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Printed by G. Davidson, Old Boswell Court: for


TO a public like ours, citizens of an empire that

at this day, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America,
counts forty-three principal colonies and dependencies,
of which those of the West Indies alone furnish one
fourth of its imports, employ twenty-five thousand
of its seamen, and annually consume seven millions
of its manufactures; to a public by whom the value
of the periodical press is so well understood, whether as
communicating or recording the occurrences of the
hour, as disseminating universal knowledge, or as mi
nistering to the highest interests of civil society;-to a
public thus circumstanced, and thus informed, little
needs to be offered in behalf of the design of a Colo
To that particular portion of the British public
which is either resident in the colonies, or connected
with them by whatever tie, the several aspects under
which such a publication must be found either useful
or agreeable will naturally and successively present
themselves. This remark, nevertheless, may be al
lowed; that no journal of the times, such as the
Colonial Journal will be, conducted without an ex
press view to local gratification, and local objects
of benefit, can be capable of satisfying those who
possess local interests and feelings.

To the portion of the British public described, a

feature of primary value, in the Colonial Journal, will
doubtlessly be formed by the faithful register of local
occurrences it is to constitute, affecting either com
munities or individuals; while a graver, perhaps,
though not a warmer interest will attach to its pages,
as repositories of facts and reflections in every depart
ment of appropriate research. The accumulation of
these materials will progressively produce a history,
natural, civil, and political, of each particular colony;
and there are few men who do not indulge a liberal
curiosity concerning the history of a country with
which they are in any wise concerned, and especially
of that in which they reside, or in which they were
By those numerous individuals of talent and ac
quirements, who, in remote dependencies, languish
for a suitable channel of correspondence with the
rest of the world, the importance of a journal
devoted, among other colonial objects, to colonial
communications, will not be undervalued. Rejected
for their peculiarity, or obscured by their disper
sion in miscellanies of more unlimited ambition, the
productions of how many an acute observer of nature
or of events, of how many avotary of the muse, of how
many a solitary student of books, are lost, or lie buried
in the portfolio of the distant colonist; or rather, from
the consequent langour and despair, how many a valu
able fact or observation is suffered by such an one to
perish with the moment that gives it birth ! It is a
leading aim of the editor of the Colonial Journal to

supply a receptacle for colonial correspondence, in

the frequent merits of which he is not inexperienced.
Confining, for an instant, our recollection to
some of the branches of the history of nature, that
sole pursuit of science, and foundation of art, who
is there, in reality, more capable of adding, from
time to time, to the stock of knowledge, than the
colonist, who, exploring and cultivating new re
gions, tried under new climates, and often thrown
among new nations of men, observes and learns
so much that is unknown in his native land 1
What is he but a traveller, with the advantage of
lengthened contemplation of the subjects that fix
his attention 1 The colonist need only deliver him
self from the apprehension, that unless he writes a
treatise, he must not write at all. The world will
thank him for the briefest notice of the most insulated
fact. It is but too rarely that opportunities, alike of
study and observation, are afforded to the same indi
vidual; and the employ of that man is eminently useful,
who either supplies the studious with fresh fruits of ob
servation, or corrects, or verifies, upon the spot, that
which has been written in the closet, and without the
living scene to witness. Hence, at one time, the in
telligent colonist can supply original truths, and, at
another, refute established errors.
But it is not only on topics of letters and knowledge,
that the colonies, and their inhabitants, must feel the
advantage of a direct communication with the metropo
litan press. The press, as intimated above, has be
come, in the age in which we live, a minister to the
highest civil concerns; the best guardian of civil
xii G E N E R AL PR E FA C E.

and religious liberty; the truest rampart of public and

private right; the creator and the guide of public
opinion: and how often does it not happen, that in
the unavoidable imperfection of human things, colo
nies are left to deplore that they are so little known to
the mother-country, so little to the imperial govern
ment which presides over them. How often, from
these causes, are not their dearest interests thwarted
or neglected, amid the most unintentional oppres
sion How often, too (to pass from affairs to men),
do not individuals in the colonies, from the compara
tive secrecy which, in the absence of a metropolitan
press, they enjoy, fall into acts which might provoke
the persuasion, that they fancy the seas or the fo
rests to remove or conceal them from that only world
which they could view with a salutary fear ! Far be
it, at the same time, from the belief of the reader, that
in the remark last made, there is intended an invitation,
to a place in these pages, of those personalities, those
ebullitions of temper, those calumnies, the offspring of
the heart-burnings and resentments that too frequently
subsist in and empoison small communities. Public
and private good, the exposure of vice and error, the
praise of virtue, and the defence of truth, are the
objects to be pursued in the Colonial Journal; and,
subject to the restraint which these principles impose,
and subject also to such further discretion, as to inser
tion, as may be required, communications on civil
subjects, equally with those designed for the advance
ment of natural or historical knowledge, will always
be admitted.
To the British public at large, neither the interests,

the condition, the productions, the resources, nor the

history of the colonies can be objects of indifference.
They form part, and a very important part, of that empire
in which we have a common concern. Their value will
not be mistaken, while it is remembered, that to
“ships, colonies, and commerce,” (to adopt the ener
getic language of our late able and implacable enemy,)
Great Britain owes her present wealth and power;
that on the preservation and well-doing of her North
American colonies depend the fur-trade, the fisheries,
and much of her naval means; and that as already said,
our West India possessions alone furnish one fourth of
our imports, employ twenty-five thousand ofher seamen,
and consume annually seven millions sterling of her
manufactures. Were the colonies lost to us, let the
financier consider how he could supply the place of
the revenue derived from them; the manufacturer,
how he could vend the goods they consume; the ship
owner, how he could employ the vessels at present en
gaged in their trade:–let the fund-holder ascertain how
his dividends could be paid to him ; and finally, let
the possessor of land reflect how unequal he would be
to support the expenses of the nation, (his land di
minished in value, in proportion to the general de
pression,) without the resources afforded by those
valuable possessions ! The interests of the colonies,
therefore, are the interests of the entire realm ; and a
melancholy mistake it would be, if any Englishman
could believe, that the colonies can be assailed or
oppressed without injury to the nation itself. To
foster their rising strength, to call out all their means,
and to shield them from all oppression and discourage
xiv G E N E R AL PRE FA C E.

ment, should be among the steadiest aims of every

British patriot.
The politician, therefore, and political economist,
who seeks the general welfare of his country, will see,
in the Colonial Journal, that medium for the disse
mination of an accurate and familiar acquaintance with
those, its distant parts, by which alone is to be created
the sameness of feeling, and the lively attachment,
which must be the foundation of all views in their be
half, good in their intention, and good in their effect.
He will seek this acquaintance for himself, and he will
seek it for the mass of the community, whose sentiments
are necessarily formed upon their ideas, and whose
ideas are derived from the information within their
reach. What is unknown, is like that which is long
past, or far removed. To make us acquainted with
a thing, is, as it were, to make it present, or to bring
it near; and, if it be true that distance increases reve
rence, it is equally so, that proximity increases affec
tion, removes prejudices, and inspires kindness. Nor
is that wide geographical circle, round which the
British colonies are placed, unmarked by every va
riety of feature which may gratify the liberal, and
even allure the most idle reader. Ranging, accord
ing to the extent already traced, through the four
quarters of the globe, and excluding only those
British possessions in Asia which are under the ma
nagement of the East India Company, we find,
within the limits of our colonies, topics of the most
diversified description; new countries, whose traits
can chiefly attract the philosopher, the poet, and the
painter; and ancient seats of arts and empire, rich in

the remains of antiquity, and abundant in food for the

historian and scholar. Thus, the Colonial Journal
must be rendered, by its nature, a miscellany of po
litics, commerce, history, philosophy, and literature.
To the lover of his country, and to the observant
eye of surrounding nations, this journal will present
even a more striking characteristic than has been thus
far called to our recollection. It will exhibit in a
forcible, and almost a tangible manner, the mighty
spectacle of British dominion, which, divested of all
political considerations, may yet surprize and delight
by its magnitude, covering every region of the earth,
united by the waves of the ocean, separated (thanks to
navigation) not by space, but only by time ! A domi
nion, too, which asks, for its prosperity, but a friendly
intercourse with mankind; a dominion which is plant
ing the language of its people upon the edge of every
sea, and spreading that language even beyond the
stretch of its sceptre. In Otaheite, at this time, two
hundred native scholars are daily learning the English
spelling-book; and in Japan (such is the fact related
by a recent English envoy,”) the English language,
for seven years past, since the visit of Captain Pellew,
has been cultivated, by the imperial command, in the
College of Interpreters, where English books are eagerly
inquired for.
It is this enlarged display of British grandeur, and
of the actual state of the world, that the Colonial
Journal will unavoidably place before its readers; a
display equally commanding the attention of Britons
* Dr. Ainslie.

and of mankind. But neither is its scope limited

here. It embraces the colonies of all nations; of
Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Denmark
and Sweden; of Russia, which is colonizing Poland,
Tartary, Siberia, and the American islands; and of
the United States of America, which possess the terri
tories or colonies of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and
Upper Louisiana. Thus, our survey leads us into no
small part of the modern history of the globe; and
presents us with the progress of European settle
ment and civilization in the furthest parts of the earth.
There remain yet other considerations, which, ele
vated as they are, it is hoped will not be thought .
presumptuously spoken of in connection with the
Colonial Journal. They grow out of the persua
sion that this miscellany, aided by the colonial and
domestic publics, and from the causes already de
veloped, may become a new bond of union between
the colonies and the state; that the “name and
local habitation” which it presents for all that is co
lonial, and the means of communion it affords,
may awaken mental activity abroad; that an urbane
and liberal spirit (the fruit of knowledge) may
be reciprocally cultivated; that explanations may
be given and received; that the public mind, alike
in either division of the empire, may be enlight
ened and improved. Further, that as the great re
sult of these advantages, the colonies, seeing them
selves, in these pages, distinctly represented in the
public press, secing their situation truly under
stood, seeing their interests plainly asserted, and
finding, here, the means of mixing themselves, at
G E N E IRA L PR E FA C E. xvii

all times, by their thoughts, with their fellow-sub

jects;–that from all these circumstances, the co
lonies will feel even a closer union with the country
to which they belong, and to whose shores they will
seem to be drawn nearer: that protected, not more
by its arms, than by its laws, and honoured by its
institutions, its virtues, and its renown, they will
know themselves to be truly its children; and that
both at home and abroad, territories thus united, by
sympathies and by blessings, will regard themselves
only as two plots of the same soil, and see, in the
vast and scattered regions which contain our colonies,
but a second portion of the empire:–BRIT ANNIA
It is to be added, that while the Colonial Journal
is commenced under a confident belief, that such a
publication is capable of being rendered of the most
serious importance to the welfare of the British colo
nies, as well as distinguished by the minor and the
incidental advantages that have been referred to, it is
also commenced with the humblest conviction, first,
that only the co-operation of colonial genius and infor
mation can avail to invest it with the claims that are
thus ventured to be advanced ; and secondly, that
from a variety of causes, inseparable from this peculiar
undertaking, its first efforts must fall so far short of
that completion which it is its anxious desire to reach,
as to render it only becoming to ask, from the indul
gence of the reader, that, in its infant state, it may
be regarded as a work rather of promise than of per
--------------- -- - - -----==========|-|--
… :- -- -|-• • • • • • • • -


F I R S T V O I, U M E.

THE reception afforded by readers both in the

Colonies and at Home to this first volume of the Co
lon 1 AL Jour NAL, has appeared to justify every thing
that was said in the General Preface on the prospects
of gratification and utility presented by the design of
such a publication. The long and unforeseen delay
which has attended the production of the Second
Number, while it has trespassed to no small extent
upon the indulgence of the friends of the undertaking,
has been productive of abundant proofs to the Editor
of the interest which is attached to it, and given him
new reason to believe that he did not at first over

rate the recommendations it was capable of possessing.

As a Register of Colonial Occurrences, as a Repo
sitory of every species of Colonial Information, and,
consequently, a Miscellany of General Entertainment;
as a Book of Reference for Colonial Statistics, State
and other Official Papers, &c., and a Review of Publica
xviii PREF Ace To volu ME 1.

tions on Colonial Affairs, Colonial Voyages and Tra

vels, &c. &c. it was presumed that this Journal would
not be unacceptable to the Public; but there were,
perhaps, still other points of view, or rather those in
which the whole may be said to be concentered, which
constituted even a higher aim, and with respect to
which the Editor continues, at the least, as sanguine as
before. These were, the ambition to promote in the
Mother Country a full, a particular, and a harmonizing
acquaintance with the Colonies, and in the Colonies
a real and vital community of feeling with the Mother
Country; to cherish in the one the attachments and
sentiments in which, so to say, they were born and
bred; and to make visible and tangible to the other,
all the interests, the necessities, and the local peculia
rities of the Colonies; thus warming affections, thus
dissipating errors, thus preventing griefs, and thus
binding in durable bonds the scattered parts of this
great British empire.
In this contemplation, as has been said, the Editor
has hitherto seen nothing to disappoint him; but on
the contrary much to confirm his persuasion, that not
only individual pleasure may be yielded, not only
local interests promoted, but national benefits pro
duced, through the medium of a common vehicle of
intercourse, like the present, in which shall be as
sembled whatever belongs to those Colonial esta
blishments in which England is so largely, so deeply
and so permanently interested. -

Circumstances, in the mean time, have never yet

permitted the Editor to fill up, even in a moder

rate degree, the outline of his plan; and there is

nothing which he can speak of with greater sincerity,
than his own feeling, that the publicapprobation mani
fested toward the Colonial Journal. has hitherto been
far more liberally bestowed, than its execution has been
faithfully performed. With respect to some heads, it
is, perhaps, still necessary that a little time should be
suffered to elapse; but the following paragraphs con
vey, the general table of matters which the publica
tion as originally proposed, is intended constantly to

1. Original Communications on Colonial Interests,

Commerce, Agriculture, Natural and Civil History,
Biography, and Topography, &c.
2. Colonial Collections, comprehending Royal
Charters, Proclamations, Parliamentary Enactments,
Commercial Documents, Exports and Imports, &c.
3. Colonial Bibliography; or, Accounts of Books
of all Dates, on Colonial Affairs.
4. Reviews of New Publications of Colonial In

5. Parliamentary, State, and other Official Papers.

6. Proceedings in Parliament, on Questions inter
esting to the Colonies.
7. Proceedings of the several Colonial Governments
and Legislatures, and their respeetive branches.
8. Colonial Occurrences; Births, Deaths, Mar
riages, &c. Arrivals, Departures, &c.
9. Colonial Notices, Civil, Military, Naval, Lite
rary, Philosophical, Missionary, &c.
10. Shipping and Commercial Intelligence; State

of the British Markets; Prices Current of Colonial

Produce, &c. -

11. Colonial Appointments, Civil and Military

Establishments in the Colonies, Lists of Public Of.
ficers, &c.
12. Packets and Ship-letter Mails, Rates of Postage,
Days of Sailing, calculated Return of Packets in
England, and the Colonies, Days of making up Mails,
&c. &c.

Sept. 28, 1816.


No. I.

A P R I L,



Printed by G. Davidson, Old Boswell Court: for





H. GENERAL PREFACE - - - - - - viii

II. COLONIAL SCENERY, PLATE I.—A view of Hall-head

Sugar Plantation in the Island of Jamaica, engraved by Mr.
J. Byrne, from a Drawing by Mr. C. J. Kennion; with a
Description - - - - - -


of the Roseate Spoonbill, drawn and engraved by Mr.
J. P. Nodder; with a Description - - - -


V. NOTICE OF A NEW POEM, entitled, “ A Year in Ca

nada” - - - - - - -


MADEIRA - - - - - -


ISLAND - - - - - -

VIII. COPIES OF A LETTER containing Queries respecting the

State of the Silver and Copper Coins of Barbados, and of an
Answer, describing the same, and recommending Measures
necessary to be adopted for furnishing a full and perfect
Supply to all the Colonies. By G. W. Jordan, Esq. F.R.S.
Colonial Agent for Barbados - - - -
LAND, in the House of Lords, on Friday, the 22d of
March, 1816, on the Motion of Lord Grenville, for Papers
relative to the Slave Registry Bill; reported verbatim -
Major-General Beatson, late Governor of the Island of St.
Helena - - - - - -



politically considered. By the late Merriwether Lewis,
Esq. Governor of Upper Louisiana - - -
nor Macquarie, communicated in General Orders -


SIONARIES in the Colonies - - - 76


the Clergy of the Church of England in the West Indies 79


JAMAICA - - - - 86


1. Inconsistent Colonial Politics of the Edinburgh Review - ib.

2. Memorial to the House of Congress of the United States
of America, from the Traitors of Upper Canada -

3. Necessity of a Parliamentary Prohibition of the establish

ment of Slavery in New British Settlements - -

4. An Account of the Death of the late Henry Meredith,

Esq. Governor of the African Fort of Winnebah -

5. On the name of Barbados - - -

9. Query concerning a Tree in South America and the West

Indies - - - - - -


Pamphlets on the Slave Registry Bill - - - -


1. Treaty of Peace with the United States of America - ib.
2. Convention of Commerce with the Same - - 182
3. Indian Treaty with the United States, ceding the Islands
in Niagara River - - - - - -

3. Memorial to serve by way of Instruction to Sir George

Cockburn, while Gen. Buonaparte remains under his care 189

4. A Return of Exports and Imports to and from the Island

of Jamaica, between the 29th September 1814, and 29th
September 1816 - - - - - -

5. Speech of Sir Gordon Drummond, K. C. B. on opening the

Session of the Assembly of Lower Canada - -

6. An Account of the Exports from Great Britain to the

North American Colonies, from 1800, to 1814 - -


1. Heads of the Slave Registry Bill, 1815 - - -

2. Resolutions of the Assembly of Jamaica, Oct. 1815 -

3. Extracts from the Report of the Committee of the As

sembly of Jamaica - - - - -

4. An Account of Sugar, Rum, &c. exported from the Island

of Jamaica, and number of Slaves, from 1800 to 1815 -
5. Resolutions of the Assembly of Jamaica, Dec. 22, 1816 246
6. Resolutions of the Assembly of Barbados, Jan. 22, 1816 247
7. Heads of an Act of the Legislature of Jamaica, 50th
Geo. III - - - - - - 258


1. Parliament of the United Kingdom - - - ib.
2. Assembly of Lower Canada - - - - 261
3. Assembly of Jamaica - - - - - 266
1. Civil and Political - - - - - ib.
2. Military - - - - - - - 275
3. Naval - - - - - - - 276
4. Literary - - - - - - ib.

5. Philosophical - - - - - - 280
6. Missionary - - - - - - - 283
7. Commercial - - - - 284
8. State of the British Markets, April 26, 1816, &c. - 285





- - -




- 323



from Jan. 1, to March 25 - - - 224




The Arrangement suggested by A. shall be considered of for the future

The papers recommended to us for insertion by O. C. shall appear. Hints
ºf this description will always be thankfully received.
C. D.'s offer is accepted. That of F. A. demands previous inquiry.
G. will see that poetical and other articles of polite literature are not
joreign to our plan.
Occurrences, Births, Marriages, and Deaths in the Colonies, have been
unavoidably omitted in the present number.
Many apologies are due to our readers. Our Commereial Notices,
jrom want of room, are particularly defective; and Shipping Intelligence
from the same cause, is wholly wanting. We trust to improve in these
The Statement of the Kingston Hospital (page 221) copied from the
St. Jago Gazette, contains, upon examination, several numerical errors
which we have not been able to rectify.
A Preface to the First Volume, and a Complete Index, will be given in
No. II.
Authors of Publications connected with the Colonies, are requested to
send copies of their works to either of the Publishers in London; by whom
also, all Communications, post paid, will be received.


APRIL, 1816,


P L A T E I.

A View of Hall-head Sugar Plantation, in the Island of Jamaica.

Hall-mean Sugar Plantation, the property of John Hall, Esq. of

Liverpool, is situate in the parish of St. Thomas in the East, in the
island of Jamaica. In the year 1760, the Hall-head Estate, toge
ther with the Holland and Mona Estates, were in the possession of
the late John Kennion, Esq. also of the vicinity of Liverpool. Mr.
Kennion, in his life-time, sold the Holland Estate to Simon Taylor,
Esq. for the sum of one hundred and nine thousand pounds. The
Mona Estate is at present the property of — Milner, Esq. The
Hall-head Estate, which supplies the present view, was bequeathed
by Mr. Kennion to his cousins, John and Hall, Esquires, the
former of whom has since purchased his brother's share.
The late Mr. Edward Kennion, from whose sketch the drawing for
the engraving has been made by Mr. C. J. Kennion, his son, and
who, by a commission, dated 11th April, 1769, was appointed an aid
de-camp to Sir William Trelawney, then Lieutenant-Governor and
Commander-in-Chief of the Island, superintended, for some years,
the estate of his relative, Mr. John Kennion. Mr. Kennion,
in addition to a general taste for drawing, indulged in a peculiar at.
tention to the faithful representation of trees, specimens of wh
talent he has introduced into the landscape before.

The tree on the left of the picture is the common Cocoa or

Cocoa-nut tree, the Coccos of Linnaeus, and Palma Indica of Ray.
The Cocoa is planted in most of the tropical parts of America, both
for its beauty and productions. It prefers low situations, often
grows to a great height, and bears all its foliage at the top, like the
rest of the palm kind. The nut, or rather the shell, contains, while
young, only a sweetish water; but this liquid, as maturity ad
vances, deposits a gelatinous crust on the sides of the shell, which
gradually hardens with age, until it acquires the strong concreted
texture with which it is commonly seen in Europe. In its watery
state, it is esteemed one of the greatest dainties of the countries of
which it is a native. When more advanced, the kernel is very
nourishing, and will supply the place of almonds in milk and emul
sions. -

The tree on the right of the picture is the Banana-tree, a species

of Plantane (Musa caudice maculata, Slo. Cat. 192.) This tree
is cultivated in all the sugar-colonies, though with less industry than
the common plantane, because its fruit, which, however, is said to
destroy worms in children, is less generally relished. The fruit
of the common plantane supplies a principal part of the sustenance
of the negroes and poorer white persons. It is generally eaten at its
full growth, but before it is ripe, and commonly peeled and roasted,
and thus served at table, or distributed among the negroes. Many
white persons prefer it to anything else of the bread kind, especially
while young and tender. The negroes generally boil it with salt
fish, beef, or crabs, &c. and find them a hearty wholesome food.
As the fruit ripens, it becomes soft and sweetish, and is then gene
rally made into tarts, or sliced and fried with butter, and thus
served up in plates. - -

, - ...

* .

ºr e.
* * *


P L A T E I.

TH E R O S E A T E S P O O N B I. L. L.

This stately and elegant bird inhabits the sea-shores of America,

from Brazil to Georgia. It appears also, that in the warm season,
it sometimes wanders up the river Mississippi. The figure in the
plate having been drawn from one shot in the neighbourhood of
Natchez, whence it was sent to Philadelphia, and there deposited
among the very rich collection of stuffed birds in Peale's Museum.
The species, however, is rarely seen to the northward of the river
Altamaha, in the state of Georgia; and even along the peninsula
of Florida it is a scarce bird. In Jamaica, in several of the other
West India islands, and in Mexico and Guiana, it is more com
mon, but confines itself chiefly to the sea-shore and the mouths of
rivers. Captain Henderson says it is frequently seen at Honduras.
It wades about in quest of shell-fish, marine insects, small crabs,
and fishin general; in pursuit of all which it swims and dives.
There are few facts on record, in relation to this rare bird. It
is said, that it is of a blackish chesnut the first year; of the roseate
colour of the figure in the second; and of a deep scarlet in the
The specimen represented in the plate measured two feet six
inches in length, and nearly four feet across the wings. The bill was
six inches and a half long from the corner of the mouth, seven from its
upper base, two inches over at its greatest width, and three quarters of
an inch where narrowest; of a black colour from half its length, and
covered with hard scaly protuberances, like the edges of oyster
*hells. These protuberances are of a whitish tint, stained with red.
* Artic Zool. No. 338–Lath. Syn. v. 3. p. 16, No. 2.-Le Spatule Couleur
* Rose, Briss. Orn. v. p. 356, 2. pl. 30.-P1. Enc. p. 116.-Buff. vii. 456.
t Latham,

The nostrils are oblong, and placed in the centre of the upper man
dible, and about a quarter of an inch from itsedge; whole crown and
chin bare of plumage, and covered with a greenish skin; that be
low the under mandible dilatable, as in the genus Pelicanus;
space round the eye orange; irides blood-red; cheeks and hind
head a naked black skin; neck long, covered with short white
feathers, some of which, on the upper part of the neck, are tipped
with crimson; breast white, the sides tinged with a brown burnt
colour; from the upper part of the breast proceeds a long tuft of
fine hair-like plumage, of a pale rose-colour; back white, slightly
tinged with brownish; wings al pale wild-rose colour, the shaft
red lake; the shoulders of the wings are covered with a long hairy
plumage, of a deep and splendid carmine; upper and lower tail
coverts the same rich red; belly rosy ; rump paler; tail equal at
the end, consisting of twelve feathers of a bright brownish orange,
the shafts reddish; legs, and naked part of the thighs, dark dirty
red; feet half webbed; toes very long, particularly the hind one.
The upper part of the neck had the plumage partly worn away, as
if occasioned by resting it on the back, in the manner of the Ibis.
The skin on the crown is a little wrinkled; the inside of the wing a
much richer red than the outer.
The late Mr. Alexander Wilton, a native of Paisley, in Scot
land, but who published at Philadelphia, in the United States of
America, an elegant and valuable work on American birds, from
which this figure and description are taken", observes, that he had
never seen the bird in a living state, and was unable to convey any
new information on its history or manners, which he supposes to
resemble, in many respects, those of the European species, namely,
the White Spoonbill, once so common in Holland.

* American Ornithology; or, Natural History of the Birds of the United

States, &c. 9 volumes, Philadelphia, isos. 1814.



PLEASED I behold thee, rover of the deep,

That brav'st the terrors of this raging world;
And follow still, with curious eye, thy sweep,
'Mid emerald waves, with snowy heads, y-curld:
Pleased I behold thee o'er the expanse ride,
Now poised aloft amid the lurid skies;
Descending now the watery valleys wide,
Now rising slow, as slow the billows rise:
Pleased I behold thee! and think blest it were,
Like thee, the dark seas dauntless to explore,
Like thee to toil unwearied, and to dare,
Nor, with a coward's haste, to seek the shore:
Tempt, while I please, the fortunes of the day, ii.

Then, spread the wing, and bear, at will, away! *



Thou gold-hair'd phantom, whose illusive smile
Illumes the prospect of each distant day;
Thy charms could once my youthful heart beguile,
And once my breast glow’d with thine eye's mild ray.
I found thee, fair one, bright, inconstant, vain;
And at eaeh slighted promise fondly rav'd ;
Yet heard with joy thy syren song again;
Nor fear'd, alas ! to be again deceiv'd.
Did I not know, on shelving yellow sand,
Light was thine anchor sunk on joy's bright shore;
And, as we strive to gain the flowery strand,
The strand recedes, and billows louder roar 2
-Tossed on life's sea, far from that blooming land,
I feel, alas! thy cheering smile no more!
P. P-Y.



Glory and Ease my heart between,

To this, and now to that I lean;
To each I give my hand by turns:
For Glory's palm my bosom burns,
But oh! again, thy poppies, Ease,
How much my aching eyes they please!
Say, shall I mount the hero's car,
And seek the glittering ranks of war?
Or, emulous of lettered fame,
With wits desire a radiant name?
Or, rather, with sweet Indolence,
Neglect Ambition's wild pretence;
Recline me on th' enchantress' breast,
And sink, on beds of flowers, to rest?

Divided thus, I wear my life,

For ever with myself at strife;
By Ease from Glory still withdrawn;
By Glory Ease inspired to scorn!
And ah! meanwhile, thus bent on each;
My faithless steps can neither reach!
Slothful no more my days shall roll!
To Glory I devote my soul!
Yes, for immortal life I’ll live;
Life that 'tis, Glory, thine to give!
I spread the wing, prepare to fly,
And fix on future years my eye;
But gentle Ease, slow-drawing near,
With dulcet voice salutes my ear;
Paints, as she can, the private lot,
Obscure retreat, and low-roofed cot;
The peaceful life, that steals along
At distance from the jarring throng;
Nor least, to gild the modest scene,
Paints Independence’ stately mien;
The love of Glory calls a jest;
(Glory, with toil and care opprest;)
And bids me, wiser, seek to prove
The pleasures of a softer love:
“Dear guide,” (I murmur), “I, with thee,
“Will seek the true felicity "

Seizing the proud historic pen,

Fain would I picture states and men;
Or lash, with Virtue's holy rage,
The vices of an iron age;
Or, nobly venturous, touch the wire
That, Horace, strung thy happy lyre?
“'Tis well!” cries Glory, “dare be great;
“Strike home; be bold; and conquer Fate!”
Alas! the words are scarcely said,
Ease comes—in sleep I droop my head!
“Sluggard!” that awful voice I hear
(That voice I love, that voice I fear):
“Is’t thus, in sleep, thy minutes go?
“Do men in sleep illustrious grow?”
'Tis Glory speaks! I own her charms,
And spring impatient to her arms.
I hear the warrior-trumpet blow;
I burn to meet the haughty foe:
Forth to the fight, in thought, I run;
Already on my brow I bear
The laurel that my arm has won:
“Charge, charge, pursue!”—“Rash boy, forbear!
“Hear Ease, and shun the wiles of Caret
“Thy brow let fragrant myrtle bind;
“Lo! Mary gives; lo! Mary kind.
“Be her thy conquest, this thy spoil;
“And oh! despise the wretched toil
“Of those, who, in the maddening field,
“Desire what arms and blood can yield !
“Be blind no more; but joined confess
“With Mary, Glory, Happiness
“ Follow thou me.”—Convinc'd, I bow,
Wise grown, at length, and fixed now:
Again, again, 'tis Glory cries,
“ Unblest from me the wretch that flies!
“What, coward! shall the fair be thine?
“To win the fair, fond fool, is mine!
“Shall thine the gentle Mary be?
“Arise—deserve her—follow me!”

Ye powers no longer let my mind

The right path vainly strive to find;
But teach me where my vows to pay,
Teach where to choose, and where to stay:
Me Glory robs of Ease's calm;
Me Ease deprives of Glory's palm



Upon the plains of Flanders,

Our fathers, long ago,
They fought like Alexanders,
Beneath old Marlborough ;
And still in fields of conquest
Our valour bright has shone,
With Wolf and Abercromby,
And Moore and Wellington.
Our plumes have wav'd in combats
That ne'er shall be forgot,
Where many a mighty squadron
Reel'd backwards from our shot;
In charges with the bayonet,
We lead our bold compeers;
But Frenchmen like to stay not
For the British Grenadiers.

Once bravely at Vimeira,"

They hop'd to play their parts,
And sung fallira lira,
To cheer their drooping hearts:
But English, Scots, and Paddy-whacks,
We gave three noble cheers,
And the French soon turn'd their backs
To the British Grenadiers.

At St. Sebastiano's
And Badajoz' town,
Though raging like volcanos,
The shells and shot came down;
With courage never wincing,
We scal'd the ramparts high,
And wav'd the British ensign,
In glorious victory.
And what could Buonaparte,
With all his cuirassiers,
In battle do at Waterloo,
With British Grenadiers;
Then ever sweet the drum shall beat
That march unto our ears,
Whose martial roll awakes the soul
Of British Grenadiers,

* At Vimeira, the French lines came on singing—the British only returned





- We have seldom taken up a book with more expectation, nor

laid one down with more reluctance, than the little volume, whose
title we have now transcribed. We have met with some blemishes in
the detail of the poem, but, as a whole, it has given us considerable
pleasure. Its character is descriptive, intermixed with sentiment;
and the gratification it bestows arises from its representations of
local objects, and from its general fidelity to nature.
The fair author, who appears to write in or near Edinburgh, ap
pears to have paid a visit of some length in Canada; and, if we
may allow ourselves to pick so much information, by indirect
means, out of her stanzas, the part of the country in which she re
sided, was what we may call its centre, where the upper and lower
provinces meet. In a word, we place her, in our imagination, at Glen
gany, and suppose a slight, though but very slight acquaintance’
with her “spire-crown'd isle” of Montreal. In the structure of
her verse, she has followed the pattern of her elegant countryman,
Dr. Beattie, and it is to be confessed that she has wrought with
materials not wholly unworthy of the model. The poem is di
vided into five parts, of which the first opens with a general view of
the landscape of Canada —
“Breeze of another clime, whose gentle gales
Sigh in soft whispers through yon fairy grove,
'Mid Transatlantic streams, and hills, and vales,
Still in the vision of remembrance wove!
Oh! yet, ere time each vivid tint efface,
Yet might the muse, on mem'ry's wing, explore
These western shades, the varying landscape trace,
And weave the soothing lay, and half restore
Those scenes that once could charm—now haply view’d no more
...And bright on fancy's view the picture glows,
The wood-crown'd hills of Canada arise,
And many a forest waves its verdant boughs,
And many a cultured vale between them lies.
Wide through the land her own St. Lawrence pours
* A Year in Canada, and other Poems. By Ann Cuthbert Knight, 12mo,

His swelling stream to meet the ocean's waves;

Now calmly steals along his sylvan shores,
Now rushing o'er the rocky rapids raves,
His village-skirted banks, and spire-crown'd? island laves.
“Or gliding onward rolls his azure pride
Beneath his guardian Fort's majestic walls;
Round smiling Orleans leads his spreading tide.
And meets the rush of Montmorency's falls;
Or wid’ning sweeps, where lonely forests shade
The untrodden banks, and distant mountain’s breast;
Where haply scarce a hunter's step has stray'd;
Nor sounding bow, nor thund'ring tube, molest
The moose-deer's grassy haunt, the wild-bird's woodland nest.
“Delightful land though winter keen and chill,
Long o'er thy clime with piercing rigour reign,
Bind in its icy chains the freezing rill,
And load with drifting snows the viewless plain;
Yet sweet the fruits thy glowing summer yields,
And gay its wilding blooms luxuriant dye,
Rich are the various products of thy fields,
Thy ample woods the cheerful blaze supply,
Healthful they keenest breeze, and clear thy azure sky.
“Ev’n while around it fall the feath'ry snows,
May comfort in thy loneliest cottage smile;
Bright in the stove the blazing maple glows,
And plenty gaily spreads the board of toil;
Nor yet unpleasing is the wintry waste,
Where o'er the ice-bound wave, or beaten way,
Along the path with verdant branches graced,
Unwearying industry, and pleasure gay,
Head the deep loaded traine, and guide the rapid sleigh.
“Or where on high the lofty cedar throws
Its branching arms, and towers in air sublime,
As thick around the deep'ning forests close,
The wond'ring trav’ller finds a milder clime,
Where mingling with the pine's unfading green,
The wither'd foliage of the oak tree's bough,
And elm, and maple's leafless sprays are seen,
And spreading beech, and spiry poplars grow,
And many a youngling plant rears its light stem below.
“Come then a while the forest path essay;
Though lone the wild, and deep the yielding snow,
Yet many a passing traine has track'd the way,
And scarcely through the bush the breezes blow;
* Montreal

Through checq'ring trees to fancy's view appears

A cottage in the wild's sequester'd bound;
'Tis but a pine tree's roots, o'er-borne by years;
The pond’rous trunk has spread a ruin round,
Branches and trees o'erthrown cumber the snow-clad ground.
“Used to the path, the hardy horses scour
Down the quick slope, and up the snowy hill,
Smoothly they pass where spring's delightful hour
Saw the wide spreading swamp, and flowing rill.
See, bending low yon youngling birch-tree throws
A drooping thicket in the narrow way,
Shake from its loaded boughs the weight of snows,
The fleecy shower deserts the trembling spray,
And freed, o'erhead, once more the quiv'ring branches play.”
Having thus sketched to us the route from Montreal to the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, and from the Gulf to Montreal and Glengary,
we find our poet emerge from the woods into that Highland settle
ment of Upper Canada:—
“Brighter through op'ning boughs the sun-beams gleam—
Whose axe sounds heavy in the sylvan wild?
Dear is that habit in a foreign clime,
Thy well-known tartan, Caledonia's child
By hard-drawn rents and pinching want compell'd,
He left the heath-crown'd hill and verdant glen,
The straw-roof’d cot—the bothy's summer bield,
To seek a home beyond th’ Atlantic main,
Deep in these circling woods;–nor sought that home in vain.
“The axe, the flame, assail'd the trembling glade—
The cottage rose, on disencumber'd ground,
"Mid lands new ravish'd from the forest's shade,
The winding wormſence stole its simple bound;
Deep bosom'd in th’ embowering wood's embrace,
His store increasing mark'd the flight of time;
And fondly there he rear'd his youthful race
From childhood's blush to manhood's blooming prime, /
And reap'd the fertile field, and bless'd the gen'rous clime.”
With this cheering and faithful picture of the settler's new situa
tion, and with becoming feelings toward the soil that affords it,
is mixed a tender recollection of the native country, illustrated
in a manner which will not fail to strike the reader:—

“Yet as, by strangers rear'd, an orphan'd child,

While his fond heart allows each grateful claim,
May still recal how once his parent smiled,
And his eyes glisten at a mother's name;

Thus on each bosom pictured seems to dwell

Some dear remembrance of a distant shore,
While fondly querulous of Scotland's weal,
Still hangs the father o'er the tales of yore,
Still sighs to say, “We view our native land no more!”
Whether the author is entirely correct in what succeeds, where
she supposes that the children of the settlers
“Shall love this western world, and know no dearer land,”
we are not sure. This, however, we have had occasion to observe,
and a hundred witnesses bear out our remark, that neither a second
nor a third generation easily forget the “home” of their fathers,
nor willingly part with the illusion that it is the soil of their own
birth. “I to ge” is still the title by which a large portion of even
the population of the United States distinguish England, nor do
they pronounce the word without feeling a part, at least, of the
*-ual associations. The slowness and difficulty with which the
c.aracteristics of a first colonist is worn out in his descendants,
is an interesting feature in the history of man,—But we detain the
reader from Glengary, where our poet easily recognizes the “son”.
of Scotland,” and where she receives a Highland welcome :—
“Fast stealing on the forest's inmost glade,
Glengary's scatter'd villages are nigh.
Nor need ye ask her race from whence they sprung,
The stately step of Scotland's sons is there; -

Flows from that maiden's lip the Celtic song;

Not such the charms that grace Canadienne * fair,
Deep is her cheek's warm blush, and bright her flaxen hair,
“Sweet cottage homes!—abodes of rural peace,
Of hospitable joy and harmless mirth !
Far from your bowers shall mem'ry oft retrace,
How bright the faggots on each household hearth
Blazed;—as a stranger, to Columbia's clime,
Who came, perchance, to pass a wint'ry day,
Led to these village haunts in joyous time,
And kindly welcom'd by the circle gay,
Join'd in the mazy dance, and shared the glad strathspey.”
Thus closes the First Part of the “Year in Canada.” At a
future opportunity we shall probably resume our remarks upon a
poem which we think even the foregoing extracts will have recom
mended to many of our readers
* The French word Canadienne implies in English, a Canadian woman. Our
nouns, it is well known, have to variation of gender.


Several authors have left accounts of the real or pretended original

discovery of the island of Madeira, all of whom concur in asserting, that it
was first discovered by an Englishman. Juan de Barros, the Livy of
Portugal, mentions it briefly in the first decade of his Asia. The history
of this discovery was written in Latin, by Doctor Manoel Clemente, and
dedicated to Pope Clement W. Manoel Tome composed a Latin poem
on the subject, which he entitled Insulana. Antonio Galvano mentions
it in a treatise of discoveries, made chiefly by the Spaniards and Portu
guese previously to the year 1550. Manoel de Faria y Sousa, the illus
trious commentator of Camoens, cites Galvano in illustration of the fifth
stanza, in the fifth book of the immortal Lusiad, and likewise gives an
account of this discovery in his Portuguese Asia. But the earliest and
most complete relation of this discovery was composed by Francisco Al
eaforado, who was esquire to Don Henry, the infant or prince of Portu
gal, the first great promoter of maritime discoveries, and to whom he pre
sented his work. No person was more capable of giving an exact account
of that singular event than Alcaforado, as he was one of those who as
sisted in making the second discovery. His work was first published in
Portuguese by Don Francisco Manoel, and was afterwards published in
French at Paris, in 1671. From this French edition the following ac
count is extracted, because the original Portuguese has not come to our
knowledge, neither can we say when that was printed; but, as the anony
mous French translator remarked, that “Don Francisco keeps the original
M. S. with great care, it may be concluded, that the Portuguese impres
sion did not long precede the French translation. The French translator
acknowledges, that he has altered the style, which was extremely florid
and poetical, and has expunged several useless and tedious digressions,
etymologies, reflections, and comparisons; but declares, that he has
strictly presented the truth and substance of the history, so as not to vary
from it in the least, or to omit the smallest material circumstance.
It is remarkable, that there is no mention whatever in any of the En
glish histories of Machin, Macham, or Marcham, the supposed author
of this discovery; so that Hakluyt was beholden to Antonio Galvano, for
the imperfect account he gives of that transaction. By the following ab
stract the complete history becomes our own, and we shall be no longer
strangers to an event which has for several ages rendered an Englishman
famous in foreign countries, while wholly unknown in his own. It must
not, however, be omitted to observe, that some objections may be stated
against the authenticity of this history, on account of certain circumstances
whicit do not quadrate with the time assigned for Machin's voyage by the
author. From these it is obvious, either that the relation given by Alcafo
14 1) IS CO W. E. l. Y O F M A DE IRA.

rado is not genuine, or that it has been interpolated. How far this objec
tion may be admitted, without prejudice to the authority of the whole
story, must be left to the judgment of our readers; we shall only add, that
so far as relates to Macham, it agrees with the tradition of the inhabitants
of Madeira. -

According to Alcaforado, Juan Gonsalvo Zarco, a gentleman of the

household of Don Henry, being sent out by that Prince upon an expedi
tion of discovery to the coast of Africa, made prize, in the year 1429, of a
Spanish vessel filled with redeemed captives, on their way from Morocco
to Spain. In this vessel, there was one John de Morales, an experienced
and able pilot, whom he detained as an acceptable present to his master,
Don Henry, and set all the rest at liberty. Morales, on being acquainted
with the cause of his detention, entered freely into the service of the prince,
and gave an account to Gonsalvo of the adventures of Machin, and the
situation and landmarks of the new discovered island, all of which he had
learnt from certain English captives in the jails of Morocco, who had ac
companied Macham, or Machin, in his expedition.
The year of this extraordinary adventure is not mentioned by Galvano,
who only says, that in 1344, Pedro IV. reigning in Arragon, the chronicles
of his age reported, that, about this time, the island of Madeira was dis
covered by one Machain, an Englishnan. It must be confessed, that an
objection arises against this history, which is not easily removed. We
are told, that immediately after the death of Macham, his companions
sailed over to Morocco; and that Morales was in prison when they ar
rived. Supposing the discovery by Macham to have been made about 1344,
as related by Galvano, from the Castilian chronicles, Morales must have
been no less than seventy-six years a prisoner when redeemed, and when
he was detained by Gonsalvo in 1420. Herbert places the adventure of
Macham in 1328, which would increase the captivity of Morales to
ninety-two years. Alcaforado places the event in the reign of Edward III,
of England, which began in 1827, and ended in 1878. Even supposing
it to have happened in the last year of Edward, Morales must have re
mained forty-two years in captivity; which is not only highly improbable,
but is even contrary to the sense of the historian, who supposes but a
small space to have elapsed between the two events; besides, the records
quoted by Galvaho are said expressly to assert that Macham went himself
into Africa, whence he was sent to the king of Castile. This last cir
cumstance may have been invented by the Spaniards, to give them a better
title to the island of Madeira; but the former objection remains in full
force, and can only be obviated by supposing that either Morales advanced
a falsehood in asserting, that he had the account of this discovery from
the English themselves, instead of learning it from the other slaves, among
whom the tradition might have been current for many years after the
event; or Alcaforado may have mistaken the report of Morales in this
particular. The following is the substance of the narrative, as given by
Alcaſorado. a *

In the glorious reign of Edward III. Robert à Machin, or Machz., a

gentleman of the second degree of nobility, whose genius was only equalled

by his gallantry and courage, beheld and loved the beautiful Anna d'Arſet".
Their attachment was mutual, but the pleasing indulgence of ardent hope
gratified and betrayed the secret of their passion. The pride of the illus
trious family of d'Arſet was insensible to the happiness of their daughter,
and they preferred the indulgence of their own ambition to the voice of
love. The feudal tyranny of the age was friendly to their cruelty, and a
royal warrant seemed to justify the vanity of her parent. The consolation
of an ingenious mind supported Machin under confinement, and enabled
him to seek after redress without yielding to despondency. On his re
leasement from prison, he learned that the beloved cause of his persecu
tion had been forced to marry a nobleman, whose name he could not dis
cover; but who had carried her to his castle near Bristol. The friends of
Machin made his misfortune their own, and one of them had the address
to get introduced into the service of the afflicted Anna, under the charac
ter of a groom. The prospect of the ocean during their rides, suggested
or matured the plan of escape, and the idea of a secure asylum counter
acted the imagined dangers of a passage to the coast of France. Under
pretence of deriving benefit from the sea air, the victim of parental ambi
tion was enabled to elude suspicion, and embarked without delay, in a ves
sel procured for the purpose, along with her lover.
In the successful completion of this anxious design, Machin was alike
insensible to the unfavourable season of the year, and to the portentous signs
of an approaching storm, which in a calmer moment he would have duly
observed. The gradual rising of a gale of wind rendered the astonished
fugitives sensible of their rashness; and as the tempest continued to aug
ment, the thick darkness of night completed the horrors of their situation.
In their confusion, the intended port was missed, or could not be at
tained, and their vessel drove at the mercy of the winds and waves. In
the morning they found themselves in the midst of an unknown ocean,
without skill to determine their situation, and destitute of knowledge or
experience to direct their course towards any known land. At length,
after twelve anxious mornings had dawned without sight of land, with
the earliest streaks of day, an object dimly appeared to their eager watch
fulness in the distant horizon; and when the grey haze, which had alter
nately filled them with hope and despondency, was dissipated by the rising
sun, the certainty of having discovered land was welcomed by a general
burst of joy. A great luxuriancy of trees of unknown species, was soon
observed to overspread the land, whence unknown birds of beautiful plu
mage came off in flocks to the vessel, and gave the appearance of a pleas
ing dream to their unexpected deliverance.
The boat was hoisted out to examine the new found island, and re
turned with a favourable account. Machin and his friends accompanied
his trembling charge on shore, leaving the mariners to secure the vessel at
* Mr. Clarke, from whose work, entitled the Progress of Maritime Disco
very, we derive the succeeding narrative, says the name of this lady has been
supposed by some writers, to have been Dorset, corrupted by foreign ortho
graphy into D'Orset, and thence into D'Arfet. Mr. Kerr suggests that it may
have been D'Arcy.

an anchor. The wildness and rich scenery of the adjacent country pos
sessed great charms to these thankful guests, just escaped from apparently
inevitable destruction. An opening in the extensive woods, which was
encircled with laurels and other flowering shrubs, presented a delightful
retreat to the tempest-worn voyagers; a venerable tree, of ancient growth,
offered its welcome shade on an adjoining eminence, and the first mo
ments of liberty were employed in forming a romantic residence, with the
abundant materials which nature supplied all around. The novelty of
every object they beheld, induced curiosity to explore their new discovery,
and they spent three days in wandering about the woods, when the survey
was interrupted by an alarming hurricane, which came on during the
night, and rendered them extremely anxious for the safety of their com
panions, who had been left in charge of the vessel. The ensuing morn
ing destroyed all prospect of being ever enabled to get away from the
island; the vessel had broke from her moorings by the violence of the
storm, and was wrecked on the coast of Morocco, where all on board
were immediately seized as slaves.
The afflicted Machin ſound this last calamity too severe for his terrified
and afflicted companion to endure. Her susceptible mind and tender
frame, overcome by the severity of the scenes she had gone through, and
oppressed by consciousness of having deviated from her duty, sunk under
her afflictive situation. From the moment it was reported that the vessel
had disappeared, she became dumb with sorrow, and expired after a few
days of silent despair. This heavy stroke was too much for the inconsol
able lover to support; though watched over with the utmost solicitude by
his afflicted friends, all attempts to administer consolation were entirely
fruitless, and he expired on the fifth day after the death of his beloved
mistress. With his parting breath, he earnestly enjoined his surviving
companions to deposit his body in the same grave, under the venerable
tree, which they had so recently made for the victim of his temerity; and
where the altar which had been raised to celebrate their deliverance, would
mark their untimely tomb. -

Having performed this painful duty, the surviving companions of these

unfortunate lovers fixed a large wooden cross over the grave, on which
they carved the inscription which Machin had composed to record their
melancholy adventures; and added a request, that if any Christian should
hereafter visit the spot, they might erect a church in the same place, and
dedicate it to Christ. Having thus accomplished the dictates of friend
ship and humanity, the survivors fitted out the boat, which had remained
ashore from their first landing, and put to sea, with the intention of re
turning, if possible, to England; but either from want of skill, or owing to
the currents and unfavourable winds, they likewise were driven on the coast
of Morocco, and rejoined their former shipmates in slavery among the Moors.
This story is reported in a somewhat different manner by Galvano al
ready mentioned. According to him one Macham, an Englishman, fled
fron his country, about the year 1844, with a woman of whom he was
enamoured, meaning to retire into Spain; but the vessel in which the
lovers were embarked, was driven by a storm to the island of Madeira,
then altogether unknown and uninhabited. The port in which Macham
took shelter is still called Machico. His mistress being sea sick, Machain
landed with her and some of the people, and the ship putting to sea, de
serted them. Oppressed with sickness and grief at seeing herself in this
hopeless state of exile, the lady died; and Macham, who was extremely
fond of her, constructed a chapel or hermitage dedicated to Jesus the Sa
viour, in which he deposited her remains, and engraved both their names,
and the cause of their arrival, on a rude monument which he erected to
her memory. He afterwards constructed a boat or canoe, which he hol
lowed out from the trunk of a large tree, in which he and those of his
companions who had been left on shore along with him, passed over to
the opposite coast of Africa, without the aid of oars, sails, or rudder. He was
made prisoner by the Moors, who presented him to their king, by whom
he was sent to the king of Castile.
Madeira, in the Portuguese language, or Madera in Spanish, signifies
wood; and this island derived its name from the immense quantity of
thick and tall trees, with which it was covered when first discovered.
One of the two capitanias, or provinces, into which this island is divided,
is named Machico, as is likewise the principal town of that district, sup
posed to have originated from the traditionary story of the misfortunes of
Macham; the other capitania, with its principal town, the capital of the
island, is named Funchal, from Funcho, the Portuguese term for Fennel,
which abounds on the adjoining rocks.


It is well known, that in the year 1789, his Majesty's armed ship the
Bounty, while employed in conveying the bread-fruit tree from Otaheite
to the West Indies, was run away with by her men, and the captain and
some of his officers put on board a boat, which, after a passage of twelve
hundred leagues, arrived at a Dutch settlement on the island of Timor.
The mutineers, twenty-five in number, were supposed, from some ex
pressions which escaped them, to have made sail toward Otaheite. As
soon as this circumstance was known at the Admiralty, Captain Edwards
was ordered to proceed in the Pandora to that island, and endeavour to
discover and bring to England the Bounty, with such of the crew as he
might be able to secure. On his arrival, March 1791, at Matavai-bay, in
Otaheite, four of the mutineers came voluntarily on board the Pandora to
surrender themselves; and, from information given by them, ten others
(the whole number alive upon the island) were in the course of a few days
taken; and, with the exception of four, who perished in the wreck of the
Pandora, near Endeavour Straight, conveyed to England for trial belore a
“ourt-martial, which adjudged six of them to suffer death, and acquitted
the other four.

From the accounts given by these men, as well as from some documents
that were preserved, it appeared, that as soon as Lieutenant Bligh had
been driven from the ship, the twenty-five mutineers proceeded with her
to Toobouai, where they proposed to settle; but the place being ſound to
hold out little encouragement, they returned to Otaheite, and having there
laid in a large supply of stock, they once more took their departure for
Toobouai, carrying with them eight men, nine women, and seven boys,
natives of Otaheite.
They commenced, on their second arrival, the building of a fort; but,
through divisions among themselves, and quarrels with the natives, the
design was abandoned. Christian, the leader, also very soon discovered
that his authority over his accomplices was at an end; he therefore pro
posed, that they should return to Otaheite; that as many as chose it should
be put on shore at that island, and that the rest should proceed in the ship
to any other place they might think proper. Accordingly, they once more
put to sea, and reached Matavai, 20th Sept. 1789.
Here sixteen of the twenty-five desired to be landed, fourteen of whom,
as already mentioned, were taken on board the Pandora; of the other
two, as reported by Coleman (the first who surrendered himself to Captain
Edwards,) one had been made a chief, killed his companion, and was
himself shortly afterward murdered by the natives.
Christian, with the remaining eight of the mutineers, having taken on
board several of the natives of Otaheite, the greater part women, put to
sea 21st Sept. 1789; in the morning the ship was discovered from Point
Venus, steering in a north-westerly direction; and here terminate the ac
counts given by the mutineers who were either taken or surrendered them
selves at Matavai-bay. They stated, however, that Christian, on the
night of his departure, was heard to declare, that he should seek for some
uninhabited island, and, having established his party, break up the
ship; but all endeavours of Captain Edwards to gain intelligence either
of the ship or her crew, at any of the numerous islands visited by the
Pandora, failed.
From this period, no information respecting Christian or his companions
reached England for twenty years; when, about the beginning of 1809,
Sir Sidney Smith, then commander-in-chief on the Brazil station, trans
mitted to the Admiralty a paper, which he had received from Lieutenant
Fitzmaurice, purporting to be an “Extract from the log-book of Captain
Folger, of the American ship Topaz,” and dated “Valparaiso, 10th Oc
tober, 1808.” -

About the commencement of the present year, Rear-admiral Hotham,

when cruising off New London, received a letter, addressed to the lords
of the Admiralty, of which the following is a copy, together with the azi
muth compass, to which it refers:—
* My Lords, “ Nantucket, March 1, 1813.
“The remarkable circumstance which took place on my last voyage to
the Pacific Ocean, will, 1 trust, plead my apology for addressing your
lordships at this time. In February, 1808, Itouched at Pitcairn's Island,
in lat. 25°2' S, long. 1" W. from Greenwich. My principal object was
to procure seal-skins for the China market; and, from the account given
of the island in Captain Carteret's voyage, I supposed it was uninhabited;
but, on approaching the shore in my boat, I was met by three young men
in a double canoe, with a present, consisting of some fruit and a hog.
They spoke to me in the English language, and informed me that they
were born on the island, and that their father was an Englishman, who had
sailed with Captain Bligh. -

“After discoursing with them a short time, I landed with them, and
found an Englishman, of the name of Alexander Smith, who informed me,
that he was one of the Bounty's crew, and that after putting Captain Bligh
in the boat, with half the ship's company, they returned to Otaheite, where
part of their crew chose to tarry; but Mr. Christian, with eight others, in
cluding himself, preferred going to a more remote place; and, after mak
ing a short stay at Otaheite, where they took wives and six men servants,
they proceeded to Pitcairn's Island, where they destroyed the ship, after
taking every thing out of her which they thought would be useful to them.
About six years after they landed at this place, their servants attacked and
killed all the English, excepting the informant, and he was severely
wounded. The same night, the Otaheitean widows arose and murdered
all their countrymen, leaving Smith with the widows and children, where
he had resided ever since without being resisted.
“I remained but a short time on this island, and on leaving it, Smith
presented to me a time-piece, and an azimuth compass, which he told me
belonged to the Bounty. The time-keeper was taken from me by the gover
nor of the island of Juan Fernandez, after I had had it in my possession about
six weeks. The compass I put in repair on board my ship, and made use
of it on my homeward passage, since which a new card has been put to it
by an instrument-maker in Boston. I now forward it to your lordships,
thinking there will be a kind of satisfaction in receiving it, merely from the
extraordinary circumstances attending it.
“MAYHEw Folger.”

Nearly about the same time, a further account of these interesting peo
ple was received from Vice-admiral Dixon, in a letter addressed to him by
Sir Thomas Staines, of his Majesty's ship Briton, of which the following
is a copy:—
“Sik, - “Briton, Valparaiso, Oct. 18, 1814.
“I have the honour to inform you, that on my passage from the Mar
quesas islands to this port, on the morning of 17th September, I fell in
with an island where none is laid down in the admiralty or other charts,
according to several chronometers of the Briton and Tagus. I therefore
hove-to until day-light, and then closed to ascertain whether it was inha
bited, which I soon discovered it to be, and to my great astonishment,
found that every individual on the island (forty in number) spoke very good
English. They proved to be the descendants of the deluded crew of the
Bounty, which, from Otaheite, proceeded to the above-mentioned island,
where the ship was burnt.
20 PITC AIRN's Is LAN p.

“ Christian appeared to have been the leader and the sole cause of the
mutiny in that ship. A venerable old man, named John Adams", is the
only surviving Englishman of those who last quitted Otaheite in her, and
whose exemplary conduct and fatherly care of the whole little colony.
could not but command admiratiqn. The pious manner in which all those
born in this island have been reared, the correct sense of religion which
has been instilled into their young minds by this old man, has given him
the pre-eminence over the whole of them, to whom they look up as the
father of the whole and one family.
“ A son of Christian was the first-born on the island, now about twenty
five years of age (named Thursday-October Christian); the elder Christian
fell a sacrifice to the jealousy of an Otaheitean man, within three or four
years after their arrival on the island. They were accompanied thither by
six Otaheitean men, and twelve women; the former were all swept away
by desperate contentions between them and the Englishmen, and five of
the latter have died at different periods, leaving at present only one man
and several women of the original settlers.
“The island must undoubtedly be that called Pitcairn's, although er
roneously laid down in the charts. We had the meridian sun close to it,
which gave us 25° 4' S. lat. and 130° 25' W, long. by chronometers of the
Briton and Tagus.
“. It is abundant in yams, plantains, hogs, goats, and fowls, but affords
no shelter for a ship or vessel of any description; neither could a ship water
there without great difficulty.
“I cannot refrain fron offering my opinion, that it is well worthy the
attention of our landable religious societies, particularly that for propagating
the Christian religion, the whole of the inhabitants speaking the Otaheitean
tongue as well as English.
“ During the whole of the time they have been on the island, only onc
vessel has ever communicated with them, which took place about six years
since, by an American ship called the Topaz, of Boston, Mayhew Folger,

- “The island is completely iron-bound with rocky shores, and landing

in boats at all times difficult, although safe to approach within a short di
stance in a ship. -

“ T. STAINEs.”

