "      "       1824                94       196       290
   "      "       1825                89       185       274
   "      "       1826                93       176       269
   "      "       1827                92       156       248
   "      "       1828                88       152       240
   "      "       1829                79       192       271
   "      "       1830                88       194       282
   "      "       1831                88       315       403
   "      "       1832                90       360       450
   "      "       1833                93       411       504
   "      "       1834                81       420       501
   "      "       1835                85       425       510
   "      "       1836                78       428       506
   "      "       1837                72       430       502

With regard to the _comparative intellect_ of white and colored
children, Mr. Reid gives the following valuable statement:

"For the last thirty-eight years I have been employed in this city in
the tuition of children of all classes and colors, and have no
hesitation in saying that the children of color are equal both in
conduct and ability to the white. They have always carried off more than
their proportion of prizes, and at one examination, out of seventy
prizes awarded, sixty-four were obtained by children of color."

Mr. R. afterwards sent to us the table of the number of schools in
Kingston, alluded to in the foregoing communication. We insert it here,
as it affords a view of the increase of schools and scholars since the
abolition of slavery.

    Schools.                                Scholars.
2   Wolmer's,                                  403
1   National,                                  270
34  Gentlemen's private,                      1368
40  Ladies' do.                               1005
8   Sunday,                                   1042
----                                          ----
85                           Total,           4088


    Schools.                                Scholars.
2   Wolmer's,                                  472
1   National,                                  260
31  Gentlemen's private,                      1169
41  Ladies' do.                                856
8   Sunday,                                    981
----                                          ----
83                           Total,           3738


    Schools.                                Scholars.
2   Wolmer's,                                  527
3   National,                                 1136
3   Mico,                                      590
1   Baptist,                                   250
1   Jamaica Union,                             120
31  Gentlemen's private,                      1137
59  Ladies' do.                               1339
9   Sunday,                                   1108
    By itinerant teachers and children.       1500
----                                          ----
109                        Total,             7707

    Schools.                                Scholars.
 2  Wolmer's,                                  502
 3  National,                                 1238
 4  Mico,                                      611
 1  Baptist                                    260
 1  Jamaica Union,                             200
34  Gentlemen's private,                      1476
63  Ladies' do.                               1525
10  Sunday,                                   1316
    By itinerant teachers and children,       1625
----                                          ----
118                        Total,             8753

We also visited the Union school, which has been established for some
years in Kingston. All the children connected with it, about one hundred
and fifty, are, with two exceptions, black or colored. The school is
conducted generally on the Lancasterian plan. We examined several of the
boys in arithmetic. We put a variety of questions to them, to be worked
out on the slate, and the reasons of the process to be explained as they
went along; all which they executed with great expertness. There was a
jet black boy, whom we selected for a special trial. We commenced with
the simple rules, and went through them one by one, together with the
compound rules and Reduction, to Practice, propounding questions and
examples in each of them, which were entirely new to him, and to all of
them he gave prompt and correct replies. He was only thirteen years old,
and we can aver we never saw a boy of that age in any of our common
schools, that exhibited a fuller and clearer knowledge of the science
of numbers.

In general, our opinion of this school was similar to that already
expressed concerning the others. It is supported by the pupils, aided by
six hundred dollars granted by the assembly.

In connection with this subject, there is one fact of much interest.
However strong and exclusive was the prejudice of color a few years
since in the schools of Jamaica, we could not, during our stay in that
island, learn of more than two or three places of education, and those
private ones, from which colored children were excluded, and among the
numerous schools in Kingston, there is not one of this kind.

We called on several colored gentlemen of Kingston, from whom we
received much valuable information. The colored population are opposed
to the apprenticeship, and all the influence which they have, both in
the colony and with the home government, (which is not small,) is
exerted against it. They are a festering thorn in the sides of the
planters, among whom they maintain a fearless espionage, exposing by pen
and tongue their iniquitous proceedings. It is to be regretted that
their influence in this respect is so sadly weakened by their _holding
apprentices themselves_.

We had repeated invitations to breakfast and dine with colored
gentlemen, which we accepted as often as our engagements would permit.
On such occasions we generally met a company of gentlemen and ladies of
superior social and intellectual accomplishments. We must say, that it
is a great self-denial to refrain from a description of some of the
animated, and we must add splendid, parties of colored people which we
attended. The conversation on these occasions mostly turned on the
political and civil disabilities under which the colored population
formerly labored, and the various straggles by which they ultimately
obtained their rights. The following are a few items of their history.
The colored people of Jamaica, though very numerous, and to some extent
wealthy and intelligent, were long kept by the white colonists in a
state of abject political bondage. Not only were offices withheld from
them, and the right of suffrage denied, but they were not even allowed
the privilege of an oath in court, in defense of their property or their
persons. They might be violently assaulted, their limbs broken, their
wives and daughters might be outraged before their eyes by villains
having white skins; yet they had no legal redress unless another white
man chanced to see the deed. It was not until 1824 that this oppressive
enactment was repealed, and the protection of an oath extended to the
colored people; nor was it then effected without a long struggle on
their part.

Another law, equally worthy of a slaveholding legislature, prohibited
any white man, however wealthy, bequeathing, or in any manner giving his
colored son or daughter more than £2000 currency, or six thousand
dollars. The design of this law was to keep the colored people poor and
dependent upon the whites. Further to secure the same object, every
effort, both legislative and private, was made to debar them from
schools, and sink them in the lowest ignorance. Their young men of
talent were glad to get situations as clerks in the stores of white
merchants. Their young ladies of beauty and accomplishments were
fortune-made if they got a place in the white man's harem. These were
the highest stations to which the flower of their youth aspired. The
rest sank beneath the discouragements, and grovelled in vice and
debasement. If a colored person had any business with a white gentleman,
and should call at his house, "he must take off his hat, and wait at the
door, and be _as polite as a dog_."

These insults and oppressions the colored people in Jamaica bore, until
they could bear them no longer. By secret correspondence they formed a
union throughout the island, for the purpose of resistance. This,
however, was not effected for a long time, and while in process, the
correspondence was detected, and the most vigorous means were used by
the whites to crush the growing conspiracy--for such it was virtually.
Persuasions and intimations were used privately, and when these failed,
public persecutions were resorted to, under the form of judicial
procedures. Among the milder means was the dismission of clerks, agents,
&c., from the employ of a white men. As soon as a merchant discovered
that his clerk was implicated in the correspondence, he first threatened
to discharge him unless he would promise to desert his brethren: if he
could not extort this promise, he immediately put his threat in
execution. Edward Jordon, Esq., the talented editor of the Watchman,
then first clerk in the store of a Mr. Briden, was prominently concerned
in the correspondence, and was summarily dismissed.

White men drove their colored sons from their houses, and subjected them
to every indignity and suffering, in order to deter them from
prosecuting an enterprise which was seen by the terrified oppressors to
be fraught with danger to themselves. Then followed more violent
measures. Persons suspected of being the projectors of the disaffection,
were dragged before incensed judges, and after mock trials, were
sentenced to imprisonment in the city jail. Messrs. Jordon and Osborne,
(after they had established the Watchman paper,) were both imprisoned;
the former twice, for five months each time. At the close of the second
term of imprisonment, Mr. Jordon was _tried for his life_, on the charge
of having published _seditious matter_ in the Watchman.

The paragraph which was denominated '_seditious matter_' was this--

"Now that the member for Westmoreland (Mr. Beaumont) has come over to
our side, we will, by a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether,
bring down the system by the run, knock off the fetters, and let the
oppressed go free."

On the day of Mr. J.'s trial, the court-room was thronged with colored
men, who had armed themselves, and were determined, if the sentence of
death were pronounced upon Mr. Jordon, to rescue him at whatever hazard.
It is supposed that their purpose was conjectured by the judges--at any
rate, they saw fit to acquit Mr. J. and give him his enlargement. The
Watchman continued as fearless and _seditious_ as ever, until the
Assembly were ultimately provoked to threaten some extreme measure which
should effectually silence the agitators. _Then_ Mr. Jordon issued a
spirited circular, in which he stated the extent of the coalition among
the colored people, and in a tone of defiance demanded the instant
repeal of every restrictive law, the removal of every disability, and
the extension of complete political equality; declaring, that if the
demand were not complied with, the whole colored population would rise
in arms, would proclaim freedom to their own slaves, instigate the
slaves generally to rebellion, and then shout war and wage it, until
_the streets of Kingston should run blood_. This bold piece of
generalship succeeded. The terrified legislators huddled together in
their Assembly-room, and swept away, at one blow, all restrictions, and
gave the colored people entire enfranchisement. These occurrences took
place in 1831; since which time the colored class have been politically
free, and have been marching forward with rapid step in every species of
improvement, and are now on a higher footing than in any other colony.
All offices are open to them; they are aldermen of the city, justices of
the peace, inspectors of public institutions, trustees of schools, etc.
There are, at least, then colored special magistrates, natives of the
island. There are four colored members of the Assembly, including
Messrs. Jordon and Osborne. Mr. Jordon now sits in the same Assembly,
side by side, with the man who, a few years ago, ejected him
disdainfully from his clerkship. He is a member of the Assembly for the
city of Kingston, where not long since he was imprisoned, and tried for
his life. He is also alderman of the city, and one of its local
magistrates. He is now inspector of the same prison in which he was
formerly immured as a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition.

The secretary of the special magistrate department, Richard Hill, Esq.,
is a colored gentleman, and is one of the first men in the island,[A]
for integrity, independence, superior abilities, and extensive
acquirements. It has seldom been our happiness to meet with a man more
illustrious for true nobility of soul, or in whose countenance there
were deeper traces of intellectual and moral greatness. We are confident
that no man can _see_ him without being impressed with his rare
combination of excellences.

[Footnote A: We learn from the Jamaica papers, since our return to this
country, that Mr. Hill has been elected a member of the Assembly.]

Having said thus much respecting the political advancement of the
colored people, it is proper to remark, that they have by no means
evinced a determination to claim more than their share of office and
influence. On the contrary, they stop very far short of what they are
entitled to. Having an extent of suffrage but little less than the
whites, they might fill one third of the seats in the Assembly, whereas
they now return but four members out of forty-five. The same may be said
of other offices, particularly those in the city of Kingston, and the
larger towns, where they are equal to, or more numerous, than the
whites. It is a fact, that a portion of the colored people continue at
this time to return white members to the Assembly, and to vote for white
aldermen and other city officers. The influential men among them, have
always urged them to take up white men, unless they could find
_competent_ men of their own color. As they remarked to us, if they were
obliged to send an _ass_ to the Assembly, it was far better for _them_
to send a _white_ ass than a _black_ one.

In company with a friend, we visited the principal streets and places of
business in Kingston, for the purpose of seeing for ourselves the
general employments of the people of color; and those who engage in the
lowest offices, such as porters, watermen, draymen, and servants of all
grades, from him who flaunts in livery, to him who polishes shoes, are
of course from this class. So with the fruiterers, fishmongers, and the
almost innumerable tribe of petty hucksters which swarm throughout the
city, and is collected in a dense mass in its suburbs. The market, which
is the largest and best in the West Indies, is almost entirely supplied
and attended by colored persons, mostly females. The great body of
artisans is composed mostly of colored persons.

There are two large furniture and cabinet manufactories in Kingston, one
owned by two colored men, and the other by a white man. The operatives,
of which one contains eighty, and the other nearly as many, are all
black and colored. A large number of them are what the British law terms
_apprentices_, and are still bound in unremunerated servitude, though
some of them for thrice seven years have been adepts in their trades,
and not a few are earning their masters twenty or thirty dollars each
month, clear of all expenses. Some of these _apprentices_ are
hoary-headed and wrinkle-browned men, with their children, and
grand-children, apprentices also, around them, and who, after having
used the plane and the chisel for half a century, with faithfulness for
_others_, are now spending the few hours and the failing strength of old
again in _preparing_ to use the plane and the chisel for _themselves_.
The work on which they were engaged evinced no lack of mechanical skill
and ingenuity, but on the contrary we were shown some of the most
elegant specimens of mechanical skill, which we ever saw. The rich woods
of the West Indies were put into almost every form and combination which
taste could designate or luxury desire.

The owners of these establishments informed us that their business had
much _increased within the last two years_, and was still extending.
Neither of them had any fears for the results of complete emancipation,
but both were laying their plans for the future as broadly and
confidently as ever.

In our walk we accidentally met a colored man, whom we had heard
mentioned on several occasions as a superior architect. From the
conversation we had with him, then and subsequently, he appeared to
possess a fine mechanical genius, and to have made acquirements which
would be honorable in any man, but which were truly admirable in one who
had been shut up all his life by the disabilities which in Jamaica have,
until recently, attached to color. He superintended the erection of the
Wesleyan chapel in Kingston, the largest building of the kind in the
island, and esteemed by many as the most elegant. The plan was his own,
and the work was executed under his own eye. This man is using his means
and influence to encourage the study of his favorite art, and of the
arts and sciences generally, among those of his own hue.

One of the largest bookstores in the island is owned by two colored men.
(Messrs. Jordon and Osborne, already referred to.) Connected with it is
an extensive printing-office, from which a newspaper is issued twice a
week. Another paper, under the control of colored men, is published at
Spanishtown. These are the two principal liberal presses in Jamaica, and
are conducted with spirit and ability. Their influence in the political
and civil affairs of the island is very great. They are the organs of
the colored people, bond and free, and through them any violation of law
or humanity is exposed to the public, and redress demanded, and
generally obtained. In literary merit and correctness of moral
sentiment, they are not excelled by any press there, while some of their
white contemporaries fall far below them in both. Besides the workmen
employed in these two offices, there is a large number of colored
printers in the other printing offices, of which there are several.

We called at two large establishment for making jellies, comfits,
pickles, and all the varieties of tropic _preserves_. In each of them
thirty or more persons are constantly employed, and a capital of some
thousands of dollars invested. Several large rooms were occupied by
boxes, jars, and canisters, with the apparatus necessary to the process,
through which the fruit passes. We saw every species of fruits and
vegetables which the island produces, some fresh from the trees and
vines, and others ready to be transported to the four quarters of the
globe, in almost every state which the invalid or epicure could desire.
These articles, with the different preparations of arrow-root and
cassada, form a lucrative branch of trade, which is mostly in the hands
of the colored people.

We were introduced to a large number of colored merchants, dealers in
dry goods, crockery and glass ware, ironmongers, booksellers, druggists,
grocers, and general importers and were conducted by them through their
stores; many of which were on an extensive scale, and managed,
apparently, with much order and regularity. One of the largest
commercial houses in Kingston has a colored man as a partner, the other
two being white. Of a large auction and commission firm, the most active
and leading partner is a colored man. Besides these, there is hardly a
respectable house among the white merchants, in which some important
office, oftentimes the head clerkship, is not filled by a person of
color. They are as much respected in business transactions, and their
mercantile talents, their acquaintance with the generalities and details
of commerce, and sagacity and judgment in making bargains, are as highly
esteemed by the white merchants, as though they wore an European hue.
The commercial room is open to them, where they resort unrestrainedly to
ascertain the news; and a visitor may not unfrequently see sitting
together at a table of newspapers, or conversing together in the
parlance of trade, persons as dissimilar in complexion as white and
black can make them. In the streets the same intercourse is seen.

The general trade of the island is gradually and quietly passing into
the hands of the colored people. Before emancipation, they seldom
reached a higher grade in mercantile life than a clerkship, or, if they
commenced business for themselves, they were shackled and confined in
their operations by the overgrown and monopolizing establishments which
slavery had built up. Though the civil and political rights of one class
of them were acknowledged three years previous, yet they found they
could not, even if they desired it, disconnect themselves from the
slaves. They could not transact business--form credits and agencies, and
receive the confidence of the commercial public--like free men. Strange
or not, their fate was inseparably linked with that of the bondman,
their interests were considered as involved with his. However honest
they might be, it was not safe to trust them; and any attempt to rise
above a clerkship, to become the employer instead of the employed, was
regarded as a kind of insurrection, and strongly disapproved and
opposed. Since emancipation, they have been unshackling them selves from
white domination in matters of trade; extending their connections, and
becoming every day more and more independent. They have formed credits
with commercial houses abroad, and now import directly for themselves,
at wholesale prices, what they were formerly obliged to receive from
white importers, or rather speculators, at such prices as they, in their
tender mercies, saw fit to impose.

