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weaker than those which have been considered. The various declarations of the European powers respecting the slave trade, and the provisions adopted for its abolition, clearly attest the light in which it is viewed by those who are not blinded by interest, on that side of the Atlantic. When the congress of the United States pronounced that traffic piracy, and denounced the punishment of death upon those who might be found on board American ships engaged in its prosecution, they sufficiently intimated, not merely their abhorrence of this murderous traffic, but their unwavering opinion, that no rights to the victims of the trade were vested in its promoters.
Our rights to this property, as far as the imported slaves are concerned, have thus grown up out of a series of the most flagrant and accumulated wrongs, and in direct opposition to the principles of common as well as national law.* The foundations of property to an enormous amount, are laid “inconceivably in emptiness and darkness.” The case of those born in the country comes next under consideration.
edly evaded, as, to let their brethren go out free after six years, (Jeremiah xxxiv. 8—22.) If they treated their own race thus, it is not surprising that they should go farther with respect to other races. But, if I am rightly informed, the Jews now hold that a proselyte of righteousness is fully naturalized, and not to be held in bondage, but in all respects treated as a brother.
This was the law and the practice of the church in the time of Christ and his apostles. Few points were made more plain in the Old Testament, than the sin of oppressing and enslaving others; few sins had been more severely punished, as the plagues of Egypt, and the judgments on Israel, testified. Ex. chap. i. 14. Jeremiah xxxiv.
There was no need that much, if any thing, should be said about it, by our Lord and apostles. It stood on the same ground that many other things did, which were settled in the Old, and need not be repeated in the New Testament, as, the Sabbath, the sin of worshipping God by images, the membership of infants, &c.
The Jew was supposed to be established in these truths, from the Old Testament. The gentile and Jew are constantly referred to the Old Testament as the word of God, the rule of faith and practice.
What, for instance, did the Roman, Corinthian, Galatian, Ephesian, or any other gentile churches, know about the Sabbath, the membership of infants of believers, the sin of worshipping God by images, the sin of polygamy, divorce, and a thousand things that might be mentioned ? and what instruction on these points do we find in the epistles addressed to them? On most of them, not a word, and on none of them much. What is said in the New Testament against many vices that then prevailed much ; gladiator shows, the theatre, the plays and revels connected with paganism, polygamy, divorce, concuhinage, the use of images in worship, the exposing of infants, &c? It is supposed the churches possessed the old Testament. There they would find instruction on many of these points, and a system of doctrine and general principles that went totally to condemn them, and there they would find as much, if not more, against oppression
SCRIPTURE RESEARCHES ON SLAVERY.
(Concluded from page 267.) If any object that the Jews did not understand their law as I have explained it, I reply, that our Lord teaches us to rank the Jewish doctors very low as interpreters of scripture. Matt. v. 43—47. Mark vii. 1413-23. And farther, some of these laws they almost entirely neglected, (Neh. viii. 14—17.) as to dwell in booths at the feast of tabernacles. Others, they most wick
* It is an admitted principle of common law, that no man can derive a right from an unlawful act. Or, in the language of the courts, No man may be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong.
and slavery, than against any one sin that can be named.
The only point on which it was needful to say any thing, was whether the law, which forbid the Jew to enslave his fellow Jew, ought, with the enlargement of the church by receiving the Gentile, be enlarged to embrace the Gentile also. Whether the breaking down of the middle wall of partition, the declaring the Gentile clean, the making Jew and Gentile one, did not require that this law of brotherly love should be extended to the whole, and put down slavery altogether?
Now, it appears to me, that if general principles can establish any point, then this point is established. Our Lord taught most clearly that we were to consider all men our brethren. We cannot well conceive of a stronger view of this point than is set before us in the parable of the good Samaritan, (Luke x. 27–37.) His people are to be a light in the world, a salt' in the earth. They are to owe no man any thing but love; to be merciful as their Father is merciful; not to render evil for evil, but to do good to them that hate them, bless those that curse them; they are to do in all things to others as they would be done by. They are not to lord it over. one another as the world does, but to be as brothers, and realize that God hath, made of one blood all nations of men, and is no respecter of persons. The very spirit of the gospel is love, and kindness, and gentleness, and a spirit to bear each other's burdens. Nothing can be more opposed to the spirit of the gospel than forcibly holding our fellow men, and their children, in bondage, for no crime; buying and selling them as property; and compelling them to serve without wages.
