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worst masters, is not only untrue but ed to purchase them, and of whose the reverse of truth, our author ob characters as masters they had heard serves, therefore, negroes and mu an unfavourable report. Their lanlattoes must be the best masters to guage was to this effect: we know negro and mulatto slaves. It is al you well-we know what your planmost unnecessary to observe, how tation is, and how you treat your nemuch this assertion is the reverse
groes. If you buy us you will lose of truth;' no person who has the least
your money, we will not have you for knowledge, of the West Indies, can a master, we will not belong to you, be ignorant that negroes and mulat or work for you if we go to live in the toes make the very worst masters, or woods. Proof enough could be adat all events that the slaves, who ought duced of intended sales and transfers to be the best judges,* think so. I of slaves from place to place, which have frequently known free persons have been abandoned for no other of colour, and also slaves, very anxi. reason than that the slaves, after ous to purchase slaves, but unable to sending a deputation of their own do it, from the universal abhorrence body to inspect the new situation, negroes have to belong to such mas have decidedly objected to the reters, for notwithstanding the misre moval.” Page 56—7. How then presentations made to the contrary, does it happen, since slaves are never it is very seldom that a slave is trans transferred without their own free conferred from one person to another, sent, and they are universally opposed but with his free consent and appro to becoming the property of black or bation. It would be painful for the coloured persons, either free or bond, seller to act otherwise when parting that any of the slaves become the with his people; and extremely ha masters of slaves, as our author inzardous to the purchaser.” Page 22. forms us they do? On one estate, he And again, “purchases of negroes of says, there are slave families, posten cannot be effected in consequence sessing among them, between twenty of their dislike to go to the planta and thirty slaves of their own, as many tions they are wanted for; and the re horses, at least, and twice as many moval of them is never attempted but asses, page 271. These specimens with their own free consent and ap indicate the propriety of construing probation. When slaves do not be
some parts of our author, as Dean long to poor people, the marshall's Swift did the severe passages of Scripsales are frequently nominal, for the
ture, with a grain of allowance. purpose of making good the convey. In his introduction our author has ance on a private sale. On occasion of
drawn the following contrast between such sales, I have seen the negroes the situation of the slaves and other openly abuse white persons who wish
persons of colour in Jamaica at or near
the time the slave trade wasabolished, Whether the judgment of the
and the present. slaves on this point, is more to be relied on than that of the white people, “At no very distant period, when because the former are less enlight savage Africans were pouring into Jaened than the latter, our author has maica, and while there were yet but not thought proper to tell us.
few natives or crcoles, the master's
power of punishing his slaves was little restrained by law; and was exercised to a great extent, by the subor. dinate white people, and the drivers."
“It is now limited to thirty-nine stripes, to be inflicted by order, and in presence of the master or overseer, and ten by subordinate agents: and, comparatively speaking, is but seldom required at all. There is not now one punishment for twenty that were inflicted fifteen or twenty years ago.'
“Ten years ago, chains were in common use on the plantations, for pun. ishing criminal slaves.”
“The use of them is now entirely abolished.”
“Twenty years ago, there was scarcely a negro baptized in Jamai
“Now they are nearly all baptized.”
“Twenty years ago, the churches were scarcely at all attended by the slaves."
“Since then, the number of churches, or places of worship, of one kind or other, has been more than doubled, in fact nearly trebled, and yet, in the districts where I have had an opportunity of seeing them, they are all fully attended, and principally by slaves.”
“ Twenty years ago, negroes were buried at midnight, and the funeral rites, in the form of African superstition, were the occasion of continual excesses among those who attended.”
“Negroes are now buried during the day, and in the same manner as the white people.”
“ Ten years ago, the marriage rite was altogether unknown among the slaves."
56 The number now married is not inconsiderable, and is fast increasing."
“While the importation of Africans was continued, the practice of Obeah was common and destructive."
“ It is now seldom heard of."
“The working of sugar mills encroached on Sunday, during crop.”
“ It is now prohibited by law, and Sunday is strictly a day of rest.”
“Formerly the negroes cultivated their ground on Sunday-white persons were even sent to superintend them.”
“Now they have by law twenty-six working days in the year for this pur
pose: every manager must swear that he has given them this number of days, and no slaves now work at their grounds on Sunday, but such as are more inclined to make money, than to attend church. A law to forbid their working at all would be of doubtful policy, until they learn to employ the day better than in idling and drinking."
" When the abolition of the African trade took place, a large proportion of the slaves were newly imported Africans, maintained with provisions raised or bought by the master; or lodged with other slaves, who had grounds which they assisted in cultivating:
“Now the plantation slaves in Jamaica have all houses of their own, and grounds of their own, and are, in every respect, more comfortable and independent. They form more steady connexions, pay more attention to their families in the way of keeping them clean, and dressing them neatly; and, in short, have acquired more taste and desire for domestic enjoyments."
“ Manumissions were, at one time, burthened with heavy taxes.”
