« FöregåendeFortsätt »
It is known to the reader that England and several other nations, keep a number of vessels on the coast of Africa in order to put an end to the Slave Trade. Vessels taken by the English cruisers with African Slaves on board, are taken into the English colony of Sierra Leone, and then condemned; the captors receiving seven pounds for every Slave taken. Formerly the Slaves thus liberated were kept at Sierra Leone, and for a short time allowed rations, being kept in the meantime under strict subordination. After a short time they were allowed a portion of ground, on which to make their own subsistence. But lately, since the English Government has seen fully the disastrous consequences of West India emancipation, the liberated Slaves have been induced, by various acts, to emigrate to the West Indies, there to be apprenticed to the planters for a term of fourteen years, in order to pay their passage. Black delegates are sent from the West Indies to Sierra Leone in order to enlist emigrants; and as the captives are not sufficiently numerous to supply the demand, those black delegates have purchased of the head men the right to enlist the Kroomen of the interior, for the West Indies. distinguished member of the French Chamber, M. Barreyer, in a speech delivered by him a year
or two ago, stated that in June 1843, the English Government had issued an "order in council" authorizing the importation into Demarara, of one hundred thousand hired Negroes from Africa. And in confirmation of this, a French merchantman saw, in the river Gambia, an English vessel of five hundred tons, take in five hundred Africans for the English colonies. A remark is proper here. According to our navy regulations no ves sel can take in more than two passengers for every five tons burthen of the vessel; in England they are allowed to take in three passengers for every five tons burthen. In the case above mentioned, one African was taken on for every ton of the vessel, though the rooms must have been previously occupied by the officers and crew. Nothing in the history of the Slave Trade can sur pass this in point of cruelty.
When the Negroes reach the West Indies, they are apprenticed as before mentioned. Now what must be the result of this system? The Negro is bound as an apprenticed Slave during the better part of his life; in his old age, probably, he is thrown upon the world to earn his own subsistence, without the knowledge or the capacity to obtain a decent support. And the reasonable presumption is, that he will be treated worse and worked harder
than if he were the property of his master for life. No doubt, too, frauds will be practised upon the Negroes; some will be fraudulently kept in Slavery for life, for the Negro has no way of protecting his rights against the white man.
In the foregoing remarks, we have one of the means developed by which England is attempting to increase her tropical productions, and by that means still maintain her ascendency in commerce, navigation, manufactures, wealth and power. But, as before noticed, she is attempting to accomplish the same end by other means-the abolition of Slavery in the United States, in Texas, in Cuba, and in Brazil. She very rightly thinks that the abolition of Slavery in the countries named, would so utterly ruin and cripple their prosperity, as to give her the ascendancy in all tropical productions. I have already commented at considerable length on this subject, and shall, therefore, devote but few additional words to its further consideration. The principles and policy of the British Government on the subject of Slavery have been already commented upon at some length. The Earl of Aberdeen, it will be recollected, declared that England desired to see Slavery abolished throughout the world, and that she was constantly exerting herself for that purpose. I noticed
the means by which England expected to effect abolition on this continent, and particularly noticed the efforts of Mr. Turnbull, the English Consul at Havana, to abolish Slavery on the Island of Cuba. I likewise noticed the means put in operation here and in Texas to effect an emancipation of our Slaves. All the facts and details bearing on the subject, leave no doubt as to the selfish policy of England. Humanity, no doubt, mingles in the motives that actuate her, but a desire to aggrandize self, constitutes the leading motive.
FURTHER REMARKS ON THE FOLICY OF ENGLAND, IN CONNEXION WITH THE SLAVE TRADE AND THE RIGHT OF SEARCH,
ENGLAND, it will be recollected, was among first to begin the Slave Trade, and probably was more benefited by the traffic than any other nation. After the United States had abolished it, incorporating its abolition into the organic law of the nation, it was still continued by the English Government and people.
As early as the year 1562, Sir John Hawkins sailed for the West coast of Africa, and there procured several ship loads of Slaves, which he sold in the West India Islands. Queen Elizabeth was so much pleased with the result of this expedition, that she readily formed a copartnership with Hawkins, stipulating to share the future risks and profits of the trade. Chartered companies were sub sequently formed to which were granted a monopoly of the trade; but so loud was the clamor against the injustice of these monopolies, that Parliament in 1697, was induced to pass an act granting to all the subjects of Great Britain the right to carry on this trade.
In the year 1689, England, in a treaty with Spain, stipulated to supply the Spanish colonies with Slaves. The treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, article 12th., fixed the supply of Negroes at four thousand eight hundred annually, for thirty years, In the treaties of Aix la Chapelle and Madrid, England obtained an extension of this monopoly. In the year 1792, there were twenty-six acts of Parliament authorizing and favoring the Slave Trade. In the year 1797, England took possession of the then Dutch colonies of Demarara, Guiana and Berbice. On account of war these Islands had not been supplied with Slaves, but im