As the real position of the island was ascertained to be so far distant from
that in which it is usually laid down in the charts, and as the captains of
the Briton and Tagus seem to have still considered it as uninhabited, they
were not a little surprised, on approaching its shores, to behold plantations
regularly iaid out, and huts or houses more heatly constructed than those
on the Marquesas islands. When about two miles from the shore, some
natives were observed bringing down their canoes on their shoulders, dash
ing through a heavy surf, and paddling off to the ships; but their astonish

* * There was no such name in the Bounty's crew; he must have as-amed it
in lieu of his real name, Alexander Smith.

ment was unbounded, on hearing one of them, on approaching the ship,

call out in the English language, “ Won't you heave us a rope, now?”
The first man who got on board the Briton soon proved who they were.
His name, he said, was Thursday-October-Christian, the first-born on the
island. He was then about twenty-five years of age, and is described as
being a fine young man, about six feet high, his hair deep black, his
countenance open and interesting, of a brownish cast, but free from that
mixture of a reddish tint, which prevails on the Pacific Islands; his only
dress was a piece of cloth round his loins, and a straw hat, ornamented
with the black feathers of the domestic fowl.—“With a great share of good
humour,” says Captain Pipon, “we were glad to trace in his benevolent
countenance all the features of an honest English face; and I must confess.
I could not survey this interesting person without feelings of tenderness and
compassion.” His companion was named George Young, a fine youth,
about eighteen.
If the astonishment of the captains was great on hearing their first salu
tation in English, their surprize and interest were not a little increased on
Sir Thomas Staines taking the youths below, and setting before them soine
thing to eat; when one of them rose up, and placing his hands together
in a posture of devotion, distinctly repeated, and in a pleasing tone and
manner—“ For what we are going to receive, the Lord make us truly
thankful.”—They expressed great surprize on seeing a cow on board the
Briton, and were in doubt whether she was a great goat or a horned sow.
The two captains of his Majesty's ships accompanied these young men
on shore. With some difficulty, and a good wetting, and with the assist
ance of their conductors, they accomplished a landing through the surf,
and were soon after met by John Adams, a man between fifty and sixty,
who conducted them to his house. His wife accompanied him, a very
old lady, blind with age. He was at first alarmed, lest the visit was to
apprehend him. But on being told that they were perfectly ignorant of
his existence, he was relieved from his anxiety. Being once assured that
this visit was of a peaceable nature, it is impossible to describe the joy these
poor people manifested, on seeing those whom they were pleased to con
sider as their countrymen. Yams, cocoa-nuts, and other fruits, with fine
fresh eggs, were laid before them ; and the old man would have killed and
dressed a hog for his visitors, but time would not allow them to partake of
his intended feast.
The new colony now consisted of about forty-six persons, mostly grown
up young people, besides a number of infants. The young men, all born
on the island, were very athletic, and of the finest forms—their counte
nances open and pleasing, indicating much benevolence and goodness of
heart; but the young women were objects of particular admiration, tall,
robust, and beautifully formed, their faces beaming with smiles and unruf
fied good humour, but wearing a degree of modesty and bashfulness that
would do honour to the most virtuous nation on earth ; their teeth, like
ivory, were regular and beautiful, without a single exception; and all ºf
them, both male and female, had the most marked Fnglish features.
The clothing of the young females consisted of a piece of linen reaching

from the waist to the knees, and generally a sort of mantle thrown loosely
over the shoulders, and hanging as low as the ancles; but this covering
appeared to be intended chiefly as a protection against the sun and the
weather, as it was frequently laid aside—and then the upper part of the
body was entirely exposed, and it is not possible to conceive more beautiful
forms than they exhibited. They sometimes wreath caps or bonnets for
the head, in the most tasty manner, to protect the face from the rays of,
the sun; and though, as Captain Pipon observes, they have only had the
instruction of the Otaheitean mothers, “our dress-makers in London would
be delighted with the simplicity, and yet elegant taste, of these untaught
Their native modesty, assisted by a proper sense of religion and mo
rality, instilled into their youthful minds by John Adams, has hitherto
preserved these interesting people perfectly chaste, and free from all kinds
of debauchery. Adams assured the visitors, that since Christian's death,
there had not been a single instance of any young woman proving unchaste,
nor any attempt at seduction on the part of the men. They all labour
while young in the cultivation of the ground: and when possessed of a
sufficient quantity of cleared land and of stock to maintain a family, they
are allowed to marry, but always with the consent of Adams, who unites
them by a sort of marriage-ceremony of his own.
The greatest harmony prevails in this little society; their only quarrels,
and these rarely happened, being, according to their own expression,
“quarrels of the mouth ;” they are honest in their dealings, which con
sist of bartering different articles for mutual accommodation. Their habi
tations are extremely neat. The little village of Pitcairn forms a pretty
square, the houses at the upper end of which are occupied by the patriarch,
John Adams, and his family, consisting of his old blind wife, and three
daughters, from fifteen to eighteen years of age, and a boy of eleven; a.
daughter of his wife by a former husband, and a son-in-law On the op
posite side is the dwelling of Thursday-October-Christian; and in the
centre is a smooth verdant lawn, on which the poultry are let loose, fenced
in so as to prevent the intrusion of the domestic quadrupeds.
All that was done was obviously undertaken on a settled plan, unlike to
anything to be met with on the other islands. In their houses, too, they
had a good deal of decent furniture, consisting of beds laid upon bed
steads, with neat covering ; they had also tables, and large chests to con-,
tain their valuables and clothing, which is made from the bark of a certain
tree prepared chiefly by the elder Otaheitean females. Adams's house cou
sisted of two rooms, and the windows had shutters to close at night. The
younger part of the females are, as before stated, employed with their
brothers, under the direction of their common father, Adams, in the cul
ture of the ground, which produced cocoa-nuts, bananas, bread-fruit tree,
yams, sweet potatoes, and turnips. They have also plenty of hogs and
goats. The woods abound with a species of wild hog, and the coasts of
the island with several kinds of good fish.
Their agricultural implements are made by themselves, from the iron
supplied by the Bounty, which, with great labour, they beat out into

spades, hatchets, &c. This was not all. The good old man kept a regu
lar journal, in which was entered the nature and quantity of work per
formed by each family, what each had received, and what was due on
acceount:—There was, it seems, besides private property, a sort of gene.
ral stock, out of which articles were issued on account of the several mem
bers of the community; and, for mutual accommodation, exchanges of
one kind of provision for another were very frequent, as salt for fresh pro
visions, vegetables and fruit for poultry, fish, &c.; also, when the stores
of one family were low, or wholly expended, a fresh supply was raised
from another, or out of the general stock, to be repaid when circumstances
were more favourable; all of which were carefully noted down in Adams's
But what was most gratifying of all to the visitors, was the simple and
unaffected manner in which they returned thanks to the Almighty for the
many blessings they enjoyed. They never failed to say grace before and
after meals, to pray every morning at sun-rise, and they frequently re
peated the Lord's Prayer and the Creed. “It was truly pleasing,” says
Captain Pipon, “to see these poor people so well disposed to listen so at
tentively to moral instruction, to believe in the attributes of God, and to
place their reliance on Divine goodness.” The day on which the two
captains landed was Saturday, 17th Sept.; but by John Adams's account
it was Sunday the 18th, and they were keeping the Sabbath by making it
a day of rest and of prayer.—This was occasioned by the Bounty having
proceeded thither by the Eastern route, and our frigates having gone to
the westward; and the Topaz found them right according to his own rec
koning, she having also approached the island from the eastward. Every
ship from Europe proceeding to Pitcairn's Island round the Cape of Good
Hope, will find them a day later—as those who approach them round Cape
Horn, a day in advance; as was the case with Captain Folger, and Cap
tains Sir T. Staines and Pipon.
The visit of the Topaz is, of course, a notable circumstance, marked
down in Adams's journal. The first ship descried off the island was on
27th December, 1795; but as she did not approach the land, they could
not make out to what nation she belonged. A second appeared some time
after, but did not attempt to communicate with them. A third came suſ
ficiently near to see the natives and their habitations, but did not attempt
to send a boat on shore; which is the less surprising, considering the uni
form ruggedness of the coast, the total want of shelter, and the almost
constant and violent breaking of the sea against the cliffs. The good old
man was anxious to know what was going on in the old world, and they
had the means of gratifying his curiosity, by supplying him with some
magazines and modern publications. His library consisted of the books
that belonged to Admiral Bligh, but the visitors had not time to inspect
They inquired particularly after Fletcher Christian. This ill-fated young
man, it seems, was never happy after the rash and inconsiderate step
which he had taken; he became sullen and morose, and practised the very
same kind of conduct towards his companions in guilt, which he and they
so loudly complained of in their late commander. Disappointed in his
expectations at Otaheite and the Friendly Islands, and most probably
dreading a discovery, this deluded youth committed himself and his re
maining confederates to the mere chance of being cast upon some desert
island, and chance threw them on that of Pitcairn. Finding no anchorage
near it, he ran the ship upon the rocks, cleared her of the live stock and
other articles which they had been supplied with at Otaheite, when he set
her on fire, that no trace of inhabitants might be visible, and all hope of
escape cut off from himself and his wretched followers. He soon, how
ever, disgusted both his own countrymen and the Otaheiteans, by his op
pressive and tyrannical conduct; they divided into parties, and disputes,
affrays, and murders, were the consequence. His Otaheitean wife died
within a twelvemonth from their landing, after which he carried off one
that belonged to an Otaheitean man, who watched for an opportunity of
taking revenge, and shot him dead while digging in his own field. Thus
terminated the miserable existence of this deluded young man, who was
deficient neither in talent, energy, nor connexions, and who might have
risen in the service, and become an ornament to his profession.
John Adams declared, as it was natural enough he should do, his ab
horrence of the crime in which he was implicated, and said that he was
sick at the time in his hammock:-this, we understand, is not true, though
he was not particularly active in the mutiny:—he expressed the utmost
willingness to surrender himself, and be taken to England; indeed, he ra
ther seemed to have an inclination to revisit his native country; but the
young men and women flocked round him, and with tears and entreaties
begged that their father and protector might not be taken from them, for
without him they must all perish. It would have been an act of the great
est inhumanity to remove him from the island; and it is hardly necessary
to add, that Sir Thomas Staines lent a willing ear to their entreaties, think
ing, no doubt, (as we feel strongly disposed to think), that, if he were
even among the most guilty, his care and success in instilling religious and
moral principles into the minds of this young and interesting society, have,
in a great degree, redeemed his former crimes.
This island is about six miles long by three broad, covered with wood,
and the soil, of course, very rich, situated under the parallel of 25° S. la
titude; and, in the midst of such a wide expanse of ocean, the climate
must be fine, and admirably adapted for the reception of all the vegetable
productions of every part of the habitable globe. Small, therefore, as
Pitcairn's island may appear, there can be little doubt that it is capable of
supporting many inhabitants *.
* See Naval Chronicle, vol. xxxv.




Describing the same, and recommending Measures necessary to be adopted
for furnishing a full and perfect Supply to all the Colonies.
By W. G. Jordan, Esq. F. R. S.
Colonial Agent for Barbados.


IT has been frequently observed, that the cpins now circulating in most
of the British colonies in the West Indies, and on the continent of America,
are in a very depreciated and defective state, and that great loss and in
convenience are experienced, in consequence thereof, in the money trans
actions of those colonies; it becomes a question therefore, how far it may
be practicable to remedy this evil, and to introduce one common and uni
form system of coins into circulation in the different colonies. With this
view I take the liberty to transmit to you the accompanying queries, and
to request that you will furnish me with the best answers you can procure,
by reference to the island of Barbados, or from other sources, on the se
veral points to which these queries refer.
Although these queries are confined principally to the silver coins, I
shall be glad to receive any information or remarks you may have to offer,
with respect to the state of the copper currency, the usual extent of de
mand for it, and the fluctuations which occur in the price of copper in the
island of Barbados.


What are the denominations of silver coins current in the island for
which you are agent?
What is the rate in British money at which each is valued in commerce?
Are not the pieces of silver current in your island much worn and da
maged, and reduced in weight below their original value 2
What do you consider to be the average weight of each denomination
of them at present?
What do you conceive to be the amount of such coins now in circula
tion in the island of Barbados?
What is the general rate of currency established in your island?
If it should be deemed advisable to coin silver, for the use of the island
of Barbados, what are the kinds of coins which you think would be most
useful ?
Do you know of any objection to the fixing a certain established stand
ard weight and fineness for the silver coins of all the West India Islands,
and at the same time fixing a certain rate at which such coins shall be
current in all of them?
26 CoLo N IA I, COIN AG E.

Do you see any objection to the adoption of the dollar standard, as the
standard of fineness for such silver coins?

I have not failed, since the receipt of your letter, to give my best atten
tion to the matters contained therein. The references recommended, have
necessarily occasioned delay, and I now submit, for your information, the
result of my inquiries and reflections, aided by some little practical know
ledge and experience in these subjects.
When a government, by coining, undertakes to weigh and to mark, to
establish the standard fineness, and to declare the value of the metal by
its impression or marks, guaranteeing all these, and preserving the coinage
from injury, it prudentially excludes all other persons from coining for
themselves or others; and at the public expense, not only coins for all per
sons the metals they may offer for coinage, but necessarily supplies, if
wanted, the metals required for the purposes of domestic circulation.
Conformably to this principle the British Mint acts, not only by exchang
ing bullion, of the standard quality, and coined metal against each other,
weight for weight, but by purchasing the metals, coining, and emitting
them thus coined, as the necessities of the realm may require.
The supply of coined metals for the British colonies, has, however, been
leſt to themselves. The nations who possess mines have long been ac
customed, even at the mines, to give to the metals the forms of coins, and
have thus rendered them at once of more convenient use to themselves,
and to the nations who draw them from them as articles of commerce.
Even Great Britain has in time past availed herself and permitted the
use within the realm, of the gold of Portugal, as a coinage which was suſ
ficiently approximated to her own standard; and the colonies have sup
plied themselves with a coinage, by the direct purchase of the metals, in
the forms of moidore, and johannes, and doubloon-ingots of gold, and of
dollar-ingots of silver, and of ingots parts of these.
Had all the colonies duly understood the principles which regulate a
currency of metals, or of any other circulating medium, and had they
adopted proper measures for preserving the coinage, and punishing the
mutilation of the good, and the introduction of the bad, all would have
been well; but in most, the recommendations of ignorant or interested
persons have repeatedly prevailed upon governors, in direct contradiction
to their instructions, and upon the people and governments of the colonies,
with considerable injury to their respective interests, not only to admit
and receive a debased and diminished coinage, but even to mutilate and
diminish by direct operation the good, and to produce at once all the com
bined effects of debasement of quality, and of diminution of quantity, by
that neſarious, depreciatory measure, of increasing the nominal value of
the current coinage. Under these malign influences, that has been done
in one colony, which, in another better regulated, and better legislated for,
would have subjected to criminal charge, and the pains of death.

In ordinary times, the supply of coinage in the colonies depends upon

the prices of bills of exchange, and is well effected by means of bills. The
planter must draw upon his market in the United Kingdom for the net
proceeds of his crops; the army and navy require money for government
bills—these causes tend to fill the West India market with bills, and to di
minish their prices. When bills have sunk to prices that will pay for the
importation of the coined metals, at no great expense of freight, and with

nearly a triple return within the year, of capital, monies come in to in

crease the demand for, and raise the prices of bills, and again, when bills
are high, money will be preferred, and may goout as a remittance. These
causes fairly operate in a colony when the circulating medium is properly
regulated, and duly protected by law, and there no inconveniencies can be
felt, but by an extraordinary increase, in extraordinary times, of the prices
of the metals in the bullion market of the United Kingdom.
Under these circumstances, the colonies have proceeded from their first
settlements happily, or otherwise, exactly in proportion to the due arrange
ments and establishments of their monetary systems, and to this mode of
supply they may be safely left, requiring from all who have them not,
due legal regulations for the protection and preservation of their current
coinage against every species of diminution, degradation, or depreciation.
A general failure, indeed, of this supply, can only happen under circum
stances such as occurred during the later periods ofthe French revolution,
and the usurpation of Buonaparte, and these, or such as these, will always
render it impossible even for Great Britain to furnish a supply. In the co
lonies, even then, although some diminution was produced of the quantity
of circulating Inedium in each, yet the principal inconvenience sustained
was, the considerable reduction of the prices of bills, and consequent loss
upon them, to the planters and to government. In these and similar
cases recourse can only be had, and only while the necessity lasts, to the
substitution of paper money for the more valuable metals; and for the less
valuable metals, and the smaller species of coins, to a system of tokenage,
formed of silver, in order to gratify popular habits by the continued use of
the same metal, and possessed of value sufficiently near to the nominal, so
as not to outrage public feeling by obvious diminution of quantity, whilst
the full current value is otherwise duly guaranteed to satisfy calculation,
preserve estimation, and ensure undepreciated circulation.
A partial failure of supply of the minor species of silver coins, may in
deed happen at all times, in consequence of the countriesof the metals coin
ing only limited quantities of these for their own domestic circulation. In
this case, Great Britain may do, for the supply of the colonies, what would
in vain be expected from the mines and mine countries, coining for her co
lonies the minor parts of dollars, or portions equal thereto, of dollar silver,
and to every colony which may require the supply, disposing of any
quantities that may be wanted on colonial account, on conditions however,
and under regulations prescribed by the several public interests to be con
sidered, and the circumstances of the several colonies.
A supply of this nature, it is understood, is at this timerequired by many,
is necessary for most, and would be convenient to all the colonies. The

considerations incident to the due and effectual execution of such a mea

sure, respect, in the first place, the nature of the supply; secondly, the costs
of fabrication; thirdly, the monetary condition of each colony; and
fourthly, the laws existing in each, for the protection and preservation of
the coinage.
In the first place, then, the supply required will consist of silver coins,
being various parts of the dollar, and of copper coins as suppletory to
The smaller silver coins of the colonies consist principally of divisions of
the dollar, Pistereen bits, French Ile du Vent bits; Pistereen, French, and
dollar half-bits; and are either halves, fourths, fifths, tenths, twentieths of a
dollar, or nearly equivalent to these. These parts of dollars, and these
alone, will be required. The Spanish pillar-dollar, then, of 17 dwts. 12 grs.
being the unit, the parts of these must be of the dollar-silver, and of the
full exact several weights, the quotients of 17 dwts. 12 grs. divided by the
number that expresses the part. Half-dollars of British fabrication, then,
will weigh 8 dwts. 18 grs.; fourths, 4 dwts. 9 grs.; fifths, 3 dwts. 12 grs.;
tenths, 1 dwt. 18 grs.; twentieths, 21 grs. These weights must not be di
minished nor abridged upon any pretence or consideration whatsoever,
otherwise the whole plan will fail, and one more corrupt system will be
gathered to all the preceding.
The impressions and figures with the following changes, may be those
of the Bank 18-penny pieces now in circulation; within the oaken chaplet,
on one side, for the word “Bank,” may be substituted the fractional part in
figures?, ?, ?,*, *, immediately below this, instead of “token,” the word
dollar will be inserted; and in the third line, instead of the value, “ls. 6d.”
the weight 8 dwts. 18 grs., 4 dwts, 9 grs. &c. will be exhibited. The year
will retain its place; in every thing else the resemblance of the Bank pieces
will be preserved. One observation only occurs to be added, which re
spects the half-bit pieces. Very few dollar half-bits have appeared in the
islands; and immediately, from their novelty and beauty, they have been
hoarded. Half-bits of regular fabrication are indeed scarce, whilst the
want of them has been suplied by the irregular act of dividing the bit into
two parts. Originally the British silver penny had a construction adapted
to this operation. A cross in the middle marked the lines of division, for
separating the penny into four things or farthings. In these divisions of
bits, the operation is regulated by the discretion alone of the operator, and
has been grossly abused, as might be expected; and the practice being ex
tended to pistereens and dollars in Barbados, the abuse was also extended,
until all these divided parts were refused and rejected.
It might be advisable to prevent these irregular practices, and to save the
bits from this destruction and mutilation by an adequate supply, and a
construction of half-bits, which might extend the diameters of their exter
nal circumferences to nearly those of the bits. Mechanically this perhaps
cannot be effected, but by an unadvisable extension of substance, or
by taking a central portion from the metal, and marking its internal
edges by a well defined line, which should indicate any internal violation
of that circumference. To both these modes there are exceptions perhaps
as weighty, as to the addition of an alloy to the full weight of silver which
might give a more convenient size to the coin, preserve it against the
more frequent uses of transfer, to which it would be applied; the coin pre
serving its intrinsic value, and being made to bear upon its face a specifica
tion of its components.
The copper coinage of the colonies consists principally of farthings, which
seem better adapted, even than halfpence, to the circumstances and
dealings of the numerous bodies of slaves, their habits and wants.
Of farthings and half-pence, 300 of those, and 150 of these, to the dollar,
and the whole cost, including the metal, the expenses of fabrication, the
charges of transport, amounting in value to one dollar, the coinage and
supply is recommended for all the colonies, subjected to the same condi
tions to be required to precede any sale and delivery on colonial account;
as in the case of silver.
With respect to the costs of the supply of silver, that the government at
home should at the public expense, as is done for the United Kingdom, fur
nish the colonies with this or any portion of their coinage, is neither conform
able to former practice, nor consistent with general principle. Each colonial
government must bear its own public expenses, among which is that of a
supply of necessary coinage for its own internal uses, if its external com
merce will not furnish it.
All that can be expected from the British government, is to put itself in
the place of the foreign countries, by providing a sufficient supply
in the British market, of the required coins of full weight for purchasets
on colonial account, receiving for it the price of the metal and the costs of
fabrication; and requiring, as political preliminary conditions for admission
to purchase, that every colony for whose use the purchase is made, shall
have previously called in all mutilated and debased coins, within their
respective limits and extents of jurisdiction, and shall have put down and
forbidden the use and circulation of all such, and shall have passed and
continue to enforce, all laws necessary for the protection of the coin, and
the punishment of offences committed against the coinage.
A fair price, full weight, and due fineness being secured and guaranteed
to the colonial purchaser, the British government might undertake the re
gular supply at a fixed average estimated rate of value of the metal and
price of the fabrication; 4s. 6d. sterling being assumed as the value of the
metal of a dollar; and for its parts respectively, an increase of price de
manded, such as the increased number of smaller divisions or parts of the
dollar might require for fabrication.
These costs of fabrication, and all other charges attendant on the impor
tation into the colony, must be distinctly and separately borne and dis
charged by each colony.
No pretence or attempt must he made to annex any of them, or their
amount, to the value of the coins in circulation within each colony, to add
to, or to increase their nominal value. Each piece must be put into cir
culation as that part of the dollar which it purports to be, at no more than
the real value of the metal it contains, respect being alone had to the
quantity it contains, and upon a due comparison of 4s. 6d. Sterling, and the

current values in each colony of the dollar; the sterling value of each piece
being reduced into currency at the same rate with the dollars, and nume
rical divisions being made of the current value of the dollar, to express the
values of its parts in circulation.
Having premised these general observations, I will now refer myself to,
and answer in a more particular manner, the several queries addressed to

To the two first queries, which require the names and values of the silver
coins in the island of Barbados, I answer, that the silver coinage consists of
dollars current at 6s. 3d. currency, or 10 bits; half-dollars current at
3s. 14d. currency, or 5 bits; quarter-dollars at 1s. 63d. currency, or 2%
bits: pistereens current at 1s. 3d. or 2 bits; pistereen bits current at 7#d.
currency; Crimbal or Ile du Vent bits, (French coins, made for their
Windward Islands, and called Crimbal, as I understand from the name of
the person, who first introduced them into circulation in Barbados,) current
at 74d.; dollar half-bits, pistereen and crimbal half-bits, and cut half-bits
formed by the cutting of bits into halves, current at 33d. currency. -

The third query inquires the condition of these. It is generally good.

In 1791, it became necessary to reform the gold and silver monies of the
island, to make the clipped gold pass by weight at 23d. the grain, and the
clipped silver money at a given price, according to former established
practice derived from the time of Queen Ann. The quantity of silver
money thus brought to the scale including almost the whole of the silver
money in the colony, the inconvenience of making these payments was in
1799 removed, by calling in and purchasing all the clipped silver money
at the current weights and prices, paying for it by treasury bills of eight
months' date, and for ever putting down and forbidding the use, circula
tion, and tender of clipped silver money. Since that period the silver
money has been as good as could be wished, the pieces being generally
perfect, very few occurring of which the impressions are not distinguish
able, none of which they are entirely defaced. The only exception to this
observation is the cut half-bit, which being derived from the bit by a divi
sion not duly regulated, is more frequently a third than one-half thereof.
The convenience of this small piece of money to the lower classes, passing in
small payments for 15 farthings, tolerates its use, and recommends it to
particular attention in any plan for regulating the silver and copper coin
age. These particulars supersede the necessity of any estimation of aver
age weights of the silver pieces as required by the fourth query, except for
a comparative estimate with the circulating coins of other colonies, and the
experiment will be made as soon as the means shall be supplied of making
In answer to the fifth query, I have not been able to obtain any satisfac
tory information, nor do I possess any data that will enable me to form any
probable statement of the whole amount of the circulating metallic monies
of the colony. Some conjectural estimate may be formed from a compari
son of the population, consisting of nearly 90,000 persons, (20,000 free in
habitants, and 70,000 slaves,) with that of Great Britain; and allotting te
* * * *
the colony even a less proportion of circulating money than its population
would warrant.
The sixth query inquiring into the established rate of currency in the
island of Barbados, renders a statement necessary of the nature of ex
changes, and of the causes to which their considerable variations of no
minal value in different colonies, are to be referred.
In every market of the commercial world, money of and in another
market, is a commodity which is sold, like every other commodity, at a
price varying directly as the demand, and inversely as the supply. The
rate or price at which it is sold, is called the exchange, and a bill of ex
change is an order for delivery to the buyer of the sum purchased. In
the West India market, he who wants money of and in London, or any
other British market, agrees for the purchase of the sum wanted, pays for
it, as for any other commodity, in money of the colony, and receives an
order for the delivery at a place and time agreed on, that is, in mercan
tile language, takes a bill of exchange in London, or elsewhere, for the
amount. The price of this commodity, or of the order for its delivery,
or in common parlance, of bills thus regulated by the supply and de
mand, re-acts upon, and, in its turn, regulates them by its depression or
advance in a course of speculation relating to money and to bills, whilst
money comes in to purchase bills, and bills come in to purchase money.
The cost, attendant expenses, mercantile charges, and profits of remitting,
determine, on both sides, the course of the money going or coming, or
the person on whose account it is remitted. In the former case, it may be
matter of general speculation and trade; in the latter, the holder of bills
may choose to import money himself, rather than lose by selling at an
undervalue, or for less money than he could import by sending his
bill. In ordinary times, ten per cent. is more than double the whole cost
of remitting money to any colony; and, therefore, in colonies, if any such
there now were, in which the nominal values of their circulating monies
were the sterling values of the same, the prices of bills varying on both
sides of sterling sums, as they bore premium or discount prices, might be
quoted at from £90 to £1 10 currency for the £100 sterling. Such, un
doubtedly, was the state of things at the beginning in all the colonies, and
it still exists, I understand, in some, or all of the British provinces of North
America. Such in all it would and ought now to have continued to be,
but for the mistaken apprehensions and the interested representations of
persons; those in the hope of retaining the money, and these for the pur
pose of increasing their gains at the public loss and expense. By these causes
the nominal values of the current monies of the different colonies have
been so much increased occasionally, that by degrees, and by the ope
ration of successive changes, made in despite of experience which clearly
exhibited their fallacy, the exchanges have risen in some colonies to 200
percent. and in none to less than 40. To this monetary state they might
all unquestionably be brought back, of equalization of the values of metallic
monies, sterling with currency, sterling and currency only varying as bills
should bear a premium or a discount; but the adjustment of other things
to these changes would produce considerable confusion, and perhaps losses

not to be justified by the object to be attained, which would be no more

than an approximation by numerical figures of smaller value to sterling
computation, and could not produce contemporaneous or any but acci
dental coincidence of equality in the exchanges of diſſerent colonies,
whilst that of each would vary in every colony.
After all, nothing has been effected by these ill-advised measures, by or
for themselves, but a change in computation; and to that mode of com
putation, therefore, which they have chosen, they must be left. To this,
however, as it at present exists, they must be for ever strictly confined;
they must confine themselves by known positive law, which all persons,
under due sanctions, shall be bound to know and to respect; and, in
whatever is done for them, they must be referred to sterling values and
measures, to be reduced to colonial, never again to be changed.
Conformably to these observations, there is not in Barbados, there can
in no colony be, any established or fixed rate of currency. In one colony,
an attempt was made to fix it by positive law to £140 per cent. It would
be equally practicable to ſix the price in the same colonial market of any
other commodity, as of money in the London, or any other market. The
price varies on either side of the t140 under the names of discount and
premium. In every colony, indeed, there is a money par, upon which
the exchange depends for its amount. This is the proportion which the
nominal values of the coins in circulation bear to their sterling values.
This regulates the prices of bills in ordinary cases, by encouraging or for
bidding the importation of money as a profitable or unprofitable specula
tion. On either side of this money par, the exchange may vary, increased
or diminished by the whole cost and charge of importing the coined me
tals, and these charges may vary from five to ten per cent. In Barbados,
this money par is not exactly the same upon all the coins. On the dollar,
moidore, jo, doubloon, estimated at 4s. 6d., at 17s., el 10s., 43.7s., sterling
values; and current in the colony at 6s. 3d., 11.17s. 6d., 21. 10s., 41.13s. 9d.,
colonial values; it is respectively 1394-, 139, 139—, 138, giving, as an ave
rage of the whole, nearly 139 per cent. as the money par of the whole;
which may therefore be stated as the middle point of vibration of the
exchanges, which l have known to rise, but not often, to 145, and which,
in ordinary times, fluctuates from 130 to this point. Upon the arrival of
an armament in the port of Bridge Town, as of that for St. Domingo in a
former war, bills sunk to £1 10 currency for £100 sterling. In conse
quence of the late advanced prices of the precious metals in the British
bullion market, they were at from £1 10 to £125, and so continued. At
that time I proposed a plan for the adoption and conversion of bank-notes
into island-tokens, which, intrinsically and primarily secured by the bank,
and subsequently by the guarantee of the island government, for every
excess of colonial value, at which they might have been put into circula
tion, upon the bank-notes being called in after seven years, would have
defrayed all its own expenses, and saved considerable sums to the island,
and to his Majesty's government.
The rate of currency, then, within the colony, may be considered,
either as it is established in the metallic monies, or as it varies with the
Prices of bills of exchange. The average money currency calculated
colon IAL col NAG E. 33
upon the gold coins of Portugal and the Spanish pillar-dollar, is, as before
stated, about £139 currency for £100 sterling. The prices of bills may
vary on both sides of £139, but the supply is generally such as to keep
them at about from £132 10s, to £135. The power and benefit of im
porting money rather than selling bills, keeping them from sinking per
manently to lower prices.
The 7th and 8th queries have been already answered by a recommen
dation of the dollar standard, for a general coinage of silver money for
colonial uses; and I repeat, that the coins, which I think it would be
most advisable to coin for Barbados, and for all the colonies, are halves,
quarters, fifths, tenths, and twentieths of the dollar, of full weight and
perfect fineness.
The general rates, at which these coins should be current, it would be
advisable to express in sterling values, and to cause the sterling values of
the several pieces to be reduced severally in each colony, into current
values, bearing the same proportions to their sterling, as the current va
lue of the dollar in each colony bears to 4s. 6d. Sterling. To express the
values in equal terms of value in every colony would require an assimila
tion or equalization of currencies to one given, or to sterling value and
various other adjustments, leading through inextricable confusion to no
real or permanent advantage.
Antecedently, however, to any supply, independently thereof, and
whether any supply shall be provided or not, and as matter of general
necessary regulation, imperiously demanded by existing circumstances,
every colony must immediately be required to reform the whole of its
coinage of gold and silver and copper, after the following manner:—
All the gold coins of undebased metal, must immediately be declared
current by weight at 4s. sterling the dwt. and 2d. sterling the grain of the
gold, reduced by calculation to standard; the 4s. and 2d. to be reduced
into current values, at the money pars of each respective colony, in the
proportion of 4s. 6d. sterling to the current value of the dollar; or as the
average of 4s. 6d. at 1 7s. -Cl 16. £37s. to that of the current values in
each colony, of the dollar, the moidore, half jo, and doubloon.
All the clipped and debased silver monies must be called in. The ex
pense of calling in or crying down diminished or debased monies, is not
usually borne by states, and upon principle can only be expected for due
wear of originally good coin. Of a debased or mutilated coinage, the fa
brication, importation, circulation, acceptance or transfer, are all crimes
against a government. -

To assist the innocent holders of this money, and to form a fund for its
repayment, it might be received at the public treasury of each island, and
bills payable in eight months, given for the amount of the value of the sil
wer contained; but the notice of calling in must be sudden and short, and
it must be for ever after excluded from circulation. The plan adopted in
Barbados for calling in and putting out of circulation the clipped monies
passing by weight within the island, is recommended for adoption or imi

The importation, circulation of clipped or debased coins, the mutila

tion, imitation, circulation at higher than the declared values, of all the
current coins, gold, silver, or copper, must be by law prohibited under
sanctions, penalties, and punishments proportioned to the offence, and as
near as may be agreeable to the laws passed in Great Britain in similar

All these things being duly executed and effected, a supply of coins
adequate to the internal uses of each colony may fairly be expected from
its external commerce, and the action and re-action of the metals, and of
bills of exchange on each other. In the last necessity, however, it is the
duty of the public government of the colony, to purchase from the British
government for the public use. This extremity will probably never arise.
In every colony, independently of the dealers in money and the general
merchant, there exist two great interests, the planter and the British go
vernment, who being naturally vendors rather than purchasers of bills,
ought for their own benefit to establish so full and constant a supply of mo
ney in the market as shall keep up the prices of bills. The planter and the
British government should always be prepared to remit money to every
colony, whenever the prices of bills sink below a given per centage. The
course to be pursued by government in these transactions is particularly to
be looked to as an agency, whose energy, unity, due consideration and
calculation of means and power of effecting its objects may be depended
The coinage being duly regulated and protected, and the British go
vernment holding a quantity in the British market, always applicable to
colonial demand, may dispose of any quantities to its respective commis
sariats upon its own bills. The supply thus to be obtained, beneficially
for all, may be sufficient for all.
The adoption, of these measures, therefore, as for ever putting an end
to monetary systems disgraceful and injurious to all, the duties and inte
rests alike imperiously demand, both of the general and colonial govern

So essentially necessary is it, that governors, amid their successions and

changes, and that the legislatures and communities of the British colonies
should be informed and restrained, and, by some public monument, re
called and referred to principle and to right, that it is not only advisable
that an act should be past, forbidding, under appropriate penalties, the
introduction of debased money, the mutilation of the good, the circulation at
higher than the established value; but the principal. clauses also of this
act should, under penalties on the treasurer, be for ever exhibited openly
in his office, and a copy affixed on the outside of the door of the establish
ment of every public treasury in the West Indies.
Annexed hereto are figures marked A and B representing the quarter
dollar and twentieth of a dollar-piece, and 1, 2, 3, 4, representing the
actual breadths of quarters, fifths, tenths, and twentieths of dollars. To
the quarter dollar, halves, fifths, tenths of dollars will conform, mutatis
mutandis; and so may the twentieth of a dollar-piece, should it be decided
to make it contain 21 grains of silver, rather than nineteen silver and
í, 3) : $ $
1815 .jſ
s PEECH Es, &c. 35

twelve alloy. The vacant circles are intended to represent the actual
breadths of fourths, fifths, tenths, twentieths of dollar-pieces. The Bri
tish half-dollar will be of the breadth of the Spanish half-dollar.
I remain, sir, your very humble servant,
G. W. JORDAN, Colonial Agent for Barbados.
London, March 6, 1816.



On Friday, the 22nd of March, 1816,
For Papers relating to the Slave Registry Bill; reported verbatim.

LoRD GRENville, in making his motion for papers relating to the

Slave Registry Bill, said—“I now, my lords, proceed to submit to you
the motion of which I had the honour of giving your lordships notice on
a former night. This, as I have said before, is for the production of papers,
the object of which l am perfectly persuaded can meet with no opposition
on the part of any of your lordships. The object, my lords, is to bring
before you such information as has been transmitted by the governors of
our West India islands, relative to the execution of the act legalizing the
great measure of abolition, and the effect which that execution has pro
duced upon the general state and condition of those who were primarily to
be affected by it in a commercial point of view, upon the state, conduct,
and condition of the slave population of those islands,-and upon the state
and condition of that unhappy race of beings for whose benefit the measure
to which I advert was chiefly calculated. That your lordships should
wish for authentic information on those important considerations, is a na
tural consequence of those expectations excited in the minds of your lord
ships and in the country, by the passing of that great act which necessarily
induced them. It must undoubtedly be a matter of anxiety to your lord
ships, to be informed how far, from the result of such experience as has
been obtained, that great measure has been attended with those injurious
consequences predicted by those who only augured evil from its adoption;
or whether, on the contrary instead of those, that objects of the highest im
portance have been achieved, not only to the interests of general and local
humanity, but to the interests of the commerce and the agriculture of the
colonies themselves: in fact, how far the sanguine expectations enter
tained by the supporters of that great measure have been realized. If this
were merely a matter of curiosity, my lords, or speculation, it might well
be said, that at a time when the legislature is overwhelmed, not only with

the quantity, but with the pressing importance of the public business, it is
not fitting to load the table with information merely tending to gratify cu
riosity as to the result that has been obtained. But, my lords, my coming
forward with my motion of this night, is for a practical purpose. You
have to consider, that by the mere act which prevents the further impor
tation of negroes from Africa, although you may have done a good, and held
out the most effectual inducement towards the attaining one great end, yet,
in merely adhering to that law, you do not discharge the whole of your duty
towards those colonies, and particularly to that class of their inhabitants.
I do not now, my lords, wish that any abstract question should be raised
respecting the political or constitutional power of the British legislature, to
interfere with the internal concerns of the colonies. I believe it is a ques
tion of abstract consideration, which it is absolutely impossible, upon any
ground or principle, from the first beginning of those colonies to the mo
ment in which I now speak, to raise the slightest doubt in the mind of any
man, that the full and complete right of supreme legislation in all matters
of internal or external concern, is vested or resides in the British parliament.
—And in only one instance, my lords, is this right qualified: namely, the
instance of raising a revenue for the internal purposes of the colonies. In
this instance only is the right of parliament limited. Limited by what?
Only by its own act; an act of the British parliament itself. This proves,
my lords, its competency; and if it be competent to impose limitations, it
is competent also to extend its power in those respects,<-to repeal as well as
to pass acts. But, my lords, though I would assert in unqualified terms, the
full and unqualified rights of parliament, qualified only by the exercise of
its own discretion, I must at the same time say, that in practice and in
fact, no man can be more anxious to assert, for the dependencies
of this great empire, those fair advantages of legislation, that have by
custom and long usage been conferred upon them; no man can be less
disposed to suggest any unnecessary, any officious interference with that
system which practice has proved to be the best suited to the local concerns
of those colonies. No man, my lords, can be more reluctant than myself,
to propose any measure without absolute and incumbent necessity tending
to circumscribe the powers of those local authorities which, perhaps, gene
rally speaking, are the best qualified to provide for them. While I freely
and fully admit this, my lords, I cannot help thinking that among those
local concerns there exists one subject respecting which we have been al
ready called upon to interpose, guided by the concurrent voice of humanity
and justice,—a subject upon which parliament has redeemed and vindi
cated the moral character of the country, a subject upon which the una
nimous voice of mankind has loudly expressed itself in terms of unquali
fied approbation; I, of course, my lords, mean the abolition of the African
slave trade: yet, upon the same principle, and for the full effectuation of
its benign objects, we are still called upon to interpose. There are now,
my lords, in our West India colonies, above half a million of persons
placed in a situation in which, either in point of fact or principle, no others
in the British empire are placed,—in a situation in which all their personal
comforts and their happiness depends on the will of others; and in this si
tuation they were placed by the operation of existing laws, and notwith
standing the great step that has been taken towards ameliorating their
condition. Though the situation in which those unhappy persons are
placed, is such as loudly calls for our humane interposition, yet I am fully
aware, my lords, that the measures which may be calculated for their re
lief, must be considered with caution, and adopted with prudence, or the
consequences may unavoidably be such as eventually to deprive them, not
only of other advantages, but possibly to render their situations still worse,
and further materially to endanger the best interests of those under whose
control they are placed. In touching upon this subject, in expressing
an earnest wish that society may ultimately arise in that portion of the
British empire, to that state which in every other portion of this empire,
even in those where they enjoy the smallest portion of political liberty, it is
to be found. I hope, my lords, you will believe that I view, with the
strongest conviction, that if on the one hand an imperious duty commands
us to exercise a vigilant superintendance on a point which now incontesti
bly requires a very considerable portion of superintendance on the part of
the imperial legislature; we are called upon, on the other hand, to
look at the whole of the subject with a full sense of its political importance.
Now, if it be true that this portion of the West Indian population are, in
common with the others, in a great part natives of the soil of the British
empire, if it be true that all those who owe you allegiance you are bound
to protect, it then becomes you to consider in what manner that protection
shall be exercised, the more especially in that most important of all consi
derations; namely, a case wherein, by attempting to do good, you possibly
may do much injury. In this view of the subject, my lords, undoubtedly
my opinion is, that the first step to be adopted in this course is, the preven
tion of any further accession to that portion of the West India population
by any fresh importation of slaves. This would so far only be strictly to
enforce the abolition act; and, in point of principle, I always held the opi
nion, that regulation should be the consequence of abolition, and not aboli
tion the consequence of regulation. It is the opinion of many persons, my
lords, that this course was the most prudent to be taken, and that it should
be began by an interference on the part of the British parliament: by in
terposing effectually with regulations framed under its authority, which
should secure our colonies in the West Indies against the evils of fresh im
Portations. Their opinion is, that a course of such regulations would, by
the effects produced by the measure in the colonies themselves, be ulti
mately productive of so much advantage by the preclusion of any further
importations, and thereby duly enforcing the provisions of the existing
laws, as to render unnecessarylany farther general enactment. The neces
sary consequence of such a system would be, not only to put a stop to a
great and constant accumulation of misery, but also, by a natural operation
and effect, gradually to improve and ameliorate, in every respect, the state
and condition of those who are already settled in that degrading situation
in our West Indian colonies. The contemplation of such a prospect, my
lotus, renders still more soothing and satisfactory to me, the recollection of
the strong part I have taken in supporting the great and benevolent mea
sure of legislative abolition; and such are the benevolent expectations
felt by all its supporters, from a due and faithful execution of that measure.


Even of the beneficial results which the measure has already produced
from its imperfect state of operation, I am happy in being able to refer to
the testimony, not only of its friends and supporters, but of those who at
first opposed it, and held opinions very unfavourable to its operation and
results, but have since been convinced to the contrary by the evidence of
facts. From the same unerring guides, we learn that the operation of the
measure hitherto, instead of being productive of evils in the colonies, has
on the contrary diminished or removed existing evils, and that its effects, in
the natural increase of that portion of the West India population, as well as
in ameliorating gradually the relative conditions of the two kinds of popu
lation, (a point inost essential to the security and internal tranquillity of the
colonies,) are of the most beneficial tendency. These important consi
derations naturally give the advocates of the great measure of abolition
fresh confidence of complete ultimate success, and induce all who think
with me, to proceed with increased alacrity towards the attainment of so
great and beneficial an object, and one calculated to produce the happiest
results to all the parties affected by it. I do believe, my lords, that it will
be impossible, from the papers proposed to be brought before you, not to
conclude, that if the measure of abolition be adequately carried into ef
fect, and fully established, all those beneficial results, which I have ad
verted to, will accrue to that portion of the empire; but more especially,
that an inevitable result must be, its preventing any further addition to
that mass of misery, so long accumulating on the heads of so numerous a
part of the population of those colonies. It will not only remedy those
evils which exist, but avert those greater ones which are impending, and
which must fall, if the saving measure of abolition be not properly sup
ported and enforced: and the measure will gradually induce those great
and beneficial changes, which, at no period, I am sorry to say, were made
fundamental objects in that part of our colonial policy. In this view of
the case, my lords, it seems most advisable, that the first object for parlia
ment to look to, should be to provide such measures, as will bring con
stantly before its view the fact, whether the effects of the abolition be to
increase, or otherwise, the black population of the colonies. If you find
the effect to be such, that the natural increase of the numbers, (and such I
am inclined to think, will be found to be the case,) proceeds from the sa
lutary beneficial operation of the principle of the act, if it should appear
that this increase proceeds from such causes, and not from evasion of the law,
then it must be justly gratifying to your own feelings, that the great and sa
lutary remedy is so far in a course of operation; and an unerring proof will be
constituted of the wisdom and beneficialtendency of that great legislative in
terposition. If, on the other hand, you should find that the act has produced
altogether a contrary effect, and that a diminution, instead of an increase of
numbers, has been the consequence; then it will be a matter of great im
portance to be in possession of such information upon the subject, as will
enable you to decide, whether such decrease proceeds either from any
evasion of the law, or from something peculiar in the situation and circum
stances of those unhappy persons, which may counteract, if not defeat,
our benevolent intentions; or whether, in the case of the law being exe
cuted, there may not be some other peculiar circumstances connected with
the operation of the law in other respects, which may also tend to de
feat its salutary and benevolent principle. Another object, my lords,
will be effected by what I am about to propose, and in this way,+if you
should see reason to doubt that the law has been either more or less ex
tensively evaded, or not complied with, you will then be satisfied of the
necessity of adopting such regulations as may enable us to enforce the
execution of the law in every place, and in every situation, in the smallest,
as well as in the largest establishment, as the utility of the measure we
have enacted, will entirely depend upon the universallity of its applica
tion; for if there be but one point in that part of the British empire,
where the law can be broken through, it can be no advantage, neither will
it be of any importance to have legislative provisions on the subject. As
long as there shall exist a black population in the different colonies, so
long, however favourably treated that may be by the colonies; yet, so long
as there shall exist one point at which the law may be broken, so as to
render practicable the admission of fresh supply; so long will our West
India colonies be exposed to the incalculable evils of fresh importations, to
fresh barbarities, fresh sufferings, fresh diseases, and fresh mortalities, all
which accumulated horrors will be again experienced by our colonies.
This, my lords, is the great object to which your attention ought most se
riously to be directed this moment. Every one of those numerous and in
describable calamities may be avoided ; every one of those beneficial re
sults to which I have adverted, are most likely to be promoted in a distinct
and effectual way, by a bill now in a state of preparation. This bill,
through its provisions, will, if passed, go to produce, by registration, and
other means, such accounts as may regularly set before you periodical
statements of the increase or decrease of the black population, as to
numbers, and not only as to numbers generally, but in no small degree to
ascertain the causes of such variations, without which a mere statement of
numbers is absolutely useless. In the case of an increase preponderating,
such a result may be accounted for in two ways; the one, that a due execution
of the law may favour a natural increase, by encouraging native procreation;
or, on the other hand, the law may be completely evaded, and therefore, by
means of clandestine importation, an excess of numbers produced beyond
what otherwise could exist. A mere table of numbers, my lords, gives no in
formation whatever; but such a mode of registration as it is proposed to
submit to you, (in which the age, sex, and description of the individuals,
with other circumstances, will be included,) will ascertain, for instance, to
which of the causes I have stated it is attributable; whether the law has
been duly and faithfully executed, or whether the increase is owing to a
violation of the law, and in the latter case it will appear, when, and to what
amount, such violation took place. No check would be more effectual
towards preventing the importation of slaves from abroad, or tend to se
cure, in the enjoyment of the right of freedom such as were entitled to it,
than such a law of registration. An objection, my lords, may be sug
gested in the minds of some, that any law of this kind, upon the subject.
is of the nature of a penal statute; there is, however, a wide, and indeed

an obvious difference. A penal law is for the punishment of a crime, on

conviction of its being committed; and short of which it is held a great
deal too much to provide for punishments. Such is the principle of penal
laws; but I cannot understand the application of such a principle against
whole communities. The principle, as to crime committed by man against
man, is very different; and on the contrary, the very reverse of the propo
sition objected may be true, when we speak, not of penal, but of preventive
laws. These, my lords, are for the prevention, and not the punishment of
crimes, and on this principle a law is proposed, as far as relates to a security
for the due execution of the abolition act. Your lordships will see, when
it comes before you, that the proposed bill is calculated, not as a penal,
but as a preventive law. In these, no proof of actual commission is re
quisite, but it is on reason for thinking it probable that the crime may
be committed, that preventive laws are passed. On considering this part
of the case, my lords, we should recollect that the strongest of all the
arguments used, or at least, that which was most pointedly urged against
the passing of the abolition act, was, that no man, who knows the nature of
the West India Islands, but also knows that a mere law will never suffice,
and this argument was pushed a great deal further than the truth or justice
of the case will bear. It was urged, and to a certain extent with some
foundation, that the measure of abolition, if rested on a mere law, would
be inefficacious; that no law could effectually prevent the clandestine im
portation of slaves; and that all the power of government would be in
sufficient to prevent smuggling, if the long established open trade was
prohibited. These allegations, however, were sufficient subsequently to
excite the apprehensions of the supporters of the abolition, that no means
would be left untried to evade the act, and in effect, to render its provisions
nugatory; they were, therefore, induced to endeavour to secure its object,
and provide for its due execution by auxiliary enactments. Measures of
this kind have now become, from circumstances, more than ever neces
sary. It would be shutting our eyes, indeed, to the evils which have oc
curred, and which are still occurring, not to take up the consideration of
this subject seriously and attentively. Every one, who knows how the
slave trade now stands; who knows, and considers the relatively local and
geographical situation of the West India islands, constituting what may be
called another Archipelago, must undoubtedly know to what an extent the
evils I allude to must reach, and at no great distance of time. When we
consider the way in which those islands are scattered, in close and intricate
conjunction with respect to each other, we must be aware, my lords, that
it is impossible that any system of land-guard whatever, can be effectual
in preventing an illicit intercourse, and the transportation of slaves from
one island to another. Nothing short of the adoption of a system of re
gistration, similar, or at least on the principle of that which it is intended
shortly to propose, can be effectual to check the evil. The necessity of
this preventive system is, latterly, more than ever increased, inasmuch as
facilities for clandestine importation are incalculably greater since the ter
mination of the war. The rights of war, as your lordships know, gave to
us the power of maritime search; such a power evidently placed a great
control or check in our hands, upon clandestine importations; but the
whole of this right is now done away by the happy return of peace. On
the other hand, however, the danger of clandestine importations, during
the war, were in some measure greater than at present; because, at the pe
riod there were more of the islands under our dominion (and with a view
to the true and permanent interests of this country, I think we have still
too many), which rendered the facilities of interchange and communica
tion the greater. At present, we have no means of examining a vessel,
for instance, under an American or Spanish flag, whether or not her cargo
is composed of negroes; but heretofore, when such a vessel was, on ex
amination, found to contain a cargo of negroes, from Africa, such vessel
might be seized, condemned, or rendered liable to confiscation, as was the
case in a late decision. The great object, my lords, is to prevent clan
destine importations; and although we may do this from the coast of Africa,
yet we cannot so easily prevent our islands from receiving fresh supplies
from those of neighbouring powers, in that contiguous cluster of islands.
At present, also, if a vessel is proceeding to the colony of any friendly
power, we cannot be justified in arresting her progress, though in a short
time after its cargo, more or less, may be conveyed to our own islands.
There is still more than one European power, my lords, which has not given
any pledge, or manifested any inclination, to relinquish this abominable
traffic; and there are certain free-ports in the West Indies, which may be
the ready receptacles for their iniquitous merchandize. The facilities for
clandestine importations are still further increased, with a reference to the
newly acquired possessions on the coast of South America, which in an
evil hour we accepted. Upon these topics I shall not now trouble your
lordships any further, but proceed briefly to consider the important point
of the source, or quarter, whence the remedy about to be submitted, can
with the greater propriety or effect proceed; that is, my lords, whether,
from the local legislative authorities of the colonies themselves, or from the
paramount superintending authority of the imperial parliament. The
question is, certainly, one of serious importance, and I wish it to be con
sidered, with a reference to the important objects that you have in view.
As to which of these modes of proceeding may be the preferable, I wish
your lordships to come to no premature decision, nor indeed upon any part of
the question. I shall not now urge, (whatever the inclination of my opinion
may be with respect to its being preferable that the measure should ema
nate from the British parliament,) the result of that opinion upon the at
tention of your lordships; but I beg leave again to desire of your lord
ships, that you will not look at the question with a reference to the circum
stances of the moment, but look at the object itself, and, with a due at
tention to that, form your decision. If in the course of your delibera
tions on the subject, you shall be satisfied that the object may be effected
by other means than the interposition of the British legislature, I am
willing to admit that an interference ought not to be pressed for. With a
reference, generally speaking, to the situation in which the British colonies
are placed, I am of opinion, that it is only in cases where it can be shown
(; – H.
42 speech Es of
that the local legislatures, from whatever cause, are inadequate to remedy
the evils complained of, that it becomes our duty to interpose. For the
purpose, my lords, as I have stated, of our being informed of what steps
have been taken on the part of those colonial governments, in furtherance
of the measure of abolition, and of the consequences of the steps so taken,
which will tend to illustrate the conduct of the local legislatures in that
respect; and to evince, more or less the necessity of the measure of regis
tration now in preparation, and about to be introduced; and to enable,
you, at the same time fully to appreciate the merits of this most im
portant question, I now move your lordships, that an humble address be
presented to the Prince Regent, requesting, “That there may be laid be
fore this house, copies or extracts of such reports as have been trans
mitted by the governors of the British West India colonies, since the
year 1807, respecting the manner in which the act for the abolition of
the African slave trade has been carried into execution in those colonies,
and the effect which that measure has had upon the state and condition
of the slaves therein. And also, for copies of all laws and regulations
made by the local legislatures in those islands, in furtherance of the ob
jects of the said act.”
On the question being put,
Lord Holland rose, and said—“I can assure my noble friend, I do not
rise for the purpose of offering any objection whatever to the production
of those papers he has moved for. But I feel it necessary to say a few
words as to a part of the subject touched upon so ably by my noble friend.
I think it highly proper, that every information should be given to the
British parliament, respecting the mode in which that most important and
beneficial measure referred to, has been carried into effect, and, there
fore, I most cordially concur in the present motion. I am ready to say,
my lords, that one of the many motives which induce me to give my vote
for this proposition, is my desire to see, authentically before parliament,
the degree of improvement which the great measure, so much dwelt
upon, has made in the condition of that degraded race of men who are
the objects of it. At the same time, my lords, though I say this, I beg
leave not to be understood as offering any opinion as to the bill referred
to by my noble friend, as in a state of preparation. However necessary
for the great object of the abolition, I may think the measure of a regis
tration of those slaves now in the islands, and so necessary do I think it,
that I strongly recommend to those more immediately concerned, not
only to have such a law passed, but strictly to enforce it; yet, my lords,
I must say, that, upon the alleged grounds of proceeding, I certainly
have considerable doubts as to the expediency, under the present circum
stances, of having such a law passed by the British legislature. Let us
have the fullest inquiry before we think of passing a bill, which may pro
duce something like a state of polemical legislation between this country
and her colonies. Upon the grounds I have stated, my lords, I agree
with my noble friend as to his present motion. But when any bill comes
!.cfore this house, such as that referred to, I shall think it necessary we

. ." * : -


should have much more information upon the subject to which it relates,
before we think of passing it. I do not think, that any information was
necessary with a view to convince us, that great and important benefits
have been conferred on the negro population of the islands by the Abo
lition Act. I am already convinced of that; but, my lords, there is a part
of my noble friend's subject, upon which he has laid much stress. … I
mean what he has said respecting an illegal importation of slaves. On
this head, I feel it proper to say a few words, and, in justice to the planters
and government of the island of Jamaica, to express my firm belief, that
not a single slave has been illegally imported into Jamaica, and this is .
what I believe, my lords, may be truly said of all the rest of our islands,
though I cannot aver it from sources of information equally authentic;
but into the island of Jamaica, I again declare my firm belief, that no
clandestine importation has taken place. With respect to the effects
which the great measure of the abolition has had on the actual con
dition of the slaves in the West Indies, I think it cannot be fairly
denied, that although, perhaps, all that has been anticipated has
not been done by the legislatures of the colonies, it has had a great
and powerful effect in bettering the condition of those unfortunate
person... I believe, also, that the operation and influence of the prin
ciple upon which the British legislature passed that great measure,
has had no small effect in bettering the condition of the slaves in our West
India islands. I felt myself called upon, my lords, in justice to those
persons concerned, and to my own feelings, to say these few words; and I
confess, that, upon the wisdom and propriety of a bill for the registration
of slaves, I have considerable doubts: but when the measure comes regu
larly before the house, I shall express myself more fully on that part of
the subject.
Lord Grenville, in a short explanatory observation, deprecated any pre
mature decision on the part of any of their lordships, on a subject of which
they could possibly form no correct idea, until authentic information re
specting it should be before them.
After a few words between Lord Grenville and Earl Bathurst, as to the
technical import of part of the motion, the question was put and immedi
ately voted in the affirmative by their lordships.


– sº

The author of a recent publication on the island of St. Helena *

has offered, in several parts of his work, agricultural remarks, of
which some belong directly to the agriculture of the West Indies;
* Tracts relative to St. Helena, &c. by Major-General Alexander Beatson,
late Goveruor, &c. &c., 4to, 1816.

and others possess a general interest, in regard to the cultivation of

the soil in tropical climates. In particular passages, much novelty
and utility appear to present themselves; and all may be benefi
cially examined by practical readers:—

The complete success which has attended my efforts to improve the

husbandry of St. Helena; and, above all, to substitute the plough for the
spade and boe, are circumstances not undeserving the attention of those
who have valuable estates in the West India islands. According to Mr.
Bryan Edwards's statement, founded upon his own experience, it appears,
that by using the plough, in the operation of holing a sugar plantation,
the labour of slaves is only about one-twentieth part of that which is re
quired when the same work is performed by the hoe. In breaking up
lands, and preparing them for corn and potatoe crops at St. Helena, it
might easily be proved, that the reduction of manual labour, by the use of
the plough, has been in a much greater proportion.
If, then, the plough were employed wherever the nature of the lands
will admit, in all those countries where the hoe is in general use, and con
sequently where the demand for manual labour is excessive, it seems rea
sonable to infer, that such a change would be productive of infinite advan
tage. The necessity for manual labour would thereby be reduced, and
the bodily fatigue of the unfortunate slaves would be lessened; which
would, in all probability, lead to a greater increase of the present stock.
By such means, all those inconveniences, whether real or imaginary, that
are apprehended from the abolition of the Slave Trade, might, in the
course of a few years, be effectually removed.
Since the abolition of slavery at St. Helena, which took place in the year
1792, there has been an augmentation in the black population, which con
sists of three classes: the slaves of individuals; the Company's slaves; and
free blacks. It was intended to have shown the actual augmentation dur
ing a period of nineteen years, that is, since 1793 : but, upon examining
the lists in my possession, it was found that, until the year 1803, the Com
pany's slaves and free blacks were excluded. On this account I have
been obliged to confine the comparison to the period between the years
1803 and 1812; by which there appears to have been an increase of 148
from a stock of 1539 men, women, and children.

The following details, connected with these latter observations,

occur in Appendix II,
Acres. 4405%
2427 2543}
2205}| 5108

| 2470 2256 1524 1864 2005 1219 2553

2202 2295 1494


i 74 93 26 49 6] 14 104
241 240 155 249 218 43 297
63 96 88

; 239 217 133

f 447 237 180 21
I 173 80 200 199 178 Sö

# 584 625 300 4

1 556 367 729

847 787 622 630 771 494 911

593 717 407

801 846 543

LIST # 1055||47 |
1.49||43 1252||47 1613||50 1622||48 1645||44 1790||47 1732||36

ii lil-15

721 819 918 1001 1225 1230 1257 1127

1563||— G|45

199 1
| 150

11 144 163 176 217 240 257 254 265 257 259
BLACKS. § 169 177|
214 200]
209 2.79 268|
279 272
278] 327 220)
270 213|
270 277|
274, 239'
g;**3 )

l 284 346 377 451 439 405 383 386 386 337
334 330 334 350 388 392 388 436 470 582

96 100 105 108 132 145 142 150 163 200 173
92 97 97 92 103 97 94 105 105 138 147
f 03 87
06 97 102 104 108 121 153 152

40 41 54 56 48 48 73 87 100 |
1769 1774 1779 1784 1789 1794 1799 1803 1804 1809 1812

REMARKs.—The further importation of slaves was interdicted by the

Court of Directors in 1792; and permission granted to any person to
manumise, or set free, any slave or slaves, on condition that they should
not become burthensome to the parish.
At that period, the number of slaves (men, women, and children) be
longing to individuals was 1292. Not having any record of the Com
pany's slaves and free blacks, prior to 1803, I cannot give a correct view
of the increase of black population since 1792. I am, however, enabled
to shew, that there has been an increase since 1803. This is, in fact, the
most accurate period to begin with, because, in 1802 the progress of
population received a check, by a mortality of about 160, occasioned by
the measles. Beginning then at 1803, the increase of black population will
be seen by the following comparison.

In 1803, slaves (men, women, and children) belonging to individuals 1127

Company’s slaves - - - 81-

Free blacks - - - - 331-

Total 1539

In 1812, slaves belonging to individuals - - 1 150

Company's slaves - - - - 89
Free blacks - - - - 448

Total 1687

Difference, or increase, in nine years, - - 148

This is perhaps as correct a view as can be made, in any place or island,

of the change that has taken place in the number of inhabitants; because
not more than two or three instances have occurred of subtracting by
desertion or removal, and none of adding, by the import of foreign blacks,
within this period of nine years.
Chinese labourers were first introduced in 1810. Three years afterwards
there were 270 able men. The government of the island were so well
satisfied of their utility that it was resolved to augment the establishment
to 400.

The grub, an insect troublesome to the cultivators of the soil in

all countries, and especially in those under tropical climates,
engaged an adequate share of Governor Beatson's attention. Two
methods, proposed by this writer for its destruction, appear to
possess novelty, and a fair chance of success:—
The phalaenae, or insects, sprung from those chrysalids, do not possess
the brilliance of butterflies; but what I imagine to be the male moth is
more brilliant and active than the female. There is, indeed, a great dif
ference in their form and colour. The wings of the one are wrapped up

or folded round the body; and those of the other are more spread, and in
shape resemble a delta. Some authors have given the moth the name of
“night butterflies;"—and there seems to be a sort of analogy similar to
that between birds of day and of night. Moths are known to be fond of
light, and get into rooms when attracted by it. I have observed many of
the species that produces the grub, fluttering around candles, and destroy
ing themselves. It may, therefore, be inferred that great numbers of the
parent of grubs might be annihilated, by placing fires of dry furze, or
straw, or torches, in the fields during the night, at the times they are ob
served to have undergone this final transformation.
There seems to be also another method of destroying the grub, and
preventing its propagation. It has been usually remarked that, at certain
times, and more especially at night, it remains upon, or near the surface.
I therefore conceive that, by means of a red-hot roller, or a perforated hol
low cylinder filled with burning charcoal, and moved slowly along a field,
many of them might be destroyed.



The following account of the country called New Connecticut, in the

heighbourhood of Lake Erie, and the Ohio, in the territory of the United
States of America, is given by a writer of the old state of the same name:
That section of country known by the name of New Connecticut, ex
tends from about forty-two degrees north latitude, one hundred and forty
or fifty miles along the southern shore of Lake Erie, and from twenty
seven to sixty-six miles south from said lake. It contains 206 townships,
all of which are five miles square, except those adjoining the lake. Al
most the whole of this rich and valuable tract of land is owned and settled
(so far as it is settled) by New England people. The numerous advan
tages which it affords to the farmer, has induced an unparalelled emigra
tion from the New England States, for several years past, and more espe
cially for the last twelve months.
The number of families which have gone by the Buffalo route, to that
country, during the last summer is immense. It is presumed no tract of
country of similar extent, can boast of a similar increase of population.
But this spirit of emigration is accounted for, by the eminent advantages
which that country offers to new settlers. The industrious and enter
prizing farmer of New England, unless checked by some unfore een events,
will in a very few years, make that one of the richest and most flourishing
agricultural sections of the union. The climate is more mild than that of
the same latitude on the seaboard. The soil is naturally fertile, and much

of it suitable for grazing. In many towns large dairies are established,

not inferior to those in Groton, and any other of our grazing lands. The
timber is a mixture of almost every kind common to this latitude. Oak,
elm, sugar, maple, beech, wild cherry, black walnut, butternut, chesnut,
cucumber, and bass, constitute the greatest proportion. The peach tree is
cultivated here with great success; orchards of which are seen of from
one to ten acres in extent.
The surface of the country, though uneven, or waving in some parts, is
nevertheless smooth, and free from stones. A plentiful supply of marble
quarries are found, and also of freestone, suitable for grindstones, and other
purposes. There is an abundance of limestone, gypsum (or plaster of
Paris) coal, and iron ore. Alum has likewise been found, but the extent
of the bed has not yet been ascertained. In the town Vermilion, is an inex
haustible bed of rich vermilion paint”, from which the name of that town,
and a river in its vicinity, originated.
The salt-springs which have already been discovered, afford a prospect of
furnishing this territory with a plentiful supply of that useful and neces
sary article. And sugar may be manufactured in almost any quantity.
Among the variety of wild game with which the country abounds, are
the elkt, deert, bear, rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey, pigeons, and of the
aquatic kind, the swan, the wild goose, and the duck.
The principal rivers of New Connecticut are the Cayuhoga, Grand
River, Black River, Vermilion River, and Huron River; which, at con
venient distances from each other, run northerly through the territory, and
empty into Lake Erie. The Big Beaver, with its numerous branches, after
running in various directions around the south-east part of the tract, and
refreshing more than twenty towns with its waters, takes a southerly di
rection, and empties itself into the Ohio. The Beaver is boatable as far
up as Warren, which is eighty miles from its mouth. The Cayuhoga is
also boatable many miles through the interior of the country. At the
mouth of this river is situated the pleasant and growing village of Cleve
land. These rivers, together with many others of less magnitude, afford
mill seats sufficient to accommodate every section of the territory. The
hand of Providence has rarely bestowed a more rich profusion of the
necessaries, conveniences, delicacies, and luxuries of life, on any portion of
the globe. All these advantages, combined with the very low price of
land, make this a very interesting, and in a few years must make it a very
opulent and beautiful part of the country.
* A red earth —E. + Red Deer.-E. † American Deer—E.
57 –



By the late MERRiwether Lewis, Esq.