Trade is now equalizing itself among all classes. A spirit of
competition is awakened, banks have been established, steam navigation
introduced, railroads projected, old highways repaired, and new ones
opened. The descendants of the slaves are rapidly supplying the places
which were formerly filled by whites from abroad.

We had the pleasure of being present one day at the sitting of the
police court of Kingston. Mr. Jordon, the editor of the Watchman, in his
turn as a member of the common council, was presiding justice, with an
alderman of the city, a black man, as his associate. At a table below
them sat the superintendent of police, a white man, and two white
attorneys, with their huge law books and green bags before them. The bar
was surrounded by a motley assemblage of black, colored, and white
faces, intermingled without any regard to hue in the order of
superiority and precedence. There were about a dozen cases adjudged
while we were present. The court was conducted with order and dignity,
and the justices were treated with great respect and deference both by
white and black.

After the adjournment of the court, we had some conversation with the
presiding justice. He informed us that whites were not unfrequently
brought before him for trial, and, in spite of his color, sometimes even
our own countrymen. He mentioned several instances of the latter, in
some of which American prejudice assumed very amusing and ludicrous
forms. In one case, he was obliged to threaten the party, a captain from
one of our southern ports, with imprisonment for contempt, before he
could induce him to behave himself with proper decorum. The captain,
unaccustomed to obey injunctions from men of such a complexion, curled
his lip in scorn, and showed a spirit of defiance, but on the approach
of two police officers, whom the court had ordered to arrest him, he
submitted himself. We were gratified with the spirit of good humor and
pleasantry with which Mr. J. described the astonishment and gaping
curiosity which Americans manifest on seeing colored men in offices of
authority, particularly on the judicial bench, and their evident
embarrassment and uneasiness whenever obliged to transact business with
them as magistrates. He seemed to regard it as a subject well worthy of
ridicule; and we remarked, in our intercourse with the colored people,
that they were generally more disposed to make themselves merry with
American sensitiveness on this point, than to bring serious complaints
against it, though they feel deeply the wrongs which they have suffered
from it, and speak of them occasionally with solemnity and earnestness.
Still the feeling is so absurd and ludicrous in itself, and is exhibited
in so many grotesque positions, even when oppressive, that the sufferer
cannot help laughing at it. Mr. Jordon has held his present office since
1832. He has had an extensive opportunity, both as a justice of the
police court, and as a member of the jail committee, and in other
official stations, to become well acquainted with the state of crime in
the island at different periods. He informed us that the number of
complaints brought before him had much diminished since 1834, and he had
no hesitation in saying, that crime had decreased throughout the island
generally more than one third.

During one of our excursions into the country, we witnessed another
instance of the amicability with which the different colors associated
in the civil affairs of the island. It was a meeting of one of the
parish vestries, a kind of local legislature, which possesses
considerable power over its own territory. There were fifteen members
present, and nearly as many different shades of complexion. There was
the planter of aristocratic blood, and at his side was a deep mulatto,
born in the same parish a slave. There was the quadroon, and the
unmitigated hue and unmodified features of the negro. They sat together
around a circular table, and conversed as freely as though they had been
all of one color. There was no restraint, no uneasiness, as though the
parties felt themselves out of place, no assumption nor disrespect, but
all the proceedings manifested the most perfect harmony, confidence, and
good feeling.

At the same time there was a meeting of the parish committee on roads,
at which there was the same intermixture of colors, the same freedom and
kindness of demeanor, and the same unanimity of action. Thus it is with
all the political and civil bodies in the island, from the House of
Assembly, to committees on jails and houses of correction. Into all of
them, the colored people are gradually making their way, and
participating in public debates and public measures, and dividing with
the whites legislative and judicial power, and in many cases they
exhibit a superiority, and in all cases a respectability, of talents and
attainments, and a courtesy and general propriety of conduct, which gain
for them the respect of the intelligent and candid among their white

We visited the house of correction for the parish of St. Andrews. The
superintendent received us with the iron-hearted courtesy of a Newgate
turnkey. Our company was evidently unwelcome, but as the friend who
accompanied us was a man in authority, he was constrained to admit us.
The first sound that greeted us was a piercing outcry from the
treadmill. On going to it, we saw a youth of about eighteen hanging in
the air by a strap bound to his wrist, and dangling against the wheel in
such a manner that every revolution of it scraped the body from the
breast to the ankles. He had fallen off from weakness and fatigue, and
was struggling and crying in the greatest distress, while the strap,
which extended to a pole above and stretched his arm high above his
head, held him fast. The superintendent, in a harsh voice, ordered him
to be lifted up, and his feet again placed on the wheel. But before he
had taken five steps, he again fell off, and was suspended as before. At
the same instant, a woman also fell off, and without a sigh or the
motion of a muscle, for she was too much exhausted for either, but with
a shocking wildness of the eye, hung by her half-dislocated arms against
the wheel. As the allotted time (fifteen minutes) had expired, the
persons on the wheel were released, and permitted to rest. The boy could
hardly stand on the ground. He had a large ulcer on one of his feet,
which was much swollen and inflamed, and his legs and body were greatly
bruised and peeled by the revolving of the wheel. The gentleman who was
with us reproved the superintendent severely for his conduct, and told
him to remove the boy from the treadmill gang, and see that proper care
was taken of him. The poor woman who fell off, seemed completely
exhausted; she tottered to the wall near by, and took up a little babe
which we had not observed before. It appeared to be not more than two or
three months old, and the little thing stretched out its arms and
welcomed its mother. On inquiry, we ascertained that this woman's
offence was absence from the field an hour after the required time (six
o'clock) in the morning. Besides the infant with her, she had two or
three other children. Whether the care of them was any excuse for her,
we leave American mothers to judge. There were two other women on the
treadmill--one was sentenced there for stealing cane from her master's
field, and the other, we believe, for running away.

The superintendent next took us to the solitary cells. They were dirty,
and badly ventilated, and unfit to keep beasts in. On opening the doors,
such a stench rushed forth, that we could not remain. There was a poor
woman in one of them, who appeared, as the light of day and the fresh
air burst in upon her, like a despairing maniac.

We went through the other buildings, all of which were old and dirty,
nay, worse, _filthy_ in the extreme. The whole establishment was a
disgrace to the island. The prisoners were poorly clad, and had the
appearance of harsh usage. Our suspicions of ill treatment were
strengthened by noticing a large whip in the treadmill, and sundry iron
collars and handcuffs hanging about in the several rooms through which
we passed.

The number of inmates in this house at our visit, was
forty-eight--eighteen of whom were females. Twenty of these were in the
treadmill and in solitary confinement--the remainder were working on
the public road at a little distance--many of them _in irons_--iron
collars about their necks, and chains passing between, connecting them
together two and two.



Wishing to accomplish the most that our limited time would allow; we
separated at Kingston;--the one taking a northwesterly route among the
mountainous coffee districts of Port Royal and St. Andrews, and the
other going into the parish of St. Thomas in the East.

St. Thomas in the East is said to present the apprenticeship in its most
favorable aspects. There is probably no other parish in the island which
includes so many fine estates, or has so many liberal-minded
planters.[A] A day's easy drive from Kingston, brought us to Morant Bay,
where we spent two days, and called on several influential gentlemen,
besides visiting the neighboring estate of Belvidere. One gentleman whom
we met was Thomas Thomson, Esq., the senior local magistrate of the
Parish, next in civil influence to the Custos. His standing may be
inferred from the circumstance, (not trifling in Jamaica,) that the
Governor, during his tour of the island, spent a night at his house. We
breakfasted with Mr. Thomson, and at that time, and subsequently, he
showed the utmost readiness in furnishing us with information. He is a
Scotchman, has been in the island for thirty-eight years, and has served
as a local magistrate for thirty-four. Until very lately, he has been a
proprietor of estates; he informed us that he had sold out, but did not
mention the reasons. We strongly suspected, from the drift of his
conversation, that he sold about the time of abolition, through alarm
for the consequences. We early discovered that he was one of the old
school tyrants, hostile to the change which _had_ taken place, and
dreadfully alarmed in view of that which was yet to come. Although full
of the prejudices of an old slaveholder, yet we found him a man of
strong native sense and considerable intelligence. He declared it most
unreservedly as his opinion, that the negroes would not work after
1810--they were _naturally so indolent_, that they would prefer
gaining a livelihood in some easier way than by digging cane holes. He
had all the results of the emancipation of 1840 as clearly before his
mind, as though he saw them in prophetic vision; he knew the whole
process. One portion of the negroes, too lazy to provide food by their
own labor, will rob the provision grounds of the few who will remain at
work. The latter will endure the wrong as long as they well can, and
then they will procure arms and fire upon the marauders; this will give
rise to incessant petty conflicts between the lazy and the industrious,
and a great destruction of life will ensue. Others will die in vast
numbers from starvation; among these will be the superannuated and the
young, who cannot support themselves, and whom the planters will not be
able to support. Others numerous will perish from disease, chiefly for
want of medical attendance, which it will be wholly out of their power
to provide. Such is the dismal picture drawn by a late slaveholder, of
the consequences of removing the negroes from the tender mercies of
oppressors. Happily for all parties, Mr. Thomson is not very likely to
establish his claim to the character of a prophet. We were not at all
surprised to hear him wind up his prophecies against freedom with a
_denunciation of slavery_. He declared that slavery was a wretched
system. Man was _naturally a tyrant_. Mr. T. said he had one good
thing to say of the negroes, viz., that they were an _exceedingly
temperate people_. It was a very unusual thing to see one of them drunk.
Slavery, he said, was a system of _horrid cruelties_. He had lately
read, in the history of Jamaica, of a planter, in 1763, having a slave's
_leg_ cut off, to keep him from running away. He said that dreadful
cruelties were perpetrated until the close of slavery, and they were
inseparable from slavery. He also spoke of the fears which haunted the
slaveholders. He never would live on an estate; and whenever he chanced
to stay over night in the country, he always took care to secure his
door by bolting and barricading it. At Mr. Thomson's we met Andrew
Wright, Esq., the proprietor of a sugar estate called Green Wall,
situated some six miles from the bay. He is an intelligent gentleman, of
an amiable disposition--has on his estate one hundred and sixty
apprentices. He described his people as being in a very peaceable state,
and as industrious as he could wish. He said he had no trouble with
them, and it was his opinion, that where there is trouble, it must be
_owing to bad management_. He anticipated no difficulty after 1840, and
was confident that his people would not leave him. He believed that the
negroes would not to any great extent abandon the cultivation of sugar
after 1840. Mr. T. stated two facts respecting this enlightened planter,
which amply account for the good conduct of his apprentices. One was,
that he was an exceedingly kind and amiable man. _He had never been
known to have a falling out with any man in his life_. Another fact was,
that Mr. Wright was the only resident sugar proprietor in all that
region of country. He superintends his own estate, while the other large
estates are generally left in the hands of unprincipled, mercenary men.

[Footnote A: We have the following testimony of Sir Lionel Smith to the
superiority of St. Thomas in the East. It is taken from the Royal
Gazette, (Kingston.) May 6, 1837. "His Excellency has said, that in all
his tour he was not more highly gratified with any parish than he was
with St. Thomas in the East."]

We called on the Wesleyan missionary at Morant Bay, Rev. Mr. Crookes,
who has been in Jamaica fifteen years. Mr. C. said, that in many
respects there had been a great improvement since the abolition of
slavery, but, said he, "I abominate the apprenticeship system. At best,
it is only _improved slavery_." The obstacles to religious efforts
have been considerably diminished, but the masters were not to be
thanked for this; it was owing chiefly to the protection of British law.
The apprenticeship, Mr. C. thought, could not be any material
preparation for freedom. He was persuaded that it would have been far
better policy to have granted entire emancipation at once.

In company with Mr. Howell, an Independent, and teacher of a school of
eighty negro children in Morant Bay, we drove out to Belvidere estate,
which is situated about four miles from the bay, in a rich district
called the Blue Mountain Valley. The Belvidere is one of the finest
estates in the valley. It contains two thousand acres, only four hundred
of which are cultivated in sugar; the most of it is woodland. This
estate belongs to Count Freeman, an absentee proprietor. We took
breakfast with the overseer, or manager, Mr. Briant. Mr. B. stated that
there was not so much work done now as there was during slavery. Thinks
there is _as much done for the length of time that the apprentices are
at work_; but a day and a half every week is lost; neither _are they
called out as early in the morning, nor do they work as late at night_.
The apprentices work at night very cheerfully for money: but they will
not work on Saturday for the common wages--quarter of a dollar. On
inquiry of Mr. B. we ascertained that the reason the apprentices did not
work on Saturdays was, that they could _make twice or three times as
much_ by cultivating their provision grounds, and carrying their produce
to market. At _night_ they cannot cultivate their grounds, then they
work for their masters "very cheerfully."

The manager stated, that there had been no disturbance with the people
of Belvidere since the change. They work well, and conduct themselves
peaceably; and he had no fear but that the great body of the negroes
would remain on the estate after 1840, and labor as usual. This he
thought would be the case on every estate where there _is mild
management_. Some, indeed, might leave even such estates to _try their
fortunes_ elsewhere, but they would soon discover that they could get no
better treatment abroad, and they would then return to their old homes.

While we were at Belvidere, Mr. Howell took us to see a new chapel which
the apprentices of that estate have erected since 1834, by their own
labor, and at their own expense. The house is thirty feet by forty;
composed of the same materials of which the negro huts are built. We
were told that the building of this chapel was first suggested by the
apprentices, and as soon as permission was obtained, they commenced the
preparations for its erection. We record this as a delightful _sign of
the times_.

On our return to Morant Bay, we visited the house of correction,
situated near the village. This is the only "institution," as a Kingston
paper gravely terms it, of the kind in the parish. It is a small,
ill-constructed establishment, horribly filthy, more like a receptacle
for wild beasts than human beings. There is a treadmill connected with
it, made to _accommodate_ fifteen persons at a time. Alternate companies
ascend the wheel every fifteen minutes. It was unoccupied when we went
in; most of the prisoners being at work on the public roads. Two or
three, who happened to be near by, were called in by the keeper, and
ordered to mount the wheel, to show us how it worked. It made our blood
run cold as we thought of the dreadful suffering that inevitably ensues,
when the foot loses the step, and the body hangs against the
revolving cylinder.

Leaving the house of correction, we proceeded to the village. In a small
open square in the centre of it, we saw a number of the unhappy inmates
of the house of correction at work under the direction, we are sorry to
say, of our friend Thomas Thomson, Esq. They were chained two and two by
heavy chains fastened to iron bands around their necks. On another
occasion, we saw the same gang at work in the yard attached to the
Independent chapel.

We received a visit, at our lodgings, from the special justice of this
district, Major Baines. He was accompanied by Mr. Thomson, who came to
introduce him as his friend. We were not left to this recommendation
alone, suspicious as it was, to infer the character of this magistrate,
for we were advertised previously that he was a "planter's man"--unjust
and cruel to the apprentices. Major B. appeared to have been looking
through his friend Thomson's prophetic telescope. There was certainly a
wonderful coincidence of vision--the same abandonment of labor, the same
preying upon provision grounds; the same violence, bloodshed and great
loss of life among the negroes themselves! However, the special
magistrate appeared to see a little further than the local magistrate,
even to the _end_ of the carnage, and to the re-establishment of
industry, peace and prosperity. The evil, he was confident, would soon
cure itself.

One remark of the special magistrate was worthy a prophet. When asked if
he thought there would be any serious disaffection produced among the
praedials by the emancipation of the non-praedials in 1838, he said, he
thought there would not be, and assigned as the reason, that the
praedials knew all about the arrangement, and did not _expect to be
free_. That is, the field apprentices knew that the domestics were to be
liberated two years sooner than they, and, without inquiring into the
grounds, or justice of the arrangement, _they would promptly
acquiesce in it_!