That the first Christians did infer the unlawfulness of slavery, we have a good deal of proof. Clemens, in his epistle to the Corinthians, says, that he had known many who had hired themselves as servants, that they might relieve others; and even delivered themselves into slavery, that they might restore others to liberty. Serapian was twice restored to liberty, on his master's embracing the gospel. The bishop of Amida and his clergy gave the gold and silver plate of their
churches to redeem Persian captives, although Pagans, and set them at liberty. Tertullian informs us that the churches had funds raised by collections, which were employed in redeeming persons, especially their brethren, from slavery. The apostate Julian ascribes it to the kindness and active charity of the first christians, not to their own society only, but to all men, that they had such success in spreading their religion. No doubt it was a powerful means for opening the ears, and inclining the hearts of others to attend to their instructions, and learn a religion that was so full of love and kindness to their fellow-men. This accorded with the practice of our Lord and his apostles. They did good in a temporal respect to their fellow men, healed their diseases, satisfied their hunger, and thus engaged their attention to their doctrine, and gave proof that the good of man was had in view. Our Lord had attendants, but no slaves. The disciples had attendants, but no slaves. To have claimed their fellow as absolute property, held them forcibly in bondage, and compelled them to serve without wages, even if the laws of the land had permitted it, would have been a poor comment on their doctrine of love, and kindness, and doing good, of seeking not our own, but another's wealth-of bearing each other's burdens—of considering all men as their brethren, and doing in all things to others as we would have done to us, on which they so constantly and so earnestly dwelt. Would to God that all who bear the christian name had followed their example, instead of inferring from the command to servants to obey, that it is lawful to practise a slavery which God's judgments on Egypt and Israel, as well as many other things, prove to be hateful to God.
The inference in justification of slavery, from the commands to servants to obey, is most unfair, but so common, that a few remarks may be offered on it. The terms used to express servants in the New Testament, mean servants generally: and of course a justification of slavery, one condition of servitude, does not follow from them. Slavery bears the same relation to servitude generally, that polygamy does to marriage, and tyranny to government, as
the command to wives to obey their husbands, does not justify the husband in having several wives ; and as the command to subjects to obey their rulers, does not justify the rulers in being tyrants; so neither do the commands to servants to be obedient justify masters in holding servants as absolute property, detaining them forcibly in bondage, and compelling them to serve without wages. The same principles and reasoning that prove that polygamy is marriage in a condition sinful in the parties, and that tyranny is government in a condition sinful in the ruler, will prove that slavery is servitude in a condition sinful in the master.
The right of the master to hold servants as slaves cannot fairly be inferred from the command to the servant to obey. For it is unquestionable, that persons in certain circumstances are commanded to perform duties, which yet no others have a right to exact, or can exact of them without sin. Matt. v. 38–41. will furnish us with an illustration. “ Ye have heard that it hath been said,” &c.
every district, who is the official protector of slaves, and whose presence is necessary at every legal decision concerning them.
Slaves in the island of Cuba may be divided into two classes; those in Venta Real, that is, who may be sold by the master for any sum he chooses to demand;
and Coartados, that is, those whose slavery is limited, by a price being fixed on them which cannot be increased at the will of the master.
Slaves may acquire their liberty by the mere grant of their master, or by testament; and the only formality necessary is a certificate, called a Carta de Libertad. No security is required, as in the British Islands, that they shall not become a charge to the parish. But masters are not allowed to emancipate old and infirm slaves, unless they provide for them.
If a slave can prove that a promise of emancipation has been made to him by his master, the latter will be compelled to perform it; and wills relating to this subject are always interpreted most favourable to the slaves.