Governor of Upper Louisiana”.

FROM the commencement of the Spanish provincial government in

Louisiana, whether by permission of the crown, or originating in the pecu
niary rapacity of the governor-general, this officer assumed to himself,
exclusively, the right of trading with all the Indian nations in Louisiana,
and therefore proceeded to dispose of this privilege to individuals for cer
tain specific sums: his example was imitated by the governors of Upper
Louisiana, who made a further exaction. Those exclusive permissions to
individuals varied as to the extent of country or nations they embraced,
and the period for which granted; but in all cases the exclusive licenses
were offered to the highest bidder, and, consequently, the sums paid by
the individuals purchasing were quite as much as the profits of the trade
would bear, and in many instances, from a spirit of opposition between
contending applicants, much more was given than ever the profits of the
traffic would justify. The individual, of course, became bankrupt. This,
however, was among the least of the evils flowing from this system to the
Indian; it produced the evil of compelling him to pay such enormous
sums for the articles he purchased, that his greatest exertions would not
enable him to obtain as much as he had previously been in the habit of
consuming, and which he, therefore, conceived necessary to him; for, as
this system progressed, the demands of the governors became more exor
bitant, and the trader, to meet his engagements, exacted higher prices
from the Indians, though the game became scarcer in their country. The
morals of the Indian were corrupted, by placing before him the articles
which he viewed as of the first necessity to him, at such prices that he had
it not in his power to purchase; he was, therefore, induced, in many in
stances, to take by force that which he had not the means of paying for;
consoling himself with the idea, that the trader was compelled of neces
sity to possess himself of the peltries and furs, in order to meet his engage
ments with those from whom he had purchased his merchandize, as well

* The passage is extracted from the original edition of Clark and Lewis's
Travels to the Source of the Missouri. For some unexplained reason, it inas
been suppressed in the English reprint. Its value, in the meantime, both to
the fur-trader and statesman, as the production of an intelligent observer, and
as speaking the language and illustrating the policy if the government of the
United States of America, will sufficiently appear on perusal.-E.
58 FU R-T R A D F

as those who had assisted him in their transportation, and consequently

could not withdraw himself from their trade without inevitable ruin. The
prevalence of this sentiment among the Indians was strongly impressed on
my mind by an anecdote related to me by a gentleman who had for seve
ral years enjoyed, under the Spanish government, the exclusive privilege
of trading with the Little Osages. It happened, that, after he had bar
tered with them for all their peltries and furs which they had on hand,
they seized forcibly on a number of guns and a quantity of ammunition
which he had still remaining; he remonstrated with them against this act
of violence, and finally concluded by declaring that he would never re
turn among them again, nor would he suffer any person to bring them
merchandize thereaſter. They heard him out very patiently, when one of
their leaders pertly asked him, if he did not return the next season to ob
tain their peltries and furs, how he intended to pay the persons from whom
he had purchased the merchandize they had then taken from him
The Indians believed that these traders were the most powerful in the
nation, nor did they doubt their ability to withhold merchandise from
them; but the great thirst displayed by the traders for the possession of
their peltries and furs, added to the belief that they were compelled to
continue their traffic, was considered by the Indians a sufficient guarantee
for the continuance of their intercourse, and therefore felt themselves at
liberty to practise aggressions on the traders with impunity. Thus they
governed the trader by what they conceived his necessities to possess their
ſurs and peltries, rather than governing themselves by their own anxiety to
obtain merchandize, as they may most effectually be by a well-regulated
system. It is immaterial to the Indians how they obtain merchandize; in
possession of a supply, they feel independent. The Indians found, by a
few experiments of aggression on the traders, that as it respected thein
selves, it had a salutary effect; and although they had mistaken the legi
timate cause of action on the part of the trader, the result being favoura
ble to themselves, they continued their practice. The fact is, that the
trader was compelled to continue his trade under every disadvantage, in
order to make good his engagements to the governors; for, having secured
their protection, they were safe, both in person and property, from their
other creditors, who were, for the most part, the merciants of Montreal.
The first effect of these depredations of the Indians was the introduction
of a ruinous custom among the traders of extending to them a credit. The
traders who visited the Indians on the Missouri, arrived at their wintering
stations from the latter end of September to the middle of October: here
they carried on their traffic until the latter end of March or beginning of
April. In the course of the season they had possessed themselves of every
skin the Indians had procured; of course there was an end of trade; but,
previous to their return, the Indians insist upon a credit being given on
the faith of payment when he returned next season. The trader under
stands his situation, and knowing this credit was nothing less than the
price of his passport, or the privilege of departing in safety to his home,
of course narrowed down the amount of this credit, by concealing, as far
as he could, to avoid the suspicions of the Indians, the remnant of his
OF LOUIS I.A. N. A. 59
inerchandize. But the amount to be offered must always be such as they
had been accustomed to receive; and which, in every case, bore a consi
derable proportion to their whole trade; say, the full amount of their sum
mer or red-skin hunt. The Indians well knew that the traders were in
their power, and the servile motives which induced them to extend their
liberality to them, and were therefore the less solicitous to meet their en
gagements on the day of payment; to this indifference they were further
urged by the traders' distributing among them, on those occasions, many
articles of the least necessity to then. The consequence was, that when
the traders returned the ensuing fall, if they obtained only one half of
their credits, they were well satisfied, as this covered their real expen
Again: if it so happen, in the course of the winter's traffic, that the
losses of the trader, growing out of the indolence of the Indians, and their
exorbitant exactions under the appellation of credit, should so reduce his
stock in trade, that he could not pay the governor the price stipulated for
his license, and procure a further supply of goods, in order to prosecute
his trade, the license was immediately granted to some other individual,
who, with an ample assortment of merchandize, visits the place of rendez
vous of his predecessor, without the interpolation of a single season. It
did not unfrequently happen, that the individuals engaged in this com
merce, finding one of their number failing from the rapacity of the Indian
nation with which he had been permitted to trade, were not so anxious to
possess themselves of the privilege of trading with that nation; the go
vernor, of course, rather than lose all advantages, would abate of his de
mands considerably. The new trader, thus relieved of a considerable
portion of the tax borne by his predecessor, and being disposed to make
a favourable impression on the minds of the Indians, to whom he was
about to introduce himself, would, for the first season at least, dispose of
his goods to those Indians on more moderate terms than his predecessor
had done. The Indians now find that the aggressions they have prac
tised on their former trader, so far from proving detrimental to them, had
procured not only their exoneration from the payment of the last credit
given them by their former trader, but that the present trader furnished
them goods on better terms than they had been accustomed to receive
them. Thus encouraged by the effects of this rapacious policy, it was not
to be expected that they would alter their plan of operation as it respected
their new trader; or that they should appreciate the character of the
whites in general in any other manner than as expressed in a prevailing sen
timent on this subject, now common among several nations on the Missouri,
to wit, “That the white men are like dogs; the more you beat them and
plunder them, the more goods they will bring you, and the cheaper they
will sell them.” This sentiment constitutes at present the rule of action
among the Kanzas, Sioux, and others; and if it be not broken down by
the adoption of some efficient measures, it needs not the aid of any deep
calculation to determine the sum of advantages which will result to th
American people from the trade of the Missouri. These aggressions

the part of the Indians were encouraged by the pusillanimity of the engagés,
who declared that they were not engaged to fight.
The evils which flowed from this system of exciusive trade were sensibly
felt by the inhabitants of Louisiana. The governor, regardless of the
safety of the community, sold to an individual the right of vending among
the Indians every species of merchandize; thus bartering, in eifect, his only
efficient check on the Indians. The trader, allured by the hope of gain,
neither shackled with discretion, nor consulting the public good, proceeded
to supply the Indians, on whom he was dependent, with arms, ammuni
tion, and all other articles they might require. The Indian, thus inde
pendent, acknowledging no authority but his own, will proceed, without
compunction of conscience or fear of punishment, to wage war on the de
fenceless inhabitants of the frontier, whose lives and property, in many in
stances, were thus sacrificed at the shrine of an inordinate thirst for wealth
in their governors, which in reality occasioned all those evils. Although
the governors could not have been ignorant that the misfortunes of the
people were caused by the independence of the Indians, to which they were
accessory, still they were the more unwilling to apply the corrective; be
cause the very system which gave them wealth in the outset, in the course
of its progress aſſorded them many plausible pretexts to put their hands
into the treasury of the king their master. For example: the Indians at
tack the frontier, kill some of the inhabitants, plunder many others, and,
agreeably to their custom of warfare, retire instantly to their villages with
their booty. The governor, informed of this transaction, promptly calls
on the inhabitants to aid and assist in repelling the invasion. Accordingly
a party assemble under their officers some three or four days after the mis
chief has been done, and the indians one hundred or one hundred and
fifty miles from them; they pursue them, as they usually did, at no rapid
pace, three or four days, and return without overtaking the enemy, as they
might have well known before they set out. On their return, the men were
dismissed, but ordered to hold themselves in readiness at a moment's warn
ing. When, at the end of some two or three months, the governor chose
to consider the danger blown over, he causes receipts to be made out for
the full pay of two or three months’ service, to which the signatures of the
individuals are affixed; but as those persons were only absent from their
homes for ten or twelve days, all that was really paid them did not amount
to more than one-fourth or one-fifth of what they receipted for, and the ba
lance, of course, was taken by the governor, as the reward for his faithful
guardianship of the lives and property of his majesty's subjects.
The Spaniards, holding the entrance of the Missouri, could regulate, as
they thought proper, the intercourse of the Indians through that channel:
but, from what has been said, it will be readily perceived, that their tra
ders, shackled with the pecuniary impositions of their governors, could
never become the successful rivals of the British merchants on the west side
of the Mississippi, which, from its proximity to the United States, the lat
ter could enter without the necessity of a Spanish passport, or the fear of
being detected by them. The consequence was, that the trade of the
rivers Demoin, St. Peter's", and all the country west of the Mississippi,
nearly to the Missouri, was exclusively enjoyed by the British merchants.
The Spanish governors, stimulated by their own sordid views, declared
that the honour of his majesty was grossly compromized by the liberty that
those adventurers took in trading with the natives within his territory, with
out their permission, and therefore took the liberty of expending his ma
jesty's money, by equipping and manning several galleys, to cruise
in the channel of the Mississippi, in order to intercept those traders of
the St. Peter's and Demoin rivers, in their passage to and from the
entrance of the Ouisconsin river; but, after several unsuccessful cruises,
and finding the Indians so hostile to them in this quarter, that they
dare not land nor remain long in the channel without being at
tacked, they therefore retired and gave over the project. The Indians
were friendly to the British merchants, and unfriendly to the Spanish, for
the plain reason, that the former sold them goods at a lower rate. The
Ayaways, Sacs, Foxes, and Yanktons of the river Demoin, who occasion
ally visited the Missouri, had it in their power to compare the rates at
which the Spanish merchant in that quarter, and the British merchant on
the Mississippi, sold their goods; this was always much in favour of the
latter, it therefore availed the Spaniards but little, when they inculcated
the doctrine of their being their only legitimate fathers and friends, and
that the British merchants were mere intruders, and had no other object in
view but their own aggrandizement. The Indians, deaf to their doctrine,
estimated the friendship of both by the rates at which they respectively
sold their merchandize, and of course remained the firm friends of the Bri
tish. In this situation, it is not difficult for those to conceive, who have felt
the force of their machinations, that the British merchants would, in order
to extend their own trade, endeavour to break down that of their neigh
bours on the Missouri. The attachment of the Indians to them afforded a
formidable weapon with which to effect their purposes, nor did they suffer
it to be unemployed.
The merchants of the Dog-prairief, rivers Demoin and Ayaway, stimu
lated the nations just mentioned to the commission of acts of rapacity on
the merchants of the Missouri; nor was Mr. Cameron, and other mer
chants of the river St. Peter's, less active with respect to the Cissitons,
Yanktons of the Plains, Tetons, &c. who resort to the Missouri occasionally,
still higher up. War-parties of those nations were consequently found ly
ing in wait on the Missouri, to intercept the boats of the merchants of that
river, at the seasons they were expected to pass; and depredations were fre
quently committed, particularly by the Ayaways, who have been known
in several instances to capture boats on the Missouri, in their descent
to St. Louis, and compel the crews to load themselves with heavy bur
dens of their best furs, across the country to their towns, where they dis
posed of them to the British merchants. In those cases they always de
stroyed the periogues, and such of the peltries and furs as they could not
carry off.
* Du Moine and St. Pierre.-E. + Prairie des Chiens.-E.

It may be urged that the British merchants, knowing that the United
States, at present, through mere courtesy, perinit them to extend their
trade to the west side of the Mississippi, or rather that they are mere
tenants at will, and that the United States possess the means of ejecting
them at pleasure; that they will, under these circumstances, be induced to
act differently towards us than they did in relation to the Spanish govern
ment; but what assurance have we that this will be the effect of the mere
change of governments, without change of measures in relation to them
Suffer me to ask, what solid grounds there are to hope that their grati
tude for our tolerance and liberality on this subject will induce them to
hold a different policy towards us? None, in my opinion, unless we sti
mulate their gratitude by placing before their eyes the instruments of our
power, in the form of one or two garrisons, on the upper part of the Missis
sippi! Even admit that the people were actuated by the most friendly re
gard towards the interests of the United States, and at this moment made a
common cause with us to induce the Indians to demean themselves in an
orderly manner towards our government, and to treat our traders of the
Missouri with respect and friendship, yet, without some efficient check on
the Indians, I should not think our citizens nor our traders secure; because
the Indians, who have for ten years and upwards derived advantages from
practice on lessons of rapacity taught them by those traders, cannot at a
moment be brought back to a state of primitive innocence, by the united
persuasions of all the British traders. I hold it an axiom, incontrovertible,
that it is more easy to introduce vice into all states of society, than it is to
eradicate it; and that is still more strictly true, when applied to a man in
savage, than in his civilized state.
If, therefore, we wish, within some short period, to divest ourselves of
the evils which flowed from the inculcation of those doctrines of vice, we
must employ some more active agent than the influence of the same
teachers who first introduced them.
Such an agent, in my opinion, is the power of withholding their mer
chandise from them at pleasure; and, to accomplish this, we must first
provide the means of controlling the merchants. If we permit the British
merchants to supply the Indians in Louisiana, as formerly, the influence of
our government over those Indians is lost; for the lindian, in possession of
his merchandize, feels himself independent of every government, and will
proceed to commit the same depredations which he did when rendered
independent of the Spanish system.
The traders give themselves but little trouble, at any time, to inculcate
among the Indians a respect for governments, but are usually content with
proclaiming their own importance. When the British merchants give
themselves trouble to speak of governments, it is but fair to presume that
they will teach the natives to respect the power of their own; at all events
we know, from experience, that no regard for the blood of our frontier
inhabitants will influence them at any time to withhold arms and ammuni
tion from the Indians, provided they are to profit by furnishing them.
Having now stated, as they have occurred to my mind, the several evils
which flowed from that system of intercourse with the Indians pursued by
the Spanish government, I shall next endeavour to point out the defects of
our own, and show its incompetency to produce the wished-for reform;
then, with some remarks on the Indian character, conclude by submitting,
for the consideration of our government, the outlines of a plan which has
been dictated as well by a sentiment of philanthropy towards the abori
gines of America, as a just regard to the protection of the lives and pro
perty of our citizens; and with the further view also, of securing to the
People of the United States, exclusively, the advantages which ought of
right to accrue to them from the possession of Louisiana.
We now permit the British merchants of Canada, indiscriminately with
our own, to enter the Missouri, and trade with the nations in that quarter.
Although the government of the United States has not yielded the point as
a matter of right, the British merchants have the privilege of trading in
this quarter; yet, from what has been said to them, they are now acting
under a belief, that it will be some time before any prohibitory measures
will be taken with respect to them, and are therefore making rapid strides
to secure themselves in the affection of the Indians, and to break down, as
soon as possible, the American adventurers, by underselling them, and
thus monopolize that trade. This they will effect, to an absolute certainty,
in the course of a few years.
The old North West Company of Canada have, within the last two
years, formed a union with the New York Company, who had previously
been the only important rivals in the fur-trade: this company, with the
great accession of capital brought them by the New York Company,
have, with a view to the particular monopoly of the Missouri, formed a
connection with a British house in New York, another at New Orleans,
and have sent their particular agent, by name of Jacob Myers, to take his
station at St. Louis. It may be readily conceived that the union of the
North West and New York Companies, who had previously extended
their trade in opposition to each other, and to the exclusion of all unassoci
ated merchants on the upper portion of the Mississippi, the waters of Lake
Winnipic and the Athabaska country, would, after their late union, have a
surplus of capital and a surplus of men, which they could readily employ
in some other quarter. Such was the Missouri, which, from lenity of our
government, they saw was opened to them; and I do believe, could the
fact be ascertained, that the hope of future gain from the fur-trade of that
river, was one of the principal causes of the union between those two great
rivals in the fur-trade of North America.
That this trade will be nurtured and protected by the British govern
ment, I have no doubt, for many reasons, which it strikes me could be of
fered; but which, not falling immediately within the purview of these ob
servations on the fur-trade of Louisiana, I shall forbear to mention.
As the Missouri forms only one of four large branches of the commerce
of this united, or, as it is still called, the North West Company, they will
have it in their power, not only to break down all single adventurers on the
Missouri, but, in the course of a few years, to effect the same thing with
a company of merchants of the United States, who might enter into a com
petition with them in this single branch of their trade. Nor is it probable

• that our merchants, knowing this fact, will form a company for the purpose
of carrying on this trade, while they see the North West Company per
mitted by our government to trade on the Missouri, and on the west side of
the Mississippi: therefore, the North West Company, on the present plan,
having driven the adventurers of small capitals from these portions of our
territory, will most probably never afterwards have a rival in any company
of our own merchants. By their continuance they will acquire strength;
and, having secured the wished-for monopoly, they will then trade with
the Indians on their own terms; and, being possessed of the trade, both on
the Mississippi and Missouri, they can make the price of their goods in
both quarters similar, and though they may be excessively high, yet, being
the same, they will run no risk of disaffecting the Indians by a comparison
of the prices at which they receive their goods at those places. If then it
appears, that the longer we extend the privilege to the North West Com
pany of continuing their trade, within our territory, the difficulty of exclu
ding them will increase, can we begin the work of exclusion too soon? For
my part, I see not the necessity to admit, that our own merchants are not at
this moment competent to supply the Indian of the Missouri with such
quantities of goods as will, at least in the acceptation of the Indians them
selves, be deemed satisfactory and sufficient for their necessities. All their
ideas, relative to their necessities, are only comparative, and may be tested
by a scale of the quantities they have been in the habit of receiving. Such
a scale I transmitted to the government, from Fort Mandane. From a re
gard to the happiness of the Indians, it would give me much pleasure to see
this scale liberally increased; yet, I am clearly of opinion, that this ef
fect should be caused by the regular progression and protection of our own
government. This will afford additional security to the tranquillity of our
much extended frontier, while it will give wealth to our merchants. We
know that the change of government in Louisiana from Spain to that of the
United States, has withdrawn no part of that capital formerly employed in
the trade of the Missouri; the same persons still remain and continue to
prosecute their trades. To these there has been an accession of several en
terprizing American merchants, and several others, since my return, have
signified their intention to embark in that trade within the present year;
and the whole of those merchants are now unembarrassed by the exactions
of Spanish governors. Under these circumstances, is it fair for us to pre
sume that the Indians are not now supplied, by our own merchants, with
quite as large an amount in merchandize as they had been formerly accus
tomed to receive? Should the quantity thus supplied not fully meet our
wishes on liberal views towards the Indians, is it not sounder policy to wait
the certain progress of our own trade, than, in order to supply this momen
tary deficiency, to admit the aid of the North West Company, at the ex
pense of the total loss of that trade; thereby giving them a carte blanche
on which to write in future their own terms of traffic with the Indians, and
thus throwing them into their hands, permit them to be formed into a rod of
iron with which for Great Britain to scourge our frontiers at pleasure? If
the British merchants were prohibited from trading in Upper Louisiana,
the American merchants, with the aid of the profits arising from the trade.
OF LOUIS I.A. N. A. 65
ofthe lower portion ofthe Missouri and the western branches of the Missis
sippi, would be enabled most probably to become the successful rivals of
the North West Company in the more distant parts of the continent, to
which we might look, in such case, with a well founded hope of enjoying
great advantage from the fur-trade; but if this prohibition does not shortly
take place, I will venture to predict that no such attempts will ever be
made, and, consequently, that we shall for several generations be taxed
with the defence of a country which to us would be no more than a barren

About the beginning of August last, two of the wintering partners of the
North West Company visited the Mandane and Minnetaree villages on
the Missouri, and fixed on a site for a fortified establishment. This pro
ject once carried into effect, we have no right to hope for the trade of the
upper portion of the Missouri, until our government shall think proper to
dislodge them.
This season there has been sent up the Missouri, for the Indian trade,
imore than treble the quantity of merchandize that has ever been previously
embarked in that trade at any one period. Of this quantity, as far as I
could judge from the best Information I could collect, two-thirds was the
property of the British merchants, and directly or indirectly that of the
North West Company. Not any of this merchandize was destined for a
higher point on the Missouri than the mouth of the Vermillion river, or the
neighbourhood of the Yanktons of the river Demoin; of course, there will
be a greater excess of goods beyond what the Indians can purchase, unless
they sell at one third their customary price, which the American merchant
certainly cannot do, without sacrificing his capital.
On my return this fall, I met on the Missouri an American merchant, by
the name of Robert M'Llellan, formerly a distinguished partisan in the
army under General Wayne. In a conversation with this gentleman, I
learned, that during the last winter, in his trade with Mahas, he had a
competitor by the name of Joseph La Croix, (believed to be employed in
the North West Company, but now is an avowed British merchant,) that
the prices at which La Croix sold his goods, compelled him to reduce the
rates of his own goods, so much as to cause him to sink upwards of two
thousand dollars of his capital, in the course of his trade that season, but
that as he had embarked in this trade for two years past, and had formed
a favourable acquaintance with the Mahas and others, he should still con
tinue it a few seasons more, even at a loss of his time and capital, in the
hope that government, seeing the error, would correct it, and that he
might then regain his losses, from the circumstance of his general acquaint
ance with the lmdians.
I also met, in my way to St. Louis, another merchant by the same name,
a Captain M'Lellan, formerly of the United States’ corps of artifierists.
This gentleman informed me that he was connected with one of the prin
cipal houses in Baltimore, which I do not now recollect, but can readily as
certain the name and standing of the firm, if it is considered of any import
ance; he said he had brought with him a small but well assorv.d adventure,
66 FU R-T R A D F

calculated for the Indian trade, by way of experiment; that the majority
of his goods were of the fine high priced kind, calculated for the trade with
the Spanish province of New Mexico, which he intended to carry on
within the territory of the United States, near the border of that province;
that, connected with this object, the house with which he was concerned,
was ready to embark largely in the fur-trade of the Missouri, provided it
should appear to him to offer advantages to them. That since he had
arrived in Louisiana, which was last autumn, he had endeavoured to in
form himself of the state of this trade, and that, from his inquiries, he
had been so fully impressed with the disadvantages it laboured under,
from the free admission of the British merchants, he had written to his
house in Baltimore, advising that they should not embark in this trade,
unless those merchants were prohibited from entering the river.
I have mentioned these two as cases in point, and which have fallen im
mediately under my own observation; the first shews the disadvantages
under which the trade of our own merchants is now actually labouring;
and the second, that no other merchants will probably engage in this trade,
while the British fur-traders are permitted by our government to continue
their traffic in Upper Louisiana. With this view of the subject, it is
submitted to the government, with whom it alone rests, to decide, whether
the admission or non-admission of those merchants is at this moment most
The custom of giving credits to the Indians, which grew out of the Spa
nish System, still exists; and, agreeably to our present plan of intercourse
with these people, is likely to produce more permicious consequences than
it did formerly.
The Indians of the Missouri, who have been in the habit of considering
these credits rather as a present, or the price of their permission for the
trader to depart in peace, still continue to view it in the same light, and
will, therefore, give up expectations on that point with some reluctance;
nor can the merchants well refuse to acquiesce, while they are compelled
to be absent from the nations with which they trade five or six months in
the year.
The Indians are yet too vicious to permit them in safety to leave goods
at their trading-houses during their absence, in the care of one or two per
sons; the merchants, therefore, would rather suffer the loss by giving the
credit, than incur the expenses of a competent guard, or doubling the
quantity of his engagés, for it requires as many men to take the peltries
and furs to market as it does to bring the goods to the trading establish
ment, and the number usually employed are not found at any time more
than sufficient to give a tolerable security against the Indians.
I presume that it will not be denied that it is our best policy, and will
be our practice to admit, under the restrictions of our laws on this subject,
a fair competition among all our merchants in the Indian trade. This
being the case then, it will happen, as it has already happened, that one
merchant having trade with any nation, at the usual season, gives them a
credit and departs; a second, knowing that such advance had been made,
hurries his outfit, and arrives at that nation perhaps a month earlier in the
fall than the merchant who had made this advance to the Indian; he im
mediately assembles the nation, and offers his goods in exchange for their
red-skin hunt; the good faith of the Indians, with respect to the absent
merchants, will not bind them to refuse; an exchange, of course, takes
place; and when the merchants to whom they are indebted arrives, they
have no peltry, either to barter, or to pay him for the goods which
they have already received: the consequences are, that the merchant who
has sustained the loss becomes frantic, he abuses the Indians, and bestows
on them the epithets of liars and dogs, and says a thousand things only
calculated to sour their minds, and disaffect them to the whites; the rival
trader he accuses of having robbed him of his credits (for they never give
this species of artifice among themselves a milder term), and calls him
many opprobrious names; a combat frequently ensues, in which the prin
cipals are not the only actors, for their men will, of course, sympathise
with their respective employers. The Indians are the spectators of those
riotous transactions, which are well calculated to give them a contempt for
the character of the whites, and to inspire them with a belief of the impor
tance of their peltries and furs.
The British traders have even gone further in the north-west, and even
offered bribes to induce the Indians to destroy each other; nor have I any
reason to doubt but what the same thing will happen on the Missouri, un
less some disinterested person, armed with authority by government, be
placed in such a situation as will enable him to prevent such controversies.
I look to this custom of extending credits to the Indians as one of the
great causes of all those individual contentions which will most probably
arise in the course of this trade, as well between the Indians and whites,
as between the whites themselves; and that our agents and officers will be
always harassed with settling these disputes, which they never can do in
such a manner as to restore a perfect good understanding between the par
ties. I think it would be best in the outset for the government to let it be
understood by the merchants, that if they think proper to extend credits to
the Indians, it shall be at their own risk, dependent on the good faith of
the Indian for voluntary payment; that the failure of the Indians to com
ply with their contracts shall not be considered any justification for their
mal-treatment, or holding abusive language to them; and that no assist
ance shall be given them in any shape, by the public functionaries, to aid
them in collecting their credits.
If the government interfere in behalf of the traders, by any regulation,
then it will be the interest of every trader individually to get the Indians
indebted to him, and to keep them so, in order to secure in future their
peltries exclusively to himself. Thus the Indians would be compelled to
exchange without choice of either goods or their prices; and the govern
ment would have pledged itself to make the Indians pay for goods of
which they cannot regulate the prices. I presume the government will
not undertake to regulate the merchants in this respect by law.
The difficulties which have arisen, and which must arise under existing
circumstances, may be readily corrected by establishing a few posts where
here shall be a sufficient guard to protect the property of the merchants
68 FUR-TRADE, &c.
in their absence, though it may be left with only a single clerk. To those
common marts, all traders and Indians should be compelled to resort for
the purposes of traffic.
The plan proposed guards against all diſficulties, and provides for a fair
exchange, without the necessity of credit. When the Indian appears with
his peltry and fur, the competition between the merchants will always in
sure him his goods on the lowest possible terms; and the exchange taking
place at once, there can be no cause of controversy between the Indian
and the merchant, and no fear of loss on the part of the latter, unless he is
disposed to make a voluntary sacrifice, through a spirit of competition
with others, by selling his goods at an under value.
Some of the stipulations contained in the licenses usually granted our In
dian traders, are totally incompatible with the local situation and existing
custom and habits of almost all the Indian nations in Upper Louisiana. I
allude more particularly to that clause in the license which compels them
to trade at Indian towns only. It will be seen, by reference to my statis
tical view of the Indian nations of Upper Louisiana, that the great body
of those people are roving bands, who have no villages, or stationary resi
The next principal division of them, embracing the Panis, Ottoes, Kan
zas, &c. have not their villages on the Missouri; and they even pass the
greater portion of the year at a distance from their villages, in the same
roving manner. The third and only portion of those Indians, who can with
propriety be considered as possessed of such stationary villages as seems to
have been contemplated by this clause of the license, is confined to the
Ayaways, Sioux, and Foxes of the Mississippi, and Ayawahaways of the
Missouri. The consequence is, that until some further provision be made,
all the traders who have intercourse with any nations, except those of the
last class, will form their establishments at the several points on the Mis
souri, where it will be most convenient to meet the several nations with
whom they wish to carry on commerce. This is their practice at the
present moment, and their houses are scattered on various parts of the
In this detached situation it cannot be expected that they will comply
with any of the stipulations of their licenses. The superintendant of St.
Louis, distant eight hundred or a thousand miles, cannot learn whether
they have forfeited the penalty of their licenses or not: they may, there
fore, vend ardent spirits, compromit the government, or the character of
the whites, in the estimation of the Indians, or practice any other crime in
relation to those people, without the fear of detection or punishment. The
government cannot, with propriety, say to those traders, that they shall
trade at villages, when in reality they do not exist; nor can they for a mo
ment, I presume, think of incurring the expense of sending an Indian
agent with each trader, to see that he commit no breach of the stipulations
of his license. These traders must of course be brought together at some
general point, where it will be convenient for several nations to trade with
them, and where they can be placed under the eye of an Indian agent,
whose duty it should be to see that they comply with the regulations laid
flown for their government.—There are crimes which may be committed
without a breach of our present laws, and which make it necessary that
some further restrictions than those contained in the present licenses of our
traders, should either be added under penalties, in those licenses, or pu
nished by way of a discretionary power, lodged in the superintendent,
extending to the exclusion of such individuals from the Indian trade.
Of this description I shall here enumerate the—
First, that of holding conversations with the Indians, tending to bring
our government into disrepute among them, and to alienate their affec
tions from the same.
Second, that of practising any means to induce the Indians to mal-treat
or plunder other merchants.
Third, that of stimulating or exciting by bribes, or otherwise, any na
tions or bands of Indians to wage war against other nations or bands, or
against the citizens of the United States, or against citizens or subjects of
any power at peace with the same.
These appear to me to be crimes fraught with more real evil to the
community, and to the Indians themselves, than vending ardent spirits, or
visiting their hunting camps for the purpose of trade; yet there are no
powers wested in the superintendents or agents of the United States, to pre
vent their repeated commission, nor restrictions nor fines imposed by our
law, to punish such offences.


(From the Sydney Gazette.)


Government House, Sydney, June 10th, 1815.
THE governor desires to communicate, for the information of the public,
the result of his late tour over the Western, or Blue Mountains, undertaken
for the purpose of being enabled personally to appreciate the importance
of the tract of country lying westward of them, which had been explored in
the latter end of the year 1813, and the beginning of 1814, by Mr. G. W.
Evans, deputy surveyor of lands.
To those who know how very limited a tract of country has been
hitherto occupied by the colonists of New South Wales, extending along
the eastern coast to the north and south of Port Jackson only 80 miles, and
westward about 40 miles, to the foot of that chain of mountains in the in
terior which forms its western boundary, it must be a subject of astonish
ment and regret, that, amongst so large a population, no one appeared
within the first 25 years of the establishment of this settlement, possessed
of sufficient energy of mind to induce him fully to explore a passage over

these mountains: but, when it is considered, that for the greater part of
that time even this circumscribed portion of country afforded sufficient pro
duce for the wants of the people; whilst, on the other hand, the whole sur
face of the country beyond those limits was a thick, and in many places
nearly an impenetrable forest, the surprise at the want of effort to surmount
such difficulties must abate very considerably.
The records of the colony only afford two instances of any bold attempt
having been made to discover the country to the westward of the Blue
Mountains. The first was by Mr. Bass, and the other by Mr. Cayley, and
both ended in disappointment—a circumstance which will not be much
wondered at by those who have lately crºssed those mountains.
To G. Blaxland and W. Wentworth, Esqrs. and Lieutenant Lawson, of
the Royal Veteran Company, the merit is due of having, with extraordi
nary patience and much fatigue, effected the first passage over the most
rugged and difficult part of the Blue Mountains.
The governor being strongly impressed with the importance of the ob
ject, had, early after his arrival in this colony, formed the resolution of
encouraging the attempt to find a passage to the Western Country, and
willingly availed himself of the facilities which the discoveries of these three
gentlemen afforded him. Accordingly, on the 20th of November, 1813, he
entrusted the accomplishment of this object to Mr. G. W. Evans, deputy
surveyor of lands; the result of whose journey was laid before the public,
through the medium of the Sydney Gazette, on the 12th of Feb. 1814.
The favourable account given by Mr. Evans, of the country he had
explored, induced the governor to cause a road to be constructed for the
passage and conveyance of cattle and provisions to the interior; and men
of good character, from amongst a number of convicts who had volunteered
their services, were selected to perform this arduous work, on condition of
being fed and clothed during the continuance of their labour, and being
granted emancipation as their final reward, on the completion of the work.
The direction and superintendence of this great work was entrusted to
W. Cox, Esq. the chief magistrate at Windsor; and, to the astonishment
of every one who knows what was to be encountered, and sees what has
been done, he effected its completion in six months from the time of its
commencement, happily, without the loss of a man, or any serious acci
dent. The governor is at a loss to appreciate fully the services rendered
by Mr. Cox to this colony, in the execution of this arduous work, which
promises to be of the greatest public utility, by opening a new source of
wealth to the industrious and enterprizing. When it is considered that
Mr. Cox voluntarily relinquished the comforts of his own house, and the
society of his numerous family, and exposed himself to much personal
fatigue, with only such temporary covering as a bark hut could afford from
the inclemency of the season, it is difficult to express the sentiments of ap
probation to which such privations and services are entitled.
Mr. Cox having reported the road as completed on the 21st of January,
the governor, accompanied by Mrs. Macquarie and that gentleman, com
menced his tour on the 25th of April over the Blue Mountains, and was
joined by Sir J. Jamieson, at the Nepean, who accompanied him during
the entire tour.
The following gentlemen composed the governor's suite:–Mr. Camp
bell, secretary; Captain Antil, major of brigade; Lieutenant Watts, aide
de-camp; Mr. Redfern, assistant-surgeon; Mr. Oxley, surveyor-general;
Mr. Meeham, deputy-surveyor-general; Mr. Lewin, painter and naturalist;
and Mr. G. W. Evans, deputy-surveyor of lands, who had been sent for
ward for the purpose of making further discoveries, and rejoined the party
on the day of arrival at Bathurst Plains.
The commencement of the ascent from Emu Plains to the first depot,
and thence to a resting place, now called “Spring Wood,” distant twelve
miles from Emu Ford, was through a very handsome open forest of lofty
trees, and much more practicable and easy than was expected. The fa
cility of the ascent for this distance excited surprise, and is certainly not
well calculated to give the traveller a just idea of the difficulties he has
afterwards to encounter. At the further distance of four miles a sudden
change is perceived in the appearance of the timber and the quality of the
soil—the former becoming stunted, and the lattet barren and rocky. At
this place the fatigues of the journey may be said to commence. Here the
country became altogether mountainous, and extremely rugged. Near the
18th mile mark, (it is observed, that the measure commences from Emu
Ford,) a pile of stones attracted attention; it is close to the line of the
road, on the top of a rugged and abrupt ascent, and is supposed to have
been placed there by Mr. Cayley, as the extreme limit of his tour; hence
the governor gave that part of the mountain the name of “Cayley's Re
pulse.” To have penetrated even so far, was at that time an effort of no
small difficulty. From hence, forward to the 20th mile, is a succession of
steep and rugged hilis, some of which are almost so abrupt as to deny a
passage altogether; but at this place an extensive plain is arrived at, which
constitutes the summit of the Western Mountain; and from thence a most
extensive and beautiful prospect presents itself on all sides to the eye. The
town of Windsor, the river Hawkesbury, Prospect Hill, and other objects
within that part of the colony now inhabited, of equal interest, are dis
tinctly seen from hence.— The majestic grandeur of the situation, com
bined with the various objects to be seen from this place, induced the go
vernor to give it the appellation of “The King's Table Land.”
On the S. W. side of the King's Table Land, the mountain terminates
in abrupt precipices of immense depth, at the bottom of which is seen a glen,
as romantically beautiful as can be imagined, bounded on the further side
by mountains of great magnitude, terminating equally abruptly as the
others; and the whole thickly covered with timber. The length of this
picturesque and remarkable tract of country is about 24 miles, to which
the governor gave the name of “The Prince Regent's Glen.” Proceed
ing hence to the 33rd mile on the top of a hill, an opening presents itself
on the S. W. side of the Prince Regent's Glen, from whence a view is
obtained particularly beautiful and grand. Mountains rising beyond
mountains, with stupendous masses of rock in the fore ground, here strike
the eye with admiration and astonishment. The circular form in which the

whole is so wonderfully disposed, induced the governor to give the naine

of “Pitt's Amphitheatre,” in honour of the late Right Hon. Wm. Pitt, to
this first branch from the Prince Regent's Glen. The road continues from
hence, for the space of 17 miles, on the ridge of the mountain which forms
one side of the Prince Regent's Glen, and it suddenly terminates in nearly
a perpendicular precipice of 676 feet high, as ascertained by measurement.
The road constructed by Mr. Cox down this rugged and tremendous
descent, through all its windings, is no less than three-fourths of a mile in
length, and has been executed with such skill and stability as reflects much
credit on him. The labour here undergone, and the difficulties surmounted,
can only be appreciated by those who view this scene. In order to perpe
tuate the memory of Mr. Cox's services, the governor deemed it a tribute
justly due to him, to give his name to this grand and extraordinary pass;
and he accordinaly called it “Cox's Pass.” Having descended into the
valley at the bottom of this pass, the retrospective view of the overhanging
mountain is much higher than those on either side of it, from whence it is
distinguished at a considerable distance, when approaching it from the
interior; and in this point of view it has the appearance of a very high dis
tinct hill, although it is in fact only the abrupt termination of a ridge. The
governor gave the name of “Mount York” to this termination of the
ridge, in honour of his Royal Highness the Duke of York.
On descending Cox's Pass, the governor was much gratified by the
appearance of good pasture land, and soil fit for cultivation, which was the
first he had met with since the commencement of his tour. The valley at
the base of Mount York, he called “the Vale of Clwyd,” in consequence
of the strong resemblance it bore to the vale of that name in North Wales.
The grass in this vale is of a good quality, and very abundant, and a rivulet
of fine water runs along it from the eastward, which unites itself at the
western extremity of the vale with another rivulet containing still more
water. The junction of these two streams forms a very handsome river,
now called by the governor “Cox's River,” which takes its course, as has
been since ascertained, through the Prince Regent's Glen, and empties
itself into the river Nepean; and it is conjectured, from the nature of the
country through which it passes, that it must be one of the principal causes
of the floods which have been occasionally felt on the low banks of the
river Hawkesbury, into which the Nepean discharges itself. The vale of
Clwyd, from the base of Mount York, extends six miles in a westerly
direction, and has its termination at Cox's river. West of this river the
country again becomes hilly, but is generally open forest land, and very
good pasturage.
Three miles to the westward of the vale of Clwyd, Messrs. Blaxland,
Wentworth, and Lawson, had frequently terminated their excursion; and
when the various difficulties are considered which they had to contend
with, especially until they had effected the descent from Mount York, to
which place they were obliged to pass through a thick brush-wood, where
they were under the necessity of cutting a passage for the baggage horses,
the severity of which labour had seriously affected their health; their
patient endurance of such fatigue cannot fail to excite much surprise and
admiration. In commemoration of their merits, three beautiful high hills
joining each other at the end of their tour at this place, have received their
names in the following order: viz. “Mount Blaxland,” “Wentworth's
Sugar Loaf,” and “Lawson's Sugar Loaf.” A range of very lofty hills and
narrow valleys alternately form the tract of country from Cox's River, for
a distance of 16 miles, until the Fish River is arrived at; and the stage
between these rivers is consequently very severe and oppressive on the
cattle. To this range the governor gave the name of “Clarence Hilly
Proceeding from the Fish River, and at a short distance from it, a very
singular and beautiful mountain attracts the attention, its summits being
crowned with a large and very extraordinary-looking rock, nearly circular
in form, which gives to the whole vrey much the appearance of a hill or
fort, such as are frequent in India. To this lofty hill Mr. Evans, who was
the first European discoverer, gave the name of “Mount Evans.”—Passing
on from hence, the country continues hilly, but affords good pasturage,
gradually improving to Sidmouth Valley, which is distant from the pass of
the Fish River 12 miles. The land here is level, and the first met with,
unincumbered with timber; it is not of very considerable extent, but
abounds with a great variety of herbs and plants, such as would probably
highly interest and gratify the scientific botanists. This beautiful little val
ley runs north-west and south-east, between hills of easy ascent, thinly
covered with timber. Leaving Sidmouth Valley, the country becomes
again hilly, and, in other respects, resembles very much the country to the
eastward of the valley for some miles. Having reached Campbell River,
distance 13 miles from Sidmouth Valley, the governor was highly gratified
by the appearance of the country, which there began to exhibit an open
and extensive view of gently rising grounds and fertile plains. Judging
from the height of the banks and its general width, the Campbell River
must be on some occasions of very considerable magnitude; but the extra
ordinary drought which has apparently prevailed on the western side of the
mountains, equally as throughout this colony for the last three years, has
reduced this river so much, that it may be more properly called a chain of
pools, than a running stream, at the present time. In the reaches or pools
of the Campbell River, the very curious animal called the paradox, or
water-mole, is seen in great numbers. The soil on both banks is uncom
monly rich, and the grass is consequently luxuriant. Two miles to the
southward of the line of road which crosses the Campbell River, there is a
very fine rich tract of low lands, which has been named Mirchell Plains.
Flax was found growing in considerable quantities. The Fish River,
which forms a junction with the Campbell River a few miles to the north
ward of the road and bridge over the latter, has also two very fertile
plains on its banks; the one called O'Connell Plains, and the other
Macquarie Plains, both of very considerable extent, and capable of yielding
all the necessaries of life.
At the distance of seven miles from the bridge over the Campbell River,
Bathurst Plains open to the view, presenting a rich tract of champaign
74. New south w ALEs.
country of 11 miles in length, bounded on both sides by gently rising and
very beautiful hills, thinly wooded. The Macquarie River, which is con
stituted by the junction of the Fish and Campbell River, takes a winding
course through the plains, which can be easily traced from the high lands
adjoining, by the particular verdure of the trees on its banks, which are
likewise the only trees throughout the extent of the plains. The level and
clear surface of these plains gives them at first view very much the appear
ance of lands in a state of cultivation.
It is impossible to behold this grand scene without a feeling of admira
tion and surprize, whilst the silence and solitude which reign in a space of
such extent and beauty, as seems designed by nature for the occupancy and
comfort of man, create a degree of melancholy in the mind which may be
more easily imagined than described.
The governor and suite arrived at these plains on Thursday the 4th of
May, and encamped on the southern left bank of the Macquarie River
the situation being selected in consequence of its commanding a beautiful
and extensive prospect for many miles in every direction around it. At
this place the governor remained for a week, which time he occupied in
making excursions in different directions, through the adjoining country,
on both sides of the river.
On Sunday, the 7th of May, the governor fixed on a site suitable for
the erection of a town at some ſuture period, to which he gave the name
of “Bathurst,” in honour of the present secretary of state for the colonies:
The situation of Bathurst, is elevated sufficiently beyond the reach of any
floods which may occur, and is at the same time so near to the river, on its
south bank, as to derive all the advantages of its clear and beautiful stream.
The mechanics and settlers, of whatever description, who may be here
after permitted to form permanent residences to themselves at this place,
will have the highly important advantages of a rich and fertile soil, with a
beautiful river flowing through it, for all the uses of man. The governor
must, however, add, that the hopes which were once so sanguinely enter
tained of this river becoming navigable to the Western Sea, have ended in
disappointment. '
During the week that the governor remained at Bathurst, he made daily
excursions in various directions:—one of these extended 22 miles in a
south-west direction, and on that occasion, as well as on all others, he
found the country chiefly composed of valleys and plains, separated occa
sionally by ranges of low hills, the soils throughout being generally fertile,
and well circumstanced for the purpose of agriculture or grazing. The
governor here feels much pleasure in being enabled to communicate to the
public, that the favourable reports which he had received of the country
to the west of the Blue Mountains have not been by any means exagge
rated. The difficulties which present themselves in the journey from
hence are certainly great and inevitable, but those persons who may be in
clined to become permanent settlers there, will probably content themselves
with visiting this part of the colony but rarely, and of course will have
them seldom to encounter. Plenty of water, and a sufficiency of grass, are
to be found in the mountains, for the support of such cattle as may be sent
over them; and the tracts of fertile soil and rich pasturage which the new
country affords, are fully extensive enough for any increase of population
and stock which can possibly take place for years.
Within a distance of ten miles from the site of Bathurst, there is not
less than 50,000 acres of land clear of timber, and full one half of that
may be considered excellent soil, well calculated for cultivation. It is a
matter of regret, that in proportion as the soil improves, the timber dege
nerates; and it is to be remarked, that every where to the westward of the
mountains, it is much inferior both in size and quality to that within the
present colony; there is, however, a sufficiency of timber, of tolerable
quality, within the district around Bathurst, for the purposes of house
building and husbandry.
The governor has here to lament, that neither coals nor lime-stone have
yet been discovered in the western country; articles in themselves of so
much importance, that the want of them must be severely felt whenever
that country shall be settled.
Having enumerated the principal and most important features of this
new country, the governor has now to notice some of its live productions.
All around Bathurst abounds in a variety of game; and the two principal
rivers contain a great quantity of fish, but all of one denomination, re
sembling the perch in appearance, and of a delicate and fine flavour, not
unlike that of a rock-cod; this fish grows to a large size, and is very vora
cious. Several of them were caught during the governor's stay at Bathurst,
‘and at the halting-place of the Fish River. One of those caught weighed
17 lb. and the people stationed at Bathurst stated, that they had caught
some weighing 25 lbs.
The field game are the kangaroos, emas, black swans, wild geese, wild
turkeys, bustards, ducks of various kinds, quail, bronze, and other
pigeons, &c. the water-mole, or paradox, also abounds in all the rivers and
The site designed for the town of Bathurst, by observation taken at the
flag-staff, which was erected on the day of Bathurst's receiving that name,
is situated in lat. 33°24'30" south, and in long. 149° 37'45" east of Green
wich, being also 274 miles north of the Government House, in Sydney, and
94% west of it, bearing west 20° 30' north, 83 geographic miles, or 95%
statute miles; the measured road distance from Sydney to Bathurst being
140 English miles.
On Thursday, the 17th of May, the governor and suite set out from
Bathurst on their return, and arrived at Sydney on Friday the 19th ult.
The governor deems it expedient to notify here to the public, that he
does not mean to make any grant of land to the westward of the Blue
Mountains, until he shall receive the commands of his Majesty's ministers
on that subject, and in reply to the report he is now about to make them
upon it.
In the mean time, such gentlemen, or other respectable free persons, as
may wish to visit this new country, will be permitted to do so, on making
a written application to the governor to that effect, who will order them
to be furnished with written passes. It is at the same time strictly ordered

and directed, that no person, whether civil or military, shall attempt to

travel over the Blue Mountains, without having previously applied for, and
obtained permission, in the above prescribed form. The military guard
stationed at the first depot on the mountains will receive full instructions to
prevent the progress of any persons who shall not have obtained regular
passes. The necessity for the establishing, and strictly enforcing this regu
lation, is too obvious to every one who will reflect on it, to require any ex
planation here.
The governor cannot conclude this account of his tour, without offering
his best acknowledgments to W. Cox, Esq. for the important service he has
rendered to the colony in so short a period of time, by opening a passage
to the newly-discovered country, and at the same time assuring him that
he shall have great pleasure in recommending his meritorious services on
this occasion to the favourable consideration of his majesty's ministers.
By command of his excellency the governor,
J. T. CAMPBELL, Secretary.


(From the Missionary Register for January, 1816.)

1815.-William Jowett. Isaac Lowndes.


LONDON MISSIONARY SoCIETY. Batticaloe.—1814.—William Ault.

Columbo.—1804.—J. D. Palm. Matura.-1814.— George Erskine.
Matura.-J. P. Ehrhardt. Pointe de Galle.—1814.—Benjamin.
Amlamgoddy.—William Read. Clough.
Columbo.—1812.James Chater. NEW ZEALAND.
Sailed, Dec. 20, for this Station,

1815.--Thomas Kendall, William
Columbo.—1814.—William M. Har Hall, John King.
Jaffhapatam-1814.—James Lynch
Thomas H. Squance.

SOUTH AFRICA. Latakoo.—1815.-John Evans, Jo
- UNited BrethreN. seph Williams, G. Barker, Robert
Gnadenthall.—1736–Renewed in Hamilton.
Natives on various Stations:—Be
1792–J. Adolphus Kuester, H.
Marsveld, Daniel Schwinn, J. M. rend, Jan Hendrick, Andreis Wa
Peter Leitner, J. G. Schultz. terboer, Peter David, Jan Goed
Gruenekloof–1808.-John G. Bo man, Cupido.
natz, J. Fritsch, H. Schmitt. Isle of France.—John Le Brun.
Wesley AN Methodists.
On their Poyage, with the Rev. C. J.
Latrobe, Secretary to the Bre Cape Town.—John M'Kenny.
thren's Society for the Further WESTERN AFRICA.
ance of the Gospel:
Anton Martin August Clemens, and SOCleTY FOR PROPAGATING The
his wife; Christian Thompson,
and his wife; John George Fre Gold-Coast. Native.— Philip
deric Stein, John Lemmertz. Quaque, Missionary, Catechist,
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY. and School-Master to the Ne
Bethelsdorp.–1802.-James Read, groes.
J. G. Messer. chURCH MISSIONARY SOClety.
Theopolis.-J. G. Ulbrecht, John Sierra Leone.—Leopold, Butscher,
Bartlett. John Henry Schulze.
Bushman's Country.—Erasmussmit, Bashia.-Melchior Renner, Jellor
W. F. Corner. rum Harrison.
Griqua Town.—William Anderson, Canoffee.—Frederick Wenzel, John
Lambert Jantz, Henry Helm. Godfrey Wilhelm.
Bethesda.-Christopher Saas. Yongroo Pomoh-Gustavus Rein
Namaqua Country.—1804.—J. H. hold Nylander, John Christopher
Schmelen. Sperrhacken.
Stellenbosch.-Bakker. Gambier.—Jonathan Solomon Klein.
Tulbach Drosdy-Cornelius Kra Goree.—1815.-Robert Hughes.
About to sail as Schoolmasters and
Zurebrach.-John Seidenfaden, Mi Schoolmistresses.
chael Wimmer.
Hooge Kraal.—Charles Pacalt. John Horton, Henry Düring, W. A.
Rodezand.—Ariel Vos. Bernard Johnson, Christopher Jost,
with their wives.
Cape Town.—George Thom.
Settled with the Chief, Africaner,
1815.-J. L. H. Ebner. Sierra Leone.—William Davies, sen.

£20tti, 3ntetică.
United brethren. Society FOR PROPAGATING THE
New Herrnut. —1783.-Valentine GOSPEL.
Mueller, Henry Mentzel. Kingston.—-George Okill Stuart,
Lichtenfels.-1758.-John Gottfried Missionary to the Mohawks, John
Gorcke, J. G. Fliegel, Michael Green, Schoolmaster to the Mo
Eberle. hawks.
Lichtenau.-1774.—John Conrad Niagara.-Rob
ert Anderson,
Kleinschmidt, John Jacob Beck. Malden.-

$0ūti, 3merica.
GUIANA. Sommelsdyk-Randt, Richter, J.
Daniel Lutzke.
Hope.—-1735.--William Christian LoNDoN MissionARY society.
enth, John Hafa. Berbice.—John Wray.
Paramaribo.—Thomas Langballe, Demarara.--1807.-John Davies,
J. G. Buechner, C. F. Schroeter, Richard Elliott.
C. F. Schwarz, T. Blitt, C. E. Graf. Wesley AN Methodists.

Thomas Talboys, William Lill.

UNited Brethren. UNIted Brethren.

New Herrnhut.—1732. St. John's.-1756.-Christian Fre

Niesky-John Gottfried Haensel, deric Richter, Joseph Newby, J.
J. G. Ramsch. Mack.

Gracelay —W. F. Sautter,
westEYAN METHODISTs.-1786.
UNITED brethren.
Friedansthal—1733. — Huener Thomas
Morgan, John Lewis, jun.
Daniel Hillier.
bein, Hoyer, — Jessen, J.
Sparmeyer, J. C. Lehman.
Friedensberg.—Matthew Weid. ST. CHRISTOPHER.
UNited brethren.
ST. JAN. Basse Terre.—1774.—C. F. Procop,
UNIted BRethren.
C. F. Berg.
James Whitworth, John Raby, Tho
John Lang, Samuel Gruender, John mas Hurst, Jonathan Rayner, Tho
Becker, Thomas Ward, James mas Blackburn.
Light. -

John Wiggins, John Shipman, John
Burgar, William White. wesleyAN METHODISTs.-1787.
BAPTIST Society. John Dace, Wm. Coultas, John
Moses Baker, John Rowe. D. Allen, Wm. Beacock.
Destined for the West Indies:
Lee Compeer.
BARBADOES. Abraham Whitehouse.
United BRethren.
Sharon.-1765.-Nicholas Ganson, NEVIS.
J. A. Kaltosen.

Calvary Riley. Samuel P. Woolley, John Mortier.

George Johnston, William Wester-|George Poole.
man, William Shrewsbury. LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
— Thomas Adam.

wesley AN METHoDists.-1788. BERMUDA.

W. Moore,
Dowson, Michael
Joseph |\º Methodists.-1788.

Head. W. Wilson, Moses Raynes.


WESLEYAN METHODISTs.-1788. wesley AN Methodists.- 1788.
Jeremiah Boothby. Myles C. Dixon.



The following is an Abstract of the Returns of the Governors of the different

West India Colonies, in pursuance of a Vote of the House of Commons,
requiring the Number of parochial or other Cures of the Clergy of the
Church of England resident within their respective Governments, with
the annual Values of their Benefices or Appointments.


Sir George Beckwith reports, “ that the island of Barbadoes is divided

into eleven parishes, in each of which there is a resident rector, who
draws 800l. a year from the Colonial Treasury, independent of his glebe
and other usual emoluments. The clergy of the Established Church are
regularly paid, the churches in perfect repair, and divine service performed
in a proper manner. The clerical establishment of this government is,
I am happy to say, most respectable; and the clergy, as a body, highly

Lieutenant-Governor Barnes says,—“The majority of inhabitants in

the island being French, the Roman Catholic is consequently the prevalent
religion; and although no particular pains are taken by the priest to in

* Papers relating to the West Indies, ordered by the House of Commons to

be printed 12th July, 1815, p. 1.

struct the negroes, still more religion exists among the French than
English negroes. This arises not only from the French proprietors being
for the most part resident on their estates, but the very great neglect of the
Established Church. There has been no Protestant church in the island
for very many years, and previouly to my taking charge of the government,
there had been no clergyman resident for a considerable time. The latter
difficulty has been removed; and it is but justice to the House of Assembly
to say, that they have made a liberal provision for the present rector of
Saint George, the Reverend Mr. Newman: but I fear it will be some time
longer before the church will be built, as ten years have now elapsed since
an Act passed the Legislature for this purpose, and the foundation-stone
has not yet been laid.” The colonial salary attached to the living of St.
George is 1000l. currency per annum; computed surplice-fees, 800l. Per

Governor Harcourt reports, “The island of Santa Cruz is not divided

into parishes, as in his Majesty's ancient colonies; and although it is sepa
rated (almost equally) into two districts, that of Christianstadt and Freder
ickstadt, having regular church establishments at each, yet those of the latter
district being subordinate to the former, and each being generally under the
superintendance and charge of the same ministers, the whole island may be
considered as forming one parish. The principal town (that of Christian
stadt) and its immediate vicinity, contains an English, a Danish, a Dutch,
and a Roman Catholic church, as also an extensive establishment of Mora
vians. The town of Frederickstadt contains a Danish church, (alternately ap
propriated to the service of that congregation and the English) also a Roman
Catholic chapel, and a second establishment of Moravians. For the
further details required on this subject, I beg leave to refer your Lordship
to the inclosed Reports on each of the religious establishments under this
Government, together with the statements of the respective clergymen and
others, on which I have generally formed them, as from my owu observa
tion and personal knowledge I am perfectly satisfied with their correctness.
I cannot however refuse myself the particular satisfaction of drawing your
Lordship's notice to a very gratifying result of one part of this inquiry;
namely, that out of 28,795 free coloured persons and slaves, (the total of
those descriptions in this island) 28,824 are actually initiated by baptism,
or recorded as belonging to some church or religious establishment in Santa
Cruz; to each of which two or more schools are also attached, for the
education and religious instruction of the children of those persons tº


Governor Bentinck reports, “That the garrison chaplain is the only

clergyman of the Church of England, and performs divine service in a
* Papers, &c. p. 25. t Ibid. p. 27.
chapel built by voluntary subscription, and with the assistance of the
colonial government and king's chests. The annual salary is 3,200
Dutch currency from the king's chest, and 2,200 Dutch currency from the
colony chest. The negroes being in no way whatever prevented from
attending the places of public worship, the English clergyman performing
divine service every Sunday purposely for the coloured people in the
afternoon, as the chapel is too small to contain the congregation of the
whites and the coloured people at one and the same time, although a great
number besides attend in the morning". He adds, that there is a minister
of the Dutch reformed church, who receives the same salary as the
English clergyman; and two Disssenting ministers, for whose support no
provision is made within the colony.


Mr. President Munnings reports, that provision out of the colonial

funds is made for three ministers, either of the Church of England or
Presbyterians, residing and officiating in the colony; and for several minor
parisher, the cures of which are at present vacantt.

Mr. President Paul reports,—“That the Reverend John Guilding.
rector of the parishes of Saint George and Saint Andrew, has a salary of
660l. currency per annum, paid by the colony!.”

Governor Sir Alexander Cochrane transmits the Report of Mr. Du Buc

St. Olympe, Intendant of the Colony; who says, in answer to the inquiry
into the number of parochial or other cures of the clergy of the Church of
England, “Il n'y a rien de semblable à la Guadeloupe. Cette Colonie se
compose de 32 paroisses, dont 10 seulement sont desservies par des Prêtres
du Culte Catholique Romain, d'appointmens fixes, auxquels fourmissent
les revenues des proprietés ecclesiastiques. Ils ont de plus un casuel, reglé
Par untarif. St. Martin a un ministre Protestant, appelle parles planteurs,
et payé par une contribution volontaireş."


Lieutenant-Governor Maclean reports, “ There is no church or

curate of the Church of England; the religious establishments and wor
whip remain, by the capitulation of these islands, as they were under the
Danish government. The established religion was the Lutheran, having

"Papers, &c. p. 39, 40. t Ibid. p. 46, 47. 1 Ibid. p. 77. § Ibid p. 79.

a chureh for the clergyman appointed thereto, and for the missionary to
instruct the coloured people; besides which there did and does now exist,
in the island of St. Thomas, a Dutch reformed or Presbyterian church, a
Roman Catholic church, a synagogue for the Jewish worship, two esta
blishments of missionaries of the sect of the Moravians, or United
Brethren, for the instruction of the coloured people. All the different
clergymen and teachers of religion coincide in their statements, that there.
exist very few, if any of the slaves belonging to this government, who
have not already attached themselves by baptism and confirmation to some
of the above-mentioned religious establishments; and that from the general
disposition of the coloured people to be instructed in the precepts of
religion, many of them attach themselves to different establishments"."


Major-General Wood reports,—“That there is not any Protestant

Clergyman, Dissenting Teacher, nor. Missionary, in the island; the
Catholic being the only religion prevalent, as well on the estates of the few
English planters who are settled here, as on those of the French in

Major-General Monro's Report is silent upon this subject; but the fact
is, that the Protestant church, which was burnt in the fire in 1808, is
now rebuilding by a grant from Parliament, and a salary of 800l. sterling
per annum is paid to the Rev. Mr. Clapham, out of the colonial revenue.
The Catholic priests are maintained by their respective congregations.


The Report of Governor Sir James Cockburn states, “These islands

contain nine parishes, including 12,161 acres: these nine parishes are
divided into three hivings, the incumbents of which are all resident t

SURINAM. - -- *** *

Major-General Bonham reports, “There is only one clergyman, the

Rev. Richard Austen, of the Church of England, resident in the colony,
with a colonial salary of 3,500 guilders, and a chapel. He is also garrison
chaplain.” The general farther states, “that there is a Dutch reformed
church, the minister of which receives 17,000f. per annum from the
colony; and a Lutheran church, a Roman Catholic church, a Moravian.
church, a German, Jew synagogue, and a Portuguese Jew synagogue,'
whose ministers are maintained by their respective congregations §.

* Papers, &c. p. 82, 84. * Ibid. p. 85. f Ibid. p. 96. § Ibid. p. 99.