What a fine compliment to the patience and forbearance of the mass of
the negroes. The majority see the minority emancipated two years before
them, and that, too, upon the ground of an odious distinction which
makes the domestic more worthy than they who "bear the heat and burthen
of the day," in the open field; and yet they submit patiently, because
they are told that it is the pleasure of government that it should
be so!

The _non-praedials_, too, have their noble traits, as well as the less
favored agriculturalists. The special magistrate said that he was then
engaged in classifying the apprentices of the different estates in his
district. The object of this classification was, to ascertain all those
who were non-praedials, that they might be recorded as the subjects of
emancipation in 1838. To his astonishment he found numbers of this class
who expressed a wish to remain apprentices until 1840. On one estate,
six out of eight took this course, on another, twelve out of fourteen,
and in some instances, _all_ the non-praedials determined to suffer it
out with the rest of their brethren, refusing to accept freedom until
with the whole body they could rise up and shout the jubilee of
universal disinthrallment. Here is a nobility worthy to compare with the
patience of the praedials. In connection with the conduct of the
non-praedials, he mentioned the following instance of white brutality
and negro magnanimity. A planter, whose negroes he was classifying,
brought forward a woman whom he claimed as a praedial. The woman
declared that she was a non-praedial, and on investigation it was
clearly proved that she had always been a domestic; and consequently
entitled to freedom in 1838. After the planter's claim was set aside,
the woman said, "_Now_ I will stay with massa, and be his 'prentice for
de udder two year."

Shortly before we left the Bay, our landlady, a colored woman,
introduced one of her neighbors, whose conversation afforded us a rare
treat. She was a colored lady of good appearance and lady like manners.
Supposing from her color that she had been prompted by strong sympathy
in our objects to seek an interview with us, we immediately introduced
the subject of slavery, stating that as we had a vast number of slaves
in our country, we had visited Jamaica to see how the freed people
behaved, with the hope that our countrymen might be encouraged to adopt
emancipation. "Alack a day!" The tawny madam shook her head, and, with
that peculiar creole whine, so expressive of contempt, said, "Can't say
any thing for you, sir--they not doing no good now, sir--the negroes
an't!"--and on she went abusing the apprentices, and denouncing
abolition. No American white lady could speak more disparagingly of the
niggers, than did this recreant descendant of the negro race. They did
no work, they stole, were insolent, insubordinate, and what not.

She concluded in the following elegiac strain, which did not fail to
touch our sympathies. "I can't tell what will become of us after 1840.
Our negroes will be taken away from us--we shall find no work to do
ourselves--we shall all have to beg, and who shall we beg from? _All
will be beggars, and we must starve_!"

Poor Miss L. is one of that unfortunate class who have hitherto gained a
meagre support from the stolen hire of a few slaves, and who, after
entire emancipation, will be stripped of every thing. This is the class
upon whom emancipation will fall most heavily; it will at once cast many
out of a situation of ease, into the humiliating dilemma of _laboring or
begging_--to the _latter_ of which alternatives, Miss L. seems inclined.
Let Miss L. be comforted! It is better to beg than to _steal_.

We proceeded from Morant Bay to Bath, a distance of fourteen miles,
where we put up at a neat cottage lodging-house, kept by Miss P., a
colored lady. Bath is a picturesque little village, embowered in
perpetual green, and lying at the foot of a mountain on one side, and on
the other by the margin of a rambling little river. It seems to have
accumulated around it and within it, all the verdure and foliage of a
tropical clime.

Having a letter of introduction, we called on the special magistrate for
that district--George Willis, Esq. As we entered his office, an
apprentice was led up in irons by a policeman, and at the same time
another man rode up with a letter from the master of the apprentice,
directing the magistrate to release him instantly. The facts of this
case, as Mr. W. himself explained them to us, will illustrate the
careless manner in which the magistrates administer the law. The master
had sent his apprentice to a neighboring estate, where there had been
some disturbance, to get his clothes, which had been left there. The
overseer of the estate finding an intruder on his property, had him
handcuffed forthwith, notwithstanding his repeated declarations that his
master had sent him. Having handcuffed him, he ordered him to be taken
before the special magistrate, Mr. W., who had him confined in the
station-house all night. Mr. W., in pursuance of the direction received
from the master, ordered the man to be released, but at the same time
repeatedly declared to him that the _overseer was not to blame for
arresting him_.

After this case was disposed of, Mr. W, turned to us. He said he had a
district of thirty miles in extent, including five thousand apprentices;
these he visited thrice every month. He stated that there had been a
gradual decrease of crime since he came to the district, which was early
in 1835. For example, in March, 1837, there were but twenty-four persons
punished, and in March, 1835, there were as many punished in a single
week. He explained this by saying that the apprentices had become
_better acquainted with the requirements of the law_. The chief offence
at present was _absconding from labor_.

This magistrate gave us an account of an alarming rebellion which had
lately occurred in his district, which we will venture to notice, since
it is the only serious disturbance on the part of the negroes, which has
taken place in the island, from the beginning of the apprenticeship.
About two weeks before, the apprentices on Thornton estate, amounting to
about ninety, had refused to work, and fled in a body to the woods,
where they still remained. Their complaint, according to our informant,
was, that their master had turned the cattle upon their provision
grounds, and all their provisions were destroyed, so that they could not
live. They, therefore, determined that they would not continue at work,
seeing they would be obliged to starve. Mr. W. stated that he had
visited the provision grounds, in company with two _disinterested
planters_, and he could affirm that the apprentices had _no just cause
of complaint_. It was true their fences had been broken down, and their
provisions had been somewhat injured, but the fence could be very easily
repaired, and there was an _abundance of yams left_ to furnish food for
the whole gang for some time to come--those that were destroyed being
chiefly young roots which would not have come to maturity for several
months. These statements were the substance of a formal report which he
had just prepared for the eye of Sir Lionel Smith, and which he was kind
enough to read to us. This was a fine report, truly, to come from a
special justice. To say nothing of the short time in which the fence
might be repaired, those were surely very dainty-mouthed cattle that
would consume those roots only which were so small that several months
would be requisite for their maturity. The report concluded with a
recommendation to his Excellency to take seminary vengeance upon a few
of the gang as soon as they could be arrested, since they had set such
an example to the surrounding apprentices. He could not see how order
and subordination could be preserved in his district unless such a
punishment was inflicted as would be a warning to all evil doers. He
further suggested the propriety of sending the maroons[A] after them, to
hunt them out of their hiding places and bring them to justice.

[Footnote A: The maroons are free negroes, inhabiting the mountains of
the interior, who were formerly hired by the authorities, or by
planters, to hunt up runaway slaves, and return them to their masters.
Unfortunately our own country is not without _its_ maroons.]

We chanced to obtain a different version of this affair, which, as it
was confirmed by different persons in Bath, both white and colored, who
had no connection with each other, we cannot help thinking it the
true one.

The apprentices on Thornton, are what is termed a jobbing gang, that is,
they are hired out by their master to any planter who may want their
services. Jobbing is universally regarded by the negroes as the worst
kind of service, for many reasons--principally because it often takes
them many miles from their homes, and they are still required to supply
themselves with food from their own provision grounds. They are allowed
to return home every Friday evening or Saturday, and stay till Monday
morning. The owner of the gang in question lately died--to whom it is
said they were greatly attached--and they passed into the hands of a Mr.
Jocken, the present overseer. Jocken is a notoriously cruel man. It was
scarcely a twelvemonth ago, that he was fined one hundred pounds
currency, and sentenced to imprisonment for three months in the Kingston
jail, _for tying one of his apprentices to a dead ox_, because the
animal died while in the care of the apprentice. He also confined a
woman in the same pen with a dead sheep, because she suffered the sheep
to die. Repeated acts of cruelty have caused Jocken to be regarded as a
monster in the community. From a knowledge of his character, the
apprentices of Thornton had a strong prejudice against him. One of the
earliest acts after he went among them, was to break down their fences,
and turn his cattle into their provision grounds. He then ordered them
to go to a distant estate to work. This they refused to do, and when he
attempted to compel them to go, they left the estate in a body, and went
to the woods. This is what is called a _state of open rebellion_, and
for this they were to be hunted like beasts, and to suffer such a
terrible punishment as would deter all other apprentices from taking a
similar step.

This Jocken is the same wretch who wantonly handcuffed the apprentice,
who went on to his estate by the direction of his master.

Mr. Willis showed us a letter which he had received that morning from a
planter in his district, who had just been trying an experiment in job
work, (i.e., paying his people so much for a certain amount of work.) He
had made a proposition to one of the head men on the estate, that he
would give him a doubloon an acre if he would get ten acres of cane land
holed. The man employed a large number of apprentices, and accomplished
the job on three successive Saturdays. They worked at the rate of nearly
one hundred holes per day for each man, whereas the usual day's work is
only seventy-five holes.

Mr. W. bore testimony that the great body of the negroes in his district
were very peaceable. There were but a few _incorrigible fellows_, that
did all the mischief. When any disturbance took place on an estate, he
could generally tell who the individual offenders were. He did not think
there would be any serious difficulty after 1840. However, the result he
thought would _greatly depend on the conduct of the managers!_

We met in Bath with the proprietor of a coffee estate situated a few
miles in the country. He gave a very favorable account of the people on
his estate; stating that they were as peaceable and industrious as he
could desire, that he had their confidence, and fully expected to retain
it after entire emancipation. He anticipated no trouble whatever, and he
felt assured, too, that if _the planters would conduct in a proper
manner_, emancipation would be a blessing to the whole colony.

We called on the Wesleyan missionary, whom we found the decided friend
and advocate of freedom. He scrupled not to declare his sentiments
respecting the special magistrate, whom he declared to be a cruel and
dishonest man. He seemed to take delight in flogging the apprentices. He
had got a whipping machine made and erected in front of the Episcopal
church in the village of Bath. It was a frame of a triangular shape, the
base of which rested firmly on the ground, and having a perpendicular
beam from the base to the apex or angle. To this beam the apprentice's
body was lashed, with his face towards the machine, and his arms
extended at right angles, and tied by the wrists. The missionary had
witnessed the floggings at this machine repeatedly, as it stood but a
few steps from his house. Before we reached Bath, the machine had been
removed from its conspicuous place and _concealed in the bushes, that
the governor might not see it when he visited the village_.

As this missionary had been for several years laboring in the island,
and had enjoyed the best opportunities to become extensively acquainted
with the negroes, we solicited from him a written answer to a number of
inquiries. We make some extracts from his communication.

1. Have the facilities for missionary effort greatly increased since the
abolition of slavery?

The opportunities of the apprentices to attend the means of grace are
greater than during absolute slavery. They have now one day and a half
every week to work for their support, leaving the Sabbath free to
worship God.

2. Do you anticipate that these facilities will increase still more
after entire freedom?

Yes. The people will then have _six days of their own to labor for their
bread_, and will be at liberty to go to the house of God every Sabbath.
Under the present system, the magistrate often takes away the Saturday,
as a punishment, and then they must either work on the Sabbath
or starve.

3. Are the negroes likely to revenge by violence the wrongs which they
have suffered, after they obtain their freedom?

_I never heard the idea suggested, nor should I have thought of it had
you not made the inquiry._

We called on Mr. Rogers, the teacher of a Mico charity infant school in
Bath. Mr. R., his wife and daughter, are all engaged in this work. They
have a day school, and evening school three evenings in the week, and
Sabbath school twice each Sabbath. The evening schools are for the
benefit of the adult apprentices, who manifest the greatest eagerness to
learn to read. After working all day, they will come several miles to
school, and stay cheerfully till nine o'clock.

Mr. R. furnished us with a written communication, from which we extract
the following.

_Quest._ Are the apprentices desirous of being instructed?

_Ans._ Most assuredly they are; in proof of which I would observe that
since our establishment in Bath, the people not only attend the schools
regularly, but if they obtain a leaf of a book with letters upon it,
that is their _constant companion_. We have found mothers with their
sucking babes in their arms, standing night after night in their classes
learning the alphabet.

_Q._ Are the negroes grateful for attentions and favors?

_A._ They are; I have met some who have been so much affected by acts of
kindness, that they have burst into tears, exclaiming, 'Massa so
kind--my heart full.' Their affection to their teachers is very
remarkable. On my return lately from Kingston, after a temporary
absence, the negroes flocked to our residence and surrounded the chaise,
saying, 'We glad to see massa again; we glad to see school massa.' On my
way through an estate some time ago, some of the children observed me,
and in a transport of joy cried, 'Thank God, massa come again! Bless God
de Savior, massa come again!'

Mr. R., said he, casually met with an apprentice whose master had lately
died. The man was in the habit of visiting his master's grave every
Saturday. He said to Mr. R., "Me go to massa grave, and de water come
into me yeye; but me can't help it, massa, _de water will come into
me yeye_."

The Wesleyan missionary told us, that two apprentices, an aged man and
his daughter, a young woman, had been brought up by their master before
the special magistrate who sentenced them to several days confinement in
the house of correction at Morant Bay and to dance the treadmill. When
the sentence was passed the daughter entreated that she might be allowed
to _do her father's part_, as well as her own, on the treadmill, for he
was too old to dance the wheel--it would kill him.

From Bath we went into the Plantain Garden River Valley, one of the
richest and most beautiful savannahs in the island. It is an extensive
plain, from one to three miles wide, and about six miles long. The
Plantain Garden River, a small stream, winds through the midst of the
valley lengthwise, emptying into the sea. Passing through the valley, we
went a few miles south of it to call on Alexander Barclay, Esq., to whom
we had a letter of introduction. Mr. Barclay is a prominent member of
the assembly, and an attorney for eight estates. He made himself
somewhat distinguished a few years ago by writing an octavo volume of
five hundred pages in defence of the colonies, i.e., in defence of
colonial slavery. It was a reply to Stephen's masterly work against West
India slavery, and was considered by the Jamaicans a triumphant
vindication of their "peculiar institutions." We went several miles out
of our route expressly to have an interview with so zealous and
celebrated a champion of slavery. We were received with marked courtesy
by Mr. B., who constrained us to spend a day and night with him at his
seat at Fairfield. One of the first objects that met our eye in Mr. B.'s
dining hall was a splendid piece of silver plate, which was presented to
him by the planters of St. Thomas in the East, in consideration of his
able defence of colonial slavery. We were favorably impressed with Mr.
B.'s intelligence, and somewhat so with his present sentiments
respecting slavery. We gathered from him that he had resisted with all
his might the anti-slavery measures of the English government, and
exerted every power to prevent the introduction of the apprenticeship
system. After he saw that slavery would inevitably be abolished, he drew
up at length a plan of emancipation according to which the condition of
the slave was to be commuted into that of the old English _villein_--he
was to be made an appendage to _the soil_ instead of the "chattel
personal" of the master, the whip was to be partially abolished, a
modicum of wages was to be allowed the slave, and so on. There was to be
no fixed period when this system would terminate, but it was to fade
gradually and imperceptibly into entire freedom. He presented a copy of
his scheme to the then governor, the Earl of Mulgrave, requesting that
it might be forwarded to the home government. Mr. B. said that the
anti-slavery party in England had acted from the blind impulses of
religious fanaticism, and had precipitated to its issue a work which
required many years of silent preparation in order to its safe
accomplishment. He intimated that the management of abolition ought to
have been left with the colonists; they had been the long experienced
managers of slavery, and they were the only men qualified to superintend
its burial, and give it a decent interment.

He did not think that the apprenticeship afforded any clue to the dark
mystery of 1840. Apprenticeship was so inconsiderably different from
slavery, that it furnished no more satisfactory data for judging of the
results of entire freedom than slavery itself. Neither would he consent
to be comforted by the actual results of emancipation in Antigua.

