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reared among Negroes, and having been with them all my life, the idea of alarm never once entered my head; nor does it enter the head of any one, who has resided any length of time at the South.
In another respect the Negro differs from any other Slave. His situation excites in his mind not the slightest idea of degradation : on the con. trary, he feels perfectly content, from a conviction that his position is one which is proper and natu. rals for him. The laboring classes of England and other countries, in contrasting their condition with the condition of the higher orders, feel a burning sense of degradation ; and of course are discontented, unhappy, and turbulent. This is always the case, when the white man holds the white man in bondage ; or what amounts to the same thing as bondage, a state of hopeless poverty, which is a more powerful motive of submission to superiors, than absolute Slavery itself. Our Negroes are contented with their lot, and desire not to change it; they have a consciousness that they are fitted for it, and feel a perfect contempt for any white man that places himself on an equal. ity with them.
But there is another important peculiarity which has an important bearing on the well-being of the
Negro" in a state of Slavery. I allude to a kind of stubbornness which induces him to resist every attempt to ferce him to the performance of more than a reasonable amount of labor. You may hurry the Negro somewhat, in cases of necessity
-- but whenever you attempt to make him perform, habitually, more labor than he thinks reasonable and just, he will obstinately resist; andän the end, put you to more cost and trouble than a little. Most Masters, after a while, arrive at the very humane and rational conclusion, that their interests are subserved by only moderately working their Slaves; and so well regulated now are the plantations, within the range of my knowledge, that the Overseers are hardly ever compelleed to chastise the grown up Slaves. I know sexeral plantations, having from fifty to one hundred Slaves, where the whipping of an adult is almost entirely unknown. This is owing to the wellTegulated plantation discipline which prevails in the country. They know the amount of labor that the Negroes will cheerfully perform, and they never attempt to push them beyond this. Owing to this characteristic of the Negro, it is almost impossible to overwork them : such a thing has never occurred, within the
knowl. edge. Between the Negro and other varieties of
A DEFENCE OF NEGRO SLAVERI.
men, there is a wide difference in this particular. The white man, when in bondage, or otherwise under the control of others, can be easily forced to the performance of a degree of labor mach be. yond his strength and capacity. To this cause is owing the many ruined constitutions among the laboring population of England, and other counttries. They are placed under their employers, or others, and forced to perform a degree of labor which is utterly destructive to the constitution. Under similar circumstances, the Negro would resist; and if the effort was made still to force him, he would become obstinate and stubborn, and finally run away—and otherwise put his Master to so much trouble as to induce him, as a matter of interest, to demand in future only a reasonable amount of labor. Every one acquainted with the Negro, is aware of this peculiarity. I do not think, with some, that it results from a peculiar instinct, but from a certain hardihood of constitution, which, as in the case of the mule, gives great power of endurance.
AFRICAN SLAVERY : ITS HISTORY : SLAVE TRADE.
It would be incompatible with the design of a work like this, to go into any thing like a minute history of Slavery, or the Slave Trade; but it may be permitted briefly to allude to these subjects.
African Slavery was probably coeval with the existence of the African race. Canaan, one of the acknowledged progenitors of the African, was doomed to be “a servant of servants to his bretha ren.” (Gen. ir. 25.) His very name, as before remarked, was prophetic of his destiny; and it furnishes a very conclusive evidence that God designed from the beginning, that his descendants should act in the capacity of servants.
When the Children of Israel reached the Promised Land, they found it in the possession of several different tribes; most, if not all of whom, were of the descendants of Canaan. Some of these tribes were destroyed; but one of them, the Gibeonites, were made “hewers of wood and drawers of water," or in other words, were made perpetaal bondmen,
In the ninth chapter of Joshua, we have ar account of this enslavement of the Gibeonites: they practiced a deception upon the Israelites, in order to save their lives ; for which they were reduced to perpetual bondage. This they submitted to, readily and cheerfully.
African Slavery existed in ancient Greece, and in many other countries, both ancient and modern. It has existed in Africa since its first settlement by the Negroes-- now not less than four thousand years past. The Negro population of Africa is estimated at sixty millions : of this number, some estimate the Slave population at nine-tenths. This may be too high--probably two-thirds, or forty millions, would be a fair estimate.
In a subsequent chapter, I design drawing a parallel between Slavery as it exists in Africa, and in this country; and to some extent, the parallel will be extended to Slavery as it exists in other countries—for practically, I maintain, Slavery exists in almost every country. At present, I will make a few remarks on Slavery, as it existe in Africa.
Mungo Park, the Rev. Stephen Ray, and othors, have given us a number of important partic.