CURACAO. , tº "

The Report of Governor Hodgson gives the following return of the

clergy, &c. resident in Curaçao:—“The Rev. P. Will, garrison chaplain,
with a colonial salary of 8211. 8s. 6d. sterling per annum, and 5s. per
day from the War-Office; John Anthony Müller, Lutheran preacher,
paid by the voluntary subscription of his congregation, except 95l. 4s. 0d.
sterling, paid him by the colony; Johannes Josephus Pierovano, Roman
Catholic priest, salary (uncertain) paid him by his own congregation;
Jacob Lopez Fonseca, rabbi of the Jewish congregation, salary as above.
The slaves and free people of colour are all christened, and profess, almost
without exception, the Roman Catholic religion".”


Lieutenant-General Morrison reports, “There are nineteen beneficed

clergymen, all of whom receive an annual stipend from the island, of
420t. per annum, subject to a deduction of ten per cent. which is applied
towards a fund for the support of the widows and children of clergymen
dying here. The value of the livings varies according to the number of the
inhabitants; and in some parishes the surplice fees are considerable, par
ticularly in Kingston, Spanish Town, and St. Andrewst.” It also appears
from the return of the Mayor of Kingston, that there is one Roman
Catholic, and two Methodist congregations, who maintain their own

The Report of the Committee of the Council and Assembly, to Go

vernor Elliot, states, “That the number of clergy of the Church of
England, actually resident in the said island, are five: two holding two liv
ings each, and the other a single living; that the annual value of the parishes
is, some 16,000lbs. and others 18,000lbs. weight of sugar each; that there
are no non-resident clergy, or curates. That there are no Dissenting
elergymen on the island, but one Methodist preacher, who is supported
by contributions from the inhabitants of all colours and descriptions §.”


The Report of the Committee of the Council and Assembly, to Go

vernor Elliot, states, “That the number of parochial eures, of the clergy
of the Church of England, are nine, and the five ministers serving those
cures are all resident in the island. The annual value of the benefice of
each respective parish is 16,000lbs weight of sugar, exclusive of all surplice
fees. There are no curates. That there are three ministers of the United
Brethren's church, called Moravians, and four preachers employed in the

* Papers, &c. p. 103. t Ibid. p. 103. Ibid. p. 105. § 1 bid. p. 134.

Methodist mission, for whose support no provision is made by the
island; but they are subsisted by their societies in Europe, and voluntary
contributions made by their followers here".” -


The Report of the Select Committee of the House of Assembly, to Go

vernor Elliot, states, “That there are in this island six parishes, that
here are five rectors of the said respective parishes, two of them being
under the direction or cure of one rector, all of whom are now resident in
this island; that the yearly stipend allowed to the rector ef the parish of
St. John is 660l. current money, and to the other rectors 460l. besides a
yearly allowance of from 50l. to 60l. to each rector, where there is not a
Parsonage-house. That the number of Dissenting clergymen, or persons
acting as preachers or teachers of religion, now in this island, are four
deacons of the church of the United Brethren, and two preachers or
teachers of religion according to the principles and practice of the late Mr.
John Wesley. That no public provision now is, or ever has been made,
for the support of any ministers or preachers, except the rectors of the
different parishes in the island; but that Dissenters of every denomination
enjoy ample toleration and protection, in the exercise of their religious
The Report of the Committee of both Houses of the Legislature, to
Governor Elliot, states the number of parishes in that island to be four,
two belonging to each cure; the number of Disseuting clergymen none,
and no establishment for them;.


The Report of President Adye, is as follows:– “The island of Grenada

contains six parishes, which form two benefices, under two rectors, who
are priests of the Established Church, and are now resident on their re
spective cures. The island of Curriacou, which is annexed to the go
vernment of Grenada, forms another benefice, under the charge of a rec
tor, who is a priest of the Established Church, and is also resident on his
cure. The fixed stipend of each of these rectors, settled by an act of the
legislature here, and payable out of the colonial treasury, is 660l. current
money per annum, besides surplice fees, and a certain quantity of land in
each parish of their respective benefices, as glebes. Of Dissenting clergy
men, or persons acting as preachers or teachers of religion, not being
... priests or deacons of the Established Church, there are owly two in this
island; one a Methodist missionary, and the other a Roman Catholic
Priest, each of whom has a chapel in the town of St. George, but neither

* Papers, ke. p. 159, 140. + Ibid. p. 141, 149. 1 lbid. p. 145.

IN THE west INDIE's. 85
of whom have any provision for their support in the island, and are main
tained by the voluntary contributions of their respective followers and


The Report of Major-General Wale states, “The only Church Esta

blishment existing in the island is the Roman Catholic. The clergy con
sists of an apostolic prefect, and vice-prefect, and of the rectors and vicars,
as follows.” A detail is then given of thirty-three livings, twenty-five of
which were filled, and eight vacant; the service of the latter being carried
on ad interim, by the nearest resident curates. The annual salary of the
clergy, is stated to be 8,537l. 10s, sterlingt. “The churches are equally
free of access to the slaves as to the free people; and in addition to the
usual service, extra mass is performed in the large towns, for the conve
nience of such slaves as come to market on a Sunday from a distance
in the country't.”

Sir William Young reports, “There is no church in the island, and

there is ouly one regular clergyman, the Rev. Charles Newton, B.A. whb
officiates on Sundays in the Great Room of the Assembly, where a pulpit
is erected for divine service. Mr. Newton is an excellent reader and
preacher, and is well attended by a full congregation; consisting of the
principal white inhabitants, and of a numerous assemblage of free black
and mulatto people, mostly women, and who appear very devout. Several
negro children are brought every Sunday to christen. I am informed, that
on most estates there are many negroes who have been christened, and
some who can repeat the Lord's Prayer, Belief, and Commandments.
The creoles or negro slaves born in Tobago, are those most docile, and
who compose the proportion of negro community most open to instruetion
in the Christian religion. The Africans yet in the colony, are mostly old
people, and retaining the prejudices of their country, will in some degree
keep alive and spread their notions,—an obstacle to the conversion of their
creole descendants. As these original, and now aged slaves, pass off, the
functions of the Christian missionary may have more general success,
Two missionaries, from the United Brethren, have in three years made no
progress far distant from the town of Scarborough, nor have I perceived any
visible effect of their missions §.”


The Report of Mr. Adam Thornborough, receiver-general, states,

that there is no Church of England establishment, one clergyman doing
duty in the Dutch language, who is provided for by a tax of onestiver per
acre on the land of the colony ||. -

* Papers, &c. p. 146. t ibid. p. 150, 151. tº Ibid; p. 1ss.

§ Ibid. p. 184. ! Ibid. p. 189.



IN place of correcting all the mistatements, and refuting every false and
erroneous deduction, of the reporter of the African Institution, your com
mittee think that these objects may be better obtained by giving a plain
state of the actual condition of the slaves in this island, and what has been
accomplished by the present generation towards an improvement.
Without fixing an exact date to an object, incapable of such precision,
we should be inclined to assign the period of the American revolution, as
the time when the amelioration commenced. Little attention had been
previously given to the subject, and both manners and laws were un
friendly. We cannot give the sole credit of the improvement to the aboli
tionists. The bills regulating the trade, and the discussions in parliament,
and in this country, may have accelerated certain changes; but, we believe,
they were rather co-existing causes with others, which produced the ame
lioration, than to be regarded merely as cause and effect, which the Afri
can institution insists on, when obliged to admit, that any alleviation of
the burthens of slavery has taken place.
In the extensive and unfortunate war which terminated in the year 1783,
when the maritime superiority of Great Britain was endangered, and well
nigh lost, the trade to Africa had been interrupted, and it has never been
denied, that the introduction of new savages retarded the civilization of the
others. After the separation of the provinces, now called the United
States, several loyalists, with a considerable number of slaves, came and
settled in this island. These were much further advanced in the scale of
society than the plantation negroes of this country, and their example had
a very beneficial influence. About the same period, many young gentle
men, discharged from the army and navy, resorted to the island in search
of employment, which they found on the plantations, and afforded that
better description of planters, referred to in the evidence of several wit
nesses, as one cause of improvement in the condition of the slaves.
But before such instruments are sought for and preferred, a change must
have taken place in the manners and sentiments of the proprietors and
managers of estates. Harsh commands must be executed by severe mi
nisters! It is well known that manners precede the march of laws, when
the people have a share in framing them. Many of the enactments,
which disgraced our statute-book at that period, were mere dead letters.
A milder system had succeeded, and new regulations were called for, by the
voice of the inhabitants. There are members of this committee, who re

* From the Report of a Committee of the Honourable House of Assembly

of Jamaica, appointed to take into consideration the Slave Registry Bill; pre
sented December 20, 1815.
collect the prejudices and difficulties of the older planters in the discus
sions which preceded that great change, which inflicted the punishment of
death on a white person, who deprived a negro of life. All other cruel
and most severe punishments were abolished by the consolidated slave
law, which passed in the year 1784. That law, which at first was only
enacted for a limited time, has now no duration clause. By it persons wil
fully killing a slave, whether their own property, or belonging to another,
are to suffer death. Mutilating slaves is punished by fine of £100, and
twelve months' imprisonment, aud, in atrocious cases, the slave is to be
manumized, and allowed an annuity. Persons cruelly beating slaves, or
keeping them in confinement without support, are to be punished by fine
or imprisonment, or both. The justices and vestry are appointed a council
of protection for such slaves, and required to prosecute with effect the
owners or offenders. No slave is to receive more than thirty-nine lashes
for any offence, on any account, in one day, nor can the punishment be
repeated until the delinquent has recovered. No slave can be punished
by having iron collars, weights, or chains, put on them. Slaves are to be
allowed one day in every fortnight out of crop, exclusive of Sundays, to
cultivate their grounds, and are to have sufficient clothes allowed them,
to be approved by the justices and vestry. All offences committed by
slaves beyond petty delinquencies, which may be inquired into before the
magistrates, are to be tried before a jury, and, if the sentence be death,
it must be by hanging by the neck, and in no other manner. Slaves are
not to work in the field before five o'clock in the morning, nor after seven
o'clock in the evening, and are to have half an hour for breakfast and two
hours for dinner. Female slaves, who have reared six children, are to
be exempt from all labour, and the owner is to have the taxes remitted on
slaves so privileged. Such are some of the clauses of the law which af.
fords protection to the slave in the important points of life, exempting
from cruel and excessive punishment, or severe labour, and secures to
him food, raiment, and a fair trial for offences; involving the punishment
of death, transportation, or protracted confinement to hard labour. It is
alleged, however, that these laws are not executed, and cannot be en
forced, because the evidence of slaves is not received in our courts. Gud
forbid that their testimony should be sought in the manner that it was ad
mitted in the Greek and Roman tribunals! But in their present condi
tion, it would be wild, and have consequences as fatal as a general manu
mission, to give the unqualified right of delivering testimony, affecting the
persons and property of their owners, in the courts of justice.
Your committee do not think, that many offenders against the slave
law escape justice for want of proof. All free coloured people can give
legal evidence. There are several white persons on most plantations; a
considerable number on many; amongst them are discontented servants,
changing their residence on the slightest umbrage, and who would be
glad of an opportunity of informing against their overseer. Nothing
could recommend them more to the proprietor or manager than to dis
close the oppression of the slaves, who are themselves not disposed to be
silent when they suffer injury. It seems hardly possible that the law can

be violated by any other white person than the overseer, the owner of the
estate, or his representative, and they would have no great chance of
escaping detection.
That conviction and punishments do not frequently occur is no sounder
proof of crimes being committed with impunity, than if your sommit
tee asserted that highway robbery and murder were overlooked in Scot
land, because not many executions for those atrocious offences are seen in
that country. -

It is quite certain that very few instances of oppression or personal vio

lence to slaves do take place here. Nothing can more strongly prove this
than the notorious fact, mentioned in the examination of Mr. Stewart,
that to be a severe or even an unkind master is now a disreputable and
odious character. Were such characters common, were they not very rare
and hardly to be met with, such a feeling could not be excited, and may
be regarded as conclusive evidence when we are called upon to prove a
We shall now notice the positive testimony, contained in the examina
of Mr. Montague, Mr. Graham, Mr. Green, Mr. Richards, Mr. Wil
liam Shand, Mr. Harris, Mr. Murray, and Mr. Stewart. The knowledge
of some of these gentlemen extends beyond the period when we have
stated effective amelioration commenced, when the treatinent of slaves vi
brated between the ancient laws and modern manners, and their condi
tion depended much on the character of the master. The hours of la
bour often extended beyond those afterwards prescribed by the consoli
dated slave-law, The clothing was more scanty. That part of the food,
supplied by the master, was less abundant, and attention to rearing chil
dren little thought of. The comforts of the lying-in women and sick in
the hospital were dealt out with a sparing hand, and punishments were fre
quent and severe. They have witnessed the progressive changes, and
with an intimate knowledge of every part of the island, and a very large
proportion of the slaves under their immediate care, they state, upon
their oaths, in the face of that community where they support the highest
characters for honour and integrity, that the slaves do enjoy the actual
protection of the laws passed for their security, and know that they have
a right to appeal to them: that although, by the consolidated slave-law,
the master may call for fourteen hours' labour in the field, deducting one
half-hour for breakfast and two hours for dinner, leaving, of course, eleven
hours and a half for work, yet, in practice, the time for labour in summer
is one hour, and, in winter, two hours, less than might be exacted by law,
so that the labourer works only, on an average, ten hours daily, and has
fourteen for meals, relaxation, and rest.
The clothing given is abundant for the wants of the climate. It is to
be understood, that the clothes, distributed by the master, are of a plain,
substantial kind, such as are worn when at labour; but every negro, with
the exception of a few idle and disorderly persons, from which that class
of mankind is not exempt, has better clothes, which are worn on holidays
and festivals; and the appearance of the population of all old settled
estates, dressed in their best apparel, would, on such anoccasion, excite the
astonishment of a zealous abolitionist, who might fancy himself trans
ported into the court of an African prince, when he found dancing, re
velling, humour, and mimickry, in place of stripes, groans, and misery,
which his heated imagination had anticipated. Every candid European
acknowledges how much, and how agreeably, he is disappointed by the
first appearance of the negro population, not merely in hours of festivity,
but at plantation labour, and when conducting their own affairs in the pub
lic markets.
The old and those past labour have the same allowance from their
masters as are given to the young and the vigorous, and there exists
amongst the negroes a very amiable disposition to assist their aged parents
and relatives.
The food, regularly distributed by the master, consists principally of
pickled and salted fish, which are not merely reckoned palatable by the
negroes, but are acknowledged by Count Rumford, and known by all per
sons who have given attention to the subsistence of mankind, to be well
calculated for seasoning, and rendering both salutary and nourishing, the
soups and mucilaginous and farinaceous dishes, which form the principal
food of the negroes. -

Your committee do not think it necessary to take notice of all the ca

lumnies, invented or circulated by the African Institution, and the zealots
who seem to think that any means, however nefarious, may be adopted
to accomplish an object, which they perhaps think laudable; but when
characters, reputed above such practices, resort to them for the express
purpose of rendering the inhabitants of this country odious, and put their
names to publications intended to produce popular clamour, we consider
it our duty to point out the misrepresentations.
In the letter of Mr. Wilberforce to the freeholders of Yorkshire, on the
abolition of the slave trade, published in 1807, he asserts that Mr. Fuller,
the agent for Jamaica, and other respectable gentlemen, who stated before
the privy council, that the common allowance of herrings to the slaves for
seasoning their vegetable food was at the rate of twenty to twenty-five bar
rels for every one hundred negroes, had misrepresented the facts, and
adds, that the circumstance confirms his suggestions, in the manner of se—
lecting and bringing forward the witnesses. In plain language, that a
story had been invented by these characters, whom he affects to call re
spectable, and was supported by persons selected and brought forward to
aver what they knew to be without foundation.
On what evidence, it will be a ked, does Mr. Wilberforce support this
charge of complicated infamy, that the planters starved their negroes, and
that the most respectable of the number came forward to cover the delin
quency by deliberate falsehood By confining the supply of fish to what
came from Great Britain, it is presumed; for he states the quantity im
ported into this island for five years, from 1783 to 1787, was only 21,089
barrels annually. -

It is well known that the principal supply of fish, in the years reſcºre I
** - - - - * *

to, came from the United States and the British North American pro
vinces. -

If Mr. Wilberforce had taken due care to obtain information, before he

brought forward a statement from which he inferred the necessity of mea
sures of high consequence to the whole empire, he would have found, that
in the year preceding the publication of his letter, seven times the quantity
which he states had been imported into this island.
In the years to which Mr. Wilberforce refers, there were no accounts of
the fish imported recorded by the house of assembly, and it would now be
impracticable to ascertain the quantity, were it material; but, on reference
to the minutes of the house the year preceding the publication of this au
dacious calumny, we find the quantity stated from the three distinct sources
which had always afforded the supply, except during the revolutionary
war. It stands as follows:
- Barrels.
Herrings from Ireland and Great Britain - -- - 47,091
Hogsheads salt-fish from the United States, 1744 hogsheads, at
nine cwts, is equal to - - - - - -- 10,446
Barrels fish from ditto - - - - - - - - 25,515
Kegs of ditto ditto, 614, at six to the barrel - - - - 102
Boxes of ditto ditto, 5664, equal to - - - - - 2832
Quintals of ditto ditto, 409, ditto - - - - - 249
Hogsheads of salt-fish from British plantations, 6265, at nine
cwts. is equal to - - - - - -- - 37,590
Barrels of fish, ditto - - - - - - - - 22,352
Kegs of ditto, 839 - - - - - - - - 136
Boxes of ditto, 1926 - - - - - - - - 963
Cwts. 270 - - - - - - - - - - 135

Equal to barrels 147,424

It is evident that Mr. Wilberforce did know, or ought to have known,
if he had sought information with the care expected from every man of
common candour and honesty, making such grave accusations, that he
alone was guilty of the crime, which he maliciously or wantonly had im
puted to the gentlemen of Jamaica, examined before the privy council, of
perverting ficts to cover deliberate falsehood.
Taking Mr. Wilberforce's own statement, that only seven-eighths of the
fish was for the consumption of the negroes on the estates, there will remain
at the rate of thirty-eight barrels for every one hundred negroes, the po
pulation in that year having been 312,341.
This is not far from the truth, taking into the account what the slaves
purchase from their peculium, for the usual allowance of the master had
been augmented from the time when Mr. Fuller, and the Jamaica gentle
men, had been examined by the privy council, to upwards of thirty bar
rels for every one hundred negroes. It has been since increased, and the
master now distributes from thirty-three to thirty-five barrels to the same
number of people, as established by the testimony of Mr. Graham, sup
ported by the account of importations, now regularly returned and entered
on the minutes of the house of assembly.
It has been the policy of Great Britain to clog the importation from the
United States by duties, and finally to prohibit it, except in British ships.
If, from that circumstance, from war, or a partial failure in the fisheries,
the supply be less than the demand, this cannot be imputed as a crime to
the planter. The effect is the same as a famine or scanty crop of grain in
Europe. A less quantity occasions the same expense, with this marked
difference, that no part of the cost falls on the slaves, as it does on the
European labourer. The whole is defrayed by the master. If fish cannot
be procured, he is obliged to purchase salted polk from Ireland, which
your committee avers has been done to a great extent by its own members,
as well as other planters, in the course of the last two years, when the war
with the United States diminished the usual importation.
Your committee return from what, they trust, may not be regarded an
irrelevant digression on this very important subject of the subsistence of
the negroes.
By those who are acquainted only with the scanty returns of a day's la
bour to a peasant in Europe from his garden, it is alleged, that one day in
fourteen must be quite unequal to raise food for a family.
We are prepared to show the contrary, even supposing that the negro
shall not labour on the Sunday out of crop. Let it not be supposed, that
because the master is by law permitted to call for labour on Saturday dur
ing crop, it is always done: on the contrary, several Saturdays in suc
cession are given to the negroes by all considerate proprietors and ma
nagers before the crop commences, and after it terminates, to keep up the
cultivation of their grounds; and, if that be found insufficient, the whole
body of effective labourers are employed for many days together in the
provision-grounds, that there may be no deficiency of food; so that the
slaves have in fact what is equal to one day in fourteen throughout the
year, independent of Sunday.
When we state that this is more than sufficient to procure subsistence,
we prefer bringing other evidence than the planters of the country, on the
productive effects of labour in the soil and climate within the tropics.
The grounds of the negroes are not cultivated in a continuate field, but
they have the privilege of selecting spots on the banks of rivulets, and
opening new ground wherever they choose throughout all the wood-lands
of the plantation. This is very injurious to the master, but it is the custom
of the country, and universally practised by the slaves.
What are the effects of this cultivation ?
Monsieur Humboldt, to whom we refer in preference to oral testimony,
in the second volume of his political essay on the kingdom of New Spain,
where he treats the subject with great information and accuracy, observes,
that “ an European, newly arrived in the torrid zone, is struck with no
thing so much as the extreme smallness of the spots under cultivation round
a cabin which contains a numerous family.”
He shows that in the best cultivated parts of Europe a square of a hun

dred metres, or, reduced to English measure, one thousand and seventy
six square feet, yields thirty-three pounds weight of grain, or ninety-nine
pounds of potatoes. The same field in plantains gives the enormous quan
tity of four thousand four hundred and fourteen pounds avoirdupoise of
fruit, which is an excellent substitute for bread. The produce is conse
quently to that of wheat as one hundred and thirty-three to one, and to that
of potatoes as forty-four to one.
Divested of its rind, and making every allowance for a greater propor
tion of watery particles, he shews that a French legal arpent, cultivated in
plantains, is equal to the support of fifty individuals for a year. -

The same quantity of land cultivated in wheat, would, in Europe, sup

port two individuals, allowing 1271 pounds avoirdupoise of bread to each.
It would follow, therefore, that one day's labour in Jamaica, will produce
as much food as twenty-five days could raise in Europe. But this is by
no means the whole difference. The labour of raising the wheat, and
the plantains, during the first year may be nearly equal; but in Europe
the labour must be annually renewed. Within the tropics, the plaintains
produce a new crop at the end of eight months, without any labour, ex
cept cutting down the sucker from which the fruit has been taken, and,
with a light hoeing, removing the little grass which may have vegetated
under the thick shade of the grove.
There are then for ten or twenty years, in proportion to the goodness of
the soil, three crops in two years, equal to feeding seventy-five persons an
nually, almost without any labour, from the same extent of field, which,
with careful cultivation, could support two individuals in Europe.
This fact, established on the highest authority, must satisfy the most in
credulous, of the facility with which provisions for a family can be raised
in this climate, where winter is unknown. The plantains form part of the
food of all the negroes. The objection to their being entirely relied on is,
that the tree is easily destroyed by hurricanes or storms. The planters,
therefore, encourage the cultivation of the cocoa; the kind preferred is the
San Blas, or white cocoa, cocum acaule maximum or foliis cordato sagit
tatis. It is nearly as productive as the plaintains. The first crop is reaped
in about ten months, and afterwards others are gathered every three or
four months with little or no labour, but drawing the earth over the fibres
from whence the ripe roots are taken.
In lands more worn out, the yam (or dioscorea alata) is cultivated, and
gives great returns. In the low and drier regions, the manioc, and sweet
potatoe, of various kinds, some of them coming to perfection in six or eight
weeks, contribute to the subsistence of the negroes; but, as the returns are
less than from the provisions of the mountain districts, the master culti
vates large fields of Guinea-corn. This is kept in granaries for years, and
an allowance regularly served out to the negroes, in due proportion to the
effects of the drought on their own grounds, which, in favourable seasons,
are very productive.
The plan, stated by Mr. William Shand, of providing a good meal
daily for all the children, is becoming general, and is a distribution of
food of the best description, relieving those who have large families, and
does not encourage the idle, which all, who have reflected on the subject,
know to be the effect of an indiscriminate distribution of food. Your
committee, at the hazard of being tedious, have thought it material, not
merely to assert that the time allowed is sufficient to raise food, but to as
sign such reasons as can leave no doubt with any impartial mind, that it
is abundant, where the negro is not vicious or idle. Independent of their
grounds, they all raise in their gardens, with incredible facility, ochro,
callalues, and vegetables of the most nourishing kinds. Their houses, in
many places, are surrounded with groves of orange and other fruit trees,
which descend to their families, and the production is sold for very con
siderable sums. In all situations they raise corn for poultry and hogs,
which the master never interferes with, unless it be to buy at a higher rate
than could be obtained after carrying them to market. By sales of these,
the negroes purchase, not merely other food, which they prefer, but good
clothes. Those who are avaricious, particularly the Eboe tribe, accumu
late considerable sums. The most decided advantage, however, which
the negroes have over the European labourer, is the care taken of them in
sickness. There is no plantation where a hospital is not provided; of
late years, on an extensive scale, and under good regulations, in respect of
cleanliness and ventilation. A regularly bred practitioner attends, the
master supplying, not only medicines, but the comforts required for per
sons in such a situation. Wine, rice, flour, sugar, and animal food, are
provided, and it is an invariable rule, if a well-disposed negro present
himself at the hospital, never to repulse him, although both the doctor
and overseer be satisfied that he is not labouring under any sickness, but
wishes a day's rest and relaxation.
All the evidence shows that no such idea prevails in this island as ob
taining a supply of labourers from illicit commerce, or from any source,
but from purchases where plantations are thrown up, which must soon be at
an end. The greatest attention is paid to breeding women, and raising
children. No more labour is exacted, after a woman is advanced a few
months in pregnancy, than is proper, as moderate exercise, and to prevent
the effects of indolence, to which persons in that state are inclined, and
which is unfavourable to the health of the mother, as well as the child.
The evidence warrants your committee in the suggestion, that relaxation
seems to be going too far, rather than stopping short of what humanity
requires. Attention to raising the infants is universal, as far as depends on
the master, although the modes adopted on different plantations vary. It
would be, perhaps, desirable, that some general plan were pointed out,
and sanctioned by the legislature, where all seem inclined to adopt the best
measures which can be suggested.
Your committee have reviewed the evidence, which proves the condition
of the slaves to be altogether different from what has been represented to
the inhabitants of the mother-country, with intent to inflame their passions,
and arouse, against the proprietors of the colonies, indignation altogether
unmerited. In the course of that review, we have adverted to some of
the misrepresentations that appear to have been more immediately cal
culated, if not intended, to produce this important effect.



SiR,--I send you a letter and extract, which I some time ago received
from my friend, Emanuel Felix D'Yranda, an eminent Spanish merchant,
whose acquaintance with our language and literature is considerable. The
question on the Slave Registry Bill brought these papers to my recollection,
and you will oblige me by inserting them. A WELL WISHER.

Cadiz, Jan. 13, 1814.

MY DEAR FRIEND,-Great is our anxiety concerning the fate of our va
luable American colonies. You know how little information we derive from
political discussion here. I am accustomed to seek it from your press, and
I have been much gratified by the attention which those eminent critics, the
Edinburgh reviewers, have devoted to our concerns. An article in their
journal for November, 1811, in spite of a little sarcasm on this place, ap
peared to me particularly interesting; but, on my recently citing it to a
countryman of yours, he desired me to compare it with another article,
which I confess had escaped my notice, in the very same number of that
journal, relative to your own West India colonies; and I declare to you,
that this comparison has suggested doubts and difficulties which I am un
able to resolve.
I admit that the proportions of the respective classes of population differ
in the colonies of the two nations, and that in some of our possessions we
have a description of inhabitants with which you have nothing that corre
sponds; but, with every allowance for these variations, I cannot see suffi
cient ground for the opinion that our colonies should have a free constitu
tion, while yours are to be governed despotically. Your colonies have al
ready constitutions which are in principle affined to the model at home—
ours have never enjoyed that advantage: and it may be doubted how far
they are prepared for it. The system of jealousy and espionage which
these critics recommend to your government, seems ill calculated to pro
mote cordial allegiance and attachment; but, if it be necessary in your
case, we cannot discern why it is inapplicable to ours, especially as it ac
cords so well with our political maxims at home.
I am aware that these articles may have been the production of two gen
tiemen, contributors to the Review; but this will not reconcile the striking.
variation of principle which the articles display. I have extracted some
passages from each, and set them in columns, side by side, that you may be
more sensible of these irreconcilable differences. One must suppose that a
set of gentlemen, associated for the purpose of supporting a literary
journal, however they might vary in sentiment upon some lighter matters,
would yet be careful to maintain a consistency upon all great questions of
morals and policy.
What then, my friend, am I to gather from these conflicting opinions,
thus placed together? As good patriots, these critics must pay their prin
cipal regard to the welfare of the British colonies; and it is with reluctance
I suggest the question, whether the advice they give to us may be insidu
ous, originating in national jealousy, or in some selfish views? This suspi
cion, however, is checked by another, which, unreasonable as it may ap
pear to you, I must yet in confidence impart. Is it possible that these
journalists are not aware of the value of your colonies to your commerce, to
your finances, and to your navy or that they feel an indifference about
their attachment to the mother-country, and contemplate an insurrection of
the slaves, and the destruction of the whites, as minor evils, compared with
the present internal condition of the different classes they contain You
may laugh at such a supposition; but really when one reads all which they
have written respecting your West India colonies (to which my friend has
recently directed my attention,) one cannot get the idea out of one's mind.
I am, &c. E. F. D'YRANDA.

on Thr Policy. To BE onSERVED ON THE Policy. To be ops ERVED

Tow A Rios Tile attitish WEST IN Tow A R D S T H E st"A Nish AMERI
D1Es, As Recovi M. EN DED BY THE CAN colon I Es, As Recoyi MEN ord
18 J 1. Now. 1811.

“WHAT, then, it may be asked, do “ANxious LY, then, as we desire

we propose? Are we for stirring the that the counexion between Spain and
question of internal legislation, and hºr American dominions should not be
for embroiling the mother country dissolved, while Spain maintains her
and the colonies in a new contest ? struggle for independence, we are so
Without feeling the necessity of an thoroughly convinced that America
swering the question, we must frankly is entitled to a full and complete re
say, it carries uothing scaring or dress of her grievances, that if the
alarming to us; on the contrary, we mother-country obstinately refuses to
conceive few things can be pictured comply with her just petitions, we
more ridiculous than the motion of think the colonists ought to persevere
apprehending danger, or even embar in their insurrection, and obtain by
rassment, from the assertion of the force that redress for the past, and
right, the unquestioned and undenia security for the future, which pride
ble right, of parliament to legislate and avarice withhold from them.
for the colonies; a right never yet That independence will be the natural
abandoned, except so far as regards result of such a conflict, if successful
taxation alone, exercised in a variety on the part of the colonists, we too
of important particulars every day, plainly see; and it is for that reason,
and which the conduct of the islands we entreat those who have authority
has rendered it absolutely incumbent in Spain, while it is yet time, to stop
on parliament to exert with respect the progress of war by just conces
to the present question, if no other sions to their subjects.
means can be devised of effectually “These concessions, however, if
reforming the abuses of the slave-sys they are meant to be a suitable offer.
tem, and carrying the abolition of the ing to America, must ueither be few
traffic into full execution. But, waiv nor inconsiderable. In the first place,
ing for the present this question, we her government must be placed in
shall beg leave to suggest the line of such hands, that whatever may be
conduct, by steady perseverance in the fate of Spain, the independence
which, we conceive it will be possible of America will be secure. The mºjo.
to effect a great deal of good under rity of the persons in the service of the

the laws as they at present stand, and state, in the army, in the law, in the
by the sincere exertions of the govern church, in the collection of revenue, and
ment. other subordinate departments of goveru
“The careful selection of governors ment, must be native Americans, or Ju
and military commanders is one of ropeans long settled in the country, who
the most obvious improvements, and, have an interest in its safety and welfare
we lament to say, one of those most equal to that of its native inhabitants.
wanted. To hint at this subject is In the second place, the commerce of
perhaps sufficient ; but we cannot America must be free. The Ameri,
avoid particularizing a certain most caus must have a right to trade di
essential qualification of a negative rectly with all countries in amity
kind, which ought to be unade a sine with the crown of Spain, paying such
ºut non in every such appointment. duties as their own provincial assemblies,
The persons so chosen should have no and not the cortes at Cadiz, shall
colonial property, and should not have impose. Protecting duties may be
power, directly or indirectly, to acquire necessary to some ports of America
any such interest. If possible, they should for her own manufactures; but these
have no colonial connerions, and this will vary in their nature and amount,
qualification should be eartended, without according to the circumstances of
exception, to every considerable officer in the different provinces, of which none
the West Indian establishments. It is, can judge so well as their local legisla
unfortunately, the present usage, (and, tures. It moves our indignation to
we admit, not a very unnatural one,) hear the hypocritical lamentations of
to choose such functionaries upon the merchants of Cadiz over the ruin
the very contrary principles, the con ed manufacturers of America, compas
sequences of which are too manifest sion for whom, they would persuade
to require enumeration. us, is their chief reason for withhold
“A similar degree of care should ing freedom of trade from the colonies.
be shown in the choice of persons to fill We hardly dare ask ourselves whether
judicial and other legal situations ; nor these are the same persons who used
do we perceive any thing in the trials to procure orders from Madrid to root
and papers now before us to render out the times and burn the looms of Ame
this suggestion less necessary than rica, lest they should interfere with
the former. It would evidently be the lucrative coin merce of the mother
proper to ertend to those officers also country. In the third place, the
the qualification with respect to property. malversations and corruptions of the
“A more constant intercourse by courts of law, and the abuses and ex
correspondence should be maintained cesses of the executive branches of
with the government at home; and administration, must be corrected and
others, as well as the chiefs of the civil punished in America by tribunals unde
and military departments, should be en pendent of the crown. In the fourth
couraged to correspond. If this branch place, America inust impose her own
too much increases the labour of the taxes, grant and appropriate her own
colonial office, let it be transferred to revenue, receive an account of its ex
some other department, or let some penditure from the servants of the
other additional assistance be obtain crown, and increase or diminish its
ed, for a short time, until the business amount at the discretion of her repre
has got into a more manageable sentatives.
shape. The strictest attention should, “To carry this system of concilia
of course, be paid by government to tion into effect, there must be pro in
investigate instantly every case of in cial legislatures in America invested with
attention or misconduct, and to make the sole power of imposing tares, and,
the most striking examples of persons with the consent of the crown, of making
behaving negligently or blameably in laws. These assemblies will be chosen
their official capacities. On the other by the people, but summoned by the
hand, proper encouragement should be king. Annual taxes and an autual
held out, not merely to propriety of meeting bill will secure their regula?
conduct, but to zeal and activity dis. convocation. A representation, found
played in the cause of humanity, and ed on property, will not exclude the
particularly to the effectual investiga inferior casts from political power and
tion and punishment of cruelty and consideration, and yet leave in fact to
other delinquencies. the whites, where it can best be lodged,
“Much might even be effected by a preponderance in the legislature, while
a vigorous and zealous admiuistra the authority and influence of the
tion in the islands, catched, encou crown will secure to the Indians and
raged, and supported by the govern Mulattoes, a protection and defence
ment at home, towards improving the against oppression. The visionary
feeling of the colonial legislatures, as and impracticable scheune of repre
they are called ; and obtaining from senting America in the courts of
them amendments of the existing Spaiu must be abandoned, and with it
laws. It is scarcely possible that these all pretensions to legislative authority in
should be the only assemblies in which the mothér country orer her colonies.
the crown has no influence, at least The crown will in that case be the sole
when some hoon is craved for the bond of political union between Spain
cause of humauity and justice. and America ; and, in return ſor so
“It is unuecessary to enlarge fur many sacrifices from the mother
ther ou the beneficial effects which country, America must consent, that
may be expected from a firm determi till the exercise of the royal authority
uation on the part of government to shall be restored in the person of the
act upon such principles as these. monarch, the executive power esta
Of this we are quite sure, that if some blished in the peninsula shall be
reform be not effected, either by the recognized in the colonies. The con
interference of the executive or of nexion of Spain with America will be
the legislative branch of the govern the same with that of Great Britain
ment, we shall learn in the colonies, and Ireland before the union. Sup
even before the lessou is taught us at posing a law to have been passed in
hone, that the enemies of reform are Irelaud, as was once proposed, that
the tº ue abettors of revolution.” whoever was Regent of Great Britain
should pro facto be Regent of Ireland;
such a counexion is perhaps not the
most desirable form of government
for either party; but, in the present
circumstances of both, it is preferable
to a complete separation and civil
war. Let the experiment be tried in
Mexico, Peru, and Guatimaba, where
the mother country still retains iner
authority, though it rests on slippery
and precarious foundations. Let the
same conditions be offered to the in
surgent provinces; and, if they refuse
such reasonable terms of accomunoda
tion, let war be made upon then.”


Sir.—Let me request you to insert in the Colonial Journal, the two ar

ticles inclosed. The first gives a description of the second. The second
is the Memorial of the Upper Canada traitors, who, under their leader
Wilcocks, took arms against the prince whom they had sworn to serve.

Washington, January 2.
Permit a sºjourner in Washington to call the attention of your readers
for a few moments, to the following Memorial, which was presented to

Congress by General Porter, of the house of Representatives, on Thurs

day the 28th ult. It exhibits a brief account of the service and sufferings,
in the American cause, of a generous, brave, and enterprising corps of
men, who now claim from the justice and magnanimity of the United
States, a remuneration to which they are entitled by the laws of gratitude,
hospitality, and patriotism.
The corps to which the memorialists belong, was raised by the gallant
and ever-to-be-lamented Col. Willcocks, who fell a Victim to his ardent
love of liberty, his disinterested attachment to the cause of America, in
her late contest with Great Britain. -

Willcocks is no more.—His warm heart, whose every impulse was in

unison with the noblest feelings of humanity, was destined to bleed upon
the altar of American freedom and glory. But Markle and Frisbie, and
other gallant spirits, his companions in arms, have survived the shock of
battle, and live to cherish the memory of their departed leader, and the
fame of that country in whose cause his heart's blood flowed as freely as
the streams of her vallies pursue their wonted course.
These survivors of the corps of Canadian volunteers, who acknowledge
Willcocks for their leader, will not, we trust, be considered by any liberal
minded American, as mere petitioners for bounty, as paupers in a humi
liated posture, looking up for eleemosinary relief. No; far from every
patriotic and manly breast be a reflection so degrading to honourable and
highminded men, whose devotion to liberty alone led them to risk their
lives and fortunes in a doubtful contest; to take a noble stand in defence
of the violated rights of their native country, though they well knew,
that they had not even to encounter death in the field, but the terrors of
the British law of treason, which, like the laws of Draco, is written in
characters of blood, and invariably executed in a congenial spirit of malig.
nity and barbarity.
Their brief remarks are made, Mr. Editor, as introductory of the me
morial, and not only so, but with the hope of inspiring the memorialists
with that confidence in their own cause, which, as modest and unobtru
sive men, they may not possess; for, to the writer of this article, they
are known to be modest unobtrusive men. Their situation is peculiarly
delicate, and can be duly appreciated by those only whose native American
feelings are pure and ardent! this, alone, may render them diffident in
their personal approaches to members of the government, and retard the
settlement of their claims. It is to be hoped, however, that the citizens
of Washington, who have felt so severely the ravages of our late enemy,
of which they are constantly reminded by those blighted and tottering
fragments of departed grandeur, those awful ruins which cast a melan
choly shade upon their history, and proclaim to the world that vanda
Histm and British vengeance are synonymous terms; it is to be hoped, we
repeat it, that the citizens of Washington may not fail to treat these gal
lant and patriotic stranger with their wonted hospitality; and that Con
gress, by a decisive act of munificent justice, may leave them no reason to
complain of the ingratitude of the republic.

It should be recollected, that the present state of Europe is such as to

afford no very flattering prospect of a long continuance of the blessings of
peace to this country. The wish of Edmund Burke, that elegant and ac
complished apostate, that France might be blotted from the map of na
tions, is virtually realized. The British monarchy and the crowned heads
of the Continent viewed with a jealous eye the rising glory of the only re
public on earth; and, in all probability, the day is not far distant, when
we shall again be driven to measure swords with their myrinidons, or re
linquish rights derived from God and nature, and which we cannot sur
render but with national existence. It behoves us, therefore, to give to
the republicans of Canada a pledge, that, in the event of another war,
their services will not only be accepted, but gratefully rewarded, if our
arms be crowned with success, as they no doubt will be, so long as we
cherish the love of justice an of freedom, of our altars, and our firesides;
so long as we are animated by the spirits of our immortal ancestors, and
put our trust in the God of Battles. Y.

To the Honourable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United

States, in Congress assembled.
The Memorial of Abraham Markle, Gideon Frisbie, and their associates,
respectfully, sheweth—
That your memorialists, at the commencement of the late war between
the United States and Great Britain, were inhabitants of Upper Canada,
in the British dominions, whither they had previously migrated from the
United States; that at an early period of the contest, they were called
upon to take up arms against their former countrymen and brethren, who
composed the army of the United States; that this call they were bound
to obey, while they continued to enjoy the protection of, an to acknow
ledge allegiance to the government of Great Britain; that their early pre
Judices, their native feelings and affections for the soil and the clime that
gave them birth, finally determined them to dissolve their connection with
their adopted government; that inspired by this determination, General
Hull's proclamation was the welcome signal for some, and the subsequent
invasion by General Dearborn for others, of your memorialists to join the
American standard ; that in consequence of this their devotion to the
cause of the United States, their families, which were left in the enemy's
territory, were long exposed to the most humiliating privations and distresses,
and were finally driven out of the province; that the property of your me
morialists was confiscated by the British government, leaving them desti
tute of all support but that which they derived from their pay in the
service of the United States, and some of your memorialists possessed
large and ample estates, with all the means of enjoyment that could ren
der life happy and desirable; that the termination of the war threw them
out of service and employment, many of them being entirely destitute of
the means of subsistence, save their industry and enterprize; that since

the termination of the war, they have had, and still have to encounter
many embarrassments, arising out of the peculiarity of their situation—a
situation more easily felt than described.
In this state of things, what remains for your memorialists, but to
throw themselves upon the justice and magnanimity of the United
States, in Congress assembled. This they have determined to do, in
full confidence that their claims are too just to be rejected, and that
they will find an advocate in the breast of every member; especially
when the inducements held out to your memorialists by the proclama
tion of General Hull are recollected—and how powerfully such induce
ments were calculated to seize upon the feelings of Americans, who,
though they had changed their government, could not, for that reason,
stifle the voice of nature, and steel their hearts to the ties of consangui
nity, and the irresistible impulse which the love of country never fails to
Your memorialists pray, therefore, that, in consideration of their suf
ferings and services in your cause, the necessary evidence of which
will be laid before your honourable body, that your honourable body
would grant them a tract of land, in the Indian territory, lately pur
chased of the Indians by General Harrison, on the part of the United
States, on which to settle for the remainder of their lives; the grant
to be to each applicant in proportion to his losses.
Your memorialists are aware, that, with superficial observers, their
conduct in abandoning their adopted for their native country, in the
late contest, may wear the appearance of bad faith. But, from every
age, both in ancient and modern history, examples may be derived to
sanction their preference; and, without aiming to bias the decision of
the representatives of a free and independent people, they feel emboldened
to say, that if the loyalists in the American revolution were munificently
rewarded by the crown of Great Britain, for aiding a wicked attempt to
enslave their native country, your memorialists may well claim remunera
tion from that country, for attempting, at the sacrifice of all their pro
perty and enjoyments in a foreign land, to extend the empire of its free
and benevolent institutions, and promote its prosperity and glory.


Sir.—Allow me to submit to your consideration, whether it would not be

proper to suggest to Mr. Wilberforce and the other reformers of slavery in
the West Indies, that it might be a more legitimate object of their bene
volent industry to prevent, as tºuch as in them lies, the growth of any
slavery at all, in new or future foreign settlements of Great Britain. It is
one thing to disturb an established order of things, and another to take
sage precautions against the growth of abuses. These are a kind of pre
ventive laws to which I confess myself partial.
I shall here state a case, which will not fail, I think, to awaken due at
cor Respon DEN ce. 101

tention to what I am speaking of Slavery subsists in Upper Canada,

while it has been determined, in a court of law, that it cannot be main
tained in the lower province; the lower province is an old French terri
tory, preserving the French laws; the upper province is a new British
territory, governed wholly by English law. But, under the French law,
slavery cannot subsist in the lower province; and, under the English law,
slavery does subsist in the upper province. Mr. Sewell, since his Ma
jesty's attorney-general ſor the district of Montreal, and brother of the
chief justice of Lower Canada, is the gentleman, who, in the course of
his professional duties, but certainly with the zeal of a philanthropist,
succeeded in obtaining a decision against the existence of slavery in Lower
The matter stands thus: under the government of France, there was a
Code Noir, which authorized, at the same time that it regulated, slavery
in the Antilles, or French West Indies. In the Causes Célébres, a col
lection of French trials, there is one, in which the plaintiff, a planter of
Dominica, sought to recover possession of the defendant, previously a
slave on the plantation of the plaintiff in Dominica, but, at the time of the
suit, a shopkeeper in Paris. The French attorney-general was for the
defendant, and the argument on which he relied, and by which he suc
ceeded in obtaining a decision of the court in favour of the freedom of his
client, was this, that (a boast similar to our own,) no man could be a
slave in France; that the laws of France, (la douce mere de la liberté,
said the King's Procureur, speaking in the reign of Louis XV,) knew no
thing of slavery; and that the Code Noir could have none but a local
operation, namely in the Antilles, for which it purported to have been
made. The suit of the plaintiff was rejected. Mr. Sewell, relying upon
this decision, supported thc cause of a pretended slave in Lower Canada.
He showed, that there was no slavery in that province under the French
law; none by virtue of any subsequent English law: and his client was
declared to be free. I earnestly recommend you to insert, in a future
number of your Journal, a translation of the trial in the Causes Célébres.
How it happened that slavery came to subsist in Upper Canada is
easily explained. Certain persons (their history is not material here) had
been held, however illegally, in slavery under the French government.
When the legislature of Upper Canada was erected, and perhaps before
the decision in the lower province, it proceeded to enact laws recognizing
slavery. Now, I am not for overturning the authority of the legis
lature cf Upper Canada, but I would have an act of parliament, prohibit
ing any colonial legislature, hereafter to be established, from passing laws
authorizing slavery; or, I would have a standing order of the House of
Lords, providing that no bill for erecting a colonial legislature should pass
that house, without the insertion of a clause prohibiting the making of laws
authorizing or recognizing slavery —It deserves, perhaps to be added, that
an attempt, similar to that of Mr. Sewell's in Lower Canada, was made in
the state of Massachusett's Bay, formerly an English colony, and that, if
iny memory does not deceive me, it there ſailed; doubtlessly because the
colonial legislature had recognized slavery.

The application of the veto which I am recommending will not fail to

be wanting. New British colonies will arise, and progressively they will
have their legislatures. Lord Selkirk's colony at Red River is one exam
ple; and perhaps New South Wales is another.


SIR,-A brief account of the death of the late Henry Meredith, Esq.
governor of the African fort of Winnebah, has some claim, perhaps, to
a place in the Colonial Journal, both because it belongs to the history of our
foreign settlements, and because Mr. Meredith was an author, and a co
lonial author, his pen having been employed, in an Account of the Gold
The circumstances which led to the violent death of the late Governor
Meredith were these. In the course of the Ashantee war, the coin
mencement of which, in the year 1807, Mr. M. is himself the historian,
many towns, along the coast, were laid waste by the British arms, and great
poverty and confusion were spread among the inhabitants. At this time, a
native Winnebah confided to the charge of the serjeant, a mulatto, on duty
at the fort of that name, a box of gold-dust. In the year 1811, after tran
quillity was restored, the Winnebah returned to the fort, and demanded
his gold-dust. The serjeant acknowledged having received it; but as
serted, that in the confusion of the mounent, he had given it to he knew
not whom. Governor Meredith being now applied to by the Winnebah,
summoned the serjeant before him, and gave the parties a hearing. I he
serjeant persisted in his story, and, either through artifice, or from the pure
dictates of superstition, begged the governor's leave to go into the bush, that
is, to go up the county, to a celebrated Fetishe or Oracle, that he might in
quire to whom he had given the gold-dust. The governor granted him
leave; and, on his return, a second hearing took place, at which the ser
jeant was to tell all he had learned of the box; but what was the surprize
of the former, on hearing the latter, after premising that he knew nothing
but what the Fetishe had told him, declare, that the answer he had re
ceived was, “That he gave it to Governor Meredith ?” adding, upon
the question being put, “that as the Fetishe had said so, he believed it!”
The loser of the gold, together with the chiefs (Pyins) of the town, now
demanded the box of the governor, who denied all knowledge of it. Some
days were now passed in reiterated demands and denials, when, at length,
one morning, Mr. Meredith being employed in weeding his garden, a
crowd of Winnebah people broke in upon him, seized him, and carried
him away, still demanding the box. Seeing his life menaced, Mr. Mere
dith, after once more declaring that neither the box nor its contents had
ever been in his possession, offered to send an order to a friend within the

* One vol. 8vo, Longman and Co.


fort, to pay as much as should be called the value of the gold-dust lost,
In the rage of the moment, the chiefs refused to listen to this offer, in
sisting upon the return of the deposit itself, and, this not being produced,
they ultimately carried Governor Meredith up the country, and there in
flicted upon him the severest tortures.
First, they stripped him of his shoes and stockings, and, having set fire
to the dry grass, obliged him to walk on it, till, what with fatigue, the heat
of the sun, and the burning of his feet, he could no longer support him
self. Having, then, suffered him to rest, for some time, on the ground,
they obliged him to get up again; and, now, placing a long pole in such
a manner that his two arms were extended horizontally along its length,
while its centre pressed against his cravat and throat, and thus threatened
instant suffocation, they obliged him to walk, with this burden, and in the
position into which it forced him, for the distance of several miles.
By this time, however, his tormentors began to regret the violence
into which they had suffered themselves to be hurried, and to think only
of the vengeance to which they had exposed themselves. They now
carried Mr. Meredith back to the town ; but kept him as a hostage, lest
the guns of the fort should be fired upon them; and he died in their
hands the same night. Governor Smith, from a neighbouring fort, had
come to his assistance; but, for the reason above-mentioned, it had been
impossible to employ force for his deliverance.
A short time afterward, one of his Majesty's frigates having come into
the roads, a force was employed against Winnebah. The town was de
stroyed, and the fort blown up, by the English; but the town has since
been rebuilt, and the natives, in concert with the African Company, are
restoring the fort.


SIR,--The name of the island of Barbados has given occasion to a great

diversity of opinion among a variety of authors, all of whom seem more
disposed to exercise and display a talent for ingenious conjecture, than
arrive at the plain and true meaning of the word. The authors of the
Universal History, the first in learning, and consequently in importance,
incline to what they term the more probable opinion, that the island was
named Barbados, by the Portuguese, its first discoverers, on account of
the barbarous appearance it originally presented to them. (Univ. Hist.
Modern. Barbados.) Salmon speaks confidently to the same purpose,
Wide Modern Hist. Art. Barbados. But why this island should have af.
forded to navigators a prospect so peculiarly savage, as to have eminently
deserved the appellation in this sense, it will not be easy to assign a rea
son. Besides, the signification of what is neant by “barbarous' is ex
pressed by the identical word, excepting a slight difference of termination.
that never removes the second r, in almost every language, ancient and
inodern. Thus, the Greek is 3:3z;07; the Latin, barbarus; English

barbarous; French, barbare; Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, barbara

Nor can this meaning ever have been intended by Barbados.
Superior to any such perverseness of ingenuity, a Mr. Gordon, the
author of a Geographical Grammar, whether from an affectation of learn
ing, easily displayed where there is little danger of detection, or with the
view of saving the trouble of much inquiry, readily, however, passes the
matter over, by affirming the word to be an Indian appellation, whose im
port is involved in doubt and uncertainty.
Mr. Hughes, in his Natural History of Barbados, arrives very near to
what will hereafter appear the most probable interpretation. From the
leaves of the fig-tree, whose long filaments resembled the beards of men,
the Portuguese, he says, on their first discovery of Barbados and the
neighbouring islands, called them conjunctly, ‘Las Barbadas,” or the
Bearded Islands. The Spaniards, in their language, might have named
then exactly in the same words, and for the same reason. But how is it
that the masculine plural Barbados, and not the feminine Barbadas, has
ever obtained? Without hesitation let it be determined, that the Spaniards,
who are better known than the Portuguese to have frequently stopped at
these islands, called them, or perhaps only this individual island, from the
Teculiar prominency of its bearded trees on the beach, not Las Barbadas
Islas, but Los Barbados Arboles, the Bearded Trees; or Los Barbados,
which a Spanish author, using the adjective substantively, by a license of
his language, makes even to signify viri, ‘men,’ on account of their being
bearded. In confirmation of this opinion, Ramusio, an Italian, mention
ing the island, calls it, in the plural masculine, (a gender never attributed,
in any language, to an island), Los Barbados (See Ramusio, v. 3. p. 85);
and several old English writers speak of it in the plural number—the
Barbadoes,’ anglicising the word by the insertion of an e in the last syllable.
Ligon's Hist. of Barbad. and Davies's Caribbee Islands, passim. Now,
at length, that time has stamped its authority on the word, and custom
has familiarized it to our ear, as the name of an island in the singular
number, it would perhaps be most proper to write it with the least possible
alteration from the original, Barbados.


SIR,--I find, in a collection of old papers, the following account of a tree,

the enumeration of whose uses may amuse some of your elder readers, and
employ your younger ones in finding out its name.—“There is a tree,”
says the MS., “that grows in the province of Guadalaxara, in New Spain,
and of which one specimen is now (1770) growing in Jamaica, which pro
duces water, wine, vinegar, oil, milk, honey, butter, wax, brandy, arrack,
bread, tarts, jellies, thread, needles, boards, plank, shingles, clothing for
the Indians, bridges for rivers, cups and bowls for holding liquor, and sails
and awnings for vessels. The height of the tree is about eighty feet, and
each leaf is about sixteen feet long; it has no branches, and the height of
the lowest leaf from the earth is about seventy feet.”



ART. I.-1. Reasons for establishing a Registry of Slaves in the

British Colonies; being a Report of a Committee of the African
Institution. Published by order of that Society. 8vo, pp. 118.
London. 1815.
2. Observations on the Bill introduced last Session by Mr. Wil
berforce, for the more effectually preventing the unlawful Im
portation of Slaves, and the holding Free Persons in Slavery in
the British Colonies. 8vo, pp. 28. London. 1816.
3, Brief Remarks on the Slave Registry Bill; and upon a Special
Report of the African Institution, recommending that Measure.
8vo, pp. 74. London. 1816.
4. A short Review of the Reports of the African Institution, and
of the Controversy with Dr. Thorpe ; with some Reasons against
the Registry of Slaves in the British Colonies. By Gilbert Ma
thison, Esq. Second Edition, with Additions and Notes. 8vo,
pp. 123. London. 1816.
5. Thoughts on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and Civilization
of Africa; with Remarks on the Aſrican Institution, and an
Eramination of the Report of their Committee, recommending a
general Registry of Slaves in the British West India Islands.
Fourth Edition. 8vo, pp. 238. London. 1816.
6. An Exposure of some of the numerous Misrepresentations con
tained in a Pamphlet, commonly called Mr. Marryat's
Pamphlet, entitled, “ Thoughts on the Abolition of the Slare
Trade, &c.” 8vo, pp. 65. London. 1816.
7. The Reviewer Reviewed; or, some cursory Observations upon
an Article in the Christian Observer, for January 1816, respect
ing the Slave Registry Bill. In a Letter to a Member of Par
liament. By Thomas Venables. 8vo, pp. 32. London. 1816.
s. The Interference of the British Legislature, in the internal Con

cerns of the West India Islands, respecting their Slaves, de

precated. By a zealous Advocate for the Abolition of the
Slave Trade. Svo, pp. 38. London. 1816.
9. A Defence of the Bill for the Registration of Slaves. By James
Stephen, Esq. in Letters to Wm. Wilberforce, Esq. M. P.
Letter the First. 8vo, pp. 50. London. 1816.
10. A Letter to the Members of the Imperial Parliament, referring
to the Evidence contained in the Proceedings of the House of As
sembly of Jamaica, shewing the injurious and unconstitutional
Tendency of the proposed Slave Registry Bill. By a Colonist.
8vo, p. 24. London. 1816.
11. Further Proceedings of the Honourable House of Assembly of
Jamaica, relative to a Bill introduced into the House of Com
mons, for effectually preventing the unlawful Importation of
Slaves, and holding Free Persons in Slavery, in the British Co
lonies. To which is added, Eraminations, taken upon Oath, be
jore a Committee of that House, for the purpose of disproving
the Allegations of the Bill. Foolscap folio, pp. 101. London.
12. Proofs and Demonstrations how much the projected Registry
of Colonial Negroes is unfounded and uncalled for; comprehend
ing the Reports and Resolves of the Bahama Assembly, on the
Principle and Detail of the proposed Registry: with the Era
minations, on Oath, of the most respectable Persons, as to the
IFacts of the Case. The whole arranged, and an Introduction
prefixed, by George Chalmers, F. R. S. S. A. Foolscap folio,
pp. 55. London. 1816.
13. An Eramination of the Principles of the Slave Registry Bill,
and of the Means of Emancipation proposed by the Authors of
the Bill. By G. W. Jordan, Esq. F. R. S. Colonial Agent for
Barbados. 8vo, pp. 148. London. 1816.
14. Negro Emancipation made Easy; with Reflections on the
African Institution and Slave Registry Bill. By a British
Planter. 8vo, pp. 94. London. 1816.

IT has been said, that reformers are always calumniated *, but it

is perhaps equally true, that reformers have seldom avoided to give
*Sir William Jones. Asiatic Researches.
Rev Iew of Books. 107
just occasion of reproach. If we believe the reformer to share in the
infirmities common to human nature, we shall have no diſficulty in
admitting the probability of this misfortune.
The institution of slavery springs from various sources. Some
times, it is a consequence of the natural rights of war, which
places in the lands of the conqueror the life of the conquered, and
therefore sanctions any terms upon which that life is spared. This
belongs only to the rudest stage of society. Under systems more
advanced, where laws are more extended, and where the distinction
between rich and poor is more determined, other sources of slavery are
discovered. Offences are punished with slavery; the creditor takes
his debtor for a slave; and the poor, in despair of subsistence, or
deliberately preferring, amid the evils of their condition, slavery
and a protector, to freedom and friendlessness, have offered them
selves, have supplicated, to be made slaves. The laws have sanc
tioned this contract; this deed of bargain and sale; and master and
slave have entered into their reciprocal rights and duties. Such,
at times past, were the practices under the social systems of Eu
rope, and such are they at present, among many remote nations.
It appears, then, that slavery always rests on the basis of law.
The savage, whom the law of nature permits to kill his prisoner
at the moment he vanquishes him, may with equal lawfulness de
vour him at a feast of victory, or spare his life, and convert him
into his bondman. The prince, the creditor, and the patron, and
the master, alike hold their slaves by law.
What a man holds in lawful proprietorship he may transfer; and
where the original title is good, the title of the sixtieth lawful pos
sessor is equally so. Thus, slaves may be lawfully acquired, and
lawfully held, through successive generations, for ever.
But what is lawful is not always either expedient nor moral.
Laws may be either unwise or unjust.
Laws change with the progress of society. Civilization produces
public strength and abundance; and these latter are the natural
parents of public humanity. In a nation which possesses political
freedom, the advance of wealth overthrows all barbarous institu

The strength of states converts the destruction of an individual

enemy into an act of needless severity. The conscience of *

free people no sooner discovers the act to be needless, than it pro

nounces it to be unjust. But there are no unjust rights. When,
therefore, it becomes unjust to kill a vanquished enemy, the right
to kill him has ceased. But if the right to make him a slave arose
out of the right to take his life, then, the right to make him a slave
has vanished also. Here is an end, therefore, of the slavery which
was lawful because it sprung out of the rights of war. And, next,
the slavery arising out of civil institutions. The humanity of le
gislators, and the policy of well-governed states, unite to proscribe
slavery. They no longer convert the malefactor into a slave; they
refuse to surrender to the creditor the person of his debtor; and
they even shut their eyes against the petitions of those who would
voluntarily yield up their freedom. They destroy, in the latter
case, the institution of slavery, as they destroy the institutions of
monachism, and as they would resist an institution for suicide;
because they will not mourish and encourage, in the bulk of man
kind, infirmities which, left to themselves, only present them
selves in solitary instances.
But when a nation has dried up all the sources of slavery within
itself, its next and consistent step is to shun all secondary recogni
tion of the system. If its laws do not acknowledge the creation of
slavery, neither should they acknowledge its existence. This is a
further step in the progress of society. -

If what has been advanced has its foundation in truth, we shall

retrace without surprize, and explain without the help of injurious
imputations, the path which has been trod by the British people, in
relation to the African slave trade. Antiquaries prove by documents,
that so late as the thirteenth century, men were bought and sold
among ourselves. At a subsequent date, slavery ceased in Eng
land. In the seventeenth century, nevertheless, we became slave
purchasers in Africa. In the eighteenth century, we resolved to be
purchasers no longer. In the nineteenth, we are impatient of the
existence of slavery, even where it has been planted by our laws.
In this progress of public sentiment, all has thus far been right.
Amid our abhorrence of the institution of slavery, we have never
forgotten the law of property, that key-stone of society. The
question of abolishing the slave trade was early distinguished, by
enlightened reformers, from that of emancipating slaves. It was
felt and acknowledged, that the property in slaves had been as
lawfully acquired as any other property in the state, and was en
titled to as much respect. “No one,” said a zealous partizan of
the abolition, during the discussions on that measure, “no one
is senseless enough to propose, that the colonies should be culti
vated by Europeans, or that the slaves already settled there should
be emancipated.”—“If this grand reformation, (the abolition of
the slave trade) is once adopted, there needs no further interference
with the structure of colonial society, or the concerns of West In
dia proprietors".”
The “grand reformation,” that is, as it was thought, the Act
of Abolition, was adopted in 1807, and Parliament and the coun
try then understood, that “ no further interference with the struc
ture of colonial society, or the concerns of West India proprietors,”
was needed nor designed. Very different, as we are now instructed,
was the state of the case. The Abolitionists, as they are now at
pains to assert, never used the words that have been cited, without
a mental reservation. They never considered the Abolition, and the
Act of Abolition, as the same things. With them, the Act of Parlia
ment then obtained was only a preliminary step in the “grand re
formation” they had in view; and the cessation of “interference
with the concerns of West India proprietors,” had reference, not,
as the world believed, to the period of passing the Act, but to some
future day, when all their designs shall be accomplished.
It appears, from the statement of Mr. Stephen t, that the Regis
tration of Slaves was an object as much at heart with himself and his
friends, and considered as a necessary part of the work of Abolition,
in 1807, as at this day; and an explanation, though not in very ac
curate terms, is given, by that gentleman, “why the measure was
not brought into parliament soon after they obtained the abolition
of the trade; and why the arguments for it were not given to
the public till the appearance of the Report of the African Institu
tion, last spring :”—
“It was the opinion of that wise and prudent, as well as excellent man,
Mr. Perceval,” says Mr. S., “ that in this respect guided our own. He
thought it would be best, in the first instance, to establish a registry in
Trinidad; the only colony permanently placed under the dominion of the
* Concise Statement, &c. attributed to Henry Brougham, Esq. M. P.
t A Defence of the Bill, &c.

crown, in which his Majesty then had legislative authority. He wished

that the model of an institution, necessarily complex as well as new, and
which could most conveniently be moulded at the council-board, might
be set up and put in action as a pattern for imitation in the other islands,
before Parliament should be applied to for an act to make the system uni
versal. On similar views, he deemed it advisable to wait till the Order in
Council, which was afterwards passed for establishing that registry in Tri
nidad, should be carried into full effect.
“ From what causes the accomplishment of this preliminary measure
was so long deferred, it would be very tedious to explain. I will only here
say, the delay did not arise from want of inclination on his part, or assiduity
on OurS.
&c. biºs the war, the non-extension of the system to our other islands,
though deeply to be deplored, was an evil in some measure palliated by
the capture of all the foreign colonies from which slaves could have been
introduced into our Windward or Leeward Islands; and by such a de
pressed state of the sugar markets as greatly diminished the temptations to
import them by a contraband trade. But when the islands of France were
on the point of being restored, and opened to an unrestrained admission of
slaves from Africa under the flag of that power, and when peace had called
in our cruizers, and taken away from us the right of visitation and search
on the high seas, that chief check on our own smugglers in time of war, the
case became too urgent to admit of further delay.
“ It was then the unanimous sense of the African Institution, that a Bill
for a General Registry should be brought in soon after the meeting of Par
liament; and it was thought expedient to explain publicly the reasons for
it, by the Report which I had the honour to prepare.”—Defence, p. 28.