Taking leave of Mr. Barclay, we returned to the Plantain Garden River
Valley, and called at the Golden Grove, one of the most splendid estates
in that magnificent district. This is an estate of two thousand acres;
it has five hundred apprentices and one hundred free children. The
average annual crop is six hundred hogsheads of sugar. Thomas McCornock,
Esq., the attorney of this estate, is the custos, or chief magistrate of
the parish, and colonel of the parish militia. There is no man in all
the parish of greater consequence, either in fact or in seeming
self-estimation, than Thomas McCornock, Esq. He is a Scotchman, as is
also Mr. Barclay. The custos received us with as much freedom as the
dignity of his numerous offices would admit of. The overseer, (manager,)
Mr. Duncan, is an intelligent, active, business man, and on any other
estate than Golden Grove, would doubtless be a personage of considerable
distinction. He conducted us through the numerous buildings, from the
boiling-house to the pig-stye. The principal complaint of the overseer,
was that he could not make the people work to any good purpose. They
were not at all refractory or disobedient; there was no difficulty in
getting them on to the field; but when they were there, they moved
without any life or energy. They took no interest in their work, and he
was obliged to be watching and scolding them all the time, or else they
would do nothing. We had not gone many steps after this observation,
before we met with a practical illustration of it. A number of the
apprentices had been ordered that morning to cart away some dirt to a
particular place. When we approached them, Mr. D. found that one of the
"wains" was standing idle. He inquired of the driver why he was keeping
the team idle. The reply was, that there was nothing there for it to do;
there were enough other wains to carry away all the dirt. "Then," inquired
the overseer with an ill-concealed irritation, "why did not go to some
other work?" The overseer then turned to us and said, "You see, sir,
what lazy dogs the apprentices are--this is the way they do every day,
if they are not closely watched." It was not long after this little
incident, before the overseer remarked that the apprentices worked very
well during their own time, _when they were paid for it_. When we went
into the hospital, Mr. D. directed out attention to one fact, which to
him was very provoking. A great portion of the patients that come in
during the week, unable to work, are in the habit of getting well on
Friday evening, so that they can go out on Saturday and Sunday; but on
Monday morning they are sure to be sick again, then they return to the
hospital and remain very poorly till Friday evening, when they get well
all at once, and ask permission to go out. The overseer saw into the
trick; but he could find no medicine that could cure the negroes of that
intermittent sickness. The Antigua planters discovered the remedy for
it, and doubtless Mr. D. will make the grand discovery in 1840.

On returning to the "great house," we found the custos sitting in state,
ready to communicate any official information which might be called for.
He expressed similar sentiments in the main, with those of Mr. Barclay.
He feared for the consequences of complete emancipation; the negroes
would to a great extent abandon the sugar cultivation and retire to the
woods, there to live in idleness, planting merely yams enough to keep
them alive, and in the process of time, retrograding into African
barbarism. The attorney did not see how it was possible to prevent this.
When asked whether he expected that such would be the case with the
negroes on Golden Grove, he replied that he did not think it would,
except with a very few persons. His people had been _so well treated_,
and had _so many comforts_, that they would not be at all likely to
abandon the estate! [Mark that!] Whose are the people that will desert
after 1840? Not Thomas McCornock's, Esq.! _They are too well situated.
Whose_ then will desert? _Mr. Jocken's_, or in other words, those who
are ill-treated, who are cruelly driven, whose fences are broken down,
and whose provision grounds are exposed to the cattle. They, and they
alone, will retire to the woods who can't get food any where else!

The custos thought the apprentices were behaving very ill. On being
asked if he had any trouble with his, he said, O, no! his apprentices
did quite well, and so did the apprentices generally, in the Plantain
Garden River Valley. But in _far off parishes_, he _heard_ that they
were very refractory and troublesome.

The custos testified that the negroes were very easily managed. He said
he had often thought that he would rather have the charge of six hundred
negroes, than of two hundred English sailors. He spoke also of the
temperate habits of the negroes. He had been in the island twenty-two
years, and he had never seen a negro woman drunk, on the estate. It was
very seldom that the men got drunk. There were not more than ten men on
Golden Grove, out of a population of five hundred, who were in the habit
of occasionally getting intoxicated. He also remarked that the negroes
were a remarkable people for their attention to the old and infirm among
them; they seldom suffered them to want, if it was in their power to
supply them. Among other remarks of the custos, was this sweeping
declaration--"_No man in his senses can pretend to defend slavery._"

After spending a day at Golden Grove, we proceeded to the adjacent
estate of Amity Hall. On entering the residence of the manager, Mr.
Kirkland, we were most gratefully surprised to find him engaged in
family prayers. It was the first time and the last that we heard the
voice of prayer in a Jamaican planter's house. We were no less
gratefully surprised to see a white lady, to whom we were introduced as
Mrs. Kirkland, and several modest and lovely little children. It was the
first and the last _family circle_ that we were permitted to see among
the planters of that licentious colony. The motley group of colored
children--of every age from tender infancy--which we found on other
estates, revealed the state of domestic manners among the planters.

Mr. K. regarded the abolition of slavery as a great blessing to the
colony; it was true that the apprenticeship was a wretchedly bad system,
but notwithstanding, things moved smoothly on his estate. He informed us
that the negroes on Amity Hall had formerly borne the character of being
the _worst gang in the parish_; and when he first came to the estate, he
found that half the truth had not been told of them; but they had become
remarkably peaceable and subordinate. It was his policy to give them
every comfort that he possibly could. Mr. K. made the same declaration,
which has been so often repeated in the course of this narrative, i.e.,
that if any of the estates were abandoned, it would be owing to the
harsh treatment of the people. He knew many overseers and book-keepers
who were cruel driving men, and he should not be surprised if _they_
lost a part, or all, of their laborers. He made one remark which we had
not heard before. There were some estates, he said, which would probably
be abandoned, for the same reason that they ought never to have been
cultivated, because they require _almost double labor_;--such are the
mountainous estates and barren, worn-out properties, which nothing but a
system of forced labor could possibly retain in cultivation. But the
idea that the negroes generally would leave their comfortable homes, and
various privileges on the estates, and retire to the wild woods, he
ridiculed as preposterous in the extreme. Mr. K. declared repeatedly
that he could not look forward to 1840, but with the most sanguine
hopes; he confidently believed that the introduction of complete freedom
would be the _regeneration of the island_. He alluded to the memorable
declaration of Lord Belmore, (made memorable by the excitement which it
caused among the colonists,) in his valedictory address to the assembly,
on the eve of his departure for England.[A] "Gentlemen," said he, "the
resources of this noble island will never be fully developed until
slavery is abolished!" For this manly avowal the assembly ignobly
refused him the usual marks of respect and honor at his departure. Mr.
K. expected to see Jamaica become a new world under the enterprise and
energies of freedom. There were a few disaffected planters, who would
probably remain so, and leave the islands after emancipation. It would
be a blessing to the country if such men left it, for as long as they
were disaffected, they were the enemies of its prosperity.

[Footnote A: Lord Belmore left the government of Jamaica, a short time
before the abolition act passed in parliament.]

Mr. K. conducted us through the negro quarters, which are situated on
the hill side, nearly a mile from his residence. We went into several of
the houses; which were of a better style somewhat than the huts in
Antigua and Barbadoes--larger, better finished and furnished. Some few
of them had verandahs or porches on one or more sides, after the West
India fashion, closed in with _jalousies_. In each of the houses to
which we were admitted, there was one apartment fitted up in a very neat
manner, with waxed floor, a good bedstead, and snow white coverings, a
few good chairs, a mahogany sideboard, ornamented with dishes,
decanters, etc.

From Amity Hall, we drove to Manchioneal, a small village ten miles
north of the Plantain Garden River Valley. We had a letter to the
special magistrate for that district, R. Chamberlain, Esq., a colored
gentleman, and the first magistrate we found in the parish of St. Thomas
in the East, who was faithful to the interests of the apprentices. He
was a boarder at the public house, where we were directed for lodgings,
and as we spent a few days in the village, we had opportunities of
obtaining much information from him, as well as of attending some of his
courts. Mr. C. had been only five months in the district of Manchioneal,
having been removed thither from a distant district. Being a friend of
the apprentices, he is hated and persecuted by the planters. He gave us
a gloomy picture of the oppressions and cruelties of the planters. Their
complaints brought before him are often of the most trivial kind; yet
because he does not condemn the apprentices to receive a punishment
which the most serious offences alone could justify him in inflicting,
they revile and denounce him as unfit for his station. He represents the
planters as not having the most distant idea that it is the province of
the special magistrate to secure justice to the apprentice; but they
regard it as his sole duty to _help them_ in getting from the laborers
as much work as whips, and chains, and tread-wheels can extort. His
predecessor, in the Manchioneal district, answered perfectly to the
planters' _beau ideal_. He ordered a _cat_ to be kept on every estate in
his district, to be ready for use as he went around on his weekly
visits. Every week he inspected the cats, and when they became too much
worn to do good execution, he _condemned_ them, and ordered new ones
to be made.

Mr. C. said the most frequent complaints made by the planters are for
_insolence_. He gave a few specimens of what were regarded by the
planters as serious offences. An overseer will say to his apprentice,
"Work along there faster, you lazy villain, or I'll strike you;" the
apprentice will reply, "You _can't_ strike me now," and for this he is
taken before the magistrate on the complaint of _insolence_. An
overseer, in passing the gang on the field, will hear them singing; he
will order them, in a peremptory tone to stop instantly, and if they
continue singing, they are complained of for _insubordination_. An
apprentice has been confined to the hospital with disease,--when he gets
able to walk, tired of the filthy sick house, he hobbles to his hut,
where he may have the attentions of his wife until he gets well. That is
called _absconding from labor_! Where the magistrate does not happen to
be an independent man, the complaint is sustained, and the poor invalid
is sentenced to the treadmill for absenting himself from work. It is
easy to conjecture the dreadful consequence. The apprentice, debilitated
by sickness, dragged off twenty-five miles on foot to Morant Bay,
mounted on the wheel, is unable to keep the step with the stronger ones,
slips off and hangs by the wrists, and his flesh is mangled and torn by
the wheel.

The apprentices frequently called at our lodgings to complain to Mr. C.
of the hard treatment of their masters. Among the numerous distressing
cases which we witnessed, we shall never forget that of a poor little
negro boy, of about twelve, who presented himself one afternoon before
Mr. C., with a complaint against his master for violently beating him. A
gash was cut in his head, and the blood had flowed freely. He fled from
his master, and came to Mr. C. for refuge. He belonged to A. Ross, Esq.,
of Mulatto Run estate. We remembered that we had a letter of
introduction to that planter, and we had designed visiting him, but
after witnessing this scene, we resolved not to go near a monster who
could inflict such a wound, with his own hand, upon a child. We were
highly gratified with the kind and sympathizing manner in which Mr. C.
spoke with the unfortunate beings who, in the extremity of their wrongs,
ventured to his door.

At the request of the magistrate we accompanied him, on one occasion, to
the station-house, where he held a weekly court. We had there a good
opportunity to observe the hostile feelings of the planters towards this
faithful officer--"faithful among the faithless," (though we are glad
that we cannot quite add, "_only he_.")

A number of managers, overseers, and book-keepers, assembled; some with
complaints, and some to have their apprentices classified. They all set
upon the magistrate like bloodhounds upon a lone stag. They strove
together with one accord, to subdue his independent spirit by taunts,
jeers, insults, intimidations and bullyings. He was obliged to threaten
one of the overseers with arrest, on account of his abusive conduct. We
were actually amazed at the intrepidity of the magistrate. We were
convinced from what we saw that day, that only the most fearless and
conscientious men could be _faithful magistrates_ in Jamaica. Mr. C.
assured us that he met with similar indignities every time he held his
courts, and on most of the estates that he visited. It was in his power
to punish them severely, but he chose to use all possible forbearance,
so as not to give the planters any grounds of complaint.

On a subsequent day we accompanied Mr. C. in one of his estate visits.
As it was late in the afternoon, he called at but one estate, the name
of which was Williamsfield. Mr. Gordon, the overseer of Williamsfield,
is among the fairest specimens of planters. He has naturally a generous
disposition, which, like that of Mr. Kirkland, has out-lived the
witherings of slavery.

He informed us that his people worked as well under the apprenticeship
system, as ever they did during slavery; and he had every encouragement
that they would do still better after they were completely free. He was
satisfied that he should be able to conduct his estate at much less
expense after 1840; he thought that fifty men would do as much then as a
hundred do now. We may add here a similar remark of Mr. Kirkland--that
forty freemen would accomplish as much as eighty slaves. Mr. Gordon
hires his people on Saturdays, and he expressed his astonishment at the
increased vigor with which they worked when they were to receive wages.
He pointedly condemned the driving system which was resorted to by many
of the planters. They foolishly endeavored to keep up the coercion of
slavery, _and they had the special magistrates incessantly flogging the
apprentices_. The planters also not unfrequently take away the provision
grounds from their apprentices, and in every way oppress and
harass them.

In the course of the conversation Mr. G. accidentally struck upon a
fresh vein of facts, respecting the SLAVERY OF BOOK-KEEPERS,[A] _under
the old system_. The book-keepers, said Mr. G., were the complete slaves
of the overseers, who acted like despots on the estates. They were
mostly young men from England, and not unfrequently had considerable
refinement; but ignorant of the treatment which book-keepers had to
submit to, and allured by the prospect of becoming wealthy by
plantership, they came to Jamaica and entered as candidates. They soon
discovered the cruel bondage in which they were involved. The overseers
domineered over them, and stormed at them as violently as though they
were the most abject slaves. They were allowed no privileges such as
their former habits impelled them to seek. If they played a flute in the
hearing of the overseer, they were commanded to be silent instantly. If
they dared to put a gold ring on their finger, even that trifling
pretension to gentility was detected and disallowed by the jealous
overseer. (These things were specified by Mr. G. himself.) They were
seldom permitted to associate with the overseers as equals. The only
thing which reconciled the book-keepers to this abject state, was the
reflection that they might one day _possibly_ become overseers
themselves, and then they could exercise the same authority over others.
In addition to this degradation, the book-keepers suffered great
hardships. Every morning (during slavery) they were obliged to be in the
field before day; they had to be there as soon as the slaves, in order
to call the roll, and mark absentees, if any. Often Mr. G. and the other
gentleman had gone to the field, when it was so dark that they could not
see to call the roll, and the negroes have all lain down on their hoes,
and slept till the light broke. Sometimes there would be a thick dew on
the ground, and the air was so cold and damp, that they would be
completely chilled. When they were shivering on the ground, the negroes
would often lend them their blankets, saying, "Poor _busha pickaninny_
sent out here from England to die." Mr. Gordon said that his
constitution had been permanently injured by such exposure. Many young
men, he said, had doubtless been killed by it. During crop time, the
book-keepers had to be up every night till twelve o'clock, and every
other night _all night_, superintending the work in the boiling-house,
and at the mill. They did not have rest even on the Sabbath; they must
have the mill put about (set to the wind so as to grind) by sunset every
Sabbath. Often the mills were in the wind before four o'clock, on
Sabbath afternoon. They knew of slaves being flogged for not being on
the spot by sunset, though it was known that they had been to meeting.
Mr. G. said that he had a young friend who came from England with him,
and acted as book-keeper. His labors and exposures were so intolerable,
that he had often said to Mr. G., confidentially, _that if the slaves
should rise in rebellion, he would most cheerfully join them_! Said Mr.
G., _there was great rejoicing_ among the book-keepers in August 1834!
_The abolition of slavery was_ EMANCIPATION TO THE BOOK-KEEPERS.

[Footnote A: The book-keepers are subordinate overseers and drivers;
they are generally young white men, who after serving a course of years
in a sort of apprenticeship, are promoted to managers of estates.]

