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sold were immediately branded on the breast, or on the thick part of the shoulder, with a stamp, about the size of a sixpence made of silver, and having the initials of the new master's name. This barbarous ceremony being over, new names were given to them. They were then delivered to old slaves of the same sex, and sent to the estate, where each was properly kept clean by his guardian, instructed in labour and well fed. During the first six weeks they were not employed in working. The consequence of this was that they soon became plump and fat.
With regard to the treatment of slaves in Surinam, Captain Stedman says, that, by some masters, they were as well and as kindly treated as the most favoured servants are in England, but that from others they often experienced the most horrid tortures. To many of these tortures he was himself witness, and he records several instances, which it is painful to read.
Under a mild master and an honest overseer, however, he says that a negro's labour is no more than healthy exercise, which ends with the setting sun. The remaining time is his own, and he employs it in hunting, fishing, cultivating his garden, or making fishing-nets for sale. With the money he thus obtains he buys a hog or two, sometimes fowls or ducks, all of which he fattens on the spontaneous productions of the soil. without expense and with little trouble. Thus circumstanced, he is exempt from all anxiety respecting his subsistence; he pays no taxes, and looks up to his master as the protector of himself and his family. Every Saturday evening the slavęs, who are well treated, close the week with dancing and singing, and generally once a quarter they are treated with a grand ball, to which the neighbouring slaves are invited. At these balls they are, in general, remarkably neat; the women appearing in their, best chintz petticoats, and many of the men in fine Holland trowsers. It not unfrequently bappens that entertainments of this description con
tinue from six o'clock on Saturday night till the sun bas made its appearance on Monday morning; the whole of which time is passed in dancing, cheering, hallooing, and clapping of hands. The negroes always dance in couples, the men figuring and footing, while the women turn round like a top, their petticoats expanding like an umbrella. Captain Stedman says, that it is astonishing with what ardour these dancing societies are kept up: he states, that he had known a newly imported negro, unable to procure a partner, figure and foot it, for nearly two hours, to his own shadow against the wall.
Fifth Day's Instruction.
GUIANA CONTINUED. Conclusion of CAPTAIN STEDMAN's Narrative of an
Expedition in Surinam.
As soon as Captain Stedman was sufficiently recovered from his illness, he proceeded to his former quarters, for the purpose of joining Colonel Fourgeoud, who had gone up the Cottica; and he once more arrived at Devil's Harwar on the 30th of October. He thence went up the river to Wana Creek; and, four days afterwards, the colonel reached that place. Not long subsequently to this they marched together with the main body of troops, in search of the rebels; and, in their progress, they discovered and destroyed three villages. In this excursion they found seven human skulls, fixed upon stakes, and the mouldering bodies to which they had belonged lying beneath them. These proved to be the remains of Lieutenant Lepper, and six of his unhappy men, who had been stripped naked by the rebel negroes, and flogged to death.
On the 9th of November Colonel Fourgeoud issued orders that the troops should march in two columns, to scour the northern bank of Cormoetibo Creek. In this march, each officer, being provided with a pocket compass, they had to steer, like mariners, through an immense tract of wood, where nothing was to be seen but trees and sky. For the purpose of the columns giving directions to each other, they were ordered to cut certain marks on the trees as they passed; and, if they marched over deserts, heaths, or savannas, they were occasionally to drop bundles of small twigs or reeds, tied together in the form of a cross. At night they were obliged to encamp without huts or covering of any description, and to sleep in hammocks slung between the trees. Owing to some unaccountable neglect, their provisions were soon exhausted, and both officers and men were reduced to only one rusk biscuit each for twenty-four hours. These biscuits were formed of coarse rye loaves cut in two, and baked as hard as a stone. On the second day they experienced a trifling relief, in the acquisition of a large bird, a kind of wild turkey, which was killed by one of the men, and made into broth. Though the dry season had recommenced, they were still deluged with rain, and now had no means whatever of shelter from it. They could have shot many birds among the trees, but, lest the report of their muskets should apprize the rebels of their presence, the men were not permitted to fire, on pain of death. The rains were so heavy that, in several parts of the woods, they had to wade through the water knee deep. The troops soon became sickly, and the innumerable hardships to which they were subjected in their march, reduced them to the most deplorable condition that can be imagined. When they arrived at a place called the Jerusalem, near the mouth of Cormoetibo Creek, they were utterly exhausted by famine and fatigue. Their bodies had been stung by various kinds of insects, and dreadfully lacerated by thorns. Several of them, unable to walk, had been carried by the slaves in ham
mocks slung upon poles. During their march they had not seen a single enemy.