Mr. S. is not, perhaps, accustomed to precision in the use of

terms; and this circumstance, in general a misfortune, may
possibly be of advantage to him here. We have seen above,
that he speaks of having obtained the “abolition of the trade” in
1807; whereas, to reconcile this expression with his general argu
ment, he can only mean to admit, that a certain part of the mea
sure of the abolition was then proposed and carried; the other part,
namely the Registry Bill, being deferred. But again, in the pre
ceding page (p. 21), Mr. S. plunges us into another difficulty. Mr.
S., too, like the author of the “ Statement,” speaks of a time when
there shall be no more “interference with the concerns of West In
dia proprietors :”—
“If a general registry of slaves be obtained, (not such as the interior le
gislatures, will or can establish, but such as your bill proposes to provide, a
register which should really prove effectual to its object) then we are cod
tent that the reforming of slavery, by Act of Parliament, shall end.”

How, then, are we to understand Mr. S. * Is the abolition of the

slave trade, and the “reforming of slavery,” one and the same thing;
and is this latter, in the fair and candid interpretation of language,
any part of the system formerly avowed by the Abolitionists 2
The expression is, perhaps, a little unguarded. It certainly de
scribes neither of the avowed objects of the Bill for the Registration
of Slaves, brought into Parliament last session by Mr. Wilber
force; and yet it is to be confessed that it is strongly countenanced
by much of the argument adduced in support of that Bill. In a
word, it throws fearful suspicion upon even this new promise, of a
termination of “interference with the concerns of West India pro
prietors.” -

To return, however, to the registration of slaves. We have heard

from Mr. S., that a Bill for a General Registry, projected in 1807,
was finally resolved on at the conclusion of peace in 1814, and that

it was to prepare the public mind for its reception, that the paper,
adopted by the African Institution as the Ninth Report of its Com
mittee, and afterward published separately, under the title of
“Reasons,” &c. was written by himself. In reviewing the question
which is agitated by this paper, and by the Bill which it was de
signed to forerun, our first step shall be to state the objects said to
be sought for, and the reasons assigned for seeking them; and our
second, to examine the objections or replies.
The pamphlet entitled, “ Reasons for establishing a Registry of
Slaves in the British Colonies,” is divided into four sections, the
first of which professes to treat of “the fatal effects of an illicit im
portation :”—
“Let it be supposed,” says the ingenious author, “ that negroes from
Africa, are clandestinely brought into our Sugar Islands, and there held in
slavery, and it will be plain, that, to the extent of this practice at least,
the abolition laws are worse than useless.”

The whole of this section is employed in displaying the evils

which must follow, if an illicit importation does or should take
place. -

The second section is entitled, “ The acts of parliament already

passed, are insufficient for the prevention of these mischiefs:”—
“That African negroes have been illicitly imported into some, if not
all of our islands, since the year 1803, and even since the offence was made
felony, there is abundant reason to conclude.”

“ After all, it is not the actual degree of illicit slave trade, as has been
already shown, that constitutes its mischievous tendency in our colonies,
in preventing improvements; so much as its known practicability, and the
consequent expectation of such a resource when wanted.”
In this section, Mr. S. chiefly endeavours to prove the fact of an
illicit slave trade, or a belief in the West Indies of its practicability,
from the actual colonial laws and practice; an argument into which
he introduces much that is illogical and irrelevant. Laws and prac
tices which may be construed as unfavourable to the natural increase
of the negro, or as betraying no anxiety for the care and multi
plication of life, may, if they exist, be adduced as presumptive
evidence that the Planters depend upon another mode of supply;
but laws and practices of another description, such as those con
cerning manumission, evidence in courts of justice, &c. can have
no bearing on the question, and serve but as instruments for
raising, in the minds of the thoughtless and uninformed, an odium
against the colonies, by means of which to prejudge the point at

The third section is designed to teach, “That there is one only

method of preventing the illicit importation of slaves; which is
that of a Public Registry.” The author commences with a string
of sentences, every word of which we must pronounce to be un

“The first of the three inquiries proposed, need not be pursued any
further. More might be said, but more cannot be necessary, to prove that
the acts of parliament already passed are not effectual for the purpose of
preventing the introduction of slaves into our colonies by clandestine
means. That such mischievous abuses have been practised during the
operation of those laws, has been sufficiently proved; that they may be
practised hereafter with still greater facility, has also been shown; and it
has been demonstrated upon undeniable premises, that an expectation of
such supplies in future, prevails in the British West Indies, and, by its
pernicious influence on the minds of the planters and the assemblies,
frustrates the happy tendency of the abolition to meliorate the lot of the

The possibility of every thing that is here mentioned we very

readily admit; but we deny that in the preceeding sections any
thing whatever has been “ proved,” “ shown,” or “demon
strated.” Every thing is begged, from beginning to end; and the
author's own words have invariably been, if, may, could, would

should, let us suppose; and not there is evidence, but, there is rea
son to conclude. Mr. S. continues:—

- “The acts in question seem to have done as much, or nearly as much, as

was in the power of the legislature to do, for the extinction of the slave
trade in all its branches, except one. To carry it on from British ports, or
from Africa in British ships, and in general to prosecute the trade at sea, or
in any foreign part of the world, on account of, or by the agency of his
Majesty's subjects, is made as difficult and dangerous to the parties, as
parliament could possibly make it. The penalty of death can only be super
added; and this, though by no means too severe, on the ordinary prin
ciples of criminal law, for the nature of the crime, would probably, from
the scruples of prosecutors and courts, be less effectual than the existing
penalty of transportation.
“But that branch of the trade in respect of which we had the highest
and the most interesting duty to perform, was the importation of slaves
into our own colonies. Here the legislature had also the greatest cause to
fear there would be eager and persevering efforts to elude its prohibitions;
and that the former sanctions of restrictive trade laws, would not be found
effectual. Yet here, and here only, the preventive and remedial powers of
parliament have not hitherto been fully employed.”
The slave trade in the British colonies is already constituted a
felony. Both buyer and seller are to be punished with transpor
tation. Mr. S. thinks this insufficient, and proposes an act of
parliament for the registration of slaves, upon the model of an
Order in Council which has already been acted upon in Trinidad,
St. Lucia, and the Isle of France. Of the plan and design of such
a registry, Mr. S. gives the subjoined exposition :-
“The general object of this plan is to obtain a public record of the names
and descriptions of all persons lawfully held in slavery in each respective
island. For this purpose, it is obviously necessary, in the first place, that
full and accurate returns should be made of the existing stock of slaves.
These, which are required to be made as soon as conveniently may be after
promulgation of the law, are called the original returns, and the record
which is to be made of them the original registry. -

. . “But the individuals composing this unfortunate class will be progressively

changed, by deaths, by births, by enfranchisements, and by importation
from other British colonies (if that practice be still permitted). It is ne
cessary, therefore, that the original registry should be periodically cor
rected and enlarged, by new returns of all such changes as have taken
place since the last preceding registration.
. “Annual returns have been thought not too frequent for this purpose. It
is therefore required, that within a limited time, after a given day in each
year, new returns shall be made, specifying all such subsequent changes;

and that by these the records of the original registry shall be, from time to
time, corrected and enlarged; so that they may always exhibit, imme
diately after the last annual returns are recorded, an account and specifica
tion, exactly corresponding with the stock of slaves at that time existing
in the colony.
“Such a registry being formed, and perpetually kept in a public office
within the colony, is to be hereafter the necessary evidence of the servile
condition of persons resident within the island to which it belongs. No
negro or mulatto is to be hereafter treated, sold, or conveyed, as a slave,
unless he has been duly registered as such. On the question of slave or
free, the absence of the party's name and description in the registry is to
be conclusive evidence of his freedom.
“In framing records that are to have these important consequences, great
care must be taken to secure their fulness and precision, their truth, their
accuracy, and their duration.
“To these ends, every owner of slaves in the colony is required, on pain
of the loss of his property in them, to make his return of them upon oath,
in a prescribed form, and with a variety of specifications, such as are best
calculated to prevent any future incertitude as to their identity. Their
sexes, names, ages, statures, and other corporeal distinctions, are to be set
forth, truly and carefully, in schedules annexed to the returns. These are
all to be inserted in the books of record, and the slaves are to be regis
tered under the names of the different plantations or owners to whom they
respectively belong. Any change of property in them is to be notified in
the next annual return, and the registry is to be corrected accordingly.
“Provisions are made for correcting or supplying involuntary errors or
omissions, during such a limited period as will enable owners, whether
present in, or absent from the colony, to discover and repair the errors or
defaults of their agents; but after that period no alteration in the original
or annual registries, is to be allowed. -

“Special exceptions, however, are made, and carefully guarded from

abuse, in favour of owners under temporary disabilities; and of parties
having property or interests in slaves, of which they are not in immediate
“In the latter case, the general nature of the expedient is to transfer to
the parties out of possession, e.g. mortgagees, or parties having reversionary
interests, the title forfeited by the party in possession; and to cast on them
also the duty of repairing his default by a proper registration within a li
mited time.*
“To protect still better the rights of infants, and other incompetent per
sons, an official inquest is superadded, to discover and supply any defaults
of their guardians or trustees.
“A variety of other provisions are made, to prevent, as much as possible,
* “The non-registration of any slaves, by mortgagors in possession, the
abuse most likely to happen, is, perhaps, not guarded against in the Trinidad
Order so strongly as others.”

any particular injustice, hardship, or inconvenience, to which individuals

might be exposed by the errors, or defaults of others.
“The danger of fraudulent alterations and interpolations in the registry,
and of the destruction or mutilation of the registry itself, by fire or other
means, wilful or accidental, is guarded against by a special provision,
which, in other important respects also, is essential to the plan. Exact
duplicates are to be made of the books of original registry, and full ab
stracts are to be formed of the subsequent annual returns: and both are to
be transmitted, promptly and carefully, to his Majesty's principal secre
tary of state for the colonial department in England, in whose office they
are to remain; and the entries in these are to be continued by the periodi
cal corrections and additions which the abstracts from time to time supply.
“It is obvious that a separate public office in London, would be a fitter
depository for this duplicate registry; as it will be necessary to allow of
frequent searches in it: and the colonial department is already but too
much overcharged with business, in proportion to its official establish
ments. But the king in council had not the power of establishing, by the
royal authority, a register office, with proper regulations, in this country.
“The books, and duplicates, and abstracts, are all to be certified in the
most solemn manner by the registrar, and verified by his oath before the
governor; whose hand and seal of office are further to authenticate these
important records.
“The severest penalties are annexed to any act of forgery or fraud on the
part of the registrar or his clerks; and anxious provisions are made for his
independency, and for exempting him as much as possible from local in
“Persons convicted of holding, or attempting to hold, in slavery, any
negro unlawfully imported, by means of any fraudulent return or entry,
are, besides a severe penalty, incapacitated afterwards to hold or possess
any slaves.
“Extracts from the books certified by the registrar, are declared to be
prina facie evidence of the registration of the slaves contained in them;
but liable to be corrected by production or examination of the books them
selves. Such evidence is made necessary to the establishment of the mas
ter's title, not only as between himself and a negro claimed as his slave, but
in any action brought for the recovery of such property between free per

“In proceedings under this law, it is to be no exception to the person of

the plaintiff or prosecutor, that he is a slave, when his right to freedom
may depend on the event of the suit; and the evidence of indifferent wit
nesses being, or alleged to be, slaves, may be admitted, subject to all just
objections to their credit.”
The effect of the plan is thus set forth :—
“It is evident that such a law will prevent the illicit introduction of slaves
into the British colonies, far better than the severest penalties denounced
by a prohibitory statute; for it will take away all the advantages of the
crime. No property in the injured Africans can be acquired or transferred
116 It T. V. I E W OF BOOK 5.

to others. No length of time can ever give a right of ownership over

them or their offspring. No valid security upon them can be created.
Every mortgage or conveyance, of which they are the subject, will be void
in law.” -

In the fourth section, Mr. S. proposes to consider “ the Objec

tions that may be made to an Act of Parliament for Registering
the Slaves, &c.” Mr. S. proposes the free inquiry, “whether the
means which have been suggested are of such a kind, that there is
any just reason why they should not be immediately adopted 2"
Mr. S. in this part of his pamphlet recounts and replies to five
objections which were raised against the Order in Council :—
1. That it did violence to the popular feelings of the colonics
upon which it operated.
2. That its execution is attended with great expense.
3. That a compliance with it is troublesome.
4. That to deprive the master of his property in a slave, whom
he omits to register, is too harsh.
He adds a fifth, as springing from the application of the system
to British colonies; the three colonies previously affected by it
being foreign conquests, and for that reason presenting no consti
tutional question. t

5. The limits, therefore, of the jurisdiction of Parliament:-

“The objection in substance is, that, admitting the propriety and neces
sity of establishing in all our colonies, a registry of slaves, such as has
been established in Trinidad, it ought not to be done by act of parliament;
because it is matter of regulation within the colonies, which constitu
tionally belongs to the colonial legislatures alone.”
Mr. S. asserts the jurisdiction of Parliament, both from prin
ciple and precedent, contends that the object desired to be at
tained, or at least the means by which it is desired to obtain it,
are within the reach of Parliament alone.
Here, we lay aside, for a time, the “Reasons for a Registry of
Slaves.” The 13ill which it was to forerun was introduced, by Mr.
Wilberforce, in the House of Commons, soon after the publication
of the “Reasons,” and entitled, “A Bill for more effectually pre
venting the unlawful Importation of Slaves, and the holding of Free
Persons in Slavery, in the British Colonies.” Resolutions against
the Bill having been passed in several of the West India colonies,t
* For the Preamble and Provisions of the Bill, see pages 98 aud 214.
* Pages 212, &c.
and the merchants and planters in England," and at least four
pamphlets having appeared on the same side of the question, Mr. S.
was induced to write and publish the “Defence of the Registry
Bill,” already cited. In this “Defence,” the author naturally
returns to a consideration of the objections to the Bill, the number
and nature of which he now describes as follows:–

“First, That the measure is brought forward by us in a fanatical, un

charitable, and revolutionary spirit, and with insidious and mischievous.
“Secondly, That it is unnecessary.
“Thirdly, That it is unconstitutional.
“Fourthly, That if passed into a law, it will produce dangerous disaf.
fection in our West Indian Islands.”—-Defence, p. 8.

From this statement we somewhat differ. At least, we think that

there may be given a fuller and clearer enumeration and arrange
ment. The objections to be offered to the bill are these:—
I. That it is unnecessary in its professed object.
II. That it would be oppressive in its operation.
III. That it would be mischievous in its effects.
IV. That there is no parliamentary jurisdiction.
Having thus stated the objections to the Bill, such as, after a
perusal of the publications comprized in the long list at the head
of this article, we find them, we shall proceed to consider the argu
ments on either side.
I. That the Bill is unnecessary in its object.—The object of the
Bill, such as it appears by its title, and from the “Reasons” offered
in its support, is the more effectual abolition of the slave trade,
with respect to that part which relates to the importation of slaves
into the British colonies. The crime is felony, both in buyer and
seller. The authors of the Bill, however, assume, that the crimé
will be risked, and they seek to make it unproductive. To this
end, they propose an act, in virtue of which, even should an Afri
can be introduced into the colonies, it shall not be possible to hold
him in slavery. The illicit trade is matter of supposition, and it is
said that there is abundant reason to conclude that it has existed, or
does or will exist. The supposition, however, is fortified by citing
the opinious of certain merchants and planters themselves, in argu
* See page 268.

ment, and in evidence on the Abolition Act, that no law now in

force could prevent the illicit trade which would certainly ensue;
and an attempt is made to fortify it still further, by arguinents
drawn from the colonial system of slavery. With respect to the
holding free persons in slavery, and the want of further provisions
against that offence, Mr. S. raises the presumption thus:—
“Perhaps a reader, unacquainted with colonial laws and customs, will be
ready to exclaim, ‘What new provision of that sort can be wanted 2
Have we not courts of law,' it may be asked, “in these colonies? How
then can a man be held there in an iliegal slavery for life, without his own
consent º'
“A man, the most conversant with the laws of slavery now existing, or
that ever did exist upon earth, except that of negroes in the western
world, might be posed with the same apparent difficulty. He would con
clude, that the oppressed African had only to invoke the civil magistrate,
in order to obtain immediate redress, and severely to punish the oppressor.
Such a man would know the anxiºus care with which the awful question
of slave or free, has been provided for, in point of evidence and trial, by
every slave-code, ancient or modern, of which the historian or the lawyer
is informed. The presumption of law was every where in favour of ſree
dom: the onus probandi was every where cast opon the master; the forms
of judicial investigation, and rules of judgment, were calculated to favour
the claim of liberty so greatly, that it was next to impossible such a claim,
when well founded, should fail of success. It may be supposed then, that
the West lindian master would be called on to show his title ; and that
when it appeared to be derived under a contraband importation, the negro
would at once be enlarged, and compensated in damages for his extorted
labour, his false imprisonment, and the other wrongs he had received.
“ Unluckily, however, these remedies, and the right of even alleging the
wrong in a civil action, are barred in the British West Indies by one short
objection which the complainant cannot remove: “The man is a slave."
“The ancient lawgivers had weak nerves in framing their slave-codes,
when compared to our British assemblies. Instead of giving the slave a
right of invoking the civil magistrate against all men but his master, and
in some cases against the master himself, the assemblies have disabled their
slaves from applying to the law for relief in any case, against any free person
whatever. They cannot be heard as complainants, prosecutors, or wit
nesses, except against persons of their own unhappy condition.
“‘But here,' it may be replied, “ you are on a question of slave or
free. The complainant denies that he is in law a slave; and therefore
it would be absurd, as well as unjust, to turn him away on the ground of
his slavery, non valet exceptio ejusdem cujus petitur dissolutio, is a maxim,
not of any particular code, but of universal law; because a plain rule of
eternal reason and justice.”
“Very true; but the colonial courts have still one short rejoinder: “His
skin is black.’
* “The assemblies here again have improved wonderfully upon the slave
eodes of all other countries and times. They have absolved the master
from the troublesome duty of proving his title. They have reversed the
universal presumption of other laws; placing it, not in favour of freedom,
but against it. They have cast the burthen of proof on the weaker and
helpless party. The English lord, when trying the question of villeinage,
with his alleged villein or slave, was obliged even to bring into court the
near relations of his opponent to prove the hereditary condition. The
West India master need produce only the alleged slave himself. His con
dition is recorded on his face.
“This comparison between ancient and modern lawgivers, is, we should
admit, in one respect more favourable to the former in the apparent, than
the true conclusion to which it leads. Their slave-codes, on the whole,
were certainly far less illiberal and harsh than those of the West India
islands; but in their care to prevent free men from being wrongfully re
duced to slavery, the ancient legislators had motives and feelings from which
lawgivers in the new world, in forging fetters for the unfortunate Africans,
have been exempt. If the former had suffered the rights of a master to be
wrongfully assumed over a free person, without providing a remedy for the
wrong, they themselves, their friends, or their posterity, might have been
victims of such injustice. The voice of the free part of the community
would have exclaimed against the dangerous defect. But assemblies of
white men, elected by white men alone, had no danger to fear for them
selves, or their constituents, from maxims of law that exposed negroes to
oppression. As slave masters, and purchasers in the African market, it was
convenient to them that their titles should not be disturbed by claims of
freedom. As men, tinctured with creolian prejudice, they had little ten
derness for the freedom of the African race. They rather wished that
every black man were in fact, as well as by legal presumption, a slave.”
To all this, it is answered,
1. That an illicit trade has not existed, does not exist, and is
impracticable. The small show of evidence which is offered, af.
fords a strong ground for belief that it has not existed, and explai
nations are entered into as to the very few cases pretended to be
adduced.* As to the opinions hazarded, during the heat of the
Abolition question, it will, at the worst, be acknowledged, that
they are not evidence of the fact which they pretended to antici
pate; and though such reminiscences are of great use in declama
tory argument, and can hardly be condemned as unfair, yet
too many prophecies unfulfilled have been uttered of late years,
both in Parliament and out of it, not to have begotten a very cha
* Report of a Committee of the Hon. House of Assembly of Jamaica. See
infra, page 292.

ritable feeling, and great latitude of interpretation, for such slips,

among all classes of the community. -

2. That free persons are not held in slavery; that the courts
and colonial laws are adequate to the assistance of any person
unlawfully treated as a slave; and that there is no want of dispo
sition, on the part of the white population, to assert the cause of a
person free, or presumed to be free, under these circumstances.
Upon this head, beside referring, in the note *, to the Report of
the Committee of the House of Assembly at Jamaica, we shall cite
Mir. Jordan’s “Examination, &c.:”—
“The examination is necessary of a statement formally made, that there
exists a legal presumption that a man of colour is a slave, which in all the
colonies excludes him from all the means of legal redress, and that in Ja
maica particularly there exist laws ‘consistently with which a freeman may
be sold into slavery with his deed of manumission in his hand.”
“Unfortunately these statements prove too much and against the points
they are invented to establish. If colour excludes a negro from all legal
redress, how is the evidence of freedom under the Registration Bill to avail
him, if in Jamaica a negro may now be sold with his registered Jamaica
manumission in his hand, how is the new registration evidence to protect
him? I speak of these statements as invented upon the occasion, because
they have no other source of existence in the nature of things. It would
well have become the Report in making such charges thus extensively
dilated upon, to have referred to any law of a colony, and to that par
ticular law of Jamaica which, and which alone could, and being referred to
would, at once have substantiated them. Iłow impossible is it to find that
which by its non-existence would mock all search No laws are made in
the colonies for coloured persons, without the added specification of free or
slave; “negro, mulatto, or other slaves,' is the constant description of such
persons expressed in all laws. No law, therefore, or legal disqualification
can exist but as applied to slaves—to existing slaves. The very law of Ja
maica, under which a vagabond or runaway slave, as a measure of police,
is sold, according to the statement of the Report itself, can only be applied
to a slave, and the price is reserved for the master of the slave until he
shall appear to claim it; and slaves alone therefore are contemplated. If
every vagrant slave taken up by the police, by giving no account of him
self or his master, and claiming to be free, could without further inquiry
obtain his discharge, a most necessary and useful law would at once b
rendered a dead letter. This further inquiry is made by the usual adver
tisements, stating the detention of the individual, and the publication of
the case is for his benefit, as well as for the ends of justice. No freeman
of colour could exist in the colony under the execution of a law that would
sell him as a slave with his manumission in his hand.
“In the colonies where the proportion of slaves to freemen of colour is
so considerable, the moral probability that every man of colour is a slave is
* Idem, page 226.

great. In Barbados, taking, according to the last returns, the numbers

respectively as 70,000 and 3,000, the moral probability or moral presump
tion that any coloured individual is a slave, is as twenty-three nearly to
one; in Jamaica it is considerably greater.
“No other moral or legal presumption whatsoever concerning colour as
evidence of slavery exists or can possibly exist in the colonies, and the
statement is absolutely unfounded. Stated and considered as true, it is
employed to introduce the most odious comparisons and reflections on the
legislatures, laws, courts of justice, and inhabitants of the British colonies,
continued through thirteen pages of the Report, from 56 to 09. Let these
pages be carefully perused, and afterwards the following.
“If a man of colour in the West Indies should make application to any
magistrate or lawyer for legal redress, the moral probability before stated
would perhaps lead to an inquiry respecting the free condition of the man.
In the smaller colonies where every person almost is known, even this
would not probably occur. Known to be the slave of a neighbour, if such
an application could possibly occur, he would be treated as a slave. Known
to be a freeman of the country, his case would be attended to most carefully,
if within the pale of criminal jurisdiction, by the magistrate; by the practis
ing lawyer, if within his province of employment.
“Let it be inquired of any lawyer who has practised in the colonies, if
upon the application of a coloured man, for his professional assistance in a
civil or a criminal case, he would have answered “ looking at his condition
recorded in his face,’ My good fellow! your case is remediless, your skin
is black. The inquiry has been made, I have made it. Mute astonish
ment at the question, as not being what the words imply, has always been
followed by a negation couched in terms of disgraceful reprobation and
peremptory denial.
“The Seventh Report of the African Society, in 1813, only two years be
fore, states the case of a black man named John George Whiston.
Having been manumitted by his mistress, who was only a tenant for life,
he was after her death, in 1812, claimed as a slave, and as such being ar
rested, was, by writ of habeas corpus, subsequently released. The question
of freedom was tried in the island of St. Vincent, and the verdict of a jury
established the slavery. The generous advocate who defended the negro,
prevailed on the court to reserve the point of law, pledging himself to pay
one hundred pounds sterling, in satisfaction of the claim, provided no re
versal of the judgment should be effected within a twelvemonth, by fur
ther proceedings.
“This case affords an example worthy of imitation, where, by regular
course of proceeding, and a due conservation of the rights of others, a man
who had enjoyed freedom during a long course of years, was saved from
again descending into that slavery from which he had formally been
raised. The benevolence of Mr. Keane, and of the directors who ad
vanced the money necessary on the occasion, deserves all praise.
“Here then is an instance of a black man, notwithstanding the colour of
his skin, coming into a colonial court upon an habeas corpus, and having
the question of slave or free, publicly tried and determined. The decision
122 R. E. V. I EW OF BOOKS.

was indeed unfavourable to the individual, he was in fact a slave, and must
have been so known to be. Yet, both a black and a slave, he is not, as
either, excluded from a regular trial of his title to freedom.
“This case could not be, was not unknown to any committee fraising the
Report of Reasons, and is glanced at by the following observation, in itself
contradictory of all its other statements: “If freedom be asserted for them
by habeas corpus, at the instance of some bold and generous patron, their
colour is a presumption of slavery, which he could not repel, unless, by
competent witnesses, to prove the necessary facts.
“Yet, with this case existing, and establishing these points, the Report
has ventured to state, that remedies for detention in slavery, of free blacks,
and the right of even alleging the wrong in a civil action, are barred by
objecting that the man is a slave: that upon a question of slave or free, the
colonial courts have excluded from all redress, by one short rejoinder,
• the man's skin is black.” That “the assemblies have absolved the mas
ter from any other trouble in proving title to an alleged slave beyond the
production of the party whose condition is recorded in his face:' and all
this upon a legal presumption of slavery from the skin, which neither as
semblies, nor courts, nor advocates, ever entertained
“In the West Indies, as in England, the law truly knows no distinctions
of persons, parties to suits, but what may be put in issue between them.
If the declinatory plea of slavery be pleaded, like the plea of alien enemy
in the present, or of villeinage in ancient time, or any other similar plea,
it may be put in issue and abate the suit, or upon a judgment of respondeat
ouster the suit will be continued. Upon the master also, or upon him
who pleads, the burthen of proving his own plea lies, although the Report
states, that “the assemblies have cast the burthen of proof on the weaker
“ and helpless party, upon the alleged slave himself.” A practice of this
sort would be against all lega! principle, and I call for the production of
any act of any assembly that ever existed to this effect.
“A wilful and pitiful misrepresentation and mis-statement both of law and
of facts, is made and maintained in this case, by confounding the meaning
and use of the terms negro and slave, and substituting each for the other to
support a verbal argument that has no foundation whatsoever, except in
the convertibility, not immediately to be perceived, of one word for ano
ther, whilst each is in common parlance applied at different times to mean
the same or different things. By calling a negro a slave, and a slave a
negro, and naming this, or that, when the other is intended, a verbal and
sophistical course of argumentation is prolonged through 20 pages, to the
opprobrium and disgrace of that respectable body who have most unad
visedly thus committed themselves to others, for fair, and legitimate, and
honourable argumentation. When it is stated, that in a civil action, the
objection that ‘ the man is a slave' cannot be removed, the equivocation
is on the word slave. If the objection really be that ‘ the man is a slave,’
it may be removed if unfounded, and iſ true, that it may avail, it must be
cstablished by the objector. If that ‘ the man is a negro, his condition
indeed cannot be changed, but the objection would not avail nor be re
eeived. The Report states state, but wishes negro to be understood.—If

‘ a slave is disabled from applying to the law in any case, this does not
disable a free negro.—To the question of slave or free, should [not the colo
nial courts, as is stated, but] the party in the cause “shortly rejoin,”
‘ his skin is black, how would this meet the question : This course of
pleading is novel in Westminster Hall, and I venture to affirm, that it
would not be offered to or received by any colonial court existing. When
the master produces the alleged slave, what is that “ condition which is
recorded in his face?' slave, or negro P If slave it ought to avail against
him. If negroit avails nothing. Then which is it? It can only be negro;
his skin is black. Only as slave can it avail to maintain the argument of the
Report. Against the inexcusable ignorance or wilful misrepresentation
displayed by these observations and statements, we appeal to the British
public and to the Institution itself, calling upon them “to do us somehow
noble justice,” and to discharge from their confidence and consideration
the authors of these calumnies; and upon Parliament to reject a measure
derived from these sources, and supported by these proofs of its necessity.”
–An Examination, &c. p. 37.
II. That the Bill would be oppressive in its operation.
1. Mr. S. has annused himself, in his “Reasons, &c.” with
comparing the “trouble” given by the Order in Council in Tri
nidad, with the “trouble” given to gentlemen in England by fill
ing up the printed forms for assessed taxes, militia returns, &c.
How far the resemblance holds, will, perhaps, be best understood
after examining the directious contained in the seventeenth clause
of the Bill", and the Schedule at the endt, and calling to mind
the fearful consequences attached to mistakes and irregularities.
The Bahama Report, also, forcibly describes some of the real features
of the case, and points out several local difficulties inseparable from
a compliance with law in that cluster of islands, such as, we should
think, would even obtain the attention of the warmest advocates of
the Bill.i.
Mr. S. further contends, that the “new duties imposed are less
onerous than those already imposed in the colonies, and for which
they might be made a substitute;” and that the owners will reap
from the burden a great security of their property, and facility of
proving their titles. Mr. S. is of opinion also, that there is nothing
too harsh in that penal part of the Bill which deprives the master
of his property in a slave whom he omits to register.
2. Mr. S. treats with equal lightness the complaints that were
made in Trinidad of the expenses incurred under the Order in .
* See page 199. + See page 212.
! See Chalmers's Proofs and Demonstrations, &c. page 3.

Council. This subject, notwithstanding, appears in a serious

form to all the parties concerned, when viewed in relation to that
Bill which is nearly a copy of the Order in Council.
3. Objections much more formidable remain behind. It seems,
from the pamphlets before us, that the titles of possessors of negroes,
and the true state of a negro, whether he is a freeman or a slave,
are not always perfectly clear. The slave may be held from
presumption of right on the one side, and acquiescence on the
other. Or, perhaps, he is certainly a slave, and yet the owner
ship may admit of dispute. This is nothing new to the promoters
of the Registry Bill. They count upon these and other irregula
rities, as according with the policy of the Bill. The provisions of
the Bill, say they, only require that a man shall state what negroes
he possesses; they take nothing from him; they even add to the
security of his property in them, by the positive and authentic tes
timony they create. But the policy of the Bill is another thing.
That policy, so estimable, and so unquestionable, in the eyes and
arguments of its promoters, is emancipation, by any and by
all means, short of insurrection and massacre. We doubt not
but they sincerely set this limit to their zeal for emancipation.
But emancipation, nevertheless, is a subject more complicated,
and a measure of more doubtful good, than they have either the
discernment to see, or else the capacity to understand. It is not
so certain, therefore, as they imagine it to be, that the public
policy of a bill which hastens the emancipation of negroes in
the West Indies, though at the expense of individual real
or supposed property, is so laudable as they teach, and as,
doubtlessly, they believe. We know that there are cases where the
question of state policy, or public good, is suffered, and justly, to
outweigh private interests; but the present case, there is great rea
son to apprehend, is not of that description.
But leaving, for the moment, what belongs to the view of public
good in this matter, let us confine ourselves, at present, to what re- .
gards private rights and safety. Let us ask, in passing, what would
be thought of a bill in Parliament, which should require all the
landholders in the kingdom to go into chancery, to prove their
titles, or to register, upon oath, all the acres of which they claim
to be possessed, under pain of privation of those which they should

omit to register, and of incapacitation to hold lands for ever, ifthey

should register those to which their title is not good; and under the
additional pain of all the penalties of perjury What would be the
state policy of such a bill To cause a considerable quantity of
land to revert to the crown, from the inability of possessors to pro
duce a legal title. What would be the consequence, between sub
ject and subject, if such a bill passed into a law To involve the
whole community in litigation, and ultimately to augment still
further the gains of the crown; because the more the several titles
were investigated, the more of them would be found to be faulty.
Now, this is an exact parallel to the operation of the Registry Bill,
exchanging only lands for slaves, and the crown for emancipation:
and the policy of such a law, as to lands, would be eminently
worthy of any avaricious prince, or plundering Jacobin.
But what is that calm, and permanent, and magnanimous policy
of an established government, made, “not for an age, but for all
time;” moved, not by the passions of the moment, not by partial
and petty objects, but by principles of eternal duration, and of
universal application, and which the schooling of every Englishman
has planted in the centre of his heart 2 What, but a policy the
exact reverse of this; a policy which seeks tranquillity and preser
vation, which revolts from change and concussion, which submits
and adapts itself to the silent and gentle evolutions of time, but
opposes all its strength and all its weight to the fury of the tem
pest; which labours to maintain every thing in the place it ac
tually occupies, and which makes the undisputed possession of pri
vate immunities the basis of public and private order? In all
questions of legitimacy of birth, of the existence and validity of mar
riage, of title to property, is it not the policy of the law to raise
every obstacle against the presumption of defect; and will Par
liament suffer itself to be persuaded into the adoption of a policy di
rectly opposite, as to legal titles in the West Indies 2 The Bill
to be proposed to Parliament is a Bill of Discovery against every
West India proprietor. We repeat it, what would English pro
prietors say of a similar Bill, affecting themselves? Is there a
perpetual passion for Star Chambers ?
But, still, it may and will be thought, that we have evaded the
great moral, or, if they please, religious question, whether, *

it respects the feedom of half a milion of slaves, the disturbing

policy is not that which is called for by the voices of God and man;
whether this is not that holy cause before which all human institu
tions, and all human wisdom, ought to bow; whether revolutions,
with such objects before them, are not the means by which heaven
purifies the earth; whether, in such churnings of the ocean, what
ever old things are destroyed, new and more beautiful ones are not
produced; and whether the actors on these occasions are not
the immediate agents of deity ? We anticipate these notions,
because they inhabit the breast of every zealot, in every cause.
They moved and they guided Marat and Robespierre; they pro
duced, in every age, the countless enthusiasts of religion or of philo
sophy, who, persuaded that they were doing something acceptable
to heaven, and beneficial to mankind, have dared to trample on
human laws, to scoff at the wisdom of ages, and, in the pursuit of
right, to commit every wrong; always boasting of the power of
truth, and always trusting only to physical force.
It is usually enough to answer, to these persons of divine
pretensions, that they know not what they do ; that they de
ceive themselves, perhaps, as to the mission to which they affect to be
called; and that whether their aims are right or wrong, is far from
being so certain as they audaciously believe. That the government
of the world is a task something too much for them; and that it is
their duty so far to moderate their confidence, and to suspect that
they “see darkly,” as to refrain from doing certain wrong, in the
Pursuit of uncertain good; good which may be uncertain itself, or
uncertainly pursued in the road they have chosen.
It is uncertain, for example, that the hasty emancipation of the
slaves in the West Indies, (a haste, we mean, in any degree
advanced by acts of parliament), would be a good; a good to
the slaves themselves, and what, we hope, enters equally into the
contemplation of those who are benevolently engaged in the pursuit,
a good to all the parties concerned. But on these points we shall
present some extracts from the writings before us. Mr. Stephen,
in his “Reasons,” takes the following views:-

“The enfranchisement of unregistered slaves, considered as a loss to the

contumacious or negligent owner, can require no further defence. But an
objection has been started to this course on the ground of local policy.
It has been pretended that the enfranchisement of slaves by the operation
of a register act, would be dangerous to the peace and safety of the co
lonies, by increasing too much the numbers of the free coloured class, in
proportion to the whites.
“Among the decisive answers which may be given to this objection, that
which a well-informed advocate of the poor Africans would be most de
sirous to give, and which might well be singly relied upon, is that the po
litical principle assumed is radically vicious and absurd. Though a simul
taneous enſranchisement of the whole, or any large proportion of the
slaves in any colony, might certainly be attended with much public in
convenience and danger, the progressive increase of the free-coloured
people, in their proportion to the whites on the one hand, and to the
slaves on the other, is so far from being adverse to the public peace and
security, that it is in truth the best and only certain way to maintain them.
“There is no point in which the self-interested and prejudiced feelings of
the white colonists are more demonstrably at war with common sense and
experience than in their violent adherence to the opposite opinion. The
history of the Spanish colonies alone might serve to convince any thinking
man that the larger proportion there is of that middle class, the safer an
island is from internal convulsions, and foreign conquest; as well as the
more valuable to the manufacturing country from which it derives its sup
“It is absolutely necessary, unless negro slavery is to be eternal, that those
who legislate for the British West Indies should soon come to a right con
clusion on this important point; to which end no more is wanting than
that they should not take their opinions from the foolish prejudices and
noisy clamours of a small self-interested colonial minority, but from the
clear voice of reason and experience. If manumissions are to be still dis
couraged and restrained by the colonial codes, slavery can end only by ter
rible revolutions, or by dangerous experiments at best; for the only tried,
safe, and convenient way to get rid of that odious institution, is progres
sively to increase the middle class by individual enfranchisement, according
to the examples, before adverted to, of other nations and times.
“But as it is not convenient here to expose in an adequate manner, the
false and preposterous policy of keeping down the free-coloured popula
tion, it may be right to repel the objection last stated, by another answer,
which rests on no controverted ground. The shortest reply to it is this:
The subject of pretended inconvenience would not in fact arise. The
number of negroes enfranchised by a register act, would be as small in
proportion to the whole black population, as the number of ships con
demned here for want of a register, is to our whole commercial marine.
“Masters will not be such enemies to their own property as to refuse or
omit to comply with the requisitions of a register act, when they see that
it is become an operative law, and know what will be the legal effects of
their default.”

Thus far Mr. S.; but the flippant and dogmatizing tone which
must be observed in this extract, will, perhaps, appear a little mis
128 R. E. W. IEW OF BOOK 5.

placed, after opposite reasoners shall have been permitted to open

their mouths. The subjoined is the reply of the author of the
“Thoughts on the Abolition, &c. :”—
“To borrow an expression from the Report, and apply it to the authors,
“ there is no point in which their prejudiced feelings are more demon
strably at war with common sense and experience,” than in making these
assertions. The Spanish colonies, so unfortunately referred to in support
of them, are at this moment a prey to internal convulsions; and the great
actors in them, are, and ever have been, from the first revolutionary at
tempt of Miranda, (himself a man of colour,) to this very moment, per
sons of that description." Next to the Spanish colonies, their number :
was greater in proportion at St. Domingo, than in any other island f.
There they instigated the slaves to massacre the whites, and were, in their
turn, massacred by the slaves. At Martinique and Guadaloupe, they
made similar attempts; but after much bloodshed, particularly in the lat
ter island, a great part of them were exterminated, and the rest subdued.
At Grenada; and St. Vincent's they broke out into insurrection, murdered
all the white inhabitants who fell into their hands, in cold blood; and

* “Endowed with an emergetic and ardent character, these people of co

lour live in a constant state of irritation against the whites.”—Humboldt's Po
litical Essay on New Spain, vol. i. p. 194.
+ “ At St. Domingo, in 178s, there were eight whites to six free people
of colour. Jamaica was computed, in 1787, to have ten whites to four free
people of colour.”—Ibid.
f “An erroneous idea has prevailed, that the insurrection in Grenada ori
ginated with the French inhabitants. Ou its first breaking out, the rumour
was that the French had landed at La Baye : but on the same morning, (the
3d of March, 1795,) a letter from Mr. Home, president of the island, and
then unfortunately in the neighbourhood of La Baye, was brought to his se
cretary Mr. Byles, at St. George's, of which the following is an extract: “No
French have landed at La Baye, but the free people have risen against the
whites § 5' and on the 7th of May, Mr. M'Kenzie, who had succeeded to the
presidency, in consequence of the massacre of Mr. Home, who, with many
other of the white inhabitants, had fallen into the hands of the insurgents, ad
dressed the council and assembly in a speech beginning with these words:
* It is a very sensible affliction to me, to meet you for the first time in a sea
son of great public calamity. A general insurrection of the French free co
loured people, broke out here on the 3d of March ||.’ Victor Hughes, and
his brother commissioners at Guadaloupe, had signed commissions, appointing
Julien Fedon, a mulatto coffee-planter, commandant-general; Stanislaus
Besson, a mulatto silversmith at La Baye, second in command; and Charles
Nogues, and Jean Pierre de Valette, two other free coloured men, captains in
the French republican service; and had given them a flag, on which the words
Liberté, Egalité, ou La Mort, were inscribed in large characters; an inscription
which well demoted the sentiments by which they were actuated. One of their
first acts was to murder a French priest, the Abbé Peissoniere, which showed

§ Revolt in Grenada, printed at Edinburgh, in 1795, p. 32. Ibid. p. 13:

maintained a war against the regular troops for two years, which was not
terminated, till both the islands were laid waste from one end to the other.
“But it may be said, that although the Spanish possessions on the conti
nent of South America have been a prey to internal convulsions, the island
of Cuba has remained in a state of perfect tranquility. This fact may be
accounted for, by referring to the different state of the population in the
respective countries. In New Spain, the number of slaves is so trifling as
scarcely to be worth taking into the calculation; and according to Hum
boldt, in the four intendancies adjoining the capital, there were only
273,000 whites out of a population of 1,737,000 souls"; consequently the
proportion of free people of colour to the whites was about six to one. The
same author informs his readers, that “he found from the most careful
statistical researches which he was enabled to make during his stay at the
Havannah, in 1800 and 1804, that at the last of these epochs, the whites
of that island were 234,000, the free people of colour 90,000 t.” So that
the proportion of the free people of colour to the whites in that island, was
little more than one to three. The convulsions that rage in the former,
and the peace and safety that continue in the latter, furnish an additional
proof, that the converse of both the propositions laid down in the Report of
the African Institution is true; that the progressive increase of the free
coloured people, is adverse to the public peace and security ; and that the
smaller proportion there is of that middle class, the safer an island is from
internal convulsion.
“These observations on the consequences of an increase of the free co
loured population, will point out the motives by which some of the colonial
legislatures have been influenced, in imposing a tax upon the emancipation
of slaves; for notwithstanding the assertion in the Report, that “in some
colonies, in one at least, this iniquitous tax on manumissions is as high as
500l. in others 300l. and it is not known to be in any case less than 100l.
currency,' the fact is, (as the framers of that Report ought to have known,)
that in Jamaica, an island in which the population of slaves is nearly equal
to that of all the other British West India Islands put together, the only
expense upon manumissions is a stamp-duty of 10l. But in this, as in
many other instances, a regard to truth is not the characteristic of the Re
ports of the African Institution.
“An inquiry into the history of West India emancipations will shew, that
the subjects of by far the greater proportion of them, are either the objects
or fruits of illicit connections between white men and negro women ; and
the pathetic appeal to the feelings made in this Report, ‘ that the father
cannot, without paying that oppressive tax, release his own offspring from
slaveryt,” is just the language used by every libertine, who inveighs

they had no particular predilection for Frenchmen; and no commission was

given by Victor Hughes to any of the French white inhabitants, although most
of them afterwards joined the insurgents, either encouraged by their suc
sesses, or intimidated by their menaces.”
* Humboldt's Political Essay on New Spain, vol. i. p. 206.
+ Ibid. p. 29s. 1 Iteasons for Registry, p. 49.

against the laws which impose a penalty upon the indulgence of those
vicious propensities which they are unable effectu lly to check. When
we are called upon to consider ‘those cases as pitiable, these laws as mer
citess and shameful; and to conceive the sad effects they must produce on
moral character, as well as on domestic happiness *, we can hardly for
bear smiling at the mock gravity with which these expressions are used,
and at the same time eeling angry at the eifrontery with which they are
prostituted. The plain truth of the case is, that the views with which these
laws were framed, were to discourage these illicit and vicious connections,
and thus to prevent the growth of a great political evil; but by keeping
these facts in the back ground, and bringing forward suppositions, ‘ that
nothing is more common than for free blacks and mulattoes to be the
husband, and fathers of slaves+,” (a circumstance which, on the contrary,
very rarely occurs,) our sympathics are awakened for the ‘husband who
cannot redeem his wife, so as to become the father of free-men, instead of
wretches to be driven like cattle for life; ;' and, the West India legislatures
are reviled, for not encouraging and rewarding prostitution, by freedom.”
-Thoughts on the Abolition, p. 136. -

Mr. Mathison, in his “Short Review,” has the following inte

resting remarks on the same part of the question:—
“The indirect object of his measure is to counteract the imputed nar
row policy of the several islands, by helping the progress of freedom. Who
ever is not registered is to be free, as if freedom alstractedly were a blessing.
Who will fail to register his active, healthy, intelligent, valuable slave?
Surely no person can be expected to commit such an act of negligence or
disinterestedness, at least under the operation of this law; but there are
many individuals who would gladly seize the opportunity of enfranchising
sickly, decrepid, aged, worthless slaves, to escape the expense which, not
the voice of charity, but the laws of the islands, have hitherto compelled
them to incur, for the clothing and proper maintenance of such poor crea

“But this is not all. The principal towns, particularly in Jamaica,

abound with respecta','le well-disposed negroes, who, without the right to
freedom, enjoy all the advantages of it, through the partiality and indulgence
of their owners. The freedom of these people is perhaps never called in
question, except in cases of miscenduct, or to aid the valuable purposes of
police. This bill, if it pass into a law, will have the effect of calling it, in
many cases, into question. It will cut both ways, and be equally the evi.
dence of slavery and of freedom. Many persons will now record their right
of property in the slave, whom otherwise they might never think of claim
ing, some from selfish considerations, some from duty as mortgagors, as
tenants for life, &c. and thus may the slave be made to descend in the line
of inheritance to the heir, and again be subjected to all the vicissitudes at
tending the temper, the character, and circumstances of the owner for

* Reasons for Registry, p. 46. + Ibid. 1 Ibid.


the time being, when, without the registry, he might be left gradually to
slide into a state of ease, security, and established freedom.
“But it seems a registry is necessary because the colour of the skin is,
prima ficie, evidence of the condition of the negro ; and thus, by the laws
of these colonies, the onus ; rotandi is thrown upon the black, which
might be thought, if we were to yield to the authority of this writer, to be
nearly as difficult as to wash off the colour of his skin. As the passage is
curious, it will find a fit place in this section of or observations:–
“‘ he assemblies have wonderfully improved upºn the slave code of
all other countries and times. They have absolved the master from the
troublesome duty of proving his title. They have reversed the universal
presumption of other laws; placing it, not in favour of freedom, but
against it. They have cast the burthen of proof on the weakest and help
less party. The English lord, when trying the question of villeinage with
his alleged villein or slave, was obliged even to bring into court the near
relations of his opponent to prove the hereditary condition. The West
India master need produce only the alleged slave himself: His condition is
recorded on his face.'”
“His condition, we are assured, is enregistered indelibly on the public re
cords of thre islands, which records afford the strongest and best evidence
that can be produced of the condition of the negro.
“Who would not conclude, from the foregoing quotation, that the
questiºn of free or not free is constantly agitated in the courts of law, for
the barbarous purpose of the ease and happiness of unoffending
characters ? That this is nºt true, no one, we think, who has ever been
in the islands, and has witnessed the contentedness of that happy class of
persons, can for a monie.: entertain a doubt. It is most assuredly, how
ever, a fit subject to be fairly inquired into, when doubtful characters
step forward to distur, the public peace, or in any way violate the laws of
the country. re not vagrants in this very metropolis constantly appre
hended and seat to the house of correction, till they give a good account of
themselves? Is not the onus probandi, in these cases, invariably thrown
upon then, Are the West India islands alone to forego the benefit of a
strict police and is the lowest order of persons only to be embraced by this
new measure? To every unoffending negro it is useless; to every free man
it is unnecessary. His title to freedom stands on the basis of a rock. It
stands up ºn the same security as property in land, as mortgages, leases,
wills, marriage settlements, &c. They are all equally enrolled in the
books of record ; which afford the strongest evidence that can be produced
in law. Who, in the face of such conclusive evidence, could be so mad
as to attempt to disturb the claim to liberty of any human being 2
“Not to multiply objections, we have stated enough to point out with
whatabsurdities and culpable inconsideration, to use the mildest terms, the
promoters of this project are chargeable. To say nothing of the absurdity
of making laws to prevent a clandestine slave trade, which, in point of fact,
does not exist, and of the solecism in legislation of making laws to meet
offences in futuro, which, from the nature of things, as we could easily
shew, are not likely to happen, the striking absurdity is at once committed

of proposing to begin the work of emancipation at the wrong end. Many

of that description of persons, who ought to be made free, will be fixed in
a state of slavery; and many of an opposite description will be enfranchised,
to whom freedom will be tantamount to misery, while the important re
form is accomplished of making the silence of the proposed registry, in
stead of the written document of a public record, the legal evidence in all
cases of disputed freedom!"—Short Review, p. 94.

We shall only add, that the argument of Mr. S., that “masters
will not be such enemies to their own property as to refuse, or omit
to comply with the requisitions of a Register Bill,” is less conclu
sive upon the merits of that bill, than the triumphant air with which
it is expressed might lead us to imagine ; for, in point of fact, the
master's situation under the billis this: if a prudent or conscientious
regard to the smallest doubt he may entertain of his ability to prove
his title, should lead him to omit to register the slave, he pronounces
a verdict against himself, and abandons his probable and reputed
property; and if he registers as his slave one with respect to whom
his legal title is afterward found incapable of proof, he has com
mitted perjury, exposed himself to the payinent of a penalty, at
the suit of a common informer, and incapacitated himself from
holding slaves within any British colony thereafter *. That he is
placed between these alternatives is surely to be added to whatever
else has been said of the oppressive character of the measure.
4. A fourth example of the oppressive operation of the Bill, con
sists in the denial of Trial by Jury, under which, in matters of the
highest importance, it places the Planter, and the dangerous power
which it puts into the hands of the Registrar and others. On these
subjects, we refer to the exposition contained in the Report of the
Committee of the Jamaica Assembly. (See page 222 of this Journal).
5. The forty-fifth section of the Bill proposes to punish
the holding any person in slavery by means of a fraudulent return
or entry, not only by fine, but by perpetual incapacitation “ of
owning, holding, or possessing any slave within any British co
lony f.” We have just adverted incidentally to this provision;
but we cannot omit to re-state it distinctly, as a fifth example of
the oppressive operation of the bill. The act, for the punish
ment, and therefore prevention of which it is designed, is either to
be viewed as a fraud in itself, or as a civil injury in its consequences.
* Sce section 45, infra, p. 210. + Sce infra, p. 219.