“ They are now perfectly free.”
“For cruel or improper punishments, slaves had formerly no adequate redress.”
“Now they are manumitted, and provided with an annuity for life; and magistrates are appointed a council of protection, to attend to their complaints.”
“Formerly, the trial of slaves was, I believe, by parole; and the power of death was entrusted to the slave courts, who could order the criminal to immediate execution.”
“Now the whole evidence and conviction must be transmitted to the governor: and, unless in cases of rebel. lion, the sentence cannot be carried into execution without his warrant."
“For ten slaves that were executed twenty years ago,
6. There is not now more than one, and I think not even that proportion.”
“Twenty years ago, the coasting vessels of Jamaica were almost exclusively manned with slaves.”
“ From the increase of the free po
mary comprising, according to our author, a correct representation of the state of the case in the latter part of 1825, it may be interesting to examine what other authorities of nearly cotemporary dates have offered to our belief.
In page 176 of this journal, it is stated that no decision ever was had of the question whether slavery was compatible with the Pennsylvania declaration of rights. This statement I made upon what I supposed unquestionable authority. I since find this was a mistake; though the case I believe, does not appear in any of the printed reports. It was decided in the year 1802, in the High Court of
pulation, the coasting vessels are now more commonly manned with free
“The operative mechanics about towns—carpenters, ship-builders, &c. were mostly slaves."
“This description of work is now performed principally by free people of colour.”
“A few years ago, marriage was unknown among the free people of colour."
“It is now becoming common, and many of them are careful to preserve the sanctity of the institution."
“ The number of free persons in Jamaica, in 1787, was estimated at only 10,000.”
"It is now 35,000, and rapidly increasing, by manumissions as well as births."
This representation, if it can be fully relied upon, must be highly consolatory to the friends of their species, more especially if it can be admitted as the result of spontaneous exertions on the part of the white colonists. These improvements it would appear, have been greatly facilitated, if not wholly effected, by the abolition of the slave trade. A measure which was advocated by those very men who are now represented as enemies to the colonies, and the instigators of rebellion and massacre; and opposed in every stage by the weight of colonial interest. The abolition which in 1791 was pronounced, on the floor of the British parliament, to be impracticable, visionary, and delusive, now appears to have already effected a large part of the good which its supporters predicted; and the humane and indulgent treatment of the slaves, which was then urged in opposition to the projected abolition, now appears as the result of it.* This sum
if not instructive, to observe the near correspondence in the account of the treatment of slaves either on their passage or in the colonies, when given by those who are opposed to any interference of the mother country. When Sir W. Dolbin, in 1788, was striving to secure to the ill-fated Africans on board the slave ships, a space equal to what they would require in their coffins, it was asserted that the accommodations already allowed, were sufficiently ample to render the objects of them comfortable; and that the restrictions proposed would be a virtual prohibition of the traffic. Even that innocent measure could not be permitted to pass
without the cry of ruin and horror. (See the Lord Chancellor's speech on the subject.) Yet when the effect came to be seen, it was admitted by the mer. chants themselves, that their profits were increased by it. When the abolition was proposed, oppression to the slaves, and extermination of their masters, were held up as the unavoidable result. Now, that measure being also carried, the situation of the slaves is said to be so far improved by it as to render any further interference by the British parliament worse than useless.
* See speeches of the agent of the islands, Lord Russel and others, on Wilberforce's motion. It is amusing,
Errors and Appeals, in the case of ne probably, very few of these boys, gro Flora against J. Graisberry, after
who were not known to a considera
ble circle of their own complexion, a full argument by the most compe
by whom they might have been cleartent counsel, as the unanimous opi- || ly identified. To procure among this nion of the judges, that slavery was
class of acquaintances, persons wilnot inconsistent with any clause of the
ling to encounter the hardships of a
distant journey, would have been constitution of Pennsylvania.
much easier than among those whom alone the southern tribunals admit.
The expense of recovery would likeTo the Editor of the African Observer. wise, In this case, have been greatly JUST RECIPROCITY.