Captain Stedman, speaking of this search for the rebels, remarks that it is amazing to observe with what great skill one negro can discover the haunts of another. While an European is unable to discern the slightest vestige of a man's foot in the forest, the roving eye of the negro-ranger discerns the broken sprig, and the faded leaf trodden fiat, without ever missing it.
The whole number of Europeans and Negroes, who were engaged in this expedition, was near five hundred, but half of them were sick and confined to their hammocks. At Jerusalem Colonel Fourgeoud left Captain Stedman with the command of four hundred men, whilst he, with twenty European soldiers and twenty negro rangers, went to reconnoitre a demolished rebel village at some distance. In the return of this party they took three rebel negroes : of these one escaped, but the other two were secured.
On the 30th of November, the troops broke up, and once more returned to Wana Creek. While stationed at this place Captain Stedman speaks of being annoyed, during the nights, by the loud and hoarse croaking of a species of toad called Pipa. These animals are as large as ducks, and, in appearance, are extremely hideous. They are covered with a dark brown, rough, and scrofulous skin, and are remarkable for the females carrying their tadpoles, or young ones, each in a small cell or ħole, upon their back. The croaking of these toads, and the hammering kind of noise produced by another species, and incessantly continued from sun-set to sun-rise, the howling of baboons; the hissing of spakes, the growling of tigers, and the heavy rains which frequently fell, rendered the nights gloomy and uncomfortable.
After having undergone innumerable hardships for many weeks, Captain Stedman was informed by the colonel, that he was at liberty, if he pleased, to return to Paramaribo, to recruit and refit himself. This pro
posal be gladly accepted; and he and some other officers departed, leaving behind them, he says, “a band of such scare-crows, as would have disgraced the garden or field of any farmer in England."
Captain Stedman continued in Paramaribo, from the 15th of January, 1774, till about the middle of February, when he received orders to proceed to a place called the Hope Estate, and there, in the absence of Colonel Fourgeoud, to take the command of the river Comewina. Having purchased a complete camp equipage, and furnished himself with an ample store of provisions, he embarked on board a tent-boat, rowed by six negroes, and shortly afterwards repaired thither.
On the 19th, about noon, he reached the Hope, and found the Comewina a more beautiful river than the Cottica. Both these streams are bordered with coffee and sugar plantations; and, about half way up each, there is a protestant church, where the people of the plantations resort, to hear divine worship. The estate, called L'Espérance, or The Hope, at which Captain Sted. man now took the command, was a valuable sugar plantation, situated on the left side of the Comewina, and at the mouth of a rivulet called Bottle Creek. Here the troops were lodged in temporary sheds or wooden houses; but on a spot so low and marshy as, at spring. tides, to be entirely under water. In another station higher up the river, the troops were more disagreeably quartered than at the Hope. This was owing chiefly to an amazing number of rats with which the place was infested. These destroyed the men's clothes and provisions, and ran over their faces by dozens, as they lay in their hammocks.
The situation of the Hope was unhealthy, and the hospital was so crowded with sick as to present a melancholy spectacle ; yet Captain Stedman felt himself here much more independently and more comfortably circum. stanced than he had been in any of the previous excursions. He was extremely respected by the neighbouring planters, who plentifully supplied him with presents,