As a civil injury, would it not be sufficient that the party injured

were left to his action of damages; and as a fraud, and object of cri
minal punishment, where is the precedent, in our English statutes,
of a fraudulent acquisition or retention of property, punished by an
incapacitation to hold property thereafter Do we not discern,
then, in this provision, a temper of which we should be watchful?
A vindictive, and, we will say, spiteful spirit, more characteristic
of monkish, than of enlightened legislation, and utterly foreign to
the general principle of our laws 2
6. The sixth form of oppression in which the Bill presents itself,
is that of direct invasion of private property. This is a point which
should be very distinctly understood, because we are sure, that
among the advocates of the Bill, there are many who would aban
don it, could they see it in this light. The misfortune is, that this
part of the operation of the Bill is not of a nature to be plain to the
popular view. The immediate movers of the Bill will treat the
charge as worse than unfounded, and the multitude will concur
with thein. How can it interfere, they will ask, with the rights
of property Whose ox, or whose ass, or whose lawful slave does
it take away 2 What does it require, but that a man should
put down his own, and no more than his own 2 We answer,
1. That the disturbing of titles is, as in the manner we have re
presented it, an assault upon property; 2. That the expenses to
be incurred as the condition on which a man is to hold the pro
perty which is his own, is an assault upon property ; 3. That
whatever lessens the security of property diminishes its value, and
is therefore an assault upon property; now, it isadmitted by Mr.S.
himself, that the Bill does, on the one side, bring the property of the
slaveholder into jeopardy, and expose it to hardship, injustice, and
inconvenience; and, on the other, affords no complete relief: “A
variety of other provisions,” says Mr. S.“ are made, to prevent,
as much as possible, any particular injustice, hardship, or inconve
nience, to which it might be exposed by the errors or defaults of
others.” 4. That whatever incumbers the tenure of property with
“hardship or inconvenience,” or with contingent hardship or in
convenience, diminishes its value, and is therefore an assault upon,
property. We shall pursue these ideas no further, but call upon
the reflecting part of our readers to consider, whether, as to the
question of spoliation, there is any difference between taking a

man's house from him, and rendering it useless; or between taking

it away, or taking part of it away, and making the condition upon
which he is to retain it, one of hardship, injustice, inconvenience, and
contribution ? Would it not be possible, by a system of refined
robbery (the power of enforcing it being supposed) to oblige a man
to abandon his property, as the least of two evils; and would not
such anact be robbery still 2 For our part, contemplating with that
charity which, to the last, we trust, will never forsake us, and striving
to believe unshakenly that the framers of the Bill are actuated by
no motives but those of religious zealots in all ages, and those of the
Wahabees" in the present, and would neither rob nor murder, ex
cept for the “glory of God;” for our part, we can bring ourselves
to imagine, with the able Committee of the Bahama Assembly, that
the true object of the Register Bill, or at least an effect which
would not exceedingly terrify its parents, is that “setting in mo
tion a system of unjust restraint and vexation on the holding of all
such property, as must, ere long, lead to a general emancipation
of the slaves throughout the West Indiest ?” The humble colo
mists of the Bahamas threaten no insurrection in defence of their
property; but they will take flight, with as much as they can
save! All their hope and consolation is in thinking over the facili
ties of escape: !—And here arises a nice distinction, to satisfy the
consciences of their Christian persecutors. They will not take
their property from them, but they will force them to run from it!
III. It has appeared that the third objection to the Bill—that it
would be mischievous in its operation—is that to which, of all others,
its friends are the least likely to yield. Revolution lies so near
their hearts—the universal rights of property are so little sacred in
their eyes—the safety and prosperity of the slaveholder—the well
being of the colonies—are objects for which they have, at the least,
so little anxiety—that no argument upon this part of the question
can be expected to stop their career. To speak fairly, their deci
sion is founded upon premises so opposite to those adopted by the
rest of mankind, that it is impossible they should arrive at the same
conclusions. But, if these persons cannot be convinced, is Parlia
ment, is the country, therefore, to be stultified ? Or, is it not to
* Modern Mohammedan reformers in Arabia.
t Chalmers's Proofs and Demoustrations, p. 4. t Idem, p. 19.

the hoped, that a grave investigation of the matter in dispute, if it

do not restore to their senses the positively insane, may at least re
cover a sufficient number of doubtful patients, to become their
keepers, and counteract their folly *
IV. We arrive, now, at the fourth objection, namely, to the
asserted want of jurisdiction of Parliament; a point on which we
may refer to the views exhibited in the Report of the Committee
of the Jamaica Assembly *, and to several passages in the other
productions before us, particularly the extended one which presents
itself in Mr. Jordan’s “Examination, &c.” and which displays a
considerable share of parliamentary learning t. But, on the doctrine
of jurisdiction, we shall content ourselves with a very few words, for
the present, because we would embarrass the pending question as
little as possible with abstract considerations, better fitted for cooler
moments; because we would multiply no more than is unavoidable
the occasions of dispute; and because it is sufficient for every
practical purpose, at the moment in which we write, if we esta
blish, to the conviction of those awake to the voice of reason, the
reality and the weight of the three objections previously stated;
—that admitting, in all its plenitude, the right of Parliament to
legislate on the matter in view, no parliamentary ground is laid
for interference; that if there is parliamentary ground for pro
ceeding to pass a Bill intended to prevent the illicit importation of
slaves into our colonies, still the provisions of the Bill introduced
last session are too oppressive, too invasive of the constitutional
rights of the subject, too inconsistent with the general and ad
mirable policy of our law, and too much marked by a rigour
unnecessary to the attainment of its ostensible end, to permit its
adoption; and that if the absence of parliamentary ground, the
want of consistency with the body of our laws and jurisprudence,
the incompatibility with the constitutional rights of the subject
(every colonial question laid aside) and the existence of unnecessary
rigour, are all points upon which there may be differences of
opinion, still the reality of the benefit avowedly sought as the
ulterior object of the Bill (that is, the hastening the general eman
cipation of the slaves in the West India islands,) is in itself so equi
vocal, when dispassionately examined, even with a view to the
* See infra, page -

t See Au Examination, &c. page 39, to page 87.


welfare of the slaves themselves, as to call for the most serious pause
in the conduct of Parliament in its regard; reserving always, that
if neither arguments founded on the hardships of the Bill, nor those on
its possible mischiefs, pass for any thing in the minds of its friends,
then the colonies and the country shall be allowed to rely on the
narrowest form of the controversy, and rest their confidence in the de
cision of Parliament, upon that want of parliamentary ground of
which we have spoken; the total absence of all proof of its neces
sity. We submit, in the mean time, on the subject of the jurisdiction
of Parliament, these two remarks; the one, that the existence of colo
nial legislatures does, in our mind, necessarily suppose an exclusive
jurisdiction residing in them, as to all purposes within a colony :
that no well-ordered system of polity can be conceived to acknow
ledge clashing authorities; that in short, drawing a figure from phy
sics, and borrowing it, also, from the author of the “Examination,”
political bodies, like matural bodies, exclude, by their existence,
all others from the places they fill. * Our second remark is this ;
that whatever may be the right, or has been the practice of Parliament,
whatever the principle or the precedent to be maintained or quoted,
we must persuade ourselves that it is worthy of the reflections of a
British statesman, whether the colonial policy of this country, con
sidered on the extended scale of our situation, ought not to be
established on principles very different from those upon which
alone the parliamentary adoption of the Registry Bill can be jus
tified? We shall have other opportunities of returning to this
great question. We confine ourselves, at this moment, to calling
upon Ministers, the Parliament, and the Country, to consi
der the subject well and deeply as it demands; to ask themselves
what are not the colonial prospects of this empire—what are not
the benefits which these prospects set before our view—what is
the means of keeping, as well as of establishing or conquering
colonies—whether a system of parliamentary interference with the
local legislatures can ever promote the general harmony—whether,
in short, it can ever be consistent with that mational greatness of
which we are called upon to be worthy Rome respected the
manners and the laws of the kingdoms she conquered, and shall
* “Not only by original right, but by actual existence, the colonial legis
latures are exclusive. This, as of natural bodies, excludes all others rou the
place they fill.”—Examination, &c. p. 61.

not England respect those which have grown up under her tutelage 2
But the laws, the manners, and the religion of Rome insensibly
spread themselves among the nations whom she thus left to them
selves; and shall we fear the same results for England 2 Are there
not, in fact, certain fundamental points to be seized upon by the
accomplished statesman, as all that is necessary for maintaining the
dominion and serving the interests of the parent state; and which
points being secured, provinces and colonies may be left to no small
share of legislative and moral liberty
We must confine ourselves, then, to this preliminary and fatal
objection to the Bill, that it is unnecessary—unnecessary according
to every rule or principle of commen sense and British parliamen
tary practice. It is distinctly avowed by its friends, that the evil
which they say it is to prevent, has hitherto either not existed at all,
or existed in the fewest and most insignificant instances. What,
then, is the case they attempt to make out * They build up a
fabric of syllogisms, by aid of which they attempt to prove that
it may exist hereafter, and that if it should exist, the consequences
will be highly detrimental. But is it upon grounds like these that
Parliament ever proceeded to legislate 2 Was the provision for
possible crimes ever the business of the legislator The existence
of the statute always supposes the previous existence of the offence.
Rome had no law against particide, so long as parricide was
unknown in Rome; and a late oriental traveller has found, in the
Indian seas, a surviving Eden, where, upon asking for laws regard
ing adultery, theft, and some other crimes, the reply of the people
was unanimous and ready—“That crimes of the kind were un
known to them, and that consequently no punishment was fixed,
either by law or custom.”
But this is called a preventive law. Let us not be deceived by
words. What is the meaning of a preventive law A law to pre
went crimes which are not known to exist? Certainly not. A law
to prevent, as well as a law to punish, equally supposes the pre
vious existence of the crime. Does legislation proceed after the
manner of Aristotle, to prevent crimes which ought to exist, and
not rather after that of Bacon, against those only which are known
to exist? Were reasonings upon the probability of a crime,
* Discourse to the Lit. and Scientific Sceiety of Java. See Asiatic Journal.
138 R E W II, W OF BOOK 8.

ever received by Parliament as a ground for adding to our sta

tutes; or has it not uniformly required, as the basis of its proceed
ing, (that it be misled by no vain theories, that it might save itself
from exposure and ridicule, from the guilt of oppression, from all
legislative trifling, and wanton infliction of evil,) that the necessity
should beplainly established by evidence of the evil to be provided for?
But laws are not to be passed, as Bacon teaches, that certain expe
riments should be made—experiments of light—which instruct
whether they succeed or whether they fail; experiments are not to be
made upon the peace of society, upon the life and property of the
subject; nor is the experiment of legislation to be tried, but where,
though the remedy may be doubtful, the disease is certain. There
are few laws that are not in themselves evils; and every law which
tends to restrain the wicked, is penal upon the whole community;
it lays the honest man under some restraint, it abridges, in some
degree, the freedom of human action, and exposes, more or less,
to unmerited evil, venial errors and frailties. Society submits,
when the necessity is evident. In a time of insurrection, the peace
able man, restrained from being abroad at certain hours, submits
to this diminution of his liberty, that the liberty of the licentious
may be restrained. Thus a preventive law is a penal law. The
Registry Bill is a law highly penal; a law penal upon whole com
munities; and are the penalties, the burdens it imposes (weigh
them as heavily or as lightly as we will), to be wantonly inflicted
without proof of their necessity—nay, amid doubts of their benefit?
The absence of this proof, and the existence of these doubts, are
both amply acknowledged in the report of a speech said to have been
delivered by Lord Grenville, in the House of Lords, on the 22d of
the present month of March, on moving for papers as the founda
tion of a Registry Bill to be introduced into that house".
But the point we are now discussing, and which, to our appre
hension, is so fatal to the Bill, appears, in that report, to have re
ceived the serious attention of his Lordship, and hence weare anxious
to coine to a clear understanding of the course of argument by which
that noble person must be understood to have convinced himself,
*nd to hope to convince others, of the justice of a proposition the
exact reverse of that for which we are contending, and on the inerits
* See above, p. 3s.
of which his Lordship evidently regards, with ourselves, the founda
tions of the Bill to rest. His Lordship has moved for papers, for
the information of the peers; but for what further end we cannot
imagine. The papers moved for are the same, we believe, with
those which were printed by order of the House of Commons last
year, and an abstract of which is contained in the pamphlet entitled
“Thoughts on the Abolition*,” &c. The collective testimony borne
by these is in direct contradiction of the existence of an illicit trade.
But what has Parliament to do with this evidence, or with the ex
istence of an illicit trade 2 Parliament is desired to legislate upon
the theory of its possibility, not upon the proof of its practice. It
was upon no proof of its practice, that as we are assured by Mr.
Stephen, the registration of slaves was projected in 1807, at the
moment when the Act of Abolition was past, and before experience
could offer a syllable upon the assumed fact of its evasion. Why
call, them, for papers? Why seek for evidence which is to weigh
nothing in the question ? It is on the reason for thinking it pro
bable that an illicit trade is and may be practised, that the Registry
Bill is to be passed. Let us examine the argument of Lord Gren
ville:—“An objection, my Lords, may suggest itself to the minds
of some, that any law of this kind upon the subject is of the nature
of a penal statute; there is, however, a wide, and, indeed, an ob
vious difference. A penal law is for the punishment of a crime on
conviction of its being committed; and short of which it is held a
great deal too much to provide for punishments. Such is the prin
ciple of penal laws; but I cannot understand the application of such
a principle against whole communities. The principle, as to crimes
committed by man against man, is very different t; and, on the con
trary, the very reverse of the proposition objected to may be true,
when we speak, not of penal, but of preventive laws. These are, my
Lords, for the prevention, and not the punishment of crime; and, on
this principle, a law is proposed, as far as relates to the due execution
* Thoughts, &c. p. 119.
+ Respecting these words, we cannot but doubt the accuracy of the re
porter; for we confess, that as they stand, they are to us wholly unintelligible.
What crimes can the noble speaker be supposed to separate, in this place, from
“crimes committed by man against man;" and if the expression be regarded
as an obscure attempt to convey “crimes against human life or liberty,” what
is there in those crimes, which can take them out of the general principle of

of the Abolition Act. Your Lordships will see, when it cones be

fore you, that this Bill is calculated, not as a penal, but as a pre
ventire law. In these, no proof of actual commission is requisite;
but it is on the reason for thinking it probable that the crime may be
committed, that preventire laws are passed.”—Now, this is a doc
trine to which we can never assent; and least of all, where, to meet a
probable crime—(and here even the probability is in dispute, so
that we meet only a possibly probable crime), a law is to be esta
blished, of which the certain and direct operation is such as has been
described ; and of which, perhaps, the least serious is to harass the
subject with new obligations, to burden him with new charges, to
expose him to litigation, to the oppressions of office, to the refusal
of trial by his peers, to calumny, and to loss of property. We
have already intimated our conception, that all this is in itself highly
penal; penal upon whole communities; and all this for the pre
vention of a possibly probable crime ! It is beyond our capacity,
therefore, notwithstanding the explanation of the noble Lord, to view
the Registry Bill as other than a penal law provided for the punish
ment of guilt. And of what are the colonies guilty They are guilty
of being suspected.—In using this trite expression, we are almost
afraid that we shall be accused of frivolity; and yet it is worthy of
the most serious attention of the woolsack, whether this is not the
true description of the case; and whether it is not as inflicting a
punishment upon this species of guilt, and from this consideration
alone, that the Bill can be soberly defended. We are sure, that
Lord Grenville himself, upon mature reflection, will acknowledge
that the Bill does nothing less than inflict punishment upon West
India proprietors; and it is his own proposition that it is the ra
tional principle of a penal law to punish only upon the conviction
of crime. Let his Lordship explain, therefore, distinctly, What
is the crine, what is the precise species of guilt, for which the West
India proprietors are now to be punished It is, plainly, no other
than that of being suspected of an illicit trade in slaves. -

Satisfied, ourselves, that both reason and Parliamentary practice

reject the probability of crime as a ground for preventive law; and
seeing that the advocates for the Registry Bill rest no part of its
merits upon the facts to be derived from that evidence for which, ne
vertheless, they call, we should be willing to leave the sentiments
ascribed to Lord Grenville with the single remark that we have

offered, were it not that there is another contingency of which, if

within their grasp, it is not to be doubted that the friends of the
registration would eagerly avail themselves, and with respect to
which, in the mean time, we cannot but think that the strong sense,
and practical knowledge of the noble person whom we have
named, will induce him to allow some weight to the further remarks
that we shall add. We will suppose, then, that the papers to be
laid before the House of Lords do contain, instead of an unani
mous denial of an illicit trade, the fullest proofs of its existence;
we will suppose, in short, that the inefficacy of the Abolition Act,
as to an importation into the colonies, and a traffic in slaves, are
points clearly established, and (still admitting the jurisdiction of Par
liament,) that nothing short of the proposed Bill can be expected
to arrest such an acknowledged evil; and we go so far, as, even in the
supposition of that case, to ask his Lordship, whether, consistently
with what he owes to his practised judgment, he can be really
prepared to give his assent to the Bill introduced last session, by
Mr. Wilberforce, into the House of Commons 2 It would not be
enough, in our mind, even to come to proof of the existence of the
illicit trade anticipated; but it would be necessary, further, that the
measure resorted to should be free from evils of its own. Lord
Grenville is not to be told, that there is a middle point at which
human legislators, at least, are often obliged to stop; a point at
which they renounce the pursuit of all the good they desire, from
the fear of opposite evils they might draw down. His Lordship
knows that this is frequently the true difference between the popu
lar and the wise views of public concerns.
We have thus examined, as we think, all that properly belongs to
the Registry Bill; and we have chiefly contented ourselves, with
asserting, against its adoption, that there is no Parliamentary ground
fixed on for it. The friends of the Bill may seem to be entirely
aware of this defect, and to supply it by recommendations of
another kind; hoping, it might be suspected, to obtain from
the feelings, what they could not look for from the sense nor justice
of Parliament. Promising themselves to carry, against the pro
perty of the West India colonists, that which they would not
dare to whisper against the property of any other class of the
King's subjects, they spare nothing, they sacrifice every thing,
truth, probability, fact, principle, and reason, to secure their

triumph. The colonies are unknown ; the colonists have been led
by the laws of England into the possession of slaves. What a
theme for declamation; what an opening for persecution; what a
theatre for delusion . Accordingly, the bulk of the “Reasons for
establishing a Registry of Slaves” is occupied, not with proofs of
an illicit importation, not with those of the detention of free persons
in slavery (the two offences which it is the pretended object of the
Bill to prevent) but with representations of the laws and practices
of the colonies, which, however ignorantly, are held up to odium,
to the end, that amid the feelings which shall be excited, nothing
that is proposed against the colonists may be thought too much.
In what manner, as we have already shown our desire to ask, is the
subject of manumission, or that of the refusal of the evidence of
slaves, connected with illicit importation, or the holding free per
sons in slavery Yet these, and subjects like these, are forced into
the inquiry, and hence the numerous pages employed in the con
troversy, and here the proof of the temper and the views with which
the Bill is promoted.
But if the misrepresentations poured forth are expected to serve
the cause of persecution, clearer views may make their way through
the film of prejudice, and assist the distribution of equal right.
We shall follow, therefore, the author of the “Reasons” through
his catalogue of charges, and endeavour to show their amount.
Among the crimes imputed to the colonies, we may place as the
first, their omission to attach the slaves to the soil; to make them
irremoveable, or, in legal terms, to change their condition from
that of the villein in gross, to that of the villein regardant, of the
feudal law. “They are still liable,” says Mr. S. “ to be sold at
the suit of the master's creditors, as well as by the voluntary act
of the master himself; to be stripped from the domain, and exiled
for ever from their homes, their families, and their friends, without
the imputation of a fault.” -

For ourselves, two leading objections to the change have always

occurred to our minds; the one that it is inconsistent with the
constitution of West India landed property; the other, that there
is no shadow of claim upon the proprietors to effect this change,
if it be in any degree disadvantageous to themselves. Having
inherited or purchased a certain species of property, they cannot
be called on to alter that species, so as to deteriorate it, nor can it

consist with the sanctity of law, that any others should so alter it for
them. Under the feudal system, there is a fixation of the land,
as well as of the cerfor villein; in the West India or commercial
system, the land is constantly in the market, and we think that
very great difficulties may be supposed, many obstacles to advan
tageous sale, and consequently an undoubted deterioration of pro
perty, through the operation of a law obliging land and slave to
be sold together. The feudal principle arose out of that of which
Mr. S. appears to have no conception; the inviolability of an ori
ginal contract. The lord, under the feudal system, acquired his
dependants in their established condition of villeins belonging to
the soil; and he could not break that condition. But the West
India proprietor acquires his slaves separately from the soil, and
there can be no imperative reason why he should alter the
condition in which they came to him. It even appears to us, that
no time could be found in which such an alteration might be made,
not only without affecting the natural rights of proprietors, but
without affecting the stipulations of contracts. What would be
the condition of a mortgagee who should have advanced money
upon an estate and negroes, in contemplation that in the event of
foreclosing the mortgage, it would be competent for to dispose of
each to the best advantage, but who, in the interval is robbed of
the right of doing so, by a law of adscription ? Has he not given
his money upon the security of property the nature of which is
afterward changed 2 Here, however, as in other places, we quote
the facts and arguments of local authorities. It is the Jamaica.
Committee which speaks:–
“Your committee have now to observe upon the charge, brought in an
especial manner against the house, for not having attached the negroes to
the soil immediately after the repeal of that part of the act 5th Geo. II,
which had before prevented the attempt.
“A very marked and leading feature in the plans of the African Insti
tution, is the precipitation with which they press for changes of the greatest
importance, and measures of infinite magnitude to those who are the ob
jects of their unhappy experiments. Like the operator in search of what
he considers an important discovery, by dissecting and torturing a living
subject, they view with cool indifference our agonies under these plans, to
deprive us of our franchises, as British subjects, and for the destruction of
our property, and endangering our lives.
“ It might have been exp cted that the result of the experiment which
this African Institution, under various names, but with personal identity,
has made to civilize Africa, and colonize at Sierra Leone, with the national

purse almost at their command, would have given them a more correct
idea of their abilities, for improving and governing distant countries.
After saving his Majesty's ministers the trouble of thinking how the na
tional money was to be expended on their jobs in Africa, they seem in
clined to relieve us from the embarrassinent of either reflecting or acting in
our own affairs, and making his Majesty's ministers, aud even the imperial
parliament, their dupes and tools for empirical experiments on our lives
and property.
“It appears by a report from a committee of the house of assembly,
made in the year 1792, that during the preceding twenty years 80,021
executions had been lodged in the office of the provost-marshal, amounting
to £22,563,780, or at the rate of 4 1,128,189 annually.
“ From an authentic document, now lying before your committee,
they can state that the average number of negroes, imported into the
island, from the year 1792, to the year 1796 (when the repeal alluded to
took place), were, after allowing for exports, 12,000 annually ; and that
rate of importation continued until the year 1800, there having been im
ported and left in Jamaica, from November, 1792, to November, 1799,
84,085 Africans.
“By the table before referred to, it will be found, that the average im
portation, from the date last mentioned to the close of the trade, was about
9867 per annum."
“At the repeal of the act of Geo. II, in 1796, there could not be a
less sum, open on judgments in the clerk of the court's office, than from
four to five millions of pounds, which were secured by force of the said
judgments, and the laws of the island, upon the negro slaves, and with
hardly any other security; for judgments are not here a lien on the lands,
and it was not then the practice to take judgments at law for the debts
due to British merchants, secured by mortgages on estates.
“This immense sum was in part due to British creditors, but prin
cipally through the medium of Guinea factors, resident here, who were
responsible to capitalists in Great Britain.
“What would have been the consequence of the assembly pursuing
the measures suggested as wise and humane by this Institution?
“No one of common sense, or common honesty, can gravely assert,
that the laws ought to have taken away the only security for £4,500,000,
or have altered that security, without the consent of the contracting parties.
“Supposing the assembly had given notice, that at the end of seven
years, or of any certain period, the negroes were to be attached to the
soil, and not remain liable to be sold on executions.
“The Guinea factors, with very few exceptions, were lenient creditors.
The debts were put on judgment as soon as possible; but, after obtaining
that security, partial payments were received, and a great many years ge
nerally elapsed, before the whole was extinguished. Experience had con
vinced them that earlier liquidation could not be enforced, without ruining
the debtor, and losing great part of their money. But, if a law had passed,
depriving them of the power to enforce payment, allowing that some re
nedy by elegit, with which they are unacquainted, had been substituted,
* See infra, page 245.-E.

the capitalists in Great Britain would have taken the alarm, and their
debtors, the Guinea factors, must have used every exertion to enforce pay
ment, by issuing writs to recover their property, whilst the remedy re
mained, on the faith of which credit had been given to the debtor.
“These attempts would have been vain.
** To pay £4,500,000, at the high priee of £82 10s. which African
negroes then bore, it would have required the sale of 54,545 slaves, to be
immediately torn from the plantations. Let it be recollected, that 12,000
Africans were annually imported; a number beyond the wants of the
colony, but which the British merchants forced into it. -

“If 54,000 seasoned slaves had been added, or even a tenth part of the
number, the price could not have been kept up to 440, and upwards of
100,000 slaves must have been torn from their settlements.
“But who were to purchase them at any price?
“The bare attempt would have occasioned a convulsion, destructive to
the agriculture and commerce of the island, ruinous to the mercantile in
terest of their creditors in Great Britain, and inflicting on the slaves all the
privations and discomforts, in a tenfold degree, which it was intended to
“Nothing can place in a stronger point of view the danger of trans
ferring the legislative power from the representatives of the people of the
colonies, and placing it in other bodies, who cannot be acquainted with
the detail, or see in all its bearings the effects of a measure, which, as first
viewed, may appear highly beneficial.
“From the terrible calamity, which would have been inflicted, iſ the
African Institution and its reporter had been the advisers of our legislators,
the colonies have been preserved by the information and temper of the
house of assembly, who submitted in silence to the calumnies heaped
upon them for performing their duty. The time is now arrived, after
the British creditor has had seven years to collect the price of the slaves
which he had given credit for; but it has only just arrived, when
the house of assembly might, without violent injustice, entertain the ques
tion of preventing negroes being sold on writs of venditioni erponas,
making proper provisions for the performance of existing contracts.
“The proposition of attaching the slaves to the soil is very different,
and must be viewed under other aspects.
“The lands cultivated for coffee in Jamaica, are of a description un
known to the agriculturists of Europe, and in a very different state from
the fields yielding sugar-canes within the tropics.
“By the improved system of modern husbandry, lands yielding the cereal
gramina in Europe, do not wear out, but may continue for centuries to
produce the same quantity of food. To the sugar-cane, a similar system
has been applied, and although with less complete success, from there being
no succession or rotation of different corps, yet when the fields are level,
and manure can be carried out at a moderate expense, or they are suffi
ciently extensive to admit of throwing out a proportion of the land to

rest, the cultivation may be continued for a long period, with only a di
minished profit, but exempt from absolute loss.
“ The condition of the cultivator of coffee is less fortunate. The
plantations have been established chiefly upon steep ridges, intersected by
deep ravines, in many cases without as much level ground on the estate as
is necessary for the works, until it has been made by art, and at consi
derable expense. The soil is of a loose texture, of no great depth, and
often upon an understratum of sterile clay or gravel. Many of the settlers
began with small capitals, and the quantity of land they could purchase
was in proportion.
“ For a few years the trees yielded abundantly. The system adopted
required keeping the fields free from weeds and grass; every shower car
ried off some of the finer particles, and the torrents, which fall for
months in every year, gradually swept away the productive soil, leaving
the roots of the trees without the means of nourishment. No care on the
part of the planter could have prevented these inevitable consequences from
the nature of the exposure, soil, and climate.
“The fields, once productive, have gradually been abandoned, and are
altogether unfit for cultivation; they do not even throw up, nor can they
be made to yield, a grass fit for rearing cattle.
“ Ages must elapse before these hills can again be clothed with woods,
and form a soil from the decayed vegetables. .
“The evidences of Mr. Mais, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Lindo, Mr. Muir,
Mr. Clark, and Mr. Ouchterlony, shew that the natural causes, which we
have pointed out, have already produced the effects to be expected in the
extensive district, formerly bearing coffee, in the parishes of St. Mary,
St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Thomas in the East.
“The same has taken place in the mountains of St. John, St. Dorothy,
and Clarendon.
“ In Port-Royal and St. David, a recent hurricane and storm have ac
celerated the sterility, which otherwise would have coine on more gradually.
“The examination of Mr. Muir, which states, that not merely forty
acres of coffee, but the land covered with native wood, had separated from
the substratum, and been carried into the rivers and ravines, shews very
strongly the nature of this soil, and the effects of the torrents.
“By a return from the parish of St. George, made by the clerk of the
vestry, it appears that fifty-four plantations in that parish, formerly bearing
coffee, have been thrown up or abandoned. -

“A list, exhibited by Mr. Mais, shews that twenty-three estates, in the

parish of St. Andrew, on which 1543 labourers were formerly settled, are
no longer in a state of eultivation. The same has taken place in St.
Thomas in the East, St. Mary, St. John, St. Dorothy, and part of Cla
rendon. In a very short time little or no coffee will be reared in those ex
tensive districts. Your committee proceed to apply this evidence to the
“From a report to the house of assembly, by a committee, in the year
1799, it appears that there were then about 686 coffee-plantations, culti
wated by 84,235 slaves. The produce of their labour, in the year follow
ing, was 11,116,498lbs. coffee. These estates had been principally settled
in the preceding nine years, the exportation in 1791 having been only
1,603,066lbs. They were afterwards greatly extended, and the number in
creased, so that in the year 1810, there was an export of 25,885,28 lbs.,
which must have required at least double the number of labourers, which
were so employed in 1799, or 68,000.
“A greater exportation has taken place since, but it was the effect of
accumulation within the island, whilst there was no market in Europe, and
the average exportation of the five last years has fallen to 24,400,000lbs.
“Fortunately the decay has been, and will continue to be, progressive,
and the labourers may be gradually absorbed in the population of the dis
tricts, which can still be cultivated without loss, and principally on the
sugar-estates, most of which are deficient in strength, if this natural re
medy for a great calamity be not obstructed by injudicious statutes,
enacted at the instance of those, who, contemning the rights of their fel
low-subjects, wish also to strive against the laws of nature, and the dis
pensations of Providence, which compel the inhabitants of this island to
seek new settlements for themselves, and their negroes, in despite of that
fond attachment which even white colonists feel for their property and
homes, but which sentiment our detractors seem to think is only expe
rienced by Africans.
“The positive evidence supports a conclusion, which must necessarily
follow the detail that we have given. Attaching a labourer to such a soil,
would, in the plain language of the witnesses, ruin the master, and starve
the slave. - -

“But is this removal of the negro an evil so formidable, as to call for

a remedy of the desperate description suggested?
“It is apparent, that being transplanted from a sterile, to a productive
soil, from a place where labour can procure no return, to one where new
or good lands give an exuberant harvest, can be in itself no calamity.
“Abstracted from declamation about the bones of ancestors, and the
attraction of early associations, what is it that we consider endears home *
The presence of our wives, children, relations, friends. When the popu
lation is removed to a different estate, do they experience greater privations,
do they undergo as many hardships as the free citizens of the United
States encounter, when they desert the worn-out fields of New England,
and seek more productive establishments on the banks of the Ohio, or the
“What does the evidence disclose of these hardships ? When a planter
first contemplates bringing additional negroes to the estate, he establishes
provisions. When the measure is fixed, he builds houses: If obliged to
accelerate the removal, he purchases, and regularly distributes, as much
food as can be consumed, and expects no labour from his new colony for
himself, until, with the assistance of the tradesmen, and old settled people,
they have made themselves in all respects comfortable.
“Does that consumption of life ſollow, which wasted the Europeans,

who first attempted new settlements, or occurred in the seasoning of

Africans ?
“ Nothing of the kind More removals have taken place since the
abolition of the slave trade, and the failure of coffee estates, than ever
was known; but have they increased the mortality ? Not in the least !
“The first object of every master is to make the new settlements more
comfortable than the former abodes, and the consequences are inevitable,
that the people are satisfied, and never dream of the hardships, so feelingly
pourtrayed by the lively imagination of their European friends.”—Further
Proceedings, &c. p. 36.

A second charge against the colonies is the enactment of laws

said to be for the “obstruction of manumission.” There is no
subject, perhaps, thus forcibly dragged into the present inquiry,
upon which the feelings of Parliament and the public are more
liable to be inisled than upon this; and none, as we think, upon
which the answers of the colonies are more triumphantly successful.
The practical truth is, that the act of manumitting a slave is an
act of the most various character, according to the various circum
stances, and the various motives, from and under which it may be
performed. It may be an act of the most generous good will,
or it may be one of the deepest cruelty, or of the most designing
villany. We will not prepare the escape of Mr. S., by saying
that he either cannot or he will not see the truth of this assertion.
That gentleman's defence is of another kind. He sees the unworthi
ness of the motive that may lead to manumission; his eyes are open
to the public injury and private affliction it may produce; but he
looks, as we have before intimated, to the policy of encouraging it,
as tending to general emancipation. No matter, he will say, what
scoundrel is the agent, what wretch is the victim—large and general
good is the end; and this is the language, not only of Mr. S.,
but of all zealots, and of those who would make zealots. Ordinary
legislators, however, are governed by opposite rules. It is their
humble task to resist wickedness, and prevent suffering, in the de
tail; and they shun, as the first of crimes, to do evil that good may
come. Again, and again, we must beseech our readers, not to be
misled by words. Alas! who is there that there does not know,
on what numberless occasions the multitude of even the good and
wise are engaged in applauding persons for deeds which the few,
in possession of the secret, know to have been performed for
any but pious, humane, or honourable reasons. Every man in the
West Indies, who should manumit his slave, would be recorded
by the African Institution in its calendar of saints; and yet how
many of these, like the saints of another calendar, would disgrace
their canonization The African Institution is very unwilling the
world should recollect, that the conditions of master and slave are
conditions of mutual obligation; a civil relationship, to the duties
of which both parties are reciprocally bound; and that the alluring
word to manumit, may often mean the same with the cruel one, to
forsake, to cast away. The relationship is different, indeed, both,
from the voluntary contract of marriage, and from the involuntary
contract of blood; but it is still a contract between one human
being and another, and, so far, it is of the same description, alike in
morals and in law; and, if we were obliged to suppose it (what we
certainly do not) always uncemented by affection, it is, at least,
always bound by duty. Will it always be consistent, then, with
duty, that a master should manumit his slave 2 Is freedom in
the abstract the good desired Shall we manumit our wives and
children; that is, throw them loose upon the world, and rob them
of all their rights against us? To us, it appears plain, from the
analogy we have just drawn, that the law, so far encouraging in
discriminate manumission, ought to give to the slave the right of
resisting his freedom, at the same time as to the master the power
of bestowing it. It is of importance that we should truly under
stand what slavery is. We have already expressed ourselves against
it; but still we survey it calmly. It is not without its resemblance
to marriage and to the parental authority, and, to a great extent,
it may be assailed by complaints common to all the three. Some
of the precursors of the African Institution were alive to the slavery
of marriage, and called upon us to abandon ties so barbarous, and
so unworthy of the dignity of our nature; others saw deeply into
the oppressions of parents and the rights of children; and, doubt
lessly, all might paint, with the pencil of Mr. S., the hideous ſea
tures of that system of which it is the fashion to speak with
profound veneration—namely, the patriarchal. Further, it is
incontrovertibly true, that if the institution of slavery is and
has been the source of much human unisery, so is and has been
that of marriage, and so the rights of parents. We are not endea
vouring to raise the rank, nor to disguise the evils, of slavery, but

solely to remind the reader, that it confers benefits (such as they

are) as well on the slave as on the master; and that therefore, the
dissolution of that state may not always be to the advantage of the
former. There are other moral wrongs, to which, as we have seen,
the act of manumission may be made subservient; but the following
specimens of diabolical manumission have surprized even ourselves,
and proved to us, if proof were wanting, how worse than idle it is
to reason theoretically upon the acts of men, among whom the
worst things can so often be done under the best names; and how
absurd, to a degree beyond description, it is, to clamour for that of
which we do not know all the aspects! Every day, we hear the
ignorant, the arrogant, and the superficial, discourse of laws and
of politics in this self same manner; but who could have dreamed
it possible, that the names of Stephen, Wilberforce, and Lord
Grenville, should ever have been associated with these, or the teach
ers of this class 2 Let us learn, from the Bahama Report, how much
virtue can be mixed up with the act of manumission, and to what
limits the wickedness of the colonies can go, in interfering with
these charitable deeds!

“The principal remaining objections to the bill are for the most part of
a general nature. With a view to reconcile the harshness of its intended
operation to those resident in England, who are interested in West India
property, the most elaborate provisions are made to protect mortgagees
and remainder-men, and all manner of reversionary or residuary rights,
against the negligence, accidental or fraudulent, of mortgagors or others
in actual possession. But that those precautions have been dictated more
by a spirit of policy than a sense of justice, is evident from this, that the
rights of equally honest creditors, resident in the West Indies, whose debts
are generally by judgment, bond, note, book-debt, and the like, are wholly
disregarded : and a vindictive debtor, who, on the general faith and credit
of a large negro property, should involve himself to the very brink of in
solvency, might, by the fraudulent neglect of one triennial return, at once
reduce his capital to a cypher with impunity. Nor is the existence of such
debtors at all problematical. For the fact is well known, that in these
islands, several debtors, for the mere purpose of defeating the rights of
creditors, by whom they conceived themselves unkindly treated, have
sometimes, by deeds of manumission in their life-time, but more frequently
by will, declared their negroes free. Hitherto, however, all manumis
sions, under such circumstances, have been considered as voluntary con
veyances, without consideration, in fraud of creditors, and therefore uni
formly set aside.”—Proofs and Demonstrations, p. 6.
We confess that we shall be glad to see the African Institution

extricate itself from all the difficulties that are presented to it in the
above solitary paragraph.-As to that obstacle, as it is called, to
manumission, which consists in the security required by the colo
nial laws, that the manumitted slave shall not become burthensome
to the parish, nothing can be more obvious to the bumblest capa
city, not only that such a regulation is directly derived from the
laws of England, but that every consideration, as well of humanity
as of public prudence, demands it. We call the reader's attention,
once more, to the analogy between slavery (let us use the French
word esclavage), and parentage, and marriage. Now, there is the
same legal obligation on the master or owner to maintain his slave,
as on the husband to maintain his wife, and on the father (by na
tural obligation) to maintain his child; and, going back to the ar
gument we have already held, shall the master or owner be allowed
to throw off, at his pleasure, this most just as well as legal obliga
tion ? We might add the case of master and apprentice. Some
of the colonial answers to this charge have appeared above. Our
limits do not allow us to go into a full exposition. The pamphlets
we are reviewing will amply assist the closest investigation. We
permit ourselves, in addition, to remark, that in the tortuous path
trod by the African Institution, every thing is taken up and aban
doned as it suits the moment. At one time language is exhausted,
and decency wholly disregarded, in the effort to vilify the Plant
ers; at another, they are supposed to be without the ordinary
frailties of mankind. How else can it be supposed that the act of
manumission is not to be viewed with the utmost jealousy by the
laws 2 That there are slaves who are burdensome, and not profit
able to their masters, has been suggested in one of our extracts.
The fact must present itself to every one's mind. That the slaves
are considered and treated as cattle, is carefully inculcated
upon us. Now, how are cattle ordinarily treated 2 . When
they have spent their strength in the service of their owners, are
they not killed * The African Institution, with all its information,
and all its courage, has not yet informed us of the existence of
any colonial law for killing aged or infirm slaves. But, though
there is no law of this sort for the relief of the owners, yet, if those .
owners are only half as bad as the African Institution tries to per
suade us, is it not to be presumed (put away all the facts that have
been produced) that the facility of manumission would be abused .

to the disadvantage of the slave, or to the injury of the commu

nity; and that human selfishness would be sufficiently willing to
drop a title to property, when it could no longer produce any
thing but a daily loss. Thus, the prospect of the then truly
unhappy slave would be, to wear out his youth and his manhood
in toil, and to spend his age in want or in a workhouse. To what
an extent this evil would be threatened by the adoption of the
Registry Bill is a subject too large for us to touch. Let it only
be remembered, that the slave whom his owner shall have registered
all the valuable part of his life, may, by mere omission to register,
be got rid of in his decay. He is free, cries the African Institution;
glorious operation of the law! Ask the forsaken slave. For us,
so strongly does the mischief present itself to our eyes, that we
counsel the colonial legislatures, in the improbable event of this
monstrous compound of folly and ignorance (the Registry Bill)
being passed into a law, to impose a heavy penalty on the discon
tinuance to register any slave once registered. We see no other way
of counteracting the enormous error of the Bill, of doing justice
to the colonial communities, and of throwing a shield over the for
tunes of the slave. True it is that such a law would furnish new
matter for the declaimers of the African Institution; but every
right principle would demand it, and we must do our duty through
good, and through evil report.
Mr. Stephen, in the paper so creditably fathered by the African
Institution, has, indeed, treated the explanation of the security (for it
is security only, and not a deposit,) on manumission, as being solely
for the protection of the parish, in the light of artifice and hypo
crisy; roundly asserting, that “the pretence is not only false, but
inconsistent with notorious truth. In the few islands,” continues
Mr. S., “in which a poor-rate is ever known, the objects for
relief are exclusively white persons; and the authors of these
laws might be challenged to show a single instance of a free
coloured person being relieved as a parish pauper in any part of
the West Indies.”*
The challenge has already been accepted; and, to pass over
everything else, we call the attention of our readers to the reply
•f the Bahama Committee: “How wretchedly defective,” says

* Reasons for a Registry.


the Report of that body, “must the African Institution appear to

be, in its information concerning the West Indies; or, if not mis
informed, how wilfully must they appear to have aspersed at least
this colony, when it is made known, that considerably more than
one-half of the paupers on these islands, supported by the several
parishes, during the last twenty years, have been free blacks and
people of colour! Formerly, in New Providence, the paupers were
maintained by allowances of money paid to them weekly by the
vestries. But, latterly, a poor-house has been erected at the public
expense, on a more enlarged and liberal plan. And since that
time the number of free people of colour on the establishment
has gradually ceased to bear the same proportion to the whites;
the former being evidently less willing to reconcile themselves
to industry of any kind, or to the restraints which the regula
tions of a poor-house necessarily impose on intemperance and
licentiousness."—The facts stated on this occasion are supported
by the testimony of witnesses, and by official documents.
A third charge, brought by the African Institution against the
colonial legislatures, (apparently disconnected, like the rest, with
the Registry Bill, and only relevant if the overthrow of West India
property is the real object of that body,) is founded upon the refu
sal of the testimony of slaves and coloured persons against whites.
It shall be admitted on our part, that there is scarcely a topic
thus involved by the African Institution in the pending discus
sion, upon which the judgment of the English public has more
need of being rightly directed, than upon that now brought under
view. There is no peculiarity in the colonial laws, nor in the
condition of the colonial slaves, which, at first sight, might be so
excusably charged with the most detestable tyranny; and nothing,
certainly, which is so humiliating to the slave, nor bears so heavily
upon him, as this restriction. This is what we admit; and yet
we are fully prepared to say, that no arbitrary provision of
law was ever more completely justified than this, by the circum
stances under which it has been established. To those, indeed,
who are capable of imagining that human laws are always to be
framed upon principles of abstract right, and not with such
yielding to circumstances as may reach the greatest attainable good,
we have, we confess, nothing to offer; but we speak to men—to


men acquainted with human things—and who act upon human

principles; and, however strongly, upon this question, they, may
be impressed with feelings for which we, on our side, entertain the
fullest respect, and the largest indulgence—we do not despair of
weaning them from error.
Let us, in the first place, recollect, that the principle of reject
ing, under certain circumstances, the evidence that may be offered
in courts of law and justice, is nothing new, either in legislation, or
in the laws of this country. We reject, in general, all testimony
that is not given under the sanction of an oath. In civil actions, we
receive, through special indulgence, the affirmation of the quaker.
On a charge of murder, it would be as impossible, in England,
to convict on the testimony of twenty quakers who should have
seen the fact, as, in the West Indies, in the cases referred to, on the
testimony of twenty negroes.—We reject, too, the evidence which
is not given under the sanction of that form of oath which the
witness is supposed to hold sacred. Thus, we disregard the evi
dence of a Jew sworn upon the Gospels, and of a Catholic sworn
upon the Gospels, but not upon the cross. We swear the Mo
hammedan as a Mohammedan, and so of the rest. But further,
we reject the testimony of one who has been convicted of perjury,
of one who professes to disregard revealed religion, of one
who denies future rewards and punishments, and even of one
who declares or betrays his ignorance of the nature of an oath.
Thus, then, we acknowledge the principle, that society, for its
protection, is not bound to receive the testimony of all who shall be
willing to give it.
But, if the principle is admitted, and is unimpeachable, all that
remains is to inquire, whether its application in the West Indies
is incapable of defence, and whether there is nothing, in the cir
cumstances in which the West India communities are placed, that
justify the rule which has been adopted 2
Trace the matter from the beginning. Certain English subjects
transport themselves from their native soil into distant parts of
the English dominion, and are authorized by the crown to make
laws for their local government and welfare. These persons import
foreign slaves. These slaves, in our estimation, are no subjects
of the king. Every particular in which they are permitted to
share in the rights of subjects is given by favour, and cannot

be claimed of right. But the colonists have imported these foreign

slaves, who, because they are slaves, are without a country, are
without a power to protect or to coerce them, their masters alone
excepted; they import them for their own accommodation. The
laws of England permit and encourage them to do so. But,
having thus imported them for their own accommodation, and
being invested by the crown with the power of making, with the
crown's consent, laws for the government and welfare of their com
munities, is it not to be expected of, and allowed to them, to make
all such laws as may prevent this importation, which they prac
tice for their benefit, from operating to their injury & And could
anything be more injurious than to have upon their soil a class of
persons whose testimony, notoriously, and according to natural
equity, ought not to be received in evidence, and which yet, from
the technical uniformity of law, it should be impossible to refuse 2
Did these foreigners come into the country, invested, by any law,
natural or positive, with the rights of subjects? Were they not
wholly at the disposal of their owners, and of such laws as their
owners might make in their regard? Is any thing taken from
them 2 Are their purchasers obliged to raise them to a civil equality
with themselves?
But waiving every thing that may be disputed here, and al
lowing only that it is just, where it is necessary, or where it is
considered necessary (for men must be judges of their own affairs)
to exclude from giving testimony in courts of justice, either parti
cular persons, or whole classes of persons; and the whole question
is reduced to this—Whether the white and free communities have
reason to consider it necessary to their welfare, that the testimony
of black slaves, and free coloured persons, should not be re
ceived in their courts of justice Now, it is probable that they
have reason, and this on many accounts. First, the persons in
question are slaves, or descendants of slaves; persons in a state of
slavery, or sympathizing with those who are. Can it be sup
posed, and especially by those who picture to themselves the prac
tical consequences of slavery in their most odious colours, that
there is no habitual bias, no ill will, no tendency to irritation, no
occasional malignity of feeling, in the class of slaves, against the
class of masters of freemen, such as may be very prejudicial ti
156 R. E. W. IEW OF BOO KS.

their veracity, either as accusers or as witnesses * Secondly, these

persons are natives of a foreign country, or the descendants of such
natives; unattached, therefore, to the whites, by any national sym
pathies, educated in opposite prejudices, and even separated from
them by decided physiological distinctions, of which, on both
sides, perhaps, the most striking and most repulsive is difference of
colour. But, thirdly, let us put it to the enemies of the colonies,
(reminding them, too, of the religious principles by which they are
guided,) whether the black and mulatto population of the colonies
are really such as, in their own view, can be permitted to take an
oath 2 Let them repeat their descriptions of the general religious and
moral state of these persons, (no matter to what cause or causes they
attribute that state,) and then let them say, whether, from their ad
vancement in the Christian faith, their acquaintance with the na
ture of an oath, or from any other cause, they are, as a body, fit
persons to be sworn to give testimony according to the Christian
form of an oath 2 Doubtlessly, the African Institution will allow,
that there are multitudes of persons in this country, forming
known and numerous classes, whose settled profligacy ought to
exclude then from being allowed to give testimony among our
selves; and we cannot but believe, that if it had been possible, with
respect to these, to distinguish them by the colour of their skin,
they would have been excluded long ago. Moreover, there are
national habits, or habits of condition, which make a whole nation,
or a whole class of people, unworthy of belief upon their oath.
And here, again, as there seems reason to believe, it is “slave or
free,” that stamps the difference of character. It is remarkable,
that among the nations of the East, while those which, either from
the mountainous countries they inhabit, or from other causes, en
joy political freedom, the love and inculcation of truth forms one
of their proudest distinctions, the refined Hindus, possessed of so
many virtues, have little regard for veracity of speech. A Hindu
female, being asked by Sir James M*Intosh, then recorder of Bom
bay, whether there was any harm in perjury, replied, “that she
understood the English had a great horror of it, but that there
was no such horror in her country.” Falsehood and slavery are

* It is obvious that such a sentiment may characterize a nation. It is obvious

sompanions; Shakspeare has justly added cowardice, and given
us the whole groupe in one short angry speech:—
“Coward and slave, thou liest.”—Macbeth, act W.

Our conclusion is, that the refusal of the oath of a slave against t
freeman, and of a man of colour against a white, is an indispensable
attendant on the system of African slavery; that system, the exist
ence of which all unite to lament, but which, so long as it exists,
must have its subsidiary parts”. The rational way of settling our
mind upon the subject is, to consider, not so much what is the
evil of the practice established, as what would be the evil if the
practice were abolished. And yet its abolition, and under the
most odious circumstances, is incidentally provided for in the Re
gistry Bill ! Let us turn once more to our Report from the Ba

“The Committee anxious, for obvious reasons, to bring their labours to

a speedy close, will notice only one passage more of the Report before them,
in relation to the proposed Registry of Slaves. When in any case one held
in bondage should conceive himself entitled to freedom under the provisions
of the abolition laws, “the evidence of indifferent persons,’ says the Re
port, “being or alleged to be slaves, may be admitted, subject to all just
objections to their credit.” (p. 75.) The idea of one slave becoming free,
under any circumstances, by the evidence of another, scarcely requires a
comment. The Report then goes on to rejoice, that in that case, the new
freed men ‘ will become competent witnesses to bring home to their op
pressor, the felonious crime which he has committed. If he was not con
cerned in the importation, but purchased them from smugglers, prior to
the last annual return, the crime of perjury, under the Register Act, at
least may be brought home to him by their evidence.” (p. 76.77.)”—
Chalmers's Proofs, &c. p. 14.

It might be suspected that the African Institution is chiefly dis

that it must characterize a nation so bowed down as the Hindu, with the triple
weight of its temporal and spiritual government, and the institution of castes.
“It is a political maxim of the Hindus, never to use force when any business
can be accomplished by stratagem or deceit.”—Stewart's History of Bengal.
Can there be a horror of perjury among such a people! On the contrary, the
love and practice of truth belong to races more distinguished for valour than
even for ordinary prudence.
* Would the acceptance of the oath of a slave against a freeman be quite
eonsisteut with the spirit of that concession of the Great Charter, that “ne
man shall be tried but by his peers ?”

pleased at the refusal of the testimony of slaves and men of colour,

because of the obstacle it presents to the execution of this homest
and hopeful scheme of emancipation and subornation of perjury |
In this place, which brings so well to the test the religion of the
African Institution, it will be well to consider the religious part of
its complaint against the West India colonies; and here, again, we
shall cite, in the first place, the plain and convincing story of the
Bahama Committee:—

“The African Institution also charge the colonies with gross neglect of
a sacred duty, in not taking due pains to have the slaves instructed in the
Christian religion. But this, even if true, has just as little to do with the
registering of slaves as the subject of voluntarily emancipation. The abo
litionists appear to have a mode of reasoning peculiar to themselves; every
thing that can be said against the West Indies, in any shape whatsoever,
and on any subject, however remote from or unconnected with the ques
tion, is nevertheless an argument with them for registering the slaves.
Speaking of the neglect of the colonies generally, in the matter of religion,
“Laws have been passed,’ says the Report, “aggravating that sin by po
sitive obstructions to the pious purpose of a master, who should desire to
reform the morals and manners of his slaves, by the means which
Christianity affords.” (Page 47, 48.) The drift of his suggestion would
scarcely have been comprehended in these islands, were it not that a direct
allusion to Jamaica in the very next line, evidently shows, that the re
porters, with their usual accuracy and regard to truth and justice, mean
by this general attack on all the colonies, nothing more than to object to
some local regulations that have been adopted in Jamaica, to restrain the
negroes from holding, under pretence of religion, certain unseasonable
and suspicious assemblies:—some of the Methodist preachers there, as it
would seem, not having been permitted to act exactly as they wished,
with respect to the negroes. On these islands the preachers have had no
such obstructions to complain of: as pretty plainly appears by the Annual
Conference of 1814, published by the heads of the Methodist persuasion
at home; wherein the number of white Methodists in the Bahamas is esti
mated at 362, which is precisely 159 more than are to be found throughout
the whole of the West Indies besides, according to the computations of the
same conference. The blacks and people of colour, who have embraced
that persuasion, amount in this little colony to 974.”—Chalmers's Proofs,
&c. p. 13.

The basis of the charge, then, has been found in Jamaica, and
extended by the African Institution (with a nice regard to morality
and religion,) to the whole of the West India colonies; while, with
respect to Jamaica itself, the entire matter is not less grievously
misrepresented. A full explanation is afforded by the author of
the “Thoughts on the Abolition,” (page 141,) and we regret that
the necessity of setting limits to this article forbids us to extract it at
full length. The sum, however, is contained in what is subjoined.
Mr. Tallboys, a Methodist teacher, previously known in the island
as a serjeant in his Majesty's 14th regiment of foot, was accused
of indulging in the most intemperate language, and in several
improper and mercenary practices. Petitions and reports were pre
sented to the governor, General Hislop, who ordered an inquiry,
and the affair ended as follows:—

“Governor Hislop, who had ordered the chapel where Mr. Tallboys
preached, to be shut up while this inquiry was pending, having taken
these statements into consideration, cautioned him to be more guarded in
his language, forbad him to preach after certain hours in the evening, and
prohibited him from taking the surplice fees belonging to the minister of
the Established Church. Mr. Tallboys complained of the treatment he
met with to his friends at home; at whose instance, Governor Hislop was
called upon, by his Majesty's ministers, to give an account of his conduct;
which he did, by transmitting them copies of the different petitions above
referred to, on perusing which, the friends of Mr. Tallboys thought proper
to desist from any further investigation.”—Thoughts, &c. p. 145.
Add to this, as part of the basis of the accusation before us, a
certain ordinance of the corporation of Kingston, in Jamaica, an
extract from which, with the judicious comments of the author of
the “Thoughts,” we further present:—
“ In Jamaica, the corporation of Kingston passed an ordinance, about
seven years ago, the preamble of which recites, that
‘Whereas nothing can tend more to bring true devotion and the practice
of real religion into disrepute, than the pretended preaching, teaching,
and expounding the Word of God, as contained in the Holy Scriptures,
by uneducated, illiterate, and ignorant persons, and false enthusiasts; and
whereas the practice of such pretended preaching hath increased to an
alarming degree, and during such pretended preaching, divers indecent
and unseemly noises, gesticulations, and behaviour, often are used and
takeplace, to the great annoyance of the neighbours, and to the disrepute of
religion itself, and also to the great detriment of slaves, who are induced by
divers artifices and pretences of the said pretended preachers, to attend
the said irregular assemblies, whereby such slaves are continually kept and
detained from their owners' necessary business and employ, and in some
cases the minds of slaves have been so operated upon and affected by the
fanaticism of the aforesaid description of persons as to become actually de
ranged; be it therefore enacted, that no person not being duly authorized
as is directed by the laws of this island and of Great Britain, shall preach
in the city or parish, without a license.”
160 It E W II, W OF BOOKS,

“The ordinance then declares, that persons offending shall be punished

by fine and imprisonment, if free; or iſ slaves, by hard labour in the work.
house for a space not exceeding six months, or by whipping not exceeding
thirty-nine stripes, or both. 'I his is what the framers of the Report of the
committee of the African Institution term “opposing positive prohibitions
to the only attainable means of religious instruction and worship.' With
them, the instruction of the clergymen of the church of England is no
thing, the only true instruction is to be obtained from the sectarian preach
ers; and thus the authority of the many high dignitaries of the church of
England, who are members of the African Institution, in the name of
which society this Report is published, is craftily called in for the purpose
of making them sanction a libel on that establishment of which they are
distinguished ministers, and acknowledge the superior zeal and usefulness
of the Moravian and Methodistical missionaries.”—Thoughts, &c. p. 100.

We shall touch but one remaining branch of the wide inquiry

provoked by the African Institution; and it affords us a degree of sa
tisfaction, that the subject is capable, in this instance, of being con
sidered as bearing some relation to the Registry Bill –

“Insular laws,” says Mr. Stephen, “whose policy plainly depends on

the permanance of the slave trade, also remained un-repealed. Many of
them, for instance, discourage the breeding system, instead of favouring it;
and that in no small degree. In most colonies, the revenues raised for pub
lic or parochial purposes, are chiefly raised by a poll-tax upon slaves,
which attaches on them from the birth to the grave, without any allowance
for infancy, or for other disability to labour for the master, either through
infirmity or age. The planter, therefore, who has the largest proportion of
native slaves, bears, in comparison with his ability, the heaviest share of
the public burdens. If a mother should be released from field-labour, on
account of her pregnancy, or her duties as a nurse, the master is neverthe
less rated for her, and for her infants too. If feeble life is kindly che
rished, after the hope of productive labour has ceased, the poll-tax still
continues, and operates, in effect, as a discouragement to humanity and

The above, we believe, contains all that has been advanced by

Mr. S., in support of his position, that unrepealed insular laws,
whose policy plainly depends on the permanence of the slave-trade,
discourage, what, as is observed by the Bahama Committee, he is
pleased to call the breeding system. This, we say, contains, as we
believe, all that Mr. S. has advanced, to prove that there exist in
sular laws which discourage the natural increase of the number of
the slaves; and the amount of this all is, that “in most colonies,
the revenues are raised by a poll-tax upon the slaves, and that this

tax, making no distinction between young slaves and old, nor be

tween slaves which work, and slaves which do not work, operates as a
discouragement to the rearing of children, to the release of preg
nant women from field-labour, and to the disposition to prolong
the life of the decaying slave. The reply is as brief as the com
plaint, and, we think, quite as conclusive:—
“In Barbados,” says Mr. Jordan, “the only poll-tax that exists, is ap
plicable to the purposes of government, and amounts to 1s. 10; d. cur
rency, or about Is. 6d. Sterling per annum. This is the amount of the pay
ment, and of the supposed inducement to sacrifice human life in its com
mencement, or in its decline. But this is not all. There are numerous
pecuniary charges established per capita, on all slaves. The apothecary's
daily care is remunerated by an annual allowance for each. The occa
sional attendance of a physician, in many plantations, is secured by si
milar payments. These “attach on infancy as well as age.” The allow
ance of food, clothing, and of general supplies, never to be diminished on
account of age or infirmity, together with these, cannot, in the whole, be
estimated at less than from £10, to £12 currency per annum; and the in
fant, from its birth, receives a daily allowance delivered to its mother, as a
support and encouragement to her. In some of the colonies the poll-tax
may be higher than in Barbados. In all, the general charges must be
nearly equal. If life can be sacrificed to avoid payment of the poll-tax,
how can existence be preserved against this load of annual charges, and
murderous inducements 2
“This is not all. The Registry Bill, in addition to these, would lay on
a set of consolidated annual charges per capita, “without any allowance
for infancy, infirmity, or age,’ that altogether would amount to more than
triple the Barbados poll-tax; and those already existing in Trinidad, are
further increased by a direct poll-tax, under a recent Order in Council, to
nine times the amount.”—Examination, p. 29.

It is, indeed, most extraordinary, that by an Order in Council

for Trinidad, in the affairs of which colony the influence of Mr. S.,
and of those whom he is allowed to guide, is, as we have seen, de
clared; by this Order in Council, a tax of two dollars per head
is laid on every slave, without distinction!” Readers will probably
be of opinion, first, that the evidence offered as to a discourage
ment of the “breeding system,” is very slender indeed; and se
condly, that the African Institution cannot be serious in represent
ing a poll-tax upon slaves, nor any other pecuniary burden, as “a
discouragement to humanity and justice!”
* Short Review. p. 86.

A statement of the causes of the unusual mortality hitherto ob

served among the slaves of Jamaica, occupy no inconsiderable
space in the Report from that island, as will be seen at page 235 of
this Journal.

We have thus brought under the observation of the reader the

string of charges exhibited against the colonies as to their practices
within themselves, and the kind of arguments and facts which are
relied on for their support; but it remains that judgment should be
pronounced upon a new and separate accusation, touching their
imputed system in this country.—We shall remember always, that
we are neither the Edinburgh Review, nor the Christian Observer,
nor the Author of the Reasons for the Registry, and that there
fore it is not for us to practice on the passions of the public
by the violence of language, by the grossness of epithet, nor by any
uncharitable tone; but we should be wanting to the duty which
we have here imposed upon ourselves, to the feelings which the
contemplation of right and wrong ought for ever to inspire, and to
the cause of universal truth, that basis of all private and public
happiness and justice, if, in proceeding to this last particular of
which, at this time, we shall permit ourselves to take notice, we
did not call upon those who follow the course of these remarks,
to observe with adequate attention what is now to be subjoined.
The publication entitled “An Exposure of some of the Nu
merous Misrepresentations contained in a Pamphlet, commonly
called Mr. Marryat's Pamphlet, &c,” contains a passage, the
curiosity of which will increase, as the reader is led more closely to
examine it. The writer, having advanced a charge against Dr.
Thorpe, a gentleman between whom and the African Institution there
is known to be considerable misunderstanding, thus proceeds :-

“It was necessary that this fact should be stated for Mr. Maryat's
conviction. The writer would otherwise have deemed it incumbent on
him not to add to the load of discredit which already presses on Dr.
Thorpe. He has no wish to injure him in the opinion of Mr. Marryat
and his other new employers, the West India Board. They are welcome
to all the benefit they can derive from his services, and he to all the money
they may pay him in return.”—An Erposure, ye. p. 56, n.

Thus, then, the writer, for the purpose of injuring the reputa
tion of two parties, viz. Dr. Thorpe and the West India body.
pledges himself to the truth of two propositions; the first, that
Dr. Thorpe renders some corrupt services to the West India body,
and the second, that the West India body does “pay Dr. Thorpe
money in return.” And this is by the author of “An Exposure
of Numerous Misrepresentations, &c.”
But imputations against the West India body, of the use of
money, with the view of obtaining corrupt assistance against the
homest African Institution, are not limited to the case of Dr. Thorpe.
Mr. Stephen follows the author of the “Exposure;” and, in his
“Defence of the Registry Bill,” thus commits the friends of the
Registry a second time, upon the fact of corrupt proceedings on
the part of the colonies. “The instructions of the Assemblies,
in short, have been well executed,” he says, “and their money well
laid out;” and then adds, in a note,

“I do not mean to include the instructions said to be given by one

of them to corrupt some active Member of Parliament by the salary of
an extra agent. I trust this has been found impracticable.”

The reader has now before him a first, a second, and a third in
jurous imputation upon others, proceeding from the friends of the
Registry Bill. The first is against Dr. Thorpe; the two next
against the colonies. Let us go into the proofs by which they are
supported. We cannot suspect that we have here to do with ran
dom libellers.
To these charges, then, as far as they concern the colonies, or
the colonial interest, the following reply, in the form of a letter
from Mr. Pallmer, the Chairman of the West India Committee,
to Mr. Marryat, the gentleman especially addressed in relation to
Dr. Thorpe, is copied from one of the daily papers of the third of
the present month:—
“To Joseph MARRYAT, Esq. M. P.
“ Gloucester-place, April 2, 1816.
“My DeAR SIR,-In a publication, which, by its title, announces “An ex
posure of mis-statements and misrepresentations contained in a Pamphlet,”
which is presumed to have been written by you, I have read, with much
surprise and concern, the following passage:–" It was necessary that this
fact (a charge made by the author against Dr. Thorpe,) should be stated,
for Mr. Marryat's conviction; the writer would otherwise have deemed it
incumbent on him not to add to the load of discredit which already presses
on Dr. Thorpe—he has no wish to injure him in the opinion of Mr. Mar

ryat, and his other new employers, the West India Board; they are wel.
come to all the benefit they can derive from his services, and he to all the
money they may pay him in return.” Leaving in much more able hands
the above imputations, as far as they implicate you, I have felt it my duty
to institute an immediate and accurate inquiry into their truth, as far as
they involve the very respectable body over which I have the honour to
preside. An unanimous declaration of the West India Committee has
pronounced the charge to be (as I myself can testify) absolutely false as
applied to them. Dr. Thorpe (of whom I beg to disclaim all right or in
tention to speak disrespectfully) never was employed' or ‘paid' by the
West India Committee; and the individual members of it have declared,
that they have never had any communication, or even a personal acquaint
ance, with him: I cannot well conceive a charge more destitute of foun
“But I confess it was not without considerable pain I found that the
pamphlet, which contained the imputations to which I have alluded, was
followed by a letter, addressed to Mr. Wilberforce, and subscribed with
the respectable name of Mr. Stephen, containing these passages—“The in
structions of the Assemblies, in short, have been well executed, and their
money advantageously laid out. I do not mean to include the instructions
said to have been given by one of them, to corrupt some active member of
Parliament by the salary of an extra agent. I trust this has been found
impracticable.' I have endeavoured, with the utmost industry, to dis
cover a ground for the serious insinuations thus made, and truth requires
that I should say they appear equally unfounded and unjust. The agents
for the several West India Islands have positively denied the truth of the
charge, and I have sought in vain for an individual to afford me the
the means of assigning a pretext for it. One of the islands having had
for some time as agent a gentleman in Parliament, in the contemplation of
a change, directed application to be made to another, also in Parliament;
but it seems improbable that Mr. Stephen could have built his insinuation
upon this circumstance, because it could hardly have come to his know
ledge, without the knwledge of the fact, that the gentleman alluded to
had acted gratuitously from the year 1795; that the sum paid by the
island was £100 per annum to his secretary, and that no further sum was
proposed to be paid on the new appointment.
“I am desired by the West India Committee to request you to make
this letter public; it is deemed necessary, from the pains which have been
taken to distribute the publications to which I have adverted. I am very
sensible that these appeals are not always attended with the desired advan
tage; yet I cannot but hope that a correction of mis-statements at present
may lead to future accuracy. If, however, it should unfortunately happen
that the accusations, which I have made it my business in this letter to
repel, should be repeated, or succeeded by others, you will readily believe
that I do not mean to assume the duty of writing, or to impose on others
the task of reading, other explanations or details.
“I am, my dear Sir,
- “ Your faithful humble servant, -

º - “ C. N. PAllMER” ”
R e.V.I.EW OF BOOKS. 165

The foregoing has not remained unanswered. The newspapers

contained, a few days after the appearance of Mr. Pallmer's state
ment, the following public letter to that gentleman:—
“To C. N. PALLMER, Esq.
“SIR,-To relieve you from the pain which you profess to feel, at find
ing the name of Mr. Stephen subscribed to insinuations which you deem
‘ unfounded and unjust,’ and to assist you in that laudable search for truth,
in which it appears you can get no help from the West Indian Committee
I beg leave to lay before you the following documents:–
“ St. Vincent, Sept. 7, 1815.
“SiR,-We have the honour to address you, as a Committee of General
Correspondence, appointed by the legislature of this colony, and to inclose
for your consideration, the copy of a resolution entered into at their
last neeting, whereby we are directed to communicate with you, and the
several gentlemen therein named, on the subject of recommending a fit
person, being a Member of the House of Commons, to act as coadjutor of
Patrick Colquhoun, Esq. as agents for this colony.
“ It being the wish of the legislature to multiply the West India interest
as much as possible in that house, we beg leave to suggest to you the pro
priety of selecting some one who does not at present fill the situation of
agent, for any of the sister colonies; and at the same time recommend
the earliest attention of our friends in England to this subject, as there ap
Pears a small, but not contemptible party forming in the mother country,
whose object seems directed to the introduction of certain regulations in
these colonies, which threaten the most serious consequences, and which
cannot but be regarded with horror, by all persons interested in their well
being and prosperity.
“We have the honour to be, &c. &c.
“ Richard ARUNDELL.
“ John P. Ross.

“House of Assembly, Sept. 6, 1815.

“Resolved,—That the Committee of Correspondence be directed to
communicate with Sir William Struth, Anthony Brown, Josias Jackson,
John Wilson, Jonathan Morgan, Henry Haffey, Wm. M'Kenzie, and
Robert Sutherland, Esquires, or any three of them, upon the subject of re
commending a fit person, being a member of the house of commons, to
act as coadjutor of Patrick Colquhoun, Esq. as agents of this colony.
“A true copy,
“ Herbert P. Cox, Clerk of the Assembly.”
“I believe, Sir, that two at least of the gentlemen here named as dele
gates, for the choice of a Parliamentary Agent, are members of the West
India Committee; and though you “sought in vain for an individual to
afford you the means of assigning a pretext for Mr. Stephen's insinuation
in his letter to Mr. Wilberforce, those gentlemen, perhaps, will have the
goodness to enable you to tell us, whether the above documents are not

genuine; if they are, the public will judge whether Mr. Stephen was
right, or whether it was the object of this unprecedented delegation, to ask
the favour of some member of parliament to act as coadjutor agent gra
“The plan seems to have been happily devised: Mr. Colquhoun,
whose talents and industry are well known, was, no doubt, to do all the
business out of parliament, that his coadjutor might have not only a salary,
but a sinecure too, except as to his speeches and votes. This obviously
gave the delegates a wider range of choice, and enabled them to act upon
views purely parliamentary.
“I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,
“A FRIEND. To the Registry Bill.”

A third letter has been given to the public, through the same
channels, as before, at the instant when this sheet is going to press:
“To C. N. PALLMER, Esq. M. P.
“ Montague Square, April 26, 1816.
“Dean Sta,--Having seen, on my return to town this morning, a letter
addressed to you by a writer describing himself as ‘a Friend to the Re
gistry Bill,’ in which I am named and alluded to as a member of the
West India Committee, I think it right to give you a short explanation of
what has occurred relative to the appointment of an agent for the Island of
St. Vincent, upon which, it seems, is founded a very serious charge against
the Assemblies of the West India Islands.
“It has already been stated by you, correctly, that a respectable Mem
ber of Parliament has acted gratuitously, as agent for the island of St.
Vincent, from the year 1796 to the present time; and, I can add, from my
own knowledge, that the gentleman in question had, for a series of years,
as his coadjutor, a respectable baronet, who was also in parliament, and
who also acted gratuitously: and it was only on the demise of the last
mentioned gentleman, that any alteration in the agency of the island was
contemplated. With respect to the mere appointment, I can say, that the
persons who, by the resolution of the Assembly, were directed to make it,
had no authority whatever to offer any salary to the gentleman who might
accept the agency; nor, indeed, were any steps at all taken to make the
appointment. If the Assembly of St. Vincent had contemplated the
granting any salary to a coadjutor to Mr. Colquhoun, it would hardly,
I think, have applied to a set of gentlemen to make the recommendation,
without apprizing them of such intention; and if such an idea had been
entertained, it may be presumed that it would have come to the know
ledge of the ‘Friend to the Registry Bill,' through the same chamel
which supplied him with information as to the other proceedings of the
Assembly.” I am, however, thoroughly persuaded, that the Assembly
of St. Vincent had no such intention.
“If Mr. Stephen and the ‘Friend to the Registry Bill,’ (who, in senti
ment, at least, seem to be the same) are of opinion that the aid and in
terest of Members of Parliament are not to be obtained, excep by means
of their being ‘corrupted' by aid of an “extra-salary, I rejoice to
think that such does not appear to have been the opinion of the Assembly
of the Island of St. Vincent, which, for a series of years, has found the
fact to be otherwise. In truth, the situation of agent, for most of the
islands, is merely honorary: it is conferred, on the one hand, as a proof of
confidence, and held, on the other, not for the sake of salary, but for that
personal gratification which those who value public opinion can best ap
“ In conclusion, I must observe, that when Mr. Stephen says “the in
structions of the Assemblies have been wellerecuted, and their money ad
vantageously laid out,’ and alludes to “instructions said to be given by one
of them to corrupt some active Member of Parliament, by the salary of an
extra agent; if he has no other ground for his statement, than the pro
ceedings of the Assembly of St. Vincent, I perfectly concur in the
opinion, which you have given, that “he has made insinuations which are
unfounded and unjust.’
“The circumstance seems to show the nature of the evidence by which
the Assemblies of the West India Islands are vilified.
“I am, dear Sir,
“Your sincere humble servant,
“Jos. JAcksox.