Slaves may also obtain their liberty by purchase: but the master is not al. lowed to fix an arbitrary price ; but if he and the slave cannot agree, two appraisers are named, one by the master, the other by the Protector of Slaves, and the judge names an umpire. The law exempts all sales of this description from the six per cent. duty attaching to all other sales. A master is compelled to sell his slave, if the purchaser engages to emancipate him at the end of a reasonable time. Masters who use their slaves ill, may be compelled to sell them; and in case of their not being coartado, by appraisement. It is the universal custom to give liberty to slaves rendering services to the state, the government paying the master for them.
A slave once emancipated cannot be again reduced to slavery. Various instances to this effect are cited ; among others, the following:
A slave applied to a judge to be valued, in order to purchase his liberty; the master objected, saying it was impossible he could·legally have acquired so much money. The court acknowledged, that the illegal acquirement of the money was as bar to the demand of
SLAVERY IN CUBA. From various sources we learn, and it has been heretofore observed, that the state of slavery in the Spanish colonies is not so extremely oppressive as in either the French, the Dutch, or the British. The following view of it, in Cuba, is believed to be in the main correct, or as nearly so as may be requisite to form a general idea of it. The statement is based upon information obtained within a few years past; and though some changes may have occurred, in consequence of the great and sleady decrease of the coloured population, compared with that of the white, still it will not, perhaps, very materially affect the general aspect of affairs.
It has been the practice, at all times, of the courts of justice in Cuba, to sanction such regulations as tend to meliorate the lot of slaves; and this has given rise to a system, which, though principally founded on custom, has acquired the force of law, and many parts of which have been confirmed in royal decrees. Among other beneficial regulations, there is a public officer in
and advancing him in the way of obtaining his liberty, being held paramount to all other considerations. In all cases, however, where a slave demands to be sold to a purchaser who offers to improve his condition, either by engaging to emancipate at the end of a reasonable time, or by agreeing to coartar him, or by diminishing the sum in which he is coartado, the original master will have the preference, and need not sell him, if he be willing to confer the same benefit on the slave which the purchaser proposes to confer.
The coartado slave has this great advantage, that, if hired out by his master, or, as is more common, allowed to hire himself out, he is only bound to pay his master one real a day for every hundred dollars in which he is coartado. Thus if coartado in 500 dollars, he pays five reals a day; if in 450, four and a half, and so on; Sundays and certain holidays being excluded; while the master of a slave in venta real is entitled to all the money the latter can
the slave; but held that such illegal acquirement must be proved by the master, as it would be hard to oblige the negro to account for all the money he had ever received.
Next to obtaining his liberty, the great object of the slave is to become coartado. This consists in his price being fixed : the master giving him a document called escretura de coartacion, by which he binds himself not to demand more than a certain sum for the slave, which sum is always less than his actual value, but has no relation to the price paid for him.
As slaves may acquire their liberty, so may they be coartados at the pleasure of their master. They may become so,
too, by paying a part of their value. This arrangement is scarcely ever objected to : if it were, the slave has only to apply to a court of justice through the protector to be valued, and then, on paying fifty or a hundred dollars, his master would be obliged to give him an escretura, expressing that he was coartado the difference between the sum paid and his estimated value. Thus, if a slave be valued at 600 dollars, and pay his master 100, he will remain coartado in 500: and no greater price can be demanded, whether he be sold to another master, or he himself purchase his liberty.
The slave also who is already coartado in a certain sum, may pay any part of it, not less than fifty dollars, and his master is bound to receive it. Again, if a master be about to sell his slave, the slave may oblige the purchaser to receive any part of the purchase money, and to remain coartado in the remainder ; and for the part paid no tax is exacted, nor indeed for any money paid by slaves towards obtaining their liberty, for becoming coartados, or diminishing the sum by which they may be already coartados.