No complaints were brought before Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Gordon pleasantly
remarked when we arrived, that he had some cases which he should have
presented if the magistrate had come a little earlier, but he presumed
he should forget them before his next visit. When we left Williamsfield,
Mr. C. informed us that during five months there had been but two cases
of complaint on that estate--and but _a single instance of punishment._
Such are the results where there is a good manager and a good special

On Sabbath we attended service in the Baptist chapel, of which Rev. Mr.
Kingdon is pastor. The chapel, which is a part of Mr. K.'s
dwelling-house, is situated on the summit of a high mountain which
overlooks the sea. As seen from the valley below, it appears to topple
on the very brink of a frightful precipice. It is reached by a winding
tedious road, too rugged to admit of a chaise, and in some places so
steep as to try the activity of a horse. As we approached nearer, we
observed the people climbing up in throngs by various footpaths, and
halting in the thick woods which skirted the chapel, the men to put on
their shoes, which they had carried in their hands up the mountain, and
the women to draw on their white stockings and shoes. On entering the
place of worship, we found it well filled with the apprentices, who came
from many miles around in every direction. The services had commenced
when we arrived. We heard an excellent sermon from the devoted and pious
missionary, Mr. Kingdon, whose praise is among all the good throughout
the island, and who is eminently known as the negro's friend. After the
sermon, we were invited to make a few remarks; and the minister briefly
stated to the congregation whence we had come, and what was the object
of our visit. We cannot soon forget the scene which followed. We begun
by expressing, in simple terms, the interest which we felt in the
temporal and spiritual concerns of the people present, and scarcely had
we uttered a sentence when the whole congregation were filled with
emotion. Soon they burst into tears--some sobbed, others cried aloud;
insomuch that for a time we were unable to proceed. We were, indeed, not
a little astonished at so unusual a scene; it was a thing which we were
by no means expecting to see. Being at a loss to account for it, we
inquired of Mr. K. afterwards, who told us that it was occasioned by our
expressions of sympathy and regard. They were so unaccustomed to hear
such language from the lips of white people, that it fell upon them like
rain upon the parched earth. The idea that one who was a stranger and a
foreigner should feel an interest in their welfare, was to them, in such
circumstances, peculiarly affecting, and stirred the deep fountains of
their hearts.

After the services, the missionary, anxious to further our objects,
proposed that we should hold an interview with a number of the
apprentices; and he accordingly invited fifteen of them into his study,
and introduced them to us by name, stating also the estates to which
they severally belonged. We had thus an opportunity of seeing the
_representatives of twelve different estates_, men of trust on their
respective estates, mostly constables and head boilers. For nearly two
hours we conversed with these men, making inquiries on all points
connected with slavery, the apprenticeship, and the expected

From no interview, during our stay in the colonies, did we derive so
much information respecting the real workings of the apprenticeship;
from none did we gain such an insight into the character and disposition
of the negroes. The company was composed of intelligent and pious
men;--so manly and dignified were they in appearance, and so elevated in
their sentiments, that we could with difficulty realize that they were
_slaves_. They were wholly unreserved in their communications, though
they deeply implicated their masters, the special magistrates, and
others in authority. It is not improbable that they would have shrunk
from some of the disclosures which they made, had they known that they
would be published. Nevertheless we feel assured that in making them
public, we shall not betray the informants, concealing as we do their
names and the estates to which they belong.

With regard to the wrongs and hardships of the apprenticeship much as
said; we can only give a small part.

Their masters were often very harsh with them, more so than when they
were slaves. They could not flog them, but they would scold them, and
swear at them, and call them hard names, which hurt their feelings
almost as much as it would if they were to flog them. They would not
allow them as many privileges as they did formerly. Sometimes they would
take their provision grounds away, and sometimes they would go on their
grounds and carry away provisions for their own use without paying for
them, or as much as asking their leave. They had to bear this, for it
was useless to complain--they could get no justice; there was no law in
Manchioneal. The special magistrate would only hear the master, and
would not allow the apprentices to say any thing for themselves[A]. The
magistrate would do just as the busha (master) said. If he say flog him,
he flog him; if he say, send him to Morant Bay, (to the treadmill,) de
magistrate send him. If we happen to laugh before de busha, he complain
to de magistrate, and we get licked. If we go to a friend's house, when
we hungry, to get something to eat, and happen to get lost in de woods
between, we are called runaways, and are punished severely. Our half
Friday is taken away from us; we must give that time to busha for a
little salt-fish, which was always allowed us during slavery. If we lay
in bed after six o'clock, they take away our Saturday too. If we lose a
little time from work, they make us pay a great deal more time. They
stated, and so did several of the missionaries, that the loss of the
half Friday was very serious to them; as it often rendered it impossible
for them to get to meeting on Sunday. The whole work of cultivating
their grounds, preparing their produce for sale, carrying it to the
distant market, (Morant Bay, and sometimes further,) and returning, all
this was, by the loss of the Friday afternoon, crowded into Saturday,
and it was often impossible for them to get back from market before
Sabbath morning; then they had to dress and go six or ten miles further
to chapel, or stay away altogether, which, from weariness and worldly
cares, they would be strongly tempted to do. This they represented as
being a grievous thing to them. Said one of the men; in a peculiarly
solemn and earnest manner, while the tears stood in his eyes, "I declare
to you, massa, if de Lord spare we to be free, we be much more
'ligiours--_we be wise to many more tings_; we be better Christians;
because den we have all de Sunday for go to meeting. But now de holy
time taken up in work for we food." These words were deeply impressed
upon us by the intense earnestness with which they were spoken. They
revealed "the heart's own bitterness." There was also a lighting up of
joy and hope in the countenance of that child of God, as he looked
forward to the time when he might become _wise to many more tings_.

[Footnote A: We would observe, that they did not refer to Mr.
Chamberlain, but to another magistrate, whose name they mentioned.]

They gave a heart-sickening account of the cruelties of the treadmill.
They spoke of the apprentices having their wrists tied to the handboard,
and said it was very common for them to fall and hang against the wheel.
Some who had been sent to the treadmill, had actually died from the
injuries they there received. They were often obliged to see their wives
dragged off to Morant Bay, and tied to the treadmill, even when they
were in a state of pregnancy. They suffered a great deal of misery from
_that; but they could not help it_.

Sometimes it was a wonder to themselves how they could endure all the
provocations and sufferings of the apprenticeship; _it was only "by de
mercy of God_!"

They were asked why they did not complain to the special magistrates.
They replied, that it did no good, for the magistrates would not take
any notice of their complaints, besides, it made the masters treat them
still worse. Said one, "We go to de magistrate to complain, and den when
we come back de busha do all him can to vex us. He _wingle_ (tease) us,
and _wingle_ us; de book-keeper curse us and treaten us; de constable he
scold us, and call hard names, and dey all strive to make we mad, so we
say someting wrong, and den dey take we to de magistrate for insolence."
Such was the final consequence of complaining to the magistrate. We
asked them why they did not complain, when they had a good magistrate
who would do them justice. Their answer revealed a new fact. They were
afraid to complain to a magistrate, who they knew was their friend,
_because their masters told them that the magistrate would soon be
changed, and another would come who would flog them; and that for every
time they dared to complain to the GOOD magistrate, they would be
flogged when the BAD one came_. They said their masters had explained it
all to them long ago.

We inquired of them particularly what course they intended to take when
they should become free. We requested them to speak, not only with
reference to themselves, but of the apprentices generally, as far as
they knew their views. They said the apprentices expected to work on the
estates, if they were allowed to do so. They had no intention of leaving
work. Nothing would cause them to leave their estates but bad treatment;
if their masters were harsh, they would go to another estate, where they
would get better treatment. They would be _obliged_ to work when they
were free; even more than now, for _then_ they would have no other

One tried to prove to us by reasoning, that the people would work
when they were free. Said he, "In slavery time we work _even_ wid de
whip, now we work 'till better--_what tink we will do when we free?
Won't_ we work den, _when we get paid_?" He appealed to us so earnestly,
that we could not help acknowledging we were fully convinced. However,
in order to establish the point still more clearly, he stated some
facts, such as the following:

During slavery, it took six men to tend the coppers in boiling sugar,
and it was thought that fewer could not possibly do the work; but now,
since the boilers are paid for their extra time, the work is monopolized
by _three_ men. They _would not have any help_; they did all the work
"_dat dey might get all de pay_."

We sounded them thoroughly on their views of law and freedom. We
inquired whether they expected to be allowed to do as they pleased when
they were free. On this subject they spoke very rationally. Said one,
"We could never live widout de law; (we use, his very expressions) we
must have some law when we free. In other countries, where dey are free,
_don't_ dey have law? Wouldn't dey shoot one another if they did not
have law?" Thus they reasoned about freedom. Their chief complaint
against the apprenticeship was, that it did not allow them _justice_.
"_There was no law now_." They had been told by the governor, that there
was the same law for all the island; but they knew better, for there was
more justice done them in some districts than in others.

Some of their expressions indicated very strongly the characteristic
kindness of the negro. They would say, we work now as well as we can
_for the sake of peace; any thing for peace_. Don't want to be
complained of to the magistrate; don't like to be called hard names--do
any thing to keep peace. Such expressions were repeatedly made. We asked
them what they thought of the domestics being emancipated in 1838, while
they had to remain apprentices two years longer? They said, "it bad
enough--but we know de law make it so, and _for peace sake_, we will be
satisfy. _But we murmur in we minds_."

We asked what they expected to do with the old and infirm, after
freedom? They said, "we will support dem--as how dey brought us up when
we was pickaninny, and now we come trong, must care for dem." In such a
spirit did these apprentices discourse for two hours. They won greatly
upon our sympathy and respect. The touching story of their wrongs, the
artless unbosoming of their hopes, their forgiving spirit toward their
masters, their distinct views of their own rights, their amiable bearing
under provocation, their just notions of law, and of a state of
freedom--these things were well calculated to excite our admiration for
them, and their companions in suffering. Having prayed with the company,
and commended them to the grace of God, and the salvation of Jesus
Christ, we shook hands with them individually, and separated from them,
never more to see them, until we meet at the bar of God.

While one of us was prosecuting the foregoing inquiries in St. Thomas in
the East, the other was performing a horse-back tour among the mountains
of St. Andrews and Port Royal. We had been invited by Stephen Bourne,
Esq., special magistrate for one of the rural districts in those
parishes, to spend a week in his family, and accompany him in his
official visits to the plantations embraced in his commission--an
invitation we were very glad to accept, as it laid open to us at the
same time three important sources of information,--the magistrate, the
planter, and the apprentice.

The sun was just rising as we left Kingston, and entered the high road.
The air, which the day before had been painfully hot and stived, was
cool and fresh, and from flowers and spice-trees, on which the dew still
lay, went forth a thousand fragrant exhalations. Our course for about
six miles, lay over the broad, low plain, which spreads around Kingston,
westward to the highlands of St. Andrews, and southward beyond
Spanishtown. All along the road, and in various directions in the
distance, were seen the residences--uncouthly termed 'pens'--of
merchants and gentlemen of wealth, whose business frequently calls them
to town. Unlike Barbadoes, the fields here were protected by walls and
hedges, with broad gateways and avenues leading to the house. We soon
began to meet here and there, at intervals, person going to the market
with fruits and provisions. The number continually increased, and at the
end of an hour, they could be seen trudging over the fields, and along
the by-paths and roads, on every hand. Some had a couple of stunted
donkeys yoked to a ricketty cart,--others had mules with
pack-saddles--but the many loaded their own heads, instead of the
donkeys and mules. Most of them were well dressed, and all civil and
respectful in their conduct.

Invigorated by the mountain air, and animated by the novelty and
grandeur of the mountain scenery, through which we had passed, we
arrived at 'Grecian Regale' in season for an early West Indian
breakfast, (8 o'clock.) Mr. Bourne's district is entirely composed of
coffee plantations, and embraces three thousand apprentices. The people
on coffee plantations are not worked so hard as those employed on sugar
estates; but they are more liable to suffer from insufficient food
and clothing.

After breakfast we accompanied Mr. Bourne on a visit to the plantations,
but there were no complaints either from the master or apprentice,
except on one. Here Mr. B. was hailed by a hoary-headed man, sitting at
the side of his house. He said that he was lame and sick, and could not
work, and complained that his master did not give him any food. All he
had to eat was given him by a relative. As the master was not at home,
Mr. B. could not attend to the complaint at that time, but promised to
write the master about it in the course of the day. He informed us that
the aged and disabled were very much neglected under the apprenticeship.
When the working days are over, the profit days are over, and how few in
any country are willing to support an animal which is past labor? If
these complaints are numerous under the new system, when magistrates are
all abroad to remedy them, what must it have been during slavery, when
master and magistrate were the same!

On one of the plantations we called at the house of an emigrant, of
which some hundreds have been imported from different parts of Europe,
since emancipation. He had been in the island eighteen months, and was
much dissatisfied with his situation. The experiment of importing whites
to Jamaica as laborers, has proved disastrous--an unfortunate
speculation to all parties, and all parties wish them back again.

We had some conversation with several apprentices, who called on Mr.
Bourne for advice and aid. They all thought the apprenticeship very
hard, but still, on the whole, liked it better than slavery. They "were
killed too bad,"--that was their expression--during slavery--were worked
hard and terribly flogged. They were up ever so early and late--went out
in the mountains to work, when so cold busha would have to cover himself
up on the ground. Had little time to eat, or go to meeting. 'Twas all
slash, slash! Now they couldn't be flogged, unless the magistrate said
so. Still the busha was very hard to them, and many of the apprentices
run away to the woods, they are so badly used.

The next plantation which we visited was Dublin Castle. It lies in a
deep valley, quite enclosed by mountains. The present attorney has been
in the island nine years, and is attorney for several other properties.
In England he was a religious man, and intimately acquainted with the
eccentric Irving. For a while after he came out he preached to the
slaves, but having taken a black concubine, and treating those under his
charge oppressively, he soon obtained a bad character among the blacks,
and his meetings were deserted. He is now a most passionate and wicked
man, having cast off even the show of religion.

Mr. B. visited Dublin Castle a few weeks since, and spent two days in
hearing complaints brought against the manager and book-keeper by the
apprentices. He fined the manager, for different acts of oppression, one
hundred and eight dollars. The attorney was present during the whole
time. Near the close of the second day he requested permission to say a
few words, which was granted. He raised his hands and eyes in the most
agonized manner, as though passion was writhing within, and burst
forth--"O, my God! my God! has it indeed come to this! Am I to be
arraigned in this way? Is my conduct to be questioned by these people?
Is my authority to be destroyed by the interference of stranger? O, my
God!" And he fell back into the arms of his book-keeper, and was carried
out of the room in convulsions.

The next morning we started on another excursion, for the purpose of
attending the appraisement of an apprentice belonging to Silver Hill, a
plantation about ten miles distant from Grecian Regale. We rode but a
short distance in the town road, when we struck off into a narrow defile
by a mule-path, and pushed into the very heart of the mountains.

We felt somewhat timid at the commencement of our excursion among these
minor Andes, but we gained confidence as we proceeded, and finding our
horse sure-footed and quite familiar with mountain paths, we soon
learned to gallop, without fear, along the highest cliffs, and through
the most dangerous passes. We were once put in some jeopardy by a drove
of mules, laden with coffee. We fortunately saw them, as they came round
the point of a hill, at some distance, in season to secure ourselves in
a little recess where the path widened. On they came, cheered by the
loud cries of their drivers, and passed rapidly forward, one after
another, with the headlong stupidity which animals, claiming more wisdom
than quadrupeds, not unfrequently manifest. When they came up to us,
however, they showed that they were not unaccustomed to such encounters,
and, although the space between us and the brow of the precipice, was
not three feet wide, they all contrived to sway their bodies and heavy
sacks in such a manner as to pass us safely, except one. He, more stupid
or more unlucky than the rest, struck us a full broad-side as he went by
jolting us hard against the hill, and well-nigh jolting himself down the
craggy descent into the abyss below. One leg hung a moment over the
precipice, but the poor beast suddenly threw his whole weight forward,
and by a desperate leap, obtained sure foothold in the path, and again
trudged along with his coffee-bags.