The reader will now remember the charges which have been
made, and he will call upon the writers for their proofs, first, that
the West India Committee has paid or promised money to Dr.
Thorpe; and, secondly, that the Assembly of St. Vincent, or of any
other colony, has given instructions to corrupt some active Member
of Parliament, by the salary of an extra-agent. To Mr. Stephen,
and the “Friend of the Registry Bill,” in particular, we, on our
part, apply ourselves. Mr. Pallmer's letter had suggested that
the case to which Mr. S. in his Defence, (or letter to Mr. Wilber
force), has alluded, was one (viz. St. Vincent,) in which salary was
out of the question. The “Friend of the Registry Bill” then
comes forward with his document. His document proves, that the
case suggested by Mr. Pallmer was precisely the one in question;
and yet this case, into which salary does not enter, and this docu
ment, in which no mention of salary, nor allusion to any, occurs,
are presented as confirming the statement of Mr. Stephen. We
have intimated before, that we shall call no names; we leave it
wholly to Mr. Stephen to reconcile himself to his conscience and to
the public; but we ask, at the same time, whether it is by this
mode of framing testimony, half fact and half fiction, that he
usually proceeds in his attacks upon the West India colonies?—

Mr. S. has before him a document which shows that the Island of
St. Vincent desires an extra agent in Parliament; and to this he
fearlessly adds, a salary of which he knows nothing; of which,
knowing nothing, he ought to have said nothing; and of which,
further, he ought to have known, that nothing like it has been
usually connected with the agency for the Island of St. Vincent!
The Assembly of St. Vincent wishes to have a friend in Parliament,
to assist in overthrowing the schemes of the African Institution;
and Mr. Stephen dares to tell the British public, that the means it
proposes to itself is corruption, and that it has offered a salary !
We see, with regret, that at this point we must desist from pur
suing further, at present, the important subject of this article.
We had designed, after examining it in detail, to permit ourselves
some range of general observation. Our limits forbid our doing so,
and our best hope is, that we may be found to have said enough to
convince the reader, both of the magnitude of the interests at stake,
and of the doubtful ground, at least, upon which the Registry
Bill is recommended. It is to our disappointment that we are forced
to conclude, without bringing into our pages even some cursory no
tice of a variety of forcible views which the authors of the pamphlets
before us have presented, and to which we are not able in any man
ner to advert. We repeat, that all we can flatter ourselves with is,
the thought we may contribute to provoke inquiry. If we do this,
our efforts will not be useless. The matter is one of those, with
respect to which nothing is so much to be feared as precipitancy.
It engages the feelings before there is time for reaching the under
standing, and calls upon us to decide a question with respect to
which it is almost virtue to be wrong. Inquiry, reflection, a recur
rence to great principles, is therefore of the last importance; it is
this alone from which the colonies can hope for safety, and this to
the promotion of which alone our humble ambition aspires.
The advocates of the Registry Bill impose, as we have seen, but
little restraint upon themselves, in regard to the moral character of
those by whom they are opposed. We have little inclimation to
follow their example, in the estimate, on our side, of the possible
motives of their pursuit, nor have we, at this time, either the space
or the leisure for going into that inquiry. We shall pass over, in
consequence, all possible private temptations, under which they, or
any of them, may labour; but we shalladd one word upon the great
principles which belong to the question, and concerning which the
most honourable minds may be in error, or misunderstand each
other. We would not have it supposed (it will not, from the scope
of our argument, be supposed) that we differ from the advo
cates of the Registry. Bill upon any abstract question of slavery,
or upon any abstract view of the African population which is the
subject of it in the colonies. We have contended, simply, that
slavery, however to be condemned, has been lawful in its origin *;
that the slaves of the colonies have been lawfully acquired; and
that therefore they are entitled to the protection of the law, and of
all principles of law. It matters nothing, in our view, whether
these slaves are black or white. We have no prejudice against the
negro, his natural understanding, nor his natural virtues, though
we may be no more reconciled than the generality of others to his
difference of colour. We are certainly not of the number of those
who “blush that their skin is white,” or who think “black the
true colour of nobility t?” but we are, perhaps, more than free from
any opposite excesses. Every thing, with us, is a question of prin
ciple. The whole, as it is fixed in our minds, is summed up in
the words of one of the pamphlets before us, where the writer
advances, “that however strongly the rights of man may be plead
ed in favour of the slaves, the rights of property may be as strongly
urged in favour of the masters :.” It is here that we make our
stand. We are even prepared, perhaps, to go a little beyond this
writer, because we view the right of property, not as to be balanced
against the rights of man, but as one of the most important of those
rights themselves; and he, therefore, who defends the rights of
property, is the true defender, in our mind, of the rights of man.
And here lies the sophism of all that popular doctrine with which
the world has of late years been assailed; a sophism which must
have been suspected to subsist somewhere, for so much evil in prac
tice could not have resulted from a theory substantially good. Our
tongues are worse than tinkling cymbals, if, while we assert the
rights of man in the gross, we deny them in the detail; and, of all
rights, which is less dubitable than the right of property?
* In speaking of the lawfulness of the sources of slavery, we have taken no
*tice of particular exceptions, as in the case of kidnapping, &c. because
they stand for nothing in the general argument.
tº Expressions reported to have been severally used by two distinguished
*dvocates of the Registry Bill, at a late public dioner.
f Thoughts, &c. p. 214.

But, to possess the right of property, is, in the words of Mr.

Stephen, to be privileged. The West India proprietors are deno
minated, by that gentleman, the privileged classes. We know
the school to which this language belongs, and we shall be
inexcusable if it do not put us on our guard. We, in
England, should remember, that we are all bound up in one
common system, and have to preserve ourselves from one cominon
enemy. The estates of the rich, the titles of the great, the tithes
of the church, are all to be assailed with the same weapons as the
slave-property of the colonies, and are all equally open to the odious
painting of such writers as Mr. Stephen. We know, indeed, that

it is but yesterday that they were thus assailed. To-day, the im

mediate object is different, but the spirit which attacks them is the
same. The same spirit, which, in France, cried, “War to the pa
lace, but peace to the cottage,” cries, to-day, “War to the propri
etor, but peace to the slave.” Woe be to us, if we forget our com
mon interests, and if any one classjoins with those, the only finish of
whose task is the general ruin of all ! The inhabitants of the
colonies endured, with unshaken loyalty, the privations inflicted
by those wars in which Europe sought deliverance from the Jacobin;
are they now, when every other description of subjects feel them
selves safe, to find that the hour of the general victory is the signal
for their destruction ?
But we have argued, not upon principle only, but upon present
experience and necessity. It has appeared that there is no neces
sity for the Registry Bill; and, this being shown, even slight ob
jections of any other kind must at once turn the scale. It has
been seen, that the promoters of the Bill are unable to show that the
evil against which it purports to provide has any real existence;
that they are unable to prove that any slaves are illicitly imported,
or any free persons kept in slavery, for whom the law and the prac
tice of the colonies does not afford every human remedy. We
might appeal, here, to the remarks in the Bahama Report on the
subject of actions for substantiating claims to freedom in the co
lonial courts; to similar remarks in the Jamaica Report, and to the
evidence of public officers and gentlemen of unquestionable con
nection and character, tamong which we may particularize that
of Mr. Hinchcliffe, Judge of the Vice Admiralty Court of Ja
maica,) all of which evince the British feeling with which the claim
of every one who calls himself oppressed is listened to in that part
of the British dominion, and all of which we are modestly required,
by the African Institution, to disbelieve, in order that its own story
may prevail. We have examined the other charges produced by
the same persons, and the reader has pronounced upon their merits.
There is yet another class of objections of which we suspect that
neither ourselves, nor any of those that have gone before us, have
said all that should present itself; we mean the injuries which the
bill must inflict in operation, after it shall have been passed in vio
lation of principle, and in the absence of all necessity. Many of these
strike us in the shape of legal consequences; and, if it is to be sup
posed that Parliament will ever seriously entertain the measure,the
colonies will doubtlessly be heard against it by counsel, and
counsel will not fail to force those points upon the conviction of
those that are to hear them. For ourselves, in the mean time, if we
could fancy, that among those who may do these pages the honour of
a perusal, there would be one hostile and yet ingenuous mind, dissa
tisfied with our conclusions, and yet willing to be corrected; to that
one, we would recommend, as the first step in so worthy a design,
an examination of the Report of the Bahamas. The peculiar cir
cumstances of the islands and colonies bearing that maine, confer an
almost romantic interest on their apprehensions from the Registry
Bill, and convince us, beside, that to that portion of the West In
dies, even the detail of the bill is inapplicable. It is well, in many
cases, and it is eminently so in this case, to fix our eye upon a
single object, in order to comprehend the description of a multitude.
Let the inquirer do so on the present occasion; and if he should
find that the omniscience of the African Institution has not fully ex
tended itself to the circumstance of the Bahama Islands, he may
begin to doubt its infinite perfection, and allow himself, at last, to
question the applicability of the Bill to the colonies in general.
We conclude by addressing to the English public, and to Par
liament more particularly, the single word, inquire. We refer
both to the reported speech of Lord Grenville himself, for the
large admission that the measure contemplated is, by possibility, a
measure of the greatest evil—fatal, by possibility, not only to the
proprietors of slaves, but to the slaves themselves. We will not
force either the public or Parliament to a basty conclusion; we
will not dwell on the possible errors, nor possible motives, of those
who would goad them forward; we ask them only to stop—to paus
—to think for themselves, and to inquire.

APRIL, 1816.


A PROMINENT feature in the affairs of the British Colonies at this

juncture, consists in the favourable operation of the late arrange
ments with the United States of America upon the interests of the
colonies adjacent; first, by the exclusion of the trade of the United
States from the West Indies; and, secondly, by the cessation of the
privilege, heretofore allowed to the subjects of the United States, of
fishing within the British jurisdiction, and of using, under certain
conditions, the shores and territory of his Majesty, for the purposes
of their fishery. The two indulgences which the United States
have now lost, had a certain connection with each other; because,
while the one assisted them in the taking of fish, the other supplied
them with an important market. On the other hand, the omission
to renew them is highly advantageous to the North American colo
nies, as encouraging the agriculture of some, and the fisheries of
others; while to the mother-country it is directly beneficial, both
by extending her nursery of seamen, and by depriving, in the same
proportion, the United States of theirs. The discontinuance of the
privileges of the subjects of the United States, connected with the
fisheries, particularly affects the colony of Newfoundland, where,
at the date of the late arrivals, the following official copy of a letter
from Earl Bathurst to Admiral Sir R. Keats, had just been pub
lished :—
- Downing Street, June, 17, 1815.
“As the treaty of peace, lately concluded with the United States, con
tains no provision with respect to the fisheries, which the subjects of the
United States enjoyed under the third article of the peace of 1783, his
Majesty's government consider it not unnecessary, that you should be
informed as to the extent to which those privileges are affected by the
omission of any stipulation in the present treaty, of the line of conduct
which it is, in consequence, advisable for you to adopt.
“You cannot but be aware, that the third article of the treaty of
the peace of 1783, contained two distinct stipulations—the one reeogniz
ing the rights which the United States had to take fish upon the high seas,

and the other granting to the United States the privilege of fishing within
the British jurisdiction, and of using, under certain conditions, the
shores and territory of his Majesty for purposes connected with the fishery
of these: the former being considered permanent, cannot be altered or
affected by any change of the relative situation of the two countries; but
the other, being a privilege derived from the treaty of 1783, alone was, as
to its duration, necessarily limited to the duration of the treaty itself. On
the declaration of war by the American government, and the consequent
abrogation of the then existing treaties, the United States forfeited, with
respect to the fisheries, those privileges which are purely conventional;
and as they have not been renewed by a stipulation in the present treaty,
the subjects of the United States can have no pretence to any right to fish
within the British jurisdiction, or to use the British territory for purposes
connected with the fishery.
“Such being the view taken of the questions of the fisheries, as far
as relates to the United States, I am commanded by his Royal Highness
the Prince Regent to instruct you to abstain most carefully from any in
terference with the fishery, in which the subjects of the United States
may be engaged, either on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, the Gulf of
St. Lawrence, or other places in the sea. At the same time you will pre
vent them, except under the circumstances hereinafter mentioned, from .
using the British territory for purposes connected with the fishery, and
will exclude the fishing vessels from bays, harbours, rivers, creeks, and
inlets of all his Majesty's possessions. In case, however, it should have
happened that the fishermen of the United States, through ignorance of
the circumstances which affect this question, should, previous to your ar
rival, have already commenced a fishery similar to that carried on by
them previous to the late war, and should have occupied the British har
bours, and formed establishments on the British territory, which could
not be suddenly abandoned without considerable loss, his Royal Highness
the Prince Regent, willing to give every indulgence to the citizens of the
United States, which is compatible with his Majesty's rights, has com
manded me to instruct you to abstain from molesting such fishermen, or
impeding the progress of their fishing during the present year, unless they
should, by attempts to carry on a contraband trade, render themselves un
worthy protection or indulgence; you will, however, not fail to commu
nicate to them the tenor of the instructions which you have received, and
the view his Majesty's Government takes of the question of the fishery;
and you will, above all, be careful to explain to them, that they are not,
in any future season, to expect a continuance of the same indulgence.
(Signed) “BAThurst.”



The state of things, with respect to the commerce of the

United States is of course a subject of interest in the West Indies,
where an opposition has formerly existed to the proposal of confining

their supplies to the freights of British vessels, with view to fa

vour the products of the North American colonies and of the British
fisheries. It is satisfactory to observe, that the West Indies are
not dissatisfied with the new aspect of affairs, regarding it as fa
vourable to the general interests of the eumpire, without materially
affecting, or else with a chance of advancing, their particular in
terests. They assign the former unproductive state of Canada as
the foundation of their previous apprehensions of injury from the
exclusion of the trade of the United States; and the present in
crease of its exportable commodities as the ground upon which their
fears are removed. The advancement of Canada, in the mean
time, during, and in consequence of the late war, is a subject of
some surprize, and of abundant exultation, and has, for one of its
results, the effect of thus enabling Great Britain to exclude the
trade of the United States, without injury to the welfare of the
West Indies.

• While the commerce of the colonies is thus encouraged, and

the harmony of the several parts of the empire thus promoted, a
subject of deep anxiety, to the West Indies in the first instance,
but ultimately to every British colony, has arisen, out of a project
conceived at home, by a private association of persons, individually
possessed of considerable influence in the state. This project con
sists in obtaining from Parliament an Act for the Registration of
Slaves; a matter of regulation, all the effects and bearings of which
are not, at first, easily perceived or understood. The views taken of
it in the West Indies, and elsewhere, will be seen in other parts of our
Journal; but from the following short extract from the Report of a
Committee of the Assembly of the Bahama Islands, the reader will
obtain with facility some insight into the importance of the ques
tion agitated:— - *

“The sole object of the Report now under consideration, and of the
measures in parliament to which it appears to have given occasion, is said
to be, as has been already stated, to fortify the Abolition Laws against
violation, by a general Registry of Slaves in the West Indies. But there
is at least two-thirds of that Report bestowed on subjects entirely foreign
to the matter in hand. Of this, some instances have been already pointed
out; but none of them perhaps are more striking, or worthy of remark,
than those passages in which not only the Colonies but even the Parliament
is rebuked with suffering slaves to be transferred from one island to another:
or even removed from one plantation to another in the same colony; and
also for allowing slaves to be sold off a plantation, either under execution
for debt or by the act of the owner. The uneasiness of the Abolitionists
on these subjects, in fact developes at once the true principles of their
interference in the concerns of the West Indies; clearly demonstrating that
their views are purely of a selfish nature; entirely devoted to the mainte
nance and , increase of the political consequence, public estimation,
influence, and perhaps the patronage they enjoy at home, from their pro
ſessedly disinterested exertions in favour of those in bondage in the West
Indies. For slaves are seldom, perhaps never, removed from one place to
another, without an immediate improvement of their condition. The
comfort of the negro, as well as the profit of his owner, depends on the
capabilities of the soil cultivated. Old plantations are seldom abandoned,
but because they have become barren; and new ones are as seldom chosen,
but on an expectation of their greater fertility. On a removal to land
perfectly new indeed, the slaves as well as their masters are subjected to
some temporary inconveniences; but they are of short continuance. All
the necessary materials for buildiug, fencing, and the like, are so imme
diately at hand, that in a very few weeks the new establishment is for the
most part complete, or at least comfortable. And it is certain that there
is no duty which the negroes perform with more alacrity and satisfaction
to themselves, than that of forming these new establishments. The change
of scene and employment is actually a recreation to them. And as an
idea prevails among several of those at home who undertake to write on
this and other subjects of a similar nature, without understanding them,
that the felling of timber and cleaning up and planting of new fields is
more toilsome than the cultivation of old ones, the committee, from their
own experience, observation, and unquestionable information, positively
state the contrary to be universally the fact. In old fields a certain class
of weeds and hard useless grass generally become in this climate so rank
and inveterate, that the labour of keeping them under is scarcely comi
pensated by the small crops which are raised at last; an inconvenience
from which fields newly opened are almost wholly exempt; and the crops
for a few years at least, are abundant with but little attention. In Eng
land the peasantry are for the most part fondly attached to the spot on
which they were born, the roof of their forefathers, or the fields which have
been long in the family. But those who suppose that anything in the
slightest degree akin to these feelings exists among the negroes on a plan
tation, know but little of the West Indies. The African Institution, how
ever, availing themselves of those local predilections which are so power
fully felt at home, endeavour to excite false sympathies on the same score,
in favour of the slaves in the West Indies; who are in truth never better
pleased than by removals of that nature with their families and little pro
perty, from which, on such occasions, they are never separated. Were it
therefore really the wishes, comfort, and true interests of the slaves, that
the Abolitionists had so warmly at heart, little ought to have been heard
of attaching the negroes to the soil, in any part, perhaps, of the West
Indies. To attach a number of human beings for life to any one plantation.
in the Bahamas, would absolutely be in a few years to condemn them to
famine. The account already given of the soil of these islands is conclu
176 colon IAL SUMMARY.

sive on that head; and probably there are few islands in the West Indies
which are not in some degree similarly situated.”

On the same subject, the St. Jago Gazette (Jamaica) of the 4th
of November last, contains the observations subjoined:—
“Among the other proceedings of the Hon. House of Assembly this week,
our readers will find a report from the committee appointed to consider a
bill lately introduced into the House of Commons, for establishing a registry
in this island; and annexed thereto a string of resolutions, declaratory of
our rights, and containing a pledge that an investigation would forthwith
be commenced, to establish by testimony irrefragable, that the allegations
and enactments of the said bill are utterly unfounded. In the mean
time, the above report and resolutions have been directed to be immediately
forwarded to the Agent, with instructions to lay them before his Majesty's
ministers, and to oppose the passing of the Registry Bill by every means in
his power. It gives us much satisfaction to add, that he is also directed to
publish these documents in all the London daily papers; as we think the
press has been made but too little use of in our favour. Our enemies, on
the contrary, well know its value, and have employed it most indefatigably,
and in every possible shape, against us; prejudicing the public mind by
the most gross misrepresentations, which have remained uncontradicted,
and therefore too generally believed by the great majority of the nation,
who know no better, and who have no means of correcting their errors.”

While these injudicious steps, the defeat of which is not to be

doubted, are taking at home, it is with great satisfaction that we
extract from the St. Jago Gazette of the 24th of February last,
the following advertisement, a distinguished addition to those
marks of that gradual amelioration in the West Indies which is
most consistent with the natural progress of society, and which
genuine philosophy will always prefer to the violence of zealots. We
regret that it is not at present in our power to offer, by name, to the
worthy person whose benevolent purpose is thus declared, that
tribute of applause which all, in common with ourselves, will
eagerly and unfeignedly bestow:—
“Spanish Town, Feb 10, 1816.
“The Rector hereby gives notice, that he will commence a course of
lectures in the Parish Church, on Thursday next, the 15th instant, at four
o'clock, intended principally for the religious instruction of the slaves in
this town, and its vicinity; and he hopes that all owners, or employers of
slaves, will recommend their attendance at that day, and on each succes
sive Thursday. If they will thus contribute their part, he is not without
hope, that the present undertaking may have some effect in promoting
Practical religion, anong a class of people in whose moral improvement
all are, both from duty and interest, deeply concerned.”




Between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America,
signed at Ghent, December 24, 1814.
His Britannic Majesty, and the United States of America, desirous of
terminating the war which unhappily subsists between the two countries,
and of restoring, upon principles of perfect reciprocity, peace, friendship,
and good understanding between them, have, for that purpose, appointed
their respective plenipotentiaries; that is to say, his Britannic Majesty,
on his part, has appointed the Right Honourable James Lord Gambier,
late Admiral of the White, now Admiral of the Red Squadron, of his Ma
jesty's fleet, Henry Goulburn, Esq. a member of the Imperial Parliament,
and Under Secretary of State, and William Adam, Esq. Doctor of Civil
Law:—And the President of the United States, by and with the con
sent of the Senate thereof, has appointed John Quincy Adams, James A.
Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin, citizens of
the United States, who, after a reciprocal communication of their respec
tive full powers, have agreed upon the following articles:–
Art. 1. There shall be a firm and universal peace between his Bri
tannic Majesty and the United States, and between their respective
countries, territories, cities, towns, and people, of every degree, without
exception of places or persons. All hostilities, both by sea and land, shall
cease, as soon as this treaty shall have been ratified by both parties,
as hereinafter mentioned. All territories, places, and possessions what
soever, taken from either party by the other, during the war, or which may
be taken after the signing of this treaty, excepting only the islands herein
after-mentioned, shall be restored without delay, and without causing any
distraction, or carrying away any of the artillery or other public property
originally captured in the said forts or places, and which shall remain
therein upon the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or any slaves,
or other private property. And all archives, records, deeds, and papers,
either of a public nature, or belonging to private persons, which, in the
course of the war may have fallen into the hands of the officers of either
party, shall be, as far as may be practicable, forthwith restored and de
livered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively
belong. Such of the islands in the bay of Passamaquoddy, as are claimed
by both parties, shall remain in the possession of the party in whose occu
pation they may be at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this
treaty, until the decision respecting the title of the said islands shall have
been made in conformity with the fourth article of this treaty. No dispo
sition made by this treaty, as to such possession of the islands and terri
tories claimed by both parties, shall, in any manner whatever, be con
strued to affect the right of either.
2 A

Art. 2. Immediately after the ratifications of this treaty by both

parties, as hereinafter-mentioned, orders shall be sent to the armies, squa
drons, officers, subjects, and citizens, of the two powers, to cease from all
hostilities: and, to prevent all causes of complaint which might arise, on
account of the prizes which may be taken at sea, after the said ratifications
of this treaty, it is reciprocally agreed, that all vessels and effects which
may be taken, after the space of twelve days from the said ratification,
upon all parts of the coast of North America, from the latitude of twenty
three degrees north, to the latitude of fifty degrees north, and as far east
ward in the Atlantic Ocean, as the thirty-sixth degree of west longitude,
from the meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side. That
the time shall be thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean, north
of the equinoctional line, or equator, and the same time for the British and
Irish channels, for the Gulf of Mexico, and all parts of the West Indies;
forty days for the North Seas, for the Baltic, and for all parts of the Medi
terranean; sixty days for the Atlantic Ocean, south of the equator, as far
as the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; ninety days for every part of
the world, south of the equator; and one hundred and twenty days for
all other parts of the world, without exception.
Art. 3. All prisoners of war, taken on either side, as well by land as
by sea, shall be restored, as soon as practicable after the ratifications of this
treaty, as hereinafter-mentioned, on their paying the debts which they
may have contracted during their captivity. The two contracting parties
respectively engage to discharge in specie, the advances which may
have been made by the other, for the sustenance and maintenance of such
Art. 4. Whereas it was stipulated by the second article of the treaty
of peace of 1783, between his Britannic Majesty and the United
States of America, that the boundary should be twenty leagues from.
any part of the shore of the United States, and lying between lines
to be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries,
between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other,
shall respectively touch the bay of Fundy, and the Atlantic Ocean,
excepting such islands as now are, or heretofore have been, within the
limits of Nova Scotia; and whereas the several islands in the bay of
Passamaquoddy, which is part of the bay of, and the island of Grand
Menan, in the said bay of Fundy, are claimed by the United States, as
being comprehended within their aforesaid boundaries, which said
islands are claimed as belonging to his Britannic Majesty, as having been
at the time of, and previous to, the aforesaid treaty of one thousand seven
hundred and eighty-three, within the limits of the province of Nova
In order, therefore, finally to decide upon these claims, it is agreed
that they shall be referred to two commissioners, to be appointed in the
following manner, viz. one commissioner shall be appointed by his Bri
tannic Majesty, and one by the President of the United States, by and
with the advice and consent of the senate thereof, and the said two com
missioners so appointed, shall be sworn impartially to examine and decide
upon the said claims, according to such evidence as shall be laid before
them, on the part of his Britannic Majesty, and of the United States re
spectively. The said commissioners shall meet at St. Andrew's, in the
Province of New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such
other place or places as they shall think fit. The said commissioners shall,
by a declaration or report, under their hands and seals, decide to which of
the two contracting parties the several islands aforesaid do respectively be
long, in conformity with the true intent of the said treaty of peace of
1783. And if the said commissioners shall agree in their decision, both
Parties shall consider such decision as final and conclusive. It is further
agreed, that in the event of the two commissioners differing upon all or
any of the matters so referred to them, or in the event of both or either of
the said commissioners refusing, or declining, or wilfully omitting, to act
as such, they shall make, jointly or separately, a report or reports, as well
to the government of his Britannic Majesty, as to that of the United
States, stating in detail the points on which they differ, and the grounds
upon which their respective opinions have been formed, or the grounds
upon which they, or either of them, have so refused, or omitted to act.
And his Britannic Majesty, and the government of the United States
hereby agree to refer the report or reports of the said commissioners, to
some friendly sovereign or state, to be then named for that purpose,
and who shall be requested to decide on the differences which may be
stated in the said report or reports, or upon the report of one commissioner,
together with the grounds upon which the other commissioner shall have
refused, declined, or omitted to act, as the case may be. And if the com
missioner so refusing, declining, or omitting to act, shall also wilfully omit
to state the grounds upon which he has so done, in such manner that the
said statement may be referred to such friendly sovereign or state, together
with the report of such other commissioner, then such sovereign or state
shall decide er parte upon the said report alone. And his Britannic Ma
jesty and the government of the United States engage to consider the
decision of such friendly sovereign or state to be firm and conclusive on
all the matters so referred.
Art. 5. Whereas neither that point of the high lands lying due north
from the source of the river St. Croix, and designated, in the former treaty
of peace between the two powers, as the north-west angle of Nova Scotia,
nor the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, has yet been ascer
tained; and whereas that part of the boundary line between the dominion,
of the two powers, which extends from the source of the river St. Croix,
directly north, to the above-mentioned north-west angle of Nova Scotia,
thence along the said high lands which divide those rivers that empty
themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the At
lantic Ocean, to the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, thence
down along the middle of that river, to the forty-fifth degree of north lati
tude, thence by a line due west on the said latitude, until it strikes the river
Iroquois or Cataraguy, has not yet been surveyed; it is agreed, that for
these several purposes, two commissioners shall be appointed, sworn, and
authorized, to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to those
mentioned in the next preceding article, unless otherwise specified in the

present article. The said commissioners shall meet at St. Andrews, in the
province of New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other
place or places as they shall think fit. The said commissioners shall
have power to ascertain and determine the points above-mentioned, in
conformity with the provisions of the said treaty of peace of 1783, and
siall cause the boundary aforesaid, from the source of the river St. Croix,
to the river Iroquois or Cataraguy, to be surveyed and marked according
to the said provisions. The said commissioners shall make a map of the
said boundary, and annex to it a declaration, under their hands and seals,
certifying it to be the true map of the said boundary, and particularizing
the latitude and longitude of the north-west angle of Nova Scotia, of the
north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, and of such other points of
the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to
consider such map and declaration as finally and conclusively fixing the
said boundary. And in the event of the said two commissioners differing,
or both, or either of them, refusing or declining, or wilfully omitting to
act, such reports, declarations, or statements, shall be made by them, or
either of them, and such reference to a friendly sovereign or state shall be
made, in all respects, as in the latter part of the fourth article is contained,
and in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated.
Art. 6. Whereas, by the former treaty of peace, that portion of the
boundary of the United States, from the point where the forty-fifth degree of
north latitude strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraguy, to the lake Superior,
was declared to be “along the middle of the said river, into lake Ontario,
through the middle of the said lake, until it strikes the communication by
water, between that lake and lake Erie, thence along the middle of said
communication into lake Erie, through the middle of the said lake, until it
arrives at the water communication into the lake Huron, thence through
the middle of the said lake, to the water-communication between that lake
and lake Superior.” And whereas doubts have arisen what was the middle
of said river, lakes, and water-communications, and whether certain
islands lying in the same, were dominions of his Britannic Majesty, or of
the United States: in order, therefore, finally to decide these doubts,
they shall be referred to two commissioners, to be appointed, sworn, and
authorized to act, exactly in the manner directed with respect to those
mentioned in the next preceding article. The said commissioners shall
meet, in the first instance, at Albany, in the state of New York, and
shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall
think fit. The said commissioners shall, by a report or declaration under
their hands and seals, designate the boundary through the river, lakes, and
water-communications, and decide to which of the two contracting parties
the several islands lying within the said river, lakes, and water-communi
cations, do respectively belong, in conformity with the true intent of the
treaty of 1783. And both parties agree to consider such designation and
decision as final and conclusive. And in the event of the said commis
sioners differing, or both, or either of them, refusing, declining, or wil
fully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements, shall be
made by them, or either of them, and such reference to a ſriendly so

vereign or state shall be made, in all respects, as in the latter part of the
fourth article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein
Art. 7. It is further agreed, that the said two last-mentioned com
missioners, after they shall have executed the duties assigned to them in
the preceding article, shall be, and they are hereby authorized, upon their
oaths, impartially to fix and determine, according to the true intent of the
said treaty of peace, of 1783, that part of the boundary, between the do
minions of the two powers, which extends from the water-communication
between lake Huron and lake Superior, to the most north-western point
of the lake of the Woods, to decide on which of the two parties the several
islands lying in the lakes, water-communications, and rivers, forming the
said boundary, do respectively belong, in conformity with the true intent
of the said treaty of peace, of 1783; and to cause such parts of the said
boundary, as require it, to be surveyed and marked. The said commis
sioners shall, by a report or declaration, under their hands and seals, de
signate the boundary aforesaid, state their decision on the point thus re
ferred to them, and particularize the latitude and longitude of the most
north-western point of the lake, the Woods, and of such other part of the
said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to con
sider such designation and decision as final and conclusive. And, in the
event of the said two commissioners differing, or both or either of them
refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations,
or statements, shall be made by them, or either of them, and such re
ference to a friendly sovereign or state shall be made, in all respects, as in
the latter part of the fourth article is contained, and in as full a manner
as if the same was herein repeated.
Art. 8. The several boards of two commissioners, mentioned in the four
preceding articles, shall respectively have power to appoint a secretary,
and to employ such surveyors, or other persons, as they shall judge neces
sary, and duplicates of all their respective reports, declarations, statements,
and decisions, and of their accounts, and of the journal of their proceed
ings, shall be delivered by them to the agents of his Britannic Majesty,
and to the agents of the United States, who may be respectively appointed
and authorized to manage the business on behalf of their respective go
vernments. The said commissioners shall be respectively paid in such
manner as shall be agreed between the two contracting parties, such agree
ment being to be settled at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of
this treaty. And all other expenses attending the said commissioners,
shall be defrayed equally by the two parties. And in the case of death,
sickness, resignation, or necessary absence, the place of every such com
missioner respectively shall be supplied in the same manner as such com
missioner was first appointed, and the new commissioners shall take the
same oath or affirmation, and do the same duties. It is further agreed be
tween the two contracting parties, that in case any of the islands mentioned
in any of the preceding articles, which were in the possession of one of
the parties prior to the commencement of the present war between the two
countries, should, by the decision of any of the boards of commissioners

aforesaid, or of the sovereign or state so referred to, as in the four next

preceding articles contained, fall within the dominions of either party,
all grants of land made previous to the commencement of the war, by the
party having had such possession, shall be as valid as if such island or
islands had, by such decision or decisions, been adjudged to be within the
dominions of the party having such possession.
Art. 9. The United States of America engage to put an end, imme
diately after the ratification of the present treaty, to hostilities with all the
tribes or nations of Indians, with whom they may be at war at the time of
such ratification; and forthwith to restore to such tribes or nations, respec
tively, all the possessions, rights, and privileges, which they may have en
joyed, or been entitled to in 1811, previous to such hostilities. Provided
always, that such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities
against the United States of America, their citizens, and subjects, upon
the ratification of the present treaty being notified to such tribes or nations,
and shall desist accordingly. And his britannic Majesty engages, on his
part, to put an end, immediately after the ratification of the present treaty,
to hostilities with all the tribes or nations of Indians, with whom he may be
at war at the time of such ratification, and forthwith to restore to such tribes
or nations respectively, all the possessions, rights, and privileges, which
they may have enjoyed, or been entitled to, in 1811, previous to such hos
tilities. Provided always, that such tribes or nations shall agree to desist
from all hostilities against his Britannic Majesty, and his subjects, upon the
ratification of the present treaty being notified to such tribes or nations,
and shall so desist accordingly.
Art. 10. Whereas the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the prin
ciples of humanity and justice, and whereas both his Majesty and the
United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire
abolition ; it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use
their best endeavours to accomplish so desirable an object.
Art. 11. This treaty, when the same shall have been ratified on both
sides, without alteration by either of the contracting parties, and the ra
tifications mutually exchanged, shall be binding on both parties, and the
ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington, in the space of four months
from this day, or sooner if practicable.
In faith whereof, &c. º

Done, in triplicate, Ghent, the 24th day of December, 1814.

(Signed) &c. &c.

Between Great Britain, and the United States of America, signed
at London, July 3, 1815.
His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, being desirous,
by a convention, to regulate the commerce and navigation between their
respective countries, territories, and people, in such a manner as to render
the same reciprocally beneficial and satisfactory, have respectively named
Plenipotentiaries, and given them full powers to treat of and conclude such

convention; that is to say, his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, acting
in the maine and on the behalf of his Majesty, has named for his plenipo
tentiaries, the Right Hon. Frederic John Robinson, Vice-President of the
Committee of Privy Council for Trade and Plantations, Joint Paymaster
of his Majesty's forces, and a Member of the Imperial Parliament; Henry
Goulburn, Esq. a Member of the Imperial Parliament, and Under Secre
tary of State; and William Adam, Esq. Doctor of Civil Laws; and the
President of the United States, by and with the consent of the Senate
thereof, hath appointed for their plenipotentiaries, John Quincy Adams,
Henry Clay, and Albert Gallatin, citizens of the United States; and the
said plenipotentiaries having mutually produced and shown their said
full powers, and exchanged copies of the same, have agreed on and con
cluded the following articles, viz.:
Art. 1. There shall be between all the territories of his Britannic Ma
jesty in Europe and the territories of the United States of America, a reci
procal liberty of commerce. The inhabitants of the two countries, respec
tively, shall have liberty freely and securely to come with their ships and
cargoes to all such places, ports, and rivers, in the territories aforesaid, to
which other foreigners are permitted to come, to enter into the same, and
to remain and reside in any parts of the said territories respectively; also
to hire and occupy houses and warehouses for the purposes of their com
merce; and, generally, the merchants and traders of each nation, respec
tively, shall enjoy the most complete protection and security for their com
merce, but subject always to the laws and statutes of the two countries re
Art. 2. No higher nor other duties shall be imposed on the importation
into the territories of his Britannic Majesty in Europe, of any articles, the
growth, produce, or manufacture of the United States, and no higher nor
other duties shall be imposed on the importation into the United States,
of any articles, the growth, produce, or manufacture of his Britannic Ma
jesty's territories in Europe, than are or shall be payable on the like articles,
being the growth or manufacture of any other foreign country, nor shall any
higher nor other duties nor charges be imposed in either of the two countries,
on the exportation of any articles to his Britannic Majesty's territories in Eu
rope, or to the United States, respectively, than such as are payable on the
exportation of the like articles to any other foreign country; nor shall any
prohibition be imposed upon the exportation or importation of any ar
ticles, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the United States, of his Bri
tannic Majesty's territories in Europe, or from the said territories of his
Britannic Majesty in Europe, to or from the said United States, which
shall not equaily extend to all other nations.
No higher nor other duties nor charges shall be imposed in any of the
ports of the United States on British vessels, than those payable in the
same ports by vessels of the United States, nor in the ports of any of
his Britannic Majesty's territories in Europe, on the vessels of the United
States, than shall be payable in the same ports on British vessels.
The same duties shall be paid on the importation into the United States
of any articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of his Britannic

Majesty's territories in Europe, whether such importation shall be in

vessels of the United States, or in British vessels, and the same duties
shall be paid on the importation into the ports of any of his Britannic Ma
jesty's territories in Europe, of any article the growth, produce, or manu
facture of the United States, whether such importation shall be in British
vessels, or in the vessels of the United States.
• The same duties shall be paid, and the same bounties allowed on the
exportation of any articles, the growth, produce, or manufactures of his
Britannic Majesty's territories in Europe to the United States, whether
such exportation shall be in British vessels, or vessels of the United States;
and the same duties shall be paid, and the same bounties allowed on the
exportation of any article, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the
United States, to his Britannic Majesty's territories in Europe, whether such
exportation shall be in British vessels, or in vessels of the United States.
It is further agreed, that in all places where drawbacks are or may be
allowed upon the re-exportation of any goods, the growth, produce, or
manufacture of either country respectively, the amount of the said draw
backs shall be the same, whether the said goods shall have been originally
imported in a British or American vessel; but when such re-exportation
shall take place from the United States in a British vessel, or from territories
of his Britannic Majesty in Europe in an American vessel, to any other
foreign nation, the two contracting parties reserve to themselves respec
tively the right of regulating or diminishing in such case the amount of
the said drawback.
The intercourse between the United States and his Britannic Majesty's
possessions in the West Indies, and on the continent of North America,
shall not be affected by any of the provisions of this article, but each party
shall remain in the complete possession of its rights with respect to such
an intercourse.
Art. 3. His Britannic Majesty agrees, that the vessels of the United
States of America shall be admitted, and hospitably received, at the prin
cipal settlements of the British dominions in the East Indias; viz. Calcutta,
Madras, Bombay, and Prince of Wales's Island; and that the citizens
of the said United States may freely carry on trade between the said prin
cipal settlements and the said United States, in all articles of which the
importation and exportation, respectively, to and from the said territories
shall not be entirely prohibited; provided only, that it shall not be lawful
for them, in any time of war between the British government and any
state or power whatever, to export from the said territories, without the
special permission of the British government, any military stores, or naval
stores, or rice. The citizens of the United States shall pay for their vessels,
when admitted, no higher nor other duty nor charge, than shall be payable
on the vessels of the most favoured European nations, and they shall pay
no higher nor other duties nor charges on the importation or exportation of
the cargoes of the said vessels, than shall be payable on the same articles
when imported or exported in the vessels of the most favoured European
But it is expressly agreed, that the vessels of the United States shall

tot carry any articles from the said principal settlements to any port or
place, except to some port or place in the United States of America,
when the same shall be unladen. It is also understood, that the permission
granted by this article is not to extend to allow the vessels of the United
States to carry on any part of the coasting trade of the said British terri
tories; but the vessels of the United States having, in the first instance,
proceeded to one of the said principal settlements of the British dominions
in the East Indies, and then going with their original cargoes, or any part
thereof, from one of the said principal settlements to another, shall not be
considered as carrying on the coasting trade. The vessels of the United
States may also touch for refreshments, but not for commerce, in the
course of their voyage to or from the British territories in India, or to or
from the dominions of the Emperor of China, at the Cape of Good Hope,
the island of St. Helena, or such other places as may be in the possession
of Great Britain, in the African or Indian Seas, it being well understood,
that in all that regards these articles, the citizens of the United States shall
be subject, in all respects, to the laws and regulations of the British govern"
inent, from time to time established.
4. It shall be free for each of the two contracting parties, respectively,
to appoint consuls for the protection of trade, to reside in the dominions
and territories of the other party; but before any consul shall act as such,
he shall in the usual form be approved of and admitted by the government
to which he is sent; and it is hereby declared, that in case of illegal or
improper conduct towards the laws or government of the country to which
he is sent, such consul may either be punished according to law, if the
laws will reach the case, or be sent back; the offended government assign
ing to the other the reasons for the same.
It is hereby declared, that either of the contracting parties may except
from the residence of consuls such particular places as such party shall
judge fit to be so excepted.
Art. 5. This convention, when the same shall have been duly ratified
by his Britannic Majesty, and by the President of the United States, by
and with the advice and consent of their senate, and the respective ratiti
cations mutually exchanged, shall be binding and obligatory on his Ma
jesty and the said United States, for four years from the date of its signa
ture, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six months from this time,
or sooner, if possible.
Done at London, this 3rd day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1815.
[Here follow the signatures.]
The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in the
United States of America, is commanded by his Royal Highness the
Prince Regent, acting in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, to
explain and declare, upon the exchange of the ratifications of the conven
tion concluded in London on the 3rd of July, in the present year, for regu
lating the commerce and navigation between the two countries, that, in
consequence of events which have happened in Europe, subsequent to the
2B -

signature of the convention aforesaid, it has been deemed expedient and

determined, in conjunction with the Allied Sovereigns, that St. Helena
shall be the place allotted for the future residence of General Napoleon
Buonaparte, under such regulations as may be necessary for the perfect
security of his person; and it has been resolved, for that purpose, that all
ships and vessels whatever, as well British ships and vessels as others, ex
cepting only ships belonging to the East India Company, shall be ex
cluded from all communication with, or approach to that island. It has,
therefore, become impossible to comply with so much of the 3rd article
of the treaty as relates to the liberty of touching for refreshments at the
Island of St. Helena. And the ratifications of the said treaty will be ex
changed under the explicit declaration and understanding, that the ves
sels of the United States cannot be allowed to touch at or hold any com
munication whatever with the said island, so long as the said island shall
continue to be the place of residence of the said Napoleon Buonaparte.
Washington, Nov. 24, 1814.

4 Treaty entered into this 12th Day of September, 1815, at Buffalo, in
the County of Niagara, and State of New York, between the Chiefs,
Sachems, and Harriors of the Seneca Nation of Indians, on the first
part, and the People of the State of New York, on the second part, wit
messeth as follows:–
First, the chiefs, sachems, and warriors of the Seneca nation, in consider
ation of the sum of 1000 dollars, in hand paid by Daniel Tomkins, go
vernor of the State of New York, and of the covenants and agreements
hereinafter contained, do hereby sell, grant, convey, and confirm to the
people of the state of New York, all the islands in the Niagara river,
between lake Erie and lake Ontario, and within the jurisdiction of
the United States, to have and to hold the same, with their appurte
nances, unto the said people of New York, in free and pure allodium for
ever; reserving, however, to the said chiefs, sachems, and warriors of the
said Seneca nation of Indians, equal rights and privileges with the citizens
of the United States, in fishing, hunting, and fowling, in and on the waters
of the Niagara river, and of encamping on any of the said islands for that
purpose, whilst the same shall continue to belong to the people of the state
of New York.
Secondly, the people of the state of New York, in addition to the sum
of 1000 dollars already paid to the said chiefs, sachems, and warriors of the
Seneca nation, covenant to pay to them annually, for ever, an annuity of
500 dollars each year for ever, at Canandaigua, in the county of Ontario,
the first payment to be made on the 1st of June, 1816.
In testimony whereof the aforesaid sachems and warriors, of the one
part, and D. Tomkins governor of the state of New York, P. B. Porter,
&c. &c. commissioners of the said state, have hereunto set their hands and
seals, at Buffalo, in the county of Niagara, the day and year first above.
written, [Here follow the signatures of both parties.]


Between Great Britain and Portugal, signed at Vienna, the 22nd of

January, 1815.
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal having, by the 10th
article of the treaty of alliance, concluded at Rio de Janeiro, on the 19th
February, 1810, deciared his determination to co-operate with his Britannic
Majesty in the cause of humanity and justice, by adopting the most effica
cious means for bringing about a gradual abolition of the slave trade; and
his Royal Highness, in pursuance of his said declaration, and desiring to ef
fectuate, in concert with his Britannic Majesty and the other powers of
Europe, who have been induced to assist in this benevolent object, an im
mediate abolition of the said traffic upon the parts of the coast of Africa
which are situated to the nothward of the line; his Britannic Majesty and
his Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal, equally animated by a
sincere desire to accelerate the moment when the blessings of peaceful in
dustry and an innocent commerce may be encouraged throughout this ex
tensive portion of the continent of Africa, by its being delivered from the
evils of the slave trade, have agreed to enter into a treaty for the said pur
pose, and have accordingly named as their plenipotentiaries, &c. [Plenipo
tentiaries are here named.]
Art. 1. That from and after the ratification of the present treaty, and
the publication thereof, it shall not be lawful for any of the subjects of the
crown of Portugal to purchase slaves, or to carry on the slave trade, on any
part of the coast of Africa to the northward of the equator, upon any pre
text, or in any manner whatsoever: provided, nevertheless, that the said
provision shall not extend to any ship or ships having cleared out from the
ports of Brazil, previous to the publication of such ratification; and provided
the voyage in which such ship or ships are engaged, shall not be pro
tracted beyond six months after such publication as aforesaid.
Art. 2. His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal hereby agrees,
and binds himself to adopt, in concert with his Britannic Majesty, such
measures as may best conduce to the effectual execution of the preceding
engagement, according to its true intent and meaning; and his Britannic
Majesty engages, in concert with his Royal Highness, to give such orders
as may effectually prevent any interruption being given to Portuguese ships
resorting to the actual dominions of the crown of Portugal, or to the terri
tories which are claimed in the said treaty of alliance, as belonging to the
said crown of Portugal, to the southward of the line, for the purpose of
trading in slaves, as aforesaid, during such further period as the same may
be permitted to be carried on by the laws of Portugal, and under the trea
ties subsisting between the two crowns.
Art. 3. The treaty of allliance concluded at Rio de Janeiro, on the 19th
of February, 1810, being founded on circumstances of a temporary nature,
which have happily ceased to exist, the said treaty is hereby declared to be
void in all its parts, and of no effect; without prejudice, however, to the
ancient treaties of alliance, friendship, and guarantee, which have so long
188 st ATE AND offic IAL PAPERs. -

and so happily subsisted between the two crowns, and which are hereby
renewed by the high contracting parties, and acknowledged to be of full
force and effect.
Art. 4. The high contracting parties reserve to themselves, and engage
to determine by a separate treaty, the period at which the trade in slaves
shall universally cease, and be prohibited throughout the entire dominions
of Portugal; the Prince Regent of Portugal hereby renewing his former
declaration and engagement, that during the interval which is to elapse be
fore such general and final abolition shall take effect, it shall not be law
ful for the subjects of Portugal to purchase or trade in slaves, upon any
parts of the coast of Africa, except to the southward of the line, as speci
fied in the second article of this treaty: nor to engage in the same, or to
permit their flag to be used, except for the purpose of supplying the trans
Atlantic possessions belonging to the crown of Portugal.
Art. 5. His Britannic Majesty hereby agrees to remit, from the date at
which the ratification mentioned in the first article shall be promulgated,
such further payments as may then remain due and payable upon the loan
of 600,000l. made in London for the service of Portugal, in the year 1809,
in consequence of a convention signed on the 21st of April of the same
year, which convention, under the conditions specified as aforesaid, is
hereby declared to be void and of no effect.

It is agreed, that in the event of any of the Portuguese settlers being de

sirous of retiring from the settlements of the crown of Portugal on the
coast of Africa, to the northward of the equator, with the negroes bona
fide their domestics, to some other of the possessions of the crown of Por
tugal, the same shall not be deemed unlawful, provided it does not take
place on board a slave-trading vessel, and provided they be furnished with
proper passports and certificates according to a form to be agreed on be:
tween the two governments.



Between Great Britain and Portugal, signed at Wienna, 21st Jan. 1815.

His Britannic Majesty and his royal highness the Prince Regent of Por.
tugal, being equally desirous to terminate amicably all doubts which have
*isen relative to the parts of the coast of Africa with which the subjects of
the crown of Portugal, under the laws of that kingdom and the treaty sub
sisting with his Britannic Majesty, may lawfully carry on a trade in slaves;
and whereas several ships, the property of the said subjects of Portugal,
have been detained and condemned, upon the alleged ground of being en
gaged in an illicit traffic in slaves; and whereas his Britannic Majesty, in
order to give to his intimate and faithful ally the Prince Regent of Portugal,
he most unequivocal proof of his friendship and the regard he pays to his
Royal Highness's complaints, and in consideration of regulations to be
made by the Prince Regent of Portugal, for avoiding hereafter such doubts,
is desirous to adopt the most speedy and effectual measures, and without
the delays incident to the ordinary forms of law, to provide a liberal in
demnity for the parties whose property may have been so detained under
the doubt as aforesaid; in furtherance of the said object, the high con
tracting parties have appointed as their plenipotentiaries,&c. [Plenipoten
tiaries are here named.]
Art. 1. That the sum of three hundred thousand pounds be paid in Lon
don, to such person as the Prince Regent of Portugal may appoint to re
ceive the same; which sum shall constitute a fund to be employed under
such regulations, and in such manner as the said Prince Regent of Portu
gal may direct, in discharge of claims for Portuguese ships detained by
British cruizers previous to the 1st day of June, 1814, upon the alleged
ground of carrying on an illicit trade in slaves.
Art. 2. That the said sum shall be considered to be in full discharge of
all claims arising out of captures made previous to the 1st day of June,
1814; his Britannic Majesty renouncing any interference whatever in the
disposal of this money.


From Earl Bathurst, Secretary of State, to the Lords of the Admiralty.

Downing-street, July 30, 1815.
My Lords,--I wish your lordship to have the goodness to communi
cate to Rear-Admiral Sir George Cockburn, a copy of the following Me
morial, which is to serve him by way of instruction to direct his conduct .
while General Buonaparte remains under his care.—The Prince Regent,
in confiding to English officers a mission of such importance, feels that it
is unnecessary to express to them his earnest desire that no greater personal
restraint may be employed than what shall be found necessary faithfully
to perform the duties of which the admiral, as well as the governor of St.
Helena, must never lose sight, namely, the perfectly secure detention of
the person of General Buonaparte. Every thing which, without opposing
the grand object, can be granted as an indulgence, will, his Royal Highness
is convinced, be allowed the general. The Prince Regent depends further
on the well known zeal and resolute character of Sir George Cockburn,
that he will not suffer himself to be misled, imprudently to deviate from
the performance of his duty. “BATHURST,”


When General Buonaparte leaves the Bellerophon to go on board the

Northumberland, it will be the properest moment for Admiral Cockburn to
have the effects examined which General Buonaparte may have brought
with him. The admiral will allow the baggage, wine, and provisions
which the general may have brought with him, to be taken on board the
Northumberland. Among the baggage his table service is to be under
stood as included, unless it be so considerable as to seem rather an article
to be converted into ready money than for real use. His money, his dia
monds, and his saleable effects, (consequently bills of exchange also,) of
whatever kind they may be, must be delivered up. The admiral will de
clare to the general that the British government by no means intends to
confiscate his property, but merely to take upon itself the administration of
his effects, to hinder him from using them as a means to promote his flight.
The examination shall be made in the presence of a person named by
Buonaparte, the inventory of the effects to be retained shall be signed by
this person as well as by the rear-admiral, or by the person whom he shall
appoint to draw up the inventory. The interest or the principal, (accord
ing as his property is more or less considerable,) shall be applied to his sup
port, and in this respect the principal arrangement to be left to him. For
this reason he can from time to time signify his wishes to the admiral, till
the arrival of the new governor of St. Helena, and afterwards to the latter,
and if no objection is to be made to his proposal, the admiral or the go
vernor can give the necessary orders, and the disbursement will be paid
by bills on his Majesty's treasury. In case of death, he can dispose of his
property by a last will, and be assured that the contents of his testament
shall be faithfully executed. As an attempt might be made to make a
part of his property pass for the property of the persons of his suite, it
must be signified that the property of his attendants is subject to the same.
The disposal of the troops left to guard him must be left to the governor.
The latter, however, has received a notice, in the case which will be here
after mentioned, to act according to the desire of the admiral. The gene
ral must constantly be attended by an officer appointed by the admiral, or,
if the case occurs, by the governor. If the general is allowed to go out of
the bound where the sentinels are placed, an orderly man at least must ac
company the officer. When ships arrive, and as long as they are in sight,
the general remains confined to the limits where the sentinels are placed.
During this time all communication with the inhabitants is forbidden.
His companions in St. Helena are subject, during this time, to the same
rules, and must remain with him. At other times it is left to the judgment
of the admiral or governor to make the necessary regulations concerning
them. It must be signified to the general, that if he makes any attempt
to fly, he will then be put under close confinement: and it must be notified
to his attendants, that if it should be found that they are plotting to pre
pare the general's flight, they shall be separated from him, and put under
close confinement. All letters addressed to the general, or to persons in
his suite, must be delivered to the admiral or governor, who will read them,
before he suffers them to be delivered to those to whom they are addressed.
Letters written by the general or his suite are subject to the same rule. No
letter that does not come to St. Helena, through the secretary of state, must
be communicated to the general or his attendants, if it is written by a per
son not living in the island. All their letters addressed to persons not living
in the island, must go under the cover of the secretary of state.
It will be clearly expressed to the general that the governor and admiral
have precise orders to inform his Majesty's Government of all the wishes
and representations which the general may desire to address to it; in this
respect they need not use any precaution. But the paper on which such
request or representation is written must be communicated to them open,
that they may both read it, and when they send it, accompany it with
such observations as they may judge necessary.
Till the arrival of the new governor, the admiral must be considered as
entirely responsible for the person of General Buonaparte, and his Majesty
has no doubt of the inclination of the present governor to concur with the
admiral for this purpose. The admiral has full power to retain the gene
ral on board his ship, or to convey him on board again, when, in his opi
nion, secure detention of his person cannot otherwise be effected.
When the admiral arrives at St. Helena, the governor will, upon his re
presentation, adopt measures for sending immediately to England, the
Cape of Good Hope, or the East Indies, such officers or other persons in
the military corps of St. Helena, as the admiral—either because they are
foreigners, or on account of their character or disposition—shall think
it advisable to dismiss from the military service in St. Helena. If there
are strangers in the island, whose residence in the country shall seem to be
with a view of becoming instrumental in the flight of General Buonaparte,
he must take measures to remove them. The whole coast of the island and
all ships and boats that visit it, are placed under the surveillance of the
admiral. He fixes the places which the boats may visit; and the governor
will send a sufficient guard to the points where the admiral shall consider
this precaution as necessary.
The admiral will adopt the most vigorous measures to watch over the
arrival and departure of every ship, and to prevent all communication with
the coast, except such as he shall allow. Orders will be issued to prevent,
after a certain necessary interval, any foreign or mercantile vessel from
going in future to St. Helena. Ifthe general should be seized with serious
illness, the admiral and the governor will each name a physician who en
joys their confidence, in order to attend the general, in common with his
own physician; they will give them strict orders to give in every day a
report on the state of his health. In case of his death, the admiral will give
orders to convey his body to England.
Given at the War Office, 30 July, 1815.


In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

NapoleoN BuoxAPARTE being in the power of the allied Sovereigns,
their Majesties the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ire -

land, the Emperor of Austria, the Emperor of Russia, and the King of
Prussia, have agreed, in virtue of the stipulations of the treaty of the 25th
of March, 1815, upon the measures most proper to render all enterprize
impossible, on his part, against the repose of Europe, &c. [Here follow the
names of the plenipotentiaries.]
Art. 1. Napoleon Buonaparte is considered by the powers who have
signed the treaty of the 25th March last, as their prisoner.
Art. 2. His custody is especially entrusted to the British government.
The choice of the place, and of the measures, which can best secure the
object of the present stipulation, are reserved to his Britannic Majesty.
Art. 3. The imperial courts of Austria, and of Russia, and the royal
court of Prussia, are to appoint commissioners to proceed to, and abide at
the place to which the government of his Britannic Majesty shall have as
signed for the residence of Napoleon Buonaparte, and who, without being
responsible for his custody, shall assure themselves of his presence.
Art. 4. His Most Christian Majesty is to be invited, in the name of the
four above-mentioned courts, to send in like manner a French commissioner
to the place of detention of Napoleon Buonaparte.
Art. 5. His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, binds himself to fulfil the engagements which fall to him by
the present convention.
Art. 6. The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications
shall be exchanged within fifteen days, or sooner, if possible.
In faith whereof, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present
convention, and have affixed thereto the seals of their arms.
Done at Paris, the 21st of August, in the year of our Lord, 1815.
(Signed) (Signed)
(L.S.) CastleReagh. (L.S.) The Prince of MET
(L.S.) WEllingtoN. Ternich.

[Similar conventions with Russia and Prussia.]