diminished. Had the father of Sin. In the last number of your work, I
clair, been a competent witness in observe you have treated upon the
Alabama, none could have been more exclusion of negro testimony from the
capable of proving him, and the exsouthern tribunals. To the arguments
pense of his recovery would have
been which you have advanced, I have no
of comparatively moderate objection to make, but regret that you
amount. As the case stood, the boy have not pursued so far as I think you
was recovered at an expense of fifty might justly have done, the effect of per cent. beyond what he would have that exclusion on the recovery of cost, if his friends had purchased him
at once of his ostensible owner. It those who have had the misfortune to fall into the hands of kidnappers. It
is fully believed, if not absolutely is certainly important that those cri- | proved, that between twenty and minals who pursue this nefarious oc
thirty persons of colour have, within cupation, should be subjected to the
the last three years, been clandespunishments which the laws have pre
tinely carried off, from this city. A scribed; yet in the view of the phi
few of these have been restored to lanthropist, it is much more import | living, are probably still held in sla
their friends, but a larger number, if ant that the captive should be delivered from the grasp of lawless autho
very. Should the situation of those rity. The rule of law adopted in the
persons, by any means become known slave-holding states, that the testimo
to their friends, their recovery, under ny of a coloured person, free or bond,
the operation of existing usages and shall not be admitted, in any case
laws, must draw very heavily upon wherein a white person is concerned,
the friends of private charity. And operates very injuriously, not only on
very probably, in some instances, those who are kidnapped, but also on
neither labour nor expense would be their friends, who attempt their reco
available, for want of white witnessvery. In the circumstances recently
es to prove their origin. We claim disclosed in this city, we find a strong
here, in Pennsylvania, no authority illustration of the practical effect of
to emancipate the slaves, legally held this rule. A number of boys, were
as such in our sister republics, nor to clandestinely carried off, far into the
prevent their recovery, when they southern states. In one or two years,
escape into this state; and surely they it must have been no easy affair to
on the other hand, will not claim the find a white person so intimately ac
privilege of preventing the inhabiquainted with them, as to be able to
tants of this commonwealth, whether identify them, with such unwavering
black or white, from being redeemed certainty as the case required. And
when carried off, in defiance of law, if such white person could be found, | beyond our jurisdiction. However the probability would be, that great
impertinent any interference with difficulty and loss must attend the un
their usages and laws, may appear, dertaking. To travel a thousand miles
when they operate only on themor more, in search of a kidnapped child, would require a share of zeal * He might have been bought for which friendship or philanthropy 300 dollars; the expense of his recodoes not always supply. There were, very was about 450 dollars.
selves, it is undeniable that we have the state from which he fled, be delia right to complain of the hardship to vered up, to be removed to the state which, in the protection of our own having jurisdiction of the crime. people, we are sometimes subjected, 3. No person held to service or la. by the exclusion of testimony which bour in one state under the laws we have thought proper to admit in thereof, escaping into another, shall, our own courts of justice. Whatever in consequence of any law or regulaour southern legislatures may find ex tion therein, be discharged from such pedient to maintain among them service or labour; but shall be deliselves, it seems to me, it would be vered up on claim of the party to no extravagant concession, to admit whom such service or labour may be our free coloured persons, too prove
due. the freedom of such of their own co
The principle of these regulations lour as may claim it on the plea of
evidently is, that the rights and re. nativity within our own jurisdiction.
sponsibilities belonging to the inhabiShould a law be enacted, in the slave
tants of any of the states, by the laws holding states, embodying the provi
and usages thereof, shall not be imsions which are now in force in relation to sable testimony, it might be
paired by their temporary removal
into any other state. Those who are justly entitled, a law to encourage entitled to the privileges of citizenkidnapping, and for other purposes. ship in one state, do not lose those It is probable, the effect of the rule as
immunities in any other state. If here stated, has been little consider
the full rights of citizens are not ed in the southern states. Not two
enjoyed, but minor rights are, does years ago, a deputation from the le
it not follow that the principle gislature of Maryland, attended the
which maintains the greater, must seat of government in at least two of
also maintain less? If, according to the states, during the session of their
the laws of Pennsylvania, a black legislative assemblies, to solicit some
man is a competent witness, in any enactments to facilitate the recovery case within his knowledge, is it not a of fugitive slaves; would an applica- violation of the principle of the contion for a law to facilitate the restora. tion of kidnapped free persons, be
stitution to deprive him of that com
petency, the moment he crosses less worthy of respectful attention?
Mason and Dixon's line? The criminal Philada. Sept. 21, 1827. L. E. escaping into another state, is to be
thrown back to suffer the penalties To the suggestion of the corre
of the law. The slave escaping from spondent, I take the liberty of add a state where slavery is tolerated, to ing, that the privilege here claimed, one where it is proscribed, must neappears to be guaranteed by the spi
vertheless be restored to the owners, rit, if not by the letter of the Federal upon proper evidence being producconstitution. In the 4th article, we ed of the legality of their claim; the find the following provisions.
just reciprocity which the above ci
ted article enjoins, evidently requires Article 4.---Section 1.
that the free person clandestinely car1. Full faith and credit shall be
ried from a free, to a slave state, given in each state to the public acts,
should, notwithstanding this unlawful records, and judicial proceedings of
abduction, be secured in the enjoyevery other state.
ments of all the immunities allowed in
his native state. And of this, he is Sect. 2. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and
deprived if the witnesses upon whom
in the one, he may safely rely, are immunities of citizens in the several
rendered totally unavailing in the states.
other. Two persons being lawfully 2. A person charged in any state married in any one of the states, even with treason, felony, or other crime, though such marriage may be prohiwho shall flee from justice, and be bited by the laws of another, are enfound in another state, shall, on de titled to all the rights of matrimony mand of the executive authority of in any other, even in that where the