On our way we called at two plantations, but found no complaints. At one
of them we had some conversation with the overseer. He has on it one
hundred and thirty apprentices, and produces annually thirty thousand
pounds of coffee. He informed us that he was getting along well. His
people are industrious and obedient, as much so, to say the least, as
under the old system. The crop this year is not so great as usual, on
account of the severe drought. His plantation was never better
cultivated. Besides the one hundred and thirty apprentices, there are
forty free children, who are supported by their parents. None of them
will work for hire, or in any way put themselves under his control, as
the parents fear there is some plot laid for making them apprentices,
and through that process reducing them to slavery. He thinks this
feeling will continue till the apprenticeship is entirely broken up, and
the people begin to feel assured of complete freedom, when it will

We reached Silver Hill about noon. This plantation contains one hundred
and ten apprentices, and is under the management of a colored man, who
has had charge of it seven years. He informed us that it was under as
good cultivation now as it was before emancipation. His people are
easily controlled. Very much depends on the conduct of the overseer. If
he is disposed to be just and kind, the apprentices are sure to behave
well; if he is harsh and severe, and attempts to _drive_ them, they will
take no pains to please him, but on the contrary, will be sulky and

There were three overseers from other estates present. One of them had
been an overseer for forty years, and he possessed the looks and
feelings which we suppose a man who has been thus long in a school of
despotism, must possess. He had a giant form, which seemed to be
breaking down with luxury and sensualism. His ordinary voice was hoarse
and gusty, and his smile diabolical. Emancipation had swept away his
power while it left the love of it ravaging his heart. He could not
speak of the new system with composure. His contempt and hatred of the
negro was unadulterated. He spoke of the apprentices with great
bitterness. They were excessively lazy and impudent, and were becoming
more and more so every day. They did not do half the work now that they
did before emancipation. It was the character of the negro never to work
unless compelled. His people would not labor for him an hour in their
own time, although he had offered to pay them for it. They have not the
least gratitude. They will leave him in the midst of his crop, and help
others, because they can get a little more. They spend all their half
Fridays and their Saturdays on other plantations where they receive
forty cents a day. Twenty-five cents is enough for them, and is as much
as he will give.

Mr. B. requested the overseer to bring forward his complaints. He had
only two. One was against a boy of ten for stealing a gill of goat's
milk. The charge was disproved. The other was against a boy of twelve
for neglecting the cattle, and permitting them to trespass on the lands
of a neighbor. He was sentenced to receive a good switching--that is, to
be beaten with a small stick by the constable of the plantation.

Several apprentices then appeared and made a few trivial complaints
against 'busha.' They were quickly adjusted. These were all the
complaints that had accumulated in five weeks.

The principal business which called Mr. Bourne to the plantation, as we
have already remarked, was the appraisement of an apprentice. The
appraisers were himself and a local magistrate. The apprentice was a
native born African, and was stolen from his country when a boy. He had
always resided on this plantation, and had always been a faithful
laborer. He was now the constable, or driver, as the office was called
in slavery times, of the second gang. The overseer testified to his
honesty and industry, and said he regretted much to have him leave. He
was, as appeared by the plantation books, fifty-four years old, but was
evidently above sixty. After examining several witnesses as to the old
man's ability and general health, and making calculations by the rule of
three, with the cold accuracy of a yankee horse-bargain, it was decided
that his services were worth to the plantation forty-eight dollars a
years, and for the remaining time of the apprenticeship, consequently,
at that rate, one hundred and fifty-six dollars. One third of this was
deducted as an allowance for the probabilities of death, and sickness,
leaving one hundred and four dollars as the price of his redemption. The
old man objected strongly and earnestly to the price; he said, it was
too much; he had not money enough to pay it; and begged them, with tears
in his eyes, not to make him pay so much "for his old bones;" but they
would not remit a cent. They could not. They were the stern ministers of
the British emancipation law, the praises of which have been shouted
through the earth!

Of the three overseers who were present, not one could be called a
respectable man. Their countenances were the mirrors of all lustful and
desperate passions. They were continually drinking rum and water, and
one of them was half drunk.

Our next visit was to an elevated plantation called Peter's Rock. The
path to it was, in one place, so steep, that we had to dismount and
permit our horses to work their way up as they could, while we followed
on foot. We then wound along among provision grounds and coffee fields,
through forests where hardly a track was to be seen, and over hedges,
which the horses were obliged to leap, till we issued on the great path
which leads from the plantation to Kingston.

Peter's Rock has one hundred apprentices, and is under the management,
as Mr. Bourne informed us, of a very humane man. During the two years
and a half of the apprenticeship, there had been _only six complaints_.
As we approached the plantation we saw the apprentices at the side of
the road, eating their breakfast. They had been at work some distance
from their houses, and could not spend time to go home. They saluted us
with great civility, most of them rising and uncovering their heads. In
answer to our questions, they said they were getting along very well.
They said their master was kind to them, and they appeared in
fine spirits.

The overseer met us as we rode up to the door, and received us very
courteously. He had no complaints. He informed us that the plantation
was as well cultivated as it had been for many years, and the people
were perfectly obedient and industrious.

From Peter's Rock we rode to "Hall's Prospect," a plantation on which
there are sixty apprentices under the charge of a black overseer, who,
two years ago, was a slave. It was five weeks since Mr. B. had been
there, and yet he had only one complaint, and that against a woman for
being late at work on Monday morning. The reason she gave for this was,
that she went to an estate some miles distant to spend the Sabbath with
her husband.

Mr. Bourne, by the aid of funds left in his hands by Mr. Sturge, is
about to establish a school on this plantation. Mr. B., at a previous
visit, had informed the people of what he intended to do, and asked
their co-operation. As soon as they saw him to-day, several of them
immediately inquired about the school, when it would begin, &c. They
showed the greatest eagerness and thankfulness. Mr. B. told them he
should send a teacher as soon as a house was prepared. He had been
talking with their master (the attorney of the plantation) about fixing
one, who had offered them the old "lock-up house," if they would put it
in order. There was a murmur among them at this annunciation. At length
one of the men said, they did not want the school to be held in the
"lock-up house." It was not a good place for their "pickaninnies" to go
to. They had much rather have some other building, and would be glad to
have it close to their houses. Mr. B. told them if they would put up a
small house near their own, he would furnish it with desks and benches.
To this they all assented with great joy.

On our way home we saw, as we did on various other occasions, many of
the apprentices with hoes, baskets, &c., going to their provision
grounds. We had some conversation with them as we rode along. They said
they had been in the fields picking coffee since half past five o'clock.
They were now going, as they always did after "horn-blow" in the
afternoon, (four o'clock,) to their grounds, where they should stay till
dark. Some of their grounds were four, others six miles from home. They
all liked the apprenticeship better than slavery. They were not flogged
so much now, and had more time to themselves. But they should like
freedom much better, and should be glad when it came.

We met a brown young woman driving an ass laden with a great variety of
articles. She said she had been to Kingston (fifteen miles off) with a
load of provisions, and had purchased some things to sell to the
apprentices. We asked her what she did with her money. "Give it to my
husband," said she. "Do you keep none for yourself?" She smiled and
replied: "What for him for me."

After we had passed, Mr. B. informed us that she had been an apprentice,
but purchased her freedom a few months previous, and was now engaged as
a kind of country merchant. She purchases provisions of the negroes, and
carries them to Kingston, where she exchanges them for pins, needles,
thread, dry goods, and such articles as the apprentices need, which she
again exchanges for provisions and money.

Mr. Bourne informed us that real estate is much higher than before
emancipation. He mentioned one "pen" which was purchased for eighteen
hundred dollars a few years since. The owner had received nine hundred
dollars as 'compensation' for freedom. It has lately been leased for
seven years by the owner, for nine hundred dollars per year.

A gentleman who owns a plantation in Mr. B.'s district, sold parcels of
land to the negroes before emancipation at five shillings per acre. He
now obtains twenty-seven shillings per acre.

The house in which Mr. B. resides was rented in 1833 for one hundred and
fifty dollars. Mr. B. engaged it on his arrival for three years, at two
hundred and forty dollars per year. His landlord informed him a few days
since, that on the expiration of his present lease, he should raise the
rent to three hundred and thirty dollars.

Mr. B. is acquainted with a gentleman of wealth, who has been
endeavoring for the last twelve months to purchase an estate in this
island. He has offered high prices, but has as yet been unable to obtain
one. Landholders have so much confidence in the value and security of
real estate, that they do not wish to part with it.

After our visit to Silver Hill, our attention was particularly turned to
the condition of the negro grounds. Most of them were very clean and
flourishing. Large plats of the onion, of cocoa, plantain, banana, yam,
potatoe, and other tropic vegetables, were scattered all around within
five or six miles of a plantation. We were much pleased with the
appearance of them during a ride on a Friday. In the forenoon, they had
all been vacant; not a person was to be seen in them; but after one
o'clock, they began gradually to be occupied, till, at the end of an
hour, where-ever we went, we saw men, women, and children laboring
industriously in their little gardens. In some places, the hills to
their very summits were spotted with cultivation. Till Monday morning
the apprentices were free, and they certainly manifested a strong
disposition to spend that time in taking care of themselves. The
testimony of the numerous apprentices with whom we conversed, was to the
same effect as our observation. They all testified that they were paying
as much attention to their grounds as they ever did, but that their
provisions had been cut short by the drought. They had their land all
prepared for a new crop, and were only waiting for rain to put in the
seed. Mr. Bourne corroborated their statement, and remarked, that he
never found the least difficulty in procuring laborers. Could he have
the possession of the largest plantation in the island to-day, he had no
doubt that, within a week, he could procure free laborers enough to
cultivate every acre.

On one occasion, while among the mountains, we were impressed on a jury
to sit in inquest on the body of a negro woman found dead on the high
road. She was, as appeared in evidence, on her return from the house of
correction, at Half-Way-Tree, where she had been sentenced for fourteen
days, and been put on the treadmill. She had complained to some of her
acquaintances of harsh treatment there, and said they had killed her,
and that if she ever lived to reach home, she should tell all her
massa's negroes never to cross the threshold of Half-Way-Tree, as it
would kill them. The evidence, however, was not clear that she died in
consequence of such treatment, and the jury, accordingly, decided that
she came to her death by some cause unknown to them.

Nine of the jury were overseers, and if they, collected together
indiscriminately on this occasion, were a specimen of those who have
charge of the apprentices in this island, they must be most degraded and
brutal men. They appeared more under the influence of low passions, more
degraded by sensuality, and but little more intelligent, than the
negroes themselves. Instead of possessing irresponsible power over their
fellows, they ought themselves to be under the power of the most strict
and energetic laws. Our visits to the plantations, and inquiries on this
point, confirmed this opinion. They are the 'feculum' of European
society--ignorant, passionate, licentious. We do them no injustice when
we say this, nor when we further add, that the apprentices suffer in a
hundred ways which the law cannot reach, gross insults and oppression
from their excessive rapaciousness and lust. What must it have been
during slavery?

We had some conversation with Cheny Hamilton, Esq., one of the special
magistrates for Port Royal. He is a colored man, and has held his office
about eighteen months. There are three thousand apprentices in his
district, which embraces sugar and coffee estates. The complaints are
few and of a very trivial nature. They mostly originate with the
planters. Most of the cases brought before him are for petty theft and
absence from work.

In his district, cultivation was never better. The negroes are willing
to work during their own time. His father-in-law is clearing up some
mountain land for a coffee plantation, by the labor of apprentices from
neighboring estates. The seasons since emancipation have been bad. The
blacks cultivate their own grounds on their half Fridays and Saturdays,
unless they can obtain employment from others.

Nothing is doing by the planters for the education of the apprentices.
Their only object is to get as much work out of them as possible.

The blacks, so far as he has had opportunity to observe, are in every
respect as quiet and industrious as they were before freedom. He said if
we would compare the character of the complaints brought by the
overseers and apprentices against each other, we should see for
ourselves which party was the most peaceable and law-abiding.

To these views we may here add those of another gentleman, with whom we
had considerable conversation about the same time. He is a proprietor
and local magistrate, and was represented to us as a kind and humane
man. Mr. Bourne stated to us that he had not had six cases of complaint
on his plantation for the last twelve months. We give his most important
statements in the following brief items:

1. He has had charge of estates in Jamaica since 1804. At one time he
had twelve hundred negroes under his control. He now owns a coffee
plantation, on which there are one hundred and ten apprentices, and is
also attorney for several others, the owners of which reside out of
the island.

2. His plantation is well cultivated and clean, and his people are as
industrious and civil as they ever were. He employs them during their
own time, and always finds them willing to work for him, unless their
own grounds require their attendance. Cultivation generally, through the
island, is as good as it ever was. Many of the planters, at the
commencement of the apprenticeship, reduced the quantity of land
cultivated; he did not do so, but on the contrary is extending his

3. The crops this year are not so good as usual. This is no fault of the
apprentices, but is owing to the bad season.

4. The conduct of the apprentices depends very much on the conduct of
those who have charge of them. If you find a plantation on which the
overseer is kind, and does common justice to the laborer, you will find
things going on well--if otherwise, the reverse. Those estates and
plantations on which the proprietor himself resides, are most peaceable
and prosperous.

5. Real estate is more valuable than before emancipation. Property is
more secure, and capitalists are more ready to invest their funds.

6. The result of 1840 is as yet doubtful. For his part, he has no fears.
He doubts not he can cultivate his plantation as easily after that
period as before. He is confident he can do it cheaper. He thinks it not
only likely, but certain, that many of the plantations on which the
people have been ill used, while slaves and apprentices, will be
abandoned by the present laborers, and that they will never be worked
until overseers are put over them who, instead of doing all they can to
harass them, will soothe and conciliate them. The apprenticeship has
done much harm instead of good in the way of preparing the blacks to
work after 1840.

A few days after our return from the mountains, we rode to Spanishtown,
which is about twelve miles west of Kingston. Spanishtown is the seat of
government, containing the various buildings for the residence of the
governor, the meeting of the legislature, the session of the courts, and
rooms for the several officers of the crown. They are all strong and
massive structures, but display little architectural magnificence
or beauty.

We spent nearly a day with Richard Hill, Esq., the secretary of the
special magistrates' department, of whom we have already spoken. He is a
colored gentleman, and in every respect the noblest man, white or black,
whom we met in the West Indies. He is highly intelligent, and of fine
moral feelings. His manners are free and unassuming, and his language in
conversation fluent and well chosen. He is intimately acquainted with
English and French authors, and has studied thoroughly the history and
character of the people with whom the tie of color has connected him. He
travelled two years in Hayti, and his letters, written in a flowing and
luxuriant style, as a son of the tropics should write, giving an account
of his observations and inquiries in that interesting island, were
published extensively in England; and have been copied into the
anti-slavery journals in this country. His journal will be given to the
public as soon as his official duties will permit him to prepare it. He
is at the head of the special magistrates, (of which there are sixty in
the island,) and all the correspondence between them and the governor is
carried on through him. The station he holds is a very important one,
and the business connected with it is of a character and an extent that,
were he not a man of superior abilities, he could not sustain. He is
highly respected by the government in the island, and at home, and
possesses the esteem of his fellow-citizens of all colors. He associates
with persons of the highest rank, dining and attending parties at the
government-house with all the aristocracy of Jamaica. We had the
pleasure of spending an evening with him at the solicitor-general's.
Though an African sun has burnt a deep tinge on him, he is truly one of
nature's noblemen. His demeanor is such, so dignified, yet bland and
amiable, that no one can help respecting him.

He spoke in the warmest terms of Lord Sligo,[A] the predecessor of Sir
Lionel Smith, who was driven from the island by the machinations of the
planters and the enemies of the blacks. Lord Sligo was remarkable for
his statistical accuracy. Reports were made to him by the special
magistrates every week. No act of injustice or oppression could escape
his indefatigable inquiries. He was accessible, and lent an open ear to
the lowest person in the island. The planters left no means untried to
remove him, and unhappily succeeded.

[Footnote A: When Lord Sligo visited the United States in the summer of
1836, he spoke with great respect of Mr. Hill to Elizur Wright, Esq.,
Corresponding Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Mr. Wright
has furnished us with the following statement:--"Just before his
lordship left this city for England, he bore testimony to us
substantially as follows:--'When I went to Jamaica, Mr. Hill was a
special magistrate. In a certain case he refused to comply with my
directions, differing from me in his interpretation of the law. I
informed him that his continued non-compliance must result in his
removal from office. He replied that his mind was made up as to the law,
and he would not violate his reason to save his bread. Being satisfied
of the correctness of my own interpretation, I was obliged, of course,
to remove him; but I was so forcibly struck with his manly independence,
that I applied to the government for power to employ him as my
secretary, which was granted. And having had him as an _intimate of my
family_ for several months, I can most cordially bear my testimony to
his trustworthiness, ability, and gentlemanly deportment.' Lord Sligo
also added, that Mr. Hill was treated in his family in all respects as
if he had not been colored, and that with no gentleman in the West
Indies was he, in social life, on terms of more intimate friendship."]