It is a disputed point, whether a slave can oblige his master to sell him, if he can find a purchaser who will coartar him. This practice being liable to abuse, is generally discouraged, unless the purchaser be willing to coartar the slave in considerably less than his value; in two-thirds of it, for example; in which case no judge would refuse the demand for a change of masters ; the meliorating the lot of the slave,
The law is, that a coartado slave is as much a slave as any other, except as regards his price, and the quota he is to pay his master, if hired out. The master, therefore, is as much entitled in law to his personal service, as to that of a slave in venta real. But this is somewhat modified in practice. If a slave descend to his master coartado, or become so in his service, the master may require his personal service, and the slave cannot demand to be allowed to work out. But when a coartado slave is sold, it being the custom for a slave himself to seek for a new master, he uniformly stipulates beforehand whether he is to serve personally, or to work out, paying the usual daily quota; and judges will always compel the master to observe such stipulation, unless the slave should neglect to pay ; when the only remedy is to exact his personal service. It is not uncommon, therefore, for a master wishing to employ his coartado slave, who has stipulated to be allowed to work out, to pay the difference between the sum the slave ought daily to pay to him, and the wages usually earned by the slave. In this case alone is the slave paid for his labour by the master, except, indeed, he is employed on Sundays or holidays.
to a certain quantity of ground, with the produce of which, and the breeding of pigs and poultry, they may well look forward to acquiring money to become coartado, and even to being emancipated. It is also highly advantageous to the slaves that public opinion is favourable to granting them their liberty; and all respectable men would feel ashamed to throw obstacles in the way of their becoming free; on the contrary, masters are generally very willing to assist their slaves in the attainment of this most desirable object. The effects of this system are seen in the state of the population. The last census (which, though not very exact, is sufficiently so for the present purpose) makes the whites 290,000, the free people of colour 115,000, and the slaves 225,000.
Gen. of Univ. Eman.
During illness, coartado slaves who work out are exempted from paying any thing to their master, who, on the contrary, is bound to maintain and assist them, as other slaves.
The sum in which a slave is coartado, may be augmented by the amount of any damages the master may be made to pay on his account in a court of justice. But if the slave neglects for some time to pay his daily sum, this cannot be added to his price, because it was the master's fault not to have had recourse in time to the proper remedy of compelling the slave's personal service.
The law which so eminently favours the slave, does not neglect his offspring. A pregnant negress may emancipate her unborn infant for twenty-five dol
and between its birth and baptism, the infant may be emancipated for fifty dollars; and at any time during childhood, its value being then low, it may acquire its liberty or be coartado, like other slaves.
In administering this system in the country parts, where there are few magistrates, there may be abuses; yet in the Havanna, and other large towns, it is efficiently observed. Indeed, to the honour of the island be it said, this is the branch of the laws which is best and most impartially administered.
Wages are high in Cuba ; a common field negro earns four reals a day, and is fed : a mechanic ten reals to three dollars a day; and a regular house servant, twenty to thirty dollars a month, besides being fed and clothed. With such wages the coartado slave is well able to pay the daily quota to his master, and to lay by something for the attainment of his liberty. This could not be done were wages much lower.
The large white population, too, is a great advantage to the slaves, from the facility thereby afforded to change masters, and thus remedy many of the evils attending their state. The lot of household slaves who derive most benefit from this circumstance, is particularly favourable. They are almost always taught some trade, and by well employing their leisure hours, they may easily acquire their liberty in seven years. Field slaves, too, have their advantages. They are by law entitled
PROGRESS OF DISCOVERIES IN AFRICA.
Though the eastern parts of Africa appear to have been settled soon after the deluge, and to have been the seats of civilization and science, at a time when Europe was either unknown to the human race, or occupied only by a few scattered hordes of wandering savages; yet a large portion of that interesting continent remains to this day unknown to civilized man.
The oldest historical notices of Egypt which have escaped the ravages of time, give us a high opinion of its early importance. In the days of Abraham, when a famine prevailed in the favoured land of Canaan, Egypt was the resort of the patriarch and his family. And it is remarkable, that the earliest notice of the precious metals, as a constituent of wealth, occurs in immediate connection with the narrative of his egress from that country ; an evidence, in the absence of better, that the fertility of the soil, and the early civilization of the inhabitants, gave to those metals in that country,