Qf Imports into, and Erports from, the Island of Jamaica, and of the
Tonnage of Pessels trading thcreto, between the 29th of September
1814, and the 29th of December, 1815, laid before the Honourable
House of Assembly, on the 17th November 1815.
FROM Great Britain and Ireland:—11,327 barrels of flour; 1047 bar.
rels and 12,149 bags of bread; 916 barrels of pease and beans; 10,926 bar
rels of herrings; 2371 barrels of pilchards; and 11,400 staves and heading.
From the British Plantations:—5492 barrels of flour; 195 barrels, 500
bags, and 183 kegs, of bread; 450 tierces and 13 bags of rice; 1009 hogs
heads, 3983 casks, and 37.34 boxes, of dry fish; 227 tierces, 18,155 barrels,
and 535 kegs, of pickled fish; 487,223 stavesand heading; 243,990shingles;
899,608 feet of lumber; 2 horses; and 1 mule.
From the United States:—25,154 barrels of flour; 683 barrels, 100 bags,
and 1308 kegs, of bread; 339 tierces, 2 barrels, and 9 bags, of rice; 6923
bushels, 225 bags, and 5884 barrels of corn and meal; 3 barrels and 47
bags of pease and beans; 333,325 staves and heading; 315,290 shingles;
and 317,678 feet of lumber.
From the Spanish Main, and Islands within the Tropics:—25,159 barrels
of flour; 336 barrels, 118 bags, and 397 kegs, of bread; 373 tierces, 2475
barrels, and 3937 bags, of rice; 31,747 bushels, 1154 bags, and 1018
barrels, of corn and meal; 369 barrels and 31 bags of pease and beans;
201,939 staves and heading; 562,900 shingles; 403,733 feet of lumber;
76 horses; 3242 mules; 935 asses; and 2094 cattle.
Total to Kingston:—67,132 barrels of flour; 2261 barrels, 12,867 bags,
and 1948 kegs, of bread; 1162 tierces, 2477 barrels, and 3959 bags, of
rice; 38,670 bushels, 1379 bags, and 6902 barrels, of corn and meal;
1288 barrels and 78 bags of pease and beans; 1009 hogsheads, 3983 casks,
and 37.34 boxes, of dry fish; 227 tierces, 18,155 barrels, and 535 kegs, of
pickled fish; 10,926 barrels of herrings; 2371 barrrels of pilchards;
1,033,887 staves and heading; 1,122,180 shingles; 1,621,019 feet of
lumber; 978 horses; 3243 mules; 935 asses; and 2094 cattle.
From Great Britain and Ireland:-891 barrels of flour; 122 barrels
and 100 bags of bread; 20,311 barrels of herrings; and 1940 barrels of
From the British Plantations:—492 barrels of flour; 44 tierces of rice;
1080 hogsheads, 340 casks, and 885 boxes, of dry fish; 44 tierces, 2969
barrels, and 25 kegs, of pickled fish; 108,102 staves and heading;
136,775 shingles; and 568,700 feet of lumber.
From the United States:—1243 barrels of flour; 413 barrels and 291
kegs of bread; 85 tierces and 85 barrels of rice; 1530 bushels, 197 bags,
and 515 barrels, of corn and meal; 66 barrels of pease and beans; 360,945
staves and heading; 105,000 shingles; and 46,580 feet of lumber.
From the Spanish Main, &c.:—2642 barrels of flour; 6 barrels, 6 bags,
and 20 kegs of bread; 41 barrels and 370 bags of rice; 200 bushels and
3 barrels of corn and meal; 62,818 staves and heading; 27,000 shingles;
129,811 feet of lumber; 528 horses; 451 mules; and 2308 cattle.
Total to the Out-ports:—5268 barrels of flour; 541 barrels, 116 bags,
and 310 kegs, of bread; 129 tierces, 126 barrels, and 370 bags, of rice;
1730 bushels, 197 bags, and 518 barrels, of corn and meal; 66 barrels of
pease and beans; 1080 hogsheads, 340 casks, and 885 boxes, of dry fish ;
44 tierces, 2969 barrels, and 25 kegs, of pickled fish; 20,311 barrels of
herrings; 1940 barrels of pilchards; 531,865 staves and heading; 268,775
shingles; 745,091 feet of lumber; 528 horses; 451 mules; and 2308 cattle.
Grand total imported:—72,400 barrels of flour; 2802 barrels, 12,983
bags, and 2258 kegs, of bread; 1291 tierces, 2003 barrels, and 4329 bags,
of rice; 40,400 bushels, 1576 bags, and 7420 barrels, of corn and meal;
1354 barrels and 78 bags of pease and beans; 2089 hogsheads, 4323 casks,
and 4619 boxes, of dry fish; 27.1 tierces, 21,124 barrels, and 560 kegs, of
pickled fish; 31,237 barrels of herrings; 4311 barrels of pilchards;
1,565,752 staves and heading; 1,390,955 shingles; 2,366,110 feet of
lumber 1506 horses; 3694 mules; 935 asses; and 4402 cattle.
2 C


To Great Britain:—23,997 hogsheads, 1545 tierces, and 473 barrels, of

sugar; 5554 puncheons and 259 hogsheads of rum; 679 casks and 587
bags of ginger; 201 casks and 1196 bags of pimento; and 12,504,9811bs.
of coffee.
To Ireland:—1152 hogsheads, 397 tierces, and 279 barrels, of sugar;
486 puncheons and 108 hogsheads of rum; 169 casks of ginger; 26 casks
and 164 bags of pimento; and 553,479lbs. of coffee.
To the British Plantations in America:—131 hogsheads, 123 tierces, and
620 barrels, of sugar; 4001 puncheons, 386 hogsheads, and 67 casks, of
rum; I cask of molasses; 2 casks and 24 bags of ginger; 30 casks and
156 bags of pimento; and 103,894lbs. of coffee.
To the United States of America:—217 hogsheads, 43 tierces, and 285
barrels, of sugar; 1340 puncheons and 5 hogsheads of rum; 38 casks of
molasses; 63 casks and 107 bags of ginger; 11 casks and 317 bags of pi
mento; and 197,3591bs. of coffee.
To the Spanish Main and Islands within the Tropics :—3 tierces and 15
barrels of sugar; 539 puncheons, 56 hogsheads, 502 casks, and 1393 bar
rels, of rum; and 1025lbs. of coffee.
Total from Kingston:—25,497 hogsheads, 21 11 tierces, and 1672 barrels,
of sugar; 11,920 puncheons, 814 hogsheads, 509 casks, and 1393 barrels,
of rum; 39 casks of molasses; 913 casks and 7 18 bags of ginger; 268
casks and 1833 bags of pimento; and 18,360,738|bs. of coffee.
To Great Britain:–93,014 hogsheads, 9933 tierces, and 1065 barrels,
of sugar; 35,916 puncheons and 575 hogsheads of rum; 134 casks of
molasses; 572 casks and 894 bags of ginger; 524 casks and 22,310 bags
of pimento; and 13,888,544 lbs. of coffee.
To the British Plantations in America:—194 hogsheads, 37 tierces, and
11 barrels, of sugar; 23.17 puncheons, 73 hogsheads, and 5 barrels, of rum;
11 casks of molasses; 59 bags of pimento; and 55,831 lbs. of coffee.
To the United States of America:—62 hogsheads, 83 tierces, and 69
barrels, of sugar; 27.36 puncheons and 3 hogsheads of rum; 58 casks of
molasses; 8 casks and 55 bags of ginger; 52 casks and 3184 bags of pi
mento; and 57,629 lbs. of coffee.
To the Spanish Main and Islands within the Tropics:–107 puncheons
and 5 casks of rum.
Total from the Out-ports:–93,270 hogsheads, 10,113 tierces, and 1145
barrels, of sugar; 41,076 puncheons, 651 hogsheads, 5 casks, and 5 barrels,
of rum; 203 casks of molasses; 580 casks and 949 bags of ginger; 576
casks and 25,553 bags of pimento; and 14,002,004lbs. of coffee.
Grand total exported:—113,767 hogsheads, 12,224 tierces, and 2817
barrels, of sugar; 52,996 puncheons, 1465 hogsheads, 574 casks, and 1998
barrels, of rum; 242 casks of molasses; 1493 casks and 1667 bags of
ginger; 844 casks and 27,386 bags of pimento; and 27,362,7421bs, of
st ATE AND of FIcIAL PAPERs. 195

To Kingston:—48,665 tons from Great Britain and Ireland; 17,911
ditto, from America; 17,325 ditto, from the Spanish Main and neighbour
ing islands:—2371 ditto, droggers; and 15,768 ditto, of vessels under the
Free-Port Act.
To Out-ports:—72,927 tons, from Great Britain and Ireland; 4938
ditto, from America; 1810 ditto, from the Spanish Main and neighbour
ing islands; 1212 ditto, droggers; and 4707 ditto, of vessels under the
Free-Port Act.
Total:—121,592 tons, from Great Britain and Ireland; 22,849 ditto,
from America; 19,139 ditto, from the Spanish Main and neighbouring
islands; 35.88 ditto, droggers; and 20,475 ditto, of vessels under the Free
Port Act.



Of his Excellency the Administrator in Chief, on opening the Parliament

of Lower Canada, January 26, 1810.
Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the
House of Assembly.
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent having been pleased to commit
to me the administration of this government, I have entered upon the
duties which that trust prescribes with a deep sense of their importance,
and an earnest desire to discharge them for the general advantage of the
province; to which my attachment naturally derives additional strength,
from the circumstance of my having been born in its capital.
It would be to me a source of inexpressible comfort, and I am confident,
would convey to you sincere satisfaction, if I had it in my power to com
municate any favourable account respecting the indisposition of our ve
nerable sovereign; I regret, however, that I have no such information to
impart; yet, under this awful dispensation, it is not an inconsiderable con
solation to be assured, that his Majesty has no corporal suffering, and
continues in a state of undisturbed tranquillity.
The total overthrow, and final exile of the usurper whose insatiable am
bition, and remorseless thirst of blood, were permitted so long to afflict the
world; the restoration, once more, of the family of Bourbon to the throne
of their ancestors; the general peace which has been given back to
Europe, by the magnanimous exertions of the allied powers; and the
high distinction obtained by the British forces, under the conduct of the
illustrious Duke of Wellington, consummated and crowned by the glorious
victory of Waterloo; while they fill our minds with exultation, and open
the prospect of permanent prosperity, will not fail to awaken a profound
and grateful sense of the goodness of divine Providence, so conspicuously
manifested in these great events.
In adverting to those matters of internal concern which have been the
object of assembling this provincial parliament, I have to direct your early
196 state AND of FICIAL PAPERs.
attention to the renewal of the militia-act, and such others as with it may
be about to expire, and as it may be necessary or expedient to continue.
I must also, in consequence of many discontented adventurers and mis
chievous agitators, from the continent of Europe, having recently thrown
themselves into the neighbouring states, strongly recommend the imme
diate revival of the act for establishing regulations respecting aliens;
with such modifications as those circumstances may render it proper to
You have had the satisfaction of seeing, that the executive government
has completely redeemed its pledge to the public, by calling in, and paying
in cash, the army-bills which were in circulation.

Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

I shall order a statement of the provincial revenue of the crown, and of
the expenditure of the last year, to be laid before you.
I have it in command, from his royal highness the Prince Regent, to
assure you, that his royal highness views with much pleasure, the ad
ditional proof of patriotism and public spirit, afforded by the sum voted
towards the completion of a proposed canal from Montreal to La Chine.
His Majesty's government, duly appreciating the many important objects
with which this work is connected, are greatly interested in its early exe
cution; and I await only further instructions upon the subject, to proceed
to carry it into effect.

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the

House of Assembly,
I cannot omit to press upon your consideration, the importance of fur
ther promoting the internal communications of the province, and of
making effectual provision for the full accomplishment of an object of
such obvious and general utility.
You will, I doubt not, justify the firm reliance which I place on your
loyal attachment to the person and government of your sovereign, and
your enlightened zeal for the public service; nor will you, I trust,
disappoint my confident expectation, that this session of the provincial
parliament will be distinguished for accordant exertion, and efficient dis
patch, in conducting the public business.
You may be assured, that, on my part, I shall be most cordially dis
posed to second your laudable endeavours, by a ready co-operation in
every measure which may tend to advance the interests, and promote the
welfare, of this province.
Qf all the Erports from Great Britain to Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward's
Island, Cape Breton, and Newfoundland; in each year, from 1800 to 1814, both inclusive, dis
tinguishing each Colony or Settlement:— ; :

British Foreign and British Foreign and

Produce and Colonial Total Exports. Produce and Colonial |Total Exports
Mauufactures. | Merchandize. Manufactures. Merchandize.

ºf. s. d. ºf s. d. <t'. s. d. <t'. s. d. ºf s. d. ºf s. d.

1800 385,993 19 4| 74,116 is of 460, 11o 17 4 || 1s00 - - -

1801 || 505,256 2 s 87,105 8 10 592,361 11 6 || 1801 -

1802 712,242 2 3, 132,209 13 5. 844,451 15 S | 1802 - - - - - 175 i : 175 1 5

1803. 444,460 to s 144,412 17 10 588,873 s 6 || 1803 3,555 17 2 308 1 1 0 3,864 8 11
1804 419,834 12 2, 206,560 17 1| 617,395 9 3 || 1804. 1,552 13 445 & 7| 1,997 16 7
1805, 316,027 7 5 106,955 11 11| 422,982 19 4 || 1805 - -

1800 394,654 3 3| 74,291 5 10| 378,945 9 || 1806| 1,206 8 3 221 18 0| 1,428 6 3

1807 382,639 1 s 98,976 19 6 481,616 1 2 || 1807] 1,873 9 | 136 8 6| 2,009 17 7
180s 471,350 1 1 || 73,406 o 11 544,756 & 10 || 1 80s e.919 5 7 775 17 6. 3,695 3 1
1899 831,457 7 o' 142,549 1 o 974,006 8 o || 1809| 13,193 6 7| 2,024 13 1. 16,117 19 8
1319| 844,067 - 9 3| 135,354 7 || 979,421 16 4 || 1s10| 16,783 16 6. 3,850 1 1 7 go,634 s 1
1811 941,744 8 11| 135,451 12 9| 977,196 I 8 || 1811| 8,040 8 o 1,394 15 7| 9,435 a 7
1812| 449,590 1 11 150,437 I 11| 600,027 3 10 || 1812 14,455 6 9| 3,627 13 1 17,083 o 7
1813 The Records destroyed by fire. is 13 The Records destroyed by fire.
slº,436,483 to 9| 462,073 ill,889,556 in 10 | 1814| 2,679 17 of 1,3so 19 || 5,060 16 1

1800. 156,096 11 2, 20,987 6 s. 177,083 17 10 || 1soo - - -

1801| 154,247 1 1 || 23,886 17 5| 178,133 19 4 || 1801 - - -

1802 160,461 12 11ſ 18,594 17 8ſ. 179,036 lo 7 || 1802 701 1 0 5 - - - - - 701 10 5

1803|| 175,940 4 11 23,551 1 1 2) 199,491 16 1 || 1803 - - -

1804. 118,830 2 1 0 31,630 6 7| 150,460 9 5 || 1804 262 13 4 35 8 o 298 I 4

1805| 104,800 15 7| 18,324 19 10 123,125 15 5 || 1805 - -

1806| 194,513 6 of 35,853 2 8, 230,366 8 8 || 1806 - - -

1807] 173,304 10 5 33,348 18 3| 206,653 8 8 || 1807 - - -

1808| 242,658 4 o' 34,930 2 1 || 277,588 6 11 || 1808 - - -

1809| 326,852 o 10 50,453 16 10 377,305 17 8 || 1809 - - -

1310|| 305,525 17 5 45,086 6 1 1 350,612 4 4 || 1810 - - -

181 || 190,412 7 3 26,880 11 7| 217,292 18 10 || 1811|- - - - - 36 1S 0 36 18

1812| 243,856 11 1 0 33,243 15 7. 282,100 7 5 || 1812 499 6 4 57 14 7 555 0 11
1813 The Records destroyed by fire. 1813 The Records destroyed by fire.
1314|949,586 7 71 100,279 2 5| 1,049,865 10 0 || 1314| 2,212 15 5ſ 376 13 s! 2,589 9 |
1800 70,934 3 4| 10,296 12 0 81,230 15 4 || 1800||126,158 6 10| 93,241 o 7|219,999 7 5
1801. 53,396 10 1 1 5, 18 1 0 10 58,577 11 9 || 1801 || 45,824. 2 4 38,453 17 91 S4,278 o 1
1802] 71,457 11 5 5,292 7 6 76,749 18 11 || 1802|167,422 4 6 50,683 6 oz 18,105 10 6
1803, 54,584 3 9 4,352 12 4 58,936 16 || 1803158,419 9 4|| 41,967 13 10|200,387 3 1
1804. 47,035 12 7 4,196 1 4 51,231 13 11 || 1804|154,396 16 9| 75,740 5 s[330,137 2 5
1805|| 43,012 15 10 3, 114 13 3 46, 127 9 1 || 1 Soj 185,201 3 1 || 67,625 11 1 ||252,826 15 10
1806| 48,665 16 7 5, 189 10 9 53,855 7 4 || 1806|197,089 12 || 75,860 2 9/272,958 14 10
1807| 57,622 2 11 6,773 14 1 64,395 17 0 || 1807|214,352 4 2 71,380 6 11285,732 10 3
1808. 59,332 1.8 8 4,683 8 S 64,016 7 4 || 1808|162,522 17 11| 46,922 15 1209,445 13 o
1809|113,554 18 g| 1 1,676 11 3| 125,231 9 5||1309||186,015 19 3| 55,00s ( 4.241,015 12 7
1810| 92,848 14 3 5,948 1 6 98,796 15 91 1810|303,914 18 0| 73,820 1 0 10377,735 8 10
1811| 266,320 9 7 7,732 1 1. 274,052 10 8 || 1811|338,298 1 3| 75,100 15 10413,398 17 1
1812. 125,371 0 7 9,870 135,241 7 3||1812|291,077 16 8| 79,849 13 2,371,527 9 10
6 S
1813 The Records destroyed by fire. 1813 The Records destroyed by fire.
1814 446,336 2 10| 14,588 3 ol. 460,024 6 7| 1814|573,025of otheilarticles is 7
90,96s 15 61663,993 Great
Note.-No perfect return can be made, containing the distinction exported from
Britain to the North American colonies during the above period, in consequence of the partial destruction
of the official Records by fire; but the official values of the aggregate amount of the exports having
been preserved, the above account is submitted to the honourable House of Commons, as the best return
that can now be furnished of the comparative amount of the export-trade to the colonies during the
last fifteen years. WM. IRVING, Inspector-General of the Imports and Exports of Great Britain.
Custom-House, London, Feb. 12, 1819.



For more effectually preventing the unlawful Importation of Slaves, and

the holding Free Persons in Slavery, in the British Colonies. Ordered
&y the House of Commons of the United Kingdom to be printed, 5th
July 1815.
PREAM isle.

WHEREAs the illicit and clandestine importation of slaves into British

colonies, wherein slavery is established by law, and the holding and de
taining in slavery there of such negroes, mulattoes, and mustees, as by rea
son of such illicit importation, or otherwise, are lawfully entitled to their
freedom, cannot be effectually and certainly prevented, without some
better provision than the laws in force within the said colonies, have made
for ascertaining the number, and identifying the persons of the slaves now
within the same, and of the future issue of the female slaves, upon whom,
by the laws of the said colonies, the condition of slavery descends:
And whereas by reason of the intercourse between the said colonies, and
the frequent passage and removals of slaves from one British colony to
another, and the frequent transfers of property in slaves within the said
colonies, by sale, mortgage, and otherwise, made by and to persons resi
dent in this united kingdom, and for other reasons, the necessary provisions
and regulations for the purposes aforesaid cannot be fully and effectually
made by the separate interior legislatures of the said colonies respectively,
but only by the authority of Parliament.

1. There shall be established in every colony, now or hereafter under the

dominion of his Majesty, his heirs, &c. in the West Indies or America, or
elsewhere, in which slavery is established or permitted by law, a public
registry, for the registration and inrolment of the names and descriptions
of all negroes, mulattoes, and mustees, and all slaves shall be registered
or returned for registration, within the following times (that is to say) in
every such colony in the West Indies, or in America, Jamaica excepted,
within the term of in Jamaica, within the term of and
in all more distant parts of the world, within the term of
to be respectively computed from the passing of this act: Provided always,
that every such island within the government of the leeward Charibbee
islands, or any other government comprising more islands than one, as has
a separate legislative assembly and courts of law of its own, shall be
deemed and taken to be a separate colony for the purposes of this act;
and that all other islands within such governments shall not be so deemed
and taken, but the slaves therein shall be registered in the registry of the
nearest island within the same government in which a public registry shall
be established as foresaid.
2. It shall be lawful for his Majesty to appoint a registrar of slaves
in each and every of the said colonies; and in default of any such ap
pointment, &c. it shall be lawful for the governor, &c. to appoint some fit
and proper person, resident within such colony, to be registrar of slaves
therein; which registrar, so to be appointed by his Majesty, or such go
vernor, &c. shall take the following oath before such governor, &c. in
council, (that is to say)
“I A. B. do solemnly promise and swear, that I will not willingly or
knowingly make or permit, or suffer to be made, any false or fraudulent
entry, erasure, or obliteration, in the registry of slaves to be committed to
my charge; but if any such false or fraudulent act shall become known to
me, will immediately give notice thereof to the governor, lieutenant-go
vernor, or civil commander in chief of this colony forthe time being; and
will in all respects faithfully and uprightly perform the duties of the office
of registrar of slaves for this colony.—So help me God.”
And every person, so appointed to the said office of registrar, shall be
come bound by bond or recognizance, with two sufficient sureties, in the
penal sum of with condition for the faithful performance of all the
duties of his office.
3. The governor, &c. shall provide a proper and convenient house or
building within or near to the chief town of the colony, for the sole pur
pose of the registry.
4. The registrar shall provide two large blank paper books, orsets of books,
for the purpose of the registry, one of which books shall be entitled “Re
gistry of Plantation Slaves,” and the other “Registry of Personal Slaves.”
5. As soon as conveniently may be, after the passing of this act, his
Majesty's principal secretary of state for the colonial department shall
cause a sufficient number of copies of this act, printed by his Majesty's
printer, (and which are hereby declared to be legal evidence thereof in all
courts of justice,) to be officially dispatched and transmitted by different
conveyances to the governor, lieutenant-governor, or civil commander in
chief of every colony under the dominion of his Majesty, in which slavery
is established, or permitted by law; and immediately after the receipt of
any such official dispatch, with any such copy of this act, ever, such go
vernor, lieutenant-governor, or civil commander in chief, shall cause the
same to be publicly notified in the most effectual manner in the colony
under his government, and shall express in such notification, the particular
day at, or before which, the owners or possessors of slaves within the co
lony are to return lists or schedules of the slaves owned or possessed by
them, pursuant to the directions hereinafter contained; and shall, for the
fuller and speedier information of all persons within the colony, cause this
act to be re-printed and published there, unless a sufficient number of
copies hereof, for the use of the colony, shall have been transmitted to,
and received by him as aforesaid.
7. On or before the day to be appointed, every person who shall then be

resident in any colony, and who shall be in possession of any plantation

slaves or slave, within the same, whatever his or her title, trust, or interest
in any such slaves or slave, plantation or personal, may be, shall respec
tively make and deliver upon oath to the registrar, a schedule or list in
writing for each plantation of which he or she shall then be in possession in
any of the rights or characters aforesaid, therein specifying, in the first
place, the name by which the plantation is usually called or known; and,
when two or more plantations are held and occupied together by the same
person, and cultivated by the same body or gang of slaves, the names of
each of the said plantations so jointly held and cultivated, and in
what parish, quarter, or other division of the said island, every such plan
tation is situated, and whether the same is a sugar plantation, or a coffee, or
cotton, or stock plantation, or of what other description the same shall be;
and, in the next place, the name or names of the present owner or owners
of such plantation or plantations, as well as of the person or persons then in
possession of the same, and the right or character in which the party making
such return holds such possession; namely, whether as proprietor, lessee,
mortgagee, trustee, receiver, attorney, manager, or otherwise; and when
the property or possession of any such plantation has been changed with
in seven years prior to such return thereof, then the said schedule shall also
mention the name of the last owner or proprietor, and in whose tenure or
occupation the same lately was; and every person making a return of any
slave or slaves, not attached or belonging to any plantation in the said
island, hereby called “personal slaves,” shall so return a list or schedule
in writing, containing, in the first place, his or her own name and descrip
tion, and the name and description of such other person or persons being the
owner or owners of such slave or slaves, on whose behalf the return is made,
and the right or character in which the party making such return holds
possession of and claims title to such slave or slaves, namely, whether as
proprietor, lessee, mortgagee, sequestrator, guardian, committee, trustee, re
ceiver, executor, administrator, or otherwise; and if such personal slave or
slaves shall have been purchased or acquired within seven years prior to
such return, then the name or names of the seller or last former owner
thereof; and after such descriptions as aforesaid, of such plantation and its
owner or owners, and of the owner or owners of such personal slaves respec
tively, in the said schedule, the parties making the said returns shall pro
ceed to name, describe, and enumerate distinctly therein, the several ne
gro, mulatto, and other slaves, then attached or belonging to the same
plantation, or to the same owner or owners, by distinct lists, in manner fol
lowing, (that is to say,) in the first place, such schedule shall contain a list of
all slaves who have husbands or wives, either by actual marriage, or known
and constant cohabitation, or who have parents or children, brothers or sis
ters, among the slaves of the said plantation, or of the same owner or
owners; which list shall be entitled, “the list of families of slaves on the
plantation of A. B.” (inserting the proper name of the plantation) or of
C. D. the owner of personal slaves, as the case may be; and the said list
shall be divided into as many sections as there are different families to be
inserted therein, and each section shall be entitled, “the family of A. B.

(inserting the name of the superior relation) or where there are only bro
thers or other relations of the same degree, the name of the elder indivi
dual; and each of the said schedules shall also contain two other lists, in
one of which shall be inserted the names of such male slaves, and in the
other the names of such female slaves, as have no wives or husbands, pa
rents or children, brothers or sisters, among the slaves of the same planta
tion, or the same owner or owners; which lists shall be respectively enti
tled, “general list of male slaves,” and “general list of female slaves,” on
the plantation A. B. (inserting the proper name of the plantation,) or “be
longing to C. D.” as the case may be; and all the slaves attached or be
longing to the same plantation, or the same owner or owners, shall be
named and described in the said schedule respectively, and in the parti
cular lists or sections to which they respectively belong, in the manner and
form following; (that is to say,) the schedule or paper containing each
of the said lists shall be divided into eight perpendicular columns of con
venient breadths, respectively entitled at the heads thereof, names, sur
names, colours, employments, age, stature, country, and marks; to which
shall be added in the lists of families, a ninth column of convenient breadth,
entitled, “relations;” and, the more clearly to distinguish the description
of each particular slave, as many horizontal lines, with convenient spaces
between them, shall be drawn across the said perpendicular lines or co
lumns, as are equal in number to the number of slaves to be inserted in
each list; and in the first of the said columns shall be inserted the name of
baptism of each slave, if he or she shall have been baptized, and if not, the
name by which he or she has been usually called and known; in the se
cond of the said columns shall be inserted the surname, or second name of
the slave, if he or she has ever been called or known by any surname or se
cond name; and if not, then in cases of family slaves included in the said
lists of families, the name of the superior relation; and in the cases of
slaves who are included in the said general lists of males and females, such
name as the owner or party making the return, shall think fit to insert
therein, as the surname by which the slave and his lawful issue, or her na
tural issue and their descendants respectively, shall thereafter always be
called: provided nevertheless, that in cases of family slaves, the owner or
party making the return may also give, if he thinks fit, some other family
name, instead of that of the superior relation, so as no two families on the
same plantation, or belonging to the same owner, shall have the same sur
name in the said schedule or return; but for all the purposes of this act,
the surname by which each slave shall first be returned and registered, shall
continue for ever after to be the surname of such slave, and of his lawful
issue if a male, or her natural issue if a female, and of their respective de
scendants, and shall not afterwards be changed; in the third of the said
columns shall be inserted negro, mulatto, or mustee, as the case may be,
or such designation of intermediate shades of colour (if any) as are in use
within the colony; in the fourth of the said columns shall be inserted, the
particular trade, occupation, or ordinary employment of the slave, speci
fying in the cases of mechanics, artisans, or handicraftsmen, the particular
2 D
202 P A R L I AM E N T A R Y PAPE. R.S.

art or business in which he or she is usually employed; in the case of do

mestic slaves, the particular domestic service or department in which he or
she is usually employed; and in cases of ordinary plantation slaves, de
scribing them as labourers only; and in the fifth of the said colurns shall
be inserted the age of the slave, according to the best of the knowledge
and belief of the owner or other party making the return; in the sixth of
the said columns shall be inserted the exact stature in feet and inches, by
actual measurement of the slave, which measurement, in cases of infant
slaves, or such as have not clearly attained their full growth, shall be re
peated prior to every triennial return hereinafter directed to be made; in
the seventh of the said columns shall be inserted, not only whether the slave
is an African or Creole negro, but if an African, the name of the country
or district of Africa from which he or she was brought; and, if a Creole
slave, the island or colony in which such slave was born, or from which he
or she was brought, according to the best of the knowledge or information
and belief of the owner or other party making the return; and in the
eighth of the said columns shall be inserted, whether the slave has any,
and what seams and marks on the face or other parts of the body, such as
African slaves commonly have, and which are usually called country
marks, or any such brands or marks as are used in some colonies for distin
guishing the owner's property, or has any apparent bodily singuiarity, de
fect, or deformity; all which shall be specified with convenient certainty,
so as at least to mention the part of the face or body wherein the marks,
brands, defects, or other singularity appears; and lastly, in the further
column, to be added as aforesaid in the lists of family slaves, shall be in
serted the relation that the slave bears to the superior relative or slave by
whose name the family section of the list to which he belongs is entitled
as aforesaid, with such further particulars of genealogy or family connexion
as the owner or party making the return shall think fit to add; and at the
end of the said returns respectively, shall be summed up and set down in
words at length, the whole number of slaves then belonging to the
plantation for which, or to the owner or owners of personal slaves on
whose behalf, such returns are made. And for the better ascertaining
of the proper form of such returns of slaves as are hereby required to be
made, so that no person may pretend ignorance thereof, a form or exam
ple of such returns is contained in a schedule to this act annexed, to which
all persons are required, so far as shall be found practicable, to conform;
and at the time of notifying and publishing this act in any colony as afore
said, public notice shall be given by the said governor, lieutenant governor,
or civil commander in chief, in such manner as to him shall feel most fit
and effectual, that a form or pattern of the returns hereby required to be
made may be seen, and a printed copy thereof, with blanks to be filled up
according to the rules aforesaid, obtained at the registrar's office, to be ap
pointed asaforesaid; and printed blank copies of the said forms shall accord
ingly be provided by the registrar, and delivered to all persons applying
for the same, at a price not exceeding for each printed copy.
7. Every person making and subscribing any schedule, shall personally

deliver the same, either to the said registrar, or to the person by him ap
pointed to receive returns or schedules, in the proper district of the colony
in which the party making the same shall reside; and shall at the same
time take the following oath, which the said registrar, and every person
by him appointed, is hereby empowered and required to administer:
“I A. B. (name the deponent) do solemnly swear, that the schedule or
. . return now by me delivered to be registered, contains, as I verily believe,
a just, true, and full return, account, and description of all the slaves now
attached or belonging to the plantation therein named, [or, belonging to the
owner or owners therein named, and being within this colony; and that
the said return is made by me, according to the best of my knowledge and
belief, truly, and without fraud, deceit, or evasion.—So help me God.”
8. From and after the day appointed, no return shall be received; ex
cept in such special cases as in this act are afterward provided for.
9. As soon as any schedules shall have been received by the registrar, he
shall proceed to register the same with all convenient speed. Governors may
enlarge the time for completing the registration of returns. Proviso, that
before any extension of time, the whole number of slaves returned to be
ascertained on oath by the registrar, before the governor.
10. Returns or schedules shall be entered in the books of registry, in a
prescribed manner and form.
11. Slaves within a certain number shall be registered in one book;
when the number is greater, in a set of books.
12. When the books are filled, new books shall be opened, and in what
in anner.

13. Indexes of plantations or owners' names shall be prefixed to each

14. No erasures shall be permitted in the register book.
15. Office copies of the registered lists or returns shall be delivered to
the owners.
16. When all the returns are registered, notice thereof shall be given, and
of the means of supplying omissions within a limited time.
17. Governors shall have power to direct returns to be received and re
gistered after the limited time, in certain cases.
18. The end of the term of every registrar shall proceed finally
to close and authenticate the primary or original registration of all the
slaves in the colony for which he acts, which shall thenceforth be called
“The original registry of the slaves of such colony,” in manner prescribed;
and shall subscribe his name, and affix his seal of office; and below the
said signature shall write the following affidavit; setting forth that he has
twice carefully examined and compared all the preceding entries, &c. &c.;
and that he is enabled thereby to depose, and does depose, that the preced
ing original registry of slaves is in all respects correctly and faithfully made.
19. Alphabetical indexes of names of registered slaves shall be made
and entered in general index books.
20. Duplicate books of the original registry shall be prepared and trans
mitted to England. -

21. Triennial returns of slaves shall be hereafter made, and how.

204 P A R LIAM E N T A R Y PA PER 3.

22. Triennial returns shall be delivered on oath.

23. The registrar, on the receipt of triennial returns, shall forthwith
proceed to correct, enlarge, and continue pursuant thereto, the former re
gistry of the plantation slaves and personal slaves, to which such returns
respectively shall relate, in manner following: (that is to say,) the said
registrar shall, in the first place, carefully compare such returns, and the
names and descriptions of slaves therein contained, with the original re
gistry of the slaves of the same plantation or plantations respectively,
and of such other plantation within the colony, from which any of the
said slaves may be stated to have been newly purchased or transferred,
or of the same owner or owners of personal slaves, and of any former ow
ner or owners thereof, under whom the present owner or owners thereof
shall derive his or their title; and also, with all intermediate continua
tions and corrections of the said original registry by former triennial re
turns, so as to ascertain, not only that the whole number of slaves men
tioned in the said returns corresponds with the original and former en
tries of slaves belonging to the same plantation or plantations, owner or
owners respectively, (having regard to all former continuations and cor
rections) but also that the descriptions of all slaves in such triennial re
turns named and described, correspond with such former descriptions
thereof, (if any,) as are in the said books of registry contained, except so
far as such descriptions are in any particular stated to have been altered
in respect to stature or bodily marks, since the last registered returns; and,
in case there shall be found any apparent inconsistency between any such
triennial returns and the said original or former triennial registries of
slaves, belonging to the same plantation or plantations, owner or owners
respectively; or if, in the case of any slave or slaves returned as newly ac
quired by purchase or transfer, succession or reversion, from any other
plantation or plantations, or former owner or owners within the same co
lony, there shall not appear in the return of the same period for such
other plantation or former owner or owners, a corresponding entry of the
same slaves, as deducted by sale or transfer, determination of estate, or
otherwise, from the last registered stock of such other plantation or plan
tations, or former owner or owners, the registrar shall give notice thereof
to the owner or owners, or other party or parties making any such return
or returns, and require him or them to attend before him the said registrar,
to explain or remove such apparent inconsistency or defect; and until the
same shall be accordingly done to the entire satisfaction of the said regis
trar, by an examination upon oath, if necessary, (which oath the said
registrar is hereby empowered to administer) the said registrar shall not
proceed to register any such triennial returns so apparently defective or
erroneous; but the party or parties refusing or omitting so to explain, and,
if necessary, to correct the same, shall, for all the purposes of this act, be
deemed and taken to have omitted to make any return for the period to
which such defective return relates; saving, nevertheless, to him or them,
such remedy by appeal, as is hereinafter provided, in case of any error or
misconduct herein by the said registrar.
24. Immediately from and after such comparison and examination, as
aforesaid, every return which shall be found to be not inconsistent, &c.
shall be registered in the said books of registry, (that is to say) when any.
such returns shall state that there has been no alteration in the number or
descriptions of the slaves, since the last returns for the same plantation, or
the said owner or owners of personal slaves, the said registrar shall carry
forward the whole number so last returned to a new folio or double page
in the said original book of registry, and shall eater and insert under the
same, “no alteration by return of the year one thousand eight hundred
and , as by return dated ,” and shall sub
scribe his name to such entry; but as to slaves stated in any such triennial
returns to have died, or to have been sold or otherwise transferred, or to
have been manumitted, or to have permanently deserted, the said registrar
shall write in the column of corrections of the said original registry and of
every intermediate triennial registry, wherein the name of any such de
ceased, sold, transferred, or manumitted slave or deserter shall have been
inserted, in the proper space of the said column, opposite to the name of
such slave, the word “dead” or “sold, transferred, manumitted,” or “de
serted,” as the case may be; and the said registrar shall then proceed to
sum up the number of all slaves, which, by any of the means aforesaid,
have been deducted from the former and last registered account of the
stock of slaves belonging to the same plantation, or to the same owner or
owners of personal slaves, as the case may be, since the said last registered
returns, and shall deduct the whole number thereof from the last registered
account of slaves of such plantation, owner or owners, and shall carry for
ward the remaining number thereof to a new folio or double page of the
proper book of registry, making a written reference thereto at the foot of
the folio from which the same is carried, and subscribing the same with
his name; and in such new folio or double page, and in as many succes
sive folios as may be necessary, shall-be afterwards inserted the names and
description of all slaves mentioned in the same triennial returns to have
been newly added to the former registered stock by any of the lawful
means aforesaid; distinguishing not only the several families and all other
particulars, as in the said original registry, but also the particular mode of
acquisition of every such newly added slave, by the word “born, pur
chased, returned, imported,” or such other brief designation as may be ap
plicable to each case.
25. At the end of the registration of each triennial return, the whole
number of slaves then belonging to each plantation or owner, shall be
summed up and entered.
26. Omissions of returns from accidents, or unavoidable impediments, or
defaults of persons, not the absolute owners, are to be supplied.
27. General accounts or abstracts of triennial returns shall be made out
by registrars, and authenticated on oath, and transmitted to England.
28. If returns are unduly received, or refused for registration by the
registrar, parties aggrieved may appeal to the governor, and from him to
the king in council, giving security, &c.
29. Penalties shall be levied on the registrar, his deputies, and clerks,
or making or permitting any false of fraudulent entries in the books of

registry, and for fraudulent erasures, &c., and for such offences by other
30. If any person, making any original or triennial return of slaves, shall
falsely and wilfully insert therein any name or description of any slave,
or pretended slave, belonging to any plantation, or owner, &c, knowing
that such slave, &c. as shall be so named, &c. doth not in fact belong, at
the time of making such return, to such plantation, &c. any person so
offending shall forfeit, for every slave, or pretended slave, so falsely re
turned, the sum of . Provided, that no person shall be
liable to any such penalty, in respect of any slave which he shall prove to
have been, at the time of the return, actually employed upon the planta
tion, or in the service of the asserted owner, to which the same were re
presented by such return to belong; although he or she shall not be able to
prove that the property, in such slave or slaves, was such as was stated in
the return, except when the prosecutor shall give evidence, beyond the
falsification of the return, in the point of property, to show that the same
was fraudulent or wilfully false.
31. The certificates of registrars shall be evidence.
32. Registrar to be entitled to certain fees, to be reduced from sterling
money into current money of the respective colonies.
33. Registrars shall not own slaves; and shall reside in the colony for
which they are appointed.
34. And whereas it is necessary or expedient, for effectually preventing
the fraudulent introduction and registration of slaves brought from Africa,
or foreign colonies, under pretence of their having been brought from a
British colony, to regulate the manner in which the exportation and car
riage, and importation of slaves, sent from one British colony to another,
and their registration under this act, shall hereafter be permitted. Whenever
any slave shall besent from any colony, now or hereafter under the doininion
of his Majesty, his heirs, or successors, in which a registry of slaves shall have
been established pursuant to this act, with intent that such slave shall be re
moved to, and remain in some other colony, under the dominion of his Ma
jesty, his heirs, or successors, the owner, or other person sending any such
slave,shall first send to and lodge in the registry of the colony, from which
such slaveshall be sent, a declaration in writing, signed by the owner of such
slave, or by some person by such owner empowered and authorized in that
behalf, setting forth the registered name and description of such slave, and
declaring that the same is meant to be exported from that colony, and to
be sent to and remain in another British colony, therein specified, and de
siring a certificate thereof; and if it shall thereupon appear to the registrar,
that the slave named and described in such declaration, is duly registered
in his office as the property of the owner, by whom or on whose behalf
such declaration is made, he shall forthwith register the exportation of such
slave, in the proper book or books of registry in his office, by writing in
the column of corrections of the said original registry, and of every trien
nial registry wherein the name of such slave shall be registered, the words
“Exported to ,” (naming the colony,) and shall deliver to
the said owner, or such other person empowered and authorized by him,

an extract certified by him, the said registrar, of the name, &c.; which
certified extract shall be produced to the collector or other principal officer
of his majesty's customs, at the port at which any such slave shall be
shipped; and shall be by such collector or other principal officer, indorsed
with his own name and hand-writing, and shall be annexed to the clearance
or permit to be given for the shipment of such slave; and shall, on the ar
rival at the port in any other British colony, to which the same shall be
destined, be produced also to the collector or principal officer of the
customs, at such last-mentioned port, who shall examine the same, and also
shall ascertain, by personal inspection, whether the negro, mulatto, or other
person, agree in bodily description with the slave, mentioned in such certi
ficate and clearance; and if not, shall refuse to admit the same to an entry,
but in case of such agreement, shall indorse such certificate with his name
and hand-writing ; and the said certificate, so indorsed, shall be forthwith
produced to, and left with the registrar for slaves of such last-mentioned
colony, and shall be by him filed in his office, as his necessary warrant for
registering such slave, as newly imported, &c.
35. Penalties shall be levied, for exporting or sending slaves from one
British colony, under an alleged or actual destination, to another, without
certificates from the registrar. Proviso as to domestic slaves attending their
masters, and as to mariners. -

36. After the ciosing of the original registry, no estate or property in

slaves to be created or transferred, unless they shall have been duly re
37. After the said final closing of the original registry of slaves in any
colony, it shall not be lawſul to hold in slavery, nor to use or treat as a
slave, in such colony, any negro, or mulatto, or other person, who shall
not have been first duly registered as a slave, but that every negro, mu
latto, or other person, within the said island, not so registered as a slave,
shall be deemed and taken to be free ; except only fugitive slaves, from
any other colony or place in the West Indies, apprehended within such
colony, who shall be detained in custody by authority of any court or ma
gistrate, for the purpose of being delivered up to their owners: provided,
that nothing herein contained shall entitle any negro, mulatto, or other
person, not duly registered as a slave upon the original, or any triennial
return of slaves, to his or her freedom, for that cause alone, until it shall
be seen whether, at the first or next triennial period for making such re
turns, or within such further periods as are hereinaſter in certain cases al
lowed, such defect of registration may not be proved, on the part of his
or her owner, to have arisen from accident, or some unavoidable or ex
cusable cause, such as is hereinbefore and hereinafter, in certain cases, al
lowed and provided for, and whether such defect may not be thereupon,
at such first or next triennial period of registration, or within such further
periods as aforesaid, lawfully remedied and supplied in manner hereinbe
fore and hereinafter authorized and directed; but iſ in the mean time, and
prior to such first or next triennial period of registratioti, &c. any question
shall arise as to the right of any such negro, mulatto, or other person, to
enjoy his or her freedom, by force and virtue of this act, or the right of the

alleged owner to treat him or her as a slave, the court, or magistrate, be

fore whom any such question shall be brought, shall forthwith give notice
thereof to the governor, for the time being, who is hereby empowered and
directed to make all such orders for the employment, support, protection,
government, and restraint of such negro, mulatto, or other person, as
shall be necessary or proper for the prevention, on the one hand, of his or
her being sent out of the jurisdiction of the courts of the colony, or other
wise ill-treated or oppressed, by the authority of the asserted owner, and
on the other hand, for the preventing such negro, mulatto, or other per
son, from withdrawing himself or herself from the said jurisdiction, until
his or her lawful condition as a slave or free person, so far as the same may
depend on this act, shall, by the registration, or non-registration of him
or her as a slave, pursuant to the provisions hereinbefore contained, at the
first or next triennial period of registration, or within such further period
as is hereinafter, in certain cases, allowed for that purpose, be ascertained
and decided.
38. When necessary, in any action or suit, to prove the owners' property
in slaves, they shall, in the first place, be shown to be duly registered.
Proviso, that no default of tenant for life, or years, &c. in not registering
slaves, shall entitle them to freedom, to the prejudice of persons entitled in
remainder, or reversion, who afterwards shall conform to this act. Pro
visos that default of mortgagees in possession shall not prejudice mortga
gors, &c.; and mortgagors in possession shall not prejudice mortgagees,
&c.; and of trustees, guardians, &c. shall not prejudice the persons bene
ficially entitled, &c. Provided, that in order to entitle any remainder
man, reversioner, mortgagor or mortgagee, or person beneficially interested
under any trust or otherwise, to keep and hold in slavery any negro, mu
latto, &c. or other person, who by the default of the tenant for life or
years, &c. shall not have been duly registered as a slave, it shall be neces
sary for such remainder-man, &c. to take possession of such unregistered
slave, or to cominence some action or suit for the recovery thereof, within
the term of ; or if such remainder-man, &c. shall not be resident
in the colony within the term of after he, she, or they shall have
received any notice of such default of registration, and within two years,
at the most, from the time of such default, and duly to prosecute such
action; and also to give notice in writing to the registrar within
after such possession taken, or action or suit commenced, that such default
of registration has been discovered, and will be thereafter supplied by
such remainder-man, &c. or person beneficially entitled, pursuant to the
provisions of this act: and it shall be further necessary for such remainder
man, &c. or person beneficially entitled, at the next annual period ap
pointed for the registration of slaves in such colony, and within
at the most from the time of such default, to make such full and particular
return, &c. as is hereinbefore directed to be made for the purpose of the
original registration of the slaves in the said colonies, together with an
affidavit in writing, to be sworn before the said registrar, stating the time,
and the particular nature of the former default of registration, and the
time and manner of his or her discovery thereof, and by whom the same
was committed or incurred, and by what title, and for what estate and in
terest such defaulter was in possession of such slave, at the time of such
default of registration; and shewing under what settlement or conveyance,
or by what other means he or she, the said reversioner, remainder-man, &c.
making such return, was entitled to some, and what specified estate, &c.
in, to, or upon such slave, at the time of such default of registration; and
averring positively that such negro or mulatto, or other person so returned
as a slave, is really and rightfully such, the former default of registration
only excepted, and specifying how such servile condition lawfully arose,
namely, whether by the alleged slave having been lawfully held in slavery
in the same colony, prior to the original registration of slaves hereby di
rected, or having been since born of some, and what female slave, duly re
gistered as such within the same colony, or having been lawfully imported
into the same, from some, and what other British colony, at some time,
and when, subsequent to the said original registration of slaves; and it is
hereby provided and enacted, that such affidavit, being duly filed in the
said registry, the registrar shall examine the return to which the same re
lates; and if it appears on the face thereof to be such a return as ought, if
true, to be received and registered according to the intent and meaning of
this act, he shall proceed to require such further proof thereof, as the na
ture of the case may afford, and especially by the production of any
negro or mulatto, or other person described in the said return as a slave,
to be by him, the said registrar, personally inspected, and privately ex
amined; and also, by the production of any deeds or other instruments
mentioned in the said affidavit, or duly authenticated copies thereof, and
by reference to entries in the said registry, as to the alleged mother or fe
male ancestors of such asserted slave, and by reference in respect of any
slave, asserted to have been imported from other British colonies, to the
certificates of his or her lawful importation, hereinbefore directed to be
brought into and filed in the said office: and, for the better investigation of
any facts stated in any such return, the said registrar shall have power to
examine the party or parties making the same upon oath, if he shall think
fit; and if after such examination and proof, the said registrar shall think
the said return to be sufficiently verified (and not otherwise) he shall sub
Init to the same, and the evidence in support thereof to the governor, &c. for
the time being, who, if the same shall be satisfactory, shall order the
same to be registered; and the said registrar shall accordingly proceed
duly to register the same; but any party or parties aggrieved by an erro
neous decision of the said registrar herein, shall and may have such re
medy by appeal.
39. And for the better enabling all remainder-men, &c. and all persons
beneficially entitled to or interested in any slaves in any of the said co
knies, in possession of any tenants for life or years, or other particular
tenants, or of any mortgagees, &c. to discover any default of the party or
Parties in possession of such slaves, in not duly returning the same to be
registered in the said original registration of slaves, and thereupon to have
and use the remedies hereby provided; it is hereby further ordered, that
2 J.
- --

it shall and may be lawful to and for every person, that is or may be le.
gally or beneficially entitled to or interested in any slave in any of the said
colonies, in remainder, &c. which slave is in the immediate possession of
any tenant for life or years, or other particular estate, or of any mort
gagor, &c. thereof, once within the term of from the time of the
said original registration of slaves, and at any part of that term, by him
self or herself, or his or her attorney or agent, to give notice in writing to
the party or parties in possession of any such slave, that he or she, the said
person legally or beneficially entitled or interested, or his or her attorney
therein named and described, will attend at the house, plantation, or place,
where such slave or slaves is or are usually kept and employed, at some
day, and some convenient hour in the day time, specified in such notice,
and not less than after the service thereof, then and there to in
spect the said slave or slaves, and compare him, her, or them, in point of
numbers and descriptions, with any office copy of the registered returns;
at which time and place the party in possession of such slave or slaves,
shall, by himself or herself, or his or her attorney, manager, or agent,
produce the same accordingly, and submit such slave or slaves to the in
spection and examination of the said party so entitled or interested, or his
or her said attorney; or in default thereof, without some necessary and
unavoidable impediment (the proof whereof shall lie upon such defaulter,)
shall forfeit and pay for every slave omitted to be so produced, the sum of
40. For the better protection of the rights of infants, &c. a commission
shall be issued by the governor.
41. Penalty shall be levied on trustees, guardians, &c, not producing
slaves for the inspection of the commissioners, or who shall wilfully have
omitted to return slaves for registration, &c.
42. Compensations shall be allowed to the commissioners.
43. Slaves, after being duly registered in the colony as such, shall not be
entitled to freedom for default of triennial returns, except as against the
defaulters, &c.
44. When slaves become entitled to freedom by wilful default of tenant
for life, trustee, &c. the defaulter shall be liable in damages, &c. to the
party prejudiced.
45. If any person or persons shall, by means of any false or fraudulent
return or entry, by him, her, or them, or by or with his, her, or their pro
curement, consent, privity, or knowledge, made in the registry of any of
the said colonies, keep or hold, or attempt to keep or hold in slavery, any
African or other negro, or mulatto, or other coloured person, lawfully en
titled to freedom, and shall be thereof lawfully convicted, he, she, or they,
shall forfeit and pay, for every African or negro, mulatto, or other coloured
person, the subject of any such offence, the sum of the one
moiety to the governor, &c. and the other moiety thereof to such person
as shall sue, inform, and prosecute for the same, with full costs of suit, to
be recovered as hereinafter-mentioned; and shall, moreover, after any
such conviction, be for ever after incapable of owning, holding, or possess
ing any slave or slaves, within any of the British colonies.

46. Orders in Council for registering the slaves at Trinidad, St. Lucia,
and the Isle of France, shall cease to have any force or effect, except as
to acts done prior to a limited period.
47. Returns and registrations under those orders, prior to a time to be
limited, shall be effectual, as if made in pursuance of this act.
48. A public office, to be called “The General Registry of Colonial
Slaves,” shall be established in the city of London, and a general registrar
to be appointed to manage and conduct such office.
49. Every such general registrar, before he enters on the execution of
his said office, shall be sworn “faithfully and uprightly to perform the
duties of the office, to the best of his judgment and ability,” before the
chief justice, or one of the justices of his Majesty's courts of King's
Bench, or Common Pleas, of the chief baron, or one of the barons of
his Majesty's Court of Exchequer, or before one of the masters of the
High Court of Chancery, who are hereby respectively empowered to ad
minister such oath.
50. The general registrar to give security by recognizance.
51. All duplicate books of registry, and all abstracts of returns received
under the orders in council, or to be received under this act in England,
shall be deposited and kept in the general registry of colonial slaves in
52. The general registrar shall carry on, continue, correct, and enlarge
duplicate books, according to the triennial returns received by him.
53. General registrar, or his deputy, shall give attendance at his office,
make searches, give certificates, &c.
54. From and after a time to be limited, it shall not be lawful for his
Majesty's subjects within the united kingdom, to purchase, or contract for,
or to lend money on the security of slaves in the colonies, unless duly re
gistered in the general registry of colonial slaves.
55. From and after a time to be limited, no deed or instrument, whereby
any slaves in the colonies are mortgaged, sold, or conveyed, shall be valid
in law, unless the registered names and descriptions of the slaves shall
be set forth therein, or in some schedule annexed or indorsed.
56. Provided always, that no deed or instrument shall be avoided by reason
of a clerical error in the names and descriptions of slaves therein, or in any
schedule, or in the books of registry, from any error, without the fraudu
lent contrivance, or wilful default of the parties to such deed or instrument.
57. Provided also, that nothing herein shall avoidor impeach any will, &c.
under the authority of any commissioners of bankrupt, or any public
officer appointed to assign or convey any insolvent's estate and effects, or
in the execution of any legal process, by reason that the registered names
and descriptions of any slaves are not set forth.
58. That this act shall be deemed a public act.
SCHELULE.—The Return of A. B. for the
ter] called E. F. a Sugar [or Coffeel Planta
tn possess. on as Manager [or as Trustee, or
* This clause is necessary onfv
[ºr in the possession of] J. K.”
when there has been a charge ºf Return of A. B. of the Town [or Parish, &c.]
property or possession within own Property, [or the Property of E. F. of
seven years.
in possession as Attorney [or essee, or as
: Necessary only when change
of nº operty within seven years. were late the / roperty of G. H.

Dist of Families of Slaves on the Plantation A. B. [or,

NAMEs sun Names. colour. EMeloyment | Act. STATUR F.

Anthony | Williamson | Negro Driver 41 || 5 feet 10 inches

Sarah | Williamson | Negro Sempstress 39 5 feet

John Williamson | Negro Labourer 20 5 feet 8 inches

Samuel | Williamson | Negro |In ** grass|| Io 4 feet 3 inches

. . .
General List of Male Slaves on
Jack Thomas Negro Boiler 35 5 feet 9 inches

Ned Smith Mulatto Cooper 40 || 5 feet 10 inclies

Sampson Strong Negro Labourer 27 5 feet 8. inches

George Ward Negro labourer 29 5 fect 7 inches

General' List of Female Slaves on

Phillis Johnstou | Negro Labourer 42 5 feet 1 inch

Susan Strange Negro Labourer 30 4 feet 1 I inches

Betty Edwards Negro Washer 29 || 4 feet 1o inches

Sally I}aker Mulatto In the little 1 1 4 feet 3 inches

Weeeding Gang
The whoke number of Slaves on the said
Plantation called C. D. in the Parish [or 2war
tion, ozoned by G. H. of which the said A. B. is | + It will be more convenient to
have different printed forms for
Mortgagee, &c.] and which was lately owned by plantation and personal slaves re
spectively, and to entitle them ac
[Or, in Returns of Personal Slaves+..] The cordingly; The plantation returns
will require, in ºeneral, of course
of C. D. Esquire, of Personal Slaves, being his more t a single aheet; , and
Esquire, whereof the said A. B. is there may be separate printed
forms for all but the first sheet,
Trustee, or Guardian, &c.;] and which Slaves omitting the title.

of the said E. F.]

country. MARKs. Rel, Ations.

Creole of this Husband of Sarah, and Father

A scar on the right of John and Samuel Wil
Island cheek liamson

Same Has lost the fourth - Wife of Authony,

of John and Mother
and Šimuel Wil
toe of the left foot liamson

Same No marks Son of Anthony and Sarah


A deep scar on the Son of Anthony and Sarah,

Same left shoulder from a and Brother of John Wil
wound liamson

the said Plantation [or of the said E. F.]

Creole of St. Kitt's Lame in the -

right leg

Creole of -

St. Vincent's No marks

African from the Country marks, two

Windward Coast seams en each cheek

African from the

Gold Coast
*: º: .." joint
of the middle toe, -

left foot

the said Plantation [or of the said E. F.]

African from No marks

African from Country marks on

Gold Coast the arms

Creole of this - - -
Island No marks

Same Cast in the eye -

. Plantation C. D. [or of the said E. F.] is twelve.

A true Return,
A B. January 1st, 1813.


Of the House of Assembly of Jamaica.

Martis, 31° die Octobris, 1815.
1. Resolved, That the free British subjects, who conquered and settled
in Jamaica, or have since removed to, and established themselves in this
island, are bound by the like allegiance as every other subject of the
realm, and carried with them, have enjoyed, and ought of right to enjoy,
all liberties and immunities of free and natural born subjects, to all intents
and purposes, as if they, and every of them, had been born, and remained
within the realm, modified and adapted to their peculiar situation as co
lonists: and particularly have enjoyed, and ought of right to enjoy, so
long as their knights and burgesses are not called to sit in parliament, a dis
tinct and entire civil government, of the like powers, pre-eminence, and
jurisdictions, within the said island, as are established in the British go
vernment, in respect of the British subjects within the realm, which govern
ment, according to the constitution of Jamaica, is composed of his Ma
jesty, the King of Great Britain and Ireland and Lord of Jamaica, the
council appointed by his Majesty, and the representatives of the people,
freely elected, and met in general assembly.
2. Resolved, That the most important of the rights, privileges, immu
nities, and franchises, which are inherent in British subjects as their birth
right, and have by them been brought to this island, is to consent to those
laws by which they are to be governed, by the exercise of right, to send
their representatives to the said general assembly, who with his Majesty
and the council, can, and of right out, to do all such acts and matters of
legislation, respecting the internal government of the island, as the im
perial parliament can do within the united kingdom of Great Britain and
3. Resolved, That it is the peculiar privilege of the free British sub
jects settled in Jamaica, by their representatives met in general assembly,
to give and grant all aids and subsidies to his Majesty; and to impose all
rates, duties, taxes, fees, fines, or penalties whatsoever; and that laying
and levying any taxes, fees, fines, or penalties, other than such duties of
custom as are mere regulations of trade, on the inhabitants, by any other
authority than the legislature of the island, composed as aforesaid, is
altogether unconstitutional, and a violation of their clearest rights.
4. Resolved, That the inhabitants of this island have not had the li
berty and privilege of electing and sending any knights and burgesses, or
others, to represent them in the high court of parliament, and explain
the condition of their country, and ought not to be bounden by laws, or .
touched and grieved by subsidies, fees, or penalties, enacted, granted, and
imposed, without their assent, other than such external regulations in
respect of commerce, as are necessary for the common weal of the empire.
5. Resolved, That the inhabitants of this island have always acknow
ledged the power and authority of parliament to make all laws necessary

for the general benefit of the empire, or affecting the whole subjects
thereof, for regulating our external relations, navigation, trade, and com
merce, and have not been disposed captiously to raise difficulties about
the exact limits between this constitutional jurisdiction, and the right of
internal legislation. -

6. Resolved, That this committee does further, with grief, acknowledge,

* that the British parliament has in fact, but not of right, made divers laws,
by which the inhabitants of this island are grieved and touched, by being
deprived of the benefit of cross-examining the evidence exhibited by
British creditors in our courts, and by an extension of the powers of the
court of admiralty, unknown in the mother-country, and unnecessary
here! by which the inhabitants are deprived of their property without the
intervention of a jury.
7. Resolved, That it has been the received opinion, that many of these
laws originated from causes which existed in the colonies that formerly
were subject to Great Britain, in North America; but it was hoped that
laws, so subversive of constitutional principles, would not be further drawn
into precedent, and especially that it would never be proposed to offer
greater violence to the constitutional rights of this colony, whose loyalty
and attachment to the mother-country have ever been unimpeachable.
8. Resolved, That we have seen with surprize and concern the draught
of a bill, said to have been printed by order of the Commons House of
Parliament, entitled, “A Bill for effectually preventing the unlawful Im
portation of Slaves, and the holding free Persons in Slavery, in the British
Colonies,” which assumes a right of legislation within the island, upon a
subject of mere municipal regulation, and internal police, exercises a
power over the estates and property of the inhabitants, imposes the most
grievous penalties and forfeitures to be inflicted at the will of a single of.
ficer, without trial by jury, and levies fees and gratuities to the use of the
said officer and others, on the inhabitants, not given or consented to by
their representatives in general assembly; by which enactinents, penalties,
forfeitures, and assessments, not only the constitutional right of internal
legislation is infringed, but the pledge in respect of taxation, given to the
colonies by the statute of the 18th Geo. III. cap. 12, is violated.
9. Resolved, That the laws for abolishing the slave-trade by the Bri
tish parliament, although injurious to the property of a great proportion
of the inhabitants, have been acquiesced in with good faith, and no at
tempts have ever been made in this island to evade the said laws, or any
of them; and this house doth pledge itself forthwith to enter into an in
vestigation of the facts, and to establish, by testimony the most irrefragable,
that no illicit trade in slaves has been carried on in this island, and that
all the allegations made in the preamble, or assumed by the enactments of
the said bill, as printed, of an illegal commerce in African or other slaves
having been carried on in Jamaica, are utterly unfounded.


From a Report of a Committee of the Honourable House of Assembly of

Jamaica, relative to a Bill introduced into the House of Commons, for
effectually preventing the unlawful Importation of Slaves, and holding
Free Persons in Slavery, in the British Colonies; agreed to December
20, 1815. *

I. Duties imposed upon the Committee.

Your committee, appointed to take into consideration the copy of a bill,
which appears to have been introduced into the House of Commons of
Great Britain, and printed by its order, entitled, “A bill for effectually pre
venting the unlawful importation of slaves, and the holding free persons in
slavery, in the British colonies,” the information which has been transmitted
by the agent on the subject of the said bill; and who, by further order of
the house, are directed to inquire into the allegations and facts assumed by
the preamble and enactments of the said bill, and to examine evidences to
ascertain whether there be any foundation for the said allegations as far as
regards Jamaica, or any probability that a clandestine importation of slaves
shall in future be attempted; to investigate the present condition of the
slaves, compared with their state in former times, and to report whether
any improvements or amelioration of their situation can be accomplished by
legal enactments, with safety to the community, and due regard to the sa
cred rights of property; to refute the calumnies which have been circulated,
with the weight derived from the name of the African Institution, in re
spect to the wanton oppression said to be exercised over the slaves, and
the misrepresentations of the condition of the free people of colour, as far
as the committee shall think such calumnies and misrepresentations likely
to influence the members of parliament in their proceedings on the mea
sures presented by the said bill, have proceeded to take the said several
matters into their consideration, and examine evidence in the most solemn
manner, the minutes of which are annexed, and, after maturely weighing
the same, have agreed to the following report:—
Your committee find, that towards the close of the last session of par
liament, a bill was introduced into the House of Commons, by Mr. Wil
berforce, entitled, “A bill for more effectually preventing the unlawful
importation of slaves, and the holding free persons in slavery in the British
colonies:” but we have not been able to discover that any previous inves
tigation took place, to establish the existence of the crimes, of which the
bill purports to prevent the commission, or that any parliamentary grounds
were stated, to warrant a procedure pregnant with consequences so hostile
to the British colonies.

* The length of this paper has appeared to render it inexpedient to insert it

entire. The principal passages omitted, however, arc described where the
omissions occur, and are not lost to the reader, having been introduced in the
preceding pages.
In some reports of the speech of Mr. Wilberforce, it is even stated that
he made an exception of the island of Jamaica; but this does not seem
probable, as the operation of the bill extends to this island, where there
are 314,000 slaves, whilst in the other British colonies in the West Indies,
taken collectively, there are, according to Mr. Colquhoun's statements,
only 284,000. In common justice this could not have been done, if the
author of the bill had stated, in the absence of all other evidenee, that the
evil did not exist in this island, for which he was about to propose a re
medy, founded on a charge of great criminality, calling for pains, penalties,
and forfeitures to be inflicted, new offices to be instituted, fees and gra
tuities to be assessed and levied on British subjects, at the will of an in
terested officer, without trial by jury, or legal conviction.
II. Preamble of the Bill.
The preamble of the bill asserts the illicit and clandestine importation
of slaves into the British colonies, where slavery is established by law, and
that negroes, mulattoes, and mestees, who are lawfully entitled to their
freedom, are held and detained in slavery; that these crimes and abuses
cannot be effectually and certainly prevented, without some better provi
sion than the laws in force within the colonies have made for ascertaining
the numbers, and identifying the persons, of the slaves now within the
same. *

It further states, that by reason of the intercouse between the several

colonies, and the frequent passage and removal of slaves from one British
colony to another, and the frequent transfers of slaves within the said co
lonies, by sale, mortgage, or otherwise, made to persons resident in Great
Britain, the necessary provisions and regulations, for the purposes aforesaid,
cannot be fully and effectually made by the separate interior legislatures
of the respective colonies, but only by the authority of parliament.
It alleges that there are “other reasons” for this interference of par
liament, but they are not disclosed.
III. Provisions of the Bill.
The bill, however, proceeds, as if all these allegations had been proved,
to enact, that all the slaves within the colony shall be registered in a form
That a registrar shall be appointed, with deputies, and assisted by special
commissioners and clerks; that the former shall be paid by a tax or fees on
the proprietors of negroes, and that the latter shall be remunerated by an
assessment, to be ordered by the governor, lieutenant-governor, or com
mander in chief. -

The proprietor is to take an office copy of the return, for which he is to

pay the registrar.
The returns are to be made on oath by the proprietor, or his represen
tative, aud to be delivered in person to the registrar, or his deputies. It
does not appear whether these deputies are to swarin all over the country,
* “And of the future issue of the females, upon whom, under the laws of
the said colonies, the condition of slavery descends.” See page —E.
2 F

or if the proprietor must come from the most distant part of the island to
the office of the registrar. This seems necessary in respect of the triennial
returns, as they are to be compared with the former registration. The
tax, therefore, would be a trifle compared with the loss and expense to the