The following items contain the principal information received from Mr.

1. The apprenticeship is a most vicious system, full of blunders and
absurdities, and directly calculated to set master and slave at war.

2. The complaints against the apprentices are decreasing every month,
_except, perhaps, complaints against mothers for absence from work,
which he thinks are increasing_. The apprenticeship _law_ makes no
provision for the free children, and on most of the plantations and
estates no allowance is given them, but they are thrown entirely for
support on their parents, who are obliged to work the most and best part
of their time for their masters unrewarded. The nurseries are broken up,
and frequently the mothers are obliged to work in the fields with their
infants at their backs, or else to leave them at some distance under the
shade of a hedge or tree. Every year is making their condition worse and
worse. The number of children is increasing, and yet the mothers are
required, after their youngest child has attained the age of a few
weeks, to be at work the same number of hours as the men. Very little
time is given them to take care of their household. When they are tardy
they are brought before the magistrate.

A woman was brought before Mr. Hill a few days before we were there,
charged with not being in the field till one hour after the rest of the
gang. She had twins, and appeared before him with a child hanging on
each arm. What an eloquent defence! He dismissed the complaint.

He mentioned another case, of a woman whose master resided in
Spanishtown, but who was hired out by him to some person in the country.
Her child became sick, but her employer refused any assistance. With it
in her arms, she entreated aid of her master. The monster drove her and
her dying little one into the street at night, and she sought shelter
with Mr. Hill, where her child expired before morning. For such horrid
cruelty as this, the apprenticeship law provides no remedy. The woman
had no claim for the support of her child, on the man who was receiving
the wages of her daily toil. That child was not worth a farthing to him,
because it was no longer his _chattel_; and while the law gives him
power to rob the mother, it has no compulsion to make him support
the child.

3. The complaints are generally of the most trivial and frivolous
nature. They are mostly against mothers for neglect of duty, and vague
charges of insolence. There is no provision in the law to prevent the
master from using abusive language to the apprentice; any insult short
of a blow, he is free to commit; but the slightest word of incivility, a
look, smile, or grin, is punished in the apprentice, even though it
were provoked.

4. There is still much flogging by the overseers. Last week a girl came
to Mr. H. terribly scarred and "slashed," and complained that her master
had beaten her. It appeared that this was the _seventh offence_, for
neither of which she could obtain a hearing from the special magistrate
in her district. While Mr. H. was relating to me this fact, a girl came
in with a little babe in her arms. He called my attention to a large
bruise near her eye. He said her master knocked her down a few days
since, and made that wound by kicking her.

Frequently when complaints of insolence are made, on investigation, it
is found that the offence was the result of a quarrel commenced by the
master, during which he either cuffed or kicked the offender.

The special magistrates also frequently resort to flogging. Many of
them, as has been mentioned already, have been connected with the army
or navy, where corporal punishment is practised and flogging is not only
in consonance with their feelings and habits, but is a punishment more
briefly inflicted and more grateful to the planters, as it does not
deprive them of the apprentice's time.

5. Mr. H. says that the apprentices who have purchased their freedom
behave well. He has not known one of them to be brought before
the police.

6. Many of the special magistrates require much looking after. Their
salaries are not sufficient to support them independently. Some of them
leave their homes on Monday morning, and make the whole circuit of their
district before returning, living and lodging meanwhile, _free of
expense_, with the planters. If they are not inclined to listen to the
complaints of the apprentices, they soon find that the apprentices are
not inclined to make complaints to them, and that they consequently have
much more leisure time, and get through their district much easier. Of
the sixty magistrates in Jamaica, but few can be said to discharge their
duties faithfully. The governor is often required to interfere. A few
weeks since he discharged two magistrates for putting iron collars on
two women, in direct violation of the law, and then sending him
false reports.

7. The negro grounds are often at a great distance, five or six miles,
and some of them fifteen miles, from the plantation. Of course much
time, which would otherwise be spent in cultivating them, is necessarily
consumed in going to them and returning. Yet for all that, and though in
many cases the planters have withdrawn the watchmen who used to protect
them, and have left them entirely exposed to thieves and cattle, they
are generally well cultivated--on the whole, better than during slavery.
When there is inattention to them, it is caused either by some planters
hiring them during their own time, or because their master permits his
cattle to trespass on them, and the people feel an insecurity. When you
find a kind planter, in whom the apprentices have confidence, there you
will find beautiful gardens. In not a few instances, where the overseer
is particularly harsh and cruel, the negroes have thrown up their old
grounds, and taken new ones on other plantations, where the overseer is
better liked, or gone into the depths of the mountain forests, where no
human foot has been before them, and there cleared up small plats. This
was also done to some extent during slavery. Many of the people, against
whom the planters are declaiming as lazy and worthless, have rich
grounds of which those planters little dream.

8. There is no feeling of insecurity, either of life or property. One
may travel through the whole island without the least fear of violence.
If there is any danger, it is from the _emigrants_, who have been guilty
of several outrages. So far from the planters fearing violence from the
apprentices, when an assault or theft is committed, they refer it,
almost as a matter of course, to some one else. A few weeks ago one of
the island mails was robbed. As soon as it became known, it was at once
said, "Some of those villanous emigrants did it," and so indeed
it proved.

People in the country, in the midst of the mountains, where the whites
are few and isolated, sleep with their doors and windows open, without a
thought of being molested. In the towns there are no watchmen, and but a
small police, and yet the streets are quiet and property safe.

9. The apprentices understand the great provisions of the new system,
such as the number of hours they must work for their master, and that
their masters have no right to flog them, &c., but its details are
inexplicable mysteries. The masters have done much injury by deceiving
them on points of which they were ignorant.

10. The apprentices almost to a man are ready to work for wages during
their own time. When the overseer is severe towards them, they prefer
working on other plantations, even for less wages, as is very natural.

11. Almost all the evils of the apprenticeship arise from the obstinacy
and oppressive conduct of the overseers. They are constantly taking
advantage of the defects of the system, which are many, and while they
demand to the last grain's weight "the pound of flesh," they are utterly
unwilling to yield the requirements which the law makes of them. Where
you find an overseer endeavoring in every way to overreach the
apprentices, taking away the privileges which they enjoyed during
slavery, and exacting from them the utmost minute and mite of labor,
there you will find abundant complaints both against the master and the
apprentice. And the reverse. The cruel overseers are complaining of
idleness, insubordination, and ruin, while the kind master is moving on
peaceably and prosperously.

12. The domestic apprentices have either one day, or fifty cents cash,
each week, as an allowance for food and clothing. This is quite
insufficient. Many of the females seem obliged to resort to theft or to
prostitution to obtain a support. Two girls were brought before Mr. Hill
while we were with him, charged with neglect of duty and night-walking.
One of them said her allowance was too small, and she must get food in
some other way or starve.

13. The apprentices on many plantations have been deprived of several
privileges which they enjoyed under the old system. Nurseries have been
abolished, water-carriers have been taken away, keeping stock is
restricted, if not entirely forbidden, watchmen are no longer provided
to guard the negro grounds, &c.--petty aggressions in our eyes, perhaps,
but severe to them. Another instance is still more hard. By the custom
of slavery, women who had reared up seven children were permitted to
"sit down," as it was termed; that is, were not obliged to go into the
field to work. Now no such distinction is made, but all are driven into
the field.

14. One reason why the crops were smaller in 1835 and 1836 than in
former years, was, that the planters in the preceding seasons, either
fearful that the negroes would not take off the crops after
emancipation, and acting on their baseless predictions instead of facts,
or determined to make the results of emancipation appear as disastrous
as possible, neglected to put in the usual amount of cane, and to clean
the coffee fields. As they refused to sow, of course they could
not reap.

15. The complaints against the apprentices generally are becoming fewer
every week, but the complaints against the masters are increasing both
in number and severity. One reason of this is, that the apprentices, on
the one hand, are becoming better acquainted with the new system, and
therefore better able to avoid a violation of its provisions, and are
also learning that they cannot violate these provisions with impunity;
and, on the other hand, they are gaining courage to complain against
their masters, to whom they have hitherto been subjected by a fear
created by the whips and dungeons, and nameless tortures of slavery.
Another reason is, that the masters, as the term of the apprenticeship
shortens, and the end of their authority approaches nearer, are pressing
their poor victims harder and harder, determined to extort from them all
they can, before complete emancipation rescues them for ever from
their grasp.

While we were in conversation with Mr. Hill, Mr. Ramsay, one of the
special magistrates for this parish, called in. He is a native of
Jamaica, and has been educated under all the influences of West India
society, but has held fast his integrity, and is considered the firm
friend of the apprentices. He confirmed every fact and opinion which Mr.
Hill had given. He was even stronger than Mr. H. in his expressions of
disapprobation of the apprenticeship.

The day which we spent with Mr. Hill was one of those on which he holds
a special justice's court. There were only three cases of complaint
brought before him.

The first was brought by a woman, attended by her husband, against her
servant girl, for "impertinence and insubordination." She took the oath
and commenced her testimony with an abundance of vague charges. "She is
the most insolent girl I ever saw. She'll do nothing that she is told to
do--she never thinks of minding what is said to her--she is sulky and
saucy," etc. Mr. H. told her she must be specific--he could not convict
the girl on such general charges--some particular acts must be proved.

She became specific. Her charges were as follows:

1. On the previous Thursday the defendant was plaiting a shirt. The
complainant went up to her and asked her why she did not plait it as she
ought, and not hold it in her hand as she did. Defendant replied, that
it was easier, and she preferred that way to the other. The complainant
remonstrated, but, despite all she could say, the obstinate girl
persisted, and did it as she chose. The complainant granted that the
work was done well, only it was not done in the way she desired.

2. The same day she ordered the defendant to wipe up some tracks in the
hall. She did so. While she was doing it, the mistress told her the room
was very dusty, and reproved her for it. The girl replied, "Is it
morning?" (It is customary to clean the rooms early in the morning, and
the girl made this reply late in the afternoon, when sufficient time had
elapsed for the room to become dusty again.)

3. The girl did not wash a cloth clean which the complainant gave her,
and the complainant was obliged to wash it herself.

4. Several times when the complainant and her daughter have been
conversing together, this girl had burst into laughter--whether at them
or their conversation, complainant did not know.

5. When the complainant has reproved the defendant for not doing her
work well, she has replied, "Can't you let me alone to my work, and not
worry my life out."

A black man, a constable on the same property, was brought up to confirm
the charges. He knew nothing about the case, only that he often heard
the parties quarrelling, and sometimes had told the girl not to say any
thing, as she knew what her mistress was.

It appeared in the course of the evidence, that the complainant and her
husband had both been in the habit of speaking disrespectfully of the
special magistrate, stationed in their district, and that many of the
contentions arose out of that, as the girl sometimes defended him.

While the accused was making her defence, which she did in a modest way,
her mistress was highly enraged, and interrupted her several times, by
calling her a liar and a jade. The magistrate was two or three times
obliged to reprove her, and command her to be silent, and, so passionate
did she become, that her husband, ashamed of her, put his hand on her
shoulder, and entreated her to be calm.

Mr. Hill dismissed the complaint by giving some good advice to both
parties, much to the annoyance of the mistress.

The second complaint was brought by a man against a servant girl, for
disobedience of orders, and insolence. It appears that she was ordered,
at ten o'clock at night, to do some work. She was just leaving the house
to call on some friends, as she said, and refused. On being told by her
mistress that she only wanted to go out for bad purposes, she replied,
that "It was no matter--the allowance they gave her was not sufficient
to support her, and if they would not give her more, she must get a
living any way she could, so she did not steal." She was sentenced to
the house of correction for one week.

The third case was a complaint against a boy for taking every alternate
Friday and Saturday, instead of every Saturday, for allowance. He was
ordered to take every Saturday, or to receive in lieu of it half
a dollar.

Mr. Hill said these were a fair specimen of the character of the
complaints that came before him. We were much pleased with the manner in
which he presided in his court, the ease, dignity, and impartiality
which he exhibited, and the respect which was shown him by all parties.

In company with Mr. Hill, we called on Rev. Mr. Phillips, the Baptist
missionary, stationed at Spanishtown. Mr. P. has been in the island
thirteen years. He regards the apprenticeship as a great amelioration of
the old system of slavery, but as coming far short of the full
privileges and rights of freedom, and of what it was expected to be. It
is beneficial to the missionaries, as it gives them access to the
plantations, while before, in many instances, they were entirely
excluded from them, and in all cases were much shackled in their

Mr. P. has enlarged his chapel within the last fifteen months, so that
it admits several hundreds more than formerly. But it is now too small.
The apprentices are much more anxious to receive religious instruction,
and much more open to conviction, than when slaves. He finds a great
difference now on different plantations. Where severity is used, as it
still is on many estates, and the new system is moulded as nearly as
possible on the old, the minds of the apprentices are apparently closed
against all impressions,--but where they are treated with kindness, they
are warm in their affections, and solicitous to be taught.

In connection with his church, Mr. P. has charge of a large school. The
number present, when we visited it, was about two hundred. There was, to
say the least, as much manifestation of intellect and sprightliness as
we ever saw in white pupils of the same age. Most of the children were
slaves previous to 1834, and their parents are still apprentices.
Several were pointed out to us who were not yet free, and attend only by
permission, sometimes purchased, of their master. The greater part live
from three to five miles distant. Mr. P. says he finds no lack of
interest among the apprentices about education. He can find scholars for
as many schools as he can establish, if he keeps himself unconnected
with the planters. The apprentices are opposed to all schools
established by, or in any way allied to, their masters.

Mr. P. says the planters are doing nothing to prepare the apprentices
for freedom in 1840. They do not regard the apprenticeship as
intermediate time for preparation, but as part of the _compensation_.
Every day is counted, not as worth so much for education and moral
instruction, but as worth so much for digging cane-holes, and clearing
coffee fields.

Mr. P.'s church escaped destruction during the persecution of the
Baptists. The wives and connections of many of the colored soldiers had
taken refuge in it, and had given out word that they would defend it
even against their own husbands and brothers, who in turn informed their
officers that if ordered to destroy it, they should refuse at all peril.



The actual working of the apprenticeship in Jamaica, was the specific
object of our investigations in that island. That it had not operated so
happily as in Barbadoes, and in most of the other colonies, was admitted
by all parties. As to the _degree_ of its failure, we were satisfied it
was not so great as had been represented. There has been nothing of an
_insurrectionary_ character since the abolition of slavery. The affair
on Thornton's estate, of which an account is given in the preceding
chapter, is the most serious disturbance which has occurred during the
apprenticeship. The _fear_ of insurrection is as effectually dead in
Jamaica, as in Barbadoes--so long as the apprenticeship lasts. There has
been no _increase of crime_. The character of the negro population has
been gradually improving in morals and intelligence. Marriage has
increased, the Sabbath is more generally observed, and religious worship
is better attended. Again, the apprentices of Jamaica have not
manifested any peculiar _defiance of law_. The most illiberal
magistrates testified that the people respected the law, when they
understood it. As it respects the _industry_ of the apprentices, there
are different opinions among the _planters_ themselves. Some admitted
that they were as industrious as before, and did as much work _in
proportion to the time they were employed_. Others complained that they
_lacked the power_ to compel industry, and that hence there was a
falling off of work. The prominent evils complained of in Jamaica are,
absconding from work, and insolence to masters. From the statements in
the preceding chapter, it may be inferred that many things are called by
these names, and severely punished, which are really innocent or
unavoidable; however, it would not be wonderful if there were numerous
instances of both. Insolence is the legitimate fruit of the
apprenticeship, which holds out to the apprentice, that he possesses the
rights of a man, and still authorizes the master to treat him as though
he were little better than a dog. The result must often be that the
apprentice will repay insult with insolence. This will continue to exist
until either the former system of _absolute force_ is restored, or a
system of free compensated labor, with its powerful checks and balances
on both parties, is substituted. The prevalence and causes of the other
offence--absconding from labor--will be noticed hereafter.

The atrocities which are practised by the masters and magistrates, are
appalling enough. It is probable that the actual condition of the
negroes in Jamaica, is but little if any better than it was during
slavery. The amount of punishment inflicted by the special magistrates,
cannot fall much short of that usually perpetrated by the drivers. In
addition to this, the apprentices are robbed of the _time_ allowed them
by law, at the will of the magistrate, who often deprives them of it on
the slightest complaint of the overseer. The situation of the _free
children_[A] is often very deplorable. The master feels none of that
interest in them which he formerly felt in the children that were his
property, and consequently, makes no provision for them. They are thrown
entirely upon their parents, who are _unable_ to take proper care of
them, from the almost constant demands which the master makes upon their
time. The condition of pregnant women, and nursing mothers, is
_decidedly worse_ than it was during slavery. The privileges which the
planter felt it for his interest to grant these formerly, for _the sake
of their children_, are now withheld. The former are exposed to the
inclemencies of the weather, and the hardships of toil--the latter are
cruelly dragged away from their infants, that the master may not lose
the smallest portion of time,--and _both_ are liable at any moment to be
incarcerated in the dungeon, or strung up on the treadwheel. In
consequence of the cruelties which are practised, the apprentices are in
a _disaffected state_ throughout the island.

[Footnote A: All children under _six years_ of age at the time of
abolition, were made entirely free.]

In assigning the causes of the ill-working of the apprenticeship in
Jamaica, we would say in the commencement, that nearly all of them are
embodied in the intrinsic defects of the system itself. These defects
have been exposed in a former chapter, and we need not repeat them here.
The reason why the system has not produced as much mischief in all the
colonies as it has in Jamaica, is that the local circumstances in the
other islands were not so adapted to develop its legitimate results.

It is not without the most careful investigation of facts, that we have
allowed ourselves to entertain the views which we are now about to
express, respecting the conduct of the planters and special
justices--for it is to _them_ that we must ascribe the evils which exist
in Jamaica. We cheerfully accede to them all of palliation which may be
found in the provocations incident to the wretched system of

The causes of the difficulties rest chiefly with the _planters_. They
were _originally_ implicated, and by their wily schemes they soon
involved the special magistrates. The Jamaica planters, as a body,
always violently opposed the abolition of slavery. Unlike the planters
in most of the colonies, they cherished their hostility _after the act
of abolition_. It would seem that they had agreed with one accord, never
to become reconciled to the measures of the English government, and had
sworn eternal hostility to every scheme of emancipation. Whether this
resulted most from love for slavery or hatred of English interference,
it is difficult to determine. If we were to believe the planters
themselves, who are of the opposition, we should conclude that they were
far from being in favor of slavery--that they were "as much opposed to
slavery, as any one can be[A]." Notwithstanding this avowal, the
tenacity with which the planters cling to the remnant of their power,
shows an affection for it, of the strength of which they are not
probably themselves aware.

[Footnote A: It seems to be the order of the day, with the opposition
party in Jamaica, to disclaim all friendship with slavery. We noticed
several instances of this in the island papers, which have been most
hostile to abolition. We quote the following sample from the Royal
Gazette, (Kingston) for May 6, 1837. The editor, in an article
respecting Cuba, says:

    "In writing this, one chief object is to arouse the attention of our
    own fellow-subjects, in this colony, to the situation--the dangerous
    situation--in which they stand, and to implore them to lend all
    their energies to avert the ruin that is likely to visit them,
    should America get the domination of Cuba.

    The negroes of this and of all the British W.I. colonies have been
    '_emancipated_.' Cuba on the other hand is still a _slave country_.
    (Let not our readers imagine for one moment that we advocate the
    _continuance of slavery_,") &c.

When public men have endeavored to be faithful and upright, they have
uniformly been abused, and even persecuted, by the planters. The
following facts will show that the latter have not scrupled to resort to
the most dishonest and unmanly intrigues to effect the removal or to
circumvent the influence of such men. Neglect, ridicule, vulgar abuse,
slander, threats, intimidation, misrepresentation, and legal
prosecutions, have been the mildest weapons employed against those who
in the discharge of their sworn duties dared to befriend the oppressed.

The shameful treatment of the late governor, Lord Sligo, illustrates
this. His Lordship was appointed to the government about the period of
abolition. Being himself a proprietor of estates in the island, and
formerly chairman of the West India Body, he was received at first with
the greatest cordiality; but it was soon perceived that he was disposed
to secure justice to the apprentices. From the accounts we received, we
have been led to entertain an exalted opinion of his integrity and
friendship for the poor. It was his custom (unprecedented in the West
Indies,) to give a patient hearing to the poorest negro who might carry
his grievances to the government-house. After hearing the complaint, he
would despatch an order to the special magistrate of the district in
which the complainant lived, directing him to inquire into the case. By
this means he kept the magistrates employed, and secured redress to the
apprentices to many cases where they would otherwise have bean

The governor soon rendered himself exceedingly obnoxious to the
planters, and they began to manoeuvre for his removal, which, in a short
time, was effected by a most flagitious procedure. The home government,
disposed to humor their unruly colony, sent them a governor in whom they
are not likely to find any fault. The present governor, Sir Lionel
Smith, is the antipode of his predecessor in every worthy respect. When
the apprentices come to him with their complaints, he sends them back
unheard, with curses on their heads. A distinguished gentleman in the
colony remarked of him that he _was a heartless military chieftain, who
ruled without regard to mercy_. Of course the planters are full of his
praise. His late tour of the island was a _triumphal procession_, amid
the sycophantic greetings of oppressors.

Several special magistrates have been suspended because of the faithful
discharge of their duties. Among these was Dr. Palmer, an independent
and courageous man. Repeated complaints were urged against him by the
planters, until finally Sir Lionel Smith appointed a commission to
inquire into the grounds of the difficulty.

"This commission consisted of two local magistrates, both of them
planters or managers of estates, and two stipendiary magistrates, the
bias of one of whom, at least, was believed to be against Dr. Palmer. At
the conclusion of their inquiry they summed up their report by saying
that Dr. Palmer had administered the abolition law in the spirit of the
English abolition act, and in his administration of the law he had
adapted it more to the comprehension of freemen than to the
understandings of apprenticed laborers. Not only did Sir Lionel Smith
suspend Dr. Palmer on this report, but the colonial office at home have
dismissed him from his situation."

The following facts respecting the persecution of Special Justice
Bourne, illustrate the same thing.

    "A book-keeper of the name of Maclean, on the estate of the Rev. M.
    Hamilton, an Irish clergyman, committed a brutal assault upon an old
    African. The attorney on the property refused to hear the complaint
    of the negro, who went to Stephen Bourne, a special magistrate. When
    Maclean was brought before him, he did not deny the fact; but said
    as the old man was not a Christian, his oath could not be taken! The
    magistrate not being able to ascertain the amount of injury
    inflicted upon the negro (whose head was dreadfully cut,) but
    feeling that it was a case which required a greater penalty than
    three pounds sterling, the amount of punishment to which he was
    limited by the local acts, detained Maclean, and afterwards
    committed him to jail, and wrote the next day to the chief justice
    upon the subject. He was discharged as soon as a doctor's
    certificate was procured of the state of the wounded man, and bail
    was given for his appearance at the assizes. Maclean's trial came on
    at the assizes, and he was found guilty by a Jamaica Jury; he was
    severely reprimanded for his inhuman conduct and fined thirty
    pounds. The poor apprentice however got no remuneration for the
    severe injury inflicted upon him, and the special justice was
    prosecuted for false imprisonment, dragged from court to court,
    represented as an oppressor and a tyrant, subjected to four hundred
    pounds expenses in defending himself, and actually had judgment
    given against him for one hundred and fifty pounds damages.

    Thus have the planters succeeded in pulling down every magistrate
    who ventures to do more than fine them three pounds sterling for any
    act of cruelty of which they may be guilty. On the other hand, there
    were two magistrates who were lately dismissed, through, I believe,
    the representation of Lord Sligo, for flagrant violations of the law
    in inflicting punishment; and in order to evince their sympathy for
    those men, the planters gave them a farewell dinner, and had
    actually set on foot a subscription, as a tribute of gratitude for
    their "Impartial" conduct in administering the laws, as special
    justices. Thus were two men, notoriously guilty of violations of law
    and humanity, publicly encouraged and protected, while Stephen
    Bourne, who according to the testimony of the present and late
    attorney-general had acted not only justly but _legally_, was
    suffering every species of persecution and indignity for so doing."

Probably nothing could demonstrate the meanness of the artifices to
which the planters resort to get rid of troublesome magistrates better
than the following fact. When the present governor, in making his tour
of the island, came into St. Thomas in the East, some of the planters of
Manchioneal district hired a negro constable on one of the estates to go
to the governor and complain to him that Mr. Chamberlain encouraged the
apprentices to be disorderly and idle. The negro went accordingly, but
like another Balaam, he prophesied _against his employers_. He stated to
the governor that the apprentices on the estate where he lived were lazy
and wouldn't do right, _but he declared that it was not Mr. C.'s fault,
for that he was not allowed to come on the estate!_

Having given such an unfavorable description of the mass of planters, it
is but just to add that there are a few honorable exceptions. There are
some attorneys and overseers, who if they dared to face the allied
powers of oppression, would act a noble part. But they are trammelled by
an overpowering public sentiment, and are induced to fall in very much
with the prevailing practices. One of this class, an attorney of
considerable influence, declined giving us his views in writing, stating
that his situation and the state of public sentiment must be his
apology. An overseer who was disposed to manifest the most liberal
bearing towards his apprentices, and who had directions from the
absentee proprietor to that effect, was yet effectually prevented by his
attorney, who having several other estates under his charge, was fearful
of losing them, if he did not maintain the same severe discipline
on all.

The special magistrates are also deeply implicated in causing the
difficulties existing under the apprenticeship. They are incessantly
exposed to multiplied and powerful temptations. The persecution which
they are sure to incur by a faithful discharge of their duties, has
already been noticed. It would require men of unusual sternness of
principle to face so fierce an array. Instead of being _independent_ of
the planters, their situation is in every respect totally the reverse.
Instead of having a central office or station-house to hold their courts
at, as is the case in Barbadoes, they are required to visit each estate
in their districts. They have a circuit from forty to sixty miles to
compass every fortnight, or in some cases three times every month. On
these tours they are absolutely dependent upon the hospitality of the
planters. None but men of the "sterner stuff" could escape, (to use the
negro's phrase) _being poisoned by massa's turtle soup._ The _character_
of the men who are acting as magistrates is thus described by a colonial
magistrate of high standing and experience.

"The special magistracy department is filled with the most worthless
men, both domestic and imported. It was a necessary qualification of the
former to possess no property; hence the most worthless vagabonds on the
island were appointed. The latter were worn out officers and dissipated
rakes, whom the English government sent off here in order to get rid of
them." As a specimen of the latter kind, this gentleman mentioned one
(special Justice Light) who died lately from excessive dissipation. He
was constantly drunk, and the only way in which to get him to do any
business was to take him on to an estate in the evening so that he might
sleep off his intoxication, and then the business was brought before him
early the next morning, before he had time to get to his cups.

It is well known that many of the special magistrates are totally
unprincipled men, monsters of cruelty, lust, and despotism. As a result
of natural character in many cases, and of dependence upon planters in
many more, the great mass of the special justices are a disgrace to
their office, and to the government which commissioned them. Out of
sixty, the number of special justices in Jamaica, there are not more
than fifteen, or twenty at farthest, who are not the merest tools of the
attorneys and overseers. Their servility was graphically hit off by the
apprentice. "If busha say flog em, he flog em; if busha say send them to
the treadmill, he send em." If an apprentice laughs or sings, and the
busha represents it to the magistrate as insolence, he _feels it his
duty_ to make an example of the offender!

The following fact will illustrate the injustice of the magistrates. It
was stated in writing by a missionary. We conceal all names, in
compliance with the request of the writer. "An apprentice belonging to
---- in the ---- was sent to the treadmill by special justice G. He was
ordered to go out and count the sheep, as he was able to count higher
than some of the field people, although a house servant from his
youth--I may say childhood. Instead of bringing in the tally cut upon a
piece of board, as usual, he wrote the number eighty upon a piece of
paper. When the overseer saw it, he would scarcely believe that any of
his people could write, and ordered a piece of coal to be brought and
made him write it over again; the next day he turned him into the field,
but unable to perform the task (to hoe and weed one hundred coffee roots
daily) with those who had been accustomed to field work all their lives,
he was tried for neglect of duty, and sentenced to fourteen days on the

We quote the following heart-rending account from the Telegraph,
(Spanishtown,) April 28, 1837. It is from a Baptist missionary.

    "I see something is doing in England to shorten the apprenticeship
    system. I pray God it may soon follow its predecessor--slavery, for
    it is indeed slavery under a less disgusting name. Business lately
    (December 23) called me to Rodney Hall; and while I was there, a
    poor old negro was brought in for punishment. I heard the fearful
    vociferation, 'twenty stripes.' 'Very well; here ----, put this man
    down.' I felt as I cannot describe; yet I thought, as the supervisor
    was disposed to be civil, my presence might tend to make the
    punishment less severe than it usually is--but I was disappointed. I
    inquired into the crime for which such an old man could be so
    severely punished, and heard various accounts. I wrote to the
    magistrate who sentenced him to receive it; and after many days I
    got the following reply."

    "_Logan Castle, Jan. 9, 1836._

    Sir--In answer to your note of the 4th instant, I beg leave to
    state, that ---- ----, an apprentice belonging to ---- ----, was
    brought before me by Mr. ----, his late overseer, charged upon oath
    with continual neglect of duty and disobedience of orders as
    cattle-man, and also for stealing milk--was convicted, and sentenced
    to receive twenty stripes. So far from the punishment of the
    offender being severe, he was not ordered one half the number of
    stripes provided for such cases by the abolition act--if he received
    more than that number, or if those were inflicted with undue
    severity, I shall feel happy in making every inquiry amongst the
    authorities at Rodney Hall institution.

    I remain, sir, yours, truly,

    T.W. JONES, S.M."

'Rev. J. Clarke, &c., &c.'

From Mr. Clarke's reply, we make the following extract:

    "_Jericho, January 19, 1836._

    Sir--I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th

    Respecting the punishment of ---- ----, I still adhere to the
    opinion I before expressed, that, for an old man of about sixty
    years of age, the punishment was severe. To see a venerable old man
    tied as if to be broken on the wheel, and cut to the bone by the
    lash of an athletic driver--writhing and yelling under the most
    exquisite torture, were certainly circumstances sufficiently strong
    to touch the heart of any one possessed of the smallest degree of
    common humanity. The usual preparations being made, the old man
    quietly stripped off his upper garments, and lay down upon the
    board--he was then tied by his legs, middle, above the elbows, and
    at each wrist. Mr. ---- then called out to the driver, 'I hope you
    will do your duty--he is not sent here for nothing.' At the first
    lash the skin started up; and at the third, the blood began to flow;
    ere the driver had given ten, the cat was covered with gore; and he
    stopped to change it for a dry one, which appeared to me somewhat
    longer than the first. When the poor tortured creature had received
    sixteen, his violent struggles enabled him to get one of his hands
    loose, which he put instantly to his back--the driver stopped to
    retie him, and then proceeded to give the remaining four. The
    struggles of the poor old man from the first lash bespoke the most
    extreme torture; and his cries were to me most distressing. 'Oh! oh!
    mercy! mercy! mercy! oh! massa! massa! dat enough--enough! oh,
    enough! O, massa, have pity! O, massa! massa! dat enough--enough!
    Oh, never do de like again--only pity me--forgive me dis once! oh!
    pity! mercy! mercy! oh! oh!' were the cries he perpetually uttered.
    I shall remember them while I live; and would not for ten thousand
    worlds have been the cause of producing them. It was some minutes
    after he was loosed ere he could rise to his feet, and as he
    attempted to rise, he continued calling out, 'My back! oh! my back!
    my back is broken.' A long time he remained half-doubled, the blood
    flowing round his body; 'I serve my master,' said the aged sufferer,
    'at all times; get no Saturday, no Sunday; yet this is de way
    dem use me.'

    With such planters, and such magistrates to play into their hands,
    is it to be wondered at that the apprentices do badly? Enough has
    been said, we think, to satisfy any candid person as to the _causes
    of the evils in Jamaica_. If any thing furt